Friday , Jan , 19 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

LeBron just fine with the Gold and Wine

(Sports Network) – The city of Cleveland and its professional basketball team
have been saved by a 22-year-old basketball phenom named LeBron James.

Actually, James was a teenager when the Cavaliers selected him out of high
school with the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, and he put the Cavs
on the map ever since. Mitchell and Ness, a Philadelphia-based sports jersey
manufacturer, couldn’t even spark the interest of Cavs fans like James has
with its throwback jerseys of the popular Ron Harper and Brad Daugherty days.

James is the only reason why Cleveland’s gold and wine colored digs are
selling like hot cakes in local retail outlets. And one day Mitchell and Ness
will most likely canonize James with a Cleveland throwback much like they
did with his St. Vincent-St. Mary High School jersey.

How sweet is that?

James, the youngest player in NBA history to score 7,000 points, is currently
trying to get Cleveland back in the driver’s seat after losses in two straight
and three of its last four contests. The Cavs are 2-3 so far on a seven-game
road trip which concludes on Saturday after games in Denver and Golden State.

The 6-8, 250-pound James is averaging 29.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.8
assists on the trip and netted 23 points in Wednesday’s loss to the Portland
Trail Blazers

James is the only player in the league this season to post averages of at
least 26 points (26.8), six rebounds (6.7) and six assists (6.1). If the
stats hold all season James will become only the second player in NBA
history to record those numbers in three straight seasons. Hall of Famer Oscar
Robertson did it eight straight years from 1960-61 through 1967-68.

After the seven-game swing Cleveland will return home to host Orlando and
Philadelphia. James has led the Cavs to four straight wins at Quicken Loans
Arena where they own a 15-3 record. Cleveland has won 26 of its last 29 games
at home, dating back to March 5, 2006, and ripped off 11 straight wins in
its friendly confines to close out the 2005-06 campaign.

A return home will be beneficial for the Cavs, as they sit just one game
ahead of the Chicago Bulls and 1 1/2 games ahead of the Detroit Pistons
in the Central standings.

CLE