Chances are if you are a sports fan, you’ve seen the name James Harden trending across social media this week. Harden was traded by the Houston Rockets on Wednesday to the Brooklyn Nets in a four-team megadeal that also sent Caris LeVert to the Indiana Pacers and Victor Oladipo, among others (plus a pile of draft picks), to Houston.
Someone familiar with being part of a Big Three is LeBron James, who won two NBA championships with the Miami Heat when he famously teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in 2010. Ten years later, James’ Los Angeles Lakers are the defending NBA champions — and they are the team to beat in the quest to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy this season.
Cue Mark Phillips, who is the founder and face of RDCworld1 — a YouTube channel providing online entertainment through skits, vlogs and short films. Phillips posted a video of himself imitating James as James found out about the Harden trade and the new-look Nets.
“So it’s James, Durant and Kyrie? I’m 36! I’m 36! Why is it everybody versus me?” Phillips, playing James, screams. “I’m not Thanos! Stop throwing me the ball! I’m tired of doing this! I just beat the Warriors!”
The clip also got Thanos — the Marvel villain — trending.
On Twitter, the video had more than 8.7 million views as of Thursday evening. It had another 1.9 million on YouTube and 1.2 million on Phillips’ Instagram page. It’s not shocking that The King himself saw the video — and he reacted to it.
Phillips told ESPN that he and his friends have been making videos for years, and they’ve been growing in popularity. They’ve had hits with other videos about James, and have been shouted out by other celebrities, from Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson to rapper J. Cole to actor Michael B. Jordan. But this took things to a new level.
“But what’s crazy about LeBron is that we make videos involving him … so when he did it, it’s like, I didn’t think it was real,” Phillips said. “We were actually in the middle of filming a YouTube video and didn’t know he tweeted it. My nephew FaceTimed me and told me, and I was in shock.
“Immediately he was like, ‘You made it, you made it,’ and we couldn’t believe it at all, but we were just yelling in joy and all just crowded around one phone with the highest level of excitement.”
Approval from The King? That truly is trend-worthy.