Pat Riley says he's not shopping Michael Beasley, nobody believes him


Heat_logo.gifSometimes rumors just seem true. Tell me Ke$ha is crazy enough to give bags of dog s%$# to people, and I tend to believe it. Because she may be actually crazier than most of the women I’ve dated. And that’s saying something. Trust me.

Tell me that the Heat are shopping Michael Beasley around and want just cap space in return and I believe you, because it makes sense and every GM in the land says its true.

Well, every GM except Pat Riley. He told our own Ira Winderman, at the Sun Sentinel, he is doing no such thing.

“That’s not going to happen,” Riley insisted of potentially selling Beasley off for additional cap space. “We are not that desperate for room, to trade the second pick in the draft. We want to build around him.”

Riley insisted the Beasley rumors took on a life of their own.

“As soon as that story got out,” he said, “I must have got 25 calls from people.”

That’s what you say to the press so Beasley can hear it. But 25 other teams don’t call if there’s not some fire with the smoke.

Riley also denied that he is trying to have the cap room to sign three max free agents as well. Not sure why he would deny that, because it seems a pretty smart idea. Oh, that’s right, protect Beasley’s ego in case you can’t move him. Okay then, we’ll go along. Not going to try and do that at all.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.