Welcome back to the NBA Week in Review. We are chugging along with the regular season gearing up for its homestretch. This week, we discuss if LeBon is bored, if Kobe made his final statement and more. Read last week’s installment here.
Stories of the Week
• LeBron James has to be bored, right? The Cavaliers star made headlines this week for a series of cryptic tweets, which started out as weird, then became increasingly laughable as James became a touch more self-aware. At this point, LeBron clearly knows everything his tweets will be parsed and picked apart. His initial subtweets may have been serious, but now the whole “situation” has turned into a farce. Deep down, James must know the Cavs are a sure thing to come out of the East, and almost as sure of a thing to lose in the Finals. That has to have some kind of psychological effect, right? It would explain why he isn’t trying on defense as much. It would kind of explain why he, in no way seriously, said the Cavs are an enforcer short of being a title team. Whatever is front of mind for LeBron right now, I’m mostly wondering in the back of it, how he really feels about being in Cleveland. That would be a tweet worth reading.
• The final huzzah of Kobe Bryant’s career will come in his last regular season game, but the Lakers’ stunning 112–95 upset over the Warriors on Sunday will likely be the last “big” game of Bryant’s career. And Kobe was more of a spectator than a participant, scoring only 12 points and sitting out the entire fourth quarter. The Kobe retirement tour has been interesting for many reasons, as he’s gone from lightning rod to loved legend virtually overnight. But considering the competitor Kobe is, from an on-court perspective, we deserved better than this. One more playoff battle. One more clutch shot when the stakes are high. One more...something. It’s amazing Kobe has spent his entire career with one franchise, but if any stars are taking note of Bryant’s situation, I hope the takeaway is that it’s better to walk away a little early instead of a little late. (Then again, if they’re still paying you, don’t let this Kobe season stop you.)
• I really hope the Thunder get it together in time for the playoffs. But if I’m Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook, I leave for the first team willing to pay the luxury tax year-in and year-out to field a title contender.
Tweet(s) of the Week
"Be humble or the game will do it for you" 🔑 y'all have a goodnight...— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) March 6, 2016
Vine(s) of the Week
• MORE NBA: Warriors outtakes: Steph in Shanghai and more
Make sure you listen to Ben Golliver and Andrew Sharp’s podcast! ... The five players facing the most pressure in the playoffs. ... How the Heat are surviving without Chris Bosh. ... Is this the last ride for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook? ... James Harden has some interesting defensive tactics. ... The mystery of Ricky Rubio. ... The Cavaliers haven’t changed much under Ty Lue. ... Who should win most improved player?
The Ben Golliver YouTube Corner
March is here.
The Fashion Outlet
Lakers players wore socks in honor of Kobe during their upset over the Warriors on Sunday. This seems like a pretty cool way to pay tribute.
The One-Question Interview
Off the court only, and for the first time ever, only one question. This week, Luol Deng on Chris Bosh's health.
Rohan Nadkarni: Obviously, there is some uncertainty with Chris and if he’ll be back. This is the second straight year you’ve had to deal with this. On a personal level, how do you handle it?
Luol Deng: I feel for him. Chris is a good friend of mine. We all like Chris, we love playing with him. We know what he brings to the team, so we know we’re a better team with him. He’s gotta make sure first he’s safe, that’s the No. 1 thing. His life, his family, that all comes first. Basketball is just what we do. So he’s got to be smart about it.