There was already one LeBron James mural in Los Angeles. Several people decided to attack it with paint, ruining a nice gesture by a local artist in Venice and proving how annoying (presumed) Kobe Bryant fans can be.
Now, there is another mural in LA and this time it paid a little more attention to former Lakers legends. Hopefully this time around the subject matter will help stave off would-be vandals.
This LeBron piece was done by another Venice muralist, Gustavo Zermeño Jr., who posted photos of his work. In it, LeBron is seen looking up at Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
No doubt that should satisfy some Lakers purists around the area, at least enough to keep them from throwing white paint all over it and ruining and impressive piece of artwork that took the artist a long time to create.
Lakers fan should just be happy that LeBron is in their state.
Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum explained Kevin Durant signing with the Warriors with an analogy about getting jumped by a gang with your brothers then joining that gang and forgetting about your brothers. McCollum called stars passing through Golden State to win big before joining another team – a la DeMarcus Cousins – “disgusting.”
Those comments have predictably generated plenty of discussion. But McCollum dislikes how those discussions are being framed.
Not everything McCollum says is newsworthy. Nobody is ethically obligated to amplify every comment he makes in a lengthy interview. Everywhere I saw, McCollum’s quote was given clear context.
It’s not newsworthy McCollum called the Warriors great. We all know they’re great. That’s why their existence is controversial.
And McCollum didn’t say just that he would never join Golden State. He called it “disgusting” then elaborated many other players would have too much pride for that track. The rhetoric was sharp and wide-reaching.
I found McCollum’s comments interesting, and I’m happy he shared them. I didn’t necessarily agree, but I appreciate his perspective. The NBA is more fun when more players reveal their differing points of view.
So kudos to McCollum – and Andre Iguodala.
McCollum totally forgot about Iguodala – but not incorrectly. Durant, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson look like future Hall of Famers. Maybe Cousins gets there, too. But Iguodala doesn’t deserve it. He made only one All-Star game and mostly topped out at good-starter level. His Finals MVP – which should have gone to LeBron James or, if you insist on awarding a winning player, Curry – shouldn’t push Iguodala over the top.
The best part of McCollum’s Twitter defense today:
McCollum has won seven playoff games – including a series against the Clippers and a single game over the Warriors in 2016. He could have easily brought those up.
But “Im trying Jennifer” is a far more enjoyable response.
Does this give us a hint about what Dwyane Wade is thinking?
Probably not. What it means is that the Heat want some depth along the front line and, more importantly, a quality presence in the locker room. They want to bring back one of the icons of the franchise.
Udonis Haslem is reportedly nearing a contract with the Miami Heat, reports Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press.
Haslem played in just 14 games for the Heat last season, and 72 total minutes. He just turned 38 and the Heat could use that roster spot to develop a young player. But this is about loyalty, and it’s a move that will play well in the locker room and with the fan base.
Wade also will like it. Whether it is an omen of his decision remains to be seen.
The 2018-19 NBA MVP race feels more wide open than we have seen in years.
What kind of numbers will LeBron James put up with the Lakers and how far can he lift that team? Can James Harden repeat? Is Kawhi Leonard back in MVP form? Will a new coach in Mike Budenholzer lift Giannis Antetokounmpo up to a new level? Does Russell Westbrook put up MVP numbers again?
Online betting company Bovada released these odds for the 2019 MVP award.
LeBron James 10/3
Anthony Davis 4/1
Giannis Antetokounmpo 9/2
James Harden 11/2
Kevin Durant 9/1
Kawhi Leonard 11/1
Russell Westbrook 14/1
Stephen Curry 15/1
Joel Embiid 16/1
Kyrie Irving 16/1
Ben Simmons 35/1
Damian Lillard 45/1
Karl-Anthony Towns 50/1
DeMar DeRozan 80/1
John Wall 80/1
Donovan Mitchell 85/1
Jimmy Butler 100/1
Nikola Jokic 100/1
Victor Oladipo 100/1
Chris Paul 100/1
LaMarcus Aldridge 125/1
Paul George 125/1
DeMarcus Cousins 150/1
Gordon Hayward 150/1
Jayson Tatum 175/1
Blake Griffin 225/1
Devin Booker 275/1
Kristaps Porzingis 275/1
Kyle Lowry 325/1
Lonzo Ball 450/1
A few quick thoughts:
• If you’re betting on Porzingis to win the MVP this season, just donate that money to charity where it can do some good. He may not even play this season.
• If you believe Kawhi Leonard is healthy and back to form, 11-1 is a good betting value.
• Westbrook at 14-1 also seems a good value, if you think he and Paul George can lift the Thunder up to a new level.
• My preseason prediction for MVP is Anthony Davis. But that’s betting on him staying healthy.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had it right — the GOAT argument is a comparison of different players with different teammates and different rules, it’s cannot be definitive. To use his Highlander analogy, “there doesn’t need to be only one.”
But if you ask Rockets GM Daryl Morey who is The Greatest, he is going with LeBron James. Something he said on the Dan Patrick Show Wednesday.
LeBron is the best of his generation, maybe the greatest athlete the NBA has ever seen, and he entered the league with a basketball IQ off the chart (remember when short-sighted people used to rip him for passing to the open player with the game on the line rather than taking the contested shots?).
Is he the GOAT? Fun discussion while sitting on a barstool with a Steady Brewing Unrefined hazy IPA in front of you, go at it in the comments, but there is no answer.
Unless you’re Morey.