Smack / Jun 2, 2009 / 12:07 am

Gearing up for the NBA Finals, LeBron is still the story

Dwight Howard (photo. Mannion)

Dwight Howard (photo. Mannion)

While Dwight Howard takes a couple days to bask in the warm glowing warming glow of his first NBA Finals appearance — all before getting to the task of whipping himself into “Kill Bynum” mode — we still can’t get away from the LeBron talk. Even though it’s been standard fare for guys like Rasheed Wallace to get fined for skipping mandatory postseason press conferences, the League said they won’t fine LeBron for skipping his interviews after the Cavs were eliminated in Orlando. The reason? If LeBron’s team had still been alive in the playoffs, he would have been issued a warning, then fined the next time. That sounds about right — we’ve never heard of ‘Bron skipping a media session before, whereas ‘Sheed made a habit of it back when people wanted to talk to him — but nonetheless it just looks like another case of LeBron getting special treatment. Either way, hopefully this story dies a quick death as the concept of actual basketball gets closer and closer with the Finals looming … And speaking of old sh*t (“Why you bringin’ up old sh*t, Craig?”), the NBA Competition Committee met last week and talked about Rajon Rondo‘s controversial karate chop/pimp slap on Brad Miller from the first round, debating whether or not it should have been a flagrant foul. Although the refs on the court and the rule-enforcers in the League office determined it wasn’t flagrant, Danny Ainge said the play was “the one that was discussed the most” during the committee’s meeting. “Half thought it was a flagrant, half thought it wasn’t,” Ainge said. So look for even more crackdowns on hard fouls in the future. Somewhere Anthony Mason is shaking his head, while Greg Oden is just shaking. If the refs start calling games any tighter, G.O. might never play again … Dime #49 is out, and Blake Griffin is on the cover. We did the photo shoot with Blake in Norman, Okla., a few days after he’d made himself eligible for the NBA Draft, and fittingly he’s the centerpiece of our ’09 Draft Preview issue. Also in the mag is Chauncey Billups, Ben Gordon, Joe Johnson, Thaddeus Young, Kenny Anderson, and the projected top pick in the 2013 Draft. Not to mention we take you inside the hottest sneaker spot in Italy, and our “Ink” spread features maybe the NBA’s most inked-up player … Since Derrick Rose is already taking a few PR hits with this whole Memphis situation, let’s just go ahead and also blame D-Rose for the fact that Bulls assistant and longtime NBA staple Del Harris is retiring. When Vinny Del Negro got the Chicago job and brought in grizzled vets like Harris and Bernie Bickerstaff, we figured those guys took the job thinking they just had to hang around for a few months, maybe for the whole season, allow Del Negro to get himself fired, then take over a young squad with a load of talent. But then Rose turned into a beast — better than anyone expected right away as a rookie — and the Bulls put together a memorable playoff run that bought Del Negro at least two more years on the job. Seeing the writing on the wall, Harris got out of there … Brand-new Philly hire Eddie Jordan is retaining Aaron McKie as an assistant. Smart move, both basketball-wise and business-wise. The Philly faithful all love McKie, and since Jordan isn’t exactly a defensive coach, he needs somebody to instill a toughness and defensive mentality in this group. Here’s an idea: Send Sam Dalembert, Andre Iguodala, Thad Young, Lou Williams, Marreese Speights and whoever the Sixers take with the 17th pick in the first round to a weekend getaway where they’re stuck in the middle of nowhere with McKie, a basketball court, and some local North Philly playground cats. Trust us, those guys will come back with some hair on their chests … When we got e-mails from the NBA’s PR people last week pumping up Monday’s “major announcement” from David Stern and the WNBA Phoenix Mercury, some of us in the office figured the Mercury were either relocating, folding or had signed Brittney Griner (a.k.a. the female Dwight Howard) out of high school. Turns out the Mercury are going to be the first WNBA squad to have their jerseys sponsored, European soccer-style. Instead of saying “Phoenix” across the chest, it’s going to say “Lifelock.” Is this the first step down a slippery slope to NBA uniforms looking like NASCAR vehicles? Tell us what you think … We’re out like Del …

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  • Kryptonite Hops

    First… to say can’t wait for the WNBA season..NOT

  • q

    “Is this the first step down a slippery slope to NBA uniforms looking like NASCAR vehicles?”
    This will be the worst if it’s ever reaches the NBA…

  • QQ

    Lebron is a classle….. Oops. HAha.

    GOOOOOO MAGIC!!!! Magic in 6.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    First off Shout out to GOD for blessing me with a baby boy due Nov. 8th. First child and found out it’s a boy yesterday. Not that yall care but still I’m putting it out there.

    q I agree who wants to see players with Wendy’s on the front of their jersey. Hell to the naw.

    Hey DIME what’s up with:
    You guys don’t seem to respond or jump in on topics as much?
    Players answering questions from the readers. I love that.
    We argue and you decide.

    Just wondering.

    Can we just put Greg Oden on Pros vs. Joes now and get it over with for him.

    Have to wonder what would have happened had some players stayed put and some teams drafted and kept who they should have or who they had.

    Did the NRF (wasn’t that the initials?) end?

    Dwight, Hedo and Raw-Lew …isn’t that like a poor man’s big 3 from Boston?

    Coaching is going to be so funny. Phil is all calm and collective and meanwhile you have VanGundy screamin and goin nuts!

    Can’t wait for Thur.

  • RICK773

    First congrats Poppi Gee I had my lil man(hopefully the next jordan) last year so I definetly know how excited you are. As far as Lebrons go it killed me how he played the I’m a competitor card instead of the I acted like a b!t$h card. But with that said the story is dead so lets get to something of relevance like the Finals or the draft or The bulls winning the ship next year….It could happen

    I’m our like Lebrons sportsmen of the year award

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    RICK773 I appreciate that man. I am sure if you are raising the next Jordan you are going to teach him to shake hands after the game no matter win or lose and still be a “competitor” lol.

    As far as the bulls getting that ship next year, they can get it after the Rockets…yea that could happen too!

    Appreciate it again too! Deuces!

  • http://manilatonight.com solomon (el latino machismo)

    congrats poppi gee! welcome to fatherhood!

    man… someday, we’d see a lakers jersey with a mcdonald’s logo superimposed in it… sad… what the heck happened to the old fashioned “rooting for your home team” thing…

    greed sucks…

    we’re out like pre-game photoshoot rituals…

  • ponky_alolor

    congrats poppi gee, nothing beats the feeling of getting a son and see him play the sport that you also grew up with. I’m enjoying my boy shoot hoops and dream that he gonna be a damn better player than his dad hahaha.

    @ QQ, so how many orlando chicks were caught up in the celebration? Im still torn who will win this series. Both lakers and magic are coming in S-T-R-O-N-G.

    @ Dime, I haven’t read so much with the D-Rose issue but will this have any sanction for him in the NBA?

  • K Dizzle

    Congrats, Gee. Keep the child from any McGrady merchandise lol

    @ DIME – most tatted up player in the L is no doubt JR. Smitty look like he got one every day for a year

  • QQ

    @ GEE:

    Wow! CONGRATS BRUH! I am so elated with my team reaching the Finals, but even that can’t compare to the feeling of being blessed with a child and being a father… If you need a nurse, just call me, ok? haha.

    @ ponky:

    Haha… How many? I dunno, can’t even count, bruh. LOL! kidding man… WOOHOOO!!! MAGIC!!!

  • http://Parinaz.synthasite.com parinaz suns

    of course sarver would make the mercury jerseys into billboards he would do anything for money. he better not go near the suns jerseys the mans done enough damage already

  • Davros

    Is someone going to cut Greg Oden a break. It takes a while to come back from micro-fracture surgery and it was his first year playing. I think that this year we will see whether he is a bust or not. If no flashes at all then we can write him off. I think Portland would be really happy if he put up Tyson Chandler type numbers.

  • Sweet English

    Congrats GEE. I had myslef a little Girl three years ago. I wasnt gonna bother with the whole basketball thing but now i can get her sponsored i’m gonna be down the court with her every day. Forget Brittney Griner. In 18 years, Lifelock’s gonna be putting my kids through college.

    Someone call YOUNGFED, Dime mentioned ‘Sheed.

    And to put this Lebron thing to rest. The guy was a div for not going to the press meeting, but he KNOWS what questions are coming, ‘New york this, New York that, 2010 blah blah blah’ And if you think about it, the guy has never actuall SAID anything in a press conference anyway, so it doiesnt make much difference either way.

  • Frank

    whatever happened to Anthony Mason? That was a mean MF…

  • Ashlov

    Maybe the Knicks can be sponsored by “Soul Glow”. (You know you’re singing it in your head right about now.)

  • http://dimemag.com SparkyJ23

    Anthony Mason, Vernon Maxwell et al are probably beating some young fella to death on a court right now.

    Rondo is the talk with that foul? For all the marbles i’d expect no -REQUIRE- any player to STOP THE BUCKET.

    all fouls have context – if you take away the context you lose perspective.

    The solution is better younger fitter referees

  • that’s whats up

    @Gee – a heartfelt Conragtulations!!!
    My first two were boys and it’s crazy how quickly they remind you of you.
    Then they start f**kin’ things up around the house. But you’ll love every minute.

    Dime, did you say you did B-Griffin’s photo shoot was in Norman, Oklahoma?
    Were new kicks only available at wal-mart?
    Was the nightlife poppin’ over there – lmao

    I really hope the Orlando role players make this a series. If they fold under the bright lights in L.A. they could be down 2-0 before going home and there is no doubt lakers would get at least one game in Orlando.

    …and damn, don’t know how I forgot about YOUNGFED – once the pistons were gone, he was gone…

  • 92021SpurMD

    SPONSORSHIP ON AMERICAN SPORTS JERSEYS IS THE WORST IDEA IN THE HISTORY OF MAN!! Whatever happened to tradition… This will be the downfall of jersey sales. Teams will LOSE money doing this…

  • 92021SpurMD

    By the way, Congrats GEE!!

  • JA
  • that’s whats up

    if the Knicks jersey’s were sponsored by Nutri-system they would have to drop Jerome James and Eddy Chicken Curry from their roster – bad press

    If any team was sponsored by Smith & Wesson, Remington or the NRA they’d have to trade for JR, cap jack, tinsley and a whole mess of guys to “uphold their image”

    The Krispy Kreme team would have Charles Barkley coming back as a player/coach.

    Spurs would be sponsored by Geritol….
    …and Toronto would of course have Tampax on the front of their jersey.

  • the_don_mega (representin’ the 3 stars and a sun)

    congratulations GEE!!! what you namin’ your boy?

  • Jay Jay

    @that’s whats up

    “Toronto would of course have Tampax on the front of their jersey” …that is cold!!! …lol

  • Einnod

    Yo Dime crew is Liz Toppi off da hook? Is she a Dime piece? Can we get a glimpse of the ever so forbidden intern?

    Hook a brotha up!!!

  • Drink the Haterade (KB24 Chip 09)

    @ Poppi Gee–
    Congrats man! Wait til they reach about 6-7 that’s when they become really like mini me’s . Nice shout out to God on that one too.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    solomon (el latino machismo)
    ponky_alolor
    K Dizzle
    QQ
    Sweet English
    that’s whats up
    92021SpurMD
    the_don_mega (representin’ the 3 stars and a sun)
    Drink the Haterade (KB24 Chip 09)

    Man thanks to all yall, a dude really appreciates that.
    It’s going to be real interesting to see what sports lil man wants to play and what teams he supports.

    Course I am going to push him in some good directions but once he is at the age to really select his own, it’s gonna be funny.

    As far as name lil dude gonna be the III, so naming was easy.

    Jersey sales gonna drop so hard if they bring that to the NBA. Do you really wanna be on the court playing with Progresso insurance on the front, or even rocking it casually with Roto-rooter or some crap lol.

    I guess the days of poppin ya Jersey front will be over. Hedo hits a 3 to win the game, aww now he is poppin the front of his Legos jersey!….not cool.

  • doc

    Thats what up Eddie kept my oldhead.More free tickets for me!And Im loving the North Phil shout out and I got a 5 that would most definitley get them cats hearts up.

  • JayTea

    GEE UP!

    Off subject a little, anyone ever hear of any ex NBA players becoming Ref’s?

    Also, who is calling the finals? I hope not that Mike Breen.
    Dude has like 3 things he says “Tried to jam it in there” “From Downtown” And “got a piece of that one” come on…

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    JayTea Preshate it!

    So what you thinking the ex NBA player becoming a ref is a good thing? I think that would be good they have played the game so they would probably have a much better feel.

  • K Dizzle

    That one dude that played in the Olympics with MJ, Mully and Ewing in 84 became a ref. can’t remember dude’s name right now tho. Maybe leon Wood and I heard Haywood Workman was tryin to get into that. More power to em. Players make the best officials

  • ponky_alolor

    @ K Dizzle, yep it’s Leon Wood.

    @ that’s whats up, damn that raptors tampax comment was ICE freaking cold. Nice.