|NBA Finals set to begin on June 3||05.26.10 at 11:06 am ET|
- Thursday, June 3: Game 1, 9 p.m.
- Sunday June 6: Game 2, 8 p.m.
- Tuesday, June 8: Game 3, 9 p.m.
- Thursday, June 10: Game 4, 9 p.m.
- Sunday, June 13: Game 5*, 8 p.m.
- Tuesday, June 15: Game 6*, 9 p.m.
- Thursday, June 17: Game 7*, 9 p.m
* if necessary
|LeBron on elbow: ‘It limited me some’||05.14.10 at 3:16 am ET|
Following the Cavaliers‘ season-ending, 94-85 loss to the Celtics, Thursday night at TD Garden, Cleveland’s LeBron James spoke about both his injured left elbow and impending free agency. James finished his team’s Game 6 loss with 27 points, 19 rebounds, and 10 assists, but also had nine turnovers.
“LIke I said, I make no excuses and I had opportunities to do things that I wanted to do, it just didn’t fall for me,” said James, who went 8-for-21 from the floor in 46 minutes. “I’m not using the elbow as an excuse. It limited me some. You hope to be 100 percent going into any series, but at this point of the season I don’t know if there is anybody on both teams that’s 100 percent.”
When told it appeared as though the elbow limited his performance, James responded, “Well, I got a lot of time to think about it now.”
Besides the elbow, the other more most talked about subject when it came to James was the fact that the loss to the Celtics could represent the guard’s last game as a member of the Cavaliers. James is eligible to become a free agent this offseason, and figures to be courted by such teams as Chicago, Miami, and New York (which was represented by nine media outlets at the TD Garden Thursday night).
“I will approach this summer with the right mindset,” James said. “Me and my team will approach it the right way but I haven’t really thought about just now. Kinda still trying to figure out what went wrong in this series or things that we did right. We’ll see what happens.’
As for what James will be prioritizing when it comes to picking a team to play for, he made it clear that joining a contender will be most important.
‘First of all I want to win,” he said. “And I mean, that’s my only thing; that’s my only concern. I’ve always prided myself on becoming a better basketball [player] individually and then taking it to, onto the court. I mean, it’s all about winning for me and I think the Cavs is committed to do that, but at the same time I’ll give myself options to this point. And like I said before, me and my team, we have game plan that we’re going to execute, and we’ll see where we’ll be at.’
With the scrutiny of James figuring to only amplify after two straight subpar performances, closing out his season, a few members of the Celtics came to the star’s defense following the series’ finale.
“He’s 25 but he’s getting this kind of pressure since eighth grade,” said Celtics forward Michael Finley. “I met LeBron earlier in his high school career and when came into the gym it was the same media attention that he’s getting now. He’s used to it. It doesn’t faze him. He’s a good kid. In my opinion he has the most pressure of anyone in the NBA on his shoulders night in and night out and he handles it as a professional.”
“I thought it was madness what happened to him over the last 48 hours,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. “People don’t realize how good he is, and he’s human. He had a bad game. Tonight wasn’t one, I can tell you that … He’s a great kid. He’s everything you want. If someone else gets him they’ll be the luckiest team in the league.”
|Video: Green Street ft. Glenn Ordway & Cedric Maxwell||05.05.10 at 11:21 am ET|
|Rivers: “Rasheed alone is an individual hedge fund”||04.23.10 at 2:13 pm ET|
MIAMI — Rasheed Wallace was fined $35,000 by the NBA, yet again, after making comments critical of the officials, and specifically how they work games when superstars are involved. It’s a familiar gripe for Wallace who has been fined several times by the NBA for making similar statements.
“Rasheed alone is an individual hedge fund by himself,” Doc Rivers joked after shootaround.
But Wallace’s words cut deep for a league that is fighting to regain trust in the wake of the Tim Donaghy affair. Officials have come under great scrutiny already in the playoffs and several coaches, notably Phil Jackson and Stan Van Gundy, have not helped matters with their comments.
Both Jackson and Van Gundy were fined by the league for various statements about the officiating and David Stern made a point of saying Thursday night in Oklahoma City that it won’t be tolerated.
“I wish I had it to do all over again,’ Stern said to reporters before Game 3 of the Lakers-Thunder series. “Starting 20 years ago I’d be suspending Phil and Pat Riley for all the games they play in the media. You guys know our referees go out there and knock themselves out and do the best job they can.”
Make no mistake, this is a huge problem for the NBA and Stern basically dared coached to test him.
Stern also noted that within in the NBA community, it’s understood that when Jackson says that Kevin Durant gets to the free throw line too much, he’s doing it for effect, but the perception is that refs call the game differently for star players. Or in Van Gundy’s case, that his star player, Dwight Howard, doesn’t get the benefit of the calls.
“I think David is half right on that one,” Rivers said. “Sometimes we do know, but sometimes we really are defending our guys. Everyone is on the league’s side at the end of the day. Listen, I’ve been a league guy for 20-whatever years. I love this league and I want this league to do well. I don’t think any coach doesn’t want the league to do well. Having said that the coaches job is to do what he can to help the team win.”
|Richardson on Pierce, KG: ‘I don’t like them’||04.18.10 at 12:40 am ET|
Speaking after his team dropped an 85-76 decision to the Celtics, Miami guard Quentin Richardson spoke of his dislike for both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. It was the skirmish which Richardson got into with Garnett, with Pierce on the floor with an apparent injury, that led to Garnett being ejected from the game with 40 seconds remaining.
“I don’t like them,” Richardson said, “and they know it.”
As for the incident, Richardson wasn’t sold on the severity of Pierce’s injury, which was identified as a shoulder issue by the Celtics’ forward after the first round Eastern Conference playoff game.
“He’s on the ground crying and I don’t know what’s going on,” the Heat guard said. “Two actresses over there, that’s what they are.” When asked he was surprised the confrontation escalated, Richardson responded, “I’m not surprised at people’s actions when I know them better than that, when they’re not those characters they portray in this movie. They’r not who they say they are, Garnett and Pierce. They’re good basketball players, nothing other than that.”
Richardson continued when asked if he had said anything to Pierce.
“I said to [Jermaine O’Neal], I said, ‘He’s OK,’ because I knew nobody just touched him,” he explained. “How did he fall? Was he taking another break like he do so many times? Sometimes he falls like he’s about to be out for the season, and he gets right up. That’s all I said. “
|Beasley: ‘[The Celtics] are going to try and punk us’||04.18.10 at 12:23 am ET|
Speaking after the Celtics‘ 85-76 win over Miami in Game 1 of the teams’ first round Eastern Conference playoff series, Heat forward Michael Beasley suggested that the Celts were going to try and use intimidation throughout the playoffs. “They’re physical, we got physical. We’re not going to back down,” Beasley said. “They’re a real physical team and I think they tried, and are going to try, to punk us throughout the series, and it’s not going to happen.”
Asked why the Celtics take such a tact, Beasley commented, “That’s their M.O. They’re loud, they talk through the whole game. We’re not going to get out of our game. We’re going to stay focused and let them do what they do.” The second-year forward also suggested that Miami’s athleticism would be an advantage as the series progressed. “It’s going to show come Game 7,” he said.
The impetus for many of Beasley’s comments was a skirmish that took place with 40 seconds remaining the game when Kevin Garnett and Miami’s Quentin Richardson tussled with Paul Pierce lying on the ground with an injury, an ailment Heat center Jermaine O’Neal questioned. “He wasn’t hurt, he wasn’t hurt,” O’Neal said. “He was taking a break.”
|Report: Rivers leaning towards leaving Celtics after season||04.14.10 at 12:06 pm ET|
“Part of it is true,” Rivers told the Herald on Tuesday. “Every year I sit down in the middle of the summer and I have a family discussion. We talk about what we want to do. That’s nothing new, but every year it gets stronger and stronger. And I think people are making common sense reads. I’ve got three seniors next year, two in college and one in high school. That’s important to me.”
Rivers’ son, Jeremiah, plays on Indiana University’s basketball team. His other son, Austin, will be a high school senior and is acknowledged as one of the top prep basketball players in the country. Rivers’ daughter, Callie, is a volleyball standout at the University of Florida.
Rivers suggested a year ago that he might leave the coaching ranks for a while in an effort to spend time with his family and “re-energize.” Speaking on the Dennis & Callahan Show last May 19, Rivers said that he contemplates a “sabbatical” from his profession.
“I have every intention of coming back, but I would be lying to you if I said that every year, I didn’t sit back over the last couple, with the family. We sit back and we think, ‘What do we need to do, and what do I need to do?’ I just try to gauge it on how my kids are doing and if they’re happy,” Rivers said after the 2008-09 season. “I’m sure there will be a day or some time when I’ll say no, I’ve got to stay and do family things. But I have every intention of coming back.
“I love coaching. I see myself coaching a long time. But I also see myself as a coach who will take a break to re-energize. I believe in that. I love, what’s the analogy? A teacher taking a sabbatical and coming back. I clearly will do that someday. In the next two or three years, I think that has to happen. I just think it’s good for a coach to do that. It makes him a better coach.”
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