Kurt Helin

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James waits during a timeout in the final minute of the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Monday, March 7, 2016, in Cleveland. The Grizzlies won 106-103. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
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LeBron James: “I’ll kidnap my momma to win”


LeBron James has seemed frustrated lately, at least that’s one reading of his cryptic tweets. He’s said the Cavaliers are not ready for playoff basketball right now. He came back to Cleveland selling a prodigal son story and bringing with him the promise of the first championship in Cleveland in any sport since 1964. The year “Meet the Beatles!” was released.

How bad does LeBron want to win?

Bad enough that he told Joe Johnson he would move to the four to accommodate him, even though LeBron has said more than once he is not of fan of playing the four, LeBron told Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Then LeBron took it a step further.

“All I care about is winning. That’s all that matters to me,” James confirmed to cleveland.com. “A piece like Joe, you know what it does to your team and if he was concerned about playing time or concerned about starting, then I’ll sacrifice. I’ll sacrifice to get a guy like that to help us try to win a championship….

“Man listen, I’ll do anything to win. I’ll kidnap my momma to win,” James said to cleveland.com with a deadpan expression on his face.

Johnson ended up choosing Miami, opting for a situation where he would get more minutes and exposure (to help with his next contract coming this summer) over winning. (Although Miami has played better of late, they are not contenders.)

Maybe that’s not the commitment LeBron wants in a teammate.

Cavaliers sign guard Jordan McRae for rest of season

Phoenix Suns guard Jordan McRae drives past Houston Rockets guard Jason Terry (31) in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, in Phoenix. The Rockets won 111-105. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cavaliers have signed guard Jordan McRae for the remainder of this season.

The team said Wednesday that they have signed McRae to a multi-year contract, but provided no further details on his deal. McRae has appeared in three games since he signed a 10-day contract on Feb. 28.

The 6-foot-6 McRae began the season in the NBA Development League, where he made 29l starts for Delaware, averaging 23.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists. Against Canton on Jan. 26, he scored a D-League record 61 points with 11 rebounds and seven assists.

McRae also had two 10-day stints with the Phoenix Suns this season, appearing in seven games. He averaged 5.3 points and 1.4 assists in 11.7 minutes.

He was originally selected by San Antonio in the 2014 draft. McRae played in Australia for a year before joining Delaware for the season’s final 13 games.

USA Basketball to stick with selecting 12 man roster for Rio, no tryouts

Team USA Practice Session
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There will be no formal tryouts for Team USA heading into the Rio Olympics this summer.

This isn’t new news, USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo said this before. But he reiterated it to Marc Stein of ESPN Wednesday. Rather than bring 15-20 players to a training camp in Las Vegas then have to make cuts to get to 12, this time around USA Basketball is just going to select the 12 and announce it. Then that dozen will come to Las Vegas in July for a training camp before a series of exhibitions in cities around the USA; then everyone heads to Brazil and the games that start Aug. 5 (basketball tips off Aug. 6).

It would be more accurate to say that the tryouts for Team USA are going on right now as the NBA season winds down. Colangelo said he thinks a lot about what the roster makeup should be.

“I play that game in my own mind almost every day. And it changes every other day in my mind. We’ve got so many great players and they all want to participate. We may be in for a surprise or two at the end of the day, where someone is not going to make themselves available, but because of the depth on this roster, we could take a few hits and still be in great shape.

“So I’m just keeping all my options open. And I’m interested always to hear other people’s opinions, but you can trust me: I’ll make the final decision based on what I think is right for us in conjunction with Coach K and our staff … what’s the best 12 to put us in the best position to be successful? And I’ll go right back to something we said many years ago. It’s not an All-Star team. It’s: ‘Let’s put a group together that puts us in this best position to win.’ “

Of course, Coach Mike Krzyzewski will have a heavy hand in the roster decision. Some of that roster makeup comes down to who is available. For example, LeBron James has said he doesn’t know if he will play this summer. If the Cavaliers make the NBA Finals that will be six consecutive seasons James will have played into June, he may want to rest his body in July and August. Other players also will have similar decisions to make. We do know that Carmelo Anthony wants in, and that Kobe Bryant will sit this one out.

One other interesting note from Colangelo: After looking at their options, USA Basketball will house its men’s and women’s team on a cruise ship docked in Rio rather than at a hotel in the city.

“We have sent our people [to Rio] on four or five occasions,” Colangelo said. “We have researched everything we could on accommodations. And we made our decision as to what we’re going to do. Bear in mind that, since ’92, [USAB’s] basketball teams haven’t stayed in the Olympic Village. Also bear in mind that basketball is one of only two sports that runs the entire length of the Olympic [Games].

“Because of the high visibility of our athletes, we’re better served by [going] above and beyond what the Olympic people provide for us in the way of security and so forth. We do our own things to make sure we’ve protected our people. There’s a big investment here that we’ll have in Rio. … We will not be in the Village, but our players will be in there a lot, like they have been in the last two Olympics.”

Pistons likely to get Jodie Meeks back during upcoming road trip

DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 07:  Jodie Meeks #20 of the Detroit Pistons takes a shot against Charlie Villanueva #3 of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on January 7, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Detroit remains just half a game out of the playoffs in the East (trailing eight-seed Chicago), but they need to make their push into the postseason soon.

This might help — Detroit should be getting shooting guard Jodie Meeks back from his foot injury soon. Meeks has been cleared for full contact and may be back with the team on its upcoming road trip, as reported David Mayo, who covers the Pistons for MLive.com.

Meeks went on to say there was a “good possibility” he would play on the road trip, one that is key to the Pistons’ playoff hopes.

Meeks is a veteran shooting guard who is a career 37.3 percent from three. First a back and then a foot injury have kept him out of all but two games this season, but if the Pistons get him back it would help with the depth behind Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Meeks isn’t going to help their defense, but the shooting would be a boost.

It’s something to watch over the next few weeks.

Metta World Peace thinks he has couple more seasons left in him

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 05:  Metta World Peace #37 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives on Andre Iguodala #9 of the Golden State Warriors during a 109-88 loss at Staples Center on January 5, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Metta World Peace has gotten into 23 games for the Lakers this season (a Lakers team that is 14-51). He’s shooting 29.1 percent from the field. He is a shadow of the defender he used to be, he can’t stay in front of guys anymore. He has a PER of 7.2, the kind of number you traditionally see from a guy bouncing between the NBA and D-League.

He is a free agent this summer. He will turn 37 a few weeks into next season. oes he want to keep playing?

Does he want to keep playing?

We should have known the answer to that. From Mike Bresnahan with the Los Angeles Times.

“I still want to get in the playoffs again. I want to do a couple more years,” the Lakers forward said Tuesday. “This year I didn’t play much so I kind of saved myself. I’m going to come back next year strong….

“The games that I started (three), I played well. I wanted to see if I could still compete,” he said. “When I was getting my minutes, I was still able to compete.

“Then the young guys started playing and they started playing well. Now they’re establishing themselves so that was smart on the Lakers’ part.”

I wish World Peace luck in finding a new NBA home. Obviously, the Lakers are not part of World Peace’s future, they are rebuilding with youth and he’s not that anymore. He hasn’t had a ton of run to show what he can do in Los Angeles, but the time he has gotten hasn’t impressed.

World Peace had been out of the NBA the season before this, playing in China and Italy. My guess is that is where he returns. Maybe some NBA team takes a flier on him with a training camp invite, but it was likely only the Lakers that would take that chance. And they are moving on.