LeBron James is taking his time with a huge decision — that is not only his right, it’s the smart thing to do. When you’re faced with a big, difficult life decision you talk it over with family and take your time trying to make the best choice. In this case LeBron doesn’t owe us or anyone else (not the Houston Rockets on the clock with Chandler Parsons and an offer to Chris Bosh) anything. He’d probably like to make a decision before going to Brazil for the World Cup — it’s hard to fully enjoy anything when you have a decision constantly occupying part of your thoughts — but he doesn’t have to.
There have been media reports (some from respectable reporters) of the certainty of LeBron returning to Cleveland, but it sounds like LeBron doesn’t know yet. Understand that there are people around to LeBron who have pushed this for some time and want to see this happen — LeBron and his posse had the complete and total run of the Cavaliers organization for years, they had real power and influence that they do not have in the same way in Miami. There are basketball reasons you can argue for LeBron to return to Cleveland, but that’s not always everybody’s motivation.
LeBron has matured these past four years — leaving Cleveland was like leaving home to go to college for him and like all of us when we first moved out of our parent’s house we matured. The question now is does he want to go back home or not?
Only LeBron can answer that, and it’s a big question. It sounds like he doesn’t know, so he is taking his time.
LeBron James says he doesn’t see Cavaliers-Warriors as rivalry
“We don’t look at it as a rival,” James said. “They’re a great team. They’ve been the best team the last couple years, last three years.”
“It’s just the next game, it’s Golden State,” James said. “They’re a helluva team, like I said the best team in the league and they’ve been that way the last three years, four years, however long it’s been, I’m not quite sure. But, listen, you guys know, we don’t put all our eggs in one basket for one game.”
LeBron just doesn’t want the Cavs to become comfortable. They’ve beat Golden State in four straight games – the last three of the 2016 Finals and on Christmas – and could extend the streak to five today. Beating a rival that frequently is a cause for celebration, and celebration leads to contentment. LeBron would rather keep Cleveland focused and hungry. Hence, saying the Warriors aren’t a rival.
Andre Drummond hits 3-pointer from inside Pistons’ own 3-point arc (video)
But Booker’s last four – which put Phoenix up for good – came directly after incorrect calls, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report.
First, Booker drew a (legitimate) foul on Pau Gasol with 1:08 left and made both free throws. The problem: One second before that, Suns center Tyson Chandler should have been called for offensively fouling Tony Parker, according to the league:
Chandler (PHX) sets the screen on Parker (SAS) and makes leg to leg contact that affects his ability to defend the play.
That would’ve ended Phoenix’s possession rather than allowing Booker to get to the line.
The other missed call in the two-minute report is trickier, because it directly benefitted the Spurs but indirectly benefitted the Suns.
Manu Ginobili got away with travelling with 59.1 seconds left, according to the league:
Ginobili (SAS) moves his pivot foot.
But he coughed up the ball moments later anyway, and – thrilled to gain possession with a live-ball turnover rather than a dead-ball turnover – Booker turned the miscue into a fastbreak dunk.
Rather than debate how to evaluate San Antonio getting away with a travel and it ultimately helping Phoenix more, let’s stick to just the uncalled Chandler offensive foul. That netted the Suns two points. Their lead when the Spurs began intentionally fouling? One.
Russell Westbrook puts up 20th triple-double of season, lifts Thunder past Kings (VIDEO)
Through 41 games — half the season — Russell Westbrook is averaging 30.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.5 assists a game. Those numbers are insane, particularly considering his 42 percent usage rate. He has to put up numbers and do so fairly efficiently or the Thunder stand no chance of winning — and he has the Thunder on pace for 48 wins this season.
The Thunder picked up another of those wins Sunday night knocking off the Sacramento Kings behind Westbrook’s 20th triple-double in 41 games — 36 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. The video highlights are above.
It’s going to be fun watching him and James Harden go back-and-forth in the MVP race for the next few months.