Tag: Miami Heat

Portland Trailblazers v Indiana Pacers

Heat’s Danny Granger: LeBron leaving ‘isn’t a terrible thing for me’


Danny Granger was once an All-Star and the face of the Pacers franchise who averaged a career-best 25.8 points per game during the 2009 season.

Injuries have decimated his career, however, especially over the last two seasons.

Indiana gave up on him at the trade deadline, and sent him to Philadelphia in exchange for Evan Turner — which seemed like a good idea at the time, but ultimately didn’t work out for the Pacers. Granger’s contract was bought out, and he spent the remainder of the year with the Clippers, but wasn’t able to substantially impact L.A.’s roster.

The Heat locked up Granger on a two-year deal this summer, as part of the effort to add some free agents — any free agents — to show LeBron James that the team was improved to the point where re-signing in Miami actually made sense.

James bolted for Cleveland shortly thereafter, and Granger could have reconsidered since the contract had not yet been signed. But he chose to stay in Miami, partially because of the expanded opportunity he’d have to earn playing time now that James was gone.

From Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

He opted for less money in exchange for the opportunity to play alongside LeBron James.

And then, four days after Granger committed to Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra, James committed to a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Able to rescind or even restructure his two-year, $4.2 million agreement, Granger kept his commitment.

“It’s two-fold,” he said. “Yeah, I think everybody would like a chance to play with LeBron. But in the same aspect, a guy like me, who’s trying to reestablish myself, him leaving isn’t a terrible thing for me. It gives me an opportunity to play more, affords to do more of what I used to do. My initial reaction was to come to play with him, but once he left, it still was a good situation for me.

“I reassessed a little bit, myself and my agent. But at the point where I was at, it was more about me reestablishing, rather than the money or something like that. I’ve made a bunch of money. I just want to reestablish myself as the player that I was previously.”

Granger is probably the only one in Miami that is feeling better about his position with LeBron out of the picture. But the opportunity to reestablish himself, and regain the form he once had means more to him at this point in his career than does making the most money possible, or contributing very little to a team with championship aspirations.

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. 

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich: ‘Good fortune plays a huge role’ in winning a championship

Gregg Popovich

The Spurs beat the Heat to win the 2014 NBA title, in a five-game series that showed just how deserving San Antonio was of that championship crown.

The team was completely dominant from an offensive standpoint, beating Miami handily in the last three games by 19, 21, and 17 points.

But looking back to Game 1, no one yet knew how the series would play out. And LeBron James leaving in the fourth quarter after suffering cramps from dehydration was something that’s happened only one time to him in his entire career. Obviously, San Antonio was able to cruise to victory without James on the floor.

Some would say that was a fortunate turn for the Spurs, and Gregg Popovich knows better than anyone just how critical of a role luck can play on a team’s road to championship success.

From Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News:

“A lot of times winning a championship, people don’t believe — well, I guess the last team standing is probably the best team — but good fortune plays a huge role,” he said. “What’s good fortune? It’s a guy off the bench having a great series. It might be a call or a non-call by an official. It might be an injury. It could be a lot of different things: The way the ball bounces as it ordinarily wouldn’t do in this or that circumstance.

“When we lost in Game 7 to Dallas here in the second round a few years back we were a pretty darn good team and we were capable of winning the championship. The year that Fisher hit the point-four on us we were a pretty good team and I think we were capable of winning a championship. Well, those teams that did win something happened at the opposite end of the spectrum, fortune-wise, that helped them get there. It’s just the way it is.

“In Game 6 of the second half against Oklahoma City last year you wouldn’t have predicted we’d win that game, down nine going into the second half of that game without Tony. And it happened because it’s a game and everything isn’t pre-ordained. Winning championships has something to do with fortune and circumstances and that repeat thing just hasn’t gone our way in that sense.”

This came as part of a discussion about why the Spurs have never won titles in consecutive years; San Antonio’s championships came in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014.

The good fortune Popovich mentions that aided the team last year pales in comparison to the bad luck that befell his squad the year prior. The Spurs were on the verge of locking up the 2013 title in Game 6 against Miami, only to see Ray Allen hit one of the greatest shots in NBA history to send the game to overtime, where the Heat ultimately prevailed before winning the series in seven games.