Archive for the ‘Miami Heat’ Category

To be fair, I kind of thought his super-extendo arms would get there a little faster too. But still, whoops.

Stephen Curry is 25 years old, looks like he’s 15 and has the dad sense of humor of a 42-year-old. Befuddling.

(via Complex)

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Andrew Unterberger is the Last Angry Man in the crusade against LeBron James and his not-so-gradual march towards total unassailability. He’ll be checking in with us once a month this NBA season for an update on where he’s at with his LeBron hating, and how his attempts to channel all the world’s negative energy towards one generally well-meaning basketball player are progressing.

In my pre-playoffs edition of the LBJ Hate Index, I ranked the 10 most likely obstacles to LeBron winning his second ring this season, taking another step towards basketball’s innerest circle in the process. No. 1, of course, was LeBron himself — as fearful as I am of the man, I always believe him to be the person most in control of his own destiny — and more specifically, “Whatever weird stuff happened with LeBron during his handful of prior playoff meltdowns.” I wrote the following in explanation:

That guy can’t be completely dead and gone, can he? Sure, LeBron seems like he’s “clutch” now, and he’s figured out when to “take over” and all that other nonsense. But there must be a little bit of 2010 LeBron remaining, right? Something that can be triggered, and cause him to act weirdly passive and inert during big games and big moments as his team and the world crumples around him?

Last night, the San Antonio Spurs absolutely steamrolled the Miami Heat, running them off the AT&T Center floor to the tune of a 113-77 final. This isn’t as big a deal as it would be if the Heat hadn’t essentially done the same thing to the Spurs the game before in Miami, rocking them 103-84 in a game that wasn’t even as close as the final 19-point margin would indicate. But it’s still a pretty big deal. It’s by far their biggest loss of the season — they hadn’t lost by more than 20 all year — and more importantly, Miami now trails 2-1 in the series, facing the possibility of the Spurs winning out before the Heat can even make a return trip to South Beach.

This is doubly notable, for both this column and for national news purposes, because LeBron James has not played particularly well over that stretch. Well, by mortal standards, he’s still been fairly boss, going for a triple-double in Game 1 and keying a 33-5 second half run in Game 2 that put the game well out of reach for San Antonio. But he’s been uncharacteristically ineffective when it comes to scoring the ball, going for less than 20 in each of the first three games, shooting under 50 percent in all three, and most stunningly, only getting to the line a combined six times, including a big ol’ bagel in FTAs for Game 3, his first game without a single trip to the charity stripe since 2009. Also worth mentioning: The last time LeBron went three straight games, regular season or playoffs, without scoring 20? Games 3-5 of the 2011 Finals, where the Heat let the series against the Mavs slip through their fingers.

It begs the question, and I certainly doubt that I’ll be the only one asking it today: Is it happening again with LeBron? Is this going to be another playoff series — his third in four years — where we sit around waiting for the Chosen One to flip the switch, put the team on his back, and blow away the inferior competition … only to never have it actually happen? Are we due for another post-elimination press conference where we stare dumbfounded at LeBron, expecting some sort of explanation to make sense of what just happened, but without him giving us any kind of satisfying answers with either his rote responses or stupefyingly blasé demeanor? Is 2010 LeBron alive and well after all?

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Eddie Maisonet is the Editor-In-Chief of The Sportsfan Journal and contributor to SLAM Magazine, Complex’s Sneaker Report and NBC’s The Grio. He loves women who wear big hoop earrings. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook keep up with more of his shenanigans and tomfoolery.

When I was a youngster watching a big game, I always wanted to make sure that I was in front of the television when the starting lineups were announced. To me, watching the introductions of the two teams preparing to do battle was almost more important than the game itself. This was my life as a young, misguided sports fan adolescent.

Seeing one team get savagely booed to no end while remaining stoic and focused, with the announcer stating each player’s name and school affiliation in a monotone-like fashion, was awesome. What was similarly awesome was seeing the lights go down, hearing the home crowd go crazy and then hearing the announcer amp up and introduce the home team’s starting five like his life depended on it. The home team would be similarly cool and collected, knowing that there was business to tend to but also embracing the emotion from the crowd as well.

No one did it better than the Chicago Bulls, and 20 years ago versus the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals serves as a simple but powerful example of how a proper introduction of the starting lineups still gets the goosebumps popping.

First, the Suns are announced. Charles Barkley leads off, and he immediately sets the tone by acting like he’s going to shake the hand of Benny the Bull, then open-hand smacks him in the snout. The man is not to be trifled with, Benny. Leave him be. The rest of the Suns fall into place, dap each other up and break the huddle. Let’s go open up a can on Chicago.

Then the lights are cut off, with only the jumbotron lit up and a spotlight capturing the fans going crazy. Another spotlight illuminates the Bulls logo at halfcourt. The Alan Parsons Project’s most famous song, “Sirius,” is queued, and the setting is set. Then Ray Clay does the rest. Horace’s goggles. Scottie’s wispy mustache. Bill Cartwright being Bill Cartwright. BJ looking shorter than usual. MJ’s high fives and hand claps for everybody. In less than 90 seconds, magic is made and basketball is ready to be played.

Every team has its own spin on introductions. “Detroit Basketball” is a thing in Detroit. Big Tigger does work in DC. “I Love LA” is awesome in Los Angeles. The MSG intros are always good.

However, what the Miami Heat rolled out during the 2013 NBA Finals made me want to attend Walder Frey’s Red Wedding — just slit my throat already.

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Brrrrrrr, what happened to that boy? (Photoshops — bummer — then printed sleeves, then meeting a whole bunch of random Heat people who seem like good dads. Pretty good babying.)

(via PBT)

Here’s LeBron’s block in it’s standard highlight format.

Here it is as shot on a fancy Phantom camera.

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Way back in the olden days of 2010, LeBron James and Chris Bosh decided to play basketball with their buddy, Dwyane Wade, and completely and totally ruined the NBA with their friendship. The league has not recovered to put up huge ratings, the Miami Heat have won the past 16 NBA championships and 75 percent of children born in the United States during the past year have been named LeBron Bosh Wade, no matter what the family’s last name is — thanks to “The Decision,” the Miami Heat have eroded our way of life. These are dark times.

But still, Gregg Popovich has Pat Riley’s back. Always has and always will. From Sports on Earth:

While plenty of folks were cursing the Heat, spitting on their method of building a team, screaming about the unfairness of it all and shaking a fist at the welcome party the threw for themselves in the Summer of Hate, 2010, team president Pat Riley heard his phone ring and was stunned that the voice on the other end was friendly.

“He put a team together fairly, within the rules, that is a monster,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “Why wouldn’t he get credit for that? Why wouldn’t you congratulate him for that? So I called to congratulate him.”

First he said American players should be more worldly and that American television is bad, now he’s saying that playing by the rules to create a superteam is a good move by an executive — Gregg Popovich is just hitting all the hot button issues. Doesn’t he know we’re supposed to love America and hate anything to do with LeBron James and the Miami Heat? What are are you trying to do, Gregg Popovich? Keep everything in proper perspective? Ugh.