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Miller Is Keeping His LeBrons

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James may be one of the least-liked NBA players among Washington Wizards fans -- and DeShawn Stevenson. New Cleveland Cavaliers center Shaquille O'Neal, got a taste of the hatred when he hosted WWE "Monday Night Raw" at Verizon Center in July and got booed at the mere mention of the name, "LeBron James."

But you'll have to pardon Wizards newcomer Mike Miller if he doesn't share their disdain. Miller said he has known James since he entered the league in 2003 and told me that the two became even better friends when they were teammates on Team USA's squad in the FIBA Americas Basketball Championships in Las Vegas in the summer of 2007.

As I mentioned in my notebook today, Miller's relationship with James is so strong that he even named a son after James's business partner Maverick Carter. "Ever since I met Maverick, I liked the name and Maverick is a good dude," Miller said, explaining why he named his 6-year-old son Maverick.

Miller has taken some heat since joining the Wizards for wearing James's signature sneaker, Nike Zoom Soldier III. Stevenson told Miller, "LeBron shoes -- we off that." But until the shoes give him problems, Miller is sticking with them. And, he will be wearing them tonight when the Wizards face the Cavaliers.

Antawn Jamison initially urged Miller to ditch the kicks but has since backed off. "I told him it was okay," said Jamison, the team captain who shares the same agent as Miller.

Miller said he didn't know how intense the rivalry was between the Wizards and the Cavaliers, who ousted Washington in the first round its past three playoff appearances. "I'm starting to understand what it is. There definitely is a competitive little atmosphere," Miller said.

But Miller said he wouldn't let his friendship with James keep him from wanting to beat him. "He's a great basketball player," Miller said of James. "You always have friends in the league. That's how it is. The ball goes up, it's going to be us against them. It doesn't matter who it is."

Caron Butler, the newest Hoopshype.com blogger, also shares a friendship with James, despite ending up on the losing end in their three playoff matchups. "He's a great player, a great talent," Butler said of James. "Basketball is one thing, but off the court is another. There are certain people you respect. You respect their accomplishments and like a soldier, you salute them. We share a mutual respect."

Butler said he talks to James often, but on his blog he writes: "Mike Miller, whom I love, has to take those LeBron shoes off. That's just not acceptable around here. You heard that, Mike!"

New Wizards Coach Flip Saunders is a native of the Cleveland suburb, Cuyahoga Heights and led the Detroit Pistons in two playoff series against Cleveland, beating them in the conference semifinals in 2006 and losing the next year in conference finals. Once again, Saunders is leading a team that isn't well liked by his hometown fans.

"All I hear is that there isn't a lot of love between the two organizations. Healthy rivalries are always good. When you have a healthy rivalry, both teams have respect for each other. I'm looking forward to getting back."

Stevenson, whose dislike of James is very personal, said he is really looking forward to this game, preseason or otherwise. "I'm sure it's going to be a playoff atmosphere," he said. "They got Shaq. We're going to go out there and try to win that game. I know I am. They got a great team. Everybody that's been here for the playoff runs, I think it's going to be serious. It's going to be an exciting game."

James, though, may not be available for the game tonight. He is under the weather today and is questionable.

By Michael Lee  |  October 14, 2009; 12:29 PM ET
 
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Next: Wizards (2-2) at Cavaliers (3-0), LeBron James Out

Comments

1st!!!!

And this time its from Brazil!!!

Go wiz!!

Posted by: vinnycoimbra | October 14, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

MEshawn MEtawn and Fluff Juice, stop being jealous and let ur boy M&M ball. i guess he should hang from gil's sack like DS and wear his shoes. rivalry? people wore jordans while he played and mike embarassed folks on the reg.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 14, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Come on, Mike!! Don't blow a perfect opportunity to rip LeBron. Rewrite your last paragraph to read,

"James, though, may not be available for the game tonight. He is under the weather today, was touching his lip to check for blood, and is questionable."

See how simple?

Posted by: disgruntledfan | October 14, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if anyone else noticed or cared, but Mike Miller was adidas before this season and actually wore the original Gils.

Posted by: danger36 | October 14, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Just thought it was interesting. They were also in mid-cuts, something we know gil would never wear.

Posted by: danger36 | October 14, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"Basketball is one thing, but off the court is another. There are certain people you respect. You respect their accomplishments and like a soldier, you salute them. We share a mutual respect."

Does anyone know what CB has accomplished?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 14, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

he said he used to drink a whole 2 liter of the Mountain Dew before games, i'd say making it to halftime before he peed on himself was an accomplishment.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 14, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Agree with "disgruntledfan", here is my take:

James, though, may not be available for the game tonight. He is under his bed today and is still sucking his thumb.

Posted by: JohnWWW | October 14, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Mike is this game televised? Anywhere? Why is it I can find the Knicks, Bucks, Sixers, and bulls but no home team wiz? Anybody have anything?

By the way, if the shoes are a good fit for M&M then so be it. I would love to see how BTK and J McGee sqauare against Shaq.

Posted by: Gooddad | October 14, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

@bulletsfan78: Direct from the NBA's player profile, Caron Butler:

* Is a two-time NBA All-Star (2007, 2008)...
* Is joined by LeBron James as the only two players in the NBA to average at least 20 points, six rebounds and four assists per game in each of the last two seasons...
* Was the only NBA player to average at least 20 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals per game in 2007-08, and became the first player to do so since LeBron James and Larry Hughes in 2004-05…
* Recorded his first three career triple-doubles in 2007-08…
* Was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the week of 1/15/07 – 1/21/07…Combined with Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison to form the highest-scoring teammate trio in the NBA (67.4 points per game) in 2005-06…
* Named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2002-03.

Posted by: tundey | October 14, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

tundey

He said "Basketball is one thing, but off the court is another".

What has he done off of the court?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 14, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Good for Mike acting all mavericky and wearing the NZS-IIIs. Now he can kick LeBron's butt with his own shoe.

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 14, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Gooddad

The game is on ComcastSportsNetwork and NBA TV.

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 14, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure LeBron probably has someone to suck his thumb for him. I'll be Cleveland fans (groupies) would be all too willing.

Posted by: original_mark | October 14, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

"I would love to see how BTK and J McGee sqauare against Shaq."

In one of Shaqs standard crap-talking rants a month ago, he went on and on about how Saunders never mentions when "I busted his butt" and for Flip to "tell Haywood and Mcgee I am coming for them"

so you'll get your wish

Posted by: divi3 | October 14, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

WHAT !!! A Wiz preseason game actually televised? Maybe if the league finds out James isnt playing (emergency bloody lip surgery), they'll cancel the telecast.

Posted by: original_mark | October 14, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

He said "Basketball is one thing, but off the court is another".

What has he done off of the court?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 14, 2009 2:25 PM


Dude - my haywood rants were sheer lunacy, ut this is complete idiocy. What are you even talking about?

Butler was saying that he hates James (in a competitive way) on the court but off court they are friends.

Did that just go over your head or were you joking? I assume you were joking, but irony does not translate well to the written word.

Posted by: Blurred | October 14, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Firuz1

Thanks for the game, 411

Posted by: Gooddad | October 14, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

He said "Basketball is one thing, but off the court is another".

What has he done off of the court?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 14, 2009 2:25 PM


Dude - my haywood rants were sheer lunacy, ut this is complete idiocy. What are you even talking about?

Butler was saying that he hates James (in a competitive way) on the court but off court they are friends.

Did that just go over your head or were you joking? I assume you were joking, but irony does not translate well to the written word.

Posted by: Blurred | October 14, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

sorry. my page didn't update

Posted by: Blurred | October 14, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

in a perfect world lebron and shaq's will mirror that of brendan and etan

Posted by: bford1kb | October 14, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Don't know how many of you heard Kornheiser this morning on his show explaining why he never would have resigned Gilbert for the amount of money that Abe Polin did.

It was like hearing the words of DCMan88 coming out of Tony Kornheiser's mouth.

He said in a nutshell, that Gilbert was not worth that investment because Gilbert has no respect for any authority other than himself. He goes on to say that, Yes, Gilbert is a good player, but not in the class of Lebron and Kolby.

I am listening to this and then Tony asks his other hosts, "Am I wrong on this?", and they all chime in "No, not in the least."

Wow! Wow!! Wow!!!

Let me say, I am a Kornheiser Fan, and a Gilbert Fan as you already know, but this is why everyday Joe's, players, fans, bloggers, should not take everything you hear to heart.

Apparently, comments like these coming from folks like Kornheiser would cause folks like Gilbert and Art Monk, just to throw somebody else in, to make unwise decisions to not speak to the press.

The press, talk show hosts, all media hosts can be brutal, but their opinions can be just as asinine as anybody elses.

Do you hear me Gilbert. Don't give them the satisfaction of determining your actions. By not speaking, and when you do respond, by responding unprofessionally, only lends credence to there assertions whether they are dead wrong or dead right.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 14, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Kornheiser will be the first aboard the Bullets bandwagon.

Posted by: divi3 | October 14, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

It was like hearing the words of DCMan88 coming out of Tony Kornheiser's mouth.
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 14, 2009 3:14 PM

are u dense? DC_Man88 is Tony Kornheiser. And kalo_rama is Ivan Carter-- tell everyone!

Posted by: prescrunk | October 14, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Kornheiser is an entertaining read, but for someone who has been paid to watch and comment of sports for 40 years, he seems to have very little understanding of any sport.

He is like the gossip columnist of sports. he comments on the personalities, not the play. I wouldn't ask Miss Manners to give me a review of the new Jay-Z album, so why anyone would want Kornheiser to give them insight into a player or teams abilities is beyond me.

he is more interested in the business and hype of sports than the actual competition.

Posted by: Blurred | October 14, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey, what's with all the CB hating! He's our best all-around player, IMHO. If he repects LJ, so be it. I'm sure LJ respects him, too. But, on the court, no Wizard plays harder and with more passion. If he stays healthy, this should be another All-Star year for him.

Posted by: paulstutz14 | October 14, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Kornheiser stopped being a real sports journalist a long time ago. He's an entertainer now, for all intents and purposes. If you read/listen to him as anything other than that, you're missing the point.

That said, I have no problem with his stance on Arenas (which is not anything new, he was saying the same thing before Gilbert actually signed the new deal). I don't necessarily agree with his conclusion, but there's some merit to the foundation of his argument.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 14, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

TK loves basketball, and I think his morning show will reflect that as the season gets underway- especially if the zards are looking good

Posted by: divi3 | October 14, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Tony Kornheiser gives hope to all those geeky kids who wanted to be sportswriters but were stopped by the fact that they didn't really know much about sports.

Tony showed them knowledge is just not that important.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 14, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Dagger!

Posted by: VBFan | October 14, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

78', just when I thought you got over trashing Wizards just to trash them, you go after Butler.

Off the court, Tough Juice spends a lot of time working with troubled youth. His own life story has real meaning to kids that have screwed up, and end up, locked up.

Any man that has the courage to share his own screw ups and worst moments in life to help others, can't be expected to do much more...

Of all the sports, basketball is the one Kornheiser might actually watch. Sometimes at least...

For years when he was doing his other radio show, he'd freely admit he seldom either watched or attended sporting events. He's had such a multitasking schedule for so many years, he just doesn't have the time. Or the attention span.

You could often hear him catching up on the story of the day during his radio show. He'd say, I missed that one because I went to bed. He'd ask every quest for their take. Then that afternoon he'd being on PTI talking about the same thing like he saw it all.

As Wilbon Says,That's our Tony...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | October 14, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Good one Samson...

Ole' 88's reporting career still has a chance...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | October 14, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert has shown some disrespect in the past, when he embarassed EJ and coaching staff by coming back unannounced and at other times.

The thing I take most issue with, though, is EG let him get away with it. It is one of the few things I ding EG for. It was like well EJ was not my hire, so what.

Posted by: cannontl | October 14, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

So...rather than run on about TK, how about this:

Everyone post their prediction for wins this season, plus who, if any wizards will make the allstar team and also any MVP, MIP, 6th Man, etc awards Wizards will win.

Mine is:

53 wins (I used to say 56, but I was just excited)

AJ and GA go All Star
GA gets comeback player
JaVale gets MIP

Posted by: Blurred | October 14, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

are u dense? DC_Man88 is Tony Kornheiser. And kalo_rama is Ivan Carter-- tell everyone!

Posted by: prescrunk | October 14, 2009 3:25 PM

Prescrunk,

I'm LMAO at that. I've heard that Kal is Ivan, but not that 88 is Tony. Thats funny as fire.

Really.

LarryInClintonMD.

And yes I know that Tony is a Intertainer, and he is good and I like his stuff, but when these young ballplayers hear that, what do they think?

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 14, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

and javale gets MVP for the Rookie/Sophemore game

the question is, should he join the dunk contest?

Posted by: Blurred | October 14, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Why the hell should Arenas give a rat's ass what Kornheiser says about him?

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 14, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Entertainer

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 14, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Good Point. Though, do we really know?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 14, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert is overpaid, but so are lots of players. The question is: can you move them. With his knees, there's no moving Gilbert. For better or worse, he's ours for years to come.

Posted by: jweber1 | October 14, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"The question is: can you move them. With his knees, there's no moving Gilbert. For better or worse, he's ours for years to come."

The Warriors and Kings offered Gil a ton of money, more per year than we did.

If Gil plays at his Agent Zero level this season and stays healthy, he's worth the money and other teams would take him.

But if he's back to his old abilities, there's no reason we'd want to move him.

Posted by: divi3 | October 14, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

In the scheme of things, all pro athletes are overpaid. However, athletes are paid to put butts in the seats, hungry mouths at the concession stands and eyeballs on the TV.

Gil does that pretty well. Not as well as Kobe or LeBron, but pretty well.

Posted by: Blurred | October 14, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

"are u dense? DC_Man88 is Tony Kornheiser. And kalo_rama is Ivan Carter-- tell everyone!

Posted by: prescrunk | October 14, 2009 3:25 PM

Prescrunk,

I'm LMAO at that. I've heard that Kal is Ivan, but not that 88 is Tony. Thats funny as fire.

Really.

LarryInClintonMD.

And yes I know that Tony is a Intertainer, and he is good and I like his stuff, but when these young ballplayers hear that, what do they think?

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 14, 2009 4:30 PM "

And Larry is really Phil Chenier.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 14, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Eminem had an absolutely stupid reason for naming his son after LeBron's manager.

Is he going to name his next son after LeBron's landscaper because he liked how he cut the grass?

Miguel Miller..Jesus Miller....Juan Miller....Luis Miller....Fernando Miller....all sound like good options.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 14, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Dcman:

you obviously missed the allure of alliteration.

and you obviously are racist.

Posted by: Blurred | October 14, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Maverick Miller is a pretty cool sounding name, actually.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 14, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

"Dcman:

you obviously missed the allure of alliteration.

and you obviously are racist.

Posted by: Blurred | October 14, 2009 5:45 PM "

This coming from someone with a handle called "blurred."

How appropriate.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 14, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"James, though, may not be available for the game tonight. He is under the weather today, was touching his lip to check for blood, and is questionable."

Posted by: disgruntledfan | October 14, 2009 1:11 PM

classic!

Posted by: crs-one | October 14, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't get it? What has "blurred" to do with alliteration or racism? Oh I get it, you mistook the alliteration of "blurred" with the term "allure."

Wow. I guess that is appropriate!

Posted by: Blurred | October 14, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse


Butler was saying that he hates James (in a competitive way) on the court but off court they are friends.

Did that just go over your head or were you joking? I assume you were joking, but irony does not translate well to the written word.

Posted by: Blurred | October 14, 2009 2:57 PM

+1

i'm sure he wasn't joking. either a case of poor reading comprehension or the blatant ignorance thereof.

Posted by: crs-one | October 14, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert is overpaid, but so are lots of players. The question is: can you move them. With his knees, there's no moving Gilbert. For better or worse, he's ours for years to come.

Posted by: jweber1 | October 14, 2009 4:57 PM

------------

agreed. although if he proves his knees this year (fingers crossed) we could probably move him.

then again, if he proves himself moveable, would we really want to move him?

and by we, i don't mean anyone whose handle ends in an 8

Posted by: crs-one | October 14, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Yo 78,

Questioning Caron? CB's a rock-solid player and he does a lot off the court besides just shill for Gatorade and McDonald's.

CB has just as many rings as LeBron. I'd say they both still have plenty to prove.

Posted by: billb8 | October 14, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Happy BirthDay John Wooden...

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 14, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

CB has just as many rings as LeBron. I'd say they both still have plenty to prove.

Posted by: billb8 | October 14, 2009 6:35 PM

What are the odds that Caron gets the ring first.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 14, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

What are the odds that Caron gets the ring first.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | October 14, 2009 6:45 PM

If Caron gets traded to the Lakers or Orlando, I like Caron's chances.

Posted by: Firuz1 | October 14, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DCExpress | October 14, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

"I don't get it? What has "blurred" to do with alliteration or racism? Oh I get it, you mistook the alliteration of "blurred" with the term "allure."

Wow. I guess that is appropriate!

Posted by: Blurred | October 14, 2009 6:05 PM "

Your perception of anything, especially basketball, is blurred.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 14, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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