LeBron James made a surprise appearance at the Chris Chambers City League Classic over the weekend, which takes place in Warrensville Heights, Ohio. It’s not exactly Cleveland, but being less than 20 miles away, it’s not far from there, either. So it might come as a bit of a surprise that the crowd received him with seemingly nothing but cheers at the event.
But really, it shouldn’t.
If you’re one of the lucky few in attendance at a small summer league game, and one of the best players in the world walks in and laces ’em up unexpectedly to put on a show, there’s not going to be any animosity, no matter how coldly he left your beloved Cavaliers in free agency. It’s summertime, and the livin’s easy. You’re simply thrilled that you got to be that close to watch a star of LeBron’s stature perform, and you’re going to tell all your friends how awesome it was.
Nothing is going to change, of course, the next time James comes to Cleveland to play an NBA game as a member of the Miami Heat. The boos will rain down from the fans at the Q as loudly as ever, and as they rightfully should. But let’s not pretend that a summer league appearance like this one would (or should) result in the same kind of negative reaction.
Some highlights of LeBron’s performance, as well as some commentary from King James himself afterward, can be seen in the video clip below (via Dime).
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 Smithfell 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:
Pelicans are signing center Jerome Jordan to a make-good contract, agent Todd Ramasar confirmed to Yahoo. Ajinca & Asik are out to injuries.
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.
He’s back in practice with the Cavaliers, but there’s still no clarity on whether Kevin Love will be available for the season opener. Love had shoulder surgery in April after suffering a torn labrum in Game 4 of the Cavs’ first-round series against the Celtics, and doctors initially gave him a timetable of four to six months for a return. The six-month end of that is right around opening night (October 27), but Love still doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to play against the Bulls—although he is hopeful.
“I feel pretty good,” Love told Sporting News. “As far as the opener goes, I am not completely sure. I’ll probably get with the doctors and see what they have to say. I know that my six-month post-op is coming up here pretty fast. As far as getting the strength back, getting the range of motion, I feel pretty good, so I am looking forward to getting into some more contact, getting into a rhythm and getting out there as quickly as I can.”
Love has been cleared for 3-on-3 practices, but not yet for 5-on-5. If it were up to him, he’d be back on the court, but he understands he needs to follow the rehab protocol for his injury.
“(Six months is) just a ballpark figure that has generally been thrown out there by anybody who has talked about the rehab process for this kind of an injury,” Love said. “I like to think that I am ahead of the game, but there’s different tests and the due diligence that the doctor will go through and the training staff will go through. So all I can do is go out there every day and attack my rehab and hopefully I will be able to go out there and help these guys as soon as possible.”
At the very least, the Cavs will be without Kyrie Irving (still recovering from knee surgery) and Iman Shumpert (out up to three months with a wrist injury), and probably Tristan Thompson too, unless his contract situation changes unexpectedly. So having Love available would be some much-needed good news. But it’s more important that Love (and everyone else) is healthy for the playoffs. If he’s not ready to play, there’s no need to rush back for an October game.