The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
LeBron James Dodges NBA Draft
Originally posted 6/30/2003

James in Toronto earlier this week
NEW YORK - Basketball fans the world over were stunned on Thursday when LeBron James, the first overall pick in the NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, dodged the draft by fleeing to Canada. NBA commissioner David Stern announced Cleveland's pick as the assembled crowd at New York's Madison Square Garden cheered, waiting for James to take the stage. Minutes passed, and a search of the area turned up no sign of the 18-year-old high school phenom.

"I just couldn't face the idea of having to go play in Cleveland," James said when reached for comment via cellphone from outside Toronto. "They're not any good, they never been any good, and they never will be any good."

"Needless to say, I'm very upset by this news," said newly-hired Cavaliers coach Paul Silas. "We all know that nobody wants to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but when you're called to do so, it becomes your duty. For a young man like LeBron to shirk his responsibilities like this is sad."

NBA analyst and dirty hippie Bill Walton defended James, however. "LeBron is not a serf or an indentured servant, compelled to do the bidding of his corporate masters," Walton said. "The Cleveland Cavaliers are an unjust franchise, trying to force LeBron James to play an unjust schedule. James has shown a lot more courage then the rest of these glassy-eyed, 'yes sir, no sir' types who mindlessly go wherever they're told. It's like the Grateful Dead sang so many years ago: 'Walk into splintered sunlight/Inch your way through dead dreams to another land. Maybe you're tired and broken/Your tongue is twisted with words half spoken and thoughts unclear... What do you want me to do, to do for you to see you through? A box of rain will ease the pain, and love will see you through.' Think about THAT next time before you criticize LeBron."

Commissioner Stern said that James has until the beginning of training camp to report for duty in the Cleveland Cavaliers lineup, or he will be considered in violation of league bylaws.

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