Prior to the season opener for the Cleveland Cavaliers last month, The Undertaker made a surprise appearance. He had met with several Cavaliers players and was reportedly there to greet LeBron James as well, but the two never got to see each other. According to Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon, there is a reasonable explanation for it all.
The Undertaker was stationed outside the locker room at The Q for an uncomfortable hour (give or take) on opening night, apparently to meet James (with cameras and cell phones rolling for the fine folks at WWE to capture the moment and spread the footage around the globe). The reason, besides the huge publicity it would generate for the WWE, was James wore a T-shirt from Homage with The Undertaker’s likeness on the front on practice day prior to Game 5 of the Finals.
James arrived at The Q before the wrestler and his posse, and claimed not to know he was out there. But of course the word immediately spread through the locker room that The Undertaker was waiting outside.
Here’s a life lesson. If you don’t have an appointment, don’t already know James personally, aren’t a business associate or a small child, the odds of “meeting” James before or after a Cavs game in or near the locker room are not great. I once saw Houston Astros stud second baseman Jose Altuve try to get a meeting with James after a game against the Houston Rockets in Texas. The request came through various team PR officials. Let’s just say James had no interest.
Another rule. James is not cool with someone purposefully trying to make money or gain fame through him, away from the court. In other words, no PR stunts that don’t benefit James. He wore an Undertaker T-shirt. For him, that’s enough.
It simply came down to the fact that James was unaware of The Undertaker being there in the arena. There’s no question had he known, he would have made the time to see the WWE legend. It’s well known that James is a huge wrestling fan and meeting one of his favorite wrestlers would have been something he would have made time to do.
This is just something that will get worked out at some point down the road. At the same time, there are no harsh feelings from The Undertaker as likely understands the entire situation. It’s just a bummer that it just didn’t happen.