Posts Tagged ‘President Barack Obama’

Morning shootaround — Dec. 8


VIDEO: Highlights from games played Dec. 7

NEWS OF THE MORNING

LeBron fired up to play before the royals | Changes don’t fix Lakers’ problems | Reality bites the Heat

No. 1: LeBron relishes opportunity to dazzle the royals — LeBron James, a self-anointed “King”playing before Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Duchess  Kate Middleton tonight in Brooklyn has a certain royal ring to it, no? It does for Cleveland’s King. LeBron is looking forward to showing off for the high-profile visitors, yet another opportunity for the world’s best player to brandish his global brand. Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com has more:

“It’s an honor,” James said before the Cavs practiced in New York City on Sunday. “It’s a huge honor. The stuff that you read about, people like them are only in books growing up. And to hear that they’re coming to town to see me play and they want to see me do what I do best, it’s a huge honor.”

The royal couple will also meet with President Barack Obama on their U.S. tour. Count the president as another dignitary who has come to witness James play in person.

“Well I’ve had people from all across the board as far as stature, but the President of the United States, that was pretty huge,” James said. “To have those two, to say they were traveling here and one of the things that they wanted to do was see me play, it’s a pretty big deal in my household.”

James told reporters he has only seen Will and Kate “on television and the Internet and things, just like the rest of you,” and hopes to get a personal audience with the pair at Barclays Center.

“I would like to,” James said. “They are going to be at the game so hopefully I get the opportunity to interact with them a little bit. We’ll see what happens.”

Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving joked that he owns a DVD of the prince and duchess’ royal wedding from back in April, 2011.

“It will be great to see them in person,” Irving said. “I mean, for me, seeing celebrities in person is awesome. I don’t really know too much about them, but they’re celebrities in our world so I guess it’s great to see them.”


VIDEO: Russell Westbrook throws down the thunder dunk

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No. 2: Changes don’t fix what’s wrong with the Lakers — Change Lakers fans can believe in still hasn’t come. Byron Scott shook up his lineup, benching Carlos Boozer and Jeremy Lin for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans, and got the same result as usual this season. Another loss for Kobe Bryant and the Lakers means that Scott is still searching for the right mix as time is quickly running out on any faint hope for this season in Los Angeles. Mike Bresnahan of The Los Angeles Times sheds some light on the dark times in LA:

Fans booed as the Lakers fell behind by 20 points going into the fourth quarter at Staples Center.

Kobe Bryant took nearly an hour before talking to reporters after the game. Boozer tried to one-up Bryant by not talking to reporters, period. Lin called the demotion “one of the toughest situations I’ve been in.”

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2014-15 Lakers.

“If you look at our record, you have to make changes,” Scott said. “I’m not going to stand back and just watch it continue to be played this way. To me it was a no-brainer.”

Ed Davis had 12 points in place of Boozer and Ronnie Price had three points and three assists in Lin’s spot.

Bryant spoke matter-of-factly, not angrily, when he finally emerged to talk to reporters.

“Not everything is going to be great, champagne, celebrations and winning championships,” he said after scoring 14 points. “You’ve got to go through some hard stuff too. If this was the Titanic, I’d go down with that. … I’m not jumping off.”

This is all too familiar for Lin, demoted last season in Houston after being outplayed by Patrick Beverley. Boozer also had his time shortened in Chicago, benched in the second and fourth quarters toward the end of last season in favor of Taj Gibson.

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No. 3: Reality bites the Heat after fourth straight loss — All of those conversations about the Miami Heat and their place in history that were had over the past four seasons seems like a lifetime ago these days. The Heat, losers of four straight games after falling to the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday, are feeling reality’s bite right now. They are no longer the juggernaut they were with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh headlining the show. It’s a different world for the Heat, as Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald explains:

Chris Bosh slammed the ball against his head in a display of exasperation.

Dwyane Wade just walked off the court laughing and shaking his head.

Even when the Heat did everything right defensively, the Memphis Grizzlies still scored and scored and scored on Sunday at FedEx Forum in their 103-87 victory, but Courtney Lee’s desperation three-pointer from 30 feet seemed especially cruel.

Both Mario Chalmers and Josh McRoberts had their hands on the ball, but neither player could come away with the steal. Instead, the loose ball found Lee, who heaved a prayer toward the rim. It swished the net, of course, because everything goes down against this Heat defense these days.

The Grizzlies shot better than 60 percent until the final two minutes of the game, settling for 58.9 percent from the field. It was the highest shooting percentage of the season for Memphis (16-4), and the high-water mark came on a night star center Marc Gasol was 1 of 6 from the field for two points.

“They didn’t even hurt us in our normal game,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That’s what’s disappointing. It was all the miscellaneous actions.”

The Heat (9-11) has lost five of its past six games, including four in a row, and in each of those losses opponents shot at least 54 percent from the field.

“It’s open season,” said Bosh, who had 12 points and two rebounds. “Until we take more pride in that as a unit, it’s just not going to happen. We’ve got to individually guard the ball with passion, and everything else with follow.”

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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Rockets coach Kevin McHale says Dwight Howard isn’t coming back anytime soon …  Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob apologizes for his comments about former coach Mark Jackson …  Thunder stretch reeling Pistons’ slide to 12 straight … Mum is the word from Phil Jackson on the Knicks …

ICYMI of the Night: The entire cast of Top Five, Chris Rock’s latest comedy, sat down for an interview with our very own Lang Whitaker of the All Ball Blog … 


VIDEO: Lang Whitaker sits down with the cast of Top Five

 

 

Hang Time Podcast (Episode 102) Featuring Sean Grande and Bill Bellamy

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The season of any NBA team can change in an absolute instant.

One false move, one wrong step and that’s it.

Dream season over.

Or not.

In the case of the Boston Celtics. Not everyone is ready to wave the white flag on their season now that Rajon Rondo‘s season is finished, courtesy of the torn right ACL the Eastern Conference All-Star starter suffered over the weekend.

Sean Grande, the voice of the Celtics and a man who we agree is quite possibly the best play-by-play announcer in the world … in his price range,” isn’t so sure Rondo’s injury is the season-altering moment it appeared to be.

Comedian/actor/hoops buff and all around renaissance man Bill Bellamy has his own ideas on Rondo, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers, teaming up with Rick Fox on a new sitcom (“Mr. Box Office”), Brian McKnight‘s NBA aspirations, Kobe Bryant, his (Bellamy’s) cousin Shaquille O’Neal, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, the difference between working in Hollywood films and sitcoms, his failed attempt at being adopted by Will Smith and a whole lot more on Episode 102 of the Hang Time Podcast.

We also revisit the highlights from the Miami Heat’s recent trip to the White House, where they enjoyed a little quality time with President Barack Obama, and also crossed another item off of the Hang Time Podcast topic bucket list when Grande decided to drop a little CM Punk/WWE knowledge on us.

We couldn’t make this stuff up if we tried.

Dive in with Episode 102 of the Hang Time Podcast to see if you can make sense of it all!

LISTEN HERE:

As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Sekou Smith of NBA.com,  Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine and Rick Fox of NBA TV, as well as our new super producer Gregg (just like Popovich) Waigand and the best engineer in the business, Jarell “I Heart Peyton Manning” Wall.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.

Hang Time Podcast (Episode 95) Featuring Etan Thomas

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – From Bill Bradley a generation ago to Kevin Johnson and Dave Bing, the list of NBA stars who have gone on to distinguished careers in politics is as impressive as it is brief.

If we had our way, Etan Thomas would join that list one day.

A 10-year NBA veteran, Thomas is an accomplished poet, author, activist, public speaker and all around renaissance man in the mold of conscious professional athletes from a bygone era — when you grow up with an understanding of the legacy of living legends like Bill Russell, Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Muhammad Ali there is only one way to go.

Born in Harlem, raised in Tulsa and now a resident of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, the former Syracuse and Washington Wizards (he also played with Oklahoma City Thunder and Atlanta Hawks) star is in a prime position to follow in some pretty famous footsteps … whenever he’s ready.

But before he moves on to a life in politics beyond the work he did in helping President Barack Obama get a second term, we enlisted the services of the author Fatherhood: Rising To The Ultimate Challenge, to assist our very own Lang Whitaker with some of the nuances of the job just five days into his journey as a new dad. We also debate about the Wizards and how many games they’ll win this season, discuss the impact Robert Griffin III is having on the entire region and the link Thomas has to Tulsa’s famed Booker T. Washington high school and one of its most famous alums, the late former NBA and jazz great Wayman Tisdale.

You get all of that and a complete examination of the news and headlines in the NBA on Episode 95 of the Hang Time Podcast  featuring Etan Thomas, with your hosts Sekou Smith,  Whitaker and Rick Fox. 

LISTEN HERE:

As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine, Sekou Smith of NBA.com and Rick Fox of NBA TV, as well as our new super producer Gregg (just like Popovich) Waigand and the best engineer in the business, Jarell “I Heart Peyton Manning” Wall.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.

Presidential Politics: Obama’s ‘The Heat’ To Romney’s ‘Jeremy Lin’


HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS –
You knew it was only a matter of time before Presidential politics and the NBA crossed paths during this election season.

In a Sunday piece in The New York Times detailing President Barack Obama‘s ultra competitive nature, an unnamed aide to tells a story of the Commander-in-Chief (and No. 1 hoops fans) comparing his reelection team to the eventual NBA champion Heat and his opponent’s, Republican nominee Mitt Romney, to former Knicks sensation and current Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin:

This February, in an otherwise placid meeting with Democratic governors — routine policy questions, routine presidential replies — Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana asked Mr. Obama if he had what it took to win the 2012 race.

For a moment Mr. Obama looked annoyed, a White House aide said, as if he thought Mr. Schweitzer was underestimating him. Then he came alive. “Holy mackerel, he lit up,” Mr. Schweitzer said in an interview. “It was like a light switch coming on.”

No matter what moves Mr. Romney made, the president said, he and his team were going to cut him off and block him at every turn. “We’re the Miami Heat, and he’s Jeremy Lin,” Mr. Obama said, according to the aide.

We’ll know the start of the NBA season if President Obama is correct in his categorization of both sides. Election night will decide that.

Win or lose, President Obama will reign forever as basketball’s first and favorite Commander-in-Chief. He’s shown more love for the game than any of his predecessors.

The President Has League Pass!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – We knew that President Barack Obama was a serious basketball fan.

And we know that member of his cabinet, folks like U.S. Secretary of Education and Hang Time Podcast guest Arne Duncan, are serious about the game as well.

But we had no idea how deep the love for the NBA game was until reading the transcript of the BS Report (from Grantland.com’s Bill Simmons) with POTUS where he revealed a little more than usual about his NBA viewing habits:

BS: It’s funny, because I always pictured you in bed pretending you were working but watching League Pass on your iPad — [laughter] — watching some West Coast game — [the] Sacramento Kings or something.

Obama: I do have League Pass on my iPad.

BS: You do?

Obama: Of course.

BS: Do you pay for it yourself or do you charge it to the White House?

Obama: No, I’ve got to pay for it myself. [Laughter.]

There are no partisan politics in basketball. You either love the game or you don’t! It’s good to know that the leader of the free world has true love for the game.

He also knows the game, inside and out. If you don’t believe it, check out the transcript!

Hang Time Podcast All-Star Special With David Stern And Arne Duncan

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – With All-Star Weekend just days away, we knew it was time to break out the heavy hitters.

And when we say heavy hitters, we mean the heaviest of hitters in the realm of basketball and beyond. No, we didn’t corral Jeremy Lin yet and Kobe Bryant didn’t return our call either. But we’ve got the next best thing.

NBA Commissioner David Stern joined us for a visit, dropping in on us after sitting down for an afternoon interview with TNT’s David Aldridge at the league’s New York offices, and didn’t disappoint. Stern dished on the Lin phenomenon, his thoughts on the upcoming All-Star Weekend, why it he doesn’t have a problem with rewarding veteran stars come All-Star bid time, how the league has thrived in the wake of the lockout and so much more.

Following the Commissioner (never an easy thing to do), we rapped with former Harvard co-captain, Academic All-American and pro basketball player, and current U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who took time out of his busy schedule to talk about his Harvard connection with Lin, his Chicago Bulls and his unique ties to both the team’s coach (Tom Thibodeau) and its biggest star (Derrick Rose). He also shared what it’s like playing ball with President Barack Obama in those famous White House pick up games (we’re ready whenever you need us Reggie Love) and so much more.

Check out all of that and so much more  on Episode 70 of the Hang Time PodcastThe All-Star Special:

LISTEN HERE: 

As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine and Sekou Smith of NBA.com, as well as our superproducer Micah Hart of NBA.com’s All Ball Blog.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.

Some highlights of what Stern had to say to DA after the jump.

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