Friday Five: Love trade shows the awesome power of LeBron

Friday Five: Love trade shows the awesome power of LeBron
August 8, 2014, 10:00 am
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Take a moment to bow to the awesome power of LeBron James
Monte Poole

NBA news never stops, no matter the month. If it’s not the Warriors making noise, it’s another team or an individual player or an owner opening his yap to reveal keen intellect or utter absurdity.

Our goal each week is to dig into some of the meatiest stories of and put our personal spin on them.

On with the Friday Five, Part III.

1) The Spurs win again

NBA teams now have another unimpeachable reason to emulate NBA champion San Antonio. In hiring Becky Hammon as an assistant coach the Spurs once again went outside normal boundaries.

Hammon, in the process of wrapping up a distinguished 16-year WNBA career, becomes the NBA’s first full-time paid female assistant coach. Congratulations, Becky. Consider another barrier shattered, and this one is not insignificant.

[RELATED: Spurs hire WNBA's Hammon as assistant coach]

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is not a supreme being, per se, but he’s a little smarter and a lot gutsier than most. Moreover, he continues to choose common sense over convention.

2) A Team USA loss we should quietly accept

Shortly after Paul George’s devastating leg injury in drills designed to cull the United States roster for the FIBA World Cup later this month, other NBA stars vying for roster spots insisted they planned to stay on course.

That lasted less than a week, as Kevin Durant – the biggest star in camp – informed coach Mike Krzyzewski that he is withdrawing.

[RELATED: Paul George has surgery on broken leg]

We don’t know if the Thunder advised him to do so. We do know OKC is delighted that Durant can spend the next few weeks resting up for training camp.

KD says it wasn’t an easy choice. I believe him. I also understand the decision and suspect he won’t be the last to consider his future and save his best for his employer.

3) Scalabrine never sleeps, Part XXXII

Former Warriors assistant coach Brian Scalabrine, demoted in March by former head coach Mark Jackson, has spent the week touring various radio shows, firing verbal shots toward his former boss.

[RELATED: Report: Warriors offered Scalabrine opportunity with Kerr]

Scal’s latest blast, via Doug Gottlieb’s radio show, criticized Jackson’s preparation and his tendency to shield star guard Stephen Curry by seeking easy defensive assignments in hopes of saving Steph’s energy for offense.

I’m with Jackson on this one. His is a reasonable approach toward someone who is not an elite defender and, furthermore, plays alongside Klay Thompson. Many coaches use similar strategy to preserve players essential to the offense.

Scal’s Shots, however, get folks talking. It puts Jackson in a position to respond, who so far has not. What a disappointment it would be if the Reverend engages, turning this into a silly schoolyard spat between grown men.

4) Papa Hardaway still has his crossover move

Former Warriors point guard Tim Hardaway retired as a member of the Heat; his jersey is retired in Miami. Hardaway worked for the Heat but made frequent trips to New York last season to see his son, Tim Jr., who was a Knicks rookie.

So what does Papa Tim do this week? He accepts an offer to become an assistant coach. With . . . the Pistons.

"I’m ecstatic,’’ he told to the Miami Herald. "It’s something I wanted to do. It’s all about teaching. I’m good at teaching and understanding players.’’

Good luck to Hardaway as he joins former Heat assistant (and Magic head coach) Stan Van Gundy in trying to resuscitate the Pistons.

5) Kevin Love will be traded . . . no, really . . . the penultimate chapter

The Timberwolves power forward has spent the past four months pressing for a trade. He was going to the Lakers, then to the Warriors, then to the Celtics, then to the Suns. For the past month or so, Love has been ticketed for the Cavaliers.

That 90 percent likelihood he’d end up in Cleveland has been raised to about 98 percent, as Yahoo! Sports reports Love will be traded for Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett – the NBA’s last two overall No. 1 picks – later this month.

[RELATED: With Love lost, pressure's on Kerr, Thompson]

Take a moment to bow to the awesome power of LeBron James.

Meanwhile, Warriors fans can carry on as they have been for the past couple months, half of them weeping over losing out on Love and the other half rejoicing over keeping Thompson.

Personally, I likely would have dealt David Lee and Thompson for Love – if I knew I had an adequate replacement (such as Arron Afflalo) for Klay.

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