It's not easy to impress LeBron James these days. The three-time MVP has seen it all, and during the past decade he has become one of the most recognizable figures in the world.

Yet, there was someone at the recent Miami Heat-Charlotte Bobcats game who even James was excited to see.

Before Wednesday's contest, James spoke with wrestling legend Ric Flair in the Heat's locker room, and he came away extremely impressed.

James later told reporters that Flair's style and legacy extend well beyond the wrestling world.

"When I was a kid, I loved wrestling," James said. "He was one of the guys I loved, too. I think he's one of the creators of what we call swag these days with the Rolexes and the stretch limos and all the girls and all that stuff. He's one of the creators of swag."

An intriguing honor for Flair, to be sure, but as the lifestyle of professional athletes becomes increasingly luxurious, it is certainly interesting to learn about the origins of this extreme extravagance.

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R.A. Dickey's 2012 campaign was so good it might be described as supernatural. The 38-year-old pitcher had the best season of his life, winning 20 games and coming away with the Cy Young Award.

A Christmas present from Lucas Films to Dickey only confirmed that the Force was with Dickey.

The Toronto Blue Jays pitcher and Star Wars buff tweeted a photo of himself in a Star Wars onesie this week, an apparent Christmas gift from the studio that created the saga. Dickey wrote in a tweet that the onesie might be his "favorite gift" of the entire year.

That might sound silly, seeing as Dickey is coming of a career year in which he signed a contract extension with the Blue Jays worth $25 million, but this man isn't just your average Star Wars fan. He has called himself a Star Wars "nerd," and he can rattle off Star Wars knowledge with the best of them.

Dickey is the latest athlete to don a onesie. And no matter how many professional athletes we see in these pajama outfits, it never gets old.


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We've seen players get their numbers or their team names shaved into their noggins, but what San Jose State safety Cullen Newsome did might very well be a first.

The senior safety had the Military Bowl logo shaved into his head, along with an image of the Spartans' mascot. Earlier this week Newsome put some photos of his new 'do up on Instagram. It is tremendous, to say the least.

Newsome and San Diego State face Bowling Green on Thursday in Washington, D.C. While it's not the sexiest matchup, at least now we've got something to look out for.

(H/T to Larry Brown Sports)

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Rory McIlroy on WhoSay

At this point it is safe to say that the cutest couple in sports is Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki.

Not only are the duo incredibly successful at their respective sports, they have a tendency to do adorable things together.

So maybe we shouldn't be surprised to see what the couple got each other for Christmas. Still, this is one of the most dorky-yet-delightful gift exchanges we've seen this year.

McIlroy tweeted a photo of him and Wozniacki wearing matching T-shirts printed with the words "Geek" (for McIlroy) and "Nerd" (for Wozniack). Aww, how cute.


The fact that these two have dated for so long without a nickname is a shame. Amazingly, the moniker "Wozzilroy" has not yet caught on. Here's hoping we can change that in 2013.

(H/T to Game On!)

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Kobe Bryant has worn some, um, interesting outfits in his day.

But even by the Black Mamba's lofty standards, what he wore to the Los Angeles Lakers' contest against the Knicks on Christmas Day was bold.

Bryant showed up donning sunglasses, a turtle neck and a fur-collared coat.

When he got to the locker room, Bryant described the fur-collared look as his "Frank Lucas."

For those who aren't familiar, Lucas was a Harlem crime boss and heroin dealer in the 1960s and 1970s.

He was portrayed by Denzel Washington in the movie American Gangster. Lucas was known for his swanky fur coats.

Bryant didn't let his teammates' disapproval of his fashion choice get to his head. He scored 34 points and grabbed five rebounds in the Lakers' victory.

But clearly they were shocked by his look:



(H/T to Larry Brown Sports)

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With parents like David and Victoria Beckham, it's hard not to be a fashionable child.

But scoring a Burberry modeling gig at age 10? Now that's impressive.

The Beckhams' middle son, 10-year-old Romeo, will star in Burberry's spring/summer 2013 ad campaign. A teaser from the recent photo shoot has been revealed, and it's pretty adorable.

Romeo's father is one of the most camera-friendly athletes in the world, and he has enjoyed a fruitful modeling campaign. Meanwhile his mother, Victoria, is an international style icon.

So it only makes sense that the Beckhams' offspring would be as fashionable as they are.

"The other boys are all about going to the beach," Victoria Beckham told Harper's Bazaar in 2009. "[Romeo's] not interested... He's like, 'I want to go to work with Mummy,' and he sits there going through the collection, feeling the fabrics, giving his opinion. He loves it."

This Burberry campaign is just another milestone in Romeo's extremely impressive pre-teen fashion phase. He was recently ranked 26th in GQ's list of best-dressed men in Britain. That put him ahead of Jude Law and Prince William.

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While one Andrew Bynum mystery is solved, another remains.

The Philadelphia 76ers embattled big man spoke with Christopher A. Vito of the Delaware County Daily Times recently about several issues. Bynum discussed his health at length, but his answers appeared to only further muddle an already confusing situation about his knee.

Less important but still significant, Bynum did discuss his, shall we say, unique hairstyles.

Bynum told Vito that his inspiration for the infamous "flat" look was not Dora the Explorer, rather it was another cartoon character.

"It was 'Pimp Named Slickback' (a character from The Boondocks cartoon)," Bynum said. "No, I flattened it because it gets boring picking it out all the time."

And, much to the delight of NBA fans everywhere, Bynum said his eclectic hairstyles may not be finished anytime soon.

"Oh man, I want it to go forever, man," Bynum said of his hair. "There’s going to come a point in time where it’s not going to be growing, so I might as well enjoy it while I have it."

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Not much remains in South Bend from Charlie Weis' troubled tenure as Notre Dame head coach. But there is one tradition that carries on.

For the fourth straight bowl game, Notre Dame's players will have their names on the back of their uniforms for the postseason. This harkens back to a tradition started by legendary coach Ara Parseghian in the 1960s and early 1970s, when players did not wear names on their jerseys during the regular season but had them stitched on for bowl games.

Lou Holtz ended the tradition temporarily in 1987, and for two decades the Fighting Irish kept the back of their jerseys empty in the postseason. Weis revived the custom for the 2008 Hawai'i Bowl.

Ryan Grooms, Notre Dame's equipment manager, tweeted a photo Monday of the new uniforms.

Notre Dame has donned some pretty wacky digs this year, so maybe traditionalists can rest easy knowing that the school isn't trying to reinvent the wheel with their bowl jerseys.

The Fighting Irish are 2-1 since bringing player names back after the 2008 season. Notre Dame beat Hawai'i in the 2008 Hawai'i Bowl and Miami in the 2010 Sun Bowl. The Fighting Irish lost to Florida State last year in the Champs Sports Bowl.

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Brad Richards is making the most of his time off.

While he waits for the NHL lockout to get resolved, the New York Rangers center has found ways to stay busy. After Hurricane Sandy, Richards spent hours volunteering and even organized a benefit hockey clinic on Staten Island.

More recently, Richards has become the new face of the clothing line UNTUCKit. A fashion enthusiast who is immersed in the New York design scene, Richards seems like the perfect fit for the premium shirt label.

He may not be the most fashionable player in the Rangers locker room -- that honor goes to goalie Henrik Lundqvist -- but Richards can hold his own against most professional athletes.

"I would not call myself a 100 percent fashion type of person," Richards recently told ESPN.com. "I really enjoy learning about fashion. Being in New York you have so many options and so many opportunities."

UNTUCKit is an e-commerce brand which produces dress shirts that are meant to be worn untucked. The line was created by the designer Chris Riccobono, who also happens to be a huge New York sports fan.

"When the opportunity came up for me to be the face of UNTUCKit, I was very excited," Richards said. "I'm a big believer that style should be comfortable and I need to wear clothing that fits right. This is what makes UNTUCKit so unique -- the fit is always perfect."

Richards is the first one to admit that he may never live up to Lundqvist's standard, but give him credit for thinking outside the box with UNTUCKit.

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Ray Lewis is set to return to action soon, and he is looking more intense than ever. If you thought that wasn't possible, wait until you see Lewis' new facemask.

The Baltimore Ravens linebacker, who has been sidelined since Oct. 14 with a torn triceps, is ready to return to action. And he is looking fierce.

The Ravens sent out this picture of Lewis at practice this week debuting his new facemask. It appears to be of the "grille" variety, a look popularized by Giants defensive lineman Chris Canty. The facemask features 12 diagonal bars and six horizontal ones, creating a tightly spaced cage that is virtually impossible for opposing players to grab on to.

Canty began wearing the specialized facemask to protect his eye after it was damaged by an errant bottle in a bar fight.

Canty's teammate, Justin Tuck, also began wearing the facemask recently. But Tuck's reasoning was different. He is wearing the mask because it is more difficult for opposing lineman to grab a hold of.

The idea behind the grille makes a ton of sense, and Tuck knew it wasn't long before it caught on across the league.

"Everybody is like, 'Can I get that facemask?' No, it’s exclusive to me, no one else can have it," Tuck said before the season. "But it’s a copycat league in everything people do so I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few of those floating around before we play."

Many thought Lewis would be out for the year when he suffered the injury against the Cowboys. Not only was that wrong, he returned much earlier than even the most optimistic prognosticators expected.

And with this new facemask, Lewis is signaling that he is ready to get back to business. So watch out, NFL.

(H/T to Deadspin)

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