Mavs Sex & Tanking Scandals; Louisville Punished; Bradley Beal on His Evolution | Out of Bounds

Is Black Panther available to save sports from its shadiest characters? We need the King of Wakanda now, because there is much f*ckery in the news today. To start, Gilbert Arenas and the #OutofBounds crew look at the NCAA’s forced vacation of Louisville’s 2013 national championship, stemming from a prostitution scandal. You know, the one where a Cardinals staffer arranged sex for players and recruits — the scandal BEFORE the FBI named the school in a “pay for play” basketball corruption case. In addition to Gil sharing his own recruitment story, he has an…interesting analogy for vacating wins, and the guys debate if Rick Pitino is the slimiest coach in college hoops. The shadiness doesn’t stop there, because the Dallas Mavericks are making headlines for all the wrong reasons. In “Fair or Foul,” OOB passes judgment on owner Mark Cuban, who publicly admitted that his team has been tanking for a year and a half. If only that were the worst of it. Next, Gil and the gang wade into a damning exposé on sexual misconduct within the Mavs organization. Will all these scandals — and the end of the Dirk Nowitzki era — bring down Cuban and a franchise once thought to be the model for the NBA? Transitioning to happier, on-court NBA action, OOB previews Saturday’s primetime matchup between the Thunder and Warriors for “In Play.” Beyond picks, Gil has a unique take on the KD-Russ “beef” and what he expects the Brodie will give the Dubs this weekend. Finally, Wizards guard Bradley Beal joins the show to talk about how he’s improved as a player, his working relationship with John Wall, and his fondest memory of Washington legend Gilbert Arenas.

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It Sounds Like John Wall and a Wizards Teammate Met to Settle Their Beef Over a Tweet

John Wall hasn’t taken the court for the Wizards in a few weeks now thanks to a knee procedure he had done that’s expected to sideline him for up to two months. But despite his absence, his name has stayed in the news, as it appears there might be a rift developing between Wall and some of his Washington teammates.

The Wizards have gone 6-2 since Wall was sent to the sidelines, and some people have started to speculate about how Washington might be better off without Wall in the lineup. They have pointed out that the Wizards appear to be distributing the ball more efficiently and playing better as a whole. And in early February, Wizards center Marcin Gortat seemed to suggest that he was one of the people who thought the Wizards were better without Wall when he sent out what looked like a passive-aggressive tweet about a Wizards “team” win over the Raptors.

Wall made a series of appearances on ESPN a few days later, and he was, of course, asked about the tweet. He said it was shocking to see what Gortat tweeted.

“It was more just a shock to hear it from him, understanding he gets the most assists from me and the most spoon-fed baskets ever,” Wall said.

Since then, it sounds as though Wall and Gortat may have smoothed things over. ESPN’s Chris Haynes published a report early Wednesday morning indicating that sources have told him Wall and Gortat met privately last week to confront one another over the tweet and to hash things out. According to league sources who spoke with Haynes, Wall and Gortat met briefly after Wall reached out to Gortat via text message and asked him to come to him if he had a problem rather than going to social media to “spew backhanded insults.”

Gortat has maintained all along that his tweet was not originally meant to be about Wall. But whatever the case, it sounds like Wall and Gortat are back on better terms. Haynes is reporting there is still some work to be done to fully repair their relationship, but for the time being at least, it sounds like the two are going to move on from whatever hard feelings came up as a result of Gortat’s tweet.

You can watch Wall talk about his relationship with his Wizards’ teammates below.

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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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Harden Breaking Records; All-Star Injuries; LeBron on Loyalty; Tom Brady’s Playlist | Out of Bounds

It was a huge day in the NBA yesterday and the #OutofBounds crew is here for all of it. All-Stars Kevin Love and John Wall are going to be out for nearly two months with injuries. Gil and the gang discuss the impact on the players, their teams, the playoff races, and why the system to replace them in the All-Star Game is f*cked up. For this week's In Play segment, OOB takes a closer look at Saturday's Rockets-Cavs primetime matchup, which could get ugly, given Cleveland's league-worst defensive rating and James Harden going off last night for the first 60-point triple-double in NBA history. From there, the team talks loyalty in sports, after LeBron James used the Clippers' Blake Griffin trade to call out a double standard for teams and players. To wrap things up, everyone weighs in on the music Tom Brady says he listens to when trying to center himself and what it says about the five-time Super Bowl champ.

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Russell Westbrook Torches Wizards After Thinking LeBron James Picked Him Last in NBA All-Star Draft

On Thursday afternoon, LeBron James and Steph Curry took part in the first-ever NBA All-Star draft. They went through the long list of this season’s NBA All-Stars and chose who will play alongside each of them on their respective teams during the All-Star Game next month. And when the draft was over, LeBron shared the list of players who will be running with him.


Most people looked at the list and quickly realized LeBron had put the players on his team into alphabetical order. We’d guess he did this to avoid revealing who he had picked first as well as who he had picked last. In fact, we’d guess the NBA chose not to televise this portion of the All-Star process specifically to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings. People on social media would have inevitably made a huge deal over whoever ended up going last in the draft.

But when Russell Westbrook first saw the list, he didn’t realize it was in alphabetical order. All he saw was his name at the bottom of it, and he mistakenly believed LeBron had taken him with the last pick in the draft. Furthermore, he believed LeBron had taken John Wall with the pick ahead of him.

By chance, Westbrook and the Thunder played Wall and the Wizards on Thursday night, and Westbrook—possibly because he had seen LeBron's list just prior to the game—went off during the contest. He scored 46 points and threw down this thunderous dunk during Oklahoma City’s 121-112 win over Washington.

And when the game ended, he spoke with reporters about his thoughts on LeBron picking him to play on his team in the All-Star Game. Westbrook said it was “cool,” but his teammate Carmelo Anthony yelled at him and told him to tell everyone “how you really feel.” Westbrook smiled before admitting he was a little miffed about being picked last.

“I see I was the last pick on the list,” he said. “I was just trying to figure out how…”

At that point, Westbrook was informed about the list being in alphabetical order, and a light bulb went off in his head. He responded by yelling back at Carmelo. “See, I told you, man!” Westbrook said. “Alphabetical order, man! Of course I was first!”

It was a funny, lighthearted moment in the end. But after Westbrook admitted he thought he went last in the draft, him dropping 46 points on Wall and Wizards suddenly made so much sense.

Draft misunderstanding aside, LeBron’s decision to select Westbrook in the All-Star draft will reunite him with his former teammate Kevin Durant. KD went first overall in the draft to LeBron’s team, and he had a pretty classic reaction to it on Thursday night. He put up the Players’ Tribune meme that everyone always uses against him on Instagram to announce how happy he is to be playing with LeBron’s team. He also put his Warriors teammate Curry on notice and said he’s gunning for him in the All-Star Game. Curry picked Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in the draft but not Durant.

The All-Star Game will take place on Feb. 18. If all this buildup to it is any indication, it should be a pretty decent—and dare we say competitive?—game.

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Kawhi-Spurs Drama; John Wall “Midget” Diss; All-Star Reserve Picks | Out of Bounds

In anticipation of tonight’s announcement of the 2018 NBA All-Star Reserves, the #OutofBounds crew makes their own picks (and heated arguments) for the 14 players who should be all-stars. Next, Gil, Adam, and Pierce weigh in on the report that the handling of Kawhi Leonard’s injury has caused friction between him and the Spurs. To close the show, the team decides the fairness/foulness of the Bucks firing head coach Jason Kidd and John Wall calling J.J. Barea “a little midget.”

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Most Underrated Current NBA Players | Out Of Bounds

On today’s episode of #OutOfBounds, the crew gives their top picks for Most Underrated NBA players. Gil says everyone was so focused on Kevin Durant coming to the Warriors that they overlooked Klay Thompson, and J.J. Redick isn’t important enough to even be in the conversation. Mia argues that John Wall missing time helped elevate Bradley Beal to a breakout season and that Dame Lillard needs to leave the West in order to get the respect he deserves. We also throw in Victor Oladipo flashing with the Pacers, and how Devin Booker is not getting the shine he deserves. Did your pick make our list? 

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Mia Khalifa and Gilbert Arenas Discuss Lonzo Ball vs. John Wall on ‘Out of Bounds’

On today’s Out of Bounds, Gilbert, Mia, Pierce, and Adam ask what's up with 76ers rookie Markelle Fultz, predict an ass whooping for Lonzo and the Lakers against John Wall and the Wizards, and get into rookie hazing like JuJu Smith-Schuster’s bike theft.

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John Wall Rips Celtics for ‘Wearing All Black, Talking About a Funeral’ Before Game Against Wizards

Back in early January, several Celtics and Wizards players were involved in a heated altercation on the court after Jae Crowder hit John Wall in the face on a play. About two weeks later, the two teams played again, and Wizards players showed up for the game wearing all black. Wall said Washington was preparing for “a funeral,” and the Wizards went out and beat the Celtics 123-108. It led to some bad blood between the two teams, with Isaiah Thomas referring to the stunt as “cute” and telling reporters, “It’s not like it’s a Game 7.”

On Friday night, the Celtics appeared to pull the same stunt prior to Game 6 of their best-of-7 playoff series against the Wizards. Boston had a chance to knock Washington out of the playoffs, so when Celtics players arrived at the Verizon Center for the game, they were dressed in all black. And while the Celtics players didn’t say they were dressed for “a funeral” like Wall did in January, that was certainly how NBA fans interpreted the gesture.

The gesture didn’t end up working out all that well for the Celtics. Although they led the Wizards by two points with less than 10 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, Wall hit a three-pointer with 3.5 seconds left to help the Wizards win 92-91 and force a Game 7 back in Boston.

And shortly after sinking what might have been the biggest shot of his entire career, Wall spoke with ESPN and ripped the Celtics players for showing up for the game in black.

“Don’t come to my city, wearing all black, talking about a funeral,” he said.

Later, Wall added: “It was just funny to me. I mean, talking to family and friends, they get to see what’s happening on social media. I try to stay off it…and they just said they were gonna wear all black, so we knew it was kind of copy-catting what we did. It was in my mind throughout the game. I didn’t want them to come here in all black and basically call it a funeral and we lose at home.”

Wall’s teammates were upset with the Celtics’ gesture, too. Markieff Morris accused the Celtics of blatantly biting the Wizards’ original idea. “They want to be us so bad,” Morris said.

Meanwhile, Bradley Beal admitted that he didn’t even realize the Celtics had shown up to the game in all black until after it was over, before adding that the Wizards didn’t let it affect their approach to the game.

“I didn’t know that they wore all black today,” Beal said. “But it doesn’t faze us. It is what it is.”

Several Celtics players denied wearing all black on purpose and tried to say that Boston wasn’t planning “a funeral” as many fans suggested. Avery Bradley told reporters it was just a coincidence that all of the Boston players wore black on the same night. “I promise you guys,” he said.

Gerald Green also downplayed the drama surrounding the Celtics’ attire and said he wore an all black outfit because it was the only thing he had in his overnight bag. “I had nothing else to wear,” he said. “I don’t know nothing about nothing, man.”

Whether the Celtics tried to get inside the Wizards players’ heads by wearing all black or not, it’s clear that Wall and his teammates took notice of what they wore to the game and responded accordingly. And it’s going to make Game 7 of the series on Monday night that much more exciting. Just don’t expect anyone to show up to the game wearing black again.

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Isaiah Thomas Is Now a Certified Celtics Legend

Over the summer, the Boston Celtics went all in pursuing free agent Kevin Durant. Not only did Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens bring their own players, they even enlisted Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to help recruit. The hope was that Brady, the reigning Boston-area champion, could help convince KD to become the next Celtics great. Little did any of them know, that next great was with them the whole time.

Isaiah Thomas came to the Celtics in February of 2015 as part of a three-team deal with the Pistons and the Suns. Thomas was the last pick of the 2011 Draft, 60th overall, selected by the Sacramento Kings. The 5’9” Thomas was a revelation for a Kings team desperately in need of one, but they already had Darren Collison, so they traded Thomas to the Suns for Alex Oriakhi—the 57th pick in the 2013 Draft, he’d never play a single game in the NBA—and a trade exception. Kings gonna Kings.

The thought this past summer was that Durant could become the next Celtic in line to receive that honor. That wasn’t the first time Thomas was overlooked. It might very well be the last. 

Which brings us to last night. Thomas, fresh off delivering a eulogy for his younger sister and hours of dental surgery following an impromptu on-court extraction in Game 1, dropped 53 points on the Wizards, the second-highest total in Celtics playoff history, leading the Celtics to an overtime Game 2 win. He scored 29 in the fourth quarter and overtime alone, stared down the much larger Markieff Morris, outdueled John Wall (who put up 40 points and 13 assists), and did it all on what would have been his sister Chyna’s 23rd birthday. A 2-0 series lead is not insurmountable, of course, but it may as well be with the Celtics—they’re 34-0 all-time in series where they take the first two games.

Circumstances aside, Thomas has simply been doing in the playoffs what he’s done all season long. He was 7th in PER, second in Offensive Win Shares, as the Celtics posted the best record in the East. He missed six games, in which the Celtics went 2-4. In any other season Thomas would have been a serious MVP candidate. He averaged nearly 29 points per game, scored over 2,000 points, dropped 20 in the All-Star Game. He’s been on NBA Jam fire all year long. An All-Star last season as well, his leap this year should make him a lock for Most Improved Player.

In the playoffs, all he’s done is drop 33 on the Bulls the day after his sister was killed in a car crash, then lead the top-seeded Celtics back to a six-game series win after dropping the first two at home. He lost his 3-point shooting stroke through the final three games of the first round, going a combined 3-of-26, but rediscovered it in time for the second, shooting 5-of-11 in Game 1 and 5-of-12 in Game 2. His Celtics have won six straight playoff games now, and seem destined for a showdown with the Cavaliers that few expected after going down 0-2 to the eight-seeded Bulls. And he’s apparently made longtime fan Floyd Mayweather a lot of money.

Thomas’s emergence as a top-level postseason star comes at an interesting time in Celtics history as well. Paul Pierce, the 2008 Finals MVP, announced his retirement after 18 seasons. Soon enough, Pierce’s No. 34 will rise to the Boston Garden rafters. The thought this past summer was that Durant could become the next Celtic in line to receive that honor. That wasn’t the first time Thomas was overlooked. It might very well be the last.  

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