It’s just part of the business — the NBA schedule can mean holidays away from home and family for players, coaches and a host of support staff. Case in point, for the Miami Heat this season both Thanksgiving and Christmas will be spent on the road.
But on the road for Thanksgiving is still home for LeBron James — the Heat beat the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night, right next to his hometown of Akron.
The team is staying over and Thursday LeBron is hosting a big Thanksgiving get together with turkey, yams, macaroni and cheese (a favorite if his) at his Akron home for the entire Heat team, he told the Associated Press.
“We would have loved to have been here for the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas being here in Miami,” James said. “We don’t mind playing on those holidays. Wish we could have been here, but I am happy that I’m able to do something for the team for Thanksgiving.”
“We’re not at home with our families for Thanksgiving but it couldn’t work out any better that at least we could be in someone else’s home,” Miami’s Dwyane Wade said. “And it’s a very nice home that we’re going to, so I’ll make sure I’ll put on the right clothes and the right socks, gotta-take-your-shoes-off-at-the-door type of house.”
It’s not just the Heat and LeBron. For example, he Lakers are flying on Thanksgiving and will land in Detroit, where Kobe Bryant has arrainged for a team Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, they’re going to invite Chris Kaman, too.
We all make due as best we can — sometimes work or other situations force us to be away from the ones we love most on the holidays, yet we are able to find family with the people around us. And that is something to be thankful for.
In the NBA, elite players have the leverage. It is just simple supply and demand.
DeMarcus Cousins is an elite player — and a favorite of owner Vivek Ranadive. He is not going anywhere.
Which made this summer’s “George Karl wants trade Cousins” a battle the coach couldn’t ultimately win — the owner wasn’t going to sign off on it, and the fans are going to side with Boogie. Remember Karl said he never had a player that was untradable, and that spiraled into reports Karl probed trade options with other teams, much to the frustration of management and Cousins himself.
Karl owned up to some of his mistakes in an interview on Comcast Bay Area, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea.com.
“To be honest with you, I apologized to DeMarcus for making the trade comment that I’ve never coached a player that’s untradeable,” Karl told Christensen. “That was wrong for me to say, because you all (the media) took it and blew it up into crazy.”
“But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl continued. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote the we’re going to trade [Cousins].”
The relationship between Cousins and Karl — not to mention Rajon Rondo and other veterans — is the biggest key to the Kings’ season. Karl and Cousins say their relationship is solid now, but what happens when that is put under stress at some point during the season?
In talking to people around the team, the Kings players seemed to have formed a tight bond — even if part of the glue of that bond is a distrust of Karl that can work for them. This is a team that has the talent to compete for the bottom couple playoff seeds in the Western Conference, but everybody needs to be pulling on the rope in the same direction. We will see pretty quickly if the Kings can do that.
I’m a fan of the Pistons’ alternate uniforms in general — their “Motor City” ones may be may favorite alternates around the league.
Now they have a new one — Detroit Chrome.
The Pistons will break these out for seven home games this season. From the official release:
The inspiration for the Detroit Chrome jerseys came about as a way to honor our coolest cars from the past and the cars of the future. Detroit is universally known as the auto capital of the world, where chrome leaves an indelible mark on the cars we create. The uniforms feature a matte chrome base color with clean simple lines inspired by the classic muscle cars that have roared up and down Woodward Avenue for decades. The navy trim and Detroit emblazoned across the chest represent the blue collar work ethic that the auto industry and region was built on.
Clean, simple, cool — I like it.
That would look good in the first round of the playoffs, too. (I’m predicting they get the eight seed.)