LeBron James makes fun of his hairline, then tries to recruit Steve Nash and Jamal Crawford

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LeBron James has drawn criticism over the past few years for coming across as narcissistic and/or programmed in his public statements, completely turning the city of Cleveland against him with “The Decision,” melting down in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals and the 2011 NBA Finals, and his receding hairline.

To his credit, LeBron showed a sense of humor about the hairline issue today, tweeting this picture with the caption “That was the last time my hairline was right and tight! LOL. Coming back soon though”

LeBron then tweeted the following:

Would love to see @JCrossover [ed: @JCrossover is Jamal Crawford] in a Heat uni! What u guys say?

Maybe @SteveNash in a Heat uni! So we can help each other get our 1st ring

(Crawford retweeted James’ tweet — Nash hasn’t tweeted a thing since Tuesday. Media silence!)

Crawford is a free agent, and could help the Heat by providing some scoring punch off the bench, but there is absolutely no way the Heat will have the money to sign him under any conceivable CBA agreement. Nash is not a free agent, and while the idea of a Nash/Wade/LeBron/Bosh offense is intriguing (Nash is one of the best outside shooters in basketball history, Wade already moves well without the ball, and Nash could be the one to actually get LeBron to move without the ball), there is absolutely, positively, no conceivable way that Steve Nash is coming to the Heat any time soon.

I don’t think Jamal Crawford or Steve Nash will be playing for the Heat any time soon, but I do think LeBron knows what he’s doing here, if only a little bit. After LeBron’s 2010 meltdown against the Celtics, he changed the discussion surrounding him to his free agency, which culminated in “The Decision” — while that may have been a PR fiasco, it did make a lot of people forget about just how poorly LeBron played during his last two games as a Cavalier.

Right now, the last few NBA games LeBron played were one of the worst Finals meltdowns we’ve ever seen from a superstar, but team LeBron doesn’t want us talking about that — they’d rather have us talk about how LeBron would fare as an NFL wideout, or how Steve Nash could share the ball with Wade and LeBron. In fact, team LeBron would probably rather have people talk about how stupid the idea of LeBron recruiting players or talking about playing in the NFL is than have people talking about those games against the Mavericks. So yes, LeBron talking about trying to get Steve Nash to take his talents to South Beach is stupid, but I happen to think there’s a method to James’ off-season/lockout Twitter madness.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.