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Sunday, July 12, 2020

LeBron James

LeBron James explains why he is not putting social message on back of jersey

LeBron James

The NBA worked with the Players Association to give players the option of sharing certain messages on the back of their jerseys for the NBA’s resumed season in Orlando. A specific list of pre-approved words and/or phrases were put together by the league that players can choose to have on their jerseys.

LeBron James says he will not have one of those messages on his jersey.

Why is that? James told reporters via a conference call on Saturday that he did not feel the messages resonated with his “mission” and “goal.”

James said that he would have liked to have been consulted on what the approved messages were.

The list of approved messages include: Black Lives Matter; Say Their Names; Vote; I Can’t Breathe; Justice; Peace; Equality; Freedom; Enough; Power to the People; Justice Now; Say Her Name; Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can); Liberation; See Us; Hear Us; Respect Us; Love Us; Listen; Listen to Us; Stand Up; Ally; Anti-Racist; I Am A Man; Speak Up; How Many More; Group Economics; Education Reform; and Mentor.

According to an ESPN report on Wednesday, over 80 percent of players had picked a message to put on their jerseys. “Equality” was said to be the most popular choice.

James has been unafraid to share his stance on political and social matters for years. At times, that has resulted in some criticism.

LeBron James jokingly compares heading to bubble to doing prison sentence

LeBron James

Many NBA teams and players are heading to the NBA bubble in Orlando and sharing their reactions. That includes LeBron James, whose Los Angeles Lakers will be among the favorites to win the championship when play begins.

Only for James, leaving for the Orlando bubble did not give him the best feeling. James jokingly compared leaving for the bubble to heading to serve a prison sentence.

“Just left the crib to head to the bubble. S— felt like I’m headed to do a bid man! Fr. Hated to leave the #JamesGang” he wrote on Twitter (tweet edited for profanity).

“Do a bid” is slang for serving a prison sentence.

There aren’t too many prison sentences that involve staying at a nice hotel and having first-class amenities and entertainment like they will in Orlando. Still, the thought of being restricted in the ability to move freely, go where you want, see who you want, and to be without family, means those participating are making sacrifices in order to try completing the basketball season.

5 NBA players who need to win the championship the most

Giannis Antetokounmpo

It almost feels like there’s even more at stake in this year’s NBA playoffs than usual. Due to the pause in NBA action, teams that will be involved in the playoffs have had extra time to think ahead and plan and consider the repercussions of what a bad playoff run could mean. Multiple superteams will feel that they don’t have an indefinite amount of time to win a championship. Players are inching closer to free agency. Some teams, as built, may not be able to continue to exist in their current form.

Which players really need to win a title sooner rather than later? These five could face serious consequences if things don’t go their way in the postseason.

(more…)

Bronny James had hilarious response to fan who asked him who his dad is

LeBron Bronny James

LeBron James clearly passed his basketball ability onto his oldest son, but that isn’t all Bronny got from his old man. The sense of humor is there, too.

Bronny James answered some questions during an Instagram live session on Thursday, and one follower asked him who his father is. It was probably a sarcastic question, but the response made it worthwhile. Without hesitation, Bronny said his dad is Stephen Curry. The 15-year-old then hit a shot that would have made his dad(s) proud.

Bronny’s actual father, of course, squared off against Curry in the NBA Finals four consecutive years from 2015-2018. The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in three of those series. Of all the players in the in the NBA for Bronny to call his dad, we can’t imagine a more savage response than that.

Of course, LeBron and Bronny are always messing with each other. LeBron recently tried to embarrass Bronny like any good dad should during an Instagram live event, so this is just the latest chapter in the friendly father-son rivalry.

LeBron James had a ‘disaster’ free agent meeting with Knicks in 2010?

LeBron James

LeBron James’ infamous 2010 free agency period seems like ages ago, and in fact, was a decade ago. James left Cleveland that summer for Miami, later returned to Cleveland, and then he left Cleveland again, this time for Los Angeles. His career has seen him put on several different jerseys, but is unlikely to include a chapter of him wearing the blue and orange of the New York Knicks. But 10 years ago, he seemingly was close to choosing them.

Back in 2010, James met with the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls in addition to the Knicks and Heat as he contemplated his future. It’s easy to forget that James was said to be seriously considering the Knicks at the time. In fact, there was even a strong rumor that LeBron was going to choose the Knicks.

So what happened? Bill Simmons said on his podcast that the Knicks’ meeting with James was a “disaster.”

“They had the legendary meeting. Donnie Walsh was in the wheelchair, and (James) Dolan was Dolan. And it was just a complete – they didn’t have anything prepared. And it just couldn’t have gone worse, by all accounts. It was a disaster,” Simmons said.

Maybe Simmons was exaggerating for effect and the meeting didn’t quite go as badly as he says, but James didn’t pick the Knicks. Instead, New York landed the Amar’e Stoudemire/Carmelo Anthony combination and made the playoffs three years in a row, peaking as a 54-win team in 2012-2013. They haven’t made the playoffs since.

James won two championships with the Heat and a third in Cleveland. Now he’s trying to win his first with the Lakers and fourth overall. It seemed like James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh had plans to team up in Miami all along, but maybe the Knicks’ meeting with James made the debate easier. Plus, Wade got the feeling the Knicks didn’t want him anyway.

LeBron James completely ignored Joakim Noah’s efforts to recruit him in 2010

LeBron James

LeBron James and Joakim Noah are not exactly BFFs, and now we are getting yet another testament to that much.

In a lengthy and insightful piece on the free agent summer of 2010 that led to LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh signing with the Miami Heat, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst addressed Noah’s attempts to recruit James to the Chicago Bulls. Despite his already “acrimonious” relationship with James, Noah called The King early on during the free agent period. James never returned his call.

The piece also discusses how Chicago’s pursuit of the three stars was hurt by the fact that they only had the cap space to sign two of them and could not find a trade partner to help them clear room for the third. Then-franchise star Derrick Rose’s lack of active involvement in the recruiting process was also cited as a factor in why the team ultimately failed.

The Bulls and the Heat would go on to develop a big rivalry in the early part of the decade, but the bad blood between James and Noah ran way deeper. Noah infamously ragged on the city of Cleveland during James’ first stint there, and the two would regularly get into spats on the court even years later.

Now that James is on the Los Angeles Lakers and Noah has signed a rest-of-the-year deal with the rival LA Clippers, we might actually be treated to another helping of the age-old beef when the NBA resumes in Orlando.

Mike Miller jokes about unretiring to reunite with LeBron on Lakers

LeBron James won two of his NBA championships with Mike Miller by his side, and now Miller is jokingly offering to help The King win another one.

The retired former Sixth Man of the Year Miller reacted to the news of Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley opting out of the NBA’s restart this week by pitching his services to the team in jest.

Miller, now 40 years old, retired in 2017 and subsequently went on to become an assistant under Penny Hardaway at the University of Memphis (though he resigned from his post earlier this month). He spent three seasons with James on the Miami Heat, and James was infamously not happy about the team’s decision to amnesty Miller in 2013. The two then reunited for an additional season together on the Cleveland Cavaliers.

While the sharpshooting Miller might have been an attractive signing if he was actually being serious here, the Lakers may use the open roster spot on another one of James’ ex-teammates instead.