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‘Jordan’s Successor’ – LeBron James!

Posted June. 27, 2003 21:43,   


LeBron James is the eighteen-year-old new face fresh out of high school, slated to don the shoes of the great one, Michael Jordan. The Cleveland Cavaliers selected him in the 2003 NBA Draft, held at Madison Square Garden in New York.

James, a recent graduate of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Ohio, stands in at 2 meters and 3 centimeters, weighs 108.4 kilograms and is a guard and a forward. He was selected as ‘the best high school player of the year’ by recording 31.6 points and 9.6 rebounds per game during the 2002~2003 season. With his notable activities, St. Vincent-St. Mary High School clinched the National High School Championship title three years in a row with 25 wins and 1 loss.

His abilities can be easily seen through his participation in both basketball and football until somewhere in high school, when he decided to focus solely on basketball. He is equipped with jumping, rebounding and endurance skills like a track player and the flexibility of a gymnast. His precise passing and decisiveness will place him among the super stars of the NBA.

The NBA considers LeBron James a ‘Savior’. The organization has recently experienced stagnation with 6.7% TV viewer ratings during the fourth round of the 2002~2003 championships, the lowest rating since 1982. This is due to the decrease in the number of star plays after Michael Jordan left the game, as well as the fact that teams are focusing more on defense rather the showboating of the past.

The NBA anticipates James to fill the gap Jordan left with glamorous and brilliantly executed offensive play.

The severe ‘competition of ushering in James` to the industry shows his value more than his actual skills on the court. Nike successfully fished him in with a contract worth over 90 million dollars (108 billion won) after winning out over Adidas and Reebok. This is even before James has started playing professionally.

The American press is busy ‘making a star’. Some already predict that his name will be listed in the ‘Hall of Fame’. Cleveland, placed the lowest in the league with 17 wins and 65 losses last season, is looking forward to improving their record as headed by their new catch.

After Cleveland selected James, he gave a big smile to the audience stating, “It is so amazing to have my wish to play in the NBA come true. I am aware that I am in the spotlight. Other players are going to make it hard for me, but I am going to give it my best.” LeBron gave his word.

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com