Maybe, finally, this will lead to a little clarity.
NBA free agency has been bottlenecked waiting for LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony to make their decisions, which will open up the secondary markets and after that the dominos will start to fall quickly.
LeBron James is set to meet with Pat Riley and talk about his future with the Heat on Wednesday, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.
Riley will be able to point to the signings of Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger. Not exactly huge stars, but Miami’s big three of LeBron, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade aren’t leaving so much money on the table as to allow Riley to go after the big, more expensive names. Those two are signs of a deeper bench Riley plans to build with the money he does have (whatever it ends up being exactly). Miami’s front office remains confident LeBron will return.
There has been a lot of momentum toward LeBron returning to Cleveland as the prodigal son. There are certainly basketball reasons to do so — Kyrie Irving is better than anyone on the Heat and with Andrew Wiggins and a host of recent and future high picks they can put together an interesting, albeit young team. Part of the momentum and rumors also have been fueled by LeBron’s agent suggesting that the Cavaliers can pull this off. There are also a lot of people close to LeBron who miss what they had in Cleveland — LeBron and his crew had full run of everything in the Cleveland organization, Miami is not that way at all. Miami is Pat Riley and a very solid structure. Some around LeBron miss the old days, the power.
The question is: Does LeBron?
He’s a far more mature person at 29 than he was at 25 when he left Cleveland — he’s married, far more stable, and he has a couple of rings and four trips to the Finals. He’s been through a lot and has grown from it.
He makes his own decisions, he sees both what Miami has given and can do for him and potential in Cleveland.
The question is what does LeBron want.
Look, Steven Adams is a weird guy. He’s always answering questions with weird, unrelated scientific terms or calling former teammates “dicks” with a smirk on his face. Adams has a subtle and fun personality.
This? This isn’t so subtle.
As the Boston Celtics took on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, it was time for a regular old free throw. The kind that happens all the time during NBA games. But Adams, apparently bored with how they usually go, wanted to mix up his routine on the lane line for this one.
That’s when he apparently decided to use Al Horford‘s right forearm as a means to scratch his own head.
Just … just watch the video:
I don’t know either.
Meanwhile, Marcus Morris beat the Thunder with 1.8 seconds to go. Oof.
On a night without Kyrie Irving, the Boston Celtics still found a way to grind out a win.
As the rising Oklahoma City Thunder came to Massachusetts, a slow-scoring game evolved as a game of the NBA’s best defenses came together. Still, the Thunder were in the lead and looked to be on their way to their 44th win of the season.
But despite having a six-point lead with 24 seconds left, Oklahoma City choked an important game away late down the stretch.
It started with Jayson Tatum hitting a quick bucket with 17.6 seconds to go. Russell Westbrook was fouled, but missed one of his two free throws. That set the stage for Terry Rozier to hit a 3-pointer with 12.7 seconds left.
Then, astonishingly, Carmelo Anthony missed two straight free throws.
That’s when Marcus Morris stepped in:
Oof. You don’t expect Oklahoma City to come out flat like that against a depleted Celtics squad, and you certainly wouldn’t think they could clunk away the victory from the free-throw line.
It was a gutsy win for Boston and one of the worst losses of the season for the Thunder since the righted the ship around Christmas.
Royce White had an NBA story that was up-and-down, and complex. White, drafted by the Houston Rockets 16th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft, has a well-documented anxiety condition that disallowed him from flying with the team to games.
Things didn’t work out in Houston, and the last time White was in the NBA was during the 2013-14 season. He played a total of nine minutes in three games for the Sacramento Kings, and then White’s career was over.
Now, with the sudden influx of players making public their owns struggles with mental health — DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love most recently — White has suddenly been thrust back into the conversation. While Ron Artest might be one of the first players of the modern era to openly speak about mental health, White is the go-to guy for comparative statements these days.
And, what White has to say isn’t all that great for the NBA or the Houston Rockets.
Speaking to Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Devine, White said recently that he doesn’t believe the NBA truly cares about mental health just yet. Even further, White said he felt the Rockets and GM Daryl Morey were trying to guard themselves from a liability standpoint when the player and the team negotiated a deal to try to make things work with the Rockets.
Via Yahoo! Sports:
White says that Rockets personnel told him in 2012 that establishing a comprehensive written plan for managing his anxiety disorder would be “impossible,” because doing so would set a precedent “for any league-wide issue regarding mental health.” He says that, after negotiating with the Rockets and the NBA over allowing White to take a bus to certain games to reduce the number of flights he’d have to take in a season — a compromise he was told the league initially rejected because it would constitute an illegal circumvention of the salary cap — Houston deactivated him for the first preseason game he took a bus to, as a punishment for pressing the issue.
White says that, in a later meeting in which he and a team of medical professionals planned to present a draft of a mental health policy to be added to his contract, Houston general manager Daryl Morey said he didn’t know that White suffered from generalized anxiety disorder before drafting him.
It also made him feel like the Rockets might be trying to set up a way to void his guaranteed contract if he didn’t comply with their requirements.
“[Morey] was in a mode where he thought that he could bully me,” White said.
According to Devine, White also says he doesn’t think the most recent stories of mental health awareness will be the triggering factor in a new wave for the league. “White expressed skepticism that revelations by DeRozan, Kevin Love, Kelly Oubre and others would really lead to a sea change in the way the NBA addresses issues of mental health,” wrote Devine.
What goes around came around for Blake Griffin, who hysterically impersonated Austin Rivers while both played for the Clippers.
As Griffin argued a foul he drew should have been a shooting foul during the Pistons’ win over the Kings last night, Vince Carter imitated him – not so flatteringly:
Carter just became a hero to referees everywhere tired of Griffin’s incessant complaining.