NBA Fans Turned Isaiah Thomas Into a Meme After He Was Accused of Calling Kevin Love Out

Isaiah Thomas has only been a member of the Cavaliers for about six months now. Due to a lingering hip injury, he’s also only been playing for the Cavaliers for a few weeks. But according to a New York Daily News report, that didn’t stop him from calling Kevin Love out during a Cleveland team meeting earlier this week.

On Monday night, an ESPN.com report surfaced indicating several Cavaliers players had targeted Love for exiting Cleveland’s embarrassing loss to the Thunder on Saturday afternoon with an illness. Love responded to the report by essentially confirming it on Tuesday afternoon. He admitted he was one of the main targets during the meeting.

But the Daily News took things a step further by reporting Thomas “led the charge” against Love. It seems to suggest Thomas was causing some level of conflict in the Cavaliers’ locker room even though he literally just got there.

This didn’t sit well with many NBA fans who responded to the report about Thomas calling Love out by accusing him of being everything from a bad teammate to a locker room snitch. They used a screengrab of Thomas from a recent Book of Isaiah video on The Players’ Tribune to show their disgust with Thomas’ alleged actions and turned him into a meme.

The funny part about this is that, if Thomas did, in fact, criticize Love during the Cavaliers’ team meeting, Love may not have been all that bent out of shape about it. Because for those who might not know, Thomas and Love have actually been friends for quite some time now. They once played on the same AAU team, and in an interview with The Vertical in 2016, Thomas spoke about his friendship with Love and about how he used to routinely stay at Love’s house when they were younger so they could play basketball together.

“Kevin and his dad Stan, they would come pick me up and I would stay the weekend at his house so I could play on that AAU team,” Thomas said. “It’s something that me and Kevin, we’ll talk about. It’s crazy that we’re both in the NBA and he is at the level he’s at, and I’m doing pretty well. To be able to say that I used to go to his house every other weekend and stay the night and his parents used to cook dinner and all that type of thing, it’s crazy to see that.”

When you take all that into consideration, Thomas going after Love in the Cavaliers’ locker room seems a whole lot less egregious. It won’t stop some NBA fans from continuing to turn Thomas into a meme, but in the grand scheme of things, Cavaliers fans would probably prefer to hear that Thomas went after Love as opposed to one of the other Cleveland players doing it.

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Is This the Real Reason LaVar Ball Pulled LaMelo Out of High School?

LaVar Ball shocked some people earlier this week—which is pretty hard to do these days, when you consider some of the other things he’s done in recent months—by announcing that he was pulling his son LaMelo out of Chino Hills High School to homeschool and train him over the next two years. At the time, LaVar said he was doing it because he was tired of dealing with the Chino Hills basketball coach, and he also said he didn’t want “no distractions” for LaMelo moving forward.

“I’m going to homeschool him and make him the best basketball player ever,” LaVar said.

But it sounds like there might be more to it than that. The Los Angeles Times did some digging around and discovered that, prior to pulling LaMelo out of school, LaVar may have overstepped his bounds (no way!) by trying to convince Chino Hills coach Dennis Latimore to add several players to his team prior to the upcoming season. It’s unclear if those players were already attending the school or if LaVar was trying to bring some of his AAU players into the mix, but either way, Latimore and Chino Hills principal Isabel Brenes both reportedly refused his request, which was why LaVar then decided to take LaMelo out of the school.

Wayne Joseph, the superintendent of the Chino Bills school district, spoke with the Times on Tuesday and confirmed that version of the story.

“He suggested he put four or five kids on varsity,” Joseph said, while also taking the diplomatic route and adding that LaVar and his wife Tina “have done a magnificent job with their kids.”

If this side of the story is true, it seems as though LaVar overstepped his bounds even more than usual, and Chino Hills probably isn’t all that upset about seeing him and LaMelo leave. The Ball boys have obviously put Chino Hills on the map in recent years, but it sounds like LaVar was really becoming a thorn in the side of the school’s coach and administration.

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LaVar Ball Tells Female Referee to ‘Stay in Her Lane’ After Tense Confrontation During Game

Outside of doing everything he can to promote his sons Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo, LaVar Ball is also the coach for the Big Ballers AAU team. And over the course of the last week, LaVar has been getting into it with referees during AAU games left and right.

During a game at the Double Pump Best of Summer Tournament in California last weekend, LaVar argued with a referee over a foul call and, according to USA Today Sports, questioned the referee’s manhood and directed an expletive at him, which basically forced the referee to give him a technical foul. LaVar was so upset about it that he took his team and walked off the court in the middle of the game, even though they were up by 9 points at the time. He later explained that he felt as though the refs “were cheating.”

LaVar’s behavior was a little bit better when the Big Ballers AAU team headed to Las Vegas a few days later to take part in the Adidas Summer Championships. He seemed to enjoy all of the attention that LaMelo’s epic matchup with Zion Williamson earned him, so he didn’t fuss as much at the refs that game as he did during the one in California.

But it appears as though LaVar was back at it again on Friday during a subsequent Adidas Summer Championships game. During the first half of Big Ballers’ game against Team BBC, LaVar got into it with a female referee who was working the game. She responded by hitting him with a technical, which set him off. He yelled, “We need to get someone else in here,” and he threatened to pull his team off the court if Adidas didn’t comply with his request. And in a somewhat puzzling move, Adidas ended up pulling the ref from the game and replacing her with a different ref.

But the trouble didn’t end there. With a new ref in place, LaVar managed to pick up another technical later in the game, and when he was asked to leave, he wouldn’t go. So the event organizers decided to pull the plug on the contest and award a win to Team BBC since they were leading 53-43 at the time of LaVar’s second outburst.

After the game, the female ref declined to speak with ESPN about what took place during the game. But LaVar was, of course, more than happy to tell his side of the story.

“She’s got a vendetta,” he said. “I get that she’s trying to break into the refereeing thing. But just giving techs and calling fouls, that’s no way to do it. I know what she’s trying to say. 'Oh, I gave LaVar a tech, I’m strong.' That ain’t got nothing to do with it. Just call the game. If you’re going to be qualified, you better be in shape and you better know the game. And she’s bad on both of them. She’s not in shape, she’s not calling the game right. And she don’t understand. And now she’s trying to make a name for herself, so she’s walking around like, 'You know, I’m the only woman in here.' Yeah, we get it. I don’t care if you’re a woman or a man or whatever, just be good at what you do.”

LaVar added: “She needs to stay in her lane because she ain’t ready for this. [Ref] the little kids first and then come up. Because she ain’t did enough. She ain’t got enough on her résumé. I could tell.”

“Stay in your lane” is the phrase LaVar used during an on-air confrontation with Fox Sports 1 radio host Kristine Leahy back in May. He later used the phrase on the front of Big Baller Brand t-shirts,

Adidas organizers didn’t explain why they removed the ref from the game and would only say that there was a “miscommunication.” But former NBA ref Ed Rush, who runs the company that supplies refs for the Adidas tournament, argued against LaVar saying the ref in question had a “vendetta” against him. He pointed out that she usually works women’s basketball games and hasn’t refereed enough of LaVar’s games to have a grudge with him.

To be fair, LaVar seemed to have an issue with all of the referees involved in the game, not just the female one. He’s also now had several run-ins with referees in the last week alone. But his comments after Friday’s game aren’t going to sit well with a lot of people, and he’s probably going to have an even bigger target on his back the next time he’s coaching a game.

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LaMelo Ball and Zion Williamson Played in What Might Go Down as the Craziest AAU Game Ever

Earlier this month, Lonzo Ball put on a show while playing for the Lakers in the Las Vegas Summer League. After struggling to find his shooting touch in his first game with the team, he recorded a triple-double in his second game and then absolutely exploded during his third game by going off for 36 points, 8 rebounds, 11 assists, 5 steals, and 2 blocks. He put together several other impressive performances before being sidelined with a leg injury, but that injury didn’t prevent him from being named the Las Vegas Summer League MVP.

Despite all of that, though, you can now make the argument that LaMelo Ball, not Lonzo, took part in the craziest game in Las Vegas this summer. And some people are already saying that the game might go down as one of the craziest games in AAU history.

On Wednesday night, LaMelo’s Big Ballers AAU team took the court at the Cashman Center in Las Vegas for an Adidas Uprising Summer Championships game against the SC Supreme AAU team, a South Carolina-based squad that features top college recruit Zion Williamson. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Williamson, he has made a name for himself by putting together one highlight reel after another filled with sick dunks and incredibly athletic plays:

Prior to the game, LaMelo’s dad LaVar Ball, who is the coach of the Big Ballers team, tried to hype up the contest by predicting that LaMelo would go off for 40 or 50 points during an interview with Overtime:

He also spoke about how he believes that he and LaMelo could beat Michael Jordan and LeBron James in a game of 2-on-2 while talking with Overtime:

But truthfully, the game didn’t need any more hype than it already had heading into the contest. According to ESPN, between 3,000 and 4,000 people made their way into the Cashman Center to watch the game. People were packed into every square inch of the gym long before the game started:

NBA stars Damian Lillard, Andrew Wiggins, Thon Maker, Jamal Murray, Eric Gordon, and of course, his brother Lonzo Ball were among those in attendance:

And in addition to all of the people inside the gym, there were reportedly another 1,500 waiting outside hoping to get in to watch LaMelo and Williamson play. Here's a look at the line before the game:

There were so many people that, at one point, LeBron showed up hoping to watch the much-anticipated matchup. But he was reportedly advised not to come into the gym because of the crowd:

Several college coaches, who are used to attending AAU games like this one throughout the year, said that Wednesday night's game was unlike anything they had ever seen before:

The closest comparison most people had for the game was the games LeBron played in back in the early 2000s when he was in high school:

Despite the obvious excitement surrounding the game, it was unclear if it would even be played just minutes before it was scheduled to start. One of the organizers for the event told ESPN that local police didn’t give the final OK for the game to begin until about 60 seconds before tip time.

And it wasn’t just people in Las Vegas who were clamoring to see LaMelo and Williamson play, either. Ball Is Life put up a livestream of the game that, according to SB Nation, drew more than 70,000 viewers at one point. In total, the livestream has been viewed more than one million times in just 12 hours:

The game itself was almost an afterthought after everything that led up to it, but both LaMelo and Williamson more than lived up to the hype they generated. LaMelo finished with 36 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Williamson finished with 31 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 steals (not to mention several thunderous dunks). But ultimately, SC Supreme pulled out a 104-92 win in front of a packed house. You can watch highlights, courtesy of Overtime, here:

And when it was all over, LaVar stated the obvious while speaking with ESPN. He said that, moving forward, AAU organizers are going to need to pick larger arenas if they want to invite Big Ballers to play.

“They’re gonna have to get a bigger venue,” he said. “When the Big Baller brand come to town, better get something big.”

Whether you love or hate what LaVar and his sons are doing right now, this is just another example of how much chaos they’re creating out there in the world.

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LaVar Ball Shoots Down Rumor About Lonzo Ducking De’Aaron Fox in Summer League

 

Earlier this week, the Lakers held Lonzo Ball out of a Summer League game against the Kings. And while that normally wouldn’t be all that big of a deal, Lonzo was scheduled to square off against De’Aaron Fox in that game for the first time since Fox got the better of him during Kentucky’s win over UCLA in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. So some NBA fans suspected Lonzo was skipping the game in an effort to duck Fox.

Fox himself even seemed to suggest that Lonzo was ducking him when he sent out this tweet that he deleted later:

Since then, Lonzo has silenced those who criticized him for sitting out that game by playing his two best Summer League games thus far. But some fans are still wondering why he didn’t play against the Kings, especially since he’s looked healthy in other games this week.

While attending an AAU tournament with his youngest son LaMelo on Thursday, LaVar Ball was asked about Lonzo’s absence during the Kings game. And as you might expect, he downplayed all of the speculation surrounding why his son sat out of the game. He said Lonzo isn’t “scared of nobody” and scoffed at the idea of Lonzo sitting out to avoid playing against a particular opponent:

“We don’t do that shit,” he said. “We ain’t scared of nobody. What you talking about? Y’all can think whatever y’all want. Whatever Magic [Johnson] and Rob [Pelinka] got him doing is what they got him doing.”

The speculation surrounding Lonzo skipping the game against the Kings has been kind of silly. We could understand people questioning him missing the game if there was some random streetball player taking part in the Summer League that had it out for him. But we’re pretty sure Fox is going to make the Kings roster next season, and we’re pretty sure Lonzo is going to have to play against him at some point. So what exactly would be the point of him ducking him in a Summer League game?

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LaVar Ball May Have Cost Lonzo a $20 Million Sneaker Deal

By now, you’ve probably heard that LaVar Ball cost his son Lonzo a sneaker deal after meeting with several large shoe companies like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour in April. He got roasted—and we do mean roasted—on social media for doing it. But do you know just how much LaVar cost Lonzo?

It’s hard to put an exact dollar amount on it, since its all speculation at this point. But on Tuesday, ESPN reporter Darren Rovell appeared on The Dan Patrick Show and revealed that he heard LaVar and Lonzo walked away from a sneaker deal worth at least $10 million over five years from one of the big sneaker companies. And now that it sounds like Lonzo will probably end up being drafted by the Lakers with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, there’s a chance that deal could have ended up being worth twice as much as that. So in essence, LaVar may have cost Lonzo $20 million by botching the negotiations with Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour by insisting that one of the companies license the Ball family’s Big Baller Brand.

If we know LaVar—and at this point, doesn’t it feel like we all know LaVar?—he’s not going to be all that broken up by this report. He was looking for a billion-dollar deal, not a million-dollar deal, when he first started talking with the sneaker companies, so $10 million is basically, like, $10 to him. But Rovell also reported that the Balls are only going to end up making about $200 on every pair of $495 Big Baller Brand sneakers that they sell, which means they’re going to have to sell a lot of pairs if they want to make up the $10 to $20 million they’ve lost.

In other LaVar news, he’s also currently trying to score some free BBB sneakers for his AAU team—the AAU team that got destroyed by more than 50 points the other day—by making a bet with Ice Cube. Cube recently challenged LaVar to try and hit one of the 4-point shots that will be allowed in the new Big 3 league Cube has started. And LaVar responded by challenging him right back and saying that he’ll take part in a shootout with Cube if Cube agrees to buy his whole AAU team BBB sneakers if he loses to LaVar:

Cube doesn’t look like he has too much to worry about.

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