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Chandler Parsons offended by James Harden’s cornerstone comments

Chandler Parsons RocketsIf the rivalry between the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks weren’t already strong enough, it just got even more interesting following Chandler Parsons signing with Dallas and the war of words that ensued.

First off, let’s start with Parsons, who says he was offended by Houston’s public search for a “third star” when he felt he was the guy who could complement Dwight Howard and James Harden. Then you have Howard, who said Parsons’ departure would not affect the team.

And the latest comes from Harden, who said he and Howard are the real key pieces for the Rockets, and that the rest of the pieces are more insignificant.

“Dwight (Howard) and I are the cornerstones of the Rockets,” Harden said in comments to The Philippine Star. “The rest of the guys are role players or pieces that complete our team. We’ve lost some pieces and added some pieces. I think we’ll be fine next season.”

That comment from Harden was in reference to the team losing Parsons, Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin this offseason.

Lin was not offended by the comments.

“I agree (with Harden),” Lin said Thursday via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “He didn’t mean that in any derogatory way. He and Dwight are the cornerstones of the Rockets.”

Parsons, however, did not take the remarks well.

“That’s a pretty ridiculous statement, if he meant that,” Parsons said in an interview with Jay Mohr. “And that’s part of the reason why I wanted to go to Dallas. I’m ready for the next step, I”m ready for a bigger role and I’m ready for more leadership. If anybody should understand it should be James, because he was in same situation in Oklahoma City and then he got the chance to come to Houston and shine.”

Parsons does say he has a lot of respect for the Rockets and that there are no hard feelings. He also appreciates that the team let him out of his contract a year early to get that restricted free agent money.

Are Howard and Harden right about their comments? Obviously Houston didn’t feel Parsons was a necessity, otherwise they would have matched his contract. They were off pursuing bigger things like Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony. We’ll learn in time whether the Rockets made a mistake by letting Parsons go, but I think they made the correct choice. Dallas gave him too much money.

Frank Caliendo reads LeBron James’ letter as Morgan Freeman (Video)

Frank CaliendoComedian and ace impressionist Frank Caliendo breaks out with some amazing bits from time-to-time, and this is certainly right up there.

During an episode of “Mike & Mike in the Morning” on ESPN Radio this week, Caliendo read LeBron James’ ‘Coming Home’ letter as Morgan Freeman. He did the voice. He did the cadence. He did all the intonations. It sounded just like the ending of “The Shawshank Redemption.”

Don’t forget, LeBron, that hope is a great thing. Maybe the best of things. And maybe one day you, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade will all reunite in Zihuatanejo.

Also see: Frank Caliendo’s Richard Sherman 30 for 30 mockumentary

Ray Allen leaning towards signing with Cavs over retirement

Ray Allen HeatRay Allen is leaning towards joining LeBron James in Cleveland instead of retiring, according to a report.

The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn tweeted the news on Wednesday night, saying Allen is “leaning towards” returning for his 19th season.

Allen turned 39 this week, but he keeps himself in phenomenal shape and has averaged around 26 minutes per game each of the past two seasons, so we have little doubts about his physical ability to continue playing.

The expectation all along has been that Allen would go wherever LeBron chose to go in free agency, so this does not come as a surprise. If he does sign with Cleveland, that would mean the Cavaliers have added James Jones, Mike Miller and Allen — all three of whom are favorite teammates of James from Miami.

Dwyane Wade said kid at his camp asked him why he flopped in Finals

Dwyane Wade flopDwyane Wade is no stranger to flopping. The Miami Heat star’s most blatant offense came during Game 2 of the NBA Finals, when he drew a foul on Manu Ginobili with a successful acting job. He was later fined $5,000 by the NBA. Wade was also grilled by a child about the play.

Earlier this week, Wade told a funny story while answering questions from reporters at his and Brandon Marshall’s sports and cheerleading academy. Apparently one of his campers demanded an explanation for his flop on Ginobili.

[WATCH: Dwyane gets call on blatant flop against Manu Ginobili]

“One kid asked me why did I flop. I was about to get him kicked out of the camp,” Wade joked. “He said it like three times. I thought he was joking. I was like, ‘Are you serious?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, why did you flop?’ His dad put him up to that — Spurs fan.”

Hey, we were all thinking it. D-Wade’s flop in the Finals wasn’t his first and likely won’t be his last. If you’re going to make that a part of your game, at least be honest about it with the children.

H/T The Big Lead

Joel Embiid hilariously puts the Twitter moves on Rihanna

Joel EmbiidJoel Embiid won’t play enough next season to make a run at NBA Rookie of the Year, but the guy already has NBA Twitter MVP locked down.

The Philadelphia 76ers draft pick made some noise earlier this month by trying to recruit free agent LeBron James to Philly. Then a few weeks ago he turned his attention to recruiting Kim Kardashian, though that was for more personal reasons.

After having no luck with Kim, Embiid moved on to Rihanna. He sent these tweets Tuesday:

How awesome is it that he set dinner plans for them?

[Read more...]

LeBron James gives neighbors cupcakes for putting up with media frenzy

LeBron James cupcakes

Just four years ago, LeBron James was being crucified for holding “The Decision,” a 1-hour televised show where he announced he would be leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. Many considered the show to be a massive PR blunder, and James later admitted it was a mistake.

Four years later, LeBron is showing that he has become a master of public relations.

Not only did LeBron announce his decision to return home to Cleveland in a heartfelt essay published by Sports Illustrated, but he also gave cupcakes to his neighbors to apologize for the media frenzy in the neighborhood due to speculation over his announcement.

LeBron James cupcakes note

“Dear Friend. We know things have been hectic in our neighborhood these past few weeks and we are sorry for the chaos. We are so thankful to live in this wonderful community and we are so blessed to have understanding neighbors like you.”

The names of the cupcakes had a basketball theme, too: one was a “Just A Kid From Akron Cherry Cola” cupcake, and the other was “Homecourt Chocolate Chunk.”

Remember we told you all about that “just a kid from Akron” branding LeBron was doing? None of it is an accident. His new PR people are incredible.

Photos via Twitter/JonCheyney
h/t Darren Rovell

Isaiah Austin has job with NBA waiting once he earns degree

isaiah-austin-draft-smallThe NBA Draft is a time guys who have been dribbling a basketball for as long as they can remember realize the dream of hearing their name called by the commissioner as being selected by a team.

In the weeks leading up to the draft, it appeared Baylor’s Isaiah Austin would be among those set to embark on their professional basketball careers. Just days before the big night, Austin was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome. The risk of continuing to play basketball was too great, bringing to an end the 20-year-old’s basketball playing days.

During the draft’s first round, commissioner Adam Silver called Isaiah Austin to the stage to announce he had been selected by the NBA.

Next up for Austin is returning to Baylor University to finish his degree. After that, a job with the NBA awaits, as he told TMZ.

In the meantime, Austin will work with the NBA Cares program.

Obviously, this isn’t the capacity Isaiah Austin envisioned he would be associated with the NBA a few months ago. However, thanks to Adam Silver and the league, Austin will still be able to say he’s part of the NBA family and will have no shortage of support in whichever role he takes on.