November 27, 2014
LeBron James may be having second thoughts about his decision to return to Cleveland. I read some pretty harsh words from James after the Cleveland Cavaliers suffered a fourth straight loss last week, a 110-93 loss to the Toronto Raptures. He called his team ‘fragile’ and spoke of how the Cavs fall apart when facing ‘any adversity.’
Actually, James has been quite vocal about his new, and young, teammates for quite some time now. He regularly talks about their “bad habits,” their immaturity and general lack of professionalism. His body language is becoming daily fodder. James seems not only frustrated, but genuinely disappointed by what’s going on there.
One has to wonder if James continually talking negative is a good thing for the team? It’s clearly not getting through to them. There was talk early in the season that James was trying to force them to break their losing habits. One thing that is clear is that James appears to be taking a step back so his new team does not rely on him as much as the Miami Heat did during their championship runs.
LeBron has concerns
In the four-game losing skid, James is averaging 18.5 points, shooting 41 percent (28-68) from the field and 66 percent (12-18) from the free throw line. He also is averaging 5.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 4.5 turnovers.
Those numbers aren’t too bad, though they are nothing special for the game’s most talented player and a four-time MVP.
A mitigating factor could be James’ health. I have watched a few Cavs games and he does not seem as explosive. It seems limited by his back, which started bothering him two seasons ago and was a significant issue last year.
It could be a downright concern this year. Even at the relatively young age of 29, this could be a long term issue. James has many a mile on his body and his style of play can take a great deal out of a body.
There is some precedence, however, for transition time when James joins a new team.
Jameis still needs help
Few remember how long it took for the Heat, even with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh teaming with James, to mesh as a championship unit. It took the better part of an entire season for Miami to become a championship caliber team.
Winston Back In The News
Another week, another controversy involving Florida State Jameis Winston. The Seminoles quarterback was lucky he didn’t get ejected from Florida State’s game against Boston College Saturday. During the third quarter Winston and the Seminoles were in the hurry up, trying to get the snap off, but the official was not letting Winston under center as Boston College had to be allowed the time to substitute. And that is when Winston again showed his lack of respect for others and a lack of respect for authority. He proceeded to push the referee out of the way in an attempt to get the play off. The rules are quite simple. You are not allowed to deliberately touch an official, let alone try to shove or pull him out of your way. Winston was not called for a penalty for his actions, but had this official wanted to, he could have tossed
Winston from the game. And again Winston gets away with breaking rules etc. It’ll be interesting to see what, if any, punishment the ACC may hand out for this.
Winslow Stepping Up
Duke hasn’t really been challenged in running out a 5-0 record, despite playing some solid opponents. The unblemished record has come in large part because that freshman everybody is talking about keeps showing us more and more.
Justise Winslow is on the rise
And I am not talking about the likely No. 1 2015 NBA draft pick, Jahlil Okafor. I am talking about Justise Winslow who has emerged, at least thus far, as the best player Duke is putting out on the floor.
Winslow is the only one on the team averaging more than 14 points, five rebounds and two assists a game. This season’s Duke team is going to be fun to watch.
A Sad Story
There are a ton of stories out there about how professional athletes have squandered the millions of dollars they have made. Usually, we shake our heads while not feeling any empathy. This one is a little different.
Jack Johnson of the Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL) filed for bankruptcy in early October of this year.
Johnson has earned more than $18 million during his nine-year NHL career, not including the $5 million he will be paid this season by the Blue Jackets.
Almost all of the money is gone, and some of his future earnings have already been promised — which is why Johnson, surrounded by a new team of financial advisers and an attorney, signed his financial surrender.
Jack Johnson’s family ripped him off
Sources close to Johnson say that his own parents, Jack Sr. and Tina Johnson, the “wrong people” who led him astray financially.
In 2008, Johnson parted ways with agent Pat Brisson, Johnson turned over control of his money to his parents. Perhaps not a great financial move, but one would think you could trust your parents. Tina Johnson borrowed at least $15 million in her son’s name against his future earnings, sources told The Dispatch, taking out a series of high-interest loans, perhaps as many as 18, from unconventional lenders that resulted in a series of defaults.
Because Johnson’s name is on the loans, he has been sued at least three times for more than $6 million for defaulting, as in the case of the mortgage on a house in Manhattan Beach, Calif. In court documents, Johnson says his parents bought the house with his money but without his knowledge. Johnson’s parents allegedly each bought a car, spent more than $800,000 on upgrades to the Manhattan Beach property and traveled, often to see him play NHL games for the Kings and Blue Jackets.
In his bankruptcy filing, Johnson claims assets of “less than $50,000” and debts of “more than $10 million,” although sources say the debt could be in the neighborhood of $15 million. He has also cut off all contact with his family.