Stan Van Gundy speaks for us all — does a basketball player need a television special?

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Thumbnail image for SVanGundy.jpgWe’re all sick of the hype. Oh, it’s working — LeBron is getting exactly what he wanted out of this. But we’re still sick of it.

The always frank Stan Van Gundy is with us, people. As told to the Orlando Sentinel.

“It takes 15 seconds to say, ‘I’ve decided to stay in Cleveland,’ but we’ve got another 59 minutes and 45 seconds to, what? Promote LeBron James? As if we don’t do that enough.”

Some other highlights from the interview:

It is a sign of the times. Unfortunately. It’s amazing that a guy as good as Kobe Bryant simply extended his contract with no real fanfare or anything else.

Yeah and Kevin Durant is more in the Kobe Bryant mode. You don’t hear Kobe Bryant and certainly not Kevin Durant talking about their brand. They don’t. I hear that from the other guys. I don’t hear those guys talking about their brand, they’re simply basketball players who want to be great players and win games. Not that those other guys aren’t great players and don’t want to win games. They do, but there’s also more to it. It’s not what I like. Other people, I guess, like it. I’m sure it will be a widely watched show tomorrow. It simply will not have me as an audience.

On Chris Bosh going to Miami:

Well, he’s been following him around for two weeks like his lapdog. So that doesn’t really surprise me.

But he also thinks they are instant contenders (although they need a few pieces to go around them, like Kobe and Gasol have).

I think right off the bat you know there’s another significant contender in the East so that there’s no question it makes things tougher and you’re gonna have to be better. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. You’re always sort of in the mode of, ‘What do we need to do to get better?’ It doesn’t really change, just adds another very significant competitor.

…I think a lot of people now will look at them as the team to beat in the East. You’re talking two of the top seven or eight offensive players in the NBA on the same team. I don’t think there’s any surprise. I think it’s what pretty much all of us thought would happen all along. I think these guys did a masterful job of creating suspense and carrying out a great charade. I don’t think there was any doubt

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.