Ball Don't Lie
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie2 hrs ago
You’ve gotta love it when a plan comes together.
The Los Angeles Lakers need warm bodies to fill up a 2014-15 roster that is woefully short on active contracts in the wake of a miserable 27-win season. They need someone to push the ball in what could be Steve Nash’s last season, assuming the Lakers don’t waive him this summer, and as Kobe Bryant creakily works his way back from an Achilles tear and broken leg. The team has plenty of cap space, an unending series of cap holds, and after missing out on Carmelo Anthony, it wants to retain flexibility as it heads into the 2015 offseason.
The Rockets? They want to win, now. And they’re set to pounce on the crackling remains of Miami’s former Big Three.
The LeBron James-is-coming-home front page of Saturday's Cleveland Plain Dealer is fantastic (Photo)Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie2 hrs ago
LeBron James' announcement that he has decided to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers has sports fans across the world buzzing, and has fans in Northeast Ohio beside themselves in joyful anticipation of what Yahoo Sports columnist Dan Wetzel called "the return of the Prodigal Son." The image that will appear on the front cover of Saturday's edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer provides a simple, pretty spectacular expression of the moment they're all anticipating, a moment that many of us thought we'd never see again — James, this time clad in a No. 6 rather than his familiar Cleveland 23, performing his trademark chalk toss while donning the Cavaliers' wine and gold uniform:
LeBron James' return: Saturday's front page of The Plain Dealer pic.twitter.com/h8KFb6UAPX
- Kevin Kaduk at Ball Don't Lie3 hrs ago
Well that didn't take long.
While we haven't seen any LeBron James jerseys being burned in Miami (at least not yet), one big act of public defacement had taken place by early Friday afternoon. A large box was spray-painted over James' face in a cool Miami Heat mural painted in the city's design district. (Here's a second angle from a different Miami news outlet.)
WPLG in Miami reports that it took local mural artist Serge Toussaint more than two years to complete the work, but only a matter of seconds for an unknown vandal to erase the centerpiece after news of James' return to the Cleveland Cavaliers broke.
You stay classy, Miami.
Here's the mural as it looked originally:
No word on if the displeased defacer will be back to paint over Chris Bosh's mug as the forward is headed toward Houston. Whatever the case, the non-plussed look on Dwyane Wade's face seems even more appropriate in light of Friday's news.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie3 hrs ago
I guess my recruiting skills didn't work
While the allure of returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers rendered Embiid's attempts to lure the King to the Philadelphia 76ers unsuccessful, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft still landed one of Friday's premier social media wins, taking a swipe at one of sports' most notoriously fickle fans:
Where are you going next? @Drake
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie3 hrs ago
Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s infamous 2010 rebuttal to LeBron James’ move to Miami made the move from meme to legend within the course of an evening. If you scour Twitter during any part of the 2014 machinations that led up to James’ eventual return to Cleveland, jokes about the Comic Sans font Gilbert used to pen the embarrassing diatribe abounded. Even news that the letter still exited on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ official website until recently, when the Cavs seemed to pull ahead of the aging Miami Heat as favorites to land James, was met with more than a few smirking responses online.
Miami Heat owner Micky Arison is no stranger to putting his foot in his mouth over the internet, but his Twitter response to James’ move back to Northern Ohio was classy and dignified in 140 characters or less.
- Kevin Kaduk at Ball Don't Lie3 hrs ago
LeBron James wrote in his homecoming letter on Friday that he wasn't guaranteeing a title.
The oddsmakers in Las Vegas, however, aren't taking any chances.
According to Bovada.com, the Cleveland Cavaliers are now 4/1 to win the 2014-2015 title with LeBron leading the charge. That's tops in the league, followed by the defending champion San Antonio Spurs (5/1), the Oklahoma City Thunder (6/1), the Chicago Bulls (7/1) and the Houston Rockets (8/1).
As for the suddenly Lebron-less Miami Heat? They've tumbled all the way to 50/1 as the franchise faces a future that likely also won't include forward Chris Bosh.
- Maxi Rodriguez at Ball Don't Lie4 hrs ago
After holding the NBA hostage as he weighed his options, causing fans, fellow free agents and team GM's come to a standstill while they waited on his decision, LeBron James announced his return to Cleveland on Friday, causing an Internet firestorm with reactions from fans, media personalities and even fellow players. Here's a sampling of the best reactions to LeBron's return to the Cavaliers, announced simultaneously on Sports Illustrated as well as James' Instagram account.
For their part, NBA players who commented on the decision appreciated LeBron's commitment to his home town.
Congrats LBJ...loyal guy going home!
Welcome back bro. Your city awaits you. @KingJames
Minnesota's Ricky Rubio took a different direction with his reaction.
Well he is not coming to Minnesota 😔
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie4 hrs ago
This is not what Dwyane Wade had in mind when he opted out of the final two years of the six-year, $107 million deal he signed in the summer of 2010. This is not what he thought was going to happen when he willingly passed on a guaranteed $41.8 million, spread out over two years, earlier this summer. This is not the fallout that he expected after dragging his bum knees up and down the court during last month’s fruitless Finals trip.
There is a very real chance, now that LeBron James has moved onto the Cleveland Cavaliers, that Dwyane Wade will be staring down the same mess that he had to preside over in Miami from 2007 until James and Chris Bosh came to South Beach in 2010. Save for the part about Dwyane Wade being, at worst, the second best shooting guard and fourth or fifth best player in the NBA during that term. Yes, the Miami Heat will have cap space after they presumably sign Wade back to the only NBA team he’s ever known, but for whom?
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie4 hrs ago
After taking the first 10 days of July to weigh his options, free agent forward LeBron James has chosen to rejoin the Cleveland Cavaliers, announcing his decision in a first-person essay as told to Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins. Four years after James' "Decision" to leave Cleveland to pursue championships with the Miami Heat led Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert to write an angry letter expressing his feelings on James' departure, it was James' turn to pick up the pen and tell the world how he felt — and LeBron's delivery was impeccable.
- Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie5 hrs ago
LeBron James has announced that he is returning to Cleveland. Sometime later this week, or even later this month, Carmelo Anthony will decide which team he wants to play for next. They will sign contracts ranging from one to five years, numbering in eight-figure yearly payouts that will ease them into their 30s. Should they decide to take a four or five-year deal, despite their relatively young age and brilliant basketball gifts, this contract will be the last massive deal they’ll sign as peak performers.
LeBron took and Carmelo is taking his time, refusing media attention, and carefully considering options in regards to their families, their choice of home, and the work setting that they’ll be dealing with over the next several years. There have been no press conferences, no showy proclamations, and has been no social media sizzle associated with either camp’s various accounts.
And for some reason, people are upset at this.