Tennessee Titans wide receiver Taywan Taylor received praise from NBA superstar LeBron James after his performance in Saturday’s preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Taylor had four receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s 30-14 loss, including a 47-yard score on a bubble screen from Marcus Mariota that showcased the wideout’s pronounced speed.
It was that speed that garnered the attention of James, a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player recipient.
“SPEED KILLS! Sheesh,” @kingjames replied to the NFL’s official Instagram account.
The social-media praise was exhilarating for an unheralded Taylor, who had 16 receptions for 231 yards and one touchdown last season after being selected by the Titans in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
“When I heard that, my heart kind of dropped,” Taylor said of James’ reaction, via the Titans’ official website. “LeBron, that’s my favorite player there. That’s unbelievable, and that’s motivation to see he’s watching. It’s crazy. … I want to tell myself, he must be a Titans fan.”
Taylor, who also had a 3-yard touchdown pass from Blaine Gabbert in the third quarter, didn’t stop there with his public appreciation for James.
“I love King James,” the 23-year-old Taylor said. “He is one of the reasons I played sports growing up, watching how he goes about work. His whole career is second to none. So that’s always been the guy I look up to. He was my role model growing up. I can’t believe that really happened.”
Fellow Titans teammates Tajae Sharpe and Jurrell Casey were also pleased for Taylor with the unexpected reaction of James.
“You get compliments from King James? That is big time right there.” Sharpe said.
Said Casey: “That’s pretty neat — the King himself commenting on it. That’s pretty awesome.”