The NBA isn’t stupid — they don’t schedule any games directly up against the Super Bowl.
But it’s close enough this year that LeBron James and his Miami Heat teammates are not going to get to see the San Francisco 49ers make Ray Lewis cry and beat the Baltimore Ravens. (Well, Ray will cry either way.) Ira Winderman had LeBron’s reaction at the Sun Sentinel.
“How disgusting is that?” he said after Wednesday’s shootaround at the Barclays Center prior to the game against the Brooklyn Nets….
“If the Cowboys were in the Super Bowl, I’d stay there for the game,” he said of his passionate football rooting interest.
Miami tips off against Toronto at 2 p.m. Eastern and for viewers at home that works out pretty well because after the final buzzer you can flip over and catch the last hour and a half of pregame then watch the big game.
But for James and teammates there is the post-game routine of showers and media obligations, followed by a bus to the airport and a flight home to Miami — a flight that can’t be delayed to watch the game because the Heat have a game the next night at home. Staying and watching the Super Bowl then flying would leave a very tired team the next day.
While the Heat do fly a charter plane (like all NBA teams), their current one doesn’t have the modern conveniences of satellite television of wi-fi on board, Winderman reports. So they will be without the game and updates (save what the pilot can pass along).
It’s a sacrifice for work, and life is not hard for these guys, but if your job made you sacrifice the Super Bowl you’d be pissed, too.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.