Celtics Rock LeBron, Cavs; NFL Anthem Policy; Sterling Brown Police Brutality Case | Out of Bounds

On today’s episode of #OutofBounds, Gilbert Arenas, Adam Caparell, and Pierce Simpson discuss the Celtics beating the Cavs 96-83 in Boston to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. An exhausted LeBron James put up 26 points and 10 rebounds but got little help from his teammates. Gil shines a light on Cleveland’s glaring weakness and the adjustments that coach Tyronn Lue needs to make if the Cavs are going to have any chance of winning the series on the road in a Game 7.

Looking forward to tonight’s pivotal Game 5 between the Rockets and Warriors in Houston, will Golden State bounce back from its horrendous, 12-point fourth quarter in Game 4 to win a second game in Houston and reclaim home-court advantage? Gil breaks down the severity of the Warriors’ problems and what they need to do differently.

The NFL announced a controversial new policy that requires players to “show respect for the flag and the anthem” if they are on the field during its performance — fining teams if they do not — but allows them to stay in the locker room if they prefer. Debate gets heated between Gil and the guys as they react to the news from their personal perspectives as well as those of NFL owners and players.

While NFL players continue to protest racial inequality and police violence, Bucks guard Sterling Brown plans to file a civil rights lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department after officers tackled, tased, and arrested him without cause after issuing him a parking ticket in January. With police body-camera footage showing he in no way provoked the cops, OOB asks if there will be justice for Sterling and if his case will help bring about much-needed change in policing. Legal expert that he is, Gil explains how officers often escalate situations as well as how he personally approaches police stopping him.

Closing on a lighter note, the crew reacts to the NBA’s All-Defensive teams and Jazz center Rudy Gobert being the leading vote-getter. Gil questions how the players are determined — especially when two of them are on the same team. One famous player in particular gets called out for his defensive credentials, plus Agent Zero reveals how he was once third in steals despite playing no defense. 

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Guest Metta World Peace Talks Warriors Fail, LaVar Ball Biz, Guarding LeBron | Out of Bounds

On today’s episode of #OutofBounds, 2010 NBA champion Metta World Peace (a.k.a. Ron Artest) joins Gilbert Arenas, Adam Caparell, and Pierce Simpson to discuss the Rockets’ surprise 95-92 win over the Warriors to even up the Western Conference Finals and reclaim home-court advantage. Gil and Metta break down what went wrong for Golden State in the game, as well as the problems that dominance has created for them. Plus, Gil points out what Klay Thompson needs to add to his game to help Golden State.

Looking ahead to Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the panel debates whether Boston will continue winning at home or if LeBron James and Cleveland will take command of the series on the road. Metta shares the story of how Phil Jackson got the most out of him before Gil reflects on having been scared to make mistakes when he was in Orlando. Plus, the crew reacts to King James tracking as the slowest player in the series — and his irritated response to that info — clarifying the kind of speed LeBron possesses and the kind that he does not.

Next, OOB discusses the NBA All-Rookie teams and unanimous selection of the 76ers’ Ben Simmons and Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell to the first team. Gil and Metta take issue with the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum not being a unanimous pick. Metta then shares his experience guarding rookie LeBron and the best game he ever had against him.

With LaVar Ball in the news again — this time because he said his sons will be billionaires before LeBron, and because ticket prices for his JBA league are absurdly high — the panel gives him a reality check. Metta has faith in the Big Baller Brand but Gil is hilariously skeptical.

After Metta’s former teammate Kobe Bryant responded to Kanye West’s infamous quote about slavery being a choice, the guys react and voice their own opinions. Was Kanye out of his damn mind or misunderstood? Gil and Metta explain how they avoid saying things they’ll regret when microphones and cameras are constantly in their faces. And when discussion turns to mental health in the NBA, they explain why players don’t talk openly to the sports psychologists made available to them. 

Finally, Metta talks about his new book — No Malice: My Life in Basketball, or: How a Kid From Queensbridge Survived the Streets, the Brawls, and Himself to Become an NBA Champion — plus the pressure he felt while in the NBA and once his playing days were done, and his Knicks workout fail. Gil chimes in about the difficulty adjusting to life after the NBA and tells the story of the time Metta body-slammed him during a game.

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LeBron Breaks Playoff Scoring Record in Win; Is Brad Stevens’ Coaching Overrated? | Out of Bounds

 On today’s episode of #OutofBounds, Gilbert Arenas, Adam Caparell, and Pierce Simpson discuss LeBron James breaking the record for the most playoff field goals made, as the Cavs beat the Celtics 111-102 in Game 4 to even the Eastern Conference Finals. Gil explains why the loss is a bad sign for the Celtics despite Boston still having the home-court advantage, before asking if rising star Brad Stevens is actually overrated as a coach.

Continuing the LeBron talk, in “Fair or Foul?” the crew weighs in on an effort to raise $1 million on GoFundMe to commission a life-size statue of high-school-aged King James in Akron, Ohio. Is it OK to erect a monument to a player while they’re still playing? Will doing so affect whether LeBron decides to stay in Cleveland? Also, the guys give their picks for players who deserve statues, and Gil has some slander for Adam’s Knicks.

Looking ahead to tonight’s Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals in Oakland, OOB asks if Warriors superstar Steph Curry, who exploded for 35 points in a Game 3 blowout win, is officially back. The team also reacts to Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni’s eyebrow-raising comments about the pressure being greater on Golden State and Houston bringing its “A game” in Game 4. Plus, Gil explains what bench players are thinking at the end of lopsided games.

Finally, league documents reportedly show that several NFL teams consider Colin Kaepernick — who remains unsigned — a legitimate starting QB. Debate heats up as the squad asks if these documents increase the likelihood of Kaep winning his collusion case against the NFL, as well as what the case has revealed about NFL teams’ priorities.

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J.R. Smith on Cavs’ Struggles: ‘We’re Making LeBron James Play Hero Ball’

As the Cavaliers lick their wounds and prepare for a pivotal Game 3 contest against the Boston Celtics at home, Cleveland needs to spend the next few days figuring out what they can do to right the ship before it’s far too late. Of course, every conversation starts and ends with LeBron James, who has put forth a Herculean effort thus far to help lead the team this deep into the playoffs. James is averaging 33.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 9.2 assists per game in the 2018 playoffs. 

J.R. Smith understands that while James is out on the court giving maximum effort, the rest of the teams needs to match that energy, and help make a difference on both sides of the ball. “We have to ramp it up,” Smith said, per ESPN. “We're playing too slow. We're making Bron play hero ball, which is tough to do, especially in the Eastern Conference Finals. We got to help him.”

Smith, who is averaging 2.0 points on 12.5 percent shooting from the field in the series, is a primary candidate for someone on the Cavs who needs to help LeBron out on the offensive side of the ball, and he knows it. “With that said, we have to give him an opportunity to make him feel confident to give us the ball so we can make the right plays. We got to help him, and he's got to help us.”

The Cavaliers will look to chip away at their 0-2 deficit when they face the Celtics in Game 3 on Saturday night.

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Guest Mauro Ranallo Talks LeBron Beasting in Another L, New Michael Jordan Doc | Out of Bounds

On today’s episode of #OutofBounds, sports announcer and commentator Mauro Ranallo joins Gilbert Arenas, Adam Caparell, and Pierce Simpson to discuss the Celtics beating the Cavs despite a monster game from LeBron James to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. With King James clearly giving his all — returning from a scary head shot to post a 42-point triple-double — the panel points fingers at the teammates who need to step their game up.

One player who would be excused if he were underperforming is Celtics guard Marcus Smart, who revealed that his mom is undergoing chemotherapy treatments for bone marrow cancer but wants him to remain focused on basketball. Mauro — who had to do a broadcast after losing a close family member — and Gil talk about trying to perform at your best when you’re enduring a personal tragedy.

Looking ahead to tonight’s Game 2 between Houston and Golden State, OOB asks if the Rockets can “withstand” Kevin Durant going off, as head coach Mike D’Antoni said they could after he torched them for 37 points in Game 1. Are the Rockets capable of shutting down one or more of the Dubs’ other stars? Plus, the panel makes their picks for the game.

Then, with the NBA Draft Lottery over and the Suns now in possession of the first overall pick, the crew debates whom Phoenix should draft at No. 1. Also, Gil explains why the NBA’s new draft lottery format designed to eliminate tanking won’t actually stop the league’s annual race to the bottom.

After ESPN Films and Netflix announced Tuesday that they will be releasing a 10-part documentary series on Michael Jordan in 2019, the guys ask if it will reveal anything we don’t know about MJ or just show younger generations why he is the GOAT over LeBron and Kobe. Plus, Gil lets Mauro know why Jordan’s return to play for the Wizards wasn’t the typical case of an athlete being unwilling to move on from their playing career.

With his own documentary, Bipolar Rock ‘N’ Roller, premiering next Friday, May 25, on Showtime, Mauro explains the motivation behind the project, which candidly discusses his mental health issues. Plus, Gil opens up about his battle with depression and how he learned to be himself. 

Finally, with philanthropic hedge fund manager and outspoken Trump critic David Tepper expected to buy the Panthers for a record-setting $2.2 billion, OOB asks if he is precisely the kind of owner the NFL needs now. Does politics even matter when it comes to the bottom-line business of NFL ownership?

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Guest Demetrius Shipp, Jr. Talks KD Balling, Lazy James Harden, LiAngelo to Lakers | Out of Bounds

On today’s episode of #OutofBounds, actor Demetrius Shipp, Jr. joins Gilbert Arenas, Adam Caparell, and Pierce Simpson to talk about Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors beat the Rockets 119-106 to take a 1-0 lead in the series, with Kevin Durant giving Houston 37 points. Do the Rockets have an answer for KD? Also, Gil explains what James Harden did wrong despite dropping a game-high 41 points, before completely slandering one unfortunate Rockets player who may find himself benched soon.

Looking ahead to tonight’s Game 2 in the Eastern Conference Finals, the panel asks if LeBron James and the Cavs can rebound after Boston blew them out 108-83 in the series opener, with Marcus Morris holding King James to just 15 points on 5-for-16 shooting. Even if LBJ balls out, will the rest of the Cavs deliver? Plus, whose adjustments will prevail: Celtics coach Brad Stevens’ or LeBron’s with his photographic memory of games?

On Monday, the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, allowing states to legalize betting on sports. Resident gambling addict Adam asks if legal sports betting will corrupt sports any more than illegal gambling did, if leagues were ever truly concerned about the “integrity of the game,” and how the ruling will affect players, collective bargaining, and salary caps moving forward.

Finally, after LiAngelo Ball told ESPN it’s a “priority” to be drafted by the Lakers and to play with his older brother Lonzo, Gil and the guys discuss whether Gelo should reevaluate his priorities given his shaky draft stock. Also, how should other teams feel about him being “willing to play” for them. Is there an NBA team he’d fit on? Is he even good enough to play in the summer league? The G League? Plus, Demetrius shares some inside info on Gelo that he got from his UCLA connect.

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Celtics Embarrass Cavs in Game 1; Is Marcus Morris the Real LeBron Stopper? | Out of Bounds

On today’s episode of #OutofBounds, Gilbert Arenas, Pierce Simpson, and Adam Caparell discuss the Celtics’ thorough beatdown of LeBron James and the Cavs in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Marcus Morris — and the C’s team defense — limited King James to 15 points on 5-for-16 shooting with seven turnovers. Is Morris the real LeBron stopper? Plus, the rest of the Cavs took and missed some terrible shots, so do the Celtics have the defensive game plan to shut Cleveland down, or was the loss just a poor shooting night and LeBron feeling things out? Also, Gil reacts to LeBron’s remarkable photographic memory and ability to recall games play by play.

In “Fire Fit,” the panel grades LeBron’s Game 1 Thom Browne fit to determine if he managed one win for the day or caught two L’s. See how many fire emojis the crew awards him.

Warriors superstar Steph Curry recently credited Rockets All-Star Chris Paul for mentoring him the summer before he entered the NBA. Looking ahead to tonight’s Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, Gil and the guys discuss what impact CP and Steph’s relationship will play in the series, as well as which guard needs to have a greater impact.

In “Fair or Foul?” the team weighs in on the Raptors “Coach of the Year” recipient Dwane Casey after the Cavs swept his team out of the playoffs for the second consecutive year. Did Toronto do him dirty? And is the future brighter for Dwane Casey or the Raptors? Also, with Metta World Peace saying Drake would be a good coach for the Raps, the crew debates that seemingly absurd statement.

Finally, OOB predicts the future of Philly after head coach Brett Brown said the Sixers “need help to win a championship.” Who would be the best pickup for Philly, in terms of both talent and fit: LeBron, Paul George, or Kawhi Leonard? And will they land any of them? Also, with a big-time signing, would the Sixers become a desirable destination for vets on veteran minimum contracts or mid-level deals? See what Gil has to say about that.

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Rodney Hood Clears the Air on His Rumored Refusal to Play in Game 4

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Rodney Hood spoke with reporters on Thursday to address reports that he refused to check into Game 4 in the fourth quarter. The Athletic reports that Hood was told by Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue to get onto the court with 7:38 remaining and his team up by 30 points, but he refused, which led to Jose Calderon coming into the game instead.

According to the Basketball Insiders’ Spencer Davies, Hood has already apologized to Lue for the way he handled the situation. Earlier today, Hood delivered his side of the story to the media, explaining that his refusal to enter the game had more to do with getting teammate Jose Calderon some playing time than his disinterest in stepping onto the court in a blowout.

“It was the end of the game, seven minutes to go, and I saw we had bodies, you know. Jose [Calderon] wanted to go in, and I told them, ‘Just let Jose play.’ But, you know, I should have just went in, there wouldn’t have been no confusion,” Hood explained. “Obviously, I should have known since I didn’t play throughout the duration of the game it was going to look bad, but it wasn’t as people are trying to make it. Next time I’m definitely going to go in. I apologized to T. Lue for any confusion and stuff like that.”

When asked if he refused to play in Game 4, Hood reiterated his intention to let Calderon get some minutes. He did acknowledge that he “should have took it more serious, went in there, got some reps up.”

Hood has struggled to get it going in the playoffs so far, averaging 4.6 points per game while shooting 39.6 percent from the field and 13.3 percent from three-point range. However, Hood can start off on a blank slate on Sunday when the Cavs begin their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Celtics in Boston. 

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Former Cavs GM Explains Why LeBron-Kyrie Dynamic Didn’t Work

If you love the NBA like I love the NBA, you were thrilled when you saw former Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin made an appearance on Bill Simmons' podcast. Simmons is a solid interviewer and basketball savant, and Griffin is one of the most engaging and forthcoming executives in hoops—he's a consistently a great guest when he makes media appearances.

This one was no exception. The podcast features discussion about Griffin's time in Cleveland, the current playoff matchups, LeBron James' brilliance and interpersonal abilities, the future of the league, and more. Listen to the full episode below.

One of the most interesting pieces of the interview came when Griffin broke down the dynamics of the relationship between LeBron and Kyrie Irving. Last summer, the Cavs traded Kyrie to the Celtics about one month after parting ways with Griffin.

Griffin explained how Kyrie was primed to inherit the Cavs—to be the star—when LeBron decided he was “coming home.” Of course, you don't say no to the best player in a generation, but it also created some weird dynamics with Kyrie.

“Somebody has to be Pippen and somebody has to be Jordan, and I think that's true,” Griffin said. “But Scottie Pippen got to the league because he was a freakishly gifted defensive player. Everything he had that got him to the league helped him grow and evolve to the point he was as good as he was. But it wasn't like the situation in Chicago precluded him from showing those things. Michael needed everything that Scottie was, so they fit together.”

As Griffin explained, the situation in Cleveland was different.

I think the fit of LeBron and Kyrie was difficult because Kyrie was so gifted offensively and had been carrying the load offensively for a bad team. Hadn't been raised to understand how to lead and help you win necessarily. Hadn't been given that opportunity yet and just when we were going to be good LeBron shows up and it's his team. So he never got the chance to take the natural progression in his career to carry the load and see how good he could be. And he really wanted that. He'd been doing it on a bad team. He wanted the chance to do it on a good team. It wasn't about being the man—it's about, 'How good can I be? What am I capable of? LeBron can score, he doesn't need me to score. LeBron can make all the passes, he doesn't need me to do that. I'm not a better defender than he is.' So I think you get to the point where the fit and the need LeBron had for Kyrie wasn't going to allow him to become Scottie because he didn't need Kyrie to fill in the gaps.

Simmons said he still wouldn't have traded Kyrie—at least not until six months later at the trade deadline—just because the former Duke Blue Devil is so gifted.

At another point of the pod, Griffin told an amazing story about LeBron's genius basketball mind.

“There's no play you'll run against him he can't name… I was also in the gym when I watched him on the floor against Toronto tell Patrick Patterson where he was supposed to go on the play they had called out of timeout late in the fourth quarter,” Griffin recalled. “He was like, No Pat, you're supposed to stand over there and set a pin down for DeMar [DeRozan] over here.'”

The Cavs and Celtics will begin their Eastern Conference Finals series Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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Guest Arian Foster Talks About What Makes Athletes Great, Athletes Transitioning into Entertainment, and Cavs-Celtics | Out of Bounds

On today’s episode of #OutofBounds, former NFL running back turned rapper, actor, and podcaster Arian Foster joins Gilbert Arenas, Adam Caparell, and Pierce Simpson to wrap up the Eastern Conference Semifinals and look ahead to the next round of the NBA playoffs.

On Wednesday night, the Celtics beat the Sixers 114-112 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they’ll take on LeBron James and the Cavs. The panel talks about Boston’s young stars and what they’ve shown advancing far in the playoffs without their team’s two biggest stars. Knocking off King James is a much bigger challenge, and Gil breaks down what could be a matchup nightmare before everyone makes their series picks. Plus, with Philly starting its summer vacation, Gil and Arian highlight what 76ers star Joel Embiid needs to work on in the offseason to take the next step in his career.

After retiring from football, Arian Foster has devoted himself fully to podcasting and making music. Rapping as Bobby Feeno, he’s released his well-received debut album, Flamingo & Koval, as well as Becoming Bobby Feeno, a Tidal/Uninterrupted documentary series about his transition to music. Arian shares the keys to successfully crossing over from sports, the feedback he’s gotten from established artists, and the reason he didn’t start putting out music while he was still playing in the NFL. Gil reveals how a teammate of his balanced basketball and DJing.

Tiger Woods recently defined greatness as prolonged superiority when asked about LeBron James, who’s heading back to the Eastern Conference Finals for the eighth straight season at age 33. Gil and Arian give their views on athletic greatness and whether it requires longevity. They also get into a passionate debate about Steph Curry when Gil refers to him as a “regular guy.” Plus, Gil names some great players who didn’t achieve as much as they could have because they lacked the will and heart, contrasting that with a fascinating story that illustrates Floyd Mayweather’s insane dedication to being the best boxer of all time.

Finally, in “Top 5,” after the Mets were penalized for screwing up their lineup cards and accidentally batting out of order, the panel breaks down The Top 5 Worst Blunders in Sports History. Gil’s inclusion is a head-scratcher but he makes up for it by sharing the behind-the-scenes story of one of his most painful losses.

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