Author: Kurt Helin

Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade’s goal: Play in 82 games this season


Dwyane Wade played in 54 games last season, part of a knee maintenance program designed to keep him fresh for the games that mattered in the playoffs (and he played almost 35 minutes a game in the playoffs, scoring 17.8 points a game with a good .560 true shooting percentage). Him missing all that time was one of the things that frustrated LeBron James with the Heat.

This season Wade has a new goal: Play every game.

Hard to imagine that happening but that’s what he told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.

My guess is Erik Spoelstra feels differently. Wade may play more regular season games, but he’s going to get his rest.

I’ll add this reminder (pointed out by the brilliant Tom Haberstroh at ESPN): By giving the players a full week off around the All-Star Game but not lengthening the NBA season most teams have one more back-to-back and some more compressed schedule dates. Which is going to mean some heavier wear on guys like Wade.

Meaning, bet the under.

Deron Williams fires back at Kobe: “If I’m 0-for-f******-9, I’m not shooting 20 more shots”

Brooklyn Nets v Toronto Raptors - Game Seven

Deron Williams struggled in Game 2 of the playoff series the Nets ultimately lost to the Heat, going 0-9 from the floor.

This summer in a Sports Illustrated story Gotham Chopra (the director of an upcoming Kobe documentary) said Kobe Bryant said Williams psyched himself out in that game:

“Deron Williams went like 0-for-9. I was like, ‘Can you believe Deron Williams went 0-9?’ Kobe was like, ‘I would go 0-30 before I would go 0-9. 0-9 means you beat yourself, you psyched yourself out of the game, because Deron Williams can get more shots in the game. The only reason is because you’ve just now lost confidence in yourself.’”

Sunday Williams fired a shot back, via The Brooklyn Game:

“I’m a point guard,” Williams said about adopting Bryant’s mentality. “If I’m 0-for-f******-9, I’m not shooting 20 more shots. Not going to happen. I’m a point guard. I’m going to find somebody else. Kobe Bryant, that’s what he’s supposed to do. He’s got that mentality. That works for him, I got my mentality, it works for me.”

D-Will didn’t like being called out.

D-Will is right here.

Kobe is Kobe in part because he always believes he can make the shot, that he is the best option, his confidence in his skills is strengthened by his work ethic and is unshakable. But that can be a double edged sword — Kobe has taken high-difficulty shots over defenders rather than pass to open teammates. (If that teammate is Smush Parker, fire away, but when it’s Pau Gasol you got to dish the rock.) Kobe will gun, he just tends to make a lot.

That’s not how Williams views the game. A good point guard wants to see the ball in the hands of the guy who is hot, the guy who is open with the best look. If that’s not him it’s D-Will’s job to get it to the right guy. Kobe can and has done this, too.

But they see the game differently.

LeBron James opens up about Danny Ferry, fatherhood, move home in CNN interview

LeBron James

LeBron James has returned to Cleveland. Don’t know if you heard that, it made a little bit of news this summer. The prodigal son story of LeBron returning to northeast Ohio, bringing with him title aspirations and Kevin Love, has played well everywhere but Miami.

LeBron sat down for a long interview on “CNN’s Unguarded with Rachel Nichols” and we brought you some of the highlights already, specifically James talking about his weight loss this summer. The full interview aired Friday night and there was a lot more to it.

Among the topics covered was former Cavaliers and now Hawks GM Danny Ferry, who is on an indefinite leave of absence from the team after saying some bigoted things about free agent Luol Deng.

LEBRON: Danny was the GM when I was there in Cleveland. And I never got that sense about him. But that doesn’t mean, you know, what he said about Luol Deng absolutely wrong. It was very insensitive. And there’s no room for that in our sport. I mean, we all know that, obviously. There’s not no room for that in our league, or any league, or not even a league. There’s not room for that in society.

The other interesting discussion was LeBron on fatherhood. His fourth-grade son LeBron James Jr. is already drawing some attention for his basketball skills (if you’re not aware how young players start to get tracked, it’s disturbing). LeBron may be better suited than anyone on the planet to guide someone through the challenges of being a young basketball star, but even he is not sure exactly how to do that.

LEBRON; That’s the tough part. As you said, Rachel, how do I guide him? There is no — you can go to Borders or, you know, and find books on parenting. There is no booklet where no one can tell you on how to raise your kids. And you know, every single day is always challenging. And for my kids even more challenging, because their dad is famous.

But I feel like the morals and the goals and the things that I teach them I just want to lay the path for them and let them, at the end of the day, make their own decisions, you know. And hopefully, the — the way that I’ve been teaching them will, when they get to a fork in the road, they will know what’s right, and not go left.

Actually LeBron, you can go to Borders and buy a book on parenting, they have a whole section of them, but none of them really are that much help, especially once you get past age three. Every situation is different, is unique, and there are no easy answers. LeBron is right that his situation presents different challenges than my kids face, but he’s got the only answer I’ve ever found — be the best dad and role model you can. Show them, don’t tell them. Then hope.

LeBron also was asked about what’s ahead.

NICHOLS: Well, with everything you’ve got ahead of yourself — basketball, new baby on the way, your getting to raise your family in Ohio — is there a word or two that comes to mind as you think about what’s ahead?

LEBRON: Wow, I mean, that’s a great question. One word that I can describe what is a head, is faith. I have faith in myself, faith in my family, faith in my community and Northeast Ohio, the whole state of Ohio. I owe a huge responsibility to myself to understand that me playing the game of basketball is much bigger than me dribbling, or dunking, or making a gambling (ph) shot. So the whole word faith is the No. 1 thing I can kind of use for the very near future. 

Boris Diaw excused from start of Spurs camp, will catch up with team in Europe

Boris Diaw
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Boris Diaw was working hard this summer — he was a focal point of the French offense at the World Cup, averaging 9.2 points and 4 assists a game leading France to the bronze medal at the major international tournament.

He worked so hard Gregg Popovich is already giving him some time off.

While the rest of the Spurs open training camp in San Antonio starting Monday, Diaw will be relaxing at home in France, reports Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express News.

The Spurs were one of the NBA teams heading to Europe to spread the NBA gospel in some preseason games, San Antonio travels to Berlin to face Alba Berlin on Oct. 8, then travels to Turkey for a game in Istanbul.

It’s not a lot of time off for Diaw, but it’s a very Spurs gesture. This is also a team that is bringing back 14 out of the 15 guys that won an NBA title last season, and they will be running all the same systems. It’s not like Diaw will be behind when he catches up with the team.

Rajon Rondo undergoes surgery on broken left hand, out 6-8 weeks

Oklahoma City Thunder v Boston Celtics

This is a punch to the gut of the Celtics, and the season has not even started yet.

Rajon Rondo underwent surgery on a broken left hand Friday, a story first reported by Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe and confirmed by the team itself.

The Boston Celtics announced today that guard Rajon Rondo underwent successful surgical fixation of a left metacarpal fracture this morning at New England Baptist Hospital. The injury was a result of a fall at his home last night. The surgery was performed by Dr. Hervey Kimball and Celtics Team Physician Dr. Brian McKeon.

Estimated timetable for return is six to eight weeks.

That will keep former All-Star Rondo out for all of training camp and as much as the first month of the regular season.

Rondo was already coming off ACL knee surgery last season, where he only played in 30 games for the Celtics. That was one of the things keeping his trade value down, teams want to see him perform before putting much into a trade offer — now they are going to wait longer and be watching two injuries. Combine that with the Celtics demanding All-Star level players back in return and the potential trade partners wanting to be sure he will re-sign with them as a free agent next summer, and you see why there hasn’t been much of a trade market for Rondo. (The Celtics insist they would like to re-sign Rondo, and maybe this injury impacts that re-signing value also.)

This injury also does not help a young Celtics roster looking for a leader. It means rookie Marcus Smart will largely get thrown to the wolves as the starting point guard.