Kendrick Perkins didn’t like LeBron James tweeting about how Blake Griffin dunked all over Perk. Not in the least. Perkins said that you don’t see Kobe Bryant tweeting, or Jordan, or guys that play the game “for the right reasons” who want to win not get hung up on one play.
In response, our man Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel asked LeBron if he’s sorry about the tweet.
“For me, social media and Twitter is all about connecting with your fans,” James said. “From day one, that’s why I got to Twitter, to connect to my fans. I would never apologize for anything like that when I’m connecting with my fans…
“I can see why he may have felt embarrassed,” he said. “I don’t think I was the only one that reacted to that unbelievable play by Blake, and that’s what it was all about, me acknowledging how great of a play it was. If Kendrick Perkins had dunked on somebody else on the other end, I would have done the same thing.
“I’m an easy target, let’s leave it at that.”
LeBron is right about this — a whole lot of NBA players were tweeting about the dunk. It blew up twitter and went viral almost instantly, before the game was over. If Perkins is going to be mad at guys for tweeting about that dunk, it’s going to be a long list.
But LeBron doesn’t touch the larger issue — that the tweet was about LeBron co-opting a big moment to make it about himself. That his use of twitter is about his need for attention. That LeBron cares about himself first and winning second. Those are the big knocks, the big issues LeBron did not try to refute. He probably doesn’t even see it that way, but a lot of others do.
Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.
Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.
Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.
“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.
Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.
Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.
A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.