Ohio State’s brand new, $18 million basketball practice facility renovation opened to the public this past weekend, and visitors were surprised to find that LeBron James has his own locker. What’s up with that?
Ohio State said the locker is there to salute James, who made the Buckeyes the first team to wear his Nike gear, with the LeBron logo instead of the swoosh, back in 2007.
“We always want to pay our respects to him for what he did for us in ’07 in terms of we were the first LeBron school. And obviously we get tremendous product from him, and I know he’s very proud of what he does for us,” head coach Thad Matta said.
A school spokesman said the locker is used to house and show off the team’s LeBron gear, and it’s also not a bad name to have hanging there when recruits come through the locker room.
Not everyone is happy about it, however. Not only do many Ohioans still consider LeBron a traitor, but there’s also the current backlash against university administrations and the NCAA treating college athletics like an ATM machine. This is a little too corporate-cozy for many tastes.
Cheap, bush league move for OSU to give LeBron his own locker at the Schott and hang his name and number up. Guy didn't even go to college!
— Mike Vincent Popelas (@popmvp1) September 4, 2013
— Jeff Eisenberg (@JeffEisenberg) September 3, 2013
Lol, why does Lebron have an OSU locker? Agggggghhhhh.
— AJ King (@allday_ajking) September 3, 2013
The funniest thing about Lebron getting a locker at OSU is that he referred to our school colors as scarlet and red in his Instagram
— Cassie Rush (@cass_beth21) September 3, 2013
SPECIAL S/O AD Gene Smith, Thad Matta, Urban Meyer and the rest of this unbelievable University we… http://t.co/qwBZbP38T1
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 3, 2013
Meanwhile, Michael Redd, who actually attended OSU, threw in $500,000 toward the renovation. He got the whole locker room named after him.