Hoops star to follow Manning's footsteps

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Hoops star LeBron James will host the season premiere of “Saturday Night Live.”

“It’s nice to get people who aren’t in show business to host,” “SNL” producer Steve Higgins told Daily Variety. “Sports stars tend to be less frightened because they are used to performing in a live setting.”

With James, who took the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals this year, “SNL” hopes to reprise the successful perf of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who hosted the show last season.

Head writer Seth Meyers called Manning “a great sport.” “He showed up and right off the bat wanted to do a skit where he was mean to kids,” he said during the “SNL” presentation at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills.

“Saturday Night Live” exec producer Lorne Michaels said he is in talks with Maya Rudolph but expects all 11 thesps in the current cast to return to the show in the fall.

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