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LeBron James organizing September workouts for Cavaliers in Los Angeles

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LeBron James has done it before, he knows what it takes to win back-to-back NBA titles.

He knows it means you have to come to camp focused and ready for business, not just to take a victory tour. He’s going to be giving that message to his Cavaliers teammates in Los Angeles next month, reports Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.

LeBron James will host his annual pre-training camp workouts for his Cavaliers teammates in Los Angeles in September, multiple sources told cleveland.com.

Since James returned to Cleveland in 2014, he’s gathered the Cavs to prepare for the upcoming season with a series of informal workouts that typically start around Labor Day.

LeBron has organized similar preseason workouts for years, both when he was with the Heat and with the Cavaliers. Doing it in Los Angeles makes sense — many Cavaliers players (and other teams) are in Los Angeles during the summer. The Clippers practice facility is home to some of the best pick-up summer games in the nation.

The Cavaliers open camp officially on Sept. 27, and they will enter the season like they did the last one — the clear favorites and best team in the East. However, their real competition for a title will come from the West. That is what they need to be working toward.

Serbia beats China 94-60, advances in men’s basketball

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Serbia advanced to the quarterfinals in men’s basketball with a 94-60 victory over China on Sunday night.

The Chinese (0-5) were eliminated, going winless for the second consecutive Olympics.

Serbia (2-3), which finished fourth in Group A, blew the game open in the third quarter with a 17-0 run to take a 60-30 lead. The Serbs’ defense picked up as well and China struggled to score, shooting just 25 percent in the quarter.

Guard Bogdan Bogdanovic paced the Serbs with 19 points while Nikola Kalinic added 15.

Yi Jianlian scored a game-high 20 points for China, but got little help as only one other Chinese player scored in double figures.

China shot just 40 percent, was outrebounded 40-29 and had 19 turnovers.

Aussies roll to 81-56 win vs. Venezuela in men’s basketball

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Pool play is over for the Australia men’s basketball team after the Aussies defeated Venezuela 81-56 on Sunday night.

Australia (4-1) had already secured the No. 2 seed in the quarterfinals before the game and rested point guard Patty Mills, whose 20.5 points per game ranks second at the Rio Games. The U.S. holds the No. 1 seed in Group A.

The Olympic experience came to an end for Venezuela (1-4), which was playing in the team’s second games. It placed 11th at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

The Australians jumped out to a 16-2 lead in the first quarter and never trailed. Aussie Chris Goulding scored a game-high 22 and hit four 3-pointers. Australia shot 53 percent from the field while Venezuela connected on just 35 percent of its attempts. The Venezuelans made just seven field goals in the first and fourth quarters combined.

Anthony Perez led Venezuela with 12 points.

You know you have 10 minutes to watch 50 best assists of last season

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When you need a break from the Olympics — not that you need a break, this is NBC after all, so keep watching — we have something for you:

The 50 best assists of last season.

Compiled by the fine folks at NBA.com. Enjoy. Then type NBCOlympics.com into your browser again.

Report: LeBron James could have made more money long term, but opted for more security


Our own Dan Feldman broke this all down before LeBron James even signed his latest, massive contract — he had some short vs. long term decisions to make.

He could sign another one-year deal and sacrificed a little money in the short term for likely more money long term (remember, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is being negotiated and the landscape could shift), or he could go with a multi-year deal and sacrifice a little long term for security.

LeBron chose security — three years at $100 million, becoming only the third NBA player ever to make more than $30 million in a season. But he could have made more. The fantastic Danny Leroux broke it down at The Sporting News.

The decision cost James some money in the future. Had he signed a one-year deal with an option for a second year, as he did in his first two seasons back with the Cavaliers, James finally could have landed a full maximum five-year contract next offseason, assuming the Over-36 Rule is changed. (He would have sacrificed about $3.4 million this season, though.) That hypothetical 2017 deal would have come as the salary cap leapt from $94 million to $102 million, meaning he would have made more money for 2017-18 and 2018-19. Alas, he went with security and avoided having to continue to play these annual option games.

The money still is unprecedented, after all. The far more interesting implications of James’ decision come in the uncertainty of the future. The NBA and its players already have begun discussions on a new collective bargaining agreement that will take effect next summer. Part of those discussions likely will be the existence and limits of maximum contracts.

Some people hate to hear this — because you and I are never going to make $30 million in a year (likely not our lifetimes) — but LeBron is underpaid. Based on what other teams have said off the record about other superstars, he likely generates more than $70 million in revenue annually for the Cavaliers between ticket sales, sponsor deals, and everything else — and that’s not counting the boost in franchise value. LeBron drives revenue, but because of the max salary rules in the NBA he can only make so much (which benefits the Tristan Thompsons and J.R. Smiths of the world, who have value on the court but don’t generate the same revenue).

There has been talk of changing those max salary restrictions — if LeBron (or Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and all the other obvious max guys in the NBA) can make more money but the salary cap doesn’t change, it becomes much harder to form “superteams.” It’s something some owners support. It is possible under the new CBA LeBron could make more. But even if that happens (far from a sure thing) he will be a free agent in 2018, when he will still be a max player and can cash in.

All of which is to say, LeBron is a smart man about business and knew his options. He made his call. And I don’t think he’s hurting financially.