LeBron James was pretty clear about what he thought of his Game 3 performance — “I played like s—.”
He says Game 4 will be different. But does that mean we really know how he will respond and play in Game 4?
And that may be the most frustrating thing about LeBron. It’s not that he chooses to pass out of the double-team to an open teammate, that’s the smart basketball play and that kind of criticism (even before he had a ring) always missed the mark. No, it’s that the most gifted player the league might have ever seen doesn’t impose his will on every contest. He’s unpredictable.
NBCSports.com’s own brilliant Joe Posnanski said it better than I ever could.
He might dominate the game from start to finish. He might haltingly disappear into the empty spaces. He might grab 20 rebounds or four, might dish out 15 assists or commit seven turnovers, might score 50 or 18. He might get a triple-double without playing well, or he might entirely control the game without putting up interesting numbers. His games are as unpredictable as Indiana Jones movies. Only, sometimes, the boulder crushes him.
Michael Jordan wasn’t like this. Magic Johnson wasn’t like this. In his absolute prime, Kobe Bryant wasn’t like this. It isn’t that they were great every game. They weren’t. But they were predictable in some deeper way. They were inevitable. They played the same aggressive, forceful game every time. True, sometimes the shots didn’t fall. Sometimes the passes didn’t quite connect. Sometimes they even looked to be in a bit of a fog. But they were fundamentally the same. They were recognizable forces of nature.
LeBron James, though, is like a human mood ring. You just never know.
We need to credit Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs defense for how they have approached the Heat in general and LeBron in particular. They are the masters of baiting you into the shots they want you to take.
But rather than impose his will on the game, he has taken the Spurs bait. Hook, line and sinker.
Game 4 might be different, LeBron has sounded like he plans to bring it.
But do we really know? Do we ever really know?
Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves are at odds. That should come as no surprise.
Garnett has publicly said that he would like to buy out Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor as opposed to partnering with him in someway for the team. For his part, Taylor has said that Garnett has failed to reach out after the team said they wanted to retire his number.
Then there’s the whole issue that Garnett has with how the team handled Flip Saunders’ death.
It’s a back-and-forth situation, and Garnett isn’t afraid to speak his mind as he did recently with vice sports. Speaking with Michael Pina, Garnett had some very choice words when he was describing the front office and ownership of the Timberwolves.
Via Vice Sports:
I’m more with individuals versus the teams. I’ve gotta admit that. I’ve gotta say that Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns, Jokic, Porzingis, Damian Lillard, Curry, Durant, I’m enjoying the young bucks, watching young Ingram get better and watching little L. Ball figure it out, you know what I’m saying? I’m checking it all out. I like individuals, not so much on the organizations. Obviously I’m gonna be with Minnesota and the players. Not so much upstairs. I don’t really deal with Minnesota’s upstairs. They suck. But Boston, all day. You know I’m a C ‘till I die. I always root for Brooklyn. But other than that I don’t really get into too many of the upstairs. I’m more watching the guys and watching their progression.
How much do you want to see Kevin Garnett as owner of the Timberwolves? It would be great when he comes into the office at 6 AM every day dressed in a full suit already with a full bead of sweat on.
Everyone please hold your collective groans until the end.
On Thursday night, New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis had to leave with an apparent left knee injury on a non-contact play against the Brooklyn Nets.
The play happened early in the third quarter when was guarding Brooklyn’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. After the play, Porzingis came up wincing on his left knee and immediately asked out of the game.
As a publication, the team had only released for that Porzingis would not return to the game against the Nets. For Porzingis’ part, it looks like he is feeling OK for now, although he has yet to be examined for a definitive prognosis. Non-contact injuries seem to give us pause given injuries to players like Derrick Rose, but there’s no reason to panic just yet. He did walk off by his own, so that’s heartening.
Let’s hope Porzingis returns to the floor after a bit of ice and some rest.
We’ve seen NBA jerseys leak accidentally in the past, and the new Nike uniforms haven’t been a well-kept secret.
The new jersey sponsor announced plans for four kits for each team, with the final one supposedly coming late in the year or early in 2018. Now, it seems we have our answer for what Nike’s “City” jerseys will look like for many clubs.
According to the guys over at SportsLogos.net, the popular video game franchise NBA 2K accidentally leaked many of the city jerseys for the teams. There is a huge group of photos for these jerseys, and many of them are absolutely terrible.
Here’s a smattering of some of the worst offenders (although “smattering” is a loose term considering there are a lot to choose from):
The Magic one is an iPhone background, Utah’s is ORANGE, Oklahoma City’s looks like an abbreviation for a regional auto parts store … it just goes on and on like this.
Out of the ones leaked thus far, I see only two universally good ones (although the staggered numbers on the New Orleans ones gives me pause):
What is happening in the NBA with these uniforms?
WASHINGTON (AP) — Leaders from the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball players associations have helped unveil a universal declaration of player rights that is designed to establish a new approach to governing sports and protecting athletes.
Among the 17 articles laid out in the declaration are rights to unionize and collectively bargain, express opinions freely and receive equal pay for equal work. Here are some of the principles set out in the Declaration:
- Every player is entitled to equality of opportunity in the pursuit of sport without distinction of any kind and free of discrimination, harassment and violence.
- Every player has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
- The rights of every child athlete must be protected.
- Every player has the right to share fairly in the economic activity and wealth of his or her sport which players have helped generate, underpinned by fair and just pay and working conditions.
- Every player has the right to organize and collectively bargain.
- Every player is entitled to have his or her name, image and performance protected. A player’s name, image and performance may only be commercially utilized with his or her consent, voluntarily given.
- Every player has the right to a private life, privacy and protection in relation to the collection, storage and transfer of personal data.
- Every player must be able to access an effective remedy when his or her human rights are not respected and upheld. This is particularly crucial given the highly skilled yet short term and precarious nature of the athletic care
Executive directors DeMaurice Smith of the NFL Players Association, Michele Roberts of the National Basketball Players Association, Don Fehr of the NHL Players’ Association and Tony Clark of the Major League Baseball Players Association are part of the group of more than 100 unions that released the declaration.
The launch of the universal declaration of player rights comes on the heels of Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players kneeling or sitting during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality.