Cavs sympathetic to James' plight
Chris Mihm said the prep standout's advisors let him down.
CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers, with the worst record in the NBA, naturally hope to finish first in the draft lottery to get high school phenom LeBron James.
In the meantime, Cavaliers players were supportive Sunday of James, whose career at nationally top-ranked Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary is on hold for accepting two free replica jerseys.
"I just wish he could finish his high school career because that's what it's all about," said rookie guard Dajuan Wagner. "LeBron's my man, we've talked a lot about that. He's told me how much he wanted to win the state championship.
"But you show me an 18-year-old who will turn down free jerseys of Wes Unseld and Gale Sayers. He should not be deprived of the fun of high school ball because of that."
Wagner averaged 42.5 points in high school, once scored 100 in a New Jersey prep game, and left college after only one season. He understands the attention accorded James.
"I had a lot of people after me, too, but I was lucky," said Wagner, who is averaging 14.5 points in 33 games as a professional. "I had my dad. He warned me what to expect."
Wagner's father Milt helped Louisville win the 1986 NCAA championship and the Los Angeles Lakers win the NBA title in 1988.
Cavaliers forward Jumaine Jones said he is upset at the Ohio High School Athletic Association's decision to ban James.
"To keep on investigating him was not necessary," Jones said. "He's a good kid. Leave him alone.
"They didn't find anything with the Hummer, but kept looking at little things, too. You look hard enough at anybody, something is going to look funny."
James' mother Gloria gave her son the $50,000-plus Hummer as a gift. The OHSAA investigated to see if the vehicle was paid for by another source, but cleared him of any wrongdoing. Two days later, James was disqualified for accepting free jerseys worth $845.
Cavs center Chris Mihm believes James needs better advisors.
"There are always people trying to get close to an athlete," Mihm said. "That's part of being in the public spotlight and you have to be wary.
"I had people try to give me stuff or get me to deal with them and you just have to think things through. I wish those around LeBron had given him better advice."