LeBron James announced earlier this year an expansion of his deal with Ohio State, where his brand is represented on the uniforms of the Buckeyes, an agreement he’s had for several seasons. He added the University of Miami Hurricanes and the University of Kentucky Wildcats to his stable. Subsequently, Ohio State was mired in one of the biggest scandals involving NCAA violations in college football history, only to be topped by Miami’s own problems stemming from Mr. Shapiro. Kentucky has remained unscathed.
On Saturday night, while visiting the Nike campus, LeBron James and the Miami Three took in a nice game for Nike’s pet project, the University of Oregon Ducks. The Ducks, after getting their season blasted open to start by eventual No.1 LSU to begin the season, had hope of moving into position for a national title game rematch after all the other losses in college football’s elite, outside of the SEC West. James was on the sideline, even posing with the duck as in this picture, courtesy of @WhitneyKBlaine on Twitter.
It’s a coincidence. It is. There’s absolutely zero connection between the University of Oregon and LeBron James. None. But it is a weird developing pattern. He’s not cursed. But it seems like whenever he shows up, hopes and dreams die.
OK, that’s a bit much. Still, another weird coincidence in along series of them.
Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.
He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:
In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”
“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.
The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.
Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.
Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.
General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.
McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.