LeBron James is not exactly lying low

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Apparently LRMR’s idea of damage control is “If you’ve got it, flaunt it.”

Examiner.com brings us the story of LeBron’s weekend in Vegas. James pulled out of Team USA’s trials in Turkey due to the stress of his business ventures and adjustment to wherever it was he was going to wind up in free agency (which was resolved within two weeks of July). But don’t worry, he was out in Vegas to support the team. And by “support the team,” I mean, “party in Vegas with Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul (which should make Hornets fans just giddy after the last week).”

Okay, that’s a little unfair. There are legitimate reasons for James not to participate in the World Championships, and whatever he wants to do in his free time is his business. But in case you were wondering, a “quiet weekend with friends” was not exactly the hook.

Friday night, James partied at Lavo at The Palazzo, featuring several NBA superstars, a cake in the shape of his jersey, and a champagne-drenched VIP experience at Lavo’s nightclub. But he was just getting started. Saturday, James and his entourage were joined by Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul at Tao Beach. They were greeted by this experience, via the Examiner:

“At one point the fans in the pool chanted his name and James pulled out his camera to capture the moment. “

Wow.

James and company enjoyed dinner and dancing at Tao that night, including a cake in the shape of, get this, a gigantic crown (seriously, click through for the images).

If the spectacle of “The Decision” made people sick of James, stuff like this isn’t going to help his image rehabilitation. Then again, maybe at this point James simply doesn’t care. And judging by the presence of fans at the events, it would appear most people aren’t turning on James the way the media and, well, the entire state of Ohio (rightfully) has.

Oh, and yeah, Chris Paul spent the entire weekend hanging out with LeBron James. So there’s that.

DeMarcus Cousins says Mavericks’ rumored interest flatters him, but he loves Kings

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) receives a blow to the head from Dallas Mavericks' Dwight Powell as Cousins works to get to the basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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The Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in DeMarcus Cousins took its most direct public turn before the season, when Dallas signed Cousins’ brother, Jaleel Cousins. Jaleel is now on the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, and I bet he will remain there as DeMarcus approaches 2018 free agency.

Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News:

So, DeMarcus Cousins, what do you think about the Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in acquiring you?

“It’s flattering,” Cousins told me, with a laugh, after the Kings’ Wednesday shootaround at AAC. Then, turning serious, he added of the Mavericks, “I respect them.”

“But,” I said, “I’ve also heard that you like it in Sacramento.”

“No,” Cousins corrected, “I love Sacramento.”

Cousins is getting good at this, toeing the line between appreciating another team’s interest and expressing his satisfaction with the Kings.

And give Cousins credit. He keeps producing at a star level for a team that hasn’t provided him with the proper support. Sacramento again appears headed toward the lottery, even as Cousins averages 29-10.

Questions remain, though: How much of Cousins’ attitude is him trying to make the best of an inescapable situation, and will expanded options in the summer of 2018 test his loyalty?

LeBron James dunks, struts past camerapeople and toward crowd, spooks fan (video)

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LeBron James is dominating, and the Cavaliers are rolling over the Knicks.

It’s almost as if something has LeBron particularly riled up. But maybe ease up a little? That cowering fan isn’t Phil Jackson.

Kevin Love drips snot all over his face, maybe into his mouth (video)

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Cameras zoomed in on Kevin Love at the wrong moment:

Need a sensory cleanser? Enjoy this fantastic outlet pass from Kevin Love to LeBron James:

Derrick Rose out for Knicks-Cavaliers with back injury, getting MRI

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22:  Derrick Rose #25 of the New York Knicks dribbles against the Portland Trail Blazers during their game at Madison Square Garden on November 22, 2016 in New York City.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) — Derrick Rose is missing the New York Knicks’ game against Cleveland because of lower back pain.

Rose left the Knicks’ victory over Miami on Tuesday in the third quarter with back spasms. Coach Jeff Hornacek says Rose still felt sore on Wednesday when he came in and met with team doctors, so they sent him for an MRI exam to make sure there was no structural damage.

Rose is averaging 16.7 points and this is the first game he’s missed this season.

Brandon Jennings will start in Rose’s place.