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Ovechkin, Backstrom meet up with LeBron James

Friday, 04.03.2009 / 10:53 AM / News

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Washington Post blogger Dan Steinberg made the right move Thursday night.

Instead of heading to the Washington Wizards' dressing room following Thursday night's NBA game at the Verizon Center, Steinberg wrote on his D.C. Sports Blog that he got wind of a potential meeting of greatness that would happen in the other direction.

He turned around, headed to the visitor's dressing room, and to his starry eyes witnessed Alex Ovechkin and LeBron James -- two of the sporting world's biggest stars in their prime right now -- shake hands and have a conversation.

"Look," Steinberg writes, "I've been jaded plenty of times in my career, but this wasn't a bad assignment. I've also seen plenty of athletes meet people they aren't really interested in meeting. This wasn't one of those times."

WATCH THE MEETING (Courtesy of Dan Steinberg, D.C. Sports Bog)

According to Steinberg, Ovechkin was with teammate Nicklas Backstrom and Ted Leonsis, who owns the Capitals, Wizards, Verizon Center and numerous other entities. Joining that group before they met LeBron was a bunch of the basketball star's entourage, including manager, Maverick Carter.

"I do like NBA," Ovechkin joked, according to Steinberg.

Before Ovie and LeBron had their meet and greet, Steinberg writes that Cleveland Cavaliers' forward Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who is from Lithuania, stopped to chat with the hockey star. Ovechkin also reportedly talked to Carter about various topics, including cars, speed limits, training and food.

Then, the entourage walked into the Cavs' dressing room and Ovechkin and LeBron met.

According to Steinberg, Ovechkin didn't say much. Leonsis did most of the talking, first introducing Backstrom and Ovechkin to the global basketball star.

LeBron reportedly called Ovechkin "Prime Time." Carter also told LeBron that Ovechkin "did the hottest celebration in hockey, the hot stick."

"Yeah," LeBron said. "He's a bad boy. God ... I don't know how you guys do that (stuff), sliding on the ice and still hit the (dang) puck? Whooo."

Steinberg writes that LeBron told Leonsis that he has never been to a hockey game, so the owner offered to take him to one.

"I heard they're amazing," LeBron said.

Ovechkin then embarrassed the basketball star by handing him a jersey and signing it. LeBron didn't have one for Ovechkin, but Leonsis said, "You can send him one."

"I like this," LeBron said. "Appreciate it."

Contact Dan Rosen at drosen@nhl.com.

Quote of the Day

Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals