LeBron used in Ohio political attack ad — everything you’re sick of in one place


I laughed at my in-laws last night, in visiting California from their home outside Vegas, when they said they were happy to get to out of Nevada and away from all the attack ads on television. Wait until they see the relentless bashing from our lesser-of-two-evils choice for governor, Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman. I’d say it’s embarrassing the state, but we elected Arnold Schwarzenegger. Twice.

In Ohio, another group has tried to get as nasty as they could with a political attack — bringing LeBron James into the ad.

A mailer sent out by Americans United for Safer Streets used LeBron to attack the Democratic Attorney General because he has allowed Floridians with conceal and carry gun permits to use them in Ohio. Turns out Ohio has stricter laws on who can get guns (drug arrests mean no guns in Ohio, but in Florida the more the merrier).

We’ll let the Cleveland Plain Dealer sort it out (via Ball Don’t Lie).

The mail campaign, launched by Americans United for Safe Streets, uses a photo of James on the cover with a tagline asking, “Florida took LeBron. What did we get in return?” On the mailer’s flip side, the punchline: “They sent us 92 illegal guns and gun-toting criminals. And Richard Cordray is letting them do it.”

The LeBron ad is one of a trio of mail pieces the anti-gun group is sending out against Cordray as well as three pieces being sent out against congressional candidate Tom Ganley. The group said it is sending the mailers to 175,000 homes and spending about $350,000.

Just so we’re clear: A Washington D.C.-based anti-gun organization is spending $350,000 to influence an Ohio election, and they are attacking the Democrat because of a decision about 92 people.

The only thing that can make the Summer of LeBron look sane? Politics.

Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver

Manu Ginobili, Harrison Barnes, Tim Duncan
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The Spurs are 12-3 and comfortably in second place in the West, they have the best defense in the NBA allowing just 93.8 points per 100 possessions, and they have a top-10 offense to go with it.

So, time to start making sure guys are rested.

That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.

Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.

What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry

The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.