Thursday, February 18, 2010

Three-team trade good for James, Jamison

If you follow me on Twitter (@bstuntin), then whether you like it or not, you're well aware that I'm a pretty big LeBron James fan. And as a seventh-year senior at the University of North Carolina, you could imagine my excitement when I heard that Wizards forward, and UNC alum, Antawn Jamison was headed to Cleveland in a three-team trade.

While a large part of my excitement is derived from the fact that I'm looking for the upper hand in the LeBron > Kobe debate, I was even happier for Jamison. He is a two-time all-star (who has deserved the honor many more times) and a consummate professional. But late-season success at both the college and professional levels as eluded him.

As a Tar Heel in 1998, Jamison averaged 19.0 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, earning him the Naismith and Wooden Awards as the nation's most outstanding player. Those accolades qualified him to become just the seventh player in North Carolina history to have his number retired. During the Final Four that year, Jamison's Tar Heels (which included Vince Carter, and some argue was the best UNC team ever), were stunned by Utah in the semifinals.

The following June, Jamison became the first pick of the Toronto Raptors (No. 4 overall), and was swapped for Carter, landing him with Golden State Warriors. And in a situation that is eerily similar to that of Al Thornton, who comes to Washington from the Los Angeles Clippers in the deal, Jamison escaped one lowly franchise only to join another.

So finally, after 11 NBA seasons, Jamison will again get his shot.

His addition to the Cavs is a complete game changer. His ability to defend, and to score, in the post will help neutralize players like Pau Gasol of the Lakers and Dwight Howard of the Magic, while giving Cleveland the clear advantage against just about everyone else in the league.

It's now or never for the team who's future is completely up to chance.


katherine said...

I'm with you all the way! I'm so glad he will be able to contribute toward a common goal and actually be able to reach it.

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