Tag:LeBron James
Posted on: July 13, 2010 11:53 am
Edited on: July 13, 2010 11:54 am
 

It's over! The Miami Heat are your 2010-11 champs

Posted by Royce Young

Well, according to rapper Flo Rida and friends they are. For instance, a choice set of lyrics from his new song, "We Already Won":

We already won
We already won
Ain't no need to play no more games

...


We already won

We already won
We got LeBron James it's already done




After listening to this song and watching the "welcoming" last Friday that looked more like a title celebration, you'd think the Larry O'Brien Trophy has already been handed out. Actually, are we completely sure it actually wasn't?

So go ahead and start printing shirts and hats, NBA marketing people. Have no fear about them winding up as an airdrop in a third world country. The Heat are your champs. You heard the man. Ain't no reason to play no mo games.



Posted on: July 12, 2010 11:05 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2010 11:22 pm
 

So... what exactly is tampering?

Posted by Royce Young

With information beginning to surface on how things went down in Miami, the first thing most likely thought was, "Wow, that's crazy stuff." And after that, some probably thought, "Hey, isn't all that like tampering or something?" David Stern said it was not, even though Ken Berger thinks differently .

You know the word. You've heard it. But what really is "tampering"?

Basically, teams can't talk about players on other teams until July 1, the day free agency negotiations begin. Some even dubbed this the "LeBron James Rule" because that's really where most the fines stemmed from, especially recently. However, some form of tampering goes back as far as 1984 , where the NBA investigated illegal contact between teams and college stars Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon. So while the current definition really involves the media, tampering is essentially teams talking when they shouldn't be.

For instance, a couple cases from this offseason: Mark Cuban was famously fined $100,000 for what some might have perceived as innocent comments about LeBron; former Phoenix Suns President of Basketball Operations Steve Kerr was fined $10,000 for comments he made in a radio interview with Dan Patrick about LeBron; and Atlanta Hawks owner Michael Gearon, Jr. was fined $25,000 for comments he made to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about James.

To spare you a Google search, here's what the three said:

Cuban : "Come July 1, yeah, of course. Anybody would be interested in LeBron James and if he leaves via free agency, then it’s going to be tough. If he does like I’m guessing … which is say ‘I’m not going to leave the Cavs high and dry,’ then he’ll try to force a sign-and-trade and that gives us a chance."

Kerr : "Well, if he'll take mid-level, we'll give it to him." "What's mid-level?" Patrick said, referring to the mid-level exception for teams exceeding the salary cap. "About five and a half million," Kerr said. "I think he'll take it, don't you think?"

Gearon : "If somebody came to us tomorrow and said you can have LeBron for max money and it puts you in the luxury tax, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But am I going to do that for Ilgauskas? Am I going to do it for Jermaine O'Neal? I don't think so."

All three didn't seem like much. Kerr's were very clearly a joke. But that's exactly what the NBA anti-tampering rules try and prevent: whimsical, supposedly innocent comments to the media about potential free agents still under contract with another team. The rule appears simple. But as seen with Cuban's recent frustrations over the policy , it's not so black and white.

In 2008, the league sent a memo to the 30 NBA teams detailing specific guidelines when discussing potential free agents with the media.

The memo read: "If a member of your organization is asked by the media about a potential free agent prior to the July 1 following the last season covered by the player's contract, or about any other person under contract with another NBA team, the only proper response is to decline comment."

Penalties outlined in the memo could include suspension, prohibition of the offending team from hiring the person being tampered with, forfeiture of draft picks and individual and/or team fines of up to $5 million. But obviously, tampering extends past the media. It's about messing with other team's players period, whether that's through the media or through direct contact.

Other owners clearly feel like what Miami did was tampering . Meeting with players to talk about the future, mid-season, even if it's just supposedly about uniform numbers, feels like a violation of the rule. Or players meeting with players to discuss the future for that matter, though Stern said differently on Monday. But even if the league determined it was and levied the maximum $5 million fine against the Heat, I'm thinking Pat Riley would write that check with a big grin on his face. Small price to pay for the King I suppose.

(Read more about the theoretical case against the Heat from Ken Berger here .)

Posted on: July 12, 2010 9:37 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2010 9:38 pm
 

Gilbert fined $100,000 for using Comic Sans

Posted by Royce Young

Just kidding. But David Stern did say late Monday in a press conference that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has been fined $100,000 for his ranting letter about LeBron James' departure from Cleveland. Not for using the font though.

Stern called Gilbert's letter "extreme" and clearly didn't find the humor in the fact Gilbert wrote it in such a hilarious font.

If you don't recall, not long after LeBron's national television announcement, Gilbert popped off a heated letter on the official Cavaliers website , declaring LeBron an enemy of the state. Gilbert called LeBron's decision "narcissistic" and "cowardly." And as a cherry on top, he guaranteed the Cavs would win an NBA title "BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER 'KING' WINS ONE." All caps Gilbert's emphasis, not mine.

Stern, who doesn't take these sort of things lightly, said it wasn't just the letter though that brought down the 100K hammer. Gilbert gave an interview to AP radio shortly after The Decision and called LeBron a quitter. Stern said that also played a factor in the number against Gilbert.

Gilbert also responded earlier in an official statement to Rev. Jesse Jackson's comments that basically compared Gilbert to a slave owner. Gilbert said, "I strongly disagree with Rev. Jesse Jackson's recent comments and we are not going to engage in any related discussion on it." 

Posted on: July 12, 2010 12:30 pm
 

Mark Cuban wants re-evaluation of tampering rule

Posted by Royce Young

If you recall, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined $100,000 for comments he made back in May in regards to LeBron James. The league determined his comments fell under the anti-tampering policy.

So with word out about Pat Riley and the Heat's escapades to bring Dwyane Wade, LeBron and Chris Bosh to Miami, Cuban is obviously peturbed .

"I'm going to bring it up to the league that we really do have to re-evaluate the issue of player tampering," Cuban said. "Who knows what will happen? But I have to suggest it to them because there has to be more definitive rules ... It’s not just the Cavs. It could be any team. It could be the Heat in a couple years. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. But there has to be a way to keep these guys away from each other for the last week anyway.”

It's obviously possible that Cuban will file his own charge. But with the deals already done, it's unlikely the NBA will take action right away anyway.

I'm sure the league just can't wait to talk to Cuban. But he's got a point. Cuban is fined six figures for a seemingly harmless comment in a newspaper. Riley is meeting with players. Wade is organizing summits. Discussion about moving teams is reportedly happening mid-season and in the playoffs for crying out loud. There's some real gray area in the rule and Cuban doing what he does best : making some noise
Posted on: July 9, 2010 3:35 pm
 

Heat trying work sign-and-trade with Cleveland

Posted by Royce Young

And you thought this whole LeBron thing was over, didn't you?

Ira Winderman, who reported the Heat were signing Mike Miller, drops what appears to be fairly massive news: Miami is working on a sign-and-trade with Cleveland .

What does that mean you ask? Well, it opens the door for more possibilities for the Heat. This would give Miami the resources needed to re-sign Udonis Haslem, Quentin Richardson and Dorell Wright. And as Winderman points out, this tactic would allow the Heat to retain its mid-level salary-cap exception for 2010-11, which it then could utilize to complete its planned signing of Miller.

But this move neither affects the Miller signing, nor the LeBron one. It's just another scenario in this ever-evolving situation of LeBron going to Miami. Winderman says Miller will sign with Miami either way. But if this is pulled off, it will just allow the Heat a lot more wiggle room, because Miller could sign for the mid-level exception.

And plus, with a sign-and-trade, LeBron also makes more money. Which is an interesting dynamic. All that goodwill talk about LeBron taking less money to go Miami goes out the door, because now he'll make the same he would've in Cleveland (six years, about $125 million). But on the flip side, by the Cavs helping themselves in getting something in return, even if it's just a draft pick or two, they also help LeBron make more money. Which is something I have a hard time seeing Cavs owner Dan Gilbert be a fan of. You know, because of the whole crazy letter thing .

Winderman also says the Heat have contacted Matt Barnes for a spot on the SuperFriends roster. It's all taking shape for the Heat right now and if the sign-and-trade happens, Miami might avoid having a roster full of minimum salary guys, but instead, a pretty legit contender. Kind of scary to think about.
Posted on: July 9, 2010 12:25 pm
 

More misery in video form from Cleveland

Posted by Royce Young

Warning: This video might possibly cause light depression, even if you don't like the Cavs. Watch at your own risk.



That's some raw video from the AP from some establishments around Cleveland. As soon as LeBron mutters the words, "South Beach" you can literally see the air sucked out of the place. It was like someone shut the power off in the entire city. A couple people in the background appeared to be laughing in disbelief. You can even hear one fan shout out, "Turn it off! Turn it off! after the announcement. Somebody else yells, "Yeah, go jump on Wade's back!"

Yeah, I'm thinking this didn't go over that well there. On the other hand though, looks like the folks in Miami are happy .

Posted on: July 9, 2010 11:30 am
Edited on: July 9, 2010 11:32 am
 

Report: Mike Miller to sign with Miami

Posted by Royce Young

The Heat are wasting no time in filling out the active roster. Late Thursday night (or early Friday morning, depending on your location) news broke from Mike Miller's dad that the Heat were intending to sign Mike Miller .

Miller is from South Dakota, so I guess that's where we send his Luckiest Basketball Player in the World Award.

After shipping Michael Beasley to Minnesota for basically nothing, the Heat had a little cap room to play with. And Pat Riley and Miami wasted no time whipping out the checkbook. According to the report, Miller will sign a five-year, $30 million deal.

Miller also had offers from New York and the Clippers, with the Clipper offer being worth a significant amount more, the report said. Also, mentioned, Miller won out over Kyle Korver and Rasual Butler, mainly because of an endorsement from LeBron.

But Miller is just the beginning for the Heat. Since they moved Beasley, but now added Miller, the Heat have five players on the active roster, sans Joel Anthony who has a qualifying offer of about $1 million. Miller's $6 million a year will eat up virtually all of Miami's remaining cap space. That means a bevy of veteran minimum salaries are about to be handed out and as Ira Winderman mentioned in his story, the list isn't that long or that sexy.

Among the names available still: Raja Bell , Larry Hughes , Flip Murray, Zydrunas Ilgauskas , Devean George , Brian Skinner , Damien Wilkins, Trenton Hassell , Jarvis Hayes, Jason Williams, Keyon Dooling , Eddie House , Etan Thomas and Ime Udoka.

Of course Miami still has its three second-round picks it could sign (Dexter Pittman, Jarvis Varnado, Da'Sean Butler) and as Winderman says, could re-sign some lesser Heat players from a year ago (Shavlik Randolph, Kenny Hasbrouck). Finally, there are still undrafted players to be had, like Jon Scheyer and Brian Zoubek of Duke, Art Parakhouski from Radford, Denis Clemente (a native of Miami) from Kansas State, Scottie Reynolds from Villanova and Matt Bouldin from Gonzaga, among others.
Posted on: July 9, 2010 2:09 am
Edited on: July 9, 2010 2:53 am
 

LeBrocalypse: The losers are not taking it well

Posted by Matt Moore

We told you for days that someone was going to lose the NBA free agency arms race. That several teams were going to lose. And tonight, the final blows were struck. With LeBron James announcing his intention to sign with the Miami Heat, every team but the Heat will fall into the losers category. From here on out it's just a matter of degrees. Here are the losers, in order of degree by which this day sucked:

Level 1- LeBrocalypse Devastation: First four Black Sabbath albums


1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Go ahead. Let it out. You too, Dan. Get it out of your system . In Comic Sans, no less. It's bad. It's really bad. It's not just the emotional stuff. The deep connection people had to the kid from Akron, Ohio's native son, the local boy done good. It's the practical stuff. The city of Cleveland just lost out on what some estimates have put at $250 million in revenue to a South Beach heist. That's jobs. That's vacations. That's benefits. They weren't James' responsibility to watch out for, his obligation is to his family and his company. But it still deepens the wound. And that's not all. What about the practical holes in the roster? Who plays the small forward? They sacrificed so much, committed to bad contracts of veteran players in an attempt to build around James. And now?

It's a team poorly constructed. With little hope to remain in contention. Their best players are now Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams. There's no bright side to this. They can't bring in another player to put their hopes in. There's nothing but the sting of watching the media coverage for the Heat ramp up to levels the Cavs never saw. There's just nothing left. In a television interview, Brian Windhorst described the scene in Cleveland as if an atomic bomb went off. Kaboom.

Level 2- "Boom Goes the Dynamite"


2. Chicago Bulls:
Here's a bad sign for when your organization has probably thought too much of itself. New York looked humble and realistic next to the Bulls in this whole thing. When the most self-important set of zip codes in the modern world is showing you how to keep things in perspective, you may have overestimated your position. The Bulls played their cards strong to the point of bullying, challenging and charging at LeBron at every turn. In the end, it was the quiet, subtle Pat Riley who made the most effective pitch and converted the deal, while the Bulls come off as brash and overly confident.

The Bulls honestly expected that the attitude "You should want to sign here" would work. And by all accounts, they were close. But as usual, the Bulls organization fumbled an opportunity and now face a reality where their big "get" was Carlos Boozer. Hey, at least you're not paying him $20 million plus when he's 35. Wait.

Level 3 - "A Series of Unfortunate Events "


3. New Jersey Nets:
The Nets knew they were sunk before ESPN's camera's showed up at the Greenwich depot for coffee (they may not have a depot in Greenwich). They signed Travis Outlaw to a deal which slammed the door shut. The Nets are committed to a long-term approach using youth and growth. That's the new plan. Landing one of the top guys would have helped. But they fell out of favor almost as soon as they made their pitch. It's more that the Nets are looking at a longer rebuilding process than the other teams that lands them here. They have no Derrick Rose to comfort them, nor an Amar'e Stoudemire signing to take the sting off. But really, their fate was sealed when the lottery balls didn't go their way.  That's the way the cookie crumbles. Anybody know the Russian word for "Plan B?"

4. New York Knicks: Well, they did get Amar'e. And now have Anthony Randolph and some solid roleplayers. The Knicks wanted to become a legitimate force in the NBA championship picture. Well, that didn't happen. And so they wind up on this failures list, but in the end, the pain isn't as great as it could be. They did get a top flight free agent. And from there, D'Antoni has started to assemble a roster that may not be a championship contender, but is similar to some sort of mid-70's ABA underground club, playing in the back-arenas of New York. A running, striding, power team with point-forward capabilities and shooters that can get out and run with the best of them.

It's not the worst of fates for the Knicks, and unlike the Bulls they don't look desperate or misguided and unlike the Cavaliers, the franchise still stands with hope for the future. It wasn't a win, but it wasn't the end of the world.

5. Los Angeles Clippers: “Self-pity  is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.” - Helen Keller

Funny story, Helen actually had a better overall vision for a basketball organization than the Clippers do.
 
 
 
 
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