LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Metta World Peace

Report: LeBron James and his wife ‘love Los Angeles’

149 Comments

LeBron James’ season is over, and that means another free agent frenzy is brewing.

The Lakers are reportedly waiting to let LeBron choose their next coach, and I don’t believe it’s coincidence a report about LeBron’s unlimited options used the Clippers as its primary example.

Among the cities lining up to lure LeBron from the Heat, Los Angeles seems to be at the forefront.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

a source said James and his wife, Savannah, love Los Angeles. LeBron James also is close with Clippers point guard Chris Paul and he admires coach Doc Rivers.

Spears is a reliable reporter, and I’m convinced he’s right: LeBron loves Los Angeles. I know LeBron also loves Miami. I bet he loves New York, too. (Sit down, Knicks fans.)

There are probably several cities LeBron enjoys. That doesn’t mean he’s leaving the Heat.

The Clippers are a non-starter unless Donald Sterling no longer owns the team. Although that seems likely before next season, it might not be sewn up before LeBron is ready to sign. Even if Sterling is ousted in time, the Clippers have no cap room. LeBron would have to convince Pat Riley to do a sign-and-trade, probably based around Blake Griffin.

The Lakers have bottomed out, and LeBron alone won’t make them stronger than the Heat were with him. Kobe Bryant is no longer the player he once was, and his salary drastically limits the Lakers’ options. If LeBron wants a situation like that, he might as well stick with Dwyane Wade. Maybe Carmelo Anthony also joining the Lakers would interest LeBron, but again, why not just do that in South Beach?

[MORE: What’s next for the Heat’s big three?]

LeBron has been conspicuously mum about whether he will even terminate his contract to become a free agent this offseason. Asked last night about his decision, he said, “I haven’t even really thought about that just yet.”

Until he does, we’re left just grasping at clues about his future. His fondness for Los Angles is one piece, but in the bigger puzzle, it probably doesn’t mean much.

Aaron Gordon both legs over the mascot, ball-under-the-legs dunk (VIDEO)

4 Comments

TORONTO — Zach LaVine won the NBA All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest, but in an epic night for my money this was the single best dunk.

Orlando’s Aaron Gordon broke ground with this one — guys have jumped over mascots and other players before (and a Kia hood), but by splitting their legs apart. Gordon just put both legs over Stuff (that’s the mascot’s name, Stuff the Magic Dragon, I don’t make this up) — and took the ball off the mascot’s head, went under his legs, and threw it down.

Insane.

Gordon deserved a trophy for his performance in this dunk contest.

Zach LaVine edges Aaron Gordon in epic, insane Dunk Contest

9 Comments

TORONTO — That. Was. Amazing.

In a dunk contest that will go down with the all-time greats — Jordan vs. Dominique, Dr. J from the free throw line — Minnesota’s Zach LaVine defended his dunk contest title. Barely. Because Orlando’s Aaron Gordon was doing dunks nobody had ever seen before.

And LaVine was bringing it just as hard.

The two men advanced to the finals — dismissing Will Barton and Andre Drummond, each of whom had good dunks — and that was when it got wild.

There were four second-round dunks, and four perfect scores of 50. (That was in spite of Shaq, who wanted to give nines for second attempts.)

“I was prepared for four (second round dunks),” LaVine said. “To tell the truth, he came with something that no one else has done. He did two dunks that were just crazy with the mascots, jumping over them. We just kept pushing each other until the last dunk. I’ve got to give it up to my boy Will “The Thrill” Barton. It’s because of him I think I won. Because he said try to go from the free-throw line. I’d never done that before, and I just tried it. So I guess it was a great dunk. I think it was the best one ever.”

The Air Canada Centre crowd was exploding with every dunk. The two men went to a dunk-off — and got two more 50s.

“If I knew it was going to be like that, I would have prepared better and we would have been here dunking all night, going back 50 after 50 after 50 after 50,” Gordon said. “We would have been here all night. I didn’t know it was going to be like that. I was just hoping Zach was going to miss, and it wasn’t going to happen. You could see as my facial expressions when Zach dunks it, it’s like okay, that’s a 50. Like I know we’re going to have to dunk again.”

So they went to a second-round of overtime, where LaVine put up another 50 and won the contest.

Gordon was close to perfect.

Zach LaVine can flat-out fly.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon with the over-the-mascot mad dunk

2 Comments

TORONTO — Aaron Gordon was giving Zach LaVine all he could handle in the Dunk Contest.

He blew the lid off the Air Canada Centre with this dunk in the first round — and it wasn’t even his best dunk of the night. Never seen this before.

This dunk contest was awesome, so much more video to come.

Zach LaVine opens Slam Dunk Contest title defense with spectacular behind-the-back slam (VIDEO)

during the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge 2016 at Air Canada Centre on February 12, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
1 Comment

TORONTO — Zach LaVine clearly heard all the talk that Aaron Gordon or Will Barton had a chance to upset him in the Slam Dunk Contest. He came out ready to prove his superiority right off the bat. This behind-the-back slam was his first attempt of the night:

Even better was the reaction, both from Andre Drummond and from LaVine’s Minnesota teammates: