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.
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.
The Wizards are getting a new practice facility.
For some reason, the Wizards have to pay just $4.46 million for it. Washington D.C. will cover the rest.
How much is the rest?
Jonathan O’Connell of The Washington Post:
The District”s sports and convention arm, Events DC, is proposing a series of upgrades to a planned Washington Wizards practice facility and entertainment center in Southeast that would likely reduce the total number of seats but add $10 million to the original $55 million price tag.
The new spending would be paid for by Events DC, which is funded by a percentage of hotel occupancy taxes. It does not require approval by the D.C. Council but will have to be voted on by the Events DC board Aug. 11.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis pledged to move the team’s practices there as well as home games for the Washington Mystics and a future Wizards’ NBA D-League affiliate team. His company, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, agreed to pay $4.46 million — or 8 percent of the original $55 million cost.
But in a July 26 letter to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive of Events DC, wrote that the original $55 million budget was “based on a preliminary estimate, as development and analysis of the program and concept design had not yet been performed.”
So, the District agreed to pay for a project without knowing how much it would cost and got the primary beneficiary — Leonsis — to kick in a share based on a low early estimate? It’s almost as if politicians are inept or have ulterior motives.
At least Wizards practices and WNBA games will bring plenty of new money into the community.
As Leonsis said, “There’s never been a better time to be an owner of an NBA franchise.”