LeBron James

Team LeBron outlasts Team Stephen in All-Star game thriller

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AP

Team LeBron outlasts Team Stephen in All-Star game thriller

Stephen Curry had the ball in his hands on the final possession of the All-Star game, but saw himself guarded by a familiar face: Warriors teammate Kevin Durant, as well as opposing captain LeBron James.

Durant and James' trap forced Curry to pass to DeMar DeRozan for a desperation heave that fell short, and Team LeBron beat Team Stephen 148-145 in the first year of a new All-Star format. 

Durant finished second on Team LeBron with 19 points. The Golden State trio of Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green scored 11, 15, and three points, respectively, for Team Stephen. 

LeBron James led all scorers with 29 points, and was named the game's most valuable player for the third time -- the second most in NBA history. 

LeBron James says the Cavs 'have a fu**ing squad now'

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USATSI

LeBron James says the Cavs 'have a fu**ing squad now'

Hours before the trade deadline, Cleveland made wholesale changes to its roster.

On Sunday, the new-look Cavs went into Boston and crushed the Celtics, 121-99.

On Monday morning, Dave McMenamin -- who covers the Cavs for ESPN -- shared the following story on Outside the Lines:

"I spoke to JR Smith after the game -- JR, LeBron, Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love -- the only four guys remaining on the Cavs from the championship team in 2016. And JR said they had a conversation on the plane, and he said, 'Man. Look at all these different faces we have now.'

And LeBron said, 'Yeah. But we got a squad now.' And he actually said we have a 'expletive' squad now.'"

From Dec. 19 to Feb. 6, the Cavs went 8-14 and had the second worst defense in the NBA.

There were countless reports of locker room turmoil and one report claimed that LeBron would even entertain meeting with the Warriors this summer in free agency.

Another story detailed how LeBron has no relationship with owner Dan Gilbert or GM Koby Altman.

Then, the trade deadline happened and the Cavs smacked the Celtics.

All it took was one game for the narrative to change drastically...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

In the frenzy of who gets LeBron, Warriors stay unfazed

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USATSI

In the frenzy of who gets LeBron, Warriors stay unfazed

The Cleveland Cavaliers are still sweeping the shrapnel left behind by their roster explosion Thursday, and all around the National Basketball Association, jaws remain agape at the size, sweep and potential impact of their work.

Except, of course, in Oakland, where the Golden State Warriors remain blissfully untouched by the short- or probably even long-term effect.

In other words, they'll worry about a rebooted Los Angeles Lakers team or a reconfigured Houston Rockets lineup when they have to, and not before. After all, the illusion of LeBron James has won no NBA titles at all, which the actual himself has won plenty.

The specuguesses about James' ultimate location in 2018-19 have been as advertised -- and in that way, we mean borderline insane. The Lakers? Maybe, but only with Paul George or another name brand. The Rockets? General manager Daryl Morey would exhume Wilt Chamberlain if he thought it would help, especially now that the Rockets have a new high-roller owner (Tilman Fertitta) who likes the ripples of a big splash. The Sixers? The Sixers are the answer to every question if you squint hard enough.

And the Cavaliers? Well, whether James stays or not, it is hard to see them not beginning the long slow decline that three days ago looked like a full-on plummet.

But the Warriors, even in their current struggles, worry about nobody but themselves and their standard of play. Their turnovers are up, their defense is down, and still nobody can catch them. They remained quiet at the trade deadline for the fourth consecutive year, and the biggest thing they could get in the leftover bin/buyout market is 36-year-old Joe Johnson. None of their most important principals are 30, unless you count the slumping Andre Iguodala as one of those principals, so they are pretty much at their zenith athletically. They are relatively healthy (they are only missing backup sparkplug Jordan Bell), and their greatest vice seems to be an unshakeable belief in their ability to turn themselves on and off at will.

And though they are too polite to put it in these terms, they don't think anybody can beat them when the chips hit the middle of the table. Not this year to be sure, and probably not next year either.

And we say "probably" only because the James wildcard, while more limited than it once was, would create a different standings dynamic if he changed conferences, and only if he ended up in Houston. The Rockets as presently constructed are their toughest opponent, and a James/Harden/Paul troika would at least cause people to speculate about how the balance of power might have been nudged.

There is, though, one other possibility, and it would be hilarious. Boston. Not that there is any indication that the Celtics would want him, mind you, but the agonized look on Kyrie Irving's face would be almost incredibly gif-able. 

In sum, the James Sweepstakes does not yet touch the Warriors' plans for continued galactic domination, but it could. And "could" doesn't interest a team whose only true enemy is itself.