Kinda makes me sad.
LeBron James is sounding a lot like Heat coach Erik Spoelstra these days, and NBA insiders familiar with the Heat’s locker-room culture have been taking notice.
James and the Cleveland Cavaliers dropped below .500 on Tuesday with a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, and afterwards James began reeling off a list of classic Spoelstra catchphrases and go-to nuggets of wisdom about team development. The unique and repetitive jargon or “coach speak” — known as “Spoisms” — has become one of Spoelstra’s most endearing trademarks.
“It’s going to be a process,” James said at Portland’s Moda Center after the loss to the Trail Blazers. “I keep on harping on that word, but it’s the truth. I’ve been there before and understand it. But you do have to go through it even though you don’t like to go through it.”
Or, as Spoelstra might say, the Cavaliers just need to “respect the process,” and avoid listening to “outside noise” because those distractions are just “someone else’s truth.”
James scored just 11 points in Portland, including two points over the final three quarters of the game. He never scored 11 or fewer points in a regular-season game with the Heat and the last time he has …read more
Heat forward Josh McRoberts is still an unknown quantity with his new team, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t already made an impression on fans. In his first home game since coming back from offseason toe surgery, McRoberts wasted no time in cultivating his appeal when he ripped his jersey down the middle like Hulk Hogan.
The destruction of McRoberts’ jersey looked intentional — like a baseball player breaking a bat over his knee — but on Monday the former Bobcats man said that wasn’t the case.
“It looked crazy,” McRoberts said. “It looked like I was trying to rip it apart. I usually just pull on it and hold onto the top of it…When it started to go, it just went and it made it look like I was ripping it even more. But it wasn’t cool.”
So, it doesn’t sound McRoberts is going to make the jersey-ripping thing part of the nightly show, and that’s too bad. Just think of all the marketing and sponsorship opportunities…OK, I can’t think of any off hand, but when the Heat and other NBA teams slap corporate logos on their jerseys in a few years, players who rip …read more
A long-time player for the Chicago Bulls and now a starter for the Miami Heat, forward Luol Deng has played for two of the best coaches in the Eastern Conference. On Tuesday, he offered some insightful commentary on the difference between the Bulls’ offensive philosophy under coach Tom Thibodeau and the offensive principles that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra uses:
“Here our guards are more pick-and-roll and trying to find the open guy and the next guy is making a play and it’s becoming contagious. In Chicago we slowed the game down, we got stops and we slowed it down and tried to get the best shot possible that we could get. We stuck to the plays. Here it’s more of reads. You read the game, and guys have a high IQ and they’re just making plays after plays and making each other better.”
Deng has fit in well with his new team through the first three games of the season. He’s averaging 15.0 points per game while shooting 57.6 percent from the floor.
Heat forward Luol Deng plays the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday for the first time since the organization used offensive language to describe him in a scouting report.
“Obviously that’s going to be in the back of your head, but it’s the players that you’re playing against,” Deng said. “They’re not the ones who said what was said.”
During a meeting with Hawks executives and owners over the summer, Hawks general manager Danny Ferry disparaged Deng by calling into question his character. Ferry also inferred that Deng’s African heritage somehow detracted from his abilities as a basketball player. Following the controversy, Ferry was granted an indefinite leave of absence from the team.
Deng hopes to use the incident to “do something so someone benefits for the mistaken that was made,” but the Heat’s forward hasn’t had any contact with Ferry or the Hawks. Deng said on Monday after practice that he was closer to signing with the Hawks than the Heat at one point during free agency, and that interest from Chris Bosh helped sway Deng to the Heat.