LeBron James is used to all of you calling him names.
From the comment sections of this site to fans close to the floor arenas LeBron has heard it all — the stuff about his mother, about Cleveland, about how he can’t lead, how he is overrated, how he’s soft, how he can’t close, and much more.
LeBron shrugs at all of it — including the new allegations out of Chicago that he is a flopper. Tibodeau said he saw a flop when Nazr Mohammed pushed him to the ground. Combine that with LeBron saying after a regular season meeting the Bulls were too physical with him and Chicago fans have taken that to the next level talking about how LeBron whines and flops to get calls.
LeBron’s response to the AP was essentially, “whatever.”
“It’s kind of the same [as when] I heard people say I was overrated,” he said Sunday. “It’s kind of like the same response….
“I don’t need to flop,” James said. “I play an aggressive game. I don’t flop. I’ve never been one of those guys.”
History is written by the winners. We don’t talk about the three years in a row the Detroit Pistons bounced Michael Jordan from the playoffs and how people said he couldn’t lead a team to a title. Same is true of the knocks on the games of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and so on.
LeBron gets that. Keep winning, keep collecting rings and all the flopping talk will die away, drowned out by plaudits. But it’s not going to due out before Game 4, Chicago is going to let him hear it.
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.