LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have been “The Man” for years, wherever they have been. Their team. Their show. Lead by example not just words.
We don’t know much of what has gone on so far at Heat training camp, tucked as far away from the media spotlight and prying eyes as the Heat could pull off, but we do know this:
LeBron and Wade are the leaders of the Heat. Look what coach Erik Spoelstra told Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
“It always starts with the high-profile guys, as you would call them, the leaders of the team, and it trickles down from there,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “If they see those guys sweating in practice, really working, quite naturally that’s the human condition, everybody else falls in line.”
LeBron just seems focused and intense, in interviews and from reports of what the media has seen at the end of practice.
“I’m just focused,” James said. “I understand how important this NBA season is for us as a franchise, for me as an individual. So I’m not wasting any time. I’m not going to waste my time or waste this franchise’s time and come in here and not get my work on.”
By the way, if you wonder why Bosh is not considered one of the leaders…
“Getting back in shape isn’t easy,” he said. “You can work out all you want during the summer, but when you play basketball and go through drills and constant movement, it’s different.
Ever since Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant died in a helicopter crash last month, we’ve been seeking answers about what went wrong during the flight piloted by Ara Zobayan. After all, Kobe Bryant had made helicopter rides such a normal part of his life.
Now, Vanessa Bryant – Kobe’s wife and Gianna’s mother – is suing the company that operated the helicopter for wrongful death.
Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times:
The complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Island Express Helicopters and Island Express Holding Corp. alleged that pilot Ara Zobayan, who also died in the crash, failed “to use ordinary care in piloting the subject aircraft” and was “negligent.”
“Defendant Island Express Helicopters’ breach of its duty and negligence caused the injuries and damages complained of herein and Plaintiffs’ deceased, Kobe Bryant, was killed as a direct result of the negligent conduct of Zobayan for which Defendant Island Express Helicopters is vicariously liable in all respects,” the lawsuit said.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the back injury for Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons “isn’t a day-to-day thing”.
Simmons missed the Sixers first game following the All-Star break on Thursday. He then left Saturday’s game in Milwaukee after playing just 4:44.
Over the weekend, Philadelphia ruled Simmons out for Monday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks and said he would undergo further evaluation. Per Wojnarowski’s report, that evaluation is ongoing and a course of treatment is yet to be decided upon.
Expect Philadelphia to lean on Raul Neto, Alec Burks and Shake Milton as primary ballhandlers while Simmons is out. None possess the size and skill combination of Simmons, but all have had moments throughout their careers. Neto drew the start in place of Simmons on Thursday. Burks was acquired at the trade deadline to give the team much-needed bench depth. Milton has flashed at time in his second season, after beginning his NBA career on a Two-Way contract.
Philadelphia loses Simmons while in a battle with the Miami Heat for homecourt advantage in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The fifth-place 76ers are 1.5 games behind the Heat for the fourth seed, and two games ahead of the sixth-place Indiana Pacers.
Kobe Bryant making two free throws after tearing his Achilles was one of the greatest moments of his legendary career.
On a day Bryant was honored, we learned Pacers guard Jeremy Lamb made a similarly gutsy pair of free throws during Indiana’s loss to the Raptors yesterday.
During the second quarter of the Pacers game at Toronto on Sunday, Indiana Pacers forward Jeremy Lamb sustained a torn left anterior cruciate ligament, a torn lateral meniscus and a lateral femoral condylar fracture.
He will undergo surgery on a date to be determined. He will be out the remainder of the season. Any further updates will be provided after surgery.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Lamb misses all of next season. This is just a devastating set of calamities.
At least Lamb has a guaranteed $10.5 million salary each of the next two seasons.
Indiana (sixth place, 33-24) will have an even tougher time winning a playoff series now. The Pacers could challenge in the first round, but they’ll almost certainly be significant underdogs.
They have depth at shooting guard, for what that’s worth. Victor Oladipo just returned. Justin Holiday is a solid reserve. Finding his lane at point guard, Malcolm Brogdon can move off the ball when T.J. McConnell or Aaron Holiday plays point guard.
The NBA just held All-Star Weekend in Chicago, where Michael Jordan starred for years with the Bulls. Jordan wasn’t a visible part of the festivities, though. He just prefers to remain out of the spotlight.
Yet, Jordan spoke at Kobe Bryant’s memorial service today. That’s how important Bryant – whom Jordan described as a younger brother – was to Jordan.
Jordan even addressed the elephant in the room – that he was reproducing the “Crying Jordan” meme. Thank goodness for another laugh amid the tears.