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How they rank

March 29, 2009|Mark Heisler


President Vlade

Oklahoma City's Nenad Krstic on fellow Serb Vlade Divac, now overseeing the country's Olympic committee and considering going into politics: "Everyone in Serbia says Vlade will be president someday. We think he would be very good."


Near-Zip dynasty

Cleveland's LeBron James, imagining his career at hometown Akron with high school teammates Dru Joyce and Romeo Travis, who led the Zips to No. 3 in the Mid-American Conference and an NCAA berth: "We would have been real good. We would have beaten up on the MAC. It would have been like what Memphis does to Conference USA."


Nice knowing you

Chicago GM John Paxson, on free agent Ben Gordon: "Some of this will be financial. That's the nature of the business. We'd love to keep Ben Gordon. We tried the last two years and we made offers that were substantial, but for whatever reason, it didn't work out and I don't assign blame to anybody."


Air Dad

Michael Jordan, with tears in his eyes as his son Marcus scored a game-high 19 points, leading Whitney Young High to the Illinois 4A title: "I'm not crying. Not for me, anyway."


Looking ahead



5 p.m. Friday, ESPN

The Cavaliers will be underdogs in one game the rest of the regular season and this is it, with a possible preview of the Eastern finals thrown in.

Reflecting their best player, MVP lock LeBron James, the Cavaliers are tremendous grinders, now on an 11-game winning streak, which vaulted them into the top spot while the Lakers went 9-2.

For its part, Orlando, carrying on despite losing Jameer Nelson, is a budding giant.

Last spring's first-round victory over Toronto was the Magic's first time past the first round since Shaquille O'Neal left in 1996, but more success is on the horizon. With youth, size (Dwight Howard) and a roster full of shooters, the Magic is 10-6 against the Cavaliers, Celtics and Lakers over two seasons, winning three season series and tying two, with this season's against Cleveland to be decided.

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