LeBron has a new PR handler

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LeBron James is loathed by many, still. His negative PR is lessening as people begin to move on with their lives, but after last year,it was clear that James had struggled with how to handle his public perception. He took a bad situation, lit it on fire, and then dropped it off a cliff into a pit of manure. And apparently, James realized this because he has reportedly gone out and gotten himself a new handler.

From the News Herald:

James had to know the questions were coming on Thursday when the Miami Heat were practicing at Quicken Loans Arena. He recently hired a new “strategist,” a man who worked on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial campaign, so for all we know, his answers could all have been planned.

via Bob Finnan’s NBA notes: If LeBron James wants to return in two years, the Cavs should find a way (with video) – news-herald.com.

Well, Schwarzenegger did get elected, so there’s that.

James’ comments this week about playing in Cleveland again were really the first things h’e said to cause issues for himself this year. He was quiet during the lockout, has played well, hasn’t made any overly confident statements and hasn’t come across as badly. It is interesting that he has his own marketing firm with his friends from high school in LRMR (who put together “the Decision” along with his agent), and now has looked outside. Getting away from that series of decisions is the best thing he can do.

 

(HT: IAmAGM.com)

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

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This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)