Part of a series on LeBron James. [View Related Entries]

Updated Jun 06, 2014 at 05:09PM EDT by Brad.

Added Jan 14, 2014 at 09:35PM EST by Brad.

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LeBroning is a photo fad in which the participant stages an exaggerated dive after intentionally bumping into an unsuspecting passerby and shares the recorded footage on Vine. It is named after the American pro-basketball player LeBron James, who has earned a reputation for frequently resorting to flop, or the act of intentional falling upon slightest contact with an opposing player in order to draw a personal foul call.


The neologistic gerund “LeBroning” has been used as a catchall term to mock LeBron James’ style of play since as early as 2010, with the highest rated Urban Dictionary[1] entry defining the term as a synonym for the sports idiom “choking under pressure.”

In the following years, James gained notoriety for flopping on many occasions during play, ultimately prompting the National Basketball Association to fine him $5,000 for violating the league’s anti-flopping policy in May 2013. The player’s flopping has been also documented in a supercut compiled by Matthew Li and uploaded in June 2012.

The earliest known recorded instance of “LeBroning” was uploaded by Vine user Ronnie[2] on May 30th, 2013. In the video, Ronnie is seen falling to the floor after brushing elbow with a friend walking in the opposite direction in a school hallway.


Ronnie’s Vine upload largely remained in obscurity until January 7th, 2014, when a slew of parody videos began to surface on Vine and Instagram under the hashtag #LeBroning. On January 12th, BuzzFeed[3] picked up on the Vine breakout in an article titled “The Amazing New Meme Mocking LeBron James,” and from there, the hashtag was reported on by numerous sports blogs, NBA fan sites and news media outlets, such as Deadspin[4], Bleacher Report[5], Uproxx[6], The Huffington Post[7], NBCSports[8] and FoxSports[9], among many others.

Notable Examples

Nearly all instances of “LeBroning” appears to have taken place so far in school hallways, though with some exceptions, such as Jordan Liggins’ Vine of LeBroning at a shopping mall.

LeBron’s NBA Finals Cramp

On June 5th, 2014, the first game of the NBA Finals between Miami Heats and San Antonio Spurs went underway at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. Marred by the malfunction of the air conditioning system, players on both sides had to endure through the game in the oppressive heat, and with the Miami Heats leading by two-points and four minutes left in the fourth quarter, Lebron James had to be carried off the court after suffering from a leg cramp. After James’ substitution-out from the game, the Spurs won the game with the final score of 110-95.

The fans of Miami Heats on Twitter instantly took a jab at the untimely exit of Lebron James, who has already had a long history of cramping in the NBA playoffs and Finals, with a photo fad mimicking the injured star athlete being assisted out of the game by the coach staff. The earliest known instance of the parody was uploaded by Claire Trammel[13] at 9:52 p.m. EST (shown below, far left). The reincarnation of #Lebroning on Twitter was also picked up by several sports news sites and NBA-focused blogs, including Bleacher Report[15], SportsGrid[17], ESPN[16] and BroBible.[14]

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