Rajon Rondo doesn’t plan to wear ‘I Can’t Breathe’ shirt

Rajon Rondo will stick with his usual pregame attire, for now.
 
The Boston Celtics point guard has no plans to join the legion of NBA players donning “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts, he told Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. While Rondo supports the shirts’ message, he and the Celtics have not discussed taking a stand themselves.
“Everybody’s different,” Rondo told the Herald in Charlotte, N.C., where the Celtics fell to the Hornets 96-87 on Wednesday. “To each his own. And I definitely support the guys that have worn the T-shirts, but I haven’t reached out to anybody or had anybody reach out to me about wearing a T-shirt, so I’m just going to continue to do what I do.”
LeBron James, Derrick Rose, former Celtic Kevin Garnett and others have worn the shirts in memory of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died as a result of a police chokehold. Garner’s death was widely circulated on video, in which he can be heard telling an officer, “I can’t breathe.”
Thumbnail photo via Sa

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Dennis Rodman Doesn’t Believe Steve Kerr’s Coaching Deserves Praise Just Yet

The Golden State Warriors are currently the best team in the NBA, but former basketball star Dennis Rodman doesn’t believe that first-year Warriors coach Steve Kerr deserves credit for the team’s success quite yet.

Golden State is 18-2 on the season thanks to its current 13-game winning streak. That’s a pretty impressive record for any coach to have through the first 20 games of his coaching career, but Rodman—Kerr’s former Chicago Bulls teammate—is a little skeptical about how much of an impact the rookie coach has had on his team.

Here’s what Rodman had to say about Kerr’s coaching thus far, via Jim Park of Sheridan Hoops:

It doesn’t look like Rodman is too impressed with Kerr early on.

Of course, Rodman could just be looking at the squad Kerr inherited. The Warriors made the playoffs the past two seasons under former coach Mark Jackson, winning 51 games last season. With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson on the roster, some might say that Kerr walked into a great situation.

Although Rodman had some strong criticism of his former teammate, there does not appear to be any beef between the two. 

Maybe Kerr’s coaching abilities will win Rodman over someday.

[h/t Warriors World]

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Dion Waiters Doesn’t Mind Reduced Role As Long as Cleveland Cavaliers Win

ESPN reports that Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters is fine with his reduced role on the team as long as the team keeps winning. Coming into Thursday, Waiters has averaged 8.5 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 23 minutes per game.
When asked if he was fine with the lack of a role, Waiters said “It’s not about me. As long as we’re winning (I’m fine).”
Cleveland defeated the New York Knicks on Thursday night 90-87 to extend their winning streak to 5 games. Dion Waiters had another lackluster game with 6 points, 0 rebounds and 1 assist in 20 minutes of action.
The post Dion Waiters Doesn’t Mind Reduced Role As Long as Cleveland Cavaliers Win appeared first on Basketball Bicker by Joey.

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LeBron doesn’t want All-Star Game in Cleveland

The Cleveland Cavaliers just began a campaign to get the 2018 NBA All-Star Game at the Quicken Loans Arena. LeBron James, as has been a trend for…

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LeBron James Doesn’t Want Cleveland to Host NBA All-Star Game in 2018

The All-Star Game tends to be a crazy week for all NBA superstars who gain entry, but it’s a particularly frantic time for anyone playing host. Surely, that would be doubly—maybe even triply—true if the league’s best player was the one helping run the show for his hometown squad. 

Cleveland is one of the cities making a case for the 2018 All-Star bid, but LeBron James isn’t so sure he wants to deal with all the responsibility that would come with such a selection. 

“It would be too much for me,” the four-time MVP told ESPN.com’s Dave McMenamin after a Tuesday afternoon shootaround. ”It would be too much for me. I think it would be great for us to host it, but hopefully I’m no good in that year if we get it. I don’t want it. My family, friends—I don’t want it. Too much.”

It’s worth noting, as McMenamin does, “the Cavaliers claimed later Tuesday that James was joking,” but let’s take these remarks at face value.

Being James already has to be exhausting. 

Not only is he tasked with putting together some incredible performances for the Cavaliers, especially when they’re struggling more than expected, but he’s the constant subject of media attention. Everything he does gets analyzed, overanalyzed and then over-overanalyzed. The same is true for everything he says, and I’m sure it would be for what he thinks if we had the technology to read his innermost thoughts. 

Can you imagine the burden he’d face hosting an All-Star contest in Cleveland? It would be one media appearance after another, and he’d constantly have to be on top of his game. Talk about speeches galore.

Maybe a 25-year-old James could have handled such a situation, but it’s a time that would be better served as rest for the version that will be 33 years old and 15 seasons into his career in 2018.

In many ways, his sentiments are pretty understandable, and it’s not as though anyone can accuse him of being unwilling to help out his hometown team. After all, he did return to the Cavaliers with the intent of ending a championship drought, and he’s already helping to revitalize the city’s economy

James spoke about the possibility of Cleveland securing the winning bid after Wednesday’s shootaround,” Chris Haynes wrote for Cleveland.com. “He would be happy for the city of Cleveland, but he could foresee ticket requests being problematic.”

That’s where his reference to his family and friends comes into play. Surely James can deal with all the attention, but he’d be subjecting those closest to him to undue pressure for favors and ticket requests if he did end up having to play host.

But think about it from his perspective—and again, this is assuming he wasn’t joking when he originally delivered that quote at shootaround. James is a human being, and his sole purpose on the planet isn’t to entertain the rest of the world. 

As McMenamin writes, “He [James] was instrumental in the league extending its All-Star break to eight days starting this February after expressing his desire to new commissioner Adam Silver to have more rest amid the league’s 82-game season.”

Something tells me that rest would be impossible for James during a Cleveland-based set of festivities. And surely he deserves some of that after all he’s poured into the sport over the years. 

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Kentucky Can Shoot the 3, but That Doesn’t Mean It Should

Have you ever played pickup ball where there’s a guy who just jacks up three-pointer after three-pointer even though he keeps missing, insisting the whole time that he’s actually a great shooter? Then when he finally hits a couple, he acts like that justifies all the previous misses.

That’s Kentucky. 

Kentucky shoots threes with the confidence of a team that is making half of its attempts instead of the 30.3 percent clip that it’s currently converting. It’s infuriating. An open three is a good shot, but it’s not always the best shot. The sooner the Wildcats get that concept down, the better.

Am I nitpicking a team that just won a game by 58 points? Yes. Because a 58-point win in November would easily be overshadowed by just one loss in March.

Let me tell you a story about an incredibly talented team that started a tournament game 0-of-20 from three and ended the game 4-of-32. It shot itself out of the game. You remember 2010, right? That team had John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe, and it didn’t even make it to the Final Four because it couldn’t…make…a…three.

In the five games this season, Kentucky is averaging 11.6 three-point attempts in the first half and more than three fewer attempts in the second half at 8.2. As the game goes on, it gets into the flow of how head coach John Calipari wants it to play, and the threes come in rhythm with the offense instead of being forced. Imagine if it started that way.

Look, Kentucky can make threes. Devin Booker, after a rough first three games of the season, now looks like a stone-cold assassin from downtown. Tyler Ulis is actually shooting 61.5 percent from three. Andrew Harrison is shooting a respectable 45.4 percent. Really it’s Aaron Harrison who is dragging down the percentage, shooting just 5-of-21 from three for the season, and we all know better than to say he can’t shoot.

So what’s the problem?

Well, for starters, Kentucky is so huge that teams are sagging in the paint and are just straight-up begging it to shoot threes. With as big as the Wildcats are, sometimes an uncontested three is a better gamble than allowing Karl Towns or Dakari Johnson a contested post-up move. I’d rather let Andrew Harrison take an open three than play him tough, let him get by me just enough to draw another defender and then throw up an easy lob to Willie Cauley-Stein.

This team just has to learn how to attack those zones it’s going to see, probe for weaknesses and then kick the ball out for a three within the flow of the game instead of passing around the perimeter and then taking the best/first look it sees. Kentucky may have been 7-of-25 from three against Montana State, but when it came to good, smart three-pointers, I would estimate it shot more like 50 percent.

Oh, I almost forgot about Mr. Trey Lyles. Trey, buddy, pal, champ…consider this an intervention. You’re surrounded by people who love you no matter what. But you have to stop shooting so many threes. I’m talking one, maybe two a game. You’re 2-of-14 on the season. You took five against Montana State. You are a perfectly OK three-point shooter. You are not Booker. You should not be taking five threes in any game. Just…just stop it.

Bottom line? With the defenses they’re going to see, the Wildcats are going to need to make some threes this season. The good news? They can.

Just don’t tell them that, OK?

 

Follow me and tell me I’m an idiot on Twitter: 

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Clemson Pulls a Chris Webber, Calls Timeout It Doesn’t Have and Loses Game

George Santayana once postulated that mankind is doomed to repeat history if we do not learn from the mistakes of the past.

Clemson basketball apparently doesn’t give a damn for Santayana.

The Tigers replicated one of basketball’s most boneheaded plays by calling a timeout they did not possess in the waning moments of their Virgin Islands Paradise Jam tournament game against Gardner-Webb on Friday.

With the game tied 70-70 with six seconds remaining in the second half, Tigers freshman Donte Grantham and senior Rod Hall tried to call a timeout after failing to link up on the inbounds play.

YouTube user Sam Vecenie uploaded video showing Grantham and Hall trying to make a play and calling the catastrophic timeout. Neither the refs nor the sportscasters covering the game initially noticed Clemson’s over-drafting of timeouts.

After some deliberation, officials assessed a technical foul that allowed Gardner-Webb to sink two free throws and win the game.

Following the game, Clemson head coach Brad Brownell took responsibility for the colossal mistake. He said he didn’t know the team was out of timeouts.

Somewhere, Chris Webber is waiting by a phone for a public appearance call.

 

Follow Dan on Twitter for more sports and pop culture filigree.

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Kobe Bryant, unlike Kevin Durant, doesn’t think Dwight Howard is a ‘p—y’

To say that Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard had an acrimonious relationship when the two were Los Angeles Lakers teammates wouldn’t do justice to the rumored schism between the NBA stars. The perceived animosity that pervaded their tenure together seemed to have carried over once Howard left the team and then came to a head…Read More
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LeBron James doesn’t let his sons play football for health reasons

LeBron James’ house is a football-free zone for his children.
The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar, who was also a standout all-state wide receiver as a sophomore and junior at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, recently told ESPN’s Chris Broussard that he does not allow his two sons to play football.
“Only basketball, baseball and soccer are allowed in my house,” James told Broussard before Friday’s game against the Denver Nuggets.
According to Broussard, LeBron’s reasoning is based on the health risks associated with the sport.
But while LeBron’s kids won’t be tearing it up on the gridiron like he did back in the day, they’re keeping themselves plenty occupied with other sports. LeBron told Broussard that Bryce Maximus, 7, is into soccer, while 10-year-old LeBron Jr. is beginning to focus on basketball.
Photo via  Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images
Filed under: Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NFL, Top Stories

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Kobe Bryant Doesn’t See Additional Contracts or Teams in His Future

All professional sports careers have an expiration date, and Los Angeles Lakers megastar Kobe Bryant seems to have a good grasp on both the time and location of his.

The 36-year-old cannot envision himself on any other team, nor can he imagine extending his playing days beyond the limits of his current two-year contract.

“It’s not going to happen,” Bryant told USA Today‘s Sam Amick when asked about the possibility of switching teams. “It’s not going to happen. You go through the good times, you’ve got to go through the bad times.”

This is not a new sentiment for the Mamba.

He recently told Yahoo Sports’ Marc J. Spears, “I’m extremely loyal to the Lakers,” and reaffirmed that commitment by adding, “I bleed purple and gold.”

You could run those words under a microscope a thousand times and still not come up with any wiggle room. Bryant knows what he wants, and what he wants seems to be an NBA future in the same setting as his legendary past.

But that is not enough to stop the speculation that the combination of his ticking basketball clock and the Lakers’ long road back to relevance could lead him to seek out greener pastures elsewhere.

“I still cannot see Kobe riding it out for two more years in L.A. no matter what he says,” Bulls.com’s Sam Smith wrote. “They could get a little better next summer adding a free agent, but this is just the start of a long rebuilding process.”

It would take a miracle to move Bryant before the end of his deal. Not only could that spell a public relations disaster for both parties, it also assumes a team would be willing to sacrifice assets for a 19-year veteran set to collect $48.5 million between this season and next.

A Bryant trade is not happening. But the idea of him eventually finding a new home in free agency has been harder to dismiss.

Of course, that means Bryant would have to want to continue playing after this contract expires. Amick asked if Bryant could see himself doing just that, and he responded it by saying, “Nah, not really.”

He did leave some wiggle room there, as he should have. It’s impossible for him to know where his mind and body will be two years from now.

He will need to see whether he is capable of still performing at a high level. His 26.5 points-per-game scoring average might suggest that he can, but those numbers lose some of their luster when combined with his 39.4 field-goal percentage and the Lakers’ 1-5 record.

Besides, there is no guarantee those statistics will still appear the same in 2016.

So Bryant will have some questions to answer over the following two years. And considering how many people are willing to answer them for him, he will probably face the same inquiries over and over.

Some may never take his words at face value. But all of us should cherish his next seasons just in case he is telling the truth.

 

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