Remember When Kevin Durant Ruined the Fourth of July?

When Kevin Durant signed a five-year, $86 million contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder on July 7, 2010, he did so without any of the pomp and circumstance that came along with the decision that LeBron James would make on The Decision just one day later. Unlike LeBron—who infamously sat down for a live TV interview with Jim Gray to discuss his decision to leave the Cavaliers in order to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Heat—KD didn’t make a big deal out of his announcement. He revealed that he would be staying put in OKC through at least the 2015-16 NBA season by sending out this simple, straightforward, no-frills tweet, spelling and grammatical errors and all:

And when The New York Times tracked KD down later that same day to ask him why he decided to go that route as opposed to broadcasting his decision in a more spectacular fashion, he seemed confused by the question. “What’s there to really talk about?” he said, before explaining why he was so low-key when it came time to tell the world that he was going to stay in OKC for another five years. “I just told everybody I wasn’t talking about it, really. I just kept it to myself. That’s just the type of person I am. I don’t like the attention around me.”

At the time, KD was applauded by many NBA fans and members of the media for using social media to announce his contract extension rather than dragging the process out like LeBron did. KD’s method was seen as a breath of fresh air at a time when the NBA free agency period was starting to turn into a much bigger storyline than it had been in the past, due to the sudden growth and popularity of social media. “Kevin Durant didn’t need a one-hour special on the World Wide Leader,” Darnell Mayberry, a writer for The Oklahoman, wrote at the time. “The Thunder’s star was satisfied with just 140 characters.”

But sometime between July 2010 when he signed his contract extension with the Thunder and July 2016 when he became a free agent, KD’s attitude towards free agency seemed to change. The NBA free agency period continued to become more and more of a circus every year, with NBA reporters like David Aldridge of NBA.com, Marc Stein of ESPN, and of course, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tracking the every move of NBA free agents the moment the clock struck midnight on July 1.

Players like Deron Williams, Dwight Howard, and LeBron—who became a free agent again in 2014 and announced his decision to return to the Cavaliers by penning a letter to the city of Cleveland in Sports Illustrated—took full advantage of it by meeting with as many teams as they could and hearing as many pitches from executives as possible once they became free agents. And as KD’s own free agency started to get closer and closer, he seemed to embrace the idea of going through the process just as players like Williams, Howard, and LeBron had.

By early 2016, there were reports about how KD wanted to be courted once he officially became a free agent. Much to the chagrin of all the Thunder fans out there, it didn’t sound like KD was going to announce that he was re-signing with the Thunder through another tweet. Rather, Yahoo Sports reporter Chris Mannix reported that KD was looking forward to being wined and dined by different NBA teams. Sources told Mannix KD’s free agency was going to be a much bigger production than it had been in 2010:

Durant is looking forward to being recruited, to being courted, to being treated like the biggest free-agent prize since LeBron James six years ago. The chances of Durant sending a simple tweet again announcing his return are virtually nonexistent, but the Thunder remain hopeful that his decision, regardless of how this season ends, is the same.

KD downplayed all of the various reports about him entertaining offers from other NBA teams during free agency throughout the 2015-16 NBA season. He said all the right things about the Thunder organization and his teammates, and he never really gave any indication that he was going to seriously consider leaving OKC once July 1 hit.

But by late June, it was clear that KD was going to, at the very least, listen to what other teams had to say. According to ESPN, KD’s representatives scheduled meetings with the Warriors, Spurs, Celtics, Heat, Clippers, and Thunder. Teams like the Knicks, Wizards, and Lakers reportedly tried to get time with KD, too. It seemed like it was exactly what KD was looking for, based on the earlier reports.

It was unclear how long it was going to take KD to make his final decision, though. He had so many meetings set up that it didn’t sound like he was going to get around to letting the world know where he would sign for at least a week once NBA free agency started. One Oklahoman report even suggested KD might hold off until July 9 to sign with a team, which would have meant nine days worth of speculation surrounding what he was ultimately going to do. But once free agency officially started, Wojnarowski revealed that July 4 looked like the day KD would make his announcement:

During the first few days of July, it was difficult to keep up with all of the KD news that was coming out. There were reports about how his initial meeting with the Thunder on July 1 “went well,” according to ESPN sources. But there were also reports about how a subsequent meeting with the Warriors went “very well,” which seemed to trump the earlier report about his OKC meeting:

There were other meetings with the teams listed above on July 2 and July 3, too. But after two days, it seemed like the Thunder and Warriors were leading the pack and had the best chances of signing KD to a deal. KD met with the Thunder for a second time on July 3 to conclude his scheduled free agency meetings:

And then, he stepped back from the process to weigh his options, with many reporters close to the situation—like ESPN’s Royce Young—reporting that he was close to picking either the Thunder or Warriors:

The stage was set for July 4 to be the day KD would announce his decision:

July 4 would end up being one of the most agonizing days in recent history for NBA fans, players, and reporters. When LeBron made his decision in 2010, there was a lot of hype surrounding it, but there was also a definitive day and time when everyone would be able to tune in and see which team LeBron was going to pick. The Decision would air at 9 p.m. on ESPN, and shortly thereafter, we would all know where LeBron was going to play the following season.

It wasn’t like that for KD. While most people suspected his decision was going to come down on July 4, KD himself hadn’t confirmed or denied the reports about it, and he also later admitted that when he woke up on July 4, he still hadn’t made a definitive decision as to which team he was going to sign with. So the world waited—and oddly enough, poked fun at KD’s old BlackPlanet page—while he mulled over the decision on the morning of July 4.

To KD’s credit, he didn’t keep us waiting for very long. At right around noon on July 4, KD took to Twitter for the second time in his NBA career to announce what he planned to do in free agency. But this time, it took more than 140 characters to get his message across. He tweeted out a link to a post he had written for The Players’ Tribune called “My Next Chapter”:

And in the post, KD shared some stunning news: He was leaving the Thunder to join the Warriors.

The news sent shock waves through the NBA community, and it ruined a lot of people’s Fourth of July. Thunder fans were obviously upset about the fact that KD was leaving the team, just six years after he had committed to OKC and told fans that he planned to stay there for a long, long time:

Other NBA fans were disappointed with KD’s decision as well. Many reacted to the news about KD signing with the Warriors by pointing out that there wouldn’t really even be a reason to play the 2016-17 NBA season since the result seemed like a foregone conclusion:

The words “Damn KD” started trending on Twitter:

And within just minutes of KD making his announcement, Stephen A. Smith was all over ESPN ripping him for it. He was one of many media members upset with the way KD’s free agency period ended:

NBA players also chimed in and seemed just as shocked as fans. It was surreal to see what some of them had to say:

In the end, not everyone had their days ruined. There were plenty of Warriors fans out there who were thrilled to hear about KD’s decision. Golden State was just a few weeks removed from blowing a 3-1 lead to lose to the Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals. So KD signing with the Warriors was exactly what they needed at the time.

But for most people outside of the Bay Area, July 4, 2016—a day that should have been all about beer, burgers, and fireworks—was anything but a celebration. It was a shocking jolt to the system that proved the NBA was about to change dramatically during the following season. It was also a disappointing end to what seemed like a fun free agency period for KD.

It was basically everything that July 7, 2010 wasn’t. Back then, KD was just looking to work out a deal with as little fanfare as possible. But by 2016, that had all changed—and there were so many people who resented and still resent KD for it. And they're not going to forget about it anytime soon.

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The 12 Worst NBA Free Agent Signings in Recent Memory

Are you super excited about that big-name free agent your favorite NBA team just signed? Well, you should be. If nothing else, it shows that your team is at least trying to win, right?

But before you get too excited about the move, we should warn you that things might not work out exactly the way you think they will when that free agent joins your team. In some cases, the free agent might not jell with the guys your team already has on its roster. In others, the free agent might not be as motivated as he used to be after signing a long-term deal worth tens of millions of dollars. And sometimes, free agents just don’t turn out to be as good as people thought they were going to be. Not every free agent is LeBron James or Kevin Durant.

There will be dozens of players who change teams this summer through free agency, and some of them will make a big difference for the teams that sign them. But as you’re about to find out, that isn’t always the case. Here are the 12 worst NBA free agent signings in recent memory. 

Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace.
Image via Getty/Noah Graham/Contributor

Year: 2006
Signed with: Bulls
Contract: 4 years, $60 million
What happened next: Most people wondered what the Bulls were doing when they signed Wallace to a deal in the first place. He was never known for putting up offensive numbers, and he looked like a guy who was past his prime at the end of his time with the Pistons. So it didn’t come as much of a surprise when he averaged just 3.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game with the Bulls through two seasons before being traded to the Cavaliers in 2008.

Rashard Lewis

Rashard Lewis.
Image via Getty/Fernando Medina/Contributor

Year: 2007
Signed with: Magic
Contract: 6 years, $118 million
What happened next: When Orlando acquired Lewis in a sign-and-trade with the SuperSonics, they thought they were getting a guy who could turn into the cornerstone of their franchise for years to come. And while Lewis put up a respectable 16.6 points per game during his time with the Magic, he never developed into the player they thought he would be, and Orlando eventually traded him to the Wizards after just four seasons.

Elton Brand

Elton Brand.
Image via Getty/Rocky Widner/Contributor

Year: 2008
Signed with: 76ers
Contract: 5 years, $80 million
What happened next: Brand has become somewhat of a beloved figure in Philadelphia because he spurned the Clippers to sign with the Sixers, making him one of the only big-name free agents to ever choose Philly as his free agency destination. But Brand struggled with injuries throughout his time with the Sixers and only averaged 12.7 points and 7.2 rebounds before the team used the amnesty clause to release him in 2012.

Ben Gordon

Ben Gordon.
Image via Getty/Rocky Widner/Contributor

Year: 2009
Signed with: Pistons
Contract: 5 years, $55 million
What happened next: Then-Pistons general manager Joe Dumars tried to make a big splash in the summer of 2009 by signing Gordon to this deal and Charlie Villanueva to a five-year, $35 million contract. It got some people in Detroit excited about what was to come, but the Pistons missed the playoffs for the first time in almost a decade the following season—and then proceeded to miss the postseason in each of the following five seasons as well. Gordon and Villanueva aren’t the only guys to blame for that, but they certainly weren’t the players the Pistons expected them to be when the team signed them.

Hedo Turkoglu

Hedo Turkoglu.
Image via Getty/Barry Gossage/Contributor

Year: 2009
Signed with: Raptors
Contract: 5 years, $53 million
What happened next: Turkoglu’s one and only season in Toronto was a disaster. After the Raptors convinced him to leave the Magic to sign with them, his scoring dipped to just 11.3 points per game—he averaged 19.5 and 16.8 points per game in the two seasons before that—and he was a defensive liability every time he was on the court. He was also overweight for most of the year and didn’t seem to want to play for the Raptors, which is why they shipped him to the Suns in 2010.

Josh Smith

Josh Smith.
Image via Getty/Rocky Widner/Contributor

Year: 2013
Signed with: Pistons
Contract: 4 years, $54 million
What happened next: When you sign a contract this large, you’re expected to be a key contributor. And make no mistake about it: Smith tried to turn into a big-time scorer for the Pistons. He took more than 300 three-pointers in a little more than a season with Detroit. But he shot just 26 percent from three and was clearly not the playmaker the Pistons were looking for. They sent him to the Rockets two months into his second season with the team.

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson.
Image via Getty/Streeter Lecka/Contributor

Year: 2014
Signed with: Hornets
Contract: 2 years, $18 million
What happened next: After providing a spark for the Pacers through his first four seasons in the NBA, Stephenson cashed in by skipping town and signing with the Hornets. Charlotte thought he would be able to take his game to the next level with them. But he sputtered in his first season with the Hornets, averaging just 8.2 points and 3.9 assists per game, before he was shipped to the Clippers in 2015.

Wesley Matthews

Wesley Matthews.
Image via Getty/Elsa/Staff

Year: 2015
Signed with: Mavericks
Contract: 4 years, $70 million
What happened next: If you look at Matthews’ numbers with Dallas, they aren’t awful. He’s averaged 12.5 points per game and 13.5 points per game over the last two seasons. He’s also been a high-energy guy for the team. But he’s struggled to complete the transition from role player with the Trail Blazers at the start of his career to star player for the Mavericks, even though he’s now one of the highest-paid players on the team. And many Mavericks fans are calling for the team to trade him at some point this offseason.

Evan Turner

Evan Turner.
Image via Getty/Ned Dishman/Contributor

Year: 2016
Signed with: Trail Blazers
Contract: 4 years, $70 million
What happened next: The salary cap went up substantially in 2016, and as a result, guys like Turner got contracts that were way higher than they should have been. Turner is a nice player for Portland to have stashed on its bench—he averaged 9.0 points and 3.2 assists last season while playing just 25 minutes per game—but $17 million is too much to pay for a guy who only excels at shooting midrange jumpers.

Luol Deng

Luol Deng.
Image via Getty/Rocky Widner/Contributor

Year: 2016
Signed with: Lakers
Contract: 4 years, $72 million
What happened next: In order to keep their first-round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Lakers had to lose a lot of games last season. So it’s still unclear why they went out and signed a guy like Deng who could have prevented them from accomplishing that goal. It’s even more unclear why they paid him as much money as they did, especially when you consider that they were eventually forced to put him on the bench for much of last season as they tried to tank. They have reportedly spent the last few weeks trying to figure out a way to get him off their roster as soon as possible.

Timofey Mozgov

Timofey Mozgov.
Image via Getty/Andrew D. Bernstein/Contributor

Year: 2016
Signed with: Lakers
Contract: 4 years, $64 million
What happened next: In addition to wondering why their team signed Deng, Lakers fans were also forced to ask why the team signed Mozgov. Seriously, was this team trying to lose their first-round pick in the draft this year? At any rate, the Lakers made amends for this terrible signing recently when they dealt Mozgov to the Nets. They did have to part ways with D’Angelo Russell to do it, but it was a small price to pay to get Mozgov’s awful contract off the books.

Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah.
Image via Getty/Jonathan Bachman/Contributor

Year: 2016
Signed with: Knicks
Contract: 4 years, $72 million
What happened next: The Knicks have a long and storied history when it comes to making bad free agency acquisitions. But when it’s all said and done, this could be the worst of the bunch. Noah played just 46 games for the Knicks last season and averaged just 5.0 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, and believe it or not, that was actually a significant improvement from his final season with the Bulls, which means the Knicks got more out of him than they should have expected. So why in the world did they pay him so much money last summer to come to New York? It’s a question Knicks fans will ask for years to come.

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Clippers Agree to Send Chris Paul to Rockets in Blockbuster Trade

Chris Paul is on his way to the Houston Rockets, according to a report from Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, in a move that is expected to shake up the NBA's power structure.

Reports came down early Wednesday morning that Paul moving to the Rockets was a serious possibility. ESPN's Marc Stein said at the time that James Harden was part of the recruiting team for Houston, urging Paul to join up with him to take on other Western Conference powers.

Paul and Harden were “determined to play together,” so once it became clear that Paul was going to leave for Houston in free agency, he reportedly arranged for the Clippers to send him in a trade instead in order to leave Los Angeles with something in return. The Clippers will receive Rockets players Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Lou Williams, and a 2018 first-round pick from Houston.

Things aren't so great on LA's end of things, but this is as good of a return as you could hope for when a star player has informed you he could leave you with nothing. There are other dominoes to fall for the Clippers—Blake Griffin's free agency just got a whole lot more interesting—but they'll come out of a no-win situation with something, at least. In a post on his Twitter, Paul expressed his admiration for the Los Angeles community and thanked the fans for all their support during his time there.

Of course, the focus will be on Houston's end, and NBA Twitter was sent into hysterics with a single tweet, hardly knowing how to process Paul leaving L.A. to join up with Harden. Though some expressed concern about each player's preference to work with the ball in their hands, the general reaction was one of excitement about the possibilities.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Paul's offseason, the Rockets never seemed like a real threat to obtain his services. Early buzz revolved around Paul going to San Antonio, where he would have been the clear alpha dog in the Spurs' back court from day one. Now, he'll have to share that space with last year's MVP runner-up, who had transitioned to playing the de facto point guard role under Mike D'Antoni. There's also the question of whether Paul will buy into D'Antoni's offense, as his teams have traditionally played at a slower, more methodical pace at Paul's behest, while D'Antoni is all about running and gunning.  

But if the Rockets can get it to work, they might be one of the most exciting offensive teams to watch in the history of the league. Harden and Paul are ruthlessly efficient offensive players and more than capable as shooting threats off-the-ball, and if they come to an understanding about sharing the workload, there's no telling what their offensive ceiling is. 

For those of you wondering how Kevin Durant joining the Warriors might shift power around the league, you're looking at a direct product. Faced with an unstoppable juggernaut, players and teams are going to move heaven and earth just to give themselves a chance against Golden State. 

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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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NBA Draft Picks Were Put on Blast With These Old Embarrassing Tweets

Here’s some free advice for all of the guys who are hoping to get selected in the NBA Draft next year: start going through your various social media accounts now and deleting anything that could potentially come back to bite you once you walk across the stage and shake hands with Adam Silver. Trust us, it'll be well worth your time.

It should be a pretty simple concept, and NBA prospects pay agents, publicists, and other handlers quite a bit of money to make them look good in the public eye. We would guess that a big part of that is scrubbing anything that could be perceived as even slightly controversial off social media in the months, weeks, and even days leading up to a big event like the NBA Draft.

But on Thursday night, 60 players were selected during the NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and after they were drafted, Twitter went into overdrive and started looking through their old tweets to try and dig up any dirt that they may have posted in the past. And somewhat amazingly—in a “How the hell is this still happening?” kind of way—there were quite a few players who had incriminating stuff located deep in their Twitter timelines.

Some of the stuff was relatively harmless but still raised eyebrows among NBA fan bases. For example, Jayson Tatum—who was selected No. 3 overall by the Celtics—once sent out this tweet in the middle of a Boston game in 2012:

Jayson Tatum tweet.
Image via Twitter

Likewise, Lonzo Ball, the Lakers’ pick at No. 2 overall, sent out this tweet back in 2013 that seemed to predict Kobe Bryant & Co. wouldn’t make the playoffs before the 2013-14 season even started:

Lonzo Ball tweet.
Image via Twitter

Jordan Bell, who was drafted by the Bulls at No. 38 before being traded to the Warriors, said this about Golden State in 2016:

And Terrance Ferguson, selected with the No. 21 pick by the Thunder, had this to say about Oklahoma City when the Warriors were on the verge of coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the 2016 Western Conference Finals:

Terrance Ferguson tweet.
Image via Twitter

We’re sure OKC fans loved being reminded of that, especially since the loss to the Warriors ended up costing them Kevin Durant. We’re also sure they now appreciate the fact that Ferguson is actually from Oklahoma but was actively rooting against the Thunder as recently as just last year.

But those tweets were just the beginning. Elsewhere, Twitter dug up this old 2012 tweet from Edmond Sumner, the Pacers’ pick at No. 52, that featured him accusing the NBA of being fixed:

Edmond Sumner tweet.
Image via Twitter

There was also this tweet from Sindarius Thornwell, who was drafted at No. 48 by the Bucks before being traded to the Clippers, that outlined his approach to dating:

Sindarius Thornwell tweet.
Image via Twitter

But the most interesting—and the most embarrassing—old tweets came from the No. 9 and No. 10 picks in the draft. Zach Collins went tenth overall to the Trail Blazers, and when he did, some Portland fans took to Twitter in an effort to find out more about him, since he was one of the lesser-known prospects to go in the lottery portion of the draft. What they found was this 2012 (2 Chainz-inspired?) tweet:

Zach Collins tweet.
Image via Twitter

They also discovered this extremely awkward Vine of Collins twerking—or at least, what we think was his best attempt at twerking:

Collins deleted both of those tweets as well as a bunch of others that showed him acting a fool when he was, like, 14.

But the most embarrassing tweet of the night definitely belonged to Dennis Smith Jr., who went ninth overall to the Mavericks in the draft. Shortly after he was selected, one of his tweets from back in 2012 went viral, and it took him a long time (too long!) to take it down. It said—*cringe*—this:

Dennis Smith Jr. tweet.
Image via Twitter

The moral of the story here is pretty simple. If you’re going to spend your teenage years tweeting whatever your little heart desires, cool. But make sure you delete everything—and we do mean everything—before you’re on one of the biggest stages in sports. Or else…

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Square Up: Will LeBron James Ever Be the G.O.A.T.?

Complex's new debate show pits four staffers facing off head-to-head, duking it out over the most divisive questions of the moment.

This week, we discuss LeBron James as he comes off another disappointing NBA Finals loss. After leading the Cavaliers to their third straight NBA Finals appearance, and coming off of last year's amazing comeback against the Warriors, LeBron couldn't lead his crew past Golden State. Despite averaging a triple-double and becoming the first player in NBA history to lead a playoff series in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals, LeBron had nothing to show for a truly historic performance. But does the fact that LeBron is now 3-5 in the NBA Finals tarnish his legacy? 

And what about Lil B? Is the rapper famous for cursing people the reason the Cavs lost 4-1 in the Finals and Kevin Durant was named NBA Finals MVP? And, most pressing of all, we question whether LeBron, at age 32, has peaked. 

Find out who has the hottest take (or is it takedown?) on our first episode of Square Up.

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How Rhude, One of the Best L.A. Brands, Started With a Single T-Shirt

In 2012, Rhuigi Villasenor designed a black/white paisley bandana T-shirt. “It was a nod to West Coast culture,” says the 25-year-old L.A.-based designer. It was the very first thing he created for Rhude, the brand he founded a year later, and the piece that helped catapult the label.

Kendrick [Lamar] wanted the T-shirt,” says Villasenor. “Snoop [Dogg] was like, ‘I need about 100 of those.’”

Villasenor had no intention of selling the T-shirt at first. “I didn’t want anyone else to have my look,” he says. But he eventually gave it to Lamar, who wore black and red versions to the BET Awards. “It was beautiful,” he says. “It changed my life.”

Kendrick Lamar Rhude Bandana tee
Kendrick Lamar wearing Rhude Black Bandana T-shirt. (Image via Getty)

At the encouragement of his friends Chris Stamp and Guillermo Andrade, designers of Stampd and 424, respectively, Villasenor also made the bandana T-shirt available to the public. “Chris was like, ‘If you don’t make the shirt, I will,’” Villasenor says with a laugh. “I was like, ‘Oh shit! I gotta make this.’” Soon, other brands were making knock-offs of his design.

Since then, Rhude has built a solid fanbase. The brand, which has expanded from tees to a full line, is one of the best men’s labels around. It’s been worn by celebrities—Big Sean, ASAP Rocky, Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, Offset, Future, Bella Hadid—and sold at dozens of the best retailers, such as Barneys, SSENSE, Patron of the New, 424, and Union.

Big Sean Wearing Rhude Peace Camo Hoodie
Big Sean wearing Rhude Peace Camo hoodie. (Image via Getty)

Born in Manila, Philippines, Villasenor was always interested in clothing but a career in fashion didn’t seem viable. His father, who was an architect, wanted him to work in the medical field. “The arts is something they frown upon in the Filipino culture,” he explains. “So I didn’t think about that at all.”

But during his senior year of high school, he started working with TISA, the clothing label by producer and Kanye West collaborator Taz Arnold, helping in any way he could. (He met Arnold at one of TISA’s parties in L.A.) “I was consulting, I did videos and campaigns,” he says. He wasn’t being paid, but he considered the experience valuable. “At the time, I thought TISA was the first driving force in L.A. ever. Prices were increasing, and kids were purchasing. After [TISA], it was like a domino effect. You couldn’t see kids spend just $20 on a T-shirt anymore.”

Kendrick Lamar Rhude Bandana tee
Image via Getty

From there, he began taking pattern making classes and assisting stylists for guys like Big Sean. At 19, he interned for British menswear designer Shaun Samson. “At the time, [Comme des Garcons designer] Rei Kawakubo had just said he was an influential designer so I was like, ‘Damn. If Rei Kawakubo is calling him that then I gotta pay attention,” he says. “Shaun taught me so much about design.”

Growing up, his family had very little money and he couldn’t afford the clothes he wanted to wear. So, he decided to make his own. “It was hard to get fresh,” he says. “You had to create your own, start boosting, or wear bootleg. I wasn’t about to be the kid that wore bootleg.” In 2013, he launched Rhude.

Rhude Fall/Winter 2017
Rhude's Fall/Winter 2017 “Motorpsycho” Collection. (Image via Rhude)

Rhude borrows from Villasenor’s personal stories and relationships. The moniker itself honors his family’s tradition of names that start with “Rh.” Many of the collections are extensions of his emotions and experiences. The Spring 2016 “Sugarland” collection—ripped jeans, tees with cigarette burns, and logo-heavy jackets—was inspired by a breakup with a girl he spent a lot of time with in Texas. “I envisioned a kid who was trying to break out of a small city but didn’t really know how to find a way out,” he explains. “The kid ends up joining the military, comes back with PTSD, and is lost.” The theme bleeds into Rhude’s Spring/Summer 2017 “Electric Eather” and Fall/Winter 2017 “Motorpsycho” collections. “‘Electric Earth’ would be the recover from that breakup,” says Villasenor. “‘Motorpsycho would be the, ‘I’m done. I’m hanging out.’ It’s like I’m writing volumes.”

Rhude Spring 2016
Rhude's Spring 2016 “Sugarland” Collection. (Image via Rhude)

Rhude is still a relatively small operation, with only a staff of six full-time employees. But Villasenor has big plans for his brand. In a few weeks, he’ll release Rhude’s trendy track pants, which ASAP Rocky has already been seen wearing. Later this year, he’ll expand the brand to include womenswear and footwear, as well as a possible collaboration with Virgil Abloh’s Off-White label. “Virgil and I are figuring that out,” he says. “That Off-White x Rhude.” (The pair recently made tie-dye hoodies for friends and family only.) He hopes to someday open a flagship store in Sugar Land, Texas, but one more similar to the Prada Marfa, a permanently installed sculpture by artists Elmgreen and Dragset also in Texas, than a traditional brick and mortar.

“I’m about to take over the world,” he says.

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Kevin Durant Claps Back at Twitter Trolls Who Are Talking Trash

The NBA Finals are over, which means Kevin Durant is back on Twitter.

KD has a lot of time on his hands, basking in the glory of his first NBA title. Apparently, he has so much time that he took it upon himself to address a few Twitter users who have been all up in his mentions with their hot takes and other random insults. Here’s him going in a few days ago:

Today, Durant is still being a savage. It all started when he complemented Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi, who became the WNBA’s all-time scoring leader following the team’s win against the Los Angeles Sparks (90-59) in L.A. From there, KD was having some fun, getting into an argument with one superfan from OKC. A “fart in your face” insult was actually hurled.

At this point, you're probably wondering why KD is even engaging in social media at all. Everyone needs to blow off steam somehow, right?

But this might be the real reason. Says “the legend”:

LOL. Nice curve.

Keep doing you, KD.

Send all complaints, compliments, and tips to sportstips@complex.com.

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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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