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Rival NBA GM on Lance Stephenson: ‘We couldn’t guard him’

Lance StephensonThe Indiana Pacers lost Lance Stephenson to the Charlotte Hornets in free agency, and you’re not alone if you believe his departure will hurt Indiana.

A rival GM described to TNT’s David Aldridge what losing Stephenson means.

Stephenson got a 3-year, $27 million deal from the Hornets. The Pacers supposedly offered Stephenson a 5-year, $44 million deal.

Did Stephenson want the shorter-term deal because he believes in himself and thinks he can get more in a few years? It’s a gamble, but it may pay off.

Indiana also is taking a big risk. I think they’re going to drop off without him. He was a big part of their success, and now they won’t have him. I don’t think they should have let him go. They should have been thankful he wanted a shorter rather than longer deal; you can’t rely on him for five years, but two or three seasons is reasonable.

Shabazz Napier on unfollowing LeBron: ‘I don’t know how to work Twitter’

Shabazz NapierShabazz Napier recently unfollowed LeBron James on Twitter. LeBron, who was Napier’s biggest fan while the former UConn star was leading the Huskies to a championship, was the first person Shabazz followed when he joined Twitter last month. We find it pretty funny that Napier no longer follows King James now that he has returned to Cleveland, but Napier insists he didn’t unfollow LeBron himself.

“The whole thing about that is I don’t know how to work Twitter yet and I’m not on my Twitter, so I don’t know where that came from,” Napier said after a Summer League game this week, via ESPN.com. I don’t pay attention to it. It gets brought to me by family members, but I don’t pay any attention to it. I just think it’s how it is. Media wants something to bite on.”

In Napier’s defense, he is new to Twitter. He has only sent five tweets, with his first one coming less than a month ago. And he even admitted in that first tweet that Twitter would take him some time to get used to.

It is very possible that Napier has someone run his account for him and that person chose to unfollow LeBron and delete a previous tweet Shabazz sent to him. That doesn’t mean the whole situation isn’t entertaining.

LeBron James attacks Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh with chair WWE style (Video)

LeBron James’ decision to leave the Miami Heat for the Cleveland Cavaliers would not be complete without a WWE version of the saga.

In the humorous video above, LeBron goes after Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with a chair WWE-style. Of course, that video is just a sequel to the original. You may recall that when LeBron left Cleveland for Miami four years ago, someone made a video of him turning heel like Hulk Hogan joining NWO:

What might actually top all that is this video of Dan Gilbert running into the WWF ring to rescue LeBron James, who was taking all sorts of abuse from Pat Riley:

Which one did you like the best?

LeBron James WWE chair

H/T Jimmy Traina

Dirk Nowitzki takes major pay cut with new Mavs contract

Dirk NowitzkiDirk Nowtizki’s contract extension with the Dallas Mavericks was officially announced on Tuesday, and the 12-time All-Star is reportedly taking even less money than some initially thought. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Nowitzki has signed a three-year, $25 million deal.

Nowitzki made $22.7 million last season, so he’ll be taking roughly a 60% pay cut. It was initially believed that Dirk signed a contract very close to the three-year, $30 million extension Tim Duncan signed with the San Antonio Spurs, but Nowitzki is taking even less in an attempt to give the Mavs more salary cap flexibility.

The deal also reportedly includes a no-trade clause and a player option to opt out after the 2015-2016 season.

“(Mark Cuban) knows I don’t want to go anywhere and he doesn’t want me to go anywhere,” Nowitzki recently told ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. “We’re guessing that will be over pretty quick and then we can focus on making this franchise even better. This deal is not going to be about squeezing out the last dollar.”

Nowitzki’s hometown discount is one of the reasons Dallas was able to offer Chandler Parsons a three-year, $45 million deal that was too much for the Houston Rockets to match. Dirk likely realizes how strong the Western Conference was last season — led by the Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder — and wants to put himself in position to win another ring before retiring.

Other players in Dirk’s position would try to squeeze every last dime out of what could be their final contract, especially since he has already won a championship. The new contract proves that he loves it in Dallas and always has the best interest of the team in mind.

JR Smith mocks Rihanna, bandwagon Heat fans

JR-Smith-Rihanna-Heat

JR Smith has been having a lot of fun with Miami Heat fans since LeBron James announced he was signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. We all know Heat fans have a reputation for jumping on and off the bandwagon, and Smith is taking every opportunity he can to remind his Instagram followers of that — even if it means taking a shot at his ex-girlfriend.

Smith posted the meme you see above on Monday, which is probably more of a shot at Heat fans than Rihanna herself. Rihanna goes to a lot of NBA games, which we know because she tends to do so without a bra on. Smith also posted this photo ragging on Heat fans over the weekend.

Rihanna has given no indication that she’s going to become a Cavs fan, though she has been a little busy lately partying with the German national soccer team. She and Smith have a long history together, so it’s not surprising that he would rag on her.

Thanks to LBS tipster David

Dwyane Wade will re-sign with Heat

dwyane-wadeLike Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade is not jumping ship just because LeBron James has returned home to Cleveland. On Tuesday afternoon, Wade announced on social media that he will be staying with the Miami Heat.

“Home Is Where The Heart Is…,” he wrote on Instagram. “My Home,My City,My House..#HeatLifer.”

Brian Windhorst of ESPN added that Wade has finalized his new deal with the Heat and expects to sign as early as Tuesday afternoon. D-Wade opted out of the remaining two years and roughly $42 million remaining on his last contract, and his new deal will reportedly help the Heat free up cap space by costing about $5 million less per season over a longer-term deal.

When LeBron announced he was returning to the Cavaliers, it appeared the Heat could be on the verge of falling apart. It looked like Bosh was going to sign with the Houston Rockets until the Heat made him a priority and offered him a max contract. Wade also drew some interest from the Chicago Bulls, whom he seriously considered signing with earlier in his career.

Wade, 32, looked old and slow during the playoffs last year. If he can get healthy during the offseason, he should still have a few good years left in his legs. Life will obviously be a lot more difficult for the Heat with LeBron gone, but Bosh and Wade should keep them in the hunt if they have the right supporting cast.

Chandler Parsons ‘offended’ by way Rockets treated him in free agency

Chandler-Parsons-RocketsChandler Parsons is glad that the Houston Rockets ultimately chose to not match the offer he received from the Dallas Mavericks. While Mark Cuban was partying with Parsons and treating him like a top priority, the Rockets were out looking to see if they could do better. That did not sit well with the former Florida star.

On Monday, Parsons told Yahoo Sports that he was “offended” by the way the Rockets treated him in free agency.

“Honestly, I was offended by the whole process,” he said. “They publicly said that they were going out looking for a third star when I thought they had one right in front of them. I guess that’s just how they viewed me as a player. I don’t think I’ve scratched the surface of where I can be as a player and I think I’m ready for that role.”

The Rockets were looking to shed the salary cap space needed to sign Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James. They would not have been able to keep Parsons if they signed one of the aforementioned superstars, which means Parsons wasn’t their first, second, or third option.

Rather than matching the Mavericks’ offer of three years and $46 million, Houston let Parsons walk and signed Trevor Ariza to a three-year, $32 million deal.

“You can’t knock them for always trying to get better,” Parsons added. “[Houston general manager] Daryl Morey is very aggressive, is a genius, a great GM and I have nothing but respect for those guys. And they are looking to make their team better. That’s what they were doing. I just thought I could be that guy that could do that.”

On one hand, you could argue that the Rockets did Parsons a favor by opting out of the final year of his contract, which would have paid him south of $1 million. That allowed the 25-year-old, who averaged 16.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last season, to make more money now. Despite that, Parsons said he is upset he was misled.

“Throughout the whole process they pretty much told me they were going to match everything,” he said. “I understand it’s a business. I understand they had to do what they thought was best for their organization. It definitely caught me off-guard a little bit.”

In the end, it probably worked out. Parsons should want to play where he is wanted more, which is obviously in Dallas. An average annual salary of $15 million is just fine for a player of his caliber.