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LeBron James Mouthguard: What Does the XVI Stand For?

MIAMI, FL - MAY 28:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on in the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 28, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterJanuary 13, 2017

The biggest mystery in all of sports right now involves LeBron James, a mouthguard and the Roman numeral XVI. 

OK, maybe this isn't the biggest mystery, and possibly not even a very good one. Because we have a pretty firm grasp on the meaning of the worst-looking piece of plastic in mouth-saving technology. 

The answer to the increasing question of "what the hell is in James' mouth?" has a very precise answer. 

You only need to notch off how many wins it would take for the Heat to get James his first ever NBA title, 16. 

Photo Credit: SlamOnline
Photo Credit: SlamOnline

Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports ran a report at the start of May that featured the mouthguard and what it stood. Here is an excerpt from that report. 

...consider Miami star LeBron James during this playoffs is wearing a mouthguard that reads on the front "XVI." That's 16 in Roman numerals, and that is how many postseason wins it will take the Heat to get James his first championship.

"You pay attention," James said to a reporter. "It's just inspirational. I know this is the biggest part of the season, the second part of the season, so it's just an inspiration for me."

Phew. 

We can close the case of what that stain on his teeth was. At least that's what the mouthguard always seems to look like on TV. 

Let's see if we can force some opinion out of a piece of plastic. For starters, James seems to have lost the millions of haters that volleyed scornful remarks at him over the past few years. 

Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports
Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports

At least that's what it looks like as he inches closer to NBA glory. I really believe the King has turned a corner and is the closest ever to realizing his dream, and I like the reminder that sits ever so comfortably at the front of his mouth. 

However, it's ugly. 

Forget discussing the meaning behind it, what the inspiration is or the impetus behind it all. The only thing the mouthguard reminds me of is something stuck in James' teeth, and I get this reminder with every single closeup. 

I would very much like him to win the title so we never get to see it again. 

Follow me on Twitter and we can fight about it. 

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