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.
Jan 30, 2015, 2:48 AM EST
“I really appreciate him coming, I didn’t expect it at all.” —Pau Gasol
Jan 30, 2015, 12:22 AM EST
He’s warming up for All-Star weekend.
Jan 29, 2015, 11:30 PM EST
It didn’t look good.
Jan 29, 2015, 10:45 PM EST
Management is displeased with their underperformance.
Jan 29, 2015, 10:02 PM EST
“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”
Jan 29, 2015, 9:30 PM EST
The new rule is an attempt to curtail Jay Z-style figurehead owners.
Jan 29, 2015, 8:09 PM EST
He will get a second opinion.
Jan 29, 2015, 8:00 PM EST
Damian Lillard, Kyle Korver, DeMarcus Cousins and more.
Jan 29, 2015, 7:27 PM EST
DeMarcus Cousins and Damian Lillard were left off in the West.
Jan 29, 2015, 6:42 PM EST
A promotional video hyping the matchup features plenty of players, but Kevin Love is noticeably absent.
Jan 29, 2015, 6:00 PM EST
Mitch Kupchak expects Kobe to return next season.
Jan 29, 2015, 5:20 PM EST
Reserves are announced tonight.
Jan 29, 2015, 4:39 PM EST
Brooks may last the season, but may not if Thunder miss the playoffs. Jackson, meanwhile, has been marginalized ever since Dion Waiters was acquired.
Jan 29, 2015, 3:56 PM EST
Wade may be selected as an All-Star reserve Thursday night, but wouldn’t play in the midseason exhibition if the timeline holds true.
Jan 29, 2015, 3:25 PM EST
“I looked down to see my legs, and I saw my bone. The second I saw my bone, I just lost it.”
Jan 29, 2015, 2:45 PM EST
Jan 29, 2015, 2:02 PM EST
See Andrew Wiggins’, Shabazz Muhammad’s and Dante Exum’s
Jan 29, 2015, 1:28 PM EST
Timberwolves enjoying rare win
Jan 29, 2015, 12:50 PM EST
Oklahoma City expected to deal Jackson
Jan 29, 2015, 12:14 PM EST
Spurs guard completes field
- One day after having surgery, Kobe Bryant came to see Pau Gasol 0
- Report: Dwight Howard could miss “extended time” with knee injury 2
- James Harden, three Hawks players lead list of NBA All-Star Game reserves 11
- Report: OKC front office backs Scott Brooks, may look to trade Reggie Jackson 9
- Dwyane Wade out indefinitely, says best case for his return is 2-3 weeks 9
- Report: Tom Thibodeau’s relationship with Bulls management believed to be ‘beyond repair’ 42
- Dwight Howard out at least two games with swelling in his knee 6
- Five Things We Learned in NBA Wednesday: Is this rock bottom for Oklahoma City? 14