In the lane

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Sports -

Un­pre­pared: Speak­ing of LeBron James and of the Lak­ers and of cham­pi­onship pres­sures, ap­par­ently the James ex­pe­ri­ence was one, even in the wake of the Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal years, that the sto­ried fran­chise seem­ingly was not pre­pared for. Take Jean­nie Buss‘ take­away from the ru­mors of the Lak­ers of­fer­ing any­one and ev­ery­one (be­yond James) at mid­sea­son for An­thony Davis. “Those sto­ries leak out, and it hurt our young play­ers. It wasn’t fair,” the Lak­ers pres­i­dent said at the re­cent MIT Sloan Sports An­a­lyt­ics Con­fer­ence. Ex­cept the drama sur­round­ing this sea­son’s Lak­ers is no worse than what the Heat dealt with dur­ing that ini­tial Big Three ex­pe­ri­ence in 2010-11, a time when Erik Spoel­stra ques­tioned why each of his play calls needed to be schemat­i­cally bro­ken down across the web. When you put your­self in the spot­light, you have to learn to live with the glare.

Last­ing mem­ory: Few play­ers in the NBA have a more last­ing mem­ory than Patrick Bev­er­ley. It is among the rea­sons the feisty guard so rel­ished the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers’ vic­tory over James and the Lak­ers this past week. ”I played with Mi­ami, with LeBron and they cut me,” he said of the Heat’s 2010 train­ing camp, the first with the Heat’s Big Three of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. “I got drafted by the Lak­ers, they traded me to Mi­ami. ‘Bron got there, they cut me. I re­mem­ber it like it was yes­ter­day. So yeah, it’s a chip on my shoul­der.” The Heat ini­tially were so high on Bev­er­ley that they guar­an­teed his salary even when he ul­ti­mately wound up play­ing in Greece in 2009-10, after ac­quir­ing his rights in a draft-night trade. The Heat then by­passed Bev­er­ley at their fi­nal 2010 cut down in fa­vor of vet­eran out­side shooter Ed­die House. After a sea­son in Rus­sia, Bev­er­ley caught on with the Hous­ton Rock­ets in 2012.

Hum­bled at home: Like many op­po­nents amid Wade’s farewell sea­son, Char­lotte Hor­nets guard Kemba Walker said it was a bit un­usual hav­ing the vis­it­ing team re­ceive so much adu­la­tion dur­ing the Heat’s Wed­nes­day vic­tory at the Spec­trum Cen­ter. “I’m pretty sure ev­ery­where he goes it’s like that,” Walker told The Ath­letic. “It was the same for Kobe in his last one. What can you do? I don’t care.” ).

Fit­ting in: For­mer Heat guard Tyler John­son ap­pears to be ev­ery­thing the Phoenix Suns thought they were get­ting in the Feb. 6 trade. “He’s im­pacted the game in so dif­fer­ent ways,” Suns coach Igor Kokoskov told the Ari­zona Repub­lic. “I want him to make ev­ery shot he takes, but there are so many other ways he im­pacts the game — his tough­ness, his guard­ing the ball. He’s quiet, but his game is very, very loud.”


Years since Dwyane Wade and Vince Carter scored at least 20 points in the same game, which Wade did with 23 and Carter with 21 in Mon­day’s Heat vic­tory over the Hawks. The pre­vi­ous time it hap­pened was March 18, 2010, when Wade scored 36 and Carter 27 in a Heat over­time vic­tory against the Or­lando Magic.


LeBron James didn’t re­al­ize he had it all with the Heat and Cava­liers . . . un­til he went to the Lak­ers. Ev­ery­one needs a sup­port sys­tem.

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