Donatas Urbonas: Domantas Sabonis made it to the NBA All-Star game! Only the 2nd Lithuanian player in NBA history after Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Well deserved!
Tom Orsborn: Nothing official from the NBA yet, but @Shams Charania's report means that for only the third time in the 43 All-Star Games that have been played since the ABA/NBA merger in 1976 – and for the first time since 1997 – the elite contest will not include a player from the Spurs.
Shams Charania: Sources: 2020 NBA All-Star reserves: East: Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Ben Simmons, Khris Middleton, Jayson Tatum, Bam Adebayo, Domas Sabonis West: Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert, Brandon Ingram, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul
Jeff Siegel: Sabonis has a $1.3 million bonus in his rookie scale extension for making the All-Star Team. Unfortunately, that bonus doesn't count for this year, so he won't get paid out on that, but it will count as likely for next year.
Fred Katz: Scott Brooks on how much time he takes working on his all-star ballot: “Enough time. I look into it. I talk to my assistants. … Winning does (matter), but it’s not the only thing."
Tom Westerholm: Jayson Tatum was asked if it would be a rush to make the All-Star game. “Yeah. (It would) feel good to hear some good news."
Scott Agness: Bulls coach Jim Boylen on Domantas Sabonis: “I think he is an All-Star. His play has been terrific.” All-Star reserves, voted on by the conference coaches, will be announced Thursday evening.
Eric Walden: Donovan Mitchell, on the possibility of being named an All-Star: “It’d be an incredible honor, for sure. ... Hopefully I’ll get the call. ... I would love to make it. If I don’t, we have bigger things to focus on. Even if I do make it, we still have bigger things to focus on. pic.twitter.com/wsHKU3eHld
Candace Buckner: Scott Brooks on #Bucks forward Khris Middleton: “Make sure you tell him I voted for him. So he doesn’t take anything out on me, or the (#Wizards).”
Peter Edmiston: Nuggets coach Mike Malone on Ja Morant: "I think he's a hell of a player but he's not an All-Star yet, in my opinion. He's got to go through his growing pains. He's Rookie of the Year, though."
Josh Lewenberg: Nurse on Lowry-"If that guy isn't on an all-star ballot considering the last 18 months & where our team is, that's unfathomable to me. If anybody that has a decent knowledge of the game would keep him off then, well, it doesn't make sense to me. It wouldn't make any sense at all"
Bam Adebayo has to wait until Thursday to find out if he will be named to his first All-Star Game. Jimmy Butler, however, doesn't need to. "He will be," Butler said Monday after the Miami Heat's 113-92 win over the Orlando Magic at AmericanAirlines Arena when asked if his teammate will be an All-Star this season. "No doubt."
On Thursday, Zach LaVine will find out whether he makes his first All-Star game as a coaches’ reserve selection. “Zach deserves to be an All-Star,” executive vice president John Paxson said. “I know we don’t have as many wins as we all would like. But nobody can ignore what he has done and it would be (an oversight) if he doesn’t get recognized.”
If he doesn’t, LaVine, and the Bulls, will be disappointed. But missing out shouldn’t obscure what is becoming a special season for LaVine. Saturday’s masterpiece of 44 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in a road victory over the Cavaliers is just the latest example. With averages of 30 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in January, he’ll also draw strong consideration for Eastern Conference player of the month.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra responded swiftly to swingman Jimmy Butler not being selected as a starter for next month's NBA All-Star Game in Chicago, calling his omission "a joke" and adding that he's hopeful it will help change the voting process. "I just think it's ridiculous that we're still in these antiquated positions," Spoelstra said before Friday night's 122-117 loss to the LA Clippers. "So who's to say what position Jimmy is? Does it matter? I put him No. 2 on my [lineup] card. So I go Kendrick Nunn, Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson, I go Bam [Adebayo] and then Meyers [Leonard]. But you could flip any one of those guys around. And in many ways he's our point guard. So should he be in the All-Star Game as a point guard? I don't know.
Andrew Greif: Paul George has played 26 games. Does Doc Rivers think he has a case to be an All-Star? "There’s the case by his numbers but it depends on what they’re going to go by. I typically go by record a lot, so that gives him a boost. Then games played, that probably will hurt him."
Sarah K. Spencer: John Collins on Trae Young being named an All-Star starter: "It's the star power. It just speaks for itself. His ability to be on the team that he's on, play the way he plays and attract the attention he's garnering, it's pretty impressive."
Ira Winderman: Spoelstra, on Adebayo's All-Star chances, "He better be in, by the coaches, with the year that he's having. . . That's an All-Star year by any measure."
Tim Reynolds: Spo thinks All-Star starters should be positionless. He’s right. “These are such antiquated labels,” Spo said. He adds that Butler should be a starter. “It’s a joke that he’s not,” Spo adds.
Michael Singer: Malone on All-Star vote: “If (Nikola) wasn’t, this would be the biggest conspiracy since JFK. I’d have to find the Zapruder film.” Also added, with a bit of Cajun spice: “There’s not many Nikola Jokic’s waking around in the NBA in my very humble, uninformed, ignorant opinion.”
Josh Lewenberg: Pascal Siakam is the first 27th-overall pick in NBA history to be voted in as an All-Star starter. He's the third 27th-overall pick to ever be an All-Star and the first since Dennis Rodman in 1992.
This moment will last FOREVER! Ice Trae is a starter in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game! (via @nba) - - - - - #TrueToAtlanta 12h
Erik Garcia Gundersen: Rick Carlisle on Dame tonight: "Before the game I tried to pass a note down to their locker room to tell Lillard that he had my all star vote. Obviously he didn't get the note but he had my vote before he went for 47 against us."
No surprise, Beal was not named one of the two starting Eastern Conference guards when the NBA announced the duo Thursday for its upcoming All-Star Game. The league had spent the previous few weeks releasing progressive fan voting. Beal was consistently ninth on the list. But player and media votes were due Jan. 20, and little did the world know there was a little jolt once the final results glided onto the internet: He finished second in the player vote. “That’s cool. It’s definitely respect, for sure,” Beal said Thursday after scoring 36 points during a 124-112 win in Cleveland. “And that’s why I always feel like the players and coaches should have a higher, more stronger percentage of the votes than the fans. But to each his own.”
Kerry Eggers: Terry Stotts on Mavs’ All-Star Luka Doncic: "He’s in the MVP discussion. What he’s doing is remarkable for a 20-year-old 2nd-year player. He does everything for them. They have the No. 1 offense in the league & that’s mainly because of what he does. He makes his teammates better"
Brad Townsend: Doncic was scheduled to speak, but since bus arrived late he was anxious to get on the court and warm up. “I’m really excited, guys, thank you,” he said over his shoulder on way out of locker room.
Micah Adams: Most years as leading All-Star vote-getter Michael Jordan - 9 LeBron James- 7 Vince Carter - 4 Kobe Bryant - 4 Julius Erving - 4 Dwight Howard - 2 Yao Ming - 2 Grant Hill - 2 Magic Johnson - 2 George Gervin - 2
Mark Followill: It's official. Luka is an All-Star game starter. The only other Mavs player picked as a starter through the fan voting process is Jason Kidd in 1996. Dirk was a starter as a replacement for injured starters in 2007 and 2010
Gerald Bourguet: Per NBA PR, Luka Doncic and Trae Young are just the second pair of 21-and-under starters in the All-Star Game (Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett in 1998). Also the first time with multiple-second-year players since Grant Hill and Jason Kidd in 1996.
Jonathan Feigen: James Harden selected as an All-Star for eighth time, second in franchise history to Haleem Olajuwon's 12. Other starters from West: LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis and Luka Doncic.
Alex Kennedy: NBA players typically pick their friends/teammates rather than take the All-Star starter vote seriously. The following players received MULTIPLE player votes: Jordan Bone, Miye Oni, Ryan Broekhoff, Chimezie Metu, Jarrell Brantley, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Chris Boucher.
Tim Reynolds: Rematch! LeBron James is the captain from the West. Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis again at the All-Star Game. James, as the leading votegetter, will pick first among starters. Antetokounmpo will have the first pick for the reserves.
Shams Charania: 2020 West All-Star starters: Dallas’ Luka Doncic Houston’s James Harden Lakers’ LeBron James (captain) Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard Lakers’ Anthony Davis
Sarah K. Spencer: The Hawks fly to OKC this afternoon — that means Trae Young gets to watch from home with family as All-Star starters are announced. "Hopefully some good news comes out of it... For me being able to watch it and tune in, being in Oklahoma, and playing in OKC, that's a dream."
Anthony Chiang: NBA All-Star starters will be announced today at 7 p.m. Bam Adebayo is not expected to make it in as a starter, but it's expected to be a close call for Jimmy Butler.
For his part, Towns said he’s not thinking about the All-Star game too much, even after he was emotional last season after being selected. “It would be an honor. But, for me, I'm not even worried about that to tell you honestly,” Towns said. “I just worry about winning. That's the only thing. I don't wake and say, 'I need to get these amount of points and these rebounds and these statistics for an All-Star bid.' The last thing I'm thinking about is the All-Star bid. I'm trying to figure out ways to get wins for my team, my organization, and to find better ways to lead.”
Connor Letourneau: Steve Kerr on Ja Morant's All-Star candidacy: "I think he'll get real consideration. He's a great player."
Gerald Bourguet: Monty Williams says he’s done all he can do to make it known around the league how deserving Devin Booker is of an All-Star selection this year. “You’d be hard-pressed to name another guard who’s *that* much better than Devin.”
Playing in the Rising Stars Challenge certainly isn’t a make-or-break deal or even an accurate reflection of a player’s rookie year. But it is an opportunity for Culver to be around the best players in the league that should only help his confidence. “I think that he’s very deserving of that,” Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders said Tuesday. “You look around the league and Jarrett, the way he’s come on and the way he’s progressed, his improvement and development is a great story over this last month here. . . Being around other players like that, being around other All-Stars . . . that will really help Jarrett.”
Monday was the final day of fan All-Star voting. For Alex Caruso, it was greeted with an exhale. The 25-year-old guard has enjoyed riding the wave of a surge of fan voting, clocking in a No. 4 among Western Conference guards last Thursday ahead of such esteemed players as Russell Westbrook, Donovan Mitchell and Devin Booker. But fun is fun. Even Caruso isn’t stumping for himself at this point.
But owing to his status as a social media cult hero for the league’s most popular franchise, he’s gotten a boost among fan voting. And, yes, he gets a kick out of it. “Obviously I enjoy it. I love fans, and the fact that I have fans is an amazing thing in general,” he said. “But yeah, kind of ready for it to move along, give the guys who deserve it their attention and getting back to regular games.”
The run was fun, Caruso said. But he’s ready for it to be over. “There are people who are very deserving who have had great years,” he said. “Fans do what fans do. Especially in the era of social media that we live in, once something catches fire, it just spreads. Like I said, I appreciate all the love. But the guys who deserve it, deserve it.”
The most likely candidate to continue the Spurs’ streak is DeMar DeRozan, who has scored 21 or more points in the last 12 games in a row and 30 or better in three of the last four outings. During that 12-game span, the four-time All-Star is averaging 27.3 points and 5.7 assists while shooting 65.1 percent from the field. “The fan vote is kind of a popularity contest, but obviously DeMar should be in it with what he’s been doing, especially this last month or so,” Spurs guard Derrick White said after shootaround in preparation for Friday’s game with Atlanta.
“Look at DeMar this past month or so, he’s been doing really great things, and L.A. as well,” Spurs guard Lonnie Walker said. “But you know what? We are not here to worry about All-Star Games. We are here to try to make it to the playoffs and have a great run.”
JD Shaw: Here are the third fan returns of NBA All-Star 2020 Voting, which ends Monday: pic.twitter.com/yR0MReSvsV
Michael Scotto: Kyrie Irving on possibly starting with Trae Young for the East in the All-Star Game: “I remember taking that picture with Trae in Oklahoma City. It’s pretty amazing to see what he’s been able to do in his first two years. If that does happen, that would be great.”
Q: All-Star weekend is coming to Chicago. What would mean for you to be in the real game? Derrick Rose: It would be cool. But right now, we’re losing. That’s the only thing that’s been on my mind right now, trying to fix things here with the team. There has been a lot of long nights just trying to think and trying to put together a plan. I can only do so much. Just trying to control what I can control and be a leader for this team. Whatever this team needs, just try to be there. Being back in Chicago, I know people in Chicago are going to love it. It’s something we’ve been missing for a long time. The excitement, the buzz around it has been great. When is the last time they had it, with Mike [Jordan]?
Ryan Ward: #Lakers’ LeBron James has passed #Mavs’ Luka Dončić and #Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo to lead the #NBA in the second fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting. pic.twitter.com/AQFwNqppct
Brad Stevens reacts to the amount of votes for Tacko Fall for All-Star Game: "Obviously he's played like 10 minutes here, so he shouldn't be sixth in All-Star voting, but I get it."
“He’s playing like a dominant force,” Mitchell said. “When he’s decisive and just goes out there and tries to punish people on both ends of the floor, he turns into the All-Star that he is. Nights like this, and nights like Detroit, he did the same thing. He’s playing at a really high level right now.” But will Gobert be an All-Star? That’s the pressing question. He’s averaging 14 points and 14 rebounds per game. His game isn’t flashy. He’s not going to dribble between his legs or throw down highlight dunks. His game, for how impactful it is, is still quiet to the casual fan. It’s the reason why he hasn’t made a dent in the fan vote. It’s the reason why Boston Celtics rookie Tacko Fall has more votes than he does.
Gobert finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks in Utah's 102-98 victory against the Chicago Bulls on Thursday. "It's still a goal of mine of course, but our No. 1 focus is for us to keep getting better and to win games," Gobert told ESPN. "The rest is gonna take care of itself.
"I think for him, he's been here longer than me, he's been underrated for his whole career," Mitchell said. "I think he probably saw what happened, probably saw the [All-Star] voting and was like, 'All right, cool,' and went out there and dominated the game like he was supposed to. He's gonna keep doing it and it's not gonna be based off of whether he's in the All-Star voting with the fans or not, he deserves it and I think he'll get it."
But Gobert paid it no attention as he scanned his phone. He first looked at scores from around the NBA and made note that the Dallas Mavericks indeed hung on to beat the Brooklyn Nets. He was then asked if he saw the initial returns from All-Star voting, in which he didn’t make the top 10, and he said he hadn’t used that omission as motivation. And Donovan Mitchell is calling hogwash. “I guarantee you big fella saw it,” Mitchell said. “He sees everything.”
Farbod Esnaashari: Montrezl Harrell on All-Star game aspirations: "It's not up for me to decide... I don't really pay attention to any individual goals or individual accolades. It's about the team, and I want to be holding up that trophy where it means the most at the end."
Farbod Esnaashari: Reporter: Do you pay attention to All-Star voting? Kawhi: No. pic.twitter.com/GiOhbGUQrT
Chris Kirschner: Trae Young leads the fan vote for Eastern Conference guards. pic.twitter.com/wROJkrquwk
Shams Charania: Leaders in fan voting for first return of NBA All-Star voting: Dallas' Luka Doncic and Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Celtics were scheduled for an afternoon flight to Toronto and, it being Christmas Eve, players and coaches had plenty of loose ends to tie up before the holiday. Brown, even as his play this season has spawned some All-Star buzz, was in no rush to leave the practice facility. "I’m not really paying attention to [the All-Star buzz],” Brown said in an empty gym after his post-practice workout was finally complete. "It would be a blessing. It would be extremely dope to even be mentioned in the conversation. To be honest, I still think I can be a lot better. I think the best is yet to come for me this season.
Michael Scotto: Spencer Dinwiddie spoke to Kobe Bryant before tonight's game. Kobe told @SDinwiddie_25 he's "playing like an All-Star."
Asked if he thought Randle could be an All-Star this season, Knicks coach David Fizdale said, “Absolutely. I think a lot has got to go right, obviously. We’ve got to play good basketball. We’ve got to understand our roles. We’ve got to understand how to help him. But with the way that he approaches the game and his work ethic and his selflessness, I think he'll have a chance.”
Which is why even after a career-best 2018-19 campaign with the Chicago Bulls, he knows what needs to be done in order to achieve his goal of becoming an NBA All-Star. "Everything comes with winning. I feel like if we win and we're in the right positions, the sky is the limit for me," LaVine told ESPN following Thursday's practice. "I had an All-Star-caliber year last year, but we had 22 wins so it got a little bit swept under the rug. But that's how it's supposed to be when you have 20 wins. But if I continue to play the way I'm supposed to, there's no reason I shouldn't be an All-Star or All-NBA type guy."
"I expect to be there through the whole weekend, and if my legs are right, obviously I would love to [compete in the dunk contest], but I've got to make sure what's best for me and the team," LaVine said. "I've been on that stage before, but I haven't been on the Sunday night one, so I expect to be there and I expect us to move forward."
“Am I an All-Star? No. Doesn’t mean I can’t be in the future. You never know. There’s been guys like Kyle Lowry, guys who been in the league for six or seven years and they go somewhere and it clicks. No one thought D’Angelo Russell was going to be who he was this year, and then he goes to Brooklyn and turns into an All-Star. “I’ll never count myself out, but in terms of accepting who you are, I’m fine with that. I love where I’m at. I was 19 years old. I thought I knew everything and things don’t work, which is the first time in my life it didn’t work. Even at Duke it was easy for me, I was better than everybody. I come here, and I didn’t play well.
As public address announcer Paul Porter introduced that night’s “hometown hero,” a longtime Daytona Beach Fire Department employee, Vucevic kept peeking toward the row behind the scorer’s table. There, Magic chief communications officer Joel Glass and director of communications George Galante watched the announcement of the 2018-19 Eastern Conference All-Star reserves on a TV monitor. Careful not to disrespect the hometown hero, Vucevic kept averting his eyes from Glass and Galante. Then, all of a sudden, he heard Glass shout an emphatic “Yes!” Vucevic looked over again and saw Glass and Galante smiling. Galante held his fist held high in the air. Vucevic had to be sure. “Yes?” he mouthed. “You’re in!” Galante yelled.
In that overwhelming moment, on the verge of tears of joy, Vucevic had to share his happiness with two of the most important people in his life. He turned left, glanced into Section 113 across from the Magic bench, and signaled to his mom and dad, Ljiljana and Borislav Vucevic. They beamed. Now, two weeks later, with the 2019 NBA All-Star Game set for Sunday in Charlotte, N.C., Nikola still delights in his good fortune — that he earned an All-Star nod, that his parents experienced his selection with him, that the Magic are in a playoff chase and, most important of all, that he and his wife, Nikoleta, have a 2-month-old son.
He was also part of a significant battle for the game’s MVP award. Eventually, former University of Utah and current Los Angeles Laker forward Kyle Kuzma took home the game’s MVP, scoring 35 points in the game on 15-27 shooting. “I want to make the All-Star Game next year. That’s the next level,” Kuzma said. “I have confidence that I can one day be an All-Star in this league. That’s definitely a goal for me, ever since I was a kid.”
It’s not fair to say Gobert, the star center for the Utah Jazz, is unbothered by this. He’s a man who thrives off of respect. He cares what others think because he works so diligently at his craft. At the same time, he’s been able to shake off the brunt of the initial blowback from his news conference. If you asked Gobert about it, he’d shrug his shoulders. And then he would smile. And then, he’d tell you it’s all good. “It happens,” Gobert told The Athletic in an interview. “It’s not the first time I cried. And it won’t be the last time.”
Gobert thought that TNT broadcast announcing the All-Star reserves would be the culmination of his hard work, everything that he’s put into the game to get to this point. His family was watching back in France. The Jazz organization was ready to celebrate his accomplishment. Then, it didn’t happen. The phone rang. Gobert answered to his mother crying. And a night that was supposed to euphoric turned into one of the toughest of Gobert’s career. “It was a mix of everything,” he said. “It was something I wanted. I feel like I play to win. I never really get the respect that I deserve, and that’s why it’s frustrating. I get it from my teammates, my family and the organization. They all know. But the rest of the world, they don’t respect me for what I bring to the game. This was the time that I thought I was finally going to get the respect. And not having it, that was frustrating.”
Siakam scored a career-high 44 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, OG Anunoby scored a career-best 22 points, and the Toronto Raptors beat the Washington Wizards 129-120 for their sixth straight win. "If he keeps playing like this, he's a 2020 All-Star," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said of Siakam.
Ryan Wolstat: I asked Siakam if he was trying to send a message tonight about all-Star snub: “Take it however you want it ... I wish I was going there.” But says he’s just going out and balling, giving his best. “I just wish my dad was there to watch that.”
LeBron James understands how much fans love talking about players changing teams, but said Saturday morning that his All-Star team selections had no ulterior motive. “That’s a great conversation,” James said. “Everyone kind of gets up for fantasy basketball talk. Guys that are restricted free agents, that are free agents, I don’t know, player options. That’s all part of the speculation that continues to drive our sport. It’s all good and well and dandy, but for me I picked according to my draft board and I picked according to who was the best available.”
For the second straight season, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James used the first pick in the All-Star draft to select Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant for his team. For the second straight year, Durant wasn't surprised at all. "What else is he supposed to do?" Durant said after Friday's 117-107 Warriors win over the Phoenix Suns.
Doncin on All-Star snub: “I wanted to go and I was very disappointed when they told me I wasn’t. What matters is the people who voted for me. I was impressed and that’s what matters most to me. Maybe next year I’ll be there.”
July 7, 2022 | 6:31 am EDT Update
“From what I understand, I don’t think the Nets are thrilled with the offers they have gotten for Durant yet,” said Windhorst. “I don’t think that that’s a hot take considering that they’re reassessing with where they’re at. I think the reason is this: It’s somewhat known in the NBA that Durant prefers going to the Phoenix Suns and the Suns offer, what they have to offer right now just isn’t that interesting to Brooklyn. Brooklyn is interested in other things. That’s why Woj and others talking about needing a third or fourth team in a deal.
Since Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Nets last Thursday, he’s reportedly “gone dark” in regards to speaking with other basketball players and team personnel, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes. “Since he requested a trade, there’s been numerous stars that I’ve spoken to, numerous stars that have been trying to get in touch with him to pick his brain to see if he would consider other avenues, just want to get a sense of what he’s thinking—KD’s going dark,” Haynes said on his Posted Up podcast. “He’s not talking to anybody. Not answering anybody’s phone calls, not responding to texts. The only time you see him get out into the sunlight is when he responds on Twitter, and he’s not saying anything much on there.”
“I think that’s another consideration Brooklyn has to make about whether it’s a positive or negative to move Kyrie Irving either before Kevin Durant or after Kevin Durant,” Woj said regarding an Irving trade on NBA Today. “The market is certainly very different for Kevin Durant than it is for Kyrie Irving. “The Nets have talked with the Lakers and I believe there has been back-and-forth, some communication. You look at where there’s cap space right now and a team like San Antonio could be a facilitator right now in let’s say a Russell Westbrook for Kyrie Irving deal between the teams. They have the cap space. Now, you have to incentivize them at a pretty high level and I think that’s the willingness of the Lakers to incentivize a deal with multiple draft picks. I think that’s part of the reason that the deal hasn’t gone anywhere yet.”
John Gambadoro: I do believe we are close to a resolution on Deandre Ayton maybe even by tomorrow. Indiana has the cap space and I’ve heard rumblings of them signing him to an offer sheet. I’ve also heard Toronto has some interest but I do not know at what level.
While Deandre Ayton has been viewed as a potential trade chip in Kevin Durant talks, the restricted free-agent center has reportedly been exploring his options elsewhere. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on the Hoop Collective podcast (44:50 mark) that Ayton has taken meetings with teams that “are not involved in potential Durant negotiations.” It’s unclear whether any of those teams have made formal contract offers.
After a season where he even flirted with the final four, Mike James is ready to say “yes” to Monaco’s offer that will keep him in the team with the aim of reaching at least Europe’s top four in the upcoming season. Before the season even ended, Monaco had presented a renewal offer to James, which was below the threshold of two million euros per year. Now the amounts have risen to this level and James, who was discreetly looking toward the NBA, is ready to accept it and remain in the Principality.