Damian Lillard Talks New Album and Kyrie Irving Trade on ‘Everyday Struggle’

On today's Everyday Struggle, NBA superstar Damian Lillard joins Joe Budden, DJ Akademiks, and Nadeska to talk about a variety of hot topics including the Migos flow, Drake's tattoos, and his album (under the rap alias Dame D.O.L.L.A.). Mixed in with the news is Dame's thoughts on everything happening in the NBA, from Kevin Durant's secret Twitter to Kyrie Irving's trade from the Cavs

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Joe Budden and DJ Akademiks Discuss Kodak Black’s Remix of Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” on ‘Everyday Struggle’

On today's Everyday Struggle, Joe Budden, DJ Akademiks, and Nadeska break down the day of news, which includes the official “Bodak Yellow” remix with Kodak Black, Budden responding to Lil Uzi Vert, and much more. In addition, the crew talk about Partynextdoor's supposed shots at Kehlani on his new song and Kevin Durant's recent Twitter fail

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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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Lil B Threatens to Put BasedGod Curse on Lonzo Ball for Nas Comments

If you're an athlete of any reasonable stature, the last thing you want is to be afflicted by a curse that keeps you from maximizing your success. One man has been at the center of athlete curses over the last few years, and it appears the BasedGod might have another victim in mind.

So who's the guilty party this time? It's not an NBA All-Star, it's not a veteran who has tortured Lil B's favorite team, and in fact, it's not even a player who has participated in an NBA game yet. This time, it's a rookie, as Lonzo Ball appears to be the newest target for the BasedGod's curse.

If you haven't been paying attention, the comment Lil B is referring to came earlier in the week, when Ball dismissed the relevance of the Queensbridge legend, declaring more recent rappers are “real hip hop” in an episode of the Ball clan's new reality series, Ball in the Family. 

“Y’all outdated, man. Don’t nobody listen to Nas anymore,” said Ball. “Real hip-hop is Migos, Future.”

As you might expect, a teenager disrespecting Nas—a rapper with some of the greatest albums of all-time under his belt—did not go over well with the public, and Lil B is on the verge of taking the backlash to a completely different level. With Ball on the verge of joining former cursed athletes like James Harden and Kevin Durant, the BasedGod's warning was met with applause on Twitter.

The BasedGod also made sure to mention departed Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell, who drew the ire of plenty when he dimed out the habits of former teammate Nick Young. Lil B seems displeased about the character of recent Lakers point guards, Ball included.

So far, the BasedGod's curse has done nothing to slow down the Ball family's takeover of all things sports and pop culture. The loudmouth behind Big Baller Brand, LaVar Ball, is all set to make an appearance in NBA 2K18. Yes, even in a video game you can be told you're not a big baller.

They're not out of the woods yet, however. It sounds like things could get real bad, real fast for the Ball clan if Lonzo doesn't get his act together.

And the family is taking this threat seriously, or so it seems, because the youngest member of the family, LaMelo Ball, is singing Lil B's praises on Twitter.

Since the BasedGod recently lifted the curse on Harden and welcomed Durant to the Bay Area with open arms, there almost needs to be a new high-profile athlete in his sights. Enter Ball, who now has this to weigh on top of the usual rookie pressure. Good luck, kid. 

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

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Watch Kevin Durant Take on the Hot Ones Challenge

Last week, Kevin Durant invited Sean Evans to the YouTube Space in L.A. for a special livestream featuring some of his favorite YT creators. For those who missed it or want to relive the action, here's our version of the Hot Ones interview—now with more bomb drops! As he marches through the wings of death, KD opens up about his rap dreams, Twitter clapbacks, and the one NBA player he'll never take style advise from. 

Subscribe to Kevin Durant's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB_4C2Gl7Zfg4uBXk_AcWwA

Subscribe to the First We Feast channel and never miss an episode of Hot Ones.

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Kevin Durant Is Sticking By the Creepy 2011 Tweet He Sent Out About Scarlett Johansson

Yes, Kevin Durant would still drink Scarlett Johansson’s bath water.

Kevin Durant Responds to Rumors of LeBron James Leaving Cleveland

With news that not one but two star players from the Cleveland Cavaliers might be leaving NBA, fans have had a lot to discuss in recent days. On August 16, Chris Sheridan of ESPN tweeted that an NBA insider has confirmed LeBron James 100% has intentions of leaving the Cavs due to a strained relationship with owner Dan Gilbert. Folks have pointed out that the disagreement may be, at least partially, political in nature as Gilbert is a fan of reality star Donald Trump. The Cavs owner reportedly donated $750,000 to Trump's campaign. LeBron on the other hand is known for his dislike of the failed businessman turned president.   

Previous to the news of James' possible departure, there has been considerable amount of talk that Kyrie Irving is also leaving Cleveland. The news of Irving's request to leave the team reportedly “disappointed” LeBron. Rumors of James leaving the Cavs have been around for a while. Some have suggested he might be heading west to the Lakers. Lebron does have a no-trade clause in his contract.

Enter rapper Lil Dicky and Kevin Durant. The two weighed in on the LeBron departure rumors with a frank discussion for all to see via Twitter. The rapper kicked it off by tweeting “If I'm Cleveland, I'm one thousand percent trading LeBron.” Durant responded, “u can't trade a legend. He is Cleveland, he gets to hold the cards.” 

Check out the exchange below. 

Stay tuned to see how all this trade talk pans out. 

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Stephen A. Smith’s Bizarre History of Beefing With NBA Players

Stephen A. Smith has criticized LeBron James for all kinds of crazy reasons over the course of the last decade. From the time he ripped him for tweeting about playing in the NFL rather than worrying about winning his first NBA title, to the time he said LeBron will never be able to match Michael Jordan’s legacy, SAS has gone in on James early and often, on TV shows like ESPN First Take and on his various social media accounts.

Despite all of the shots SAS has taken at LeBron over the years, though, there has never really been any “beef” between the two men because, for the most part, LeBron has steered clear of responding to anything SAS has said about him. Even though some of the stuff has no doubt gotten under LeBron’s skin, he's shied away from responding to almost everything SAS has said and reported about him, so tensions between the two haven’t escalated.

But that all changed on Tuesday when LeBron decided to respond to a report that SAS put out earlier this week. If you somehow missed it, SAS was doing his daily ESPN Radio show on Monday when he revealed that “sources” in LeBron's camp told him that LeBron is “tempted to beat [Kyrie Irving's] ass” as a result of the recent trade rumors swirling around Irving and the Cavaliers. SAS reported that a source told him LeBron wasn’t necessarily upset with Irving because of the rumors, but rather, he was upset because his name was being dragged into the discussion and he was being cited as one of the reasons Irving wanted out of Cleveland.

LeBron took to Twitter to shoot down that report. He used the hashtag #NotFacts and told people to “get another source” if they want the truth about the state of his current relationship with Irving:

SAS very well could have just taken to Twitter himself and said that he was standing behind his original report. But if you know SAS, then you know that he would never do something that quietly. So rather than going in that direction, SAS unloaded on LeBron during a 15-minute rant on his radio show on Tuesday. He reiterated what he said in his original report on LeBron and Irving.

“If LeBron James was in front of Kyrie Irving, I was told, quote, he would be tempted to whoop his ass,” SAS said. “That’s what was told to me. I did not speculate, I did not put that out there, it was told to me. Verbatim.”

SAS also seemed to threaten LeBron during his rant; he said if LeBron wanted to play hard ball with him, he was prepared to tell “the real story about what happened with LeBron James against Boston the spring before he decided to leave Cleveland and take his talents to South Beach.” It was a reference to the struggles LeBron endured during his final playoff series as a Cavalier prior to his signing with the Heat in 2010.

You can listen to SAS go off on LeBron here:

SAS followed that up with another rant on First Take Wednesday morning. Even though he’s on vacation from the show right now, he made a special appearance to continue ripping LeBron:

He went on The Dan LeBatard Show With Stugotz and continued his anti-LeBron rant there, too:

Does the idea of one of ESPN’s leading NBA analysts/reporters going off on the best basketball player in the world seem crazy to you? Us, too. While we admit we’ve been entertained by the SAS vs. LeBron drama—especially since this is traditionally a pretty dead time of year for sports—it seems strange to see a beef like this playing out on ESPN.

But we really shouldn’t be all that surprised by it. SAS has, after all, spent quite a bit of time beefing with professional athletes in recent years. From Arian Foster and Josh Gordon to Martavis Bryant and Michael Bennett, he has refused to fall back when pro athletes have called him out for one reason or another. But in particular, SAS has been involved in some really bizarre beefs with NBA players.

Back in May 2014, SAS was involved in a brief beef with then-Warriors center Andrew Bogut, one that was pretty tame when compared to his most recent beef with LeBron. It started after SAS accused Bogut of having “no heart.” He went as far as to suggest Bogut’s teammates called him the “Tin Man” behind his back:

SAS also referred to Bogut as “Andrew Bogus.” At that point, Bogut decided he had heard enough. A few weeks later, Bogut made an appearance on a podcast in Australia and said that SAS is “just a wanker.”

A few months later, SAS also got into it with then-76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams after Carter-Williams wrote a lengthy article for The Players’ Tribune. In the piece, he touched on the time the Sixers set a new NBA record by losing their 27th game in a row in the spring of 2014. He accused reporters like SAS of suggesting that the Sixers were losing games on purpose.

Carter-Williams also said he believes SAS is “playing a character” every time he goes on TV. That prompted SAS to fire back at him on social media, where he seemingly warned Carter-Williams by telling him to “be careful who you try and call out”:

But SAS’ most notable beef with an NBA player—prior to his beef with LeBron, at least—took place in the fall of 2015 when he got into a war of words with Kevin Durant. During the NBA offseason that year, SAS reported that he had heard KD might end up on the Knicks alongside Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant. KD responded to that report by saying SAS was “lying.” He also said SAS didn’t know anyone in his inner circle, as he had suggested in his initial report.

KD's comments led SAS to go on a now-infamous rant on First Take that included him saying, “You do not want to make an enemy out of me”:

SAS added: “This implication that I don’t know stuff? Y’all better think twice about that. Because when these NBA games come, you’re going to see me at these arenas, and remember what I said to you: I can find out more in 10 minutes at a basketball arena than I can on the phone with 50 different people inside of two weeks. Think about that, and ask yourself: Do you really want to go there?”

Some people might have toned down their act after all of the controversy that the situation with KD caused. But SAS has continued to beef with NBA players since then.

In early 2016, SAS engaged in a back-and-forth with former NBA star Glenn Robinson. According to an interview Robinson did with TMZ Sports, the beef started back when he was still playing in the league, after SAS wrote something about him that he didn’t like. It reignited after SAS appeared on SiriusXM’s Karen Hunter Show and accused Robinson of not following the pro-black agenda he preached during his playing days:

“I saw this man march lock step with what [former Bucks head coach] George Karl wanted to do…but Randy Ayers became the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers…you treated this man like trash,” SAS said. “But you’ll come and talk to reporters about how brothers need to facilitate brothers being hired, but you had one and how’d you treat him?”

That beef ended with Robinson proposing a cage match between him and SAS:

And as recently as June, SAS got tangled up with former NBA player Lamar Odom after he made a wildly disrespectful comment on First Take. While criticizing then-Knicks team president Phil Jackson on the show, SAS pointed out that one of Jackson’s first moves with the Knicks in 2015 was to sign Odom, who was, in his words, “on crack”:

Odom fired back through his lawyer, who sent a letter to ESPN concerning SAS’ comments about his battle with drug addiction. “To say his conduct was outrageous and unacceptable does not scratch the surface,” the letter said. “We hope those at ESPN will actively voice their disdain for Mr. Smith’s inappropriate statement and take the proper action to support those that are fighting this disease.”

SAS responded by issuing an apology of sorts, in which he said that the comments he made were meant to be directed at Jackson and “were NOT to put any more focus on Lamar Odom’s much publicized drug use and addiction.”

He added: “Lamar Odom was not the focus of my ire. My comments were entirely, totally, meant for Phil Jackson.”

If all of this proves anything, it’s that when you spend as much time as SAS does debating sports on TV, on the radio, and on social media, you’re going to upset athletes eventually. They’re going to take issue with some of the things that you say and report, and they’re going to call you out for it. It comes with the territory, especially when you're as vocal about your opinions as SAS often is.

But it’s still pretty crazy to see just how willing SAS is to beef with some of the biggest names in the sport that he covers the closest. And after seeing how far he’s been willing to take his beef with LeBron this week, we can’t help but wonder how long he’s going to keep this up.

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Kevin Durant Clapped Back at Troll Who Joked About Him Leaving OKC

It doesn’t seem like it’s all that difficult to get under Kevin Durant’s skin on social media. Over the last few years, KD has gotten into the habit of reading his mentions on Twitter and responding accordingly. He went in on a bunch of trolls who tried to attack him on Twitter after he won his first NBA title in June and added to his growing list of epic Twitter clapbacks in the process.

And it doesn’t appear as though KD is going to let up anytime soon, either. On Monday night, he took to Twitter to respond to a few of the people who crowd into his mentions on a daily basis. And while the majority of his responses were G-rated and focused mostly on his basketball opinions, KD just couldn’t resist the urge to clap back at one troll who made a dumb joke about him leaving Oklahoma City.

In his tweet, the fan claimed he named his dog after KD and the dog left him:

KD responded by calling the fan a piece of… poop emoji:

The fan eventually admitted that his dog didn’t really run away from him:

But he did prove that his dog really is named after KD by posting this:

He also seemed to take pride in the fact that KD apparently made Steph Curry laugh by clapping back at him:

He wasn’t the only fan to feel the wrath of KD on Monday. This fan tried to troll KD by suggesting that he “bought” his first championship ring:

KD asked him how much it cost:

KD also responded to this fan who brought up an old tweet from someone who told KD he wasn’t allowed to talk until he went 15-1 in the postseason, which he obviously did during the 2017 NBA Playoffs:

But KD's tweet directed at the guy with the dog was the best of the bunch. And it showed, once again, why it’s silly to spend any time trolling KD online.

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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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