LeBron James‘ “Uninterrupted” sent a letter to Alabama, expressing concerns about copyright infringement over the football program’s video series featuring coach Nick Saban talking with former receiver Julio Jones in a barbershop. “Uninterrupted” previously set discussions in a barbershop for videos.
“I think LeBron James is a great player,” the coach said. “There’s been at least 20 barbershop-type things I’ve seen. I didn’t even know he had one. I’m sorry anybody could be offended by something we were just trying to have fun with. I enjoyed it and we’re going to continue to do it.”
LeBron, via McMenamin:
“I mean, I think you guys know Nick Saban more than me from a media perspective,” he said. “You guys know Nick Saban more than I do, so that’s exactly what I would think he would say. I built Uninterrupted for a reason and for us athletes to have a platform to be able to speak about whatever we want to talk about. I respect him as a coach, but I’ll be damned if I’ll allow someone to use our platform or try to do the same thing we’re doing and just think it’s OK.
“So, the lawyers will figure it out.”
LeBron and Saban have both stubbornly refused to accept defeat in their sports, showing world-class determination that has driven both to success. Who will give in with the two butting heads now?
As LeBron said, the lawyers will probably handle this. But these are two high-profile people fronting each side.
Report: Lakers eager to use LeBron James at center flanked by top four young players
“We may not see this on day one, but the coaching staff is eager to see our version of the [Warriors’] Death Lineup with Lonzo [Ball], Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, [Kyle] Kuzma and LeBron,” a second Lakers executive said.
LeBron at center is a dangerous weapon. The Cavaliers showed it more during the 2017 playoffs – to positive effect.
But LeBron isn’t Draymond Green, who makes Golden State’s Death/Hamptons Five Lineup function. Green possesses a unique combination of rim protection and – through his ball-handling and especially passing – ability to get into offense quickly. LeBron isn’t as good at protecting the paint, and though he’s lethal in transition when he wants to be, he’ll be fighting years of slow-down habits.
I also wonder how much LeBron embraces the physical toll of playing center. The Lakers have only JaVale McGee, Ivica Zubac and Mo Wagner at the position. Are they banking on LeBron playing there a significant amount during the regular season?
LeBron would likely accept the role more enthusiastically in the playoffs. But Ball, Hart, Ingram and Kuzma will be tested – at least initially – by the heightened level of play. I’d be wary of overly relying on that lineup.
But this is the best way for the Lakers to get talent on the floor and overcome spacing concerns. I’m absolutely excited to see it in action. Whatever concerns I have about it are only multiplied with other potential Lakers lineups.
Report: Nuggets lottery pick Michael Porter Jr. undergoes another back surgery
Michael Porter Jr. has undergone surgery of the lumbar spine at The Carrell Clinic in Dallas, Tex. The Procedure was performed by Dr. Andrew Dossett. There is no timetable for his return to basketball participation.
Porter is a talented forward with the length and skill to make a major impact as a scorer.
But, as this latest surgery underscores, drafting him carried terrifying risk. Denver will have to bear that for a while.
Report: Dirk Nowitzki to re-sign with Mavericks for $5 million
Dirk Nowitzki is set to play his 20th season – breaking Kobe Bryant’s record for most seasons with a single franchise and tying Kevin Garnett, Robert Parish and Kevin Willis for most seasons in the NBA.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Sources: Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks plan to finalize a one-year, $5 million deal. Neither side appears in rush to sign the contract. Nowitzki is a Maverick for life, of course.
The Mavericks declined Nowitzki’s $5 million team option, but he was never signing elsewhere. He was either going to retire or play for Dallas.
Once he decided to return, the only question was money.
The Mavericks declined Nowitzki’s option to maximize their flexibility for upgrades, namely signing DeAndre Jordan. Once Yogi Ferrell agreed to an absurdly team-friendly contract, Dallas had enough cap space left to give Nowitzki his team-option amount. If necessary, he would have taken the $4,449,000 room exception.
Nowitzki has had a great career, and this could be his farewell tour. But he also remains a helpful rotation-level player. Though he’s a defensive liability, his outside shooting as a big goes a long way toward floor spacing.
Report: Mavericks re-signing Yogi Ferrell for less than qualifying-offer salary with second year unguaranteed
As reported, he’ll earn between $2,548,077 and $2,760,417 next season. That range is less than his qualifying offer – which would have paid him a fully guaranteed $2,919,204 next season.
That reduction is acceptable if Ferrell got something in exchange – but he gave Dallas the concession by adding an unguaranteed second year. If he plays well, the Mavericks will keep him at a cheap salary. If he doesn’t, they’ll waive him for no cost. They have all the control.
The promise of the backup shooting guard job is probably just lip service. Teams don’t stick by that if the player struggles. If he produces, he would have gotten the job anyway.
Dallas has plenty of point guard types – Dennis Smith Jr., Luka Doncic, J.J Barea, Jalen Brunson and Ferrell. Rick Carlisle uses two of them simultaneously often enough that Ferrell should land in the rotation. But it’s far from a lock.
With this deal, Ferrell is taking all the risk and the Mavericks are getting all the upside.