James Harden Cooks T-Wolves; Russell Westbrook Does Not Shut Sh*t Down | Out of Bounds

On today’s show, Gilbert Arenas and the #OutofBounds crew talk about Gil’s best NBA prank before discussing the Rockets’ eye-popping 50-point third quarter against the Timberwolves, as well as the problematic Thunder, who fell into a 3-1 hole versus the Jazz. Plus, OOB judges Mitt Romney’s game apparel in “Fire Fit.” Next, the team looks ahead to tonight’s slate of Game 5’s in the Bucks-Celtics, Heat-76ers, and Spurs-Warriors series. After that, OOB reacts to Kevin Durant advising Giannis Antetokounmpo to “play for himself” and not get caught up in loyalty or love for Milwaukee. Finally, in “Fair or Foul?” Gil and the guys weigh in on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ plan to have a parrot announce one of their picks in this weekenda��s NFL draft….

00:20 a�� That time Gil pranked Andray Blatche

3:50 a�� What the Rockets’ 50-point, third quarter explosion means

7:55 a�� OKC’s many problems

13:35 a�� “Fire Fit” Mitt Romney edition 

16:50 a�� Will the Bucks finally assert their dominance over the injury-depleted Celtics?
19:50 a�� Will the Sixers close out the Heat in Philly?
25:18 a�� Is it a wrap for the Spurs facing the Warriors in Oakland?
27:24 a�� KD advises Giannis to “play for himself”
35:45 a�� A parrot will announce a Buccaneers draft pick. Fair or Foul? 

37:48 a�� Gil’s story of getting drafted

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Guess Who LeBron James Thinks Should Win NBA MVP?

LeBron James is the best basketball player alive, and he has been for more than 10 years. He has not won an MVP, however, since 2013. LeBron is always near the top of the list, but in recent years, he has fallen just short of the Herculean efforts of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Russell Westbrook.

Someday, we'll probably look back on LeBron's career and wonder, How did he only win X MVPs? Right now, that number is four (2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013), but considering how good he has looked of late, it's quite possible he'll add to that total in the coming years.

It seems a practical impossibility, though, that he'll add a notch to his MVP list this season. James Harden has simply been too good. That doesn't change the fact that King James thinks he should win the 2017-18 MVP.

“I would vote for me,” LeBron told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “The body of work, how I'm doing it, what’s been happening with our team all year long, how we've got so many injuries and things of that nature, guys in and out, to be able to still keep this thing afloat, I definitely would vote me.”

James won't win the award this year, but he'll likely be a finalist, and he certainly deserves praise. What he's doing in his 15th season is truly astounding.

“At this point in my career, I'm just trying to break the mold, break the narrative of guys in their 15th year…I'm trying to do things that have never been done before,” James said. “It's crazy because I'm not setting out to do it. It's just kind of happening organically. I'm just training my body and training my mind and going out and playing and seeing what happens.”

We talk about the G.O.A.T. all the time, but LeBron is establishing his legacy as the indubitable endurance G.O.A.T. No one else has played the game at this high of a level for this long.

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LeBron James and Kevin Durant Respond to Fox News Host’s ‘Shut Up and Dribble’ Comment

Both  LeBron James and Kevin Durant  have responded to Fox News host Laura Ingraham's “shut up and dribble” comment about the pair voicing their opinions about President Donald Trump.

Both James and Durant have long been critical of Trump, and their interview with ESPN’s Cari Champion was no different when politics came up. The undertones of Ingraham's words were not lost on either player.  James took to Instagram with a picture of a neon sign proclaiming he's “more than an athlete” and coined a new hashtag on the caption: #Wewillnotshutupanddribble.

 

#wewillnotshutupanddribble

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on Feb 16, 2018 at 7:47pm PST

 

Durant spoke about the issue in an interview. “To me, it was racist,” he told USA Today Sports. “What does (skin color) have to do with anything? We all have an opinion, just like she has an opinion that I disagree with.” He went on to explain that as an American citizen, he has just as much right to share his political beliefs as anyone regardless of his position in the NBA. 

“That was definitely an ignorant comment. I do play basketball, but I am a civilian and I am a citizen of the United States, so my voice is just as loud as hers,” Durant said. “I don’t play basketball 24 hours a day. I live in this world, just like everybody else. I don’t get what she’s saying, but I know what she’s trying to say.”

Durant also added that he thinks Ingraham might even be inspired by the two players if she spent time around them. “Not just me or LeBron but guys in our position,” he explained, “anybody of another color who has risen up and done something positive in life…It’s kind of sad that she’s so close-minded.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and Warriors React to Suffering Worst Loss of Season Against Jazz

The Warriors once again look like the favorites to win the NBA Finals this season. At 40-11, they are heads and tails above every other team in the league. But throughout the course of the season, they have shown that they can be beaten—and even blown out—when they don’t put forth their best effort.

Back in late October, the Warriors sustained a 111-101 loss to the Grizzlies in Memphis, just days after knocking off the Rockets in their season-opening game. In late November, Golden State got trounced by the Thunder 108-91 in Oklahoma City. And earlier this month, the Warriors got their rear ends kicked at home by the Clippers 125-106 in a game that featured Lou Williams going off for 50 points. It doesn’t happen often, but those teams have shown that, if you catch the Warriors on an off night, you can give them a taste of their own medicine.

On Tuesday night, the Jazz were the latest team to unexpectedly beat up on the Warriors. Ricky Rubio notched a double-double with 23 points and 11 assists and Joe Ingles knocked down a career-high six three-pointers on his way to 20 points as Utah jumped all over Golden State at home en route to a 129-99 win. The 30-point loss was the Warriors’ worst loss of the season so far.

After the game, several Warriors players tried to explain what happened. Kevin Durant, who scored 17 points during the contest, put a lot of the blame on himself. He admitted to not doing a very good job on the defensive side of the ball while guarding Ingles.

“I can’t let Joe Ingles get loose on 3s like that and expect us to play well on the road, especially in here,” KD said. “I got to start off the game better if we want to win games.”

Steph Curry, who scored just 14 points on 1-for-7 shooting from behind the three-point line, wasn’t happy with the way his team played as a whole. He revealed that, during the fourth quarter, he told Draymond Green it was one of the worst games he’s ever seen the current Warriors team play.

“I asked Draymond on the bench in the fourth quarter if he could remember that bad of a performance that we’ve had in recent memory,” Curry said, “and we really can’t. You can’t just show up, especially on the road, and expect to win. That’s kind of cheating the game.”

Green, meanwhile, was slightly less concerned than his teammates were about the Warriors’ putrid performance. He said he actually thought the Warriors were going to pull off a massive comeback at some point. And even though they weren’t ultimately able to do it, he didn’t sound too worried about what the loss would mean for his team in the long run.

“I'm just foolish enough to believe that we always have a chance,” Green said. “So even going into that fourth quarter, I'm like, 'OK, here we go. All right, here comes a run. They're playing great, but they can't really get over 16, 18. We can cover that really quick. Here we go.' It just ain't never happen for us. So it's cool.”

But Warriors head coach Steve Kerr wasn’t as forgiving as Green was. He attempted to light a fire under the Warriors by blasting them for their “pathetic effort.” He also referred to the “disgusting basketball” he saw them play while speaking with reporters after the game.

“We just didn’t start out the game with any force defensively,” Kerr said. “We weren’t staying into bodies, they were just stopping behind screens, we were lazy on our switches. We played with no sense of urgency, no sense of purpose.”

The good news for the Warriors is that they should have a good chance to bounce back from their loss to the Jazz during their next game on Friday night. They will travel to Sacramento to play the Kings, and seeing as how the Warriors already suffered a surprising loss to the Kings during a home game back in late November, they should have absolutely no trouble getting up for the game and getting back on track.

The Warriors will follow their game against the Kings with another road game against the Nuggets on Saturday night before returning home next Tuesday night for a nationally-televised matchup against the Thunder.

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Tyron Woodley Talks Conor McGregor, Dana White, and Future Of UFC | Out Of Bounds

On today’s episode of #OutOfBounds, special guest UFC Welterweight Champ, Tyron Woodley joins us with an unfiltered interview. He speaks on being UFC’S most hated fighter, his love/ hate relationship with Dana White, why Mayweather and McGregor was good for UFC, and Kevin Durant evaluating his brand.

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