.contact us |.about us

News > Sports News...
Teenage prospects out to make names for themselves
( 2003-06-26 09:19) (Agencies)

Towering teenagers LeBron, Darko and Carmello oozed confidence on Wednesday the day before their big NBA coming out party.

Blessed with size, skill and sizzle, LeBron James, Darko Milicic and Carmello Anthony are virtually certain to become the top three picks in Thursday's NBA Draft and destined to become known on a first-name basis by basketball fans around the world.

LeBron James, fresh from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, and poised to be tabbed number one by the Cleveland Cavaliers, has already conquered the sports sponsorship charts by winning a $90 million, seven-year deal with Nike.

"Image is not hard. I'm just being myself," the 18-year old said, large diamond studs shimmering from each ear.

"I hope you like me."

James is the most-hyped debutant since Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. In 1984, even Michael Jordan commanded just $2.5 million over five years for his first Nike deal.

A powerful 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m), 240 pounds (108.4 kg) forward who can dribble, shoot, pass, and explode to the hoop, James is not shy about his talents but remains humble.

"The most memorable person I've ever met is my mother. That's never going to change," he said of Gloria James, who nearly made him ineligible last season by buying him a $50,000 Hummer all-terrain vehicle in anticipation of his windfall.

"When I listen to someone like Jordan or Magic I give them all my attention but afterward I realise they are just saying the same things that Gloria James said. 'Stay focused.'"

Family is important to James. He called the Cavaliers family, the NBA his family and last week said he owed allegiance to Nike, who became family after his deal.


The 19-year-old Anthony is expected to be chosen third in the draft by the Denver Nuggets.

But the forward who as a freshman led Syracuse to the college title last season does not think he takes a backseat to anyone.

Anthony has sewn up his own Nike sponsorship deal, worth $18 to $20 million for five years and plans "to give back" to his drug-plagued Baltimore neighbourhood known as "The Pharmacy".

The second pick, owned by the Detroit Pistons, is expected to be Darko Milicic, a 7-foot (2.13 m) Serb who played professionally in Yugoslavia and turned 18 last week.

Milicic has only one modest sponsorship deal but is confident he will find his way.

"I'm not afraid of anything," Milicic said. 

  Today's Top News   Top SportsNews
+Chinese scientists get closer to SARS vaccine
( 2003-06-26)
+Finance Minster: China faces tough fiscal challenge
( 2003-06-26)
+Nuke component unearthed in Baghdad back yard
( 2003-06-26)
+U.S. cuts rate to 45-year low to spark recovery
( 2003-06-26)
+Beijing condemns Chen's push for referendum
( 2003-06-26)
+Queiroz confirmed as new Real boss
( 2003-06-26)
+Roddick wins as Rusedski explodes
( 2003-06-26)
+Teenage prospects out to make names for themselves
( 2003-06-26)
+Tennis-Wimbledon-Martin seeks to cool boycott threats
( 2003-06-26)
+Tennis-Wimbledon-Karlovic captures second Australian scalp
( 2003-06-26)
  Go to Another Section  
  Article Tools  
  E-Mail This Article
Print Friendly Format
        .contact us |.about us
  Copyright By chinadaily.com.cn. All rights reserved