Tag:Miami Heat
Posted on: November 1, 2011 12:15 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 12:21 pm

Video: LeBron James alone and violent

By Matt Moore

The Nike "Basketball Never Stops" spots are so good, we're pretty much going to keep running them. Why? Because it's almost like an NBA team's introduction video, and because it shows the stars doing basketball things, which we're pretty starved for at this point on what would have been opening night in the NBA. 

The new spot is a solo one for LeBron James, with Kevin Durant's expected later in the month. In the spot, James is on a rooftop, with the spotlight from the other video with him, KD, and Dirk. He goes through his workout as shots are interlaced of the city shutting down for then night while James keeps working. This of course requires a high degree of reality suspension since we're all patently aware of how much James likes to party. But whatever, it's a good spot with a good intent.

Also, the violence with which James dunks is still awe-inspiring. Must not have been the fourth quarter of his workout. Yes, I made the obligatory fourth-quarter joke. If the NBA's not going to give us games, I'm going to pander. It's my pander pout.  

Posted on: October 31, 2011 6:01 pm
Edited on: October 31, 2011 6:19 pm

NBA fines Heat owner Arison $500K for tweets

Posted by Ben Gollivermicky-arison

You spoke out against the family. You threw your brothers under the bus. For that, you must pay.

Yahoo Sports reports that NBA commissioner David Stern has fined Miami Heat owner Micky Arison $500,000 for violating the NBA's gag order for a series of Twitter messages he posted on Friday night. The Sun-Sentinel later confirmed the report.

The messages were posted on Arison's account - @MickyArison - in the hours after labor negotiations between the NBA and the National Basketballl Players Association broke down.

Arison responded to an angry fan who blamed him for being a "greedy pig" by saying that he was "barking at the wrong owner." He also said that owners "care alot" about the NBA's fans and laughed when asked for his opinion of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. 

Arison, the CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, deleted a number of messages, including the "barking" one, from his account shortly after posting them.

The Heat's owner was recently ranked No. 75 on the Forbes 400 richest Americans list with an estimated net worth of $4.2 billion. After he spent the summer of 2010 assembling a veritable dream team of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, it's no wonder he might want to get the NBA's schedule started sooner rather than later.

The tweets likely drew such a hefty fine because they represented the first real public fissure in ownerships' position. By and large, the NBA's owners have issued very few comments on the state of negotiations and certainly no one had deviated from the league's message as drastically as Arison did. 

NBA legend Michael Jordan, currently the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, was reportedly fined $100,000 for his comments about the lockout in September. Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn was also reportedly fined for discussing multiple players during the lockout.
Posted on: October 24, 2011 7:46 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 7:55 pm

Video: Jordan Brand releases 'Love The Game' ad

Posted by Ben Golliver

NBA players, locked out by their league's owners and stuck in a labor impasse, recently attempted to curry public favor with a social media campaign using the words "Let Us Play." Of course, it backfired, as fans pointed out that there was a deal on the table (albeit a terrible one) that would have allowed the players to return to work immediately if they simply signed off on it. Appealing to the public for sympathy and pointing their collective finger at the owners just didn't strike the right chord with fans who can easily find fault with both sides.

Leave it to Jordan Brand to find the proper wording and tone that has eluded the NBPA for months. Building on Nike's "Basketball Never Stops" tagline that's dotted t-shirts at exhibition games throughout the summer, Jordan has released a two-minute long commercial that paints the players in a better light than any Billy Hunter interview could.

Starring Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, the ad aims to show how devoted the players are to their craft, regardless of the lockout. To prove it, Wade, Anthony and Paul are shown competing in a variety of pick-up games and intramural leagues near their home NBA market. Wade stars in the Miami Kiwanis Club League, the Flamingo Sr. Rec Center League and the Dade County Municipal League; Paul runs game in the NOLA Inter-Parish League and the Bayou Women's League; Anthony holds court in a Williamsburg pick-up game, at Five-Star Basketball Camp and in the Jewish under-40 league. Wade, Paul, and Anthony face off against opponents of both genders and all ages, races and creeds. 

As the ad wraps, the All-Star trio comes together for an exhibition game in Beijing, China, with fans giddy in anticipation. Finally, the tagline -- "Love The Game... No Matter What" -- splashes on the screen to conclude the commercial.

In terms of pure public relations value, "Love The Game" wins in a landslide over "Let Us Play." Even the most cynical observer can appreciate demonstrated passion for basketball. The players may never win the sympathy of the general public, but putting aside the financial aspects of the lockout to focus on a universal love for the game, as Jordan has done here, should earn them some renewed respect.

Video courtesy of YouTube user Jumpman23.

Hat tip: @DarrenRovell
Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:45 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2011 1:59 pm

LeBron biographer hoped for career-ending injury

Posted by Ben Golliverlebron-james-ground

In case you missed it, LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat during the summer of 2010, turning the NBA world upside down, eliciting hate from the state of Ohio and causing two men, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and writer Scott Raab, to lose their minds.

Both Gilbert and Raab sought refuge with pen and pad. Gilbert wrote a vicious open letter to Cavaliers fans accusing James of betrayal and promising that the Cavaliers would would win a title before the Heat. Raab took that concept approximately 1,459 steps further, deciding to write a book about James, titled The Whore of Akron, and his first year in South Beach.

Esquire.com has released an excerpt from the book. Not surprisingly, the excerpt pulls no punches, mocking James for his receding hairline, his failure to deliver in clutch situations, his decision to play second fiddle to Dwyane Wade and the fact that he is playing in a town that doesn't care about basketball.  

Raab does make one fairly startling statement: he wanted James to suffer a debilitating injury.
This is where LeBron James wants to play basketball, in front of sun-dried cretins who must be bribed to act as if they care about the game and the team. Where another superstar already is the Man in the locker room and on the court; where nobody in the media will ever mention his collapse against Boston, his phantom elbow pain, and his steadfast refusal to hold himself accountable for his team's big-game failures.

For as long as I've been a fan, I've rooted hard against certain teams and players, but never have I hoped to see a career-ending injury — until tonight.

Aside from death and cancer, that's as low as you can go in sportswriting.

But this clearly wasn't an accidental step down a worm hole. The excerpt reads a bit like a self-loathing confession, as Raab details how sorry he feels for himself for being overweight and lays out his prescription medication cocktail of choice for the world to see. The deep personal hatred for James falls under that same umbrella, as the author stands as an obvious symbol of the wreckage James left when he chose to abandon Cleveland for Miami.

How bad was The Decision? So bad a grown man readily admits that he wants a life-altering catastrophe as revenge.

It's a nauseating but ultimately effective device. By the end of the chapter the reader understands this isn't going to be your garden variety James rant. The Whore of Akron promises to go to darker, more disturbing places. This has the makings of a Bible for LeBron haters. Of course, it also has the makings of a restraining order.
Posted on: October 15, 2011 2:45 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 2:52 pm

Dwyane Wade wanted 'respect' from David Stern

Posted by Ben Golliverdwyane-wade-grit

Dwyane Wade says he was simply channeling Aretha Franklin during his confrontation with David Stern.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported that the Miami Heat All-Star guard and the NBA's commissioner had a heated back-and-forth during labor negotiations in New York City two weeks ago. 
Wade took exception to commissioner David Stern's tone and gesturing -- the commissioner evidently was pointing his finger while speaking to the players -- and "stood up for himself," a person with knowledge of the meeting said. According to two people familiar with the incident, Wade warned Stern not to point his finger and made reference to not being a child.
Speaking at Marquette Madness, his alma mater's annual college basketball season kickoff event, Wade said that he was just seeking respect from Stern.

Mike Singer, CBSSports.com's Rapid Reporter for Marquette, has Wade's reflection on the much ballyhooed exchange of words. 
Reporter: There’s only a handful of people on the planet that would’ve told David J. Stern what you told David J. Stern.

Wade: "What’d I tell him?"

Reporter: You told him to shut it down. Don’t holla at you like that.

Wade: "It’s about negotiations. I’m a person about respect, I respect people in their positions and I look at someone to do the same for me. So when it gets to that point where I don’t feel like that, I’m a man, I’m going to say my piece."

Reporter: That Wade anger slipped out.

Wade: "Naw it’s just animated conversation. It’s not like it’s not a conversation that he’s never had before. It took on legs of its own. It was about the negotiations and you know things, were taken out of context, voices were raised a little bit but nothing that don’t go on in everyday world."
That's a typically savvy response from Wade, who avoided the obvious bait by refusing to offer a ton of specifics and making it clear that he wasn't speaking from an out of control emotional state. 

The negotiations haven't progressed significantly after that moment, so aside being a humorous sideshow, it's difficult to argue that Wade's words had any lasting impact. At this point, that confrontation is water under the bridge. 
Posted on: October 14, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 1:50 pm

LeBron James gets custom Liverpool FC jersey

Posted by Ben Golliverlebron-james-liverpool

From football jersey to futbol jersey.

On Wednesday, the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, desperate for attention, had head coach Pete Carroll deliver a customized jersey to Miami Heat forward LeBron James on Twitter. Within 48 hours, James had moved on to a much more popular team in a different sport.

On Friday, James posted a photo on Twitter of a customized red Liverpool Football Club jersey with his first name and his jersey No. 6 on the back.

Back in April, James and his LRMR sports marketing firm acquired a minority stake in Liverpool FC by striking a deal with Fenway Sports Group, a company that owns both Liverpool and MLB's Boston Red Sox.

James tweeted that he toured Anfield, Liverpool's home stadium, before Saturday's match against Manchester United. The clubs are two of the Premier League's biggest powers and among soccer's most popular and venerable franchises.

"Ready for the big match tomorrow," James said. I can't wait!!! Amazing."

As of Friday, Manchester United sat tied for first in the Premier League's tables with a record of six wins, one draw and no losses. Liverpool was in fifth place with a record of four wins, one draw and two losses.
Posted on: October 13, 2011 8:16 pm

NBA Roundtable: LeBron in the NFL?

By Matt Moore

When LeBron James took to Twitter this week to ask ESPN's John Clayton about the last date a player can sign with an NFL team as a free agent, the world went nuts. James was an All-State wide receiver in high school at St. Vincent-St. Mary's his junior year before committing full-time to basketball his senior season. He made an All-State ad where he appeared as a Browns receiver. He's known to love playing Madden. He frequently comments on the NFL. With the NBA lockout seemingly nowhere near a conclusion, could James actually be considering putting on cleats? Is he out of his "Decision"-making mind?

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll asked the Heat star if he knew how much rookies make in the NFL. James responded with "more than I'm making now," which of course fails to factor all of his income outside of his Heat salary, but nonetheless.Carroll was enthused. The Seahawks followed up Wednesday by producing a Twitter image of a Seahawks jersey for James. The King approved.

Debate has centered around whether James is skilled enough to make it on an NFL field, whether he's tough enough, whether he's brave enough. The more relevant argument, the one that ends it in totality is that James has guaranteed money coming to him from the Heat once the lockout ends, over $16 million per season, money that he would be risking with a stint in the NFL no matter how brief. Furthermore, there has been no indication that NFL officials would even grant a locked-out NBA player eligibility, though there could be legal challenges if James or any other player wanted to push the issue enough.

Our brethren at Eye on Football already explored the idea through the virtual world of Madden.

But still we wanted to consider the possibility of this dream, and what it would be like if the most polarizing figure in the NBA jumped to the gridiron. So we vomited it up in an email thread.

Matt Moore: So we know the reasons this won't happen. But let's treat it like us getting games before Jan.1. As a dream. What position do you see him at? What team? I love the idea of him as a Wildcat QB. He's got the arm. Everyone talks about the problem with progressions, but the man navigates bounce passes in traffic at full speed 10 times a night. He obviously wouldn't block. But Brinson put him as a receiving tight end. What do you think?

I also really want him to play for the Browns. It would just show how fickle fans are and how much people love football in this country. Plus every other team would be aiming to take his block off. that would be interesting.

Ben Golliver: I don't think you're totally crazy with the wildcat QB idea, although I'd like to see that in third-and-short and goal line situations more than anything, where you could really take advantage of his extension, explosiveness and potentially his leaping ability. I think as a quarterback in regular situations, he becomes a big target and he wouldn't have enough nearly enough passing skills and ability to read the defense to keep teams honest for four quarters. I guess I like him a lot better in space, either as a tight end or even a wide receiver. As I mentioned Wednesday night, his combination of height, size, speed, wingspan and athletic skills make him a match-up nightmare at the tight end position. He'd have to learn to take a hit, for sure, but if you're running him on crossing patterns and rolling your QB out, there's not a player in the NFL who can stay with him sideline-to-sideline and elevate high enough to disrupt a pass to him. At the goal line, lining him up outside for the jump ball fade would be an obvious strategy. He's winning that or commanding double coverage and opening things up elsewhere, no questions asked.

Royce Young: I only think it's natural that he plays wide receiver. To me, LeBron would just be the next Megatron. Big, strong and fast with great hands. He's played there before, is comfortable in that spot and would be really good, I think. Just makes sense.

A wildcat QB would be interesting, but I don't think LeBron's going to want to get hit. Which if he's just a third down receiver, he could catch his pass and get down quickly.

But if he were to be willing to play physical, how about him at defensive end? I mean, he's 6-8, 260. That's about the same size as Jared Allen (6-6, 270) and just a little lighter than Mario Williams (6-6, 290). LeBron would have incredible footwork and of course would be fast off the ball. If he was willing to hit, he could tear up some left tackles.

Moore: It's weird that everyone thinks he wouldn't want contact.

The bus isn't afraid of running over the deer. I think Wildcat in short yardage he could be killer.

Also, James> Tebow, we can all go ahead and agree on that, right?

Golliver: It just speaks to the nature of the sports -- basketball has devolved to the point where selling calls is a crucial part of games, especially late in games and especially in the postseason. If you put him in a sport where any form of weakness is discouraged and mocked I think we would see him evolve pretty quickly.

We haven't really decided what position he is best suited for psychologically. He's a playmaker in the NBA which would lead you to think he would be a QB but he's not totally reliable and has issues with making the right decisions when the stakes are highest. You want him running your 2-minute drill? You could argue that his level of fame, self-confidence (ego), and entourage combine to make him suited only for the wide receiver position, but that clashes with his expectations for his own usage rate, doesn't it? Come to think of it, he would be demanding the ball on every play a la Randy Moss within about four weeks, wouldn't he? Tight end -- the keep your head down, work hard all day, who cares about the credit position -- seems like one of the worst possible fits. Royce's idea of defensive end, a spot where he would be encouraged to throw chalk up in the air for his sack dance, actually makes a lot of sense from this standpoint.

Young: Well I guess it's that I can't entirely detach myself from reality. LeBron's not going to want to get hurt so if he played football, he'd want a position where he could be kept largely safe.

My thinking is though, wherever LeBron was, I think he'd be good. He just strikes me as a guy that's going to succeed pretty much anywhere. Defensive back, defensive end, tight end, wide receiver, fullback -- I don't think it necessarily matters. In football, superathletes rule the day and that's what LeBron is. He's like Jevon Kearse -- a freak.

Speaking of, maybe that's my natural comparison for LeBron at defensive end. The Freak 2.0. Like Ben said, complete with stupid celebratory sack dance.

Moore: He'd be a killer corner. Tackle people smaller than him. Yell at them when they drop it.

Wait, does Kevin Garnett want to play?
Posted on: October 13, 2011 10:25 am

Amar'e would rather have Melo because he's clutch

By Matt Moore

During the various rounds of media that Amar'e Stoudemire has done this week promoting his new shoe, Stoudemire was asked about who he'd want on his team, Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James. Stoudemire of course replied Melo, because that's his teammate and to say anything else would not only be rude and insulting, but incredibly stupid. But it's not what Stoudemire replied that will raise an eyebrow. It's his reasoning for why. From the New York Post
“Carmelo is a clutch player,’’ Stoudemire said. “Carmelo is definitely known for making those last-second shots. Comes down to the last few minutes of a game, you want to have Carmelo on your team. LeBron is a great facillitator and ultimate team player.’’

James, after his Finals flop, is certainly starting to lose his rep as a clutch late-game shooter. Stoudemire has no love lost for James, as he spurned the Knicks days after Stoudemire agreed to terms. Also, Stoudemire had interest in Miami but Dwyane Wade and James preferred teaming up with Chris Bosh over Stoudemire.
via Amar'e: I'd take Melo over King James.

Let's start with the clutch part. Anthony is by many accounts most clutch player in the NBA. For years, he's been at the top of the field goal percentage and points in the clutch categories. Last year was a minor step back for him, but that was mostly because of what his role became on the Knicks with so few alternatives. But Stoudemire's comments about James ring with a certain amount of truth. He is a great facillitator. But the subtext is that James is more of "the guy behind the guy" rather than "the guy." And the fact that he's tried to be "the guy" is the source of a lot of his problems. You can recognize that James does nearly everything exceptionally well, but that he's not the go-to scoring option, at least he hasn't been yet. Or at least he wasn't in the Finals, since he was in the Eastern Conference Finals. It's complicated. But Stoudemire's defense of Melo is simultaneously a criticism of LeBron, and does show an attitude split between the Knicks and the Heat. The Knicks, for as much of a run-and-gun squad as they are, have a certain edge to them Miami does not. Watching that rivalry will develop will be fascinating consdering the friendship between the main players. 

Back in July of 2010, you know, old school, back when there was an NBA, we wrote up the comparisons between Stoudemire and Chris Bosh and found that the Heat may not have made the best choice.  That certainly played out over the course of the season as Bosh struggled though his playoff performances redeemed him some what. The common thought is that Stoudemire could never have been the defensive player Bosh was for the Heat, but there's no real way to judge that. Stoudemire has never been a part of a defensive system that strong... or strong at all, really. How he does with Mike Woodson will tell us more about that than anything, as well as the same about Melo.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com