LeBron James recently Instagramed a photo of himself and the rest of the Miami Heat throwing the team’s first Secret Santa event.
The photo, reposted later by teammate Norris Cole, suggests that the team is getting closer than ever and, according to Bleacher Report, James said he was instrumental to starting the tradition (he had observed a similar one during his days in Cleveland). Each player drew another player’s name out of a hat and spent the next few weeks getting to know them well enough to pick them out a perfect gift.
It’s good to see the team working to unite now that the team’s golden boy is back in action. In fact, many of the comments on LeBron’s Instagram account suggested fans are taking this as a major show of mutual support among the teammates.
The guys set a minimum price tag for the gifts and, judging by what they got each other, it must have been worthy of a team whose total salary approaches $80 million for just this season.
So, what was under the Christmas tree?
Roger Mason Jr. gave Drew Oden a set of Bang & Olufsen speakers, while Mason himself—an art collector with the nickname “Money Mase”—received a money-themed painting commissioned by Michael Beasley. Beasley, in turn, received a swag Louis Vuitton bag from Rashard Lewis.
Shane Battier gave Chris Bosh a telescope, calling him one of the team’s “most introspective” players, and the burgeoning sommelier got himself at least two bottles of pricey wine from Mario Chalmers—an Opus One and a Joseph Phelps Insigni, according to The Palm Beach Post.
D-Wade got Rashard a little something, too, but hasn’t disclosed what it is yet.
Interestingly, along with Beasley proudly toting his Louis Vuitton bag, the image shows in LeBron’s hands a box marked “LeBronciaga.” If this is indeed what we hope it is, a bespoke Balenciaga sneak commissioned for James is quite possibly the wisest gift for the man who has everything. However, given that LeBron wears size 16, it’s more likely a one-of-a-kind accessory due to the box size.
In previous years, Secret Santa events held by teams have helped unite rosters only a few months into the season by giving them a chance to learn more about one another. Shane Battier remembered bringing together his team back when he was playing with Houston, and it’s somewhat of a tradition over at the Minnesota Timberwolves, whose hilarious gift exchanges have turned heads over the last few years.
Other NBA players have opted for a more serious take, giving Secret Santa gifts to needy families. In John Wall’s case last year, the Wizards point guard donated gifts to a cancer-stricken grandmother who, tragically, was raising her daughter’s children after their mother had passed away from a cancer of her own.