The mind of LeBron and lovable Lindor: While We’re Waiting…

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Some maneuvering took place on Tuesday night. The Cavaliers traded Carrick Felix (who wasn’t in the plans for the future if we are honest), a second round pick and cash to Utah for three non-guaranteed contracts. I am not a cap specialist. I don’t know how far off the Cavaliers are from having the right pieces to get this Love deal done. One thing I read that I was encouraged about was this from Adrian Wojnarowski:

“The Cavaliers have been offering future first-round picks for an experienced center, league sources said.”

Thank goodness. Look: I’m in the Kevin Love camp, but this team DESPERATELY needs to upgrade at the center spot. Free agency just isn’t going to produce it either.


If you haven’t read the piece from Brian Windhorst on the mind of LeBron, you have to read it. Read the whole thing, but you may want to save it for when you have time. It’s a little long. Here’s a pretty interesting section, the first thing about that infamous Boston series that I’ve ever seen LeBron comment on.

“James — with two titles and counting, and four straight trips to the Finals — can admit today what he’s thinking in 2011: He’s thinking of everything. Everything good, and everything bad. In 2011, he isn’t just playing against the Mavs; he’s also battling the demons of a year earlier, when he failed in a series against the Boston Celtics as the pressure of the moment beat him down. It’s Game 5 of the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals, and it is, to this point, perhaps the most incomprehensible game of James’ career. His performance is so lockjawed, so devoid of rhythm, the world crafts its own narrative, buying into unfounded and ridiculous rumors because they seem more plausible than his performance.

James, though, never fully deals with any of that. Instead, he changes teams. Changes cities. Changes coaches. Changes owners. Changes teammates. Changes uniforms. Changes climate. Wipe the slate clean, and maybe, for once, he can leave the past behind.

Instead, when it all happens again a year later, James’ recall turns against him, yet again, like an awful sequel to an awful original movie — everything happening out of James’ control, the awful computer in his head winning the inner monologue.

“There are a lot of things that go through my mind during a game,” James says. “Sometimes I cloud my mind too much. I get to thinking about the game too much instead of just playing.”

Again, if you haven’t read the whole piece, you need it to understand the context of this snippet.


I don’t know how you could not like this Lindor kid.

“Every player thinks about how the big leagues will be,” Lindor said. “How will it be when you play in the big leagues? How cool will it be? How blessed will you be? All those things. I try to leave that for the offseason. Right now, I gotta focus on winning the game today and tomorrow I gotta focus on winning the game tomorrow and getting better and keep improving so that when I do get that call—God willing one day—the Indians feel I’m ready and I feel I’m ready for the next level.”


Tweet of the night comes from the normally stone-faced Corey Kluber:

The guys were all making fun of Atchison hard on twitter last night.


I’ll close this week with a couple board game bits.

-I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the largest board game convention in the US is called Gen Con, and it is in Indianapolis August 14-17. I will be making my first trip this year, even if just for a day.

-I finally got to play the cooperative game Pandemic recently. It was good, but I think that it had been hyped to the point where it couldn’t have stood up to the expectations. I will have to give it a few more plays. It was very, very similar to Forbidden Island, another cooperative game that we own and have gotten a lot of use out of. If you have never played a cooperative before, give either a try.

-One of the podcasts I listen to is the Dice Tower gaming podcast. They give out yearly awards for the games released that year. The 2013 awards were just announced. I haven’t played many on the list, but have my eye on Bang the dice game, The Duke, Caverna and Relic Runners.


File this under ‘if you give a crap’. If you happen to live in Northwestern Ohio, I’m on 93.1 FM ESPN Lima every Tuesday at 5:25 with host Vince Koza. If you happen to live in Houston, Texas you can hear me today on NPR (!) talking Cleveland sports at 12:oo CT. If you don’t live in Houston, feel free to stream the show on line.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Link to Windhorst?

  • I updated the post with a link, but here it is again: http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/11067098/lebron-james-greatest-weapon-brain

  • humboldt

    Greatly enjoyed the Windhorst article, as it explores an area that largely goes unexamined in basketball. Lebron’s long-term memory, cognitive processing, and pattern recognition all seem off the charts, and augment his physical skills in the same way Jordan’s tenacity maximized his abilities.

    He is often talked about as being an NFL tight end or receiver, but – actually – his mind for the game translates best to being a QB.

  • Harv 21

    And that’s the problem with facile warnings that Wiggins could be the next LeBron (Harv says, talking to himself). People spoke plenty about LeBron’s gifts, including his otherworldly basketball IQ, coming out of high school. No one seriously debated he was inferior to a Jabari Parker/Carmelo Anthony.

    Ok, I’m good for the moment. Get on with it, Griffin. Before I change my mind again.

  • RGB

    Stay strong.
    Don Griffin has a plan…


  • mgbode

    you keep on talking to yourself and people will think you are crazy


  • mgbode

    yes, if he recalls things as vividly and quickly as BW notes in that article, then it is entirely Peytonesque (who reportedly does the same).

  • humboldt

    Lebron may actually throw a better ball than Peyton right now…

  • mgbode

    Yeah, but Peyton knows exactly where to throw it before the WR even makes a break or the defense makes a read.

    That is actually one thing I would love to see a basketball team try to develop. A system of cuts and runs where the passer throws it before the receiver gets to his spot. It could be a lethal full-court weapon. The main issue is that at the NBA level with the court being so small and the athletes so superior that the margin for error is negligible. But, in HS & college, I could see it working pretty well.

  • technivore

    There are some especially gifted passers in the NBA that do do this. I specifically remember rewinding and watching some of the passes Diaw made in the finals and it just blew my mind that he was able to look off a defender and pass the ball in traffic — sometimes between and around multiple defenders — to a spot where he knew his teammate was going to be. While being covered by multiple 250 lbs behemoths and after running up and down the court for over an hour. Mind blowing.

  • humboldt

    I guess Carrick Felix got Fredo’d last night?

  • mgbode

    Diaw is definitely a gifted passer. I was talking more about specific offensive sets to do it (Diaw’s were impromptu), but that is an absolutely fantastic example and point.

  • mgbode

    he wasn’t important enough to be Fredo. heck, he wasn’t important enough to be the horse. he’s much more of a Bruno. just a cheap pimp that played his part in the larger plotline by being sacrificed on screen.

  • eldaveablo

    Love the info on trying to get a center. I think this is my major hang-up on Love. Is there a way to get Love AND a center (not named Jermaine or Emeka) who protects the rim/paint? My fantasy is Marc Gasol, but that’s just not gonna happen (please happen, please happen!).

  • humboldt

    Ok, so perhaps Alonzo Gee was the horse?


  • mgbode

    sent a message and set the stage for future conflict. done.

  • RGB
  • mgbode

    I hope all realize that asking for Wiggins makes Flip Saunders our Virgil in setting up the faulty business venture that could destroy everything – Corleone’s were able to recognize they had the true strength and adjust. Will we?

  • Harv 21

    I distinctly recall that a condition of our frequent G references was that we not invoke G3. Ever.

  • RGB

    Ooops. That may have been before I became a member.
    Won’t happen again.

  • mgbode

    considering Savannah sending cupcakes to her neighbors being reported this morning, I believe RGB should be granted an exception. it was too perfect to pass up and we can pretend it was bonus footage from another film.

  • Harv 21

    Fine, but one day I may need a favor from you, RGB …

    [Btw, the complete set/director’s cut includes deleted scenes from 1 and 2 that are incredible, left on the floor only due to Paramount’s strict time constraints. Some actually add important context]

  • Best part of G3, imo.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    People around here are still brainwashed with the Mike Brown defensive mantra making it seem like Love is a turnstile on defense. He’s not. But I wouldn’t mind seeing another big body added but more so because I don’t want to see Varejao playing that many minutes. Udoh formerly of Milwaukee would be my first very cheap choice if they go free agent route.

  • The_Real_Shamrock
  • Ezzie Goldish

    I actually see it working decently in the NBA, too, and have wondered why we don’t see more of it. In the NFL a QB has to make a proper read and throw on a dime to people who are going to get crushed while himself avoiding getting crushed. In the NBA those are fouls. The biggest difference is that in basketball you can’t throw to someone who catches and runs to do something with it; they have to dribble unless they’re shooting right away. But I think the biggest factor is the size of the ball – it’s harder to squeeze it between spots and harder to catch and shoot off a bullet pass, and the court is too small for soft passes to work well in this style O.

  • Toddyus

    “’ll close this week with a couple board game bits.”

    For some reason, I read “bits” as “obits,” and thought, “Damn board games are more dangerous than I thought…”

  • brad

    This is the first genuinely new thing I’ve learned about LeBron in years. It will absolutely change the way I watch him play. That said, it doesn’t completely explain Game 5, at least not to me.