The Cavaliers entered this season on a mission to finish what they started in 2009. In their quest for a title, they have one crucial factor working in their favor: Lebron James is in a contract year, which should inspire him to really go out there and be productive.
“Lebron, the whole league is watching,” said guard Mo Williams. “If you impress people this year, you cash in next year. That’s what I’ve been telling him, and I think it’s getting through. He knows his future is at stake here. I think he’s gonna turn it up a notch.”
Williams said he remembers his own contract year, in which he put forth maximum effort in every game.
“It was all out, every game trying to prove I was worth bank,” said Williams. “You’ve got to crank it up to 11 for the contract year. That’s when you make your money. For Lebron, he just has to remember that teams are going to pay him based on what he does this year. So what better way to impress them than to win a title? After that, I don’t think anyone can pay him less than the max contract.”
The results are already showing up on the floor. According to teammates, Lebron has displayed a renewed sense of purpose and a laser-like focus this season. Even his coach, Mike Brown, has noticed a difference.
“You can always tell when a guy is in his contract year because he just has that extra burst of energy every night,” said Brown. “That’s great for everybody. It’s making the whole team better. That being said, Lebron will get a max contract next year even if he takes the entire season off to go train with the Taliban.”
For his part, James denies being motivated by anything other than his burning desire to win a championship.
“I’m not trying any harder because it’s my contract year,” he said. “That’s ridiculous. I’ve been trying hard since day one. But coach is right. No matter what I do, I’m getting a max contract anyway and probably a chunk of whichever team signs me. So I’m not trying hard because it’s a contract year. I’m trying hard because I’m a warrior, man and so I don’t reflect poorly on my corporate partners at Nike.”
During heated intercourse with longtime girlfriend Savannah Brinson, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar Lebron James reportedly cried out the name KNICKS while in the throes of ecstasy.
“We were just having a nice evening, doing our thing,” said Brinson.“He was on top of me, grinding and pumping, when all of a sudden he just blurts the name right out.And I was like, ‘Hold up.Did you just say what I think you said?Did you just call me KNICKS?’And he just shook me off, saying, ‘Oh, no no.I was saying NICE.Like, this is some real nice intercourse we’re having.’But I know I heard what I heard.”
Brinson says this is not the first time James, who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2010, has had his mind elsewhere during intercourse.
“When LeBron and I are making love, I expect him to be focused on ME,” she says.“But he’s always closing his eyes when we’re doing it, so I know he’s trying to visualize someone else.And just last week, I swear he screamed out D’ANTONI.He tried to tell me he was saying DAMN, HONEY.But he be creepin’.”
Brinson says she’s long been suspicious of her boyfriend’s constant flirtations with the Knicks, and the city of New York in general.“Oh, he’s always talking about the Knicks.ALWAYS.I see the way he looks at them.He’s always laughing around Nate Robinson, playfully punching him on the shoulder.Sometimes, I catch him talking to the Knicks late at night on the phone.And I’ll say, ‘Who was that?’And he’ll be like, ‘Nobody.’”
Brinson becomes emotional at the thought.
“I thought he loved me.We grew up through this together.We’ve been through a lot.But I guess his heart wants what it wants.I don’t know how much more I can take of this.Just last night, he asked me to role play Donnie Walsh.”
Why? Because it's fun.
Let's recap Mr. James' off-season.
First, he got some sort of mouth surgery.
Then he got dunked on.
Then he wrote a book.
Then he started appearing in public in outfits like you see above.
And then he got swine flu.
Oh, and I should mention he also hangs around a lot now with a fat kid.
So I think we have to ask the question Lebron James: greatest athlete in the world? Or the frailest, nerdiest kid in your neighborhood?
I'm going with the latter.
The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 96-66 last night in preseason play, but the game will be remembered for a remarkable sequence in which NBA superstar Lebron James ran down the lane and dunked but was whistled for traveling by an official.
"As bad as some people say our full-time officials are, that call was the best proof yet that these replacement guys are absolutely hopeless," said a source within the commissioner's office. "We don't call traveling on our stars in this league. That's, like, the number one rule for officials. Did Lebron travel? Of course! Blatantly! But you still never ever call it. It's Lebron."
Rich Watkins, the replacement official who called the obvious traveling violation, said he was caught by surprise over the uproar created by his call.
"I blew the whistle, called traveling on Lebron and the entire arena went gasped and then went silent," said Watkins. "I didn't know what had happened. I thought maybe someone on the court had dropped over or something."
But it was just the reaction to Watkins' call although some people in the crowd did pass out, adding to the chaos in the arena. Once order was restored, a dumbfounded James tried to explain the situation to Watkins.
"He told me what he had done was a what was the term he used a 'crab dribble,' I think he called it," said Watkins. "I told him that I've been an official at the amateur level for 27 years and I have never heard of a crab dribble. That this 'crab dribble' is not a real thing. There is a legal dribble and traveling, no gray areas. He just rolled his eyes and walked away."
The reaction to the whistle on James has been swift, with reports already surfacing that the league is close to a deal with the locked-out regular officials.
"We knew this would happen eventually and the NBA would cave," said longtime NBA official Dick Bavetta. "These morons are out there calling games fairly. The league can't have that. Did people want Michael Jordan called for shoving Bryon Russell to the ground before hitting the Finals-winning shot in 1998? Really? Huh. Well, David Stern didn't, and he signs our checks."
Gossip website TMZ.com released an exclusive clip of what is apparently Lebron James’ upcoming Atari video game, a product that will likey try to tap into the retro ‘80s craze via blurry, 8-bit graphics and shaky player movement.
The game – which is still untitled, although may be called Lebron Vs. The Dunker – seems to include dunking and a rather annoying play-by-play announcer who – as in many older games – repeats the same phrase over and over. In this case: “Oh, my God!”
TMZ reportedly outbid several other websites for exclusive rights to the leaked game footage – footage Atari representatives likely sought to hold onto due to the embarrassingly poor quality of the game.
“It’s obvious the game is still only in beta form,” wrote Mychal Proat, editor of the video game blog GamerMan.com. “At least I hope it is. Because even for Atari, it’s pretty bad. That old Dr. J., Larry Bird One-On-One game they put out in ‘83 was much clearer than what I just saw.”
Considering the poor quality of the game, some believe there is something more going on.
“I hope that’s not all it is,” posted a commenter on TMZ. “I’ve been hearing all about this and it looks terrible. Maybe it’s all some sort of joke marketing ploy we don’t know about yet. Or maybe this is just to get people excited for a Lebron game for PS3 or Xbox 360 . You know, something where we can at least make out the players’ faces.”
Cleveland Cavaliers public address announcer Omar Samson passed away today after fighting a long battle with a rare respiratory disease called talcum powder lung. Samson was diagnosed in December of 2004, not long after the Cavaliers franchise was invigorated with the arrival of superstar Lebron James.
“Omar loved his job, he loved the Cavaliers and most of all – he loved Lebron James,” read a statement from his family. “Despite doctor’s suspicions that his rare condition was from inhaling massive amounts of James’ hand powder each night, Omar still chose to report for duty and subject himself to that risk. He was a courageous man, and we are proud of him.”
Talcum powder lung has only been diagnosed three times in history, each time afflicting an NBA public address announcer. Minnesota Timberwolves PA announcer Jake Tepper was the first to be diagnosed, but he recovered from the disease in the summer of 2007. And Boston Celtics PA man Chet Williams is the latest to be diagnosed, first developing symptoms in the Fall of 2007. Talcum powder lung is caused by the airways being blocked with the substance many NBA superstars wipe on their hands before games.
James says he is saddened by Samson’s passing, but doubts he had any role in his contraction of the disease.
“He could have inhaled massive amounts of talcum powder outside of just me covering him in it before all of our home games,” he said. “Maybe he worked as a young man at a talcum plant, if there is such a thing. Or maybe he ate talcum chips as a child. Or maybe … look, I don’t know. All I know is that it looks pretty cool when I throw all the powder up in the air before the opening tip.”
The Cavaliers are searching for a new PA announcer, but are having trouble finding a willing candidate – in addition to being unable to find an insurer willing to cover the position.
“The only way an insurance company will cover us is if our new PA guy wears a respirator at all times while on the job,” said team owner Dan Gilbert. “But that would make him sound like Darth Vader. Which, you know, now that I think about it, might actually be pretty cool.”
Cavaliers center Shaquille O’Neal updated his fans via text message on Twitter tonight to let them know that he is really exhausted from having to run the entire length of the court during a workout.
“Sooooo tyrd. Wish i was phat not fat. Need O Xs 2! (Oxygn n Oreos!)” O'Neal tweeted while laying on his back and trying to catch his breath, the big man's thumbs tiring well before he reached the 140-character max.
O’Neal is among a growing number of celebrities who use the social networking tool to stay in touch with their fan bases. He says the quick, short “tweets” fit his personality and lifestyle.
“I prefer it to talking,” said O’Neal, noticeably wheezing. “I used to talk, I used to rap, I even tried blogging. But all that stuff required too much core strength, what with using your diaphragm to expel air and sitting up on your couch enough to see the screen of your laptop. I’m exhausted enough actually giving somewhat of an effort when I’m on the floor during the season. Twitter just requires that I move my thumbs. So until something comes along that only requires blinking, I’m a Twitter guy.”
Shawn Bates, a longtime fan of the new Cleveland center, says he subscribes to O’Neal’s Twitter feed and enjoys every message.
“A lot of celebrities use Twitter just to promote their movies or charities or whatever. And they have their PR flacks Tweet for them,” said Bates. “But Shaq is too tired to do movies or be involved with charities anymore. So you know when he sends out something like ‘Should I chanj undys 2day? Nah. 2 much wrk,’ you know it’s really him saying that.”