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#pounditSaturday, August 8, 2020

LeBron James

Adam Sandler to star in LeBron James-produced Netflix movie ‘Hustle’

Adam Sandler basketball

Adam Sandler drew rave reviews for his performance in “Uncut Gems,” which used NBA playoff games as a backdrop and also starred soon-to-be Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett. Now, Sandler is set to play a lead role in another basketball-themed movie, and he’ll once again be working with an NBA legend.

Jeff Sneider of Collider reported on Monday that Sandler has signed on to star in “Hustle,” which is an upcoming Netflix movie that is produced by LeBron James and longtime business partner Maverick Carter. Sandler will play a basketball scout who is fired after discovering a talented player overseas. The scout brings the player to America to prove they can both make it in the NBA.

Collider has more details on the plot of the film.

Sandler is a huge basketball fan who has his own basketball court called Happy Madison Square Gardens. He also has some serious skills on the court, which should make him great for another basketball-related role.

Jason Williams calls LeBron James ‘the GOAT’ over Michael Jordan

Jason Williams

Jason Williams played in the NBA from 1998-2011 and got to see Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James. He respects the games of all three legends and sees strengths in what all of them accomplished. But when it comes to the best overall player, the point guard formerly known as “White Chocolate” thinks that LeBron is the best.

Williams wrote a message on Instagram Thursday explaining his position, and says it comes down to James being the best all-around player.

View this post on Instagram

THE G.O.A.T!!! Ima start off by saying right off the bat that I got nothing but love and respect for everyone in this discussion! Anyone who knows me knows I always paid my respects to my OGs!! But I get asked all the time who the GOAT is to me when it comes down to MJ, Kobe, and LeBron! Ima let y’all know right now that in my humble opinion… KING JAMES IS THE !!! Before I get into let me make it clear: there was never a badder human being to step foot on a basketball court than Michael Jordan!!! His intensity and competitive fire and six rings speaks for itself!! Baddest dude to ever lace em up PERIOD!!!!! As for Kobe, the dude was for real a genius, a savant, he studied and dissected the game like a surgeon and then worked harder than everybody else!! The blood sweat and tears were SACRED to Bean, he just wanted it more than anybody else!!! But when it comes to Bron, all I gotta say is that if we’re talking PURELY BASKETBALL… he’s the GOAT!! Bro could lead the league in 5 statistical categories if he wanted to and MJ just couldn’t have done that!! Bron got the perfect body/IQ/raw ability for the game of basketball and that’s just a fact! UNSTOPPABLE!! If you’re building a basketball player, you’re going to build Lebron‘s body/mind/skillset every time over anyone else who’s ever played the game!!! Everyone gonna talk about who has the most rings and I understand that the game is about winning but to me: LBJ is the best basketball player of all time!!!! Also, how about this: Lebron’s shoes are WAY more comfortable to hoop in than Air Jordan’s and that’s just a fact!! You won’t catch me hooping without my Lebron 17s and that’s all I got left to say on the matter!!! What y’all think??! Who’s your GOAT?! Convince me in the comments, I’ll be reading!!!  [Shout out to @tripp for the dope artwork!!! ] #GOAT #kingjames

A post shared by Jason Williams (@jasonwilliams55) on

“THE G.O.A.T!!! Ima start off by saying right off the bat that I got nothing but love and respect for everyone in this discussion! Anyone who knows me knows I always paid my respects to my OGs!! But I get asked all the time who the GOAT is to me when it comes down to MJ, Kobe, and LeBron! Ima let y’all know right now that in my humble opinion… KING JAMES IS THE !!! Before I get into let me make it clear: there was never a badder human being to step foot on a basketball court than Michael Jordan!!! His intensity and competitive fire and six rings speaks for itself!! Baddest dude to ever lace em up PERIOD!!!!! As for Kobe, the dude was for real a genius, a savant, he studied and dissected the game like a surgeon and then worked harder than everybody else!! The blood sweat and tears were SACRED to Bean, he just wanted it more than anybody else!!! But when it comes to Bron, all I gotta say is that if we’re talking PURELY BASKETBALL… he’s the GOAT!! Bro could lead the league in 5 statistical categories if he wanted to and MJ just couldn’t have done that!! Bron got the perfect body/IQ/raw ability for the game of basketball and that’s just a fact! UNSTOPPABLE!! If you’re building a basketball player, you’re going to build Lebron‘s body/mind/skillset every time over anyone else who’s ever played the game!!! Everyone gonna talk about who has the most rings and I understand that the game is about winning but to me: LBJ is the best basketball player of all time!!!! Also, how about this: Lebron’s shoes are WAY more comfortable to hoop in than Air Jordan’s and that’s just a fact!! You won’t catch me hooping without my Lebron 17s and that’s all I got left to say on the matter!!! What y’all think??! Who’s your GOAT?! Convince me in the comments, I’ll be reading!!!”

Williams began his career with Sacramento, moved to Memphis, and then spent time in Miami and Orlando. His stint with the Heat did not overlap with LeBron’s, but that doesn’t change his opinion.

The truth is you could make an argument in favor of any of those three great players depending on what your criteria is for determining “greatest.” Williams pretty much nailed each player’s strengths. And while his analysis of James is spot-on, most people equate greatness with winning, which is why they have Jordan as the best. Reasserting Jordan’s place in the GOAT argument actually was probably a big reason why “The Last Dance” was made.

From LeBron James to Kawhi Leonard: the front court players most deserving of All-NBA

LeBron James

The selections for All-NBA forwards and centers present an interesting dilemma, as they strictly adhere to a two forward, one center format. In today’s position-less pace-and-space era of the NBA, it seems antiquated to require one center per All-NBA team. With the game speeding up and a premium being placed on spacing, there is a significant decrease in demand for traditional centers. Teams like the Houston Rockets don’t even believe in playing a center.

The NBA recognized this shift in basketball ideology by removing positions from the frontcourt of the All-Star ballot and allowing for three frontcourt players of any position to be named a starter. While this was a step in the right direction, no changes have been made to the format of the All-NBA teams, resulting in less deserving players on the All-NBA teams simply due to their position.

With that caveat in mind, here are my selections for the All-NBA forwards and centers. (You can see my 2020 All-NBA guards here)

(more…)

Several NBA stars want to resume season

Chris Paul

Several NBA stars want to resume the current season, according to a report.

Yahoo’s Chris B. Haynes reported on Tuesday that Chris Paul, who is the president of the players’ association, arranged a call with many other top players in the league to discuss the resumption of the season. Haynes says the call included LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook.

All players agreed that they wanted to resume the current season when it is safe. The belief is that the superstars all being on the same page will influence the direction of the league.

With the exception of Curry, Durant and Lillard, the players on that call mostly are on championship-contending teams, and therefore would have more incentive to resume the season. Haynes says many players not on playoff contenders feel the season should only resume with playoff teams to minimize the risk of virus exposure.

One issue some players are considering is that the next collective bargaining agreement would be negatively affected if the season were not resumed. That is a concern that was raised by one veteran player.

This Michael Jordan-LeBron James mashup video is great

LeBron James Michael Jordan

LeBron James may call himself the “King”, and Michael Jordan may be the “GOAT”, but the internet as always is the real winner.

Someone created a perfect mashup video that went viral on Monday. The video combines a clip of LeBron James talking about his Cleveland Cavaliers coming back from down 3-1 to beat the Golden State Warriors in 2016, which led James to call himself the greatest. Then comes the viral clip of Michael Jordan laughing at comments from Gary Payton that aired in “The Last Dance”.

Here’s the video:

We don’t know how MJ would have reacted to a clip of LeBron saying that, but many can guess his reaction would be similar. Why? Jordan won six championship compared to the three LeBron has won. Also, many people would agree that James does not have Jordan’s “killer mentality” as one current coach described it.

Erik Spoelstra addresses infamous LeBron James bumping incident

Erik Spoelstra

Nearly a decade later, Erik Spoelstra is finally speaking out about “Bumpgate.”

In an interview this week with TNT’s Ernie Johnson on the NBA’s Twitter feed, the Miami Heat coach was asked about the notorious incident in 2010 where LeBron James appeared to bump him on the sideline during a timeout.

“No, I don’t think so,” Spoelstra said of the notion that James bumped him intentionally, per the Miami Herald. “When you’re on teams like that, they naturally get micro-analyzed. We were 9-8 after that game, it exploded in the media. After that, we went on a run, winning 21 out of 22.”

Spoelstra then added that, in the weeks following the incident, he and James “would walk by each other in the hallways and collide into each other and we would laugh.”

The bumping controversy was certainly a big deal at the time, as Miami was off to a brutal start in the first season of their Big Three era. Questions also lingered about if Spoelstra was the right man for the job and if Heat president Pat Riley might fire him to return as head coach himself. The team righted the ship however and made the Finals for the next four years in a row, including winning back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.

Rumors might still abound that James once wanted Spoelstra to be fired. But as one of James’ longest-lasting head coaches (and now one of the longest-tenured coaches in the entire NBA), there is definitely something to be said about Spoelstra’s perseverance and ability to lead through turmoil.

Kevin Love wishes he could have one more run with LeBron, Kyrie on Cavs

Kevin Love

Kevin Love is one of the last men standing in Cleveland from their 2016 title team, and he wishes their run of success would have lasted longer than it did.

In an interview this week with Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, the Cavaliers big man spoke on the years that he shared with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

“To even have just one more run at it, to see what we were capable of. Just one more run. I would’ve really loved to see that,” said Love. “I think we would’ve been primed for another really big run. Even if it was, for both of them, their last year in Cleveland. It would’ve been nice to see what we were capable of.”

After winning the championship in 2016, the Cavs made their way back to the Finals in 2017 with a record-setting offense. They lost in five games to the Golden State Warriors however, and Irving demanded (and received) a trade that offseason. James and Love then led a depleted Cavs team to yet another Finals berth in 2018, but they fell to the Warriors again, this time in a sweep. James then departed for the Los Angeles Lakers that summer.

Love’s comments are notable because he was often seen as a mismatched third wheel in that Big Three. With Cleveland now in the midst of a second straight sub-20-win season though, the All-Star big can fully appreciate how good the team used to have it back when his co-stars were still around.