If there’s anything hockey fans are well-known for, it’s embracing outsiders, especially athletes from other major sports, that enjoy anything about hockey.
With tongue firmly in cheek, let’s waste no time in presenting to you: Miami Heat superstar LeBron James being given a Montreal Canadiens jersey by the team.
The comments on this should be wonderful. It’ll be much like the “Playa Haters Ball” from Chappelle’s Show.
Before the 2013 Eastern Conference finals began, Milan Lucic made an entertaining comparison between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Miami Heat. It makes sense, then, that Jaromir Jagr used the NBA to explain how the Boston Bruins swept the Penguins, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Seth Rorabaugh reports.
“It’s like basketball. If you have a good player, you want to double team them. Look at other guys to beat them,” Jagr said. “If you’re going to play against LeBron James, you’re going to put two guys on him. Let ‘Birdman’ (Chris Andersen) beat you.”
If you even loosely follow the NBA, you probably have Shaq’s “Birdman” chant in your head right now. If not, check Pro Basketball Talk for the latest on the colorful role player (pictured in this post).
In case you’re wondering, Lucic told NHL.com’s Matt Kalman that he’s not sure which NBA team the Bruins might be.
(One guess: maybe the Ben/Rasheed Wallace-era Detroit Pistons? It really is a tough call.)
There are a lot of great opportunities that come with being a superstar like Alex Ovechkin. Making a charitable impact – particularly on children – might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but plenty of athletes do just that. ESPN’s Sportscenter has been running a “My Wish” segment which follows sports stars working with the “Make a Wish” foundation for seven years now and Ovechkin will be featured in one this week.
Ovechkin spent two days with 16-year-old Sam Jacobson, a boy from Idaho who is playing on his high school hockey team despite battling lymphoma. The segment includes a moment when Jacobson got to skate with the Capitals during a March 7 practice and will first air on Thursday, July 20 at 3 p.m. ET.
Here’s a summary from the Capitals’ press release.
Ovechkin spent two days with Sam Jacobson, 16, including after a Capitals practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday, March 7. Jacobson who played on his high school hockey team despite recovering from lymphoma, had his most heartfelt wish come true as he met his hockey idol Ovechkin and skated with him after practice on March 7, 2012, through the Make-A-Wish®. Sam began the day by taking a tour of the practice facility and Caps’ locker room. Inside the players’ locker room, he had his own stall, stocked with hockey equipment donated by Bauer. After he suited up, he ended the day by skating with Ovechkin, Karl Alzner, Jason Chimera and other players following their practice. In addition, Sam attended two Capitals home games and spent some time with Ovechkin following the games in the Capitals locker room.
That’s fantastic, isn’t it?
ESPN reports that 41 athletes will be included in this year’s segments. Lebron James, Kyle Busch, DeSean Jackson, Rory McIlroy, Mark Sanchez and Ovechkin will be featured in this week’s segments. You can check out a video promo here.
(Main photo via ESPN Images.)