Posts Tagged ‘LeBron’

Agent: Ilgauskas to sign with Heat (AP)

July 14th, 2010
Zydrunas Ilgauskas has dealt Cleveland another blow by planning to follow LeBron James to the Miami Heat. The veteran center, who started playing for Cleveland in 1997 and has never suited up for another NBA team, expects to sign a two-year contract with the Heat later this week, agent Herb Rudoy said Tuesday.

The Passion of Thrice: King James Version 3.1.6

July 14th, 2010
On Friday, with a new fan base basking in what was coined "The Decision," James stood front stage for Miami Heat fans and the basket ball world, arms spread, head held high, and finally a peace-of-mind. The image was strikingly eerie in the way it resembled a painting of the Biblical savior [Jesus Christ] being crucified, before all those that either loved or hated him. Shame on James, he even had the nerve to sport his signature head-ban, as a crucifix of sorts? No, shame on you for putting this much faith in a athlete. No if only this nation could pay as much attention to all it's homeless brothers and sisters. Guess we all realized how mixed up we fans have our priorities. But back to basketball, I don't want to steer you away, not before you learn a important lesson on basketball, as-well life. On Thursday night, before a live televised prime time audience, LeBron James announced his decision to leave his home state and it's basketball organization. His persecution could now began. He had done the unbelievable, and in doing so, he displayed the ultimate sacrifice of self, in regards to sports of course. The manner of which the decision was announced was like none ever before. But isn't that the reason so many came to idolize LeBron James? For doing what he's always done, the unthinkable, the unbelievable, James somehow went from basketball god, to basketball monster. As a nation of fans, we sure can be extremely hypocritical, we sure can be pretty idiotic with our logic when thinking.

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Why Chris Paul’s Proposed Big Three With Knicks Could Beat Miami Heat

July 14th, 2010

This week, LeBron James and Chris Bosh decided to form the NBA’s most talented and star-studded trio by joining Dwayne Wade on the Miami Heat.

The formation came as a huge blow to the gut of the Knicks, who over two years ago began clearing cap space in hopes of forming a similar winning combination of its own this summer.

Nevertheless, there’s always next year (or even 2012, perhaps). There may even be a chance of something happening sooner.

As Knicks fans still mourned being spurned by LeBron and company, Hornets star Chris Paul attempted to lift up their spirits.

While in New York City attending Carmelo Anthony’s wedding reception, Paul toasted the groom and his new wife, actress LaLa Vazquez, while stating that he hopes to form his own 'dream-team' with Anthony and the already present Amare Stoudemire on the Knicks.

Wedding guest and Knicks super fan Spike Lee almost fainted across the room.

The notion that the three could team up (Anthony becomes a free agent in 2011 and Paul in 2012) is intriguing to say the least.

While that combination may not be quite as name-worthy as the one the Heat recently formed, it could certainly end up being a better fit for the Knicks.

There have been concerns about LeBron, Wade, and Bosh all coexisting in one city with one ball. In the case of Paul, Anthony, and Stoudemire, chemistry would not be a problem.

If the Knicks were miraculously able to pull off such acquisitions, the team would be able to beat the Miami Heat.

While Wade and LeBron are both able to handle the ball, neither is a true point guard. Chris Paul, on the other hand, is the best point guard in the league because he is the best at getting his teammates involved. Of course, he is also an efficient scorer and lockdown defender.

And while all three new Heat acquisitions have been considered 'the man' on their former teams, Anthony and Stoudemire have a better and more comfortable understanding of what it means to play in a team-like atmosphere. They both have proved throughout their careers that they are able to coexist with other scorers.

Furthermore, all three proposed Knick acquisitions are hungry to win. The commitment to ultimately win a championship will take priority over how much attention each individual will get.

Having said that, Stoudemire is of course receiving recognition as the biggest acquisition the Knicks have made in years. When and if Melo and CP3 arrive in New York, the Knicks will be 'Stoudemire’s team.'

Although both would concede to Stoudemire, the attention they would receive coming to the Big Apple would still do wonders for each one’s career.

New York is one of the biggest markets in the world, much bigger than Denver or New Orleans. Both Melo and CP3’s careers (and popularity) would benefit from donning the orange and blue, as each (especially Melo) has trailed in popularity to the league’s more popular players, particularly the ones that signed with the Heat.

Stoudemire’s popularity has risen tenfold over the last week, proving the new trio of the Heat’s loss could be the gain of Melo and CP3.

The alleged trio for the Knicks could come sooner than later. Paul, whose Hornets have not made steady improvements over the summer, could be requesting a trade shortly.

Anthony has been strongly holding off from signing a contract extension with the Nuggets.

As the Knicks obviously have no flexibility (nor the assets) to acquire both via trade, it would be smart to acquire Paul ASAP, and make a contract offer to Anthony next summer, as opposed to waiting until 2012 for Paul.

Acquiring Paul would obviously prove to Anthony that the Knicks are committed to forming a winning trio of their own.

If it’s praise, stardom, and championship hope that Anthony desires, he would have the best chance of obtaining all of these by taking on the challenge that LeBron James declined to take on in New York.

For more of Keith's Knicks coverage and much more, visit Knicks Journal.

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Chris Bosh: The Odd Man Out in Miami

July 14th, 2010

The Big Three have been making big news over the last week. Last week's "press conference" in Miami that introduced the new trio was nothing short of a spectacle. But as I look at LeBron and Wade, I can't help but feel that Chris Bosh may be the odd man out in Miami.

I am not criticizing Bosh as a player. We all know he has talent. But his decision to play with the Heat could turn him into a hapless third option. What will his role be on this new dream team?

For one, expect LeBron and Wade to get theirs. They both like to dominate the ball. The dynamic between them alone will be interesting. Who will control the offense? I would say in order to for the Heat to be successful, LBJ and Wade have to dominate the ball. It is their natural playing rhythm.

I can see them both trying to run the point at certain points of the game. I don't expect them to both shoot 20 times a game, but I do expect them to combine for somewhere around 35 shots a game.

Last year Bosh shot the ball around 16.5 times a game. Will he get enough touches to shoot this many times? If he does, then great, but then you're looking at around 50-plus shots from three players. The average NBA team hoists around 70-75 field goal attempts a game. That's leaving 25 shots for your other two starters and your bench.

Assuming your average NBA starter shoots eight to 10 times a game, that leaves your bench roughly nine-plus shots. Something has got to give, as no team could survive with three players doing it all.

If the "Big Three" do shoot 50-plus times a game, expect the offense to stagnate. But this will most likely not happen. What will happen is Bosh is likely to get limited touches, limited shots, and thus lower scoring. Imagine two Kobe Bryants on LA. How much would Gasol get the ball?

Essentially Miami will be paying $14.5 million for a guy who will potentially average 15 and 10. Now, Bosh is a guy who is capable for going off for 30 points on any given night, but the Heat would be a much better team if they were the Dynamic Duo (LBJ + Wade) instead of the Big Three. Here's why:

Bosh is not a banger. He is on Miami to score. He has never been labeled as somebody who could play defense on some of the NBA bigs. Shaq dropped 45 on him in 2009. He averages a little over a block a game for his career and pulls down on average less than 10 rebounds a game.

Basically, Bosh is not there for his defense, but for his offense. If Bosh is going to be primarily a scorer, where does that leave him in Miami's schemes? Is his defense worth $14.5 million a year?

Miami might have been better suited to trade for someone like Chris "Birdman" Anderson, or Emeka Okafor when they cleared the deck in June. Somebody who just wants to bang, block shots, and clean up the glass. Somebody with a defense-first mentality. They have could have still courted LeBron and Wade for the $14.5 million and had room to spare to acquire other role players.

Will Bosh be able to bang with the NBA bigs on a daily basis? With Miami having a target on their back this season, their defensive interior will be one of their biggest questions. Expect teams, especially Dwight Howard and Orlando, to try to exploit Miami in the middle every night.

When it comes to playing Chicago, Orlando, Boston, or possibly LA in a finals matchup, does Miami have the size and defensive toughness to compete in a seven-game series? How will they match up against a duo like Gasol and Bynum?

There is no doubt that Miami is one of the elite teams in the East, if not the entire league. Right now the question is if Bosh will be the guy in the middle who will be able to bring defensive toughness for 82 games.

If he is the odd man out on offense, does Chris Bosh have what it takes to carry his weight on defense?

The King Of Swing: Who Is LeBron James’ MLB Counterpart?

July 14th, 2010



In case you haven't heard, the biggest sports story of the summer is finally over: Cliff Lee is a Texas Ranger.


Oh, and LeBron James chose the Miami Heat.


In all seriousness, James' free agency—both impending and actual—has been one of the most widely talked-about, analyzed, speculated, scrutinized, and ultimately criticized stories the sports world has seen in recent memory.


No other professional athlete in any of the four major sports in this country has garnered as much attention for so relatively trivial an issue.


Certainly, O.J. Simpson and Michael Vick earned their share of the headlines for awhile, but their infamy can hardly be held in the same light.


Only Brett Favre's incessant coverage the past two years came anywhere close to LeBron Watch 2010. But even so, the circumstances were vastly different—Favre being one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and nearly calling it quits.


The coverage was different too. Dogged as they were, the media seemed apathetic to the whole Favre affair. Still, given the amount of time they put into covering the story, they were determined to see it through. Like finishing a bad meal you've already paid for.


On the other hand, James and his impending decision fascinated media members. They couldn't wait to start off Sports Center or jump on sports talk radio with a LeBron-heavy theme.


Perhaps it is because of the impact James' decision could eventually have on the future of the sport.


He could have made any team he chose the potential favorite to win the next NBA Championship. Now that the three Miami-gos are firmly in place, the Heat could in line to win the next three or four.


But James isn't the only star big enough to shift the balance of power in a given sport.


Cliff Lee, the Seattle Mariners' rent-an-ace, has gone down to Texas and instantly turned the Rangers—a franchise that's never won a playoff series, let alone a World Series title—from a divisional contender into a serious postseason threat.


Whichever contending team decides to toss a little loose change Lee's way this offseason will quickly put themselves in the same position.


The thing is, Lee's story will be mentioned. The Rangers' big pick-up will be raise an eyebrow or two. But that will be all.


There was no fanfare leading up to Lee's trade, at least not like what surrounded James. This, in spite of the fact that Lee's impact on his new team will be just as important as James'.


Alex Rodriguez, third baseman for the New York Yankees and one of the best all around players in the game today, hit the free agent market back in 2007 by announcing the news during a World Series game in a classless attempt to drum up interest.


It worked, interest piqued, but not as much as he hoped, and certainly not to the level of LeBron James circa 2010.


Of course, that was back before the media market took hold of social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook, before fans had mobile apps that beamed the latest news directly to their cell phones.


If A-Rod were to opt out of his contract today, he could whisper it to his grandmother and the news would still spread like wildfire, with pundits and fans alike ready to give their two cents.


Given his guaranteed 10-year deal with the Yankees, that isn't likely to happen.


But there is one MLB superstar who may be able to reach James' status in media coverage very soon.


Next season is the last in first baseman Albert Pujols' contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. Like James, he is in line to command one of the largest free-agent deals in baseball history and, also like James, no team will hesitate to pay him.


Assuming the three-time and current reigning National League's  MVP doesn't sign an extension with St. Louis, he better make sure he has an umbrella. Because the storm around him will be relentless.

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