SportsNation Blog Archives LeBron James
According to a source, Dwyane Wade has decided not to pick up his option with the Miami Heat for 2015-16, thus becoming a free agent.
This is a big move for the man who inspired "Wade County," and money supposedly is behind it. Wade stood to make $16.1 million next season, but he is said to want a three-year deal with an average salary of at least $16 million. The Heat, meanwhile, prefer to maintain future flexibility.
Wade is no longer the player he once was; his play, while still very good, has fallen off, and he has missed at least 20 regular-season games in three of the past four seasons.
Still, Wade surely knows he's an 11-time All-Star, won the 2006 NBA Finals MVP for what former ESPN analyst John Hollinger called the best Finals performance of all time ... and yet, he has never been the highest-paid player on his own team.
Per ESPN Stats & Info:
Will Wade buck this trend? That's to be seen. If he stays with the Heat, he'll once again be behind Bosh (due about $22.2 million next season). But as 2015 free agency begins, more than half the league is without a player who makes $16 million per year.
So it's possible ...
Magic Johnson says LeBron might be having greatest Finals ever, and Curry and Green need to keep quiet
Magic Johnson knows a thing or two about coming up big in the NBA Finals, winning five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and, in 2012, ranking sixth all time on ESPN Insider's list of best Finals performances for his showing in 1987.
Which leads us to this tweet from Wednesday:
If LeBron keeps playing the way he's playing & the Cavs win the title, this will be the single greatest performance we've seen in the Finals— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 10, 2015
This isn't crazy. Through three games, James is averaging 41.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 8.3 assists in 47.3 minutes. He's shooting only 40.2 percent from the field, but with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love out it's hard to fault James for taking a lot of shots even as the Golden State Warriors' defense keys on him (oh, and the Cleveland Cavaliers lead the series 2-1).
Magic didn't let that tweet stand alone; he continued to talk up LeBron, and directly referenced James' field goal attempts (35.7 per game in the series).
After the first 3 games LeBron James should be on everybody's Mt. Rushmore...including mine!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 10, 2015
LeBron, don't listen to anybody, keep shooting as many times as you have to for your team to win!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 10, 2015
Magic also gave a shoutout to the breakout star of the NBA Finals, and to Cleveland's overall team effort ...
In the NBA Finals there's always going to be unsung heroes and Matthew Dellavedova is playing that role for the Cavs.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 10, 2015
The Cavaliers defense has been awesome and they have been physically & mentally tougher than the Warriors.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 10, 2015
... but he was not so kind to the Warriors, particularly NBA MVP Stephen Curry and defensive anchor Draymond Green:
I love Steph Curry & Draymond Green, but they both need to stop complaining to the referees and play basketball.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) June 10, 2015
One thing that's inarguable, and that no one is complaining about: the level of drama in this series.
H/T Sporting News
When LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat, Dan Gilbert wrote a nasty letter in response.
Well, now that James has returned, and returned the Cavs to the NBA Finals, Gilbert has changed his tune. The proof? This totally real (note: totally not real) updated version of that infamous screed, which we at SportsNation recently "found."
LeBron James might have led the Miami Heat to two titles and a string of four straight NBA Finals appearances, but that doesn't mean the Sunshine State is entirely in the King's corner.
We asked two questions recently to SportsNation regarding LeBron, and while some states -- particularly the home of his Cleveland Cavaliers -- voted in his favor, Florida went the other direction on both (results as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday).
First, after Bill Russell beat out LeBron on a graphic as the "best player to wear No. 6" ...
Then, after Shaquille O'Neal said he would choose Kobe Bryant over LeBron in their primes ...
It must be said that the South Florida region accounts for less than one-third of the state's population, according to 2014 estimates. So a county-by-county breakdown might see LeBron carry Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach but lose significantly elsewhere. Also, those are significantly small samples -- perhaps a few thousand more votes would change things.
Still, those are significant margins in both Russell's and Kobe's favor.
In other words: That's unseasonably cold, Florida.
Appearing Wednesday on The Dan Le Batard Show, rapper and creator of the "cooking dance" Lil B (aka The Based God) discussed his gripe with James Harden, the origin of the cooking dance and why LeBron James might be the next NBA star to face his wrath.
Before heading to Oakland (where he sat behind the Houston Rockets' bench and watched James Harden fall to Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors) on Wednesday night, the rapper aired his grievances with Harden, while emphasizing the importance of authenticity:
"People want original paintings. There are a lot of artists that might recreate Picasso's painting. So the gullible buyers, they might buy the off-brand Picasso painting. But for the real artist and the real people, they want that Picasso painting, which is Lil B."
It doesn't get much realer than calling someone fraudulent through a Pablo Picasso analogy. If only Harden had squadded up with Lil B when he had the chance.
In other news, J.R. Smith posted an Instagram video of himself, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Iman Shumpert and Kendrick Perkins getting hyphy to Chedda Da Connect's "Flicka Da Wrist" after clinching the Eastern Conference title.
Needless to say, Lil B noticed and was NOT pleased. This is because all dances that involve any cooking motion or wrist-flicking originate from Lil B's cooking dance. Therefore, the players -- specifically LeBron James -- must give credit to The Based God immediately or they are going to land themselves a classic case of "The Based God's Curse":
"That is what LeBron James, J.R. Smith, Kyrie Irving ... that is the celebration they all were doing ... but they called it something else. I think they are a bit misled."
Lil B went on to single out LeBron as the culprit behind this offense. He also questioned the leadership ability of the four-time MVP:
"Now the thing is, if LeBron James continues to be arrogant and with all his leadership, the supposed leader that LeBron James is, if he's doing dances and celebrations where he doesn't know the source, that shows a little bit about LeBron James' personality. If LeBron James is doing things where he doesn't really know the source, LeBron James might be the person who buys a fake Picasso painting too. He might do that."
Luckily one of King James' teammates, Iman Shumpert, isn't chancing letting a Based God's Curse get in the way of the Cavs winning an NBA title.
. @LILBTHEBASEDGOD Preciate the swag killa =L<þ. I cooks I chef <À all love— Iman Shumpert I (@I_Am_Iman) May 27, 2015
And just like that, Shump appeased The Based God! "Major respect to the Cavaliers organization and for them having a great, stand-up, honorable player like Iman Shumpert to come out and say he is doing the Lil B cooking dance and he's been doing that," Lil B said.
LeBron: It might not be a bad idea to take his lead lest you risk ending up like Kevin Durant and James Harden. Just saying.