LeBron James may be the best basketball player in the world with a reputation for meddling in personnel decisions, but according to Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale, James also goes out of his way to show just how much he cares about those he works with.
Fizdale became a household name in the sports world recently when he went on a post-game rant about the officiating during their playoff-series loss to the San Antonio Spurs in which he famously yelled “Take that for data!” But before that, Fizdale was an assistant coach with the Miami Heat for eight seasons, helping LeBron and Co. win two championships.
Fizdale was recently a guest on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” when he was asked about working with LeBron. He explained that the LeBron behind closed doors is much different than the calculated businessman who has molded a brand for the world to see.
According to Fizdale, the LeBron most don’t see “is personal, he cares, he really cares about the 15th guy on the bench, he cared about us as coaches.”
Fizdale then told a great story about the unusual wedding gift he received from LeBron. It was a gift that took a lot more thought and effort than just having somebody pick something off a registry. It was a spot in a Samsung commercial.
“I don’t know how many times I came into the office and there was a gift on our desk from LeBron because he’d get so much free crap. I never got so many Christmas gifts in my life. He would do stuff like that for no reason. That was the part I will always remember about him, the things he would do for us. He put me in a commercial once as a wedding gift. How about that? Because I said, ‘Don’t get me anything.’ Instead of him listening, he says ‘Hey coach, why don’t you be in the Samsung commercial with me?’ You know, that’s a nice little check for an assistant coach. And [the card] says, ‘Hey man, congratulations on your wedding.'”
Here is Fizdale’s appearance in the commercial. The full commercial can be seen below:
The full-length version of the commercial: