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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LeBron James Offered to Buy Drake Margaritas to Ease the Pain After Crushing the Raptors

If there were an equivalent to senioritis in the NBA, LeBron James is going through it right now.

It's just something that happens when you have made it to the NBA Finals in six straight seasons and already know that your squad, the Cleveland Cavaliers, are better than any other team in the Eastern Conference by leaps and bounds. When the Cavaliers swept the Indiana Pacers in Cleveland's last series, James improved his first-round consecutive wins streak to 21 games. Now, the Cavs are playing a Toronto Raptors team that won two straight games during their playoff matchup last year only to get walloped in the next two contests. Basically, LeBron is coasting to the Eastern Conference Finals, or dare we say, the NBA Finals. 

So after Drake showed up at the Air Canada Centre to watch his team fall to 3-0 in the series in a Cavs' 115-94 win where James was just casually trying out some left-handed shots during the game, LeBron was more concerned with how they were going to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than closing out the Raptors on Sunday. According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, James asked Drake to accompany him for drinks later in the evening as he made his way to the Cavs' locker room. “Where are we headed tonight?” LeBron said. “Margaritas on me.”

Don't get it twisted. James is still averaging 34.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game while hitting 56.6 percent from the field and 48.6 percent from beyond the arc. When it's time to go to work, no one is working harder out on the hardwood than The King. But with the way the series with the Raptors has gone thus far, even he had time to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

 

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Patrick Beverley Investigated for Reportedly Confronting Thunder Fan After Rockets’ Game 3 Loss

Patrick Beverley is known for his rugged defense and refusal to back down from any opponent, but he may have left the switch flipped on a little too long after a Game 3 loss to the Thunder on Friday night. According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, the NBA is looking into a post-game confrontation between the Rockets guard and a Thunder fan.

Footage from the arena shows Beverley getting in the face of a man in the stands wearing Thunder blue, and he eventually had to be separated from the fan by other NBA personnel.

Unconfirmed reports have suggested that Beverley may have knocked a banner out of the hands of the fan before exchanging some heated words with him. There may have also been contact between the two parties earlier in the game:

While the cause of the incident is as yet unknown, officials from Chesapeake Energy Arena have already revealed that they will assist with an NBA investigation into the matter.

“The Facility is aware of an incident occurring immediately following last night's game and will cooperate with the NBA in any way we can,” said Tim Linville, the arena's Director of Marketing. “As of this time, we have not received any requests for information or video from the NBA.”

An investigation will require the league to review any in-arena footage they can obtain and to interview Beverley about the incident.  

There's no word yet on what the potential discipline could be for Beverley, as these incidents tend to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. But history suggests this could get pricey for Houston's point guard, as Matt Barnes was fined $50,000 for “directing inappropriate language” at James Harden's mother during a 2015 game, while Joakim Noah lost $25,000 on the same day as Barnes for pushing a Cleveland Cavaliers fan during halftime.

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LeBron James Reportedly Would’ve Stayed in Miami If Heat Won 2014 NBA Finals

In an excerpt from the upcoming book, Return of the King, ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Dave McMenamin shed some light on what went down behind-the-scenes leading up to LeBron James's decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the summer of 2014.

Even though James “knew for some time” that he opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat and become a free agent, the idea of heading back to the Cavs was something mentioned to those individuals in his inner circle, such as his family members, agent Rich Paul, and longtime friend Maverick Carter.

According Windhorst and McMenamin, after the Heat fell to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals, the thought of going back to Cleveland pushed “to the front of James's mind.” However, the NBA landscape would have looked a whole lot differently because, if the Heat managed to topple the Spurs, the Return of the King authors believe The King would've kept his talents in South Beach.

And that meant the hometown Cavs — even if they didn't know it, and all of their actions showed they didn't — were in the lead. They were there because James felt a pull to come play at home, where he could live in his Akron mansion and send his kids to Akron-area schools near all of his friends and family and his wife's friends and family. And he could try to change the course of his career by trying to lead the woebegone Cavs to a championship. He'd followed the team and its moves, and he thought it would be possible.

On July 11, James made it official, announcing that he was “coming home.”

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

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LeBron James Admits His Mom Helped Him Cheat to Pass Fourth Grade: ‘This How G My Momma Is’

In the latest episode of the Road Trippin' with R.J & Channing podcast, Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye were joined by Cleveland Cavaliers teammates LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and J.R. Smith. At one point in the conversation, they discussed their respective paths to get to where they are today. With a little hesitation, James eventually revealed (at the 43:10 mark) that he missed 82 of 181 days of school in the fourth grade at Harris Elementary in Akron, Ohio. 

“Me and my mom went to school one day in the spring time, and my teacher was like, ‘Your son applies himself so much when he’s here, but he’s never here,’” James said. “And my mom said, ‘What can we do so my son doesn’t fail? I don’t want my son to feel like he’s a failure.’ My teacher at the time, and I’m sorry I don’t remember your name, she gave us a stack—and I wish the listeners could see the stack of papers—she said, ‘If your son can finish this stack of extra credit, we’ll pass him.” 

In order to ensure that her son passed fourth grade, LeBron's mother Gloria literally took this situation into her own hands by helping him with what Jefferson called a foot-high stack of extra credit work. “This how G my momma is,” he said. “Me and my momma went home, split the extra credit papers. She did half and I did half. We turned that shit in, and they passed me. That’s why my momma a G to this day.” 

The following year, James moved in with the family of his peewee football coach Frank Walker, and didn't miss a single day of school. But 'Bron credits sports for helping him turn his life around, and get him off the streets. “Without sport, I would’ve been done,” LeBron admits. “Sports saved my life because the streets is so intriguing. What people don’t understand, it’s so intriguing, you don’t understand.”

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

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