Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points more than TMZ loves Jay Z/Beyonce marital trouble….
• The only thing anywhere near as hot as LeBron James in Cleveland is Johnny Manziel. And the future savior of the Browns (*cough*) is still a distant second. But the stars almost collided on Thursday when LeBron took his boys to see the Browns practice as they get ready for their first preseason game this weekend. LeBron talked with Browns coach Mike Pettine as well as with Manziel (who is represented by LeBron’s marketing firm).
“He just asked how camp was going,” Pettine said. “You could tell that he’s into it and loves football, a big Browns fan. He said he’ll be at the games when it’s warm and when it’s cold he’ll be watching in his basement.”
There are some things Miami can always offer that Cleveland can’t, not needing to bundle up for a game is one of them.
• LeBron’s old running mates in Miami, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade now have something else in common — their own lines of ties.
• Sixers GM Sam Hinkie is still trying to find a way into and to get some value out of the Kevin Love trade, and he’s ticked that the Thaddeus Young rumors leaked.
• Dirk Nowitzki the movie? Fortunately it’s a documentary about the star, which is set to debut in Germany in September.
• Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins — of course it’s him — with the best big of writing anywhere on Paul George and his injury.
• Power ranking the best/worst uniforms in the NBA over at CSNWashington.com.
• After watching the Spurs knock them out of the playoffs, Thunder coach Scott Brooks wants his team to increase its assists and move the ball better next season. I bet 2/3 of the coaches in the league say that, and I doubt many have any success. We’ll see if Brooks is the exception.
• One league executive told the Philadelphia Daily News that the Sixers have a “negative effect on the integrity of the NBA.”
• Brook Lopez says he is fully cleared for basketball activities. Which should make the good people of Brooklyn happy. Well, relatively.
• One final bit out of my time with Team USA in Las Vegas, it is Mike Krzyzewski talking about Kyrie Irving: “He’s not been accustomed to playing with guys who are rim runners, and with the shooters. In some respects you create a little tunnel vision of him as a scorer, in this camp he reacquaints himself with lobs, with drive-and-kick, with things he hasn’t been asked to do as much in the past couple years.”
• Kemba Walker is pumped to have someone else who can create their own offense off the bounce in Charlotte. As he should be.
• Michael Beasley went to Los Angeles for some workouts in front of teams last week. While there he rented a car — a Porsche none the less — but he didn’t bother to return it so the rental company had to come and tow it away. And you wonder why teams are lining up to take his talent.
• RIP to Dale Schlueter, an original member of the Portland Trail Blazers from their inaugural season (1970-71), who died of cancer last week at the age of 68.
• Watch the Bucks’ John Henson eat his way through the Wisconsin State Fair. For the record, this is not exactly doctor recommended healthy eating.
• Much to the joy of the Orlando brass, Maurice Harkless will not play for Puerto Rico in the FIBA World Cup this summer.
• Hawks’ second round pick Edy Tavares is expected to play next season in Spain.
• Byron Mullens will play in China next season.
• Finally, Minnesota’s Zach LaVine with the selfie dunk video.