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Pat Riley: Heat will be patient and wait for Dwyane Wade’s decision

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — When it comes to Dwyane Wade, it’s clear that the Miami Heat want him back and they’re willing to be patient while he figures out his plan.

What’s unclear is this: How much they’ll have to pay.

Heat President Pat Riley said Friday that he will have talks with managing general partner Micky Arison in the coming days about Wade’s future. Realistically, there’s only two contract options for Miami to present Wade – the $5.3 million exception, or the $2.4 million veteran minimum. The potential luxury tax implications Miami could face next year would rise in either case, and that’s what the Heat are trying to avoid.

“That’s the abyss that we all deal with in the NBA,” Riley said.

Riley said Miami has had talks with Wade and his agent Leon Rose over the summer, though no real detail about those conversations has been revealed by either side.

Wade has reportedly been offered a three-year, $25 million contract to play in China.

Wade said at the end of last season that he wasn’t certain about playing for a 16th NBA season in 2018-19, and hasn’t offered anything in the way of an update since. He has been doing on-court workouts regularly in recent weeks, including a session Thursday in Las Vegas with LeBron James, but that doesn’t necessarily indicate a decision about playing or not.

“I think it’s best that we give him some more time,” Riley said.

Wade left Miami for Chicago in 2016, spent one season with the Bulls, began last season in Cleveland and then was traded back to the Heat in February. Wade appeared in 26 regular season and playoff games with Miami after the trade, all off the bench, averaging 12.9 points.

For his career, the future Hall of Famer is averaging 22.5 points and he leads the Heat all-time lists in several statistical categories.

“I want him back as a player,” Riley said. “I want him back as a competitor. I want him back as a guy who wants to have the greatest year he ever had as a player. I read more articles about `Dwyane being done, he’s lost a step, he’s not the same player, he might not have the same motivation.’ But I still see a player who can contribute heavily if he really wants to.”

The same wait-and-see approach is being utilized with fellow Heat veteran Udonis Haslem, who also is weighing whether to return for a 16th season.

Haslem has spent his entire career in Miami, and he and Wade are the only Heat players to be part of all three of the franchise’s championship seasons.

“Both players are being respected to the utmost because of their history with us,” Riley said. “I’m sure they’re sitting down thinking about what they want to do and how it’s going to impact the rest of their lives. I do believe, and I hope, that by the middle of August that we’ll probably have a decision on both players.”

In other matters Riley covered in a teleconference with reporters:

– Riley insisted that the Heat were not widely shopping center Hassan Whiteside in trades this summer, though he said Whiteside “has a lot of work to do.” Whiteside has often expressed unhappiness with his role in Miami, and he and coach Erik Spoelstra have met this summer to try to find common ground. “Stuff happens. Things are said. Players are frustrated. … This isn’t anything new,” Riley said. Whiteside will be part of the NBA Africa Game next week in South Africa, accompanied by Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard.

– The Heat will have talks with Justise Winslow‘s representation next month about an extension. “We look as Justise as an anchor, as one of our anchor pieces,” Riley said.

– Riley said Dion Waiters (ankle surgery) is “ramping up” his rehabilitation. Waiters missed most of last season.

Report: Lakers have interest in Joakim Noah

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The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly interested in Dwight Howard. He has not yet been bought out by the Memphis Grizzlies, but a return to L.A. for Howard would be one of the most Lakers things of all time.

Howard infamously left Los Angeles under an auspicious circumstances in 2013 after things went south during the 2012-13 season between him, Kobe Bryant, and Steve Nash. He signed with the Houston Rockets that summer.

But Howard is not the only aging center under consideration by the Lakers. According to Shams Charania, Los Angeles is also considering adding Joakim Noah to their roster.

Via Twitter:

DeMarcus Cousins’ ACL injury has created a dearth of center depth for the Lakers, one that cannot be easily filled quickly. There aren’t a lot of available players left, and Los Angeles doesn’t have much to help facilitate a trade.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis need some help moving forward if they want to go deep into the Western Conference playoffs, and having only JaVale McGee playing at the center position won’t help them do that. They need to add somebody, but Howard or Noah being the answer to that is a scary proposition for a team with championship hopes.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar didn’t like how Bruce Lee was portrayed by Quentin Tarantino

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was friends with Bruce Lee before the actor’s tragic death in 1973. He was his teacher, pal, and co-star in in 1972’s Game of Death. Naturally, Abdul-Jabbar is protective of his friend’s legacy, and he’s not too happy about how Lee was portrayed in Quentin Tarantino’s latest film.

Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is a meandering, beautiful, boring tribute to the film industry as it was changing at the end of the 1960s. It’s worth seeing just as a thing to look at, but the narrative — or lack thereof — is plodding, and the ending harkens back to a kind of transposed version of Inglourious Basterds that leaves you wondering what the point of making the film was in the first place.

Somewhere in the middle of its long 2h 45m runtime, there’s an extended scene in Once Upon A Time where Brad Pitt’s character Cliff fights Bruce Lee. Why? Probably because Tarantino wanted to pay tribute to Lee being an important part of that era, and because Tarantino so untouchable that nobody could tell him to leave the extemporaneous scene on the cutting room floor.

Instead, what Tarantino’s tribute scene appears to have angered Abdul-Jabbar along with members of Lee’s family.

In an article penned in The Hollywood Reporter this week, Abdul-Jabbar called Lee’s portrayal “sloppy” and “somewhat racist”.

Via THR:

Quentin Tarantino’s portrayal of Bruce Lee in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood does not live up to this standard. Of course, Tarantino has the artistic right to portray Bruce any way he wants. But to do so in such a sloppy and somewhat racist way is a failure both as an artist and as a human being.

The John Wayne machismo attitude of Cliff (Brad Pitt), an aging stuntman who defeats the arrogant, uppity Chinese guy harks back to the very stereotypes Bruce was trying to dismantle. Of course the blond, white beefcake American can beat your fancy Asian chopsocky dude because that foreign crap doesn’t fly here.

Lee’s family, including daughter Shannon, has also spoken up about how Lee was portrayed in the film. In an interview with The Wrap, Shannon Lee said that, “He comes across as an arrogant asshole who was full of hot air.”

Once Upon A Time is a forgettable movie wrapped in the trappings of modern prestige media, where viewers are either unable separate production value from content, or unwilling to do so. It is beautiful, and the people involved are heavy hitters. But halfway through, the viewer is left asking “What’s the plot of this movie?” and that question remains until the final 15 minutes, when the inevitable, telegraphed ending finally, mercifully closes the story and the end credits roll.

Meanwhile, in true Tarantino form, his indulgences have created a mini-storm around one of his films in the most unnecessary way. An ill-conceived and executed scene that added nothing but length to Once Upon A Time has turned into a grating talking point for people like Abdul-Jabbar and Shannon Lee.

Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor to host ‘NBA Countdown’

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Things just keep getting better for NBA fans when it comes to national TV broadcasts.

It was announced in August that TNT would be doing away with the “Players Only” broadcast that appeared on NBA TV. Those broadcast crews were roundly criticized as being meandering and uninformed when it came to the product on the floor.

Now fans are getting more of what they want in the form of Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor.

According to a report from Richard Deitsch, Nichols and Taylor will be the hosts of ESPN’s pregame show, NBA Countdown.

Paul Pierce and Chauncey Billups Won’t return as analysts on the pregame show next year, leaving just Jalen Rose. That means there are a couple of spots open, and we don’t yet know who ESPN will fill them with. Nichols will reportedly continue to host her regular show “The Jump”.

As the league continues to get more popular, it makes sense that broadcast partners listen to the audience. Nichols is an NBA favorite, so having her be more visible makes a lot of sense.

NBA players roast Kyle Kuzma over outfit posted to Instagram (PHOTOS)

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Kyle Kuzma is going to be expected to have a big year for the Los Angeles Lakers. He thinks he can have the impact of a third star for L.A., a team that didn’t add Kawhi Leonard to go alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis this summer.

That’s big talk from Kuzma, but perhaps that talk has boosted his confidence a little bit. In a photo posted to Instagram this week, Kuzma could be seen wearing… whatever this is.

Via Twitter:

Twitter had a great time with Kuzma outfit, which looks like something pulled straight out of an early 2000s episode of TRL.

Kuzma’s contemporaries in the NBA thought he was getting a little wild with it, too, with several hopping onto the post to roast the Lakers big man.

Via Twitter:

I don’t know what this means for the upcoming Lakers season, but I’m sure it’s something interesting.