For years, Dwight Howard and Deron Williams talked about teaming up. They realized these kinds of super teams are the only way to compete with the Heat in the East.
And it almost came together. Williams was in Brooklyn (well, New Jersey soon to be Brooklyn) and Howard was trying to force a trade there, but the Magic screwed it up by not wanting Brook Lopez (or to send Howard where he wanted to go). Then Howard really screwed it up by waiving his early termination option — once he did that he lost a lot of trade leverage. Brooklyn’s management got tired of screwing around with it, went and got Joe Johnson and kept Lopez.
Williams is reportedly not thrilled with Howard waiving his leverage and not coming to Brooklyn.
Dwight Howard doesn’t care. Here’s his quote, thanks to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, via Sulia:
“That’s my decision. It’s my life so if he’s upset because I made a decision for me, so be it. If he doesn’t want to be friends because I’m on another team, then so be it. There’s no need to smooth things over, you know?”
Howard is in a position not to care because did okay for himself in the end. After getting over the whole Shaq footsteps thing, he landed on a loaded team that can contend now and plans to rebuild around him in the coming years. And in a major media market. And he’s still near a Disney resort.
D-Will, he’s on a Nets team off to a nice start in the East (6-2), but still a team nobody really trusts in going all that far when the pressure really comes. But it’s another good landing spot, even if we question their roster construction.
And do you really think at the end of the day they’re not friends anymore?
Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.
So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.
LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.
When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.
At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.
The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.
China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.
China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.
The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.