LeBron James Flattered by Football Players' Imitation of Celebration

Ethan Skolnick@@EthanJSkolnickNBA Senior WriterDecember 9, 2013

Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS — LeBron James is an original in plenty of ways, but he doesn't claim ownership of everything.

Last season, after he began regularly symbolically pressing down on the floor after making a shot to shut up a hostile crowd, he made sure to attribute the action to a predecessor. After all, a certain former Lakers, Nuggets, Mavericks, Warriors, Blazers and Spurs guard was well known for use of the reverse "raise the roof" to punctuate whatever he'd done.

"Yeah, I'm on my Nick Van Exel thing right now, anybody who knows the history of the game," James said last February in Chicago. "The fans are always on me on the road, they stay on me, they continue to say I can’t shoot the ball, I can’t shoot."

B/R

Van Exel, who retired in 2006, is now a Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach. His celebratory legacy now lives on not only through James but in the football world as well.

Cam Newton has done it a couple of times, most notably a few weeks ago in South Florida, after scoring a touchdown against the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium (roughly 30 miles from where James plays). The Carolina Panthers quarterback actually combined it, in all its stomping glory, with his own Superman ripping-the-shirt-off gesture:

B/R

This was seen by some as a slight, after James and teammate Dwyane Wade did the Superman in front of a courtside-sitting Newton in Charlotte in 2011:

Not so.

Over the weekend, James told Bleacher Report that he's seen Newton's version and liked it.

"We've got a good relationship," James said.

James has also noticed others incorporating it.

"I've seen (Julian) Edelman from the Patriots," James said. "I've seen someone else do itoh, Dwayne Bowe (of the Chiefs) did it. Carlos Hyde (of Ohio State) did it, too. It's pretty cool, man. I watch football, I'm a huge football fan, and to see what I do on the court can translate to the NFL, that's pretty cool."

As a Cowboys fan, James likely wouldn't mind seeing Dez Bryant do it a couple of times in the end zone on Monday night, when Bryant faces Wade's favorite team, the Bears.

Ethan Skolnick covers the Heat for Bleacher Report.

Related

    It's Time for Pop to Punt on DeRozan, Aldridge

    Spurs need to start thinking rebuild

    NBA logo
    NBA

    It's Time for Pop to Punt on DeRozan, Aldridge

    Nekias Duncan
    via Bleacher Report

    D-Wade 'World Tour' Merch 🔥

    Limited edition. Just in time for the holidays. Tap to buy 🛒

    NBA logo
    NBA

    D-Wade 'World Tour' Merch 🔥

    B/R SHOP
    via B/R SHOP

    David Stern Has Emergency Brain Surgery

    Former NBA Commissioner David Stern undergoes emergency surgery after suffering a sudden brain hemorrhage

    NBA logo
    NBA

    David Stern Has Emergency Brain Surgery

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    NBA News Roundup 🗞️

    • Kawhi's reception in TOR • Trae Young's rough week • Who will pony up for Kevin Love?

    NBA logo
    NBA

    NBA News Roundup 🗞️

    Andy Bailey
    via Bleacher Report