Raul Takahashi of Hot Hot Hoops on James' pose and glance for Michael Jordan's edification after a power breakaway slam in the fourth quarter: "Whether you believe one can read too much into a quick glance from an individual or dismiss the moment as nonchalance, one can’t refute the possible implications of a self-proclaimed King oodling for the attention of the man who wears the sports’ crown. James can deny it all he wants, but he wants greatness and it would be ultimately comforting if the greatest acknowledged it. Even just a little bit." See can see the sequence pictorially, if you wish.
In his pregame scrum, LeBron James was asked how he felt about Erik Spoelstra's being awarded Eastern Conference coach of the month. Bill Reiter of Fox Sports: "'I think it’s great,' he said. This is where a public-relations person or a close friend should have jumped in and ended the interview while he was ahead, Costanza-style. He thinks it’s great! Perfect! We’re done! Instead, LeBron kept going. Now his voice took on that tone of someone saying what they really think. The robot-answer was gone. This was truth. You had to be there to hear it for what it was, to feel the full impact and rebuke of his words, so you’ll have to trust me on what LeBron was actually saying. 'For the month of December we played the best basketball of any team in the league and he had a lot to do with it,' he said. 'As players, we went out and executed.' On this night, all the writers around me heard it the same way, even guys who often hear LeBron much differently than I do: LeBron making it clear that the credit was not Erik Spoelstra’s."
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweets: "Here's why LBJ's 'Heatles' line rang a bell. In '06 Drew Gooden told me DG, LBJ & Damon Jones called themselves 'The Cleatles.' Not kidding."
The Heat (and LeBron's birthday cake) rendered as the Abbey Road album cover.
Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post reports that Carlos Arroyo will not seek, and will not accept, an invitation to the 3-point contest in Los Angeles.
Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel: "LeBron received the world’s longest continuation midway through the first quarter. He was fouled by Boris Diaw seemingly somewhere in Gastonia and still got and-one on driving bank shot."
The Heat's average margin through three quarters? 9.0 points in their favor. No other team in the league is within shouting distance, as the Lakers rank second at 6.2. Utah, which is 24-11 in the season, has been outscored through three quarters over the course of the season.
From the Miami Herald's "Scene in the Tropics" column: "James took his talents to South Beach Thursday night in celebration of his 26th birthday with parties at STK and Coco DeVille. Less shocking than the fact that James is only 26 was the guest list: Ne-Yo, Jaleel (Urkel) White, Cedric the Entertainer, Spike Lee, Michael Bay, Drake, Vivica A. Fox, Ciara, Jamie Foxx, Lil' Wayne, Timbaland, Trey Songz, Serena Williams, Kelly Rowland, Union and of course Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, who spent some of the night marveling over the sports cars parked out front by party sponsor Lou La Vie, provider of luxe vehicle transportation to VIP types."
James Jones has a deserved reputation for being a grounded dude and very grateful for the fortunes of his career. As Jones tells Silvana Ordonez of South Florida New Service, he's always willing to sign an autograph or take a snapshot with a fan ... even if you interrupt him while he's eating.