LeBron James has made no secret about his motivation: chasing Michael Jordan.
Could the Cavaliers star ever surpass His Airness?
Dwyane Wade, via Nick Friedell of ESPN:
“No, it’s not possible,” Wade told ESPN with a laugh. “It’s not possible.”
“The only thing you can do is tie it,” Wade said.
Wade, a close friend of LeBron, grew up in Chicago and now plays for the Bulls. He’s trying to walk a line.
But there are only ties in these debates if you want there to be one. (And Wade wants there to be one.)
LeBron can pass Jordan in the all-time ranks. It’ll be difficult, but LeBron is within striking distance. At age 31, he still has time to build on his legacy.
He might never convince Wade, but it is possible for LeBron to overtake Jordan.
Just eight NBA teams don’t have their own D-League affiliate:
- Atlanta Hawks
- Denver Nuggets
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- New Orleans Pelicans
- Portland Trail Blazers
- Washington Wizards
That list could soon shrink even further.
Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post:
The Nuggets are likely to get back into the D-League business next season, according to league sources. But nothing has been decided or is imminent.
There’s not a huge value in having a D-League affiliate right now. There are advantages, but anyone in the D-League who’s not on an NBA contract – which takes up an NBA roster spot and counts against the NBA cap – is an NBA free agent. So, an NBA team could develop a young player on its affiliate only to have another NBA team snatch him away.
But I think that will change soon. Once all 30 NBA teams have their own affiliates, I predict they’ll hold exclusive NBA rights to some, if not all, of the D-League players on their affiliates (which will lead to increased salaries for D-Leaguers).
So, there will be major value in having an affiliate and running it well. Might as well get a head start on establishing the operation now.
Josh McRoberts isn’t the only player who hurt himself in last season’s Heat-Hornets first-round playoff series and is still reeling from the injury.
Charlotte center Cody Zeller is in the same boat.
Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer
Zeller has been held out of contact drills this preseason while he receives treatment for a bone bruise along his right knee. Wednesday he was held out of the entire practice.
“He’s not even doing the non-contact stuff at this stage, so he has a long way to go,” said Hornets coach Steve Clifford.
Zeller came on strong last season after the Hornets moved him to center. This is a pretty significant loss if he misses regular-season games.
Charlotte has far less margin for error after losing several key contributors in free agency. With the middle of the Eastern Conference packed so tightly on paper, the Hornets have a narrow difference between home-court advantage in the first round and missing the playoffs entirely.
At least they signed a solid backup in Roy Hibbert. Ideally, Hibbert will protect the rim better than Zeller – though the offensive drop is significant. Spencer Hawes and Frank Kaminsky can provide some offensive output off the bench, but there’s a reason Kaminsky mostly plays power forward and Hawes doesn’t play that much at all.
Kenneth Faried has been involved in trade rumor after trade rumor after trade rumor after trade rumor after trade rumor after…
Not much has changed.
Zach Lowe of ESPN:
The Nuggets will also be at the epicenter of the trade market. They’ve been dangling Faried off and on for three years, and continue to now, sources say.
Faried has three years and $38,764,045 remaining on his contract – perfectly reasonable since the salary cap escalated. But Faried’s major issue in Denver – he neither spreads the floor offensively nor protects the rim defensively – makes him a difficult fit anywhere. His rebounding and hustle-generated shots at the rim go only so far.
The Nuggets already have multiple valuable young bigs in Nikola Jokic, Jusuf Nurkic and Juan Hernangomez. Darrell Arthur is capable if the team needs a steady veteran, and Danilo Gallinari also might be most effective at power forward.
I see why Denver is more than willing to trade Faried. I also see why it hasn’t happened yet.
I don’t see what changes those conditions.
There are shortcomings with how arm-in-arm NBA players have demonstrated during the national anthem.
Dwight Howard and the Hawks want to do something more meaningful.
Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
After an hour-long team discussion following practice on Tuesday, the Hawks had the idea for all those in attendance at regular-season home games to join them and lock arms. The gesture possibly could begin with the team’s first home exhibition game against the Cavaliers on Monday. The contest has already been labeled a Unity Game to celebrate Atlanta’s multicultural groups and diversity.
“We want to start it here in Atlanta,” said Dwight Howard, who teammates credited with the idea. “It could be something really good here to show that as a city Atlanta is unified no matter what color, race, religion that you are. When you come to these games, we want to show that we are unified and we are together. The guys are going to compete on the floor. But before the games, we still want to pay homage to all those who died to fight for our country but at the same time we want to show that we are unified. We want everybody who is at the arena to show respect to each other. That’s where it starts. If we can start as a country respecting each other just by simple gestures, locking arms, saying that we are together things can hopefully change for the better. I think that will be a good start for us.”
This is definitely a step in the right direction, because it clearly signals to the viewing public that the team is calling attention to something – in this case, unity.
But unify to what end?
Nearly everyone wants the country to come together – but mostly on their terms. People who believe showing more reverence to the police would fix everything will lock arms with people who believe the police showing more restraint would fix everything, and both sets of people will expect the other to come to their side.
Togetherness is a noble goal, and if that’s what the Hawks feel comfortable promoting, more power to them. But don’t mistake this for the more courageous and meaningful stance Colin Kaepernick is taking.