LeBron James meets the final two suitors for his free-agent services this morning, and on his way in, the fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers have made it very clear that they would like him to stick around for a few more, well, careers.
Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer is outside the meetings and reporting on Twitter from the scene:
“There are hundreds of Cavs fans in downtown with
team-provided signs lining street to meeting. Outside building fans
chanting ‘Noah sucks’
“Cavs just arrived in van & SUV. Fans threw
powder in air over cars as they entered garage. It’s a scene.”
But can you blame them? There’s a lot of talk about this being a “don’t-lose” situation for the Cavs. As in, the city and fanbase would be devastated if he left. But they genuinely love this player. He’s from Akron just up the road. He represents a true Ohio superstar, and those don’t come around hardly ever in this day and age.
But even further, this whole situation is more than just about a player. It’s about Cleveland not wanting to be the bride’s maid, again. About them not wanting to be passed up for a bigger market. They have terrific fans there (even if historically they haven’t supported the Cavs) and they want to show James that there are more important things than just fashion line deals and Pat Riley’s promises.
If the Chicago fans will always love Jordan, and the Knicks fans will always judge harshly because it’s New York, and the Miami fans are at the beach, Cleveland wants to show James that no one will ever love him the way they love him. As a native son, as their icon, as their star.
But still. Powder? Really? Really?!
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook had his seventh consecutive triple-double Friday night in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s game against the Houston Rockets, the longest streak since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989.
Westbrook got his 10th rebound with 7:46 left in the fourth quarter. He already had 16 points and 10 assists. Westbrook finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.
The Thunder won the first six games during his streak, however they fell to James Harden and the Rockets 102-99. Harden was one rebound short of his own triple-double.
It was Westbrook’s 12th triple-double of the season and the 49th of his career. He is the NBA’s active leader in the category and ranks overall.
Jordan’s streak came during a run of 10 triple-doubles in 11 games.
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has denied the Toronto Raptors’ protest of their 102-99 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Nov. 20.
The league announced the decision Friday.
Toronto argued that the game officials incorrectly called for an instant replay review of whether the Raptors’ Terrence Ross released a 3-point shot prior to the expiration of actual time remaining.
The Replay Center official reviewed video of the play using a digital timer and determined the actual time remaining in the game expired before Ross released his shot, and the shot therefore did not count.
The league found that calling for an instant replay review in this case was consistent with the playing rules because the game officials determined that there was a clock malfunction.
Nobody can stop the Zeller brothers!
Well, that’s not exactly true. But in this case, Bismack Biyombo tried and Cody Zeller threw it down with authority over him.
I’m not starting a “Cody Zeller for the dunk contest” campaign, but this was impressive.
Pop quiz: Which team complains the most to the referees in the NBA?
You probably answered “the Clippers.” Most fans do. So do most NBA referees — And everyone else. Which is why after a recent loss to Golden State, veteran Marreese Speight (a Warrior last season) pointed to the Clippers complaining about the officiating as part of the problem.
He went on to say that the scouting report is you can get in the Clippers’ heads by knocking them around a little. Which seems pretty obvious when you watch teams play them. Shockingly, Clippers coach Doc Rivers disagrees with that. Via NBCLosAngeles.com.
“The officiating thing, I don’t think, is our issue. I will say that,” said Rivers about the technical fouls. “If that were the problem, then, Golden State would be struggling. They’ve been No. 2 the last two years in techs, too. I think we need to point fingers in another direction than that.”
Doc may not like it, but Speights is right.
The Warriors do complain too much, but they also have a ring so more is forgiven. The problem for the Clippers is that reputation for complaining starts with Rivers — he complains as much or more than any coach in the league. Then it filters down through Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
Is it fair that more is forgiven with winning? Moot question. Welcome to America. The Clippers complain a lot and have yet to get past the second round with this core. And at times there standing there complaining to the referees does get in the way of them getting back into defense, and they seem to go in a funk.
Want to prove all that wrong? Win. In the playoffs.