James and his closest friends idolized Michael Jordan while they grew up together on Akron’s competitive playgrounds and tough streets.,As James grew into a tantalizing basketball prospect capable of jumping from high school to the NBA as the No. 1 draft pick, he studied, imitated and drew profound inspiration from Jordan’s tongue-wagging dunks, that fadeaway jumper, his competitive fire — even the little details of the way Jordan wore his sneakers and shorts.,Jordan has also admired James’ game for years.,When James surpassed Jordan’s career points total Wednesday night, he did it in a pair of Nikes with “Thank You M.J.” written neatly on the side.,James moved past Jordan into fourth place on the NBA’s career scoring list with a driving three-point play in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 115-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

Private prisons would be banned from doing business in Minnesota as part of a renewed push at the Capitol to stop the for-profit prison industry from gaining a foothold in the state.,Minnesota’s only private prison, Prairie Correctional Facility, a 1,600-bed prison in Appleton, opened in the 1990s but has been dormant since losing contracts in 2010.,Winkler’s proposal has drawn the support of Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell and several state prison employees.,Winkler, meanwhile, cited the recent federal sentencing overhaul, which will shorten many prison sentences and reduce prison crowding, as a signal that the state measure could attract wider support in Minnesota.,Amanda Gilchrist, a CoreCivic spokeswoman, said Tuesday that the corporation has offered to help the state address “the challenge of significant prison overcrowding” by leasing or selling the Prairie Correctional Facility, which she said would be operated by state employees.

Earl Warren, of Fort Dodge, was shopping at the Key on Central Friday afternoon when he heard loud banging noises from across the street.,When he looked outside, he was among the first to notice a section of the building at 1031 Central Ave. leaning out.,The tilting section of the wall fell in three large chunks shortly before 2:40 p.m., raining bricks, dust, mortar and bits of wood down onto the sidewalk and into 11th Street.,Fierke said Friday afternoon that the building owner is responsible for removing any part of the building that is in imminent danger of of falling down.,As he surveyed the fallen bricks Friday afternoon, he remained grateful it wasn’t worse.

TAYLOR’S TAKE ON THE WEEK IN SPORTS TECH: Amazon Web Services, the massive cloud computing arm of Amazon that made $4.6 billion last quarter, held its big annual conference in Las Vegas this week — and there were quite a few sports-related announcements.,The league will use machine learning and data analytics services built by AWS for Next Gen Stats, a new platform that uses data from player and ball tracking devices to produce new advanced statistics like distance covered, speed, and acceleration — the idea is to better show a receiver’s ability to get open, for example, or how well the offensive line protects the quarterback.,During his keynote, AWS chief Andy Jassy talked about Hudl, a top sports tech startup based in Lincoln, Nebraska that sells video and analytics tools for coaches.,The company uses AWS’ machine learning tools to do “sports mapping” — for example, showing who passes to who in a soccer match.,What to watch this weekend: Plenty of exciting college football action Saturday — Memphis at UCF at 9 a.m. PT on ABC; TCU at Oklahoma at 9:30 a.m. on FOX; Georgia at Auburn at 1 p.m. on CBS; Miami at Clemson at 5 p.m. on ABC; Ohio State at Wisconsin at 5 p.m. on FOX; Stanford at USC at 5 p.m. on ESPN … Top NFL matchups are Vikings at Falcons at 10 a.m. on FOX; Panthers at Saints at 1:25 p.m. on FOX; and Eagles at Seahawks for Sunday Night Football on NBC … Tiger Woods is making his much-anticipated return this weekend at the Hero World Challenge — you can watch the tournament on NBC.

TAYLOR’S TAKE ON THE WEEK IN SPORTS TECH: Amazon Web Services, the massive cloud computing arm of Amazon that made $4.6 billion last quarter, held its big annual conference in Las Vegas this week — and there were quite a few sports-related announcements.,The league will use machine learning and data analytics services built by AWS for Next Gen Stats, a new platform that uses data from player and ball tracking devices to produce new advanced statistics like distance covered, speed, and acceleration — the idea is to better show a receiver’s ability to get open, for example, or how well the offensive line protects the quarterback.,During his keynote, AWS chief Andy Jassy talked about Hudl, a top sports tech startup based in Lincoln, Nebraska that sells video and analytics tools for coaches.,The company uses AWS’ machine learning tools to do “sports mapping” — for example, showing who passes to who in a soccer match.,What to watch this weekend: Plenty of exciting college football action Saturday — Memphis at UCF at 9 a.m. PT on ABC; TCU at Oklahoma at 9:30 a.m. on FOX; Georgia at Auburn at 1 p.m. on CBS; Miami at Clemson at 5 p.m. on ABC; Ohio State at Wisconsin at 5 p.m. on FOX; Stanford at USC at 5 p.m. on ESPN … Top NFL matchups are Vikings at Falcons at 10 a.m. on FOX; Panthers at Saints at 1:25 p.m. on FOX; and Eagles at Seahawks for Sunday Night Football on NBC … Tiger Woods is making his much-anticipated return this weekend at the Hero World Challenge — you can watch the tournament on NBC.