LeBron Can Get Better; Dwight Howard Will Miss Start Of Camp

Dwyane Wade is full of pride. He’s one of the few cats who could stand up to David Stern, call him out for being a condescending chump, and we wouldn’t be surprised (and he actually did this during the lockout). He’s been a great player for a long time, and he knows it. We had an argument about Wade on Twitter last week when a follower tried to say D-Wade was never considered the best player in the world, or at least was in the conversation. Um, they must’ve not been basketball fans in 2006. There were NBA fans everywhere who were ready to annoint Wade as the best in the game. Outside of his style choices, Wade has the accomplishments and the resume to be extra impressed with himself. But over the last few months, an important shift happened in Miami: Wade and LeBron went from exchanging the keys… to Wade easing himself into the shotgun seat. The two of them are redefining the superstar combo in the NBA, and it’s because D-Wade is okay with giving it up for ‘Bron. James is the best player in the game, but to his teammate, he’s still improving. In-between talking about how great Miami is at dressing up (no, he really said this), Wade told ESPNChicago.com that LeBron is still only scratching the surface of his talent. No, he’s not going to be averaging 35 and 15s anytime soon. But his dominance is still growing. It’s scary, and we believe him … Jeff Green says he’s fully recovered from the surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm that caused him to miss all of last season. The question is, are the Celtics ready for him to come back? We always felt he was misused during his 35 games (including the playoffs) in Boston. For his career, Green is only a 34 percent three-point shooter, so why would you turn him into a corner jump shooter? It defies logic. With so many players who needed the ball – Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, even Kevin Garnett and at times, Ray Allen – Green was a spectator. The thinking was they would bring him in to anchor the second unit, but in the playoffs, honestly, the second unit really doesn’t matter. Minutes are cut, rotations are shortened, and as a bench player, you have a four minute window in each half to make something happen. If you don’t jump on it, you’ll be on the pine the rest of the night. Anyone who watched Green in OKC, and witnessed the way the emergence of Russell Westbrook eased him out of the spotlight, knows you have to design a part of your offense to keep him involved. If not, then what’s the point? He’ll float around the perimeter and fail to stand out. If you trade your soul (Kendrick Perkins) for him, you might as well use him. If not, he’ll turn into the bad end of someone’s misplaced heart joke … And did you catch the time we spent on the 10 worst trends in basketball since the turn of the century? We’ll be rolling some of the new magazine content out on the site over the next few weeks so stay tuned … Keep reading to hear about who signed off on the Clippers signing Matt Barnes …

Contrary to what people like Wade are saying, it’s going to take some time for the Lakers to gel together. Sure, a pick-n-roll combo of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash looks phenomenal on paper, but how often will they be able to run that thing before Kobe pulls Mike Brown to the side and lets him know he’s not about to be a perimeter decoy? How often is Pau Gasol willing to be a fourth option? He thought he had it bad this year… wait until the season starts in October. Gasol will be lucky to get 10 good looks a night. And now, thanks to Dwight’s back surgery, the team will need to wait a little longer to have everyone together. It doesn’t appear, reports ESPN, like the big man will be ready for the start of training camp, and his status for opening night is very much in doubt. The back surgery was expected to knock him out for six to seven months, so he’s still on schedule. But try telling this to any Laker fans. They’ll call you a hater, and proclaim Howard healthy, and the rest of the Lakers ready to go 82-0 … Blake Griffin signed off on the Matt Barnes deal, according to The Sporting News. We’re not surprised. The Clippers now have their crazy guy (Lamar Odom doesn’t count… yet) in what was just another instance of a player refusing to leave L.A. But we question where this dude is going to play. Seriously, you already have Grant Hill and Caron Butler. Barnes on the bench is an unhappy Barnes, and that’s never a good thing. However, what made this whole thing interesting is that Barnes decked Griffin during last season’s preseason and apparently, the Clippers weren’t making any move unless it had the blessing of their star forward … We told you recently about the real price of LeBron’s latest sneaker. Now, take a look at Kevin Durant‘s newest joint: the KD V. They’ve gone away from the strap, and even though the IVs were dope in part because of the versatility of the strap, we can’t say we’re mad … And we know Amar’e Stoudemire spent part of this summer working on his Dream Shake with Hakeem Olajuwon. Now, the former Houston legend is coming to New York to train, like, half of New York’s damn roster. Amar’e, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Marcus Camby are all going to get some pointers from Olajuwon, according to ESPNNewYork.com. We know tips from Hakeem carry a pretty big price, so just imagine how much New York will have to shell out for this … We’re out like Dwight Howard.

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