Dan Feldman

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Rumor: LeBron James’ list comprised of only Cavaliers, Lakers, Rockets, 76ers


I believe LeBron James has not yet decided where he’ll play next year.

But I also believe he’s already considering his options.

That could mean steering his current team’s course, visiting schools with his wife, talking to friends on other teams and setting up legacy-impacting narratives. All that provides opportunities for his planning to leak.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer:

I’ve consistently heard from multiple league sources that LeBron currently has only four teams on his list: the Cavaliers, Lakers, Rockets, and 76ers.

Notably absent from that list: Warriors, Spurs and Clippers – teams all linked to LeBron at one point.

But it’s important to remember LeBron’s list can change. He doesn’t need to lock in a final four at any point. There’s so much left to play out, especially the postseason. That’ll affect how LeBron views things.

And just because O’Connor hasn’t heard about LeBron considering a team doesn’t mean LeBron isn’t considering that team. LeBron isn’t clearly revealing his intentions. This stuff comes at least second-hand.

But this is a logical list that fits what we already (think we) know. Bayesian reasoning dictates bumping up the odds of the Cavaliers, Lakers, Rockets or 76ers signing LeBron this summer.

Jordan Clarkson: Lakers players discussed LeBron James signing with Los Angeles

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Lakers president Magic Johnson has made no secret of his desire to chase star free agents.

The team’s current players sometimes struggled with the resulting trade rumors and uncertainty about their own situations.

One player in particular caught their attention – LeBron James, according to Jordan Clarkson, whom the Lakers traded to the Cavaliers on deadline day.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

Clarkson said when he was a player for the Lakers, his teammates used to talk about James coming there as a free agent, which he could be free to do this summer if he opts out of his contract with the Cavs.

“I wouldn’t say like management and the coaches or nobody, but in the locker room people talk when they see what’s going on,” Clarkson said, after the Cavs beat the Denver Nuggets 113-108. “That’s probably the only thing, people talk in the locker room.”

I said all along LeBron-Lakers rumors were driven in part by people enjoying analyzing the possibility. It’s tantalizing.

Of course, Lakers players couldn’t resist the discussion. There must have been mixed emotions – the excitement of possibly playing with LeBron and the understanding you might be cast aside to make room for him.

Clarkson surely felt some of that when he got sent from sunny and bigger Los Angeles to cold and smaller Cleveland to play with LeBron. Maybe when the Cavs visit the Lakers on Sunday, he can relay to his former teammates what it has been like.

Chris Bosh on post-playing frustrations: ‘I definitely see why the divorce rate is so high, and why players go broke’

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Chris Bosh was an All-Star his final 11 seasons. His skills – jump shooting, defensive mobility – made him an ideal small-ball center at a time the NBA was embracing that playing style. He just signed a five-year max contract with the Heat a couple years prior.

But his career ended more than two years ago at age 31 due to blood-clotting issues.

Bosh, via Jack MacMullan of ESPN:

“It’s pretty much like cruising along, going 150 miles an hour in your Porsche — and then you fall into a hole,” Bosh says.

“You go from being with the guys all the time, in the locker room, in practice, having a militarized brain in terms of this schedule, and then all of a sudden you are on your own,” he says. “You lose a sense of purpose, you lose a sense of yourself. And you lose confidence. You find yourself saying, ‘I was the best at this and now I’m not the best.’ You have to deal with not being very good. You have to deal with people no longer catering to you.

“You start feeling forgotten. You don’t get as many phone calls. You don’t stay at the forefront of people’s minds. It’s natural, it’s life, you have to understand what’s happening, but I definitely see why the divorce rate is so high, and why players go broke.

“Guys spend all their money trying to capture that feeling again. You can’t eat at Prime 112 (Restaurant) every night anymore. There’s this never-ending search for that feeling that you once had, and it can cost you.”

Bosh has had a hard time letting go, repeatedly talking about coming back. It’s nearly impossible to see that happening. Medical consensus deems it unsafe for him to play, and the Heat’s decision to shut him down set a precedent against experimental methods of handling his condition.

I wish Bosh accepted that, but moving on is easier said than done. It’s surely harder for him to be logical about this situation that it is for me from afar.

His comments to MacMullan – read them all, including how he leans on his wife for support – are illuminating and sad. Unlike many NBA players, Bosh seemed like an intellectual with many interests outside basketball. It appeared he could transition out of playing better than most. But it’s hard, especially because he didn’t leave the game on his own terms.

Hopefully, Bosh eventually finds peace. He’s clearly not there yet.

Bar worker: Woman jumped after photo with ‘gropey’ Mark Cuban

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In 2011, a woman accused Mavericks owner Mark Cuban of putting his hand down the back of her pants and penetrating her vagina as they posed for pictures. Cuban denies the allegation. Police investigated and didn’t charge him. Employees at the bar where the incident occurred interviewed by police all said they didn’t see anything.

It seemed reasonable to ask: If Cuban suddenly penetrated the woman without her consent in a crowded bar where so much attention was on the celebrity, wouldn’t she have reacted in a way someone noticed?

Christopher White, who was working security at the bar that night, says he noticed.

Shane Dixon Kavanaugh of The Oregonian:

White said he was standing about 20 feet away from the woman and Cuban.

“She definitely jumped after he had put his arm around her,” White said.

The woman looked upset and began to raise her voice and point angrily at Cuban, White said. Security guards moved quickly to separate the woman and other club patrons from the celebrity, he said.

“She jumped away like she was not happy with him,” White, 33, said in an interview Wednesday with The Oregonian/OregonLive. “That’s when the energy in the room kind of exploded.”

“I didn’t have a camera on his hand,” said White, who held various positions at the Northwest Third Avenue club between 2010 and 2014. “But it sure looked like it was too low to be just on her back.”

Cuban would point his finger at women with whom he wanted to be photographed and beckoned them, White said. The way Cuban touched some of the women struck White as inappropriate because his hands moved well below the middle of their backs, he said.

“He was, like, really kind of gropey toward them,” White said. “It just wasn’t how you’d normally pose in a picture with someone.”

White noticed immediately the blustery billionaire seemed very drunk when he arrived. Cuban was sweating and his hair looked messy, the former employee said. He slurred his words and gestured wildly as he interacted with people.

“He was slinking around all over the place,” White said. “I believe we told him we couldn’t serve him any alcohol.”

Cuban was eventually asked to leave the bar, White said, which he said the NBA owner did not respond well to. White said Cuban swore at those around him before storming off.

“This former employee of the bar who is coming forward today, seven years later, says he was watching Mr. Cuban at the critical moment when the photographs were being taken and Mr. Cuban did not put his hand in the complainant’s pants,” said Jacob Houze, an attorney for Cuban, in a statement.

“This former employee’s claims about Mr. Cuban’s interactions with other patrons and employees are directly refuted by all the witnesses who were interviewed by the police. Once again, this did not happen.”

White said he was never interviewed by police, but later told a friend what he’d witnessed. The friend confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive that White had told him the same account.

White previously telling a friend about the incident would somewhat invalidate that he’s just coming forward now, as Cuban’s attorney portrays it. And just because some people didn’t see something doesn’t mean someone else didn’t see it or that it didn’t happen.

Still, tricky questions remain: What actually happened? What can be proven? What was criminal?

Report: Timberwolves signing Derrick Rose

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The Timberwolves were reportedly hot on Derrick Rose’s tail after the trade deadline, when the Cavaliers traded and Jazz waived him. But there was enough delay that questions emerged whether Rose was finished in the NBA entirely.

Alas, Minnesota went through with it.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Rose is technically a former MVP still in his 20s, but that’s such an inaccurate way to describe him now. Sapped by injuries perhaps lost desire, Rose is barely NBA-caliber anymore.

Minnesota’s rotation point guards, Jeff Teague and Tyus Jones, are far better than Rose. Third-string point guard Aaron Brooks is about as good.

Even with Jimmy Butler injured, the Timberwolves don’t need Rose’s shot creation – perhaps his lone remaining plus skill. They should get the ball more to the ultra-efficient Karl-Anthony Towns. Andrew Wiggins and Jamal Crawford are also comfortable shouldering large offensive loads.

This signing is clearly happening because Timberwolves president-coach Tom Thibodeau previously coached Rose in Chicago.

The opportunity cost of using a roster spot on Rose is bad enough. Minnesota needs help on the wing. But the biggest problem comes if Thibodeau actually plays Rose over Jones.

There’s always a chance Thibodeau taps into Rose’s potential. Gibson is having a resurgent year, after all. But Rose looks finished in ways Gibson never did, and Teague and Jones already provide a formidable 1-2 at at point guard.

The Timberwolves (38-28) have just a 2.5-game buffer over the Nuggets and Jazz for playoff position. Minnesota is trying to end a 13-season postseason drought. The stakes are high there.

The best-case scenario of this signing might be it ending up harmless. The downside is Rose getting a rotation spot and costing the Timberwolves wins that would have gotten them into the playoffs.