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The time Tyronn Lue chastised ‘f—ing rude and disrespectful’ LeBron James and Kyrie Irving

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Coaching LeBron James is a unique challenge.

Take the time he and Kyrie Irving kept shooting after a Cavaliers practice during the 2015-16 season.

Jason Lloyd’s book “The Blueprint: LeBron James, Cleveland’s Deliverance and the Making of the Modern NBA,” via The Athletic:

What it lacked, however, was showers. So while Irving and James remained on the floor shooting and shooting, the rest of the sweaty Cavs stood on the sidelines or sat in the bleachers and waited. As the minutes swelled into an hour, their patience waned. Sasha Kaun, an NBA rookie, was the first to be visibly irritated. Anderson Varejao saw how mad Kaun was getting and laughed at him.

“He doesn’t get it,” Varejao joked with me. “This is life with LeBron. Sometimes you wait.”

Yet after about 20 more minutes, Varejao wasn’t laughing anymore. Now he was annoyed, too. (Kevin) Love fidgeted with his phone. Assistant coaches made dinner plans. James and Irving, however, never flinched. They simply kept shooting.

“I will never leave the court without him,” James told me. “Meaning if he’s the only person in there shooting, I’m not going to leave. I’m not. And he knows that.”

James knew teammates and coaches were getting upset, but he didn’t care. The shooting session went on so long that even Tyronn Lue, still (David) Blatt’s lead assistant, stormed back into the gym as James and Irving were concluding. “Let’s go!” Lue shouted across the gym. “This is fucking rude and disrespectful!” James chuckled and told him not to get so upset in front of the media, even though there were only a few of us there at the time.

“They can leave us. They don’t have to wait for us,” James told me later. “We know the way back.”

Maybe LeBron thought everyone could leave without him and Irving. Maybe LeBron would have been even more upset if they actually did.

This is the unspoken difficulty of working with LeBron. He wields all the power. The Cavaliers walked on eggshells around what they thought he wanted.

Except Lue. As a former player, Lue – now Cleveland’s head coach – has a certain sway with LeBron. Can you imagine David Blatt speaking to LeBron that way?

Lue can push boundaries others can’t, but even he is in a tough spot. Who wants to stop a player from supporting a teammate by putting in extra work? Consider LeBron’s stature, and this situation becomes far more complex.

These are the types of issues that come up nearly daily with LeBron. He has earned his lofty position, and he’s not afraid to leverage it – usually for better, but sometimes for worse. And it’s not always clear which or how to handle it.

Adam Silver jokingly thanks Magic Johnson for paying for All-Star Legends Brunch

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The NBA held its annual All-Star Legends Brunch last weekend. Jerry West, James Worthy, Bill Walton and Magic Johnson were honored.

And NBA commissioner Adam Silver delivered a great line while addressing the event.

Silver, via Steve Aschburner of NBA.com:

“Magic, thank you for paying for the brunch today.”

So, that’s why Johnson got fined for $50,000 for tampering for innocuous comments about Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Nate ‘Tiny’ Archibald reveals he’s living with incurable heart disease

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The National Basketball Players Association and NBA set up health screenings for former players.

Nate “Tiny” Archibald, who starred for the Kansas City Kings and Boston Celtics, took advantage. Unfortunately, he learned a difficult outcome.

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN:

IT WAS DECEMBER 2016 when Archibald learned of his diagnosis, during a free screening at the New York offices of the NBPA. And now, more than a year later, he’s still reeling from the news.

“What I have is really rare,” he says. “There’s no pills, nothing they have found that works. I’m being tested all the time, just hoping, you know?

“My [heart] could go any minute. But I’m not ready for that. I want to be around for a long time.”

The medical community has had little success solving the riddle of amyloidosis. For those who suffer from it, aside from participating in clinical trials, or the possibility of a heart transplant, which at Archibald’s age may not be viable, there isn’t much that can be done.

We celebrated Archibald’s 69th birthday last fall with this highlight video. If you’re not familiar with the 6-foot-1 guard’s exciting game, get acquainted:

Hopefully, Archibald gets his wish and sticks around a long time.

Jeremy Lin: I believe J.J. Redick

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76ers guard J.J. Redick explained then apologized for saying what sounded like a slur for Chinese people, claiming he was tongue-tied.

Nets guard Jeremy Lin:

Lin’s Asian-American heritage helps make him very popular with the same people most offended by Redick. Lin vouching for Redick will likely go a long way in diffusing tension.

Hornets dropping GM Rich Cho, will reportedly pursue Mitch Kupchak

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Update: Hornets release:

The Charlotte Hornets announced today that the team will not extend the contract of General Manager Rich Cho. The Hornets will begin a search for a new general manager immediately.

“I want to thank Rich for all of his hard work with the Charlotte Hornets organization through the years and wish him and his family the best in the future,” said Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan. “Rich worked tirelessly on behalf of our team and instituted a number of management tools that have benefited our organization. We are deeply committed to our fans and to the city of Charlotte to provide a consistent winner on the court. The search will now begin for our next head of basketball operations who will help us achieve that goal.”

 

Last spring, the Hornets exercised their option on general manager Rich Cho for this season. It wasn’t exactly a strong vote of confidence without a contract extension.

Now, it’s becoming even more clear he’s a lame duck.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Cho has had plenty of hits and misses as general manager, including a year with the Trail Blazers. But the misses have added up in Charlotte. The Hornets’ next general manager will inherit:

Kemba Walker helps, but he can’t do it alone. This bloated payroll leaves little flexibility for roster upgrades – necessary to lift Charlotte into strong playoff contention. Walker will become an unrestricted free agent in 2019, and affording him could be tricky.

This is not a good job (relative to the other 29 NBA general manager jobs, of course).

Hornets owner Michael Jordan certainly plays into that. In one of the biggest gaffes of the Cho era, Charlotte rejected the Celtics’ offer of four first-round picks for the No. 9 pick in the 2015 draft, just to pick Frank Kaminsky. (Boston wanted Justise Winslow.) Was that Cho’s call or Jordan’s?

Cho takes the fall, though. That’s how this works.

Jordan’s ownership also means he gets to pick the replacement. It’s surely not a coincidence he’s leaning toward Mitch Kupchak (who played at North Carolina) and Buzz Peterson (who played with Jordan at North Carolina).

Kupchak fizzled late, but his overall tenure with the Lakers was a success. Has the game passed him by, or did recency bias unfairly paint him unfavorably? We might get to find out.