BOSTON (CBS) — The best head coach in the NFL got up close and personal with the best player in the NBA on Wednesday night.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick sat courtside for the Boston Celtics’ showdown with the Cleveland Cavaliers at the TD Garden, and had a front-row seat for the C’s best win of the season. He also got a lapful of LeBron James early in the fourth quarter, as the star player went tumbling into Belichick after going hard to the basket.
James lost his footing while going for a putback, tripped over the cameraman on the baseline and nearly took out Belichick. He caught himself before falling onto Belichick, saying he didn’t want to take out an NFL legend.
“That’s why I slowed up,” James said following Boston’s 103-99 win. “I definitely slowed up because I knew it was him. I’m not taking no legend out. I’m not doing that. I need to keep seeing him win. That’s pretty cool for me.”
Belichick, who drew a rousing applause from the crowd whenever he was shown on the jumbotron, was spotted heading into the Cavaliers locker room after the game, where he had a chat with James.
Belichick also received some love from the Celtics. Isaiah Thomas got to meet the coach for the first time, and made sure to show some respect for the five-time Super Bowl champ.
“I just wanted to shake his hand,” said Thomas, who led the way for Boston with 31 points in the victory.
Belichick and his girlfriend, Linda Holliday, also had some fun with the Harlem Globetrotters, who got a smile out of the head coach:
Running back LeGarrette Blount and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels were also spotted at Wednesday night’s game.