Jones: NBA players open wallets, but also their hearts

LeBron James interacts with adoring youngsters at the opening of his I Promise School in Akron.

A few odds-and-ends random pindowns as we begin to see training camps around the next bend or two…

NBA cares

Though they’re not nearly the stuff of hot takes or fodder for the awful debate-television shows, NBA players are some of the most generous, caring guys around.

In just the past few weeks:

* LeBron James puts up $41 million of his own money and opens his I Promise School, an institution of learning that gives kids free food, guaranteed college tuition and even assistance for parents in search of jobs, and much, much more.

* Derrick Rose tips off a $400,000 scholarship fund.

* Carmelo Anthony pays for yet another basketball court to be constructed in South Africa, the 23rd such facility he has funded.

* Chris Paul donates $2.5 million to the basketball program at his collegiate alma mater, Wake Forest, which will assist in both the men’s and women’s locker-room facilities being expanded and enhanced.

* Steph Curry participates in the Web.com Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic two weekends ago, then donates $25,000 to the GoFundMe page for Web.com player Scott Harrington and his wife, Jenn, who is battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma for a second time.

* Eric Bledsoe gives back to the Birmingham community with a backpack giveaway at a local park.

* Jonas Valinciunas opens a daycare center for at-risk youth in his native Lithuania.

So, for every story that grabs headlines on the four-letter network, TMZ, etc., such as guys being tagged for unlawful possession of marijuana (Kenneth Faried) or arrested for delaying an investigation after being pulled over for a traffic violation (Nick Young) — both of which grabbed headlines in the past week — there are a ton of great, wonderful tales of generosity and caring that go terribly underplayed.

Oh, Danny boy…

In case you’re wondering why the Boston Celtics are poised to assume the seat on the Eastern Conference throne that had been occupied by Teams of LeBron for the past eight seasons, consider what Danny Ainge has done.

In the last three years.

The Celtics’ general manager and president of basketball operations has:

* Drafted Robert Williams.

* Drafted Jaylen Brown.

* Traded down to draft Jayson Tatum.

* Drafted Terry Rozier.

* Signed Al Horford.

* Traded Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a draft pick that turned into Collin Sexton for Kyrie Irving.

* Traded for Marcus Morris.

* Acquired first-round picks from Clippers and the Grizzlies, and possibly the Lakers.

Wow. Just. Wow.

Remember him?

As if Cavaliers fans aren’t disappointed/angry/frustrated enough by watching James defect a second time — after stating in front of 30,000 people in Akron, “I’m not going anywhere ever again. I don’t have the energy (for free agency)” on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 — this won’t make them feel any better.

(Apparently, James somehow found the energy, but I digress).

The Los Angeles Lakers, who lured James to Hollywood with Magic Johnson at the fore, employ former agent Rob Pelinka as their general manager.

What’s the connection, you ask?

Remember when Carlos Boozer hoodwinked former Cavaliers owner Gordon Gund into granting him his release under the guise of signing a new, long-term agreement with Cleveland in 2004?

As a refresher, here’s Gund’s statement after being stabbed in the back:

“In the final analysis, I decided to trust Carlos and show him the respect he asked for,” he said. “He did not show that trust and respect in return. That’s what happened.”

Boozer’s agent at the time was…

Rob Pelinka.