The LeBron James sweepstakes are not over.
Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade will be in Miami, and it is possible that James will join them (if Toronto will take on Michael Beasley’s contracts or if the big three are all willing to take a pay cut). But other teams are trying to provide an alternative.
That alternative is Carlos Boozer.
The Cavaliers, Bulls and Nets have all intensified negotiations with Boozer, according to Chad Ford. In large part that is to help lure LeBron to their cities.
If LeBron can’t go to Miami, he still wants to go to a place he can win (he’ll get the same max money at any city outside Cleveland). He has never had a true superstar running mate, such as a Pau Gasol for Kobe or the big three in Boston.
The New York Knicks can offer Amare Stoudemire. Not much else right now, but remember at the trade deadline last year LeBron was pushing Cleveland to trade for Stoudemire (they got Jamison instead).
The Bulls have Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, but with Carlos Boozer in the fold that is a team that would be a contender instantly in the East with LeBron. Even without LeBron Boozer makes that team much better.
Cleveland has won the most games in the East two years running and with Boozer alongside LeBron they would be a contender. However they would need a sign-and-trade to get him out of Utah, and they would bring Boozer back to a city where he has been reviled after leaving them at the alter for Utah five years ago.
The Nets also have a nice young core that looks better with Boozer, and with LeBron would set a new record for biggest single-season turnaround ever.
None of that may matter. But nobody knows what is in LeBron’s mind right now, and the speed at which things have changed this off-season means another change could come. Or maybe two.
When you hear player comparisons for Knicks rookie, the most common is Dirk Nowitzki — a European big with ridiculous shooting range and potential to embarrass anyone.
So did he grow up idolizing Dirk? Not so much.
Rather, like many of his generation, he grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant, he told Mike Francesa of WFAN.
“My favorite player growing up was Kobe. The Lakers were my team and I still love him.”
There is an entire generation of NBA players — and just fans — who would say the same thing.
In the interview, Porzingis laments his missed shots and turnovers, he thinks he can be a lot better. That is exactly what you want out of a rookie. It’s a huge adjustment playing at the NBA level, the speed of the game and IQ is a leap from Europe (or college). Recognizing the challenge is part of it.
There’s a lot to like in Porzingis. He could be special (we don’t know yet, we see only the potential). But idolizing Kobe — and if you understand the work he put in, the passion for the game — can be a good start.
(Hat tip NBA reddit)
If you’re looking for a “when are things going to go wrong for the Warriors” moment, we have one for you. But it may not be what you had hoped for.
Warriors’ interim head coach Luke Walton — the guy on the sidelines for the 15 (soon to be 16) game winning streak — had his car stolen during a crime spree, reports NBCBayArea.com.
One of the cars stolen during an Oakland Hills crime spree belongs to Golden State Warriors coach Luke Walton, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said late Monday.
Walton’s Mercedes Benz was stolen Tuesday by two suspects, who police believe are also responsible for a violent attack on a 75-year-old woman outside her home on Thursday. The suspects also took the woman’s car during the attack, according to police.
Yikes. That’s serious.
I’m sure Steve Kerr has like 14 cars, he can loan one to Walton.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Pacers guard George Hill returned to the lineup Tuesday night against Washington after missing three games with an upper respiratory infection.
Hill is averaging 14 points and just under 37 minutes in 10 games this season. He was on the bench in case of emergency in Saturday’s victory over Milwaukee.
Coach Frank Vogel said Tuesday Hill’s infection had improved “to the point where he’s fine to play,” but would keep an eye out for fatigue after an 11-day layoff.
Remember how Adam Silver was preaching that the league didn’t want to change the intentional foul rule — the hack-a-Shaq strategy — because it was really about two players (DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard) and a handful of others now and then. The fact that it’s not basketball didn’t matter.
Well, it’s not just two — Miami’s Hassan Whiteside has gotten the treatment this season. He’s a 53.4 percent free throw shooter this season.
And he says bring it on. From Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post:
“I’m enjoying this,” he said. “Foul me so I can get a double-double and we can win. It’s not working, so keep fouling me.”
He’s even smart at not getting fouled.
Whiteside also is liking that teams are looking at their options against the best defense in the NBA — yes, Miami at 94 points allowed per 100 possessions, is the best defense in the NBA right now — and deciding to attack Whiteside.
“There’s teams that’s out there that say ‘Stay away from Hassan,’ and there’s teams that say, ‘We don’t care if Hassan’s down there. Attack Hassan.’ I love them teams that do that. God bless them coaches. I love them teams.”
Whiteside is not as great a defender as the block totals would indicate — if he doesn’t see a block in it, his rotations can be a bit slow. One scout recently called him a selfish defender to me recently, suggesting he is in it for the numbers, not the sacrifices needed for an elite defense. True or not, the Heat have an elite defense and Whiteside is at the heart of it.
And if the strategy is to try to exploit him, Whiteside plans to make people pay.