Frances Tiafoe channeled LeBron James throughout his run at the Australian Open and now hopes to get the chance to meet the Los Angeles Lakers star.
The 21-year-old American, who was eliminated Tuesday with a loss to Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, mimicked James’ signature bicep slap and “The Silencer” move after wins over Kevin Anderson and Andreas Seppi earlier in the tournament.
“Man, forget about the Slam. I thought once I had the celebration the first couple times, I thought I was going to get a meeting with him,” Tiafoe said at a news conference, according to Sporting News’ Harry West. “I would love to meet him one day. That would mean the world to me.
“I think just kind of talk, pick his brain, see everything he’s accomplished, just on and off court, to be just half the guy he is would be unbelievable. I look up to him with everything. He’s a true role model.”
Tiafoe’s celebrations didn’t go unnoticed by James, who left this comment on an ESPN Instagram post:
When asked if James messaged him, Tiafoe replied, “No, if he texted me, I wouldn’t be here right now. I’d be FaceTiming him, if he had my number.
“Just the Instagram comment. Yeah, ‘The Silencer’, that’s all he said. That’s it.”