Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is one of the most gifted passers in NBA history, but to one young fan his most memorable assist came during Thursday’s preseason game in Sacramento. Midway through the Lakers’ 116-112 loss to the Kings, James gave a young fan his game-worn sneakers and towel.
The fan — who was wearing James’ Lakers jersey — elatedly fist pumped, drawing smiles from the four-time NBA champion James and teammate Rajon Rondo.
James’ giveaway was the lone highlight of an otherwise underwhelming Lakers game and preseason. Los Angeles has dropped all six of its preseason contests, and only two of those games were decided by less than 12 points. The 17-time All-NBA selection James played in four of those six games, logging a preseason-high 29 minutes against Sacramento while recording 30 points, six rebounds and six assists.
The Lakers’ championship-winning duo of James and Anthony Davis is hoping to jell with newcomer Russell Westbrook, a former MVP the team acquired from the Washington Wizards via trade in July. Depth has suddenly come into question, though, as the team moved veterans Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell in the Westbrook deal then lost Trevor Ariza and Talen Horton-Tucker to injuries.
Los Angeles must fix those issues and come together quickly, as it will open the regular season with a home game against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET. The young fan James gave his sneakers and towel to will likely be tuning in — unless it’s past his bedtime.