by: Kelly Dwyer
The payoff – the glorious payoff – is here. Chicago Cubs fans have waited 108 years to see LeBron James wear their team’s jersey to a basketball game in December, and due to a recent series of Cubs wins, they’ll finally have their chance to take in such a sight.
The Chicago Cubs, one of Dwyane Wade’s two favorite baseball teams to play in Chicago, won the World Series in November. Due to his pitched rooting for their opponents from Cleveland (one of his several favorite baseball teams in the American League), LeBron James will now have to wear a Cubs uniform to Friday’s tilt between his Cleveland Cavaliers and Wade’s Chicago Bulls as the result of a rather tame bet.
James, speaking to the media a day prior to his payoff, spoke with Tom Withers of the Associated Press:
“Hat down to the pants, the socks.”
”I’m not wearing cleats,” James said Thursday after the Cavs’ morning shoot-around. ”I got a basketball game to play. No glove. Just the uniform. I will be in uniform.”
And that will be quite a sight as the 6-foot-8, 250-pound James isn’t built like any baseball player.
”It’s a bet,” he said. ”You have to fulfill your bet. Nothing more to it.”
One can only wish!
World Series bet update:
Me: "Do you know what number LeBron's Cubs jersey will have?"
Me: "Will you tell us?"
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) December 1, 2016
Wade, who grew up in Robbins, IL, was a teammate of James’ from 2010 through 2014 on the Miami Heat, prior to LeBron returning to his Northern Ohio home to play for the Cavaliers a second time. Wade, who worked in Miami from 2003 through 2016, signed with his hometown Bulls during the offseason.
Friday will mark the first time the friends have taken each other on wearing Cavalier and Chicago Bull uniforms.
James, talking about Chicago Bulls uniforms, discussed Friday evening’s expectations:
”It’s going to be pretty cool, not only just because he’s in a different uniform but just him being back home and understanding what his journey is right now,” James said. ”I think it’s more than just basketball for himself, being back home in Chicago.”
It is more than about basketball, for Dwyane Wade. It’s also about baseball.