The Cleveland Cavaliers dance. It is their thing. From Riverdance to Rick Astley, the Cavaliers have danced (why anyone is moved to move by Rick Astley is beyond us, but different strokes). Their pregame handshake ritual makes the Bird of Paradise mating dance look simple. The game is supposed to be a celebration and that is how they see it. They are a team having fun.
That grates on other teams, who feel like the Cavaliers are doing it just to show them up. The Celtics thought so at the end of last season, the Bulls do now.
Kevin McHale told the Chicago Tribune that if you want stop the Cavaliers from moving their feet, you’ve got to do it on the court.
“They won’t dance if they’re down 20,” McHale said. “They’re saying, ‘Go ahead and stop us from doing it. If you don’t like this dancing, don’t let us dance.’
“I think every dominant team crosses a line occasionally. I played on (Celtics) teams that would look at the other team and say, ‘We’re going to kick your butt. What are you going to do about it?’
“It’s a different era today and that’s Cleveland’s expression. Yeah, it’s a little over the top sometimes.”
Straight up. To the winners go the spoils. If Cleveland is beating you by 20, they can dance all they want, take your drinks and steal your women. Those are the rules. You want to shut them up, shut them down. That simple.
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.