2012 Sports Illustrated Sportsman Of The Year Award Presentation - Arrivals

LeBron James wants to talk to Adam Silver, has ideas about growing the league


When you are the biggest name in the sport, you can get a few perks.

So if LeBron James wants to sit down with incoming NBA Commissioner Adam Silver — who takes over for David Stern as of this weekend — he might get his wish.

LeBron told Brian Windhorst of ESPN that a sit down with Silver is exactly what he wants.

“Hopefully I can sit down with the commish and just throw out some ideas where I hope the league can be better,” James said as the Heat prepared to face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night (8 ET, ESPN). “Hopefully he has some ideas for me….

“It’s not a major change, but the game can always be bigger,” James said. “There’s a lot of people who love the game who can’t watch the game, so hopefully we can [expand it].”

LeBron and Silver will both be in New Orleans in a couple weeks, maybe they can sit down over some beignets and have a conversation.

Sounds a little like James is thinking international growth of the game, which is high on Silver’s list the same way it was high on Stern’s. (Don’t be surprised if Stern gets a formal “consulting” job with the league working on international growth of the game after he retires.)

As for ideas Silver might have for LeBron… I’m not sure he’s the guy to go to on how to slice open the Pacers’ pick-and-roll defense. But you can ask.

Tony Parker wants to play six more seasons with Spurs

Tony Parker
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Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.

Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.

Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”

That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)

Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.

But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.

I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.

Report: Pelicans signing Greg Smith

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The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.

Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.

Enter Greg Smith.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.

But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.

Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.