Well, that was unexpected. TIME Magazine just released its list of 25 nominees for its annual “Person of the Year” award, and Heat forward and Controversial Person LeBron James is one of them. After “the decision,” the 25-year old James has never been less popular, but he’s also never been more in the news. Since the TIME “Person of the Year” poll is based on “influence,” LeBron’s nomination does make a measure of sense.
Here’s what TIME’s Sean Gregory had to say about James’ nomination:
Yes, The Decision, which followed a year of intense speculation about where James would land, decidedly stunk. But we watched it. And talked about it. And debated whether coddled professional athletes like James owe their hometown fans anything more than years of success, even if falling short of winning a championship. As James teams up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, all eyes are still on LeBron.
For his part, James doesn’t think he has any business being on the list of nominees, which includes people like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, Lady Gaga, Mark Zuckerberg, Sarah Palin, Jonathan Franzen, The Chilean Miners, and The Unemployed American:
“That’s just crazy,” James said. “What those guys did, the courage and what they stood for, I should be nowhere near that list. Nowhere near it.”
The people who have voted on TIME’s online poll so far seem to agree with James — LeBron is currently ranked 24th out of the 25 nominees for the award, and the only person behind him is former BP CEO Tony Hayward, whose own nomination piece calls him “one of the most openly reviled people of 2010.” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is currently leading the TIME poll, with Lady Gaga in second place.
Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.
Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.
Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.
“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.
“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”
This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.
It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.
Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.
Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.
A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.