Michael Beasley was at it again this week, complaining about Charles Barkley calling him (and the rest of the Heat) “a bunch of Tito Jacksons” to Dwyane Wade’s Michael Jackson.
Tito, get me some tissue.
Nobody else is taking Barkley seriously (nobody ever does). Everyone else is having some fun with Beasley on this one. Wade did (of course, it’s easy for him to laugh, he’s the Michael in this analogy).
“I don’t see why [it bothers Beasley and others],” Wade said. “Tito and the Jacksons made a lot of money. If I’m them, I have fun with it. You don’t want a comment like that to make everybody try to be Michael Jackson. You can’t have a team full of Michael Jacksons anyway. No one wants that.”
Coach Eric Spoelstra cut the Jackson 5 hit “ABC (123)” into the team’s scouting clips for the Timberwolves game. Pretty funny. But then he had some dead straight advice.
“If you truly dislike the criticism,” Spoelstra said, “and you don’t
like what people are saying about the quote-unquote supporting cast,
particularly while Dwyane is out, well, if you want to shut them up,
the critics, you do it by winning. That’s the bottom line.
“It doesn’t matter what any individual does while Dwyane is out. If you don’t win, that’s going to matter.”
Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.
So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.
LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.
When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.
At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.
The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.
China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.
China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.
The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.