After the Washington Wizards defeated the world-champion Miami Heat Tuesday night, the world’s most popular NBA player had something to do before he headed to the locker room. LeBron James walked courtside over to the Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III, and the two men shook hands and shared a quick embrace.
That exchange showed the magnitude of what he has done and who he has become Griffin in his first season as an NFL quarterback: stars want to meet him.
“He’s an unbelievable talent, and he’s a great quarterback,” James told USA Today. “He doesn’t play like a rookie at all. They’ve got a great one.”
Fans of the Redskins, who are among the more rabid in the country, acknowledge as much. That is why they serenaded Griffin to chants of “RG3!” throughout the night.
“It’s humbling,” Griffin said. “You never go somewhere expecting people to chant your name, or at least I never have.”
Griffin has been gracious in his time so far in D.C., making him even more likeable. He has led the Redskins to three straight victories and set an NFL rookie rushing record with 714 yards and could be in the MVP conversation in a few weeks if the team continues its roll.
Even his presence transferred to the Wizards, who had only one once all season but pulled out a home win against the heat.
“Those guys (on the Wizards) are the ones that played,” Griffin said in The Washington Times. “I didn’t play the game, but even Coach (Mike Shanahan) said I can’t be going over there and rubbing off, using all my magic on those guys when we need it for us.”
It was his first game Griffin at Verizon Center.
“You walk into those events and that’s those guys’ time to shine. I was extremely proud of the way they played,” he said. “You’ve got the defending NBA champs in your house and you beat ‘em. That was fun to watch.
“To me, it’s just humbling to have the fans, whether it’s football fans, basketball fans, chanting or cheering for you,” he added. “That just means you’re really doing something for the city.”