Greg Hardy

Panthers’ defensive end Greg Hardy says he can beat LeBron one-on-one. Please.


When you’re the king of the mountain — and undoubtedly LeBron James is currently standing on top of the NBA mountain — everybody wants to knock you off.

That can be the other 29 teams in the league. That can be a legend who once stood in that spot and can’t let it go.

Or, that could be an athlete from a completely different discipline with delusions of grandeur.

Carolina Panthers’ defensive end Greg Hardy was a basketball player back in the day at Ole Miss, and he told the Charlotte Observer thinks he could beat LeBron one-on-one.

Q: If you went 1-on-1 with LeBron who would win?

A: How should I answer this question? …I would dominate that dude. Hands down, guaranteed win. And that’s my favorite player.

Q: Why?

A: I’m a beast…

I’m not saying I would beast him, but I would definitely win. I got a good shot, I got good handles, I got good size (6-foot-4, 275 pounds). I feel that we match up pretty well. I was a defensive player in college.

Hardy, stay in your lane.

We can break this down if you want. Hardy is a big man — 6’4”. 275 pounds — but he gives up four inches and a whole lot of quickness (with all due respect to Hardy) in this matchup. LeBron is not giving up much bulk. Hardy had enough skills to play DI ball, and maybe he can bull rush his way to a couple points in a matchup, but LeBron would own him with jumpers and drives and length.

Sometimes people underestimate how good NBA players are. Look at it this way: What happened when NBA role player Brian Scalabrine took on non-NBA guys one-on-one?

Hardy went on to say this was a response to the people who said LeBron could play DE in the NFL. But this kind of schoolyard retort makes Hardy look like he’s grabbing for attention, just the same as the people who think LeBron could play for the Cowboys next season.

Could LeBron walk onto the field and play defensive end in the NFL tomorrow? No. If he’d stuck with football maybe he could have made the league as a tight end, and only maybe, but LeBron wisely decided to make basketball his focus.

He stayed in his lane.

76ers tie NBA-record losing streak, dropping heartbreaker to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas, T.J. McConnell

After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.

Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.

They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.

Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.

The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.

76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.

Timberwolves read mean tweets about themselves (video)

Flip Saunders, Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones
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The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.

LeBron James: I’m healthier than a year ago


LeBron James received an injection in his back before the season.

It’s working.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

LeBron James now says he feels better than he did even a year ago.

“I feel better in the mornings; I feel better throughout the games; I feel better throughout the day,” James said before a Cavs shootaround Wednesday in preparation for their game against the Toronto Raptors. “It was a rough start to the season for me last year and for our team. Obviously the way we’ve been playing, a lot is predicated on my health and being able to lead these guys out on the floor and not from the sidelines.”

LeBron certainly looks healthier than he did at this point last year. He’s moving much better and giving more effort.

But comparing November to November means very little for the Cavaliers, who hope to play deep into June.

The key question: Did LeBron properly time his injection? There’s a limit on the number he can have in a year, and it takes time to recover after one. Cleveland doesn’t want LeBron to peak to early.

It’s good for the Cavs that LeBron feels better now, but his health in the playoffs remains the priority.

Report: Suns signing Bryce Cotton

Bryce Cotton
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Eric Bledsoe missed the Suns’ loss to the Spurs on Monday with a knee injury.

So, Phoenix is bringing in a reinforcement – Bryce Cotton.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The Jazz waived Cotton before the season despite Dante Exum‘s injury leaving them with just two other healthy point guards. That says something about Cotton – but also Utah’s depth.

Cotton – who went undrafted out of Providence last year – is quick, varies his speed well and can leap. There’s reason to believe in his potential at age 23. But his 6-foot-1 frame limits him defensively, and he’s not much of a distributor.

Phoenix will rely on Brandon Knight and Ronnie Price at point guard if Bledsoe is unavailable. The Suns can also use fewer two-point guard lineups – giving more minutes at shooting guard to Devin Booker, Archie Goodwin and Sunny Weems.

Cotton provides insurance while Bledsoe is banged-up with what seems to be a minor injury. But he might have to show something to keep drawing an NBA paycheck once Bledsoe gets healthy.