Now it’s Tim Duncan’s turn.
The Spurs’ big man’s celebrations are a little more understated, but this made me laugh. Especially the way he runs back up court.
Udonis Haslem, at age 35, will be back in Miami next season for at least one more run. Which seems fitting after a dozen seasons in South Beach already.
His game is deteriorating a little with age. However, because it was always based more on energy and effort — playing smart defense, crashing the boards, being an enforcer — he still brings some value to the court. He started 25 games and played almost 1,000 minutes for the Heat last season, averaging 4.2 points and 4.2 assists per game.
Haslem may be nearing the end of his career, but he told Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post he isn’t ready to hang up his sneakers.
“I feel pretty durable,” he said after his second straight season playing fewer than 1,000 minutes (after averaging 2,283 during his first seven seasons and playing fewer than 1,400 just once in his first 10). “I just make sure to keep myself ready and give myself a chance to play this game.
“I feel fine. I feel like I could go three or four more years depending on how Coach might need to use me or what the situation might be. When I was needed to go out there and play big minutes, I was able to put up some pretty decent numbers. If these guys need me, I’ve gotta make sure I stay ready.”
Haslem could be leaned on to prove he still has some gas in the tank next season — he did that with a few key games down the stretch last season (he scored 18 points against the Pistons, for example).
The Heat will start Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside up front, and behind them bring in Josh McRoberts, Amare Stoudemire, and Chris Andersen (although the Birdman has been mentioned as having been shopped around by the Heat). That’s an interesting front line but not the most durable one ever, and Haslem is going to have to step in some nights to make sure those guys get some rest (at the very least).
This is the last year of his contract ($2.9 million), whether the Heat will want him back remains to be seen. But he’s a veteran, stabilizing voice in the locker room, and that alone makes him a favorite of Pat Riley. So maybe three or four years isn’t out of the question.
By all accounts (I may be waiting for Netflix on this one), LeBron James does an excellent job in Amy Schumer’s movie “Trainwreck.”
But he is just starting to dip his toes in the movie and entertainment business.
Warner Bros. announced Wednesday a formal agreement with LeBron’s SpringHill Entertainment, with the goal of making future TV, film and original digital programs.
“LeBron James has one of the most powerful, well-known brands in the world, and we are excited to be in business with him and his partner, Maverick Carter, and SpringHill Entertainment,” Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara said in a statement announcing the partnership. “The combination of LeBron’s global media presence and Warner Bros.’ unmatched production and distribution expertise is a big win for fans everywhere.”
“Connecting with my fans and telling meaningful stories have always been my passion,” James said in the same statement. “In everything I’ve done, from Nike commercials to ‘Uninterrupted’ and ‘Survivor’s Remorse,’ it’s always about connecting with people of all ages and providing unique content they can all enjoy. And I’ve always loved movies, which makes Warner Bros. the ultimate partner to help us continue to push the envelope. I can’t wait to see what we come up with.”
This is all very LeBron, the guy who hangs with Warren Buffett and wants to be a mogul. Michael Jordan, Shaq, and other NBA players have been in movies, but LeBron wants to build a movie production company.
So… Space Jam 2?
Space Jam 2 has been rumored for a while now, but LeBron has said he knows nothing about it. But you have to know they are kicking this idea around in the halls at Warner Bros.
The Clippers have the best classic point guard in the game in Chris Paul, but they have been searching for someone who can competently take the helm while they get him some rest during games. And I’m far from sold Austin Rivers is the answer.
Pablo Prigioni has been brought in as insurance.
Prigioni was traded from Houston to Denver in the Ty Lawson deal; then the Nuggets promptly waived him and his non-guaranteed contract (well, they tried to trade him first but that didn’t go anywhere). He cleared waivers to become a free agent and quickly signed with Doc Rivers and the Clippers, something first reported by Shams Charania of Real GM.
Prigioni struggled some after being traded from the Knicks to the Rockets, he scored just 3 points per game, but count in his time with the Knicks and he had a true shooting percentage of 55.7 percent (better than the league average) and he shot 34.3 percent from three. He plays a smart game and doesn’t turn the ball over much. At age 38 the Argentinian is not getting better, but as a third point guard in the rotation and at a minimum contract he’s a good fit.
The Clippers certainly addressed their depth issues from last season. Prigioni will join guys like Jamal Crawford, Josh Smith, Lance Stephenson, and Cole Aldrich on the second unit (that assumes Paul Pierce starts). Doc Rivers the GM had a good summer.
For most of the players at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, the goal is to get noticed. They are trying to impress a team — domestic or foreign — enough to pay the to play basketball next season. That leads to guys playing fast, aggressive, and at times recklessly.
It also leads to some highlight plays.
Courtesy the fine folks at NBA.com, above are the top 10 plays from Summer League in Las Vegas. Enjoy.