CLEVELAND—In an effort to reverse the momentum of an NBA Finals so far dominated by the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James reportedly danced naked Wednesday inside a pentagram of black candles in a new pregame satanic ritual before Game 3.
Witnesses confirmed the demonic rite began moments after the conclusion of the pregame shootaround when James, who had carefully removed his warmup pants and hooded cloak to reveal his bare, sweat-slicked body, slowly strode to the center of the court as Quicken Loans Arena darkened and the pounding beat of DMX’s “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” faded into the low hum of Gregorian chanting. Illuminated by the glow of the nearly two dozen candles, the three-time NBA champion reportedly then proceeded to arrhythmically contort his body in a hypnotic display of reverential worship to the Princes of Darkness in the final minutes before tipoff.
“In nomine magni dei nostri Satanas, introibo ad altare Domini Inferi,” reportedly chanted James, who pledged his fealty to Satan along the perimeter of the 3-point line and invoked the power of the damned to help slow the Warriors’ multi-pronged offensive attack that had overwhelmed the Cavaliers in Games 1 and 2. “In the name of Lucifer, ruler of the Earth, king of the underworld, I command thy forces of darkness bestow their infernal power upon me as I seek a double-double and a strong shooting performance from Kyrie [Irving]. Open wide the gates of hell and come forth to manifest my deepest desires of shutting down Stephen Curry’s perimeter shooting while opening up our own offensive opportunities through fast breaks.”
“Shemhamforash!” James added, closing his eyes and throwing back his head. “Hail Satan!”
Sources confirmed that the Akron, OH native then produced a dagger stored beneath the Cavaliers bench and used it to carve the Sigil of Baphomet into the waxed hardwood floor at the top of the key, placing lit candles along the inverted pentagram’s five points in tribute to Beelzebub before writhing between the flickering flames and hissing directly in the face of Warriors power forward Draymond Green.
The crowd of 20,000 reportedly continued to stare fixedly up at the scene playing out on the Jumbotron as James soon turned the dagger on himself, inscribing his flesh with the number 23 and letting the blood run down the free-throw lane as he prostrated himself in each cardinal direction to acknowledge the Four Crown Princes of Hell.
“Satan, Lucifer, Belial, Leviathan! Look favorably upon this sacrifice so that I am unstoppable driving to the rim and may bathe in your black flame everlasting,” intoned James, gesturing to a cadre of cloaked team assistants who reportedly brought out Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, bound in metal chains, from the bowels of the arena. “From the fires of Hades, I summon thee! Drink from the blood of the sacrificial lamb and make manifest my wishes to hammer the interior of the Warriors defense until a championship ring sits upon my finger once again and forevermore!”
“James vivat rex Salomon, ultrices Dei,” he added.
According to witnesses, the four-time NBA MVP then tipped back Gilbert’s head and slowly drew the dagger across his throat as the silent arena burst into a ravenous roar.
Multiple sources also reported seeing a spectral form momentarily rise above James as he placed Gilbert’s severed head atop his own, wearing the blood-soaked flesh as a grotesque crown and turning to stare directly into the eyes of a terrified Steve Kerr.
“I have taken thy name to live as the beast of the field, rejoicing in this fleshly life and striking dumb my Western Conference adversaries,” the 13-time NBA All-Star said, before reportedly cupping a handful of human ashes and violently tossing it upwards in front of the scorer’s table, leaving the horrified members of ABC’s NBA Finals broadcast team stunned as the human remains settled atop them. “Diabolus vobsicum! It is done! Hail Satan!”
At press time, James had reportedly placed a hand over his blood-smeared chest and was bowing his head for the national anthem.