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12:24 AM Mon, Dec. 17th

Plays well with others

The NBA lost me years ago, but the LeBron James saga definitely piqued my interest. I've had more fun this summer following the free agent moves of the league than I have watching its games the past several seasons. In fact, I've spent hours following LBJ and the rest on Stern's Island against the five minutes I gave to watching games this season.

There are good guys in the NBA. You can't help but like the Suns' Steve Nash and his foundation that is "dedicated to assisting underserved children in their health, personal development, education and enjoyment of life." The Spurs' Tim Duncan has a foundation that "has raised (more than) $650,000 to support its mission by supporting non-profit organizations and programs in South Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and in North Carolina."

I wanted to tell you about a third mega-star of the NBA, but I couldn't think of one worth admiring. I'm not the leader in NBA knowledge, but this tells me a lot. I can't think of another to admire.

There is a lot to be negative about regarding the NBA, but the flak that LeBron James has received since leaving Cleveland for Miami is somewhat unwarranted. Yes, the way he left Cleveland wasn't the best way of going about it. But it's his home, and Cavalier fans can whine about it if they want. Besides, it's Cleveland.

According to some stories, James found out he got along and played well with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh at the 2008 Olympics. The three became friends and wanted to play together. What's so wrong about friends wanting to play together?

I think we've all done that at times. I had a small clique when I lived in California that played basketball and softball together. We were on the same teams, so why can't these guys do that?

One argument I've recently read is that LeBron wants to be more like Magic than he does Michael. He wants to be around players he can make better like Magic did, rather than being the focal point as was Michael. LeBron is going to become a better player because he has others with him who can handle the late-game shots. I'm sure if opposing teams sag off LeBron to defend Wade and Bosh, he'll make them pay.

LeBron's way of leaving Cleveland wasn't the most gracious way of handling his departure. But I've come to admire him because he knows his limitations.