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.
Complex's Speedy Morman hit up the Adidas LVL3 event in Las Vegas, Nevada to see how the brand's permeating basketball and hip-hop culture. In between interviews with the likes of Harden, Lillard, and Ingram, Speedy got caught up on the latest in Adidas basketball technology, and saw DJ Esco perform and host a dunk contest. Check out the video above.
If he was tipped off, he didn’t say. But if Lonzo Ball truly didn’t have assurance from the Lakers that he was going to be the second pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, he felt it in his bones. Or more accurately his feet.
Because sitting in the green room, off to the right of the podium where commissioner Adam Silver announced all 30 first round selections, Ball decided to switch shoes once the Lakers were on the clock.
Gone where the black hard bottoms he was sporting earlier. Out came a pair of the infamous Big Baller Brand ZO2s that retail for $495. Only these weren’t all black, like the ones that infamously debuted back in May. This pair was gold and purple—Lakers colors. And before Silver could say Ball’s name, he casually slipped on the sneakers because he just knew suiting up for his hometown team was his destiny.
“Just had a good feeling, and changed them five minutes before when they was on the clock, and I'm glad they called my name,” said Ball, in typically understated fashion.
The NBA’s signature fashion event, where 19-and-20-year-old kids get decked out in suits that would put every prom outside of Beverly Hills to shame, usually does not feature any wardrobe changes, other than the addition of a team hat once Silver calls your name. But Ball just might have authored an NBA first when he switched shoes in the middle of the draft.
Magic Johnson and the Lakers got their point guard of the present and future, one ESPN’s Jay Williams told us Wednesday could be “transcendent.”
Ball told Complex he changed “when [the Lakers] had the pick, right after Markelle” Fultz was chosen first by the Sixers. The Ball family had them hidden “right under the table” and Lonzo “had a feeling” he was about to be next selection. And that’s when he slipped into something way more comfortable and way more marketable than a pair of black dress shoes.
In the end, LaVar Ball, with his swagger on a hundred, thousand, trillion at Barclays Center, could do his damn thing, talk his talk, and most especially walk his signature walk. His son was drafted to the only team he ever wanted him to play for, the team he predicted months ago would wind up with his son. LaVar proved to be a prophet.
The man behind Big Baller Brand was surprisingly absent as Lonzo made his way through the arena's bowels, talking to reporters, taking part in NBA sanctioned obligations, and getting hounded by little kids for autographs. Usually, new draftees are paraded all over the arena with their handlers and based on how hands-on LaVar has been, it wasn’t out of the question to expect him to tail his son. But maybe it was by design that he didn’t, or maybe it was just happenstance that papa Ball had to stick around with the rest of his brood and babysit the younger LiAngelo and LaMelo while Lonzo basked in his crowning achievement of his 19 years of existence.
We didn’t really get to witness the bragging and boasting of LaVar afterward, which would have been gold. But he got what he wanted, what he predicted. And we, as NBA fans, got what was basically expected from the darft.
With the rest of the top 10 relatively bereft of drama, Lonzo winding up with the Lakers was arguably the biggest draft-specific story of the night. Lakers exec Magic Johnson got his point guard of the present and future, one ESPN’s Jay Williamstold us Wednesday could be “transcendent.” Predictably, Lonzo was about as emotive as a robot, barely smiling or acting like a giddy teenager you’d expect most kids in his position to be.
But at least he was rocking the freshest kicks in the house, the ones nobody else was wearing or could get their hands at the time, the ones that he can most definitely afford now that's he's a Laker.
Like most Knicks fans right now, Stephen A. Smith is pretty upset about all of the Kristaps Porzingis trade rumors that are flying around at the moment. But don’t just take our word for it. Instead, check out how animated he got at the start of his The Stephen A. Smith Show on Tuesday afternoon when he launched into a passionate tirade against Phil Jackson right at the top of the show:
And believe it or not—OK, you believe it…—SAS has only gotten more upset over the Porzingis rumors since then, especially since Jackson is now talking like a guy who is actually considering the idea of trading Porzingis at some point in the very near future.
But on Thursday morning’s episode of ESPN First Take, SAS let his emotions get the best of him, and he said something that’s probably not going to sit real well with former NBA star Lamar Odom. While discussing some of the questionable transactions Jackson has made since joining the Knicks in 2014, SAS brought up one of Jackson’s very first moves as Knicks team president, which involved him signing Odom—who hadn’t played in the NBA at all during the 2013-14 NBA season—to a contract with the Knicks. It was a confusing move at the time, and it looked even more confusing when the Knicks waived Odom less than three months after signing him.
But while talking about Jackson’s decision to sign Odom, SAS said this:
The New York Daily Newshas also pointed out that signing Odom was not Jackson’s first move as Knicks team president as SAS said. He actually signed Shannon Brown to a contract through the remainder of the 2013-14 NBA season about a month before extending one to Odom. So outside of being disrespectful while discussing Odom, SAS was also just plain wrong.
SAS went on to try and downplay his comment about Odom. “I love Lamar Odom the person, and God bless him, and we’re wishing nothing but the best,” he said.
But something tells us that love might not be reciprocated the next time SAS and Odom cross paths.
Kristaps Porzingis is the latest person of interest to be publicly called out for attempted Instagram flirtations. On an Instagram post from lash artist and model Ines Nikić earlier this week, the New York Knicks star dropped some hearts:
A post shared by Ines Nikić (@ines_nikic) on May 31, 2017 at 4:49pm PDT
In a post showing someone who is presumably her boyfriend, Ines Nikić tagged Porzingis and inquired about the peacefulness of his sleep. The Instagram exchange was quickly turned into a joke on Twitter:
As Sports Illustrated noted in their thrilling report on an Instagram comment, this isn't the first time Porzingis has employed Instagram for his public flirtations. Back in February, he commented on a photo of model Abigail Ratchford and got a relatively immediate response. Porzingis again used his preferred emoji on the following photo, prompting a similarly emoji-centered response from Ratchford:
Kristaps Porzingis is supposed to be the player to lead the New York Knicks into a new era once their established stars are phased out of the team. After a strong rookie season, Knicks fans were rightfully excited to begin dreaming about how prime Porzingis would impact the franchise.
They need to make sure he's still on the roster to do that, however. With Porzingis in the midst of an overseas trip, the young big man tweeted (and quickly deleted) the name of an NBA franchise on the opposite coast—the Los Angeles Clippers:
There are a million explanations for this tweet, and not all of them are negative. Porzingis has been gallivanting around Barcelona, and there's a decent chance one of his friends grabbed his phone while they were clubbing in the middle of the night, sending a tweet just to mess with people.
But the broader context is more ominous. Porzingis is in the midst of a cold war with the Knicks' front office, having skipped the exit meeting he was supposed to have with Knicks president Phil Jackson. Once other teams got wind of his frustration with New York's management, they began inquiring about his availability in trade talks, according to ESPN's Ian Begley.
Porzingis' quickly-deleted (and as of yet unexplained) tweet could be another warning shot for Knicks brass. Fans reacted how you might expect—with sheer shock and anger at the prospect of losing a potential franchise player:
The Clippers could be in the market for a big shake-up this summer after another early playoff exit, so it wouldn't be shocking if they were one of the teams inquiring about Porzingis' availability. It should take a ton for any team to acquire the talented Latvian, but if Porzingis continues to send signs of dissatisfaction, the Knicks will find it harder and harder to deal with the disgruntled star.