Tonight LeBron James was again wearing an expensive suit on the bench, watching his team lose to the Indiana Pacers. He did the exact same thing the night before in Chicago.
Cleveland has two games left. Is LeBron going to suit up for either of those? There is speculation at several places on the Web that he is done for the season, getting more rest for a body that will have to carry his team for stretches of the playoffs.
Cleveland’s two games are against potential playoff foes, two of the Cavaliers biggest challengers in the East — Orlando on Sunday, then Atlanta on Wednesday. The Cavaliers have home court wrapped up. The question becomes: Do they need to make a statement in these games, or is letting LeBron rest more important?
This speculation on James is not coming out of the regular, key sources for Cleveland. Their beat reporters have made no such mention. But it is out there, and it seems plausible.
Report: Grizzlies starting power forward JaMychal Green out several weeks
The supporting cast looks rickety around Mike Conley and Marc Gasol unless second-rounder Dillon Brooks (19 points on 7-of-13 shooting +17 against New Orleans) keeps humming. And maybe even still then.
Green’s injury opens the door for bigger roles for Jarell Martin and maybe Parsons (gulp).
“I’ll just go into every game with the mentality that it’s a road game, if that’s how it’s going to be,” he said.
Finally, Parsons stuck up for himself, saying, “They can boo me, they can sarcastically cheer me, they can do whatever they want. … It’s tasteless , man, it makes no sense. We’re athletes, we’re human beings. I don’t know them personally, so, it’s just a little strange to me, but that’s sports.”
If Parsons didn’t understand Mavericks fans booing him after he left Dallas, he sure isn’t going to understand Grizzlies fans booing him while he’s still in Memphis.
Fans largely see Parsons as a character in the drama that is the Grizzlies – something removed from their everyday reality. Of course, Parsons is taking it personally. He’s a person, and it’s his everyday reality.
It’s unclear what portion of Memphis fans booed him. Grizzlies fans probably aren’t excited about cheering him right now, but many did – as a direct response to the boos. Even if they would’ve preferred no reaction a vacuum, those cheering fans didn’t want the boo birds speaking for them.
Parsons ought to remember those supportive fans before painting the entire home crowd as the enemy, or else he’ll turn everyone against him. None of this is fair to Parsons, who has surely been frustrated with his injuries, but he can control how he reacts to the fans.
Magic rookie Jonathan Isaac forgot to put on jersey for debut
Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin has been diagnosed with a ruptured patella tendon of the right knee. The injury occurred during the fourth quarter of last night’s game at Indiana. Lin is expected to miss the entire 2017-18 season.
This is obviously a devastating setback for Lin, who missed 46 games last season in his first year with Brooklyn. The Nets’ already-slim playoff chances fade further with the loss of arguably their best player, though fellow point guard D'Angelo Russell shined in his Brooklyn debut with 30 points.
The trickle-down effects of this injury are perhaps more intriguing.
This makes the Nets’ first-round pick – owned by the Cavaliers – more valuable. Does that make LeBron James more likely to re-sign with Cleveland next summer (either because the Cavs add a top-flight rookie or trade the selection for a valuable veteran)? Does that alter long-term plans in Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia and elsewhere?
Lin’s injury doesn’t just sting in Brooklyn. It could alter the entire landscape of the NBA.