EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Odell Beckham Jr.'s rookie season has officially achieved fairytale status.
Beckham today was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for November, when he caught 38 passes, set records, and made a catch that was arguably the greatest in NFL history. But receiving the honor wasn't even Beckham's biggest highlight from … the last two days.
That distinction goes to his dinner last night, which he shared with LeBron James. The Cleveland Cavaliers were in Manhattan for their game tonight against the New York Knicks, so the world's greatest basketball player and the NFL's most dynamic young receiver got together at Carbone for food and conversation.
"He is definitely my favorite athlete," Beckham said today soon after the team completed practice as it continues preparing for its game Sunday at Tennessee. "It was very surreal to be able to meet LeBron."
James is a two-time NBA champion, Olympic gold medalist and a zillionaire, but he had the same visceral reaction as millions of others when he saw Beckham's now-famous one-handed catch against Dallas on Nov. 23. Within seconds, James tweeted, "Man I just witnessed the greatest catch ever possibly by Odell Beckham Jr! WOW!!!!
With James visiting Beckham's turf this week, the superstar reached out to the young receiver.
"I was talking to his marketing people and he told me to come to dinner and I went and had a good time," Beckham said. "Just to be able to meet him and to be able to talk to him and him being able to share some words was a good time."
It's easy to guess one topic of conversation at the dinner table.
"He talked about the play and wanted to see how big my hand was," Beckham said. "For that to be my favorite athlete and to be able to sit down as civilized people and have dinner and conversation, it was nice."
Beckham said the two athletes have the same hand size, though, "His thumb may be bigger than mine."
Could LeBron have duplicated Beckham's catch?
"Yeah, oh yeah," Beckham said. "It is LeBron. He can do it all."
That included dispensing career advice.
"Basically, as far as business goes, he was just saying, first and foremost, you've got to handle what you're here to do – that's play football," Beckham said. "Everything else is going to come with it. If you're not handling what you need to be doing, it's going to make everything else that much harder. So, first and foremost, handle your business. That was really what I took from him."
What he received from the NFL was the first Rookie of the Month award for a Giants player since Hakeem Nicks in October 2009. Beckham and Nicks are the only two Giants receivers to ever win the award.
Beckham, the 12th overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, enjoyed a tremendous November. He led the NFL with 593 receiving yards in the month. His 38 catches was the league's second-highest total (Denver's Demaryius Thomas had 41) and the most by a rookie.
Beckham recorded at least 90 receiving yards in every game during November and is the first rookie in NFL history with at least 90 receiving yards in five games in a calendar month. Beckham had three 100-yard games in November and averaged an NFL-best 118.6 yards per game. His 38 catches and 593 receiving yards are both the most ever by a Giant in a calendar month. He had at least six catches in every game and Beckham and Thomas were the only two players in the NFL to have at least six receptions in five games during the month.
Not bad for a player who missed the first four games of the season while rehabilitating a hamstring injury. The award, dinner with LeBron – what does Beckham think of all this?
"It is just everything I have ever dreamed of, really," he said. "All those days you go into work and you are putting in work, it is for moments like this. You definitely take it for what it is and keep progressing each and every day."
Exactly how far Beckham can progress is an exciting prospect to consider.