During the third quarter of Miami’s Game 3 win over the Bobcats, LeBron James was seen looking at the sideline area as he converted an uncontested breakaway slam.
That’s not intensely interesting by itself, obviously. But Bobcats owner Michael Jordan just happened to be sitting exactly where LeBron’s gaze appeared to be fixed.
It was mentioned on the broadcast at the time, and of course, James was asked about it afterward.
From Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post (via HoopsHype):
A lot of media outlets — mainly ESPN — are making a story out of LeBron James supposedly glaring at Michael Jordan as he drove in for an uncontested fastbreak dunk in tonight’s 98-85 win at Charlotte.
James shot that down after the game.
“No,” he said without hesitation. “Don’t start that. Absolutely not, man. Absolutely not. I was able to read (Josh) McRoberts, get a steal and push the lead back up. I absolutely didn’t look at M.J., for sure.”
As for Jordan himself, he knew coming into this series that his team had virtually no shot to win against the defending champs. Speaking at the launch of the Air Jordan XX9 in Manhattan before the series began, Jordan was congratulated on stage for his Bobcats making it to the postseason.
“I don’t know how much congratulating we should have playing Miami,” he said.
Was LeBron looking at Jordan here? Maybe not; the Bobcats bench is over there too, and it could have just been a message to his opponent. But he definitely was looking in that general direction.
Gordon Hayward is going to have surgery on his ankle and leg, which should not be a surprise to anyone who saw the gruesome injury to his leg just 5:15 into his Celtics career. There is no timetable for his return yet, maybe he makes it back for the playoffs, but the Celtics are not going to rush him and he may well miss the entire season.
What next for Boston?
In this PBT Extra I cover the three things to watch for from Boston, which in the short term could mean the Kyrie Irving show. Longer term, not much changes.
Gordon Hayward broke his leg early in his Celtics debut – a devastating injury. He’s preparing for surgery tonight, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN:
First – after a perfect introduction from Marcus Smart – Hayward addressed the Boston crowd from his hospital bed before tonight’s game against the Bucks.
What’s up everybody? Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has sent me your thoughts and prayers. I’m going to be alright. It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener. I want nothing more just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight. But I’ll be supporting you guys from here and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight. Thanks, guys.
At least this nice moment (and an outpouring of support) came out of such a gruesome injury.
And if Smart keeps setting up his teammates so well, maybe the Celtics’ offense will keep humming.
Joel Embiid‘s minute limit of below 20 bummed out everyone (especially Embiid).
But good news could be on the way.
Keith Pompey of The Inquirer:
The 76ers look like a borderline playoff team, Embiid’s health the biggest variable. There’s a direct correlation between his ability to stay on the court and Philadelphia’s postseason chances.
Plus, he’s just so darn fun to watch. The more he plays, the bigger victory it is for every viewer not rooting for the 76ers’ opponent that night.
John Henson was on the trade block. Greg Monroe seems permanently affixed there.
Another player the Bucks apparently want to deal? Rashad Vaughn, who was the No. 17 pick in 2015.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Milwaukee has been working to trade several players to clear salary-cap space, including guard Rashad Vaughn and center John Henson, league sources said. The Bucks have been willing to attach a second-round pick in offers for Vaughn, league sources said.
It’s unclear whether the Bucks are still as motivated to move Vaughn. They slid under the luxury-tax line by stretching Spencer Hawes. One-time target Richard Jefferson already signed with the Nuggets. A roster vacancy and cap savings might not matter as much anymore to Milwaukee.
But Vaughn has struggled in two NBA seasons. The Bucks might be better off trying to develop someone else, even a D-League player, over the 21-year-old Vaugh.
Vaughn is due $1,889,040 this season. He faces a $2,901,565 team option for next season, which his team must decide on by Oct. 31. It seems unlikely that will be exercised.
This is what happens when you draft players for the wrong reason.