LeBron James is on his way to Miami for the opening of training camp in what will be an interesting year for him and the Heat:
What did they learn and how did they grow after last season?
LeBron was candid in an interview with ESPN Tuesday, including saying he did not like being everybody’s bad guy last year (transcription by Ira Winderman at the Sun Sentinel).
“To be on the other side, they call it the dark side, or the villain, whatever they call it, it was definitely challenging for myself,” he said in an interview with ESPN. “It basically turned me into somebody I wasn’t. Me, personally, I’m not that guy.”
LeBron also agreed that he did not play well enough down the stretch in the finals.
“I didn’t make enough game-changing plays,” he said. “I just know I didn’t play well. I could have played down the stretch better.”
The question is, do the Heat learn and grow from that experience?
DeAndre Jordan‘s free-throw problems – 38.7% this season, 41.5% for his career – are mental.
You can’t watch this trip to the line and convince me otherwise.
Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.
Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.
So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.
So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?
Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.
Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.
This was not Marc Gasol‘s first attempt to head in the ball after a whistle, but this time, he converted.
Here was his January try: