Kevin Durant scored 21 points to lead six double-figure scorers for defending NBA champion Golden State and the Warriors pulled away in the third quarter to beat Utah 126-101 on Wednesday. The Warriors hit 33-of-46 shots in the second half, outscoring the Jazz 42-22 in the third quarter to blow open a close game in which Durant — who added six rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots — didn’t play in the fourth quarter. Continue reading “Durant leads Warriors over Utah, Cavaliers fall to Kings”

Lebron James Cleveland

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers warms up prior to the game against the LA Clippers at Quicken Loans Arena on November 17, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. *YouTube has added a docu-series executive produced by LeBron James about a team of high-school hoop players learning life skills through the game of basketball, reports Variety. Continue reading “LeBron James Producing Uplifting High-School Basketball Docu-Series for YouTube (Trailer)”

The time is now upon us! The big time matchup is on the horizon between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. This is the matchup which seemed to be pretty much inevitable all season. All NBA fans worldwide will get to see a rematch of the 2015 NBA Finals which the Golden State Warriors won 4 games to 2. However, the outcome could be a lot different his time for a few reasons. Stephen Curry won his back to back MVP award this season but he sprained his MCL at the beginning of this year’s playoff run. He has been playing very well as of late. He scored 36 points during Golden State’s game 7 series clinching victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. There have been some questions whether he is at 100% or not. The injury he sustained can be a little tricky and flare up but Steph will fight through whatever pain comes because this is all stakes on the line. This is the NBA Finals.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking for redemption this NBA Finals run. They lost last season 4 games to 2 and actually had a 2 games to 1 series lead with a chance to go up 3 games to 1 on their home floor. They could not get the job done however and went on to lose 3 games straight and lose the series. Kyrie Irving was lost for the rest of that NBA Finals when he suffered a fractured knee cap on a freak collision with Warriors guard, Klay Thompson. Kevin Love did not play since the first round of the playoffs when he was lost for the rest of the playoff run because of a shoulder injury he sustained due to a seemingly malicious take down by Celtics forward/center Kelly Olynyk. This year both Irving and Love are healthy and the Cavaliers’ big three of James, Love, and Irving are ready to roll. The Cavaliers are actually a deeper team than they were last year with veteran additions of Channing Frye, Richard Jefferson, and Mo Williams. A guy like Mo Williams hasn’t played much in a few months but could be called on for big buckets off the bench if he is needed. Along with other key guys like JR Smith, Matthew Dellavedova and Tristan Thompson and the Cavaliers look like a much deeper and confident team than they were last year. They will be taking their 12-2 playoff record so far into this series and will be looking to seal the deal. We will see if they can do it.

The Golden State Warriors are looking to repeat as NBA Champions and will be looking to be the first team to do some since the 2012 and 2013 Miami Heat. The Warriors are led by of course the current back to back NBA Most Valuable Player, Stephen Curry. Even though Curry is the guy who gets most of the attention this team is very deep and has great players top to bottom. Klay Thompson shoots lights out and put on a classic performance in game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. Draymond Green is a guy that does it all for Warriors. Points, rebounds and assists this guy is close to a triple double on a nightly basis. If these three can play big time they can win the series. They will also need big plays from their supporting cast as well like Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut.

This series has all the makings of being an instant classic. These two teams are evenly matched with big time star power on both sides. This is the matchup the entire basketball world has been waiting for and is sure to live up to the high expectations everyone has for it. Be sure to tune into game 1 of the NBA Finals on ABC at 9pm Eastern Time!

(image via gazettenet.com)

Lebron James Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James is an enigma. LeBron and I are the same age and we grew up in the same area. NORTHEAST OHIO. We graduated the same year of high school, 2003. I went to Charles F. Brush High School in Lyndhurst, Ohio and LeBron attended St. Vincent St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio. I have been following LeBron pretty close since we were probably in 7th or 8th grade. That’s when I first heard of James. I heard about him on the AAU circuit. He was actually dunking back then which is pretty crazy to think about. Think about a middle school kid coming down and dunking on everybody. Crazy to think about right? Well LeBron was doing it. When we got to 9th grade I ended up moving from Columbus, Ohio to Cleveland, Ohio because my mother ended up taking a job in HR with General Electric in Cleveland. I was still following LeBron pretty close and also playing myself. He ended up starting for St. Vincent St. Mary under Coach Keith Dambrot. Dambrot is now Akron University’s head coach. LeBron had an amazing high school career and I really don’t even need to get into that right now. Long story short we all knew LeBron was for sure going to the NBA as the #1 pick in 10th grade. To say LeBron would end up as arguably the best player of all-time. I can’t say that I would’ve thought that would happen. To say LeBron would have made this big of an impact on an entire region I would’ve never imagined. LeBron returning to Northeast Ohio has revitalized us in a way I have never seen anywhere else and I have been all over. I will talk about the resurrection of a Cavaliers franchise, the economic impact on the region, and the future of the Northeast Ohio and LeBron’s place in that.

When James announced that he was returning to Cleveland Cavaliers it instantly brought hope to Northeast Ohio. I have never seen anything like this in my 29 years on this planet. LeBron is ONE MAN and has this much power. Imagine how that just feel for him. Pretty crazy to think about huh? In an instant the Cleveland Cavaliers were considered a favorite to win the Finals this year. LeBron downplayed everything saying that it would take a lot of hard work in and time and it may not happen his first year. However it is now the month of June and the Cavaliers are here, in the NBA Finals. Let’s see if the Cavs and LeBron can get it done. They are only 4 wins away.

The economic impact on the region as a whole is going to be unlike we have ever seen.  The businesses in downtown are beginning to thrive again now that LeBron is back in town. With LeBron comes a sold out Quicken Loans Arena every night. And that creates a trickle down effect from  there. There is now a casino downtown which makes playing for real money in New York state that much more accessible. Dan Gilbert owns it and is doing pretty well might I add. All of the restaurants and bars are now thriving again as well with the return of The King. If he can bring a championship to the city then imagine what is going to happen. PANDEMONIUM.

Lastly, LeBron James has brought a sense of hope and pride to a region that I admit was dying before. A lot of people leave Northeast Ohio to pursue what they think are greener pastures elsewhere. LeBron James even did it himself when he decided to leave all he ever knew and explore a once in a lifetime opportunity to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and join the Miami Heat. He had a very successful run in South Florida. He went to four straight finals, winning two of them. He decided that he had a chance to do something really special not only for his own legacy but for Northeast Ohio as a region. And that’s to bring us our first championship.  I truly believe that this is DESTINY and that it will happen this year. Let’s go CAVS. #AllInCle #AllForOne

By Marcus Shockley

This is the second article on how to be an elite student, not just an elite athlete.

In today’s installment, Lebron James asks how shooting a basketball proves Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion. In case you’re not familiar with Newton’s laws, they are:

I. Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.

II. The relationship between an object’s mass m, its acceleration a, and the applied force F is F = ma. Acceleration and force are vectors (as indicated by their symbols being displayed in slant bold font); in this law the direction of the force vector is the same as the direction of the acceleration vector.

III. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

I’m not going to go into a deep dive on the laws of motion today- just watch the video and you’ll get it. But I wanted to mention that this is not just theoretical knowledge. There are one example where Newton’s laws are used every day: Video games. Surely you’ve noticed how Grand Theft Auto cars handle and bounce off of other cars in a realistic fashion – or you’ve noticed while playing Madden football how the players will knock each other around just as in real life. All of that is possible because game developers implement Newton’s laws in their games (along with a whole lot of math).

This is less education strategy than specific knowledge, but just know that if you shoot from the 3 point line, you are exerting more ‘force’ on the ball than if you shoot a layup, and that’s and example of Newton’s laws in action.

Follow Marcus Shockley on Twitter.

Sweat rolls down the face of Miami Heat’s LeBron James during a break in play against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first half of their NBA basketball game in Milwaukee, Wisconsin February 1, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Hauck (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

    

By Marcus Shockley

The NBA All-Star game hasn’t been interesting to me in some time. Over the years, the NBA as a product has become harder and harder to watch, and to be blunt the only time it’s really interesting is when the playoffs roll around. But this year, as the story line became Lebron making a crucial turnover at the end of the game and therefore continuing to fulfill his ever-growing legacy of fourth quarter disappearances, I could not help but wonder how it is that writers and fans actually take these games in all seriousness.

Look, if you like the NBA All-Star Game, that’s great, and the whole point of the game is to show off all of the NBA’s brightest stars and best athletes under one roof, in one game. It is not part of the season. It does not count in the record column and the stats are not part of the player’s averages. Defense is often non-existent, but who would want to watch an NBA All-Star game without dunks or scoring?

There’s nothing wrong with the NBA All-Star Game, it’s a good time and despite people talking down the dunk contest, they still watch it. It was only a year ago that Blake Griffin jumped over a car; as an aside, it’s interesting how people who have never dunked and never will dunk are so quickly dismissive of the amazing, but hey, that’s the business the NBA is in.

I’ve been critical of Lebron since long before his collapse in the playoffs against Boston two years ago. I see his approach to the game to be a perfect example of what the shoe company deals in big time AAU (especially in Lebron’s high school days) have created, a player whose been coached and trained his entire career to look at winning as being able to sell more product, not winning titles.

But now that people have soured on Lebron, every opportunity to downgrade him is seen as part of his legacy. Missing a crucial pass in the All-Star Game? Come on, that’s hardly important. It’s practically a pick up game under bright lights where the score barely matters and no one could tell you which team won in 1990 or 1995 without having to look it up.

Complaining about a turnover in the All-Star game? Really? The only people who should be caring that much are the people with money on the game, because they are foolish enough to actually bet on an All-Star Game. Everybody else? Just sit back and enjoy the show.

By Marcus Shockley

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (L) and teammate LeBron James wait to leave the stadium after losing the NBA Championship to the Dallas Mavericks in Miami, June 12, 2011. REUTERS/Joe Skipper (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

        
        

Lebron James has been getting advice – almost all of it bad – for his entire life. That’s not uncommon for sports stars, or musicians, or anyone who has a talent that makes them famous and might make them rich. Lebron might have five opinions available in the world for every dollar he earns. But right now, as he lashes out at the media and the fans and still seems convinced that he’s won it all despite not having won a college title or pro title, I’m sure all he’s getting is either people soothing his ego or verbally bashing him as hard as they can.

But if I had Lebron’s ear right now, I would tell him the truth.

I would tell him that this happens to everybody, eventually. You see, when you are a teenager you think you are unstoppable, that you’re going to show everyone how easy it is, and that you’re smarter than everyone else.

Then, life happens. At some point, you realize that no matter how smart you are, or how talented, you’re not invincible, and, believe it or not, there are some pretty talented, savvy people out there who just might be able to take you down.

This, Lebron, is called growing up. It takes longer for big time athletes to ever achieve this, fostered by gushing fans and yes-men, who help you skate through life and tell you that you can do no wrong. Those people aren’t helping you, and eventually, they’ll bail on you.

But, even though it hurts to critic oneself, this is where growing up either goes right or goes wrong. See, when we (all of us, not just you) get slapped around by life and put in our place, we have to decide how to react to it, and how to move forward. We can ignore it, making a subconscious decision to not grow up, and this ends badly. Lives can derail and tank very fast.

Just ask Tiger Woods. He’s trying to decide right now if he wants to grow up or not.

Kobe Bryant faced this decision a few years ago. After years as a spoiled brat who demanded that his center be traded away, he realized that he wasn’t Superman, and asked for real help, got it, and winning a couple more titles.

Kobe grew up.

This is important for you to understand. While most fans think it’s about winning a title, it isn’t. It’s about playing hard non-stop, about working harder than anyone else to achieve something. It’s about talking less and doing more. It’s about doing the hard things, even when we don’t want to. It’s like Dirk and Jason Kidd toiling for years to get a ring, despite coming into the league with loads of talent.

What you shouldn’t do is listen to people like Bob Dorfman, who claims you won’t lose any money over your comments after the finals. You will. Already the sponsors are sniffing around for the next great superstar they can sink all their money into. When Tiger Woods slammed his SUV into a tree in Florida, people were saying he wouldn’t suffer, either. You haven’t hit that kind of skid, but you are, as of today, no longer the guy to watch. You’re the guy who needs someone else to win it for you. I know that stings, but believe me when I say, that sting is felt by all of us, in one way or another, at the moment we grow up. Remember, when you talk about having an amazing life, I would point out that you, like almost everyone else on the planet, still work for someone else. That paycheck is going to go away eventually, despite the fact everyone calls you a businessman.

If you’re going to be one of the great players, here is where you truly show it. By growing up and becoming a man, taking your lumps, and deciding to shut up and really try to win something. I know, I know, the scrutiny of millions of fans is incredible and ridiculous. You’re right about that. But you also invited that scrutiny, so you really can’t throw stones now. You need to learn from your mistakes. Some players do. Many don’t.

By Marcus Shockley

Miami Heat’s LeBron James reacts after teammmate Dwyane Wade was called for a foul against the Dallas Mavericks in the fourth quarter during Game 4 of the NBA Finals basketball series in Dallas, June 7, 2011. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

          
          

It’s an understatement that Lebron James has become the most hated man in the NBA. While most reporters and fans seem to have turned on Lebron following last summer’s egotistical display of announcing his free agency destination on a 30 minute television special, the roots of the sudden vitriol for All Things James go back much farther than that. It’s really something that two of the most likable personalities in the NBA, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, have become tied to the outpouring of hatred that has been aimed at Lebron.

The hatred for Lebron is actually rooted in the way that he’s been foisted on fans as the greatest player ever, long before he ever stepped on an NBA court, and continues to be called ‘King James’ regardless of how he plays. It’s backlash, not just for ‘The Decision’, but for his entire career of being rabidly hyped by the media and NBA, and possibly just as much, his sense of entitlement to that hype.

A perfect example, in a nutshell, was on a single play in Game 3 of the NBA Finals this year. Lebron, who is an excellent passing forward, sent a routine pass to Chris Bosh, who was on the move through the lane. Bosh caught the pass fluidly in mid-stride, went airborne, rose over and through two defenders, slamming down a two handed dunk in an effortless move. Bosh took an ordinary pass and showed what being bigger, faster and more agile can accomplish. The announcers, however, did not mention Bosh at all, instead gushing about how Lebron is ‘such a gifted passer’ and ‘sees everything’. That plays poorly with the fans, who already are weary of poor officiating and players’ manufacturing of fouls through acting. When Mark Jackson or Jeff Van Gundy tell us a lie about what we saw, it goes against our collective sense of what makes sports great. It also feels like we’re being told that Lebron is amazing despite the fact we just witnessed a different player, on that particular play, doing something amazing.

Therein lies the problem. Nobody needed to tell the fans that Micheal Jordan was great, or that Magic Johnson, Larry Bird or Dr. J were some of the best of all time. Fans already knew. What has rubbed fans wrong for so long about Lebron is the incessant praise he’s received his entire career, even when he hadn’t earned it. This is not to say Lebron is not a great player. He’s had many legitimate highlights in his career and there’s no reason to assume he can’t achieve greatness. It is to say, okay, if he’s great, shut up about it, and we’ll see it on our own in due time. We see when Lebron makes a great play. If Lebron has a career in which he leads a team to multiple titles, we’ll see that too. In other words, stop telling us it’s already happened.

If the NBA has such a hard time grasping why fans are rooting against Lebron, they should start by looking in the mirror.