LeBron’s Legacy by the Numbers

The legacy of LeBron James is bookended by NBA history, trying to be better than the greats of the past while setting a standard that will withstand the challenge of the greats of the future. The legacy of LeBron is also bookended alphabetically, by the letter K on one end—Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Karl Malone—and by the letter M on the other, in the person of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. Kareem, Karl, and Kobe are the three guys left in the way of LeBron setting the career record for scoring. Magic is the gold standard for versatility, his …

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Breakfast Special: A Serge In On-Court Violence

Serge Ibaka built an NBA reputation on swatting shots away from the rim. But in the Toronto Raptors’ 126-101 humiliation at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday night, Ibaka decided instead to swat—and by swat I mean clobber—an opponent instead. Marquese Chriss ended up on the receiving end of Ibaka’s rage, and Everybody Hates Chriss: Ibaka and Chriss out here throwing punches 😳 pic.twitter.com/NwRhL6Apw4 — Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 12, 2019 That’s going to be worth a suspension. Possibly a lengthy one. Nice move for the playoff stretch drive, Serge. This was a beast of a game for Cleveland, …

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Breakfast Special: James Harden, LVP

Allow me a moment of gleeful bias in an otherwise objective statistical and visual roundup of NBA action. Because James Harden shot 1-of-17 from three-point land, making one more three-pointer than Ben Simmons did yesterday, as the Rockets lost to the Magic 116-109. But here is why Harden is fundamentally absurd. He had 38 points, 12 assists, and nine rebounds, shot 11-of-32 from the field overall, and made 15-of-16 from the line, and every nitwit who’s willing to ignore his blatant manipulation of the referees and horrible shooting when they’re not giving him the calls (and the turnovers; he’s averaging …

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Breakfast Special: Losing by a RAZR-Thin Margin

Every single problem the Indiana Pacers have—every weakness, every lapse in execution, every failure in design—came together in a Motorola-sponsored garbage fire that culminated in a 92-91 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In fact, the last sequence of the game, with Indiana up 91-90 and Victor Oladipo on the free throw line, was all of the above in about 20 seconds. Oladipo missed not one but two free throws, turning “for the tie” into “for the win” at the other end, and it seems like every time any team in the NBA leaves the door open like that, they lose. …

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Breakfast Special: Draymond’s Durant DNP

Draymond Green sat a game after bringing up Kevin Durant‘s impending free agency during a heated exchange between the two earlier in the week. And Warriors management? Well, they just essentially reminded Green that 7.5 points and 7.8 rebounds a game do not entitle someone to influence personnel decisions and suspended him. Green’s decline—in addition to all his other woes, he’s shooting 24 percent from three this year—makes him a curious case for the Warriors. On the one hand, he’s still the best ball-distributing forward in the league, with 7.4 assists a game to lead the team. But on the …

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Are the 2018-19 Cleveland Cavaliers Good?

And now, the only team with a Tuesday time slot in this year’s previews (let’s see…Toronto, Miami, Portland, Houston, Golden State…yep, only team) that unequivocally sucks. That’s right, forget the score, grab your Henny, and buckle up, because we’re sifting through the burning river of the NBA to find a team that gave up the title of best sports team in Cleveland to the Indians in as much time as it took LeBron James to sign with the Lakers. Hell, now that Baker Mayfield is trying to render a little joy into the Factory of Sadness, the Cavs might not …

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The Last Glory of LeBron James

Once upon a time, I used to be a boxing writer. I covered the sweet science both as a journalist, with ESPN’s old Friday Night Fights show as my beat—a great gig that got me ringside seats in Reno, where I met Teddy Atlas in one of the coolest total-fanboying moments of my life—and as a romanticist, writing historical fiction in the only sport besides maybe baseball where you can do that for a sports news publication and not be thought terribly unusual. (Unless you’re Jon Bois from SBNation. I am not Jon Bois.) And boxing was at the forefront …

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Breakfast Special: Pack It In, Boys, Kevin Durant’s Finals MVP

Not since D-Day in 1944 has a group of people defending their turf been so thoroughly shot to pieces on the sixth of June as the Cleveland Cavaliers got at the hands of the Golden State Warriors in a 110-102 second-half comeback Wednesday night. Dub Nation is just one win away from sending your columnist into hibernation for the next four months (this is a lie; there will be Pacers talk and free agency talk and draft talk. The hiatus won’t start until early July, and the previews will be back like they always are starting shortly after Labor Day.) …

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Breakfast Special: Steph Gonna Steph On LeBron

Well, Golden State is up 2-0 on Cleveland. Again. And after Game 4 in Cleveland, the Warriors will probably be up 3-1 in the series. Again. After all, in a five-game series, the losing team wins Game 3. And the Warriors will win the series in five. Again. Game 2 featured Stephen Curry breaking the Finals record for three-pointers by shooting 9-of-17 from out there, Contrast the Jordan era… 3-POINTERSStephen Curry tonight: 9/17 Bulls entire 1991 Finals: 5/21 — Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) June 4, 2018 Oh, the times, they are a-changin’. And in case you don’t want to be arsed …

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Breakfast Special: JR Smith is the WOAT.

J.R. Smith is the Worst of All Time. LeBron James scored 51 points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished eight assists, and put up one of the greatest NBA Finals performance in the history of the sport. He singlehandedly pushed the Cleveland Cavaliers to a point where they could steal a game from the Golden State Warriors on the road. Then the Warriors got overtime because George Hill choked at the free throw line and Smith dribbled the clock out because he thought the Cavs had won the game. And Tyronn Lue stood on the sidelines and watched rather than call timeout …

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