Once Greg Oden made a decision to sign with the Miami Heat, it may have appeared a bit too easy to join the back-to-back defending champions on a veteran’s minimum deal in free agency.
That appears to be the case where DeShawn Stevenson is concerned, who is looking for work after recently being waived by the Atlanta Hawks.
Stevenson took to his Twitter account on Saturday to lobby for an employment opportunity in Miami — where he’d be on the same team as a player he once despised in LeBron James.
This is hilarious on many fronts, but we’ll start by pointing out the most obvious.
Stevenson made a bit of a name for himself in his days with the Washington Wizards going at LeBron, and the feud between the two extended off the court into the area of hip-hop which ended up involving Soulja Boy and even Jay-Z.
The fact that Stevenson is now asking for LeBron’s blessing in landing on the roster to play alongside him is beyond amazing.
But forgetting the silly history between the two players, Stevenson isn’t exactly a championship caliber player at this stage of his career. He was hobbled by a knee injury last season, and managed to average just 5.1 points in 20.7 minutes per game, while appearing in 56 contests.
Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.
Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.
Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.
“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.
“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”
This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.
It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.
Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.
Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.
A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.