Peoria Chiefs lampoon LeBron James
For one night, fans of the Peoria Chiefs can have their own replica of LeBron James' first championship ring.
Call it the cheapest promotion in sports history because, like James' ring, the handout doesn't exist.
The Chiefs, a Class A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs in the Midwest League, will hold a "LeBron James NBA Championship Replica Giveaway night" Thursday, poking fun at the Miami Heat star's loss in the NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks.
"Replica rings" -- also known as air -- will be handed out by stadium workers as fans enter the park, according to Chiefs spokesman Nathan Baliva.
Throughout the game, Peoria will honor "a true champion" -- the Chicago Bulls' six NBA titles -- with video clips and audio highlights, and the Chiefs will take the field to "Sirius," the Alan Parsons Project song used by the Bulls during their player introductions.
The Chiefs said they are "looking into" whether they can skip the fourth inning -- another poke at James, who scored just 18 points during the fourth quarter in six NBA Finals games.
"We aren't sure if the league will allow it," Peoria president Rocky Vonachen said in a statement. "But if LeBron doesn't need to show up for the fourth, maybe we won't, either."
Among the other James promotional digs planned: A fan will win a "replica" of James' Finals MVP award (which actually went to the Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki), and Heimlich maneuver classes will be offered to help prevent people from "choking in a big situation."
"Really, this is just us getting back to the real world and waking up today and trying to solve our own personal problems," vice president of ticket sales Eric Obalil said.
Baliva said a Bulls tribute for Thursday had been in the works since November, in hopes that Chicago would be coming off another NBA championship.
The James addition to the promotion was announced midday Tuesday, and Baliva said there was an immediate reaction.
"We were seeing stuff not just from Chicago and Cleveland, but all over the country," Baliva said.