October 30, 2003

Believe the hype. LeBron played his first NBA game last night. His team lost, but it was fairly apparent that King James is the real deal.

posted by 86 to basketball at 07:41 AM - 15 comments

I watched a good portion of the game. Never mind his ability, which is tangible and everybody agreed he had. He was a leader, always poised, full of energy, playing hard on both sides of the floor, gracious in defeat. It just might be fun watching him for the next decade.

posted by vito90 at 07:44 AM on October 30, 2003

I'm not a NBA fan. I haven't watched a regular season game played before March in about three years, but I flipped over last night and caught much of the 2nd and 3rd quarters. Truth be told, I was awed. I hadn't seen James play, so I didn't know what to expect. The speed, the size, the hands, the passes, the floater, the runner... He has it all. It was enough to make me tune in again, that's for sure. When I do, I'll be rooting for the Cavs... how strange is that? If it comes down to basketball, this guy is going to be something else.

posted by 86 at 07:46 AM on October 30, 2003

I think it was on Sportscenter where they talked to other players that faced Lebron during the preseason. Most of them just talked about what a physical speciment he is. 6-8, 240 as a 18 yr old. Oh my.

posted by emoeby at 08:02 AM on October 30, 2003

I was surprised to hear on SportsCenter this morning that he scored 25. I thought the pre-season knock on him was that he couldn't shoot.

posted by rcade at 08:11 AM on October 30, 2003

I watched the game and damn - that was less a nervious rookie showcase, and more a coming out party.This guy has a COMPLETE GAME. Weirdest looking guy too - like a babyface on a warrior-body. Like Blaster from Thunderdome.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:35 AM on October 30, 2003

so much for seeing him tank. (I always wanted that just because of all the hype, not so much because of him, he seems pretty down to earth and intelligent for a player with that kind of gift.) You can't help but like him though, so I guess I'll just say it... Go Lebron!

posted by Bernreuther at 09:47 AM on October 30, 2003

The true test of how good he is will be after the season is over and this year's ratings for the NBA season come up.

posted by lilnemo at 11:24 AM on October 30, 2003

First professional game and he comes four boards and one assist away from a triple-double. Yikes... Besides that, yes, he looked like everything a franchise would want in a team leader. Takes smart shots (12-20 from the floor), knows when he's in a jam and to pass it off, knows to keep the squad in sync on the floor, etc. Ok, it's one game, and yes, they still lost. But, man, he sure looks impressive out there. They should win tonight, will be real interested in seeing how he responds against the Suns.

posted by rosey8810 at 11:25 AM on October 30, 2003

What a game!!! I saw James play at the EA Sports Roundball Classic and was a believer then and last night made me want to jump on the King James bandwagon. However, time will time if James can have more than one good game. I think that ultimately he will have good, but a not a great, season. I was just so impress how he moved around the court and was able to handle the NBA level speed, moves and composure. Predictions: Points: 12.4 Rebounds: 4.7 Assists: 4 Steals: 1.9

posted by Bag Man at 12:23 PM on October 30, 2003

Predictions! I love 'em - OK after one game's worth of watching him: PPG: 16.5 RB: 5.5 AST: 5.5 ST: 1.8 I think he's going to develop more quickly than you think Bag man. And he could exclipse these numbers.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:54 PM on October 30, 2003

I don't think Sacramento was all too concerned with stopping James in his first game out. Whomever gears their gameplan at stopping James first rather than Ricky Davis might give us a better barometer as to how he'll fair. It seems like ages since we've had a rookie average anywhere near 20ppg doesn't it? I think 15 ppg, 4.5 rpg, and are you ready for this? 6.5 apg. Passing most definitely will be his saving grace this season. Name anyone on his team capable of running the offense and getting the assist. Bremer is a combo guard, and Ollie, veteran that he is, barely saw the light of day.

posted by lilnemo at 01:01 PM on October 30, 2003

lil, great point. once he gets the double-team, we'll see how he stacks up....at the same time, that's a veteran star measuring stick.

posted by garfield at 01:18 PM on October 30, 2003

I'll believe until he stops performing well for my fantasy basketball team.

posted by jasonspaceman at 01:32 PM on October 30, 2003

I watched the whole game last night, and while my jaw dropped at some of the shots that he made (like that fall-away jumper at the baseline with Miller in his face), there are going to be days where he won't have his first six or so shots fall (the outside shot is still the weakest part of his game, for what that's worth). Nevertheless, as vito90 said, the main thing was his poise and his leadership ability. He made some fine passes thanks to some tremendous court vision. Also, the fact that on the breakaway he turned around and passed the rock for Ricky Davis to slam speaks volumes to his maturity and recognition that he has to keep his teammates happy, especially Davis. I've lived in Cleveland for several years, and the only games that I've attended were when my Spurs would make their annual visit, but I will certainly take in a few more games. The city continues to buzz.

posted by avogadro at 03:01 PM on October 30, 2003

Oh, and here is an article about LeBron's maturity from the always excellent Terry Pluto.

posted by avogadro at 04:34 PM on October 30, 2003

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