Kidd and James?

Ian Thomsen from SI.Com has an interesting article about Jason Kidd:

It would be wrong to say that Kidd’s ambition to play for a contender puts the Nets in a weak position. Just the opposite: His desire to compete makes him worthy of the $19.7 million he’s making this year and the $21.4 million he is owed next season.

He knows he could be a highly attractive prize at the February trade deadline for a team hoping to copy the recent moves of Denver and Boston: The Nuggets acquired Allen Iverson and the Celtics landed Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett by surrendering potential talent and appealing contracts in return.

The Cavaliers would be an obvious candidate for Kidd, as LeBron has made no secret of his desire to play at a faster tempo with an upgrade at point guard. After a five-point win at Indiana on Sunday, James said of the Pacers: “I think [coach Jim] O’Brien has definitely put them in a position to win ball games because they run up and down. They have the athletes to do that, and they have the point guard that’s going to lead them. I like what I’m seeing.”

Kidd would provide the leadership while pushing the ball. The difficulty for Cleveland would come in assembling a package to acquire him. As intriguing as it may be, the odds of Kidd moving to Cleveland appear slim.

Click HERE to read the complete story

James and Chris Might Miss Tonight’s Game

The Cavaliers are listing Lebron James as “day to day” and calling him a game-time decision for tonight’s game against the Toronto Raptors.

Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic Toronto performed an MRI on Thursday on James’ left index finger. The results confirmed their diagnosis that he suffered a sprain Wednesday in Detroit.

Raptors forward Chris Bosh, who scored 41 points on the Cavs last weekend, strained his groin and left a game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday. His status for tonight also is undetermined.

The Raptors also are missing point guard T.J. Ford with an arm injury and center Andrea Bargnani, who has a bruised knee.

The Cavaliers are alos missing Larry Hughes, Donyell Marshall and Cedric Simmons.

The Cavs are 9-3 over the past four seasons with James out of the lineup.

Lebron James Injury Update

LeBron underwent a MRI today at Cleveland Clinic Toronto which confirmed the sprain in his left index finger. He is currently listed as day to day and will be a game time decision for tomorrow night’s game in Toronto against the Raptors.

Lebron’s Road to a Billion-Dollar Brand

A very interesting article that appeared today on Fortune, talks about Lebron and his vision to building a billion-dollar brand.

After Lebron’s stunning and historic performance in game five of the  Eastern Conference finals against the Detroit Pistons, and was described by  NBC anchor Marv Albert as  “one of the all-time performances in NBA history.” and “Jordanesque” by another announcer. Nike’s executives realized this is the begining to a whole new era for James and Nike and called it “AGF”, “After Game Five”.

That game, prompted Nike to reshuffle its basketball division, placing James atop the organization, and more resources will be devoted to marketing and selling James’s products.

Before the change, about four people within Nike spent most of their time on James. In the new construct, about 150 people will be working on James on a daily basis.

James is taking a different approach to handle his business. In 2005, he established his own firm, LRMR Marketing named for the initials of the four buddies: Lebron, Randy Mims, Maverick Carter, and Richard Paul.

“It was my idea. I wanted to own my own business,” he says in the first of two exclusive interviews with Fortune. He also wanted to give his friends a chance to create a professional legacy beyond being flunkies and hangers-on: “How do my guys want to be remembered when LeBron James is finished playing basketball?”

The article is very long but these are some of the interesting points I found that might interest us as Cavaliers fans:

  • Among the top NBA players, James ranks highest for endorsement potential, ahead of the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade and the L.A. Lakers’ Kobe Bryant.Yet he ranks lower when measured by “sophistication” and “accessibility.”
    Chris Gebhardt, a consultant who conducted the research, says, “They simply do not have as positive an image of LeBron as they do of sports celebrities who have married on-field performance with off-field personality, such as Tiger, Peyton, or Michael. We need to do a better job of appealing to the consumer side of these fans, to start telling the nonbasketball story.”
  • Ohio may be home, but it is not a major media market. And there has been speculation within the league of his moving to New York or Los Angeles when his contract is up.
  • LRMR’s future does not rely on research but on James’s winning an NBA championship, and in Cleveland’s current lineup he is getting little support. This is an issue, because the success of the Cavaliers – who at presstime were playing .500 ball in the early season – will dictate the success of LRMR. For better or worse, James is locked into playing for Cleveland until 2010 at least, based on a contract extension he signed in 2006.”But first he has to win” is how Nike Brand president Charlie Denson sums up the key element in James’s becoming a true superstar. “He can’t get there unless he wins. LeBron knows that.”

You can read the full article here.

LeBron Injured in blowout

Before tipoff James’ had a few words for the fans booing him at courtside.  “You boo me because you fear me.”  Unfortunately for us the only fear last night was that of Cavs fans after Lebron suffered a sprained left index finger in the Cavs’ 109-74 loss to the Detroit Pistons.  He watched the game from then bench, dressed in his street clothes.
X-rays taken at the Palace of Auburn Hills showed no fracture and James returned to the bench with his index and middle finger taped together in the second half.
James traveled with the team to Toronto following the game and he is expected to get additional X-rays and an MRI today in Toronto. That test will show if there is any structural damage to the finger.

For box scores click HERE

Jon Barry, How About Those Cavs

Jon Barry of ESPN has always been against the Cavaliers. If you watched the finals last season, he was the one guy that didn’t give the Cavaliers any credit and his head just got bigger when the Cavs got swept by the Spurs.

Now, he is at it again, opening his mouth and not even picking the Cavaliers to be in the top four teams in the East; “I am not a big Cavaliers guy, and Chicago has dropped out. So, I’d say the Nets would be that fourth team now.”

The Nets? Are you kidding me? Is ESPN paying you for this?

The Cavaliers have had one of the toughest schedules in the league to start the season. On top of that, they have been battling with injuries, with Larry Hughes out for more than 4 weeks, Eric Snow, Donyell Marshalls, and Simmons. This is not counting Varejao who is going around the media crying about his contract and how much he is worth.

So that’s 5 players out, 4 of them played consistent minutes in the Finals last season. Also, add Sasha to the mix who signed his contract late and missed all training camp, and now he is finally showing some consistency.

With all this, the Cavaliers are 9-6 and went 3-3 in their west coast trip at the beginning of this season. They are 5-3 on the road and played 8 of their first 15 games on the road.Last night against the Celtics Big 3, Ilgauskas, Gooden and James combined for 77 points, 31 rebounds and 18 assists. Boston’s Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett could not match them with 64 points, 18 rebounds and 15 assists.

So Jon, why don’t you stop berating on the Cavaliers and start “witnessing” one of the greatest players to play in the NBA.

“The Cavs are the defending Eastern Conference champions, and with No. 23 doing his thing, that is a title they will not surrender willingly.” Patrick McManamon

Cavs Player’s Reaction to Andy

Some interesting comments from Brian Windhorst  regarding some of the player’s reaction to Andy’s latest comments. There’s a reason that players usually don’t talk to the media during contract negotiations: Sometimes it can do more harm than good.
In speaking with in his first English language interview about the topic on Monday, Anderson Varejao tried to send a strong message to Cavaliers management by saying he no longer wanted to play for the team. That position is one thing, but Varejao might have stepped over the line by insulting some of his Cavs teammates as well.
Varejao was quoted as saying: ”I don’t think I’ll be happy in Cleveland knowing that I was [almost] the lowest-paid player there for three years and am still paid much less than players on the team that I outperform.”
There was already a little uneasiness with Varejao, because he seemed to be betting on the Cavs getting off to a poor start to drive up his value. That’s a bit of a gray area. But the quote on, in which he belittled some of his teammates’ performances, wasn’t. The statement irked some Cavs, many of whom already have been scratching their heads over the process.
”I think it rubbed some of us the wrong way. One of the things you don’t do in this league is compare your situation to someone else because everybody is different,” one Cavs player said. ”I almost don’t believe he said it because earlier in the article he says he loves his teammates.”
There is an unwritten rule in the NBA that players always side with one another on contract matters. LeBron James has followed it, whether it was 2004 with Carlos Boozer or this year with Varejao.
While the Cavs players have supported Varejao publicly, this latest jab seemed to sting even James.
”Sometimes things can be twisted the wrong way; I don’t know if there is a lot of truth to that. When I have spoken to Andy, he wants to be on this team,” James said. ”It’s his career for him, if he doesn’t want to be back here. . . . if he has a problem with the front office then he’s young enough to go somewhere else and play.”

Souce:  Ohio.Com

Cavs beat Boston

It was raining at the Q last night as Drew Gooden went 8 for 8 from the field to finish with 24 points and 13 rebounds.  LeBron had a double double with 38 points and 13 assists and continues to lead the league in scoring as the Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics in OT by a score of 109-104.

For complete box scores click HERE