Just for a few minutes, stop being overwhelmed by coronavirus news, and immerse yourself in the story of a man who claims to have surreptitiously collected what he is reasonably confident are LeBron James's toenails.
This might sound like a deranged act. (And if it does to you, imagine how it sounds to LeBron.) And yet, to hear Redditer u/SoDakZak tell it, his brush with greatness -- more specifically: greatness's presumed toenail clippings -- changed his life. At the time he encountered LeBron James('s toenails), he was a "super depressed" maintenance man going through the motions in a downtown Minneapolis hotel.
After spending a mere 50 months (!) in posession of (what he thinks are) the basketball great's toenails, SoDakZak is a new man: enlightened, happy, married, and finally chasing his dreams, creatively.
SoDakZak took his tale to the basketball fans on the website's r/NBA subreddit this week, and it is by turns baffling, disgusting, heartwarming, uplifting, confusing... we said disgusting already? Reader, he found one on the carpet and then went looking for the rest of them.
If this story is to be believed, the Redditer is referring to January 8, 2016, when LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 125-99. Later that year, the Cavaliers would win the NBA Championship, the franchise's first in history, and the first sports title of any kind for that city since 1964. So you could say this exchange worked out for both parties.
They are not so different, SoDakZak and LeBron James. Each is haunted by a question. SoDakZak took his to Reddit, and it is: How do I get these things "officially verified" to prove they are, in fact, the "genuine" article?
LeBron's query is at once simpler, and more complex: Did that guy fixing the heater take my fucking toenail clippings?
It has, at last, been answered. Below, read the Reddit story in its entirety.
I worked as a hotel maintenance guy for years. It’s not a glamorous job and it’s crazy how many years I let go by on autopilot. I was super depressed, and that depression grew every day.
The hotel I worked at was an upscale place in Minneapolis. We often had some famous people staying there, especially sports teams as we are near Target Field and the Target Center.
One January night in 2016, I was feeling super depressed (dead end job, long Minnesota winters) when I got called to one of the nice suites. There was an issue with the heater. I go up and who answers the door but Lebron fricken James! He explains to me that his heater had just slowed significantly and it was getting cold. He was super nice and was getting ready to leave for that nights game against the T-wolves. (Man we were hyped for this Wiggins kid around then.)
So he’s in the shower/bathroom getting ready while I do my thing fixing the heater. While I’m down on my knees checking out the heater I notice something on the floor.... a toenail! I looked up at the table and on it is a toenail clippers he must have just been using. This toenail was the biggest toenail I’d ever seen, and tbh it was kind of gnarly. I quickly picked it up and looked around, I found a few more whole nails and a couple of shards. All in all I found 11 shards of nails that I believe to be his (we pretty thoroughly vacuum the suite every day). I kept them and finished my job and got out of there.
When I got home, I just sat there looking at his toe nails on my table. For the longest time I just sat there staring at them. I would roll them in my fingers, and I just couldn’t get over the fact that I (possibly) had parts of Lebron James in my hand!!
After awhile I started thinking more depressing thoughts again about my job. I then thought to myself; Lebron has it all. He has family, fame, fortune and he’s very nice in person. You know, getting down on myself about the success of others.
I then looked at this gnarled toenail I was springing up and down between my fingers and realized: Lebron. James. Is. Just. A. Man. Like. Me.
He worked to get to where he is. He goes and gets what he wants. Family? Done. Fame? He crafted his story. Money? He did what he loved and held out to get paid his fair shake. He loves what he does and he loves his life, and Taco Tuesday....and yet he has to sit down.... every month.... just like me.... and clip his toenails.
For some reason it has always stuck with me. It’s kind of like realizing the president has to put his pants on in the mornings too or the Pope has to wipe himself clean in the bathroom just like you and me. We are all just people.
In the coming months I saved my money and started weaning myself off of my job I don’t like. Recently I quit and I am now following my dream: designing card games! This last winter I finally managed to step up and make the card game that when I get back from my honeymoon in two weeks will be something I can focus on bringing to full fruition. All thanks to LeBron and (possibly) his toenails.
I do feel, however, that I would like to get it officially verified that these are his toenails. What are the best ways or companies around the NBA to verify that things like jersey’s, headbands, balls, toenails, shoes etc... are genuine?