Dwyane Wade will take on your villain role as a member of the Miami Heat. Bring it on.
But in the process he will stick up for his teammates.
In an interview with Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel, Wade defended LeBron James’ comments in an ESPN interview where LeBron said he did not want to be in the villain role anymore.
Wade said LeBron was being honest and that was not how the Heat were going to win two more games next season anyway (that’s how many games they fell short of an NBA title).
“I said, ‘Let me look like the mean one. You play the way you play,’ ” Wade related. “We did talk about that. We were on vacation we talked about that. We didn’t run away from losing the Finals. We looked at it and said, ‘Why did we lose? How did we lose? What can we do different? How can we be better as leaders?’
“And the one thing I kind of wanted for LeBron is to get back to being LeBron, and not trying to be somebody that everybody wanted him to be, in a sense. He seems to understand that, as well.”
Wade also defended the play of Chris Bosh, who Wade said got overshadowed and people missed what he contributed in the playoffs.
“I think he was the most consistent out of all of us, if you want to say, from each round,” he said. “I mean, I had a terrible Chicago series and LeBron didn’t have a so-hot Dallas series. Chris was kind of stable through every round, played real well.”
The question in Miami is not the big three, but who is going to be around them and will that be enough. Mike Miller will be back, eventually, and Udonis Haslem returns. But who else they bring in could be key to those last two wins.
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.
James Harden became the first player in NBA history to score 30 points against all 29 opponents in a season.
But the NBA has had 30 teams for just 15 of its 73 seasons.
Obviously, the larger league makes Harden’s feat more impressive. He had to score 30 against more teams. The Rockets also play most opponents, those in the Eastern Conference, only twice. In previous eras, players had more cracks at scoring 30 against fewer teams.
Still, anyone to score 30 points against every opponent has a certain immunity to bad matchups. It’s special.
How many players have done it?
We must start with Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 30 points against all nine teams in the 1964-65 NBA. He began the season with the San Francisco Warriors and, with them, scored 30 against the 76ers. Then, he got traded to Philadelphia and scored 30 on the Warriors. He also dropped 30 on every other team.
Including that season, there have been 85 times a player scored 30 points in a game against every opponent in a season.
Only Harden, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird have done it since the NBA-ABA merger. Jordan (1986-87) and Bird (1984-85) did it against 22 teams.
Everyone else did it against 17 or fewer teams.
Here’s everyone to score 30 in a game against every opponent in a season with the player’s highest-scoring game against each team listed, starting with Chamberlain doing it against every team then following in chronological order: