Atlanta man uses LeBron-like looks to make people smile

Atlanta man uses LeBron-like looks to make people smile

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Spencer Battles is living his life to the fullest every day and enjoying every minute of it.

As the youngest of five children -- all boys -- Battles definitely had his fair share of battles with his siblings as a kid. There was even the occasional trip to the hospital, but it was nothing too serious.

The only battle, if you want to call it that, that he deals with now is having too much fun being known as the guy who looks almost identical to professional basketball player LeBron James.

A fifth brother, perhaps? Doubtful, but the similarities are uncanny.

"It was [11] years ago when Mr. LeBron James came onto the scene and my son said, 'Hey dad, you look like a basketball player,'" Battles said. "I didn't think anything of it, but then everybody started saying something. Now I'm convinced I might be related to him, but I don't know."

Battles is 5'11", while James is listed at 6'8" according to the Cleveland Cavaliers' official website. If the Atlanta-based construction worker had a few more inches added to his height, initial hesitation from people on the streets might not exist.

While he's not exactly like the guy who records double-doubles frequently on the court, Battles does cause a lot of people to do a double take.

"Some people say, 'Hey man, you look like LeBron,'" Battles said. "They say, 'I mean, look at the hairline, look at the teeth [and] the smile.' I'm like, 'Really?'"

That smile, Battles says, is the one characteristic that is the most similar to James.

Every few weeks, Battles travels about six hours from Atlanta to Biloxi, Mississippi, to support his friend and Biloxi Shuckers co-owner Tim Bennett, who helped in the building process of MGM Park -- the first-year home of the Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.

The two are actually good friends going back to their days when they grew up in Florida. Battles never really was a sports fan growing up, opting to be in his local high school's choir and be a part of the Future Homemakers of America.

Battles says he gets the most recognition when he's at an airport, but also the most disappointment there when people are fooled into thinking he's an NBA superstar.

"When I'm at big events, that's when people come up and talk to me," Battles said. "As long as I don't stand up, I look like him. But after that, they say, 'Oh, you're not him.'"

The 45-year-old is constantly asked for photograph requests -- and always obliges. He knows he can brighten a basketball fan's day for reminding them the joy and entertainment James brings to his followers.

For now, Battles is back in Atlanta after another successful week assisting Bennett. He's hoping the continued work relationship leads to a job on the Mississippi gulf coast.

After a few more roadtrips, that might happen -- and just maybe, he'll have met King James by then.

"It'd be great just to see his facial expression," Battles said. "We walk past each other and be like, 'Hey, you look like me!' No, you look like me! I'm older than you."

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