LeBron James and Tony Parker were named conference players of the month for games played in January, the league announced via official release.
It was the third straight player of the month award for James, and for Parker, while his numbers weren’t necessarily dominant, he led his team to a Western Conference best record of 12-3 in January.
Here are a few of the more noteworthy performances from the pair that helped earn them this honor.
LeBron James, Miami Heat
Jan. 2 vs Dallas: Recorded 32 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists in a 119-109 overtime win over the Mavericks.
Jan. 17 @ L.A. Lakers: Scored a season-high 39 points to go with eight rebounds and seven assists in a 99-90 road victory over the Lakers.
Jan. 27 @ Boston: Finished with 34 points and a season-high 16 rebounds in a 100-98 double overtime loss to the Celtics.
Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
Jan. 2 @ Milwaukee: Had 23 points and 11 assists in a 117-110 road win over the Bucks.
Jan. 19 vs Atlanta: Scored 23 points and dished out 12 assists while committing only one turnover in a 98-93 win at Atlanta.
Jan. 23 vs New Orleans: Collected 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the floor to go with a season-high 13 assists in a 106-102 win against the Hornets.
Other players considered included Brook Lopez, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Kyrie Irving, Danilo Gallinari, James Harden, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, LaMarcus Aldridge and Emeka Okafor.
Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.
By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.
Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.
How’s that going?
(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.
Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks
Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.
So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.
“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….
“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.
“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”
Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.
Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.
Stephen Curry has reached the transcendent point in his career. We’re now talking about if he has passed LeBron James as the best player on the planet (he has), and we’re starting to think about his legacy as the perfect point guard for a modern NBA small-ball, space-and-pace offense. Plus he’s just a joy to watch play.
“I don’t know – it’s a chicken and egg kind of conversation,” Curry said while laughing.
“We both have a creative style, a feel when you are out on the pitch or the court. I’m trying to do some fancy things out there with both hands, making crossover moves and having a certain flair to my game and that’s definitely the style Messi has when he is out there in his matches.”
I love Curry, but Messi is the bigger international star.
But I love the comparison in terms of the must-watch nature of the two stars, the flair in their games, the sense that you have to keep an eye on them at all times because the spectacular could happen any time they touch the ball. When the ball comes to them, everybody leads forward in their chairs. That is the sign of a real superstar.