In case you were busy realizing that you waited way too long to make that Harlem Shake video, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday.
LeBron James powered the Miami Heat to their ninth consecutive win as they beat the Chicago Bulls, 86-67, at the United Center. The game was notable both for James's performance and a pair of scary moments. First, James pulled up limping after being fouled hard by Bulls guard Nate Robinson. Fortunately, he's not expected to miss any time. Scarier still, a large lighting fixture fell from the roof of the arena, narrowly missing a group of spectators. While rumors of a "phantom" haunting the arena were quickly dismissed, sabotage by a man envious of James's success is suspected. Early reports describe the suspect as a bald, 6-foot-6, 50-year-old African-American male wearing a mask over his face and six rings on his fingers. He is reported to have eluded capture using his superior footwork, and remains at large.
Join your Shootaround crew for some fake trades, pipe dreams, and beautiful, dark, twisted, deadline day fantasies.
The Book of Revelation
Golden State Warriors get: Devin Harris (Hawks), Earl Clark (Lakers), DeMarcus Cousins (Kings), Aaron Brooks (Kings) Los Angeles Lakers get: Josh Smith (Hawks), Andris Biedrins (Warriors) Atlanta Hawks get: Pau Gasol (Lakers), Tyreke Evans (Kings) Sacramento Kings get: David Lee (Warriors), Klay Thompson (Warriors)
The worst-case scenario is that this is the annihilation of many teams at once — but at least it will be entertaining! The Lakers reunite Dwight Howard with his old pal Smith, who gets reunited with his own Cliff Paul; Biedrins slides in at the end of the bench. The Hawks build around Al Horford, Gasol, and Evans, who gets a little more institutional structure — for him, this is one of those “change of scenery” reboots. The Kings lose two streaky young stars but acquire solid cornerstones for the future, whatever that concept means to them. The Warriors get a couple experienced guards who, on any given night, might offer a passable impression of a fourth-quarter triggerman. They also get the budding Clark and Cousins, a combustible talent who could really benefit from a God-fearing coach. Ivan Johnson gets thrown in just to give the Warriors an edge in weirdness. Consider it an homage to 2006-07, when the Warriors traded a third of their team away in January and went on one of the most thrilling playoff runs ever. — Hua Hsu
People get so excited about the NBA trade deadline because it holds the promise that something transformative can happen — that a team can be remade, reloaded, revolutionized. On Thursday, we saw the flip side of that — the dark side of the trade deadline.
Wednesday night — against a Knicks team still reeling from the resignation of its coach, Mike D'Antoni — the Portland Trail Blazers got embarrassed, losing 121-79. It was the kind of loss that suggested their season could be over.
The next day, owner Paul Allen made sure that was the case.
The NBA trade deadline has us all sitting on the edge of our seats, or in the case of Brandon Jennings, sitting on the edge of our seats, looking like this guy. One guy who, despite all the specualtion, seems to be taking the speculation like a grown-up is Pau Gasol. And that could have something to do with the sporting culture from which Gasol comes.
Spain is a football country. In European football, rather than have trades, you have transfers. Sometimes a player agitates when he thinks more money or trophies can be found at a different club. In other cases, the club looks to sell the player, capitalizing on their initial investment. Rumors about prospective transfers are planted by clubs, player agents, and shadowy figures, and then published in periodicals with the most sympathy to their respective cause. It's all very sneaky, and very fascinating, and it can make you very cynical, very fast.
Coffee, cigarettes, automobile manufacturing, and NBA trade rumors are what made this nation great. I already had coffee today, I quit smoking a few weeks ago, and I take the subway. So let's just get into the slanderous, scandalous mongering, shall we?
Two juicy ones Monday:
At the eye of the rumor storm is Danny Ainge. That should come as no surprise to anyone, as Ainge basically sits in the throne room of the Kingdom of Crazytown. Earlier this season he tried to swap Rajon Rondo for a rental of Chris Paul (who was pretty adamant about not wanting to play in Boston). Then, over the weekend, rumors circulated that Ainge was shopping Paul Pierce. You know who buys this one? Paul Pierce. After a 34-point performance against the Wizards on Sunday, Pierce sadly stated, "Well, maybe it's my job to go out there and play like I did (Sunday) and push my value up."
The other big rumor involves (who else?) Dwight Howard. According to Stephen A. Smith, the Magic have asked the New York Knicks about sending Superman to the Big Apple in return for Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler. C'mon, son.