Last week, during the pregame events for Game 6 of the NBA Western Conference Finals, I saw something amazing. TNT was showcasing the Thunder as they were shooting baskets during warm up. As the camera was on James Harden, you can see something catch his attention out of the corner of his eye. The something that caught his attention was Larry Nichols escorting his 90+-year-old mother to her courtside seat. Mr. Harden took the time to approach Mrs. Nichols and wait for her to see him (obviously not wanting to startle her), then he said hello and shook her hand. From the excited look on her face, you can tell he just made her day! I’m not sure what’s going through the mind of a professional athlete just before a championship game … but I doubt if it’s “make sure I’m courteous and say hi as they make their way to the seats”. After the exchange, Mr. Harden went back to the business at hand of finishing his warm up, and then off to help the Thunder win the Western Division Championship.
From what I’ve seen on and off the court, the entire Thunder team (and organization) has been role models for young folks across the country. I would love to find a picture or footage of the exchange to share with you, if anyone can find it, please let me know! It was really an amazing exchange and a chivalrous act for fans to see.
“Fear the Beard!” and “Go Thunder!”
Photo – Getty Images