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[SPORTS] LeBron James says Lakers will have to work to be great

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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Speaking with an all-business tone in his first press conference with his new team, LeBron James said the Los Angeles Lakers have “a long way to go” before getting on the same level as the Golden State Warriors.

James said he is excited to play alongside multiple ball handlers, but he understands the Lakers might have to take their “bumps and bruises” early with so many new pieces.

“We got a long way to go to get to Golden State,” James said when asked if the Lakers can challenge the two-time defending champs. “They can pick up right where they left off, starting with training camp. … We are picking up from scratch, so we got a long way to go. We can’t worry about what Golden State is doing. … They’ve been together for a few years now.”

 

“We are all new to each other; we have to take our bumps and our bruises,” James added. “There are going to be good times and bad times. If we continue to work the process and continue to sacrifice for one another and put in the commitment and time to being great, everything else will fall into place.”

While James was subdued during his press conference, he broke into a big smile later when asked about the health of his right hand, which he hurt following the Cleveland Cavaliers’ overtime loss in Game 1 of the NBA Finals to Golden State.

“My hand’s great,” James told ESPN. “A hundred percent, back to a hundred percent.”

This was the first time James has spoken to the Los Angeles media since signing with the Lakers in free agency in July. He had a serious tone in his press conference, something Lakers head coach Luke Walton said he has seen from James at the practice facility this summer.

“He knows what time it is. … He’s setting the tone that it’s time to come to work,” Walton said. “… There is definitely that look that I’ve seen before with somebody else I have played with before that knows the season is coming up soon.”

Walton, who played alongside Kobe Bryant, was asked who that person could be.

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[SPORTS] LeBron James, producer Ryan Coogler to work together on ‘Space Jam’ movie

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Blown away by Ryan Coogler’s work on “Black Panther,” LeBron James is teaming up with the director/producer on the long-anticipated next “Space Jam” movie.

Coogler will produce the “Space Jam” project with Terence Nance — whose work includes “Random Acts of Flyness” and “An Oversimplification of Her Beauty” — set to direct.

A source told ESPN that James was personally involved in recruiting Coogler. “Space Jam” will be Coogler’s first project since directing “Black Panther” — the groundbreaking Marvel movie featuring a black superhero with a predominantly black cast that grossed $1.34 billion worldwide.

James and longtime business partner Maverick Carter have been in talks to make a “Space Jam” film for more than five years, waiting for the right situation to come along, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

While the film shares the name with the popular franchise that originally starred Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny in a 1996 box-office smash, a source familiar with the production told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that James’ vehicle will not be considered a sequel to the highest-grossing basketball film of all time.

“I loved his vision,” James told The Hollywood Reporter of the acclaimed Coogler, who also directed “Creed” and “Fruitvale Station.” “So for Ryan to be able to bring that to kids, it’s amazing.”

While the premise of the latest installment of “Space Jam” being discussed is not rooted in the original story, there have been discussions of involving Jordan, with his level of involvement still to be determined. Filming is expected to start during the 2019 NBA offseason.

James’ Springhill Entertainment signed a deal in 2015 with Warner Bros. Entertainment, which owns “Space Jam.”

James, who had a supporting acting role in the 2015 comedy “Trainwreck,” has reviewed numerous scripts and met with various producers and directors in search of the right project, according to Windhorst.

James signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers in July, something that should only amplify and better facilitate his business team’s numerous ventures in entertainment.

“The ‘Space Jam’ collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie,” James told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s so much bigger. I’d just love for kids to understand how empowered they can feel and how empowered they can be if they don’t just give up on their dreams. And I think Ryan did that for a lot of people.”

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[SPORT/ MUSIC] LeBron James & Kevin Durant – It Ain’t Easy

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For years, there was a myth that Kevin Durant and LeBron James recorded a song together during the 2011 NBA lockout. It had been reported about, talked about in basketball circles and about a year ago, a snippet leaked. While we’ve seen these two on the court together (even playing on the same team during pickup games and the 2012 Summer Olympics), this is the first time, and possibly the only time, we will hear them on a song together.

“It Ain’t Easy” is more of a light-hearted collaboration, and not the trap aggressive rap you’d expect nowadays, but then again, it’s about seven years old.

It’ll be interesting to see what the two say about the song when asked.

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[Sports] Donald Trump says Warriors not welcome at White House

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President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday morning that the Golden State Warriors are not welcome at the White House to celebrate their 2017 NBA championship.

There had been no previous indication of a White House invitation for the Warriors. ESPN reported late Thursday night that the NBA had been in communication with the White House on the matter and believed an invitation would be extended, if the team decided as a group to attend.

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[SPORTS] Cavaliers send Kyrie Irving to Celtics in deal including Isaiah Thomas

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The Boston Celtics have acquired All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers for point guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and Brooklyn‘s 2018 unprotected first-round pick, sources told ESPN.

Thomas had been bracing for the possibility of a trade on Tuesday, league sources said.

Irving, 25, requested a trade during a July meeting with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. Irving has said that he wants to play in a situation where he can be more of a focal point and that he no longer wants to play alongside LeBron James, sources said.

Irving has three years and $60 million left on his contract, but he can opt out of the final year before the 2019-20 season.

Thomas has spent the offseason recovering from a right hip injury. He led the Celtics to the best record in the Eastern Conference, averaging 28.9 points and 5.9 assists over 33.8 minutes per game during the regular season.

Thomas missed the final three games of the Eastern Conference finals with the hip injury and opted not to have surgery. Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Monday that he was not sure Thomas would be ready for the start of training camp, but that further medical tests in September would determine that timeline.

Thomas, 28, will become a free agent when his contract expires at the end of June. Thomas has said he believes he’s worthy of a maximum contract.

Irving was the No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft. Thomas was the last.

The trade will make for an interesting opener for both teams. The Celtics and Cavaliers open the season in Cleveland on Oct. 17.

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[SPORTS] Jordan Horston: Livin’ My Life Like It’s Golden By DJ Layne Luv

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It’s one thing to represent your neighborhood, it’s also one thing to rep your city and even representing your state is remarkable, but representing your country on a world stage is nothing short of extraordinary. Ladies and Gentleman, meet Jordan Horston the 6’1 16 year old from Columbus Ohio currently attending Columbus Afrocentric Early College playing at point guard for The Lady Nubians and well on her way to becoming a basketball phenomenon. Horston left CMH for Buenos Aires Argentina June 7th and came back to Columbus a gold medalist competing in the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.

Whoever said “Don’t believe your own press” was not talking about Horston. You can look at her and tell she is not here for the hype but for the sheer love of the game. When asked how she is dealing with all the press she replied “I like it, but that’s not my focus. I actually deleted all of my apps because I knew all the attention I was getting. Once my goals were accomplished, I slowly started adding the apps back on my phone, but that was only to thank the supporters and fans for wishing me well.” Most of the people in her circle say that Jordan is the most humble person they know, you wouldn’t even know she is as great as she is by the way she carries herself. “Just a fun-loving and down-to-earth kid” her aunt Sabrina Whitney says.

As I recall, I met Jordan about 6 years ago and I don’t ever remember a ball not being in her hand at some point of the day. I’m also friends with her mother Malika Horston on Facebook and there was not a week that would go by that you wouldn’t see the proud mother videoing her daughter in their family driveway playing a pick-up game with her sibling Jazmin or even tougher competition with her father Leigh Horston. And in true father form, you would witness Leigh making the 11 year old work for all her buckets.

Leigh has been accredited for Jordan’s work ethic, coaching her since she was a small child. However, word is Malika Horston is the true task master when it comes to Jordan’s will to win. When asked by Malika’s friends how Mrs. Horston was as a sideline parent… they replied “Yeah you would hear it from Malika if Jordan did not put 110% in a game hahaha” Jordan says “It’s truly my family that keeps me grounded.”

The Lady Nubians themselves have a knack for winning. They’ve made many appearances at Value City Arena for the OHSAA Girls Basketball Tournament. I caught up with Head Coach William Mckinney to find out what their formula was. He stated “The Lady Nubians started out as a blue collar team. We go above and beyond to outwork everybody. We bring a high level of high energy every game. Everyone is held accountable to do their job. 

Jordan says her experience in Argentina was unforgettable. She states “The hardest part was getting over the nerves. Observing other countries, you could tell they spent a great deal of time and effort working on their skill. So from that point you have to determine you are the better team and that you deserve to be there. Surprisingly, The USA team gelled together pretty quickly as a family by looking out for one another, which in turn really helped win us the championship”….”No matter what stage you’re on….It’s just basketball at the end of the day”

Jordan says going into the 2017-2018 school year, she’s willing to step up as a leader and face the scrutiny of being put in the spotlight. She says “Of course, when you’re playing at this level, people are going to play you harder because they have something to prove. But while they’re resting, I’m working. I know what’s ahead of me so I just try my best to prepare myself mentally and physically.”

Expect great things from this future Lisa Leslie (By the way, rumor has is Jordan can dunk a basketball) Follow her on ESPN and USA Olympic Team websites. Jordan was one of two people from Ohio representing the American team. And we expect many more accolades to come from this awesome young lady. Let it be known….Columbus Ohio is #TEAMJORDAN

@LadyLynn22_

@DJLAYNELUV

@StraightOfficialMag

@UptownWeekly

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[SPORTS] 2016 “THE YEAR IN SPORTS”

The Year in Sports…

 

As 2016 comes to a close I could not help but take a look at all the amazing stories of this year…

 

The greatest story line to me has to be the World Series win for the Chicago Cubs. While they were one of the favorites going in to the season, having not won a title 108 years it is just a moment when you have to be happy for them even if you are not a sports fan. That said while a perennial bad team the majority of the past 108 years somehow they have managed to maintain an incredibly loyal fan base and have been selling out for years. Not only did they win the World Series but it also took one of the most exciting game sevens to make it happen with an 8-7 10-inning victory over the Cleveland Indians who were trying to exercise there own demons having not a Championship since 1948.

 

Another monumental moment in sports this year was Peyton Manning taking the Broncos back to the Super Bowl and earning his 2nd ring as we all knew retirement was in the wings. Coming back from a mid-season injury and really a shell of his MVP form, he along with Von Miller and the vaunted defense willed another title for Denver.

 

What truly kept me on the edge of my seats during a usually boring long NBA season was watching the Golden St Warriors go for the best record in NBA history. The Chicago Bulls in 1996 when an absurd 72-10 and established a mark I thought would never be broken. Low and behold Steph Curry your defending MVP came back with another MVP season and players like Clay Thompson and Draymond Green played at All Star levels and the once laughing stock for many years went on to go 73-9. They reached the NBA finals and after a 3-1 lead bowed out to Lebron and the Cavs 4-3. Many will say because they did not close the deal they are not in conversation with greatest teams ever. If anybody’s asking I am taking the 96 Bulls in 5 games if they would have played.

 

This was also the year of the Summer Olympics and we had some great moments. Carmelo led the US Basketball team to another Gold and we loved that but swimmer Michael Phelps winning his record 23rd medal and retiring from the Olympics was the top story. The most bizarre and controversial moment was when Ryan Lotche, Phelps’ teammate alleged that he was robbed by gunpoint at a gas station with fellow swimmers Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen. Brazilian officials found no evidence that the incident occurred and announced in a press conference that the men had vandalized the property.

 

There were so many great stories in 2016 these are just a few what are your favorites?

 

#allaboooooard

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[SPORTS] One and Done…

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One and done…

For some ironic reason the NBA had a “soft” no straight out of high school policy and 10 years ago made it official, NBA prospects must be at least 1 year removed from High school before they could go to the NBA. I always found this peculiar, as you do not have such restrictions in Baseball or Hockey where kids are drafted and in the pro leagues within Months.

While so many do not want to play the race card here is what my study found… According to the MLB 60% of its players were White while less than 10% were Black in the year of 2014. In the same year the NHL declared 98% of its players White. However in 2014 the NBA had a Black majority of 75%.

When I look at these numbers I cannot help but wonder what makes the NBA think their league needs to be run this way. In other leagues there are no restrictions and furthermore there are no confines in this Capitalist America so why such limitations? If you are qualified why can you not do the job? We hear all the sad stories of young Black Men making so much money and losing it all, my question is why does the NBA care? Moreover if they really cared why not do more to assist the athletes with money management etc…

Let’s take it one step further… I strongly believe that by instituting a requirement where players can’t go to straight to the NBA they are now “forced” to go to college for a “One and done” season. If a player is a stud and makes his team great that results in Major Coins for the Universities on the back of the Athlete. Personally, I see this as a form of slavery. By winning the National Championship in his sole season at Syracuse Univ the school earned MILLIONS for which Carmelo did not see a dime. Players can’t be paid in college or take as much as a free lunch or borrow a car without being scrutinized. This is utterly ridiculous and while I have no evidence strongly believe the policy of one and done was influenced by the NCAA to stuff their pockets.

I commend current Knicks 6th man Brandon Jennings who decided he was not going to college and played in a Euro league for one season made his paper and entered the draft the following season. If you have first round draft talent and do not intend on staying in College for 4 years to get your degree I say get your money like any other red blooded American.

I look forward to the day when ALL Athletes Matter and can earn their money equally.

 

#allaboooooaaaard

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[SPORTS] NBA is Back…

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It seems like just yesterday Lebron finally brought a title to Cleveland and here we are at the beginning of the 2016-2017 season!!!

 

I have to admit this year has a buzz unlike many in recent memory. Everyone and their Mama is talking about KD joining Golden State creating the “Super Team” and they have gone from NBA darlings to the villians. Though they have 4 all stars it may take time to create the chemistry needed to become champs.

 

While many think it’s a cakewalk for the Warriors, others believe the aforementioned Cavs who return all their core players are lined up to breeze through the east to a third consecutive match up with Steph Curry’s squad for the NBA Finals Trophy. Fans everywhere would love to see that.

 

One team that has been awful the past two years that have playoff aspirations is the NY Knicks. Off-season moves include Free Agent signings of Joakim Noah, Brandon Jennings and Courtney Lee while also trading for Derrick Rose on paper giving them a crew to contend with. I’m sure no one is happier than Melo.

 

My favorite story line is what will Russell Westbrook do w/o Durant. Many predict this team will be lucky to make the playoffs and I would say anything better than an 7th seed would surprise me considering how tough the Western Conf. is. However, I am anxious to see if Westbrook can average a triple double for a season and win MVP. I think he is going to be a man possessed this season. Watch out NBA.

 

After a storied career in Miami, D. Wade the Chicago native returns home to play for the Bulls joining Rajon Rando who replaces Rose at the Point joining Jimmy Butler for an intriguing Big 3. This could be a boom or bust scenario.

 

With Duncan aka “The Big Fundamental” retired can Leonard distinguish himself as the new leader and front man taking the torch? Spurs are the team to never count out this we have learned…

 

Another legend joining Duncan in the hall of fame in 5 years, Kobe also retired leaving the Lake show in decent hands actually. Rookie; Ingram joins Randle and Nance on the front line with Russell and Clarkson in the back-court giving hopes of a return to showtime in the near future.

 

Rookie Ben Simmons had us ultra excited from his summer league play but an injury will keep him out until around the mid season and keep Philly in contention for worse record this year along with the Brooklyn Nets.

 

Can’t wait for this season to kick off…

 

#allabooooaaard

 

 

 

 

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