Sports shorts

Can LeBron James save Cleveland?

Joan of Arc is one of the few teenagers who will ever enjoy a following as big as that of 18-year-old basketball phenomenon, LeBron James.

James is from Akron, Ohio, and he has dominated high school hoops for the last four years. With the size and strength of a forward and the moves and skills of a point guard, James surprised no one when he decided to forgo college and turn professional.

Nor was anyone shocked when James was snatched up as the first pick in the first round of last week’s NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team desperately needs a potential superstar like James – the Cavs haven’t made the playoffs since 1997-98.

And with their last season record of 17 wins and 65 losses, they are having some trouble selling tickets, prompting James to tease that his high school games had better attendance than many Cavaliers games.

But can James save Cleveland as Joan saved France? “I’m not going to guarantee a championship,” he commented. “But we will get better every day. We will be a better team than we were last year.”

For their part, the fans in Cleveland know that it can’t get much worse.





Spurred to victory

Can anybody beat the San Antonio Spurs? Even with David Robinson’s retirement (the classy, top-of-my-game retirement that Michael Jordan tried to pull off the first time), the Spurs line-up is strong. If they acquire Jason Kidd from the New Jersey Nets, next year might bring another victory for the team.

Let’s just hope that no other Texans get any ideas about a dynasty.

The author can be reached at pww@pww.org