LeBron James Gave a Special Olympics MVP His Sneakers at the Celtics Game
LeBron James wasn’t the most extraordinary athlete in the T.D. Garden Tuesday night. That title belongs to Aaron Miller, Special Olympics MVP.
During the second quarter of the Cavaliers’ 89-77 win over the Celtics, Miller was acknowledged with a standing ovation at half court. The 16-year-old high school student, who overcame severe brain damage and now plays on the basketball and golf teams at Newton North, had endured thousands of hours of surgery and physical therapy to defeat a medical condition that doctors believed would paralyze him for life. After James heard the announcement, he sought Miller out for a brief courtside interaction.
But James didn’t stop there. After the game, he presented Miller with his game-worn sneakers.
LeBron had a moment with ‘Hero Among Us’ Aaron Miller, 16, of Newton, a player who’s overcome brain damage at birth. pic.twitter.com/VGIga8ClNQ
— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) December 16, 2015
“He also had my shoes on,” James said. “I designed those shoes for kids with conditions where they can’t tie their own shoestrings, and he had a pair on. Those shoes that he had on are made for kids that can’t tie their own shoes, and it’s just one strap. When I saw his story, it was just like, I don’t know, I felt like I was a part of him. Just showing my respect, gave him my shoes. It was well received by him. It was not for you guys or the fans.
“It was for him.”
Over the last several years, basketball fans have watched the maturation of James as a leader. In addition to being arguably the best player in the game, he’s one of the league’s finest spokesmen. Whether it’s speaking out for social causes such as gun control or advocating for the removal of disgraced ex-Clippers owner Donald Sterling, James seems to recognize the importance of his own role as one of the league’s most prominent players.
James may have scored 24 points and propelled the Cavs to victory Tuesday, but his most indelible act of the evening was reaching out to Miller. After all, MVPs have a bond between them that can’t be broken.