LeBron James surprised many by choosing to leave the Miami Heat in free agency to return to the Cavaliers, but his decision to do so wasn’t made spontaneously.
James has long considered Cleveland to be home, and the place where he would one day return to finish out his NBA career. The only question was when, and the San Antonio Spurs helped answer that for him by crushing Miami in the Finals.
The gap between the Heat and the champions had grown too large, and without the ability to attract another high-profile free agent to immediately improve the roster, it became clear that the time for LeBron to move on was now.
It’s necessary to rehash all of this a bit, in light of Carmelo Anthony’s recent assertion that his initial signing in New York may have somehow affected LeBron’s decision.
From a Q+A published at Adweek:
Strahan: [On being a pro athlete in New York] Not only on the court, but off the court, you’re the leader. Everything you do is more scrutinized. You have to be more careful than anybody else. And watching LeBron [James] go back to Cleveland, did that affect your decision on staying in New York, and did you learn anything from watching LeBron go back home?
Anthony: No. Honestly, I think it was the other way around. I think he saw when I came back home to New York and saw the response and saw the reaction and saw how at peace I was when I came back home. … I’m pretty sure he looked at that moment and saw that that was a very special moment, and he had the opportunity to go back home himself and regain that love.
What became clear after the dust had settled was that LeBron was always going back to the Cavaliers, and though Anthony forcing his way out of Denver to come to the Knicks was well-received in New York, the situation with LeBron and Cleveland unfolded under very different circumstances.
This post has been re-written to reflect an accurate interpretation of Anthony’s quote.
If it feels like the teams the USA sends to compete in the World Championships and the Olympics never lose, that’s because it’s been so long since anyone has been able to register a victory against the stacked squads from the states.
After getting a win over Mexico on Saturday to advance to the quarterfinals of the FIBA World Cup, Mike Krzyzewski’s impressive streak in guiding Team USA to victories in international competition continued, and reached a nice milestone.
From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
Make it an even 60 wins in a row and counting for Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski. That includes 42 consecutive victories in Olympic and FIBA tournaments and another 18 wins in exhibition games. The Americans last tasted defeat in the semifinals of the 2006 FIBA World Championship against Greece in Japan and launched this streak on Sept. 2, 2006, with a 96-81 triumph over Argentina in the bronze-medal game.
Looking back on that game against Greece, with the roster Team USA sent to that competition, it’s difficult to imagine how they may have lost.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony were all there, but Greece played sensational team basketball, which Krzyzewski said afterward was their key to taking down the Americans.
“We have to learn the international game better,” U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “We learned a lot today because we played a team that plays amazing basketball and plays together.”
Sounds a lot like the team from Spain that will almost certainly be waiting for Team USA in the championship game of this summer’s tournament — one that will be more than ready to try to hit the reset button on Krzyzewski’s impressive streak of victories.
The Lakers have been nothing if not meticulous this offseason.
They waited far longer than any other team to hire a coach. They waited until LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony signed to move onto other free agents.
And they’re sure being thorough in their hunt to round out the roster.
We already know the Lakers have works out:
Add Julyan Stone to the list.
Shams Charania of RealGM:
Free agent Julyan Stone will work out for the Lakers in Los Angeles this week, his second visit with the organization before meeting three other teams, league sources told RealGM.
Stone also has scheduled workouts with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat, sources said, attempting to solidify an NBA contract before training camps start. The Sacramento Kings remain a possible landing spot for Stone.
Stone held a workout with the San Antonio Spurs earlier in the week, and he’s received two lucrative offers from Chinese clubs.
A second workout would seem to indicate significant interest, but the Lakers have worked out Beasley twice and still not signed him. They’re just that methodical.
But Stone, who spent last season with the Raptors, seems to have a real shot. The Lakers have just 13 guaranteed contracts and could use more wing depth behind Kobe Bryant, Nick Young, Wesley Johnson and Xavier Henry. Stone is a solid defender, but he just can’t shoot.
Stone is right on the edge of deserving an NBA contract. Seems to make him a perfect fit with the Lakers at this point.
Carmelo Anthony went on a free agent tour this summer, but ultimately decided to re-sign with the Knicks — which apparently had as much to do with business as it did with anything else.
Anthony admitted he was close to leaving, however, and the decision was one that undoubtedly weighed on him — so much so that it isn’t something he wants to go through in the future.
From ESPN New York:
“I plan on ending my career here so it wasn’t for me to go out there and try to strike a two-year deal and then have to go through this situation in two years,” he said. “I’m not doing that [free agency] ever again. I would never do that again. But I did it and I experienced it and it’s behind me now.”
Anthony signed a five-year deal, which doesn’t allow for early termination until the summer before the 2018-19 season. At that point, he will have played 15 NBA seasons, and things may have changed significantly between now and then — for better or for worse — as far as the Knicks are concerned.
But Anthony forced his way to the New York market, remember, and it has always seemed as though that is where he wanted to be. Nothing is guaranteed where the future is concerned, however, so Anthony may in fact face free agency once more before his career has concluded — despite his best intentions to finish his NBA playing days as a member of the Knicks.
Carmelo Anthony stayed in New York for, among other reasons (I can think of 124 million of them) to be closer to his business interests.
What does that mean?
To him being a pioneer athlete in the tech world. Succeeding in that business world the way players like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan have in others.
Anthony spoke at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit in New York this week and among the things he discussed was his desire to be the first star athlete to really take advantage of the digital age. The New York Post has the quotes.
“I want to brand myself as the digital athlete,” Anthony said Thursday at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit in Manhattan. “Nobody really took that place. There’ve been athletes that came before me that were doing what I’m doing and there are going to be people after me that are doing what I’m doing. But I really want to be the pioneer for that digital athlete, and when it comes to tech I want to be the face of that space…”
To that end, Anthony and business partner Stuart Goldfarb, former VP of NBC, launched Melo7 Tech Partners this summer. The company invests in startup firms specializing in digital media, Internet consumer ventures and technology-based operations.
“At the end of the day, we all know what’s my day job: basketball,” Anthony said. “That’s what my brand is built on, but I’m trying to take my brand to the next level, make it bigger, make it stronger.”
The company has already invested in a few projects such as “OrangeChef” for the smart kitchen, or SeatGeek ticket buying search engine. There are other investments as well.
Good for Anthony. I have no idea how well these investments work out, but good for Anthony for broadening himself beyond the court. We in American have a fascination with singularly minded, tunnel-vision people who focus on one things. We generally applaud those people.
But frankly that makes a dull person. Anthony and his family are better off with him having other interests. So long as the Knicks and his game remain a top priority (behind family). I don’t think that will be the Knicks problem.