Friend of mine was at the Georgia Tech baseball game today and told me he saw “15-20” kids in LeBron James jerseys. I walked through CNN Center and found vendors selling more jerseys and “LBJ MVP” T-shirts.
And now this: It seems Mr. James is having a little party in Midtown tonight.
Wow. Hope he can fit the game in.
Now, I realize the Cleveland Cavaliers have had their way with the Hawks in the first two games of this series. And I’m not suggesting that LeBron James making social plans in the middle of a playoff series could be just the thing to propel your Hawks to a victory tonight and four wins in the next five games.
But doesn’t this strike you as a little odd?
I mean, how would Cleveland take it if, say, Josh Smith was planning a party for after Game 5?
On second thought, bad example.
Chris Blackburn, the manager at the Trois restaurant and bar in Midtown, both confirmed and joked that there’s a gathering at 10 o’clock tonight “for LeBron and 800 of his closest friends.”
Then he issued this slight disclaimer: “This isn’t really a party he’s throwing, but he will be in attendance. He just wanted a place to hang out. I think his agent contacted a local promoter who we’ve done business with in the past. He [the promoter] in turn asked if he could do a large event, with LeBron being the draw.”
Blackburn said there are signs posted in Trois informing patrons that the place will close early for a private function. He would not say how much it cost to rent the restaurant. But he said the promoter is paying for it, not James. He also said James will be seated in a VIP area, which is limited to 70 people.
Tickets will be sold to the public. If you go, be sure to get a few postgame quotes for the AJC and e-mail them to me.
I kind of get the feeling LeBron will be in a hurry to get out of the arena.
If I can get a comment from King James before the game, I’ll post it here.
Until then, what do you think?
UPDATE FROM THE PARTY KING! James met with the media for a few minutes (literally) just now and had his game face on. When told word of his post-game plans at Trois already have circulated through the city, he said: “I’ve got game plans right now and I’m very focused on Game 3. I’ll worry about it after the game.
I did not ask if I could get on the VIP list, with a “Plus 1.”
For what it’s worth, James has had these post-game and off-day parties in other cities before in New York, Washington, Miami and Toronto.
LeBRON VS. URLACHER: Can you imagine that collision? It almost happened. If you watched Game 2, you saw James chase a loose ball and leap over Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher, who was seated court side near the Cavaliers’ bench.
”You see him? He didn’t even move,” James said. “Thank God he didn’t try to tackle me. Ooooh. Good he didn’t think I was a running back jumping over the pile.” The two officially met for the first time after the game, and James gave Urlacher his shoes.