Chicago, like many teams in 2010, pushed hard to sign LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
The difference between the Bulls and everyone else outside of Miami: They nearly got LeBron and Wade.
So says Wade.
Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago:
This is where Pat Riley deserves a ton of credit.
LeBron and Wade joining Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah in Chicago could’ve been special. But the Bulls would’ve had to trade Luol Deng just to fit two of LeBron, Wade and Bosh.
The Heat cleared enough cap space for all three, making a bigger splash and appealing more to the free agents. Riley expertly positioned Miami to win this competition.
But it still leaves the great “what if?” of LeBron and Wade in Chicago.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver shot down expansion earlier this year.
But with a revised Collective Bargaining Agreement in the works, could that open the door?
Kevin Nesgoda of Sonics Rising:
I’ve heard that once the CBA is finished, the expansion bidding could be announced as soon as December or as late as the All-Star Game in February. There are going to be numerous other cities competing with Seattle to get the expansion franchises as well. I do not know if there is just going to be one slot or two. Other cities I’ve heard that are going to be making a play for expansion are Louisville (they have all their affairs in order and ready to go), Pittsburgh, Omaha, Las Vegas, Vancouver, BC, and Mexico City.
I’m pretty ambivalent on expansion.
Would it be cool for Seattle to have a team? Yes. Should Seattle taxpayers contribute a large amount of money so a billionaire can bring a profitable (for him or her) business to town? No.
Would it dilute the talent pool? Yes. Is the talent pool too weak already? No.
And that’s just as an outsider. The current 30 owners would need a lot of money up-front to turn their 1/30th shares of profit into 1/31st shares.
Perhaps, someone will pay to enter the league. There’s a lot of money to be had.
But I’m more skeptical something gets done so quickly.
It’s hard to hear anything Kevin Durant says about the Warriors and not take it as an insult to the Thunder. See this Durant quote, via Anthony Slater of The Mercury News:
You can feel it when you walk in the door, in the practice facility, everybody is just together. That’s something that I can appreciate as a basketball player and someone who values relationships. You can tell that that’s what they stand on, that’s what we stand on. I feel really grateful to play for a team like that and play with a bunch of players who are selfless and enjoy the game in its purest form. They make it about the players, they make it about the environment, so it was really an easy choice.
Is Durant implying the Thunder weren’t selfless?
Russell Westbrook seems to think so.
Royce Young of ESPN:
That’s cute, man. That’s cute.
My job is to worry about what’s going on here. We’re going to worry about all the selfish guys we’ve got over here, apparently. So, we’re going to figure that out.
Not every compliment Durant gives Golden State is a knock on Oklahoma City. Durant is clearly fond of the Warriors, and their selflessness is a reason. But Durant has also repeatedly said he enjoyed his time with the Thunder. Their selflessness might also be a reason. Multiple teams can be selfless.
That said, Durant didn’t get himself the benefit of the doubt with a report right after he chose Golden State that said he was frustrated with Westbrook’s offensive style.
After initially downplaying a personal rivalry, Westbrook is slowly escalating it. Some of the perceived disrespect might be in Westbrook’s head – but some of it is probably rooted in reality.
Kobe Bryant has genuinely and sarcastically praised Luke Walton’s coaching ability.
Now that he’s coaching the Lakers, Walton explained the influence Kobe had on him when they were teammates in Los Angeles. Walton brought up one practice in particular.
Walton on the Open Run podcast:
I probably had too much to drink the night before. So, I came in. I was a rookie. I felt good. And they could smell some alcohol on me, and Kobe informed the rest of the team that nobody was allowed to help me on defense and that I had to guard him the entire practice.
And I was laughing at first, like, “Oh, this is funny.” But in Kobe’s mind, in his eyes, it was like, “No. I see and smell weakness. I’m going to destroy you today.” And he taught me that lesson. He taught me that lesson. I mean, he probably scored 70-something in practice that day, and I’m begging for help. None of the teammates would help.
But his killer instinct and his work ethic, they’ll stick with me forever.
Sounds about right.
Pat Riley essentially said the Heat are done with Chris Bosh, and Bosh has acknowledged he’s likely finished in Miami.
But with Bosh owed $75,868,170 over the final three years of his contract, how will the exit actually work?
Zach Lowe of ESPN:
The most likely course of action as of now in this murky, sad situation, per sources all around it: The Heat wait until after March 1 to waive Bosh so that he is not eligible to appear in the postseason for any team that signs him.
There are conditions that must be met first:
- Bosh can’t play through Feb. 9 (and longer if the Heat keep him longer).
- A doctor jointly selected by the league and union must rule Bosh “has an injury or illness that (i) prevents him from playing skilled professional basketball at an NBA level for the duration of his career, or (ii) substantially impairs his ability to play skilled professional basketball at an NBA level and is of such severity that continuing to play professional basketball at an NBA level would subject the player to medically unacceptable risk of suffering a life-threatening or permanently disabling injury or illness.”
If either falls through, the Heat would no longer be able to remove Bosh’s salary from their cap. Miami obviously holds the cards on whether Bosh plays. But given his continued proclamations that he can still play, there are still real questions how that jointly selected doctor would rule.
But let’s just say the doctor rules in the Heat’s favor. They should wait a few extra days to waive him. If Bosh proves the doctor wrong and plays 25 games (regular season and playoffs both count) for another team, his salary would be re-applied to Miami’s books. Though no team has more than 24 games in March and April, Bosh doesn’t have to play for only one team. He could theoretically sign 10-day contracts with different teams, working the schedule to maximize his number of games played. (Though if the jointly selected doctor deems it unsafe for him to play, will other teams really sign and play him?)
There’s always the possibility Bosh plays 25 games in 2017-18 and beyond, but the key for the Heat is removing his salary from the cap next summer. They could use that cap space before Bosh’s salary is potentially re-applied. The unfortunate consequence of this rule is holding Bosh hostage most of this season.