Good morning, Boston Celtics fans!
Another work week is upon us – well, upon you, at least: I’m on vacation! – but I’m here to cure your Monday blues with some rumors and news from the NBA.
But before I get started, don’t forget: the Celtics face the Pacers in Summer League action today at 3 p.m.!
Seriously – what would you do without me?
Love this or hate it: LeBron James is the face of the modern athlete. I hate to sound like an old fart, because I know statements about “back when . . . ” are not always true, but didn’t things seem a bit simpler 20+ years ago? Did we have to wait as long for athletes to make decisions? For starters, very few superstars relocated as often as today’s do – LeBron might be on the move for the second time, possibly to his third team! I think part of the reason we have these drawn-out decisions is the attention these athletes receive:
Smoke, mirrors, rumor, innuendo and uncertainty have ruled the day since free agency began for the biggest names on the market.
With Carmelo Anthony mulling over max offers from at least two teams (the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks) and LeBron James sorting through possible face-to-face presentations from hand-picked finalists, all we know for sure one week into this process is that no one knows for certain if the incumbent teams will hold on to their prized superstars.
The Lakers have given Anthony something to think about and have positioned themselves as the main threat to the Knicks. Rumblings that James is seriously considering a return to his Cleveland roots with the Cavaliers is a narrative that is simply too juicy to ignore, no matter if those rumblings are legitimate or not.
It’s gotten to the point where I wonder, what do these athletes crave more? Championship rings, or the attention they receive from the public and media? According to NBA.com, at the time I wrote this LeBron James was being mentioned over 8,00 times an hour on Twitter! Folks: he hasn’t even DONE ANYTHING YET!
Of course, that little fact doesn’t stop the folks over at ESPN from providing round-the-clock coverage of James’ Decision 2.0. Check out how desperate the network was for a story this Saturday:
Here’s the most ridiculous moment in ESPN’s LeBron James Decision 2.0 coverage http://t.co/mH404UjQul
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) July 6, 2014
It sounds like satire, but this morning on ESPN.com, one of their top stories wasLeBron’s son catching a fish.
That’s right. One of the top stories for ESPN, the self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports, a multi-billion dollar company with more resources at their disposal than many small nations… was an Instagram video of LeBron’s son catching a fish. These are your sports headlines for July 5th, 2014, America…
Enough about LeBron – here’s some highs and lows from yesterday’s Summer League action in Orlando, Florida.
We have not talked much about this, but when Kyle Lowry decided to re-sign with the Toronto Raptors, it sent shock-waves through the free agency market;
It’s still early in the offseason, but Lowry was already the last excellent ball handler available without restriction or caveat. LeBron James andDwyane Wade would appear to be spoken for in Miami. Eric Bledsoe, Isaiah Thomas and even Greivis Vasquez are restricted free agents, likely requiring significant overpayment to pluck away. Lance Stephenson is in a universe all his own, swirling in potential and tremendous risk. Lowry stood apart as a seemingly attainable piece without the same practical or personal concerns, and now that he’s off the market those teams in need of a point guard are left to wade into the depths of Devin Harris-Mario Chalmers territory.
Finally: speaking of Rondo, I argued the other day that the Boston Celtics point guard is not worthy of a max salary contract. However, Rondo does have the 201-40215 season to prove me wrong:
Contract demands stand to define Rondo’s future with the Celtics. But his reported price tag isn’t about the Celtics. It’s about him asking for more than he currently deserves from any team that will eventually consider signing him.
Soon enough, once the 2014-15 campaign begins, it will be about him proving his contractual mettle, establishing himself as someone worthy of the payday he seeks.
Never a dull moment around here! Tune in later today as I examine possible trade scenarios revolving around Mr. Rondo himself. Until then, thanks for the read!