NBA superstar LeBron James has become embroiled in a social media storm after his direct messages to an Instagram model were revealed.
With his high-profile team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, stuttering to a 4-6 start to the season, it's the off-court distraction James could certainly do without.
The DM saga kicked off when Instagram model and keen hunter Heidi V. Hoback posted messages from the married basketballer on her Snapchat account.
“Athletes slide in girls dms all the time so this isn’t the craziest part but sheesh ... biggest buck I’ve ever seen over here,” Hoback posted alongside an image of their conversation.
After some responses from Hoback, which she covered up with emojis, James eventually asks "where are you?"
Hoback was soon caught up in a social media storm, as the Snapchat images were shared across the internet.
She was reminded by many that James is a married man, with three children.
Hoback was also criticised for the use of the term 'buck', apparently in reference to James.
She took to Youtube to set the record straight. (Watch in the video at the top of the page)
"I honestly was just having a normal day,” Hoback said.
"Going over and hunting and then this wild encounter with a buck happened and it just so happened to be right when LeBron DMed me, so I thought I would share that.
"I took to Snapchat to share it with my followers because I thought it would be a funny story.
"You know, the message was pretty innocent as far as I know. And then some of my followers informed me that he was married, which I had no clue because I don’t follow him.
"I wouldn’t consider myself a fan so I wasn’t aware of that at all. I guess that’s why it’s been made into a bigger deal than I originally thought it’d be."
The Instagram model also addressed the furore around the term 'buck'.
"So I guess it’s been misconstrued somehow and to saying that I was calling LeBron a buck, but you know I don’t even really know what that term means," she said.
She concluded her speech with an invitation to James and his young family.
"If you ever actually do want to go and hunt — you’re more than welcome to bring the whole family out and we can definitely arrange that here in Virginia," Hoback said.
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