Seeing as LeBron has given 15,000 “I’m cool where I’m at/I love Cleveland” interviews and yet you’ve still got dudes in New York City hawking homemade LBJ #23 Knicks jerseys on the street, there’s really no point in superstar free-agents-to-be saying anything about their situation in the months before they hit the market. Especially when they have a chance to sign a contract extension and don’t do it. Dwyane Wade probably gave Miami fans a lift with some recent quotes in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: “Next year will be a big year for myself and for the team, but the plan has always been to stay with the Heat, and that’s still the plan,” Wade said. “I think everything will work out. I want to be one of those players that stays with one franchise for his entire career.” That sounds great, but since he’s not signing an extension, the speculation on what D-Wade will do next summer won’t be going away anytime soon … Working in the Heat’s favor, they can pay Wade the most money, they’ve got the familiarity he talked about, and, well, it’s effing Miami. For the other 29 teams in the League — or at least the handful of teams with a turkey leg’s chance at Mike Sweetney‘s house of landing Wade — they’re hoping Pat Riley doesn’t come through on his promise to make Wade’s supporting cast better, and maybe even that Wade’s legal issues in Miami are enough to make him want to get out of town and start fresh … One of the biggest factors nobody’s talking about is Michael Beasley. If he becomes as good as we think he can be sooner than later, that’s a big reason for Wade to believe he can win another championship with the Heat … Now that Yao Ming is grounded for at least a year, who will fill the void as the biggest basketball star in Asia? Could it be Hamed Haddadi? Probably not, but the guy has been making a strong case for himself on the FIBA scene. Yesterday, Haddadi led Iran to a gold-medal win at the Asia Cup, dropping 19 points and 17 boards on China to cap a tournament where he led the field in rebounding (13.1 rpg) and blocks (4.0 bpg) while adding 15.8 points a night. Iran got out to an early double-digit lead in the first quarter and led by as much as 25 in an easy W, and it didn’t matter that they shot 28% (4-14) from the charity stripe. Yi Jianlian struggled offensively (5-17 FG) and finished with 11 points and 11 boards, while Wang Zhi Zhi threw in 24 and eight rebounds … Yi did work throughout the Asia Cup, finishing in the top three in scoring (18.1 ppg), rebounds (10.4 rpg) and blocks (2.4 bpg) … Playing for Jordan, NBA D-League alum Rasheim Wright was the tournament’s top scorer (20.7 ppg), and finished strong by putting up 28 points, five rebounds and five assists in a bronze-medal win over Lebanon and ex-NBA players Jackson Vroman and Matt Freije … And a name to perhaps keep an eye on is Korea’s 6-7 forward Se-Keun Oh. He busted out for 31 points in a fifth-place game against the Philippines, and at 22 years old, should at least get a look from some scouts to see if he’s legit … We’re 100% not advocating violence against readers. Still, Sweet English‘s comment in yesterday’s Smack made us laugh out loud: “The next person who says ‘It must have been a slow day at the Dime Office,’ I will personally pull your skeleton out and sh*t down your throat. It’s the f*cking off season. No one is playing basketball. Of course its slow.” … And on that note, no, not much happened Sunday in the basketball world. But it was still an incredible sports day: Usain Bolt dusted Tyson Gay in the 100-meter finals at the Track & Field World Championships in Berlin, setting a new world record at 9.58 seconds. It’s just crazy how Bolt moves that fast without looking like he’s trying. Tyson Gay looks like somebody is trying to pull his head off his shoulders during a race, and Bolt gives you a little grimace at the most. Who would be the NBA equivalent to Bolt? We’re thinking T-Mac in his prime, who would do amazing things on the court while looking like he’d just woke up from a nap … Then you had Tiger Woods, blowing a final-day lead at a PGA major for the first time ever. If you’re looking for an athlete from any sport to replace Yao as a megastar in Asia, maybe it’ll be Y.E. Yang. The South Korean knocked off Tiger and is on some rock-star status right now … The other day we were talking about Michael Redd and how Redd compares to other top SG’s in the League, specifically Ray Allen. Nobody has seen Redd on the court since he hurt his knee midway through last season, but over the weekend told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel he expects to come back “stronger than I was before.” Remember, Redd goes into this season at just 30 years old, younger than he looks. He may have another All-Star season or two left in him … Ricky Rubio update: His $6.6 million buyout clause could be brought down to $3.3 million, and he could be given a few years to pay it back. That’s good news for the Wolves. Just wake us up on November 6, when Rubio (maybe) gets a crack at Brandon Jennings in the most anticipated Bucks/Wolves game ever … We’re out like Bolt …
Smack / Aug 17, 2009 / 4:33 am
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