Summer Groove All-Star Basketball Game

Lockout impacts Wade’s involvement in huge charity event, Zo’s Summer Groove


This year marks the 15th anniversary of “Zo’s Summer Groove,” an annual massive charity weekend held in Miami, started by Alonzo Mourning. Of the incredible number of charity works put on by NBA players and their reps (and no kidding, for every arrest or stupid thing a player says there are about seventeen great charity events put on by players, almost none of which get any attention), Summer Groove stands out not only for the breadth of events and the level of community involvement, but for the sheer amount of cash that’s raised for various organizations both locally and on the national level. In short, it’s a pretty great thing.

For the last several years, Dwyane Wade has co-headlined the event, and his name being plastered on it has made the event even bigger. Both sponsorship money and interest obviously spikes with Wade’s name plastered on the event. It was a smart move by Mourning and the event’s promoters to put Wade as the headliner to cash in on his status as a current All-Star.

But that won’t be happening this year. Wade’s name is off the event and the website simply lists it as “Zo’s Summer Groove” once again. Why? The stupid freaking lockout.

Our own Ira Winderman said in an email that the reason Wade’s name has been taken off is because Mourning is a Heat executive, and during a lockout, players and executives aren’t allowed any contact. Even in a situation like this, which helps thousands of kids and families in need, providing a highlight of young people’s lives, a disagreement between billionaires and millionaires over how many millions should be divied up where and how will be the deciding factor.

Mourning recently told local NBC affiliate in Miami channel 6 that Wade will be involved in the event, he’s just not headlining. Which basically means the promoters will have to make sure Wade and Mourning don’t interact at the same event.

Honestly, this is just ridiculous.It’s not like Mourning’s going to be handing over the strategy of the owners to Wade (or that he’s going to know of said strategy, or that they have a strategy beyond throwing tantrums and saying “No! Give us more money you earn for us!”). And it’s not like Wade’s going to try and subvert anything for either side through conversations. This is one of the best charity events in the country involving an NBA player and it’s getting ruined over a lockout after one of the most successful seasons in NBA history.

We’re lost in the weeds, people, and the cost of this lockout goes well beyond the trips to Vegas the players have had to cancel.

LeBron James calls Cavs’ players’ only meeting after loss to Raptors

LeBron James

Yes, the Cavaliers are 11-4 on the season and on top of the East. Yes, they are outscoring teams by 6.7 points per 100 possessions, which is fourth best in the NBA. They have the third best offense in the league. All that without their starting backcourt (Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert). There are reasons to be optimistic.

But the Cavaliers have a middle-of-the-pack defense and their efforts have been up and down. Wednesday night was a down, they lost on the road to Toronto, dropping the Cavs to 3-4 outside Quicken Loans Arena, with all those losses to teams in the East.

It was enough for LeBron James and James Jones to call a players-only meeting, reports Dave McMenamin at ESPN.

Following a 103-99 road loss to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, the Cleveland Cavaliers held a players-only meeting during which LeBron James and James Jones got on the team for its inconsistent play through the Cavs’ 11-4 start to the season, multiple sources told….

“It’s all mindset,” James said after the game, still visibly frustrated. “It comes from within. I’ve always had it; my upbringing had me like that. It’s either you got it or you don’t.”

When asked whether fatigue was a factor, James said, “No. It’s not an excuse.” When another reporter asked whether injuries were to blame, James repeated, “It’s not an excuse.”

Injuries and fatigue did play a role, this was a team without four regular rotation players and that puts more of a burden on everyone else. Players can’t look at it that way, but ijuries are a reality.

LeBron is trying to set a tone, one he learned in Miami and is now trying to instill in the Cavaliers. It’s about effort, it’s about attention to detail, it’s about building good habits over the course of a season so they can pay off in the playoffs. The Cavs are winning, they look clearly like the best team in the East once healthy, and yet LeBron rightfully isn’t convinced they could beat Golden State or San Antonio right now. The good news is they don’t have to beat them right now, but they need to beat them eventually. The building blocks for that are laid during the season. He wants that building to start going up.

But getting guys healthy would solve a lot of those problems.

Jason Kidd ejected; shoving match ensues between teams after Kings beat Bucks

Jason Kidd

Jason Kidd is going to miss a game or three (and some dollars to go with it), and he could not be the only guy in trouble with the league after a tension-filled end to the Kings’ win over the Bucks Wednesday.

There wasn’t a ton of drama at the end of the contest itself. The Bucks played a “defense optional” game that led to 36 points for Rudy Gay and 13 dimes for Rajon Rondo, and the Kings won their first game this season without DeMarcus Cousins (back issue). That frustrated the Bucks to no end.

Jason Kidd expressed that frustration by slapping the ball out of referee Zach Zarba’s hands, a move that rightfully earned him an instant ejection.

You can be sure a suspension is coming for Kidd — the league can’t let that slide. This was not a Budenholzer incidental bump. After the game here is what Kidd had to say.

After Kidd had gone to the showers, there was a little jawing on the court between Cousins (in street clothes) and the Bucks’ O.J. Mayo. That spilled over after the final buzzer into the tunnel, where there was at the very least some jawing, maybe a little shoving, and a lot of security stepping in before anything serious happened.

Whatever happened in the tunnel is going to be a lot harder for NBA disciplinarian Kiki Vandeweghe (technically the vice-president of basketball operations for the NBA) to sort out. Who started what, and did it rise to the level it calls for a fine or more, is going to be tricky, especially since this was out of site of the arena cameras.

Cavaliers stand in middle of Raptors dancers’ routine (video)

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The Cavaliers were ready for their game against the Raptors tonight, and Toronto’s dance team wasn’t going to change that.

The last time I remember something like this happening, Grizzlies guard Tony Allen walked through the Warriors’ kid dancers. This video doesn’t show how the Cavaliers got to that point, but they might have the defense of being there first. Allen definitely didn’t have that.

Wizards score six fourth-quarter points in loss to Hornets

Cody Zeller, Ramon Sessions
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Gary Neal made a jumper with 10:12 remaining in tonight’s Wizards-Hornets game.

That was Washington’s last basket.

Jared Dudley made a pair of free throws on the Wizards next possession, and Neal added two more free throws with 23 seconds left.

And that was all the Wizards scoring in the quarter.

Washington, which entered the final period up seven, lost 101-87 after its 1-for-20 final-period shooting.

The six fourth-quarter points were the fewest by an NBA team in a quarter since Cavaliers scored six third-quarter points in a Jan. 26, 2014 loss to the Suns. Last time a team scored so few in a fourth quarter: Nov. 13, 2012, when the Raptors had five against the Pacers.

At least Neal’s late free throws spared the Wizards further shame. Nobody has scored four or fewer points in a quarter since the Warriors managed just two in a Feb. 8, 2004 loss to the Raptors.

As it stands, this is one of only 44 times in the shot clock era a team has scored so few points in a quarter.