Well, that was unexpected. TIME Magazine just released its list of 25 nominees for its annual “Person of the Year” award, and Heat forward and Controversial Person LeBron James is one of them. After “the decision,” the 25-year old James has never been less popular, but he’s also never been more in the news. Since the TIME “Person of the Year” poll is based on “influence,” LeBron’s nomination does make a measure of sense.
Here’s what TIME’s Sean Gregory had to say about James’ nomination:
Yes, The Decision, which followed a year of intense speculation about where James would land, decidedly stunk. But we watched it. And talked about it. And debated whether coddled professional athletes like James owe their hometown fans anything more than years of success, even if falling short of winning a championship. As James teams up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, all eyes are still on LeBron.
For his part, James doesn’t think he has any business being on the list of nominees, which includes people like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, Lady Gaga, Mark Zuckerberg, Sarah Palin, Jonathan Franzen, The Chilean Miners, and The Unemployed American:
“That’s just crazy,” James said. “What those guys did, the courage and what they stood for, I should be nowhere near that list. Nowhere near it.”
The people who have voted on TIME’s online poll so far seem to agree with James — LeBron is currently ranked 24th out of the 25 nominees for the award, and the only person behind him is former BP CEO Tony Hayward, whose own nomination piece calls him “one of the most openly reviled people of 2010.” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is currently leading the TIME poll, with Lady Gaga in second place.
Dwyane Wade is secure in his legacy. He’s an all-time great, and an extra missed 3-pointer during his farewell tour won’t change anything. (It doesn’t hurt that his resumé already includes subpar 3-point shooting.)
So, when many players would hold the ball, Wade heaved in a halfcourt shot to end the third quarter of the Heat’s 110-105 win over the Spurs on Wednesday. It wasn’t the biggest shot of Wade’s season, but it still mattered plenty.
Miami’s lead when San Antonio began intentionally fouling late? Three.
The Grizzlies blew a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter and a five-point lead in the final 30 seconds of overtime. James Harden scored 57 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter and all 10 of the Rockets points in overtime.
But Jonas Valanciunas saved Memphis from total collapse. He drew a foul on his putback and hit the game-winning free-throw with 0.1 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 126-125 win Wednesday.
Jimmer Fredette remains a fascination because he scored a ton at BYU eight years ago and… other reasons.
He has been lighting it up in China, and his season there just ended. Now, the former No. 10 pick could return to the NBA after three years away.
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:
Phoenix still needs another point guard, and the 6-foot-2 Fredette looks like one. But he hasn’t shown the playmaking to play point guard regularly. He’s better, and sometimes even effective, off the ball.
Fredette could have stuck in the NBA with a different attitude. His long-distance shooting was an asset.
But he’s also now 30 years old. A new approach likely won’t be enough. His shortcomings, particularly defensively, will be even more pronounced as his athleticism has declined.
The Suns are bad and will remain bad, with or without Fredette. But their younger players have shown signs of progress lately. Fredette’s high-usage style could interfere with their development.
It’s hard to see the upside here other than a brief uptick in attention.
Marcus Smart recently bemoaned the lack of physicality in the NBA.
After Joel Embiid dropped his shoulder into him on a screen, Smart brought some to tonight’s Celtics-76ers game.
Smart shoved Embiid in the back, sending the center to the floor. A cheap shot? Yes. Embiid wasn’t looking. But Smart would surely argue Embiid started it. I also doubt Smart intended to push Embiid from behind. Smart just wanted to get at Embiid as quickly as possible, and Embiid happened to be facing the other way when Smart arrived.
Smart got a flagrant 2 and the accompanying ejection. Embiid received a technical foul.