Report: James, Wade to join forces in Chicago?

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According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, free agent guard Dwayne Wade had a second meeting with Chicago Bulls officials on Friday, and is seriously considering leaving the Miami Heat. 
According to Wojnarowski, Wade coming to the Bulls could represent the best chance LeBron James has at joining forces with another superstar: 
Wade and James have been discussing the possibility of playing together, but the major hurdle to the starry alliance remains James’ reluctance to join Wade in Miami, sources say.
“D-Wade and LeBron want to play together, but neither one wants to commit to each other,” a source with knowledge of the conversations told Yahoo! Sports on Friday.
Sources say that Wade is intrigued by the infrastructure of talent the Bulls have to surround him, especially in contrast to how gutted the Heat roster has become in the clearing of salary cap space.
The Bulls are trying to line up a commitment from Wade prior to their formal presentation with James in Cleveland on Saturday, sources said.

If accurate, this report means that the face of the free-agent bonanza has significantly changed in the past couple of days. Previously, it was thought that Chicago was on the verge of pairing LeBron James and Chris Bosh, and Wade was busy recruiting superstars to join him in Miami. All of that has changed now.

Bosh reportedly does not want anything less than a max deal, and the Bulls have had trouble moving Luol Deng. If they cannot move Deng, they will not have the money to give both Bosh and James max money. Since Wade and James have significantly more endorsement money coming in than Bosh, they are more likely to take minor pay cuts in order to play for what would be an instant title contender. 
If these rumors are true, it hurts the Heat in two ways. The first, obviously, is that losing Wade would effectively gut the Heat franchise. The second way these rumors hurt Miami is that even if Wade does come back, Miami needs Wade’s commitment in order to recruit other major free agents to join the Heat. If Wade spends too much time flirting with other teams, Miami will have a very hard time building the effective FrankenTeam of Pat Reily’s dreams, even if Wade does eventually return. 
The balance of power has been shifting by the hour over the past couple of days — with Wade reportedly interested in signing with his hometown team, the Bulls have become the team of the moment. We’ll see if they’re still on top of the heap when the sun goes down. 

Enjoy 50-best circus shots of last NBA season

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As of tomorrow, training camps around the league open, and all the focus goes to the 2016-17 season.

For fun, let’s look back one more time at last season — the 50 top circus shots of last season.

Stephen Curry driving the lane and throwing up prayers once he draws contact (and hitting them), there is Russell Westbrook throwing the inbounds pass off an opponent’s back, and so much more. Enjoy. Then let’s get on with next season.

To avoid trash talk, Steven Adams told Kevin Garnett he didn’t speak English

Kevin Garnett
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Kevin Garnett intimidates people. In the machismo-fueled world of professional sports nobody comfortably admits they were intimidated, but in the wake of Garnett announcing his retirement, a number of players stepped forward to say exactly that. And that KG trashed talked them fearlessly.

Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams found a way to avoid that — tell KG he didn’t speak English.

Brilliant.

Adams was lucky, KG had a reputation for going harder at foreign-born players with his trash talk and intimidation. Then again Adams is not the kind of guy prone to be intimidated.

Pistons’ Stan Van Gundy “encouraged” by players speaking out, protesting social issues

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 17: Head coach Stan Van Gundy of the Detroit Pistons yells to his players during the first half of the NBA Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on April 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)  *** Local Caption ***Stan Van Gundy
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Athletes are injecting themselves into the needed national conversation about race, violence, and policing in this nation. That has taken some very public forms, including LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony speaking at the ESPYs, and Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem and leading others to do so. Some NBA players likely will follow Kaepernick’s lead.

Pistons coach/GM Stan Van Gundy likes seeing players speak out.

A couple of his Detroit players — Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris — said they backed the 49ers quarterback. Here is what the never shy Van Gundy said about all of it, via Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.

“I’m encouraged by the fact of what some of those guys stood up and did at the ESPYs and had a conversation,” Van Gundy said. “I’m really proud of the fact that we have guys that not only see the problem, but want to try to do something about it…

“To me, in some ways, (police brutality is) just the most visible to focus on and it goes to deeper inequities in our criminal justice system, our education system so there’s so much to focus on,” Van Gundy said. “I think it’s great that we have players that want to be part of that conversation, and a lot of players that want to go beyond the conversation and be part of the solution.”

Van Gundy has been telling his players part of that solution is to vote.

The players union and NBA sent out a release saying they wanted to work together to create positive change, but details are still vague on what that might be. The only thing we know for sure as we head into the NBA season — with as divided a nation and election as anyone can remember as a backdrop — is that some NBA players are going to try and keep the conversation going.

Sunday is 16th anniversary of greatest dunk ever: Vince Carter over Frederic Weis

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It was the last game of the group stage of the 2000 Olympic basketball tournament at the Sydney Olympics, the USA was taking on France, another USA win on its way to another gold medal.

But what we all remember is this one play — Vince Carter dunking over the 7’2″ French center Frederic Weis.

Best. Dunk. Ever.

By anyone.

Weis was never the same.

In an impressive career — two-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Star, hours and hours of crazy highlights — this is always going to be the highlight at the top of the list. So we will use the anniversary of this dunk to look at it one more time.

Hat tip to nitramy at NBA Reddit.