Hummer EV launch event delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Hummer EV launch event delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic

General Motors is delaying the upcoming reveal of the new all-electric Hummer truck, which was originally scheduled for May 20th because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The automaker isn’t yet offering a replacement date for the launch of the new electric vehicle, but it says that the production schedule isn’t currently affected. The new Hummer is due out in late 2021.

GM announced back in January that it was resurrecting the Hummer as a 1,000-horsepower electric truck under its GMC brand, and it teased it in a Super Bowl ad starr

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The Perfect Trades to Land NBA Stars Their Ideal Sidekicks

The Perfect Trades to Land NBA Stars Their Ideal Sidekicks

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    Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

    Even if it’s LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant or Stephen Curry, no star wins an NBA title alone.

    It’s also important to find a co-star who complements the existing one, covers for their weaknesses and helps their development and growth.

    Many of today’s stars already have such a co-star. Between James-Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard-Paul George and Kevin DurantKyrie Irving, some of the best players in the league have already joined forces with another elite.

    But for the following five stars, these are the trades their current teams should pursue to help make life easier.

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    John Amis/Associated Press

    Atlanta Hawks Receive: SG Gary Harris

    Denver Nuggets Receive: SG Kevin Huerter, C Dewayne Dedmon

    Trae Young is already an All-Star starter at age 21, exhibiting some of the best scoring and passing chops in the NBA. While John Collins is growing into a bona fide second star, his scoring, rebounding and athleticism don’t help cover for Young’s biggest weakness: defense.

    Young ranks dead last in ESPN’s defensive real plus-minus (minus-3.12), not just among point guards but among all 503 registered NBA players. His small frame (6’1″ with a 6’2″ wingspan) is easy for opponents to both shoot over and drive past.

    Harris would be the perfect backcourt fit.

    A 6’4″ guard with a nearly 6’7″ wingpsan, Harris is a three-and-D shooting guard who ranks first at his position and 11th overall in DRPM (plus-1.88). He’s also in need of a change of scenery since his numbers have regressed after he put up 17.5 points per game on 39.6 percent shooting from three in 2017-18. At age 25, he still fits the Hawks’ rebuild and would bring six years of experience to a young Atlanta team.

    Harris would space the floor for Young while taking on the toughest defensive assignment every night, allowing him to conserve his energy for the offensive end.

    Huerter would give the Nuggets a high-upside 21-year-old shooting guard, one who can put the ball on the floor and create for others even at 6’7″. Dedmon would be a quality backup for Nikola Jokic, especially since Mason Plumlee will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

    With Harris not playing up to his potential in Denver, moving him for another good, young shooting guard makes sense. And while he isn’t a superstar, he’d be a perfect fit next to Young.

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    Barry Gossage/Getty Images

    Phoenix Suns Receive: PF Lauri Markkanen

    Chicago Bulls Receive: F Cam Johnson, G Ty Jerome, 2021 first-round pick (lottery protected)

    Devin Booker already has one potential star to run with in Deandre Ayton, but two years together has resulted in a 45-102 record even after adding Ricky Rubio in free agency last summer.

    Ayton does most of his work in the paint with a growing mid-range game, but he is 0-of-7 from three in his young career. Booker needs a power forward with star potential who’s already shown the ability to knock down threes.

    Markkanen has averaged 16.1 points and 7.6 rebounds while shooting 35.6 percent from three in his first three seasons, and he’s still weeks away from his 23rd birthday. The Bulls front office that drafted him is now gone, and Markkanen has grown unhappy with Chicago’s direction. A swap of young talent may be best for everyone.

    The 2017 No. 7 overall pick was hitting 42.7 percent of his threes off passes from starting point guard Tomas Satoransky this season, and that figure should only go up if he’s getting the ball from Booker and Rubio. With Dario Saric entering restricted free agency, Markkanen would give Phoenix a new starting power forward who could run pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop actions with Booker.

    Chicago could look to pry young talent away from Phoenix, with some combination of players like forward Cam Johnson (39.7 percent from three as a rookie), point guard Ty Jerome (2019 first-round pick) and forward Mikal Bridges (All-Defensive potential) coming back.

    At some point, the Sun

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LeBron backs primetime tribute for HS ’20 class

LeBron backs primetime tribute for HS ’20 class

LeBron James is combining two of his off-court passions — education and entertainment — in a prime-time event to honor the high school class of 2020 next month.

The LeBron James Family Foundation is partnering with the XQ Institute and the Entertainment Institute Foundation to present “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020,” airing across a slew of television and online platforms on May 16.

The special, which will feature the Los Angeles Lakers‘ All-Star, Nobel prize winner Malala Yousafzai, soccer star Megan Rapinoe and musical acts Bad Bunny, the Jonas Brothers, Pharrell Williams and others will be simulcast across ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, as well as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok and other streaming services.

“It’s been a hard few months for all of us, but I especially really feel for the senior class of 2020,” James said Wednesday in a quote provided to ESPN. “The end of high school and graduation was one of the best memories of my life. It’s not fair. Every graduating senior needs to know how much we feel for them, and hopefully this can help, even a little. This class is going to be specia

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LeBron James Leading Live All-Star ‘Graduate Together’ Tribute To Class Of 2020 Across Networks, Digital Platforms

LeBron James Leading Live All-Star ‘Graduate Together’ Tribute To Class Of 2020 Across Networks, Digital Platforms

Los Angeles Laker’s superstar LeBron James has long supported scholastic achievement via his philanthropic efforts.

Now, James is leading an unprecedented effort to celebrate America’s high school seniors, many of whom, because of coronavirus, won’t enjoy a graduation ceremony.

The one-hour special, called Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020, will air simultaneously across ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC and on an array of digital platforms — including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, PeopleTV and Complex Networks.

Curated by high school students and educators throughout the country with the support of the American Federation of Teachers, this national commercial-free broadcast will include a collection of commencement addresses, celebrity performances and inspirational vignettes. Suggestions and stories are already being collected via GraduateTogether2020.com.

Celebrities such as Bad Bunny, Charli D’Amelio, Dixi

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PEOPLE, LeBron James and More to Honor the Class of 2020 with Primetime Special Graduate Together

PEOPLE, LeBron James and More to Honor the Class of 2020 with Primetime Special Graduate Together
PEOPLE, LeBron James Honor Class of 2020 in Graduate Together Special | PEOPLE.com
























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The Next Step In Black Progress For Agents Is Ownership

The Next Step In Black Progress For Agents Is Ownership

Agents (clockwise from top l.) Tory Dandy, David Mulugheta, Jovan Barnes, Nicole Lynn and Rich Paul.

Agents (clockwise from top l.) Tory Dandy, David Mulugheta, Jovan Barnes, Nicole Lynn and Rich Paul.
Photo: Getty

It’s no secret that black professional athletes have been represented by mostly white agents and white-owned sports agencies for decades.

This is why it was refreshing to see a report on Friday from the Washington Post that said 17 of the 32 selections in the first round of the NFL Draft were represented by at least one black agent. It was the first draft ever where a majority of NFL first-round picks had black management.

It’s an enormous step for the black community in helping to close the opportunity gap caused by institutional racism.

However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out one glaring hole, one that many black athletes are failing to recognize.

Ownership.

And more specifically, starting their own player agencies.

Black agents have a unique struggle. They are often overly critiqued by both white players and black players because of an antiquated social ideology that views blacks as intellectually inferior. Especially when their job description doesn’t include playing in a sports arena or performing on a stage.

If black players opened their own sports agencies that focused on providing minority opportunities, it would not only open the door for aspiring black agents, it would create jobs for minority public relations professionals, graphic design artists, and video editors.

“There’s always a struggle getting people comfortable with you doing the job,” said Nicole Lynn, the first black woman to represent a top-five NFL draft pick. “And understanding that just because you don’t look like Jerry Maguire doesn’t mean you can’t do that job.”

The notion of starting these agencies isn’t new. Notable rappers have found great success with starting their own management companies that have provided access for many.

Jay-Z founded Roc Nation in 2008 as an entertainment agency, however, the legendary rapper has since expanded his brand to sports, adding star clients like Kyrie Irving and the Ball Brothers.

Lil Wayne founded the record label Young Money in 2005 and then continued to evolve its brand in 2016 when a division of the company called Young Money Sports merged with APAA sports group. The brand now represents NFL players such as Quinnen Williams, Mecole Hardman, and Lane Johnson.

While there are other black sports agencies that have carved out success in today’s climate, most notably Rich Paul’s Klutch Sports Group, the road to success for many of these aspiring black agents and agencies is still filled with roadblocks from rules that racially discriminate against certain groups.

Last year, the NCAA tried to implement a rule that required all agents to have a bachelor’s degree to serve as an agent. It was deemed by many as the “Rich Paul Rule” and seen as an attempt to thwart the success of one of the most powerful agents in sports who does not have a college diploma.Paul represents LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons and Draymond Green among other NBA players. The agency also represents Chase Young and Jeff Okudah, two of the top three picks in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Rich Paul, the one of the most powerful agent in sports, runs his firm Klutch Sports, and negotiates contracts for LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons and host of others.

Rich Paul, the one of the most powerful agent in sports, runs his firm Klutch Sports, and negotiates contracts for LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons and host of others.
Photo: Getty

The NCAA amended its agent requirements shortly after the backlash, axing the degree requirement. However, the prospective rule served as another indication of how these power structures continued t

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LeBron James to honor Class of 2020 with all-star event

LeBron James to honor Class of 2020 with all-star event

NEW YORK (AP) — LeBron James is putting together an all-star event to honor and celebrate the high school class of 2020, which has had its graduation season upended by the coronavirus pandemic.

The LeBron James Family Foundation, XQ Institute and The Entertainment Industry Foundation on Wednesday announced that the one-hour special, “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020,?

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Report: Jalen Green Becomes 3rd HS Prospect to Sign Memorabilia Contract

Report: Jalen Green Becomes 3rd HS Prospect to Sign Memorabilia Contract
Prolific Prep's Jalen Green #4 is seen against La Lumiere during a high school basketball game at the Hoophall Classic, Sunday, January 19, 2020, in Springfield, MA. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Jalen Green continues to make bold moves as he prepares to start his career as a professional basketball player by reportedly agreeing to a memorabilia deal with Upper Deck.  

Per Yahoo Sports’ Chris B. Haynes, Green is the third player to receive a memorabilia deal directly out of high school after LeBron James in 2003 and Dwight Howard in 2004. 

Green became the first player to sign up for the NBA‘s professional pathway program that guarantees him at least $500,000 and provides one year of development in the G League outside of the team structure.

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony, the program will provide top NBA Draft prospects with professional coaching and exhibition competitions against G League teams and national teams

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LeBron James praises Isiah Thomas; calls him a ‘monster’ – TalkBasket.net

LeBron James praises Isiah Thomas; calls him a ‘monster’ – TalkBasket.net
Photo by Harry How/ Getty Images

LeBron James was impressed by Isiah Thomas and his performances with the ‘Bad Boys’ Detroit Pistons.

James took to Twitter and praised Thomas, calling him a ‘monster’.

Thomas spent his entire career with the Pistons, winning two championships and the 1990 NBA Finals MVP award. He finished his career as a 12-time All-Star and was inducted into the Hall

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LeBron James: Michael Jordan Winning 1st NBA Title ‘Damn Near Had Me Tearing Up’

LeBron James: Michael Jordan Winning 1st NBA Title ‘Damn Near Had Me Tearing Up’
Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan holds the trophy after the Bulls 108-101 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in game five for the NBA championship in Inglewood, California, June 12, 1991. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Reed Saxon/Associated Press

LeBron James, like the rest of us, is enjoying ESPN’s documentary miniseries on the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls, The Last Dance

James tweeted Monday that seeing the images of Michael Jordan crying and pressing his forehead against the Larry O’Brien Trophy after winning his first NBA title in 1990-91 against the Los Angeles Lakers made him emotional:

James

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Los Angeles Lakers Return $4.6 Million It Received From Federal Small Business Stimulus Program

Los Angeles Lakers Return $4.6 Million It Received From Federal Small Business Stimulus Program

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers have repaid a loan of roughly $4.6 million from coronavirus business relief funds after learning the program had been depleted.

The Lakers applied for the loan under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, a part of the federal government’s $2.2 trillion stimulus package. The Lakers’ request was granted in the first round of distribution, but after the fund ran out of money in less than two weeks, the team returned its loan, as did several wealthier business including Shake Shack and AutoNation.

The Lakers issued a statement Monday confirming what happened.

“The Lakers qualified for and received a loan under the Payroll Protection Program,” the statement read. “However, once we found out the funds from the program had been depleted, we repaid the loan so that financial support would be directed to those most in need. The Lakers remain completely committed to supporting both our employees and our community.”

ESPN first reported the Lakers’ decision.

The Treasury Department issued further guidance for the loan program last week, asking companies not to apply for the funds if they don’t need the cash to survive.

The Lakers qualified for the program because they have only about 300 employees. But the team is thought to be the NBA’s second-most valuable franchise, with Forbes estimating a value of roughly $4 billion.

The 16-time NBA champions play in the nation’s second-largest media market, and their current

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NBA Sets Target Date For Teams To Start Practicing, But There Are Rules

NBA Sets Target Date For Teams To Start Practicing, But There Are Rules

Will we see the likes of LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo and other NBA stars on the court again this season? Definitely maybe.

As local and state governments begin to lift restrictions put in place during the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA is looking to resume its 2019-20 season and has set “no earlier than May 8” as a target date for teams to start practicing again.

The league has been idle since March 11, when it became the first major U.S. sports league to shut down as the COVID-19 outbreak worsened.

Donald Trump Says Major Sports Could Resume As “Made For Television” Events — Without Fans — Under New White House Plan

The NBA is planning to modify its guidance regarding the use of team practice facilities and player training. But it has set some strict rules for any restart and noted that the May 8 ramp-up date might be pushed back “if developments warrant.”

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Ranking Every NBA Draft Class from 2000-2010

Ranking Every NBA Draft Class from 2000-2010

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    Jennifer Pottheiser/Getty Images

    NBA draft classes are not created equally.

    Some spawn their own constellation of basketball stars. Others don’t send a single hooper into orbit.

    Most, of course, land somewhere between those extremes, but even then, there are differences between them.

    We’re here to dissect those differences and rank each draft class from 2000 to 2010. Stars dominate this discussion—just like they dominate the league—but depth plays a part, too. Longevity matters, but so do player peaks.

    Ultimately, we’re out to discover the drafts that featured the best players and made the biggest imprints on the Association.

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    Gary Dineen/Getty Images

    If win shares is your preferred all-encompassing measure of success, then Hedo Turkoglu stands as the top player taken in this draft. Yes, as in zero-time All-Star Hedo Turkoglu, who started a pinch more than half of his games, never averaged 20 points (or six assists or six rebounds) and produced below-average player efficiency ratings in 12 of his 15 NBA seasons.

    That was the best this draft could do.

    Three players made an All-Star appearance (Kenyon Martin, Michael Redd and Jamaal Magloire), but none was invited back for a second. Redd was the draft’s only player to average more than 15 points. Jamal Crawford ranked second in scoring despite shooting just 41 percent from the field.

    Seven players from this entire draft topped 30 career win shares. Every other talent grab on this list had at least 10.

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    Joe Murphy/Getty Images

    Dajuan Wagner had a 100-point game in high school and a nightly scoring average north of 21 points during his lone season of college ball. He scored at least 25 points in four of his first six NBA contests. But injuries and illness limited him to just 103 career appearances.

    And yet, he doesn’t even make the top three what-if rankings from this draft.

    What if top pick Yao Ming could have avoided the foot problems that forced him into early retirement? What if No. 2 pick Jay Williams wasn’t involved in a career-ending motorcycle accident after his rookie season? What if Amar’e Stoudemire, the top pick in our re-draft series, hadn’t been slowed and ultimately derailed by knee, back and eye injuries?

    It could have looked a lot better in hindsight, but now, it underwhelms in depth and star power. It produced four All-Stars (Yao, Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer and Caron Butler), but Stoudemire had the only All-NBA first-team honor among them. Seven of the top 20 picks played four NBA seasons or fewer.

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    Fernando Medina/Getty Images

    The Association collectively embraced a high-risk, high-reward mentality for the 2004 draft, and given its modest ranking, you can probably deduce how that went.

    The college ranks were relatively ignored in this selection process. Nine of the first 20 picks arrived via preps-to-pros leaps or from overseas. That includes No. 1 pick Dwight Howard, plus fellow lottery choices Shaun Livingston, Andris Biedrins, Robert Swift and Sebastian Telfair.

    Howard is by far the biggest difference-maker in this class, which he leads in points, rebounds and win shares (133.9). The three-time Defensive Player of the Year carried the Orlando Magic to 2009 NBA Finals, and he enjoyed a four-year run of All-NBA and All-Defensive first-team appearances.

    But this was about it for stars. Four other players made All-Star rosters (Luol Deng, Devin Harris, Andre Iguodala and Jameer Nelson), but Deng was the only two-time honoree. This class did have decent depth, though, with players like Kevin Martin, Al Jefferson, Ben Gordon, Tony Allen and Trevor Ariza filling either complementary roles on good teams or featured roles on not-so-good ones.

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    Melissa Majchrzak/Getty Images

    The 2005 draft delivered the NBA’s point god. It just wasn’t immediately clear which floor general deserved the label.

    Deron Williams and Chris Paul were taken with back-to-back picks (third and fourth, respectively) and then battled for the title of league’s best lead guard. History may not remember a real debate between them, but Williams kept it close (four-year run of 19.2 points and 10.5 assists per game) before injuries got the best of him.

    Paul is the class’ crown jewel and among the best players to pass through the Association in the last two decades. His 179.5 career win shares are the third-most anyone has collected since 2000.

    Paul has made 10 All-Star trips, Williams went three times and David Lee booked a pair. The other two All-Stars in this draft (Andrew Bynum and Danny Granger) each hit high peaks before being almost immediately knocked down by injuries. While we haven’t mentioned the top two picks yet, neither was a massive bust, as Andrew Bogut (first) and Marvin Williams (second) are among the eight players in this draft with 50-plus win shares.

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    Jennifer Pottheiser/Getty Images

    The 2010 draft was unofficially sponsored by John Calipari. A record five Kentucky Wildcats went in the first round—John Wall (No. 1), DeMarcus Cousins (5), Patrick Patterson (14), Eric Bledsoe (18) and Daniel Orton (29)—which give the skipper the ultimate recruiting pitch.

    “I’m not trying to be braggadocios, but if you’re a player with pro potential, where do you want to go?” Calipari said, per ESPN’s Andy Katz. “Not long ago it was Florida, and then it was Duke and then North Carolina. Right now it’s Kentucky.”

    Over time, though, this draft has been defined less by its Kentucky connections and more by its four All-Stars who share an unfortunate similarity: serious leg injuries. Paul George and Gordon Hayward have fully recovered from theirs, but the jury is still out on Wall and Cousins.

    This draft delivered a lot of solid-starter to reliable-reserve level bigs, like Derrick Favors, Hassan Whiteside, Greg Monroe, Ed Davis and Trevor Booker. It didn’t do nearly as well with guards, but Avery Bradley, Evan Turner and Lance Stephenson had their moments.

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    Sam Forencich/Getty Images

    In perhaps a strangely timed nod to pyrotechnics, the 2006 talent grab started with a dumpster fire that nearly engulfed the entire top five. Four of the selections rank among the 10 worst of the lottery era at their respective draft slot by career win shares: No. 1 Andrea Bargnani (eighth-lowest), No. 3 Adam Morrison (lowest), No. 4 Tyrus Thomas (eighth) and No. 5 Shelden Williams (10th).

    But somehow, this brutal beginning didn’t knock the whole draft off course. It still produced talent—and stars—just from further down the board.

    Five All-Stars emerged from this draft, and they all made multiple trips. LaMarcus Aldridge is the clubhouse leader with seven, but Kyle Lowry is right behind with six. Paul Millsap and Rajon Rondo each made four All-Star trips, and Brandon Roy—who showed the highest ceiling in this class—went three times before his knees betrayed him and cut short what could have been a superstar-level career.

    The early misfires didn’t help with depth, as only a dozen players carved out decade-plus stays in the Association. But ace role players like JJ Redick, P.J. Tucker, Rudy Gay and Thabo Sefolosha give this draft some length.

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    253142Name/Associated Press

    The 2001 draft is arguably most famous—and certainly most infamous—for what happened at the top. The Washington Wizards, and then-team president Michael Jordan, made Kwame Brown the first-ever high school drafted with the No. 1 pick.

    The Wizards would love to have that one back. While Brown still worked his way to a 12-year career, h

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Michael Jordan’s Stats from Bulls’ 4 Playoff Series vs. ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons

** FILE ** Detroit Pistons Joe Dumars (4) defends Chicago Bulls' Michael Jordan during game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals in this May 22, 1991 photo, in Chicago. The Detroit Pistons, who devised a scheme called the

JOHN SWART/Associated Press

Every all-time great needs to vanquish the old guard before beginning their own reign. For LeBron James, it was the Kevin GarnettPaul Pierce Boston Celtics. For Michael Jordan, it was the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons.

For four straight years, Jordan’s Chicago Bulls went head-to-head against Isiah Thomas and the Pistons. Three times for a conference championship.

The Pistons were victorious in each of those first three matchups, giving Jordan the biggest failures of his professional career and making fans wonder if he could ever lead the Bulls to the promised land. How funny those storylines look in retrospect.

With Sunday’s installments of The Last Dance looking back on that rivalry, here is a look at Jordan’s stats from those four series.

    

1988 Eastern Conference Semifinals

CHICAGO - 1989:  Isiah Thomas #11 of the Detroit Pistons looks to pass against Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls during an NBA game in 1989 at the Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by d

Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

The 1987-88 Pistons essentially laid waste to the Bulls.

The third-seeded Bulls were a fun upstart on their way to becoming a contender but were essentially a one-man show. Jordan was the only player on the roster who scored more than 13 points per game during the regular season. Scottie Pippen was merely a promising rookie who came off the bench to add defensive presence, finishing eighth on the team in minutes per game.

This series was an ugly reminder of just how far the Bulls had to go. The Pistons bullied the young Bulls and, even to an extent, Jordan himself. Aside from a brilliant Game 2, Detroit did an excellent job of keeping MJ in check while the players around him struggled to keep pace.

The Pistons would go on to reach the NBA Finals, where they’d lose to the Lakers in a seven-game thriller.

    

Game 1

  • Points: 29
    Rebounds: 11
    Assists: 6
    Turnovers: 5
    Steals: 1
    Blocks: 0
    FG: 10-22
    3PT: 0-1
    FT: 9-10

Result: Pistons 93, Bulls 82

    

Game 2

  • Points: 36
    Rebounds: 11
    Assists: 1
    Turnovers: 2
    Steals: 1
    Blocks: 1
    FG: 14-22
    3PT: 0-0
    FT: 8-10

Result: Bulls 105, Pistons 95

    

Game 3

  • Points: 24
    Rebounds: 7
    Assists: 3
    Turnovers: 5
    Steals: 1
    Blocks: 1
    FG: 8-20
    3PT: 0-0
    FT: 8-9

Result: Pistons 101, Bulls 79

    

Game 4

  • Points: 23
    Rebounds: 7
    Assists: 5
    Turnovers: 3
    Steals: 6
    Blocks: 0
    FG: 11-22
    3PT: 0-0
    FT: 1-2

Result: Pistons 96, Bulls 77

    


Game 5

  • Points: 25
    Rebounds: 8
    Assists: 8
    Turnovers: 3
    Steals: 2
    Blocks: 0
    FG: 10-22
    3PT: 1-2
    FT: 4-7

Result: Pistons 102, Bulls 95 (DET wins, 4-1)

Averages: 27.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.6 blocks, 49.1 FG%

      

1989 Eastern Conference Finals

AUBURN HILLS, MI - 1989:  Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls persues Isiah Thomas #11 of the Detroit Pistons during the 1989 season NBA game at The Palace Of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agree

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Consistency was not Jordan’s strong suit in this series. While he was transcendent in a 46-point outing that gave the Bulls a 2-1 series lead and seemingly set the stage for a new king of the East, his next two games went by with a whimper.

The Pistons used their veteran guile and some hard fouls to rough up Jordan in Game 4 to the point he essentially disappeared in Game 5. Jordan’s eight shot attempts were the only time he took fewer than 10 in a playoff game in his entire career. In fact, it was the only time he took fewer than 14. While he got to the line 11 times and added nine assists, that performance goes down as one of the biggest blemishes on Jordan’s playoff resume.

The Pistons themselves were a motivated, deep powerhouse that atoned for their 1988 Finals defeat by sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers. No shame in losing to what was by far the best team in basketball.

    

Game 1

  • Points: 32
    Rebounds: 11
    Assists: 4
    Turnovers: 3
    Steals: 0
    Blocks: 0
    FG: 10-29
    3PT: 2-6
    FT: 10-13

Result: Bulls 94, Pistons 88

    

Game 2

  • Points: 27
    Rebounds: 4
    Assists: 4
    Turnovers: 4
    Steals: 2
    Blocks: 1
    FG: 9-20
    3PT: 0-2
    FT: 9-11

Result: Pistons 100, Bulls 91

    

Game 3

  • Points: 46
    Rebounds: 7
    Assists: 5
    Turnovers: 2
    Steals: 5
    Blocks: 0
    FG: 16-26
    3PT: 0-3
    FT: 14-15

Result: Bu




























































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LeBron James on Heat-Era Assist to Mike Miller: ‘Don’t Try That Pass at Home’

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 20:  LeBron James #6 and Mike Miller #13 of the Miami Heat celebrate in the second quarter while taking on the San Antonio Spurs during Game Seven of the 2013 NBA Finals at AmericanAirlines Arena on June 20, 2013 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Make sure to take every precaution when attempting to emulate LeBron James while stuck at home.

The NBA‘s Twitter account shared a replay of Mike Miller’s halftime buzzer-beater from Game 2 of the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals. James drew the defense inside before firing a pass to Miller in the corner.

LeBron cautioned that some things are better left to the professionals:

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GOATs on GOATs: LeBron and MJ in their own words

Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Feb. 14, 2019.

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. Six championships. Count ’em. OK, stop us if you’ve also heard this: LeBron James is the GOAT. The King is simply bigger and stronger, and he has done it longer.

The two never faced off in an NBA game. Jordan played his last game for the Washington Wizards on April 16, 2003 — two months before the Cleveland Cavaliers made James the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. But their paths have been linked for as long as we can remember — and crossed again March 6 at Staples Center as James passed Jordan for fourth on the all-time scoring list.

So who is the real GOAT? The debate rages on. On your television. In the comments section. In your Twitter replies.

But it doesn’t matter what we say. Here are Jordan and James, in their own words, talking about each other over the past 17 years.


2001: The first meeting

LeBron James was a young high school star who had yet to make his big impression on the national stage when he first met Michael Jordan, who was preparing for a comeback with the Wizards. James spoke about that first meeting this past December as he prepared to play the Jordan-owned Hornets in Charlotte.

play

1:21

LeBron James reminisces about the first time he met Michael Jordan in 2001.

“It was godly. I’ve said that over and over before, but it was like meeting God for the first time. That’s what I felt like as a 16-year-old kid when I met MJ.
— LeBron James
Dec. 15, 2018 (Source: Multiple, pregame media availability)

2002: LeBron hits the scene

Just a year later, James himself was getting compared to deities, being dubbed “The Chosen One” on the cover of “Sports Illustrated” as a junior in high school.

He’s very talented. But he’s young, and there’s a lot of things he doesn’t know.”
— Michael Jordan
Jan. 18, 2002 (Source: Associated Press)

“If you have a chance to talk to him, you listen. More people listen to him than listen to the president of the United States.”
— LeBron James
Nov. 5, 2002 (Source: Newhouse News Services)

2003: Jordan exits, James enters

“Is he capable? Yes. He has the skills that most 18-year-olds do not have. Now, if you equate that to playing in the league, I think he would be an average player in our league right now with the potential to be a better player. To say that he can step in at the same level as a Tracy McGrady or a Kobe Bryant would be unfair to LeBron James.”
— Michael Jordan
Feb. 4, 2003 (Source: MSG Network)

Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player ever and … if anybody in the world can criticize somebody, it can be Michael Jordan. There’s no way I’m going to get mad at Michael Jordan criticizing me. There’s no way. Michael Jordan is like a dad. If Michael Jordan is going to tell anybody to do something — the players, the media, the coaches — you should do it. Simple as that.”
— LeBron James
April 16, 2003 (Source: Associated Press)

“I’m not going to be able to do it the way Jordan did, I can tell you that. I think I can produce enough, contribute enough, on and off the court, to lift the city of Cleveland.”
— LeBron James
June 27, 2003 (Source: New York Post)

A changing of the guard was taking place, whether Jordan wanted to acknowledge it or not. Jordan played his final game as a member of the Wizards on April 16, 2003. Two months later, James was selected No. 1 overall by the Cavaliers, a team Jordan famously tormented during his NBA career. The next generation had arrived.

Before his first game as a professional at Chicago’s United Center — The House That MJ Built — James tried to downplay the comparisons.

I’m not trying to be Jordan. I’m not trying to compare myself to Jordan or Magic [Johnson] or [Larry] Bird. A lot of people are, but I’m not. They have their own legacies. I’m trying to build my own. I know Michael, but I don’t communicate with him. I’m just trying to be me.”
— LeBron James
Dec. 19, 2003 (Source: Chicago Sun Times)

2004-2006: James on the rise

Though James downplayed the Jordan comparison, he was forced to face it again in 2004, when he made his Team USA debut — wearing the same No. 9 that Jordan had worn with the Dream Team.

“It didn’t matter what I said, I knew you guys would make that connection anyway. That was the greatest basketball team of all time.
— LeBron James
Aug. 13, 2004 (Source: The Record — of Bergen County, New Jersey)

“I think he’s doing fine on his own. Obviously, you guys are comparing him with me. They did it with me when I came up with [Julius Erving] and Oscar [Robertson]. But I think the thing about LeBron and what makes him hopefully survive is that he does what’s best for LeBron, not what people expect him to do, who think he should be Michael Jordan.”
— Michael Jordan
Feb. 10, 2005 (Source: New York Daily News)

“I’ve seen classic games of Jordan versus the Pistons and the Bulls versus the Pistons. To become the best, you’ve got to beat the best. It might not happen the first year or the second year or third year, but you just got to keep working at it and, hopefully, you’ll get over that hump. [Jordan] was able to overcome adversity and overcome the beast. He became the beast.
— LeBron James
May 9, 2006 (Source: The Globe and Mail, Canada)

Those classic Pistons-Bulls clashes — four series from 1988 to 1991 — saw Detroit’s rough-and-tumble “Jordan Rules” blitz and bruise the Bulls star with a defensive scheme now outlawed. The Pistons overcame Chicago until Jordan got over the hump in 1991. Before Game 2 of the 2006 Eastern Conference semis during James’ first postseason, James considered the obstacle of the modern Bad Boys, a Pistons championship group that would make six straight conference finals from 2003 to 2008. James, it turned out, was a year away.

2007: LeBron makes ‘The Leap’

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On May 31, 2007, LeBron James scored 48 points as Cleveland beat Detroit in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

In Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, James put on a Jordanesque show, scoring the Cavaliers’ final 25 points to lift them to a double-overtime win. Two days later, Cleveland reached its first NBA Finals by eliminating the Pistons, the same team Jordan had gotten past to reach his first Finals in 1991. Though James and the Cavs would end up being swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the Finals, Jordan was complimentary of James’ accomplishments … to an extent.

“What just transpired was something I felt was needed for the league, was needed for Cleveland, was needed for LeBron. Making ‘The Leap’ is where you do it every single night. It’s expected of you, and you do it. … Not one game, not two games. It’s consistent. Every defense comes in and they focus on you and you still impact the game. I think he’s shown signs of that.”
— Michael Jordan
June 4, 2007 (Source: Chicago Tribune)

“Anytime you get praise from the guy who basically laid down all the stones for you to get here — I grew up idolizing his game and how he played the game of basketball — it was definitely great to hear.”
— LeBron James
June 4, 2007 (Source: Associated Press)

2008-2009: LeBron strikes out on his own

I’m a totally different player than Michael Jordan. As far as the next Jordan, there is no such thing. There’s one Michael Jordan and only one, and no one compares with him.
— LeBron James
March 6, 2008 (Source: Chicago Tribune)

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0:56

LeBron James nails a 3-pointer over Hedo Turkoglu as time expires to give the Cavaliers a 96-95 win over the Magic in Game 2 of the 2009 Eastern Conference finals.

“That guy is not in the league anymore. The other 23 is on the good side now.”
— LeBron James
May 22, 2009 (Source: Associated Press)

Of course, Jordan had been retired for six years, but the memories of his dominance hadn’t faded, especially in Cleveland. That’s why when James hit what he called the biggest shot of his career to that point, a buzzer-beating 3 over Hedo Turkoglu to beat the Orlando Magic in





























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Chris Bosh Celebrates ‘The Last Dance’ with Photoshopped Image of Jordan Block

Former Miami Heat player Chris Bosh speaks at a press conference before the team's retirement of his jersey at halftime of an NBA game between the Heat and the Orlando Magic, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in Miami. Bosh played 13 seasons, the first seven in Toronto and the last six in Miami. He averaged 19.2 points and 8.5 rebounds, was an All-Star 11 times and won two championships.  (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)

Joe Skipper/Associated Press

Chris Bosh superimposed himself into The Last Dance:

ESPN will air the third and fourth episodes of the 10-part documentary series Sunday night. The Last Dance gives an inside look at Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, specifically their 1997-98 title run that marked the end of their six-championship dynasty.

Bosh won back-to-back NBA Finals in 2012 and ’13 alongside LeBron James and Dwyane Wade as the Miami Heat’s Big Three. The 36-year-old had previously establish

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Dwyane Wade Talks Giving Norris Cole His Porsche for Hitting Half-Court Shot

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 29: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat high fives Norris Cole #30 of the Miami Heat during the game against the Orlando Magic at American Airlines Arena on December 29, 2014 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christopher Trotman/Getty Images)

Christopher Trotman/Getty Images

Norris Cole hit one of the most lucrative half-court shots ever. 

The former NBA player joined Dwyane Wade on the Platform Basketball Podcast and recounted betting D-Wade he could hit a half-court shot when the pair were teammates on the Miami Heat. Wade said if he did, he’d give him his brand-new Porsche. 

And Norris hit the shot. 

Norris joined the Heat in the 2011-12 sea

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Lakers’ LeBron James Shares Home Workout Videos Amid Coronavirus Quarantine

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

LeBron James isn’t about to allow the coronavirus lockdown to mess with his conditioning.

The Los Angeles Lakers star shared a home workout on his Instagram on Friday, featuring a ton of band work. 

“All band and core work! Let’s work folks! Who with me???” the post read.

Not all of us are superhuman athletic marvels with the dedication and drive to be the greatest basketball player of all time.?

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The Internet on one page. Successor of Popurls, the mother of news aggregators. By @thomas
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LeBron James’ College List Once Included Duke, North Carolina And Ohio State

LeBron James in a Duke or North Carolina uniform?

It could have happened had King James gone to college instead of jumping straight to the NBA as the No. 1 overall pick in 2003, but he most likely would’ve ended up at Ohio State.

During an ESPN2 rebroadcast on Friday of a 2002 game between James’ St. Vincent-St. Mary High School (OH) team and Oak Hill Academy (VA), Dick Vitale said James’ college list at the time featured Duke, Florida, Louisville, North Carolina and Ohio State. Vitale did the game at Cleveland State Univ

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LeBron James Congratulates ‘Straight Up Dog’ Jeff Okudah Before 2020 NFL Draft

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 12:  LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on after the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Oregon Ducks 42 to 20 in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

LeBron James is quite public in his Ohio State football fandom, and he still supports the players after they are done suiting up in scarlet and gray.

With cornerback Jeff Okudah set to be the latest in a long list of Ohio State defensive backs to be drafted Thursday, the King offered his congratulations:

“I’m saying CONGRATULATIONS right now lil bro!!” James wrote. “Whoever draft you is getting a straight up DOG but more importantly a great young man!”

It is not a surprise James is supporting Okudah, and it goes beyond the Ohio State connections. Klutch Sports, the agency founded by James’ longtime friend Rich Paul, welcomed both the cornerback and his college teammate Chase Young to the fold in January:

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LeBron James’ Agent Rich Paul’s Clients Chase Young, Jeff Okudah Go 2-3 in Draft

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 11:  Sports agent Rich Paul looks on after the game between the Miami Heat and the Charlotte Hornets at American Airlines Arena on March 11, 2020 in Miami, Florida. The NBA announced tonight the season has been suspended after a Utah Jazz player preliminary tested positive for the coronavirus. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Aside from the college prospects hearing their names called during the NFL draft on Thursday, no one is having a better first round than LeBron James’ agent, Rich Paul. 

In his first year as a certified NFL agent, Paul saw two of his clients selected among the top three picks. 

With Chase Young going No. 2 overall to Washington and Jeff Okudah landing with the Detroit Lions at No. 3, Paul made a massive statement as he begins his foray into NFL representation. 

Young and Okudah join a stable of talent that includes James, An

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Draymond Green: Kevin Durant ‘Wasn’t as Happy’ After 2017 Finals Win vs. LeBron

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with forward Draymond Green (23) during the second half of Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers in Oakland, Calif., Monday, April 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

In November, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he felt Kevin Durant‘s happiness begin to wane following the team’s first title, possibly because he didn’t receive enough praise for the team’s success.

Draymond Green backed up Kerr’s comments in even more detail Thursday during an appearance on All the Smoke:

“We win a championship, Kevin wins Finals MVP, in my opinion, he got the best of Bron that series, like Kevin was f–kin’ rockin’. … After that, that was kinda that moment, damn, Kevin should be the best player in the NBA because of what he just did to LeBron. You turn on the TV the next day and the f–kin headline is, ‘LeBron James Still the Best Player in the World?’ You got Stephen A, you got all these people debating it, and everybody still sayin’ LeBron James is the best player in the world.

“That’s when I kind of felt like it took a turn. And then we came back in the 2017-18 season, and Kevin just wasn’t as happy. He wasn’t as like ‘Steph do what you do, Klay do

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NFL Draft 2020: Five things to know about Lions DB Jeff Okudah

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SportsPulse: The Detroit Lions went with the shutdown corner from Ohio State to rejuvenate their defense. We detail Jeff Okudah’s strengths and weaknesses and the type of prospect Detroit is getting.

USA TODAY

The Detroit Lions have found their corner of the future.

Jeff Okudah, regarded by many as the top defensive back in this year’s draft, is heading to Motown. In three years at Ohio State, Okudah anchored one of the most consistent secondaries in college football.

Last season he led the Buckeyes’ fourth-ranked defense with three interceptions, helping them keep opponents to just under 14 points per game. Okudah (6-1 and 205 pounds) has a similar size profile to many of the top cornerback prospects in recent years and is the latest in a long line of talented defensive backs to come out of Ohio State. 

DRAFT TRACKER: Keep up with the latest picks as they happen

NOW IS THE TIME: Follow our NFL newsletter to stay up to date

Here are five things to know about the new Lions cornerback:

1. He’s not here for false criticism

At the scouting combine in February, Okudah showed that he wasn’t afraid to stand up for himself off the field. In response to a question by a reporter about his “sloppy” play, Okudah pushed back saying “I had zero pass interferences, zero holdings. Put the tape on again; you might see something else.” The exchange quickly went viral, with outlets subsequently verifying Okudah’s claim.

2. He was a bona fide shutdown corner in college

The title “shutdown corner” may be overused in today’s game, but for Okudah it’s actually true. According to Pro Football Focus, last year opposing QB’s had a passer rating of 45.3 on throws where he was in coverage. Even more impressive? In tracking his play since 2018, PFF found that out of the 400 plays where he was directly involved in coverage “just six resulted in a 15-plus yard gain for the opposing receiver.”

3. He’s got hops

Despite taking a nasty fall during the broad jump position of the NFL scouting combine, Okudah showed up in top form for the standing vertical measurement. With a 41-inch vertical, he was tied for the second-highest standing-vertical among defensive backs. For comparisons, the highest standing vertical jump measured at

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Warriors’ Steph Curry ‘Unbothered’ by Maverick Carter’s Comments on His Defense

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James is defended by Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry during the first half of Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry didn’t seem too bothered that businessman—and close LeBron James associate—Maverick Carter believes he can score on the sharpshooter.

During an interview with Chris “COSeezy” Strachan, Curry said, “You doing something great no matter what it is, they’re coming for you. … People who actually know what they’re talking about they’re gonna speak facts and truth.”

Without specifically mentioning Carter, Curry suggested using his name to get recognition makes “you look stupid.”

“I am so secure in who I am and who I know I am on the court, that’s why I never respond to anybody because either I’m agreeing with you or I’m laughing,” he said. “At the end of the day, you look stupid if you’re saying something to try to use my name to either get some pub or some heat or some clicks, or whatever it is.”

Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area provided the context serving as the backdrop, noting W

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Video: Joe Burrow Says He Could Score ’12 to 15′ Points in NBA Game

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 13: Quarterback Joe Burrow #9 of the LSU Tigers on a running play during the College Football Playoff National Championship game against the Clemson Tigers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 13, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. LSU defeated Clemson 42 to 25. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Joe Burrow is expected to be the top overall pick in the NFL draft when the Cincinnati Bengals are officially on the clock.

But the LSU star quarterback also told Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks that he believes he could find some degree of success in a different sport if he trained for it, and that’s professional basketball:

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The Internet on one page. Successor of Popurls, the mother of news aggregators. By @thomas
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Kendrick Perkins Defends LeBron James After Michael Jordan Is Praised for Losses

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 13: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers shares a conversation with Former NBA player, Kendrick Perkins before the game against the Golden State Warriors on November 13, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Kendrick Perkins is coming to the defense of LeBron James

The former NBA champion and James’ ex-teammate took to Twitter to compare the expectations fans have for LeBron versus Michael Jordan after the latter received praise in The Last Dance for his brilliance in losing efforts.

“The expectations of ‘Bron [are] like nothing we’ve ever seen in NBA history. If Bron scores 63 and 49 in a series and gets swept, every sports network is talking about his inability to get it done, while MJ is getting praised and awarded player of the game in losses,” Perkins tweeted.

Jordan’s 63- and 49-point games referenced by Perkins came i

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The Last Dance is a perfect distraction in a world without sport – CNET

the-last-dance-jordan

The legendary 97/98 Chicago Bulls.


ESPN

Let me get one thing out of the way: I don’t really care about basketball. I’m more of a soccer guy. Basketball’s high scoring feels just a bit too much. When someone scores in soccer? It’s exhilarating. In basketball? That sensation is dulled. 

Then there’s the weird size thing. In soccer, the world’s greatest player could be 6 feet, 1 inch like Zinedine Zidane, or 5 feet, 6 inches like Maradona. In basketball, almost all the greats are 6 feet, 5 inches or above. To me, that speaks to a sport more focused on physical attributes than pure technique or skill.

But none of that stopped me sitting on Netflix Sunday, refreshing the homepage over and over, waiting for the first two episodes of The Last Dance to drop. 

The Last Dance: a new, one-of-a-kind sports documentary, directed by Jason Hehir, focusing on the 1997-1998 NBA season from the perspective of the legendary Chicago Bulls. A series that promises unseen footage of basketball’s most famous team and — more importantly — its most celebrated player, Michael Jordan.

The Last Dance was originally supposed to be released in June of this year, but given the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent cancellation of pretty much every single sporting event — the NBA, the NFL, the EPL, the Olympics — the powers that be decided to do us all a big favor and push the release date forward. 

The first two episodes of The Last Dance aired April 19 on ESPN in the US with the remaining eight episodes releasing weekly until mid-

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The Last Dance and Michael Jordan are perfect distractions in a world desperate for sport – CNET

the-last-dance-jordan

The legendary 97/98 Chicago Bulls.


ESPN

Let me get one thing out of the way: I don’t really care about basketball. I’m more of a soccer guy. Basketball’s high scoring feels just a bit too much. When someone scores in soccer? It’s exhilarating. In basketball? That sensation is dulled. 

Then there’s the weird size thing. In soccer, the world’s greatest player could be 6 feet, 1 inch like Zinedine Zidane, or 5 feet, 6 inches like Maradona. In basketball, almost all the greats are 6 feet, 5 inches or above. To me, that speaks to a sport more focused on physical attributes than pure technique or skill.

But none of that stopped me sitting on Netflix Sunday, refreshing the homepage over and over, waiting for the first two episodes of The Last Dance to drop. 

The Last Dance: a new, one-of-a-kind sports documentary, directed by Jason Hehir, focusing on the 1997-1998 NBA season from the perspective of the legendary Chicago Bulls. A series that promises unseen footage of basketball’s most famous team and — more importantly — its most celebrated player, Michael Jordan.

The Last Dance was originally supposed to be released in June of this year, but given the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent cancellation of pretty much every single sporting event — the NBA, the NFL, the EPL, the Olympics — the powers that be decided to do us all a big favor and push the release date forward. 

The first two episodes of The Last Dance aired April 19 on ESPN in the US with the remaining eight episodes releasing weekly until mid-

Read More

Michael Jordan Will Reportedly Donate His ‘Last Dance’ Proceeds to Charity

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 12: Michael Jordan attends a press conference for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Air Jordan Shoe during the 'Palais 23' interactive exhibition dedicated to Michael Jordan at Palais de Tokyo in Paris on June 12, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

Hall of Famer Michael Jordan will receive no money from ESPN’s 10-part documentary series, The Last Dance.

ForbesKurt Badenhausen reported Jordan plans to donate the proceeds he’ll receive—estimated to be around $3 million or $4 million—to charity.

Numerous sports fans were eagerly anticipating the documentary when it was first announced in May 2018. That anticipation reached a high point as the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a halt to live sports, and ESPN moved up the series from its original June air date.

The first two episodes, which aired Sunday night, drew an average of 6.1 million viewers.

While Jordan won’t directly benefit financially as a result of The Last Dance, he’s likely to collect less tangible rewards.

For thos

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Why Scott Burrell appreciated MJ’s harsh leadership style – NBCSports.com

Michael Jordan was never easy on former Bulls teammate Scott Burrell. That’s one thing sure to shine through as “The Last Dance” docuseries marches on.

“When you see the footage of it (him riding Scott Burrell), you’re going to think that I’m a horrible guy,” Jason Hehir, paraphrasing Jordan, dictated to Richard Deitsch of The Athletic. “But you have to realize that the reason why I was treating him like that is because I needed him to be tough in the playoffs and we’re facing the Indiana’s and Miami’s and New York’s in the Eastern Conference. He needed to be tough and I needed to know that I could count on him.”

In the debut of “The Last Dance,” we got a peek at the ruthless competitive side that Jordan was so worried about others seeing. We even got a look at him interacting with Burrell in… Let’s call it an icy manner.

But ask Burrell, and he appreciated Jordan’s leadership style as a teammate. We did just that on the most recent episode of the Bulls Talk Podcast.

“I just hope people don’t get a bad view of Michael after this movie,” Burrell said. “What he said

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Just a simple video of Ana de Armas dancing in a pretty dress to lighten your mood. via Hvper.com

The Internet on one page. Successor of Popurls, the mother of news aggregators. By @thomas
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David Bowie bassist Matthew Seligman, 64, dies of coronavirus via Hvper.com

The Internet on one page. Successor of Popurls, the mother of news aggregators. By @thomas
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The new Michael Jordan documentary, The Last Dance, throws down a marker in the GOAT debate. Here’s how Muhammad Ali popularized ‘the greatest’ moniker and how it grew to touch everything in culture.

  • ESPN’s 10-part documentary on Michael Jordan, “The Last Dance,” is an education for younger generations who never saw “the greatest basketball player of all time” play during his 1990s prime.
  • Athletes calling themselves “the greatest” predates Jordan, though, most famously in the boastful words of the late boxing legend Muhammad Ali.
  • The “GOAT” (as in, the “greatest of all time”) term has begun to transcend sports, finding itself in the pop music world and even on game shows like “Jeopardy.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Long before the crying Jordan meme, when Michael Jordan retired from professional basketball (the second time, not the third), he was widely considered “the greatest basketball player of all time.” 

In the years since, the “greatest” debate has intensified in the context of basketball, as LeBron James, who wears both of the heir apparent nicknames “the chosen one” and “King James,” built an impressive resume that made a comparison with Jordan legitimate. Still, it rankled many in the basketball community in 2018, when James said, “That one right there made me the greatest player of all-time,” in reference to h

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Last Night on ‘The Last Dance’: Episodes 1 & 2 – Sports Illustrated

If we could conjure up a metaphorical watercooler right now—a place where we gather (observing social distancing of course), grouse and gab—would the word Jordan be on most of our lips? Is there a comparison to be made with a long-ago Monday morning, specifically Feb. 10, 1964? That’s when the national conversation centered on Paul, John, George and Ringo, the previous night’s guests on The Ed Sullivan Show, that program being our national cultural clearinghouse back in those three-channel days.

We will know more when we get ratings from Sunday night’s first two episodes of The Last Dance, the ESPN-Netflix Michael Jordan documentary that will answer the question: With a great majority of us in quarantine, will the already-well-told tale of an athlete who hasn’t played since 2003 serve as our collective conversation piece? Moreover, does The Last Dance have the goods to carry us through eight more hours over the next four Sundays?

My answer to the last query: a definite maybe.

Last Dance4

There are a limited number of athletes we would even consider to have a chance at passing the 600-minute litmus test. Muhammad Ali? Sure. Serena and Venus Williams together? Maybe. Tom Brady? Uh … no. Now, Ken Burns gave The Roosevelts 14 hours over seven episodes, but you had three of them to get at, including Eleanor, and two of them were, you know, president. Charlie Pierce, who toggles between sports and politics about as well as anyone, questioned on Twitter why Jordan would even remotely warrant that much time, since he never had much interesting to say about subjects outside of basketball.

A reasonable point. But as someone who covered Jordan for the better portion of his NBA career, I can say: You didn’t go to Jordan to plug into the national zeitgeist. You went to Jordan to chronicle his basketball journeys, to bear witness to his GOAT-ness, to write about this fierce force of nature who never tired of dominating, to try to deconstruct this most-hyped of athletes who somehow always lived up to his hype, a very difficult thing to do. Which is another way of saying: You went to Jordan to watch him play.

Plus, if Jordan was vanilla on politics, he was never an anodyne personality. He could get wound up, and working in the doc’s favor is the fact that Jordan was most wound up before and during the 1997–98 season, which serves as the grounding point for The Last Dance.

The Bulls were coming off two straight championships, but Scottie Pippen was injured and furious with his contract; Dennis Rodman was a here-today-gone-tomorrow heyoka, in Phil Jackson’s words (a backward-walking man from Native American culture); and management, as if propelled by some mysterious centripetal force that even they didn’t quite understand, was determined to break up the team.

So with an NBA Entertainment camera crew already having been granted unlimited access, coach Jackson—master of aphorism, creator of themed content—termed the ’97-98 season “The Last Dance.”

Phil also liked The Band. We’ll get back to that.

A personal admission. I would be less than honest if I said it didn’t matter to me that I wasn’t interviewed for the doc, though over the years I have pontificated about Jordan and others of his generation on outlets too numerous to count. According to The Last Dance’s producers, 130 subjects were interviewed on camera, so I must’ve been, in the comforting words of former Sports Illustrated colleague Michael Farber, “No. 131, for sure.”

I was scheduled on at least four occasions to talk on camera, but each was called off, one of them because, I was told, “We have to do J.T.”

Holy hell, James Taylor? James Taylor’s in the Jordan doc!? Must be a “Going to Carolina in My Mind” connection with MJ. But, no; the singer-songwriter, is not in the doc. Justin Timberlake, however, is. Among others who make present-day appearances, just in the first two episodes: Barack Obama, William Jefferson Clinton, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas. Ten hours is a big canvas, so you better have a lot of paint.

* * *

Regarding the title, it’s doubtful that Bulls players were fans of Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm and the boys, but in the back of Phil Jackson’s mind was Martin Scorsese’s classic 1978 concert film The Last Waltz, which chronicles the final gig for The Band, which took place two years earlier at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.

“It was a big takeoff on that movie,” Jackson told me a couple of days ago. “Plus, I did often refer to working the triangle [offense] as being a dance. I taught the players to work on a 4/4 beat, like hip-hop time. I used to say: ‘You have two seconds to assess your position and act. If you hold the ball any longer, you are impeding the offense.’ ” Jackson told me that on many nights assistant coach Tex Winter, one of the architects of the triangle, would nudge him and say, “Take Jordan out. He’s holding the ball too long.” Jackson would usually ignore him.

Today’s Jordan first appears in Episode 1 shot from behind—alone; big, bald head gleaming like Ving Rhames’s Marsellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction; left-ear-ringed; sliver-thin Zorro ’stache; expensive watch; staring out of a mansion window onto a cerulean sky and sea. He could be a Central American dictator in exile, which is not a terrible metaphor for Jordan, who surfaces rarely these days and once commanded comparable power and intrigue. One of the best things about the first two hours of The Last Dance is that it appears Jordan is all in, talking comfortably in an easy chair, a glass of something smooth beside him, cigar sometimes in hand.

We don’t stay there long, as director Jason Hehir s

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The stories behind the best NBA prospects we’ve ever seen

Who are the best basketball prospects our NBA experts have ever seen?

Inspired by ESPN’s MLB team, we asked an ESPN panel about watching some of the league’s standout players before they made it big. The only rule: You had to see the prospect play in person before his first NBA game.

Our picks feature multiple All-Stars and Hall of Famers, including Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Luka Doncic and more. Here’s when we knew they were special.


Steph Curry steals the show vs. Blake Griffin

It was a mid-November nonconference game between two ranked teams, the kind of early-season college basketball game that scratches for attention against football. But people were paying attention to Davidson’s visit to Oklahoma because the matchup featured two of the biggest collegiate hoops stars: the high-flying Blake Griffin and the nation’s leading scorer in Stephen Curry. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green made the trip down I-35 to sit courtside. A 10-year-old Trae Young was in the lower bowl with his dad.

Seeing Steph in person then was like seeing Steph in person now. There was a buzz to every shot he took, your eyes seemingly trained to follow him all over the floor as he weaved through defenders and around screens like he was a basketball shell game. Still, he was more novelty than sure thing, a gunning, undersized guard who left many draft experts and scouts skeptical. Curry was thin and baby-faced, his jersey sagging off him. Griffin, though, was built like he was ready to play on the block against Amar’e Stoudemire that night. It was the perfect matchup.

Griffin finished with 25 points on 11 shots and grabbed 21 boards. He was dominant, soaring for dunks and mean-mugging everybody. But Curry stole the show, dropping 44 points and sparking two different second-half runs that nearly brought the Wildcats back from a 21-point deficit. Every time the ball found Curry, the arena buzzed with a mixture of “oh no” and “oh boy.” The fear Curry instilled in opponents and road crowds already was real.

After the game, Durant and Westbrook hung around to shake Curry’s hand as he walked off the floor, the two NBA players acknowledging the young college star. It was kind of an awkward picture then, with a pre-fashion forward Westbrook and the fact that Curry was older than Durant and Westbrook; but it’s really an awkward one now, considering how things eventually played out between the three.

— Royce Young

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Take a look back at how Kobe Bryant went from high school phenom at Lower Merion to a teenage sensation early in his NBA career.

Kobe’s stunning first impression

It is not too common that the first player a scout ever looks at turns out to be an all-time great.

That’s what happened to me in March 1996.

I was a basketball operations assistant, three months removed from shedding the intern tag, when then New Jersey Nets general manager Willis Reed summoned me into his office. He was reading through a scouting service the Nets subscribed to and asked me, “Have you heard of this 17-year-old high school player named Kobe Bryant?”

I answered no. Back then, there was no social media buzz, no easily accessible highlights — we didn’t even have a scouting database where his name would have shown up. Three months before his name would be selected by the Charlotte Hornets, Bryant was still unknown to some of basketball’s biggest power players.

One day later, Willis asked me to jump on a train to Philadelphia and catch one of Kobe’s state playoff games. It wasn’t uncommon back then to take an all-hands-on deck approach to scouting games. When I first started with the Nets, we had a small scouting staff that consisted of a director of player personnel and three regional scouts.

Watching Kobe, I was mesmerized. Here was a 6-foot-7 17-year-old who could do everything and play multiple positions. In addition to the mental toughness he displayed during his NBA career, Kobe had deep range, post-up moves resembling that of a big and an aggressiveness to attack the basket. Lower Merion High School wound up winning the game (Kobe scored 39 points) over Chester at the famed Palestra. Yes, there were weaknesses to his game, primarily handling the ball against small defenders, but I remember writing on a note card, “This kid could play in the NBA right now.”

Three months later, I served as Kobe’s draft host (a glorified name for driver) when he worked out for the Nets. Just as he had in the game I watched, Kobe destroyed the workout — this time against NBA players.

— Bobby Marks

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On Dec. 12, 2002, LeBron James made his ESPN debut with his St. Vincent-St. Mary High team. James scored 31 points in a win.

LeBron comes up clutch

With Division I coaches, power agents and sneaker impresarios in the stands at Fairleigh Dickinson University for the marquee game of the 2001 ABCD Camp, I snagged a spot on the sideline and sat cross-legged near the half-court line. It was the first time I saw LeBron James play in person.

James was a rising junior facing off against rising senior Lenny Cooke, a New York City prospect who was the talk of the New Jersey




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Twitter Is Absolutely in Love With ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance’

ESPN’s 10-part documentary The Last Dance, which centers on Michael Jordan and the ’90s Bulls and features previously unseen footage from the 1997-98 season, premiered yesterday. The documentary’s release date was brought forward due to coronavirus quarantine — a decision met with appreciation by the many sports fans stuck at home without live sports.

Predictably, reactions on social media were plentiful and — judging by Twitter feeds — overwhelmingly positive. Of course, it didn’t take long for LeBron James to be dragged back into GOAT discussions, former POTUSes Barack Obama and Bill Clinton got mentions, and Scottie Pippen’s contract to become the main topic of discussion.

For those of you who haven’t watched the first part of the docu-series, there may be spoilers below. For those that have or don’t care, scroll through some of the best reactions below.

Overall consensus:

LeBron stans in shambles

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Shannon Sharpe: MJ made his doc because he heard the ‘footsteps’ of LeBron in GOAT race

Video Details

Michael Jordan agreed to do his documentary on the same day LeBron James had his 2016 NBA Finals victory parade in Cleveland. This raises the question; Is this just a coincidence or did Michael Jordan feel the pressure from LeBron James closing in on the GOAT race? Hear why Shannon Sharpe believes LeBron James is the main reason MJ agreed on the documentary.

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Trae Young: Michael Jordan May Be My GOAT After ‘The Last Dance’ Documentary

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 11: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers is fouled by Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks as he drives to the basket in the fourth quarter of the game at Staples Center on November 11, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

If nothing else, LeBron James may have some extra motivation the next time he plays the Atlanta Hawks.

On Sunday, Hawks guard Trae Young suggested watching the Last Dance documentary chronicling Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls may change his mind in the never-ending debate about who is the greatest basketball player of all time:

It was just last month Young listed James at the top of his rankings:

As the Hawks guard hyped Jordan up during the series premiere, Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell made sure to remind Young of his list:

Even hardcore Jordan fans should cut the Hawks playmaker some slack. After all, the 21-year-old Young was born after the Bulls legend lifted the Larry O

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Dwyane Wade During ‘The Last Dance’: Michael Jordan ‘Was Chosen to Be the GOAT’

MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22:  Former Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade addresses the crowd during his jersey retirement ceremony at American Airlines Arena on February 22, 2020 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Future NBA Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade had a front-row seat to the debate over whether Michael Jordan or LeBron James is the greatest of all time by playing alongside James from 2010 to 2014 and winning two championships together with the Miami Heat.

Wade cast his vote for Jordan in a roundabout way during the debut of ESPN’s 10-part documentary titled The Last Dance on Sunday night:

Wade was not the only one to refer to Jordan as the GOAT during the premiere:

As for James, he was just as eager as everybody else to go down memory lane with MJ:

The series takes an intimate look at Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, particularly during their 1998 NBA Finals run—the sixth and final title of the

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Dwyane Wade names his All-Time Top 5 – TalkBasket.net

Photo by AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade named his All-Time Top five which includes two of his former teammates. The three-time NBA champion said his favorite player of all time is Michael Jordan who naturally makes his Top 5.

The other players are LeBron James (played with D-Wade in Miami), Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson and Shaquille O’Neal (played with D-Wade in Miami).

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A sports junkie adjusts to life without any sport

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But Belarus, Burundi, Nicaragua, Tajikistan and Taiwan are bucking the trend, despite pleas from the WHO and FIFPro.”,”descriptionText”:”At present, 206 out of FIFA’s 211 national associations have stopped playing football. But Belarus, Burundi, Nicaragua, Tajikistan and Taiwan ar

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Kobe Bryant’s Legacy Lived On In An Unexpected Way At The WNBA Draft

Illustration for article titled Kobe Bryants Legacy Lived On In An Unexpected Way At The WNBA Draft

If Friday night was any indication, Kobe Bryant’s legacy of supporting the women’s game is being carried on by the current and former NBA stars he left behind.

During the 2020 WNBA — where Bryant’s late daughter, Gianna, was selected as an honorary pick to kick off the draft — a slew of NBA players were active on social media congratulating and cheering on their newly drafted counterparts.

Kevin Durant’s tweet came out first when it was announced that Oregon stand out guard, Sabrina Ionescu, was picked with the No.1 pick, headed to New York and would be playing in the same arena as Durant and the Nets. Knicks guard RJ Barrett also pitched in a video message for Ionescu on Twitter

Durant later appeared on a video message during the draft congratulating the ninth overall pick UConn forward, Megan Walker who also is headed to NY to play with the Liberty, but, like Durant, also is from the D.C. region.

When Oregon forward Satou Sabally was taken with the second overall pick by the Dallas Wings, many folks in the Twitter sphere were stoked, in part because another Dallas franchise selected a German basketball star. The star that put Germany Europe on

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How NBA player salary withholding works and what it means – ESPN

How will the NBA and National Basketball Players Association’s plan to withhold players’ salaries work?

With the season suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, both sides agreed to a plan that will withhold 25% of each player’s paycheck beginning May 15, according to a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. This clears the way for a gradual reduction in player salaries in case the rest of the season is canceled under the force majeure provision.

ESPN insider Bobby Marks breaks down all the details and ramifications — based on a memo sent from the union to players and their agents — including the potential effects on players such as LeBron James, Ben Simmons, Pascal Siakam and Brandon Ingram.

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LeBron Made His Case, but Giannis Should Win His Second MVP This Season

Before the abrupt end of the 2019-20 season, the Lakers were surging and LeBron James was making his case for MVP. But Howard Beck says that wasn’t enough to stop Giannis Antetokounmpo from winning his second straight MVP award.

              

Bleacher Report is the go-to destination for basketball fans everywhere. B/R’s NBA coverage delivers must-see on-court analysis and highlights on a daily basis. Connect to the NBA stories, teams, athletes and highlights that make the game more than a game.

Download the free Bleacher Report app to catch all the moments that matter in one place. Get the app to get the game.

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LeBron James Is Better Than Michael Jordan, Regardless Of His Finals Record

Illustration for article titled LeBron James Is Better Than Michael Jordan, Regardless Of His Finals Recordem/em

Illustration: Eric Barrow

This week, former Pistons center Bill Laimbeer said on ESPN’s First Take of Lebron James: “I firmly believe he’s the best basketball player in the history of the game,” helping reignite the 1,540th media debate of whether James or Michael Jordan is the greatest NBA player of all time (while always excluding Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from the debate).

Laimbeer is a former Jordan nemesis, so it’s highly convenient to trash his opinion. And while people can shoot-the-messenger all they want, Laimbeer is still right. But that’s a longer discussion. Laimbeer also said this:  “Now, if you go by championships, obviously Michael Jordan has more championships. But I think LeBron, in any generation, would be doing what he’s doing right now all these years.”

MJ-over-LeBron supporters couldn’t disagree more.

This sentiment is most embodied in Lebron-Hater-In-Chief Skip Bayless, who said this earlier this week: “When it’s time to win basketball games, LeBron’s lost 6 Finals and Jordan went 6-0. That pretty much sums it up for me.”

Case closed. No further questions, your honor.

On this point, nearly every MJ-over-LeBron supporter is like Bayless: They measure greatness in championships, even if their broken measuring tape conveniently omits Celtics legend Bill Russell and his 11 NBA titles.

But holding James’ 3-6 finals record against him is silly, and worse, lazy. In seven of those nine finals he faced the Spurs and the Warriors, two all-time great teams that were far more talented, with much deeper rosters. These seven teams were likely superior to any finals team Jordan faced.

Let’s analyze the absurdity of this 3-6 finals stat.

STOP PUNISHING LEBRON FOR OVERACHIEVING

James’ first NBA Finals “failure” came in 2007 against the heavily-favored Spurs led by a prime trio: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli. To get there, James’ Cavs upset the No. 1 Eastern Conference seed Detroit Pistons, led by battle-tested former champions Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace and Rip Hamilton.

Instead, after being down 0-2 to the Pistons, young James carried the Cavs on his back to sweep the next four games while averaging a near triple-double (31/10/9), capped by a 48-point performance in a Game 5 overtime win in Detroit. Larry Hughes, the Cavs’ second-leading scorer that regular season, averaged only 6.5 points in those games, and in the NBA Finals, his foot injury would limit him to two total points on 1-10 shooting.

And what is James’ reward for not pulling off a far greater miracle against the Spurs? His first NBA Finals demerit at age 22. According to his critics’ warped logice, had James lost to the Pistons in the playoffs as young Jordan did three times in the 1980s, he’d be better. That epic 48-point game for the ages? In 2020, it’s a bad thing.

Do you know what else is overachieving? Making the NBA Finals for eight straight years.

STOP PUNISHING LEBRON FOR LOSING TO THE WARR

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Former Kentucky Star Tyrese Maxey Signs with LeBron James’ Agent, Rich Paul

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY - MARCH 03:   Tyrese Maxey #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats dribbles the ball against against the Tennessee Volunteers at Rupp Arena on March 03, 2020 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Kentucky Wildcats freshman guard Tyrese Maxey is signing with Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN on Thursday. 

Maxey declared for the 2020 NBA draft on April 6.  

“My thoughts were that we would be playing for a national championship [today],” he told Malika Andrews of ESPN after his announcement. “Although we’re unable to do that due to what our country is experiencing, I felt like this was the day to declare for the draft to make it as special as I thought today would be.”

Kentucky head coach John Calipari praised Maxey after the prospect made his announcement, saying he pushed the freshman harder than any of his teammates:

Maxey responded by averaging 14.0 points and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 42.7 percent from the field—though just 29.2 percent from three. But he showed enough potential to be a projected lottery pick in the 2020 draft. 

The Athletic’s

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Nike NBA 2K Exclusives Continue With LeBron 17 “Bron 2K Playoffs”

Nike Basketball and NBA 2K20‘s run of GE (Gamer Exclusive) drops is continuing with a new LeBron 17 “Bron 2K Playoffs.” Following closely on the heels of Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s NBA 2K-exclusive Zoom Freak 1 “All Bros 4,” this new LeBron 17 stakes a claim as the wildest GE yet.

Battleknit uppers are dressed in white, and accented with purple around the heel. Combined with black and yellow speckles on the midsole plus yellow laces and purple detailing on the Air Max and Zoom Air cushioning units, this provides a Los Angeles Lakers-esque base. However, these basketball-centric layers are juxtaposed with a healthy amount of lifestyle flair thanks to the throat, shroud and outsole.

An ivory-and-black zebra print swathes the lace shroud, surrounding LeBron’s LJ logo and special 2K hits. Underneath this sits leopard print, which adds a touch of contrast with its black and white mix. Even the outsoles get in on the printed party, with black and white zebra stripes crisscrossing over the rubber traction pattern. Leopard-printed insoles with special badges complete the look.

King James is no stranger to special 2K sneakers: he kicked off the slate of “Gamer Exclusive” drops in October 2019 with a regal purple LeBron 17, and also partook in 2K’s first-ever sneaker drop back in 2014 with a now iconic lion-printed LeBron 11.

Looking to secure a pair? Starting Saturday, April 18 at 10 A.M. EDT and running until the same time on April 21, if you win a MyPLAYER Nation playoff game you’ll be able to purchase a pair through the Nike SNKRS app, which must be linked with your 2K account. The retail price has yet to be announced.

Elsewhere, take a look at the upcoming retro iteration of Jordan Brand‘s classic Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Japan Grey.”

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Report: Jalen Green Likely to Get 7-Figure Shoe Contract After Joining G League

Prolific Prep's Jalen Green #4 is seen against La Lumiere during a high school basketball game at the Hoophall Classic, Sunday, January 19, 2020, in Springfield, MA. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Joining the G League instead of the NCAA will allow Jalen Green to make money in other ways, including with a shoe deal.

According to Nick DePaula of ESPN, the guard will have “several offers” from companies with a contract that will top seven figures per year. He is set to sign with Aaron Goodwin, who negotiated rookie shoe deals with LeBron James, Dwight Howard and Kevin Durant.

Green announced Thursday he was going straight from high school to the G League, while ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Adrian Wojnarowski reported he will make at least $500,000 from his new team as an elite prospect.

The California native is a highly regarded prospect and considered the No. 3 overall player in the 2020 class, per 247Sports‘ composite rankings.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports called him the pr

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NBA MVP: Breaking Down Race Between LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, tries to get past Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 6, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The 2019-20 NBA season may be on hold, but there is still time to debate the Most Valuable Player qualifications of the two best players in the league. 

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo have produced strong seasons, but only one can top the award voting whenever the season ends. 

James has propelled the Los Angeles Lakers back to the top of the Western Conference alongside offseason acquisition Anthony Davis.

Antetokounmpo has kept the Milwaukee Bucks in the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference, and they are currently in position to earn the conference’s top seed and possibly home-court advantage in the NBA Finals.

               

Breaking Down MVP Race

LeBron James

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

James is in the rare situation in which he averages over 25 points per game and is his team’s second-best scorer. 

He is at 25.7 points per game, which is one point lower than Davis has averaged in his debut season with the Lakers. 

The total is a slight decrease from the 35-year-old’s first campaign in the Western Conference, when he averaged 27.4 points per game in 55 appearances. 

The major difference between the current season and the four others in which James won MVP is his assist total of 10.6 per game. James has never averaged double-digit helpers in a single season. 

Finishing on top of the conference is one of the similarities to his previous four MVP captures. In three of those seasons, James’ teams earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. 

With Antetokounmpo playing so well for the best team in the league, an argument could be made th

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Shaquille O’Neal Says Michael Jordan Is ‘Definitely the Greatest Player’

INGLEWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 1: Shaquille O'Neal #34 of the Los Angeles Lakers jokes with Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls on February 1, 1998 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1998 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Shaquille O’Neal played alongside LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers for one season in 2009-10, but he apparently leans toward His Airness when it comes to the GOAT debate.

“First time I played [Michael] Jordan, I was terrified,” O’Neal said while appearing on Wednesday’s episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

The big man called Jordan “definitely the greatest player” but noted “once I realized he was human … once I realized I’m not as good as him but I’m close, I kind of calmed down.”

The Jordan praise was notable because it came shortly after Diesel made headlines when he told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani his Lakers teams featuring Kobe Bryant and himself would have “easily” beaten the historic Chicago Bulls teams that won six championships during the 1990s.

That opinion was less about Jordan than his own talent—”Cause I would’ve killed Luc Longley, Bill Wennington, [Bill] Cartwright”—but head-turning since those Bulls teams with No. 23 leading the way are often used as the measuring stick for greatness in the N

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D’Angelo Russell Names LeBron, Kobe, Michael Jordan in All-Time Starting 5

HOUSTON, TX - MARCH 10: D'Angelo Russell #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves handles the ball during the game against the Houston Rockets on March 10, 2020 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

Bill Baptist/Getty Images

Minnesota Timberwolves point guard D’Angelo Russell named his all-time NBA starting five on Wednesday and it was an interesting list, with Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Steph Curry locked in as four of the starters and Shaquille O’Neal and Kevin Durant tying for the last spot. 

That Russell didn’t choose anyone who played before Jordan was most interesting. There were no bad players on his list, of course, but you could make a pretty strong case that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Oscar Rober

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Forget What Politicians Are Saying: Fans, League PR Officials Are Worried About Returning Too Soon

Fans seem more anxious to wear these than their favorite team’s jersey anytime soon.

Fans seem more anxious to wear these than their favorite team’s jersey anytime soon.
Photo: Getty

Sporting a LeBron James jersey as you truck up three to four flights of escalators at Staples Center to watch the King and his crew perform — or any sports team, for that matter — will likely not happen any time soon.

In fact, a former NFL team communications person told me that teams’ PR personnel are quietly questioning whether the season will take place at all, and what an NFL game would even look like without fans, while still being accessible via TV and livestream.

All of the concern could be moot, as it seems fans wouldn’t feel comfortable going to games in person before then, anyway.

According to a recent Seton Hall poll, 72 percent of respondents said they would not feel safe attending games until a vaccine for COVID-19 is available. That’s not exactly the type of thing the leagues, or its revenue-obsessed owners, are going to be happy to hear.

Like it or not, many will get a taste of what a virtual fan experience could look like when the NFL holds its draft later this month.

Over the weekend, one of the top trending topics on Twitter was “Fall 2021” which was tied to a comment from Dr. Zeke Emanuel, Director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, stating he doesn’t believe large gatherings such as concerts and sporting events will take place before fall 2021.

“When people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility,” Emanual told The New York Times. “I think those things will be the last to return. Realisti

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Bill Laimbeer ‘Firmly’ Believes LeBron James, Not Michael Jordan, Is NBA’s GOAT

New York Liberty coach Bill Lamimbeer gestures during the second quarter of a WNBA basketball game against the Connecticut Sun, Friday, June 14, 2013, at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Before Michael Jordan could even win his first title, he had to get through the Detroit Pistons, which meant finding a way to defeat big man Bill Laimbeer. 

After so many battles against Jordan, the Pistons legend has made a simple conclusion: LeBron James is better. 

“I think LeBron is the best player that’s ever played the game,” Laimbeer said on ESPN’s First Take on Thursday. “He’s 6’8″, 285 pounds, runs like the wind and jumps out of the gym.” 

While known as a bully and trash-talker on the court—and one who could back it up exceptionally well at that—Laimbeer doesn’t seem to be trying to restart old feuds here. His explanation for choosing James over Jordan is reasoned, even if it isn’t the most ag

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Lonzo Ball Talks Zion Williamson, Lakers’ LeBron James, Future LaMelo Matchups

New Orleans Pelicans' Lonzo Ball in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Minneapolis. The Pelicans won 120-107. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

Stacy Bengs/Associated Press

New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball addressed several topics during an appearance on The JJ Redick Podcast on Monday, including his relationship with Pelicans teammate Zion Williamson.

Ball noted that he and Williamson have strong on-court chemistry already despite the fact that Zion has just 19 games of NBA experience to his credit: “Nah, it’s really just natural. Z’s a different type of talent. I’ve never really played with a guy like him before. Like I said, he complements my game tremendously, and I’m just happy to be with him.”

The Pelicans acquired Ball in the trade that sent Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers during the offseason. The Pels then selected Williamson with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, thus giving New Orleans one of the best young cores in the NBA.

Ball never quite reached his potential in L.A. after the Lakers took him No. 2 overall, but Ball said playing alongside LeBron James was a positive experience for him:

“Everybody knows that I looked up to LeBron a lot. He helped me a lot when he came over to LA, obviously. That was kind of my guy, growing up. … It was amazing. Like I said, when I first

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‘Call of Duty’ Officially Ruled as Art Following Legal Battle With Humvee

A New York judge recently ruled that the popular video game franchise Call of Duty is a work of art and protected under the US Constitution’s First Amendment.

The ruling revolves around a copyright case that was filed by Humvee maker AM General when they sued Activision in 2017 — claiming that CoD players were “deceived into believing that AM General licenses the games,” as reported by Ars Technica. However, according to the court papers, district judge George B. Daniels rule

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Nick Wright: Comparing Joe Burrow to LeBron James is ‘borderline ludicrous’

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A Deep Dive Into Quibi’s Shallow Pool

If these, in name and premise, feel like the sorts of shows that are playing in the background of other shows, you’re not wrong. There’s a distinct Due North-like uncanniness to it all, as though Quibi is less a creative enterprise than a world-building exercise for the simulation-glitch we’re all living through.

Even the comedy—Quibi’s most promising vein, given the vast online ecosystem for sketch and scripted shorts—feels like the sort of fare that slips into vapor over a season or two on Comedy Central. There’s Flipped, in which Will Forte and Kaitlin Olson, both sketch and sitcom veterans, play a deeply delusional couple who want to become home-renovation TV hosts, but stumble into deeply predictable trouble along the way. Mockumentary Nikki Fre$h stars Nicole Richie as a funhouse version of herself who decides to become a mommy-focused, eco-conscious rapper. This week brings Agua Donkeys, a sort of Workaholics-meets-Lodge 49 about two career pool cleaners in Utah (based on a 2018 Funny or Die short).

Somewhat disquietingly, all this only scratches the surface of the platform. Documentary series from LeBron James, Lena Waithe, and Reese W

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Players Ntwrk launches celebrity gaming channel backed by WME, Daylight and Stratton Sclavos

Emerging from the smoldering wreckage of Echo Fox and Vision Venture Partners, the investor Stratton Sclavos is rising again to launch a new esports-related venture — a gaming-focused digital network also backed by the WME talent agency and Daylight Holdings.

Tapping Daylight and WME’s roster of talent, Sclavos has created Players Ntwrk, a new gaming-focused production company that will look to compete with other upstarts angling to tap into esports and competitive gaming’s newly dominant place in the entertainment firmament.

Players Ntwrk will feature original programming, unscripted series, celebrity gameplay and live events tapping talent from music, traditional pro-sports and the esports gaming world.

Sclavos and the multifaceted talent manager and president of Daylight Holdings, Ben Curtis, dreamed up Players Ntwrk as a way to tie together disparate groups of athletes and entertainers around their shared love of gaming and entertainment. The network will initially leverage relationships with WME and Klutch Sports Group, the agency founded by LeBron James’ longtime manager, Rich Paul, to find talent for programming.

The network will launch on Tuesday at 5:00 pm Pacific for two hours of gameplay featuring the New Orleans Pelicans Guard/Forward Josh Hart and Sacramento Kings po

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New York City Shuts Down All Public Basketball Courts, 51% of Rims Removed

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NBA 2K20: Someone Made Insanely Accurate Versions Of Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, And Others

The NBA 2K modding community is one of the most talented groups you’ll find. Oftentimes their work is good enough to not only be included in the retail version, but in some instances, the digital artwork adds another layer of enjoyment to the title.

The latest example comes from modders Shuajota and Arteezy. They have put together two of the most realistic versions of the late Kobe Bryant that you’ll find.

Shuajota sent me an exclusive look at the most-updated version of his young Bryant render. That one is below:

Shuajota, who is based in Spain and who runs the Facebook page DNA of Basketball, has Bryant looking regal and also poised to drop a string of 50-point games on a virtual opponent’s head.

Arteezy’s version captures Bryant the way most of us remember him after he retired, with the full beard. The almost photo-realistic quality is stunning.

The Lakers are a popular team throughout the world, and that includes the modding community. Another modder, Awei, who has had his work showcased by Shuajota has already upgraded the newest Lake

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LaMelo Ball Is Trying To Buy A Pro Basketball Team Before Even Getting Into The NBA

… is very highly praised in NBA draft circles (not that we’re privy to any of those, but still). He’s about to get paid, is what that means. But before he even takes a professional shot in the NBA, he’s dipping his toes into team ownership — in Australia.

See, after some bizarre moves that seem largely driven by his father, LaMelo wasn’t able to take the traditional high school -> one year of college -> NBA route. He played professionally in, we kid you not, Lithuania as a teenager before his dad blew that whole thing up (Weird how that keeps happening …), and eventually got a halfway normal high school exp

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Home confinement, &c.

http://www.nationalreview.com/
Concert pianist Vladimir Horowitz in Amsterdam, 1986 (Dutch National Archives/CC BY-SA 3.0 NL/Wikimedia)

Vladimir Horowitz, Bill Buckley, Manu Raju, George Soros, LeBron James, and more

Vladimir Horowitz, the great pianist, was a complicated person. His life was tough in many ways — depression, etc. He did not leave his house — a townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan — for twelve years.

Sometime later, a guest had the chutzpah to ask, “You mean, you didn’t leave this house for twelve years?” Horowitz, glancing around and gesturing, said, “You don’t like my house?”

When William F. Buckley Jr. heard about this, he loved it. He told the story using an excellent Horowitz impression — dead-on.

(WFB knew the Horowitzes, socially, for a while. So did James Burnham. Some first-rate stories came out of those times.)

• Mrs. Horowitz was Wanda, a daughter of Toscanini — the mercurial Italian conductor, and WFB’s boyhood hero, by the way. When Wanda was difficult in public, Horowitz would shrug and say to those around him, by way of explanation, “Toscanini.”

(I hasten to add that Wanda could be forgiven. She put up with a lot, for Horowitz was impossible.)

• A young woman named Dana Donnelly issued a hilarious tweet this week: “A lot of you were never grounded for an entire summer and it shows!”

• Many years ago, I knew a writer who started working from home. She found the transition difficult. And she hit on a regime of discipline: Before sitting down to her computer, she did her hair and — get this — put on makeup. No one could see her. But it made her feel more civilized and more professional. Her work was thereby benefited.

• Famously, babies are born nine months after blackouts and the like. I wonder: After this is over, will there be a spate of new books (for better or worse)?

• It seems like two seconds ago — and it practically was — that I was griping about a life inconvenience: the new ban on plastic bags in New York . . .

• From what I can tell, Manu Raju keeps getting snapped at by senators. He is the senior congressional correspondent of CNN. On Wednesday, he asked Bernie Sanders about his presidential campaign. Was it still viable? The senator responded, “I’m dealing with a f***ing global crisis.”

Raju pointed out that Sanders was running for president. The senator said, “Right now, I’m trying to do my best to make sure that we don’t have an economic meltdown and that people don’t die. Is that enough for you to keep me busy for today?”

Huh. Is Sanders the one responsible? One Vermont senator? I appreciate his sense of responsibility, maybe, but . . . Also, no one has forced him to run for president all these years.

Back in January, Raju asked another senator, Martha McSally of Arizona, “Should the Senate consider new evidence as part of the impeachment trial?” McSally answered, “You’re a liberal hack. I’m not talking to you.”

Then she took a victory lap on Fox ?

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New Doc Follows LeBron James’ School as It Gives Students a Chance: We ‘Need a Little Inspiration’

LeBron James’ on New Doc About I Promise School | PEOPLE.com
























this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines.

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Lebron James Takes his Shot with Medicom MAFEX Figure

Lebron James is a beast on the court and now he is about to be a beast on your shelf. Medicom has just put up pre-orders for a new MAFEX figure that that is ready to dribble his way to your hearts. Lebron James is no stranger to having collectibles of him but this one is nicely detailed and packed with accessories. He comes in a 7″ tall and features a nice fabric jersey. In all honesty, the jersey helps this figure drastically and I would have like to see more jerseys included with this figure. Lebron James will have a second head sculpt that gives him a more pouty look than the standard. He will come with a Spaulding Basketball and a display stand for perfect posing ability. If your trying to build up your NBA collection or just a major fan of Lebron James then this figure is for you. 

The MAFEX Lebron James Figure from Medicom is priced at roughly $89. He makes his way to the court in August 2020 and pre-orders are not live just yet but you will be able to find them located here when he is.

MAFEX-Lebron-James-001
Credit: Medicom

The Chosen One

The best form and outstanding movable area are compatible! The strongest action figure ever! Scheduled to be released in December 2020

Mafex No.127

MAFEX LeBron James

(Los Angeles Lakers)

Reference retail price ¥ 9,500 (excluding tax)

* Consumption tax will be charged separately.

Lebron James head prototype production Kyoichi Shimazaki

Prototype production PERFECT-STUDIO

-Height approx 185mm

-Finally, LeBron James’s MAFEX has appeared! The first one is Los Angeles Lakers!! Print reproduction of the characteristic whole body tattoo! Various actions can be reproduced by attaching various parts! Movable figure stand included!

 We photograph sample under supervision.

一部 Some items may differ from the produc

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The 10 Most Surprising 50-Point Games in NBA History

0 of 10

    Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press

    Over the course of NBA history (regular season and playoffs), 150 players have combined to produce 564 50-point games.

    Plenty weren’t terribly surprising—Wilt Chamberlain almost made them routine—but a handful came seemingly out of nowhere.

    To determine which were the least expected, each of those 150 players were ranked in the following categories:

  • total number of 50-point games
  • career scoring average
  • single-season peak scoring average

Then, all 150 players were sorted by the average of their ranks. The players who come out the worst in that exercise gave us our most surprising 50-point games.

And don’t worry: everyone at the bottom of the list only had one 50-point game.

But before we dive into those, let’s take a peek at the top 10 (or, what we might call the least surprising players to produce 50-point games):

  1. Wilt Chamberlain
  2. Michael Jordan
  3. Elgin Baylor
  4. James Harden
  5. Kobe Bryant
  6. Allen Iverson
  7. LeBron James
  8. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  9. Kevin Durant
  10. Rick Barry

Now, for the surprises…

1 of 10

    Mo Williams flirted with 50 on a couple of occasions, scoring 44 on Feb. 11, 2009, and 43 on Jan. 27, 2009. He finally broke through as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves six years later, when he dropped 52 on the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 13, 2015.

    That mark stood as a franchise record until Karl-Anthony Towns scored 56 in 2018.

    “If I told you someone scored 50 points in an NBA game last night, you would probably guess 100 or so names—incorrectly—before finally giving up,” Dan Cahill wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times. “And when I informed you it was Mo Williams, you would likely walk away shaking your head in utter disbelief.”

    Williams’ career scoring average entering that season was 13.3. He was in the midst of his age-32 campaign. Prior to that game, his average that season was 11.0.

    That level of a random scoring outburst from a 6’1″ veteran in the twilight of his career was unbelievable. And it feels even less likely when you consider the Pacers had 2014-15’s No. 7 defense.

    Williams put on a mid-range clinic against that Indiana defense. Six of his buckets came from three. One was at the rim. The other 12 were all over the range between the paint and the three-point line. And plenty of the jumpers were contested. This just felt like a 48-minute hot streak.

    “You are just in a zone; you don’t really see anybody,” Williams said after the game, per BALLISLIFE’s David Astramskas. “You just go back to the places when you are in the gym by yourself with your own trainer. You are just shooting shots, and it doesn’t matter where the defense is at.”

2 of 10

    Like Williams, Maxwell came close to the 50-point threshold a couple of times. Unlike Williams, he actually got there pretty early in his career.

    Maxwell scored 51 on the Cleveland Cavaliers on Jan. 26, 1991. And the wildest part of this performance was that 30 of those points came in the fourth quarter alone.

    Described by his coach, Don Chaney, as a “streaky shooter,” Maxwell was as locked in as he’s ever been during that game. He went 14-of-25 from the field, but the biggest reason he eclipsed 50 was all the trips to the line. He went 19-of-22 from the line (his second-highest total for free-throw attempts in his career was 16).

    The incessant desire he showed in getting to the line was symbolic of the competitiveness he brought throughout his career.

    “He’s the most competitive player I’ve ever coached,” Chaney said, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “If I was in a foxhole, I’d rather have him at my back than anybody.”

    Sometimes, that competitiveness got Maxwell in trouble. He had almost as many games in which he took 10 shots and shot worse than 30 percent (142) as he had games with at least 10 shots and a 50-plus field-goal percentage (155).

    But on this night, the competitiveness and streakiness combined for a perfect storm of 51 points.

3 of 10

    Caris LeVert has appeared in 212 playoff and regular-season games. He scored 20 or fewer points in 184 (86.8 percent) of them. Before March 3, 2020, his career high was 37.

    On that night, he scored 37 in the fourth quarter and overtime alone.

    “That 50 was beautiful, Vert,” teammate Kevin Durant tweeted after the game. “Thank you for that masterpiece.”

    Earlier in the season, point guard Kyrie Irving alluded to the team’s need for new talent to take them to the level of legitimate contenders. LeVert’s performance suggested the help may come from within the organization.

    LeVert is showing he has that upside—star potential in a vacuum,” Dan Favale wrote for Bleacher Report. “His range of outcomes changes everything for a Nets organization that finds itself brushing up against an uncertain future despite signing two superstars over the summer.”

    Performances like this won’t become the norm, but LeVert is 25 and still has another year or two of development. A 50-point game could become, at the very least, a little less surprising.

    And if he does keep trending in that direction, the Brooklyn Nets’ barely-open title window (health of both Durant and Irving has to be considered, at this point) may let just a little more air in.

4 of 10

    Ask most NBA fans what they remember about Andre Miller’s game, and you’re likely to get answers about the pace at which he played, his passing and the generally old-school feel of everything he did on a basketball court.

    The chances of anyone responding, “Oh, he was a great scorer,” are slim to none.

    But for one night, on Jan. 30, 2010, he was. Miller went an unfathomable 22-of-31 from the field against the Dallas Mavericks that night. His previous career high for shots made in a game was 15.

    And the 22 he dropped against Dallas was the season high for the entire NBA, as well as a franchise record for the Portland Trail Blazers.

    “I just wanted to stay aggressive,” Miller said postgame. “I didn’t look at it as scoring the ball, but just going out and making plays and being the point guard. The shots came, and since they were going in, I kept shooting.”

    He peppered in a few makes from the short mid-range, but the bulk of Miller’s damage that night was done inside. He went a ridiculous 11-of-15 at the rim.

    It was much like the older guy at your pickup game, slowly but surely making his way to the bucket and hitting a variety of finishes over, under and around bigger defenders.

5 of 10

    David Liam Kyle/Getty Images

    Walt Wesley never made an All-Star team. Of his nine-plus seasons (he appeared in just one game in year 10), only two featured a double-digit scoring average. His 47.1 career true shooting percentage was three points below the league average of the time.

    But on Feb. 19, 1971, Wesley came out of nowhere to score 50 points on 20-of-34 shooting against the Cincinnati Royals.

    From that performance through the end of the season, the Cleveland Cavaliers big man averaged 24.1 points, but that stretch wound up proving an anomaly. From the next season through the end of his career, Wesley averaged 6.6 points.

6 of 10

    Seemingly random 50-point outbursts from unexpected sources may become a bit more commonplace in today’s three-heavy game.

    Terrence Ross’ 51-point performance against the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 25, 2014, is a striking example of that.

    Ross had just averaged 6.4 points as a rookie in 2012-13. His average heading into the 51-point game w

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Doc Rivers Takes Blame for Ray Allen, 2008 Celtics Not Reconciling Past Drama

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers gestures during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday, March 1, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The Boston Celtics formed a Big Three in the 2007 offseason when they acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to join Paul Pierce.

Over the next five years, the C’s won one NBA title, two Eastern Conference championships and reached the East semifinals each season.

However, the trio broke up in 2012 when Allen left to join LeBron James and the rival Miami Heat, which created a rift between the shooting guard and remaining Celtics.

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, who led the C’s during that era, blamed himself during a conversation Jeff Goodman and Bob Ryan of CLNS Media Network for why that feud lingers:

Pierce and Garnett played one more season in Boston before the Celtics traded both of them to the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster deal.

Haley O’Shaughnessy of The Ringer broke down the feud in September 2018. She high

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Hot Toys Crafts Armor-Clad Batgirl from ‘Arkham Knight’

With DCEU and MCU movies currently on a break from its intensive film schedules, Hong Kong-based collectibles maker Hot Toys have shifted its focus to other superhero titles, recently unveiling its 1/6th Miles Morales figure from the highly-acclaimed animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Now, the company has tapped into the video game world as well, creating a highly-detailed recreation of the DLC character Batgirl from Batman: Arkham Knight.

With

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How The Point-MJ Experiment Foreshadowed The Modern NBA

By the spring of 1989, Michael Jordan had already announced himself as a forever talent. He’d made the All-Star Game in each of his first five NBA seasons and earned three All-NBA selections along the way, including two to the first team; he’d led the league in scoring twice, and became the first player ever to win Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season.

Before turning 26 years old, Jordan was already the kind of basketball player whose marriage of awe-inspiring athleticism and fine-honed fundamentals could short-circuit scoreboards, coax hosannas from choirs of basketball lovers, and stand up against the most impressive individual achievements in history. The “individual” part remained a sticking point, though.

Nobody averaged more points per game in the playoffs than Jordan from 1984 through 1988, but his Bulls went a combined 5-15 in those four postseasons and didn’t advance past the second round. It feels ludicrous, with the benefit of three decades of hindsight and history to lean on, to consider the existence of the question Can Michael Jordan win the big one? But in early March 1989, concerns still swirled around how much a single star—even one as incandescent as MJ—could accomplish against the galaxies arrayed around the league.

“He is, by himself, a one-man team, clearly deserving of the MVP award; but in a league that is evolving toward deeper, more balanced play, he is something of an oddity—almost an albatross,” wrote Ted Cox for the February 1989 issue of Chicago magazine. “How can a player so good treat others as equals? How can a player so accomplished be simply a member of a team?”

Jordan never quite got there. The stories of how hard he could be on teammates became the stuff of legend, and even later in his career, as he won championship after championship flanked by one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history, he still famously referred to his teammates as “my supporting cast.” (Jordan’s predilection toward taking over late in games became a long-running gag in Chicago. Bulls assistant coach John Bach called it “the Archangel Offense,” later described by Phil Jackson as, “That’s where we give the ball to Michael Jordan and say, ‘Save us, Michael.’”)

But during the stretch run of that ’88-89 season, Jordan found a pretty compelling facsimile of an answer to those questions of equality and shared responsibility, one that drew on the do-it-all legacy of Oscar Robertson and inadvertently foreshadowed the modern game’s stylistic shift toward monster-usage primary playmakers. A quarter-century before LeBron James, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Luka Doncic started making 30-point triple-doubles seem downright commonplace, Michael Jordan decided to start playing point guard.


The experiment got its start in Boston, right around this time 31 years ago. After pulling his groin in a March 7 loss to the 76ers—or maybe he had the flu?—Jordan sat out the next night’s matchup with the Celtics, snapping a string of 236 consecutive games. With Jordan unavailable to carry the scoring load, a punchless Chicago side lost for the fourth time in six games, leaving the Bulls in sixth place in a brutally tough Eastern Conference.

It also left Jordan, well on his way to a third straight scoring title but often operating against loaded-up defenses, wanting to see some changes to both the team’s offense (read: Let’s get the rest of the team involved) and his role in facilitating it (read: Let’s try to make the process of generating buckets a little less exhausting for me). That led to a lengthy closed-door chat with Doug Collins—a two-hour sitdown, per some reports—in which Jordan called on his head coach to toss him the keys.

“I mentioned that something had to be done to get more consistency in our play,” Jordan said, according to Robert J. Murphy of UPI. “He asked me to be a leader, and I said it’s hard to lead from the second guard position, and it’s better for me to lead from the point guard position.”

It made sense. If the goal of most Chicago possessions was to get Jordan the ball with a chance to create a bucket, then why not just eliminate the part where the play starts with someone else having the ball and Jordan has to fight through traffic to get it?

“It’s different,” Jordan said, according to Sam McManis of the Los Angeles Times. “It changes your emphasis on the game. You have to be running everything, keep the tempo, get everybody in their right places. But it helps our fast-breaking game, and that’s the tempo and the style we want to be in.”

And not the one that Bulls opponents wanted them to be in. Said then–Hawks head coach Mike Fratello, to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “He was a nightmare already. Now, he gets the ball even more.” (Fratello’s point guard in Atlanta, eventual NBA champion coach Doc Rivers, put a pretty fine point on it: “I don’t like it. I think it’s terrible. It’s not fair.”)

Twenty-seven years later, Mike D’Antoni would make a similar streamlining decision as the head coach in Houston, dispensing positional pretense and officially installing James Harden as the Rockets’ starting point guard. One reason for the shift in Houston in 2016, D’Antoni told Jared Dubin, was to give his All-Star scorer “a sense … of purpose for the team that he understands: to get everybody involved to a certain degree without losing his identity.” It worked pretty damn well in Houston; Harden (who still averaged 29.1 points per game) led the league in assists at the controls of a 55-win team that boasted the NBA’s no. 2 offense.

Jordan and Collins had t

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Marcellus Wiley: LeBron James has the greater good in mind with new documentary trailer

Video Details

Marcellus Wiley discusses the new trailer for LeBron James’ documentary short on today’s show. Hear why he thinks the nature of the content is tough to watch but LeBron is showing the footage for the greater good.

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Best of Shannon — Shannon celebrates GOAT James and more

Video Details

Shannon Sharpe is a National treasure so we have to celebrate his best moments, including celebrating LeBron James and more.

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#8 Shannon aka GOAT James is back after another LeBron virtuoso | Top 10 Moments of the Year

#8 of the Top Moments of the Year- Shannon Sharpe aka GOAT James is back after another LeBron virtuoso.
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Many NBA Players Are Living Paycheck-To-Paycheck, Which Is Why They Need Pay During Coronavirus Crisis

(Image via Getty)

Ed. note: Please welcome Darren Heitner to the pages of Above the Law, where he’ll be writing about sports and the law.

Stephen Curry has a base salary of over $40 million for the 2019-20 National Basketball Association season. Curry is joined by six other NBA players, including LeBron James and James Harden, whose base salaries for the season eclipse $37 million. While the base salaries those players’ earn from a single season should easily be more than enough money for the average American to live a very comfortable life, players like Curry, James, and Harden are outliers and not representative of the NBA at large.

The disparity between the NBA’s highest earners and those earning minimum, or close to minimum, salaries was brought up recently by Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum in reference to how a canceled season due to coronavirus concerns could lead to economic issues for a number of NBA players. McCollum addressed the subject in an interview with former Duke Basketball star and current TV analyst Jay Williams.

“I would say out of 450 players, 150 probably are living paycheck-to-paycheck,” McCollum said.

McCollum was certainly speaking off-the-cuff and without any data in hand nor any deep analysis having been conducted by him or any of his advisors. He also received a fair amount of criticism for expressing his belief, with many people questioning how it could be possible that individuals who are compensated so handsomely could possibly be merely surviving on future paychecks.

While it may not be exactly 33% of NBA players living paycheck-to-paycheck, McCollum’s estimate is likely not a far cry from reality.

“I wholeheartedly agree with that, and I believe the number is about right; however, paycheck-to-paycheck may be a bit of an overstatement,” said Leon McKenzie, president of Sure Sports, which specializes in lending to professional athletes. “Most players like to have some reserves, but missing a full paycheck would create almost immediate hardship, and missing two paychecks would create hardship for a

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#8 Shannon aka GOAT James is back after another LeBron virtuoso! | Top 10 moments of the Year

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Why Don Cheadle Couldn’t Turn Down a Role in Space Jam 2: The Original Was ‘So Iconic’

Why Don Cheadle Couldn’t Turn Down a Role in ‘Space Jam 2’: The Original Was ‘So Iconic’ | PEOPLE.com
























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Live Studio Audiences? Don’t Need ‘Em!

Sunday night, the Democratic debate went off as scheduled, sort of. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders faced off on major issues like medicare for all, climate change, and, of course, how to attack the COVID-19 outbreak. Taking a cue from the Wendy Williams Show and others , the CNN and Univision broadcast happened without a live audience thanks to coronavirus concerns. It was exponentially better than the garbage pile that have been the previous debates. And really, audiences should be left out of not just debates, but all TV shows.

Debates tend to be spectacles, especially since Donald Trump entered the MMA octagon that is American politics. Sunday’s event felt like less of a clown show because there were just two candidates on stage. Without members of the public in the hall to cheer on their fave candidate’s zingers, candidates had to stay focused, answer the questions directly, and couldn’t do any political tap dancing for applause, acting like a bunch of Tinkerbells begging for claps that’ll keep them alive in the race. It was actually refreshing and productive.

Most late-night shows went off the air for safety concerns late last week, but before doing so, Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Late Night With Seth Meyers and Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon taped without an audience. It was definitely weird watching Fallon crack jokes to an empty room, and it’s clear hos

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Quibi: Release date, prices, shows to expect and WTF is a quibi really – CNET

Chrissy Teigen in Quibi's reality show Chrissy's Court

Chrissy’s Court, a courtroom reality show in the style of Judge Judy (but starring Chrissy Teigen), is one of Quibi’s launch titles. 


Quibi

Quibi, a mobile-only subscription video service that launched Monday US and Canada, has been pumping up the hype for months. With the backing of all the major Hollywood studios and a seemingly endless litany of film, TV, music and sports stars making shows, Quibi is betting $1.75 billion on its service for ultra-expensive, short-form videos.  

A day after Quibi went live, early intel is flowing in about the service’s launch. Its mobile app — the only way to stream the service — was downloaded by about 300,000 users in the US and Canada, according to preliminary estimates Tuesday from mobile analytics firm Sensor Tower. The app is the No. 4 free app in Apple’s US App Store. For Android, it’s ranked No. 81 overall in the US in the Google Play store. 

But by comparison, that 300,000 is a fraction of the mobile-app downloads for Disney Plus at launch in November. Disney Plus was installed by 4 million accounts its first day in the US and Canada, Sensor Tower said. 

Quibi would be a risky bet even in normal times. But it’s also launching in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus, which causes the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, has upended the status quo around the world, locking down whole cities, states and countries, overwhelming health care systems and shutting down entire industries. Hollywood is no exception: Movie theaters are shuttered, film and television productions are on hold and big-budget films are delayed months.

Sophie Turner in Quibi's drama Survive

Survive, a drama starring Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner, is one of Quibi’s short-form shows planned to stream at launch. 


Quibi

People can watch Quibi at home, sure, but Quibi’s bet on exclusively mobile, short-form video was based on the premise that people would gobble up these “quick bite” episodes while on the go. But coronavirus has locked millions of people inside their homes, stifling how often people are out and about. 

Quibi leaders say they believe people still need short breaks for entertainment. Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was the head of Disney’s movie division in the ’80s and ’90s and co-founded Dreamworks Animation, has said the coronavirus’ effect on people’s viewing habits isn’t necessarily an advantage or a disadvantage for Quibi. It’s just different. 

But Quibi’s CEO Meg Whitman, the former chief of eBay and Hewlett-Packard, said Quibi is willing to change if customers demand it. 

“If all of our users are saying, ‘We really want to be able to watch this content on our big screen,’ then we’ll develop the capability to do that,” Whitman said Thursday in an interview ahead of launch. She also said Quibi is willing to release episodes in a bingeable bunch all at once like Netflix, if that’s what suits subscribers needs best. (At launch, Quibi plans to release new episodes of each series every weekday.)

“We thought we could bring back some of the watercooler effect” that has been lost as audiences binge episodes out of synch with each other, she said. “But if our users say, ‘We want to binge it,’ then we can just load it all up on day one.” 

Whitman also said Quibi has enough content built up to last until late November.

But Quibi is also ramping up in the middle of a wave of new streaming services, as tech and media giants all rush to be the one shaping the future of video. But that means Quibi will be competing for your subscription dollars against heavy-duty upstarts like Disney PlusApple TV PlusPeacock and HBO Max, as well as established players like Netflix. And, of course, Quibi faces a Goliath in YouTube, the pioneer of online short video that now draws in more than 2 billion viewers every month. 

Still, Quibi believes its unconventional strategy — very expensive, star-packed programming released in 10-minute-or-less episodes that you can watch only on mobile devices like your phone — will hit a sweet spot. It’s also brought T-Mobile on board to offer free subscriptions to some wireless customers.  

Quibi has recruited a who’s who of stars to work on its programming, including Chrissy Teigen, Lebron James, Dwayne Johnson, Reese Witherspoon, Chance the Rapper, Kevin Hart, Jennifer Lopez, Idris Elba, Zac Efron, Tina Fey, Liam Hemsworth and husband-and-wife combo Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner (but on different shows), along with a bazillion others. They’ve also lured in big-name filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, Antoine Fuqua, Catherine Hardwicke and Ridley Scott to make series. 

So is Quibi worth your time and money? Read below for what we know so far, but basically: With a 90-day free trial if you sign up in April, you can try it for months to see for yourself without spending a thing. 

OK, WTF is a quibi?

Quibi with a capital “Q” refers to the service, and all-lower-case quibi is the word the company invented for its short-form episodes, which all run about 10 minutes or less. 

It’s a mashup of the words “quick bites,” since the videos are supposed to be bite-size morsels of video. 

But don’t pronounce the end of quibi like the beginning of “bites.” If you can rhyme the word “alibi” with “quibi,” you’re pronouncing this made-up word totally wrong. You’re supposed to pronounce the end of quibi with a long e, like the end of “wasabi.” Obviously. 

When is the release date? 

Quibi launched Monday in the US and Canada. 

Quibi hasn’t publicized its specific international expansion plans, but said some other countries will be able to get Quibi’s ad-free US version if it’s available in their app store, without giving specifics. So if you live outside the US and Canada, check your Google Play Store and Apple App Store for the Quibi app to see what comes up. 

However, Quibi’s leaders have said that Quibi was designed from the beginning to be a global service, with global rights to stream its shows. The company just hasn’t provided any timelines for when international expansion will happen. 

How much does Quibi cost?

Quibi’s cheapest tier is $5 a month and includes advertising. Its ad-free tier is $8 a month. Quibi doesn’t offer annual subscriptions. 

Liam Hemsworth in Quibi's series Most Dangerous Game

Most Dangerous Game with Liam Hemsworth updates the classic short story into a thriller series for Quibi.


Quibi

By comparison, Netflix — the world’s dominant subscription video service, which never has ads — offers its cheapest subscription at $9 a month in the US, one dollar more. Disney Plus costs $7 a month in the US without any advertising, a buck cheaper. And YouTube, of course, is free with ads. 

In testing the Quibi app under embargo before launch, commercials were all so-called pre-roll ads — those that play before the show starts. And they were relatively brief. Quibi has said that the service will have about two and a half minutes of ads per hour. 

Quibi is offering 90-day free trials for people who sign up anytime in April. That can save you as much as $24. You can unlock the trial by downloading the app from the Quibi website and signing up for the service before its May 1 deadline. 

And T-Mobile is offering a free subscription to Quibi’s ad-supported tier to wireless customers who have two or more lines on a post-paid plan, in an deal called Quibi on Us. After a year of free Quibi, qualifying customers need to choose between whether Netflix or Quibi is included free with their wireless plan — you can’t get both comped. (The Netflix deal is worth $9 a month, compared with Quibi’s monthly value at $5.)

T-Mobile said that you have to sign up by July 7 to get the deal and that it applies to people with two or more voice lines at standard rates on Magenta and One plans with taxes and fees included — along with discounte

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Court Manages To Get NBA2K Tattoo Copyright, Trademark Case Exactly Right

from the he-shoots-he-scores dept

Somehow, it’s been nearly four years since a tattoo company, Solid Oak Sketches, decided to sue 2K Sports, the studio behind the renowned NBA 2K franchise, claiming that the game’s faithful representation of several stars’ tattoos was copyright infringement. The company claimed to own the copyright on the design of several players’ tattoos, including most famously LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and DeAndre Jordan. The claim in the suit was that 2K’s faithful depiction of the players, whom had collectively licensed their likenesses via the NBAPA, somehow violated Solid Oak’s IP rights.

Put another way, it could be said that by branding the player with Solid Oak’s designs, the company seems to think it can control the players’ ability to profit off of their own likenesses. That this draws the mind to very uncomfortable historical parallels apparently was of no issue to Solid Oak.

Well, while 2K Sports failed to get the court to dismiss the case back in 2018, it has more recently won the case on summary judgement, with the court quite helpfully getting everything right and declaring the depiction of tattoos in video games in this manner to be Fair Use.

The defendants have sought to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint because “Plaintiff cannot prove its claim because Defendants’ use of the Tattoos is de minimis and Plaintiff is this unable to prove the key substantial similarity element o

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Here’s the Most Popular Museums & Exhibitions of 2019

The Art Newspaper just published its 2019 report of the most visited museums and exhibitions. The annual survey reflects data gleaned from attendance numbers across institutions worldwide with the exception of several museums in Asia and Italy that were not able to participate in this year’s report.

Ai Weiwei‘s monumental “RAIZ” exhibition in Brazil secured the number one spot on the list of shows. Over 1.1 million came to see the acclaimed Chinese artist’s major retrospective that featured a series of monolithic, cast iron sculptures portraying giant tree roots. As far as highly-attended museums are concerned, the Musée du Louvre in Paris reclaims first

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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis Signs ‘Fair Pay to Play’ Bill; Takes Effect in 2023

A closeup view of an official game ball with the March Madness logo during a second-round men's college basketball game between Villanova and Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament, Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

Bill Wippert/Associated Press

Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a “fair pay to play” bill, allowing college athletes in the state to profit off their names and likenesses. 

Per USA Today‘s Steve Berkowitz, Polis signed the bill Friday, and it will take effect Jan. 1, 2023. 

Colorado becomes the second state to implement the policy for student-athletes. California was the first state to implement a law like Colorado’s when governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill last September. 

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LeBron James Cavaliers Rookie Jersey Hits Auction; Earliest Jersey to Be Sold

INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 7:  Ron Artest #23 of the Indiana Pacers looks to get by LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers at Conseco Fieldhouse on November 7, 2003 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacer won 91-90.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agress that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

Ron Hoskins/Getty Images

A jersey donned by LeBron James in his fifth career NBA game for the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Indiana Pacers on November 7, 2003, could break the record for the highest amount paid for a game-worn jersey.

TMZ Sports reported Friday the jersey, which was also worn for the Cavs’ clash with Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat five days later, is the earliest one used by James to hit the auction block.

James’ jersey from the 2020 NBA All-Star Game holds the current record of over $630,000.

“LeBron James memorabilia is some of the most sought-after memorabilia currently,” Goldin Auctions founder Ken Goldin told TMZ. “After setting the record earlier this year for the sale of a LeBron James card for $900,000, we are hoping this jersey will set

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Deandre Ayton’s Clippers Take Down Trae Young’s Lakers in NBA 2K20 Tournament

PORTLAND, OREGON - MARCH 10: Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns looks on during warms up before the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center on March 10, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

Alika Jenner/Getty Images

It wasn’t exactly the showdown between LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard NBA fans have been looking forward to, but Trae Young and Deandre Ayton provided a potential Western Conference Finals preview in Thursday’s NBA 2K Players Tournament battle.

Ayton, the No. 10 seed in the 16-player bracket, chose Leonard’s L.A. Clippers and defeated the second-seeded Young 73-66 in the second-round matchup.

Players can only use a team once throughout the tournament, and both youngsters chose the Los Angeles powerhouses with a spot in the semifinals on the line.

Ayton wasted little time seizing momentum with the Clippers, jumping out to a double-digit lead in the first half behind triples from Paul George, Landry Shamet and Lou Williams. He put Young in comeback mode from the early going, but the Atlanta Hawks guard chipped away at the lead to set up the back-and-forth with James and Leonard.

After the Lakers pulled within three in the third quarter, Leonard unleashed three straight jumpers and a steal to push it back to 10.

From there, James threw down back-to-back-to-back dunks before Leonard answe

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Zion Williamson Shouldn’t Wait To Start Demanding More Talent Around Him

Zion Williamson is the type of talent that can and should push his organization to make better moves.

Zion Williamson is the type of talent that can and should push his organization to make better moves.
Photo: Getty

There are few people in sports that can combine generational athleticism and advanced intelligence.

Those rare personalities can make the sports world bend to their whim, especially in the NBA.

Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and LeBron James are among a select few in the history of the NBA that could dictate organizational moves, because leadership in these organizations had to respect their iconic status.

Enter New Orleans Pelicans rookie, Zion Williamson.

In an interview with Colin Cowherd on Thursday, legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski, who coached Williamson for one year at Duke, compared the young star’s IQ to the likes of Bryant and James.

Williamson has been known as a highlight machine since his time in high school, which has made many overlook his unique basketball acumen.

But not Krzyzewski.

“I had an interview about three weeks ago where I talked about Kobe and LeBron, coaching them on the Olympic teams and they are brilliant at the moment it’s happening. That’s unusual,” said Krzyzewski. “I can be smart out of a timeout or whatever but when you have somebody that is playing the game and that is not only smart about his or her play but the play of a unit … that’s the treasure. Those guys had it and Zion has it.

In a professional sports culture created by billionaire owners who seek to control many of the athletes they employ, it’s the players that Krzyzewski describes that can harness their own power and demand changes to their situations.

Bryant’s front office suggestions and public trade request in 2007, forced the Lakers to acquire Pau Gasol midway through the 2007-08 season. After adding the skilled seven footer, the Lakers went on to three straight NBA Finals, winning back to back titles in 2009 and 2010.

Johnson forced the Lakers to fire head coach Paul Westhead in 1981 after becoming frustrated with the direction of the offense. After a guy named Pat Riley took over head coaching responsibilities, the Lakers went on to win the NBA championship that season and become one of

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NBA 2K20: Prime Version Of LeBron James Created With Stunning Detail In PC Mod

It’s hard to believe LeBron James was just 26 years old when he decided to take his talents to South Beach. The 2010-11 season was a memorable one in the NBA, and perhaps because the COVID-19 pandemic has fans missing basketball so much, NBA 2K creativity is at an all-time high.

Prime LeBron James in NBA 2K20 on PC

PC modder Shuajota, aka Adrian Cañada created another stellar PC modification of an NBA legend with this prime version of LeBron James.

He puts the impressive, but mismatched 2K version on the left, and his more era-consistent version on the right:

2K’s version of Miami Heat LeBron looks like him, but it’s his render from present day. Shuajota makes James look appropriately younger for the era represented.

Per Shuajota, this mod is a part of a project he’s completing that will recreate the 2010-11 NBA season. There are other spot-on recreations that he’s shared with me from this mod, including this one of former Lakers fan favorite, DJ Mbenga:

Like R4zor aka Rytas Gineika, Shuajota is establishing himself as an elite artist in the NBA 2K modding community. These customizations, and others like it, are only available on the PC version of the game, and not on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch.

There are some really strong created players and custom rosters on

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LeBron James Says He Won’t Be Able to Find ‘Closure’ If NBA Season Doesn’t Resume

LeBron James Won’t Find ‘Closure’ if NBA Season Doesn’t Resume | PEOPLE.com
























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2020 Jordan Brand Classic Canceled Amid Coronavirus Concerns

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 20:  Tyrese Maxey #3 drives against Rocket Watts #1 during the Jordan Brand Classic boys high school all-star basketball game at T-Mobile Arena on April 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The 2020 Jordan Brand Classic, one of the marquee events for the nation’s top high school basketball players, has been canceled due to the coronavirus.

Wintrust Arena in Chicago was slated to host the game on March 27

In announcing the cancellation of the game, Jordan Brand announced all tickets purchased will be refunded: 

“While we understand how disappointing this is for the athletes, their families, and the communities who were excited to participate, in everything we do, we must prioritize the health and safety of our employees, athletes and consumers,” the company said in a statement. 

Jordan announced the decision on Thursday in the wake of numerous cancellations and postponements across the sports world. Major League Baseball has suspended spring training and delayed its season for at least two weeks. Thursday afternoon, the

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These Hilarious Impressions Show What NBA Player Would Look Like If They Played Soccer

BERN DOWN FOR WHAT

There is a simple explanation for why Sen. Bernie Sanders, who officially suspended his presidential campaign on Wednesday, lost the Democratic nomination: Former Vice President

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Lakers’ LeBron James Says He ‘Won’t Have Any Closure’ If NBA Cancels Season

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during a game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Staples Center on March 10, 2020 in Los Angeles, CA. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Credit: 2020 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)

Chris Elise/Getty Images

Should the COVID-19 pandemic force the cancelation of the 2019-20 NBA season, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James will feel he has unfinished business on the court.  

I don’t think I would be able to have any closure if we did not have an opportunity to finish the season,” he said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters, per the Los Angeles TimesTania Ganguli.

In general, James took a wider view of the situation. 

We’d become so comfortable with all of our lives,” he said, per Spectrum SportsNet’s Mike Bresnahan. “Now it’s time to take a pause.”

The NBA has yet to announce any final decision about the current season. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that “the pessimism is really growing,” especially after the Chinese government delayed the restart of the Chinese Basketball Association season.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Labor Day weekend in early September is the latest the NBA would consider extending this campaign.

James and his fellow Lakers will feel somewhat aggrieved even if keeping the league shut down is the sensible and obvious decision. Los Angeles has the best record in the Western Conference (49-14), and it would be one of the top title contenders were the 2020 playoffs to tip off. 

Independent of the larger public health concerns, the health of the players themselves

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Gaming Giant FaZe Clan Partners With E-Commerce Platform NTWRK

E-sports and gaming company FaZe Clan today announced an exclusive partnership with e-commerce and culture platform NTWRK.

NTWRK, known for its limited-edition product drops from LeBron James, Billie Eilish, 88rising and others, led the latest round of funding for FaZe Clan, and has secured the global direct-to-consumer product rights for the company. The collaboration will immediately integrate FaZe Clan’s apparel and merchandise into NTWRK’s platform.

Beats by Dre and Interscope Records cofounder Jimmy Iovine is a key investor. “FaZe Clan is a very powerful pipeline into gaming culture, and their cultural impact reminds me of the early days of ‘90s hip-hop,” Iovine tells Variety. “It’s a

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If The NBA Is Going to Televise H-0-R-S-E Games, These Are The Matchups It Needs to Have

Jordan go shot-for-shot with Bird again, ala that classic McDonald’s commercial...what are we waiting for?

Jordan go shot-for-shot with Bird again, ala that classic McDonald’s commercial…what are we waiting for?
Illustration: Eric Barrow (AP/Getty)

The last NBA games were held on March 11, which now feels as though it were about 20 years ago. The desperation of sports fans has reached the point that we have even turned to watching marbles race to fill the void.

Luckily, we may have a live basketball event coming to us soon in the form of a remote game of H-O-R-S-E.

Without knowing which players will be participating, for instance, presumptive MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo told reporters “I don’t have access to a hoop”, I put together my list of dream matchups that would satisfy my craving for basketball and entertainment.


1. The Legends: Larry Bird vs Michael Jordan

Their 1993 McDonalds ad is indisputably one of the best sports commercials of all-time. Legend has it that neither player has missed yet, so seeing Bird and Jordan finally finish their game live on television would be a dream come true for multiple generations of basketball fans.
The Pick: Jordan – He hates losing more than anyone hates anything

2. The TNT Crew: Charles Barkley vs Shaquille O’Neal

We’ve seen these two go after one another verbally and physically on the court and for years on the set of Inside the NBA. They might not be the best shooters in the world, but Sir Charles vs The Diesel would bring us some desperately needed comic relief.

The Pick: Barkley – This ends with Shaq missing a free-throw, guaranteed

3. The Shooters: Steph Curry vs Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf

Steph is the best shooter in the history of the world, but Abdul-Rauf was the prototype he followed on his way there.

Most recently seen dominating in the BIG3, it would be nice to see the NBA honor Abdul-Rauf after he was essentially blackballed for refusing to stand for the national anthem in 1996.

If that’s not a fair fight, I could see Kyrie Irving stepping in to shoot a 3 from the same spot he hit from to win the 2016 NBA Finals. I could also see him explaining a conspiracy theory about 5G being the real cause of the Coronavirus.


The Pick: Curry — The greatest shooter isn’t losing to anyone, except maybe his brother

4. The Young Guns: Luka Doncic


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Carmelo Anthony Shares Story About How LeBron James Rescued Him from Drowning: ‘He Saved My Life’

Carmelo Anthony Says LeBron James Once Saved Him from Drowning | PEOPLE.com
























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What You Can Watch On Quibi, The New Mobile Streaming App

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Quibi, a brand-new streaming app designed for mobile phones, debuted on April 6 with two dozen new projects. These Quibi shows generally run about 10 minutes per episode and f

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Re-Drafting the 2003 NBA Draft Class

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    Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

    The 2003 NBA draft is on the short list, along with 1984 and 1996, as one of the most important drafts in NBA history. The prize, of course, was LeBron James, the most hyped high school prospect ever. His hometown Cleveland Cavaliers won the lottery and drafted him.

    James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh teamed up in Miami in 2010, which not only led to two championships in four seasons but also ushered in the current era of player empowerment and superteams. Their close friend Carmelo Anthony was also instrumental in that shift after he engineered a trade from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks at the 2011 deadline.

    Beyond the four future Hall of Famers taken in the top five (with legendary bust Darko Milicic mixed in), there was plenty of talent throughout. David West was a mid-first-rounder, Kyle Korver and Mo Williams were second-round picks and plenty of others went on to have long, successful careers.

    With the NBA shut down for the foreseeable future because of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s a good time to redraft this most pivotal of NBA drafts, which changed the course of the sport for nearly two decades to come. These picks are made with the guiding principle of “Best Player Available,” not taking team needs into account, with full hindsight.

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    TONY DEJAK/Associated Press

    The 2003 draft lottery was one of those years when the bottom tier of teams had spent part of the season tanking specifically for a chance to get one guy. Needless to say, LeBron James more than delivered on that hype, blowing past even the loftiest expectations for how his career would play out.

    At the time of the draft, James was closer to a child star in Hollywood than a normal NBA prospect. He was anointed the “Chosen One” on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a 17-year-old junior at St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron, Ohio, and his high school games were broadcast on ESPN, which was unheard of at the time. He signed a seven-year, $90 million deal with Nike before he’d played a game in the NBA.

    James isn’t just one of the two or three greatest basketball players of all time. He’s one of the most important public figures in the history of his home state of Ohio, both for his philanthropic work (providing education to hundreds of low-income children with his I Promise School) and for bringing the city of Cleveland its first pro sports championship in over five decades when the Cavs beat the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 Finals.

    The payoff of the Cavs’ championship didn’t come until 13 years into James’ career. He played his first seven seasons in Cleveland, won consecutive MVP awards in 2009 and 2010, made the controversial but fruitful decision to leave for the Miami Heat, won two championships there and then returned.

    The most telling clip to illustrate how much of a sure thing James was from the beginning is the look of dejection on then-Memphis Grizzlies general manager Jerry West’s face when it was revealed that his team finished second in the lottery, thus missing out on the opportunity to draft him.

    Years later, in Bleacher Report writer Jonathan Abrams’ 2016 book Boys Among Men, West said: “It didn’t take a genius to look at LeBron James and know what he was going to be.”

    Actual Pick: LeBron James

    James’ Actual Draft Spot: No. 1, Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Fernando Medina/Getty Images

    The Pistons passed on three future Hall of Famers to draft Serbian center Darko Milicic, one of the most infamous draft busts in NBA history. They would not make that mistake again if they had a do-over.

    Dwyane Wade, a three-year player at Marquette, went fifth overall in the draft, miscast as a point guard early on in his career. But he blossomed into a superstar, winning Finals MVP in 2006 and becoming a perennial All-Star and All-NBA player for the remainder of his career.

    Wade helped recruit James and fellow 2003 draftee Chris Bosh to Miami in 2010, and the trio won two titles in four seasons together. He retired in 2019 after 16 seasons, going down as one of the greatest shooting guards of all time.

    Actual Pick: Darko Milicic

    Wade’s Actual Draft Spot: No. 5, Miami Heat

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    Lou Capozzola/Getty Images

    “LeBron or Melo?” was a more common debate leading up to the draft than you’d think.

    Carmelo Anthony was coming off a spectacular freshman season at Syracuse that culminated in a national championship. Some evaluators at the time saw him as a more polished prospect than James, who was still fighting the stigma of jumping straight from high school to the NBA.

    The Nuggets ended up taking Anthony No. 3 overall, and there’s no reason to believe they’d do anything differently if they had the chance. Although he forced a trade to the New York Knicks in 2011, the Nuggets had a lot of success during his time there, in which he made four All-Star teams and four All-NBA teams.

    Denver made the playoffs in all seven full seasons with Anthony, advancing to the Western Conference Finals in 2009. Even when the Nuggets traded him to New York, they got enough quality players back to remain competitive for several years after that. It’s hard to believe they’d regret making the pick.

    Actual Pick: Carmelo Anthony

    Anthony’s Actual Draft Spot: No. 3, Denver Nuggets

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    Lance Murphey/Associated Press

    Another pick that would remain the same in a redraft.

    In seven seasons in Toronto, Chris Bosh was one of the best players in franchise history. He’s the team’s all-time leading rebounder and is second in points scored. He has its second-highest career scoring average, trailing only Vince Carter. He made five All-Star teams in Toronto and led the Raptors to the playoffs twice in a time period before they became the consistent playoff presence and title contender they are today.

    Bosh left the Raptors in 2010 to team up with James and Wade in Miami, forming a formidable Big Three and winning titles in 2012 and 2013. He made six more All-Star teams with the Heat before a persistent blood-clot condition forced him into early retirement in 2016 at age 31.

    It’s a virtual lock that he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as soon as next year.

    Actual Pick: Chris Bosh

    Bosh’s Actual Draft Spot: No. 4, Toronto Raptors

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    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    Easily the biggest steal of the first round of the 2003 draft, David West carved out a very successful 15-year NBA career after being taken No. 18 overall. A skilled scorer and hard-nosed defender, he was a cornerstone of some very good Chris Paul-led New Orleans Hornets teams in the late 2000s, making consecutive All-Star teams in 2008 and 2009.

    After eight seasons in New Orleans, West signed with the Indiana Pacers in 2011 and became a pillar of that franchise’s early 2010s run alongside Paul George, Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson, making two straight Eastern Conference Finals in 2013 and 2014. He rounded out his career by winning championships with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018.

    West was one of the NBA’s most solid and reliable big men for the entirety of his long career, becoming a highly respected veteran voice in every locker room he was in. Outside of the four all-time greats taken in the top five, he was the best player in the draft.

    Actual Pick: Dwyane Wade

    West’s Actual Draft Spot: No. 18, New Orleans Hornets

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Amid a successful career in his native Spain, Jose Calderon entered the draft in 200

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Ray Allen Posts Hairline Challenge on Instagram, Asks LeBron James, Shaq to Join

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 23:  Former Miami Heat player Ray Allen is recognized during the first half between the Miami Heat and the Memphis Grizzlies at American Airlines Arena on October 23, 2019 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Hall of Famer Ray Allen is doing his best to lighten the mood while social distancing and staying inside.

In an Instagram post Tuesday, Allen explained how he has generally trimmed his own hair but is launching the George Jefferson Challenge and encouraging “all my bald or going bald brothers to let it grow out, y’all know who you are!”

LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal and Richard Hamilton were among the NBA luminaries Allen tagged in the post.  

O’Neal was clearly ahead of the curve. Shaq lost a bet with former teammate Dwyane Wade and, as a

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Everything You Need to Know About Quibi

Illustration for article titled Everything You Need to Know About Quibi

Image: Quibi

Quibi, a new streaming service from Jeffery Katzenberg, founder and CEO of Dreamworks, officially launched today. Unlike most streaming services that are meant to be watched on your television, Quibi is designed to be watched primarily on your mobile phone.

The service is currently only available in the United States and Canada, but the company has plans to launch it in other countries as well.

What can I watch?

Quibi launched with roughly 50 shows and movies, all of them new. Shows are roughly 10 minutes in length, so you can watch them on your lunch break or, someday, during your daily commute. Programming is also designed to be viewed in landscape and portrait mode, so you’ll be able to essentially see two different versions of the same show when you do watch. You can select the one that you prefer. You can also download shows to watch offline.

A number of celebrities are doing shows specifically for the platform. Joe Jonas, for instance, is doing a travel series called Cup of Joe and Anna Kendrick has a comedy on the platform called Dummy. You’ll also find the show Aqua Donkey from Funny or Die, a show by Cam Newton called Iron Sharpens Iron, and a show where Chrissy Teigan serves as a courtroom judge.

Some of the shows are scripted, while others are unscripted. We published a list of everything that’s launching today a few weeks ago, but again, since all of this is new, your best way to find out what’s great is to take a few of the shows out for a spin.

Beyond the shows, Quibi is also offering “movies in chapters.” For instance, the movie Most Dangerous Game is on the platform, starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz.

Here’s how Quibi describes it: “Desperate to take care of his pregnant wife before a terminal illness can take his life, Dodge Tynes (Liam Hemsworth) accepts an offer to participate in a deadly game where he’s the prey. This dystopian action-thriller explores the limits of how far someone would go to fight for their life and their family. Let the games begin.”

There’s also a documentary available today produced by LeBron James called I Promise. From Quibi: “I PROMISE tells the story of LeBron James’ efforts to close the achievement gap in his hometown of Akron, Ohio through the eyes of the inspiring students

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Quibi, reviewed: We judge Chrissy’s Court, the new Punk’d, and more

Clockwise, from left to right: I Promise; Most Dangerous Game; Chrissy’s Court; Survive; Memory Hole

Clockwise, from left to right: I Promise; Most Dangerous Game; Chrissy’s Court; Survive; Memory Hole
Photo: Quibi

After numerous trailers and press releases that breathlessly announced the latest outlandish premise for a show, Quibi has finally launched with a full lineup of “quick bites.” (Yes, that’s what Quibi is short for.) Quibi creator Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman envisioned a different kind of pivot to video, cutting down episode runtimes so they could be consumed while running errands or after finding a moment’s peace. For Quibi, the second screen is the only screen, as scripted shows have been optimized for your phone, not your laptop or TV. Their plan was to take up less space in a crowded streaming landscape—instead of taking four to 13 hours to finish a new season, you could wander down the Memory Hole or learn what the Most Dangerous Game is in under two hours.

Of course, this was before a pandemic drove us all ind

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LeBron James Staying ‘Mentally and Physically Prepared’ for NBA Return — and Enjoying Family Time

LeBron James Staying ‘Prepared’ for NBA’s Return | PEOPLE.com
























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US military medics in NYC, Ellen DeGeneres returns to TV, GM face masks: 5 things to know Monday

Editors, USA TODAY
Published 3:30 a.m. ET April 6, 2020 | Updated 6:44 a.m. ET April 6, 2020

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US to deploy 1,000 military personnel to NYC to battle coronavirus

President Donald Trump said the U.S. is deploying 1,000 military medical personnel to New York City to help battle the coronavirus. At a White House briefing on Saturday, Trump said they will be sent Sunday and Monday to New York, “where they’re needed most.” Personnel to be deployed will include doctors, nurses, respiratory specialists and others, Trump announced. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has now topped 337,000, and over 9,600 deaths have been reported. Worldwide, more than 1.2 million cases have been confirmed and over 69,000 deaths reported.

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Trump says NY should have ordered more ventilators

AP Domestic

Prefer to listen? Check out the 5 things podcast below and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts: 

Ellen and Wendy return with fresh shows

Ellen DeGeneres and Wendy Williams are returning to their regularly scheduled TV shows … remotely. “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” will be filmed from the comedian’s home with guest appearances, like other talk shows, via video chat. Jennifer Lopez, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are all scheduled to appear on episodes that will begin airing April 6. “The Wendy Williams Show” is also expected to return to TV April 6 with new episodes from the talk show host’s home in New York City that will include her well known segments “Hot Topics,” “Ask Wendy” and celebrity interviews. The hosts are far from alone. Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie are all working from home, too.

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Jennifer Lopez reveals how she met Alex Rodriguez on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

GM turns gutted, shuttered plant into face mask supplier

General Motors will start making face masks on Monday at its once-shuttered Warren Transmission plant to offset a severe shortage of masks caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Once production is at full scale, GM will make 50,000 masks a day, or up to 1.5 million a month. The masks are level one, meaning they cannot be worn in surgery, but rather are worn by delivery people and others who keep the hospital and communities running. 

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Anne Hernandez of Troy is responding to the shortage of face masks during the Novel Coronovirus threat by showing how she makes a mask.

Detroit Fre

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Quibi’s shows are fun, familiar, and a little forgettable

It’s far too easy to make fun of Quibi. That’s the first problem. You can start with the name: an overly cute mashup of “quick bites.” It’s easy to say but difficult to attach meaning to — hence a bizarre Super Bowl ad campaign dedicated to explaining it. It’s Netflix, but only for your phone and mostly for those idle moments that are long enough to be felt, yet brief enough that you wouldn’t turn to anything but your phone. You know: waiting in lines, pausing to sip a coffee, sitting in a car while someone runs into a store to grab something. That’s Quibi’s second problem: it was created for a world that doesn’t really exist anymore, one put on hold by a pandemic.

This makes Quibi a harder sell. TV to watch while you’re doing something else doesn’t seem very appealing when no one really has anything going on. However, the contrary can also be true: we’re all staring at our phones anyway, so what’s another reason to do it some more? As of today, there are 24 reasons, each Quibi show delivered in installments of 10 minutes or less, each launch show with the first three episodes ready to stream. There are 72 snacks in search of a meal.

The content — normally a crass word for art but an apt one for Quibi — runs the gamut, with no real ethos beyond putting recognizable faces in front of consumers in a way many haven’t really seen before. There’s a Punk’d revival starring Chance the Rapper, a series called Skrrt where Offset is really into cars and car stunts, a remake of The Most Dangerous Game starring Liam Hemsworth, and Memory Hole, a truly bizarre show where Will Arnett stands in a studio and tells you about

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CJ McCollum Says He’d Pick LeBron James as 2020 NBA MVP on ‘The Boardoom’

PORTLAND, OREGON - DECEMBER 06: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers greets CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers before the game at Moda Center on December 06, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum said he’d select Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James to win the Most Valuable Player Award of the 2019-20 NBA season.

McCollum discussed his MVP choice on The Boardroom with ESPN’s Jay Williams:

James was attempting to chase down the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, the award’s reigning winner, in what had become a two-player race for this year’s top individual honor before the campaign was delayed indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Antetokounmpo was the front-runner for most of the season, but James was surging. He tallied a combined 65 points, 17 assists and 16 rebounds in victories over the Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers, the league’s other top title contenders, in back-to-back games just

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Knicks’ Kevin Knox Talks LeBron James, Favorite Kentucky Moment in Twitter Q&A

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 08:  (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)  Kevin Knox II #20 of the New York Knicks in action against the Detroit Pistons at Madison Square Garden on March 08, 2020 in New York City. The Knicks defeated the Pistons 96-84. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Kevin Knox II joined the NBA‘s official Twitter account Sunday to answer some questions from fans. The New York Knicks second-year forward touched on a number of topics, from playing on Christmas at Madison Square Garden to meeting his basketball idol, LeBron James.

“Just the way that he plays the game, all-around playmaker,” Knox said of James. “Really can score from three levels. One of the greatest players of all time.”

Knox also said that James offered him some advice after the two met following a matchup last season. Former Knicks head coach David Fizdale—who was on the Miami Heat staff during James’ time with the team—set up the meeting:

[“LeBron] gave me a couple of tips here and there. It was just a great talk. Anytime you get to talk to a player like LeBron, you just sit there and listen, you don’t really say much, just soak it all in. You really just listen to the advice that he’s giving you. I think one of the biggest things that he said was, ‘Just stay locked in throughout the whole season.’ There’s going to be ups and downs, social media is going to try to bring you down, there’s going to be times when they hype you up, but he was just telling me to stay levelheaded because there’s times

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Reviews: The Good, the Bad & the Meh…

Quibi is either launching at exactly the wrong time or exactly the right time.

The entire model of the short-form programming streamer founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman was built around providing viewers with “quick bites” — the name, pronounced “Qui-Bee,” therefore really ought to be “Qui-Bye” — of drama, comedy, unscripted content and news that could be watched on your phone during pauses in ordinary life: mid-commute, waiting for a meeting to start, etc. With much of the population in quarantine, “ordinary life” is wishful thinking. However, shut-in audiences are hungry for content, and Quibi surely has that in abundance.

“Abundance” is currently the service’s primary selling point. If you want a whole show where Will Arnett makes fun of arcane moments in Canadian pop culture, Quibi has you, and perhaps only you, covered for five minutes with Memory Hole.

On the other hand, there’s little evidence in the 24 programs debuting on April 6 (the cost is $4.99 per month without ads, $7.99 per month with ads) — all in episodes running between four and 10 minutes — that artistry or storytelling are baked into the Quibi mantra, which boils down to a variation on the classic Annie Hall punchline: The food is mediocre — and such small portions! 

Quibi has sent critics between two and five episodes of the initial launch shows. In the spirit of the streamer itself, here are reactions in quick bites.

WATCH IT

Dishmantled
This culinary gameshow, hosted by a hilarious Tituss Burgess, is a pure evocation of the Quibi minimalist brand. The premise — chefs have to reconstruct mystery dishes that have been blasted at them via food cannon — is silly fun, the guests and contestants are in fine form and, at six minutes apiece, episodes have a perfect running time.

I Promise
Directed by Marc Levin and executive produced by LeBron James, this look at the first academic year of James’ experimental I Promise School for underperforming students in Akron, Ohio, sometimes feels like a commercial for King James and his academic altruism. But it’s also hugely emotional and inspiring. With the focus on the teachers and students facing long achievement odds, this is one to watch if you aren’t worried about a co-worker catching you crying.

Run This City
An unscripted look at the rise and fall of Jasiel Correia II, the youngest mayor of Fall River, MA, Run This City was probably my favorite show in this bunch, examining small-town politics with a cast of colorful figures and a smart, twisty take on how to tell the story in nine-minute chunks.

Singled Out
Keke Palmer (Hustlers) and Joel Kim Booster are fine subs



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Video: Trae Young Says He Picked LeBron James, Lakers to Win 2020 NBA Title

Atlanta Hawks's Trae Young (11) goes uo to basket against Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 122-101. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press

In his 17th NBA season, LeBron James looked well on his way toward leading the Los Angeles Lakers toward the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed, putting L.A. in the driver’s seat for the West’s NBA Finals berth.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has suspended play as of March 11, bringing about a series of questions as to how the season may have played out if it’s eventually canceled.

James and the Lakers have one backer in Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young, who told former teammate Justin Anderson in an Instagram Live video Saturday that he had them going all the way:

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How Tim Duncan and the Spurs’ majestic 2014 Finals changed the NBA forever

Editor’s note: This piece was originally published on June 9, 2015. Tim Duncan will be inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the 2020 class.

SAN ANTONIO — “Summertime” arrived in the first quarter of Game 3 and nestled in for the duration of the 2014 NBA Finals.

It breezed in on a crisp pass from Tony Parker at the 11:44 mark to Boris Diaw, who deftly shuttled the ball to Tim Duncan for an easy lay-in. It lingered when, with 8:55 remaining, Kawhi Leonard, who had scored 18 points in the first two games combined, slashed to the hole for a driving layup, the paint wide open with the Miami Heat’s defenders stretched to contain the San Antonio Spurs’ perimeter assault, Leonard exploding left past a gimpy Dwyane Wade, sidestepping Chris Bosh and artfully switching to a right-handed scoop as he reached the rim. It settled in 48 seconds later, when Parker took a Duncan screen on the right wing, drawing the attention of the Heat’s defense, and, instead of launching a good look from 18 feet, flicked the ball back to an open Danny Green, who slid through the lane for a layup.

By midway through the first quarter, a quarter in which the Spurs would go on to make 13 of 15 shots, it was clear that what was happening was more than a passing front. It was something akin to climate change: The ball whipping around the perimeter from Parker to Diaw to Green to Leonard, who drilled an open 3-pointer from the corner; Green stripping Wade and glancing up to see Leonard already in motion, gliding up the floor as his teammate slung an exquisite pass right into his hands; the Spurs substituting players, the momentum continuing uninterrupted; a Green finger roll on a feed from Duncan, a Manu Ginobili pass-and-cut drive generated by the court vision of Patty Mills.

It was a symphony of cutting and dribbling and passing and scoring. San Antonio led 41-25 after the opening quarter. By halftime, the Spurs had erupted for 71 points on 75.8 percent shooting, a number their coach conceded afterward would be impossible to repeat. It was the finest shooting half in NBA Finals history, and the Spurs led the defending champion Heat by 21 points.

There have been a number of seminal moments in the NBA Finals, but they are usually framed by indelible individual images: Magic Johnson’s baby hook over the outstretched arms of Boston’s Hall of Fame front line. Michael Jordan’s freeze-frame jumper over Utah nemesis Bryon Russell.

Here, too, something extraordinary was unfolding, yet it was remarkable for the acts not of a player but a team, one that had melded together to create a lyrical, mesmerizing stretch of basketball that was astonishing in both its elegance and its efficiency — the opening burst of a three-game stretch of arguably the greatest basketball ever played.

As the Heat retreated to their locker room, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra urged them, “We don’t need the 10-point play. … Stay the course.”

“I had never seen a team that hot,” says former Heat veteran Shane Battier, “but we had all been around basketball long enough to know it would even out. They were going to regress to their averages — only they never did.”

The Heat might have not realized it at that moment, but payback had arrived: Its name was “Summertime.” And nothing — for the Spurs, the Heat or the NBA — would ever be the same.


IT WAS ONE year earlier, give or take a few days, that the Spurs had been on the cusp of locking up their fifth title in 15 seasons and cementing their legacy as the most enduring franchise in the NBA, the model of consistency and excellence. “I can remember 2013 like it was yesterday,” says Sixers coach Brett Brown, an assistant under Spurs coach Gregg Popovich at the time. “I’m thinking, ‘Can you believe this? We did it. We beat LeBron, Wade and Bosh on their home court for our fifth championship. There’s 28 seconds left and we’re up five and the ropes are coming out and I’m saying to myself, ‘This is the most amazing championship of them all.’

“And then, bam! The rug is pulled.”

With 19.4 seconds left and the Spurs up 95-92, Miami’s Mario Chalmers dribbled up the left sideline, marked by Parker. James set a high screen, forcing Leonard, the Spurs’ best defender, to switch onto Chalmers in the corner. Chalmers slung the ball back to James at the 3-point line, and, with 11.5 seconds left, James released a 26-foot rainbow jumper as Parker and Diaw charged toward him. The shot bounced high off the rim, but because Diaw chose to contest James’ shot, Bosh, who was left unblocked underneath, corralled the rebound and shuffled to his right. It was then that Bosh spotted one of the most potent weapons in NBA history, the very player and shot the Spurs feared:

Ray Allen, alone, in the corner.

It’s easy to forget today that Allen’s game-tying corner 3 — a shot the analytically inclined Spurs had identified years ago as the best in basketball — merely sent Game 6 into overtime. Even after the Heat won in the extra frame, a deciding Game 7 awaited.

Yet Allen’s shot — and the failure of the Spurs to close out the win — inflicted a wound that could not heal in time to salvage the series.

“I’ve thought about that play every day, without exception, four, five, six, 10 times a day,” Popovich said. “I always will.” When the Spurs were in the huddle before the final possession, they had identified that very look — the Ray Allen corner 3 — as the one to guard against at all costs. And as the stupefied San Antonio players shuffled off the AmericanAirlines Arena floor, Popovich gathered himself outside the Spurs’ locker room. He knew he had work to do.

“I’ve never seen our team so broken,” Parker says.

“That game killed me mentally,” Ginobili admits.

The coach instructed his players to dress quickly and meet him on the team bus. The Spurs had booked their favorite Miami haunt, Il Gabbiano Restaurant, in anticipation of celebrating their title-clinching championship win. In the wake of a crushing turn of events, Popovich had insisted on keeping their reservation at the waterfront eatery.

“Pop’s response was, ‘Family!'” Brown says. “‘Everybody to the restaurant. Straight there.’ We needed to regroup because everyone was dazed, wondering what the hell had just happened. Pop’s instinct was to bring us together. Avoid the distractions. Block out the noise. He told us, ‘Grab your wife, your child, your mother. We’re all going to dinner.’ And off to dinner we went.”

During the meal, the coach visited each table like the father of the bride at a wedding. Pop lingered at Ginobili’s side, murmuring encouragement; he spent a private moment with Duncan, who had stood on the sideline, helpless, watching the game unravel, having been pulled by Pop for defensive purposes; he bantered with family members to defuse the awkwardness and sadness of a night gone horribly wrong.

There were no impassioned speeches, no artful rallying cries. And two days later, when the Heat won Game 7, it left the Spurs to endure their most uncertain offseason in franchise history.

“It was so hard,” says Spurs general manager R.C. Buford. “Especially hard to see Pop like that. I don’t like talking about it.”

Popovich waited four days, then held a meeting with his Big Three — the trio that had earned three championships over the past 11 seasons. His questions to Duncan, Ginobili and Parker were direct: What are we doing? Are we moving on? Are we staying? Are we done?

None could say with certainty. So they agreed to meet again later in the summer, when the shock of what transpired had subsided. “I thought about retiring,” Popovich concedes. “Not so much because of the loss but because there are other things to do in life. I just wanted to sit for a while and see if the competitive spirit was still there.”

Pop embarked on his annual offseason trip with his lifelong friends — his elementary school pal, a buddy from junior high and another from his years at the Air Force Academy. Their sojourns varied from year to year; for this one their destination was the backroads of Montenegro. Their personal guide? Zarko Paspalj, the chain-smoking former Spurs forward Popovich had persuaded Larry Brown to sign as a free agent 26 years earlier and who’d lasted all of 28 games in the NBA. (Pop’s players are nothing if not loyal.)

When he returned home to San Antonio, he sipped a glass of his favorite Rock and Hammer pinot noir, relived the horrors of Game 6 and determined he wasn’t done.

“As the summer wore on, I got angrier and angrier,” Popovich says. “I wanted to pull the guys back together and appeal to



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Patrick Beverley Trash-Talks in ESPN NBA2K Tournament Win vs. Hassan Whiteside

Los Angeles Clippers' Patrick Beverley (21) drives the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder's Dennis Schroder (17) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March, 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Garett Fisbeck)

Garett Fisbeck/Associated Press

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley said he would beat Portland Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside by 30 points in NBA2K on Friday and did just that, winning 84-54 in the first round of the NBA2K Players Tournament.

Beverley’s blowout victory was undoubtedly impressive, but his trash talking was next-level as the Clips floor general kept it up for all four quarters.

After Lakers point forward LeBron James lost the ball out of bounds while going hard to the basket, Beverley noted that the 17-year veteran “got some years on him now”:

He also said Lakers guard Quinn Cook “has no business to be in my game” before letting out a piercing yell when he went up 13 points in the second quarter:

Beverley’s 30-point prediction was looking pretty good at halftime, but show host Ronnie2K noted that the Clipper still had work

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Report: Bryant, Duncan, Garnett to be inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame – Sportsnet.ca

The Basketball Hall of Fame is expected to announce the inductions of Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett on Saturday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

In Bryant, Duncan and Garnett, the Hall of Fame will welcome three first-time finalists for induction who are among the modern NBA’s most influential talents, with a combined 11 NBA championships and 48 All-Star appearances between them.

Bryant, who died tragically in January in a helicopter crash that claimed the life of his daughter, Gianna, as well as seven others, spent his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers doing his best to eclipse Michael Jordan in the pantheon of NBA greats, and came closer to being a Jordan facsimile than any player before him had.

There’s no simple summation of who Bryant was, but the accolades paint a glo

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Damian Lillard Doesn’t Want NBA to Push 2020-21 Season Start Date Back

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 10: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers looks on during the game on March 10 , 2020 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

Sam Forencich/Getty Images

The NBA is in uncharted territory as play has been suspended since March 12 because of the COVID-19 crisis.

However, Portland Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard is not in favor of scheduling changes also impacting next season:

However, if and when the NBA’s 2019-20 season resumes, Los Angeles Lakers All-Star LeBron James wouldn’t want to face Lillard’s Blazers in the playoffs:

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Damian Lillard Denies April Fools’ Day Rumor Saying He Wants Trade to Lakers

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, drives to the basket while Los Angeles Lakers guard Danny Green defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard isn’t here for any reports suggesting he is looking to join the Los Angeles Lakers—on April Fools’ Day of all days.

After a Twitter account called Lakers UK suggested the five-time All-Star is unhappy in Portland and wants to play with LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the Purple and Gold, Lillard responded with a reference to April Fools’ Day while shutting down such speculation:

While playing alongside James and Davis in Los Angeles would surely give Lillard a better chance to become an NBA champion, he is a Trail Blazers legend and known for his loyalty to the fran

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The Coronavirus Is Proving Just How Great Of An Agent Rich Paul Is

Four years ago, Phil Jackson referred to LeBron James’ business partners as a “posse.

It was an ignorant comment dipped in prejudice, with a Salt Bae sprinkle of racism.

“It just sucks that now at this point having one of the biggest businesses you can have both on and off the floor, having a certified agent in Rich Paul, having a certified business partner in Maverick Carter that’s done so many great business [deals], that the title for young African-Americans is the word ‘posse,” said LeBron at the time.

Wonder what Phil Jackson thinks of the “posse” of John Wall, (from l. to r.) Rich Paul and LeBron James now.

Wonder what Phil Jackson thinks of the “posse” of John Wall, (from l. to r.) Rich Paul and LeBron James now.
Photo: Getty

Four years later, the coronavirus is demonstrating just how good Rich Paul, James’ agent/close friend/“posse” member, is at his job.

While NBA players received paychecks on Wednesday, it’s still unclear when, and if, they might get another one, as the league is trying to withhold 1.08 percent of player’s salary from every game missed due to the coronavirus, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times. It’s expected that almost 90 percent of players will take a hit as they’re on 12-month payment plans.

But, guess who represents the majority of the players in that 10 percent?

You know who.

Paul was able to negotiate for his clients “all-you-can-get” deals that will allow James, John Wall, Kentavious-Caldwell Pope, Dejounte Murray, Miles Bridges, Darius Bazley, Darius Garland, Terrance Ferguson, and Trey Lyles to receive maximum salary advances, along with an accelerated six-month payment schedule. Draymond Green will be added to that group next season when his contract extension begins.

And while they’re not part of Paul’s Klutch Sports Group, and have other representation, the likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin and Otto Porter all have similar language in their contracts, as less than 20 players in the league have these types of deals.

Irving and James are forme

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NBA Free Agents 2020: Predictions for Players Who Will Command Most Interest

San Antonio Spurs' DeMar DeRozan (10) drives past Cleveland Cavaliers' Larry Nance Jr. (22) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Tony Dejak/Associated Press

No LeBron James. No Kevin Durant. No Kawhi Leonard.

The free-agent class of 2020 doesn’t have anywhere near the star power of recent years. That doesn’t mean, however, that key pieces—especially for teams contending for the 2021 title—aren’t out there. The biggest question, it seems, is when free agency will happen.

With the coronavirus pandemic leading to the NBA season’s suspension until further notice, free agency’s original start date of June 30 looks less likely by the day. While the NBA draft can theoretically be held in the middle of a season because it won’t affect anyone’s roster, free agency obviously cannot. If the NBA season doesn’t resume before mid-June, the league will almost certainly have to alter its offseason process and push free agency down the road.

Whenever it happens, we won’t see the massive superstar moves such as James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Los Angeles Lakers, Durant escaping the Golden State Warriors to team up with Kyrie Irving on the Brooklyn Nets or Leonard leaving the Toronto Raptors after just winning an NBA Finals.

The biggest name among this year’s group of available free agents, Anthony Davis, will become an unrestricted free agent, but considering the success he and James have had together in L.A., it’s nearly impossible to see him leaving. But here are three impact players who could leave for greener pastures—and bigger paychecks.

      

Fred VanVleet 

Undrafted out of Wichi

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Quibi expands 90-day free trial for anyone who signs up through April – CNET

quibi-flipped-fl-103-00315r

Quibi’s comedy Flipped is one of the new service’s shows that’ll be available at launch. 


Quibi

Quibi, a star-studded mobile streaming service for short-form video, has pushed back its deadline to qualify for a 90-day free trial. Launching Monday in the US and Canada, Quibi will offer the free trial to anyone who signs up through the end of April. 

Originally, Quibi offered the 90-day trial to people who preregistered before its launch date on April 6. Then, as measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus started to lock millions of people inside their homes and stifle the economy, Quibi expanded the free trial deadline until April 20. 

Now any new subscribers can unlock the extended free period before May 1. 


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The people behind Quibi, a mobile-only subscription streaming service, believe it’ll find a sweet spot in a crowded streaming landscape with its unconventional strategy: very expensive, star-packed programming released in 10-minute-or-less episodes that you can watch only on phones or mobile devices. The launch slate — a fraction of what Quibi is producing — includes shows featuring Game of Thrones‘ Sophie Turner, film star Idris Elba, The Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth, model and entertainer Chrissy TeigenChance the Rapper, Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon and basketball superstar LeBron James, among many others. 

But Quibi is ramping up in the middle of a parade of new services, as both tech and media giants rush to define the future of video. Quibi will be competing for your subscription dollars against upstarts like Disney PlusApple TV PlusPeacock and HBO Max, as well as established players like Netflix and YouTube, the short-video specialist that’s already drawing in more than 2 billion viewers every month. 

Quibi would be a risky bet even in normal times. But it’s also launching in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Quibi was designed as an exclusively mobile, short-form video service, based on the premise that people would gobble up these “quick bite” episodes throughout their day while on the go. That most people in the US are now essentially immobilized in their homes raises more uncertainty about how Quibi will be received.  

Quibi will have a $5 monthly subscription that includes ads and an $8 monthly subscription that’s ad free. Before launch on Monday, you can sign up to get details of the free trial by submitting your email address at Quibi‘s web site — you’ll also receive email updates from Quibi if you do. After the service launches Monday, you can unlock the free trial by downloading the app and signing up for the service before the deadline.

Quibi has apps for both Apple‘s iOS and Google’s Android operating system. An app for iPhoneiPad and iPod Touch is already available for preorder in Apple’s App Store, and you can preregister for the Android app in the Google Play Store. 


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Nike Offers the LeBron 17 Low in a Classic “Metallic Gold” Colorway

Despite the absence of the NBA, Nike has remodeled the LeBron 17 Low in a quintessential colorway.

Crafted with a monochromatic upper of black mesh and white leather overlays, the iteration is highlighted with “Metallic Gold” accents on the branding details. Swooshes on the panel and mudguard, the signature on the tongue and the embroidered heel logo of LeBron James. T

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They Were Great, But Not That Great: The 10 Most Overrated Players In The NBA Since 1990

Let’s clear up a couple of things here before anyone starts calling for the heads of any of the writers who put together this list:

  1. We appreciate that many players on this list hold a special place in the hearts of many fans. We know that many of you will disagree. But you’ll get over it.
  2. We also understand that all of these guys are/were among the greatest basketball players on the planet, and, at any point in their adult lives, could stumble into any gym in the world and put up 85 points against any assortment of weekend warriors and wannabes – without even changing into shorts and sneakers.
  3. It’s also understood that there are many more important things happening in the world right now. This is simply an attempt to help take our minds off of that for just a little bit.

But with all that said, and in the very narrow context of NBA greatness, since 1990, these 10 have all still been overrated by fans and pundits, alike. Here, in no particular order other than alphabetical, is why we think so:

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony
Photo: Getty

CARMELO ANTHONY

I love Melo. I loved him from the first time I saw him play in college. And he’s been a really good NBA player. It’s just that he entered the league getting compared to LeBron, and even as King James ascended to GOAT status, Anthony still was looked at as a superstar. But superstars make the second round of the playoffs more than twice in their NBA career. Part of the problem with the Knicks trying to build around Anthony was that they’re the Knicks, but part of it also was that, as star stature goes, Anthony was really closer to Chris Bosh than he ever was to James.

– Jesse Spector

KOBE BRYANT

Let’s separate the emotion and tragedy from the issue and look objectively at this: Kobe was an incredible, dynamic, otherworldly talent, the complete package, with an incredible work ethic and high basketball IQ. But he’s not a top 5 player all-time.

Top 20? Sure.

He filled the hole in the public spotlight left by Jordan, and in that role, as the public face of the NBA, he fulfilled his promise. But he wasn’t as good as Jordan or LeBron James. We certainly shouldn’t be talking about making his silhouette the NBA logo.

You can make a good argument that Kobe isn’t even a Top 5 all-time Laker, which sounds sacrilegious, but there’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Shaq and Wilt Chamberlain.

Who do you kick out? And that’s not even considering LeBron.

– Chris Baud 

DEMAR DEROZAN

There is no denying that DeRozan was a key factor in the Raptors’ success for years, but fooling ourselves into thinking he could be the best player on a championship team was ludicrous. DeRozan is essentially a one-dimensional player whose best attribute is shooting mid-range jumpers.

He’s never shot more than 33 percent from three-point range and has only had two seasons where he simultaneously averaged over five assists and five rebounds. DeRozan is a good player, but nothing will illuminate the gap between him and the league’s true elite more than Kawhi Leonard taking his spot and leading Toronto to the 2019 NBA title.

– Donovan Dooley

Kevin Love

Kevin Love
Photo: Getty

KEVIN LOVE

In the summer of 2012, Kevin Love was gifted the privilege of playing in the 2012 London Olympics on a U.S. Men’s basketball team that featured all the heavy-hitters: Kobe, KD, LeBron, CP, Russ and Melo. It came on the heels of a season where Love averaged 26 points and 13 boards, made his second straight All-Star Game and was selected to his first (and only) All-NBA second team.

I still thought he was a bum.

So imagine my irritation when he started bumping his gums about being “frustrated” with the lowly Timberwolves squad he led.

“My patience is not high,” he declared to a Yahoo! Sports reporter.

Man, shut up. No one cares.

“Would yours be, especially when I’m a big proponent of greatness surrounding itself with greatness?”

Man, shut up with rhetoricals. And who told him that he was great?

The Timberwolves finished 26-40 that 2012 season — the fourth-worst record in the Western Conference. Yet, he somehow finished sixth in MVP voting. How was that possible when no player on a 26-win squad can hold much value at all?

He was the Empty Stat King, but got showered with love because he came across as the kind of “guy you could watch The Simpsons with.”

Get the entire eff outta here.

He’s going to be inducted in the Hall of Fame one day. Maybe even first-ballot. How do I feel about this?

Denzel, take it away.

– Vince Thomas

STEPHON MARBURY

First things first: Where Marbury has been a star, other than China where he won three CBA titles and is so revered they built a statue of him, is off the court. He has donated millions of dollars to first responders, victims of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina and teachers. And as athletes engage in a war of escalating sneaker costs, Marbury put out a line of affordable shoes for under 15 bucks. And this week he’s set to deliver 10 million needed N95 masks for hospital workers.

But that’s not what we are talking about here.

Despite being considered one of the game’s elite point guards over the duration of his 13-year NBA career, here’s all you need to know about how overrated Stephon Marbury is: The record of his teams (Timberwolves, Nets, Suns and Knicks) in his final season with them (and in the case of midseason trades, we’re talking about full seasons) is the following: 103-189. After Marbury left, those teams were a combined 196-132.

His team’s winning percentage in his final year with them is .353. After Marbury left those four teams (and we’re not counting his final NBA season in Boston where he came off the bench) their winning percentage soared to a remarkable .600. Well not that remarkable if you understand how overrated “Starbury” is. And for the record, just because a nickname rhymes does not make it accurate. And other than his season with the Celtics, he made the playoffs just four times and never got his team out of the first round.

The Nets were 30 games under .500 Marbury’s last year with them (’00-’01) yet went to the NBA Finals the next season behind Jason Kidd, the player they got in return from the Suns for… you guessed it.

Marbury.

– Eric Barrow

Steve Nash

Steve Nash
Photo: Getty

STEVE NASH

Steve Nash is one of 11 NBA players to win consecutive MVP awards. The others: Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mose Malone, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, LeBron James and Steph Curry.

It’s ridiculous that Nash is on such a rarified list. He didn’t deserve to win MVP one season let alone two.

In 2004-05, Nash edged out the Heat’s Shaquille O’Neal (which is a joke unto itself, as Shaq wasn’t even the most valuable on his own team; that was Dwyane Wade, who finished eighth in the vote). B

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Terrell Owens’ Covid-19 Sit-Up Challenge Devolves Into A Requiem On Donovan McNabb Puking

Donovan McNabb in happier, more upright times.

Donovan McNabb in happier, more upright times.
Photo: Getty

Terrell Owens, looking like he’s still in game shape at 46, posted a video on Twitter doing reclining sit-ups and issued a friendly COVID-19 Driveway Challenge to several celebs, including President Obama, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Chad Ochocinco, Marcellus Wiley, Dwyane Wade and The Rock.

For Eagles fans, this evoked bad memories of the ridiculous scene when T.O. did shirtless sit-ups while being interviewed by a host of reporters in his driveway after Andy Reid suspended him for conduct detrimental to the team in 2005.

The suspension came after Owens criticized the Eagles for not properly recognizing his 100th career touchdown reception, but it was really the culmination of a season-long series of problems. Most notably, there was T.O.’s desire to renegotiate his contract that developed into a feud with quarterback Donovan McNabb. Owens had played Super Bowl XXXIX while still recovering from a broken leg and remarkably put up 9 catches for 122 yards in the Eagles’ 24-21 loss to the New England Patriots.

The Eagles’ comeback attempt in that game was stymied by their inability to run an efficient hurry-up offense, delayed because McNabb ne

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Court Issues Critical Ruling in Copyright Suit Over LeBron James’ Tattoos

Last Thursday, a Manhattan federal judge Laura Swain made a landmark ruling that the company behind NBA 2K can’t be sued for reproducing LeBron James’ tattoo designs. Swain dismissed the 2016 lawsuit by tattoo company Solid Oak Sketches that sued the games’ developer, Take-Two Interactive, for copyright infringement because athletes were shown with their tattoo designs that they hold licenses for. Swain also said in her opinion that the video game versions of the tatt

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This Nike LeBron 17 Nods to the Classic Command Force

LeBron James‘s Nike Basketball line has long paid homage to the King’s favorite Nike kicks, and the latest classic pair to receive a tribute is the Command Force, which has provided the inspiration for a new LeBron 17. First released in 1991 and worn on NBA courts by Hall of Famer David Robinson, the Command Force’s “Volt” colorway was made famous by streetball hustler Billy Hoyle in 1992’s White Men Can’t Jump — and it’s that bold style that comes to roost in modern-day fashion.

Textured white Battleknit uppers are dressed with swirled multi-color accents, nodding to both the Command Force’s vibrant nature

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BREAKING: The Lakers will likely win the 2020 NBA Championship, due to unique bylaw – ClutchPoints

A new development has emerged that will potentially have a huge impact on the current NBA season. Thanks to some very thorough researchers who likely had too much time on their hands, a specific rule from the league’s bylaws has been revealed, which clearly states that if this season ends up being cancelled — a possibility that is becoming more and more feasible as the weeks go by — then it appears that the Los Angeles Lakers will be declared as this year’s champions.

The proof via Josiah Henderson:

NBA Bylaws 6.23: If the season ends prior to April 1, the team with the best record in the year the NBA Finals will be held shall be crowned the undisputed champion.

We are unsure why this rule has only been unearthed now, but is clear that there is already pre-set arrangement in the case that the league opts not to resume the current season. Having this type of contingency just makes a lot of sense, as it anticipates any unforeseen event or circumstance that migh

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Cleveland, this is for you! Moments we can’t forget from Game 7 of the 2016 Finals

In the 2016 NBA Finals, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers became the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 Finals deficit, beating the 73-win Golden State Warriors to give the city of Cleveland its first major professional sports championship in 52 years.

To do so, the Cavs needed to win twice in Oakland, where the Warriors had lost only three times all season.

Matching 41-point games by Kyrie Irving and James kept Cleveland alive in Game 5. Following a Game 6 home win, the Cavs returned to the Bay for an epic Game 7 victory.

ESPN will re-air Games 5 and 7 of the 2016 Finals on Wednesday night, starting at 7 p.m. ET. In advance of those replayed broadcasts, we asked our writers to share their memories of the tense, unforgettable closing minutes of Game 7.

MORE: How to watch the 2016 Finals and more iconic NBA games


Ezeli’s last stand

Injured Warriors center Festus Ezeli entered the game for forward Harrison Barnes with the Cavaliers down 85-83 with 6:16 remaining, and the series shifted. Ezeli, who had come off the bench in the Warriors’ first 22 playoff games, started Game 7 in place of Andrew Bogut, who had suffered a season-ending left knee injury in Game 5.

Before Ezeli entered, the Warriors had the momentum at Oracle Arena with a 5-0 run courtesy of a 3-pointer by Stephen Curry and a layup by Klay Thompson. Draymond Green then extended Golden State’s lead with a putback of a missed Curry layup with 5:37 left.

But on the next possession, James forced the 6-foot-11 Ezeli to guard him one-on-one. James, who had not made a 3-pointer all night, faked a shot behind the line. A slow-moving Ezeli bit and fouled him with 5:24 remaining. With the clock stopped, James made all three free throws to trim the Cavaliers’ deficit to just 87-86 and turn the tide.

In a game the Warriors lost by four, Golden State was outscored by nine points in the 11 minutes Ezeli played. He finished scoreless with one rebound and has not played in an NBA game since. (Ezeli had left knee surgery in March 2017.)

— Marc J. Spears


LeBron’s clutch 3

For all of James’ gifts, long-range shooting has forever been where James’ otherworldly talent returns to earth.

In 2015-16, James drained fewer than 31% of his attempts from beyond the arc, but with the Cavaliers trailing the Warriors inside of five minutes, circumstance overrode probabilities. Just after drawing a 3-point foul on Ezeli, James again hunted the mismatch — drawing poor Ezeli off a pick-and-roll.

As he has done so often, James guided the action to his left hand, took three dribbles, wiggled a sidestep with his left leg, then launched a 3-pointer over Ezeli that vaulted the Cavaliers into the lead 89-87.

It’s easy to forget the inevitability that followed the Warriors during their historic season. Even when they trailed, there was a sense that the basketball gods would soon correct the ledger in their favor.

Until that shot.

It was the fateful stroke that defied histo

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