As are a number of other NBA stars
trying to boost their brand and shoe sales spreading the love of basketball around the globe, Ray Allen has been in China the past week on a “vacation.” A vacation where he goes on television shows and does news interviews, so just like all your vacations. Maybe junket is a better word for what Ray Allen has been doing.
Out of his trip comes this note, via Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
LeBron James has reached out to Ray Allen trying to recruit him to Cleveland, as he has already done with Mike Miller. Miller is calling Allen as well. Allen has been more hesitant and what he is thinking depends on which sources you’re talking to — maybe he wants to go once more unto the breech with LeBron if he thinks he can win a title, or maybe Allen doesn’t want to go to Cleveland to play on a young team that likely still can’t beat the top teams in the West. (With that, how much does a potential Kevin Love trade factor into Allen’s decision?)
Allen is still in amazing condition, is still the consummate professional and can still knock down the corner three. However his fading athleticism has made doing pretty much anything other than shooting difficult. Such as defending.
Expect Allen to do one of three things: Agree to terms in Cleveland, find a deal with a contender in a warm weather city, or retire.
Nike faced a challenge with this year’s All-Star Game in designing the uniforms — there is no East vs. West. How do you design a uniform for the teams captained — and selected — by Stephen Curry and LeBron James? Maybe go back to 1997 (and a few years after) where players just wore their team’s uniform, either home whites or road colors.
It looks like Nike has solved the problem by going black-and-white.
Conrad Burry of Sportslogos.net — who in the past has nailed early leaks of NBA uniforms — confirmed ongoing Web rumors that the league is going black and white (hat tip ESPN).
What do you think? I’m with Conrad here — if these are the really the uniforms they don’t work for me. Maybe it will work better in person and on the broadcast, but I don’t know. We’ll see.
The Charlotte Hornets are having a disappointing season. Projected by many (myself included) to be a playoff team (with an under/over of 42.5 in Las Vegas), Charlotte is 19-26 and four games out of the playoffs in the East.
That has left Charlotte management with a question: Is it time to trade Kemba Walker, work to tear the team down and rebuild, or do they chase the eight seed? Walker doesn’t want to be traded.
Team owner Michael Jordan doesn’t want to trade him, but he’s listening to offers, he told Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
“We bred him, we chose him, we groomed him to be a good player for us,” Jordan said of Walker, who the Hornets drafted ninth overall in 2011, to a great extent because Jordan saw traits in Walker that reminded him of his own playing career.
The last time somebody did this — scored more than 40 points, had more than 20 rebounds, and dished out more than 10 assists in a game — “Poseidon Adventure” was in the theaters and Elton John had just released “Rocket Man.” It was Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar when he was still playing in Milwaukee.
Monday night, DeMarcus Cousins did it.
Cousins scored 44 points, had 24 rebounds, and dished out 10 assists in the Pelicans’ double OT win against Chicago. These were not meaningless points, Cousins picked up seven of them in the second overtime.
Cousins has had a monster first half of the season and earned his first All-Star Game start this year.
Having lost 8-of-11, a Cavaliers team meeting where the players got to vent seemed inevitable. There isn’t one person in that Cavaliers locker room that doesn’t deserve some blame for how things have turned.
However, Kevin Love apparently became the whipping boy.
From Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The Cleveland Cavaliers held a fiery team meeting in the practice facility locker room prior to Monday’s practice, during which several players challenged the legitimacy of Kevin Love’s illness that led him to leave Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma City early and miss Sunday’s practice, league sources told ESPN.
Several players were pushing for the Cavaliers’ management and coaching staff to hold Love accountable for leaving the arena before the end of Saturday’s game, and then missing Sunday’s practice, league sources told ESPN.
The meeting was loud and intense, only calming down once Love spoke to those gathered in the room and explained himself, league sources said.
The more things change, the more things are always Kevin Love’s fault.
According to the report, the majority of the team seemed to accept Love’s explanation. Love left the Cavaliers ugly, nationally televised blowout at the hands of the Thunder in the first half and did not return due to what was described only as an illness. He did not stay around for the end of the game. I’m not about to speculate on how ill he was or was not, what matters is that his teammates were not buying it. When a team is losing finger-pointing is almost inevitable, and Love has gotten more than his fair share of it in Cleveland. At least he stood up for himself.
Team meetings may allow a pressure release in a locker room, but they almost never result in any kind of meaningful change. We’ll see what if anything changes in Cleveland.