There’s trouble brewing in Cleveland after LeBron James’ seemingly harmless courtside gesture.
The Cavaliers star showed his humorous side Monday night by playfully grabbing a beer from a Quicken Loans Arena vendor during Game 1 of Cleveland’s second-round NBA playoff matchup with the Toronto Raptors.
The suds he grabbed were produced by Lakes Brewing Co., so naturally, the Cleveland-based brewery decided to take advantage of the fact that one of the world’s most well-known professional athletes pretended to drink its beer.
Good stuff, right? Well, not in LeBron’s eyes. The Cavs star caught wind of Great Lakes’ media ploy and essentially issued the company a verbal cease and desist for trying to profit off his likeness.
“This is about the last thing I’m trying to worry about right now, my agent and my legal team will take care of it, but yeah I know (Great Lakes) is trying to benefit off of me,” James told Cleveland.com on Wednesday. “And I heard they were the same company that made all those ‘Quitness’ beers, and now they’re trying to benefit off me this way? Yeah, it’s pretty funny.”
There is, of course, a history here: When James spurned Cleveland to join the Miami Heat in 2010, Great Lakes mocked his move by releasing a beer titled “Quitness,” that was described as “a dry hopped India pale ale that leaves a bitter aftertaste, perfectly describing the mood of Cleveland sports fans these days.”
Now, it appears James is the one who’s bitter about the brewer doing a 180 on him. Fortunately, it appears the situation has fizzled, as “tensions had been eased” after Great Lakes deleted its tweets mentioning James, according to ESPN.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images