One hour that comes down to one word.
LeBron James will make an announcement in an hour-long special Thursday night on ESPN, starting at 9 p.m. Eastern. Chris Broussard, the ESPN reporter who has the best contacts in the LeBron James camp of just about anyone, made the announcement on ESPN News.
LeBron and his people will sell sponsorships of the show, with the money going to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, according to ESPN.
There is no word yet on where LeBron will be during the announcement.
A national television announcement with money going to a national charity — hard to read too much into that about where LeBron might play next year. However, reports now say that it is likely down to Cleveland or Miami, where he would team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Of course, the way this free agency has gone, that could all change in the next 20 minutes. Twice.
What you can read into this — it takes a pretty big ego to ask ESPN for an hour like that. There is potential for backlash, something LeBron saw when he did the Larry King interview during the NBA finals. He either ends up on national television to break Cleveland’s heart, or he has an hour-long special on himself to say he is going nowhere. Both options have public relations problems to deal with.
While the rampant speculation continues about whether the Celtics may or may not trade for a superstar, Danny Ainge is filling out his roster with veterans. Sean Deveney of the Sporting News reports that they’ve agreed to a one-year minimum deal with guard Gerald Green:
Green was originally drafted by the Celtics in 2005 at No. 18 overall, and after bouncing around different teams and overseas in the first few years of his career, he’s carved out a nice niche for himself in the NBA as a scoring guard off the bench. He played 69 games for the Heat last season after two solid years in Phoenix.
The NBA has unveiled its top 100 plays of the 2015-16 season, and there’s no mystery as to what were the top two.
No. 2: Stephen Curry‘s halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime against the Thunder in Oklahoma City during the season.
No. 1: “The Block” by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in the final stretch of Game 7 of the Finals.
There’s plenty more, too, and if you have 25 minutes to kill, you can and should watch all of them above.
Tyler Zeller is one of the few restricted free agents left on the market who could make an actual impact next season, and on Saturday morning, he’s come off the board. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that the fourth-year big man has agreed to a deal to stay with the Celtics. It’s for two years and $16 million, with the second season being a team option.
Zeller isn’t a starter, but he’s a nice rotation big man, especially at that price. He can play minutes off the bench for Boston, and his contract is also very movable with the second season being unguaranteed. He played just 11.8 minutes per game last season, but averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.
The Toronto Raptors were good last season, second best team in the East. That means the guys on Inside the NBA on TNT had to talk about them.
Which means Charles Barkley had to say “Jonas Valanciunas” a lot. Which is high comedy. While a lot of people struggle to say his name the guy is a solid NBA center who, with a little practice, you can say (and spell) his name pretty easily.
This comes from a YouTube user, via Reddit, with a hat tip to Eye on Basketball.