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LeBron James comes up with an on-the-fly Jonas Jerebko scouting report

Probably one of the more difficult aspects of being an international superstar, sports or otherwise, is always having to be on the ready for out-of-left-field questions from international members of the media. Case in point: LeBron James, in London preparing to play in the Olympics, fielded a question about … Jonas Jerebko?

Brian Manzullo of the Detroit Free Press has the funny exchange:

‘Jerebko? Do you want me to talk about Jerebko?”

That’s what LeBron James asked a Swedish reporter when he surfaced a question about Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko, the lone Swedish player in the NBA.

James had glowing things to say about the Swedish national team member.

“Jerebko’s a good player. No, I mean, he’s a really good player. He’s doing so much for his team,” James said. “He can play at different positions, he’s good at rebounds, he’s good in defense.

“He’s already a shining star in Detroit. And he is just going to get better and better.”

Honestly, that’s a pretty good overall synopsis of Jerebko, when Jerebko is probably among the last topics you’re expecting to be asked about in an Olympic media scrum. ‘Shining star’ might be a little generous, but hey, that’s a great compliment for Jerebko.


  • Jul 29, 20128:18 am
    by France


    “Good in defense” might be generous too but I appreciate the compliment from LJB.

    • Jul 29, 201212:48 pm
      by MattM26


      Jerebko is a very good perimiter defender… I dont think all of u remember when Tayshaun went down during Jerebkos rookie year he took the toughest challenge such as Kobe Lebron and others and played very well… No hes not a dominant shot blocker but other than that he is a very solid defender

      • Jul 29, 20123:17 pm
        by Vic


        Very true. This is why I push so much for JJ to play the 3. If only his team appreciated him as much as other players did. Game recognizes game, I don’t think Lebron was being fake at all. He’s not known to give undeserved compliments to any random basketball player mentioned in his presence. The respect is real. Jerebko at 100% is a great wing defender, energy rebounder, and slasher. That’s all you need as a winning 3 in today’s NBA. 3 pointers are icing on the cake, and isolations are for KD and Lebron.

  • Jul 29, 20128:25 am
    by Vince


    A tad general to be honest. Had they asked him about Vernon Macklin he probably would have said the same thing.

  • Jul 29, 20128:27 am
    by labatts


    That’s hilarious.  “Lebron, Lebron!  Tell me what you think about Misty May-Traenor’s game?”

  • Jul 29, 201210:24 am
    by BIGMARV


    Reporter: LeBron can you tell us about Walter “sleepy” Sharpe?
    LeBron: I think hes a fantastic player for detroit… if he gets past that sleepy issue he can be the next Kevin Durant.

  • Jul 29, 20129:14 pm
    by Max


    Question to the crowd?   How many players on the Heat last year would have been more valuable as his teammates than Jerebko?    After the big three, I’m not sure any of them are better than JJ.

    • Jul 29, 201210:04 pm
      by Daye and Knight


      Shane and Chalmers…but I would take JJ over everybody else

    • Jul 29, 201210:14 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Yeah, agree with Daye and Knight. Chalmers and playoff version of Battier are probably it. Jerebko was way better than regular season Battier though.

      • Jul 29, 201211:18 pm
        by Max


        I’m pretty much with you too and they were the players I’m not sure about but I would point out that JJ might have looked and played better on the Heat than he did on the Pistons and would have benefited from all of the attention the big three get and from James and Wade’s passing abilities.  If it’s true that James and Wade make their teammates better, then Chalmber’s and Battier’s performances were at least somewhat due to them and there was no one on the Pistons similarly elevating JJ’s play.   If anything, and I hate saying it, JJ’s play may have suffered due to playing with a rookie point guard on a team that didn’t even have a PG who can be trusted to run on offense on the bench.  Further, JJ’s rookie season was mostly spent at SF, due to Prince’s injuries, but he played mostly power forward last season as Prince led the team in minutes and didn’t leave a lot of minutes at the spot for anyone else.   To this point, the above comments regarding JJ’s defense and ability to guard wings are suspect as JJ put on weight to play power forward so there is some question about whether he will ever be like the player he was as a rookie because he may have evolved away from playing the three.  Even players like KG and Rasheed played some three as rookies and very young players.   We shall have to see whether JJ continues to bulk up or shed some weight.   Right now, he seems like a classic tweener.

        • Jul 29, 201211:34 pm
          by Patrick Hayes


          With as good as Jerebko is at moving without the ball around the basket, I’m imagining James finding him on the move for layups at least 7 times per game.

          • Jul 30, 20122:46 am
            by Max

            That’s what I was thinking.   The way the Heat were playing with Bosh at center, JJ could round out a front line with James and be the energy guy that can actually finish plays since their other bigs and forwards are so poor around the rim.   JJ would be punishing the double teams by catching passes and rocking the rim if he played there and James’ compliments could be a sign that he is well aware.  Even though the Heat won the title, they don’t have a role player who remotely possesses JJ’s game and they could surely use one–instead they went in the direction of getting older and less athletic in pursuit of great shooting.
            I’m actually happy that Riley seems content with applying yearly band aids to the big three instead of going after the youngish players who could grow with the team and develop chemistry.   I hate the Heat and feel their dependence on injury prone and older players could be their yearly Achilles’ heal going forward and injuries almost cost them two series last year.

          • Jul 30, 20123:39 pm
            by tarsier

            Riley would love to have a solid youngish guy to develop with the team. But it usually takes a lot of tries to get one who is actually decent if you are picking at the end of the first round or later. But try he has (Norris Cole, Dexter Pittman, etc). It would be foolish, however, not to also add yearly band-aids, as it were, because they are contending right now. So they need someone they can rely on this year and not just someone for a few years later. Unsurprisingly, someone of Riley’s intelligence opted to do some of both.

          • Jul 30, 20123:50 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            Yeah, I agree with tarsier there … it’s not that the Heat prefer to add old players, they’ve just yet to hit on a second rounder other than Chalmers (although I’m not giving up on Norris Cole … I think he can play and might be a lot better with summer league and a full training camp). Jarvis Varnado, a guy they took in the second round who didn’t end up making the team, was probably someone they viewed in that Jerebko-like mold — active, athletic, etc. Varnado even blocked shots in college, which Jerebko doesn’t do.

            But that’s part of the issue for the Heat — often, adding young talent on the free agent market is expensive when you are capped out. And finding it in the draft is hard both because so many late picks never amount to much and because it’s significantly harder for second round picks to make a roster and get meaningful minutes on a veteran team. Jerebko got an opportunity right away because the Pistons both had injuries and were a bad team. If he had joined a team like the Heat as a rookie, his path to playing time and being able to work through mistakes would’ve been significantly different.

            Anyway, the Heat end up signing old veterans because that’s usually the easiest option to fill out the roster. But I also don’t think they’ve necessarily decided that old players on short deals will be their only philosophy. It will probably just take them longer to find those one or two gems in a second round.

        • Jul 30, 20129:57 pm
          by Max


          Mike Miller helped in the playoffs but they spent a lot of money on him and there were a lot of other players they probably could have paid less who would have helped more–and especially going forward.   They also signed Battier.   Now they have signed Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis.  I understand going after shooting but these four ancient bodies are the Heat opting for age at the positions their stars occupy.  Maybe I’m wrong but I feel like thy could have done much better.

          • Jul 30, 201210:03 pm
            by Max

            @Tarsier—Making late first round and second round picks is not trying.  Those picks are given to every team by right and unless they trade the picks, they have to pick someone.  I know you know all of this but I don’t understand why you would cite a team making its own draft picks as an example of a GM trying to acquire young talent.

          • Jul 31, 20129:00 am
            by tarsier

            Only because that’s how virtually every team goes about trying to get young talent.There aren’t really very young UFAs. And if you want young, talented RFAs, you really have to break the bank (see Houston this summer). Riley could have attempted to go somewhat that route right after the big three signed. But since then, he really hasn’t had the opportunity. What are you suggesting that he would have been well-advised to do?

            But your point is fair that he hasn’t really gone above and beyond to get more young talent. But do you know an example of a contending team that has without hurting its chances in the immediate future?

            This is the reason why most contenders tend to be so full of old vets: When signing a player, if the player is young, you are paying partially for potential and longevity. If the player is old, you are paying entirely for current talent/ability. So you can get more talent for your dollar going old.

  • Jul 30, 20128:57 am
    by Vince


    Anyways, Jay Wierenga had a great piece on Drummond. He drew a lot of comparisons to Greg Monroe, only as more of a defensive force then offensive option. He thinks he’ll average close to 10 pts 7 rebounds (3 off. 4 def.) and 2 blocks per game, really interesting read. Here is the article.

    • Jul 30, 20123:42 pm
      by tarsier


      If Drummond can do that as a rookie, Pistons fans should be maniacal with excitement for his future.

    • Jul 30, 20123:47 pm
      by tarsier


      Ah, and as the article you cited says, Wierenga doesn’t think Drummond will put up those numbers, he says Pistons fans should be ecstatic if he does.

  • Jul 30, 201211:51 am
    by Scott Free


    I get that Jerebko fits in better as the “energy off the bench” role.  But I think he could start on a number of teams, and I think he’s too talented to get lost in the shuffle in Detroits front court.

  • Jul 30, 201211:57 am
    by jacob


    Fans motivate Charlie V.
    9:43AM ET

    Charlie Villanueva | Pistons
    .mod-page-actions{margin:0px !important;}


    Charlie Villanueva has drawn a lot of criticism from fans of the Detroit Pistons and those comments have motivated the power forward to prove them wrong.
    “They don’t know the whole story, but absolutely I use some of it,’ Villanueva tells Detroit Free Press. “You hear it, but I don’t let it affect me. It just drives you to get better. You use it as motivation and carry a chip on your shoulder. That’s the approach I’m taking, and I’m just ready to get on the floor.”
    Villanueva has two years and $16.64 million remaining on his contract and the Pistons will likely amnesty him next year if he has another poor season in 2012-13.
    — Nick Borges

    • Jul 30, 201211:58 am
      by jacob


      Off topic but really?

    • Jul 30, 20121:15 pm
      by Wall-E


      I am begining to think that NOTHING motivates Villanueva.  The money doesn’t.  Losing doesn’t.  Fan hate-mail doesn’t.  Getting cut from the olymics doesn’t.  Even derision and scorn from other NBA players (Garnett) doesn’t seem to affect him.  Sure, he talks a good game, but never gets truly motivated to make himself better.

      Frankly, his responses are tired and they are not news-worthy.  I can’t wait until he’s off the roster.

  • Jul 30, 201212:11 pm
    by Da Realist


    This dude is trash ..Nuff! said!…….lebron was just be politically correct

  • Jul 31, 201210:28 pm
    by Mark


    High praise from the King. Nice

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