There’s no way for LeBron to win — other than to actually win — so he made the smart move in not bashing a Hall of Famer.
Here’s what happened: TNT analyst Reggie Miller was working the Heat’s Game 2 game when the topic of LeBron James in the offseason came up. After the Heat fell to the Mavericks last year, LeBron reached out to Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Isiah Thomas to pick their brains about what it takes to win a ring.
Miller thought that foolish. Here is what he said, as transcribed by the Sporting News.
“This is one of the most physically gifted guys in our league,” Miller said on TNT. “He left Cleveland, and he had every right to join one of the top five players in the league in Dwyane Wade along with Chris Bosh.
“Now he’s reaching out to Hall of Famers to see what it takes to win? Enough is enough. Go out and actually do it on your own. What do you need more help for?”
When asked to comment on this, LeBron declined.
I will avoid the easy point about LeBron not needing to reach out to Miller about what it takes to win a title. Well, almost avoid.
But this is the no-win situation LeBron has put himself in (and his detractors have put him in). He reaches out to former champs and asks how to win, and he gets people like Miller saying, “Why do you need to do that?” If he hadn’t somebody else would have stepped in and said, “Why didn’t he reach out to former champions and try to learn from them?”
He can’t win.
At least he can’t until he wins a ring. Then these questions will stop.
As of tomorrow, training camps around the league open, and all the focus goes to the 2016-17 season.
For fun, let’s look back one more time at last season — the 50 top circus shots of last season.
Stephen Curry driving the lane and throwing up prayers once he draws contact (and hitting them), there is Russell Westbrook throwing the inbounds pass off an opponent’s back, and so much more. Enjoy. Then let’s get on with next season.
Kevin Garnett intimidates people. In the machismo-fueled world of professional sports nobody comfortably admits they were intimidated, but in the wake of Garnett announcing his retirement, a number of players stepped forward to say exactly that. And that KG trashed talked them fearlessly.
Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams found a way to avoid that — tell KG he didn’t speak English.
Adams was lucky, KG had a reputation for going harder at foreign-born players with his trash talk and intimidation. Then again Adams is not the kind of guy prone to be intimidated.
Athletes are injecting themselves into the needed national conversation about race, violence, and policing in this nation. That has taken some very public forms, including LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony speaking at the ESPYs, and Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem and leading others to do so. Some NBA players likely will follow Kaepernick’s lead.
Pistons coach/GM Stan Van Gundy likes seeing players speak out.
A couple of his Detroit players — Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris — said they backed the 49ers quarterback. Here is what the never shy Van Gundy said about all of it, via Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
“I’m encouraged by the fact of what some of those guys stood up and did at the ESPYs and had a conversation,” Van Gundy said. “I’m really proud of the fact that we have guys that not only see the problem, but want to try to do something about it…
“To me, in some ways, (police brutality is) just the most visible to focus on and it goes to deeper inequities in our criminal justice system, our education system so there’s so much to focus on,” Van Gundy said. “I think it’s great that we have players that want to be part of that conversation, and a lot of players that want to go beyond the conversation and be part of the solution.”
Van Gundy has been telling his players part of that solution is to vote.
The players union and NBA sent out a release saying they wanted to work together to create positive change, but details are still vague on what that might be. The only thing we know for sure as we head into the NBA season — with as divided a nation and election as anyone can remember as a backdrop — is that some NBA players are going to try and keep the conversation going.
It was the last game of the group stage of the 2000 Olympic basketball tournament at the Sydney Olympics, the USA was taking on France, another USA win on its way to another gold medal.
But what we all remember is this one play — Vince Carter dunking over the 7’2″ French center Frederic Weis.
Best. Dunk. Ever.
Weis was never the same.
In an impressive career — two-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Star, hours and hours of crazy highlights — this is always going to be the highlight at the top of the list. So we will use the anniversary of this dunk to look at it one more time.
Hat tip to nitramy at NBA Reddit.