The Heat will be on the road for Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean the team will go without a nice home-cooked meal. Or at least a meal prepared and served in a home.
LeBron James will be hosting Thanksgiving for his teammates, coaches and support personnel Thursday at his home in Akron, Ohio. The Heat plays in Cleveland on Wednesday and Toronto on Friday before returning to Miami.
James is apparently a pretty thoughtful host. He even asked Shane Battier what type of beer he would like. Easy answer. Battier is a Bud Light man.
“I’m a great host,” James said. “Everything that I do, it’s just natural for me. The way I play the game of basketball, I’m the same way off the floor. I don’t mind giving guys what they want or what they deserve.”
The Heat was disappointed when the NBA released this season’s schedule, but a Thanksgiving celebration in Akron will be a good time to develop off-the-court chemistry. The team also will be on the road (Los Angeles) for Christmas. Last season, the Heat watched the Super Bowl together in Toronto, which Battier called one of his greatest experiences while playing in the NBA.
Thanksgiving coincides with the birthday of Battier’s wife, so having to be away on the holiday is doubly difficult. Battier blamed NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver.
“When you’re starting to affect my family life, that’s when we got a problem, Adam Silver,” Battier said.
Dwyane Wade called being away from his family on Thanksgiving a small sacrifice for being able to play in the NBA.
“It’s difficult to have the typical family ritual because you don’t know if you’re going to be home or on the road, but those are small sacrifices that we make and our families have to make,” Wade said. “One day they’ll have us there all the time to celebrate all the time. Hopefully, my kids come back from school or wherever they’re at to celebrate with me.”
Missed the Heat game last night but wanted to see that amazing reverse dunk in traffic by Battier over two defenders at the buzzer? OK, Battier has never done that in his life and might never, but if he did, you can now watch that highlight and every other basket by Battier this season thanks to a new feature on the NBA’s website.
The league’s website unveiled video boxscores Monday and for hoop heads the new feature is a revelation. With a few clicks, every statistic of every second of every game is now available to fans. Beginning this season, every block by Joel Anthony, every three-pointer or missed shot by Michael Beasley and every steal or turnover by Norris Cole will be cataloged at NBA.com/Stats.
The video boxscores are a collaboration between the NBA and SAP AG. Video clips of every statistic are available on the league’s website shortly after the conclusion of each game. From the NBA’s news release:
“Along with the innovative video boxscores, NBA.com/Stats has launched video within team and player pages, shooting charts, play-by-play section and other statistics.
“The new video integration, which further demonstrates SAP’s powerful analytics capabilities, will include the current NBA season and the entire 2012-13 season.”