HoopsHype.com Articles

Deep in controversy
by Bruce Meyer / February 6, 2003

- Is LeBron James worth the hype?

Chris Mihm: I played with him when he was up here during the summer a little bit. He's going to be a good player. For his age, I haven't seen many guys physically as mature as him and able to do the kind of stuff he does.

Darius Miles: Yes, he's definitely worth it.

Ricky Davis: He's like a lot of these other athletes out here who got a lot of hype in high school. It's pretty much the same to me. I was one of the guys who weren't really rated during high school. It's good for him. I wish I could have been there at my age group.

Dajuan Wagner: He's worth the hype. I've seen him play.

Bimbo Coles: He could be. I don't know for sure. We'll see next year. I played against him last summer and he carried himself well and played real well. But it wasn't against the top players in the league.

- Which NBA player would you most compare his game to and why?

Mihm: It's hard to say right now. He's got the guard skills in a big body, I'd say similar to someone like a driver/scorer like Kobe.

Miles: A young Scottie Pippen. He can pass real good, and he can get his teammates the ball. He can score, but he's not really gonna be the big scorer. He's gonna be like Scottie Pippen-the young one, though, not the old one.

Davis: I would compare him to LeBron. There's a lot of guys out here who can play in the league and have different kind of games. You've just got to see him develop in the NBA game. Once he gets in the NBA game you can kind of find out what kind of game he has then.

Wagner: A little bit of everybody. He's versatile.

Coles: I can't really compare him to anybody because his game's a little bit different. He can do a little bit of everything. He can shoot the ball, he can pass. I've seen him go right, left. He does a lot of things. You can't really compare him to anybody. You might someday see some people comparing themselves to LeBron James. But he's got a lot of different parts to his game that are very good.

- Do you think he's been exploited?

Mihm: Certainly there's a lot of people trying to cash in on him, but that's the nature of the business and something he's going to have to get used to. It changes quite a bit from high school to this level, so he's just going to have to surround himself with people he trusts and they can give him some good advice.

Miles: No. That's garbage. I can't believe they tried to suspend him over some jerseys.

Davis: He's been hyped up. Like I said, it's like any other high school player; Tracy McGrady, Kobe, the Lester Earls, the Tim Thomas'. I mean, it's pretty much the same to be; it's just another era, another guy who can play coming out who everyone's getting an opportunity to see.

Wagner: I don't know. He's worth all the hype, that's all I know.

Coles: For sure. They should let the kid finish his high school career because after this year, he won't get a break. He won't get no peace.

- What's your view on the latest event, where LeBron was ruled ineligible to play for accepting two jerseys, then granted a restraining order by a judge and suspended for two games? Was that whole thing fair?

Mihm: I think it was obviously dumb to take the jerseys in the first place. You have two months until the season's over. Everyone knows you can't accept gifts. I don't know if it was a gift from a family friend, or what the whole deal was, but I think he's just got to be smart about what he does now because he's going to be under a microscope. Obviously, I wish him the best and hope he gets to play, because I know what it's like to sit out, and I know he's trying to win the state title. But like I said, he just has to be smart about what he does.

Miles: I don't think [the original suspension] was fair. He's my bud. He's one of my close friends. He called me today and told me [about the temporary restraining order.]

Davis: I think it's kind of sad that that's a rule and that's what happens to a high school guy. But you just have to watch what you do. I lot of people want you to fail. You've just got to watch what you're doing and keep making the right decisions. I think the [restraining order] is great. Anything to get him back on the court. I think there's more people looking for him fail than looking for him to succeed. So I'm glad to see him back in business.

Wagner: I don't think it was fair. He's a kid. They should just let him play. I don't think it's fair for them to be following them everywhere. I think the judge's ruling was fair. That's good. Let him play.

Coles: I'm sure there's tons of high school guys out there accepting tons of stuff from department stores or athletic stores or whatever. Just because of who he is, they want to find something wrong with him.

- Who should take the main responsibility for the situation: LeBron, his school, his family, those around him?

Mihm: I think a little bit of everyone. He's a high school kid. Certainly, his family and the high school have to be in charge of helping him out and give him advice and keeping him free of a lot of these hassles.

Miles: They're gunning for him. They're watching his every move.

Davis: It could be from anywhere. It could be from people trying to set him up to people just being nice to giving him jerseys who didn't know the rules. It can come from any kind of angle. No one knows what really happened except the real person.

Wagner: I'm not gonna comment on that.

Coles: Probably the guy who gave the jerseys to him. You can't really hold anybody responsible for it because any kid would accept a jersey. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. So you can't hold anybody responsible. You can't follow him around everywhere and say, 'Don't do this,' or 'Don't do that.'

Bruce Meyer is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com

Tell us what you think about this article. E-mail us at HoopsHype@HoopsHype.com