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Get it?! His last name is LeBron! Irony! No, not THE LeBron as in LeBron James. Instead, the Cleveland Indians announced the signing of three players to minor league deals Friday, including right-hander Willy Lebron, who used to pitch in the Kansas City Royals system and for the World Cup team of the Dominican Republic. Lebron, who is 32 years old, struck out 72 with a 3.02 ERA in 65 innings between Double-A and Triple-A in 2011. He also has a mysterious three-season gap in his playing career from 2002-2004.
Might he have been practicing his free throws during this time?
Not only is Indians’ GM Chris Antonetti risking a fan revolt by bringing Lebron back to Cleveland, but the guy wears No. 19 — same as late Hall of Famer Bob Feller. Is there no length to which The King will go to irritate Ohio? [David Brown/Big League Stew]
Michael Jordan’s high school coach, Clifton Herring, was recently featured in SI… and then police found a dead body at his house. Detectives with the Wilmington Police Department found a body while searching a home in Wilmington Friday for evidence relating to a missing person’s case, and WECT has learned that one of three men arrested at the home the night before used to be Michael Jordan’s basketball coach while he attended Laney High School.
Police arrested Clifton Herring in the 1100 block of Cowan Street on Thursday night, while investigating reports of the missing woman. [WECT/NBC]
Gotta feel good about the Cavs at this point. Kyrie Irving was brought in with high expectations for Cavs fans but seemed to have been given the “limited ceiling” tag from the NBA draft “experts.” It seems the consensus was that he’ll be a nice player, potentially an all-star, and the safest player in a weak draft. I can’t fault them too much having only 11 games in college to predict off of.
However, fast forward 11 NBA games. I’m going out on a limb and saying this kid is going to be a star. His athleticism was vastly underrated and gives him the ability to score at all three levels on a defense. He can get all the way to the rim, stop with a floater, pull up from midrange, and burn you from deep if you go below the screen or sag off. He has a leadership quality about him demonstrated by the respect he’s already commanding from his teammates and his cheerleading on and off the floor. Improvements need to be made in reducing turnovers and increasing his conditioning but the ceiling is sky high for this young man.
To put Kyrie Irving’s start in perspective, and not to compare the two players, but Lebron James’ first 11 games with the Cavs had him averaging 16.5 and 6.5 assts/game. The Cavs were 4-7 and he accumulated four 20+ scoring games over that span while averaging over 40 mins per game. Kyrie, in only 27 mins per game, has scored 20 or more 6 times, averages 17 and 5 assists and the Cavs are 5-6 having played 8 of 11 on the road. He’s not Lebron James. I’m simply stating it’s time for Cavs fans to get REAL excited about the potential of Kyrie Irving [Bill Nagel/Stepien Rules]
An exhaustive list of NBA-related twitter accounts. [Peter Robert Casey]