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.”

NUM­BER

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.

SEAN M. HAFFEY/GETTY

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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