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.
“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.
Joel Embiid frustrated, wants more post touches, to play back-to-backs
He wants to be unleashed on the NBA, and he feels he’s being held back.
Part of that is not playing in back-to-backs — Embiid started Friday night against Boston but will sit out by plan Saturday night against the Raptors in Toronto. Embiid knows the plan to help protect a body that has played only 31 games in three seasons before this one and was not cleared for most of training camp, but that doesn’t mean he likes it, as he told Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
“I just want to feel like an NBA player,” Embiid said. “I feel like I’m not an NBA player because I can’t play back-to-back.”
I get his frustration, but can you blame the Sixers for treating the guy like he’s made of glass at this point? Hopefully, later in the season, he can be cleared to play on both ends.
His second frustration came from the loss to the Cavaliers on Friday — he wants more post touches. In the video above he is clear, “I didn’t get the ball enough in the post.”
He’s right here. Embiid had three post-ups all game, one in each of the game’s first three quarters (stat via Synergy Sports). Embiid is efficient in the post — he has shot 9-of-12 on those plays overall this season and the Sixers score 1.33 points per possession when he does. Especially against a team going small — the Cavaliers start Kevin Love at center — Embiid should be fed down low.
Instead, look at his shot chart from Friday night.
Part of this is on him with all the threes, but they have to utilize him better. It’s part of the Sixers growing pains that will come this season.
Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance
NEW YORK (AP)— The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.
Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.
NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.
Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling
This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.
After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverleyin 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.