It wasn’t LeBron’s decision that bothered David Stern, it was “The Decision.”
In press conference in Las Vegas Monday, David Stern said LeBron James was more than free to make any decision he wanted, as were Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. He credited Miami with clearing the cap space to pull off the coup.
“The 3 players are totally within their rights to talk to each other,” Stern said. “That is not tampering.”
Now, how LeBron James made his announcement… That’s another matter.
“The advice that he received on this was poor…” Stern said. “His honesty and his integrity, I think, shined through. But this decision was ill-conceived.”
Stern was in Vegas for a meeting of the owners. He said out of that that the owners and players are not as far apart on agreeing what the actual numbers are on basketball revenues as the players think.
He was asked about better revenue sharing between the teams to help even out the playing field, and he promised that will be “robust” in the future. It’s needed — the Lakers pull in about $2 million in gross revenue per game, the Memphis Grizzlies and others are at less than $400,000. Throw in the disparity of local television contracts and some teams can easily afford some luxury tax, while others cannot.
But Stern could look around the Thomas and Mack in Las Vegas, see a sold out arena for a second night to watch John Wall and the other guys here, to watch a lot of guys just hoping to make an NBA roster, and realize business is pretty good.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.
For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.
His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.
We’re going to miss Kobe.