Unless you’re Skip Bayless and your job is to swim against the current of popular opinion â€” that being LeBron James keeping Miami almost single-handedly from exiting the playoffs was an incredible, once-every-50-years performance â€” LBJ was the first thing you talked to your friends about around the water cooler. And why wouldn’t he be? The wrong-footed jumpers (he even banked one in over Kevin Garnett; so filthy), the tip-dunk where his head was at the rim, the 15 rebounds, there was more than enough to go around for conversation. SI’s Zach Lowe had an interesting take on why we shouldn’t come up with new opinions on James just because of one game. His point is that this game won’t define him, even if leads to a Game 7 and a Finals that possibly could. So, let’s not overreact. Instead, let’s just watch the highlights over and realize that that kind of game is why we watch hoops. Complete. Takeover. … Speaking of Game 7, we broke down who has been the best Game 7 performer on the Heat and Celtics. Did you know Jesus has played in nine Game 7s? … Portland’s hiring of Neil Olshey as GM ended its run without a permanent coach or GM after four months, but who will be its next coach? He virtually did all but give interim boss Kaleb Canales the keys to the car (it’s not a new-model sports car, but a nice Lexus with only a few thousand miles on it) in his press conference, but the Portland Tribune‘s Kerry Eggers had this notion: What about Mike Dunleavy? The latter hired Olshey in Clipperland before Olshey succeeded him. Dunleavy had success in Portland before it ended terribly. Like, Bonzi Wells once hurling a ball at a reporter’s face bad. The other Blazer connection here is Kevin Pritchard, who was reported today to be the new GM of Indiana. We didn’t know David Morway much as Indiana GM, other than he built a damn good team. Why tinker with the formula? This will be really interesting to watch take hold as he already has a talented roster. When he was Blazers’ GM he took a team from awful to contender quickly. The pick of Greg Oden was on his watch while in Stumptown, and you know that will be on his epitaph. Still, he was a guy who got deals done â€” and also reportedly made a lot of other GMs pissed at him for his brashness. Either way we doubt this will be his final job. It will be hard to go out like he did with Paul Allen, who fired him on draft night â€” and then still made him take picks. Hit the jump to check in on the Western Conference champions…
Oklahoma hasn’t been this excited for a sporting event since the last time it beat Texas in something. The NBA Finals berth has even made George Shinn, an owner whose name Charlotte treats like Lord Voldemort, write an open letter to OKC to thank the “wonderful people” for his Hornets’ two-year stay. I bet old Hornets fans from the Mourning and Mashburn days wish they could get a letter like that. … One more thing from OKC: Did Kevin Durant celebrate too soon when he hugged his family with 14.6 seconds left? Scott Brooks basically said, look, I was too busy celebrating/coach to notice. … Manny Pacquiao is keeping millions of Pay-Per-View customers waiting a little longer to watch his Saturday fight in Vegas. Why? He loves him some Celtics. That’s awesome. Doc Rivers didn’t sound too surprised. Wish we could have gotten a quote from Doc about this note he left on the white board but we think it’s pretty obvious. … An Orlando Sentinel columnist ran into Stan Van Gundy at a hardware store this weekend looking for a chainsaw. What NBA coach would you figure to be at a store you frequent? I’m seeing Frank Vogel at a Hardee’s, maybe Mike Brown at the unemployment office. Just kidding. We think. … We’re out like I’ll Have Another.
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