Riley’s Tribute to LeBron: Hoax tears after LeBron poster tribute

Warning: may make some people cry

When seven-year-old Riley played her final game as a student at his school – Riley’s Tribute to LeBron – she celebrated with a huge hug from her favourite basketball player, Miami Heat forward James.

In the second quarter of Cleveland Cavaliers’ 97-88 win over the Indiana Pacers, Riley received a late restart and, in response to a well-timed defensive foul, began crying.

That provoked loud booing from the crowd, but Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue argued the timeout was “inappropriate”.

Then after the game, he suggested that the boy and his father, Todd, were to blame.

“The ref was about to give them two technicals. The kid’s like, ‘Why are you not giving them two technicals?’ He was like, ‘Because we’re crying.’ That’s a kid,” Lue told reporters.

“It’s a violation and then he really doesn’t even know how to play basketball so, unfortunately, he’s crying because of a foul. So yeah, I just felt bad for him. I didn’t mean no harm.”

And as well as that parent turning a child crying into a viral sensation, it looks like he may have made a child crying in public.

Little Tracy Smith, who is recovering from a tumour in her eye, took to Twitter after the game and appears to suggest she was affected by the moment as well.

“Being different is hard sometimes,” the 11-year-old wrote. “I cried after LeBron made him go to the lane and then he screamed at him and threw him out of the game.”

Her family confirmed the report to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

In the emotion of the moment, Tracy’s face has since become the face of Riley’s tribute to LeBron.

One online commentator summed up her sentiments: “We all want to be just like him, but are incapable of loving him like him.”

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