Tim Hardaway regrets anti-gay comments, but believes dialogue that resulted was a positive

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Tim Hardaway played 14 NBA seasons, most notably as a part of the Run TMC Golden State Warriors. But he was also a key component of the Miami Heat teams that challenged in the Eastern Conference in the late 90s.

He found himself in the spotlight once his career was through for making some horribly ignorant anti-gay remarks back in 2007, but has since learned why what he said was wrong, and has been working towards educating others on the topic ever since.

Hardaway now regrets ever making those comments. But he does believe that the dialogue that resulted was ultimately positive in helping those similarly dense gain a new perspective on things.

From Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida:

Over the past several years, Hardaway has provided support at several gay events. When Jason Collins earlier this year became the first active NBA player to reveal he is gay, Hardaway called Collins the day the news broke to offer his support. Hardaway earlier this month was the first signer of a petition seeking the legalization of gay marriage in Florida.

As much Hardaway regrets the comments, he said they at least resulted in dialogue he believes ultimately advanced society.

“What I said and how I said it, it was bad,” Hardaway said. “But I think it opened up a lot of eyes and made people really, really understand that these are people and that we shouldn’t bash them or throw rocks at them or anything like that. I think that opened up a lot of eyes, opened up a lot of dialogue to which people didn’t even want to touch (before). Now, I think they will touch it. I’m not saying that it’s a good thing (the comments were made), but, if I didn’t say that, I think we still would be further back.”

That’s debatable, obviously. But what’s important is how Hardaway was able to completely change his views on the subject after coming from such a dark place on it initially.

Nowadays, Hardaway is employed by the Miami Heat as a team scout. And when he’s not talking up the potential of Greg Oden and his ability to lead the Heat to a third straight title, he’s trying to work his way up in the organization, while setting his sights on obtaining a general manager position at some point in the future.

Magic sending Raptors draft pick as compensation for hiring Jeff Weltman

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The Raptors promoted Jeff Weltman, still working under Masai Ujiri, to general manager last year.

That paid off for Toronto when the Magic hired Weltman as their new president.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Magic have their own and the Lakers’ second-round picks next year. Even the lower of those two selections could be somewhat value.

In other words, Weltman’s already-difficult job is getting even harder simply by Orlando hiring him.

LeBron James still striving to surpass Michael Jordan

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LeBron James has discussed chasing Michael Jordan’s “ghost,” motivating himself by trying surpass Jordan as the greatest player in NBA history.

Just 27 points behind Jordan for the all-time playoff scoring lead – a record he could break in Cavaliers-Celtics Game 5 tonight – LeBron is again discussing that pursuit.

LeBron, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

“It’s just a personal goal of mine,” James said Thursday before Cavs shootaround in preparation of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics. “It has nothing to do with passing the rings, passing the points, passing MVPs. It’s just my personal goal to keep me motivated — that’s all.”

“You guys are going to have the conversations about who is greatest of all time and things of that nature,” James said. “It doesn’t matter to me. At the end of the day, it’s so funny that the conversation is always talked about in the NBA about who is the greatest but it’s never talked about in the NFL about who is the greatest quarterback. It’s just like: [Dan] Marino, [John] Elway, [Peyton] Manning and [Tom] Brady. All great quarterbacks, you know — and it should be the same for us.

Jordan or LeBron? Save your hot takes. LeBron just burnt them all.

The greatest quarterback of all time is never debated? Claiming that is now the hottest take in the entire realm of the Jordan-LeBron debate.

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue: Kyrie Irving feeling ‘good’ after ankle injury

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BOSTON (AP) — Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue says that Kyrie Irving‘s left ankle is feeling “good” in advance of Cleveland’s Game 5 matchup Thursday night with the Celtics.

Irving was moving around and putting up shots during the Cavs’ morning shootaround.

The All-Star rolled his ankle in the third quarter of Game 4 when he stepped on Terry Rozier‘s foot. Irving was able to stay on the floor and finish the game, scoring a career playoff-high 42 points.

Cleveland leads Boston 3-1 and can wrap up its third straight Eastern Conference title Thursday night.

Several Celtics are also fighting injuries as they try to stave off elimination.

Jaylen Brown is listed as questionable with a right hip pointer. Jae Crowder is probable with a left groin strain, and Amir Johnson is probable with a right shoulder sprain.

Danny Ainge: Lonzo Ball declined to work out for Celtics, who hold No. 1 pick

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LaVar Ball said his son, highly touted draft prospect Lonzo Ball, would work out for only the Lakers.

You thought he was bluffing?

Celtics president Danny Ainge, whose team holds the No. 1 pick, on 98.5 the Sports Hub:

We just tried to get him in for a workout, and they politely said no.

It’s not ideal.

Listen, we’ve drafted guys that wouldn’t come in for workouts before. I mean, it’s not the end of the world. We’ve watched them play a ton. We have a lot of information on them.

Good for Ball. Professional sports teams already hold inordinate power over players entering the workforce. In no other industry are top young employees assigned to a particular company, the worst-performing companies typically getting priority, with no ability to bargain with competitors.

Ball wants to play for the Lakers, who offer proximity to his family and hold the No. 2 pick. He can’t force Boston to pass on him or Los Angeles to pick him. But he can influence decision-making.

It seemed likely the Celtics would draft Markelle Fultz, and though they could still pick Ball, him declining a workout with Boston makes that only less likely. The Lakers will probably draft Ball, but this plan carries risk. If they pass, he could fall once he gets to teams less familiar with him.

Still, Ball deserves to decide for himself how to manage his career – especially in such a closed job market. Not working out for the Celtics is probably his best path to getting where he wans to go.