Written by by Brandi Frisaro, CNN
Kobe Bryant stopped by “The Big Bang Theory” during the show’s 100th episode recently. For the occasion, KFC dressed up as their traditional Colonel Sanders character and played tag with their actor, William Shatner.
But in front of his home fans Sunday, KFC said it was going undercover, and hired LeBron James’ bodyguard to take him through the NBA’s health and safety protocols when he agreed to be his representative for a presentation.
James appeared for the first time as a part of a presentation for the league and the League of Legends at an event in Toronto. Video from the event showed James taking the stage in his black pants and red shirt with his eyes closed and his hands behind his back. The rules followed as he walked through a set of barriers.
LeBron James arrives at NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans last February. Credit: David Goldman/Invision/AP
Once he was out of the way, a sign informed him he was going to be filmed for 18 seconds before the cameras began rolling. That’s just what happened.
James’ agent, Maverick Carter, commented on the episode on ESPN Radio on Monday, admitting he was taken aback by the time it took to get his client through the medical system, especially for an NHL and NBA executive who said he has never missed a game.
“LeBron, like any athlete, has great respect for all his team, the league, everybody in the NBA organization, where it’s at, its strength and all the medical technology that has been put in place,” Carter said. “So when you start talking hockey and basketball to go along with our league stuff, we all have the same set of protocol we go through on every team to make sure everything is clean, to make sure everything is legal.”
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The host said the NBA, the NFL and other sports leagues have spent thousands of hours, countless dollars and multiple experts on medical issues.
“You know what? It’s funny to me, the medical people that they have in our league are phenomenal, the doctors and trainers and all that, and they have to go through the concussion protocol, they have to go through the ankle rehab protocol, they have to go through everything that’s good health-wise for our players.”
“When you have one of the best athletes in the world and somebody sticks their finger up his (eye-ball) cheeks like that, that’s embarrassing, man,”
Carter continued. “But if the reason they used all that time, all that money, all those resources that the NBA commissioner [Adam Silver] has spent to try to grow and help grow the league for guys like me who are sitting and watching, I mean it’s a good look.”
The seven-time NBA All-Star said he doesn’t “showboat or act like I’m bigger than the league.”
“It was embarrassing when people would write, you know, what I thought, you know, his role in the video, the people that run our game, he’s always been one of the guys that was always a little more relaxed. He’s the type of guy that if you see him playing in a game, you don’t feel that Kobe effect.”
A photo of James from the shoot went viral, showing the NBA player trying to take the focus away from himself. It was a good reminder that anyone can have an accident in the world of sports, no matter how famous they might be.