LeBron James is often thought to be too “above” things. He definitely gives that vibe of superiority, which is one of the reasons he’s so despised currently. He said he’d be in the dunk contest, then no-showed. He rarely shows up at “average fan” events, and runs in exclusive circles. He pulls that whole “rock star” life. But apparently he made an exception this weekend.
James showed up at Drew League in California and instead of just hanging out and acting too cool for school, James threw on a jersey and then threw down on everyone. He put on a show and later talked about how the best part was being there for the kids. Maybe most impressive, though, was the impact he made on his teammates and how he actually didn’t big-time them. From Yahoo! Sports:
“It was a great experience to just play with a guy like that,” said Casper Ware, a senior guard at Long Beach State who played on James’ team Saturday. “He was still passing even though he was LeBron. He just wanted me to play my game. He told me, ‘Don’t stand around and just throw me the ball. Play your game. I can get mine. Play your game and don’t change for me.’“
He was very cool and down to earth. You could talk to him like any other player.”
That’s the kind of James you wish we’d see more of. Oh, and here’s the James we tend to see a lot of:
Sidenote: How strange is it that Baron Davis, the former L.A. movie making star turned contract liability for the Cleveland Cavaliers is the guy bringing LeBron to the stage? That’s an oddly appropriate pairing if there ever was one.
Report: Dewayne Dedmon opts in for $6.3 million with Hawks
There just wasn’t going to be that much money for the 28-year-old Dedmon in a tight market this summer.
Dedmon is a good defender, and he developed his ball skills – as a 3-point shooter and passer – in Atlanta last season. The Hawks could look to trade him. Maybe, in a deal primarily about his expiring contract, he adds extra value to the other team due to his playing ability.
If Atlanta doesn’t move him, Dedmon will be a fine player on a likely tanking team. At least he’s not good enough to subvert the Hawks’ tank, especially with the new lottery format.
Nick Young says ‘everybody needs to do cocaine,’ later insists he was joking
This is good return for the 76ers, who everyone knew had to trade a draft pick. The rebuilding Bulls could easily land a higher second-round pick than No. 39 next year.
Why do the Lakers want an extra second-rounder this year? Second-round picks don’t count against the cap until signed, and they can always slightly sweeten a trade offer. They’re helpful for a team with big plans and little wiggle room.
The Knicks expected this for a while, and they’re probably not disappointed. Steve Mills and Scott Perry want to put their stamp on the franchise. O’Quinn is a leftover from the Phil Jackson era and a reminder of the recent tumult in New York.
O’Quinn’s combination of block percentage (6.1) and defensive-rebounding percentage (27.8) was unmatched last season. He just really struck a nice balance between contesting shots and remaining in position on the glass. He’s also a smooth mid-range shooter with an improved ability to distribute.
How much is that player worth?
It’ll be a tight market, especially for bigs. For his sake, I hope the 28-year-old O’Quinn already has assurances from other teams. He might get a similar salary or, more likely, a larger overall guarantee on a multi-year deal. But it’s also possible he comes out behind by testing free agency.