Tag:LeBron James
Posted on: November 13, 2010 2:37 am
Edited on: November 13, 2010 2:54 pm

Did the Miami Triad spoil Carmelo's escape plan?

LeBron James' free-agency escapades may have held up Carmelo's intent to relocate this summer.
Posted by Matt Moore

Ken Berger's post on Carmelo Anthony contains a wealth of information on the Carmelo Anthony situation. Among the information relayed is this particular nugget of note which  contains a reference to our favorite Triad currently struggling down in South Beach:

This is precisely where the Nuggets began to lose their leverage with Melo, according to a rival executive and a second person familiar with the dynamics. As teams that would've been attractive to Anthony began scrambling to use their cap space on Plans B and C after striking out on LeBron and Wade, Anthony and the Nuggets were stuck in limbo. Melo's representatives at Creative Artists Agency -- the same operation that had been preoccupied all summer orchestrating the Miami signings -- didn't begin making noise about Anthony's desire for a trade until August. By then, the Nuggets' front office had been blown up and several promising trade partners had spent their money elsewhere. It was too late.
So what to take from this? Well, most prominently, if Carmelo Anthony does in fact want out of Denver and into a more attractive market, you know, like the five that were fawning over James and his cohorts this summer? Then CAA's distracted stance with those three overshadowed the situation regarding Carmelo and in doing so, was slow to enable him to move, and subsequently landed him firmly cemented in the Mile High City.

Not that this will affect Carmelo's relationship with the Triad, those guys are thick as thieves. But there's still a level of complexity here where when you look at it. CAA was so wrapped up in "The Decision" and the formation of the rather epic PR disaster going on in Miami at the moment, it allowed Carmelo Anthony to become cemented in Denver, even while he was not signing a very available extension.

So. If following this logic we come to the conclusion that Carmelo Anthony is unlikely to win a championship this season, and if he does in fact want out (and again, Carmelo's been very clear that's not the case... maybe... probably... something), then this is kind of a lost season for him. And that's unfortunate.

Which would make the list of things damaged by LeBron James' free agency and related decisions: Cleveland, Ohio and all its residents, Cleveland Cavaliers fans worldwide, the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, New Jersey Nets, Jim Gray's career, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade's public reputations, several members of the Miami Heat ticket sales office and the ability of Carmelo Anthony to expedite his relocation.

Look, you may hate the guy, but even you have to admit that's impressive.

Posted on: November 13, 2010 12:43 am
Edited on: November 13, 2010 12:49 am

NBA stars react to Kevin Love's 31-31

Posted by Matt Moore

You do something amazing in the NBA, you're going to get people talking. Even your peers. After Kevin Love notched 31 points and 31 rebounds against the Knicks, NBA players took to Twitter to shoutout to the youngster for his remarkable achievement. Some of the best:

Posted on: November 12, 2010 3:09 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:44 pm

Lebron James says he's playing too many minutes

Miami Heat forward LeBron James says he is playing too many minutes. Posted by Ben Golliver
In the aftermath of a convincing loss to the Boston Celtics on Thursday night, Heat forward LeBron James, who nearly had a triple-double and was the only Heat player to really show up, told reporters that he is playing too many minutes, according to Yahoo! Sports.
“For myself, 44 minutes is too much,” James declared. “I think Coach Spo knows that. Forty minutes for D-Wade is too much. We have to have as much energy as we can to finish games out.”
"Coach Spo," of course, is Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, who dug into his team at halftime, saying the Heat needed to "let go of your ego" during the second half.   While 44 minutes is too many for any NBA player to be playing in November, the timing of James' comments is tough for Spoelstra, who is beginning to hear whispers about his job security with the Heat beginning the season with a disappointing 5-4 record. Spoelstra certainly would prefer that any statements about playing time or coaching decisions be made privately, as would any coach.  James isn't the first all star to make this type of comment already in the young season, as Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy told reporters this week that he too would like to play less minutes to relieve swelling on his left knee. But the stakes are much higher in Miami than they are in Portland, with the media attention magnifying every statement to a national level instantaneously.  The bigger issue for Spoelstra: Why is he being forced to rely so heavily on James and is there a feasible workaround? Without Mike Miller until at least Christmas, and with disappointing recent efforts from guard Dwyane Wade and forward Chris Bosh, it's no wonder Spoelstra has turned to James, arguably the most reliable producer in the NBA.  Longterm, that is not a winning strategy. James proved in Cleveland that there is a limit to the burden he can carry. Indeed, that's why he signed up with the Heat in the first place. Unfortunately for Miami, what we're witnessing in James' grumbling is a by-product of the Heat getting exposed for their lack of depth. Outside of the big three, the roster is stacked with replacement-level or worse performers who can't capably handle much more than spot duty at this juncture.  While the Heat haven't reached a crisis point yet, lack of depth is going to be an underlying issue from now until the playoffs. That James is making it known that he doesn't want to shoulder the burden of this problem so clearly and so early in the season is not the most reassuring sign for Heat fans.  Mike Miller can't get back soon enough.
Posted on: November 12, 2010 1:35 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2010 1:40 pm

Friday 5 With KB: KG the Jerk, Heat fail, and BRI

Posted by Matt Moore

1. Kevin Garnett is not exactly the most popular guy in the world right now. Garnett seems to be the kind of guy who is loved by his friends and close circle and is abrasive to everyone else. Do you have any thoughts on his evolving legacy from lovable lunatic lose to hated psychotic champion?

Ken Berger: I think your evaluation of KG is spot on. He is like the crazy uncle that everyone is wary of and constantly nervous about what he might say or do next. But he's family, so you tolerate him. You know, the old, "He's a jerk, but he's our jerk." At this point, Garnett could care less what people think about him or what his legacy is. He's perfectly content to continue yapping and thumping his chest and winning another championship. And I don't see anything wrong with that, as long as he doesn't care that he'll never be named man of the year or Mr. Congeniality. To me, the funniest aspect of this whole episode recently was Joakim Noah calling Garnett ugly. Hey, Jo, I don't think GQ is putting you on the cover any time soon.

2. Not exactly a banner week for the Heat. Scale of 1 to 5. How much should fans  (if there are any) be pushing the panic button?

KB: I'd say 3.5. On one hand, some of this could have and should have been expected, given that basketball is a team game and you can't just plug talent into the equation like in baseball and automatically win 70 percent of your games and waltz to the championship. I know that you know that in basketball, how the pieces fit together are every bit as important -- if not more so -- than the talent itself. Eventually, the talent will shine through, and LeBron and Wade will become as deadly a combination as we thought they'd be. But there are several areas of concern that need to be watched closely: The misuse of LeBron's and Wade's best attributes when they are on the floor with a point guard, meaning neither one has the ball in his hands for too many possessions. This can (and should) be solved when Mike Miller comes back. Instead of a point guard, you put Miller on the floor with LeBron and Wade acting as interchangeable wings who take turns initiating the offense. In my mind, LeBron fits this role best. Two, the lack of size is becoming a major issue. Erick Dampier, please pick up the white courtesy phone. Three, Erik Spoelstra struck a chord when he lectured the team at halftime Thursday night about ego. It has been a real wakeup call for these three free-agent darlings who came together so effortlessly. Winning in May and June is going to prove a lot more difficult than winning in July.

3. In the Post-Ups you alluded to the improving situation in New Orleans. Now that the team looks like it's ready to compete in the playoffs again (though it's still early), is it time to start looking for what can get them to the next level, and what is that?

KB: I think it's a positive sign that the Hornets are trying to get someone CP3 would consider to be a top-tier running mate. But they're a little stuck in that regard, and here's why: Peja Stojakovic and his $14.3 million expiring contract could be easily deal to a team trying to get off a lot of future money, and if one of those pieces coming back is an elite 3-point shooter, New Orleans is better in the short run. But they future money they'd have to take back in such a deal would hamper their ability to make moves next summer -- or whenever the lockout ends and under whatever new rules exist. The most valuable asset on the NBA market right now is cap flexibility heading into the uncertainty of a new CBA, especially for low-revenue markets. So the Hornets can't allow themselves to be tempted by the prospect of getting better in the short term at the expense of hampering their flexibility heading into a new deal. 

4. You also wrote in the Post-Ups that Kevin Love is garnering offers. Why is it that the Wolves are so reticent to trade him if they won't play the man?

KB: Ah, this is a question that goes straight to the heart of the most mysterious figure in the NBA, David Kahn. I'm told in recent days that Love isn't the only player who wants out of Minnesota. Corey Brewer does, too -- but Brewer isn't making any noise publicly, or even privately. Love is doing both. Right now, the Wolves like Love's talent but are disenchanted with his attitude. I think if the right deal came along, they'd move him. Because that locker room is too fragile right now to risk keeping a malcontent on board. Maybe Kahn can trade Love for a few more point guards.

5. BRI up 3 to 3.5%, record ratings across the board. Selling the NBA store for $300 million. The league is booming. Are owners really going to walk away from the most prosperous time in recent history to prove a point? Really?
KB: Yes sir-ee-bob. A hearty contingent of owners see this as a once-in-a -lifetime opportunity to change the economics of the sport in their favor. They also know the vast majority of people will side with them, because of their inherent biases against "greedy millionaire players." This is silly, of course, but it's just the way things are. There are a couple of reasons to be encouraged: 1) sources tell me numerous owners were impressed with the players' presentation of their proposal at a recent CBA meeting, realizing that the union was offering some creative ideas as how to make the business better for everyone; and 2) there's still a lot of time. The next key time-marker in this battle is All-Star weekend, when both sides concede significant progress will need to have been made. But as in all negotiations, the real progress doesn't happen until the 11th hour. Will there be a lockout? Yes, in my opinion. Are the owners and players short-sighted enough to let it wipe out an entire season, or even as much of the season as the '98-'99 lockout did? I don't think so. Both sides realize there's too much at stake.
Posted on: November 12, 2010 11:56 am

Mike Miller back for Christmas?

Heat guard trying to beat expectations and return for Christmas game against LA. Posted by Matt Moore

Mike Miller was expected to be out until January. That was the plan. But Miller knows how much the Heat miss him and is doing everything he can to get back sooner than expected. Particularly in time for the Heat's biggest challenge yet, the Lakers on Christmas day.

ESPN.com reports that Miller told reporters he is trying to make it back for when the Heat and Lakers play on Dec. 25th. From ESPN.com:

"My goal is to get out there a little quicker than we thought. I'm looking to be out there ready to go when we play the Lakers."
The Heat need Miller badly. Eddie House and James Jones are making an entire village out of the bricks they're throwing up, and Wade and James need someone to take the constant doubles off. Miller's not an answer for all their problems, but he's a pretty good start.

Posted on: November 12, 2010 12:40 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:41 pm

Paul Pierce mocks LeBron James on Twitter

Boston forward Paul Pierce makes fun of Miami's LeBron James's "Decision" on Twitter after the Celtics beat the Heat on Thursday night. Posted by Ben Golliver

Nothing tastes sweeter than a big win in a rivalry game, and the Boston Celtics are surely exuberant after dominating the Miami Heat in their own house on Thursday night in front of a national television audience. Pierce finished with 25 points on the night, and turned to Twitter for some post-game trash talking after the game. "It's been a pleasure to bring my talents to South Beach, now on to Memphis," Pierce tweeted.  The tweet is a clear reference to "The Decision," a televised special in which Miami forward LeBron James announced to the world that he would be leaving the Cavaliers to join the Heat using the phrase, "I'm taking my talents to South Beach." paul-pierce-twitter James' arrival in Miami was supposed to establish a Heat dynasty, one capable of overcoming Boston's aging Big Three of Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. It hasn't worked out that way so far, as the Celtics are up in the season series 2-0, thanks to fantastic play from point guard Rajon Rondo and some unorganized, inefficient and inconsistent offense for Miami. Pierce has every right to throw this jab, as James opened himself up completely to criticism and jokes by making his free agency decision in such a public manner. And because Pierce has won an NBA title, whereas James has not. Call this one of the spoils of being a victor.  For James, silence is the best response. It's time for James to join his Heat teammates in licking their collective wounds and to start figuring out how to stack up some Ws, given their 5-4 record on the season is well below their own lofty expectations. As Pierce mentioned, the Celtics conclude their current four-game road trip against the Grizzlies on Saturday night in Memphis. 
Posted on: November 11, 2010 11:04 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:41 pm

Boston Celtics dominate Miami Heat on Thursday

The Boston Celtics defeated the Miami Heat, 112-107, in Miami on Thursday night. Posted by Ben Golliver

The Boston Celtics are significantly better than the Miami Heat right now. There's no question about it, now that the Celtics have downed the Heat both in Boston and in Miami during the first two weeks of the NBA season. That could change by the the time the playoffs roll around, but right now the chemistry, experience and mental toughness edges all go to Boston, who rushed out to a huge first-half lead on Thursday, leaving Miami looking discombobulated on offense and passive on defense. The biggest key for Boston was the play of point guard Rajon Rondo, who looked like the best player on the court despite scoring only eight points (including this amazing dunk). Rondo carved up Miami's defense time after time, dishing out 16 assists and finding Ray Allen for open 3-pointers ad nauseam. Allen put up with 35 points on 7-9 shooting from distance. Celtics forward Paul Piece also chipped in 25. For Miami, forward Chris Bosh no-showed during the first quarter, which is no great surprise given his recent stretch of uninspired play, but more troubling was guard Dwyane Wade's inability to get things going. Wade finished with just eight points and was 0-5 from distance, leaving Heat star LeBron James -- who had 35 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and three steals -- to carry nearly the entire offensive load for Miami single-handedly.  The Celtics let the Heat creep back into the game during the second half, and the game really tightened up in the closing minutes. But, from start to finish, this was a dominant thumping by Boston, one that solidifies the Celtics as the early class of the Eastern Conference. With the win, Boston improves to 7-2. With the loss, Miami falls to 5-4.  Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, who lectured his team about "ego" at halftime will undoubtedly be a target of criticism with such a talented group of players barely playing above .500 basketball.  
Posted on: November 11, 2010 10:23 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:41 pm

Coach Erik Spoelstra lectures Miami Heat on ego

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra talks to his team about "ego" during halftime against the Boston Celtics. Posted by Ben Golliver The Miami Heat were getting picked apart by the Boston Celtics in the first half of Thursday night's game in Miami, and Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra looked a little stressed out about it during the first half. During portions of his halftime address to his team that were broadcast on TNT, Spoelstra is seen pacing back and forth in the locker room, gesturing with his hands, and lecturing his players about their "ego." Here's the video clip. "You are each going to have to rely on your brother," Spoelstra explains. To 1) compete. And 2) to do your job." Spoelstra continued: "Just do your job, be reliable, let go of your ego. You are going to need each other in the second half." Heat forward LeBron James had a solid first half, with 15 points. Heat forward Chris Bosh started very slow in the first quarter, but picked it up in the second quarter to finish the half with 9 points. Heat guard Dwyane Wade really struggled, finishing the first 24 minutes with just 2 points on a pair of free throws. The Celtics held a 61-46 lead at halftime.  Spoelstra has been under the microscope in recent days as the Heat, with a star-studded lineup, have struggled (relatively) to start the season, entering Thursday's game with a record of 5-3.
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