Tag:Miami Heat
Posted on: August 11, 2010 6:27 pm
 

Bosh says LeBron is using criticism for fuel

"" Posted by Royce Young

In an interview Wednesday on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning," Chris Bosh said his new superfriend, LeBron James is using criticism about his departure from Cleveland "as fuel to do well next season."

Of course this comes shortly after LeBron's tweet that said , "Don't think for one min that I haven't been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone! "

Bosh went on: "We're always all aware of what we do and how critics can be out there sometimes ... [James] uses it to fuel his ambition to win next year. I think we're going to have a lot of doubters. But that's fine, you know, that's a part of the game. As long as we come together and play the game the way it's supposed to be played I think we're going to be successful."

I don't know about you, but all of this feels a little manufactured. Like LeBron is trying to turn this into an "Us vs. the World" type of thing in order to play up a little Jordanesque vengeance. He heard all the criticism about copping out and going to be Wade's sidekick and so now, it's like he's turning it outward in order to appear like he can smite his foes and punish them for their careless words, a la His Airness. But... I just don't really buy it. Matt Moore mentioned that it feels almost orchestrated like this motivation has been self-generated on purpose. And it's hard not to agree there.

Bosh also said the team is talking championship. He said, "I expect to win a championship and anything else is a failure -- and I think every person in that organization feels the same way." Now that's motivation. Not some column from some sportswriter that called LeBron a baby. The ultimate motivation is to win. Really, if you need something other than that to push you, you're in the wrong business.

Now I don't mean to say that LeBron doesn't have a bulletin board of every slander and every quip made at his expense. And if that's making him focus that much more, more power to him. But to go public with it just feels a little odd. Like he's saying, "Look everyone! I have a killer instinct too!" Then again, should we really expect anything less from a guy that has a one-hour special to tell us where he's playing basketball next year? I think I answered my own question.
Category: NBA
Posted on: August 11, 2010 10:31 am
Edited on: August 11, 2010 11:17 am
 

The watchful eye of King James

Posted by Matt Moore

As we told you in the Shootaround this morning, LeBron James had something to say on Twitter to all his critics of this past summer:


















Oooh, I'm so scared! What are you gonna do, use your extremely powerful position as the best player in the NBA and a multi-national business force, not to mention being a physically dominant human being to enact retribution on those that have criticized you?

...

This sounds famliar .

Anyway, not everyone is wetting themselves like I am at the prospect (love you, King!), including SBNation.com's Holly Anderson, who decided to have a little fun with James last night. Anderson posted a series of other (fake) proclamations from LeBron to his critics. My personal favorite?



Click through to read them all. Just don't tell you-know-who.




Category: NBA
Posted on: August 10, 2010 5:56 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2010 5:58 pm
 

5 can't miss national TV games in 2010-2011

Posted by Matt Moore

The story of the 2010-2011 national television schedule is about what you'd expect. Lots of Heat, lots of Boston, lots of Lakers, and the rise of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Boston Celtics surprisingly lead all teams in national television appearances across NBATV, ESPN, ABC, and TNT with 33 appearances. The Miami Heat, no shock, are second, with 29 appearances, while the defending champion Lakers appear 27 times. That number is likely to increase signficantly with NBATV's fan night. The Orlando Magic also appear 29 times, compared to the East's three-seed Atlanta Hawks, who appear just 14 times. Of the 15 games on ABC, 14 feature the Heat, Celtics, Lakers, or Magic.

New York appears 18 times, while Phoenix has certainly earned some faith from the producers, landing 25 national appearances. Oklahoma City were the big winners, with 24 big-time appearances, and the first post-Christmas ABC game, facing the Heat at home. It's a big win for a small market club.

Of course, most other small-market clubs didn't fair so well. Indiana is without a single appearanc. Charlotte and Memphis have 6 each, New Orleans 7, and Milwaukee only has 8, despite being playoff or near-playoff teams. This is in contrast to the Clippers, the freaking Clippers, getting 12 appearances. Win total didn't have much to do with these decisions.

Your top five nationally televised games not on Christmas, Opening Night, or MLK Day:

  1. Heat at Magic, November 24th, ESPN: The Sunshine Massacre. The Heat's primary weakness, true size, is tested against Dwight Howard while Jameer Nelson could have a huge game against Mario Chalmers.
  2. Lakers at Thunder, February 27th, ABC: Welcome back, Lakers. They barely got out of the Sooner state with their playoff lives last April and the Thunder should be improved. Kevin Durant will likely take this one personally, while Kobe loathes challengers to his throne.
  3. Heat at Cavaliers, December 2nd, TNT: "Peace? Peace. I hate the word. As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee."-Cleveland
  4. Blazers at Jazz, April 7th, TNT: Let's imagine Greg Oden stays healthy. Let's imagine Al Jefferson stays healthy. Deron Williams, Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby, Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Millsap. The Northwest Division is a bloodbath.
  5. Lakers at Celtics, February 10th, TNT: It's refreshing when the networks give you two seldom-seen teams that never match up. It's a once-in-a-lifetime type game, really.

Posted on: August 9, 2010 2:13 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2010 2:16 pm
 

LeBron's family will stay in Ohio

Posted by Matt Moore

In an interview with Bazaar magazine for a feature on her and her style, LeBron James' longtime girlfriend and the mother of his children Savannah Brinson says she's not big on Miami, saying it's "not (her) favorite place." She also says that the couple's two sons, LeBron Jr. and Bryce will remain in Akron, Ohio and she will split time between Akron and Miami.

It's kind of a stunning revelation, considering the amount of vitriol the city of Cleveland has spit at the family, especially with the oldest son about to start school. Private school or no, Brinson is running the risk of exposing herself and her children to backlash from James' decision to bolt Ohio. When you consider the possibility of James and Brinson tying the knot at some point in the future (not that there's been any indication of an impending marriage, or that it's anyone's business), you have to wonder if eventually the family will have to move to Miami, and not just for the nicer weather.

But let's talk about what's really important from the feature. There's a stunning revelation in the article where Brinson discusses how she and James came to start dating.


The couple started dating when Brinson was just 16. At first, "I had no idea who he was," says Brinson, who is from the same neighborhood as James but was a year behind him at a rival high school, where she was a softball player and cheerleader. He spotted her at a football game and asked her to come to a basketball game. "I went, and I was like, Wow, this guy is pretty popular in here," she remembers.

 A few phone calls later, they had their first date at the local Outback Steakhouse. Dinner conversation was "basic," she recalls. "But I knew he loved me when I left my leftovers from dinner in his car," she says, giggling. "I'd totally forgotten about them, and he brought them to me. I think he just wanted another excuse to come and see me."


Woah, woah, woah. I know James was young. And wasn't a millionaire. But Outback? Outback. You took the cheerleader you had your eye on to Outback? What, you were concerned she might get the wrong idea if you took her to Applebee's? Seriously. You're young, but you're also surrounded by knowledgeable media and hangers on, and no one clued you in that maybe the Bloomin' Onion joint wasn't the best place to take a girl for dinner? I'm not asking for a French bistro. But maybe not the place most often credited with the worst food health-wise in America.

Hey, I like Outback! They make a fine steak. But I'm not going on a first date there, 17 or younger or 35 or older or anything in-between. I mean, come on. Even Luigi's Pizza sounds like a good option. Or hey, get a head start on where you'll be spending most of your meals, find a Cheesecake Factory to take her to .  James may need to work on making sure Savannah knows not to tell such sordid details about their early life together. Outback. Geez.

...

I miss basketball. Season starts in 84 days. 84 long days.

Posted on: August 9, 2010 10:22 am
 

The economic reality of the new Miami Heat

Posted by Matt Moore

The entire move was bungled. Let's be clear. There were ways to orchestrate the formation of the new NBA superpower that would not only have lessened the devastating PR hit and public resentment, but actually sold the public and media on these players as heroes. After all, it's not like the public is generally poised to reject its favorite athletes over ownership, particularly those athletes that sacrifice money and spotlight time in the pursuit of a championship.

But that's not how it went down. Instead, a public revulsion that is deafening in its retch has spread throughout the land. The Miami Heat have built themselves a new empire, one that is being regarded with terms like "evil," "pompous," and "classless." So surely, where the opinion goes, the dollar goes, right? The money is probably flowing away from South Beach like rats from the sinking ship.

Yeah, so, it turns out, that's not really what's going on. Kind of the opposite, actually. And by kind of, I mean completely.

Reuters brings us an interview with Michael McCullough, the Heat's chief marketing officer. In it, McCullough doesn't deny the existence of a villain's image in the media and among vocal fans. But by hook or by crook, the results are leading to the only thing businesses carry about, the allmighty dollar. McCullough claims that the Heat are now number one in retail sales and that LeBron James' new No.6 jersey is tops in the league. The numbers released last month back up that assessment.

There's also been a lot of talk about tickets for the Heat on the road skyrocketing in preliminary orders, as well as the hyper-covered sell-out of the Heat season tickets (and their release of the ticket sales staff ).

So while people gnash their teeth about how this all went down (and no one thinks it went down well), the bottom line is still coming up Heat. We tend to act like there will be some sort of populist rejection of the Heat because of how arrogance they've come off in public. But already, the sheer starpower has helped build the Heat into a financial supermachine. A few championships, and all the talk about the Big 3's tarnished legacies will be reformed into praise for their sacrifice. We like winners, and we're not particularly stuck on how those wins are made.

No one wants to see how the sausage is made. But the Heat ground out their team on national television, and people are still flocking to stores to buy it.
Posted on: August 9, 2010 8:42 am
 

Shootaround 8.9.10: Heat to pass 72?

Posted by Royce Young
  • Jeff Van Gundy says the Heat will be historically great : "They will break the single-season win record [of 72],'' Van Gundy told the Miami Herald. "And I think they have a legit shot at the Lakers' 33-game [winning] streak [in 1971-72], as well. And only the Lakers have even a remote shot at beating them in a playoff series ... They will never lose two games in a row this year. They have put together a much better roster than anybody could ever have expected. There is now no good way to defend them. They are unguardable. They are indefensible. They are just too good and have added so much shooting and are so versatile that they will score at will. And with  Erik Spoelstra coaching, they will be in the top three defensive teams in the league, as well. The other 29 teams better hope the lockout gets moved up a year.''
  • Where do the two O'Neal's fit together in Boston? Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston weighs in: "However, I actually see potential in an O'Neal-O'Neal frontcourt. Celtics GM Danny Ainge noted that he was eager to utilize Jermaine O'Neal at the 4 this season, and high-mileage legs aside, I don't see why it can't work against another team's second unit. It's not like they're going to spend 20 minutes together on the court per game, so if you need to lean on that pairing for a sequence or two each game, I don't see a problem."
  • David Aldridge of NBA.com also reports the Pistons are actively discussing McGrady but aren't close to a decision either way. Aldridge also says the Pistons are expected to try and move Prince before the start of the season, thus making room for McGrady.
  • Multiple people have mentioned this, but it's a good question: How does the Knicks consulting job work for Isiah Thomas? With his relationship to the Knicks, wouldn't him coaching at Florida International mean he's having improper contact with underclassmen?
  • Frank Isola of the NY Daily News says Donnie Walsh should walk away : "Walsh is too respected by his peers to take orders from Dolan via Thomas. We know Walsh has no use for Thomas and therefore can't work with him or more precisely work for him. Full autonomy? Please. Thomas is calling the shots now. There is too much distrust and bad blood already for this to be anything less than a terrible marriage. The fact that Dolan can't see that Walsh has done a solid job tells you all you need to know. This is the same guy who blames the media coverage for nine straight losing seasons. So quit, Donnie. Resign. Walk away. You've already said you'll stick it out because you're a class act. But you deserve better."
  • Joakim Noah and the Bulls are talking extension : "Of course that's the goal," he told ESPNChicago.com after a charity event for his Noah's Arc Foundation in Queens on Friday night. "I'm not really worried about it. I think everything's going to happen with time and at the end of the day, I'm really excited about the upcoming season."
  • Robert Parish loves Boston's move for Shaq: “Shaq can still start for at least 15 teams, maybe 20 teams,’’ Parish told the Boston Globe. “I would say that time has caught up with him but he can still be a factor and not to mention defensively. He’s long and has a lot of mass and is going to take up a lot of room and that definitely is where the Celtics’ strong suit is, defensively. I think that’s where he gets it done. I think Shaq will definitely bring a defensive presence along with Garnett. He’s going to cause a lot of havoc defensively and he still can get it done offensively.’’
Posted on: August 6, 2010 11:37 am
Edited on: August 6, 2010 11:46 am
 

Of leadership, LeBron, and KG

Posted by Matt Moore

Kevin Garnett is one of the most respected players in the NBA, with good reason. No one has shown  more focus at both ends of the floor over the past decade than Kevin Garnett. Much of his trademarked intensity is show; the screaming, spitting, growling is revealed as little more than theatrics when you employ them as often as he has. But that doesn't change how he's constantly barking out defensive assignments, dressing down teammates, and blocking the ever-loving crap out of anyone that dares to challenge his authority (or dying trying). He's a 13-time All-Star, and has an MVP trophy, a Defensive Player of the Year trophy, and an NBA champion.

And with all that respect that he has earned comes a level of expectation, often unfair, mostly ridiculous, that he live up to what we believe is the model of a true NBA legend. Or at least, that's been the pattern for everyone except KG. And if you want proof of that, compare KG and LeBron James.

In 2010, LeBron James abandoned his team, the Cavaliers, and did it in a publicly humiliating and disgracefully opulent way on national television. Maybe you heard about it, here and there. Before we continue, let's be very clear on this point:

The primary reason for the backlash against James is the way in which he announced his decision ("The Decision"), the way he seemingly laughed and skipped out of town while the dreams he had given Cleveland fans burned to the ground. There is simply no way to defend or even deflect that criticism. You're not going to find anyone outside of South Beach who thinks this was in any way acceptable. KG has never behaved in such a way, nor did he embarrass Minnesota on the way out of town. The way the two left is simply not comparable. See, I put it in bold, just so we're all clear on this.

However, the secondary argument against James is that he has in some way compromised his legacy, lessened his greatness, by not being the sole elite player on his team. He is no longer considered able to reach the sport's summit because he has joined Dwyane Wade's team instead of building championship gold from the rubble he was drafted into. That by joining other elite players, he can no longer be considered elite.

Let's head on back to 2007.

Kevin Garnett has failed to reach the summit with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team that drafted him. Though there were a handful of very good teams, none of them even approached what you would call a "great" team. The Sam Cassell-Latrell Sprewell team rose and fell apart as fast as it came together, and Garnett has been losing consistently. It becomes known that he wants out, wants to be traded to a contender, does not want to waste his career any longer. He doesn't outright say he wants to be traded, after all, you're fined for such activity. But it's made pretty clear that his time with Minnesota is over. It's done. He winds up heading to Boston, joining Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, the captain, to form the first modern Big 3 and first relative superteam since the Lakers' 2004 crime against nature.

(It should be noted that the Spurs' combination of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili definitely constituted enough talent as to be considered a superteam, but more perhaps more impressively, they did it organically. They came to have three superstars by developing the talent they drafted. Not by acquiring the gold when the market was high on it.)

But KG was and is the leader, right? Well, I don't know. Paul Pierce is the captain, right? And the guy taking the game winning shots, most often? The face of the team? It's heart and soul? Isn't Pierce the one most often relied upon to rally the team? While Garnett is undeniably a leader on the Celtics, is he really considered the leader?

Oddly, what led me down this line of thought was a quote from, of all people, Rasho Nesterovic.

In an interview with rtvslo.com , and translated and brought forth by Project Spurs , Nesterovic talks about the difference between Garnett and Duncan. He discusses how Duncan won with the team that drafted him, and how Garnett made the smart move, but it was one to turn to the Celtics, who already had a leader in Pierce. This all leads to Nesterovic saying Duncan was the greater power forward of his time.

Huh.

Now, this is Rasho Nesterovic. We're not talking Bill Russell here. But the idea is one that deserves consideration. Did KG join the Celtics as a leader, or did he simply do the exact same thing that LeBron James did, only under better PR cover? The argument can certainly be made that James joined in free agency (which is apparently worse than bailing on your team while under contract with them), while Garnett was traded, so it wasn't really his decision. But if Garnett had told Minnesota management, "I don't want to be traded. I either win here, or I don't win at all," do you really think the Wolves would have said "No, no, Mr. Hall-of-Fame-Most-Beloved-Player-In
-Franchise-History, we want no part of you here"? Is that what you think would have occurred? Because I'm pretty sure Kevin McHale would have just gone back to figuring out ways to build the Wolves around KG (and failing miserably).

The argument could also be made that KG was on a "loser" while James was on a contending team. But there are two responses to that. 1. While this Cavs team was certainly better than any KG had, James has also been superior in terms of production (and playoff success if we're being honest) than anything KG had been. I'm simply pointing out that if you're going to say the Cavs were better, you also have to point out that James was better, and was a reason for the Cavs being better. And 2, is there really a difference between contender-but-not-champion and loser in our society? I don't subscribe to this. I think there are tons of brilliant players that simply were never fortunate enough to run into the blessed set of circumstances you need to win a championship (or play for LA). But if you're a results oriented person, KG and James had accomplished the same thing, and so to say that one needed to do what he needed in order to win a ring and the other needed to continue to struggle is a bit ridiculous.

We come to the crux of this, which is actually not that KG deserves more criticism or scorn for leaving Minnesota to fall into the void. Far from it. Garnett recognized that he needed to win a ring before his time was up, that it wasn't going to happen in Minny, and that Boston represented the best chance for him. He took it. He doesn't deserve to be slagged for that. Garnett has told other players not to let what happened to him in Minnesota happen to them. Now, that particular action is a little less likable. After all, there have been players that stayed "home" and eventually reached the promised land, and those championships are much more special to their small markets than the umpteenth championship for a storied franchise. This is nothing to do with the quality of the fans and just the simple fact that a lone championship means more than one of many.

But Garnett is simply passionate about being the best he can be. And for him, that meant joining a team with an established star, a veteran leader, along with another veteran leader, and winning a championship. That was his path. And it is not all that dissimilar from LeBron James' path (in terms of the end result; remember, the bold clause! The bold clause!). So if we're going to criticize James for not being "the man," we need to similarly disparage Garnett, Pau Gasol, and other players that did what they needed to in order to win a ring.

Garnett is no villain. He loved Minnesota. But in the end, he felt his best chance for achieving that ring was in Boston, alongside other stars. Those facts coincide with LeBron James' actions of the past three months. Even if you feel that Garnett was able to be a leader alongside Paul Pierce (the most rational and likely conclusion), you should at least recognize the same dynamic's likelihood in Miami. You don't have to like how James pulled off this career correction. No one does. But to question his legacy opens up a Pandora's Box that is linked throughout some of the greatest players in the history of the league.

Don't throw stones. The halls of NBA greatness are built of glass.

Posted on: August 3, 2010 8:11 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 10:10 pm
 

NBA on Christmas: 'Tis the season for good games

Posted by Royce Young

The big, highlight games have been announced . And other than the playoffs, the NBA's brighest stage is probably the Christmas Day games. So who gets the spotlight on the best holiday of all? And exactly how good are those matchups? Let's look (all times Eastern):

Game 1: Bulls at Knicks, 12:00, ESPN
A classic for Christmas Day. Of course the Knicks had to be included and matching them against the young, exciting Bulls is solid. Putting the game in Madison Square Garden is an obvious must and maybe, just maybe, the Knicks will be in the discussion in the East. Maybe.

Derrick Rose is a must-watch player and with Amar'e Stoudemire back with Mike D'Antoni, the Knicks will be a fun team to watch. Plus, I might be the only one that cares about such things, but I think both sets of uniforms look really good together on the court.

Score 3.5 out of 5 Santa Clauses

Game 2: Celtics at Magic, 2:30, ABC
A rematch of last season's Eastern Conference Finals and a rematch of last year's Christmas game that was played in Boston. No doubt we'll get a grinder as both squads are quality defensive teams, so this might be a decent game to have on as you take a light nap on the sofa following some Christmas ham.

There could be some added intrigue as well if Shaq finishes off signing with the Celtics. Any time Shaq and Dwight Howard square off, it's good stuff.

Score: 4 out of 5 Santa Clauses

Game 3: Heat at Lakers, 5:00, ABC
You knew the Heat would be involved for Christmas. And you knew the Lakers would be too. But having them play each other ? Brilliant.

The storylines will be plentiful in the lead-up to this game. Kobe versus the Miami trio. A potential Finals preview. LeBron versus Kobe. Bosh versus Gasol. Pat Riley's team back in Los Angeles. Christmas in LA. It goes on and on. Other than LeBron's return to Cleveland, this will probably be the most hyped game of the season and for really good reason.

Score: 5 out 5 Santa Clauses

Game 4: Nuggets at Thunder, 8:00, ESPN
Kevin Durant is now garnering the national attention he deserves, so the young star gets primetime on Christmas Day. The OKC crowd will be fired up for ESPN's cameras and the game will be a good one. It features two Western Conference contenders and Northwest Division rivals. It's Carmelo versus KD and Westbrook versus Chauncey. The Thunder and Nuggets almost always provide some drama and the potential for a late-game showdown between KD and 'Melo would be quite a late gift on Christmas.

Score: 4.5 out of 5 Santa Clauses

Game 5: Trail Blazers at Warriors, 10:30, ESPN
The is the second straight year the Warriors have been featured in this slot, with both games being played at Oracle. It's slighty weird that the Warriors get this game, but the team is always exciting and the home crowd in Golden State is always excellent. The Warriors will run and the Blazers will slow everything down and play at a ridiculous low pace. Contrasting styles, an amped crowd and Steph Curry are good reasons to stay up late and take this one in.

Score: 3 out of 5 Santa Clauses
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com