Wednesday began with such promise in Dallas, but ultimately ended in some level of disappointment.
The Mavericks began the day meeting with free agent big man Andrew Bynum. The club had its medical staff do some evaluations, and there was a lunch with Bynum’s agent and team executives where the early stages of contract negotiations had begun to be initiated.
Whether due to advice from the team’s doctors or an unwillingness to match the offer on the table from Cleveland in terms of either guaranteed money or total compensation, Dallas lost out on the chase for Bynum, who had decided to sign with the Cavaliers before the day was finished.
With limited options left available on the market at the center position, Dallas has now turned its attention to journeyman free agent Samuel Dalembert.
From Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:
ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that Dalembert will be the Mavs’ primary target after their pursuit of Andrew Bynum fizzled. A source told ESPN’s Chris Broussard that Bynum decided to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
There simply aren’t many other quality alternatives in free agency to fill the Mavs’ massive void at center, considering that it’s pretty much a given that restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic will return to Minnesota.
It’s an underwhelming option, but it might be all the Mavericks have left if they’re determined to go with a veteran to fill this role. Dallas began the summer as one of five teams that entered the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, but were eliminated by Howard fairly early in the process.
Dalembert has played for four different teams the last four seasons, and averaged 6.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.1 blocked shots in 16.3 minutes per game for the Bucks most recently — but appeared in just 47 contests for them last season.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that Dalembert will meet with the Mavericks Thursday in Dallas.
LeBron James is usually the guy handing out chasedown blocks. He’s famous for them, and has carted out his signature move in the biggest moments of his career.
He’s also not used to having his own shots blocked from behind, and certainly not by opposing point guards.
Enter Elfrid Payton.
During a play halfway through the first quarter against the Orlando Magic on Thursday, LeBron was on a drive to the hole with Elfrid trailing far behind.
Thanks to a pinch by two Magic defenders, LeBron had to try and use brute force a bit deeper in the paint than he wanted to.
That allowed Payton — running at full speed — to catch up and pin The King on the glass.
Cleveland still got the best of the Magic, as Isaiah Thomas hit a clutch free throw to win the game with 11 seconds left, 104-103.
For about as long as we can remember, Joel Embiid has famously thirsted after Rihanna on Twitter. Fans have tried to boost his standing with the singer, but it apparently that has not been enough.
In 2014, Embiid mentioned on social media that a “famous girl” — presumably Rihanna — told him to “Come back when you’re an All-Star.”
Well, today is that day.
Embiid is a starter out of the Eastern Conference, and on Thursday night he had his chance to speak to Rihanna (or whomever) via national TV on TNT.
Did Embiid decide to reach out to this famous person? Apparently he’s off it.
This is like that scene from Private Parts when Howard Stern hits No. 1 and he tells Paul Giamatti’s character to get lost.
Embiid had the chance to curve Rihanna (or whomever) and took it. Long live The Process.
NBA All-Star voting is over, and now we have the results. The starters are in, and what’s left is for us to wait until they announce the teams after they are picked in double secret ceremony.
Of course, the NBA did release the full voting results via their PR website this week, and as such there are some head scratchers. My boy Patrick Redford over at Deadspin did an excellent job rounding up some of the players who got exactly one (1) vote from other players.
The gag here is that these guys presumably voted for themselves.
Of course, what I found most interesting was actually the guys who got multiple votes from their compatriots without being All-Star caliber players.
My favorite list of player-voted non-All-Stars includes: Michael Beasley (4), Gordon Hayward (2), Boban Marjanovic (2), Jahlil Okafor (4), Quincy Acy (2), Tyler Zeller (4), T.J. McConnell (2), Elfrid Payton (2), Zaza Pachulia (3), Taj Gibson (6), Zach Randolph (5), Maurice Harkless (2), Deyonta Davis (3), Lonzo Ball (9), Mike Conley (3).
There’s a whole smattering of guys in there who either didn’t play enough, aren’t stars, are injured, or who aren’t very good.
That multiple players took time to vote for these guys really speaks to the frivolity of the NBA All-Star Game. At least outside of player contract incentives.
Bring on February!
LeBron James is one of the best passers the NBA has ever seen, but even this is too hard to believe.
During Thursday’s game between the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron through a ridiculous behind-the-back pass that nutmegged Orlando’s Aaron Gordon.
The result of the play was a bucket for Dwyane Wade.
I mean, that’s just … insane.