A legitimate report surfaced yesterday that had the Lakers preparing to make a run at LeBron James when he becomes an unrestricted free agent after the 2014 season.
The report — from the beyond credible Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com — was not a rumor, and instead, was based in fact: multiple general managers around the league believed that’s what the Lakers have planeed, based on Kobe Bryant’s timetable for retirement, as well as the way the rest of the team’s players contracts are structured.
Understandably, Dwyane Wade is not interested in hearing where his all-world teammate might play two years from now, especially if it’s going to be somewhere other than Miami. He had this to say about it after the Heat’s preseason win over the Pistons on Thursday.
“They need to leave my teammate alone with that, and go mess with somebody else,” Wade said. “He’s gonna be here. We’re straight.”
Again, since the report was nowhere near rumor-mongering and wasn’t simply speculative, there’s no problem putting it out there. Still, 2014 is a relative eternity from now, and trying to guess which team the best player in the league will feel like playing with then is beyond impossible.
James knows the game by now, and took the high road by simply saying he’s not going to worry about it. Wade was being a little more protective with his comments, and given all that can happen between now and when LeBron’s next “decision” will need to be made, you can understand his annoyance at the conversation.
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.
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.
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.