Author: Kurt Helin

Minnesota Timberwolves v Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James admits “fit-in” tweet aimed at Kevin Love, wants him to buy into team


It all started with this tweet from LeBron James late Saturday night.

That tweet seemed a bit cryptic but it wasn’t too hard to guess it was aimed at Kevin Love. The All-Star big man had struggled to find his offensive footing with the Cavaliers (at least until Sunday when he put up 32 points on 18 shots against the lowly Lakers). If you had any doubts that tweet was aimed at Love, remember Love said this in the preseason (via Dave McMenamin of ESPN):

“I’m comfortable and just not trying to, I guess, fit in so much. I had a talk with the guys on the plane ride over [to Brazil] and also at different practices off the floor and they told me to fit out. Just be myself.”

Since LeBron took a couple weeks off to get his body and mind right, he has come back looking like the best player on the planet again. That, combined with improved defense (thanks to what Timofey Mozgov brings), has the Cavaliers winning 13 of 14. They are starting to find their stride and LeBron wants Love to run with them and fit in. The “fit in” line was not a coincidence.

LeBron admitted as much Sunday, McMenamin reports.

But later, when asked at his locker about the tweet and its relationship to Love’s quote back in October by a small group of reporters after the game, the four-time MVP flashed a revealing smile.

“It’s not a coincidence, man,” James said.

Love still has a ways to go, but he also is committed to the process. While Love can opt out this summer and become a free agent — and he may do that to chase a bigger payday — he is not leaving the Cavaliers. Nobody around the league that I’ve spoken to expects him to bolt this summer.

That “where might he go” speculation makes for a fun message board topic on a fan site, or sports talk radio segment, but the reality is Love isn’t going anywhere short term. What Love wants in terms of exposure and off-the-court opportunities comes with being on the biggest stages in the game — not being in the biggest markets but rather playing in the marquee Christmas Day games, going deep in the playoffs and winning titles. Those things will come with playing next to LeBron in Cleveland far more likely than being part of a rebuilding process in New York or Los Angeles.

Love had the most to sacrifice of Cleveland’s big three to make this work; he’s still adjusting to that both on the court and mentally. Chris Bosh was right before the season when he said it was not going to be easy for Love to get used to playing with Lebron. But what Love wants is in Cleveland and he knows it, he’s not just giving up after one season.

He’s just still trying to figure out how he can fit in.

DeMarcus Cousins delivers cryptic comments as Kings close in on hire of George Karl

DeMarcus Cousins, Ben McLemore

After draining a dramatic buzzer-beating game-winner to lift Sacramento past Phoenix, All-Star DeMarcus Cousins should have led the celebration in the Kings’ locker room. Instead, he was saying this:

“I ain’t pumped up, I just got a lot on my mind. Crazy thing about it, I just got a question for ya’ll, I just wanna know how you’re gonna stop God’s plan? How are you gonna do that? How are you gonna do that? This city put through me so much, I stayed loyal to it the whole time. God gives the hardest battles to the strongest souls. The marathon continues. I’m out.”

Okay then.

Those comments are both cryptic and clearly aimed at the ongoing talks by Sacramento Kings management to bring in George Karl as coach. Cousin’s camp has opposed the hiring from the start, but it appears close, with just the owner signing off on the deal left, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro was supposed to meet with Cousins and his people Sunday, but that is different from giving him veto power over the hiring of the next coach. Our own Aaron Bruski of PBT and NBC Sports adds this:

It does now fall to the owner, Vivek Ranadivé, and what direction he wants to take the team. If his dream is an up-tempo team, hiring Karl would be a good first step. Then there would need to be others because this roster is not built for that style right now.

Ranadivé also needs to weigh the costs of such a move, something Cousins was trying to bring up. I guess. Those comments were pretty cryptic.

DeMarcus Cousins gets the bounce at buzzer to beat Suns (VIDEO)

DeMarcus Cousins, Markieff Morris
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That is a shooter’s bounce. If Stephen Curry gets that bounce, we don’t blink. But DeMarcus Cousins?

He got it and delivered the game winner that lifted the Kings past the Suns, 85-83. It’s another sign of the growth of now All-Star DeMarcus Cousins.

This was a tough loss for the Suns, who have dropped 4 of 5 and are now just two games up on fast charging Oklahoma City for the eight seed and final playoff spot in the West. The Suns need wins against the teams below them in the standings (and a few against those above them) if they are going to hold on to this playoff spot.