Feb 10, 2012, 1:11 PM EST
Sorry, just not sure how this works anymore, when it comes to what is tampering what is innocent conversation, and, frankly what is NBA protocol and civility.
So Larry Bird, in his role as Pacers president, talks freely about Kobe being the player he’d want at his side if winning was the priority, but LeBron as the choice if it came to having fun on the court. Oh, and he says LeBron, by far, is the best player in the game today.
Kobe follows up by saying that if he was forming the league’s top duo, his choice for a partner would be LeBron.
Again innocent, candid, innocuous fun.
But what if Bird, whose team could be well-positioned in 2012 free agency, substituted Dwight Howard, a potential impending free agent, when he instead used the names of Kobe and LeBron on that ESPN podcast?
And what if Kobe, who has spoken openly of seeking a roster upgrade, had used Dwight’s name during his interview with ESPN’s Los Angeles radio affiliate, instead of LeBron?
Innocent, candid, innocuous fun then?
Or is this merely how it goes now with every comment parsed as if spoken in some type of code, including James’ reactions to the actions of others?
With an executive, there is more significant oversight.
The point being that there often is an agenda behind the words, particularly as the trading deadline and then free agency approach. Perhaps not in these cases, but certainly in others.
Bryant mentioned how the “pieces would fit” with LeBron, as he very much would like Mitch Kupchak to get pieces to fit.
Bird spoke as a former player in regards to Kobe and LeBron, but also as an executive positioned for a major franchise makeover.
In David Stern’s world, there are understood limitations when it comes to freedom of speech. Just ask Mark Cuban.
These comments clearly didn’t go too far, although some might not say the same about LeBron’s tongue-in-cheek response to the blame game.
On one hand, in this age of social media, there is plenty to be said about hearing directly from the greats, of how the minds of Bird, LeBron and Kobe, and, yes, even Kendrick Perkins work.
On the other hand, perhaps such comparative lip-ature is better reserved for the offseason, when it doesn’t detract from the games, raise eyebrows about ultimate intent.
Mar 6, 2015, 8:30 PM EST
Lakers are desperately trying to get back to the level of title contenders.
Mar 6, 2015, 7:30 PM EST
Gasol will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but is more than likely to remain with the Grizzlies.
Mar 6, 2015, 6:30 PM EST
Indeed it is.
Mar 6, 2015, 5:39 PM EST
He was even hitting his free throws.
Mar 6, 2015, 4:50 PM EST
It’s starting to feel like the playoffs are coming, play is getting chippy.
Mar 6, 2015, 4:02 PM EST
It was worth a shot.
Mar 6, 2015, 3:12 PM EST
It would be a long road back for White, but there is a road.
Mar 6, 2015, 2:37 PM EST
Raptors need their All-Star point guard to get on track
Mar 6, 2015, 1:38 PM EST
Pacers great tells fantastic tale of trash-talking gone awry
Mar 6, 2015, 12:54 PM EST
Do the Lakers have a chance?
Blindfolded attempt in Philippines Basketball Association dunk contest goes very, very poorly (video)
Mar 6, 2015, 12:16 PM EST
Mar 6, 2015, 11:39 AM EST
Orlando should do better
Mar 6, 2015, 10:34 AM EST
Portland can overcome loss of shooting guard, but it won’t be easy
Mar 6, 2015, 9:43 AM EST
It was a big win, but still
Mar 6, 2015, 9:07 AM EST
Former Celtics star continues what he began Wilkins’ rookie year
Mar 6, 2015, 8:30 AM EST
He said his Achilles has been bothering him.
Mar 6, 2015, 8:00 AM EST
The form wasn’t pretty but the result was.
Mar 6, 2015, 3:10 AM EST
Westbrook is still a machine
Mar 6, 2015, 12:53 AM EST
This hurts the Blazers guard depth.
LeBron James after receiving two flagrant fouls in his last three games: ‘Maybe I got to protect myself a little bit more’
Mar 6, 2015, 12:00 AM EST
James hints at retaliation.
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