Dr. Seuss does what NBA defenses can't: Stop LeBron

Updated: February 1, 2006, 9:58 AM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James has something to go along with his sore right knee: a twisted tongue.

LeBron James
AP Photo/Mark DuncanLeBron James, who read to children Tuesday, has been going places for a long time.

On Tuesday, the Cavaliers star was reading a children's book to 23 elementary students as part of the NBA's "Read to Achieve" program when he got stumped by a tricky name in Dr. Seuss' "Oh, the Places You'll Go."

After plopping down in a yellow beanbag chair, James read to sixth graders from Raymond Elementary School in Maple Heights, Ohio, a class that won a contest by logging the most minutes read in a one-month period.

James invited a few kids to sit with him to read the text stuffed with familiar Seuss' rhymes. On the last page, James paused, smiled and said, "I'm not even going to try that name" when he got tangled up with the second part of: "Be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea, you're off to Great Places!"

After the reading session, he and the kids used construction paper, pipe cleaners, ribbons and other art supplies to decorate Seuss-inspired crowns for "King James."

Earlier, James, one of the league's premier in-game dunkers, explained his reasons for declining an invitation to participate in this year's All-Star dunk contest. He has turned it down three years in a row.

"I'm not a slam-dunk-competition-type of guy," said James, who won the only dunk contest he ever entered following his senior season in high school. "On the spur of the moment, I can do dunks during the game. I can't think of a dunk before I do it. I'll leave it up to the guys who don't play as many minutes as I do. Those guys can go out there and throw the ball between their legs and stuff."

Asked to pick a winner, James first mentioned Atlanta's Josh Smith, who will be defending his dunk title, and then New York's 5-foot-9 guard, Nate Robinson.

"Watch out for him, too, being as small as he is, he could be another Spud Webb."

Webb, a 5-foot-7 guard, won the contest in 1986.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press