Tag:Miami Heat
Posted on: October 11, 2011 1:10 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2011 1:20 pm
 

10 great games we're missing out on

Posted by Royce Young



There will be an NBA season. You can take that to the bank. Or to the grocery store. You can take it somewhere.

But what there won't be is a first two weeks of the season. Those are canceled. Ninety-nine games... gone. Which totally sucks, but that's just the reality. Blame who you want to blame, yell about it to your cab driver, write letters to your congressperson (that's what you're supposed to do, right?), but it doesn't matter. Until the players and owners -- very rich people, mind you -- can agree on how to split up some $4 billion in revenue, we won't be seeing basketball.

Two weeks could very well be the tip of the iceberg. Which would really suck. And what are we missing? Cover your eyes, diehards. It may be too much for you. Here are the 10 best games that vanished like a fart in the wind Monday night.

Bulls at Mavericks (Nov. 1)
Opening night in the NBA was going to be a real treat. It always is because we're all excited the NBA is back, but kicking things off with the Mavericks getting their rings and then taking on the MVP Derrick Rose and one of the East's best teams? Oh yes please.

 It was probably going to be a great game, but just the atmosphere in Dallas as the Mavs took one last victory lap around their trophy was going to be special. Granted, it'll happen eventually, but now it's tainted. It's just not the same anymore.

Thunder at Lakers (Nov. 1)
Wrapping up opening night was young versus old with a delicious matchup of Kevin Durant versus Kobe Bryant. The Thunder and Lakers quietly have a nice little rivalry going that started in the postseason two years ago, but stepped up a bit more when Oklahoma City acquired renowned Laker-hater Kendrick Perkins. Russell Westbrook always goes full tilt against the Lakers -- especially in L.A., where he's from -- and the game's are almost always good.

Plus, this was to be our official introduction to Metta World Peace.

Heat at Knicks (Nov. 2)
It's great that this old rivalry is back to meaning something, but holy starpower Batman. Carmelo. LeBron. Bosh. Amare. Wade. Chauncey. I don't really have to give you more reason as to why this one's a bummer to miss, right?

Magic at Heat (Nov. 3)
The Magic are a curious bunch. They could be good this season. They could be average. But whatever the case, they're going to be fired up to play their neighbor from South Beach. Dwight Howard always brings his best out in big games and I'm having visions of Orlando's awesome 3-point barrage comeback right now from last season.

Alas.

Mavericks at Spurs (Nov. 4)
Dirk and Tim Duncan -- how many more times will we get to see this matchup of titans? With both hitting the twilight of their careers, each time they square off, it's something precious to hold. Like the few sips of a Neapolitan shake from In-N-Out.

Thunder at Mavericks (Nov. 5)
The "REMATCH REVENGE RIVALRY" hook is a good one and definitely a top reason to be excited for this game, but it's also the type of matchup that almost guarantees a great game. Because here's the thing: If OKC blows out Dallas, Durant's giving you an awesome performance. If Dallas blows out OKC, Dirk probably dropped a ridiculously efficient line.

There would be flashbacks to their great Western Finals series and you know Russell Westbrook would be ready to try and stick it to his critics.

Hornets at Lakers (Nov. 6)

Remember how Chris Paul completely torched the Lakers in the opening round in last season's playoffs? Remember how he, and he alone, gave the Lakers a good scare?

He was probably going to do something like that again. Sad face.

Clippers at Bulls (Nov. 8)
Blake Griffin? Derrick Rose? Yeah, I like watching both of those guys play. What's that? I could've been watching them both play AT THE SAME TIME? Pretty much the NBA equivalent of having your cake and eating it too.

Spurs at Lakers (Nov. 9)
Time's running out for both these teams. Each year it feels like the Spurs will start to take a dip and then they win 60 games again. Same goes for the Lakers. These two franchises don't exactly like each other, which happens when you're always competing against the other for a trophy. Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich relish beating the Lakers and always bring their best to Staples.

Thunder at Bulls (Nov. 10)

You know how we're all talking about how the NBA's in such a good place right now, especially because of the young players who will inherit the spotlight? This is kind of the Super Bowl for that idea. Rose, Westbrook and Durant are three superstars under the age of 24 and all who have great attitudes and understand the game.

Plus, their teams are really, really good.

Too bad this game, or really, all of these 99, don't exist anymore. I'd take Timberwolves-Raptors 10 straight times at this point.
Posted on: October 8, 2011 3:46 pm
 

Nike to release LeBron James 9 'Cannon' shoe

Posted by Ben Golliver

nike-lebron-james-9

Last year, LeBron James and the Miami Heat spent some time during training camp at a Florida Air Force base. This year, training camp has been cancelled due to the ongoing NBA lockout, but James has a new sneaker meant to honor that experience.

On Sunday, Nike will release the ninth iteration of James' signature sneaker. Dubbed the LeBron 9 "Cannon," the original model will be sold exclusively in South Florida and the Associated Press reports that the shoe's design and color scheme was inspired by the Air Force.
Nike calls it "The Cannon'' edition of the LeBron 9. The military-green theme is a nod to the Miami Heat having their first training camp since James joined the team last season at Hurlburt Field and Eglin Air Force Base. Those installations in Florida's Panhandle hosted the Heat for about a week, and players interacted with military personnel during that camp.
At first glance, these shoes seem more like "tank" than "aircraft carrier" or "fighter plane," but the personal, local touch and concept is cool regardless.
 
The LeBron 9 Cannon by Nike will retail for $170.

Nike and James recently released the "Miami Nights" version of his eighth signature sneaker and released a "South Beach" model in Oct. 2010.

Top image via Uproxx.com.
Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:44 pm
 

Dan Gilbert's still making money off of LeBron

Posted by Royce Young



After "The Decision" last June, Dan Gilbert was, well, pissed. He ripped off a now infamous Comic Sans rant proclaiming that LeBron was a traitor and wouldn't win a title before the Cavs. He also pulled a more subtle gesture to take a dig at his former superstar: Gilbert, who owns Fathead, slashed prices on all LeBron Cavalier merchandise to $17.41, which is the year famous traitor Benedict Arnold was born.

History slam.

But via CNBC.com, Gilbert, who profitted greatly from LeBron's time in Cleveland, is back to making money off his sworn enemy.

Before last season, LeBron James decided to opt out of the wall graphic category that is included as part of each NBA player's group licensing agreement. James had a deal with a company to make wall graphics of him, though that company couldn't use NBA marks since the official rights to league marks were exclusive to Fathead.

In the end, the company never did release a James wall graphic and the opt out recently expired.

But on Monday morning, CNBC discovered that Fathead was selling four wall graphics of James in his Heat jersey. What makes the relationship sticky is that the ownership group of Fathead is led by Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who LeBron of course left to go to the Heat.

(If you're wondering, Gilbert can continue to sell his Fathead player things during the lockout because the company's deal is with the NBA Players' Association, not the NBA.)

If you're wondering, all the Fathead LeBron stuff is now $17.41 now. It's now $99.99. So Gilbert's obviously made a mends enough in his mind to take advantage of LeBron's starpower to make a little money off him.

LeBron needs to ask himself his favorite question here: What should I do? Should he opt out again just to spite Gilbert? Should he be the bigger man and just let Gilbert make his life-size wall stickers?

I'm a big fan of spite and I think LeBron has every reason to opt out just to stick it to Gilbert. I mean, remember, Gilbert did call LeBron a coward. And then rubbed him losing the NBA Finals in a bit on Twitter. Go for spite LeBron. You've stuck it to Gilbert before, now just do it again.
Posted on: October 5, 2011 7:20 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 7:47 pm
 

Pippen: LeBron will have better stats than Jordan

Posted by Ben Golliver

jordan-pippen

On the court, Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen was relentless, a menace in the open court and as effective an on-ball defender as you'll ever see. In retirement, there's still no quit in Pippen.

More than six months after Pippen put his foot in his mouth by saying that Miami Heat forward LeBron James "may be the greatest player to ever play the game" and roughly four months after he backtracked, saying that his Bulls teammate, Michael Jordan, was actually the greatest, Pippen continues to waffle in his comparison.

MySharoni.com reports that Pippen is now parsing the comparison in a new manner, arguing that Jordan is the greatest of all time but that James will wind up with better numbers when it's all said and done. 
“My position is still the same,” Pippen stated. “You’re talking about a very young kid who came to the game at a very young age. Statistically, he will probably be the best player at the end of the day…based on the number of years he can get in, [he’s a] super athlete, very versatile in a lot of ways.”

Pippen added, “My comment was not meant to belittle the greatest player in the game—he has truly made his mark with his style, with his charisma, with his brand—but from a statistical standpoint, I think [LeBron] has great [potential] to be recognized as the best.”
First off, is there any way we can lock out Scottie Pippen's mouth indefinitely? 

Second: After a massive initial blunder, Pippen is finally, mercifully, correct in his assessment, at least the part about James finishing with better career numbers than Jordan. Jordan is, without question, the greatest basketball player of all time and so significantly better than James that the two don't belong in the same sentence at this stage of James' career. The only current player close to matching Jordan is Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and, even then, Jordan wins out with ease.

But James has the opportunity -- and has shown the capability -- to smash Jordan's statistical marks. Here's a side-by-side comparison to help tell the story. James already has 17,362 career points, 3,000+ more than Jordan had at the same age. He has 1,700+ more rebounds and 1,700+ assists too. Keep in mind that Jordan was 26, James' current age, before he took off the better part of two seasons in the prime of his career to play professional baseball. In other words, James has roughly a two-season head start on Jordan thanks to the fact that he entered the NBA straight out of high school (James entered at age 19, Jordan at age 21), he gained an extra year thanks to an early career foot injury that sidelined Jordan for almost all of the 1985-1986 season, and he will gain even more extra ground by the time he turns 32, when, barring injury, he will have had the opportunity to play in another 130 or so games more than Jordan did by the same age because of the baseball foray. Those 130 extra games go on top of the 200 extra games that James has already accumulated. That's at least an extra four seasons of production; that's a huge chunk considering that Jordan's career spanned just 13 full seasons plus portions of two others.

The only thing stopping James from passing Jordan is how long he can remain productive and, even then, it would take a catastrophe for that to get in the way. Jordan had big statistical output through the age of 34, and then emerged from retirement to play two additional seasons with the Washington Wizards that really amounted to 1.25 seasons or so of peak production combined. In other words, James needs only to last through the age of 36 -- 10 more seasons -- to ensure that he effectively lasts as long as Jordan did.

Because of his head start, James really only needs to last another six or seven seasons to pass Jordan in all of the major statistical categories. Indeed, he's already 54 percent of the way to catching Jordan in points, 67 percent of the way to catching Jordan in rebounds and 77 percent of the way to catching Jordan in assists.

Of course, in the most critical number of all -- the number of championship rings -- James is zero percent of the way to matching Jordan. And all of us, even Pippen, should realize that fact will always separate Jordan and James in the "greatest of all time" debate. Unless James can win seven titles, of course.
Posted on: October 3, 2011 6:40 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2011 6:44 pm
 

LeBron James, Miami Heat need full NBA season

Posted by Ben Golliver

lebron-james

The first title has to be clean.

When you’re playing with an eye towards history and your expressed purpose is to serve as the NBA’s next great dynasty, the first championship won’t be compared to just any old title. 

No, it will be judged against the first titles won by previous legends and it will have to stack up on some key criteria. The title must come against top competition. The title must be secured with the franchise player leaving his stamp on the key moments. And, most importantly, there can’t be any loopholes or asterisks. If prospective basketball Kings eye immortality, those criteria are nonnegotiable.

The greatest to ever do it, Michael Jordan, won MVP all six times he went to the NBA Finals. Along the way, he knocked off an entire generation of stars: Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Reggie Miller, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, and the list goes on. In securing his first title, Jordan knocked off the defending champion Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals and sent home arguably the greatest player of the 1980s, Magic Johnson, in the Finals. Jordan averaged an astonishing 31.2 points, 11.4 assists, 6.6 rebounds, 2.8 steals, 1.4 blocks and shot 55.8 percent from the field in the five-game romp over the Lakers.

That’s clean. Just try to pick nits over that. The fact that the Pistons stomped off the court in defeat and Johnson graciously passed the torch only adds to the legend. That's clean.

Johnson’s own story is nearly as strong. As a rookie, he won Finals MVP for leading the Lakers past a loaded Philadelphia 76ers team with center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sidelined with an ankle injury. Just 20-years-old, he famously played all five positions in the deciding game, putting up 42 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists, and secured the title on the road, sending Hall of Famer Julius Erving and company home empty-handed. Pretty damn clean.

Rookie Bill Russell grabbing 32 rebounds in Game 7 of the 1957 Finals for the Boston Celtics to defeat the St. Louis Hawks, led by Hall of Famer Bob Pettit. Clean. In 1981, Larry Bird nearly averaged a triple-double -- 15.3 points, 15.3 rebounds and seven assists per game -- and memorably rebounded and reloaded his own miss in mid-air for one of basketball’s greatest highlights in defeating the Houston Rockets, led by Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon. Clean.

For immortality, that’s the standard. Sure, it’s nearly impossible to match, but if we’re talking about “not one, not two, not three, not four” levels of greatness, that’s what you’re up against. The performance must be unimpeachable.

With the notable exceptions of guard Dwyane Wade, forward Udonis Haslem and president Pat Riley, 2011-2012 is shaping up to be the first title for all the key members of the Miami Heat. LeBron James. Chris Bosh. Head coach Erik Spoelstra. Whichever cadaver is brought in to play center. And, really, if we wind up talking about a Heat dynasty 20 years from now, 2006 won’t be mentioned, except with regard to Wade. All that will truly matter is how many rings get stacked up over the next 6-to-8 years.

That’s especially true for James, who has the best shot at joining basketball's all-timers. The last thing that James needs at this juncture, then, is an asterisk. And a shortened season is about as big as asterisks come.

Nothing says impeachable quite like winning a title in one of only two seasons in the past forty that were played with less than 82 games. Nothing says loophole like jogging through a 50-game spread against opponents in varying degrees of condition and then suiting up for a playoffs that very well could include a bunch of teams that shouldn't be there. All six of Jordan’s titles came in 82-game seasons; all five of Johnson’s titles came in 82-game seasons; all three of Bird’s titles came in 82-game seasons. If James wants to climb that mountain, and he should, he's being handed a tough trail.

James, already with more detractors than he can handle, will be damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t if a single NBA game is canceled, as is expected to be announced later this week. James was already held to a higher standard than your typical NBA superstar, but, title-less at age 26 and coming off of back-to-back summers in which he alienated vast swaths of basketball fans with the “Decision” and then dramatically collapsed in the 2011 NBA Finals, pressure and expectations have only mounted. To win a title in any way except in pristine conditions and through overwhelming statistical production will not suffice. “Yeah, he won, but it was a lockout,” critics will say. “MJ never needed a short season to win a championship.”

The expectations James feels are mirrored by those facing his organization. After the preseason parade, the “teaming up,” the “taking their talents to South Beach,” and the instant success reflected by a Finals run in their first year together, Miami badly needs revenge and redemption. But neither revenge nor redemption will taste sweet if everyone is harping that it “doesn’t count” because of the work stoppage.

If James and the Heat do take home their first title in June, it won’t be enough. Their only hope is to keep winning, a lot, stacking up enough jewelry so that the "lockout title" is no longer worth mentioning. Until that happens, “sure, he won three (or four, or five) titles, but…” will follow them like a pox.  Because the doubts don’t stop at multiple rings. Just ask Olajuwon, who won two in the 1990s. “But Jordan was playing baseball.” The doubts don’t even stop at five. Just ask guard Kobe Bryant. “But it was Shaquille O’Neal’s team for the first three.” Paradoxically, then, winning this season could serve to increase expectations for the Heat rather than satiate them. Winning to prove that winning wasn't a fluke is a vicious cycle.

The Heat and their fans will likely respond to this line of argumentation by saying that they don’t care about what outsiders think. That history can only be written one season at a time and that it would be better to win a title and get the monkey off the bag. That’s the right approach. But, deep down, they want their first title of the modern era to be indisputable more than anyone else. They've been through the fire, they've suffered through the media circus, they've absorbed all the criticism. James surely wants to bathe in champagne like a care-free child knowing that he put decades of doubt to bed once and for all.

And, surely, as a student of the game, he knows that’s impossible in a shortened season. If one game is lost, it might as well be all 82 for Miami. Labor negotiations are a dirty game, and a corrupted 2012 NBA title could never be clean.
Posted on: October 3, 2011 2:29 pm
 

Video: Wade and LeBron work out

Posted by Royce Young

You may have been hearing a lot about teams organizing their own mini-camp style workout sessions. Since players are literally locked out of their practice facilities on the day training camp was to start, they're left to set up their own things to stay in shape.

And the Heat are no different. LeBron and Dwyane Wade organized a workout and while it's not exactly your classic workout situation -- not many folks bench press on the beach -- it's something to try and stay ready for whenever there really is a season.

Posted on: October 3, 2011 10:44 am
 

Isiah Thomas: People are jealous of LeBron

By Matt Moore

If William Wesley is the silent power broker of the NBA, Isiah Thomas is kind of becoming the opposite. He's the power broker who talks all the time. Thomas is, to no one's surprise, behind the charity event being held next Saturday night at FIU (where he coaches) that featurs a cavalcade of NBA All-Stars. And as part of his promotion for the event, he talked to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel about a range of topics, including why it is that so many people hate LeBron James. Naturally, it's not because of "The Decision" or the perceived egotism or the lack of clutch play or the void of championships or the post-game comments about people going back to their lives after the Finals. No, no. It's becaue he's been so successful, you see, according to Thomas. From the Sun-Sentinel
"It kind of comes with the territory when you're really good," Thomas said. "Nobody cares about the loser. Everybody likes the loser.

"Some people are not going to like you because you are successful and I think LeBron has been extremely successful since high school and Wade has been successful and I think those guys will continue to be successful. And with their success, there are going to be some people who are upset with that."
via LeBron James NBA lockout game at Florida International University has Isiah Thomas in the middle of it all - Sun-Sentinel.com.

Thomas continues to foster relationships with the biggest stars, like running interference for James publicly, on his way back to the top. Chris Paul, who reports have linked Thomas to in an effort to recruit the point guard to the Knicks in 2012, is scheduled to appear at the game along with Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire. If you're a Hornets fan, this entire scenario has to make you ill. 

So is Thomas right? Is the backlash against James strictly a reaction to all of his success? That's unlikely, given that Michael Jordan is the most popular basketball player of all time and all he ever did was win. Instead, it's the fact that success doesn't seem to be James' primary goal that seems to irk people. Whether it's his own ego, becoming a global brand, having a good time, or making friends, there always seems to be another priority for James. And while versatility and diversity in life are things we admire in mere mortals, as a public, we tend to despise athletes who aren't obsessed with winning.

It's not that James is successful. It's that he doesn't care about being successful enough.  
Posted on: October 3, 2011 9:27 am
Edited on: October 3, 2011 9:28 am
 

Celtics and Heat partying together, mass hysteria



By Matt Moore

The NBA Lockout is ruining some of the favorite illusions of fans. It really is entirely about the money. The owners are reasonable men. The players have global appeal. Stuff like that. But perhaps nothing is more crushing than realizing that the Celtics and Heat don't actually hate each other. According to the New York Post, after Dwyane Wade went all Jordan '99 on David Stern Friday, there were no walls between the rivals. From the Post:
The NBA stars were in NYC this past weekend to take part in bargaining sessions to try to settle the lockout, but it didn’t stop them from enjoying a late night out. On Friday night Carmelo Anthony held court, playing host to Miami Heat’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, taking the guys to the five-year anniversary party of Meatpacking hotspot Tenjune. The basketball greats were treated to a DJ set by Swizz Beatz.
via Carmelo Anthony hosts fellow NBA stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen at the five-year anniversary party of Tenjune - NYPOST.com

The report also states the quintet was in "good spirits" as it partied the night away. So that whole "we're probably going to miss a season" thing must not be bumming them out too much. 

It's a relative surprise to find these players hanging out. Video from the NBA's "The Association" series showed a clear divide between the clubs at All-Star Weekend, which was corroborated by multiple sources. In short order, it was thought that the Celtics had a genuine distaste for the Heat and their antics. But then, this also shows the foolishness of believing that on-floor rivalries translate to off-the-floor. Just as the Heat went to party with the Mavericks after beating them, the Celtics have now partied with the Heat that eliminated them. 

It should be noted that Kevin Garnett was reportedly not with the group. Whether that's because he was not in New York or whether he wasn't invited since all he does is yell at the waitresses, D.J. and everyone else is not known at this time. 

(HT: SBNation)

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com