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Tag:LeBron James
Posted on: February 20, 2012 1:58 am
 

Report Card 2.20.12: Durant goes OFF

Kevin Durant scored 51 in the Thunder's win over Denver Sunday. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore 

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Kevin Durant These are numbers, but they are important numbers. 51 points on 28 shots, 19-28 from the field, 5-6 from three, 9-10 from the stripe. Eight rebounds, three assists, 4 steals and a huge win over the Nuggets in overtime. Denver was without two starters but dug deep and forced the Thunder to the edge. But Durant put on a performance for the ages, the shine on his MVP candidacy and lifted OKC to a win. It was the kind of performance you tell your friends about, your kids about, the kind you start the water cooler conversation about. He was unstoppable from the elbow, unstoppable from the perimeter, unstoppable at the rim. It was a transcendent performance, and this is alongside Russell Westbrook with 40 points and nine assists and Serge Ibaka's triple double in points, rebounds, and blocks. This Thunder team may not be good enough defensively to win a title, but they may wind up as one to remember for a long, long time.
LeBron James The surges are becoming more pronounced, the dropoffs less so. James is solving defensive adjustments used against him. He's finding open shooters in the corner who are actually knocking them down this year, he's battling more inside, he's still a freak of nature in transition, and on Sunday, he guarded Dwight Howard on a handful of possessions. James buried the Magic by doing all the things he does, and true to form, did them in less than 40 minutes of time. 25-11-8, a full-court lob to Wade, just one miss from the stripe, just five misses from the field. There are games where James feels like a one-man horde, storming the opponent's gates. Sunday was such a game and the Magic had no defense.
Jeremy Lin Defending champs? No problem. Shawn Marion who helped shut down Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James last year? No problem. Increased expectations, a Sunday afternoon double-header on national television, and the grind of interviews and a compact schedule? No problem. Jeremy Lin did his thing again, the Knicks won again, and Linsanity rages on. Lin managed the offense as well as he has. Were the turnovers great? No, clearly not. But a 2:1 turnover ratio is acceptable given his usage, and turning Steve Novak into a scoring machine deserves a reward all its own.
Denver Nuggets They were short-handed, and still the Nuggets managed to push the Thunder to the brink before a furious comeback landed them in overtime and a few good shots (a good roll for Westbrook on a three) and some Durant brilliance downed them. The Nuggets were without Nene and Danilo Gallinari, but they were stil stranded without a closer. Denver had such a good approach in the first half, attacking a weak Thunder interior (those Ibaka blocks all come on the weakside, not man-up) and killing them on the glass. They abandoned it in the second half and it cost them as the Lakers topped off a 2-0 run.
The Old Guard Boston loses to Detroit for the second time in a month. The Lakers get whacked by the Suns in a game that wasn't competitive after the first quarter. Neither side has any real idea of where they're going or if they can perform as needed to compete for a title. There's constant trade talk surrounding both teams. They look slow, they look old, they struggle to score and they struggle to defend. These teams were the two Finals squads two years ago. Time marches on.
Charlotte Bobcats After three quarters against the Pacers, the Bobcats, a professional basketball team by strict definition (only), were down 88-48. For-ty-poi-nts. That's embarrassing. That's disgusting. That's... not totally surprising. There is no hope in Charlotte right now. Not even with the rookies. It's all bad, all the time. This performance was worthy of inventing a new letter beneath F just to give it to them.


E FOR EFFORT
Jeremy Lin (28 points, 14 assists, general linsanity, magical powers)
Ersan Ilyasova (29 points, 25 rebounds in a win over New Jersey)
Kyle Lowry (32 points, 9 assists in a win over Utah)
LeBron James (25 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists)
Posted on: February 19, 2012 4:58 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2012 5:28 pm
 

LeBron hired a new PR strategist

Posted by Royce Young

So maybe LeBron saying he'd consider returning to Cleveland last week wasn't just him answering a question. Maybe it was all part of a master PR plan. Why might one think this? Because according to the News Herald in Cleveland, LeBron recently hired a new PR strategist.
The first thing we all should remember is LeBron James is a master manipulator.

James had to know the questions were coming on Thursday when the Miami Heat were practicing at Quicken Loans Arena. He recently hired a new "strategist," a man who worked on Arnold Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial campaign, so for all we know, his answers could all have been planned.

He had every chance in the world to discourage talk about returning to the Cavaliers. Instead, he encouraged it and embraced it.
It could be coincidental, or it could be part of a plan for LeBron to restore his image. Before the season, he seemed genuinely upset at how he had been cast as a bad guy. He didn't like being the villain and wanted to get back to having fun and being a fan favorite.

Unfortunately the fallout from "The Decision" is going to leave smoldering ruins around LeBron for a long time. Saying things like "I love Cleveland" and being nice and having more fun aren't going to fix that.

But it wasn't just "The Decision." It was a long list of decisions LeBron has made that's turned the public against him. LeBron has his own marketing firm -- LRMR -- but evidently wanted a little outside consulting. Maybe a little distance from that is a good start to rehabbing his image. I doubt it can be completely healed, but it's not going to happen on its own.

All LeBron can do is keep playing terrific basketball, keep saying the right things and most importantly, win. Image takes care of itself a lot of times, PR strategist or not.
Category: NBA
Posted on: February 17, 2012 11:09 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 1:20 pm
 

Report: LeBron denies camp contacted Dan Gilbert

Posted by Ben Golliver 

LeBron James reportedly denies that he or his camp have made overtures to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. (ESPN)

On Thusday, Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James opened up a pandora's box for rumors, acknowledging that he would consider returning to play in Cleveland for the Cavaliers at some point in his career. 

"I don't know. I think it would be great," James said, according to the Associated Press. "It would be fun to play in front of these fans again. I had a lot fun times in my seven years here. You can't predict the future and hopefully I continue to stay healthy. I'm here as a Miami Heat player, and I'm happy where I am now, but I don't rule that out in no sense."

On Friday, Yahoo! Sports reported that it wasn't just an idle thought, that James had actually reached out through backchannels to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert about a potential return.
This was no accident, no misspeaking, nothing out of context. Before mentioning Thursday his openness to playing in Cleveland again, James months ago had an emissary or two carry that message to the Cavaliers’ front office, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. His camp wanted the message delivered to owner Dan Gilbert, sources said, but so far, the response has been silence.

“He has started to lay the groundwork, and he’s waiting to see what Dan Gilbert’s reaction to it is,” one league source with direct knowledge told Yahoo! Sports.

The Heat, of course, were in Cleveland to face the Cavaliers on Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena, a game they won easily, 111-87. James finished with 28 points, 5 rebounds, 5 asssists, 1 steal and 1 block on 11-for-19 shooting in 30 minutes.

After the game, James denied that that he and his camp had reached out to Gilbert.

"It's not true, it's not true at all," James said, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

When James announced he was headed to Miami during a nationally-televised special called "The Decision," Gilbert publicly accused James of disloyalty and betrayal, guaranteeing that the Cavaliers would win an NBA title before the Heat.

On Thursday, James said that was all water under the bridge and admitted that he didn't handle his departure in the proper manner. 

"I don't hold grudges," he said, according to ESPN.com. "I hold them a little bit but I don't hold them that long. He said what he said out of anger. He probably would want to take that back, but I made a mistake, too. There's some things I'd want to take back as well. You learn from your mistakes and move on."

The Plain-Dealer has reported that Gilbert will not respond to James' comment for fear of receiving a fine from the NBA league office.

James' current contract runs through the 2015-2016 season. He has an early termination option for 2014-2015 and a player option for the final year of the deal, according to StoryTellersContracts.com. He will be 31 years old when the entirety of the deal is completed.

James, 27, spent his first seven NBA season with the Cavaliers. He is averaging 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.7 steals in 36.9 minutes per game this season, and he's a leading NBA MVP candidate.
Posted on: February 16, 2012 2:34 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 11:11 pm
 

LeBron James: Return to Cleveland is possible

Posted by Ben Golliver 

LeBron James says a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers is a possibility. (ESPN)

LeBron James set aflutter the hearts of basketball fans in his former NBA home on Thursday, telling reporters in Cleveland that he would consider a return to the Cavaliers later in his career. James' Miami Heat are in Cleveland to face the Cavaliers on Friday night. 

The Associated Press reports that James, an Akron, Ohio, native, said that a return to Cleveland was a possibility, although he is happy with how things have turned out in Miami. Of course, he made international headlines by bolting the Cavaliers during the summer of 2010 to form the Miami Heat's Big 3 with All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
 Asked if he could play for the Cavs again, James initially paused before giving his answer.

 "I don't know. I think it would be great," he said. "It would be fun to play in front of these fans again. I had a lot fun times in my seven years here. You can't predict the future and hopefully I continue to stay healthy. I'm here as a Miami Heat player, and I'm happy where I am now, but I don't rule that out in no sense.

"And if I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me."
"Anything is possible," Wade told the AP regarding a possible James return to Cleveland. "Hopefully, I'm retired."

When James announced he was headed to Miami during a nationally-televised special called "The Decision," fans in Ohio burned his jerseys and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert publicly accused James of disloyalty and betrayal, guaranteeing that the Cavaliers would win an NBA title before the Heat.

On Thursday, James said that was all water under the bridge, according to ESPN.com, and admitted that he didn't handle his departure in the proper manner.

"I don't hold grudges, I hold them a little bit but I don't hold them that long," James said. "He said what he said out of anger. He probably would want to take that back, but I made a mistake, too. There's some things I'd want to take back as well. You learn from your mistakes and move on."

The Plain-Dealer reports that Gilbert will not respond to James' comment for fear of receiving a fine from the NBA league office.

When James returned to Quicken Loans Arena for the first time during the 2010-2011 season, he was met with heavy booing and dozens of signs and shirts mocking him.

"It doesn't sting anymore," James said, according to the AP. "The booing isn't as bad as it was last year so it's not even a big deal."

In case you were wondering, James' current contract runs through the 2015-2016 season. He has an early termination option for 2014-2015 and a player option for the final year of the deal, according to StoryTellersContracts.com. He will be 31 years old when the entirety of the deal is completed.

James, 27, spent his first seven NBA season with the Cavaliers. He is averaging 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.7 steals in 36.9 minutes per game this season, and he's a leading NBA MVP candidate.

Posted on: February 15, 2012 1:43 am
Edited on: February 15, 2012 9:11 am
 

Report Card 2.15.12: Devastating fun

LeBron James produced a lot of points in not a lot of minutes vs. the Pacers. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore
 

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Miami Heat You were expecting Linsanity, weren't you? A buzzer-beater over the Raptors with 8 turnovers won't get you an A around these parts. But absolutely demolishing the Pacers, being up 20 in the second quarter on? Yeah, that'll do. The Heat were in full-on Flying Death Machine mode Tuesday night. They just ran the Pacers out of the building and out into the night, never to be heard from again. LeBron James 23-9-7 in 33 minutes in the win.
Jeremy Lin I want to give Lin an A as much as you probably want me to. But eight turnovers are eight turnovers, and 9-20 shooting is 9-20 shooting. It's not bad. It's just not great, and that, with the turnovers and the struggle with splitting the double renders us unable to give him a top grade. Something tells me he'll take it. But seriously. What a shot.
Memphis Grizzlies The Rockets were exhausted on a road game at the end of a long stretch of games, Kevin Martin was scoreless for the first time in a long, long time, and yet this was a five-point game under five minutes. The Grizzlies did enough to win, and they get the credit that goes with it. But they don't get much more than a passing grade
Phoenix Suns The Suns were chewed up by the Nuggets inside, torched from the perimeter and ran ragged. They're wholly unprepared at the worst times this season and it doesn't seem like there's much of a chance they recover this season. Steve Nash deserves better.
Portland Trail Blazers A home loss to the Wizards. I need no further justification for this grade, regardless of the health of LaMarcus Aldridge who left the game with an ankle injury.



E FOR EFFORT
LeBron James (23 points on 15 shots, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals in 33 minutes. Destroyed Indiana and got to rest.)
Jeremy Lin (27 points on 20 shots, 11 assists, 8 turnovers, one huge shot)
Jose Calderon (25 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, brilliant for 45 minutes)
DeMarcus Cousins (28 points on 20 shots and 17 rebounds in a loss to the Bulls)
Posted on: February 14, 2012 7:35 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 7:37 pm
 

LeBron James made into 18-foot foam statue

A South Florida company made this massive LeBron James statue. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver 

Back in line, Jeremy Lin. Giant foam statues are reserved for real superstars.

HotHotHoops.com unearthed the monstrosity pictured to the right, an 18-foot tall statue of Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James.

The statue, made of foam and then hard-coated by South Florida company Primetime Amusements, features James cocking back to dunk the basketball with two hands, dressed in Miami's red uniforms and matching red sneakers. The statue includes every detail you could think of, including his tattoos, his beard, his headband and his receding hairline.

Primetime Amusements describes itself as "a global operator, seller and event renter of video arcade machines and simulators" in the following promotional video, which shows the statue's 4-step manufacturing process: drawing the figure, carving and sculpting the foam, hard-coating the foam with paint primer and then painting all the final details.

The company promises similar statues for Miami's two other All-Stars: guard Dwyane Wade and forward Chris Bosh. The company's president told HotHotHoops.com that plans are in the works to display the statue at All-Star Weekend in Orlando, which is now less than two weeks away. 

More pictures of the statue right here.

Here's the 18-foot statue of LeBron James promotional video via YouTube user PrimeTimeAmusements.

Category: NBA
Posted on: February 14, 2012 12:00 am
 

Report Card: LeBron gets ridiculous in Milwaukee

Posted by Royce Young

 LeBron had the kind of night where you mention him with Ewing, Barkley and Duncan. (Getty Images)

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

LeBron James
In 31 minutes, LeBron basically demolished the Milwaukee Bucks. That's what they get for beating the Heat twice this season, I guess. LeBron went for 35 points on 16-21 shooting with eight rebounds just for fun. As pointed out on Twitter, the only players to do that the last 20 years are Tim Duncan, Alonzo Mourning, Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing.
Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks continue to steadily climb the hill as they picked up a very nice win over the Clippers Monday. Dirk scored 22 but on 5-15 shooting. He did close the game especially well, which he tends to do. The Mavs though got a bit of everything from a lot of different parties -- Shawn Marion had 16, Vince Carter 10, Delonte West 10, Brendan Haywood 10. Not that anyone ever wrote the Mavs off, but now they're actually getting our attention again.
Chris Kaman
The big guy started for New Orleans and did his job putting up 27 points and 13 rebounds in a win over Utah. He was deactivated as the Hornets shopped him around so this does two things: Helps the Hornets win because a good player played well and increases his trade value. The Hornets probably prefer losses to help the lottery ball odds, but Kaman playing well is a very good thing for New Orleans.
Kenyon Martin Martin played his best game with his new team scoring 10 points in 26 minutes while adding four blocks. He's absolutely everything the Clippers need off the bench. He's a big, physical body and if he's in good shape, he'll probably be a 25-30 minute fixture in that rotation. 
Dwight Howard The Magic picked up a nice win over the Wolves, but it certainly wasn't because of Howard. He was in constant foul trouble which limited him to only 11 points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes. And as for being a closer: He scored three points in the fourth on three shots. 
Charlotte Bobcats The Bobcats put up a fight against the 76ers, but as you might've assumed, lost. Why do you assume? Because that makes 15 in a row Charlotte has lost. 
Utah Jazz
Maybe the Jazz are coming back down to Earth. Another loss, with this one coming to the dreadful Hornets. Granted, it was the second night of a back-to-back and they won in Memphis the night before, but that's five of seven in the loss column for Utah, with this one being against a terrible team. You can't do that when you're trying to compete for a playoff spot in the West. 
Posted on: February 11, 2012 6:11 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 2:10 pm
 

Report: LeBron in heated exchange with heckler?

LeBron James reportedly got into it with a fan on Friday night. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver

The unsubstantiated rumor that simply will not die has reportedly prompted a profanity-laced verbal exchange between Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James and a fan of the Washington Wizards.

James and the Heat defeated the Wizards, 106-89, at the Verizon Center on Friday night. As James put together 18 points, 9 assists and 2 rebounds in the victory, a fan allegedly began making loud comments about a rumored 2010 relationship between James' mother and then-Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Delonte West

Deadspin.com notes an NBCWashington.com report with details of the exchange.
LeBron just got into a verbal altercation with a fan. Spoke to the fan. Wanted to give Heat PR time to comment on the LeBron fan altercation. I’ll update you if they end up doing so, but here’s the story.

I saw a Wizards fan and LeBron in a heated conversation on the sideline during the game Friday night. I spoke to the fan and got his side. 

Fan Bob Moore made a comment to LeBron about Delonte West and LeBron’s mom… [According] to Moore, LeBron said "The only reason you talk s*** is because you know I can’t come off the court right now and beat your a**." 

Also according to Moore, LeBron continued "But if I had a free pass, I’d kick your a** right now." Moore replied "I’m right here baby. Let’s go" before security stepped in.
James' behavior runs the entire spectrum from "role model" to "insufferable," but the strong temptation here is to give him a pass. This isn't the first time James has reportedly been in this type of situation and it won't be the last. He surely feels like the reasonable, "If you disrespect my mother in public, any response is fair game" argument is in play here. Sure, he's a global brand and a "King," but he's a person, too. Defending the virtue of one's mother is an inalienable human right.

Should James be held to a higher standard of conduct than that, given his level of fame and the scrutiny that follows him wherever he goes? Sure, in an ideal world he would ignore it, brush it off, or let security handle it. The heckler wins this one because he got James to engage with him, but at least James leaves the situation knowing that he stood up for his mother.

Even so, if you're the Heat, you respectfully request that James inform you first of future fan comments so that an exchange like this doesn't wind up caught on video and posted to YouTube, where it could do some serious damage to his image if viewed out of context.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com