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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Saturday / December 16.
  • Xavier's Crawford Dunks on LeBron, Nike Takes Tapes; James Staying With Cavs?; Irving May Tweet Commitment

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    Here are few interesting updates from the guys at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Akron, Ohio…

    **Xavier’s Jordan Crawford, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound guard, dunked on King James during a pickup game Monday night involving LeBron and the college players in attendance.

    “I was on the right wing and went down the middle. I got past Danny Green and LeBron was waiting under the basket. I don’t think he thought I was going to dunk it, so he jumped late. It was two-handed,” Crawford told Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com.

    “Yeah, it happened, and it was bad,” Michael Gilchrist of Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick, the top player in the Class of 2011, told Gary Parrish of CBS Sports. “That was something to see.”

    Turns out Nike basketball senior director Lynn Merritt confiscated evidence of the dunk by seizing the tapes of freelancer Ryan Miller, who had been filming for about 15 minutes.

    “The worst part is I’m not even sure I had the shot of the dunk,” Miller told Goodman. “They might have taken it for no reason.”

    **Speaking of James, Chris Broussard of ESPN is reversing course, saying LeBron denies that he told Trevor Ariza he would stay in Cleveland beyond 2010 when he becomes a free agent.

    “Sources close to LeBron who have spoken with him say that story is not true,” Broussard told SportsCenter. “They say he never told Trevor Ariza he was staying in Cleveland past 2010.”

    In a story on ESPN.com earlier, Broussard wrote the opposite:

    “Trevor asked LeBron if he would be in Cleveland after next season,” a source told Broussard. “And LeBron said, ‘I’ll be there. Of course, I’ll be there.'”

    **Broussard also reporting that talks between Avery Johnson and the Pistons have ended because the two sides could not reach a deal. Cavaliers assistant John Kuester is the leading candidate to succeed the fired Michael Curry, but Paul Silas and Dave Cowens are both being mentioned by Broussard as well.

    **Another interesting note from LeBron comes via Tweet from Dustin Rumbaugh, who says St. Patrick guard Kyrie Irving “did say he might Tweet his commitment out when it happens so everyone gets to know.”

    The 6-1 Irving is considering UConn, Georgia Tech, Duke, Indiana, Seton Hall, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Florida, Marquette and Kentucky. He has taken unofficials to UConn, Indiana and Texas A&M and says he plans to take more in August.

    As reported here earlier this week, Irving and Gilchrist are considering playing together in college, possibly at Kentucky.

    Hey Kyrie, don’t you know it could put all the recruiting guys out of business if you Tweet your own commitment? LOL…could start an interesting trend though.

    **And speaking of the good folks at Twitter, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has dropped his lawsuit against the company.

    A one-paragraph statement filed June 26 with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco says La Russa had dropped all claims — and that San Francisco-based Twitter did not compensate him in exchange.

    Calls and e-mails to La Russa’s and Twitter’s attorneys, and to Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, were not immediately returned Tuesday.

    La Russa’s lawsuit alleged trademark infringement, “cybersquatting” and misappropriation of his name. It claimed an unauthorized page that used his name caused emotional distress by making light of his DUI charge and the deaths of two Cardinals pitchers in recent seasons.

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    (AP contributed)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

    • Who is Xavier Crawford ?