Although The Undertaker largely strayed away from appearing in the public light throughout his tenure as an active WWE Superstar, there have been instances of ‘The Deadman’ making exceptions. One such instance was when he agreed to meet the Cleveland Cavaliers ahead of their 2016 opening night game vs. the New York Knicks.
It’s reported that the now-WWE Hall of Famer was personally requested to be at the event as a surprise for LeBron James, who has made public his love of the sports entertainment giant and, in particular, ‘Taker himself. The NBA legend had been spotted sporting t-shirts of both The Undertaker and The Ultimate Warrior during a championship run with the Cavaliers, leading to the gesture being made by his teammates.
Despite this, LeBron James refrained from meeting ‘The Phenom’. It’s believed that this is because the four-time NBA Champion isn’t fond of “PR stunts” that don’t directly benefit him, as explained by Cleveland sports reporter Joe Vardon:
“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.”
Perhaps LeBron James wasn’t made aware of the prior arrangements. The Undertaker had been personally invited to appear outside the Cavaliers’ locker room by his own teammates, with Michelle McCool and Dana Warrior following suit. In short, ‘Taker, McCool, and Warrior weren’t benefitting from the situation, outside of meeting the NBA stars.
LeBron James’ Love Of WWE, Explained
Having previously appeared in the crowd at WWE events, a picture of LeBron James wearing a classic Undertaker t-shirt went viral in 2016. The picture was snapped during practice ahead of the fifth game of that season’s NBA finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and defending champions the Golden State Warriors.
— NBA (@NBA) June 12, 2016
The Cavaliers ultimately captured the championship, besting the Warriors 93-89 in the finals to mark the team’s first NBA season victory. Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque subsequently sent them a customised WWE Championship for their victory, with Cleveland natives Dolph Ziggler and The Miz among the WWE personalities cheering the team on from afar.