Archive for the ‘LeBron James’ Category

The 2012-13 NBA season is in preseason mode, which means that fantasy basketball is in full swing with drafting, both mock and real, and the gathering of opinions should be part of your strategy to winning your league. So as part of the information to help you in becoming victorious, all this week The Fantasy Jump Off will give you the top 100 fantasy basketball players, tiered to aid your assessment of when to draft a player.

NOTE: The number in parentheses is an actual rank number, but is used loosely to help you decide within the tier. However, all players within tiers basically have the same value. All stats are from last season, unless otherwise specified.

Tier One – LeBron James (1A), Kevin Durant (1B)

Do you take LeBron or Durant with the first overall pick? This comes down to preference. LeBron has the superior numbers in assists (6.2 to 3.5), steals (1.9 to 1.3), and field goal percentage (53.1 to 49.6), while Durant is better in free throw percentage (86.0 to 77.1), three-pointers per game (2.0 to 0.9) and blocks (1.2 to 0.8). Of course, despite lesser comparative numbers from either player, you’ll take it within a non-comparative context. Them boys good.

We all know they can score and board, so the things to consider are as follows: Do you build your team around a SF/likely PF-eligible player like LeBron who will give you tons of assists from the three or four? Or a player with an excellent amount of treys and a significant advantage at the charity stripe? Either way, you really can’t go wrong. It should be noted that LeBron jacked up less threes per game (2.4 attempts) last season versus the previous one (3.5) and his career average (4.0). It’s no coincidence since he seems like he’ll be going more to the post, which will only increase his field goal percentage.

Just like in the 2007 draft when the SuperSonics had Kevin Durant fall in to their laps, picking second overall may actually be the easiest of any picks this fantasy basketball season because there really isn’t any thought process involved.

Read the rest of this entry »

Oh great, now the Heat are consistently hitting from half court. Not fair.

ALTERNATE ENDING: They said Ray Allen was going to be lethal this season, but this is just ridiculous.

(via Beyond the Buzzer)

When we were in the middle of Dwight Howard’s will-he-won’t-he-didn’t-he-?-no-wait-he-didn’t-cool-sparkly-jeans-now-he’s-injured-and-out-for-the-playoffs disaster of a 2011-12 season, people couldn’t help but wondering whether what Dwight was doing to the Magic was worse than what LeBron James did to the Cavaliers. On one hand, you have a guy going on TV to announce he wanted to play basketball with his friends. On the other hand, you have a guy who couldn’t decide what he wanted to do and didn’t want to make anyone mad. Either way you choose, it’s like picking your favorite 8-year-old mindset.

Nonetheless, there were mistakes made by both guys. And that’s fine, except one guy had nearly two years to learn from the mistakes of the other, which is exactly what Dwight Howard is saying he wishes he would have done. From ESPN:

“That’s one of the lessons that I learned, you know. I can’t make everybody happy,” Howard told Bucher, in an interview for ESPN’s “Sunday Conversation.”

“And it was a tug of war between my feelings and the fans and everybody else and their feelings and what happened to LeBron. And I saw him — everybody hated him for leaving Cleveland and what he did,” Howard said of LeBron James’ free-agent move from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat in 2010. “I never wanted anybody to hate me, you know. I wanted everybody to love me, you know, like me, for sticking around and doing what they wanted me to do. And making everybody else happy. And that was a valuable lesson for me, you know.

“I can’t make everybody happy.”

Here’s that passage interpreted — “I wanted to be traded, but I opted-in to my contract because I was scared people would be mad at me.” That’s a pretty bold admission, even though we all knew that was exactly what was happening. At least Dwight can finally be honest enough to admit he was scared of being booed, though he should have had the foresight to understand that dragging things out would only make it worse. He should have known he couldn’t have it both ways. There’s no possible world where you can be beloved by fans while also trying to weasel your way out of their favorite team. It’s like he only saw that people hated LeBron and not why people hated LeBron.

It also really sounds like he regrets waiving that opt-out clause during last season’s trade deadline, but Dwight says that isn’t the case.

“I don’t have any regrets, you know. I think everything happened the way that it was meant to happen,” Howard said Saturday in an interview with ESPN The Magazine senior writer Ric Bucher. “I really just wish some of the lies and some of the things being said didn’t come out the way it did, you know.”

Either Dwight really learned a lot and enjoyed playing those 10 post-deadline games he spent with the Magic before finally shutting things down and missing the playoffs to undergo back surgery — something that made some people like him even less, even though his injury was totally legit — or Dwight doesn’t know what “regret” means. Because he’s also saying that he learned you can’t make everybody happy, and he’s saying that in the context of why he signed on for another half-season with the Magic. And it sure sounds like he’s saying he’d do things differently if he had the chance. That is a roundabout definition of regret, if you ask me.

But whatever. The main thing is that Dwight finally said something we’ve always known to be true: “I wanted everybody to love me.” That is the thing that matters most to Dwight Howard and that’s why last year was so stupid. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles playing on a team that a lot of people hate, alongside a player who’s been hated almost his entire career. Is he the kind of player that wants to prove how good he really is, just to shut people up? Or is the kind of guy who’s going to keep worrying about making everybody happy and being the fun-loving guy everyone fell for back in the 2008 dunk contest? That’s going to be one of the biggest, most interesting questions of this coming seasons and that’s why I’m so excited. Hurry up and get here, NBA.

(via PBT)

As the saying goes, winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing. I am pretty sure Alexander the Great said that, but no one knows for sure. The interpretation has been lost through the ages. Nonetheless, for professional athletes, the sentiment remains true — winning is the best, even just for the sake of winning.

But sometimes, what comes along with winning is even better than just winning. Case in point, LeBron James’ promise to the English soccer team he co-owns, Liverpool FC, should they win the Barclays Premier League. From the Daily Mail:

NBA superstar LeBron James has handed Liverpool players a huge incentive to get their season on track and land silverware this season: a massive party in Las Vegas. [...]

James has vowed to give the players a lavish party they will never forget in Sin City, co-hosted by his pal, rap star Kanye West.

LeBron told The Sun: ‘I spent some time with Steven Gerrard and he is passionate about his team.

‘Everybody in sport needs incentive and if the guys at Liverpool win something this year I will give them the best weekend of their life in Vegas.

‘Kanye is in and trust me, nobody does Vegas like LeBron and Kanye.’

LeBron added: ‘We will take them to places in Vegas 99 per cent of people don’t even know exist. There is Vegas and then there is Vegas.’

Everything about this is great. Bringing Kanye West along, LeBron assuming that the most perfect incentive imaginable is getting to hang out with him and his rapper friend in Vegas, the idea of an underground super Vegas that you’re not even allowed to talk about in Vegas, LeBron kind of admitting that you need something else besides just the championship — all of it.

But most of all, the “Nobody does Vegas like LeBron and Kanye” line lets us reminisce about LeBron’s famous Vegas trip. You know, this one.

Bottle after bottle of “Ace of Spades” champagne is delivered to the table by a waiter flying down from above the dance floor like some overgrown Peter Pan on a wire. One time he’s dressed like a King, another time as Indiana Jones and another in a replica of James’ No. 6 Miami Heat jersey.

James, who can hardly see the flying figure through his tinted glasses, almost gets kicked in the head on the waiter’s last trip down. He looks at the girls around him and says, “I wish they’d have one of these girls with no panties do that instead of the guy.”

If that’s not incentive to bring home a crowned trophy, I don’t know what is. Between this and LeBron giving everybody headphones, these guys must be extra motivated.

Unfortunately, Liverpool is kind of doing terrible. And by “kind of,” I mean “big-time.” They’re currently in next-to-last place, notching only a single point through the season’s first three games, while already tallying a goal differential of minus-5. And that’s coming off their worst finish (eighth) in 18 years which directly led to the club losing their adidas sponsorship. So if there’s ever a team that could use a Vegas trip with LeBron, it’s probably Liverpool. But also, pretty safe bet from LeBron that he won’t actually show them his secret Vegas party zones.

It’s the best of both worlds for LeBron. If the Reds win, he gets to party in Vegas. If they don’t, he gets to keep his money and his secrets. Smart.

UPDATE: One of LeBron’s PR guys denies this happened and that LeBron’s party promise is “total bs British tabloid stuff.” Which is fine, since Liverpool isn’t winning the Premier League anyways. Oh well. I guess we’ll never know if those secret Vegas spots really exist or not.

(via I Am a GM)

I have bad news for Osama Bin Laden’s former translator besides the fact that he has been imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay for more than four years — things betwixt LeBron James and the state of Ohio are starting to get smoothed over. There may longer be no need for an apology because things are starting to seem peachy keen.

From the Akron Beacon Journal:

Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic also unveiled the newest honor to Akron’s most famous resident ­­— blue and white signs that will be posted at nine major entrances to Akron that proclaim the city his home.

“For my money, he’s the greatest Akronite because he cares about Akron,” Plusquellic said.

Uh oh. If Akron has already forgiven LeBron — and their mayor considers him the greatest Akronite who has ever Akroned — then Cleveland can’t be far behind. In fact, according to Google Maps, they are only 46 minutes behind, which means I have to rewrite this story in an hour. Things change so quickly around here.

But really, I think this kind of proves that people in LeBron’s hometown aren’t quite as mad as everyone thought they might be. Sure, there were definitely some people who were heated, but the vitriol never approached Cleveland levels. Even if he did leave the Cavaliers (I checked and it’s true that he did), they still love the fact that there’s an NBA champion with three MVPs and two gold medals who grew up there.

And why wouldn’t you be proud of that? That’s totally something to be proud of. All my hometown has is that it’s the birthplace of the automatic corn harvester and it served as the set of Smallville in the new Superman movie. Yeah, the last one might be pretty cool, but after dead Marlon Brando showed up in “Superman Returns,” I’m going to wait until next summer before really being happy about it.

Going to be tough to beat this story for weirdest one of the day. Basically impossible, I’m willing to guess. Take a look and see if you agree.

From the Miami New Times:

The lawyer for Muhammed Rahim, an Al-Qaeda member who served as a translator for Osama bin Laden and who is currently being held in Guantanamo Bay, has released some letters he’s received from his client. In one of them, he takes LeBron James to task. [...]

“Dear Mr. Warner!” the Al Qaeda member wrote. “Lebron James is very bad man. He should apologise to the city of Cleveland.”

Warner says that his LeBron-hate stems from Rahim’s tribal values which place faith on loyalty and his views that “betrayals are not tolerated or forgiven, although an honest apology from an offending peer is valued.”

Yep, even a high level Al-Qaeda aide who is being held in Guantanamo Bay has an opinion on LeBron James. Sure, it’s outdated and LeBron has apologized and it probably stems from the fact that his lawyer is from Akron, but it is still kind of incredible that even someone who has been imprisoned by the military for at least four years thinks the same thing as a bunch of casual sports fans and Skip Bayless.

No word yet on Rahim’s thoughts on Dwight Howard, but check back here in two years to find out that even he thinks Dwight is being bad to Orlando.

We’re living in the Summer of LeBron, which seems to be going well, all things considered. For him it’s an MVP, championship, Finals MVP, gold medal and a bunch of t-shirts with his own face on them. For us it’s been the ability to appreciate the best basketball player on the planet with no reservations (if you had them), “The Avengers,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” the return of “Breaking Bad,” a very fun Olympics and a new Rick Ross record. Not to mention, the Cool Ranch Doritos taco from Taco Bell is supposedly on its way, so it’s been a pretty decent three months or so.

That’s exactly why LeBron’s coach, Erik Spoelstra, is excited. And scared for the rest of the league. From a Sports Radio Interviews transcription of an interview with 790 The Ticket in Miami:

“We don’t even know what the ceiling is for him, because we all see an incredible amount of confidence now. He’s got a different look in his eye. You know at the end of these games he’s making big plays. He’s 27 years old, just heading into his prime. But he’s already been light years ahead of his prime in terms of where he was intellectually. … We are all extremely fortunate to have him on our side and that he’s not the enemy.”

That last line — “We are all extremely fortunate to have him on our side and that he’s not the enemy.” — is so great. (And, as Dan Devine points out, very “Watchmen.”) Erik Spoelstra is basically looking at LeBron James and the rest of the NBA and then saying, “Sucks for you guys, hahahahaha” while twirling a mustache he grew just so he could say this.

Which is the right response. Coaching LeBron and maximizing his talents might be tough, but coaching against him is exponentially worse. How do you gameplan for a guy who can only be guarded by himself, who could decide to play one of several different kinds of games at any given point during a single game, and is faster than your fastest guy and stronger than your strongest guy? It’s like fighting The Hulk — I get paid per Avengers reference, FYI — only if The Hulk was also as smart as Tony Stark (cha-ching). No thanks.

For a little bit, it seemed like there really wasn’t anywhere else for LeBron James to go. He was already the best player in the league, by far, so how much better could he really get? But this past year has proven that it’s more than just finally winning a championship. It’s him dominating every aspect of the game, exactly how he wants to do it. He’s at the point now where his coach even feels bad for other coaches. That’s pretty amazing, like when Tony Stark told Loki he didn’t stand a chance because the Avengers had The Hulk. Sorry.