you?" asked Joe Dumars of the Pistons after James made a jumper over him at
Richfield Coliseum on Jan. 4.
you come from?" said Jordan as James was scoring 25 points against the
Bulls the following night at Chicago Stadium.
Here are the
James is a former
doughboy—he weighed as much as 272 pounds a few summers ago—whom Cleveland
signed for the remainder of the season on Jan. 18. He came from the Wichita
Falls Texans of the CBA. Before that he played in Belgium and Spain. And before
that at St. Mary's University in San Antonio.
worked out with the Spur players while at St. Mary's, which is where he caught
the eye of Gary Fitzsimmons, then an assistant coach and the chief scout for
the Spurs and now the Cavs' director of player personnel. Fitzsimmons invited
James to play for Cleveland in the Los Angeles Summer League, and though James
didn't perform well enough to earn an invitation to preseason camp, Fitzsimmons
told him to shuck some weight and try the CBA. James took him seriously, and he
was ready for Fitzsimmons's call when injuries began to devastate the Cavs in
numbers are solid rather than astonishing—an 11.8 scoring average—but it's
still hard to believe that in this day of sophisticated scouting, virtually no
one outside the Cleveland and San Antonio organizations had heard of James
before he torched the Bulls for 25 points or the Jazz for 21 on Jan. 8.
"Not too many people heard of me a month ago," James says. "But
they know me now."
Well, they will
certainly remember the name. Speaking of which, Henry, you don't happen to be
carrying around a copy of The Turn of the Screw or Daisy Miller, do you?
"Well, I've heard of Henry James," says Henry James. "When you've
got a name like mine, somebody's always bringing it up. But, no, I've never
read his books."
January 14 was
memorable for Scott Hastings and the other members of The Brotherhood,
Hastings' name for the four Pistons—Lance Blanks, Mark Hughes, Tree Rollins and
himself—who rarely see action. On that night Detroit coach Chuck Daly ripped
the trousers of a $1,400 brown Cegna suit in full view of a capacity crowd at
Reunion Arena in Dallas. "The great thing was that Chuck didn't care,"
says Hastings, who as of last weekend had seen action in only one of the
Pistons' last 13 games. "Tree and I figured it was our job to put up some
kind of defense system during the timeouts, so we kind of planted ourselves in
front of the TV cameras, but Chuck went on like nothing happened. And this was
a guy wearing, like, yellow bikini underwear."
important task fell to Hughes, however. Daly instructed him to return to the
hotel—located across the street from the arena—and fetch from Daly's room an
extra pair of brown slacks. "You can't ask for much more out of an evening
than that," says Hastings. "One night a few years ago I was on the
bench in Atlanta [he played for the Hawks from '83 to '88] when Mike Mathis,
the referee, split his pants. He ran around for a quarter or so before the
Hawks' trainer, Joe O'Toole, gave him a couple of safety pins. But this was