Yes, LeBron James Just Quoted Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Lebron James, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man

One of the strongest bonds of the MCU thus far has been between Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark and Tom Holland's Peter Parker. Holland's web-slinger made his debut during 2016's Captain America: Civil War, which is where Stark recruited the young hero to join his team against Steve Rogers and his allies. 

Since then, Stark and Parker's partnership has continued in the web crawler's solo film debut, Spider-Man: Homecoming. The Jon Watts-directed film explored the pair's bond, mainly through the lens of an adorable yet strict father-son relationship

Now, it appears that Stark's mentorship of Parker has lived on through a hilarious viral moment from one of the NBA's best players of all time.

Lebron James Channels His Inner Iron Man 

On January 26, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Brooklyn Nets, 106-96, but the win was not the only headline that made rounds on social media. 

At the 2:47 mark of the 4th quarter, LeBron James was seen giving instructions to Austin Reaves. It is unknown what the four-time MVP told the rookie shooting guard, but it was more than enough to leave Reaves visibly confused after the interaction.


In true comedic fashion, the 23-year old made a series of hilarious faces before eventually throwing his hands in the air to fully accept whatever James had told him. As expected, the moment quickly became viral on social media.

On January 27, James shared his reaction to the viral moment on Instagram. The four-time NBA Champion hilariously compared his interaction with Reaves to Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man and Spider-Man during a memorable scene in 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming

In Homecoming, Tony Stark tells Peter Parker a piece of advice when it comes to being a superhero: 

"Don't do anything I would do. And definitely don't do anything I wouldn't do. There's a little gray area in there and that's where you operate."

Tony Stark, Peter Parker
Spider-Man: Homecoming

James directly quoted Stark's line on Instagram while also sharing a photo of his and Reaves' interaction next to an image of Downey Jr. and Holland. Reaves replied to the post with a series of laughing emojis.

Lebron James, Austin Reaves


The MCU's Lasting Impact 

It's always fun to see a moment whenever two worlds collide, which is seen here with the MCU and the NBA.

When this unexpected viral moment first made rounds on social media, many fans pointed out that Austin Reaves is a Tom Holland lookalike, especially after his series of funny expressions were captured online. Reaves and Holland's similar features could have prompted LeBron James to reference the MCU in his Instagram post, thus earning the laughs of many Marvel fans. 

For those unaware, James is a huge superhero fan. Back in 2012, Marvel gave James the superhero treatment when ESPN The Magazine depicted the former MVP as the "King of the Rings" in a 15-page Marvel comic-book insert. 

That said, James' love for superheroes could also be the reason why he directly referenced Stark's line toward his comedic moment with Reaves.

While it's unknown if the pair's dynamic on and off the court is similar to the strong bond between Tony Stark and Peter Parker, this interaction should cement the idea that James will go out of his way to mentor rookies like Reaves. 

Fans can catch Tom Holland's Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home, which is now playing in theaters worldwide. 

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.