Archive for September 15th, 2013

Deron Williams
Mostly looking to just play basketball

Deron Williams has entered the fray — sort of.

Asked about teammate Paul Pierce’s assertion that the Nets will eventually take ownership of New York from the Knicks, Williams told, “That’s my teammate so I’m with him. Of course we want to run New York. The Knicks are our rival. I don’t get into too much of the talking. We’ll decide all that on the court. We have four games to play against them and then the playoffs so I’ll let Paul do the talking and I’ll just go out there and play.”

The Knicks and Nets have engaged in a war of words ever since Nets forward Pierce told ESPN New York 98.7 FM in August, “I think it’s time for the Nets to start running this city.”

That sparked responses from Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith, who called Pierce “bitter” and added that there “will be consequences” for his words.

The Knicks and Nets will meet four times in the regular season.

Reported by Ian Begley of ESPN New York

LeBron James is now a married man

LeBron James
LeBron James is now a married man
Has rings

To quote San Diego legend and respected newsman Ron Burgundy, when Jay-Z and Beyonce fly in to sing at your wedding, you’re “kind of a big deal.”

A performance by the two pop icons on Saturday night highlighted the wedding celebration of Miami Heat star LeBron James and longtime girlfriend Savannah Brinson, who shared vows in San Diego with family and friends.

And, so, Miami’s king now has a queen.

About 200 people attended the ceremony held at San Diego-area resort Grand Del Mar Hotel. The hotel is considered one of the best in the world. Per the property’s website, the Grand Del Mar Hotel is “serenely nestled amidst Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve” and “seamlessly combines the old-world charm of a Mediterranean estate with the modern luxury of an elegant resort.”

The constant hovering of local TV helicopters apparently detracted little from the ceremony’s ambiance, which was hidden from view under large event tents. Guests were ushered into the hotel under umbrellas.

Reported by Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald

Many members of the Heat organization were there, including Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, managing general partner Micky Arison and coach Erik Spoelstra. Wade and girlfriend Gabrielle Union posted images of themselves dressed for the occasion on social media, as did Bosh and his wife Adrienne. Some of James’ longtime friends were also in attendance, including his manager Maverick Carter.

“What a wonderful evening!!” Adrienne Bosh wrote on Twitter. “Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. James…Thanks for sharing Ur night & love with us”

The ceremony was the obvious highlight of a three-day wedding weekend for the couple, who were high school sweethearts and are the parents of two sons. They were engaged just after midnight on Jan. 1, 2012, when James dropped to a knee and surprised his longtime girlfriend by finally popping the question as many of their close friends were gathered around.

Reported by the Associated Press

Michael Beasley
NBA knucklehead Michael Beasley
Needs to not be a knucklehead

Once a skinny kid in a purple uniform, McGrady now can sound like a jaded curmudgeon lamenting the state of the next generation.

“You’ve got some guys in the league now who are just knuckleheads,” McGrady said. “What turns me off is guys doing the wrong thing. Just the legal part of it, hanging out, getting these DUIs, marijuana — all that crazy stuff, just doing the wrong thing, setting a bad example for the young guys … I don’t quite understand it. I take a guy like (Michael) Beasley. Had all the potential in the world but he’s not level-headed. He just doesn’t get it. And a very talented player. But where else are you going to make this type of money doing something you love to do every day, take care of your family and play basketball. I mean, are you serious? You get millions of dollars for it and you mess these opportunities up? I don’t get it.”

Reported by Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star

Tracy McGrady wishes he had stayed in Toronto

In the spring of 2000, all things seemed possible for the Toronto Raptors.

If the hope was genuine and the hype was mostly justified, it’s because the nascent NBA team had been graced with the presence of two giant talents. Vince Carter, the league’s reigning slam-dunk champion, was at the time one of the most popular basketball players on the planet. On his best nights, he was also one of the most unguardable. And then there was Tracy McGrady, still mostly a backup player in those days but already the subject of whispers that he might one day turn out to be better than Carter, his distant cousin.

That day, it turned out, didn’t arrive with McGrady residing in Toronto. With his three-year rookie contract expiring at that the end of a 1999-2000 season that saw the Raptors make the first post-season appearance in their then five-season history, McGrady was an impending free agent with no end of suitors, the citizens of Toronto among them. Fans carried signs that urged: “Come Back T-Mac!” Shirtless young men painted the same message across their chests. The Raptors set up an email address with which fans could flood their six-foot-eight hero with pleadings he stay.

He didn’t stay, of course. McGrady, who grew up in tiny Auburndale, Fla., fled to nearby Orlando only months after his 21st birthday, and his return trips to the Air Canada Centre would be accompanied by the vicious boos of a jilted populace. But more than 13 years later, in the days since he announced his retirement from the NBA last month at age 34, McGrady has been looking back fondly on his time in the NBA’s Canadian outpost.

“In hindsight, looking back, obviously I wish I had stayed in Toronto,” McGrady was saying in a recent telephone interview from his home in the Houston area. “There’s no doubt we could have contended for a championship. I think about that often. But if ‘if’ was a fifth, you know?”

Reported by Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star

Boston Celtics

When Brad Stevens was introduced as head coach of the Boston Celtics in early July, he pledged to use the remaining offseason months to learn the intricacies of the NBA game, study the strengths and weaknesses of his in-flux roster, and hit the ground running when training camp opened on Oct. 1.

Little more than two months later, and with just two weeks until camp opens, Stevens is confident he’s ready for what serves as the grand opening of his NBA tenure.

“I’m in pretty good shape,” Stevens said Friday in Dorchester, where he joined a handful of players and staff in running a youth basketball clinic. “I’ve got a great staff and they’ve been great about answering any questions that I would have had.

“I think now it’s like anything else, you have to come up with a progression for getting as much in as you possibly can in a very short amount of time. Also, a philosophy on how you’re going to treat the exhibition games and the exhibition season with the practice opportunities during that month.”

Reported by Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston

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