Some random notes and post-vacation thoughts as we enjoy the summer calm before the football storm:
n I was hoping LeBron James stayed in Cleveland because I think that was the right thing to do. There's no doubt Thursday's announcement was overhyped until you accept the 24-7 news cycle and with it the fact that Amare Stoudamire's impending deal with the Knicks crawled across ESPN's family of networks for several days. James should have given the Cavs the courtesy of not having to watch the event to learn their fate. Surely, the team and its fans deserved more than that. But this is what can happen and usually does in pro sports. Loyalty takes a backseat to business. If you don't think so, consider the plight of Michael Beasley. Here's the No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft, a developing player with the Heat who averaged 14.8 in his second season. He couldn't even get excited about the prospects of playing with James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh since he was shipped to Minnesota.
n Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert's prediction that the Cavs will win an NBA title before James does with Miami was as ill-advised as Gilbert leading the anti-James sentiment and suggesting James "quit" during Game 5 against the Celtics. Even if he did.
n Anyone who thinks that James, Wade and Bosh can win an NBA title by themselves or just by adding nine other guys from the Mansion Park Summer Basketball League is an idiot.
n Speaking of the Mansion League, here's a funny story that involved the L.S. Fiore team that features three generations of Irwins, including the former beloved football coach at Bishop Guilfoyle. After an opponent's made hoop, four Fiore players ran down the court, leaving BG sophomore Pat Irwin alone to inbound. Needing someone to come back to the ball, young Irwin yelled, "Grandpa!"
n If the Pennsylvania Football Coaches Association's East West game has played its last game in Altoona after a decade, as suspected, here are two thoughts: 1) Everyone involved with directing and sponsoring the game should take a bow for keeping it going this long; 2) The PSFCA will have a tough time finding a better host.
n Belated condolences on the passing of Scrappy Weaver, the old Hollidaysburg baseball coach about whom no one ever said a bad word; Phil Steele, an avid Altoona High School and Penn State sports fan; and Roy Pickens, a Bellwood-Antis product who had a distinguished high school football coaching career in New Jersey.