Kevin Durant Responds to Rumors of LeBron James Leaving Cleveland

With news that not one but two star players from the Cleveland Cavaliers might be leaving NBA, fans have had a lot to discuss in recent days. On August 16, Chris Sheridan of ESPN tweeted that an NBA insider has confirmed LeBron James 100% has intentions of leaving the Cavs due to a strained relationship with owner Dan Gilbert. Folks have pointed out that the disagreement may be, at least partially, political in nature as Gilbert is a fan of reality star Donald Trump. The Cavs owner reportedly donated $750,000 to Trump's campaign. LeBron on the other hand is known for his dislike of the failed businessman turned president.   

Previous to the news of James' possible departure, there has been considerable amount of talk that Kyrie Irving is also leaving Cleveland. The news of Irving's request to leave the team reportedly “disappointed” LeBron. Rumors of James leaving the Cavs have been around for a while. Some have suggested he might be heading west to the Lakers. Lebron does have a no-trade clause in his contract.

Enter rapper Lil Dicky and Kevin Durant. The two weighed in on the LeBron departure rumors with a frank discussion for all to see via Twitter. The rapper kicked it off by tweeting “If I'm Cleveland, I'm one thousand percent trading LeBron.” Durant responded, “u can't trade a legend. He is Cleveland, he gets to hold the cards.” 

Check out the exchange below. 

Stay tuned to see how all this trade talk pans out. 

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J.R. Smith Fires Back at Tracy McGrady Over His Take on ‘No Ring’ Criticism

Tracy McGrady will cement his legacy in the coming months when he's inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Of course, the cloud hanging over McGrady's head will be his inability to win a championship in his 16-year career, and T-Mac is well aware of that fact. 

While speaking at the Hall of Fame's 60 Days of Summer Program, McGrady addressed the criticisms regarding the “no rings” talk. “Social media can give a lot of people voices these days, and the first thing they say is 'No rings, no rings,'” McGrady said, according to MassLive.com. “You have to have a great team and some luck to get a ring, right? Unfortunately, I wasn't blessed with that. But I go back at them with this: Anybody can win a championship. Everybody can't get in the Hall of Fame.”

McGrady's stance on the “no rings” conversation struck a chord with Cleveland Cavaliers guard and NBA champion J.R. Smith, who called T-Mac's argument “dumb as hell.”

Of all the current NBA players to criticize McGrady about his comments which seemed to put personal accolades over winning, it's shocking that Swish would be that guy. 

McGrady, along with former Chicago Bulls general manager Jerry Krause, Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self, WNBA player Rebecca Lobo, among others, will be inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 8.

Send all complaints, compliments, and tips to sportstips@complex.com.

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Steph Curry Trolls LeBron James as Kyrie Irving Laughs Along

Meeting consecutively in the last three NBA Finals has led to some trolling between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. From LeBron James’ Ultimate Warrior t-shirt while enjoying endless memes about the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead in 2016 to Draymond Green’s retaliatory “Quickie” t-shirt, the bad blood between the two squads has produced internet gold.

Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving has reportedly been asking for a trade in recent weeks, at least in part, to emerge from the shadow of James. All this comes sandwiched between James and Kyrie appearing to take their own passive-aggressive shots at each other via social media. All this has set the stage for the latest iteration of Warriors versus Cavaliers trolling.

Enter one Wardell Stephen Curry. Irving and Curry ended up at the same wedding, where Curry was captured on video mocking James. Curry managed a rather dead-on impression of James’ facial expressions and mannerisms from the widely circulated video of James enjoying Tee Grizzley’s “First Day Out” after a workout.

The surprising element of the clip comes when Kyrie is seen laughing along with Curry and seemingly egging him on.

With LeBron dropping emo clips singing along to Meek Mill’s “Heavy Heart,” Cavs forward Kevin Love allegedly sub-tweeting about Irving’s trade request, and now the Curry/Irving clip, there should be plenty of speculation regarding the Cavs' chemistry during the remainder of the offseason.

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A History of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving’s Complicated Relationship

When we think about the Cleveland Cavaliers’ dynamic duo of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, it’s hard to believe three years have already gone by. They’ve been to three straight NBA Finals together, and even won a title for The Land in 2016. They’ve brought out some of the best basketball in each other, with LeBron’s supernatural passing and basketball IQ aiding Kyrie’s growth into one of the game’s elite scorers.

As a pair, there hasn’t been a more devastating force since LeBron re-signed with the Cavs in 2014. That’s why it’s even harder to believe that Kyrie wants out of Cleveland, and furthermore, doesn’t want to play with LeBron anymore.

But, as ESPN reported over the past week, that’s Kyrie’s wish, and the 25-year-old star point guard will probably get it, too. And just recently, The Athletic reported that he wasn’t even speaking to the organization, full-stop. With LeBron’s Robin intent on leaving, we’re looking back at the moments that have lead us to this contentious point.


  • June 23, 2011: LeBron Leaves, But in Comes Kyrie

    Let’s not forget this fact: If LeBron doesn’t leave Cleveland for Miami in the summer of 2010, the Cavs don’t get the chance to draft Kyrie Irving. The season immediately following LeBron’s departure, the Cavs went from the East’s best team to winning a conference-low 19 games. They flat-out sucked, so they won the NBA Draft Lottery and took Kyrie No. 1 overall. And without Kyrie’s superstar talents, one can argue that LeBron wouldn’t have even come back to Cleveland in 2014.


  • April 4, 2014: The First Signs of Trouble in Cleveland

    In the four years between LeBron leaving and coming back to the Cavs, the franchise was left to Kyrie. He continued to shine as a developing star, but the Cavs couldn’t put together a young core around him, and endured 215 losses in that times pan. The Cavs had another concern on their hands too: with Kyrie’s rookie contract set to expire soon, ESPN reported that he just wasn’t feeling the vibe in Cleveland. Here’s what ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said at the time:

    “The truth is [Kyrie's] camp has been putting out there for years – years – that he doesn't want to be in Cleveland. That they don't want him in Cleveland.”


  • July 11, 2014: The King Comes Home

    If Kyrie was salty about his time in Cleveland, he didn’t have much time to dwell on it. Just over three months after ESPN’s report, LeBron surprised the NBA universe and announced he’d sign with the Cavs. This obviously changed everything: Kyrie wouldn’t have the pressure of being the franchise’s go-to guy, and an older LeBron could reign over the Cavs with a young star in Kyrie to run and gun with.

    But think about it from Kyrie’s perspective, too. He already felt like he wasn’t getting what he wanted in Cleveland, whether that be treatment or status. But still, he ended up signing a contract extension with the Cavs, not knowing that LeBron would barge in 10 days later. Suddenly, he was someone else’s sidekick. He never recruited LeBron—LeBron came to him, and that’s not necessarily what Kyrie signed up for.


  • Nov. 5, 2014: LeBron Sons Kyrie

    LeBron James is a basketball perfectionist, and he consistently demands the most his teammates have to offer. He’s a very direct leader. When you’re on LeBron’s team, you’re playing his game to win, because LeBron’s just that great. But after an early season loss to the Jazz, LeBron didn’t think his point guard was buying in fully.

    Yes, Kyrie dropped 34 points that game, but the team lost, and he didn’t record a single assist. LeBron thought that was unacceptable from his point guard, and lectured him after the game. Kyrie said it went down like this, according to Cleveland.com

    “He came up to me and was like, 'One, you can never have another game with no assists. You can damn near have just one, two, three, but you can't have zero.' And I was like, 'All right, cool, it won't happen again.' And it hasn't happened since that game.”


  • June 19, 2016: The Cavs Win Their First NBA Title

    LeBron and Kyrie did it! They overcame a 3-1 NBA Finals deficit against the vaunted Golden State Warriors, not to mention a do-or-die Game 5, and became the first pair of teammates to score over 40 points each in a Finals game. They were absolutely unstoppable:

    Suddenly, everything felt right in the world. This is probably the happiest the two have ever been together. For a summer, basketball love came back to Cleveland.


  • July 21, 2017: Kyrie Wants Out

    And on this day, the NBA universe lost its damn mind. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst was first to report the news, saying that Kyrie had requested a trade. His main reasons are straightforward: 1) He’s done being someone else’s sidekick or secondary option. 2) He feels like he’s not getting enough superstar treatment from the organization. 3) Well, he just doesn’t want to play with LeBron anymore.

    The news blindsided LeBron, who was reportedly very upset by it. So upset, that Kyrie thinks LeBron leaked the trade request out of spite.


  • July 22, 2017: LeBron Throws Shade on Snapchat

    One day after the Kyrie trade news broke, LeBron posted a video of himself jamming out to a few new tracks from Meek Mill, one of his longtime favorite artists. With his head shaking and a brim covering his eyes, LeBron vibed out to a verse about loyalty. In particular, this line was perceived as a shot at Kyrie: “The streets love me with a heavy heart/N***** say they with you when they really not.” 

    Watch and listen closely:


  • July 25, 2017: The Petty Wars Are Underway

    Just a few days ago, Kyrie unfollowed LeBron on Instagram. You can brush it off as nothing, sure, but when has an unfollow ever been a good thing between two people in a relationship? Never. You unfollow someone when you don’t fuck with them anymore. Kyrie did just that. 

     

    Kyrie unfollowed LeBron on IG. 👀 📷: @selzerfx

    A post shared by Sports Videos (@houseofhighlights) on Jul 25, 2017 at 9:16am PDT

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Kyrie Irving Is Inspiring Middle School Students to Believe the Earth Is Flat

Put on your tin foil hats and brace yourself. Did you know that the earth is flat? That we've been lied to over and over again, becoming victims of a massive conspiracy orchestrated by those at the highest echelons of government to keep the masses ignorant of this mind boggling and potentially liberating fact? Just kidding: the world is absolutely not flat. You can take off the tin foil hat now. 

Noted flat earth truther and tin foil hat wearer—and future former Cleveland Cavaliers player—Kyrie Irving is unfortunately helping to spread the conspiracy among our nation's children. While speaking to NPR, middle school teacher Nick Gurol said that his students, thanks to Irving, staunchly believe that the world is flat.

Gurol remarked, “And immediately I start to panic. How have I failed these kids so badly they think the Earth is flat just because a basketball player says it?” The educator said that he has tried to get the students to understand that the world is indeed round, to no avail. The influence of Irving was just too strong. 

Irving's flat earth world view became known earlier this year, while the basketball player spoke to Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye on a podcast. 

“The earth is flat,” Irving stated with conviction. “This is not even a conspiracy theory,” he said, though it is definitely a conspiracy theory. He offered “they” as the answer as to who was behind the supposed large-scale misinformation campaign. “I’m telling you, it’s right in front of our faces. They lie to us,” Irving said.

The basketball player, who is not an astronomer, continued. “What I’ve been taught is that the earth is round. But if you really think about it from a landscape of the way we travel, the way we move and the fact that, can you really think of us rotating around the sun and all planets aligned, rotating in specific dates, being perpendicular with what’s going on with these planets.” 

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Justin Bieber Is Reportedly Becoming ‘the Tom Cruise’ of His Church

Justin Bieber is figuring out where to go from here. The global pop star canceled the remaining dates of his Purpose World Tour on Monday due to “unforeseen circumstances.” There was immediate speculation about the reason behind the cancelation, including the possibility that he called it a day because of religious reasons. When asked by TMZ if that were true, Bieber denied it, directing the site toward his earlier explanation: “I've been on tour for two years… Just resting and getting some relaxation.”  

While Bieber might not have canceled the tour because of a grand spiritual enlightenment, a new TMZ report indicates he is spending time working on his religious self. In particular, Bieber is being linked to Hillsong Church and its pastor, Carl Lentz. If Lentz's name sounds familiar, it's because he's also connected to Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, who shook up the sports world last week by revealing he wants out of the Ohio squad ASAP. According to TMZ, Lentz hasn't directly told either Bieber or Irving what decisions they should make, but he has been acting in an advisory role for both men. Sources told TMZ that Bieber's relationship with Lentz is “intense,” but perhaps more interesting is a statement from one of said sources that claimed Bieber is “becoming the Tom Cruise of that church.”

If you're unfamiliar, Cruise has long been the poster child of the highly controversial Church of Scientology. In a Reddit Ask Me Anything session last year, actress Leah Remini, a former Scientologist, was asked if Cruise was “the Messiah,” to which she replied, “To the 'Church,' yes. Parishioners believe that he is singlehandedly changing the planet because that is what the 'Church' is telling them.” So, it's definitely an interesting status to attribute to Bieber.

According to its website, Hillsong Church is a contemporary pentecostal church and a member of the Australian Christian Churches. Their mission statement is “to reach and influence the world by building a large Christ-centered, Bible-based church, changing mindsets and empowering people to lead and impact in every sphere of life.”

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Here’s Who May Have Influenced Kyrie Irving’s Decision to Request Trade

It's been almost a week since the shocking news that Kyrie Irving had requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers broke, but at this point, we're still left with more questions than answers. Will the Cavaliers really entertain offers even though Irving is under contract for a couple more years? How long has Kyrie been harboring these feelings towards LeBron James? What ultimately led to Irving's decision to go ahead with his request?

We might be getting closer to finding an answer to that last question. According to a new TMZ Sports report, Irving reached his decision to ask for a trade after “long chats with pastor Carl Lentz of Hillsong Church,” who Irving has reportedly been close with for years. Lentz's name has been circulating in the news recently following the announcement of Justin Bieber's cancellation of the remaining dates on his Purpose World Tour. Initial reports said that Bieber has “rededicated his life to Christ” after spending the last few months with the Hillsong Church pastor. The singer has since shot down those rumors, stating that he needed to get some rest after spending the last two years on the road. 

In the report about Irving, TMZ Sports cites “church sources”—which apparently are a real thing—who claim Irving and Lentz have discussed the star point guard's desire to step out of LeBron's shadow. While the pastor didn't advise Irving to “leave Cleveland,” he did reportedly hear what Kyrie had to say about the situation and encourage him to do what was best for him. 

By simply listening to what Irving and Bieber have had on their minds, it seems as though Lentz has played an important role in their life decisions. So we need to ask: Who else has sat down with Lentz? Also: When is Irving going to address this trade stuff so that we can all stop speculating about it?

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Let’s All Acknowledge Game 1’s Real MVP: Rihanna

Let's get the obvious out of the way: there was a basketball game on Thursday night. It was Game 1 of the NBA finals. Some shots were taken, people ran up and down the court and stuff, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 113-91.

But to many people who watched (and announced, and played in) the game, the real star wasn't LeBron or Steph Curry, but rather Rihanna. The pop star was in the audience for Game 1, and was not shy about letting it be known who she was rooting for—and against.

From courtside, she apparently heckled KD during a free throw.

And Durant definitely noticed.

He later denied that he was looking at her specifically, but come on.

Jeff Van Gundy, who was calling the game, acted exactly like any of us would, national TV audience or no, when RiRi walked by.

And then there was the bow. In one incredible sequence, Rihanna bows to LeBron, dabs, and then gives attitude to someone nearby who dared to try and get her to sit down.

As she left, the NBA's new favorite was escorted out by the NBA's new favorite commissioner.

And the best was still to come. Immediately post-game, a fan luxuriated in the Warriors' victory. Rihanna's LeBron-inspired response? “It doesn't matter, bitch. The King is still in the house.”

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Where Can Carmelo Anthony Go?

It's going to be an interesting summer for Carmelo Anthony no matter what ends up happening to the Knicks star.

There's the potential of a divorce hanging over his head (check the gossip pages), and Melo knows Knicks team president Phil Jackson wants nothing to do with the future Hall of Famer and would gladly pack Melo's bags if he could find a taker for his services. The only problem is Melo owns a no-trade clause—which Jackson gladly gave him three summers ago—and a 15 percent trade kicker that means whatever team acquires him will have to pay more for his services than the Knicks currently are. 

So Melo's options are kind of limited, to say the least. But there are a few teams out there that could make a play for the dynamic scorer. Some are obvious and have been widely discussed. One is kind of under the radar. Four of them should be contenders next year. The other is a wasteland featuring epic amounts of dysfunction, paranoia, and a future void of success. 

While he hilariously gets to call the shots in the process, we can't wait for the full-blown melodrama—pun intended—to play out over the summer. So before all the wheelings and dealings start popping when free agency begins, familiarize yourself with the likeliest destinations for Carmelo Anthony's services next season.


  • New York Knicks

    Odds Melo Stays There: 2-5

    Melo isn’t going anywhere because Phil Jackson isn’t going to get shit for him, and Anthony isn’t going to waive his no-trade clause unless it’s for a contender. So, Melo for like a couple vets and a 15th man? No thanks. This is an unfortunate set of circumstances. Carmelo doesn’t deserve to be treated this way and Phil clearly could give two shits about how Melo feels with the way he’s handling the situation publicly. Phil has bigger fish to fry, like running Kristips Porzingis out of town.

    Why anyone would want to be a Knick in the year of our Lord 2017 is beyond me, but both Carmelo and Porzingawd wanna stay in the Rotten Apple. Leave it to the Knicks to somehow always stay relevant, whether good or bad; this circus is here to stay. James Dolan should do his job and fire Phil Jackson right now! I would have my bags packed if I were Melo. Who needs this? Anthony’s feverish need to win in New York and have a statue erected in his likeness could be the only reason. That or his brand. #StayMe7o —A.D. 

     

  • Los Angeles Clippers

    Odds Melo Ends Up There: 5-1

    The easy thing for the Los Angeles Clippers to do would be this: re-sign Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to max deals, find a young, inexpensive shooter to replace an aging J.J. Redick, and go out and try it again. This would be a terrible idea. Yes, the Clippers have had a degree of success with their current lineup—if not a Western Conference Finals appearance—and yes, they could easily blame injuries for early exits like this year’s. But there comes a point when a core has run its course, and for the Clippers that time is now. The Griffin-Paul-DeAndre Jordan triumvirate has been together for seven seasons without as much a conference championship to show for it. And, at 32, Paul is entering the tail end of his prime. What he needs is a pure scorer who wants the ball in his hands at the end of games. Who he needs is Carmelo Anthony. —R.B. 

     

  • Washington Wizards

    Odds Melo Ends Up There: 10-1

    The Wizards haven't heavily been mentioned as a potential landing spot for Anthony because it's a dicey cap situation trying to make Melo fit, but if you look at Washington's roster and remember one high-profile signing made in the past, maybe it's not so far-fetched. Once upon a time, Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld brought in Paul Pierce to provide veteran leadership and valuable scoring. The Pierce experiment, or whatever you want to call it, only lasted one season and it wasn't exactly a raging success—Washington lost to the Hawks in the Eastern Conference semis. At age 37, Pierce started 73 games, averaged 16.3 points per, and hit 38.9 percent of his threes. You don't think Melo could put up better numbers than that next year? You don't think a team that easily could have been in the Eastern Conference Finals this season could use another weapon like Carmelo to battle LeBron and Co.? Slot in Anthony with John Wall and Bradley Beal and that's easily one of the most potent threesomes in the league.

    Of course, there are hypotheticals. Would Melo and his ball-stopping ways screw up the Wizards? Would he whine about not getting enough shots with Wall serving as the focal point and Beal the clear No. 2 option? Would Phil Jackson be cool with Otto Porter and a pick in return for Melo? Does anybody on the Wizards roster even appeal to his antiquated tastes? We don't have the answers, but the more we think about it the more we think Washington makes a lot of sense for Melo. A.C. 


  • Boston Celtics

    Odds Melo Ends Up There: 25-1

    The Celtics are going to lose the Eastern Conference Finals, and once they do Danny Ainge will have some big decisions to make like what to do in June's NBA Draft with the No. 1 pick and whether making a move for Carmelo Anthony is smart. We all know Boston isn't going to get over the LeBron James hump until they either get more scoring help or Bron slows down. With guys like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz (when they draft him), and the Nets 2018 first-round pick, plus Coach of the Year candidate Brad Stevens, the Celtics have an extremely promising nucleus for the future.

    Yes, they have Isaiah Thomas for another season, but does he become expendable if Boston drafts a point guard? Would Ainge seriously entertain an offer if Phil Jackson wanted a haul in return? We know Jackson covets Jae Crowder, but would Ainge feel comfortable giving up one of his best defenders and something else for Melo's offense? From Anthony's perspective, #StayMe7o shouldn’t hesitate to waive his no-trade clause if Boston comes calling. —J.F. 

     

  • Cleveland Cavaliers

    Odds Melo Ends Up There: 45-1

    Because Carmelo and LeBron James are boys, the idea of the two talented scorers playing together will always be brought up. And when LeBron was complaining about not having enough talent around him earlier this season, and the relationship between Melo and Phil Jackson really started to break down, speculation was running rampant that Melo could very likely find himself in Cleveland. Well, that obviously didn't happen, but reports surfaced that LeBron wanted Melo—even if it meant sacrificing Kevin Love. Cavs management didn't want to pull the trigger at February's trade deadline, and with Love playing so well in the playoffs what makes you think they're suddenly going to change their mind this summer?

    Offense isn't the issue with the Cavs. We know that for sure. And do the Cavs really have any other pieces that would intrigue Jackson, because we know he wants nothing to do with Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith? The more likely scenario is that Dwyane Wade opts out in Chicago and teams back up with LeBron, leaving their boy Melo on the outside looking in at another run to the NBA Finals. Who needs enemies when you've got friends like that? —A.C. 

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Vince Staples Discusses Beef and Michael Jackson’s Legacy on S E A B S Radio

Vince Staples is back with a new episode of S E A B S Radio on Beats 1, and today he's talking about beef. It's a similar subject that popped up during his Complex video cover story with Touré. In that conversation, Vince was adamant about not being a fan of beef in rap.

Here, Vince recties Biggie's hook from “What's Beef?” before digging into a history of beef.

“There’s so many beefs over the course of time,” Vince says. “The Jews vs. the Gentiles, the Warriors vs. New York City, the Warriors vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Based God vs everyone who wanted to defy the nature of his being, his happiness. Most beefs are started over happiness actually. My grandmother once said, a n*** doesn’t wanna hang by himself. Think about that. She really said that too that was crazy.”

Vince also reveals his favorite beef: Brandy vs. Monica in “The Boy Is Mine.” No, really.

During the radio show, Vince shares his take on what a real MC is.

He also gets into a lengthy discussion about Micheal Jackson and his legacy.

apple Music
Image via Beats 1

You can listen in live on Beats 1 here.

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