August 3

LeBron James Told His Son’s AAU Team To ‘Get In Their A**’ After Calling Out Opponent’s Sportsmanship

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LeBron James‘ summer is a balance of workouts, vacations, and being an AAU basketball dad, with the latter taking up a significant amount of his time. We’ve seen LeBron pop up at AAU tournaments around the country all summer as he watches LeBron Jr. and his team.

James doesn’t have a coaching role, but his presence is always noted when he’s around, and he can be regularly seen offering encouragement from the sidelines or stands. He usually seems to be a pretty calm basketball dad, but sometimes the competitor comes out, and he can’t help but get a little bit intense.

That happened at a recent game at a tournament in Las Vegas — where James is also working out with a star-studded group of NBA players — when he took exception at the opposition’s level of sportsmanship prior to the game. James, as you can hear at the 23 second mark of the video below, says “Don’t care about sportsmanship?” twice and then instructs his son’s team to “Get in their ass like a bike with no seat.”

First, the “bike with no seat” line is just a tremendous quip. Second, he’s not yelling and doesn’t look super intense, as he’s casually stretching his arms, but you can tell that he’s ticked off and wants his son and his teammates to lay the smackdown on this team.

Before people get too crazy and start comparing James to legitimately crazy basketball father LaVar Ball, this is incredibly tame compared to a lot of what you’ll see from parents at youth sporting events. I have to believe that Bronny’s team is really good and sometimes takes the foot off the pedal as to not embarrass other teams, and this was James’ way of telling them to go all out for this game.

August 2

Report: Wolves’ Offer for Kyrie Irving Didn’t Include Andrew Wiggins

Hosted by: http://www.slamonline.com/nba/timberwolves-offer-kyrie-irving-didnt-include-andrew-wiggins/

According to ESPN’s Darren Wolfson, the Cavs would want Wiggins “and more” from Minnesota.

RELATED:
Report: Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler Lobbying for Kyrie Irving Trade

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August 2

Markelle Fultz And Lonzo Ball Are The First Rookies To Get A Rating In ‘NBA 2K18’

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The folks at 2K Sports have given us a few looks into the latest installment of the NBA 2K series. We’ve seen what a trio of players — Paul George, DeMar DeRozan, and Isaiah Thomas — will look in the game, and we know that Sixers star Joel Embiid isn’t happy with his rating. Oh, and we know that a DeMarcus Cousins for Kyrie Irving swap wouldn’t be a great move for the Pelicans thanks to NBA 2K18.

On Tuesday, we learned the rating for one of Embiid’s teammates, along with the dude who was selected one pick behind in him the 2017 NBA Draft. The official NBA 2K Twitter account posted a pic of Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons from the game and let us know that they’re both going to be an 80 overall.

Having one player be an 85 in Embiid and having Fultz come in at an 80 should give the Sixers a perfectly decent 1-2 punch in the game, especially if Ben Simmons and Dario Saric are pretty close to 80s, too. As for the Lakers, Ball will definitely be one of the team’s standouts, and he seems like the kind of player whose ability to dribble and shoot makes him lethal in games of NBA 2K for years to come.

August 1

Blake Griffin Laughs at Daryl Morey’s Suggestion of Eliminating NBA Awards

Hosted by: http://www.slamonline.com/nba/blake-griffin-daryl-morey-eliminate-nba-awards/

Morey, who has criticized the NBA’s awards process before, bemoaned the lack of “set criteria” and structure. From SI‘s The Crossover:

“I don’t know if this is a good process. The ones that are decided by players or executives or media, they all have their strengths and weaknesses.

 

“I honestly don’t think there’s a good process. You could argue for eliminating the awards altogether.

 

“I don’t really see a good way to do it that doesn’t have major issues. I like clean answers. If there’s not going to be a set criteria and there’s going to be issues with how it’s structured, for me it might be better to not have it.”

Blake Griffin caught wind of Morey’s comments, and responded with a hilariously sarcastic tweet.

honestly, we should do away with championships too. seems dumb to me. participation trophies for everybody. don’t @ me

RELATED:
Daryl Morey: ‘James Harden Is Only A Polarizing Figure To People Who Don’t Watch’

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August 1

The Cavs Have A Deal In Mind That Would Send Kyrie Irving To Phoenix

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The Phoenix Suns are one of the teams that could put together a really great package for Kyrie Irving. If the Suns wanted to get the talented guard, they could conceivably include an impact veteran, a young player with a ton of upside, and a draft pick in a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But the fact that this hasn’t happened, even just in principle, is kind of telling. Moving Eric Bledsoe to make way for Irving makes sense in any deal, and including a draft pick isn’t too difficult as the Suns have a few extras floating around.

The issue reportedly lies in moving a young player, as there have been rumblings that neither Josh Jackson nor Devin Booker would get moved in a trade for Irving. This seems to be the hold up, and according to Joe Vardon of cleveland.com, a deal would have been done by now if one of those young standouts were involved.

“If that deal (Bledsoe, Miami first rounder and Jackson) for Irving was there, it’d be done by now,” a league source with knowledge of the Cavs’ thinking told cleveland.com.

Vardon did point out that Jackson cannot be dealt until 30 days after he signed his rookie deal — which he did on July 3 — although it’s hard to see the Suns including Jackson in a deal even after that deadline passes. Anything can happen between now and then, and this report kind of implies that the Cavs want to work towards getting Bledsoe, Jackson, and a pick back for Irving, but Cleveland may have to lower its asking price if it wants to get a deal done with Phoenix.

(Via cleveland.com)

July 31

J.R. Smith Thought Tracy McGrady’s Hall Of Fame Comments Were ‘Dumb As Hell’

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Drafted straight out of high school into the NBA, J.R. Smith has had a rather up and down career. This is largely due to Smith’s fair share of follies, which have happened both on and off the court. But now with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Smith has settled into the perfect role and is a key part of the team’s success in the past few years. Part of that success includes winning a championship in 2016, something that at one point in Smith’s career seemed rather unlikely of happening. Given Smith’s journey, it only makes sense that he would question Tracy McGrady’s recent head scratching statement about making the Hall of Fame.

McGrady’s Hall of Fame credentials shouldn’t be doubted, but he told reporters on Saturday that, “Anybody can win a championship. Everybody can’t get in the Hall of Fame.” The Hall of Fame is indeed more of an individual accomplishment while a championship is more of a team feat. Yet McGrady’s statement really rubbed Smith the wrong way, which is why he took to Twitter to ask his millions of followers about the soon-to-be Hall of Famer’s claim.

Smith quickly got plenty of responses and even supported one answer he got that pointed to how it appears that the Hall of Fame — which covers all of basketball, not just the NBA — inducts literally everyone these days.

Considering how Smith used to play, it is kind of wild that he’s the one that is complaining about McGrady’s focus on his own personal accomplishments. But Smith has become a total team player later in his career with the Cavs and has reaped the benefits of winning a championship by doing so. Smith understands the individual sacrifice it takes to win a championship, something that McGrady clearly knows nothing about.

July 30

Anthony Mason Jr Talks About Releasing a Sneaker to Honor His Father

Hosted by: http://www.slamonline.com/kicks/anthony-mason-jr-talks-about-releasing-a-sneaker-to-honor-his-father/

“Not just basketball,” Jr continues. “Just embrace what he did. To climb from the bottom to the top. He influenced a lot of people around here.”

Mase Jr is sitting in front of Cutty’s Hair Studio in Jamaica, Queens, where his father used to go get all those designs shaved into the side of his head. A big mural of Sr is painted around the corner.

Like his father, Jr is all about family. He politely interrupts our interview to give one of his aunts a hug.

When he gets up, his Ewing Concepts catch the glow of the July sun. He’s wearing the colorway that he designed as a tribute to his father. There’s a halo on both the tongue and the heel collar and ‘MASON’ is written across the back.

“We wanted to not be like, ‘Oh, this is your dad and your family name, but we’re going to do everything and put your name on it so here’s what we are doing with it.’ This is your dad, he is one of our favorite players, we are going to give you control of it,” Dave Goldberg, who runs Ewing Athletics, says.

“Now we got shoes,” Mase says, leaning back in his chair. “That shit amazes me.”

Related
Anthony Mason Jr is Carrying on His Father’s Legacy

Photos by Joseph Sherman. The Mase x Ewing collab drops on July 29 at Jimmy Jazz (89-45 165th street) in Jamaica, Queens from 4-6.

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July 30

Kobe Bryant Welcomed The Chargers To Los Angeles At Their First Meeting Of Training Camp

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There aren’t many athletes who are more synonymous with one city that Kobe Bryant is with Los Angeles. Even though he isn’t from the west coast originally, Kobe spent his entire career wearing the purple and gold and is one of the best players in Laker history. He helped bring the franchise five rings and carved out a legendary career that will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame as soon as possible.

So it makes sense that Kobe would be the perfect person to welcome a new team to the city. That happened on Saturday, when he showed up to the Los Angeles Chargers‘ first team meeting during their first camp since the big move to the City of Angels.

The best part was listening to the reaction in the room, especially as Kobe was in front of everyone and professional athletes were just giggling because of how cool this was.

This is especially true for Philip Rivers, who was locked in to whatever Kobe was saying.

Kobe has always been known for being a big supporter of the “other” football, but above all else, he’s an ambassador for the city of Los Angeles. Plus he’s always looking for more athletes to embrace the Kobe System, so he was probably stoked to get the chance to address the Chargers for that reason, too.

July 29

Georgetown Lands Four-Star Recruit Jamarko Pickett

Hosted by: http://www.slamonline.com/college-hs/high-school/georgetown-lands-four-star-recruit-jamarko-pickett/

More below from Scout:

Four-star 2017 prospect [Jamarko] Pickett verbally committed to Georgetown on Friday, according to Massanutten Military Academy coach Chad Myers. 

 

“He picked them because he felt like he could go in there and contribute immediately,” Myers told Scout. “Playing time along with location was the determining the factor for him. 

 

Pickett, who is originally from the D.C. area, took an official visit to Georgetown last Wednesday and followed that up with a visit to Maryland.

 

On the court, Pickett was ranked as the No. 54 overall recruit in the 2017 class. 

 

“I think he’s a versatile forward that can play both forward positions,” Myers said. “He can score at all three levels and his length allows him to guard multiple positions.”

 

Pickett joins a recruiting class that also includes three-star recruits Antwan Walker and Chris Sodom. 

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July 29

Stephen A. Smith Claims Kyrie Irving Isn’t ‘About To Let LeBron Son Him’

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The Kyrie Irving saga continues, and by the day, more and more layers to the story unfold. One of the more recent developments was ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith injecting himself into the proceedings with reporting on the thought process of LeBron James, and in short order, the best player on the planet came out firing on social media in his own defense. That, on cue, prompted a rant from Smith, and now, there is more reporting from the infamous personality.

In writing for ESPN’s The Undefeated, Smith cited the following from a “close confidant” of Kyrie Irving and his feelings toward James at this point in time.

“Kyrie isn’t saying he’s better than LeBron and should be seen that way. He’s saying he’s not about to let LeBron ‘SON’ him … treating him like he’s the child and LeBron’s the father or big brother he’s supposed to look up to.

“Kyrie knows he’s a franchise-caliber talent. He wants to be treated like it. And he’s tired of hearing about what LeBron needs, and he’s damn sure tired of hearing LeBron sound like he always needs more. As if the crew they have isn’t enough.”

It is (quite) important to reiterate that this is a source of Smith’s and only one report when it comes to Irving’s state of mind. With that said, it would explain quite a bit if true and, at the same time, would back up some of the peripheral whispers that have emerged since word of Irving’s trade request actually surfaced.

Whether Irving is actually a franchise player remains up for debate, at least in terms of whether he can lead a team to big-picture success as the No. 1 option. What isn’t controversial, though, is that James actually is that kind of player, and this reported sentiment won’t necessarily go over well as a result.

Only time will tell as to whether we can get further clarity on this, but as the entire sports world knows, Stephen A. Smith isn’t likely to back down from this kind of reporting.

(The Undefeated)