Welcome to NBA Narratives for Tuesday, January 31st.
Before we get to tonight’s narratives, if you missed this story from late last night / early this morning, LeBron and Charles Barkley might not be invited to each other’s birthday parties anymore. File this under the #Beef narrative….
“I’m not going to let him disrespect my legacy like that,” James told ESPN. “I’m not the one who threw somebody through a window. I never spit on a kid. I never had unpaid debt in Las Vegas. I never said, ‘I’m not a role model.’ I never showed up to All-Star Weekend on Sunday because I was in Vegas all weekend partying.
“All I’ve done for my entire career is represent the NBA the right way. Fourteen years, never got in trouble. Respected the game. Print that.”
James, whose friendships with Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthonyhave also been called into question, recalled watching a 1993 NBA Finals game between Jordan’s Chicago Bulls and Barkley’s Phoenix Suns and being surprised what he saw on his screen.
“Go watch the ’93 Finals when John Paxson hit the shot,” James said. “Barkley and Jordan were laughing and joking with each other during one of the games while somebody’s shooting a free throw. In the Finals. But, oh, nobody were friends back then.”
The interview continues…..
“I collect one paycheck from this,” James said of his role with the Cavs. “There’s the owner, Griff’s [David Griffin] the GM, I’m the player. Screw Charles Barkley.”
James put on his baseball cap and offered a parting thought as he prepared to leave the visitors locker room at the American Airlines Center to head to the airport for a flight back to Cleveland.
“I’m tired of biting my tongue,” James said. “There’s a new sheriff in town.”
On to the narratives for tonight!
Birthdays: No active NBA Birthdays today.
Revenge games: Two revenge games on the slate tonight with fantasy implications.
In the first, Ty Lawson and the Sacramento Kings travel to Houston to take on the Rockets. I’m pretty sure driving to the bucket is the only driving Ty is allowed to do for a very long time, but he might get a chance to do just that tonight against his former team.
The second revenge game on the slate has Nic Batum and the Charlotte Hornets traveling to Portland to take on his former team the Trailblazers. The Over / Under sits at 228 at the time of this writing, which is as high as I can remember recently for Charlotte. Batum has been running hot lately both with scoring and peripherals as well. His results vs. Portland are a mixed bag (see below), but something worth thinking about.
As always, let us know what we missed or leave us a note at @nbanarratives.