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Friday, May 23, 2003

Basketball Neo?-Lebron James hit a double jackpot this week, getting a $90 million dollar shoe deal and getting Cleveland to win the draft lottery. Tom Brokaw's quip last night was cute, noting that Michael Jordan's first shoe contract was for $2.5 million and that his first shoe deal was for $2.50-he had to pay them. The other good long-term news is that Detroit got the #2 pick; if Memphis had got the #1 ball, Detroit couldn't have used the pick this year. Carmello Anthony would look good at blue and red if they don't go for a European big man. A month ago, I'd have had the Pistons lean towards Anthony, but with Tayshawn Prince coming on in the playoffs, the 3-spot might be filled. This mock draft has Chris Kaman going at #5. I knew Kaman was NBA material, but he didn't seem to be lottery-pick good. I'm thinking Mike Gminski, but this guy is thinking Robert Parish with a little time in the weight room. I haven't seen James play yet other than highlight clips, but the shoe companies seem to think he's worth more than anyone else in basketball. Is he Basketball Neo (as a commentator on NPR this morning suggested), the savior of the post-Jordan league? He's got more game that Kobe did at 18, is bigger, stronger and just as quick. I remember the mythical polymath Buckaroo Bonzai's backup band/posse were the Hong Kong Caviliers. Could this basketball polymath have the Cavs as his posse, too?

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