Morning Shootaround — Oct. 11


VIDEO: LeBron touches on Heat-Cavs in Rio and comments from Wade, Bosh

NEWS OF THE MORNING
LeBron surprised by Heat talk | Parker: “I’m still hungry” | League plans aggressive marketing campaign | Ray Allen isn’t a lock for Cavs?

No. 1: LeBron caught off guard by former teammates’ comments — The Big Three that won two titles and played in four consecutive NBA Finals doesn’t seem so chummy anymore. Remaining Heat players Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have had some interesting things to say about what it’s like to play with the King while the Heat and Cavaliers are both in Brazil and will play an exhibition game Saturday. Apparently LeBron James has been surprised by their words. Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon-Journal has the story:

RIO DE JANEIRO: Maybe it shouldn’t be such a surprise to LeBron James that his former Heat teammates are upset at his departure. After all, he went through this the first time he left a team.

When James bolted the Cavs for Miami in 2010, Daniel Gibson and Mo Williams were two of the most hurt and outspoken about it. Gibson implied his friendship with James was over, and Williams appeared in front of the media before James’ initial return game to Cleveland wearing a Boston Red Sox jacket — the one and only time he wore a Sox jacket in all his years in Cleveland. Even those within the Cavs organization took it as a subtle jab at James, who is a big Yankees fan.

Now that James has spurned his Heat teammates to return to Cleveland, the bitterness has shifted to the other side. James said Friday he was caught by surprise by some of the comments from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in recent days.
“I know a lot of words have been coming out of their camp as of late, and some of it is surprising,” James said Friday prior to the Cavs’ practice at Flamengo Club. “We’ve got so much history together.”

The three stars guided the Heat to four consecutive Finals appearances and two championships. But Wade recently said last season wasn’t much fun and Bosh earlier this week said he hasn’t spoken to James since he left and he doesn’t have time for guys who aren’t on his team.

Bosh has since clarified those comments, but he also told Bleacher Report this week that Kevin Love will have to make a huge adjustment playing alongside James.

“It’s going to be very difficult for him,” Bosh said of Love. “Even if I was in his corner and I was able to tell him what to expect and what to do, it still doesn’t make any difference. You still have to go through things, you still have to figure out things on your own. It’s extremely difficult and extremely frustrating. He’s going to have to deal with that.”

Bosh explained how dramatically he had to change his game to adapt to playing alongside James, essentially cutting out his inside game to leave room for James and Wade to operate.

“It’s a lot more difficult taking a step back, because you’re used to doing something a certain way and getting looks a certain way,” Bosh said. “And then it’s like, ‘Well no, for the benefit of the team, you have to get it here.’ So even if you do like the left block, the volume of the left bock is going to be different.”

There is merit to Bosh’s claims. He sacrificed the most of his game during the Heat’s Big Three era. But losing James clearly cripples the Heat’s odds at another deep playoff run, which could easily explain any lingering frustration among those teammates left behind.

By tipoff Saturday night, the Cavs and Heat will have spent more than 100 hours together in Rio, yet neither James nor the Heat players made any effort to see each other off the court this week.

While a handful of Cavs players joined a few Heat players on Thursday for a joint NBA Cares project, James was not one of them. Friday’s schedule provided a huge window between practices, so the Heat (which cut practice early) were long gone before the Cavs arrived at Flamengo Club.

“We don’t dislike each other or anything like that, it’s nothing like that,” Bosh said Friday. “On the court, he’s about the Cavs, we’re about the Heat. That’s where it ends.”

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No. 2: Tony Parker isn’t satisfied yet — In a wide-ranging interview with Yahoo! France, Spurs point guard and four-time NBA champion Tony Parker talks about becoming a father and getting married, says he feels great physically and that it feels like he’s living a dream. Pounding The Rock delivers the translation of the French interview:

Question: You’re a father now, how has it changed your life ?

Tony: It changes your priorities so you don’t look at your life the same way. I’m very proud that he’s [Josh Parker] here and I hope that we’ll help him to grow up and be a good person.

Question: Do you take part in the parental tasks?

Tony: Yeah, sure. I am a father who’s involved in all the tasks. I like to help with the diapers, all of that… I like to be aware of what’s going on.

Question: You also got married. Is this important for you?

Tony: I think it is important for your balance. I’ve always been well supported. There’s always support behind every top sportsman from their family and friends…You can’t succeed all alone. I have always been very close to my family and it’s been important for me to have my parents and my brothers by my side throughout my career.

Question: How can you stay a bit French, which we’re proud of, considering that you’re more and more American?

Tony: I regularly come back to France to play with the national team, to work with my sponsors, or to help with my foundation. I’m also an ambassador for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. I host my basketball camps in Fécamp, Normandy, which is the place where I started to play basketball. I always have a foot here.

Question: You’ve become a symbol of success in France. How do you handle that?

Tony: I always try to be a good representative of my country in the United States. You know, I left when I was a very ambitious 19 year old with “The American Dream.” I’ve always been a big dreamer. I’ve always had an entrepreneur-like approach and I wanted to succeed both on and off the court. I wanted to be an ambassador for French basketball.

My idol growing up was Michael Jordan. He was the perfect example for succeeding on and off the court. So at my level – of course I’m not going to compare myself to MJ – I want to do the same for French basketball.

Question: What is the reason for your success? Work?

Tony: I don’t want to sound too cliche, but yes, you’ve got to work hard. You have to be disciplined, take care of your body and watch what you eat. All of the things that you’re told about when you’re trying to become a pro athlete, all of that is true. There are many guys who are very talented but not disciplined enough. Partying too often is an example. There are many little things that can make the difference between a good career and a great career.

Question: At 32, sports wise, where do you think you are? At the top?

Tony: I feel really good physically. I don’t feel like I’m getting old or like I’m slowing down. I’m still hungry, even though I have won everything in my career. I want to continue to be challenged, and with the Spurs, we’ve got a great challenge now: try to repeat, which we have never done.

With Team France, there’s the Eurobasket 2015 tournament and getting to play it in your home country is huge. Defending the title is not going to be easy. And then, there’s an Olympic medal. For me, the perfect ending would be to win the European championship in France in 2015 and meet the US in the Olympic finals in 2016. That would be great.

Question: Do you feel like you’re still improving, or like you have reached your apex?

Tony: I feel like I reached the apex. Basketball players are commonly thought to have their best years between 28 and 32. Because you have the experience but you’re still strong and fast. So I think I reached the apex. Then, you can always try to improve, to become a better shooter, a better defender.

Question: Frankly, when you think about it… Four NBA titles [is quite an achievement]

Tony: I can hardly believe it. Sometimes I must pinch myself because I feel like I’m living a dream. When I see the names I have surpassed on the various lists – best scorers, best passers…and all of the things I’ve accomplished with Tim, Manu and Popovich…It feels odd.

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No. 3: Following new TV deal, NBA targets casual fans — The league’s new chief marketing officer says it is increasing the marketing budget and planning to be more aggressive with its marketing to attract a larger fan base. The NBA debuts its new season-long campaign, “Everybody Up” tonight. E.J. Schultz of Ad Age has the inside look:

The National Basketball Association, which recently inked a lucrative media rights deal, will increase its marketing budget as it looks to lure more casual fans, according to the league’s new chief marketing officer.

Some of the new spending will back the league’s season-long campaign, which debuts Saturday and will run on a broader set of networks than in years past, said CMO Pam El, who joined the NBA in August after stints at insurance companies State Farm and Nationwide.

“We are going to be much more aggressive with our marketing. We want to go after a larger fan base,” she said in an interview.

While she declined to reveal spending figures, she said the new campaign, called “Everybody Up,” will run on news and entertainment networks such as BET, CNN, TBS and VH1 “just to name a few.”

The first ad of the campaign (above) is called “Roll Call” and will first air on Saturday during the Miami Heat vs. Cleveland Cavaliers preseason game that will be played in Rio de Janeiro and air on ESPNews. The ad is by Goodby Silverstein & Partners and features narration by hip hop artist Common.

Previously, the league had mostly confined its early-season campaign to ESPN and TNT, which both carry NBA games, Ms. El said. The league will still air ads on the two networks, but “we are going to branch outside of that media to reach not only the avid fan, but also our casual fan,” she said.

***

No. 4: Ray Allen’s still in no hurry to sign — While many assume Ray Allen will play this season and like do so with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge isn’t so convinced. A. Sherrod Blakely of Comcast Sportsnet has more:

BOSTON — You can count Danny Ainge among those not convinced that Ray Allen will sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers … at least not right now.

“Ray can really help them, but I anticipate that Ray will wait and see the landscape of the NBA,” Ainge, the Boston Celtics’ president of basketball operations, said during his weekly call-in to 98.5 the Sports Hub. “I just think he might wait and see how everybody’s clicking. There’s a handful of teams that would love to have Ray on their team right now that are trying to win a championship.”

In addition to the Cavaliers, Chicago, Oklahoma City and defending champs San Antonio are among the teams that have reportedly expressed interest in bringing in the former Celtic who has won NBA titles in Boston (2008) and Miami (2013).

“He may wait until All-Star break or January,” Ainge said. “And just see what teams are playing well, which teams are the healthiest and which team that he thinks that he might fit in, just in the style of play. With new coaches at some different places, he may just want to see how it unfolds before he makes a decision.”

Ainge, who won a pair of NBA titles (1984, 1986) with the Celtics, said he has no issue with veteran players choosing to latch on with clubs that they believe are title contenders.

“The rules sort of indicate that’s what you can do,” Ainge said. “Ray’s probably, if he goes to one of the contending teams he’ll be making minimum salary. He’s been a max player a couple times in his career. That’s his right, to try and win a championship. It’s just the way the collective bargaining agreement is structured. It’s different than how it was structured back in the ’80s and ’90s. I don’t blame a player like Ray, right now, for wanting to find a perfect fit for him as he finishes his career.”

***

SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Thunder’s Reggie Jackson left Friday’s game with a wrist injury … Ankle injury will sideline Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving for tonight’s preseason game against Miami in Brazil … Under new TV deal could salary cap reach $100 million? … LeBron still the one most GMs want to start a team … Lakers weren’t good enough to attract Carmelo Anthony … Mavericks guard Raymond Felton left Friday’s game with a sprained right ankle … Spurs forward Boris Diaw can earn an extra $500,000 my maintaining his weight throughout the season … Kevin Durant isn’t interested in giving up guaranteed money as a trade-off to do away with max contracts.

39 Comments

  1. lonnie says:

    My question is what 2 players do u start your team with? Mines is Michael Jordon and and Sha’Quille ONeal

  2. TTKIN says:

    “You also got married. Is this important for you?”

    Dumbest interview question ever.

    “NOOOOOO why would arguably the biggest decision of my life be important?”

  3. Ahmad says:

    LBJ is one of the best players in world if not the best but when you compare him to a player i think the camparision will be with Durant not with kobe and micheal…… Those legends carried a whole team to win a 5 or 6 championships in which lebron with the superstars like wade and bosh won 2/4….. To prove what am saying.. Did lebron win any title alone in Cleveland in the past?

    • Tyler Webb says:

      Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant didn’t carry their whole teams…

      MJ had Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and Steve Kerr.

      Kobe had Shaq, Pau, Derrick Fisher, and great role players like Rick Fox and Robert Horry.

      To say that LeBron isn’t in the place to be compared to MJ and Kobe is ridiculous and I’m not even a Lebron James fan whatsoever. Yes LeBron had his big 3 in Miami but his bench teammates were about as bad as it gets… While there certainly wasn’t any big three specifically for the Lakers and Bulls, every player on the team contributed. Not just MJ or not just Kobe.

      All in all MJ = LeBron > Kobe

  4. blerot says:

    Jordan and kobe are legends, Lebron is just a superstar. Lebron can play basketball, but doesn’t make the game as beautiful as guys like jordan, Kobe and Wade. Just look at the move wade made in their last game in Rio.

    • philly says:

      exactly why he stays hurt!

      • Super Girl says:

        I DO NOT BELIEVE WADE IS IN THE SAME CATEGORY AS KOBE – HELLO! FROM WHAT PLANET DO YOU COME FROM… I GUESS YOU ARE A HEAT FAN … WELL WELL TOO BAD FOR MIAMI HEAT THEY OVER PAID BOSH WHO IS JUST A GOOD PLAYER. MIAMI HEAT WILL NOT EVEN MAKE IT TO THE CONF FINALS…

  5. sergeo says:

    I think Lebron James did well by leaving miami.

    If we take a closer look on his departure from miami we see that the contracts of many of his former teammates look very good now due to his departure. This is my opinion: LBJ leaves Miami in order to let his former teammates like Chalmers, Bosh, Cole to get more money in their buckets at the end of the day. If LBJ was still a Heat player, then Chalmers, Cole and maybe Bosh would have left the team.

  6. Mickey says:

    Lebron said he wasn’t going to chase rings, well that’s a lie. He jumped ship to go play with the big three in Miami now he jumped ship again and is playing with another big three. Lbj will never be on Kobe’s level because kobe has a MUCH higher dedication to his team and to his teammates. He stuck with the lakers through the good and bad. I’m not saying obj isn’t a good player, I’m just saying he goes wherever he thinks he can get a ring.

    • Han says:

      LOL to Kobe’s fan. He drove Shaq out for his ego (and Dwight to lesser extent), asked to get traded when they were not contenders, and now crippled ur team with his contracts, and that’s what you said “higher dedication to his team and to his teammater” & “he stuck through the good and bad”? At least, throw a really worthy players like Dirk or Timmy for that kind of argument pls.

    • philly says:

      Kobe is a snitch and ran off all the other stars he played with a la SHAQ! Carmello didnt want to come to LA. LBJ is by far the better player than kobe! Defensively,can score at will, more athletic, and waaaaaay more physical! all kobe has is rings!

  7. harriethehawk says:

    RAY ALLEN PLEASE PLAY FOR OKC-THEY NEED YOU!! KEVIN DURANT IS OUT, REGGIE JACKSON IS OUT! KENDRICK PERKINS IS OUT! AND MCCRARY THE ROOKIE WHO WAS BEING COUNTED TO BACK UP ADAMS AND PERKINS IS OUT!!!!!!!! HELP!

  8. Sneak Diss says:

    I mean LeBron only went back to Cleveland to bring a ring to his hometown really. He had a better chance winning by teaming up with Carmelo or playing in Houston/Chicago if he just wanted to chase rings when you think about it. Dont be so hasty to criticize when you dont know the whole story.

  9. If every great player tried to go to the team with the best title prospects they would get traded every year. As a player, it’s a bit lame to be selective like that.

  10. kobeballhog says:

    Kobe is nothing but a scoring ball hog. He rode shaqs back during their run. Then it took derek fisher to bail them to win more rings. Mj needed steve kerr and john paxson to nail those crucial shots to win. Pau gasol plays a huge huge part in winning more rings without gasol and fisher kobe will be staring at 2 rings which everyone with a decent mind knows it is shaqs team coz during thise years shaq is an unstoppable monster so dominant that evryteam needs double or triple teaming him and that made all the lakers players game so much easier. So yeah basketball is a team game. no player how good or great wins on his own.everyone needs a whole team to depend on and Luck plays a big big part in winning it all.

  11. Unkle Daddy says:

    Ray Allen should go to the Spurs if he wants to try and win another title, if not and he just wants to play one more year he should go back to Boston and mentor some of the younger players.

  12. pej says:

    Ray Allen and Danny Green a very dangerous combination at three point line, if Ray signed up with Spurs.

  13. p3p4 says:

    Ray Allen is smart. The NBA is a business, and he’s making a business decision. I don’t think he will go to OKC, because they are still not up to par with San Antonio. I am a OKC fan, however you have to admit the spurs are still the number one pick to win the championship this year. From my basketball esp knowledge, Ray is only thinking of 2 teams, San Antonio, and Cleveland. I think he will be a better fit for Cleveland. They could definitely use his 3 point shooting expertise. I do think it’s his personal right to choose what team will be a better fit for him. This will be his last year so take as long as you want ray to decide and hopefully choose the right team that will get you your 3rd NBA Champtionship.

  14. lbj says:

    will trade love, irving, and miller for future hof cole

  15. Kobe Bean Bryant says:

    Lebron needed wade and bosh (2 of top 20 players in league when they got together in 2010. Not to mention the greatest 3 point shooter of all time in Ray Allen. Now he has Kevin love and Irving. 2 superstars that are franchise players by themselves. Lebron will be known for being an amazing player but he will never make it to jordan or Kobe’s resume when all said and done. Heat fans are the worst in the nba and no one will show up to their games anymore. Lakers have a better chance than the heat. I have spoken trollz. Now it’s your turn to pretend to rebuttle this factual statement.

    • ariel klilu says:

      Kobe had shaq the most dominant player during that three peat. Jordan had pippen the most defensive player during there runs..I would trade any of LeBron teammates through out his career for those players.

      • Kobe Bean Bryant says:

        Kobe also won with Pau and a bunch of nobodies. Michael had Scottie for defensive help but that’s 1 guy helping, just like Kobe. Lebron had AT LEAST 2 superstars helping him in Miami and Cleveland. Kobe and Michael carried their teams. Lebron has to much help to carry cleveland even if he wanted to. Explain that?

      • Kobe Bean Bryant says:

        Also remember that if Ray Allen misses that 3, lebron James is 1/5 in finals appearances. Don’t think Michael or Kobe would let that happen

      • Han says:

        When your “nobodies” include Andrew Byrnum (he’s a bum, but back then he’s the 2nd best centre after Dwight in the league that I think everyone’s agree), and some players like Ariza, Fisher, Artest or even Lamar Odom (when he could still play), then I’m not even sure you watched the game. And oh, Jordan has a few good ones too in Horace Grant (for the 1st stint), Rodman (for the 2nd), or even Kukoc as his nobodies sidekick

      • philly says:

        jordan had pippen kukoc rodman kerr paxson…..do i need to keep going? what games were u watching? all will most likely be HOFers!

    • philly says:

      what resume does kobe have besides shaq winning him 3 rings? and bosh needs to pull his skirt down and stop crying and thank LBJ for giving him $30M that he is definitely NOT WORTH! Wade is washed up and without LBJ going to miami there would have been zero rings won in that span even with BOSHY POO!

  16. A truly great player does not want to be a parasite, waiting to attach himself to the best contender to win a ring. A great player will never be satisfied nor proud to look or wear that championship ring knowing fully well that he did not accomplished on his own achievement, but by riding on the back of a true champion. Danny Ainge probably wasn’t thinking that a Jordan, a Kobe will do a Ray Allen motive.

  17. Bunbury says:

    King James is chasing rings…….. something he said he wouldn’t do…….Shaq did the same at the end of his career. I honestly think it’s really stupid that careers are judged by the number of titles. LJ best accomplishment so far is the 4 MVP’s. that’s impressive.

    • Someone Else says:

      I agree with you on all your points. Too many people insist on judging the merits of individual players on the number of championship teams they have been part of. It’s like saying K.C. Jones, Derek Fisher, Robert Horry or Frank Ramsey are all-time greats and at the same time saying John Stockton, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson or Patrick Ewing were no good.

    • Henry says:

      Individuals don’t win rings — teams win rings. Judging a player’s career solely on rings ignores a ton of variables: injuries; how competitive the division, conference, and league were that year; management’s decisions; coaching; the other players on the team; how significant a contribution the player in question makes to their team’s victories; etc. Rings can be part of the discussion, sure, but they shouldn’t be the only criteria by which we judge a player. Just because one player has more rings than another doesn’t automatically make him the better basketball player.

      It’s a myth that any player can win a championship on their own. It takes a team to win a championship; it even takes a bit of luck.

      Case in point: Steph Curry has 0 NBA championships and 0 Finals appearances. Norris Cole has appeared in the Finals in all 3 of his NBA seasons, managing to win 2 of them. By rings alone — or by even playoff success alone — Cole would be rated better than Steph Curry, Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, Goran Dragić, John Wall, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, and suchlike. And Steve Nash has never won a ring! Based on those numbers alone, Cole should easily be the best pg in the league (he’s accomplished so much in so short a time; for comparison,Tony Parker had only one Finals appearance and 1 ring over his first 3 seasons) and already more of a legend than Nash. It’s only when you factor in other important variables that you start to see context. Without them, you can’t see things as they really are.

      Reality: It is laughable to try and sell Cole as better than any of those players.

      • John Doe says:

        I like that post. For argument’s sake, let’s say Jordan, Kobe and Lebron have equally strong teams. Each set of teammates being the ideal supporting cast for either one of them but none better or worse than the other sets of supporting casts.

        So now we have three teams and the only factor separating them are the individuall skills of Michael, Bryant and James. Say each team played the other teams 1000 times. Whoever gets most wins, is he the GOAT?

      • ChessCarnival says:

        Well, Cole is our Future Hall of Famer!! 😉

    • Tk says:

      MVP is like Miss World competition. Only rings counts.

      • Celentano says:

        So u mean bill Russell is the goat? And Manu ginobili and Larry bird are same level of greatness( both have 4 rings). Whoever say only ring counts, have only 1st grade I.Q.. No logic..