Some links as I await the editorial slashing of my overwrought writing and attempt to sift through all the LeBron James hagiography’s penned on GBR-USA flights.
-Maybe you didn’t already know, but LeBron James is the first player since Michael Jordan to win a regular season NBA MVP, NBA Finals MVP, NBA Championship and an Olympic Gold all in the same calendar year. Also, old white man, Jerry Colangelo (the guy who threw DeMarcus Cousins under the bus without ever speaking to him), told Y! Sports “He’s matured incredibly…He’s grown so much. So much.” Thanks Jer Bear ;)
-Marc Stein on the USA Men’s Basketball Team and their Olympic gold-medal winning performance against Spain.
-SI’s Ian Thomsen on LeBron and Kevin leading the Men’s basketball team to gold.
-Dan Devine at Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie Blog, gave out medals to the Olympic basketball players. You already know who got the gold, and for silver—I gave you a bit of a hint, but bronze isn’t what you’d expect.
-When did Kevin Love turn into such a Debbie Downer?
-Great bird’s eye photo of Lakers teammates Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol during the gold medal game on Sunday. If you’re too lazy to click,
Pau is dunking as Kobe looks on Kobe is dunking as Pau looks on.
-Jack McCallum of SI with a paean to LeBron; it’s one of many such laudatory pieces on ‘Bron’s iconic 2012, but Jack is a better writer than almost everyone, so you should go read it.
-Rajon Rondo can jump pretty high from a stationary position.
-Coach K also has hops!
-In case you didn’t know (which would be pathetic on your part), the USA Women’s Basketball Team also won gold; it’s their 5th straight gold medal. USA! USA! USA!
-Another bit of evidence that sexual preference has no bearing on athleticism.
-If you’re in to kicks, LeBron debuted his new LeBron X’s on Sunday. Here they are in silver/basketball orange.
-The Detroit Pistons hung out with former-Kid Rock beau, Sheryl Crow.
-Since sports is now like politics, there’s no rest, even after a gold medal. Tom Ziller has a preview of the 2016 Rio de Janiero team.
-Writer’s Roundtable at Silver Screen & Roll blog: Are the Lakers the team to beat in the West? My answer: yes!
-Pat Riley is happy now that LeBron can rest.
-Hoopsworld has an updated page on the New York Knicks’ salaries through the 2015-16 season.
-Jeff Van Gundy thinks every league should model themselves after the NFL.
-Will Leitch sums up my own thoughts at New York Mag after watching ‘Melo giddily swig champagne to commemorate winning his second gold medal :
We love the idea that Carmelo doesn’t think his career will be complete until he has a title. We just aren’t sold that it bothers him all that much. As much as Carmelo might seem himself in that LeBron “just need a title to be the superstar everyone knows I am” light, no one else does, including anyone who watched the gold medal game yesterday. Carmelo looked like a terrific complementary player, as long as the players he is complementing happen to be the best players on the planet. The Knicks need him to be more than that; they need him to be LeBron. He didn’t look like no LeBron to us. Actually, now that we think about it, we get a sense that Carmelo’s best chance at that title is gonna be signing up to play with the Heat for less money when his contract is up with the Knicks, Clyde Drexler–style. Which doesn’t do anybody any good right now, though.
So yeah, Melo’s aware that this is a big year to prove himself, but I can’t shake the feeling he’s not as hungry for his first title as basically every New York Knicks fan in the tri-state area, which—to be fair—is hard to match because New Yorkers are more than a bit antsy for a title. It’s been, what, almost 40 years since the last one? Ugh.
[Pic of Swizz Beatz, Nas, Melo and Kobe partying via Nasir Jones’ Instagram account]