LeBron James is often thought to be too “above” things. He definitely gives that vibe of superiority, which is one of the reasons he’s so despised currently. He said he’d be in the dunk contest, then no-showed. He rarely shows up at “average fan” events, and runs in exclusive circles. He pulls that whole “rock star” life. But apparently he made an exception this weekend.
James showed up at Drew League in California and instead of just hanging out and acting too cool for school, James threw on a jersey and then threw down on everyone. He put on a show and later talked about how the best part was being there for the kids. Maybe most impressive, though, was the impact he made on his teammates and how he actually didn’t big-time them. From Yahoo! Sports:
“It was a great experience to just play with a guy like that,” said Casper Ware, a senior guard at Long Beach State who played on James’ team Saturday. “He was still passing even though he was LeBron. He just wanted me to play my game. He told me, ‘Don’t stand around and just throw me the ball. Play your game. I can get mine. Play your game and don’t change for me.’“
He was very cool and down to earth. You could talk to him like any other player.”
That’s the kind of James you wish we’d see more of. Oh, and here’s the James we tend to see a lot of:
Sidenote: How strange is it that Baron Davis, the former L.A. movie making star turned contract liability for the Cleveland Cavaliers is the guy bringing LeBron to the stage? That’s an oddly appropriate pairing if there ever was one.
Lucky? Klay Thompson reminds Doc Rivers which team lost to Rockets
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.
– “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.”
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
“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.