LeBron James says he has not reached out to Dan Gilbert

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Remember when our Blogger-in-Chief Kurt Helin was like:

LeBron is going to be a member of the Heat for years. He can’t predict what will be happening in his life and the NBA five years from now no more than you or me or anyone else can. So he tried to leave a door open.

Can we move on now?

via LeBron happy in Miami, was “truthful” about Cleveland | ProBasketballTalk.

Yeah, no, we can’t move on, now. After LeBron James said earlier in the week he’d be open to an eventual return to the Cavs, a report surfaced from Yahoo! Sports that James tried contacting Dan Gilbert to try and mend some fences. Later Friday, James shut down that talk on record:

James didn’t deny he was happy to hear potential for a warm reception from the fans who once cheered for him.

He did, however, deny a Yahoo! Sports report earlier in the day that said his camp has reached out to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert to express interest in someday returning to Cleveland.

“That’s not true,” James said. “Not true at all.”

James deftly avoided two questions about whether he wanted to repair his fractured relationship with Gilbert.

But he did find a way to express his appreciation for the Cleveland fans he still, clearly, wants to win over.

via LeBron James believes fans’ animosity in Cleveland, around NBA is beginning to thaw | cleveland.com.

So now a one-day story is a three-day story and it may go further. Whee! Just when the spotlight had left James for a second with Jeremy Lin, he makes sure to get it back.

If you want to have fun with this story, try and track down the agendas of those involved. Because very side in this has a very specific set of motivations driving it.

So to recap, James would be open to playing for the Cavs again, but has not reached out to Dan Gilbert who has openly bashed him and who James has said he’s not OK with in the past. He’s not going to leave Miami any time soon, but left the door open just in case.

I keep thinking there will eventually be an end to the Decision news cycle. And I’m always wrong. It’s going to exist forever. Even after he retires, we’ll be talking and writing about its effects.

 

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.

Kings hire former WNBA Seattle coach Jenny Boucek as assistant

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The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.

The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.

Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.

A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.