LeBron James actually makes an appearance at one of the rallies held in his honor

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nba_james2_250.jpgFrom Los Angeles to New York City, fans of teams with cap space from all around the country are mounting guerilla movements to entice LeBron James. Fans are practically pledging everything from their eternal fandom to their first-born children as payment for James’ services, and they’re holding parades, rallies, and animal sacrifices (just guessing on that one) in his honor. He is the MVP, and he is to be worshiped.

Yesterday, James finally appeared at one such event. It wasn’t in New York, even if he’d soak up Madison Square Garden’s bright lights. It wasn’t in Chicago, even if he would write the next chapter in the Bulls tradition. It wasn’t in L.A., where James would battle Kobe Bryant for supremacy within the city limits. It was in Akron, Ohio, where LeBron would come out to thank all of his fans who showed up for “LeBron Appreciation Day”/”LeBron Pretty Please Don’t Leave Cleveland Day.”

From the Associated Press:

With thousands of his hometown fans
on hand, LeBron James made a dramatic — and very late — appearance at
“LeBron Appreciation Day.” A crowd estimated at 3,500 had already begun to depart
Akron’s InfCision Stadium on Saturday when James walked through a side
entrance and made his way down to the playing field. Hundreds of fans rushed back inside as James was presented
with a crystal trophy, which had already been placed back inside a box before
his surprise appearance. After a few words, the two-time MVP then left the
stadium as quickly as he entered.

James was being honored not far from where he grew up in a
city he affectionately calls home. Fans were on hand in an effort to convince
the soon-to-be free agent not to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Obviously the locale was convenient for a LeBron drop-by, as the InfCision Stadium is probably about half-way between James’ place and the nearest Chili’s or something. But the fact that he stopped by isn’t meaningless, just as it isn’t some grand indication that he’s ready to put on that Cavaliers cap for signing day. Maybe LeBron just showed up for the free pub, but he still showed up.

Former UCLA, NBA player Dave Meyers dies at 62

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LOS ANGELES (AP) Dave Meyers, the star forward who led UCLA to the 1975 NCAA basketball championship as the lone senior in coach John Wooden’s final season and later played for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, died Friday. He was 62.

Meyers died at his home in Temecula after struggling with cancer for the last year, according to UCLA, which received the news from his younger sister, Ann Meyers Drysdale.

He played four years for Milwaukee after being drafted second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers. Shortly after, Meyers was part of a blockbuster trade that sent him to the Bucks in exchange for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The 6-foot-8 Meyers led UCLA in scoring at 18.3 points and rebounding at 7.9 in his final season, helping the Bruins to a 28-3 record. He had 24 points and 11 rebounds in their 92-85 victory over Kentucky in the NCAA title game played in his hometown of San Diego.

Meyers Drysdale also played at UCLA during her Hall of Fame career.

Meyers assumed the Bruins’ leadership role during the 1974-75 season after Bill Walton and Jamaal Wilkes had graduated. Playing with sophomores Marques Johnson and Richard Washington, Meyers earned consensus All-America honors. Meyers made the cover of Sports Illustrated after the Bruins won the NCAA title.

“One of the true warriors in (at)UCLAMBB history has gone on to glory,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. “Dave Meyers was our Captain in `75 and as tenacious a player ever. RIP.”

Johnson recalled in other tweets how Meyers called him `MJB’ or Marques Johnson Baby when he was a freshman, and later in the NBA, Meyers was nicknamed “Crash” because he always diving on the floor for loose balls.

As a junior, Meyers started on a front line featuring future Hall of Famers Walton and Wilkes.

Meyers was a reserve as a sophomore on the Bruins’ 1973 NCAA title team during the school’s run of 10 national titles in 12 years under Wooden. The team went 30-0 and capped the season by beating Memphis 87-66 in the championship game, when Meyers had four points and three rebounds.

In 1975, Meyers, along with Elmore Smith, Junior Bridgeman and Brian Winters, was traded to Milwaukee for Abdul-Jabbar and Walt Wesley.

During the 1977-78 season, Meyers was reunited with Johnson on the Bucks and averaged a career-best 14.7 points. He missed the next year with a back injury. Meyers returned in 1979-80 to average 12.1 points and 5.7 rebounds in helping the Bucks win a division title.

Born David William Meyers, he was one of 11 children. His father, Bob, was a standout basketball player and team captain at Marquette in the 1940s. The younger Meyers averaged 22.7 points as a senior at Sonora High in La Habra, California.

Meyers made a surprise announcement in 1980 that he was retiring from basketball to spend more time with his family. He later earned his teaching certificate and taught sixth grade for several years in Lake Elsinore, California.

He is survived by his wife, Linda, whom he married in 1975, and daughter Crystal and son Sean.

Pelicans signing center Jerome Jordan

Marc Gasol, Jerome Jordan
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Through the first two weeks of training camp, the Pelicans have seen their frontcourt depth decimated by injuries to Alexis Ajinca and Omer Asik, both of whom are out for a few weeks. A deal with Greg Smith fell through after he failed a physical. Now, Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re signing former Knicks and Nets center Jerome Jordan as a short-term solution:

Jordan has only played 65 games in his career and hasn’t been spectacular, but the Pelicans need a body while their two centers are out. Anthony Davis will spend some time at center, but considering the contracts Asik and Ajinca got this summer, Alvin Gentry clearly plans on playing him at power forward as well, and they need a center to at least fill time before Asik and Ajinca get back.