Connect with us

News & Entertainment

LeBron James decides to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers

King James no longer will reign in Miami. Days of South Florida unease at the start of the NBA’s free-agency period turned into stunned rejection, with LeBron James announcing Friday that he was leaving the Miami Heat for a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. James’ decision came a day after a Wednesday meeting with Heat…

Published

on

King James no longer will reign in Miami.

Days of South Florida unease at the start of the NBA’s free-agency period turned into stunned rejection, with LeBron James announcing Friday that he was leaving the Miami Heat for a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

James’ decision came a day after a Wednesday meeting with Heat President Pat Riley in Las Vegas, where James is running a basketball camp.

James’ choice ultimately came down to sustaining excellence in his adopted home in South Florida or returning closer to his childhood roots. A year-round lifestyle at his massive estate just outside of Akron ultimately prevailed.

The Cavaliers created the salary-cap space for the maximum contract James has sought, with a three-team trade completed Thursday that sent veteran guard Jarrett Jack to the Brooklyn Nets and also included a package with the Boston Celtics.

James last month opted out of the final two years of the six-year free-agent contract he signed with the Heat in July 2010, when he joined Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in a championship-like celebration.

James’ commitment to the Cavaliers is in now place, able to sign his new contract at any time, after Thursday’s end of the NBA’s offseason personnel moratorium.

With James’ departure, there is a chance Bosh could pursue a maximum-scale contract with the Houston Rockets, perhaps leaving only Wade likely to re-sign from what had been the Heat’s Big Three these past four seasons.

A rebuilding program is expected to ensue with the Heat, similar to what followed in the wake of the breakup with Shaquille O’Neal following the team’s 2006 NBA championship and subsequent slide in the standings.

The Heat advanced to the NBA Finals in each of James’ four seasons in South Florida after he left the Cavaliers, with James winning his first NBA championships in 2012 and ’13. The Heat last month fell 4-1 to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals, with James then pushing Riley to upgrade the team’s roster.

Riley attempted to accommodate James with Monday’s free-agency additions of Charlotte Hornets forward Josh McRoberts and Los Angeles Clippers swingman Danny Granger. Instead, the Heat now are left with two additional supporting players without the game’s ultimate superstar to support.

The low-key nature of James’ Thursday decision was in muted contrast to 2010, when he held a nationally televised special on ESPN — “The Decision” — to announce his move to the Heat. The difference this time was the length of time from the July 1 start of the free-agency period it took for resolution.

James was named NBA Most Valuable Player in 2012 and ’13, finishing as runner-up this past season to Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant.

There had been concern for months of James returning to the Cavaliers to be closer to his Bath Township home in Ohio, with Cleveland selecting Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins recently with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft and on Thursday locking All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving into a long-term contract.

While several teams pitched the option of a fresh start with a new supporting cast, James ultimately bypassed overtures from the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets. And the Heat — the only team James met face-to-face with during his decision-making process.

Amid a swirl of rumors and conjecture about his future these past few weeks, James largely took himself out of the free-agency process, allowing his agent, Cleveland-based Rich Paul, to gauge outside interest while James was on vacation with his family. James then scheduled Wednesday’s summit with Riley.

James stressed after the NBA Finals that his priority was positioning himself on a team with championship potential, while also explaining how much his family enjoys their time in South Florida, with James’ wife, Savannah, operating a Miami juice bar and James involved in several South Florida ventures, including a pizza chain.

Prior to opting out of his Heat contract in late June, James was blunt about his future.

“For me,” he said, “I just want to win. And that’s all that matters to me.”

In the wake of the Heat’s demise in the NBA Finals, Riley urged his star players to return and attempt to become just the second team to advance to at least five consecutive NBA Finals. Ultimately, those words failed to resonate with his leading man.

“This stuff is hard,” Riley said in an emotional media session just days after the Finals. “You’ve got to stay together if you’ve got the guts. You don’t find the first door and run out of it. This is four years into this era — four Finals.

“That cements a forever bond, is going through what we went through this year and staying the course.”

Riley’s emphasis was there was too much already in place to simply walk away.

“We have great coaching, great leadership,” he said. “I didn’t come down here 19 years ago for a quick trip to South Beach to get a suntan, and I don’t think they did, either. All those guys who have come here got exactly what they wanted, the best competition on the biggest stage. We won two of the last three.”

Even in June, Riley was taking the long view with his star forward.

“The four years we had with LeBron we hope turns into another 8 or 10,” he said.

Ultimately, it proved to be a four-year run along Biscayne Bay.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

code

Breaking News

Covid-19 cases rise aboard first cruise to resume sailing in the Caribbean

Published

on

So far a total of seven passengers have tested positive for Covid-19 aboard the SeaDream 1 cruise ship docked in Barbados, according to two passengers on the ship.
Passengers who have tested negative for the virus will be able to leave the ship and travel home, Gene Sloan and Ben Hewitt told CNN on Friday. They are both among a handful of cruise journalists and bloggers on board.

The SeaDream Yacht Club cruise was the first to return to the Caribbean since the coronavirus pandemic shut operations down in March and was meant to demonstrate that increased safety protocols, including regular testing aboard the ship, could allow cruise voyages to take place during the pandemic.

Instead one passenger fell ill on Wednesday, forcing the SeaDream 1 to return to Barbados, where all 53 passengers and 66 crew were tested.
Hewitt said the crew had informed passengers that everyone who had tested negative twice would be allowed to disembark the ship and fly home on Saturday.
SeaDream Yacht Club said in a news release Thursday afternoon that “guests” had received “assumptive positive” results to preliminary rapid Covid tests, but did not specify the number who had done so.

SeaDream was asked to confirm the exact number of positive results.
SeaDream responded “We are working closely with local health and government authorities to resolve this situation in the best possible way,” said SeaDream‘s Andreas Brynestad, in the SeaDream release.

Passenger Gene Sloan took this photo during the cruise that's been cut short by a Covid-19 outbreak.
Passenger Gene Sloan took this photo during the cruise that’s been cut short by a Covid-19 outbreak. Gene Sloan/The Points Guy

Intercom announcement of positive test result

Sloan, who is a senior reporter for cruise and travel at The Points Guy, reported that the Covid scare started when the captain informed passengers of the preliminary positive test over the ship’s intercom system shortly before lunchtime on Wednesday.

Passengers were instructed to return to their cabins and remain isolated there, he said.

The ship, which was in the Grenadines at the time of the first preliminary positive test, docked in Barbados Wednesday evening.

“It’s not a great development for the cruise industry,” Sloan told CNN via email on Wednesday from his cabin on board. “I think the hope had been that the rigorous testing that SeaDream was doing would keep Covid off its ship.”

Multilayer testing for Covid-19 has been an integral part of SeaDream‘s efforts to create a Covid-19 negative bubble aboard its ships.

Passengers were tested in advance of traveling to the ship and also before boarding the ship, Sloan said.

“And SeaDream also was testing passengers four days into the trip,” he said. “We were scheduled to be tested again today. That’s a more rigorous testing plan than most lines had been discussing for the restarts.”

The protocol is due in part to the strict testing required by Barbados, where the ship will be based for the season, Sloan noted.

“I think what this shows is it’s going to happen. And until there’s a vaccine or herd immunity, when cruising starts up you’re going to see things like this happen. The question is how often and how big?”

The current sailing was carrying 53 passengers and 66 crew, Sloan said.
The SeaDream 1 is sailing carrying 53 passengers and 66 crew, Sloan said. Gene Sloan/The Points Guy

Voyages from Barbados

SeaDream‘s winter voyages from Barbados started on November 7 with the sailing that has now been cut short.

These new Caribbean sailings follow a successful summer season for SeaDream in Norway, which the company said “resulted in zero positive cases during the entire Norwegian summer season.”

“After completing a successful summer season in Norway, we implemented even stricter health and safety protocols for our Barbados winter season. All guests were tested twice prior to embarkation and we are in the process of retesting guests,” said SeaDream‘s Andreas Brynestad in the statement released on Thursday.

Ben Hewitt, host of Cruise with Ben & David on YouTube, expressed his disappointment and frustration with the virus in an interview Thursday from his stateroom.

“It’s just so disappointing that this has happened because everybody has their hopes up high, and we can’t see anything more that they could’ve done,” said Hewitt.

“It’s just such a horrible virus, it just gets everywhere even with the constant testing.”

The use of masks on the voyage has been far less stringent.

Sloan told CNN that initially no one was wearing face masks, not even the crew. Crew members told him they weren’t necessary since the ship was a Covid-free “bubble.”

Then a few days into sailing, SeaDream instituted a mask policy but didn’t offer an explanation, he said.

Fewer than 250 guests

SeaDream‘s ships, which the company refers to as “superyachts,” have 56 staterooms, with a capacity for 112 guests and 95 crew.

Carrying fewer than 250 guests outside of US waters allows SeaDream to operate outside of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s orders around cruising.

The CDC recently issued a “Framework for Conditional Sailing Order for Cruise Ships.”

The order, which applies to cruise ships in US territorial waters that have capacity to carry at least 250 passengers, is considered a tentative step toward the resumption of cruising.

Safety measures may not be enough to contain the virus.
This was one of the safety measures that was being taken aboard the SeaDream 1 cruise ship. Unfortunately this seem to not be enough to contain the virus. Gene Sloan/The Points Guy

Trade group Cruise Lines International Association said it will work with the CDC to resume US sailings as soon as possible, but that its members would continue a voluntary suspension of operations through the end of 2020.

On Friday, a letter signed by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) called on the CDC to reinstate its no-sail order for cruise ships and reverse efforts to restart the industry’s US operations.

The letter cites the outbreak aboard SeaDream 1.

Despite precautions, “the virus was still able to infect multiple people on the ship, with the possibility of more confirmed cases emerging as passengers and crew are retested,” the letter reads.

“Unfortunately, this troubling development is not surprising and reaffirms the need to exercise extreme caution before sending passengers and crew back out to sea on cruises.”

Continue Reading

News & Entertainment

Obama Rips Trump For Refusing To Congratulate President-Elect Biden

Published

on

Former President Barack Obama is reminding the nation he congratulated President Donald Trump as soon as he won the election … a courtesy the President’s refusing to extend to President-Elect Joe Biden.

The former president ripped Trump for failing to acknowledge Biden as president-elect with so much as a congratulatory phone call in an interview with “CBS This Morning,” telling Gayle King Trump is damaging our democracy with the way he’s eschewing what’s traditionally been a peaceful — and cordial — transfer of power.

Obama recalled election night 2016, saying he stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to phone Trump and congratulate the president-elect. Obama says he was doing what presidents do, just as George W. Bush graciously did during Obama’s historic 2008 victory.

Trump’s refusal to concede and call up president-elect Biden is clearly not sitting well with Obama.

As you know … Obama previously chided Trump and the GOP for continuing to make baseless claims of election fraud in an interview with “60 Minutes,” telling Scott Pelley it undermines the country.

Obama points out Biden and 2016 Trump will end up with the same number of Electoral College votes, 306, but says half the country likely won’t take that into account if they keep consuming conservative media … which Obama says presents voter fraud allegations as fact.

Bottom line. Obama explains why Republicans can’t stop Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris from being sworn in.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

Joe Biden wins the 2020 US Presidential election

Published

on

Following a tense week of vote tallying, Joe Biden won the state of Pennsylvania and vaulted ahead in the race to become the next president of the United States. Biden’s win in the critical state put him over the threshold of 270 electoral votes, cutting off all avenues for his opponent.

Biden prevailed by flipping key states that went to Trump in 2016, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Trump again won in Florida and Ohio, but in the end was unable to chart a path to an electoral victory. Biden also leads by millions in the popular vote, with a record number of votes cast this year, many through the mail.

As his vice president, Kamala Harris will make history in myriad ways, becoming the first woman — and the first woman of color — to occupy the office. Harris, a California senator and the state’s former attorney general, built a career in the tech industry’s front yard.

Shattered barriers aside, this year’s election will likely go down in infamy for many in the U.S. The race was the strangest in recent years, characterized by rising storms of misinformation, fears over the fate of scaled-up vote-by-mail systems and a deadly virus that’s claimed well over 230,000 American lives. Biden’s campaign was forced to adapt to drive-up rallies and digital campaigning instead of relying on door-knocking and face-to-face interaction to mobilize the vote.

The circumstances of the election also created the perfect ecosystem for misinformation — a situation made worse by President Trump’s false claim of victory early Wednesday morning and ongoing claims of Democratic voter fraud. Trump appears to be in no mood to concede the election, but in the end the vote is what it is and Joe Biden will take office on January 20, 2021.

While a sitting president rejecting that unwritten democratic norm would be alarming, Trump’s decision will have little bearing on the ultimate political outcome. Whatever the coming days hold, the U.S. is entering into a new and unprecedented phase of uncertainty in which misinformation abounds and political tensions and fears of politically-motivated violence are running high.

The former vice president’s win brings a four year run of Trumpism to an abrupt end, though its effects will still reverberate throughout American politics, likely for decades. It also ushers in a new era in which Joe Biden plans to draw on the influence of an unlikely coalition of Democrats from across the political spectrum. The Senate still hangs in the balance with two tight races in Georgia headed to January runoffs.

Biden has laid out plans for sweeping climate action, and a healthcare extension that would cover more Americans and provide an opt-in Medicare-like public option. But his ability to enact most of those grand plans would hinge on a Democratic Senate. While either party was likely to continue pursuing more aggressive regulation for the technology industry, we’ll be watching closely for signals of what’s to come for tech policy.

But even without the Senate, the president-elect may be capable of making a swift and critical impact where it’s most needed: the coronavirus pandemic. In the continued absence of a national plan to fight the virus and a White House that downplays its deadliness and discourages mask-wearing, COVID-19 is raging out of control in states across the country, signaling a very deadly winter just around the corner.

Continue Reading

Trending

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This