LeBron James is, by any measure, a huge star. But on Monday, he proved that his star power is so big that it extends to everyone around him—or at least, to the guy who had the misfortune to sit next to him on the subway.
Bron and the rest of the Cavs were in NYC on Monday for a game with the Knicks. After finishing a pre-game shoot-around at MSG, they needed to get back to their hotel to get some rest and practice their handshakes.
Rather than brave midtown traffic (a foolhardy idea even in the best of times), the team decided to take the subway. LeBron made the best of his time underground by capturing a short video for Uninterrupted.
In the middle of the clip, which you can see above, LeBron decides to introduce the world to... the random dude sitting next to him on the train. The guy, not seeming to realize that one of the most famous athletes in the world is immediately to his left, has the quintessential New Yorker reaction. "Can you not?" he exclaims, annoyed at being filmed by
NBA superstar LeBron James some tall guy taking up all his legroom.
Can You Not Guy is so appalled by the invasion of privacy that he gets up and moves to another part of the train. It wasn't long until he became a city-wide hero—sort of like Batman, minus any of the crime-fighting stuff, the cool costume, or, well, the car.
Other people had theories about why Can You Not Guy was so adamant about not being filmed.
Including that it was an inside job:
Within a few hours, Can You Not Guy's secret identity had been revealed. The less-handsome version of Raúl Esparza is named James Michael Angelo, and he's comedian and real estate agent. He told USA Today's For the Win that LeBron "completely squished me and he was really unaware of his space," and that Bron's elbow nearly hit him several times. And the reason he didn't want to appear on camera?
I hadn’t finished my latte and I didn’t feel like being filmed," he explained. "Plus, it’s not good lighting in the subway."
New York City, meet the hero you deserve.