Manziel Bipolar, Making Comeback; LaVar Warns Lakers; Coke-Pushing Pitcher | Out of Bounds

Why would a former athlete who made over $40 million risk everything in the drug game? Following the arrest of onetime MLB All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza for allegedly trafficking 20 kilos of cocaine, Gilbert Arenas and the #OutofBounds crew tries to figure that out. Speaking of drugs ruining careers, infamous party boy and NFL bust Johnny Manziel revealed yesterday that he’s bipolar and doing much better now that he’s sober and on medication. The guys discuss whether the revelation makes it more or less likely that a team will give the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner a second shot. In “Fair or Foul,” Gil and the gang address LaVar Ball’s reported ultimatum that if the Lakers don’t sign his younger sons LiAngelo and LaMelo, that Lonzo will leave them for any team that will sign all three…. Finally, with NBA teams picking up players who’ve cleared waivers, the team debates whether any of these spare parts will actually help a contender — and if it’s just over for Derrick Rose.

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LeBron and the New-Look Cavs; Paul Pierce Greatest Celtic Scorer Ever? | Out of Bounds

After trading six players away and picking up four new ones at the NBA trade deadline, the Cavs look refreshed, focused, and happy for the first time in a long time. Gilbert Arenas and the #OutofBounds crew discuss why the subtraction of Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose, and others has helped Cleveland, how far they’ll go, and whether or not LeBron and the Cavs organization shaded the departed players. With Robert Parish calling Paul Pierce the “greatest offensive Celtic ever” before Boston retired his No. 34 jersey on Sunday, the guys debate that controversial claim. Gil being Gil, he’s got a hot take that could get him banned from Boston. Next, following Eagles lineman Lane Johnson’s assertion that nobody enjoys playing on the Patriots because it’s a “fear-based organization,” the gang gets into the importance of having fun playing professionally in “The Pull-Up.” Finally, DeAndre’ Bembry’s recent arrest for driving 128 mph in a 55 mph zone sparks a conversation about why athletes, who have so much to lose, are still racing down the street like some maniacs, and Gil shares a story about the time he and Jason Richardson raced Escalades in LA.

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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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This Was Kyrie Irving’s Reaction to the Cavaliers’ Massive Roster Overhaul

Most people expected the Cavaliers to shake things up at the NBA trade deadline on Thursday and make one or two moves to improve their roster as they prepare to head into the second half of the 2017-18 NBA season. But most people didn’t expect them to go as far as they did.

Just hours before the trade deadline, the Cavaliers orchestrated a series of moves that saw them trade away Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, Derrick Rose, and Jae Crowder—in addition to a couple draft picks—in exchange for Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance, George Hill, and Rodney Hood. Cleveland will have a completely different lineup when they take the court to play against the Hawks on Friday night, and they’re hoping it will help them get out of the rut they’ve been stuck in for most of the last month.

In the aftermath of all the action involving the Cavaliers at the trade deadline, there were quite a few people who wondered what Kyrie Irving’s reaction to the whole thing must have been. The Cavaliers essentially parted way with the two players (Thomas and Crowder) they got in exchange for him last summer. They also looked like a team desperate to improve their current situation in a hurry. So many speculated about what Irving’s response to the whole thing would be and used memes to make their best guesses.

But what was Irving’s real reaction? As it turns out, a whole lot less exciting than the memes might have suggested. On Thursday night, Irving scored 28 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and dished out 6 assists in a 110-104 Celtics’ overtime win over the Wizards.

And after the game, he was asked to provide a response to the trades the Cavaliers pulled off earlier in the day. Irving took a few seconds to collect his thoughts and looked like he might have something to say about them. But then, he hit reporters with a slight shrug before matter-of-factly saying, “I’m in Boston.”

We doubt those are Irving’s only thoughts on the situation. But for now, that’s the only reaction he has. Stay tuned to see if he has more to say after LeBron James and the Cavaliers play Irving and the Celtics on Sunday afternoon.

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Porzingis Injured; Magic Johnson Giannis Tampering; John Wall Shade | Out of Bounds

Not the Unicorn!!! Knicks fans’ worst nightmare came true last night when Kristaps Porzingis tore his ACL — an injury that could keep him out up to a year and change him as a player. Gilbert Arenas and the #OutofBounds crew discuss the impact of the injury, including whether New York should explore trading KP. Next, they talk tampering, with the Lakers fined $50K for praise Magic Johnson heaped on Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. Gil feels some kinda way about the situation and hilariously compares it to dating as only he can. With the reveal of fallen star Derrick Rose’s bulletproof Adidas contract, Gil explains the deal in “Secure the Bag,” from Rose’s initial leverage, to why Adidas hasn’t wiggled out, and how it affects bigger stars on the Adidas roster. One such star, injured All-Star point guard John Wall, recently responded to shade thrown his way by Wiz teammates, and the OOB gang gets into the source of the tension, as well as the effect it might have. Could the Lakers capitalize on unrest in Washington to bring Wall to LA and start building the next super-team? Finally, following an announcement that the San Francisco Giants will retire controversial slugger Barry Bonds’ number 25 — despite MLB HOF voters hating on him for his surly attitude and suspected steroids use — the guys discuss whether or not it’s time to stop being salty and just embrace the steroid era for what it was.

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Ray Allen Catfished; Tony Parker’s Not A Great Player | Out Of Bounds

On today’s episode of #OutofBounds, things get heated when Gilbert says Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard don’t make a difference for the Spurs. The team considers getting in the ring with Floyd Mayweather. Gilbert Arenas has some words for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and he has the scoop on why Derrick Rose needs to stay in the league to get the bag from Adidas. Take notes!

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Mia Khalifa and Gilbert Arenas Break Down Dwyane Wade Riding the Bench on ‘Out of Bounds’

On today’s Out of Bounds, Gilbert, Mia, Pierce, and Adam compare Derrick Rose to a Lamborghini with spare tires. They also figure out the real reason Dwyane Wade is riding the bench and J. R. Smith is back in the Cavs' starting lineup, and decide which team should take Eric Bledsoe off Phoenix's hands.

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That Guy Who Used to Date LeBron’s Mom Shouted Out Kyrie Irving on Instagram

Da Real Lambo, also known as that goofy guy who used(?) to be married to LeBron James's mom, continued to be a thorn in the butt of his former(?) stepson by posting a now-deleted clip on his Instagram on Wednesday morning with the caption “#godspeed THE TRUTH SHELL SET U FREE,U! ARE ABOUT TO FEEL IT!!! ALL U DO IS THROW BRICKS AND HIDE YOUR HANDS S/O @kyrieirving FOR NOT FOLLOWING A Follower WHOS JUST GREAT ON THE COURT.” Even though the post is now deleted, we all know nothing ever dies on the internet.

 

#LebronJames step dad still out here throwing shots at #LeBron 👀

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Jul 26, 2017 at 8:33am PDT

The post, which is an obvious reference to the apparent acrimony that's currently going on between LeBron and Kyrie Irving, comes just a few days after Lambo posted this message with a similar theme onto the social networking site:

Da Real Lambo threatens LeBron on Instagram.
Image via Instagram

Oh, and also there's this video from a few days ago, which manages to be both cryptic and obvious at the same time:

As for LeBron, he's reportedly spending this portion of the offseason in Las Vegas working out with new teammate Derrick Rose and maybe someday new teammate Eric Bledsoe. If he's smart, which he appears to be, he won't comment on this.

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Rockets GM Daryl Morey Throws Shade at Russell Westbrook’s NBA MVP Candidacy

The fight for the 2016-17 NBA MVP is one of the most hotly-contested individual award races in recent memory. A number of players have a reasonable claim on the league's top honor, and it may very well come down to which player finishes the season strongest.

Russell Westbrook has as good a case as any. He's on the verge of becoming only the second player to average a season-long triple-double, and the first since Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson achieved the feat in the 1961-62 season. Robertson's season is the stuff of legend, and there are more than a few NBA junkies who believe matching that historic accomplishment is worthy of the award by itself.

Daryl Morey, the GM of the Houston Rockets, appears to disagree. In a not-so-subtle jab at Westbrook on Twitter, Morey suggested too much of the MVP race focus was being placed on “random” number combinations:

While the tweet doubles as a case for his guy, James Harden, Morey makes a fair point about the broader discussion surrounding Westbrook's season. If he was only averaging 9.9 assists per game, there are a lot of people who wouldn't have the same reverence for what he's accomplished for the Thunder this season. Fox's Chris Broussard, who has voted for previous MVPs and has a ballot again this year, openly admitted Westbrook would not get his vote if he didn't average a triple-double. 

There's always been a tug-of-war over who “deserves” the MVP. Sometimes it goes to the narrative favorite, like Derrick Rose in 2011, or a veteran who was snubbed in the past, like Kobe Bryant in 2008. The closest thing we have to a consensus number one this year is Harden, whose blend of team success and consistently excellent production might be the most well-rounded package.

If it were up to me, the award would go to LeBron James. He is still the best basketball player on the planet, carrying the East's best team despite injuries to top contributors and doing his usual jack-of-all-trades thing. James is averaging a career-high in assists (8.9), is shooting over 54 percent from the field, and is producing at a rate nearly identical to previous years in which he won the MVP award.

I don't think rewarding the league's clear-cut best player is ever a bad idea — no one looks back and says, “We really should have given Michael Jordan less MVPs” and in fact the opposite case is usually made. But voters have shown they like to reward players on the rise, and players like James tend to get downplayed in the MVP discussion because the public simply expects greatness from him. 

Regardless of who ends up winning, Westbrook's case for this year's honor is anything but clear cut. If it takes some politicking from a player's general manager to sway the voters, Morey will continue to campaign against Harden's closest competition. 

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

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