By Drew Olson Special to Published Feb 21, 2009 at 11:18 AM

Just when you were thinking it was safe to put the shovels and scrapers away, it's time for another snow-covered edition of Saturday Scorecard. On to the notes...

King James: Considering the circumstances, there didn't seem to be much of a buzz in town leading up to the Bucks' game against Cleveland Friday night at the Bradley Center.

It might be be different next time.

LeBron James, in our book the most exciting player in the NBA and possibly the best "bang-for-your-ticket-dollar" athlete in pro sports," put on an unforgettable show when he scored 55 points - the most ever by a Bucks opponent in Milwaukee - to lift his team to a 111-103 victory.

"We tried multiple people on him," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said of James, who made 16 of 29 shots, 8 of 11 three-pointers and 15 of 22 free throws. "The problem was in the third when he really got it going, it wasn't after our baskets and so we couldn't even get our defense back and set to even have options to run and double-team or anything like that. He was coming at us full speed and rising up. It was very difficult right there to stop him."

James scored 25 points in the first half, then nearly matched that by tying his own franchise record with 24 in the third quarter. He scored 16 points in a three-minute stretch that included eight field goals, six of them from way behind the arc.

"I just got in a zone; I just kept on going at it, man," James said. "Every shot I made, we needed it. That stretch is probably top two for me, this performance and in the Palace in Game 5 (of the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals)."

In a league that has been struggling to replace Michael Jordan since the Jumpman retired for good, James is emerging as the heavyweight champ. Kobe Bryant is a spectacular player whose offense evokes memories of Michael Jordan, but he can't match James' combination of size, power and ability to incorporate his teammates into the action.

Though it may sound selfish or sappy, like channeling Johnny's deathbed speech when he urged Pony Boy to "Stay gold," in "The Outsiders," we have three wishes for James' future.

1. Win a title. We know you're amazing, but you need at least one ring to validate your greatness in the eyes of the masses.

2.Stay in Cleveland. The story is better if you spurn the bright lights of a bigger city and stay in your home state. It gives hope to smaller markets like Milwaukee.

3. Stay pure. It can't be easy in your age category and income bracket, but please steer clear of scandal. If you go drinking, get a driver. If you get married, stay faithful. If they offer you performance-enhancers, just say no. In an age when other sports' marquee players are defrocked -- Michael Vick and A-Rod come to mind and some obscure Montreal Canadiens are on deck --- we need someone to carry the mantle of being a role model.

I know it's asking a lot, but James -- for now, at least -- seems capable of bearing up under the pressure.

Standing pat: We're going to take Bucks general manager John Hammond at his word when he says there were no good deals to be had at the trading deadline. But, we can't help feeling a little disappointed. As long as Hammond and coach Scott Skiles, who has done an outstanding job this season, keep their eyes on the big picture and getting the team out of its longstanding funk, they deserve the benefit of the doubt. They did not inherit a "quick-fix" situation and the rebuilding process seems to be in good hands at this point.

Fashion statement: Here at Saturday Scorecard headquarters, we don't pretend to be young, hip or fashion-conscious. So we have to ask: does anyone outside the MMA and heavy metal world like the Affliction line of clothing that Ryan Braun wore last year and that inspired his new line of Remetee clothing? Every time I see that stuff, I think of Season Five, Episode 35 of "Leave it to Beaver" (see photo).

Expensive homage: The NFL fined Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes $10,000 for the touchdown celebration that paid homage to James' pre-game ritual of throwing powder in the air. We thought Holmes act was clever and were stunned that nobody on the broadcast team or highlight shows picked up on it. Told of the fine before the game Friday, James said it was "disgusting."

Penalty box? That story in Montreal could get ugly quickly. A story in La Presse, the French daily newspaper, links Canadiens players Sergei and Andrej Kostitsyn and Roman Hamrlik to Pasquale Mangiola, a 38-year-old man arrested last week in a crackdown on drug dealing and street thuggery linked to the Hells Angels.

"We're very concerned. Very concerned because we know that this person who became involved with these players, he's not the only person who wants to find a place to enter the inner area of the hockey team," Montreal coach Bob Gainey told reporters. "We turn people away every day. And it could be a sports psychologist, masseuses, somebody with any kind of program that wants to find a way into the inside of the team and have access to our players, and the Montreal Canadiens as an organization."

Crunching ticket stats: You know how baseball has embraced the "Moneyball" approach to performance analysis. Now, it's seeping into the business office. The Cleveland Indians crunched numbers and discovered, among other things, that fireworks displays draw an average of 4,000 additional fans, every degree the temperature drops below 70 degrees costs 300 fans and the Yankees are worth 11,000 fans per game. Look for the Brewers to announce what attendance does when each of the famous racing sausages wins.

Big controversy: The entire sports world is wondering what Sports Illustrated did with Danica's tattoo?

A matter of focus: While everyone else is worrying about the Packers' transition to the 3-4 defense, we can't help wondering how/if they're going to to replace Mark Tauscher and shore up the offensive line.

Mixing it up: We're not sure if it merits a long-term contract, but it was good to see Charlie Villanueva mix it up with the Cavs on Friday night. In the past, Villanueva made you wonder if he cared enough to get in an altercation and be ejected.

Kudos: Journal Sentinel preps editor Art Kabelowsky gets a big thumbs-up for this heartwarming story about high school hoops. The story got national attention and deservedly so.

Behind the mic: New Brewers radio announcer Corey Provus, who debuts in the next week, received a lot of attention but his wasn't the only name in the local broadcast transactions. Bob Brainerd, a talented and versatile friend of, signed on to be the voice of Milwaukee Iron football (along with commentator Yanick Dalhouse) and Telly Hughes is moving from Minneapolis to Milwaukee to handle the Brewers' sideline job vacated by Trenni Kusnierek. We wish them all well.


Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.