Chris Bosh is basketball professional, not a poker professional.
But right now he is a little of both. And there are a lot of chips in play.
There are a lot of free agent variables — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and whether or not he can lure a running mate to Miami, what Chicago has to offer, New York’s offer, the Nets offer.
Nobody knows how Bosh is going to play his had, except that he is likely leaving Toronto. There are rumors he wants to go where LeBron goes. Or go where Wade goes. Or be sent to the Lakers. Or be his own man. Nobody knows.
Including Bosh, based on what he told ESPN 710 in Los Angeles.
“To be honest, everybody is laying low. Nobody is expressing or talking in depth. It seems like it’s a poker game and nobody is folding and you can’t see their cards. It’s interesting. I mean it is funny that we’re all in the same boat, we were all on the national team, and we all won the gold medal together. I think that’s a funny aspect. So far there hasn’t been a whole lot of talk about it. I’ve seen some guys but they don’t say much. I kinda respect it because I get that question all the time and I don’t like thinking about every day. The last thing I want to do is bug him. There will be a time and place for it.”
That time and place is coming fast. We’re all about to see the flop and the bidding is about to go way up.
Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.
As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.
Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.
Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.
Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.
Maybe a little too pumped.
That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.
Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.
(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)
The Lakers had been shopping Lou Williams around in the run-up to the trade deadline, the only question was would they get a first-round pick for him. Rumors around the league say that Houston had offered them one weeks before, it was on the table, but the Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchak front office held their cards close and hoped a better deal would come through.
While all that was going on James Harden decided to ease the process and did a little recruiting calling up Williams, the sixth-man guard told Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
“When James called, he asked me if I was interested in playing with them,” Williams told The Vertical. “I told him that I loved the Lakers, but James and them have a group that fit my personality, fit how I play. He said he was going to make it happen.”
Williams then laughed, sitting on the edge of a visiting court following a recent practice. “I’ve heard that before, so I didn’t really put stock into it,” Williams told The Vertical. “I guess James did put the word in, and the team made it happen.”
We all know what happened, Jeanie Buss removed her brother and Kupchak a few days before the trade deadline, Magic Johnston stepped in, called around, and quickly pulled the trigger on a trade that sent Williams to Houston (the Lakers also got Corey Brewer). Williams has averaged 14.5 points per game and had some strong performances with the Rockets, although he’s still finding his groove with the team on the court. Still, he’s been an upgrade for the Rockets’ bench.
Harden knew he would be, so he did his part to make sure it happened.
Shaquille O’Neal was as dominant a force as the NBA has ever seen.
His peak years came with the Lakers, when paired with Kobe Bryant one the court — and Phil Jackson manipulating both of them — they won three titles (and arguably would have had more if they stayed together). Those Lakers teams were one of the NBA’s great teams.
Friday night, the Lakers unveil Shaq’s statue at Staples Center. Take a look back at some of Shaq’s Lakers highlights.