Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted this week that he smoked crack cocaine, while mayor, in a "drunken stupor."
LeBron James was in Toronto last night for the Heat vs. Raptors game.
Understandably, the only thing Torontonians, including sports reporters, can talk about is that their mayor smoked crack.
James had not heard that Rob Ford had smoked crack.
What happened after reporters realized they were talking to someone who didn't know Rob Ford had smoked crack? It was a weird exception to the normal pregame locker-room interview. LeBron James was interested in hearing the story.
The Toronto Star's Cathal Kelly detailed the odd exchange between reporters and LeBron before the game. Locker-room reporters are really supposed to ask James some questions about the game and then get out of the way, but somehow the Ford issue came up.
Someone asked him if he'd heard what happened. LeBron picked up on the fact that if he's being asked about local politics in a visiting city, the story is probably pretty good. So he asked for clarification.
A bunch of people began talking at once, anxious to spread this local infection. The etiquette is that you don't tell LeBron James things. You ask questions and, if he feels like it, he tells you things. Etiquette was out the window.
When the word "crack" finally came up, LeBron "jumped back a couple of feet" and declared it a "sensitive subject."
LeBron let the reporters tell the tale while he responded with replies like, "Unbelievable," "hmm," "maaaan," and "wow."
And then there's this:
But James turned back, Clarence Darrow-esque.
"He still the mayor?"
OK, back at it. The events of Tuesday afternoon got a proper going over.
"But," James said, "is he a good mayor?"
The reporters suggested that James Google it and decide for himself.
Though, at least we know James is willing to at least try to overlook some flaws, like crack smoking, if the public official is otherwise decent.
Just wait until LeBron hears about what some of Miami's politicians have done.
"Wait, were the prostitutes pre-op or post-op?" we imagine him saying. "Actually at the Miami Herald building?"
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"So, wait, he used to ride with police officers and beat up suspects... while still the mayor?"
"Like, he wears a little Speedo and everything? A senior bodybuilder?"
Send your story tips to the author, Kyle Munzenrieder.