Count Michael Beasley among those who was a bit taken aback at the way the summer played out.
In an interview with Leo Sepkowitz of Bleacher Report that ran on Thursday, the new Los Angeles Lakers forward indicated that he was surprised at LeBron James’ decision to sign with the team.
“A little piece of me didn’t think he’d leave Cleveland,” said Beasley. “But every time I make a [prediction] like that, it’s always the opposite. I didn’t think he was gonna leave Cleveland, so I knew he was gonna leave Cleveland. I 100 percent didn’t think L.A.
“I thought the Philly situation made sense,” he added. “Teams that already had things in place to win the championship made sense. But when you listen to him speak and watch him play and watch how every team he brought to the Finals was all him making the situation 100 times better, it makes sense now.”
Beasley also said that he originally crossed the Lakers off as a destination for himself after James joined but that his agent “had something up his sleeve.”
The two were previously teammates on the Miami Heat in the 2013-14 season, making the NBA Finals together. They definitely had their ups and downs during that time, and now we can look forward to Round 2 in Los Angeles.
The Atlanta Hawks are making good on Carmelo Anthony’s request for a jersey, which has led to some quality jokes.
Anthony was traded by Oklahoma City to Atlanta in a salary dump last month. Anthony quickly reached a buyout with the Hawks, which allowed him to join a new team upon clearing waivers.
Anthony never intended to play a game for the Hawks and will not, but that didn’t stop him from saying two weeks ago that he wanted a Hawks jersey with his name on it as a keepsake. The Hawks tweeted on Thursday that they are making good on the request.
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) August 9, 2018
The best part was LeBron James got in on the fun, cracking a joke about Melo’s time in Atlanta.
Helleva run in the A my brother @carmeloanthony!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 9, 2018
Melo’s tenure in Atlanta was about as scintillating as Luka Doncic’s with the Hawks. Now Melo is expected to join the Houston Rockets for the veteran’s minimum.
The NBA’s efforts to boost their international presence could be getting a huge helping hand in the near future.
At the third annual NBA Africa Game this weekend, league commissioner Adam Silver said that LeBron James has expressed interest in participating.
“Both [NBA Africa managing director] Amadou [Gallo Fall] and I have spoken directly to LeBron James, and he has stated that he would very much like to come to Africa and be part of the game,” said Silver, per Kwesé ESPN’s Lindsay du Plessis. “I will say on his behalf that he has an extraordinarily complicated schedule, even in the offseason, and he is someone who, for the last eight years, has played in the NBA Finals.
“So his season has gone from September to late June, so he has a very short break,” Silver continued. “During those summers he also often plays for the national team, Olympic Games, things like that. I know it’s high on his list of priorities. I don’t want to put undue pressure on him, but I’m sure that at some point he will make the trip.”
The exhibition game, which is played on the African continent as part of the league’s Basketball Without Borders program, began in 2015 and has been played every year since, except for 2016. It features NBA players of African origin or descent competing on “Team Africa” against NBA players from the rest of the planet on “Team World.” This year’s game featured such stars as Joel Embiid, Serge Ibaka, Harrison Barnes, and Khris Middleton.
We also saw some really great viral moments as a result of the contest, and adding probably the single biggest star in the NBA to the mix would surely lead to a drastic increase in its overall marketability and success.
- LeBron James
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has issued a formal response to President Trump’s critical tweet about LeBron James.
While not mentioning Trump by name, Silver’s statement made it quite clear that he and the league stand with James.
Statement to USA TODAY Sports from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who is in Johannesburg, South Africa for the third NBA Africa Game (in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation), in response to President Trump’s tweet about LeBron James and CNN’s Don Lemon pic.twitter.com/5Q01VX0bt6
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) August 4, 2018
This is the general sentiment coming from around the NBA on Saturday. Trump’s original tweet sparked very harsh reactions from many of James’s peers, and the other player referenced in the tweet is taking LeBron’s side too. It’s unlikely to deter Trump from commenting further, but the NBA is solidly behind its superstar.
Unsurprisingly, Michael Jordan isn’t accepting Donald Trump’s praise at LeBron James’s expense.
Jordan responded to Trump’s tweet criticizing James — and praising him — with a very simple statement released Saturday.
Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan’s official statement, via spokesperson, in wake of Donald Trump tweet referencing him and LeBron James: “I support LJ. He’s doing an amazing job for his community.”
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 4, 2018
Trump took a shot at James on Twitter late Friday night, praising Jordan in the process, seemingly just for the sake of undermining the Los Angeles Lakers star. Jordan isn’t known for his expansive public statements, but it was clear he couldn’t let this situation pass without commenting.
As for James, he remains quiet about Trump’s comments, at least for the moment.
Donald Trump took a shot at LeBron James on Twitter Friday night.
The president tweeted about LeBron being interviewed by CNN’s Don Lemon. Trump called Lemon “the dumbest man on television,” then implied LeBron is dumb.
Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2018
Where does the aggression towards LeBron come from?
James received publicity during the week for opening his new school in Akron, Ohio. The school includes free uniforms and transportation for students, along with a promise to cover the college tuition for all graduates. The NBA star took Lemon on a tour of the school that was aired on CNN. At one point during their sit-down interview, Lemon asked James about the president, and LeBron essentially said he wouldn’t keep company with Trump.
Don Lemon asks LeBron what he would say to Trump if he were seated with them during today's interview.
LeBron: “I would never sit across from him.” pic.twitter.com/gVWrjsWr11
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) July 31, 2018
James openly campaigned for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election. He has said he wouldn’t visit the White House if he won a championship due to his opposition to Trump. He name-called the president, too.
Perhaps Trump saw this as his opportunity to finally respond to LeBron. Oh, and as far is the claim that it’s not easy to make LeBron look smart? Just watch this video and see if you tell me otherwise.
LeBron James officially signed with the Los Angeles Lakers three weeks ago, and the team is wasting no time marketing its new big superstar.
On Tuesday, the Lakers released their first official LeBron-themed promo. While several players were featured, LeBron was understandably the most prominent.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 31, 2018
The Lakers also unveiled a new look, which is really an old look that pays homage to Magic Johnson’s 1980s “Showtime” Lakers.
The new #LakeShow lineup.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 31, 2018
We already saw how insane demand was for LeBron jerseys, which was hardly a surprise. LeBron is the latest in a long line of superstars that have sold countless tickets and merchandise for the franchise, and there’s no way he’s going to disappoint in that department.