People Are Clowning Rajon Rondo for Wearing Velcro Shoes to Cavs/Celtics Game

With Paul Pierce set to have his no. 34 Boston Celtics jersey retired after the team's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, a few people from The Truth's Celtics days were there to show their support. Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers, and Rajon Rondo sat next to one another courtside, and wait, wait, wait, what in the world are these shoes on Rondo's feet?! 

Someone was quick to zoom in on Rondo's, um, unique kicks and essentially open the roasting floodgates. 

And Twitter knew what to do from there. 

People can't be out here taking fashion risks anymore. 

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Atlanta Hawks Fans Yell Savage Chant to Cavs: ‘LeBron Will Leave You’

Atlanta Hawks fans are ruthless. During last night's game, the Hawks crowd taunted the Cleveland Cavaliers by chanting “LeBron will leave you” and “LeBron will trade you.”

Of course, the taunts come after Cleveland basically became a new team at the trade deadline. The Cavaliers gave Iman Shumpert to the Sacramento Kings; Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose to the Jazz; Dwyane Wade back to the Miami Heat; and Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye to the Los Angeles Lakers. In exchange, they got George Hill, Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson, and Rodney Hood on their squad. Tristan Thompson and Jeff Green managed to stick around, though, and Atlanta made sure to give them crap for it.

After last night's game, James explained the decision process behind the multiple trades.

“It's not about what the other guys didn't bring or what these guys bring,” said James at the press conference, according to ESPN. “We're all professionals, and we were happy with the guys that we had, and we're going to [be] happy with the guys that we have now. That's the way the league is, it's a business. There's no shade on anybody.”

The Cavaliers are spending February trying to get back on track after crawling their way out of the Finals conversation last month. At the very least, they're better than Atlanta: The Cavaliers handily beat the Hawks, 123-107.

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Even Cavs Players Are Doubtful They Can Win a Championship This Season

Contrary to popular opinion, LeBron James is human after all, and though his run of seven consecutive trips to the NBA Finals might make him seem otherworldly, it doesn't make him invincible. This season more than ever, it feels like Cleveland is surviving rather than thriving. At some point, someone in the East is going to beat them. And after Cleveland's 118-108 home loss to the defending champion Golden State Warriors last night, we might've officially reached that point.

According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, there is growing discontent and a strong sense of concern within the Cleveland locker room. The Cavs are 26-17 with only three wins in their last 12 games. They got blown out by a combined 62 points against Toronto and Minnesota last week. They might have the worst defense in the entire NBA, and they've slid so far that many of the team's veterans now doubt whether they can fix their problems this season.

Age. One-dimensional role players. Defensive-issues that go far beyond fundamentals. Several prominent players told ESPN, Cleveland.com, and The Athletic that the team's problems won't go away simply by getting healthy. 

This is not the first time we've heard grumblings coming out of Cleveland this season. Just last week, Yahoo! Sports reported there were complaints in the locker room about “personal agendas” getting in the way of success. Some Cavs players thought LeBron was chasing assists in an effort to win one final MVP award. Others didn't like coach Tyronn Lue's rotations. The bickering reeks of familiarity, like a family that's been living together far too long.

In past years during their inevitable regular season lapses, the team could lean on Kyrie Irving. But Irving is gone, and his replacement is a 28-year-old, 5'9″ defensive problem who may or may not ever be the same after returning from a major hip injury.

LeBron has to know all of this. He also knows Cleveland holds the rights to Brooklyn's first-round pick next summer—and that there are several names potentially available on the market. That pick and this year's trade deadline might be Cleveland's final chance to position themselves for one last run at a title. Among the NBA's contenders, they have the least to lose and the most to gain by making a deal.

No one ever expects a run to end before it does. Miami's Big Three era faded with a whimper, getting blitzed by 14 points per game against San Antonio in the 2014 Finals. Kobe's Lakers collapsed in a surprising sweep in 2011, burnt out and exhausted. Before that, it was Shaq and the Lakers getting old before our eyes and even before that, it was Houston and Hakeem Olajuwon getting run into the ground by Seattle and the Detroit Bad Boys wilting under the athleticism of Jordan's Bulls. 

Is this Cleveland's moment of reckoning? If it is, it shouldn't surprise anyone.

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LeBron James Calls Out Trump’s Racism During MLK Day Press Conference

LeBron James honored Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy before the Cleveland Cavaliers' match against the Golden State Warriors on MLK Day. He fit in a not-so-subtle dig at Donald Trump, too.

“He had a vision and he took a bullet for all of us. For us to stand here even though we're trying to be divided right now by somebody,” James said during a pre-game press conference. “Today is a great day for people to realize how America was built and how we all have to stand united in order to be one. Especially as Americans because we believe, we all know and we all believe, this is the greatest country in the world.” 

While the basketball star didn't directly mention Trump's name, he makes it very clear who he's referring to. He continued:

“The state of racism will never die, but what we can not do is allow it to conquer us as people. We can't allow it to divide us. The guy in control has given people and racism, and negative racism, an opportunity to be out and outspoken without fear. And that's the fearful thing for us because it's with you, and it's around every day. But he's allowed people to come out and just feel confident about doing negative things. We can't allow that to stop us from continuing to be together and preach the right word of living and loving and laughing and things of that nature. Because would we want to live anywhere else? I don't think so. We love this place.”

This isn't the first time James has called out Trump's racist and oppressive views. Last August, he tweeted Trump “just made [hate] fashionable again” in response to his reactions toward the Charlottesville protests. That was followed by the now-famous “U bum” moment after Trump targeted Steph Curry and revoked his invitation to the White House.

Watch James' reflection on Martin Luther King Jr. as well as his comments on Trump below:

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LeBron James Responds to His Leaked Conversation With Lonzo Ball

 

LeBron James wants people to mind their own business.

Earlier this week, the Cleveland Cavaliers star ignited speculation and intrigue after he was filmed muttering some words to Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball. The two had a brief post-game conversation with their mouths covered, presumably to stymie any potential lip-reading, however LeBron may have underestimated audio technology capabilities, because his message was captured by a mic and later revealed to the world.

Here’s what he told Ball:

“Find your zone and just stay fucking locked in. The media is going to ask you what I told you right now. Tell them nothing. Just be aggressive every single day. It's white noise to you. That's all it is. All right? Let's go.”

Just a day after his message was revealed, LeBron spoke to reporters about changes to the NBA All-Star Game format and whether the team captains should make their picks in private or on TV. LeBron took this opportunity to address the leaked conversation:

“Some things could be held private, like my conversation with Lonzo,” James said Saturday. “Everything doesn’t need to be said and people find out. There should be some type of privacy. So I’m OK with it.”

LeBron is understandably upset. No one likes it when their business is made public against his/her wishes. We’re sure LeBron will think twice before he has another “private” conversation in front of cameras, recorders, and hundreds of spectators.

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LeBron James Previews Metro Boomin and Big Sean’s Collaborative Project ‘Double or Nothing’

While the rest of us wait for Big Sean and Metro Boomin’s Double or Nothing to drop, LeBron James apparently got his hands on an advanced copy. And he seems to be really enjoying it.

 

DOUBLE OR NOTHING THE ALBUM 12/8 midnight! @metroboomin let’s go! 🎲🎲

A post shared by BIGSEAN (@bigsean) on Dec 5, 2017 at 4:13pm PST

On Wednesday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers star player went to social media to play several clips from the upcoming collaborative project, beginning with the previously released track “Pull Up N Wreck.” He then played snippets of two unreleased cuts. He captioned the first track “Sure feels good to be BLACK in the Back (Bach) #doubleentendre.” The second was simply captioned with: “#SavageTime.”

You can listen to the clips below. Double or Nothing is set to drop this Friday.

This isn’t the first time James has blessed fans with music teasers. In the past, he’s shared previews of Kendrick Lamar’s Damn album, as well as unreleased tracks by Meek Mill and Nipsey Hussle. Considering he has more than 34 million followers on Instagram and nearly 40 million followers on Twitter, we're sure the artists are more than happy with the plug. 

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Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert Says He Received ‘Most Vile, Disgusting, Racist’ Voicemails After LeBron’s Trump Tweet

After LeBron James posted the tweet where he called Donald Trump a “bum” for withdrawing the Golden State Warriors' invitation to the White House, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert says he received a ton of eye-opening racist voicemails directed at his star player. “The thing is, I mean, some of the most disgusting things I've ever heard people say,” Gilbert said on Friday's episode of CNBC's Squawk Box. “And you could hear it in their voice—the racism. It wasn't even really about the issue, and that's what really got me, because they went to who they really are, some of them.”

The voicemails opened Gilbert's eyes to the despicable racism that still exists today. “I received voicemails after LeBron tweeted that were some of the most vile, disgusting, racist [messages],” he said. “There's an element of racism that I didn't even realize existed in this country this much.” Gilbert admits to saving the voicemails, but has yet to tell LeBron about them—though he presumably knows now…

Earlier this week, Gilbert, whose company donated $750,000 towards Trump's inauguration and who allowed him to use the Cavaliers' Quicken Loans Arena for the 2016 Republican National Convention, released a statement addressing his relationship with the president of the United States. “Our interests are in the policies at the federal level, and not the politics surrounding the elections,” the statement read. “We have often supported both political parties in the same election so that we have the ability to impact positive change, regardless of who occupies the offices.” Gilbert and his wife did give a much smaller donation ($75,000) to Hillary Clinton's campaign. 

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Iman Shumpert Talks State of the Cavs and Favorite Rap in 2017 on ‘Everyday Struggle’

On today's Everyday Struggle, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert joins DJ Akademiks and Nadeska to cover a number of topics, including his favorite rap in 2017, life with Teyana Taylor, haters in the media, and much more. Additionally, Shump talks about the state of the Cavs, including the recent trade of Kyrie Irving and what that means for LeBron James

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The Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas Trade is Reportedly in Jeopardy

Tuesday’s blockbuster NBA trade between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics has technically not been finalized, and according to multiple reports the proposed deal is hitting a snag due to concerns about Isaiah Thomas’ hip injury. 

Thomas missed several games as the Cavs and Celtics faced off during last season’s Eastern Conference Finals after re-aggravating a right hip injury he suffered during Game 6 of the Celtics’ second-round series against the Washington Wizards. While some reports referred to that injury as a hip strain, both the exact nature of the injury and when Thomas originally hurt his hip are unclear.

NBA bylaws require both teams participating in a trade to disclose in writing all information held by the respective team’s players relevant to the player’s health and ability to play basketball. The players are also required to take physical examinations, which Thomas completed Friday.

Perhaps more telling were statements Celtics general manager Danny Ainge made earlier this week about Thomas’ health impacting the trade.

“There’s gonna be probably a little bit of a delay for Isaiah as he starts the season this year, but I think that Isaiah should be fine and healthy as the season goes along,” Ainge said. He also confirmed that Thomas’ health concerns played “some” role in trading the star point guard after he put up one of the more efficient high-volume scoring seasons in league history.

“Uncertainty over the fitness of his injured hip has Cavaliers officials evaluating the results and considering possible ramifications to the blockbuster trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics earlier this week,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

Kyrie Irving is reportedly scheduled to take his physical with the Celtics Saturday, and the All-Star point guard comes with his own injury concerns. Irving’s college career at Duke was limited to 11 games due to a foot injury. In three of Irving’s six seasons in the NBA, he has played less than 60 of a possible 82 games due to injuries. 

In June of 2015, Irving left Game 1 of an NBA Finals matchup against the Golden State Warriors with a fractured kneecap. The injury required season-ending surgery and led to him missing a portion of the following season while recovering.

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Who Won the Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas Trade? We All Did.

Well, the trade everyone was expecting to happen finally happened. The Cleveland Cavaliers sent All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night, in exchange for fellow All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas and a whole mess of other assets, including Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round pick—a pick Celtics GM Danny Ainge had seemed loathe to give up for anything. In the end, not only did he give it up, he gave it up to the team that beat his in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals. Say what you want about the NBA, just never say it’s not fascinating.

The Celtics now have just one starter—center Al Horford—remaining from a 53-win team. Their longest-tenured player, 23-year-old Marcus Smart, was a first-round pick in 2014. They gave up nearly all they had left to land Irving. Thomas was the heart and soul of the team, an undersized scorer who dominated fourth quarters and had completed the unlikely journey from the final pick of the 2011 Draft to MVP candidate. Jae Crowder is a 27-year-old defensive stalwart on a bargain of a deal. Ante Žižić is a 20-year-old, 7-foot center with tremendous upside and even more tremendous accent marks. It was a lot to offer up even without the Nets pick—especially for someone who’d expressly said he wanted out.

But consider what the Celtics got back: Irving may have been drafted the same year as Thomas, but he’s three years younger and locked into a max deal (making $9 million less a year than Horford) with a player option in 2019. He’s six inches taller than Thomas as well, and, alongside Gordon Hayward, makes for quite the backcourt. And while Thomas’s fourth-quarter exploits are the stuff of legend, Irving has had his moments in the spotlight as well, including, well, the biggest shot in Cleveland Cavaliers history. If you’re ever going to go all-in for a single player, a 25-year-old four-time All-Star who’s excelled in three straight NBA Finals is the one to go for.

As for the Cavaliers, they got one hell of a return for someone who clearly wanted to be elsewhere. They had no leverage at all, yet received an All-Star still in his prime, a valuable building block in Crowder, and effectively a pair of first-round picks, seeing that Žižić has yet to make his NBA debut. While Thomas doesn’t exactly replace everything Kyrie is able to do, the addition of Crowder should enable LeBron to get a little more rest next season after leading the league in minutes played. And next summer, should James decide to decamp for the West along with all the other All-Stars, the Cavaliers will have yet another top pick. Or maybe the prospect of getting another top pick helps convince James to stay. It’s a win/win.

None of this is meant to sell IT short (er, sorry), since he’s become one hell of a player since he was drafted 60th overall out of Washington in 2011. He’s made multiple leaps in his career, from bench player to starter, from star to superstar. He averaged a career-high 28.9 ppg last year and finished fifth in MVP voting a year after averaging 22.2 ppg and making his first All-Star Game. The big question is what is that worth. With his Bird Rights travelling with him to Cleveland, he stands to receive a major payday when his deal expires next summer. (This season he’ll make a paltry $6.2 million.) It’s possible that Ainge just wasn’t ready to pay max money to an undersized crowd favorite—and maybe Cleveland won’t either. They have a year to make up their minds.

Who won the trade? That’s yet to be seen. They’ve gotta play the games first. But on the surface at least, this appears to be one of those rare deals where no one really loses. (Except for perhaps NBA2K, who put a Cavs-uniformed Kyrie on the cover of their latest game.) The rest of us, though, we all win. Because when the season starts on October 17th, guess who plays each other on TNT first? Even Charles Barkley might watch that game.

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