When in New York, do as the locals do.
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers rode the C train ahead of Monday night’s game against the Knicks, documenting their trip via video on Uninterrupted. For James and his teammates, taking to the subway was simple math.
“On our way from shoot-around, decided to take a different transportation this time,” the 13-time NBA All Star said to the camera, asking teammate Kyle Korver for travel times as they rode from their morning practice back to their hotel.
“We had two options: a 45-minute bus ride, or six-minute train ride,” Korver said, attesting to the remarkable amount of traffic in the city.
At least one morning commuter seemed unamused. At one point in the video, James turns the camera to the stranger sitting next to him, who, in true New York fashion, throws his hand in front and says, “Can you not?” to the delight of James and his teammates.
The commuter, James Michael Angelo, a real estate agent and comedian from South Harlem, said he had no idea who LeBron James was. He thought a college basketball team just got on the train — and they were causing a scene.
“I was probably listening to U2, going through emails — I’m a real estate agent and I’m responding to my clients,” he said. “Then they got on and it was kind of like when 100 little kids get on all at once to go to the Natural History Museum — only they were like 7 feet tall. They clearly were doing this to get attention.”
James, he said, committed a subway flagrant foul.
“He was totally manspreading,” Angelo said, adding that he’s ridden with other stars before and it’s never a big deal — “I’m not too starstruck.” But the silver lining is that the brush with fame might just help his second career as a funnyman.
“This is my third or fourth interview,” he said. “I can’t write material fast enough.”
The NBA’s twitter account posted another video of the team, decked out in Cavs sweats, heading down into Penn Station to catch their train. It appeared to be James’ first time on the subway.
“This is my second time — but this is my first time getting on in New York. I got on in Philly before, but not here in New York,” James said. “As long as I’m getting on the right damn train, that’s all I care about.”
The MTA’s official Twitter account weighed in, letting the three-time NBA champion and four-time MVP know where the transit agency’s allegiances lie.
“Thanks so much for taking the subway Lebron, but the King of this town is @kporzee and we’re riding with the Knicks tonight. #KnicksTape,” the MTA tweeted, referring to Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis.
Correction: An earlier version of this incorrectly identified the source of the first of the two videos. It’s from Uninterrupted.