Factory Lines is collection of Cleveland sports related headlines, tweets and quotes. The column is published Monday through Friday. Have any tips? Tweet me @DukeofNick.
Durant shockingly withdrew from the international competition, citing fatigue for the reason. Sheridan, the writer who first reported that LeBron James would return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, speculated that Durant’s exit from Team USA could be about something else:
“This is shameful, in my opinion. No national team anchor has ever done this.
The fact that it comes at the same moment that Durant is leaving Nike and finishing details of an unbelievably lucrative $325 million sneaker and apparel deal with UnderArmour makes it fishy. Nike is a major Team USA sponsor.”
Sheridan also speculated that Durant’s departure could lead the way for another future Cav to save the day: Kevin Love.
• Right now, Love can only be called a future Cav, because a deal can’t become official until Andrew Wiggins becomes trade eligible Aug. 23. Wiggins, along with fellow Canadian No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett will reportedly go to the Timberwolves and 76ers, respectively, in exchange for Love.
The Cavs will also ship next year’s first round pick to Minnesota.
• If you’re like this writer, you love Cleveland sports, and you love a great deal, that’s why you bought an Andrew Wiggins Cavaliers jersey the day after the former Kansas Jayhawk was selected as the No. 1 overall pick.
Cavs.com ran a special on Wiggins’ jersey, selling what’s normally a $100 for half the price.
If you don’t wish to keep a true collectors item, you can return your purchase, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell. Of course, the NBA store is making you eat the shipping cost.
Wiggins is the second No. 1 overall pick to be dealt without playing a game with the team that drafted him since the 1976 merger (Chris Webber was the first in 1993-1994).
• The tease that is the Cleveland Indians season continues. After sweeping the Texas rangers, the Tribe went on to lose three of four to the Cincinnati Reds.
Cleveland.com writer Dennis Manoloff wrote the Tribe was outclassed by their cross-state counterparts.
“It would be one thing if the Indians simply were shut down by superb starting pitching for three nights. The sad reality for the Indians (and, by extension, their fans) is, the Reds dictated terms all over the field. The Reds pitched better, hit better, defended better, ran the bases better and hustled more.
Bottom line: One team played hungry; the other, #zombiebaseball.”
• LeBron James made an appearance at Browns training camp Thursday afternoon.
Mike Pettine said James and reached out about attending practice, and it appears the rookie head coach was happy to oblige.
“I do know that I’m going to be father of the year now,” Pettine said. “My daughter got a picture with LeBron. She could care less about a picture with me.”
• James also reunited with Dru Joyce and Romeo Travis at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron.
The four-time MVP took to Instagram to show off the workout he had with his hold friends at their old stomping grounds.
James won three Ohio High School state championships while playing for the Irish.