Miami Heat's LeBron James gestures after being fouled in NBA basketball playoff action against the Philadelphia 76ers in Miami

PBT Thursday morning one liners

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In what was a flood of commentary, this is the best of the Suns CEO Rick Welts coming out of the closet posts, from the brilliant Kevin Arnovitz at ESPN.

A LeBron James NBA championship would be worth a lot of money to Nike in China.

Taj Gibson talking about the Bulls loss to the Heat Tuesday.

Here’s Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah sounding frustrated about it, too.

Dirk Nowitzki’s 48-point game by the numbers.

John Wall wants to be in the MVP discussion in his third year.

Remembering when Sam Presti made a reach and took the third leading scorer on the UCLA Bruins with the No. 4 pick in the draft. Some kid named Russell Westbrook. (For the record, those of us who saw a lot of that team loved Westbrook.)

Pretty much everybody is in Chicago for the NBA pre-draft camps this week. Except John Kuester, embattled coach of the Pistons. Read into that what you want.

Great point by Tim Kawakami at the San Jose Mercury News: The big mistake the Clippers made was not trading away their first round pick unprotected to the Cavaliers this year (it became the No. 1 overall pick) but signing Baron Davis to a massive contract in 2008, one they were willing to give up a first round pick to get out from under.

Leandro Barbosa’s wrist injury may be just something he has to live with.

The idea of extending the sales tax increase that paid for the Milwaukee Brewers new home to pay for a new home for Bucks is being discussed.

Lucky? Klay Thompson reminds Doc Rivers which team lost to Rockets

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There’s this overplayed angle talked about by some fans and pundits suggesting the Warriors just got lucky last season — for example, they faced a banged-up Rockets’ team in the conference finals then a Cavaliers’ squad without two of their big three through the Finals. Then there was Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers saying the Warriors were lucky not having to play the Clippers or Spurs in the postseason.

The Warriors are sick of hearing they were lucky.

Friday Klay Thompson fired back at Rivers, via

– “I wanted to play the Clippers last year, but they couldn’t handle their business.”
– “If we got lucky, look at our record against them last year (Warriors 3-1). I’m pretty sure we smacked them.”
– “Didn’t they lose to the Rockets? Exactly. So haha. That just makes me laugh. That’s funny. Weren’t they up 3-1 too?”
– “Yeah, tell them I said that. That’s funny. That’s funny.”

Warriors big man Andrew Bogut phrased it differently.

If you think the Warriors just won because they were lucky — you are dead wrong.

They were the best team in the NBA last season, bar none. They won 67 regular season games in a tough conference, then beat everyone in their path to win a title. Did they catch some breaks along the way, particularly with health? You bet. Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant didn’t win a title without catching some breaks along the way, either. Nobody does. Luck plays a role, but it was not the primary factor in why the Warriors are champs.

All this talk of them getting lucky is fuel for the fire they needed not to be complacent this season. Way to give the defending champs bulletin board material, Doc.

Dwyane Wade serious as mentor, teaching Justise Winslow post moves

Third day of Miami Heat camp 10/1/2015
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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.