Think about yourself at 14 years old. Dredge up all the mortifying middle-school memories you've buried deep. Remember all the video games you forgot you played and the bands you're embarrassed you liked. If you can face your fears and look your younger self in the eye, you might be surprised about the kid you find. One thing you probably won't discover, however, is an abundance of confidence. In fact, chances are you're still searching for it. Not Gabe Cupps, though. On Monday, the 14-year-old baller, who plays on the same team as Bronny James, challenged Bronny's pops LeBron (maybe you've heard of him) to a three-point contest in front of a gym full of people. LeBron, being the Good Guy™ that he his, obliged and what followed is enough to make even a NAVY Seal's palms sweat:
Not only does Cupps have the self-belief to challenge the greatest player on earth to a shooting contest, he even holds his own as the pair go shot-for-shot. LeBron, being LeBron, eventually outlasts Cupps, but you have to give the kid props. Standing alongside The King beyond the arc, 8 of 10 humans are chucking up an airball, and this kid, who LeBron calls one of the class of 2023's "best shooters," isn't even phased.
In all fairness, though, it's LeBron who has more pressure riding on him here. No one expects an eighth grader to beat LeBron James, but everyone expects LeBron James to beat an eighth grader. If Cupps comes out swinging and takes LeBron down, this video hits the internet in a totally different way. "LeBron James distracted by Lakers mess, isn't Kobe, demands trade, kicks puppy..." etc. etc. LeBron, who is .343 all-time from downtown, clearly recognized Twitter would never let him live down a loss to a teenager, and drilled three straight to avoid the headache. Say what you want, but he remains one of a very select group of athletes who can literally will a thing to happen.
As for Cupps, you can be sure he'll have his eye on #23 in the coming years...especially after the look LeBron shoots him while walking off the court. You can take the gamer out of the game but...