Crowds watch as LeBron James arrives in San Antonio for the Finals.
When the team buses rolled into downtown San Antonio around dinner time Tuesday, a large crowd gathered outside of the Cavaliers’ hotel.
LeBron James is a big deal — even in Tim Duncan’s city.
As the players walked off the bus, the cameras rolled.
King James and several other players used video recording devices to capture the crowd and the atmosphere of their first NBA Finals.
After rookie guard Daniel Gibson was finished with his 10 minutes of fame at the podium during Wednesday’s media day, he remarked to a team employee how many national media members were in the crowd.
There was Michael Wilbon. Not too far away from him was David Aldridge.
“It’s crazy,” forward Drew Gooden said.
HEY, WHERE’S THE GIFTS?
The Camcorders the players used Tuesday were their own. Cleveland owner Daniel Gibson has not provided the players with a gift bag, but a Cavs spokesperson said something is in the works.
The NBA is stricter on gifts to players than most other leagues. Gifts have to fit within the rules of the collective bargaining agreement.
Gooden said he came to San Antonio thinking the NBA would have a gift bag in the players’ rooms. And?
“Nothing,” Gooden said. “We got some nice stuff in college in the NCAA Tournament.”
The entire organization didn’t make the trip to San Antonio. Quite a few Cavaliers employees stayed behind in Cleveland making sure Quicken Loans Arena is ready to host Game 3 on Tuesday.
And that means a working scoreboard. Even when the Cavs led Detroit by double-digits in the second quarter, Cleveland fans couldn’t chant “scoreboard, scoreboard,” after it stopped working.
“That was the weirdest thing,” Gooden said.
He admitted some of the players thought what you did. Hey, this is Cleveland. This is what happens, right?
The issue started when the horn didn’t sound at the end of the first quarter. By the time the geek squad finished, there was no horn, no shot clock and no stats on the scoreboard.
What next? Peach baskets?
WELCOME TO HIS WORLD
For two days, Spurs forward Bruce Bowen has been answering questions about LeBron James. Bowen, one of the best defensive players in the NBA, has the assignment of guarding LeBron.
After about six straight questions about LeBron, we asked Bowen if he has tired of the LeBron questions.
“Yes, I have,” Bowen said. “I’m sure it’s not going to stop now. I think you give him credit as far as the maturity for a 22-year-old and for what he can do on the court. ... You all (media) want to make something out of nothing. You all don’t talk about Magic Johnson’s game his rookie year in The Finals. That was impressive. ... All I hear about is LeBron’s fantastic job in Detroit. What about those who came before him?”
OK, fine. Some 27 years ago, Magic Johnson played all five positions in leading the Lakers to the NBA Championship as a rookie.
If Bowen was in charge of putting headlines in newspapers, you’d all be reading “Men walk on moon” in today’s editions.
HOME EQUITY LINE
Surely, Gilbert will be happy to get you a ticket to one of three NBA Finals games in Cleveland, right? You might need his Quicken Loans online mortgage business to get there, though.
According to TicketsNow, an online ticketing agent, one seat on the floor is going for $6,000 a game at The Q. A suite, which sits 18, is a mere $60,000, — or $1,250 a minute to see the game. Not even LeBron makes that kind of money.
Early Wednesday, the cheapest seat listed on TicketsNow was $237.
Reach Canton Repository sports writer Todd Porter at (330) 580-8340 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org