What’s better than winning $75,000? Not much, but getting a tackle-hug from the NBA’s reigning MVP makes it ever sweeter.
It was Michael Drysch’s lucky day. The 50 year-old Heat fan not only drained a gnarly looking hook shot from half court during a timeout of the Miami-Detroit game on Friday to win $75,000, but he also got mobbed by LeBron James, who couldn’t contain his jubilation and had to partake in the celebration at midcourt.
“That was awesome, man,” James said, via ESPN.com. “I was excited for him. When he wound up like that, I was like, ‘Oh no, there’s no way.’ And then when I saw it in the air, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s got a chance.’ I was happy to be a part of that.”
James tackled Drysch to the ground and the two embraced and celebrated together. Drysch, who won the money from James’ Family Foundation and was flown in to Miami from Illinois after winning a drawing, never thought he would actually get to meet the NBA star, much less make the shot or get to share that special moment with James himself.
“It’s a great way to meet somebody like that,” Drysch said as he was presented the oversized check. “I had no idea he was coming over to me like that. That was amazing. What a great feeling to experience something like this.”
Although the shot looked like an improvisation on the part of Drysch, he said he had been practicing the technique for two days prior to the game and had only made it once during his preparation.
“I had made that shot something like 1 percent of the time in my life,” Drysch said.
Dwyane Wade, who had a good night himself with 29 points in the Heat’s 110-88 win, was also impressed.
“That was an unbelievable shot,” Wade said. “We might need to sign him and bring him back for late-game situations.” (167)