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November 6, 2009

The NY Yankees Are The Champions!!! But NYC Throws LeBron James A Party?

Yankees Parade Baseball  The New York courtship of LeBron James began in earnest when the scheduling gods curiously put his only appearance at Madison Square Garden on the same day as the Yankees’ World Series victory parade.

NY Yankee 5 Hideki Matsui  If you believe in conspiracy theories, then this is right up there with the “chilled” envelope pulled by David Stern in the 1985 Draft lottery, putting Patrick Ewing in New York. You mean LeBron, a die-hard Yankees fan, gets an up-close look while the city is being painted in pinstripes? Is there a better marketing opportunity?

Is this better than anything Madison Avenue could dream up?

Yankees Parade Baseball  The Knicks hope the intoxicating celebrity factor will be enough to sway LeBron next summer as a free agent, because that’s all the Knicks really have in their favor. They can’t offer more money. They can’t offer a better collection of teammates, at least not right away. They can offer Spike Lee while Cleveland offers Drew Carey. They can (and will, you watch) get Spike and Chris Rock, among other celebrity row fixtures, to make a recruiting film in which famous people explain to LeBron why playing in New York will be far more enjoyable than playing in Cleveland.

(Sample pitch from Rock: “Hey LeBron, where you celebratin’ after a tough game in Cleveland? Arby’s?”)

NY Yankees Derek Jeter Trophy  A handful of the Yankees, still smelling of champagne, will be strategically seated at courtside Friday, making LeBron the second-most loved athlete in the house … if Derek Jeter shows up.

Yankees Parade Baseball  Then there’s C.C. Sabathia, big basketball fan and friend of LeBron’s from when Sabathia played in Cleveland; he left for New York and scored an instant jackpot, both with money and a ring. The video screen will constantly show their faces and they’ll get a standing ovation, all designed to show LeBron what it’s like to be a champion in New York. And the fans, no doubt, will chime in, cheering LeBron at warmups (like, who else will they cheer this year?), gushing whenever he does something spectacular and chanting “MVP,” as they did last year, when he dropped 52 on the Knicks.

World Series Yankees Baseball  All this will play to LeBron’s ego and convince him that a star of his magnitude needs to be in New York. That theory, by the way, is obsolete. Maybe 20-25 years ago, a star could receive better perks in New York, as Reggie Jackson did when he left the small market A’s. But with the global media and advertising of today, that’s not really necessary. LeBron blew up commercially without ever leaving Cleveland, and that will continue to be the case if he stays in Cleveland.

NY Yankees 5 A Rod J Z  Obviously, the big factor for LeBron is collecting championships and whether his best chance is in Cleveland with a Cavs’ team that’s probably third-best behind Boston and Orlando and lacks a starry supporting cast, or a Knicks team being furiously stripped and rebuilt on the fly. The Knicks hope it also comes down to the stars and whether LeBron wants to hang with his buddy Jay-Z after the game, or retire to his palatial pad in Cleveland and call it a night.

That’ll be LeBron’s decision to make next July. And guess what? The Yankees should be in first place then, too.

Friday, November 6 @ 8pm EST on ESPN Cleveland Cavaliers at New York Knicks!

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August 2, 2008

Olympics – Basketball: USA Redeem Team 3-0, Looking Really Good

 Team U.S. A has arrived in Macau, China.  Macau is on the SE coast of China just a 50 minute ferry ride SW of Hong Kong and a three hour flight to Beijing.  Macau was both the first and the last European colony in China.  Portuguese traders first settled in Macau in the 16th century and subsequently administered the region until the ‘handover’ on December 20, 1999.  Macau is the most densely populated region in the world; with a population density of 18,428 persons per kilometer (one kilometer is .062 of a mile). 

Five percent of Macau’s population is Chinese; another two percent is of mixed Chinese/Portuguese descent, an ethnic group often referred to as Macanese. Macau is believed to have the best food on the Chinese continent and Macau is clean and fog free!

Before they arrived in China, Team USA had their exhibition opener against Canada.  They scored, they dazzled and they dunked – they beat Canada 120-65.  Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Michael Redd each had game-high total of 20 points each.

 Kobe Bryant played 23 minutes and scored 15 points, making six of 10 shots.  The U.S. shot 65.7%, Canada just 33.3%. The rebounding department was equally one-sided, the U.S. outrebounding Canada, 38-24.

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June 30, 2008

Olympic Basketball: Dwyane Wade’s e-Diary – What It’s Like to Be an Olympian

  Dwyane Wade will periodically take a behind the scenes look at the U.S. men’s Olympic team from his point-of-view.  Here is his first entry.

Monday, June 30:

Welcome to inside the mind of a 2008 Olympian, Dwyane Wade. I’m speaking of myself in third person, but I want to give you guys the inside track about what’s coming up for the team and how we spent our first weekend together in Vegas.

Now as a U.S. Olympian, you have a lot of obligations to be on time – and I was late for the first team meeting. I was 25 minutes late because I overslept. I had to run a little extra for that and I will make sure I’m on time from now on.

We have a team photo shoot Monday in New York and we did some kind of movie shoot in Vegas where we had to take it back to the early 70s with the poses we did. LeBron (James) was joking the whole time. We couldn’t even stand in a straight line because LeBron was joking, Carmelo (Anthony) was joking and even Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) cracked a couple of jokes. Overall it was lighthearted day, though our first two-hour practice was a good one Saturday.

My knee is feeling good. I went through my first day with the team and did everything everyone else did at practice. I worked hard to be here today. I have been in the gym five days a week since the first week of May – training, rehabbing conditioning, getting my explosion back for you guys and for me. I want to continue to be the player that some of you guys like and some of you fell in love with.

I’m feeling good and ready to go.

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June 23, 2008

Olympic Basketball: Dream Team 2? Kobe, LeBron, D. Wade, Paul

 

MVP Kobe Bryant will be heading to his first Olympics, and he’ll have LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Paul with him.  But where is Paul Pierce?

They will lead a U.S. Olympic basketball team that was announced today — one that hopes to capture the gold medal in Beijing in August after a third-place showing in Athens four years ago. They’ll have plenty of help.

Carmelo Anthony and Jason Kidd were among the 12 players placed on the squad. They were joined by Tayshaun Prince, Carlos Boozer, Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard, Michael Redd and Deron Williams.

“It was a very difficult selection process,” said Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball managing director. “When you have as many outstanding players as we do — to select a group of 12 is going to leave out some outstanding people.”

The team was selected without a tryout. It will have a minicamp this week in Las Vegas and reconvene there July 20-25 to train and play an exhibition against Canada before heading overseas.

The Americans open Olympic play against China on Aug. 10.

Although the Americans captured the gold at the Sydney Games in 2000, they no longer dominate international play as they once did. The talent gap has narrowed and many top NBA players have chosen to not play for the national team in recent years.

Now, the U.S. will field a team that appears loaded. Then again, the Americans went 5-3 in Athens and lost for the first time since NBA players started competing in 1992, even though they had James, Anthony, Wade and Tim Duncan. That group got routed by Puerto Rico before losing to Lithuania and Argentina, but this one is confident it will take the gold.

“It’s really the world’s game,” Coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “We think we’re the best at playing that game.”

Bryant just won his first MVP and led the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Finals. James averaged 30.0 points — just enough to beat Bryant for the scoring title.

Those two, along with Anthony, Kidd and Dwight Howard, started for a team that went unbeaten in the Olympic qualifying tournament last year.

Phoenix forward Amare Stoudemire withdrew from Olympic consideration apparently concerned about pushing his body too hard after knee surgery in 2005 and 2006. So did Detroit’s Chauncey Billups, who would have had a tough time making the team, given the depth in the backcourt.

Wade cemented his spot after Colangelo watched him work out in Chicago recently. Wade has had chronic soreness in his left knee since undergoing surgery in 2007, and his season ended in March.

Wade started working out in Chicago in May, and James and Paul joined him to help sharpen his game. Colangelo paid a visit and left convinced the 6-foot-4 guard was healthy.

But where is Pierce?

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

 

 

 

 

 

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