Obviously, I’m an NBA guy. I’ll watch random 1970s NBA finals games on NBA TV and get sucked in like it was happening live. I could watch Magic or Ice Man or even Harold Minor highlights all night long.
But are there better sports highlights than Barry Sanders runs? That man was a wizard.
So when LeBron James compared Rajon Rondo to Barry Sanders, as he did to ESPN, you have to take notice. The question was, “How do you prepare for Rondo?”
“You really can’t,” LeBron said. “You just have to be in tune. Every time he has the ball, you always have to know that he’s capable of making something happen, not only for himself, but for his teammates….
“There’s a lot of point guards — like Derrick Rose — he gets a lot of plays called for him, a lot of pick-and-roll sets, he comes off pin-downs or floppy actions. But Rondo, he’s either running pick-and-rolls, or he’s improvising on the break.
About that break, LeBron, how do you handle him in transition?
“You try to meet him before he gets his speed up,” LeBron said. “But you don’t want to be up on him too much because he’s so fast. He’ll run around anybody in this league. You have to be aggressive but you also have to be smart.
“He’s like Barry Sanders. You wouldn’t want to run up on him all crazy in the backfield back in the day either. He’ll spin you around and get a touchdown. So you gotta be smart with it.”
High praise indeed.
Caris LeVert has been one of the Nets’ biggest bright spots. The hard-working 24-year-old was a Most Improved Player candidate, and he seems well-liked throughout the organization. He’s even already hit a couple game–winners this season.
But LeVert’s breakout campaign hit a devastating snag tonight, as he injured his leg.
The reactions of both his Brooklyn teammates and the Timberwolves say everything. This is a tough one.
A key question after the 76ers traded for Jimmy Butler: How would the demanding star affect Markelle Fultz‘s confidence?
Butler isn’t even playing for Philadelphia yet, but this isn’t an encouraging sign.
Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice:
Maybe the ball just slipped out of Fultz’s hands on the way up, and he had to continue pushing it toward the rim to avoid a violation. That could happen to anybody.
But given everything we know about Fultz’s shooting woes, it’s impossible to take this as anything other than a ghastly low point in an ongoing problem.
LeBron James has played in eight straight NBA Finals.
How’s he handling reduced expectations with the Lakers, who started 2-5 before rising to 7-6?
LeBron, via Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
“I haven’t changed anything outwardly, but you know me. You know how I am. I almost cracked [last week]. I had to sit back and remind myself, ‘[Expletive], you knew what you were getting yourself into,’” James told Yahoo Sports while laughing after Saturday’s win in Sacramento. “This process has been good for me. I just have to continue being patient.”
LeBron warned everyone to stay clear when he loses his patience, but he has never sounded close to losing it this season. He signed a four-year deal with the Lakers, said he doesn’t feel urgency to win quickly before his prime ends and seems content to wait for a co-star.
If anything, it seemed LeBron might be too relaxed, enjoying the Los Angeles lifestyle and focusing on showbusiness.
So, this is a welcome sign of his competitiveness.
Also kudos to LeBron for harnessing it unlike others in the organization. These Lakers need time to determine how these oddly shaped pieces fit together – unless a star becomes available. Then, all bets are off.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul – the banana-boat buddies – comprise the NBA’s most famous friendship group.
With Anthony nearing his end with the Rockets, that puts Houston teammate Paul in an awkward place. But Wade and LeBron are speaking up. So are the Trail Blazers’ Evan Turner and Damian Lillard.
It’s unclear whether Wade is scolding the Rockets or fans/media. That comment is far more loaded if he’s referring directly to the organization. I wonder what he sees at the “real problem” in Houston.
A struggling team waiving a minimum-salary player is rarely viewed as making that player the scapegoat. But Anthony has an outsized reputation due to his long, star-level career. With that in mind, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tried to defend Anthony.
But Anthony is a part of Houston’s problems. He’s awful defensively and shooting poorly. There is mounting evidence he’s washed up. Downgrading his role, whether or not that includes waiving him, is a step in the right direction for the Rockets.
It won’t solve everything, and Anthony – after all that he has done in the NBA – should be treated with respect. But there’s no way around his substandard current level of play.