1960, 1992 Olympic teams go into Hall of Fame talking trash to each other

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Dream-Team.jpgThere were no two better teams ever assembled than the two teams going into the Hall of Fame Friday. Two very competitive teams. And they are not done competing.

When Charles Barkley went up to meet 1960 Olympian Bob Boozer and shake his hand, Boozer told FanHouse this is what he said:

“I said, ‘We would have kicked your butts,”’ was how Boozer said he greeted Sir Charles.

And it has been going on like that all week — all in good fun.

The 1960 USA team featured Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Jerry Lucas, Terry Dischinger, Walter Bellamy, and more. It was a real team — five players on the team averaged double-digit points through the tournament.

The 1992 Dream Team featured Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Karl Malone — 10 players from the 50 greatest NBA players of all time on one team.

Two groups of very competitive guys.

At a roundtable discussion at a Hall of Fame dinner Thursday night, the two teams went at each other. Jerry Lucas… turned to Barkley and said, “I’m sitting next to a player who played on the second-best Olympic team.”’

That got Barkley going.

“First of all, nobody wearing Chuck Taylors can guard me,” Barkley responded. “They always talk about breaking ankles. We would definitely be breaking ankles (of the 1960 Olympic team).’…’

“We were amateurs and we played against many of the older European teams,” Boozer said. “They beat everybody by 43 or something points and we beat everybody by 42 but we were shooting with a soccer ball (which is how Boozer described the then-smaller international basketball) and we didn’t have the three-point line. When you shot a long jumper, it would change directions.”

“Are you kidding me?” Malone said when asked who would win if the 1960 and 1992 teams played in their primes. “We know about Oscar and Jerry (West). We would have double-teamed them. And Lucas … I’m like Charles. I don’t know if you’re going to guard me in Chuck Taylors. They were great but I’m bias. I respect what they did… (But) we would have beaten them by 20. We might feel sorry for them (by not winning by more).”

Report: Enes Kanter not yet permitted to travel to Mexico, where Thunder scheduled to play

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Remember when Turkey revoked Enes Kanter‘s passport?

That looms over the Thunder’s Dec. 7 game against the Nets in Mexico City.

Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript:

Without a valid passport, he is unable to travel to another country other than Canada, which allows entry from U.S. residents who have a Green Card. There is no such agreement with Mexico.

Kanter could receive a re-entry permit, a special document issued to citizens of other countries whose passports have been canceled for reasons the U.S. government deems unsuitable. The permit would allow Kanter to leave the U.S. for another country, such as Mexico, and still return. And the plan is for Kanter to acquire one before OKC’s game in Mexico City. Still, he is yet to receive a re-entry permit, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. There is, however, still ample time for that process to complete.

Kanter is a high-profile millionaire working for a billion-dollar company that has a vested interest in getting him to Mexico. He likely works this out.

Rumor: LeBron James and Kyrie Irving met in Miami

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LeBron James denied wanting to fight Kyrie Irving, but wanting to meet with his for-now Cavaliers co-star? That might be another story. Likewise, Irving – in light of his trade request – might not be eager to meet with LeBron.

But…

Tony Rizzo of ESPN Cleveland, as transcribed by Jackson Flickinger of King James Gospel:

“From very reliable sources. Plural. Kyrie and LeBron were in the same room over the weekend in Florida…Apparently these guys were in the same room and here’s the deal. I don’t know if there’s a thawing out process. All I do know is LeBron didn’t punch Kyrie the way Stephen A thought he would. I can report that. As for what they talked about or discussed…it was very cool. They didn’t get into any heated discussions.”

Did LeBron and Irving actually meet? Both were spotted in Miami, but maybe someone is just connecting dots that don’t belong connected.

Whether or not LeBron and Irving met, they might need to soon. Cleveland will have a tough time getting its desired return for Irving before the season, and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert discussed the possibility of Irving returning. LeBron isn’t getting traded.

No matter the disconnect between the two, LeBron and Irving might have to figure out how to work together a while longer. It’d be nice if that process has already begun.

Are Bulls and Dwyane Wade moving toward a buyout?

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About a month ago, the Bulls said they hadn’t discussed a buyout with Dwyane Wade.

Have the two sides progressed since?

Nick Friedell of ESPN:

Dwyane Wade isn’t long for the organization’s future and is expected to reach a buyout agreement at some point in the next few months.

Expected by whom?

People with direct knowledge of momentum toward a buyout?

Or everyone who can see that a 35-year-old earning $23.8 million fits poorly on a rebuilding team?

For the Bulls to now drop their biggest name and a large expiring contract that could prove useful in trades should require Wade surrendering a large portion of his salary. He doesn’t sound like someone inclined to do that yet.

A few months is a long time. As long as Wade gets bought out by March 1, he could join another team’s playoff roster. It’d surprise nobody if he gets bought out after the February trade deadline, which we already knew. I don’t see strong indication of something more imminent.

LeBron James’ camp already shooting down leaving-Cavaliers rumor

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LeBron James has done a terrible job shooting down rumors about him leaving the Cavaliers

Except this one from Chris Sheridan, who cited a source saying LeBron would “100 percent” leave Cleveland next summer due to a rift with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

Sheridan’s source saying LeBron is leaving doesn’t make that true. But other anonymous sources denying it doesn’t make the denials true, either.