Tag: LeBron James

US forward LeBron James celebrates after

LeBron James to attend Team USA minicamp, leave early


USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo has deemed next week’s minicamp mandatory for players who want to play in the 2016 Olympics.

That means everyone who wants to go to Rio – which Colangelo believes includes LeBron James – must at least show up in Las Vegas.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

LeBron leaving early is fine. Colangelo isn’t requiring players to get on the court in Vegas. He just wants them to show their commitment to the program. LeBron’s appearance is enough. That this update comes directly from Colangelo should confirm that, especially given the reverence he shows for LeBron.

It’s still a long way to Rio, and LeBron probably has yet another long playoff run ahead of him after five straight trips to the Finals. At 31 next summer, he might not want to play in a fourth Olympics.

But by showing up in Las Vegas for a day, LeBron keeps himself in the mix and in Colangelo’s good graces.

Ray Allen: “I won’t officially retire”

Ray Allen

Ray Allen was recruited by LeBron James among others last season, but decided to stay retired and spend his winter golfing in Miami and hanging with his family. He was just in Las Vegas celebrating his 40th birthday — with an incredible cake.

Despite all that Allen has never officially retired from the NBA.

And he’s not going to, at least not anytime soon, he told the Hartford Courant (hat tip SLAM).

“I haven’t said anything about that and I won’t officially retire,” Allen said Saturday during a break in his basketball camp for kids at East Granby High. “Because if something came to the table, contractually and situational-ly, I want to be able to take a strong look at it. I don’t want to be that guy that says he’s retiring and then is coming back….

“I didn’t miss it,” he said. “I realized how much time I missed not being home with my kids. I probably missed it in the Finals. Watching Cleveland and Golden State play, it just seemed like an epic battle that required a lot of precision on the floor and that’s when I felt, that was probably the only time that I felt like, ‘Man, I should have been out there.’”

If he does not play again, Allen is comfortable with the run he’s had, which includes championships with the Celtics and Heat. […] “It would be one thing if I played 10 or 11 years,” he said “But playing 18, I got a lot out of it. I like the feeling of knowing I don’t have to beat myself into the ground.”

He’s leaving the door open, but this does not sound like a guy with a burning desire to get back on the court.

My guess is again Allen would not be open to a full-season contract, after 18 seasons and sitting the last one out he doesn’t want to go through a training camp and some preseason games. But if the Cavaliers decide closer to the All-Star break that they need more shooting, and they seem destined for the Finals, then maybe Allen would listen to the chance to make one more run at a ring.

Even then, I’d still bet on him choosing staying home with his family.

Report: Adidas makes $200 million offer to James Harden


James Harden has been a Nike guy. While he didn’t have a signature shoe — yet — the Nike Hyperchase was pretty much his shoe.

However, Nike let their contract with Harden lapse as they tried to renegotiate and Adidas — still looking for a fulcrum, a superstar to build brand around — have jumped in with a $200 million offer, reports Darren Rovell of ESPN.

The company has submitted a bid of $200 million over 13 years to sign Houston Rockets guard James Harden, sources told ESPN.com. Nike, whose deal with Harden recently expired, has until the end of next week to match the deal or lose him…

With incentives, if the deal is consummated, Harden could very well make more from Adidas in the coming years than the Rockets. Harden signed an $80 million contract extension with Houston in 2012 that goes through the 2017-18 season.

If they land him, Adidas will make Harden and his beard the face of their basketball shoe line. Nike has been incredibly successful building its brand around stars (and great shoes) and they have long had the best in the game inked, from Michael Jordan up through LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

Adidas has struggled to land stars and have that translate to shoe sales.

Despite having the NBA (jersey and apparel) deal, Adidas has slipped in recent years due to a lack of individual basketball stars. In 2012, the company signed a massive 14-year deal with Derrick Rose, only to see him miss plenty of action because of knee injuries. Its other star is Damian Lillard, whose Portland Trail Blazers aren’t really showing much promise. Endorser John Wall shows plenty of flash, but his first signature Adidas line fell relatively flat this year.

Adidas is giving up its uniform deal with the league after Nike came in with a massive bid to take it over.

While getting out of the uniform game, Adidas has shifted focus to finding the stars that can sell its shoes. They have Andrew Wiggins under contract and the Rookie of the Year shows potential to be a breakout star on an up-and-coming Minnesota team.

But Harden is an already established star with crossover appeal outside of just the basketball world — with his beard, sense of style, and being linked romantically to Khloe Kardashian, people know who Harden is who are not big hoops fans. Combine that with an MVP-level on-the-court game and this is a great gamble by Adidas.

Nike may match, Rovell says. Nike is still stung by getting outbid by Under Armour for Stephen Curry by $4 million, only to see him blow up into a superstar. They don’t want to lose another top NBA player.

Either way, Harden is about to get PAID.

New Blake Griffin, Superfly 4 shoe commercial suggests… Space Jam 2?

space jam

There have been bigger hints that Space Jam 2 is coming — starting with LeBron James partnering up with Warner Bros.

Space Jam 2 has been rumored for a while. You can add Marvin the Martian showing up in a Blake Griffin ad for Jordan Brand shoes to the list.

Let’s just hope that unlike some other big budget sequels, Warner Bros. decides to get the script done first. And well.

With Nikola Pekovic still hurt, Flip Saunders says Karl-Anthony Towns could start. Or Gorgui Dieng.


Minnesota is going to be a fascinating team to watch this season, just because coach Flip Saunders has a lot of options with his rotation. He has said he plans to start Kevin Garnett at the four, then when he rests they can go with Gorgui Dieng or small with Shabazz Muhammad.

Then at the five there’s a solid scoring big in Nikola Pekovic who was an anchor up front until he got injured, and now there’s No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns who needs time at that spot.

Zach Lowe at Grantland asked the million dollar question: So Flip, does Towns get the start?

Well, Pek is still hurt. And we have another guy who isn’t bad in Gorgui Dieng.

First off, no coach is going to answer that question in August, unless the question is “do you still plan to start LeBron James?” If a coach can create competition in camp to push guys, he’s going to do just that.

But as mentioned above, Saunders has options. He can start KG and Towns, and then go small off the bench with Dieng and Muhammad. Then he can mix and match early in the season to see what pairings work and in what situation. As the last couple NBA Finals champs have shown us, versatility matters.

There is one other Timberwolves question that influences all of this: Do they have enough shooting to give these bigs space to work? Opponents will be more than happy to let Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins, and maybe even Kevin Martin (he’s got to prove he’s healthy) to beat you from the perimeter, or especially from three. The Timberwolves are not exactly loaded with shooters.

Minnesota is going to be a fascinating team to watch next season, for a few reasons.