Russell Westbrook Averages Triple-Double (Again); NBA Playoff Predictions | Out of Bounds

On today’s show, Gilbert Arenas and the #OutofBounds boys catch NBA playoff fever! But first, they discuss a curious cosmetic/medical trend that shows just how lost, vain, and celebrity-obsessed humanity is. With the 2017–18 NBA regular season in the books, OOB takes a closer look at the Eastern Conference matchups. Gil is intrigued by one in particular, but also throws water on the idea of another potential “upset” and dissects the sure-to-be-hyped LeBron-Lance Stephenson showdown. Plus, the guys make their picks for which team is coming out of the East. Before discussing the Western Conference playoffs, the team reacts to Russell Westbrook grabbing a career-high 20 rebounds last night to become the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double twice. A hand wave from one host leads to a heated defense of Brodie and his hustle. Plus, Gil explains why the triple-double average was MVP-worthy last season but not this one. Next, OOB breaks down the playoff matchups in the West, and Gil makes a case for the Spurs against the Warriors before throwing water on Pierce’s Rockets-T’wolves intrigue. As with the East, the crew shares their picks for the team that will make it to the Finals, then adds who they think is winning it all. Finally, in “Fair or Foul?” the guys weigh in on the Miami Marlins claiming foreign citizenship in the Caribbean to wiggle out of a lawsuit with local Miami and Miami-Dade governments. Everybody feels strongly about the story, but Gil’s take is…something else. Following that up, the squad asks how new Marlins owner Derek Jeter is doing so far. Let’s just say life isn’t as charmed as it was in Yankees pinstripes.

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LeBron James and Ben Simmons Share Instagram Props After Dueling Triple-Doubles

After a 132-130 win that went down to the wire and saw his Philadelphia 76ers surpass the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA’s Eastern Conference standings Friday, Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons used his Instagram account to show respect to the man widely regarded as the NBA’s best player.

 

FRESH PRINCE X KING JAMES 👑

A post shared by Ben Simmons (@bensimmons) on Apr 6, 2018 at 9:04pm PDT

“Fresh Prince X King James,” Simmons wrote as a caption to a picture of he and LeBron James embracing after the 76ers pulled off the win. Both Simmons and James put up triple-doubles, as Simmons dropped 27 points, 13 assists, and 15 rebounds. While James took some heat for missing a potentially game-tying free throw, he led the Cavaliers with 44 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Off the court, James gave the all-important IG nod of approval to Simmons’ nickname for the matchup.

“Fresh Prince X King James,” LeBron commented, while dropping no less than eight flame emojis.

“Ah, he was awful,” James joked, when asked about Simmons’ performance during postgame comments obtained by ESPN. “Come on, man. You’re asking these questions. He was great, of course.”

Friday’s win moved the 76ers a half-game ahead of the Cavs in the Eastern Conference playoff standings, as the Sixers and Cavs look to wrap up the regular season in the coming days.

The matching triple-doubles will likely add to the comparisons between James and Simmons, as both combine point guard ball handling and passing abilities with the size of a traditional power forwards. Both James and Simmons are also represented by Klutch Sports Group, which is owned by James’ friend and business partner Rich Paul.

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Lil Rel Details Kyrie Irving’s Unfiltered Reaction to Finding Out He Was Leaving Cleveland

The trade is now part of NBA lore, one we will likely debate for years, maybe even decades, to come: in August 2017, the two best teams in the Eastern Conference swapped star guards. Boston sent Isaiah Thomas (along with Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Nets' 2018 first-round pick) to Cleveland. In return, the Cavs sent over the heralded young floor general Kyrie Irving.

The Celtics were the clear winners of the deal. Irving has blossomed in his new role as Boston's alpha, while Thomas and Crowder did not live up to expectations in Cleveland. The Cavs rallied, however, and flipped Thomas and Crowder to acquire valuable assets at the trade deadline, so the trade wasn't a total wash for the Cavs.

Before Sunday night's Oscars, actor Lil Rel Howery, who had a role in Get Out and stars in the new Uncle Drew movie alongside Irving, shared a story about Irving's response when the trade went through.

“The dopest moment was when the trade actually went through, he was so happy, man,” Lil Rel said on the red carpet. “We was in the middle of a scene. We was shooting a scene, his homeboy comes in and whispers in his ear and he just runs out the—we filming—he just runs out, we was in the club shooting a scene, runs out. So happy. He comes back and everybody's applauding. And it was a dancing scene, so when you see it and he's really getting it, that was real life. He was really happy.”

The Uncle Drew film debuts June 29. Check out a trailer, which briefly shows Irving dancing in the club, below.

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The List of Crazy LeBron James Conspiracy Theories Just Keeps Growing

During NBA All-Star Weekend, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver mentioned that the league is considering potentially altering its playoff system. Instead of having the teams divided by conference—with seeds 1 through 8 in the East and seeds 1 through 8 in the West—the change would mean all 16 teams would compete in the same bracket, with East teams competing with West teams. In theory, seed 1 would play seed 16, much like the NCAA Tournament system.

On the surface, this is a reasonable change that could make the NBA Playoffs more interesting. As it stands now, the first round of the playoffs is pretty…lacking. This would shake things up.

But some people have already asked: Could this possibly all be a ploy to benefit LeBron James? That's the perspective Out Of Bounds host Gilbert Arenas espoused on Tuesday's episode of the show. Check out No Chill Gil's take in the video above. You can also catch the full episode below.

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“Why would you want to change it now? Huh, if Adam Silver knows LeBron James is coming to the West Coast,” Gil said. “If LeBron James comes to the West Coast, this actually makes sense now.”

Indeed, where the King will play next season is a topic of much debate among NBA fans. People have said for over a year that they think he's headed to the Lakers, while others have linked him to the Rockets—both Western Conference teams. Either way, Gil's theory suggests the NBA is trying to set the playoff seedings up so that LeBron would still have a relatively easy path to the NBA Finals, even while playing in the West.

Gil's conspiracy theory is far from the only conspiracy theory that has been attached to LeBron's name throughout his illustrious 15-year career. Conspiracy theories following someone nicknamed “LBJ”? You don't say. (Word to Lyndon Baines Johnson, whom conspiracy theorists blame for the Kennedy assassination.)

Below are some of the wildest LeBron James conspiracy theories we've ever seen.

1. LeBron is headed to the Lakers because of…Space Jam 2?!

It feels like Space Jam 2 is never going to happen at this point, right? However, some believe signing with L.A. would give LeBron the buzz needed to raise the budget for the film. Director Justin Lin has confirmed the sequel is happening. We just don't know when.

2. The Spurs air conditioning conspiracy

The Spurs jumped to a 1-0 lead in the 2014 NBA Finals, and LeBron had to leave Game 1 in a pivotal moment because he cramped up in the fourth quarter. People accused San Antonio of intentionally messing with the A.C. to force the best player alive to check out of the game. That would be downright Belichickian.

3. We have to address Delonte West

Did former Cavs guard Delonte West have an affair with LeBron James' mom Gloria in 2010? We may never know, but West appeared to confirm the rumors in 2014.

4. Did a young LeBron intentionally blow a playoff game against Boston?

The Cavs played the Celtics in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals, and some accused him of intentionally blowing Game 6. The theory is that LeBron wanted out of Cleveland and he used that series to show the NBA he simply had to leave because he was working with so little talent.

5. Were he and Kyrie in it together?

All the drama that followed LeBron and former teammate Kyrie Irving this summer was so perfect and theatrical that it seemed staged. Was it possible they worked together to orchestrate a move that was ideal for both of their careers? Some think so.

6. Did he play a role in Eric Bledsoe's trade demand?

Eric Bledsoe demanded to be traded and eventually was—from the Phoenix Suns to the Milwaukee Bucks this past fall. Rich Paul, LeBron's agent and close friend, represents Bledsoe. Some believe LeBron was pulling the strings because he wanted Bledsoe to get out of Phoenix.

7. Really, anything could be turned into a LeBron conspiracy—even wine

Even an innocuous team trip to Napa Valley for a nice wine tasting has proven it could lead to conspiracies. People blamed the Cavs' 2017-18 struggles (which are maybe, possibly, probably over) on their love for the vino.


The Eastern Conference looks up for grabs right now. The Cavs are surging, but the Raptors and Celtics have been good all year. Regardless of how the playoffs shake out, you can bet more LBJ conspiracy theories will hit the internet in May and June—especially after he announces his free-agency decision. Get ready to add to this list.

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LeBron James Addresses Trade Rumors Following Disheartening Loss to Magic

The Cavaliers’ 2017-18 NBA season is in a tailspin. For whatever reason, Cleveland just can’t string together a series of wins and get themselves back on track right now. But have things gotten so bad that LeBron James would waive his no-trade clause and voluntarily allow the team to send him packing prior to the NBA trade deadline on Thursday?

Believe it or not, that was actually a source of speculation on Tuesday, as Yahoo! Sports reporter Shams Charania reported there were some NBA teams doing their “due diligence” and watching to see if LeBron would potentially waive the no-trade clause he has in his contract. There are more than a few teams who would obviously be willing to mortgage their franchise’s future for a chance to land LeBron in a deal. And even though Charania reported LeBron was unlikely to let the Cavaliers trade him, it didn’t stop some people from gossiping about what might happen if LeBron did away with his no-trade clause.

The gossiping got a little bit louder on Tuesday night after the Cavaliers went out and blew a 21-point lead to the Magic to lose 116-98. The Magic have the worst record in the Eastern Conference, so the loss was particularly stunning for the skidding Cavaliers. But despite his team’s struggles, LeBron faced the latest report about his no-trade clause head-on and said he is not planning on going anywhere before the trade deadline. He insisted he will remain a Cavalier for at least the remainder of this season.

“I’m here for the long haul,” LeBron said. “I’m here for this season right now, [to] try to figure out ways we can still compete. I couldn’t give up on my teammates like that. I couldn’t do that. I just couldn’t do it. We put too much into the game every single day. We go out and prepare. Win, lose, or draw, at the end of the day, we’re all brothers, and we understand that. I owe it to my teammates to finish this season out no matter how it ends up. I would never waive my no-trade clause.”

LeBron was clearly trying to keep his spirits up following another tough loss, but some of his teammates were having trouble doing the same. One Cavaliers player told ESPN.com the team hit “a new low” during their game against the Magic. Isaiah Thomas, meanwhile, tried to explain the Cavaliers’ troubles by suggesting they’re not demonstrating the brotherhood LeBron talked about while speaking with reporters.

“Right now, when we hit adversity, we go our separate ways,” Thomas said. “And that’s just how I feel, and it looks like that as well. Guys start to go one-on-one on offense, and the defense is every man for himself. The first half we played good, everybody was happy. It was energized, helping each other on the defensive end. Sharing the ball. The ball was moving side to side on offense. And then we revert back to what makes us lose games.”

The somewhat amazing thing about all of this is that, despite the Cavaliers’ inability to win many ballgames at the top of 2018, Cleveland is still sitting in third in the Eastern Conference. So they’re just one hot streak away from putting themselves right back into prime position in the East. But the fact that we’ve reached the point where the idea of LeBron waiving his no-trade clause doesn’t sound that crazy should tell you everything you need to know about where the Cavaliers are at the moment. They need to figure out a way to turn things around quickly—or LeBron’s days in Cleveland could really be numbered.

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Fans Keep Reminding Rihanna That She Owes Joel Embiid a Date Now That He’s an All-Star

Philadelphia 76ers​ forward Joel Embiid has been trying to take Rihanna on a date since he entered the league back in 2014. After publicly announcing that he was moving on from a crush on Kim Kardashian to Rihanna, he first started tweeting at her in July 2014—half-jokingly asking the singer on dinner dates.

Rihanna quickly followed him back on Twitter and Embiid said she was considering his offer, but it never materialized into anything. A month later, Embiid shared a cryptic tweet saying that a “famous girl” turned him down and told him, “Come back when you're [an] All Star.”

TMZ later confirmed that the “famous girl” was in fact Rihanna. Embiid wasn't able to make good on his side of the bargain and become an All-Star after getting injured, however. That changed this week when Embiid was named a starter on the Eastern Conference's All-Star team.

Now, fans are flooding Rihanna with messages, making sure she follows through on her end of the deal. Right now, all of her recent posts on Instagram are full of “@joelembiid” tags and comments like, “He's an All-Star now give him a call.”

Joel did have some words about the whole situation, seemingly switching the tables and turning Rihanna down.

Rihanna has yet to publicly respond to any of this, but people on Twitter aren't having a hard time imagining what each of their thoughts are.

Over three years after first shooting his shot, it looks like this might finally work out in Embiid's favor.

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Gordon Hayward Suffers Brutal Leg Injury in First Game With Celtics

Just six minutes into his first season with his new team, the Boston Celtics, All-Star forward Gordon Hayward suffered an absolutely brutal leg injury in a clip that nobody would blame you for skipping over (seriously, it's graphic).

It is being reported that Hayward suffered a fracturted left ankle. 

During this recently concluded offseason, Hayward signed a four-year/$128 million contract with a Celtics team that was expected to challenge the Cavaliers for Eastern Conference supremacy. Obviously those hopes took a serious hit tonight, not that that's on the minds of any of the players at Quicken Loans Arena, as evidenced by these reactions:

Still other players who are not in Cleveland expressed their condolences and shock on social media as well:

We will update when we have more info.

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Carmelo Anthony Reveals 2 Major Trades That Almost Happened This Summer

Carmelo Anthony sent shockwaves through the NBA community last Saturday when he agreed to waive his no-trade clause so that the Knicks could deal him to the Thunder. It gave Oklahoma City three superstars on its roster—Anthony will be joined by Russell Westbrook and Paul George next season—and it also made the Western Conference even more talented than it already was (R.I.P. Eastern Conference, smh).

On Thursday, Anthony sent even more shockwaves through the NBA community with some comments he made on SiriusXM Radio. While talking about his trade, he said that he came close to being traded not once but twice at other times during the offseason. One of those trades involved him heading to Houston to join James Harden and Chris Paul on the Rockets.

“A deal was done with Houston early, then for some reason, whatever happened behind-the-scenes, it didn’t go through,” he said. “It fell through, then we had to really start paying attention and thinking about other options.”

That trade, according to Anthony, nearly went down in July. And there was another trade involving Anthony that almost happened a few weeks before that on the night of the 2017 NBA Draft. Anthony claims that he and George were scheduled to be dealt to the Cavaliers in deals that would have put Anthony, George, and LeBron James on the same team during the upcoming season. But that trade was also called off before it was finalized.

“It was funny because me and PG was supposed to be in Cleveland on draft night,” he said on SiriusXM. “We were communicating about that. The deal was actually done, and it got called off on draft night, so me and PG stayed connected throughout the course of the [offseason]. We never even talked about OKC, though.”

It’s pretty crazy to think about how all of this played out. And it’s also pretty crazy to think about what might have happened if Anthony had been traded to either the Cavaliers or Rockets. It could have affected where a bunch of other players, including guys like Kyrie Irving and Dwyane Wade, landed. And it could have shaken up the NBA even more this summer. What an offseason.

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Kevin Durant Fires Shots at the 76ers Over ‘FEDS’ Nickname

Fans in Philadelphia are as excited as they've been about the Sixers in at least a decade, and who can blame them? After trading up to obtain the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Sixers have a trio of potential stars in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Markelle Fultz, all of whom fit together great on the court. The young crew has to go through some growing pains, but they're set up to make some noise in the Eastern Conference.

But some of the excitement has gotten out of hand, and Sixers fans have tried to push a bunch of nicknames on the core before they've even played a game together yet. One of the names that gained some traction is “The FEDS,” an acronym for Fultz, Embiid, Dario Saric, and Simmons. Embiid has even come out and endorsed this title.

The nickname has been divisive in Philadelphia—mostly because it's wild corny—and one NBA superstar agrees it should go the way of the dinosaur. During a conversation with teammate Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant mocked the “FEDS” moniker, saying, “How they got a nickname and ain't played no games together?”

Say what you will about Philly fans, but one thing they won't let you do is disparage one of their own. After a barrage of insults was sent Durant's way following his comments, he clarified that it's not the team he has a problem with, but the nickname.

You may disagree with Durant's move to Golden State as a fan of a competitive NBA, but he's 100 percent in the right here. Good sports nicknames have to be organic, rising from moments and circumstances that make them worthwhile.

The city of Philadelphia knows the value of waiting on a name until the moment is right. Embiid dubbed himself “The Process” after Philadelphia fans started a rebuilding movement referred to as “The Process” by short hand, and since he was one of the public faces of the struggle, it made perfect sense. Philly fans have also seen great team nicknames rise from nothing before—they still talk about the Broad Street Bullies, a rough-and-tumble hockey team from the '70s whose play reflected their title.

You can't just shoehorn nicknames whenever you feel like it, and if you do, you can expect people to mock you. Durant knows this better than anyone after he tried to get people to call him, “The Servant,” so maybe he's just trying to stop the young Sixers from making the same mistake.

Besides, not all of the players in Philly seem too invested in the “FEDS” nickname.

Truer words have never been spoken. Focus on getting wins and staying healthy, and the rest will come later. 

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Here’s Everything LeBron James Had to Say After Cavaliers Fell to Warriors in 2017 NBA Finals

As LeBron James and Kyrie Irving walked off the court at Oracle Arena on Monday night after losing their 2017 NBA Finals series to the Warriors, LeBron was spotted putting his arm around his teammate and telling him that the Cavaliers will be back in the Finals for a fourth straight season next year.

“We’ll be back,” LeBron said, “me and you. We’ll be back.”

And LeBron is right. The Cavaliers will, in all likelihood, be back in the Finals next season. As they showed during the 2017 NBA Playoffs, they’re still on a completely different level when compared to all of the other teams in the Eastern Conference, so they should make a return to the Finals in 2018.

But in the immediate aftermath of the Cavaliers’ loss to the Warriors, LeBron—who became the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double during the Finals this year—didn’t spend too much time talking about the future. Instead, he talked to reporters about how he was feeling about losing to the Warriors just one year after beating them in the Finals. He also shared his feelings on the concept of “superteams.” And he reflected on the season the Cavaliers just had. Here’s a quick rundown of everything LeBron discussed after the Finals ended.

On what it felt like to lose to the Warriors in the Finals in five games: “I left everything on the floor every game, all five games. So for me personally, I have nothing to be—I have no reason to put my head down. I have no reason to look back at what I could have done or what I shouldn’t have done or what I could have done better for the team. I left everything I had out on the floor every single game for five games this Finals.”

On how the NBA is going to deal with the Warriors moving forward: “I don’t know. I need to sit down and figure this thing out. And so I don’t know as far as me personally right now. But as far as that team, they’re going to be here for a while. They’re going to be around for a while. Pretty much all their guys are in their 20s. Pretty much all their big-name guys are in their 20s, and they don’t show any signs of slowing down.”

On whether or not this was his best individual Finals performance: “This is my eighth trip to the Finals, and I’ve had some pretty good ones in my day. And like I said, I just try to do everything to just try to help this team win and more. For me to go out there and for the guys that allowed me to be the leader that I am and allow me and trust me that I’m going to make the right plays and I’m going to do the right things and have the right intention, that’s a compliment to my guys.”

On why he won’t take much time off this summer: “It’s just a lifestyle for me. So I probably will be back in the my gym in the next couple days just because it’s just who I am. As far as being back on the basketball court, I’m going to take a while. I don’t need to be back on the basketball court right now. I need to get off of my feet and let my joints and let my body kind of recover from being out on the floor for 14 straight years. But I’ll train. I’ll train all summer. It’s just a part of who I am now.”

On why he doesn’t believe in the concept of “superteams”: “I don’t believe I’ve played for a superteam. I don’t believe in that. I don’t believe we’re a superteam here.”

On how he feels about Kevin Durant winning his first NBA title: “I’m not happy he won his first. I’m not happy at all. But at the end of the day, from when I played him in the 2012 Finals to now, like I said, experience is the best teacher in life, and he’s just experiencing and experiencing and experiencing. And it also helps when you are able to experience some things with this team as well. He felt like he needed to reassemble and reassess his career and come here…Getting that first championship for me was like having my first son. It was just a proud moment, something that you never, ever forget. And at the end of the day, nobody can—no matter what anybody says from now on in your career or whatever they say, they can never take away from you being a champion. That’s something that they are always going to speak about, about you.”

As LeBron told Kyrie Irving after the Finals ended on Monday, the Cavaliers will likely try to become champions again next season. But for now, LeBron sounds like a guy who is ready for a break. And after seeing everything he was able to accomplish this season, he definitely earned it.

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