Kurt Helin

Associated Press

LeBron James, Cavs teammates fire up crowd before Indians’ playoff game

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Maybe a little playoff luck will rub off on the Tribe.

Last June LeBron James ended Cleveland’s 52-year title drought — with a little help from his friends — when the Cavaliers came back from 3-1 down to beat the Golden State Warriors. Now the Indians are at home for their first-round playoff showdown with the Boston Red Sox, and before Game 2 Friday LeBron, J.R. Smith, and a few other Cavaliers came out to fire up the crowd.

LeBron — the hometown kid from Akron, although he has said in the past he’s a Yankee’s fan — and the Cavs had already done a good luck video for the Indians.

So far so good. As of this writing, Cleveland was on the verge of going up 2-0 in the best-of-five series.

Joel Embiid wants to be known, introduced as “The Process”

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Starting at center, out of Kanas, Joel “The Process” Embiid!

That is how Sixers rookie Joel Embiid wants to be introduced.

Philadephia Daily News columnist John Smallwood wrote about it.

Earlier this week, Joel Embiid asked longtime Sixers public address announcer Matt Cord to add his new self-claimed middle name “The Process” to his official introduction.

It didn’t happen Thursday night when the Sixers played the Washington Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center.

Embiid, who has used the phrase “trust the process” a lot on his Twitter account, now has renamed his Instagram account Joel “The Process” Embiid.

Embiid was drafted by the Sixers and was a very highly rated prospect, but he was sidelined all of his first two NBA seasons with foot injuries that required surgery. The 25 minutes in two preseason games he has played so far is his only time in an NBA game — he became the epitome of trusting the process.

If you’ve spent the past two years with farmers in rural Thailand and aren’t up to speed with all this, “the process” was former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie’s term for his take-it-deeper-than-anyone-else-could-stomach get bad to get good rebuilding process. It was also what he told and sold to players — just trust the process and get better every day. “Trust the process” became the rallying cry of Hinkie’s supporters.

Current Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo — who took over when ownership could no longer stomach the level of losing Hinkie could — would like to ban the phrase “the process.” He’s brought in veterans and repeatedly spoken about changing the losing culture that was there.

But Embiid had adopted The Process nickname. Just don’t expect him to get announced that way.


Memphis Grizzlies waive guard Tony Wroten


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies have waived guard Tony Wroten after he played in one preseason game.

General manager Chris Wallace announced the move Friday.

The 6-foot-6, 205-pound guard played six minutes Thursday night in a 104-83 loss by Memphis to Atlanta.

Memphis originally drafted Wroten at No. 25 overall in 2012 after his freshman year at Washington. Wroten has played in 145 games with 34 starts in four seasons in the NBA with the Grizzlies and Philadelphia.

The Grizzlies currently have 19 players on the roster.

Utah’s Gordon Hayward breaks finger on left hand, out six weeks


Gordon Hayward is the most underrated star player in the NBA — at 19.7 points a game and the focal point of the Jazz offense, he is an efficient scorer carrying a heavy load in the Jazz on that end of the floor. He is the go-to guy on everybody’s pick as a breakout team this season (they also were last season until injuries did them in). He could be an All-NBA player this season, he’s on the cusp.

Except, now he’s going to miss some time to start the season due to a dislocated and broken ring finger on his left hand. Chris Haynes of ESPN broke the news, Jody Genessy of the Deseret News added to it, and eventually the Jazz sent out a press release confirming it.

The good news is that is off hand. The Jazz confirmed that it was the ring finger on his hand, and treatment options — including surgery — are being considered. Other reports said Hayward’s hand got caught up in a teammate’s jersey, which led to the fracture.

Six weeks means he will miss at least some of the start of the season (he will be re-evaluated in three weeks).

This is a setback for Utah, they will likely use a combination of Joe Johnson and Chris Johnson to fill in (maybe some small ball lineups with Alec Burks), but neither of those are the shot creators and threat that Hayward has become. The Jazz do have more stability and depth on offense this season after adding George Hill at the point (and getting Dante Exum back from injury), plus veterans such as Johnson who can step in and contribute now. But the Jazz need Gordon to make the entire thing work. He will be missed.

Plus, Gordon is in a contract year, so you know he wants to be out there.

Carmelo Anthony on Jeremy Lin: “He is the face of (Nets) franchise – believe it or not”

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Carmelo Anthony was throwing shade at Brooklyn after Knicks practice Friday.

Or at least it came off that way. Anthony was asked about Brooklyn’s offseason signing of Jeremy Lin to a three-year, $36 million deal, and he seemed surprised that the former (and much-loved) Knicks was now back in New York, a subway ride away. He seemed surprised the Nets brought him in as the face of the franchise — then it sounds like he tries to soften that edge. Via Marc Berman of the New York Post:

“He is the face of their franchise – believe it or not,’’ Anthony said after Friday’s practice. “He came up, they paid him. Now the ball is in his hands. Now he’s one of the franchise players over there. I don’t know what you want me to say about that. I’m happy for him, excited for him to see how it’s going to turn out over there.’’

I’m not sure why it’s a surprise — the Lin signing makes a lot of sense for both sides.

For Lin, he gets to start and gets the ball in his hands, something he hasn’t had consistently since the Linsanity days (at least until Anthony got healthy and returned to that team, that duo had poor chemistry). He’s going to be able to run the high pick-and-roll with Brook Lopez, attack downhill, find shooters (such as they are in Brooklyn), and play to his strengths. Lin looked good in a 21-point preseason debut for Brooklyn (outside one Shaqtin’ a Fool blown layup). The Nets aren’t going to be very good, but Lin should have a solid season as a starter, maybe a good one.

For the Nets, point guard was a black hole last season and Lin is a quality upgrade. Plus, he should help sell some tickets to a team that is trying to rebuild but is probably still at the base camp of that Everest.

This deal made sense for both sides.

It just seemed to catch Carmelo off guard.