While LeBron James is trying to will his Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Finals, he’s also helping out some adoptable dogs in his hometown.
James, who was born in Akron, Ohio, helped nine dogs get adopted following Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals series between the Lakers and Denver Nuggets Tuesday.
Humane Society of Summit County, the county where Akron is located, has partnered with the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program (APHI) to offer an assist to some adoptable dogs and cats and is following LeBron’s lead.
For each assist recorded by James in the Conference Finals, the APHI is chipping in to cover adoption fees at the shelter.
In Tuesday’s loss against the Nuggets, James scored 26 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out 9 assists. That means adoption fees were covered for nine animals in Ohio.
The adoption fees will be applied to the animals who have been in the shelter the longest, APHI said.
Among the adoptable animals are three dogs named after Akron’s favorite son.
The three dogs are named “LeBron,” “James” and “The Chosen.” James was given the moniker “The Chosen One” when he entered the NBA as an 18-year-old phenom, carrying the weight of expectations placed upon his shoulders by the league and his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers.
The ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program also has ties to Akron, and officials say the company is passionate about pets and the community.
“Being fellow Akronites, we want to support LeBron and the Lakers advancing in the playoffs by honoring the community we both come from,” said Kit Carroll, APHI Marketing Lead. “By working with the Humane Society of Summit County, we’re able to help the underdogs find their forever homes and support the ‘big dogs’ in the playoffs.”
The program will cover adoption fees for up to 40 pets. In his 279 career postseason games, James has averaged 7.1 assists per contest, meaning it would take the series going to six games for him to reach 40 assists, assuming he keeps up his career pace.
The Lakers and Nuggets will meet for Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference Finals Thursday night at 5:30 p.m.
Some shelter animals in Ohio will surely be watching closely and rooting for the King.