King off the court

Israeli girl goes viral with thrilled reaction to LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers star catches 12-year-old Gaia Kimchi by surprise when he sits next to her mid-game

Screenshot: Twitter. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law.
Screenshot: Twitter. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law.

An Israeli girl took the internet by storm with her exuberant reaction to NBA star LeBron James taking a seat beside her during Saturday night’s game between his Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors.

A video clip shared by the NBA’s official Twitter account showed the girl, Gaia Kimchi, 12, seated courtside, gasping in disbelief as the 38-year-old superstar forward — who had not suited up for the game because of an injury — sits down right next to her.

During the game, Kimchi told reporters that she had pre-booked tickets months ago in the hope of seeing James overtake Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA legend whose longstanding career scoring record was broken by James last week.

“He was sitting next to me and I’m just thinking, oh my goodness, this is the best moment of my life,” she said, with James still alongside her.

James even took the time to pose for a photo with the young Israeli, in a picture that was later shared by the Lakers’ official Twitter account.

The video of Kimhi and James had garnered over 10 million views and thousands of reactions on Twitter as of Monday.

The story was quick to take off, as the girl wasted no time holding her first interview with ESPN with James still sitting there.

While many reactions on social media were positive, some of the comments on Twitter were openly critical of the girl for being a “privileged kid with courtside seats.”

Hebrew media reports said Kimchi was an Israeli now living in California.

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