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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Joel Embiid Swagger Back, 76ers Avoid Elimination; LeBron James Sweeps Raptors | Out of Bounds

On today’s episode of #OutofBounds, Gilbert Arenas, Pierce Simpson, and Adam Caparell discuss the 76ers avoiding elimination against the Celtics, with T.J. McConnell having a career night and Joel Embiid getting his trash-talking swagger back. Was the Game 4 win a turning point for the Sixers? 

Also, the LeBron James-led Cavs completed a series sweep of the Raptors with a blowout. Did Toronto stars DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry give up? And do either the Celtics or Sixers stand a chance against Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals?

Looking forward to tonight’s games, will the Rockets close out the Jazz in Houston? And was Game 4 proof that — unlike in past years — the Rockets can win when James Harden has a subpar performance now that he has CP to help carry the scoring load and Clint Capela holding things down on D?  

Next, will the Warriors close out their series with the Pelicans? What can New Orleans do to win and force a Game 6 back in Louisiana? Plus, with a Rockets-Warriors Western Conference Finals seeming inevitable, Gil questions whether coach Mike D’Antoni can make playoff adjustments to hang with Golden State.

In “Fair or Foul?” the team weighs in on the Pistons firing head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy. Gil breaks down what his old coach is like and why there’s a limit to how long he can work with a team. Also, the crew debates whether the timing of the firing is foul, and if it was wrong to saddle the next coach and executive with the roster and contracts that SVG was responsible for. Plus, will the Pistons be improved and make the playoffs in the next couple years?

After Kylia Carter, mother of former Duke basketball star Wendell Carter, compared the current system of NCAA basketball to slavery, Gil and the guys respond to the analogy, as well as the idea of free labor and education in college sports. 

Finally, the team reacts to Icelandic powerlifter and “Game of Thrones” actor Hafthor Björnsson, who plays “The Mountain” on the hit HBO series, winning the World’s Strongest Man competition. Hibachi turns the heat way up on powerlifting as a sport before sharing what he would do if he were as big and strong as the athletes who compete by pulling trucks and lifting boulders.

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Joel Embiid Continues Owning Hassan Whiteside: ‘No Excuses’

The Philadelphia 76ers smacked the good, veteran Miami Heat in the NBA playoffs' first round, and no matchup was more surprising than the big-man battle between Joel Embiid and Hassan Whiteside. Fans expected we'd see a showdown between two of the best centers in the East, but while Embiid was a dominant force, Whiteside struggled mightily.

Whiteside could hardly stay on the floor as Philly went small. For the series, he averaged 15.4 minutes, 5.2 points, and 6.0 rebounds per game.

Embiid, on the other hand, has been dominant in the postseason since returning from surgery to repair a broken orbital bone. He's putting up 21.8 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game this postseason. Perhaps most impressively, he's been able to stay on the court and has averaged 31.5 minutes per game.

After the series, Heat president and former coach Pat Riley said Whiteside showed up to the playoffs out of shape.

“By the time we got to the playoffs, I don't think he was ready,” Riley said Monday. “He wasn't in great shape. He wasn't fully conditioned for a playoff battle mentally. He and we got our heads handed to us.”

Embiid, however, said Whiteside shouldn't be able to play the “I was out of shape” card. He called out Riley in an Instagram comment.

The Sixers advanced to play the Celtics in the second round but dropped Game 1, 117-101, on Monday night. Game 2 will take place Thursday at 8:30 p.m. EST.

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Dwyane Wade Sees Similarities Between Ben Simmons and LeBron James

Heading into this postseason, general consensus favored the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors in the East. Now, the East looks wide open, and the upstart Philadelphia 76ers may well have a shot at making an NBA Finals run.

There was never any question about the Sixers' talent. Doubters were more so concerned about their lack of postseason experience.

That didn't seem to come into play at all in the first round. Philly crushed the legitimately good Miami Heat, 4-1. The Sixers got great performances from Joel Embiid, Marco Belinelli, and J.J. Redick, but no player was more impressive than Ben Simmons.

The 2016 No. 1 overall pick looked completely poised. He averaged 18.2 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 9.0 assists per game. It's early, but it looks like Simmons could blossom into an all-time great.

Dwyane Wade, whose Heat fell to Philly, knows greatness when he sees it. The veteran two guard praised Simmons Tuesday.

“You knew from the first time that you seen him in Summer League that he was special,” Wade said. “If you know basketball, you know talent, you know someone's special.”

Wade went on to praise Simmons' ascendance throughout the season and his consistency, comparing him to LeBron James, Wade's former teammate in Miami and Cleveland. “It's like that guy in Cleveland; doesn't have bad games. The imprint they put on the game, it's more than scoring. He does so much. The sky is the limit obviously for him and this organization.”

The comparison will certainly flatter the Aussie, who has repeatedly mentioned how much he admires James. The respect is mutual. After they dropped dueling triple-doubles during an amazing game late in the regular season, the two shared an Instagram love fest.

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Yes, You Can Actually Make a Living Playing NBA 2K

What if I told you (and your doubting parents) that you could actually make a living playing hours of your favorite video game? This week the NBA and 2K Sports made that a reality with the first-ever NBA 2K League Draft, a historic moment that changed the lives of 102 gamers.

The NBA 2K League is a professional electronic sports (eSports) league created by 2K Sports in partnership with the NBA. Here’s how it works: Of the 30 actual teams in the NBA, 17 joined forces to create a corresponding eSports team made up of six gamers—one for each position that a regular NBA team has plus an alternate, based on the position they primarily play in NBA 2K18. But how did the gamers get chosen to enter this first-of-its-kind draft? Back in January, the NBA held a combine where 72,000 players participated; this was chiseled down to the 102 players who were selected to enter the draft and become the NBA’s first Professional Gamers.

artero boyd nba 2k
Image via Getty/Mike Stobe

When the NBA first announced that it was invested in becoming a part of eSports, it shocked many in the sports industry because, prior to that, competitive video games had never been viewed with the same importance as traditional sports. To bear this out, on Wednesday at the 2KL draft ceremony, held in New York's Madison Square Garden, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the first three rounds of draft picks just as he does every year at the NBA’s draft. Players came on stage wearing caps representing the team that would be their new home for the season. And each player was college-draft prospect fly, decked out like the fashion-forward hopefuls on any other NBA Draft Day.

College student Rochell Woods, aka ixsplashkingxi, became the youngest player drafted into the NBA 2K League when the Detroit Pistons GT selected him in the third round. The young eShooting guard out of Memphis, Tennessee, said he started playing in the ninth grade and normally spends seven to ten hours a day playing 2K to keep his skills sharp. 

nba 2k draft
Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images

Each player drafted lands a six-month contract of $35,000 for first-round picks, then $32,000 for the lower rounds. On top of their salary, an additional $1 million is up for grabs, split among three in-season tournaments. In addition, players are free to sign endorsement deals as well. The league also covers moving, travel, medical, retirement, and living expenses. Each franchise will have their own apartments or dedicated house for the players to live in. When the season starts, ePlayers will be flown out to NBA studios each week to play in front of an arena crowd just like in traditional eSports settings.

Similar to draftees in the NBA, training and practice with your new teammates comes next. But how does that process look outside of playing physical basketball? The general managers of the new Philadelphia 76ers Gaming Club, Michael Lai and Ian Hillman, helped provide context as to what the players can expect.

“Right now we are focused on bringing them into the market,” says Lai, who has a background in analytics. “A lot of these guys are pretty young and they might not have the experience of living in a new place, so the focus is getting them here, settled in and comfortable to then develop a training regimen.”

Hillman explains that it will be a bit experimental: “In terms of the actual practice of basketball there will be somewhat of a learning in trying out different styles of practice and drills. It is a little more difficult from physical versus digital, but we will definitely try to leverage some of the best practices from the actual Sixers training staff to the staff here with the 76ers Gaming Club.”

the same type of philosophies we practice with our Sixers players we will try to apply with our esports athletes.

He adds that just as with 76ers stars like Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, full-body wellness is important for eSports players as well. “When we think about the research behind the effects of sleep and healthy diets on athletes, the same type of philosophies we practice with our Sixers players we will try to apply with our eSports athletes.”

As far as the importance of the NBA 2KL, the Sixers GMs and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver agree that eSports is the perfect equalizer. Thousands of people have hoop dreams but lack the gifts to realize them. In eSports, all you have to do is show up and prove your skill no matter what your physical abilities are.

“We're opening up this opportunity to a much larger pool of players, just by definition, because in the NBA or WNBA you have to have certain physical prowess to compete,” Silver says. “It's a different kind of skill here. But in terms of the gaming community, this is something where virtually anyone can set out to try to achieve at the highest level.”

ronnie 2k
Image via Getty

Despite the groundbreaking nature of the 2KL draft, one thing it was sorely lacking in was female NBA 2K ballers.  Representatives from the NBA noticed as well, say they want to rectify this in the future, and have already launched an initiative to focus on recruiting and developing female 2K League players.

“I'll tell you one thing just to put it on the table that's been a disappointment for all of us so far is that there are no women who are in the initial draft pool, and just to make it clear, whittling down from the 72,000, it's by avatars in essence, it's blind,” Silver explained. “I'm not concerned that there was something wrong with the process necessarily… This is a much larger issue in the gaming community.”

The process to get this level of professional gaming wasn't easy, but the players selected in the inaugural 2KL draft are dispelling the myth that sitting for hours in front of a TV will never pay off. Just like training for a sport in real life, people can put in the time and dedication to craft a skill digitally and take it to the bank as an eSports athlete.

The NBA 2K League season is scheduled to tip off in May.

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Special Host Terrell Owens; Joel Embiid High Tweets; Hassan Whiteside Rants | Out of Bounds

On today’s episode, 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Terrell Owens fills in as #OutofBounds host and talk immediately gets spicy as Adam and Pierce go in on Loyola-Chicago fan Sister Jean. The conversation stays hot after the intro, when T.O. reveals what he’s planning for his HOF speech…. Reining it in a little, the guys discuss the best bets to make on tonight’s NCAA final between No. 1 Villanova and No. 3 Michigan. Whether you want a straight winner, spreads, or fun prop bets, gambling man Adam Caparell has you covered. Moving on, OOB discusses Michigan coach John Beilein’s belief that Michigan will one day officially honor the incredibly impactful Fab Five, whose sporting achievements were vacated after an investigation into players getting paid. Should they be recognized despite violations? Should Chris Webber, who accepted money and reportedly has a rift with the other four stars, be included? And is there any point in vacating and pretending games didn’t happen when violations occur? Next, the team responds to Heat center Hassan Whiteside’s rant about his playing time and T.O. explains what happens when players beef with coaches and how that differs from drama between players. Finally, after Sixers star Joel Embiid sent some tremendous tweets about Kansas catching an L, being high on painkillers, and Rihanna while in the hospital recovering from surgery, T.O. and the guys debate The Process’s method of hollering at Ri-Ri (Pierce’s imaginary boo) and which NBA players would be the most fun to hang out with. Plus, outspoken T.O. describes what it would have been like if Twitter had been a thing during his NFL prime.

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Joel Embiid Hits on Rihanna After Waking Up From Surgery

Joel Embiid, who recently suffered from an orbital fracture after colliding with teammate Markelle Fultz, is trying to convince Rihanna to go out with him once again.

The Philadelphia 76ers player underwent surgery to repair the fractured orbital bone on Saturday, and apparently no one thought it may be a good idea to take his cell phone away once he woke up. Embiid watched Kansas get destroyed in the Final Four post surgery. He then decided to reach out to Rihanna, a choice that was possibly encouraged by the sadness of seeing his alma mater lose and probably influenced by the medication he was presumably on. He tweeted, “Babe are you single or nah? @rihanna.” Minutes later, he tweeted a quote of himself, “'Process' stop… I thought you were an ALL STAR.”

Earlier this year, Embiid was declared an All-Star and fans thought this was the perfect time to go out with him. Embiid has been trying to date Rihanna since he entered the league back in 2014. He announced publicly that he no longer had a crush on Kim Kardashian and Rihanna was the girl for him. In July 2014, he began to half-jokingly tweet requests for dinner dates with Rihanna. Rihanna did follow him back on Twitter and the next month, Embiid tweeted that a “famous girl” turned him down and said, “Come back when you're [an] All Star.”

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Terrell Owens Joins OOB; Ronda Rousey Signs With WWE; XFL Back! | Out of Bounds

With Super Bowl LII looming, legendary NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens joins #OutofBounds to talk the big game, a mayoral bet that could drape Philly’s iconic Rocky statue in a Tom Brady jersey, his exclusion from the Hall of Fame, and the return of Vince McMahon’s XFL. T.O., Gil, and crew also break down the NBA’s plan to ease lingering tensions between players and refs, weigh in on MMA icon Ronda Rousey signing with WWE to fake-wrestle full-time, and decide the fairness/foulness of Joel Embiid posting a funny pic of him dunking on star guard Russell Westbrook after losing to his Thunder for the second time this season.

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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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Mia Khalifa and Gilbert Arenas Talk About Joel Embiid Being a Bandwagon Fan on ‘Out of Bounds’

On today's Out of Bounds, the crew get into Jimmy Butler starring in a new country music video, whether it's cool for Joel “The Process” Embiid to cheer for both teams at the World Series, and how fucked up it is that players who never threw a punch got suspended in the fight between Draymond Green and Bradley Beal.

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