Shannon should mesh well with LeBron

Cavaliers’ first-round pick Shannon Brown and LeBron James aren’t exactly strangers to one another. They met and became quick buddies back when they were both high school stars and have played on the same court quite a bit. Akron Beacon Journal sportswriter Brian Windhorst explains.

Brown’s relationship with James started in 2002 when both took part in the USA Basketball’s “Development Festival” in Colorado Springs. It expanded a year later in 2003 when they bonded while starring in the McDonald’s All-American Game in Cleveland and at the Jordan Capital Classic in Washington, D.C.

Brown, a star from Proviso East High School in Maywood, Ill., nearly upstaged James at the McDonald’s Slam Dunk Contest, finishing second behind him. Then the next night, he scored 23 points and had three assists opposite James, who was named the game’s MVP.

A few weeks later in Washington, Brown and James shared the MVP honors of the Capital Classic. Behind Brown’s 27 points, his team beat James’ team despite James’ 34 points. After the game, James joked that he might skip going to the NBA so he could go to Michigan State to play with Brown.

So it’s safe to say LeBron approves of the pick. These two, with Larry Hughes, have a chance to develop something really special for years to come. Brown probably won’t start right away but will eventually work his way into the rotation. He’s got the demeanor and work ethic you look for in a player and, with his athleticism, should be a terrific compliment to both LeBron and Larry. Brown and James knowing each other from their high school days can only help their relationship and chemistry on the court.

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