Calvin Murphy says the rumors about LeBron’s mom are true


During an interview Thursday with local ESPN Houston affiliate 97.5 FM radio station, retired Houston Rockets guard Calvin Murphy claimed that according to his sources inside the NBA, the rumored affair between LeBron James’ mother Gloria and Cavaliers teammate Delonte West is ”absolutely true.”

In his interview with the hosts of “The Drive,” when asked what he thought of the rumor, Murphy was quoted as saying, “It ain’t no rumor. Unfortunately, my sources in the NBA tell me that it’s absolutely true. My sources, and they’re legit, tell me the only people that didn’t know it was happening was LeBron and me.”

Listen to the interview here.

He went on to predict that LeBron will sign with another team this summer.

The rumor goes that LeBron learned about the news before Game 4, which could explain his suspect performance in that game. Let’s not overlook the fact that Delonte West went 0-7 for three points in that same game.

I don’t know what’s going to happen this summer, but I’d bet the farm that LeBron and Delonte aren’t on the same team next season.

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Cavs/Celtics draws near record viewers

Per Multichannel News…

ESPN’s exclusive telecast of the Eastern Conference semifinal Game 6 on May 13 averaged a 6.6 household rating and 8.93 million viewers, according to Nielsen data, the second most ever for the network with a basketball game. Celts-Cavs trailed only the 6.9 rating and 9.88 million watchers ESPN averaged with its Game 4 coverage of the 2009 Western Conference finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets.

The Cleveland/Boston telecast is now ESPN’s highest-rated and most-viewed conference semifinal to date, surpassing last year’s Game 6 between the Lakers and Houston Rockets, which posted a 5.4 rating and 7.35 million viewers.

ESPN officials said the May 13 telecast is the worldwide leader’s third most-viewed program of 2010 and the fifth most-watched NBA playoff game in cable history among households and viewers.

Now that LeBron has been eliminated from the postseason, it will be interesting to see if his pending free agency overshadows what is shaping up to be a pretty competitive NBA final four.

More Cavs/Celtics Fallout

Bill Simmons, ESPN: You cannot call what happened in the Cavs-Celtics series an upset. Boston played better in five of the six games. The C’s had four of the five best players. They were better defensively. Their best player (Rajon Rondo) played better than Cleveland’s best player (LeBron James). They had playoff-proven guys who kept coming through. They had better crowds. They showed more heart. This was not an upset … but still, it felt like one. And only because we were duped by Cleveland’s faux urgency (for most of the season, it felt genuine) and Boston’s retro-urgency (for most of the season, it was dormant). The playoffs hinge on toughness, chemistry, defense, leadership and urgency. Cleveland lost all those battles. Every one of them. … If he cares about winning titles (multiple) and reaching his full potential as a player, he has only one move: the Chicago Bulls. That’s always been the play. If you’ve been listening to my podcast or reading this column, you know that I’ve been touting this possibility since the winter, and here’s why: Deep down, I think LeBron (and, just as important, the people around him) realizes that he needs one more kick-ass player to make his life easier. That means Miami or Chicago. And really, I can’t imagine him signing with Miami because Dwyane Wade is almost too good. LeBron wants help, but he doesn’t want to be perceived as riding someone else’s coattails, either. Wade might be the best player alive for all we know — he certainly was in 2006, and he’s been banged-up and trapped on bad teams ever since. No, Chicago makes more sense. Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah proved they were warriors these past two springs. They could be LeBron’s Pippen/Grant or McHale/DJ. Easily. Rose could take the creative load off LeBron on nights when he doesn’t have it. Rose could come through a few times in the clutch. Rose could hide some of LeBron’s faults. It’s the single smartest basketball move for LeBron James.

Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don’t Lie: Whether by design or defeat or both, he’s made it possible to get out while the going is great. To hand-pick another group of sycophants to have his way and never have to answer for His Way, however misguided. The tri-state area, Miami, Chicago, who knows? He doesn’t even want to know. He just wants to get back to remembering what it’s like to be the self-proclaimed “King.” The sort of guy who has to remind you what he wants his nickname to be. Doesn’t have to answer for nine turnovers in a deciding game. Won’t have to answer for not attempting to take control of the game until the latter stages of the fourth quarter, and only in the form of a couple of desperate 3-pointers that happened to go in. Won’t have to answer for that defense, which was embarrassing. Just has to answer to the question, “Who’s the NBA’s best player?” It’s still James, you know. Just because we don’t really care for him at the present, it doesn’t take away from his greatness. We’ve all got brains big enough to handle him being the game’s best player and a crushing failure as a leader when it counted most in this series. If anything, it should add to the enmity that you’ve no doubt developed over the last week for this ghost. This person who should know better, but doesn’t want to hear it.

Israel Gutierrez, Miami Herald: If it is true that James is about winning first, as he insisted in his postgame, post-series, post-Cleveland interview Thursday, then this is an automatic. If his obvious frustration with Cavs teammates and their inability to function without him is a driving force for LeBron, then playing alongside Wade will offer him exactly what he desires. When you consider that the Heat can sell a player like Michael Beasley to a team with salary-cap space to create enough space to sign a third substantial star, possibly a big man like an Amare Stoudemire or Carlos Boozer, then it only makes Miami more intriguing because of the real possibility a true dynasty can exist. There are two arguments against Miami that tend to dominate, neither of them making much sense. The first tends to be ego. As in, James’ ego won’t let him come to Wade’s town and not be the obvious attraction. It might be Wade’s town, but in basketball terms, it’s LeBron’s world, as Kevin Garnett confirmed after Thursday’s game. It has been for a half decade, practically, and sharing space with Wade can only help his global takeover because it’ll finally offer him that championship that has escaped him. No matter where he goes, James will not play second fiddle. Besides, it’s practically necessary these days, when you think about it, to have a player of similarly superstar caliber by your side. Kobe Bryant had arguably the best post player in the league, at the time, helping him win each of his four titles, first Shaquille O’Neal and now Pau Gasol. No one does this alone.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Leaving is the easy thing to do

Heading into this year’s playoffs, the conventional wisdom was that if the Cavs won a title, or at least made it to the Finals, LeBron James would likely re-sign to continue his quest for a championship. But if the Cavs suffered another pre-Finals flame out like last year’s Eastern Conference Finals loss to the Magic, he would sign elsewhere.

Well, we all know what happened. An aging but experienced (and cohesive) Celtics team basically dismantled the Cavs in the last three games of the series. Every Celtic knew his role and team flat out executed better, both offensively and defensively.

Where does this leave LeBron? He said after the game that his team had “a plan” and was going to execute that plan. Forget the fact that a few questions before he was asked if he had a plan and answered with a resounding, “No.” Of course he has a plan. He’s being disingenuous when he says that he hasn’t thought about the different scenarios that could play out this postseason and offseason.

He’s clearly not happy with Mike Brown. And he can’t be happy with Antawn Jamison, Shaquille O’Neal or even Mo Williams, who scored well in Game 6, but was very up and down in the series. Shaq won’t be back, and Brown is probably on his way out too. He had a tough task of trying to keep team cohesion with the mid-season introduction of Jamison and the late-season loss of O’Neal. But the bottom line is that over the past two seasons he’s had more talent than his opposition and hasn’t gotten it done. If Dan Gilbert thinks that firing Brown increases the possibility that LeBron will re-up, then he’ll do it in a New York minute.

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Celtics/Cavs Fallout

Brian Windhorst, The Cavs were closer to beating the Orlando Magic last season than they were the Celtics this season. This is regression. Playing the way they did against the Bulls and the Celtics, they would not have beaten the Magic this season. Or the Lakers. Or probably the Suns. Right now the Cavs maybe, maybe are the fifth-best team in the league, and James and Shaquille O’Neal are headed for free agency. This was not the team that won 61 games, obviously. The Cavs haven’t been that team since they beat the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks in the first week of April to pretty much wrap up the No. 1 seed. They took the foot off the pedal after that and they never recovered. It was compounded by the fact that O’Neal didn’t return until the start of the playoffs, which had him in the starting lineup with Antawn Jamison for the first time ever and pushed a player who started 73 games in J.J. Hickson out of the rotation. Stuff like that doesn’t just happen and everything is OK, there’s damage from those types of changes. With a couple exceptions, when frankly they just got red hot shooting the ball, the Cavs were a shell of themselves in the playoffs. Some of it was rhythm. Some of it was effort, actually a lot of it was effort. Some of it was chemistry problems. Some of it was coaching. Some of it was the opponents they were playing. The Celtics were masterful. Guess what? The Magic would have been even tougher.

Terry Pluto, Cleveland Plain Dealer: Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has to be distraught by watching his team lose their last two home games by a combined 50 points to Boston. He watched his team being out-hustled, out-rebounded and out-defended by the Celtics, who averaged 100 points per game in this series. It was the Cavs who were supposed to be a physical, gritty team. It was Brown who was supposed to prepare the Cavs to win in the postseason. It was James who was supposed to finally win a championship in his seventh year in Cleveland. All of it is gone in less than a week. Brown has done an admirable job in his five seasons. But since reaching the 2007 finals, the Cavs have been eliminated in the Eastern Conference finals in 2009, and been knocked out twice by Boston in the second round (2008, 2010). Gilbert bought this team to win a title. He knows that James is The Franchise, and James has said he’ll make his decision on where to sign as a free agent this summer based on where he has the best chance to win. While not criticizing his coach, James also has not offered much public support for Brown. That could mean a coaching change with the Cavs.

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