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LeBron James hailed as hero on NBA return to Cleveland as Lakers beat Cavaliers

Eight years after he was treated like a villain in Cleveland, LeBron James was welcomed back properly.

Back on the court where he performed for 11 seasons, and under the title banner he helped raise, James returned to Cleveland and rallied the Los Angeles Lakers to a 109-105 win on Wednesday night over the Cavaliers, who played their best game of the season against their former teammate but couldn’t stop him when it mattered most. James finished with 32 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. He also scored or assisted on 11 straight points as the Lakers overcame a 99-91 deficit in the fourth quarter.

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But basketball took a backseat to James’s homecoming, which was so different than his return in 2010, when Cleveland fans unleashed their fury on him after he had left the team to play for the Miami Heat. There were no profane chants this time. No derogatory signs. No venom. Only love, and James felt it.

“From the time we landed yesterday, it just felt cheap nba jerseys
a different way,” he said. “I’m a different person. We’re all different from eight years ago, both good and bad. But more importantly, this experience has been great. So it’s all about growth and we all have grown from that moment eight years ago. So I kind of leave the past in the past and always focus on the present and see what happens in the future.”

James was saluted by the Cavs with a video tribute during a timeout in the first quarter. James was touched by the presentation. He bit his lower lip while walking back onto court and pointed to all corners of the building in appreciation, his chance to reconnect with a fan base he’ll always share a special, if not complicated, relationship.

“I appreciate these fans, just as much as they appreciate me,” he said. “Every single night we stepped on the floor, they always showed their appreciation to not only myself but to my teammates over these 11 years, especially the last four years those championship runs that we were making. So that was just my salute to them for them appreciating what I was able to accomplish with my teammates and coaches along those four years.”

Elsewhere, two of the teams expected to challenge for the title in the postseason continue to struggle. The Warriors lost their fourth game in a row and their sixth in the last 10 while the Celtics lost to one of the worst teams in the league, the New York Knicks. The Warriors’ played without Draymond Green and Stephen Curry in their loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder but are expected to find their form again once Curry returns in the coming weeks.

TRAIL BLAZERS AQUIRE RODNEY HOOD FROM CAVALIERS

On Sunday evening, news went down that 26 year old shooting guard, Rodney Hood of the Cleveland Cavaliers was to be dealt to Portland in exchange for veteran shooting guard Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin IV. Portland will also be giving up two first round picks in the trade, one in 2021 and another in 2023.

The most meaningful pieces of the deal for Cleveland are the two draft picks that they will be receiving. That is because Cleveland is in the rebuilding stages of their franchise, cheap nba jerseys
and the best way to do that is with young assets. The Cavaliers currently have the oldest average age in the NBA, at 30.1 years of age, and that number has got to go down if they are going into a true rebuild. A great way to do that is via the NBA draft. So much young talent enters the league year after year through the NBA draft, and, with two first round picks, the Cavaliers could pick up a successful rookie, especially if the Blazers struggle in either of those years.

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Wade Baldwin IV and Nik Stauskas are both on expiring contracts, and therefore aren’t going to be giving Cleveland much in the long run. Stauskas, however, could provide Cleveland with a short boost of shooting to their roster, as he is a career 35% 3-point shooter.

Rodney Hood, at the age of 26, is just on the verge of entering his prime. The defensive minded guard is averaging 12.2 PPG, 2.5 RPG, and 2.0 APG on 43% shooting through 45 games. He should turn out to be a great pick up for a Trail Blazers team looking to add some defensive presence to their roster off of the bench.

LeBron James Is the Change Fans Want to See in the Basketball World

James changed free agency forever the first time he left Cleveland. His second departure from the Cavaliers, for Los Angeles, shows how much he has changed, too.
CLEVELAND — The Los Angeles Lakers are not a great team, but they employ the greatest player in the world. They seem to be grasping the potential benefits of such an arrangement. LeBron James can compensate for many problems: lackluster defense, questionable decisions, growing pains.

“He comes out and plays the game pure,” Coach Luke Walton said.

On Wednesday night, the difference between cheap nba jerseys from china
his presence (on the Lakers) and his absence (from the Cavaliers) was clear in his return to Cleveland, where fans came to Quicken Loans Arena to pay their respects to a bygone era — the LeBron Era. Without him, the Cavaliers are a bad team, one of the worst in the league. James feels for them.

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“A lot of the guys have worked their tails off to get to where they are in their career,” James said after the Lakers escaped with a 109-105 victory, “and you never want to see your friends be in the situation that they’re in. But as professionals, they’re still giving it all they got.”

After decamping to Los Angeles in free agency over the summer, James belongs to the Lakers now — or perhaps they belong to him. They are not championship contenders, not yet anyway, but they are winning most of the games they should win and learning as they go.
“It’s happening,” Walton said, “and it’s good to see it happening, but it’s still the early stages of where we ultimately need to get to.”

Their win against the Cavaliers was the latest example, a flawed effort that James mended by collecting 32 points, 14 rebounds and 7 assists. The Lakers, who improved to 10-7, have won six of their last seven games. Their progress was on display in front of James’s old fans and teammates and coaches, who are familiar with his ability to elevate those around him.

N.B.A. Said to Review Patrick McCaw’s Deal With Cavaliers

The N.B.A. will formally review the Cleveland Cavaliers’ recent signing and near-immediate release of the restricted free agent Patrick McCaw for possible salary cap circumvention, according to a person with knowledge of the league’s stance.

The investigation was requested by the Golden State Warriors, cheap nba jerseys
who had held McCaw’s rights, according to the person, who was not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.

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In such cases, officials from the Cavaliers and the Warriors, as well as McCaw’s representatives, are typically interviewed before the league office rules whether Cleveland will face punishment.

Signing a player to a nonguaranteed offer sheet is technically not against league rules, nor is waiving him shortly thereafter. But because McCaw lasted only a week in Cleveland before the Cavaliers released him, some around the league have suggested that the move was designed more to help McCaw extricate himself from the Warriors than because of any true interest in the player on Cleveland’s part.

Cavaliers’ Handling of Patrick McCaw Broke No Rules, N.B.A. Finds

The Cleveland Cavaliers did not commit any rules violations with their recent signing and subsequent release of the restricted free agent Patrick McCaw, the N.B.A. announced Monday.

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The league opened an investigation last week at the behest of the Golden State Warriors, who had held McCaw’s rights, and said it found no evidence cheap nba jerseys
of wrongdoing after interviews with officials from both teams and McCaw’s representation. Penalties in such cases, at their most extreme, can include fines as high as $6 million or the loss of draft picks.

“Based on the specific facts and circumstances of this matter, the N.B.A. found that there was no violation of the league’s collective bargaining agreement, including the anti-circumvention rules,” the league said in a statement.

McCaw cleared waivers last week after Cleveland released him and signed a contract for the rest of the season with the Toronto Raptors.

Kevin Love Describes How Kyrie Irving’s Call to LeBron James Went Down

Home / Media / Kevin Love Describes How Kyrie Irving’s Call to LeBron James Went Down
Kevin Love Describes How Kyrie Irving’s Call to LeBron James Went Down
By Brad Sullivan
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Updated: January 17, 2019
LeBron James and Kevin Love Lakers Cavs
01:4301:43
Kyrie Irving’s acknowledgement that he phoned former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James to apologize for not understanding the pressures of leading a team got plenty of media attention on Wednesday night.

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One report indicates that when the call was made, James happened to be dining with another of his former Cavs teammates: forward Kevin Love.

Joe Vardon of The Athletic indicated that James and Love were at a pizzeria in Los Angeles on Sunday night with people close to James: Rich Paul, LeBron’s agent, Lynn Merritt, cheap nba jerseys china
head of Nike basketball, Ted Curvy, Merritt’s deputy, and Randy Mims, James’ close friend, business partner and a member of the Lakers’ front office. Vardon noted Love’s account of the situation:
Love was at a loss when trying to explain the significance of Irving making contact:

When Irving announced he wanted to be traded from the Cavaliers in July 2017, one reported reason was that he no longer wanted to play with James. The two players went through some tumultuous periods, but ultimately played key roles in helping win the Cavaliers’ 2016 NBA title.

Irving offered the information about his phone call to James just days after he had mirrored James’ leadership approach by calling out his teammates on the Boston Celtics. That team has been plagued by inconsistency all season after having been considered to be the top candidate to win the Eastern Conference this season.

Love is still rehabilitating his surgically repaired toe, but has been traveling with the team. Presently, there’s no indication exactly when he’ll be able to return to action.

Cleveland Cavaliers sign Cameron Payne to second 10-day contract

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Cleveland Cavaliers signed point guard Cameron Payne to a second 10-day contract late Tuesday night.

Payne, who inked his first 10-day deal on Jan. 6, has impressed the organization — and head coach Larry Drew specifically — during his first four games.

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“I didn’t know a whole lot about Cam,” Drew said Wednesday. “But he has really surprised me. There’s things about his game that I didn’t know he had. He’s a tremendous competitor. He doesn’t shy away,cheap cleveland cavaliers jerseys  he doesn’t back down from the competition and he’s not afraid to take the shot. He’s done a really good job and picked things up quickly too, which is a big plus. I’m really pleased with how he’s playing.”

Payne is averaging 8.8 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and 2.8 assists in 17.7 minutes. Before joining the Cavs, Payne played in 31 games with Chicago, averaging 5.7 points and 2.7 assists in 17.3 minutes.

By rule, this is the final 10-day contract the Cavs can give Payne. When it expires on Jan. 26, the Cavs could try to sign Payne to the minimum for the remainder of the season. If they really like what he brings in this next stint and believe he can be part of the team’s future, then they could use some of their remaining midlevel exception to sign him to a longer deal. Or the Cavs could cut him loose, leaving the final roster spot open once again.

Payne participated in the team’s Wednesday morning shootaround in Portland and is expected to see minutes off the bench, especially with David Nwaba still sidelined because of a sprained ankle.

Two for one: Ante Zizic a bright spot, but the Cavs aren’t in the news for Cavs reasons

This is my first two for one article, and the basic idea is that we find positives or negatives from Cavs games and go from there. But what if things aren’t clearly positive or negative? What if the Cavs are in the news for things that aren’t Cavs related? What if the Cavs can’t be blamed for that?

Our first item is positive? But it’s also negative.
The Cavs played the Portland Trail Blazers last night, and lost. Notable, but not a big deal. So why did I wake up to everyone talking about the Cavs? Well, Kyrie Irving likes to talk. After a monster game against the Toronto Raptors, Irving divulged to reporters that he had called LeBron James to apologize for not being more open the Lakers forward’s guidance when they both played for the Cavs.

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I’m of the view that if Irving and James get along, that’s better for the Cavs and Cavs fans. We have one title. It’s just a little better if the guys that made it happen don’t hate each other. Does it change the fact that the Cavs are the worst team in the league? No. Is it self-serving for Irving? Yes. Ultimately, cheap nba jerseys china it doesn’t really matter; what 2016 means to you as a Cavs fan is totally up to you. If hating Irving for messing up what could have been a historic, multi-season run is what you feel and what you want, go for it (in as healthy a manner as possible). For me, I just want positive thoughts about the 2016 team. In seven years, I want a 10-year reunion celebration that everyone feels welcome at.

What I’m not sure I want is to re-litigate every aspect of Irving, or even James, over and over again. Last week it was whether Baker Mayfield will be bigger than LeBron. This week it’ll be Irving’s redemption in the national media. Locally, we’ll gnash our teeth and get frustrated with one another as we try and make sense of how to feel about players who chose to leave Cleveland and seek greener pastures elsewhere. In the meantime, we’ll slowly march along to the lottery, discussing the Cavs without discussing the Cavs.

Positive: Ante Zizic showed up in Portland
Given the trajectory of the NBA, it’s a thin needle for Zizic to thread to be a really valuable player. There are some positive signs, though. He played 27 minutes on Wednesday night, scoring 16 points on eight shots, pulling down eight rebounds and blocking two shots. On a tanking team, he needs consistent minutes. In a game the Cavs lost by 17 points, they actually outscored the Blazers by three when he was on the court.

Looking at the season as a whole, the Cavs are allowing an incomprehensible 117.2 points per 100 possessions. That’s mindbogglingly bad. In Zizic’s 353 minutes, though, the Cavs are giving up just 107 points per 100 possessions. That would be good for a top 10 defense over the course of a season. There are any number of caveats here that need to be applied: sample size, the player’s he’s shared the court with, the fact that many of his minutes have come in garbage time, but let’s just take it for the positive that it is. He’s looking like he could be a valuable, or at least useful, bench piece moving forward.

Negative: Just about everything else
Damian Lillard is phenomenal, but seems to be getting overshadowed by James Harden, Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving at the point guard position again. Well, he took it to the Cavs. Lillard and the Blazers starters blitzed the Cavs first unit. Collin Sexton continues to struggle. He had 11 points on 11 shots and contributed just one assist. He’ll keep working at it, but any real jump might have to wait until at least after the All-Star break when hopefully he can reset some things. He’ll have summer league and time to work out on his own in the gym this year. I’m willing to give him a little bit of a pass on improving before then; he’s young, it’s a tough position, and it’s a tough transition.

Cavaliers’ Thompson could miss month with sprained left foot

Cleveland’s starting center could miss a month after spraining his left foot in Monday night’s 108-92 loss at Milwaukee. Thompson has been playing at an All-Star level and has been one of the few bright spots for the struggling Cavaliers, who are 6-21 and already missing star forward Kevin Love.

Thompson got hurt in the third quarter when he twisted his foot while landing on the foot of Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon. Thompson tried to stay in the game before signaling to Cleveland’s bench that he needed to come out. He did not return.
Afterward, Thompson didn’t think his injury was too serious.

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“I just fell forward on it, it’ll be all right,” he said. “It happens when you’re rebounding and the little guys are down there. It’s part of the game. I’m just glad I was able to walk off on my own two feet.”

Thompson underwent further tests on Tuesday, Wholesale jerseys
which confirmed the sprain. The Cavaliers said he will be out a minimum of two weeks, and his status will updated “as appropriate.”

The eight-year pro is having one of his best seasons, averaging 12 points and a career-high 11.6 rebounds in 27 games. Thompson has also embraced a leadership role with the young Cavs, who have experienced a coaching change and dealt with numerous injuries, the biggest to Love, who may not be back until mid-January after undergoing toe surgery.

Thompson’s injury will force coach Larry Drew to make yet another lineup change. He’s likely to start Larry Nance Jr. at center.

The Cavaliers host the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

Kevin Love says Matthew Dellavedova will get a smaller statue alongside a big one for LeBron James in Cleveland

Matthew Dellavedova is feeling the love after returning to Cleveland and Cavaliers forward Kevin Love believes Delly has already cemented his place in Cleveland history.
First off, LeBron James is definitely getting a statue in Cleveland. He put the Cavaliers on his back to bring the city its long-awaited championship in 2016. Dellavedova was a contributor on that 2016 team, but there’s no way he’s getting a statue in Cleveland.

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Regardless, it just feels right to have Dellavedova back in Cleveland. Delly was the scrappy backup point guard that Cleveland turned to cheap nba jerseys china for a few minutes of defensive energy. Dellavedova was like a bulldog on the defensive end and he quickly became a fan favorite in Cleveland.

He played a huge role in the NBA Finals in 2015 when Kyrie Irving’s season ended prematurely with a fractured knee cap. Dellavedova couldn’t help the Cavs top the Warriors.

But the Australian point guard was on the team for their historic championship where they came back from down three games to one to topple the Warriors in 2016. Dellavedova didn’t play big minutes in that series as the Cavs relied heavily on Kyrie Irving. But Delly’s contributions will always be appreciated by the city of Cleveland.

Perhaps a statue — even a mini-statue — is a stretch, but I believe Love is just trying to convey the love Cleveland has for Delly.