Faced with atrocious New York City traffic and the prospect of a slow bus ride, LeBron James and other members of the Cleveland Cavaliers took the most efficient alternative form of transportation: They jumped on the subway.
James took a video of himself riding the New York subway ahead of a game against the New York Knicks, which was posted Monday afternoon by the Uninterrupted, James’ recently launched video platform for pro athletes.
“On our way back from shoot-around, we decided to take a different transportation this time,” James says to the camera. “Where we at, Kyle?”
He turns to Cavs shooting guard Kyle Korver.
“We’re on the train,” Korver says, helpfully. “We had two options: a 45-minute bus ride — ”
“A 45-minute bus ride!” James repeats.
” — or a six-minute train,” Korver says.
“Or a six-minute train ride,” James repeats. “So, we decided to hop on the train with the squad.”
The rest of the video is a bizarre and highly entertaining tableau.
There’s power forward Channing Frye standing in the subway car’s aisle, ducking his head to ensure it doesn’t whack the metal grab rail.
“We’re squishing!” Frye says.
There’s Dwyane Wade, hunched over on the train system’s signature periwinkle seats: “We out here, dawg.”
And there’s a guy sitting next to James in a shirt and tie, ear buds pressed in his ears, clearly displeased at his surprise starring role in the video. The guy shoves his hand toward the camera.
“Can you not?!” the man huffs.
James snickers in the background.
It’s not entirely clear whether Random Guy realizes that he’s sitting next to LeBron James — or besides the Cavs’ security guard, who is quick to move him away from the team.
Another video, posted Monday by the NBA, showed some of the lead-up to the train excursion.
In that video, James acknowledges that he has never been on the New York subway before, but he distills the experience to a single priority.
“As long as I’m getting on the right damn train, that’s all I care about,” James says.
Moments later, a train approaches. Two other Cavs have an exchange that most non-New York natives can relate to.
“Is this us?” one asks.
“I don’t know,” the other says.
Updated at 6 p.m.:
The subway rider heretofore described as Random Guy is no longer random. New York City real estate agent and amateur comedian James Michael Angelo has copped to being the man who stuck his hand in LeBron James’s camera lens and rebuffed the Cavs player with an annoyed “Can you not?!”
In an interview Monday, Angelo told USA Today that he did not realize the crew of basketball players crowding onto his subway train were some of the most legendary — and well-known athletes in the world. He assumed they were part of a college team.
“I noticed a bunch of tall guys getting in the train, but I was listening to U2 and I didn’t want to be filmed,” Angelo said in the interview, later adding that James accidentally elbowed him several times. “To be honest with you, they got on and they completely squished me, and he was really unaware of his space.”