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Phil Knight and his viral reaction to LeBron James record shot

He was the only person without his phone as LeBron James made NBA history - but who is he?

He was the only person without his phone as LeBron James made NBA history - but who is he?

Can you remember a time before your brother or sister was born? What about before your mobile phone? How did you manage to remember everything before taking photos and videos? What was it like before going to sports events and concerts without social media? Was there even any point?

OK, my tongue is firmly in my cheek here. LeBron James made history and people wanted to video it. That’s fine. The excitement of seeing a once in a lifetime event and having the chance to record it forever is a temptation that you’d be silly not to feel it. Well, silly... or the coolest person in the room.

The photo of the crowd staring at the unmissable event through screens, awkwardly holding phone cameras towards James as he jumps to score his record-breaking shot, is a sign of the times we live in: the social media age. However, on closer inspection, on the bottom row, next to Bronny and Brice, there is one person who is not holding his phone. Instead, he is watching LeBron intensely, smiling, perhaps already certain that the record is seconds away.

Who is the man without his phone in the LeBron photo?

The man is Phil Knight, the co-founder and chairman emeritus of Nike. He signed LeBron to Nike 20 years ago, and the relationship has blossomed ever since. First called Blue Ribbon Sports, Nike was set up in 1964 by Knight and Bill Bowerman, who met at university as a distributing company; it is now estimated to be worth almost $200 billion and has deals with sports stars all over the world.

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