2003-01-11 / Sports

Decision And The Path of Life Are Made By Men

Sports Columnist
By Elio Velez
Decision And The Path of Life Are Made By Men By Elio Velez Sports Columnist

Sports Columnist


17 year old Lebron James is the 6-7 240 pound soon to be first selection in the 2003 NBA Draft.17 year old Lebron James is the 6-7 240 pound soon to be first selection in the 2003 NBA Draft.

Hello everybody and Happy New Year to all. Before I start screaming about the New York Giants, I just wanted to spotlight a paragraph from Kevin Boyle’s column in this week’s issue.

"**Calling all baseball players---Jimmy Roberts will be conducting another "power pitching" clinic at the Brooklyn Sports Club (from what I hear, a great facility at Starrett City) on January 25. Keep an eye on Wave advertisements and (hopefully) the sports section for more details."

Hopefully?!! Hopefully?!!, Kevin, if you had mentioned to me, or left a message to me about Jimmy Roberts, I would gladly place the item in our sports section. It would have also been nice for you to mention who Jimmy Roberts is because I’m not sure what organization he may represent.

Kevin is often in the Wave office and we talk about sports and the peninsula. That is the time he should be talking about important stories that I might not yet be aware of. It is not the time to do that when the event is past and he chides The Wave for not doing the proper job.

This is not the first time Mr. Boyle has decided to take a swipe at our sports section, which has garnered praise up and down the peninsula, the Internet, and outside the area. As a human being and with flaws, I may not get to every story and will disappoint people along the way because of it.

I have not appreciated that in 2002, Boyle mentioned many times my failure to cover stories or to inform the community of upcoming sports programs. There are times when I do not have the ability to find out everything that occurs on this peninsula.

I don’t appreciate someone hiding behind a column to make snidely remarks about the sports section. And in the case of Mr. Boyle, for someone who comes to this newspaper to bring copies of his new books to sell to the public, and who neglects to tell me of information that I can put in the newspaper, it just makes me a little angry.

*****

I believe Rolfe says it best in this week’s issue on why the Giants so fantastically fail to win against the 49ers. I will add these few words. The Giants lost their composure with stupid penalties on the field by Shaun Williams and from the sidelines by a Dan Campbell helmet kick was eerily similar to the Giants 10 point lead and subsequent loss to the Vikings back in 1997. Disgusting. Sad.

*****

The celebration by ESPN of Lebron James, the high school phenom and can’t miss NBA superstar is getting a bit out of hand but in character of what the network does. Of course ESPN broadcasts his high school games. With the acquisition of the NBA package this season, they need the next maybe Jordan to fill up their programming.

What should the 6-7, 240 pound guard James do with all of this attention? Milk it for all its worth. James is not going to college and why should he? If he went to play at Duke or Louisville, coaches Mike Krzyzewski and Rick Pitino will use James to make money out of their endorsements with the shoe companies and the universities make money out of endorsements and TV contracts. James won’t even see a dime of it.

It’s not to say that James or any other top basketball recruit won’t get anything under the table but what is the point of being an amateur? The athlete doesn’t get paid for his services and more times than not, the athlete won’t even be in the classroom to read and write. The athlete was not brought there to learn Shakespeare, he is there to learn the pick and roll.

So when Phil Mushnick complains of how the media is exploiting Lebron James and his inability to go to college, the answer to his problems is not always college. James world is this: a single mother is raising him, lived with relatives and family friends at an early age, has questionable friends and advisors and used by his high school, St. Vincent-St. Mary, to make money from showing basketball games on pay per view.

For James, who is compared to Kobe Bryant, to choose the millions that await him with the shoe companies and the NBA, it is his right. And that is what we should remember.

Until next week, Peace.


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