NBA 2k12 News: Lebron James tops Kobe Bryant, Stern and Silver to announce picks

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In the absence of an actual NBA season, 2K Sports’ NBA 2k12 may be the best some people are going to get this year. The most popular NBA game on the market goes on sale October 4th, and in addition to a wide array of legend players including Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Moses Malone, and every other legend you can think of, there are some interesting elements at play in this addition. One that’s likely to draw quite a bit of conversation is this.

LeBron James is better than Kobe Bryant.

From Pastapadre.com:

LeBron James will begin NBA 2K12 as a 98 – the highest rated player in the game – while Kobe Bryant has settled in at 94. Miami also features the 96 rated Dwayne Wade and the 80 rated Chris Bosh (who drops from the 87 he started 2K11 with). Bryant and the Heat, who have no players outside the “big three” above 68, are the only ratings revealed so far.

via NBA 2K12 Ratings for LeBron James and Kobe Bryant Spark Debate | pastapadre.com.

James and Byrant were both rated a 97 in 2K11. But this year, with Bryant showing more signs of the inevitable downgrade that comes with age, James has passed him. Wait, wait, don’t get off the couch. I’ll make the jokes for you. Choose your favorite!

a. Does James’ number invert to a 79 in the playoffs?

b. Huh, didn’t know 2k12 was trying out a new “three-quarters only” game system.

c. The only rating that matters is how high the ring count is.

d. Kobe Bryant will now spend an hour after he plays the game first time practicing to try and get his rating up.

This will upset a lot of people. It shouldn’t. The choking, the shrinking, the non-clutchness, whatever you want to call it, none of it impacts James’ ability. And if you’re able to control James, you should be able to avoid all his weaknesses anyway. You can simply get him past the mental breakdowns he has. There’s nothing intangible about knee soreness.

The other bit of news is that in the draft system, David Stern and Adam Silver will do the actual announcing. My question, can we have them in a simulated lockout negotiations, complete with Stern asking Silver what he thinks about things? Because that would be the best. Well, okay, an actual season would be best. But comparatively.

(HT: Larry Brown Sports via IAmAGM.com on the ratings)

(HT: TBJ on the Stern/Silverness)

Shaq calls his absurd light-up shoes the real Big Baller Brand

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Because 7’1″, 350-pound Shaquille O’Neal needed an impossible-to-ignore pair of light up shoes to call attention to himself…

Shaq posted a video of himself on Instagram wearing some outrageous light-up shoes — then in the comments decided to take another dig at Big Baller Brand.

Boy was shining wasn't he #whatarethose #shineonem #feetwork #shaqshoestherealbigballerbrand

A post shared by DR. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on

So how much do those shoes cost? More or less than ZO2?

One of the things I enjoyed about Summer League was that as Lonzo Ball played better and better, the spotlight shifted more to his play and more away from his father. Think what you will of LaVar Ball — marketing genius or loud-mouthed dad — personally I’m just weary of him. I like Lonzo’s play, I don’t need the rest.

However, between Shaq and Charles Barkley, I think there’s going to be a lot of LaVar/Big Baller Brand talk on Inside the NBA next season. Those two can’t help themselves.

After four years out of NBA, Pacers give Damien Wilkins chance to return

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Consider this the most unexpected signing of the summer.

The last time we saw Damien Wilkins in the NBA, the 6’6″ wing out of the University of Georgia was finishing his ninth NBA season, averaging 6.4 points per game and shooting 33.3 percent from three. He looked like a guy who was done at the NBA level. Since then he has played in China, Spain, and the D-League.

The Pacers are giving him another crack to make an NBA roster. They have signed 37-year-old Wilkins to a non-guaranteed deal, reports the Indy Star.

The Indiana Pacers agreed to a one-year, non-guaranteed veteran minimum deal for close to $2 million with small forward and shooting guard Damien Wilkins, a league source confirmed to IndyStar.

The Pacers have 14 guys on the roster already, and they have at the wing Victor Oladipo, Lance Stephenson, Rodney Stuckey, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Glenn Robinson III, it will be tough for Wilkins to crack that rotation.

But he’ll get his chance, and having a desperate veteran pushing guys in camp never hurts. Maybe he can impress enough in camp that if the Pacers don’t want him another team might. It’s a foot in the door, and that’s all Wilkins can ask at this point.

Watch the Top 10 dunks from the NBA Summer League

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Summer League, at its core, is athletic young players in sloppy games.

That leads to massive dunks. Here are the top 10, which John Collins deserving the top spot.

Report: Carmelo Anthony willing to waive $8 million trade kicker for Rockets

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Carmelo Anthony does not want to return to the Knicks. The Knicks want to trade Carmelo Anthony. The Houston Rockets would like to trade for Carmelo Anthony.

So far all that will has not gotten a deal nearly as close to done as has been reported, I was told by sources. There are major hurdles, and the Knicks don’t like the offers they’ve gotten so far, which is why they pulled back (not because of the Scott Perry hiring or some desire to change Anthony’s mind). As has been reported before, Anthony is willing to waive his no trade clause for the right team to get the deal done, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN said on The Jump.

“My sources tell me he’s willing to waive the trade kicker, which is worth around $8 million, so that makes a little easier for Houston to do a trade.”

That’s nice. It doesn’t solve the core problem with a Rockets’ trade.

The Rockets are over the cap so the only way this trade gets done is they send out enough salary to match and create space for Anthony. The Rockets could do that with a combination of Eric Gordon, Clint Capela, Trevor Ariza, and some expiring deals, but that cuts way too deeply into the roster and hurts the Rockets more than it helps. What the Rockets need to do in this trade is move Ryan Anderson, and his three-years, $60 million — except the Knicks don’t want that contract on their books (even though Anderson is a good player when healthy). So now the two sides are trying to find a third team that would take on Anderson’s contract, but the Rockets are going to have to give up sweeteners — a couple first round picks or a pick and a quality young player — that they don’t have to get the deal done. So enter a fourth team to get the sweeteners, but that team will want things back, and quickly the house of cards falls apart.

On top of all that, the Knicks still don’t think they’re getting enough back in the trade to want to do it. Yet, anyway.

Over on the left coast, there is Portland saying “look at us, look at us!” They would be willing to trade for Anthony, as C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard have made clear.

One massive problem with that: Anthony has not been interested in waiving his no trade clause for anyone but Cleveland and Houston.

If he changes his mind — and that’s a huge, unlikely “if” — maybe a deal could be found. The Blazers already have a top-five payroll in the NBA (may be top two when all is said and done) and that means they have to send out salary as well, someone like Evan Turner and Meyers Leonard (moving Allen Crabbe is the dream, but also highly unlikely). The Knicks could have interest in Turner, the Blazers have picks to throw in, and if a third team picked up Leonard maybe we’re close to something. But until Anthony makes it clear he would accept a trade to Portland, something he has yet to do, this is all a moot exercize.

But hey, Anthony will waive his trade kicker. So there’s that.