The National Basketball Association is set to hold its annual players draft. It's no secret who is going to be the No. 1 pick.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have the first choice after winning last month's lottery and they will select 18-year-old high school sensation Lebron James. He stands two meters three and weighs 109 kilograms and has been compared to NBA legends Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson.
He has great sense on the court and a vast array of skills that may allow him to play three positions. He's expected to be such a superstar that the Nike sports shoe company recently gave James what many think is a ridiculous $90 million sneaker endorsement contract.
Though he has yet to score a point in the NBA, the player dubbed "King James" is being touted as a "once in a generation" athlete and practically a lock to someday end up in basketball's Hall of Fame.
James says he's ready to take the next step from high school to the professional ranks of the NBA.
"It is going to be a different pressure, but I think all the pressure I've handled it pretty well. So when it comes up I think adversity is nothing new to me and pressure is nothing new to me, so I think I'll be able to handle it pretty well," he said.
Lebron James will certainly receive plenty of attention from established stars as he tries to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers out of the doldrums, as they won just 17 of 82 games this past season.
The rest of the top NBA draft selections have almost gotten lost in the attention being paid to James. Serbian player Darko Milicic is projected to be taken second by the Detroit Pistons, while the Denver Nuggets are expected to choose Carmelo Anthony, who decided to turn pro after his freshman year leading Syracuse University to the national collegiate title.
Anthony says he does not mind being selected third. "There's nothing unfair about that. I know what I accomplished and you [the media] know what I accomplished," he said. "So for me to go moping around with my head down saying, 'I should be number one. I should be number one.' That doesn't impress me. Right now they say I'm going number three. I'm happy with the number three pick and being in Denver."
As a sign NBA basketball is becoming more and more a global game, the first round of this year's draft could see as many as 15 international players selected. Last year, six internationals went in the first round, including top overall pick Yao Ming from China, who was chosen by the Houston Rockets. During the 2002-2003 season, one-seventh of the league's players, nearly 15 percent, hailed from countries other than the United States, the acknowledged home of basketball.