Exactly whose job is it within the Cleveland Cavaliers’ organization to continually try and convince LeBron that the team really is doing what they feel is right to build a championship contender around him? And how is that person going to spin the reports we’re hearing that two of the Cavs’ primary free-agent targets right now are Lorenzen Wright and Juwan Howard? And owner Dan Gilbert really wonders why so many people are writing stories about LeBron’s potential departure in 2010? If this were 1996 and we were talking about Lorenzen and Juwan, cool; that was back when Lorenzen was a Top-10 pick coming off a beastly run at Memphis, and Juwan was ballin’ hard enough that teams were throwing $100 million offers his way. A dozen years later, Wright is 32 years old, Howard is 35, and both are end-of-the-bench guys at best who wouldn’t shock anyone is they lost to Big Z in a 94-foot dash. At least J.J. Hickson looks like he could be a player for Cleveland in the paint … Yesterday’s news that the Warriors were sending their own trainer down to Jackson, Miss., to investigate the cause of Monta Ellis‘ ankle injury — originally reported by the Contra Costa Times — is being disputed by the San Francisco Chronicle. They’re saying that since Golden State’s trainer is actually in South Africa right now as part of the NBA’s “Basketball Without Borders” outreach program (along with Caron Butler, Dikembe Mutombo, Nick Collison, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Thabo Sefolosha and Juwan Howard), the other paper got the story wrong. It brings up the question, though: If you were running the Warriors or any other team, would you do a little more digging to find out how your players get hurt off the court? Or would you take them at their word if they claimed it was simply a workout/basketball injury? … BTW, none of this Monta stuff is as hilarious as Vlad Radmanovic trying to hide that he hurt his shoulder skiing or snowboarding or whatever it was … If you thought Stephon Marbury‘s “Starbury” logo tat on the side of his head was bad, J.R. Giddens supposedly has a green shamrock tatted behind his ear that he got after the NBA Draft. We haven’t seen it, but we’d imagine it’s something J.R. can cover up with a headband. Otherwise, it’ll be real awkward for him if he gets traded … Just in case the Redeem Team didn’t win the gold, Dwight Howard would’ve had a ready-made excuse: Their video-game hookup broke not long after the squad landed in Beijing. And you know how that can mess up a trip. “We had to play like Scrabble and lot of board and card games,” Dwight told the Orlando Sentinel. “I thought it was good, though. We had a little player lounge and it kept us out of our rooms. I started to do that and we bonded not only with the guys on the men’s team, but also the women’s team.” … Not sure if we mentioned this during the Olympics, but did you see the segment on when Chris Bosh and Tayshaun Prince went to the Great Wall and Bosh asked, “Do we have to walk the whole thing?” … Why is Chris Quinn slow-walking on accepting Miami’s one-year, $1 million qualifying offer? If he doesn’t watch out, Shaun Livingston might snap up his job. Some of us in the Dime office are pulling for Quinn to succeed, if only because the longer he’s in the NBA, it drives the Syracuse fans in the office crazy that Gerry McNamara isn’t in the League … Patrick Ewing Sr. said that Pat Jr. can have #33 for the Knicks if he wants it. If you were in Big Pat’s shoes, would you let your kid have your retired number? And if you were Little Pat, would you even want that? … Nikolai Valuev (the huge 7-footer) and John Ruiz (the most boring boxer ever) fought for a major heavyweight belt over the weekend. Why are those two — especially Ruiz, who must be knocking on 40 years old — still even in the championship picture? Between Valuev’s back hair and Ruiz’s style, it very well may have been the most visually unappealing sporting event to ever take place … We’re out like Juwan’s prime …
Smack / Sep 1, 2008 / 4:48 am
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