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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

One Sizzling Summer League

One Sizzling Summer League

UMass Boston was privileged once again to host the Reebok Pro Summer League (formerly sponsored by Shaw’s Supermarkets). This year’s event was highlighted by the presence of Cleveland Cavaliers rookie phenom Lebron James.

James is tabbed by sports pundits from around the country as the next megastar of basketball. He attracted the attention of the nation while he was still a junior in high school and, before you knew it, his team’s games were being broadcast on ESPN.

With the uncertain future of the LA Lakers’ Kobe Bryant due to a sexual assault charge, James’s entry into the pro realm may be a saving grace for the NBA.

His presence created a frenzy of ticket requests for Pro Summer League games. People were scrounging and name-dropping left and right in order to secure a couple of tickets.

And he was as good as advertised. “King James” did a little bit of everything in his Boston debut by grabbing some boards, swatting the ball back in players’ faces, and picking the pockets of guards. He did not score a ton of points but instead concentrated on getting his teammates involved. However, the Boston Celtics squad had a little swagger in their game as well, defeating the Cavs 87-84.

The Celtics did not fare all that well in the win-loss column, finishing the league with a pedestrian 2-4 record. A few players, however, did themselves proud on the hardwood. Third year man Kedrick Brown and 2003 second round pick Brandon Hunter played well enough toearn spots on the league’s first team. 2003 first round pick Marcus Bank was named to the second team.

Charlie Titus and his staff did a wonderful job, as usual, hosting the event and handling the circus-like atmosphere. The Clark Athletic Center was full of eager fans day and night. The best element of the entire of the week-long summer league is the number of young kids that were around for the games.

Despite the on-going argument regarding high school can’t-misses bypassing college for the NBA, James made the right decision. His earning potential might be never higher than it was a couple of months ago. If he sustains a serious injury that may end his career in the first game of the upcoming season, and he will still have enough money coming in to live like a “King,” albeit a much smaller one.

The Cavs are on national television 13 times this season and even if they lose every one of those games, it may still be worth watching to see the next, dare I say it, Michael Jordan in action.