Some random Cavalier-related pindowns as the playoffs are (thankfully) here…
Changing of the G.O.A.T?
The Great Debate for many is who was/is the better player, Michael Jordan or LeBron James?
As far as J.R. Smith is concerned, the tide changed in regards to that debate a couple years ago.
James’ Cleveland Cavaliers teammate, appearing on “Uninterrupted,’ Smith said be believes LeBron surpassed Michael in the G.O.A.T. rankings a couple of years ago.
“MJ was the greatest of all time, in my opinion, up until two years ago,” Smith said.
“The last couple years, (LeBron) at 33 years old, averaging a triple-double a whole month walking into the playoffs. Just hit 31,000 points the other day.
“Hit 30,000 points earlier this year…8,000 rebounds…8,000 assists…”
Holding off Father Time
Speaking of James, according to ESPN Stats & Info reports by playing all 82 games of the regular season this year, James became the first player to do so in his 15th season or later since Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher both did so for the Lakers in the 2010-11 season.
Further, James has led his team in total points and assists in each of his 15 seasons. No other player in NBA history has such a streak longer than 10 seasons.
Feeling a draft
The 2018 first-round draft pick the Cavaliers surrendered to the Los Angeles Lakers in the deal that brought back Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. ended up being the 25th overall selection in the upcoming draft.
Cleveland still owns Brooklyn’s first-round pick, which stands as the eighth overall choice before the NBA draft lottery is held.
Speaking of that deal, which sent Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye to the Lakers, both Thomas and Frye are entering unrestricted free agency this summer.
As usual, Frye showed his team-first, selfless attitude, telling Bill Oram of The Orange County Register he’d be interested in re-signing with the Lakers.
“I want to allow them to make the right decisions with bigger-name guys,” Frye said. “I’m a pretty dang good backup, emergency, break-the-glass type guy.”
KG ‘shocked’ Kyrie had surgery as playoffs loom
Count Kevin Garnett among those could not believe former Cavaliers All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, now of the Boston Celtics, opted for season-ending surgery on his left knee on the cusp of the playoffs beginning.
“I was shocked. I was totally not ready for that one,’’ Garnett, who battled knee injuries during his time with the Celtics, told the Boston Globe.
“I wish they’d pushed the onus [on him] to play a little bit, but everyone is a lot more into wellness and their body these days.
“In a different era, maybe you were looked at a little differently [if you couldn’t play through an injury].’’
Rose happy in Minnesota
Speaking of former Cavalier point guards, Derrick Rose, headed toward unrestricted free agency this summer, said he “would love to be back” with the Timberwolves next season.
A former NBA MVP, Rose, 29, said he is “far away from being done.”
“I would love to be back,” Rose told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “Do I want to play again next year? Yeah. I think I’m far away from being done, but it’s not up to me to take a chance on myself.
“I’m fully invested in myself; it’s up to the organization, the front office and the coaching staff to see that I’ve still got a lot left.”
Rose played a season-high 22 minutes as a Timberwolve in a win over Memphis on Monday, drawing praise from coach Tom Thibodeau, who also coached Rose during his MVP days with the Chicago Bulls.
“Everyone is just seeing the tup of what he can do,” Thibodeau said. “He’s super talented.
“And that’s why we picked him up. He’s played very well for us.”
Jimmy Butler, having just returned to the lineup for Minnesota after having arthroscopic knee surgery, said Rose has been a good addition for the Young Timberwolves.
“He’s huge for us. But he’s one of the guys that insists on playing hard, as well,” Butler said. “He’s always working on his game. You see what he’s done in this league, and he can still do that at any point and time. He’s just a helluva player.
“And the crazy thing is, he’s so unselfish. Whatever you ask him to do — guard this guy, guard that guy, get a stop, get a bucket, get somebody else a bucket — he’s capable of doing that.”
Butler said Minnesota is “definitely going to need” Rose in the playoffs, which begin for the Timberwolves against top-seeded Houston on Sunday.