Would you rather have Joe Johnson or LeBron James on your team?
Exactly. It’s not even close. Even if you think there are flaws with LeBron’s game, there are far fewer than Johnson. LeBron is a true first option. Joe Johnson is a true second option on a title team. LeBron is a true max guy. Johnson is good but not max, except apparently in Atlanta.
But Chicago’s Derrick Rose apparently preferred Johnson to LeBron in Chicago.
That rumor was out there, confirmed this week by Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (via twitter).
(LeBron) really likes Rose & Noah. But there’s lack if shooters on roster. Also it doesn’t sound like he’s exactly being welcomed by Rose.
Didn’t say Rose was anti-LeBron. But the word is preference was Joe Johnson. They have same agent. That is what multiple people tell me.
You can see the trace of logic in there. LeBron is a guy who initiates the offense with the ball in his hands and needs to be surrounded by knockdown shooters. Rose is a guy who initiates the offense with the ball in his hands and needs to be surrounded by knockdown shooters. Rose and LeBron would have to figure out how to coexist and work well off the ball with each other. Joe Johnson can shoot the rock and is a more natural fit.
That said — are you kidding me?
LeBron is a transcendent, once-in-a-generation talent. These chances do not come along often, and if you get even a whiff of a chance to play with LeBron you take it. Say what you will about him, LeBron is having fun playing the game. You will have fun playing with him, and you will win a lot. There are not others like him and if you can get him to your team you recruit him like mad then happily give him the key to the franchise. He wants to sleep in your bed, you give him the condo. This is a rare opportunity.
Fit? That’s nice. It helps. But talent is the first real step to winning, and LeBron puts you three steps ahead of everyone else. Then you just need to figure out how not to let everyone else catch you (Cleveland hasn’t yet).
Come on Rose? JJ? Really?
LeBron James is already there. So is Kevin Durant. Same with a lot of other old-school GMs and coaches around the league.
Their response to the rapid rise in hack-a-player (shouldn’t it always be hack-a-Shaq?) instances is “tell the guy to hit the free throws.”
Add Kobe Bryant to their ranks, reports Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is starting to feel differently. He realizes he runs an entertainment business and a parade of guys to the free throw line without because of a non-basketball play — you can’t begin to tell me fouling a guy 50 feet from the ball is a basketball play in the spirit of the rules — is bad for that business. It is unwatchable. And while every coach in the NBA “I hate to do it” they all do it with more and more frequency, there will be more than twice as many instances this season as there were a year ago, with more and more players involved. Because it works, and because they are paid to win, not play beautiful basketball.
Change is coming. Old-school types always bemoan change, and that’s not just a basketball thing. But the rest of the world has rules in place to stop this because they realize it’s not basketball, it’s gaming the system. And it needs to change.
On this play the Sacramento Kings played defense like only they can — and you wonder why George Karl’s job is in danger — and gave Cleveland’s Timofey Mozgov a wide-open lane right down the middle for an easy dunk.
LeBron James had a triple-double (the 40th of his career) and the Cavaliers got a needed easy win, but this is the play you’ll remember.
Karl-Anthony Towns is a beast.
While the Timberwolves have plenty of question marks around him, but Towns has been exceptional. Coming into Monday night, he was averaging 21.6 points (on 59.9 percent shooting) and 12.7 rebounds a night in his last 10 games.
Then Monday he did that to Dante Cunningham.
The Pelicans went on to win the game 116-102, but Towns continues to play well.
The summer of 2016 is all about Kevin Durant — and we don’t know what Durant is going to do as a free agent because Durant doesn’t yet know what Durant is going to do as a free agent. Stay in Oklahoma City, bolt to the Bay Area or maybe Washington D.C.? These playoffs, meetings with teams and his advisors, plus personal factors all will play a role in Durant’s decision. Which he will get around to announcing in early July sometime.
But the sense around the league is that while Durant may very well stay in Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook was drawn to the bright lights of big markets. If an elite player were to bolt OKC, this was the more likely guy. Westbrook is a free agent in 2017.
In an article about Phil Jackson and the Knicks in the wake of Derek Fisher’s firing, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports said the Knicks have a real shot at Westbrook in a couple of summers.
The Knicks have a real chance to sell Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook in 2017 – New York and Porzingis have his attention, yes – and Jackson ought to start constructing an elite coaching staff to begin that process with Westbrook and with free agents beyond him.
Come 2017, expect Westbrook to meet with a number of big market teams on both coasts, and then make a decision. The summer of 2017 is a couple of NBA lifetimes away, it’s impossible to say what Westbrook will do (he may well decide to stay in OKC if they win enough), but the big market teams looking for a star will get their turn in the batter’s box.
Which is why I still think Durant signs a 1+1 deal this summer to stay in Oklahoma City for another season — he’s going to give everything another chance to come together for the Thunder, then when the salary cap is at its peak in 2017 (an estimated $108 million) he makes his peak seasons decision. He and Westbrook and Serge Ibaka will all be free agents at the same time, and they can make their calls.
And the Knicks could be involved in all of it.