Posts Tagged ‘Dean Smith’

Morning shootaround — Feb. 9


VIDEO: Highlights of the games played Feb. 8

NEWS OF THE MORNING

LeBron calls out Love … and it works | Clippers in a tail-spin | Karl and Kings close on a deal | Dwight Howard the big cheerleader?

No. 1: LeBron calls out Love … and it works — Even when he’s being a bit of a heel, LeBron James gets it right. He called out Kevin Love, who has admittedly struggled with his transition from focal point in Minnesota to third option in Cleveland behind James and All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. That he took to Twitter to do it will bother some, okay plenty of folks, with old school sensibilities about how to lead. But it’s hard to argue with the results. Love had one of his best games of the season Sunday in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group has more:

LeBron James has nearly 18.7 million followers on Twitter, but a tweet he sent at 11:37 Saturday night was likely, almost certainly, directed at a single person.

His teammate, Kevin Love.

James posted to his Twitter account: “Stop trying to find a way to FIT-OUT and just FIT-IN. Be apart of something special! Just my thoughts.”

Those words — “fit out” and “fit in” — were the same Love used to reporters in October when discussing his adjustment to playing for the Cavaliers.

“it’s not a coincidence, man,” James told a few reporters, following the Cavaliers’ 120-105 win over the Lakers Sunday. Love scored a season-high 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

“I lost the Finals in 2007, 2011 and 2014 and that was the same day I came back to Cleveland. Put it together, seven, 11, 14. Coincidence” James said, proving his point.

For reference, it is indeed true that James announced his decision to return to Cleveland via free agency on July 11, 2014.

James was asked about his tweet following Sunday’s game and Love’s big night. James nearly recorded a triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists — three of those assists went to Love on three-pointers.

“It wasn’t even about this team, it was more about people in general,” James said initially, to a larger group of reporters. “It was just a general thought that I had, and obviously whatever thought I had people try to encrypt it and Da Vinci Code it and all that stuff. It’s just a general thought, that’s all that is.

“And people are always trying to fit out instead of fitting in, instead of being a part of something special. And that’s all that was about.”

In October, Love told reporters that “I’m just trying not to fit in so much” and that nameless Cavs teammates had told him to “fit out and just be myself.”

“Fit in” and “fit out” of course, were written in all caps in James’ tweet.


VIDEO: Kevin Love talks after the Cavs’ win over the Lakers

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NBA family reacts to passing of UNC coaching legend Dean Smith


VIDEO: GameTime: Remembering Dean Smith

Dean Smith, the coaching legend who won two national championships at North Carolina and coached numerous NBA legends, has died. He was 83. The NBA community continues to react to the passing of a legendary and influential coach.

Dean Smith Awarded Medal Of Freedom

Dean Smith (left) and Michael Jordan, who he coached at North Carolina, embrace.

Dean Smith (left) and Michael Jordan, who he coached at North Carolina, embrace.

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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Dean Smith has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work and impact as the coach at the University of North Carolina. The NBA smiles and nods to that.

Smith’s closest actual connection with the league was as a member of USA Basketball committees during the early days of professional players in the Olympics, but his impact is unmistakable. He made a historical imprint on the NBA without ever setting foot in the NBA. Talk about a legacy.

Smith products carried the DNA when they left Chapel Hill. Michael Jordan, of course. And Billy Cunningham, James Worthy, Charlie Scott, Bobby Jones, Walter Davis, Kenny Smith along with Bob McAdoo, too. On and on.

That tree reached to the coaching ranks and front offices, too. Larry Brown, George Karl, Mitch Kupchak, Doug Moe, McAdoo, Jordan, John Kuester and Joe Wolf all came through Smith.

Dean Smith has absolutely been in the NBA.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor, the White House said in announcing the 16 newest recipients, and are presented “to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or peivate endeavors.” Indeed, in addition to underlining Smith’s two national championships and retiring in 1997 as the winningest coach in history, the announcement Thursday also noted his work as a civil-rights advocate and a 96-percent graduation rate at Carolina.

“I base my life on the things that coach Smith taught me and the direction and the insight that he gave me into the type of person I would want to be,” Scott, who faced severe racism playing in the South in the late-1960s, told the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer. “What would make coach proud of me? [That’s] a question that I answer every day.”

Smith, 82 and suffering from what his family described in 2010 as a “progressive neurocognitive disorder that affects his memory,” joins John Wooden as the only men’s college basketball coaches to be so honored. Other 2013 recipients include Ernie Banks, Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey.

How popular is Smith in his adopted home state? Though sometimes an outspoken opponent of many lightning-rod issues – the Vietnam war, the death penalty – Public Policy Polling found in February that 76 percent of both Republicans and Democrats in North Carolina thought he should receive the Medal of Freedom, a rare level of agreement. That’s nothing, though. Seventy-two percent of Duke fans were also in favor.

The awards will be presented at the White House this year at a date to be announced.