@approxinfinity Interesting. Hoping especially for Kirk a chance to play for a team that could win it all. Mario hopefully returns to form.
As for Stephenson, interesting that all three guys on that list have KU ties. Lance was committed to KU, but arrests and Xavier’s signing caused him to back out is what I call. He was not a very high character type person.
Poor Mario… he must be saying to himself, “not again!”
Reunion between LBJ and the whipping boy. I guess everyone who plays with LBJ these days is a whipping boy…
I miss MJ.
Great article on Mario from Cleveland Plain Dealer’s web site:
Mario Chalmers would be good fit with Cleveland Cavaliers, says ex-teammate James Jones
By Chris Fedor, cleveland.com on February 01, 2017 at 8:10 PM, updated February 01, 2017 at 9:52 PM
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue wouldn’t divulge too much information about the team’s four-player point guard workout, but Mario Chalmers’ presence at Cleveland Clinic Courts Wednesday afternoon has one of his former teammates thinking about a reunion.
“Of course,” James Jones told cleveland.com when asked about whether Chalmers would be a good fit. "I played with him and I won with him. I won championships with him and usually under pressure is where you can learn the most about a person and see how they deal with adversity so of course (he’s a fit).
“I’ve always been a Mario Chalmers fan and always will be. Not just because he’s an ex-teammate, but because he’s a good player.”
Chalmers spent his first eight seasons with the Miami Heat, teaming up with Jones and LeBron James, helping Miami advance to four straight NBA Finals. The group won back-to-back titles together before James rejoined the Cavaliers.
“He’s a player. People try to put you in a box and say you’re a shooter, defender, passer, but Rio is a player,” Jones said. "If you need him to shoot it he can shoot it. If you need him to make passes he can. If you need him to defend he can do all those things. But in big moments he’s fearless.
“He’s hard-headed at some points, hard-headed because he’s extremely confident in his skill set and the things he’s capable of doing because he works so hard. Great kid and brother to me also. Nothing but great things to say about him.”
During the 2015 season, Miami sent Chalmers to Memphis in a four-player deal. He was averaging a career-high 10.8 points with the Grizzlies before suffering a torn Achilles on March 9, and hasn’t played since. Following a lengthy rehab, Chalmers finally got cleared to resume basketball activities in August.
Jones stayed in touch with Chalmers throughout. He also tried to keep his spirits up, give the kind of advice that has helped Jones become one of the stronger voices in the Cavs’ locker room.
“We communicate from time to time,” Jones said. “Coming back from an injury is a lonely process. What I mean is that you spend a lot of time alone and learn a lot about yourself, but he’s doing well. He pushed hard, he worked hard to come back from that and he’s feeling well and moving well. I’m just glad that he’s back and doing what he loves, which is playing basketball.”
In an article for the Player’s Tribune, Chalmers wrote about the fight to return from the same injury that has derailed numerous careers and usually takes at least a year for a player to fully recover.
He used Kobe Bryant’s recovery as motivation and studied up as much as he could while he couldn’t walk or drive early in the process. Chalmers had to learn how to run again and spent lots of time working to rebuild his speed and quickness, two traits that have always aided his game.
But Jones, knowing Chalmers the way he does, isn’t shocked to see him back, competing for Cleveland’s open roster spot.
“You ask anyone who has been injured or has had any type of career-threatening injury and they will tell you initially the first response is despair and disbelief,” Jones said. “It’s crushing when your body fails you because that’s our instrument for success. I’m not surprised that he looked at it and gathered himself and said, ‘Hey I’m going to fight back regardless of the end result’ because that’s just who he is.”
There are plenty of logical reasons for Chalmers, if healthy and effective, to be considered the front-runner of Wednesday’s point guard group. But only the Cavs know that answer after watching him move around.
Chalmers has ties with players in the locker room, brings feistiness on the defensive end that has been missing in the absence of Matthew Dellavedova and has already proven he can run a championship team.
“When you have an expectation of excellence and you have an expectation to win, that becomes your level,” Jones said of Chalmers’ championship makeup. "You function on a higher level and you function on a level of winning. Anything less than winning isn’t satisfactory.
“When you have guys that you talk about a championship mindset and championship mentality that’s not something that’s just spawn, it’s something you develop and something that you grow into. Only way to do that is to have success and have failure, but most importantly, have success at the most challenging moments. To be able to do that in high school, college and professionally says a lot about the opportunities that were presented and even more about you taking advantage of those opportunities, which everyone doesn’t do.”
As for Chalmers, his motivation is simple.
“I want to get back to the Finals,” he wrote Wednesday. “Once you know what it takes to get there, you can’t play any other way.”
Here is the link:
@mayjay Here is the article written by Chalmers referenced above:
Looks like Kirk and Mario may have out-negotiated themselves. From ESPN:
Sources: Jordan Farmar impresses Cavs, would accept 10-day contract
9:39 PM ET Dave McMenamin ESPN Staff Writer A leader has emerged from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ free-agent minicamp Wednesday in the luxury-tax-laden team’s search for an additional playmaker: Jordan Farmar.
Farmar was given assurances that if anyone was to be signed by the Cavs from the workout, it would be him, a source familiar with the workout told ESPN.
Aside from an impressive showing by Farmar on Wednesday, there was a practical side to Cleveland’s interest. According to a source, Farmar is open to signing a 10-day contract – as is Lance Stephenson – while a league source told ESPN that both Mario Chalmers and Kirk Hinrich would only agree to join the team if the Cavs tendered a guaranteed contract for the rest of the season.
Going into the workout, Chalmers was considered the favorite to earn a spot on the Cavs considering his history alongside LeBron James as the Miami Heat’s primary starting point guard during the franchise’s four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals from 2011 to '14.
However, Cleveland does not want to commit to a long-term solution with its only remaining open roster spot at the moment, preferring to keep it open to see what deals present themselves as the Feb. 23 trade deadline draws nearer.
Cleveland also wants to have a roster spot open should an attractive candidate land as a free agent when the buyout market begins. To be eligible for the postseason, any player who has appeared in an NBA game this season must be waived (or bought out) by March 1.
A source familiar with Cleveland’s roster plans told ESPN the Cavs will aggressively pursue trade destinations for the injured Chris “Birdman” Andersen to try to open up another roster spot that could be used to land a buyout player.
Farmar, 30, has career averages of 7.7 points and 2.9 assists in 10 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey Nets, L.A. Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings. Farmar was cut by the Kings before opening night this season, only to rejoin them nine days later and play two games before being released again when Darren Collison returned from suspension.
Farmar is in a “holding pattern,” a source told ESPN, as he flew back to L.A. following the workout in Cleveland and is awaiting the Cavs’ decision.
Mario Chalmers, Point Guard - The Players’ Tribune
MARIO CHALMERS POINT GUARD
"A couple months after I hit the biggest shot of my life, and maybe in Kansas basketball history — a three-pointer that tied the score in final seconds of the 2008 national championship game — that moment already felt like a long time ago. It was June and I was in NYC for the NBA draft. It wasn’t all the fanfare you’d imagine. I didn’t get an invite to the green room, but I wanted to go to the draft regardless. I dressed to impress and sat in the stands at MSG with my family.
My agent kept updating me after each name was called. I guess it was a good lesson for me at that age not to believe the hype, but that night as I watched, my stomach sank with each name that was called.
Thirty-three names were called before I heard mine.
When I got drafted by the Timberwolves, in the second round with the 34th pick — I was eventually traded to Miami — I felt ready to prove to the other 29 teams in the league that they had been wrong about me. (A handful of them had been wrong, twice, too.) I had a chip on my shoulder because of how the draft had gone — teams had told me at my draft workouts that I’d go much higher. To see so many guys go in front of me was tough. I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder, I think, so I guess it makes sense that I had another one there when my career began.
I remember my first game with the Heat. It was at MSG. Everyone knows how confident I am, and I was going against someone I already knew, Jamal Crawford. I had watched him when I was growing up, and played against him out in the Seattle area. So it was a great experience. I felt at ease. Pro basketball was the same sport I had always known.
I enjoyed that first year a lot, and learned that I had a place in the league. But just because I wasn’t fazed by the big stage didn’t mean that I wasn’t in awe of the guys I was facing. Going against A.I. when he was in Detroit, playing against Bron — those are great memories. And playing against KD when we were both young dudes was cool. (When I was at KU, we beat his Texas team twice. Just saying.) T-Mac was one of my all-time favorite players growing up and I got to play against him, too. As a rookie I had to make sure not to get caught watching too much.
But I never felt intimidated by it. I ended up with averages of 10.0 points, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals. I’m most proud that I was able to start all 82 games.
Not a bad rookie season for a second-round pick.
That off-season, I had to adjust my game to fit the role that the coaches wanted me to play in Miami. I tried my best to focus on being a lockdown defender. We ended up having one of the best defensive backcourts in basketball. I’ve always been proud of that.
I entered my second year in the NBA as a player who’d already gotten 82 games — plus a playoff series — under his belt. I felt like things were getting back on track. The sting I had felt on draft night was getting less painful.
But it wasn’t all good. We lost a lot more than I was used to. Dwyane Wade was as good as ever, but Shaq was gone by then and we were struggling just to stay above .500. For me, I had always been part of a winning team or program, all the way back to high school. The losing thing was new to me.
Then, midway through my second year, I tore a ligament in my left thumb. I was only out for a month, but that’s when I realized how much an injury can change things. It was a reminder how fragile my career was.
After that season, LeBron and Chris came to Miami. Ya’ll might remember that.
Everyone remembers the NBA Finals against the Mavericks — we should have won that series. We were the better team. In the Finals, you want to leave everything that you have on the court. The last time I had played in that kind of atmosphere, of so much energy and pressure, I was wearing a Jayhawks uniform. That time we walked off into the sunset as winners. But the reality is, you can’t do that every time. Losing in the Finals that first year with Bron and D Wade left an impression on me. It was fuel for me, and I wanted to use every drop of it going forward.
Be Ready For The Comeback
Next In the years that followed, I came to understand what it was like to be a contributor on a world champion. I didn’t just learn how to win games, I also learned what it was like to hold up my end of a winning culture. Playing with guys like D Wade and Bron, who had both been to the Finals in previous seasons, you didn’t want to be the guy they looked at and said, “We lost ’cause of him.” Those two guys looked at me like a little brother, so all those times you saw them yelling at me, that was brotherly love, man. (But it was also real yelling!)
Those early years made me learn that a big part of the secret to success in the NBA is getting into the right situation. What I loved about Memphis after I was traded there in November 2015 was that I could come in as the sixth man and still be able to run the team while having the freedom to play how I like to play. You might think it was a step down for me to come off the bench, but I jelled with the Grizzlies’ second unit right away. Watching Vince Carter, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, I picked up a lot of little things. They had a lot of respect for my experience, too. They asked me all the time about the championships that I won in Miami and how it felt to win it all. They even asked me to bring in my rings so they could have a good look at them.
In my third game with Memphis, I scored 29 in a win over Oklahoma City — and I went toe-to-toe with Russell Westbrook the whole way.
But then, on March 9, 2016, I tore my Achilles. I knew that people like Kobe had come back from that injury and resumed their careers. If he could do it, I knew I could do it, too. So I never let doubt take over.
But for a while, early in the rehab process, it was slow going.
I couldn’t do anything, and I wasn’t supposed to. I couldn’t drive. I couldn’t walk. I had a little scooter that I got around on. My mom, my dad or my older sister, Roneka — basically whoever was around — took me where I needed to go. Besides bingeing through the end of Narcos, I used all the time I had on my hands to learn about the Achilles — how I tore it and what it was going to take to rehab it. I just wanted to do a lot of research and figure it out for myself. At the time, I didn’t know what I was up against. Knowing myself, that was a good thing.
Once I was able to start playing again, my main focus was getting my speed back. That was the main thing that I thought I was lacking after my injury — that and jumping ability. I just wanted to get back to my normal form, and quickness has always been a big part of my game. Rehab was so intense. It was every day. And progress was excruciatingly slow. There are no automatic breakthroughs. I had to learn how to run again — how to accelerate and then be able to stop on a dime. I’m confident that I’ll be able to showcase my progress this year.
All in all, I wasn’t allowed to do any basketball work for five months after my surgery last spring. That was the longest I’d ever been without basketball, by far. But that was also the time when I realized that I wasn’t done. I want to get back to the Finals. Once you know what it takes to get there, you can’t play any other way.
So what’s next?
Be ready for a comeback. It’s coming soon."
MARIO CHALMERS /