James vs. Anthony warrants the hype

The first pro head-to-head matchup between LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony is even bigger than everybody thinks.

Updated: November 5, 2003, 9:33 AM ET
By By Terry Brown | NBA Insider
Don't let the media fool you. Tonight's game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets is bigger than you think. Imagine Wilt versus Russell. Magic versus Bird. Now, we've got LeBron James versus Carmelo Anthony.

"This is really going to be the epicenter of the professional basketball world (tonight)," Cavaliers vice president of communications Todd Carper said in the Denver Post. "We're ready. It's something that hasn't snuck up on us. We're prepared for sure."

ESPN will broadcast the game, between two teams that both went 17-65 last year, live across the nation from Gund Arena in Cleveland beginning at 8 p.m. EST. The place is sold out. More than 300 media credentials have already been issued. Somebody asked LeBron how many people would be there and he smiled: "Half of Akron," he said.