James ‘happy’ Cavaliers won NBA lottery draft

Published 10:46 am Thursday, May 19, 2011

CLEVELAND (AP) — While construction on his casino stalled, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s other downtown project made major progress.

Thanks to a little luck, and a big assist from one of Gilbert’s sons, the Cavs have new life.

They won the NBA’s lottery on Wednesday night, giving them the No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks in next months’s draft. They’re hoping the selections will get them back to the playoffs and finally heal pain LeBron James caused last summer when he took his game to Miami.

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Gilbert’s 14-year-old son, Nick, was the team’s lucky charm at the lottery. Nick, who has battled a rare disease since birth, represented the Cavs on stage when Cleveland became the first team since Houston in 1984 to land two of the draft’s top four picks.

James, whose relationship with Gilbert soured when he left, said he was happy for the Cavs.

“I think it’s great for their team, great for the franchise, and great for the fans,” he said while preparing for Game 2 of the conference finals in Chicago. “That’s all I can really say about them. I got more to worry about right now than being worried about the lottery.

“But you know, I think it’s a good step for them.”