Cleveland Cavaliers

Around the Rim: `He’s more than we thought he was!’

1. `You wanna crown his ass then crown him!’
LeBron James is playing some of the best basketball of his career right now and last night he led the Cleveland charge to knock off the Celtics 109-104. King James followed up his back-to-back triple dips with a 38-point, 13-assist effort to outlast Boston in overtime. The league’s top scorer (31.3 ppg) racked up 11 of Cleveland’s 17 points in overtime and is one outing away from tying Wilt Chamberlain for most consecutive 30-point games against the Leprechauns. That opportunity comes on Dec. 2 in Beantown. And should LBJ end up tying the original love machine, it wouldn’t be anything new. Coming into last night’s contest, James was averaging 37.5 points, 10.2 rebounds and 9.5 assists over his last six pack of games. Hardwood icons Oscar Robertson (1965) and Chamberlain (’64) are the only other players to accomplish such a feat.

2. Kobe and K.D.

Kevin Durant got his first up close and personal glimpse of Kobe Bryant and when the game was over he was weeping at the Mamba’s feet. Not really, but he did get outscored and the Sonics fell to 2-13. Durant put together another nice effort with 25 points on 10-of-19 shooting, but Kobe was Kobe and the crafty vet showed the rookie the definition of well-rounded, scoring 35 points, grabbing eight rebounds and delivering six assists. The Lakers improved to 8-6 with the win, but must now face a tough stretch with games against the Nuggets, Jazz and Magic.

3. How long until the Brooklyn relocation?
The Nets certainly haven’t had much to get excited about this season and last night was no different. Jersey fell to 7-8 after getting beat by the Grizzlies in the IZOD Center (that’s the corny name of the Nets arena in case you didn’t know). While the losing stinks, losing when you know you could be winning is the real kick in the nuts. Jason Kidd got another triple double, the 91st of his career, with 12 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists while Vince Carter blew up for 32 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Richard Jefferson chipped in 27 points, but the W just wasn’t to be. It should be interesting to see how the squad reacts to the loss. So far, the Nets have gone on a three-game win streak followed by a six-game losing streak which was followed their recently snapped three-game winning streak.

Tuesday’s Player of the Day: LeBron James vs. Boston 46 min, 38 pts (FG: 11-25, 3FG: 2-8, FT: 14-15), 4 reb, 13 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk

Wednesday’s Game to Watch: Houston (8-7) @ Phoenix (11-3)
The Suns just got beat at their own game by Golden State on Monday, but getting back on a winning streak won’t be easy against a healthy Rockets squad. Tracy McGrady is back to his old self after a minor elbow injury and everyday Yao Ming looks more and more like a mighty oak transplanted into the middle of the paint. Surprisingly, one of the weak spots in the Rockets’ framework this year is their record a home, a sorry 4-3. The Suns have equally been opportunity destroyers this season with a 6-2 road record and a 5-1 mark at home. But it really doesn’t matter if the arena is located on Saturn, Mike D’Antoni’s boys are going run up and down the court for 48 minutes and then treat the planet’s rings like a treadmill. The Suns’ big three (that’s Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion if you get confused by the other studs on the roster) alone are averaging a combined 38.5 shots per game. That’s a lotta hustle!

Buzzer Beater: The Heat put together a nice all-around effort against Charlotte and cruised to an easy 110-90 victory, ending a four-game losing streak in the process. Now, we know that Miami has been going through some sobering struggles recently and a win is a win, but, seriously D-Wade, it’s just the Bobcats.

I can’t remember the last victory we had like this,” Wade said. “It feels good.

“Can’t remember the last victory we had like this”??? Was your Game 6 Finals victory over the Mavericks really all that long ago?

Cleveland Cavaliers

Around the Rim: It was downright scary in Cleveland on Halloween

1. Trick or, errr, Trick!
It didn’t take long for a team to get blown out of the water, but nobody expected it to be the Cavs whose battleship got sunk. The Mavericks torched Cleveland to the tune of 92-74 last night. 18 points might not sound like much, at least not by blowout standards, but the Cavaliers looked rustier then your grandpa’s clunked out ’58 Chevrolet Apache. LeBron James finished with just 10 points after getting nada during the first half. Behind Jason Terry’s 24 points, Jerry Stackhouse’s 17 and Dirk Nowitzki’s 15, the Mavs never allowed Cleveland to take the lead. Perhaps the most amazing stat out side of Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ gaudy double-double (17 pts, 18 reb) was the incredible shooting accuracy displayed by Big D (FG: 33-69, 3FG: 9-18, FT: 17-20). If this is all Cleveland’s got then it shouldn’t take long for Boston to grab hold of the Eastern Conference reigns.

2. “I’m out!”

Scratch Dallas off the possible future destinations for the most coveted trade bate in the league. According to Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Dallas isn’t looking to make a trade for Kobe Bryant and, contrary to rumors, there was never a deal in the works. “We haven’t talked to them,” Cuban told ESPN’s Lisa Salters during a sideline interview. “It’s not going to happen. We’ve got a great squad. We like it.” And thank goodness for that, talk about the rich getting richer. But it sure could have been fun to watch Cuban squirm as he tried to divide his man-love down the middle.

3. Joey Crawford is back behind a whistle
Referee Joey Crawford returned to the court for the first time since he threw Tim Duncan out of a game because he giggled and supposedly challenged Timmy to a fight. Well, no punches were thrown and no questionable ejections occurred as Crawford officiated Indiana’s 119-110 overtime win against the Wizards. We love how David Stern is trying to `clean up’ the league, but yet he continues to employ the same dirt bag refs. If Stern wants people to take his initiative seriously then he needs to just clean out all the current officials’ lockers and start from scratch. Sure, it’s kinda harsh and a bit drastic, but other than missing out on Bavetta vs. Barkley II, do you really care?

Wednesday’s Player of the Day: Manu Ginobili @ Memphis 31 min, 30 pts (FG: 6-14, 3FG: 5-9, FT: 13-14), 5 reb, 7 ast, 2 stl, 1 blk

Thursday’s Game to Watch: Phoenix (0-0) @ Seattle (0-1)

The Suns are quite possibly the most exciting team in the NBA and the crew is looking for revenge after they feel they were screwed out of the playoffs. And after the flaming bag of referee/gambling scandal was splattered across the league’s front doorstep for the world to see, the San Antonio Screw Job could be a reality. But Phoenix can’t worry about the past when the future is here and now. First there is the future of the league in Kevin Durant. The Sonics dropped their opener to Denver on Wednesday as KD finished with 18 points on a horrible shooting performance. Still he showed plenty of promise and the potential for major mismatches. One of the guys responsible for guarding Durant will be Shawn Marion, the same Shawn Marion that over the summer said he wants out of Phoenix. With Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire locked down, the Suns might think Marion is an on-court expenditure but, that’s quite possibly the most ridiculous mistake the NBA.

Buzzer Beater: Lamar Odom is missing the opening portion of the season after having shoulder surgery in the off-season, but it wasn’t his shoulder that was hurting him on Tuesday. It turns out that Odom was involved in a car accident that morning and sustained a minor concussion. Just like in real life, any drive that ends with contact is probably going to send Odom to the pine. But, hey, at least Lamar showed up to the game, unlike some people. Lakers owner Jerry Buss missed the season opener as well after David Stern suspended him for two games and fined him $25,000 for his drunk driving arrest in May. Life in LA just keeps getting better for the Lakers.

Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James is having one busy summer!

Scary thought for all you non-Clevelandites out there, LeBron James just got even better. Yup, after torching the league all the way to the NBA Finals last year, LBJ had Lasik surgery on his eyes which has improved his vision to 20/15 according to the doctor who performed the surgery. He had the surgery over the weekend and is already cleared to get back in the gym to start working on his game.

It seems a little unfair to us quite honestly. After all, we are talking about a 22-year-old who makes rookies and vets alike look like statues on defense. We’re talking about a kid who was dishing out passes as sweet as the Magic Man’s before the surgery; a kid whose long bombs could make dramatic improvement with the added focus. We know that he’s not getting bionic goggles implanted in his pupils, but he’s not gonna go under the knife if it doesn’t give him and additional advantage on the court.

And as if getting ready to defend the Eastern Conference championship isn’t enough for LeBron, turns out that he’ll be hosting the season premier of Saturday Night Live on September 29. We only caught bits and pieces of the ESPY Awards, but James wasn’t half bad in his hosting duties from what we saw. Does that mean he can carry the load of an entire late night comedy franchise on his back? Who knows, but Peyton Manning did it. Michael Jordan did it. Charles Barkley did it. Tom Brady did it. Hell, Jeff Gordon, Joe Montana, John Madden, Hulk Hogan and George freakin’ Steinbrenner pulled it off. So did the Juice, but we won’t hold that against SNL. And anyways, if the comedic load gets too heavy for King James he can always just recruit the other LeBrons to help him out. We’d love to see Wise LeBron and Business LeBron do their thing on stage. Anything is better than watching Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler slaughter the Weekend Update.


[USA Today]: LeBron James undergoes Lasik eye surgery
[]: James sees better than ever after eye surgery

Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron and his little ball of joy

We just couldn’t bring ourselves to watch any of the repeated showings of the ESPY Awards last week, so, other than knowing who won what, we had no idea what went down. In fact, it wasn’t until this morning that we heard of the controversy surrounding co-host LeBron James and his baby boy. Apparently, some people think LBJ was completely out of line when he brought his infant son, Bryce Maximus James, on stage to teach him about hoops and the graceful art of the slam dunk, but we can’t seem to figure out what all the fuss is about. Just looks like normal father-son bonding type stuff to us.

That definitely gives a new meaning to the term “diaper dandy.”

Cleveland Cavaliers

Why didn’t we see this guy on America’s Got Talent?

Being that we’re really cool sports bloggers and all, you won’t usually catch us talking about kiddie toys. No Lincoln Logs, Mr. Potato Head and his bucket of parts, Legos or Play-Doh, BUT we’re going to make an exception and lower our “Rad-O-Meter” a few notches and admit that this video of Etch A Sketch superstar George Vlosich slapping together a LeBron James masterpiece on the little red frustration device is totally awesome!

So, who’s gonna step up for the San Antonio fan base and display their completely ridiculous/amazing talent in the name of team spirit? Oh, wait, the Spurs already have a decided advantage when it comes to super sized support. But if anyone can create a realistic Lite-Brite depiction of Tony Parker and Eva Longoria, go ahead and let us know.


[Can’t Stop The Bleeding]: Slightly More Hardcore Than Naming Your Cat After Craig Ehlo

Cleveland Cavaliers

It’s not easy being the King

It must be tough being LeBron James — Donyell Marshall misses a wide open shot to win the game and you’re the one who catches all the heat. But this post isn’t about basketball, it’s about some petition he refused to sign condemning genocide in Darfur.

Cavalier Ira Newble drafted an open letter to the Chinese government condemning the genocide in Darfur which was signed by all the Cavaliers except for LBJ and Damon Jones. LeBron James said he didn’t have enough information to take a stand. (Nobody cares what Damon Jones thinks.) Imagine that, a basketball player who never went to college admitting he doesn’t have enough information and therefore declining to sign something. Seems the logical thing to do doesn’t it? If you can’t even pick out Darfur on a map, how can you sign something condemning genocide in the country? state? province? island?

What’s interesting is that the author of this column is calling James out because he has a shoe contract with Nike and Nike has a huge interest in China. What’s not mentioned is that Damon Jones actually has a shoe contract with Li-Ning, a Chinese company. But again, no one cares about Damon Jones. We’re so sick of athletes and celebrities adopting a cause-o-the-day that it’s actually refreshing that LBJ declined to jump on board. Sure, his reasons might be monetary, but that doesn’t mean he has any obligation to attach his name to something he doesn’t feel strong or know enough about.

Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron does his best impression of Chris Tucker doing Michael Jackson doing the Bee Gees

On Wednesday night LeBron James could be found all over the tube. He’s got commercials that are running here and there, he played in Game 2 of the Cavaliers first round series against the Wizards but nothing was quite as memorable as his brief performance on American Idol. King James turned his gay meter up a few notches as he belted out his best rendition of the Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive.” Don’t believe us? Here’s the proof.

But you can’t rip on the guy too much because it was for a good cause, the “Idol Gives Back” fundraiser which benefits poverty stricken children in both America and Africa, and he had a good sense of humor about the whole thing.

It was absolutely terrible,” said James.

So, why exactly are you putting a recording studio in your new mansion again LeBron?

Cleveland Cavaliers

James has a serious home court advantage

Life is pretty good for LeBron James right now. The Cavs clinched a playoff spot last night; he has a new investment and a new job and, now he has a brand new home. Actually, it’s more like a castle fit for a king. The 35,440 square-foot home is built on a 5.6 acre plot in Bath Township, Ohio and you know it has to be impressive because James destroyed an 11 bedroom, $2.1 million home in order to build his new palace.

This house is so big that LBJ shouldn’t have to leave his abode for anything except shooting hoops and shooting commercials. The house won’t be done until next year but by the time it is finished it will include a recording studio, a bowling alley, a barber shop, a casino, a theatre and an aquarium. Some of the other selling points, as if you need any more, include 27-by-27 foot dining hall, and a 34-by-27 foot “great room” which is only outdone by the even greater “grand room.” If that’s still not enough for you, the house has a six car garage, an elevator and the always popular self-promoting sculpture of his head. Klassy.

But the most impressive part of James’ new crib has got to be the master bedroom. The room is approximately 40-by-60 feet and has an enormous two-story walk-in closet. Now that’s a lot of clothes.

James is currently living in a four bedroom home while he waits for his new house to be completed. Wow, it must feel like a tomb in there to King James.


[]: King James builds a castle of a home

Cleveland Cavaliers

Lebron James takes his talents to the stage

As if being an All-Star, franchise carrying baller isn’t already enough for LeBron James, he has added a couple of side projects to keep his schedule full.

After buying an undisclosed stake in Cannondale, which creates a popular line of bicycles, last week, LeBron is now ready to give his skills on the mic a try. No, he’s not dropping a crappy rap album like Ron Artest and Shaq are known to do. Instead James will co-host the 15th annual ESPY Awards which will air on July 15. James will be sharing the stage with comedian Jimmy Kimmel who will be equipped with zingers and one-liners just in case LBJ stumbles over his lines.

Kimmel first met James backstage at a previous ESPY show where Kimmel has twice been a presenter.

We shook hands and I said, ‘Hello,’ and he just kind of looked at me quizzically,” Kimmel said. “He’s very, very tall. I’m not sure everyone knows that about him.

But LeBron is going to have to be pretty darn impressive if he is going to have a better on stage performance than Peyton Manning recently had on Saturday Night Live. And Peyton even had time to film this United Way commercial. Let’s see James top that.


[]: LeBron James to co-host ESPY Awards
[]: LeBron meets Lance

Cleveland Cavaliers

We want to see you risk $90 million, Nader

I hate high priced shoes.

Ralph Nader is sick and tired of Nike and their damn sweatshops, so what does he do? He goes to Nike endorser LeBron James and asks him to shift the balance of power at corporate headquarters. In the second letter from Nader since LBJ joined the league in 2003, he asks the Cavs superstar to stand up for the workers in developing nations.

Mr. James, as someone who enjoys unsurpassed commercial influence and with it, great negotiating power, you are in a unique position to stand up for the people who make the products you endorse. We urge you to let Nike know that you support the rights of those workers by demanding that:

– Nike insist its contractors pay a living wage, under safe working conditions, that allows workers to meet their basic needs, and that Nike pay contractors enough to do this;

– Nike insist its contractors recognize independent unions and that factory management collectively bargain with these unions in good faith; and

– Nike agree to a program of factory monitoring through international unions and human rights organizations that are credible and completely independent of Nike.

You have a chance to make an impact around the world not just with your basketball playing ability, but for your generosity as a human being in helping to improve working conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers.

Sounds great, and all James has to do is bite the hand that is feeding him $90 million for simply smiling at the camera. Somehow that doesn’t seem like a good deal for King James’ empire.

But the best part of the letter is when Nader says that it’s cool for Stephon Marbury to benefit from “sweatshop factory conditions” because he is selling his sneaks for $15 instead of $150. Is it also all right for some coffee company to exploit workers in Columbia as long as you can get a cheap cup of joe?


[]: Nader asks LeBron James to help workers in Nike factories