Tag:Dwyane Wade
Posted on: July 28, 2011 3:32 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 3:36 pm

Kevin Love said the NBA rejoiced when Miami lost

Posted by Royce Young

Sometimes people forget that players are NBA fans too. They obviously are rooting for their own team to win the most, but they watch the games, they care about who wins and doesn't and pay attention to all the biggest stories.

So with last season's no doubt biggest story being the Miami Heat, a lot of players had opinions on the team. And just like a lot of fans celebrated when the Heat lost in six games to the Mavericks in The Finals, so did players. At least so says Kevin Love. Via the Sun-Sentinel, when Love was asked by WFAN in New York if players were happy, he had no problem saying absolutely.

“Oh yeah, great amount of joy out of it,” he said. “Plus, for me, they say nice guys, good guys finish last. But Dallas, they just had a slew of great guys and veterans on their team that made for just a great team.

“It wasn’t just two, three, four guys on the team, like Miami I kind of felt it was.

“Around the league, it was kind of a consensus that guys were happy.”

Obviously this isn't really shocking because we all pretty much knew the second LeBron said he was joining the Heat that everyone set them as enemy No. 1. Teams played them like it was a playoff game every night and the Heat were forced to take everyone's best shot. People wanted to beat them. And so the teams that couldn't were forced to just root against them in The Finals.

But what made it even easier to root against the Heat was the fact that it was pretty easy to root for the Mavericks. Dirk was chasing his first title along with quality veterans Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Peja Stojakovic, Tyson Chandler and Shawn Marion. It was one of those teams that if they didn't get it done this time, you'd kind of have to wonder if they ever would. With the Heat, they're going to have more chances.

Love is kind of trying to say that the Mavs' victory was a triumph for team basketball, which is something every basketball purist -- like Love -- appreciates. Some probably found joy in the Heat's failure because of jealousy, some because of dislike and some for whatever reason they came up with. The Heat were the villains of the NBA last season and will continue to be.

And Kevin Love will probably have a lot more opportunities to sit at home and hope the Heat lose in The Finals. Because he plays for the Wolves, you see.

Posted on: July 27, 2011 8:37 pm

NBA lockout threatens 2012 USA Olympics team?

Posted by Ben Golliver


A dozen of America's top athletes leaping for joy after securing an Olympics gold medal while the foreign opponent huddles together with heasd bowed consoling themselves. You don't have to sport a tattoo of the American flag on your bicep to get a rise out of that scene.

Unfortunately, the NBA lockout hangs over all of basketball these days. And Yahoo! Sports reports that if the league cancels the entire 2011-2012 season it could jeopardize NBA player participation in the 2012 Summer Olympics. In other words, the scene pictured above from Beijing in 2008 might not be repeated in London.
In the doomsday scenario, where labor strife causes the cancellation of the 2011-12 NBA season, and the work stoppage drags into June and then July, there’s little, if no chance, the great American players could play in the Olympics. Team USA is too tied to the NBA – too much of a David Stern production – for the players to break ranks and play. In the post 9-11 world, that’s a tricky subject PR-wise for the players, but several union, USA Basketball and agent sources believe this worst-case labor scenario would cost Team USA its NBA stars.

As the managing director of USA Basketball, Jerry Colangelo answers to Stern, and the league – along with its ATM machine, Nike – has immense impact on the coaching staff and roster. How could the NBA allow its coaches – Team USA assistants Nate McMillan and Mike D’Antoni – to coach NBA players during a lockout? Still, that’s the worst-case scenario, but it’s one that USA Basketball will have to consider should the labor dispute push deep into the NBA season. In this instance, Team USA would have to field a team of American players who’ve built careers overseas, as well as D-League players, and perhaps a superior college superstar or two.

That would obviously put the USA at a serious disadvantage, especially because foreign-born NBA players would almost certainly compete in the Olympics, lockout or not. Teams like Spain, France and Argentina, to name three, could put more raw talent on the court than a mish-mashed USA roster. For perhaps the first time ever, USA would be an unquestioned underdog entering the tournament. That would be a terrible nightmare.

Let's just not think about it. Assuming the lockout is resolved and NBA players are willing and able to compete for their country, here are the 12 names and seven potential alternates for the the roster.
The USA has tended to play versatile, small ball line-ups in recent international competitions. It's unlikely they would add multiple new big men unless one of the 2008 team members decided not to come back. When in doubt, the mantra seems to be, add shooting, which could favor younger guards like Curry and Gordon, who both played on the 2010 World Championships team.
Posted on: July 27, 2011 9:43 am

Why CAA is missing a giant opportunity in China

By Matt Moore

In the last year,  CAA flexed its muscles as the most powerful sports representation entity in professional basketball. LeBron James staged "The Decision," which was a PR disaster and a global branding success. Chris Bosh, James, and Dwyane Wade got what they wanted, to team up where they wanted for basically as much as they wanted. Carmelo Anthony staged a year-long siege on Denver's future, eventually working his way not just out of the team he wanted out of, but to the team he wanted to play for. Chris Paul flexed enough muscle to get help in getting the Hornets back to the playoffs. Tony Parker signed a hefty new extension.

The lockout is here, now, and everyone's evaluating their options. Yet for some reason, CAA hasn't taken the active step in pushing things to the next level in a crucial opportunity to expand their brand in Europe or China. We're starting to see signs that some of their clientele may head over, though. From the AP:
Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony say they will consider offers to play professional basketball in China if there is no resolution to the NBA lockout.

Both players are on a promotional tour of China while monitoring news from home about the NBA's labor impasse.

With Kobe Bryant reportedly negotiating a deal to play in Turkey, New Orleans Hornets' Paul and New York Knicks forward Anthony said they were also considering overseas moves.

Asked by SNTV where they would go, Anthony replied "China." Paul said "Same, no question."
via Paul, Anthony say they will consider playing in China - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball.

Now, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com says that the players should cool it with their globetrotting and go beat down the league's door to get the lockout resolved, which is a nice pipe dream. But considering that A. there's a concern in the union, expressed by Paul, that the talks should represent the whole of the union and not just the superstars and B. let's face it, this is professional sports, it's every man for himself except where launching lawsuits like the NFL did helps your cause, it's not just unlikely, but likely untenable. 

Setting aside the morality questions regarding these players' behavior in a lockout, let's examine the business side of it. CAA is in a unique situation, with its ties to Nike through various sources including but not limited to William Wesley, along with other sponsors, to put together a traveling exhibition tour through China that would fit perfectly with their roster. It would expand their brand in that market, both as a sports entity and the players individually, generate a metric ton of revenue, and would be able to be done according to the wishes of the players. Don't want a coach? Don't need one! Want to be able to cancel a tour date within three hours of the event? Done! They would be able to set all parameters and as a result, have the control they want, using CAA's leveraging power to act as a shield for the players. 

LeBron James is already said to have decided to pass on playing overseas. This decision is pretty baffling, given James is the one star with the biggest goals for global domination. China is part of the gateway to obtaining the brand power of Kobe Bryant, yet James hasn't fully invested himself there, like, say, Carmelo Anthony has. Anthony filmed a movie last year in China and has followed Bryant's suit in establishing himself there, along with Dwight Howard. James would do well not to think himself having already conquered the market with his Beijing stint in 2008. But collectively, CAA could simply overwhelm with the amount of revenue they would generate from spearheading such an effort. In addition, that would leave more opportunities for other players overseas, which strengthens the union's position. 

So why isn't this happening?

Because apparently getting NBA players to commit to anything on that kind of level is like herding cats. CAA can get three superstars to commit the next five years of their careers (at least) to each other in the same city, but can't get this kind of thing organized. Such are the complexities of global domination. Hannibal never had this problem. Maybe they need more elephants.  
Posted on: July 26, 2011 8:34 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 10:11 pm

Dwight Howard on playing for the Heat: 'Never'

Posted by Ben Golliverdwight-howard

Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard has done his best to keep his options open as he slowly approaches free agency.

All of his options, apparently, except for one.

ESPN.com reports that Howard, speaking at a comic convention, has ruled out one NBA team as a possible destination: the 2011 Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat.
What about the Lakers? "That's everybody's question," he told the "Kick" audience. "I am wearing purple … but that's Rock's outfit."

The Heat? "Never."

Stay with the Magic or leave for free agency? "At this point, I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm just enjoying life and taking advantage of being young and being able to travel and do the things that I've always wanted to do."

Howard has added plenty of fuel to the battle for NBA supremacy in Florida since LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh decided to team up in South Beach. He's mocked James' chalk toss, made fun of his hairline and criticized The Decision, to name three obvious examples.

But this blunt dismissal of the Heat is no idle trash talk or laughing matter. Howard seems to be expressing a philosophical difference between himself and his rivals to the south.

It's an interesting stance for him to take, considering that it's his expressed desire to win a title and a trade to the Heat for one of their Big 3 would represent a very, very good way for Howard to reach a ring.

But Howard wants to be the alpha dog. He craves and seeks attention, clearly isn't interested in following someone else's path and, perhaps more than anything, is smart enough to pander to Magic fans. Howard going to the hated Heat is their worst nightmare and he's still got to play out his current contract, after all. 
Posted on: July 21, 2011 6:16 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 10:29 pm

2011 NBA All-Star likeability rankings

Posted by Ben Golliver.


It's one thing to be great on the court. It's one thing to be famous. It's one thing to be marketable. It's one thing to be respected. 

But how do we throw all those attributes together? How do we determine which of the NBA's brightest stars are the most well-rounded? How do we put our finger on which stars capture the imagination, drop jaws and tug on the heart strings? 

It's an impossible task, but that didn't stop the Eye On Basketball staff from trying. Over the last week, we pinpointed five characteristics that combine to make NBA players likeable: "Ballin' Ability" (how good a guy is as a player), "Winning Attitude" (how dedicated he is to the game), "Talking Softly" (how he comes across in public comments), "Commerical Appeal" (how visible he is in advertisements) and "Public Works" (charitable contributions and other character-defining achievements).

Our panel of four experts ranked every member of the 2011 All-Star teams on a 1-5 scale in each of these five categories. We then added up all the scores to get a ranking on a 1 to 100 scale. The higher the number, the more likeable the player. Pretty simple stuff. 

Without further ado, here are the CBSSports.com 2011 NBA All-Star likeability rankings, from worst (least likeable) to first (most likeable). 

24. Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks: Johnson’s unassuming personality and solid perimeter game don’t stand much of a chance here due to his relatively invisible national profile and his team’s lack of playoff success. Score: 44

23. Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks: Horford suffers from the same low-profile problem as Johnson but is perceived as more of a winner because he took home NCAA hardware at the University of Florida, and his game is predicated on doing whatever it takes to get the job done rather than jacking jumpers. Score: 48

22. Chris Bosh, Miami Heat: Bosh is intelligent, articulate and gentle off the court and a versatile talent on the court, so he should be prettychris-bosh-tears likeable, at least in theory. His goofiness -- the photo shoots, the secret wedding, the screaming at the preseason parade -- has become off-putting now that he’s teamed up with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. His status as the league’s most obvious punch line hurts him here. A lot. Score: 54

T-20. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder: Still just a half-touch too far up the “might be crazy” scale to be totally likeable at this point in his career. Westbrook is still stuck in Kevin Durant’s shadow, although he showed with his fearless play in the 2011 postseason that he might one day eclipse KD in terms of sheer star power. Could be a fast riser in future renditions of these rankings, especially if he can cut down his turnovers and shake a developing reputation as a bit of a late-game ball hog. Saying something interesting after a game once in a while wouldn't hurt either. Score: 55

T-20. Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers: Much like the Lakers, Gasol took a step back in prominence this season when he didn’t show up as expected -- and as needed -- in the postseason. His gangly frame isn’t particularly marketable, at least not here in the United States, and while he is a true professional when it comes to the media, he’s known first and foremost as Kobe Bryant’s on-again, off-again punching bag. Score: 55

19. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics: More than anyone else on this list, Rondo genuinely doesn’t care what you think about him. He can come across as curt and moody, and doesn’t expend much energy playing the media game. His authenticity can’t be questioned, but it does keep casual fans at arm’s length. Score: 58

18. Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs: An egoless star on an egoless team in an egoless organization in a relatively small market, Ginobili has never sought the bright lights. Even after all these years, the average fan doesn’t have much of a connection with him. There’s nothing not to like, but nothing that reaches out and grabs you either. Score: 59

17. Deron Williams, New Jersey Nets: Williams gets bonus points for his amazing annual dodgeball tournament and rose to a new level of renown this year thanks to a blockbuster trade and a trailblazing deal with Besiktas in Turkey. The rumored spats with Jerry Sloan that surfaced when the legendary Utah Jazz coach abruptly retired briefly painted a very unlikable picture, although that didn’t seem to bother him too much. Score: 61

16. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics: Beloved in Boston, Pierce’s personal likeability suffers a bit nationally because he’s almost always talked about as one of Boston’s Big Three, with Kevin Garnett usually getting top billing. He's a bit past his prime, which surely costs him some spots on this list. Score: 62

15. Ray Allen, Boston Celtics: Allen is pretty much in the same boat as Pierce, although he’s got an energetic mother (the ever-present Flo), a picture-perfect jump shot and an unforgettable silver screen performance (Jesus Shuttlesworth) to give him a bit of a boost. Score: 64

14. Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves: Love is the anti-Rondo, fully embracing the media attention, putting his self-kevin-love-smiledeprecating humor to full display whenever possible. He’s blogged, starred in viral videos and, let’s not forget, put up mammoth statistics through sheer hard work amidst a dysfunctional mess of a team. All while remaining sane. No easy task. Score: 65

T-12. Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics: Thanks to his on-court bullying antics and incessant trash talk, Garnett is as polarizing as anyone in the league, save LeBron James. But his reputation as a winner was sealed by Boston’s title, he’s been a fixture on the national endorsement circuit for years and his overwhelming competitive desire helps cover up some of the ugliness. Score: 66

 T-12. Amar’e Stoudemire, New York Knicks: Near the top of his game and playing in a major media market, Stoudemire keeps the dunks and quotes coming, so everyone stays happy. The fact that he abandoned Steve Nash immediately following a Western Conference Finals playoff run to take more money without catching any flak for it is a testament to how he’s carved out a major place in the nation’s heart in his own, quirky way. Score: 66

11. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks: Anthony’s steady focus during a half-season-long free agency and trade whirlwind last year won him a lot of goodwill, as does the fact that he’s put millions of dollars into both Syracuse University and Baltimore. Based on talent alone, Anthony should probably be higher on this list, but wife LaLa and his lack of playoff success hold him back. Score: 68

10. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers: Griffin is still enjoying the “new-car smell” phase of his NBA fame. His audacious take-offs, explosive leaping and vicious finishing are so unique for a player his size that nobody much cares that he didn’t make the playoffs and still has a ways to go to fill out an all-around game. The centerpiece of All-Star Weekend in his very first visit, he’s got endorsements by the boatload and is arguably on the verge of over-exposure. He’s still a little stiff, but that seems to be fading. Once he gets a few playoff series wins under his belt, look for Griffin to be a perennial top-5 member on this list. Score: 71

9. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs: Duncan has been so good for so long -- and won so much -- that the respect factor afforded him is significant enough to make up for a bland, sometimes robotic, personality. Duncan can be subtly hilarious and occasionally sharp-tongued with the media. He is also unfailingly classy. Score: 72

8. LeBron James, Miami Heat: He should be No. 1 on every NBA list ever made given his otherworldly talent and global-marketinglebron-james-face-machine status, but James drops hard in terms of likeability due to his late-game failures in the 2011 NBA Finals, his out-of-touch comments towards fans following the Heat's eventual loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the self-unaware “Decision” and his overall child-star cockiness/obliviousness. Even given all of that, no one would be surprised if winning a title vaulted him to the top of this list next year. His talent is that absurd. Score: 74

7. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls: You might have heard: Rose is humble. The 2011 MVP has so much going for him: He’s won at an early age, he’s winning for his hometown team, he’s lived up to expectations, he’s taken responsibility for losses and shared credit for victories, he’s managed to be a scoring point guard without getting written off as “selfish,” and he kept a safe distance from all the free agency politicking that soured a lot of fans on many top-name players last summer. He continues to battle his “shy” public nature, which is the only thing holding him back from much, much greater fame. Score: 79

6. Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets: Paul checks off virtually every box on the likeability list. He’s cutthroat on the court and cuddly off of it. He’s raised loads of money for Hurricane Katrina relief. He’s a devout man without being preachy. He comes across as a caring father and thoughtful citizen. He’s -- so far -- steered clear of hijacking his franchise by demanding a trade or threatening to walk in free agency. The touching story of his love for his deceased grandfather has become an indelible part of his identity. And he is team-first, always. There’s so much to like that you actually hope he finds a better situation, where he will be able to fill out his playoff reputation. Score: 81

5. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks: This is the top of the mountain for Nowitzki, both on and off the court. It simply doesn’t get any better than captaining a balanced team through a marathon playoff run that ended with the demolition of the league’s most hated team. The cherry on top is the fact that Nowitzki came through in the clutch time and again. He’s put an ugly past relationship totally behind him, moving forward with a new fiancé. His personality with the media is easy-going and honest. He plays with a childish love of the game and hits shots that make you marvel. It’s hard to imagine another seven-foot German man gaining this level of acceptance and respect in the United States. Ever. Also, he’s squashed the “soft” label that haunted him for years. Score: 84

4. Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic: Howard has deftly positioned himself as the heir apparent to Shaquille O’Neal, one of the most likeable NBA stars in recent memory. His dominant two-way play serves as the basis for a superhero persona, and his active online presence and numerous endorsement deals make his zany personality inescapable. The fact that he hasn’t committed to the Magic and could be headed for a free agency bonanza could cost him points down the road, but right now he’s still the giant, lovable teddy bear who can swat shots back to half court. Score: 85

T-2. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat: It was a shocking scene when Wade joined James in mocking Nowitzki during the Finals for being sick: A very flat note for someone who has historically been pitch perfect. Throughout his career, Wade has been a Teflon Don, particularly charmed as a player and as an endorser. With a title under his belt and a megawatt smile, Wade has displayed a good sense of humor for years as a pitchman and also been a staple on NBA Cares commercials. Both James and Bosh lost points last summer for their decision to team up in Miami, but Wade came off as a big winner, the cool older-brother figure who pulled off the recruiting haul of a lifetime. Score: 87


T-2. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers: Colorado sure feels like a long, long time ago, doesn’t it? Bryant has made the most of the second half of his NBA career, winning rings by the fistful and growing his international popularity immensely. He’s played through pain, done things his way, taken a direct, often profane, tone with the media and become the closest thing to Jordan since Jordan. Age is slowly advancing, which has a way of humanizing people, and yet his ego and force of will push back equally hard, making it seem, at least for now, that his reign on top will last as long as he chooses. Right now, he’s the NBA’s most mythical figure. Score: 87

1. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder: Surprised? You shouldn’t be. It’s virtually impossible to find fault with the NBA’s scoring champ. Durant combines Rose’s humble nature, Nowitzki’s impossible scoring touch, Griffin’s “new-car smell,” Howard’s technological accessibility and a Bryant-esque work ethic. He’s polite, he’s shown he has what it takes to win in the playoffs at a young age, he’s popular on an international stage already and the best is yet to come. He’s confident, but not cocky. He’s a gunner, but he comes off as unselfish. He’s team-first and loyal, much like Paul, and he’s locked in long-term so there’s no doubt or question about his future motives (at least not yet). Put it all together, and Durant is enjoying the ultimate honeymoon period with the NBA fans. We love potential, and Durant still has plenty of that. Also, he wears a backpack. Score: 88

Posted on: July 19, 2011 4:42 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 4:45 pm

Shaq snubs Chris Bosh, calls Heat 'Big 2'

Shaquille O'Neal makes fun of Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh. Posted by Ben Golliver. shaq-bosh

Shaquille O'Neal is getting his television commentary career off to a fast start, wasting no time hopping aboard the Chris Bosh Punchline bandwagon.

The Associated Press reports that O'Neal took a swipe at the oft-lambasted Heat forward during a televised special announcing the release of the 2011-2012 NBA schedule.
"The Miami Heat, they've got a lot of great players, the 'Big 2.' They will be back," O'Neal said from Louisiana during the broadcast, when discussing the NBA Finals and how Dallas was able to beat Miami for the title. "LeBron James is taking a lot of criticism, but I know LeBron very well. He hears everything that everyone is saying, so I think he's going to come back and have an MVP year this year." 

"Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, you know, they're great players, they're probably the greatest backcourt ever assembled," O'Neal said. "And you know, they're going to get back. They're going to get back. They play well, they went through a lot, they put a lot of pressure on themselves. That's how they like it. And they will be back."
Not particularly original work by O'Neal, but it's good to see that he won't be in the tank for his former team. Sure, he might be pandering to public sentiment but it's definitely better than hearing him defend LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and company.

Best case scenario: O'Neal and fellow commentator Charles Barkley get into a mano-a-mano competition to see who can give the Heat a harder time. Both have shown the ability to be a bit merciless, and certainly that will appeal to the wide swath of NBA fans who enjoy watching the Heat struggle.

O'Neal's Boston Celtics were eliminated by the Heat in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. O'Neal was limited by injuries and was only able to play 12 minutes total in the series, scoring two points and grabbing zero rebounds. The injuries and his age led him to decide to retire in June.  
Posted on: July 19, 2011 4:16 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 3:18 pm

Miami Heat 2011-2012 NBA schedule breakdown

A breakdown of the 2011-2012 Miami Heat NBA schedule. Posted by Ben Golliver.


After the 2011 NBA Finals, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the rest of the Miami Heat were fresh out of answers. The Dallas Mavericks were too much for them, a tough, balanced, steady team that overwhelmed and wore down South Beach's talented trio.

On Tuesday, the NBA officially announced its 2011-2012 schedule, which means it is time to turn our attention to the Heat's quest for redemption. 

First, a few notes. The Heat play just 17 back-to-backs, a bit below average. They're scheduled to appear on national television 25 times, tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for tops in the league.

Without further ado, here are 10 games worth keeping an eye on, assuming there is a full 82-game season with no games lost to a work stoppage due to the ongoing lockout.

Season Opener

The Miami Heat's road back to the Finals begins in Madison Square Garden, where they open their season against the New York Knicks on Wednsday, Nov. 2. Most likely, the Knicks still won't be any good, but they do look good on paper thanks to the tandem of Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. The Heat were 2-2 against the Knicks last year and they lost their 2010-2011 season opener to the Boston Celtics, so this won't be a cakewalk. Still, with vision of J.J. Barea running through them and Jason Terry bombing over the top of them, the Heat should come out motivated and take care of business. 

First Loss

No one can forget Miami's slow start last year. The Heat began just 9-8 and rumors circulated that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra could be in danger of losing his job. This year, the opening schedule is fairly easy. The Heat do have to endure a back-to-back against the Knicks and Orlando Magic to start the season, but four of their next six games are against lottery teams and they play nine of their first 13 games at home. Only three of those 13 opponents won more than 46 games last season (the Celtics and the Magic, whom they play twice). Look for the Celtics to draw first blood again this year. Boston travels to Miami for a rematch of their second round playoff series on Nov. 16. Rajon Rondo will be healthy by then.

Return To Cleveland

LeBron James gets his first visit back to Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland out of the way early in 2011-2012, as the Heat travel to face James' former team, the Cavaliers, in their 8th game of the season. Will James and his entourage be allowed in the parking garage this time? Will the cheers for No. 1 overall draft pick Kyrie Irving eclipse the boos for James? Will he do the chalk toss? Will he have to use the bathroom during introductions again? These important questions and more will be answered on Friday, Nov. 18.

The Lake Show 

A regular season rendition of the Finals match-up that everyone anticipated but never materialized takes place on Thursday, Dec. 8 when the Los Angeles Lakers travel to South Florida. The last time Kobe Bryant and company were in town, the Heat held the Lakers to just 80 points and Bryant released his frustrations by staying at the arena for hours afterwards, getting up some extra shots. The X-factor will be how much damage Andrew Bynum can do (and who the Heat will find in free agency to guard him).

Holiday Appetizer

In a welcome run-up to the Christmas Day showcase game, the Heat will visit the young and super talented Thunder in Oklahoma City for the first of two meetings this season. The game will be nationally televised on Friday, Dec. 23, and feature five of the most athletic and exciting NBA All-Stars in the Heat's trio plus Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It will be awesome. There really better not be a work stoppage.
Christmas Day

The 2011 NBA Finals will have its first official rematch on Christmas Day as the centerpiece of a triple-header. The Heat will head to Dallas to face the Mavericks and confront their late-game collapse demons. Really, I can't imagine a worse way for James to spend Christmas than in the building where he saw his best chance for a ring slip away while playing some of the least effective basketball of his recent career. Kinda brutal, but those are the breaks.

Road Warriors

On Friday, Jan. 6, the Heat travel to the Sacramento Kings to begin their longest West Coast swing of the season. The Heat will play the Kings, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets over a one-week period. That sounds pretty tough, but it's possible that all five of those teams will miss the playoffs next year and there's only one back-to-back, meaning things could be a lot worse. If the Heat are able to stack up wins on this trip -- and perhaps sweep the quintet --it could be pivotal in determining Eastern Conference playoff positioning. 

Running Of The Bulls

The Heat face the Chicago Bulls, their Eastern Conference Finals opponent, four times this season, but all four games will take place in 2012. The first chance Derrick Rose will have to redeem himself will be Thursday, Jan. 19, when Chicago travels to Miami. The Bulls come back to Miami again later in January before the Heat travel to the United Center for games during March and April. If these two teams are duking it out for the top seed in the East, as expected, they'll get four solid head-to-head chances to settle things directly.

Playoff Push

February 2012 is highlighted by another five-game road trip, this time against all Eastern Conference teams, beginning on Wednesday, Feb. 8. This trip is great news for the Heat: four of their five opponents (New Jersey Nets, Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers) missed the playoffs last season and the fifth, the Philadelphia 76ers, were dismantled fairly easily in the first round of last year's playoffs. It's not often a team has the opportunity to sweep two separate 5-game road trips in a single season, but the Heat definitely have the possibility. Best of all, none of the games in this stretch are back-to-backs.

Season Finale

The Heat close out their season at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, April 18. There's always a decent shot that playoff seeding and pairings will already be set, meaning this game could be a Miami fan's best bet to see the odd assortment of end-of-the-bench guys that president Pat Riley assembles to fill out his roster. Good times. 
Posted on: July 19, 2011 1:14 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 1:28 pm

Report: Dwyane Wade sues computer hackers

Miami Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade has filed a lawsuit against computer hackers. Posted by Ben Golliverdwyane-wade-computer

Phone hacking, voicemail hacking, computer hacking. Unlawfully accessing another person's private communication has become the single story dominating headlines internationally.

The Dallas Business Journal reports that Miami Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade has found himself caught up with hackers too, and he's fighting back in court.
Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade claims in a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Sherman that somebody is hacking into his personal email and social media accounts and stealing confidential business and personal information.
The hackers, who aren't named in the complaint, got into Wade's Yahoo! and Twitter accounts, according to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

The hacking happened between Jan. 2007 and June 2011, and involved modifying account settings and changing account passwords, according to the suit. The hackers reviewed years worth of confidential and private information, including documents between Wade and his attorneys, communications between Wade and his ex-wife, business associates, advisers, family and friends, the complaint states. The hackers also sent sometimes vulgar and threatening emails purporting to be from Wade and used Wade's likeness to request private documents, the complaint says.
What a nightmare. A violation of privacy like this, especially one as allegedly malicious and widespread as what Wade dealt with, would be cause for frustration and anger for just about anyone.

Back in June, Wade recorded a video "Message for the Hackers" which was uploaded to YouTube by user BSORobertLittal11. In the video, Wade makes some light-hearted threats to the person who hacked his Twitter account, which has more than 1.4 million followers.

"I got a PSA announcement for my Twitter hacker," Wade said to the camera. "Hi, I'm Dwyane Wade. And this is me talking about you. Why are you hacking me? No pun intended, why are you hacking me? I must be interesting to you ... Yo, I'm going to get straight-faced on you right now. Really. Really. If I see you on the street this is how I'll be. Really. Really! You're going to hack my Twitter?"

"You don't know where I am," Wade continued. "Don't get these T-Mobile commercials confused. Straight-face. T-Mobile phone on my waist. In shape. You want to go night night! Keep hacking my stuff and you'll go night night. Go to sleep." 

The only question now is whether there will be any pie throwing at the trial.

Top photo via YouTube video.
Category: NBA
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