Blake Griffin Chimes in on Rookie of the Year Beef With Hilarious Joke

Over the weekend, Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons made sure we know where he stands when it comes to this year's Rookie of the Year race.

“Who would I pick? Me, 100 percent,” Simmons said in a recent interview with ESPN. “I think I have been playing solid all year. If you look at the numbers, you will see. People who know the game know.” When asked if any rookies impressed Simmons this season, he answered “none.”

Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell, Simmons' only real competition for the award, took exception with Simmons' blind spot, and the two stars have been beefing ever since. First, Mitchell tweeted a Waka Flocka Flame GIF in response to the slight from Simmons.

And Tuesday night, he showed up to the his team's game against the Golden State Warriors wearing a hoodie with the definition of the word “rookieprinted across the front. It was an obvious reference to Simmons, who sat out the entire 2016-17 with an injury, but still had the benefit of being around the team and learning the ebbs and flows of life in the NBA. Mitchell later explained how Simmons' extra year gives him an advantage. 

Detroit Pistons forward (and amateur comedian) Blake Griffin, who also sat out his first season with the L.A. Clippers due to injury and won Rookie of the Year the following season in 2010-11, chimed in with an appropriate joke.

For what it's worth, Simmons didn't seem too bothered by the hoodie.

The 2018 NBA Awards will be presented on June 25.

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LeBron James to the Warriors? Wild New Report Suggests It Could Happen This Summer

Does the idea of LeBron James leaving the Cavaliers to sign with the Warriors this summer sound laughable to you? You’re not alone. There are a lot of people scoffing at the idea at the moment.

But very early Thursday morning, just hours after LeBron and the Cavaliers closed out their dreadful January with a close win over the Heat, ESPN’s Chris Haynes set NBA Twitter on fire with an explosive report about how LeBron would apparently entertain the idea of signing with Golden State in July, if the Warriors are able to free up enough money to offer him a max contract.

According to league sources who spoke with Haynes, the Warriors could position themselves to secure a free agency meeting with LeBron “if [they] can create a max salary slot this offseason.” The report went on to say that the Warriors haven’t shown any real desire to actually do that. But it also mentioned that the sources who spoke with Haynes said LeBron wouldn’t rule out the possibility of playing alongside Steph Curry and Kevin Durant in California “if Golden State explored ways to clear the necessary cap space.”

In order to pull off the seemingly impossible, the Warriors would likely need to get creative. In Haynes’ report, he suggests they would probably have to entice the Cavaliers to agree to a sign-and-trade deal involving Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala in order to land LeBron. And that in and of itself seems like a long shot.

But regardless of how improbable the LeBron-to-the-Warriors rumor Haynes just started might sound, it definitely has people talking. There are some imagining what the Warriors could potentially look like with LeBron on the team.

There are others downplaying the report and saying it will never happen.

We tend to side with the second group of people here. LeBron leaving the Cavaliers for a second time and doing it to team up with the Warriors just sounds too crazy to believe.

But we should point out that, once upon a time, the idea of Durant leaving the Thunder to join the Warriors sounded just as crazy. In fact, we just went back and took a look at our very first post hinting at the possibility of KD one day joining the Warriors, which went up all the way back in July 2015. It was tied to a San Jose Mercury News story about how a source said Golden State would “love” to land KD in the summer of 2016. The very first comment on that post was “trash post with a shit source”—and look at how that eventually turned out.

In the end, we just can’t see LeBron playing with the Warriors next season. But who knows? With all of the crazy things that have happened in the NBA over the last few years, it’s hard to rule out anything anymore.

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Kevin Durant Fires Back After Clint Capela Says Rockets Are Better Than Warriors

There may be only one team standing in the way of the Golden State Warriors winning their third championship in four years, and it's the Houston Rockets. After defeating the Warriors, 116-108, on Saturday for their second victory in three meetings this season, Rockets center Clint Capela was feeling himself a little too much when he said that his team is better than Golden State when they're playing at the top of their game. 

“We're confident because we know if we're doing what we're supposed to do, we're going to beat them…we are better than them,” Capela said, per ESPN. When Capela's comments made their way to Kevin Durant, he conceded that any team can be beat on any given night, and that includes the Warriors. “It's all a part of the game. They beat us twice this year. They should feel confident,” Durant said, according to ESPN. “Obviously, we're confident and we feel as though we are the best team in the league and we can beat anybody as well. But we can be beat. We can be beat on any night if we don't come to play.”

Then, Durant took direct aim at Capela for being the one to make the claim, adding that his “job is not as hard” as, say, Chris Paul or James Harden. “You hear it from guys like Capela,” Durant said. “Usually he's catching the ball and laying it up from CP [Chris Paul] or James Harden. His job is not as hard. When your job is that hard, you know you can't just come out there and say shit like that. I don't expect that from CP and James and [Trevor] Ariza and the rest of the guys like that because they know how hard it is to come out and do that every night. Capela, catch and dunk every night. It's pretty easy for him.” 

The last thing the Rockets want to do right now is light a fire under the Warriors. Even if it may be true that Houston could be better than Golden State, one thing that Capela isn't considering is that his teammates, CP3 and Harden, have a history of falling apart in the playoffs. So, instead of trying to go after the beast, why not concern yourself with the people standing in your corner first?

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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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Cavs Hot Mess; Racism in Sports? Tom Brady Only Star Left | Out of Bounds

Welcome back to Season 2 of #OutOfBounds! The team kicks it off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day by discussing which major U.S. sports league has come closest to realizing MLK’s dream. Adam is concerned about the Cavaliers’ recent performance and questions if they can win today against the Golden State Warriors, but Gilbert is confident LeBron’s got it in the bag. Saints rookie safety Marcus Williams embarrassingly missed a crucial tackle that led to the Vikings last-second playoff win. Does Minnesota, or any of the remaining teams with suspect QBs, have a chance of knocking Tom Brady and the Patriots off?

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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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Donald Trump Only Supports Free Speech When It’s White People Speaking

Donald Trump is not slick. He thinks he is, but he's not. For one, President U. Bum still hasn't figured out how to thread tweets.

Exhibit A: this disjointed, idiotic statement he made over the weekend about the legal, peaceful NFL demonstrations against police brutality and racism, which started with the still-unemployed Colin Kaepernick. After calling them “sons of bitches,” Trump insisted that players exercising their First Amendment rights be fired for “disrespect” to the national anthem and flag. 

Because America is already (somewhat) great, that statement was met with even more player protests, some of which included the very owners Trump attempted to appeal to. But that didn't stop him from doubling down on his stance Monday, insisting 1) it wasn't about race; and 2) that players not be vocal or demonstrative about their legitimate criticisms of this country's fucked-up, systematic, race-based issues.

Trump is mindbogglingly inconsistent in his support or criticism of free speech. But, as it turns out, he's pretty damn consistent with when he chooses to be critical. Instead of telling you, I'll just show you.

Trump had a busy weekend on Twitter; in addition to dropping his unsolicited opinion about the NFL, he announced he was rescinding his White House visit offer to Steph Curry, leaving Curry's team, the Golden State Warriors, with no choice but to decline the visit as a unit.

Even though Trump attributed the reason for the withdrawal to Curry's “hesitation,” the basketball star had been made it abundantly clear that his stance is unwavering against Trump and his dangerous rhetoric. It's pretty safe to assume Trump's decision was made in response to Curry's personal opinion, which he has every right to vocalize.

And then there's the incredibly messy case of ESPN correspondent Jemele Hill's recent criticism of Trump. In a conversation on Twitter, Hill unabashedly (and correctly) called Trump a white supremacist.

In retaliation, the Trump administration, via White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, recommended Hill be fired.

“I think that's one of the more outrageous comments that anyone can make,” Sanders said during a press briefing, “and certainly something that I think is a fireable offense by ESPN.”

What do the aforementioned presidentially shunned figures have in common? Yep, that's right: they're all people of color. Keep that in mind. Let's press on.

In contrast, Trump praised figures in the NASCAR industry Monday for saying anyone who protests in the sport would be fired, effectively quashing members' rights to demonstrate peacefully.

You don't need Google to know that NASCAR is one of, if not the whitest sport in the world. But in case you need some context: this summer, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. became the first black driver to race at NASCAR's top level in more than a decade. The reason he made it in? He replaced another driver, who was injured in a wreck. So, here we have Donald, supporting the very white NASCAR owners and corporate leaders, for making it clear that they don't support free speech. Got it.

But wait a minute. Let's go back to February, when Trump threatened U.C. Berkley with the revocation of federal funds because they did not “allow free speech.” In this instance, Trump tweeted in defense of former Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos, whose inflammatory, racist speeches regularly incite riots and violent protests.  

But wait a minute, take two: just last month, Trump tweeted in support of protestors in Boston, who counter-demonstrated against a self-described free speech rally that was held one week after the convening of white supremacists in Charlottesville that turned deadly.

Hmm… what is it about Boston that makes it different than say, Ferguson or Baltimore? Why might Trump be more willing to support protestors there?

Looking a little funny in the light there, President Bum.

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Carmelo Anthony Traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder

Carmelo Anthony is getting his wish and leaving New York. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks have come to terms on a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder that will send Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second-round pick in exchange for Anthony. 

Wojnarowski reports that Anthony continued to pressure the Knicks front office into getting a deal done with training camp set to begin next week. However, the organization needed to jump through several hoops in order to turn his demand into a reality. First and foremost, the Knicks had to find a team that Melo would deem fit to waive his no-trade clause. 

With the help of Thunder star point guard Russell Westbrook and the newly-acquired Paul George, Anthony waived his no-trade clause, as well as his trade kicker, in order to make the deal work. Did Westbrook and George ensure Anthony that they will be staying in Oklahoma City for the foreseeable future, even though their contracts are up at the end of this upcoming season? While George-to-L.A. next year seems like the league's worst-kept secret, maybe Russ has been able to get through to PG-13 on the idea of building something special in OKC. 

For Anthony, the move allows him to settle into a role more suited for his style of play. The Westbrook-to-Melo drive-and-kick it out potential is enough to give the rest of the league fits. Add George into that equation, and you have a serious contender at dethroning the Goliath of the NBA, the Golden State Warriors. 

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Nick Young Discusses Fashion and Basketball at His Most Hated Pop-Up in Los Angeles

The worlds of style and basketball have always been intertwined. While some players like Russell Westbrook have become known for their outrageous pregame outfits, others have gone as far as to create their own brands. One of the players who has done this is Golden State Warriors guard Nick Young. This past weekend, he hosted a pop-up shop for his brand Most Hated at American Rag in L.A., and Complex News was in attendance to chop it up with him.

What started with Young making a few shirts with the phrase “Most Hated” written on them last year has turned itself into full fledged brand for the young NBA player that now includes a line hoodies, hats, track pants. It has since gotten co-signed by everyone from fellow players like LeBron James to one of the league's “most hated” players Kevin Durant, and players have even asked him to send them some gear in the middle of games. He also mentioned how he would love to see Most Hated makes its way onto some style icons like Kanye West and Rihanna. “I'd hand deliver it to [Rihanna] personally,” says Young.

Aside from his brand, Swaggy P touched on how he was recruited to the reigning NBA Champions, as well as the personal style of some of his new teammates like Draymond Green and Steph Curry. Check out the full interview in the video above, and shop the Most Hated collection via the brand's online store here.

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