NBA News Roundup: LeBron James spotted with 7-time World F1 champion at the storied Monaco Grand Prix, Steph Curry emerges as the favorite to win his first-ever Finals MVP award, and more - May 30th, 2022

LeBron James of the LA Lakers talks with Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors during the 2022 NBA All-Star Practice.
LeBron James of the LA Lakers talks with Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors during the 2022 NBA All-Star Practice.

The stage for the 2022 NBA Finals is set with the Golden State Warriors facing off against the Boston Celtics. Steph Curry and Jayson Tatum won their respective conference finals MVP trophies, named after '80s legends Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, respectively.

The two storied franchises lock horns in the NBA Finals for the first time since 1964, back when Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell went head-to-head.

Let's take a look at the news around the league from the past day.

Eminent analyst believes Jimmy Butler was avoiding an overtime situation in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals

Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the 2022 Eastern Conference finals.
Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the 2022 Eastern Conference finals.

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Jimmy Butler played all 48 minutes in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals and was visibly gassed by the time the final buzzer sounded.

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith was under the impression that Jimmy Butler attempted a potential game-winning 3-pointer instead of driving in the lane because he wanted to avoid overtime.

Butler is known for driving to the cup or attempting mid-range jumpers, while his 3-point shooting is below league average. Hence, his 3-point attempt instead of a drive on single coverage was certainly alarming given that there were over 15 seconds on the clock. Smith said on ESPN's SportsCenter:

"There was a level of sympathy for Jimmy Butler because he was absolutely exhausted. Played practically every minute of this game, didn't get any rest whatsoever. We know that he wasn't 100% and he gave it all he got.
"Even though a two would have tied it, you got the impression that he launched that three because he didn't want it to go to overtime because he knew he didn't have anything left.
"'So guess what? I'm going to try to win it right here right now while I've got this opportunity.' And obviously the ball didn't go in the basket."

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Oddsmakers pick Steph Curry to win the 2022 NBA Finals MVP award

Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors celebrates after Game 5 of the 2022 Western Conference finals.
Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors celebrates after Game 5 of the 2022 Western Conference finals.

Arguably the biggest blemish on Steph Curry's illustrious resume is his lack of a Finals MVP award. He has failed to win one despite winning three titles and appearing in five NBA Finals.

He should have arguably won the 2015 one, but the voting panel decided to reward Andre Iguodala's defense instead. Arguments can be made for the 2017 and 2018 ones as well.

Now that the Golden State Warriors will host another NBA Finals series, Steph Curry has emerged as the betting favorite for the 2022 Bill Russell Finals MVP award.

Most sports books have the odds around +105 for Curry and +165 for Jayson Tatum. The rest of the players don't crack better than 10-1 odds, including Jaylen Brown and Klay Thompson.

League reveals NBA Finals schedule ahead of Game 1

Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors defends Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics in 2017.
Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors defends Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics in 2017.

The Golden State Warriors finished the regular season with a 53-29 record, while the Boston Celtics ended with a 51-31 record. Hence, the Warriors will have home court advantage in the NBA Finals with Games 1, 2, 5 and 7 being held at Chase Center in San Francisco.

There is a two-day gap between each game except for Games 3 and 4 at Boston when there is only one day off.

All the games will tip-off at 9 PM ET, except Games 2 and 7 (if necessary), which will air at 8 PM ET. All games will be broadcast on ABC and ESPN with possibly Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson commentating on the action.

LeBron James clicks an iconic picture with Lewis Hamilton at the famous F1 Monaco Grand Prix

LeBron James of the LA Lakers during the 2021-22 NBA season.
LeBron James of the LA Lakers during the 2021-22 NBA season.

LeBron James is certainly enjoying his offseason. He was spotted in Paris for the UEFA Champions League Finals in support of his Premier League team, Liverpool FC.

The next day, he traveled to Monte Carlo to attend the storied and glamorous F1 Monaco Grand Prix. He showed support for Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Racing, the only black driver on the grid.

The collective championships in the image is mind-blowing. James is a four-time NBA champion and many argue he is the greatest of all time. Meanwhile, Hamilton is a seven-time F1 champion and many argue the same for him in his sport.

The image was uploaded on his Instagram story by Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who was also in attendance.

Jaylen Brown shocked at Jimmy Butler's late game-winning 3-point attempt

Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics against Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat.
Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics against Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat.

Jimmy Butler certainly attempted a questionable 3-point shot in the dying moments of Game 7.

He isn't a renowned distance shooter yet he went for a miracle potential game-winner instead of attempting a reliable two-point shot that would have tied the game. He missed the shot and it ended the Miami Heat's season.

Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics shared the emotions of most NBA fans, who were shocked at the attempt.

Butler's scouting report suggests he will usually drive in the lane or attempt a mid-range jumper. Hence, Brown was surprised when Butler took that gutsy shot because if it had swished, the Celtics would be home right now. Brown said after the game:

"When he shot that, I was like, man, what the hell?"

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Edited by Adam Dickson
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