Mr. James has struck again.
This time it's not about himself nor is it another Michael Jordan comment, whom he continues to seek attention from, this one is about former Celtics Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett.
Thursday afternoon, LeBron James added more gas on the fire that still burns between Pierce and KG and the boys from South Beach by saying the two former Celtics owe teammate Ray Allen an apology before facing the Brooklyn Nets in a preseason match up Thursday night.
"I think the first thing I thought was, 'WOW,' Ray got killed for leaving Boston, and now these guys are leaving Boston," James said. "I think it's OK; I didn't mind it. But there were a couple of guys who basically [expletive] on Ray for leaving, and now they're leaving... You can't criticize someone who does something that's best for their family"OK, lets rewind about a year ago.
Allen took a pay cut, accepted a reduced role and signed with Miami instead of re-signing with the Celtics. A contract he signed weeks after he was knocked out of the Eastern Conference Finals in seven games to Bron Bron and co. Hey, no harm, no foul according to Garnett, Pierce and even coach Doc Rivers. All three agreed that if he wanted to leave, it was his right to do so. BUT it wasn't going to be all hugs and smiles from that point forward because he was looked at as the enemy, and rightfully so.
This past summer, Danny Ainge decided to break up the band: Rivers was sent to LA-LA land to coach the Clippers, and a blockbuster draft night trade between the Celtics and Nets sent KG, Pierce and Jason Terry to Brooklyn; officially ending the Umbutu era that lasted over six years and ended any championship aspirations for the upcoming season in Boston.
I bet LeBron honestly and truly believes the two situations are exactly the same. I mean, when he decided to crush his hometown of Cleveland, I'm sure he thought teaming up with Wade and T-Rex (Bosh) was 'the best for my family.' Hey, Boston had his number right? So of course his family was the main reason he chose Miami.
So Paul, what do you think about what LBJ had to say about you 'leaving' Boston, where you won a championship and you have your blood, sweat and tears to for 15 years?
"I left Boston?" Pierce said to reporters.
Oh that's right, you did want to retire a Celtic, Pierce. And KG wanted to as well. But what happens when you are not in future plans? You're services are no longer needed and you are presented with an opportunity to still be relevant and I don't know, win another ring before you hang em' up? You have two options: you accept being traded or you retire. It was that simple.
LeBron, you and your teammate were free agents, free to choose your destiny. You controlled where you wanted to go, I mean for your 'family's' sake, right? Meanwhile, Brooklyn just so happened to not care about paying several millions of dollars in luxury tax to acquire three former champions in a quest to knock you off the mountain top. So the way I see it, if it were up to them, they would still be in green. Regardless of a trade clause or not, remember 2007 and the city of Minneapolis? Need I say more?
As over used as the word loyalty is in today's sports, Pierce and Garnett's careers stem from the same tree. But then again, what does LeBron know about loyalty?
For whatever reason the two time reigning champ and MVP decided to remind his rivals why they dislike him (and they let it be known in a preseason game, no less). Pierce and Garnett knocked James on the floor a few times and beat Miami 86-62. The message is still loud and clear... Beat The Heat!
If that's not a sign of things to come this season, KG had a response for LeBron last night:
"Tell LeBron to worry about Miami. It has nothing to do with Celtic business."Thanks, Garnett! That's why Boston will love you forever.
As for LeBron, the only question he should ask himself, and for his family's sake of course is this: after the season is over, will you opt out and leave South Beach or do what's 'best' for your family?
Come on, let's not kid ourselves, folks.
Seems a little shocking to see so much optimism from Rondo when the teams outlook is the bleakest since his rookie campaign. But there is one big difference that is clear, this year Rondo is the leader of this team no questions asked. Last season, there was a movement from Doc, Pierce and KG to convince everyone that would listen, that it was Rondos team, but lets face it that just was not the truth.
Rondo seems energized. Usually known for his quote less drabble he seemed in great spirits and genuinely excited for the year to begin.
The core is young, and Rondo now has no one to butt heads with. He know has a coach willing to work the offense around him and a young core that will follow his lead. From Rondo's point of view, he can't ask for a better situation.
Check that- he could if he was healthy....
Rondo did talk about his comeback, and where he is physically and mentally. He gave a vague time table for the Celtics to have their star point guard back on the floor.
"Probably sometime in the winter – maybe the fall" said Rondo. "It’s more mental when you come back, and you get around 10-11 months, it’s just feeling confident. You want to feel confident, especially the type of players and competitors we are. Our legs are pretty much everything; we use our speed.
Rondo will be relied along to bring the veteran leadership that the current roster lacks. He can do so in a limited way on the bench, but we should truly find the answer to the question that has been haunting Rajon his entire career. When he returns to the court this year, whenever that may be he will be able to answer the critics who ask: Can you build a championship team around Rajon Rondo?
Lets be honest there are no championship aspirations for the team as currently constituted, but Rondo's attitude in the past has come in to question. Now as the only bonafide superstar on the team he will get his first lick at being the true face of the franchise. He will do so with a new coach as well.
It was well publicized that the reported 'beef" between Rondo and Doc over the past years was straining on the coach-player relationship. At first glance, Rondo is extremely positive about the decision to hire Stevens as a coach.