Archive for the ‘#LebronJames’ Category

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The Celtics have so many talented players.

Yet, they started Gordon Hayward – whose play clearly didn’t merit it – his first 15 games this season.

Boston went just 8-7 during those games. Its main starting lineup – Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford – scored only 91.1 points and got outscored by 3.9 points per 100 possessions during that span.

Why were the Celtics so invested in Hayward?

Several reasons:

He’s earning $31,214,295 this season and is due $66,887,775 the next two years. He was going to factor significantly into the team’s roster construction, regardless. There was plenty of financial pressure to get Hayward on track.

Hayward suffered a season-ending injury in Boston’s first game last season. He didn’t get healthy until shortly before the season. Hayward reaching full speed was always likely to require a rocky transition into gameplay at some point.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens coached Hayward at Butler. It always helps to have the coach so personally believe in you.

Stephen A. Smith of ESPN:

And then there’s the element of Boston, Massachusetts. They don’t just want a star. Of course, they’ll take any star that they can get, because their priority is winning. But everybody and their mother knows that particularly when it comes to Boston if we can have a white superstar, that would be even better. And they view Gordon Hayward as having that kind of potential.

So, all of those things considered, the players recognize this, were aware of this. And ultimately those who were compromised by having to be on a court with Gordon Hayward were sensitive to it.

Not because they don’t like him. Not because he’s not a good guy, because he is a good guy. It’s just that they know he hasn’t fully recovered 100 percent from his injury. So, he’s not the same as he used to be. They know he’s going to be a step slower. They know he’s going to be compromised. I have spoken to people in the league who literally have said, “Look, man, no disrespect to Gordon Hayward, nice guy, but he’s really, really compromised right now. He’s not the same guy that he was.” And they said, “We actually kind of feel sorry for him, because he is a nice guy, and we know he’s trying to come back from injury.”

Are there Celtics fans who’d prefer a white star? Yes.

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The reeling Lakers have lost four of five and are now an extreme long shot to make the NBA playoffs. Is it time to do the once unthinkable and sit LeBron James?

ESPN analyst Jay Williams thinks so. The former college star and NBA player said Monday morning on the network’s “Get Up!” program that the Lakers should “shut down” LeBron James for the final 19 games.

“Magic Johnson needs to shut LeBron James down,” Williams said. “He needs to take it away from LeBron, because LeBron’s pride will want him to play. LeBron is the ultimate competitor, and he will want to compete for an eight [playoff] spot. But if you’re thinking about long-term return on investment for LeBron James, who is 34 years old, you have to be able to compartmentalize that if you’re Magic Johnson, and say, ‘OK, LeBron, sit down, I don’t need you to get injured … sit down, get healthy.'”

The NBA would certainly frown on that, given the league’s recent directive to the Pelicans that they must play disgruntled star Anthony Davis rather than sit him. But might the Lakers take a similar stance with James, and play him extremely limited minutes the rest of the way? Williams said sitting James would allow the team to show off its younger players and boost their trade value. And as far as coach Luke Walton … well, Williams, like many others, expects he’s on the way out.

The Lakers had a pretty devastating weekend. They blew a close game late against the Bucks and then lost another must-win game to the Suns, lowlighted by LeBron inbounding the ball off his own backboard. Luke Walton isn’t all to blame for the Lakers’ collapse — there’s plenty of blame to go around — but it’s increasingly clear a) that the Lakers are unlikely to make the playoffs, and b) Walton will be at least one of the scapegoats. Here are some replacements that make sense (a version of this list originally ran in February).

Jason Kidd

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In odds released by Bovada in February, Kidd was actually the betting favorite to be the Lakers’ head coach on opening day next season. A lot of times these odds can be taken with a grain of salt because they have low betting limits, but Kidd to the Lakers has been a subject of persistent chatter all season. Personally, watching the Bucks improve vastly after replacing Kidd, I think this would be a horrible idea. However, maybe the Lakers do it anyway?

Ty Lue

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When Lue replaced David Blatt in Cleveland, the Cavs won the title later that season. He has familiarity with the LeBron media frenzy, and won’t get bogged down by the media circus perpetually surrounding the Lakers. Lue played for the Lakers in his first three seasons in the NBA, from 1998-2001.

Mark Jackson

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Jackson had a 121-109 record in three years as coach of the Warriors, including 51-31 in his final season.

Adam Silver still thinks the NBA All-Star Game needs a dramatic overhaul, and this year’s exhibition in Charlotte didn’t change his mind.

“The All-Star Game didn’t work,” the commissioner said at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday, adding that the game was “an afterthought” of the weekend, according to the Associated Press.

“I get it. We put an earring on a pig.”

Silver brought up the possibility of a midseason tournament replacing the All-Star Game if the league cuts the regular-season schedule down to roughly 70 games.

In an effort to broaden the scope of the sport of basketball across the world, the NBA and FIBA announced today that they are planning to launch a basketball league featuring 12 club teams across Africa. NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced the creation of the league during All-Star Weekend in Charlotte.

The league will reportedly feature 12 franchises that will begin play in January 2020, with existing African club teams having a chance to qualify for the league. The new league will be called the Basketball Africa League (BAL), and will be based on already existing team competitions that FIBA has organized throughout Africa.

“The Basketball Africa League is an important next step in our continued development of the game of basketball in Africa,” Silver said in a statement (via ESPN). “Combined with our other programs on the continent, we are committed to using basketball as an economic engine to create new opportunities in sports, media and technology across Africa.”

The NBA and FIBA also announced that they are planning on conducting qualification tournaments later this year in order to find the 12 best teams to represent countries including Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia. According to the statement, there will be no more than two teams from any single country in the league.

Along with the announcement of the league, the NBA also announced that by the start of the 2019-2020, a revamped direct-to-consumers offering of NBA games will be available for fans in Africa, along with FIBA also promising to dedicate financial support and resources toward the development of the sport in Africa, which will include money that goes to training players, coaches, referees, and infrastructure.

There are currently 12 players from African countries on NBA rosters. Joel EmbiidLuc Mbah a Moute and Pascal Siakam are from Cameroon; Bismack Biyombo and Emmanuel Mudiay are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Abdel Nader is from Egypt; Cheick Diallo is from Mali; Josh Okogie is from Nigeria; Serge Ibaka is from the Republic of the Congo; Luol Deng and Thon Maker are from South Sudan; and Salah Mejri is from Tunisia.

 

The 2019 NBA trade deadline has come and gone, with some major players swapping teams. Anthony Davis is still a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, however, and it appears that several teams are trying to position themselves for the coming summer.

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One of those teams is the Los Angeles Clippers, who moved off of the contract of Blake Griffin a year ago. The Clippers are going to be a team in play for several big-time free agents, one of which is Kawhi Leonard.

But according to one report, LA also has its eyes on another star. According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick, the Clippers are looking to pair Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant with Leonard next season.

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Kevin Durant’s desire to be mentioned with the GOATs might result in him leaving the comfort of the Warriors’ super team and embark on a quest to win a title on his own.

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According to The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss, Durant “believed” beating the Cavaliers during the 2017 Finals would allow him to dethrone King James and become the new face of the NBA. Yet, although Warriors won the championship, KD was still in LeBron’s shadow. This is because despite Durant gaining the Final’s MVP, James averaged a triple-double and was still seen as the series best player. To add insult to ego, Durant’s second place standing didn’t change even after sweeping the Cavs in the finals the following year.

The reason for this is rooted in his teammates. While his controversial decision to join an already stacked Golden State Warriors team proved fruitful in terms of championships, it has been detrimental to Durant’s legacy. He needs to start building with another team before being considered a GOAT. Jordan is still and forever will be the Goat. END OF STORY!

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