Lil Rel Details Kyrie Irving’s Unfiltered Reaction to Finding Out He Was Leaving Cleveland

The trade is now part of NBA lore, one we will likely debate for years, maybe even decades, to come: in August 2017, the two best teams in the Eastern Conference swapped star guards. Boston sent Isaiah Thomas (along with Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Nets' 2018 first-round pick) to Cleveland. In return, the Cavs sent over the heralded young floor general Kyrie Irving.

The Celtics were the clear winners of the deal. Irving has blossomed in his new role as Boston's alpha, while Thomas and Crowder did not live up to expectations in Cleveland. The Cavs rallied, however, and flipped Thomas and Crowder to acquire valuable assets at the trade deadline, so the trade wasn't a total wash for the Cavs.

Before Sunday night's Oscars, actor Lil Rel Howery, who had a role in Get Out and stars in the new Uncle Drew movie alongside Irving, shared a story about Irving's response when the trade went through.

“The dopest moment was when the trade actually went through, he was so happy, man,” Lil Rel said on the red carpet. “We was in the middle of a scene. We was shooting a scene, his homeboy comes in and whispers in his ear and he just runs out the—we filming—he just runs out, we was in the club shooting a scene, runs out. So happy. He comes back and everybody's applauding. And it was a dancing scene, so when you see it and he's really getting it, that was real life. He was really happy.”

The Uncle Drew film debuts June 29. Check out a trailer, which briefly shows Irving dancing in the club, below.

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From ‘Get Out’ to Balling With Kyrie Irving, Lil Rel Howery Isn’t Done Having the Best Year Ever

After starring in Jordan Peele’s Oscar-nominated ‘Get Out,’ Lil Rel Howery has gone on to star in HBO’s Insecure, The Carmichael Show and now he has a starring role alongside Kyrie Irving in ‘Uncle Drew’ as well as his own TV show on the horizon. The Chicago comedian comedian is still having the best year ever.

Gil Violates; Jon Jones Knocks Himself Out; Fixing the NFL | Out of Bounds

The NFL is getting something right for a change?! Word is the league’s competition committee is serious about changing its confusing and controversial catch rule. Gilbert Arenas and the #OutofBounds crew discuss that, as well as some other potential rule changes that they don’t all support (not everybody gives AF about player safety, apparently). Then, following LeBron’s comments that the NCAA is “corrupt” and young players need a viable alternative to college and overseas leagues, the team talks about how realistic it is for the G League to become a farm system. In discussing his experience at the University of Arizona, Gil learns that he may have violated a whole gang of rules, before explaining why he hates Duke and Coach K with a passion. Next, the guys look ahead to the weekend’s big Celtics-Rockets primetime matchup in “In Play” and wonder if Boston’s stout D can stop Houston’s roll, and Gil explains his problem with Kyrie Irving. Finally, in the wake of the California State Athletic Commission punishing former UFC champ Jon Jones for his second positive steroid test, OOB checks his excuses and tries to decide if he’s the most disappointing athlete to squander their talent.

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Isaiah Thomas Says Cavs ‘Were in Panic Mode’ When They Traded Him

Los Angeles Lakers’ point guard Isaiah Thomas has a simple explanation for the blockbuster February trade that resulted in him getting swapped for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.

“It’s a business,” Thomas told ESPN during an interview for the network’s E:60 program. “And the Cavs were, I mean, they were in panic mode. We were losing—a lot. And I think they felt like they needed to make a move, and they, they basically cleared house.”

Thomas and Channing Frye were shipped to the Lakers, while the Cavs acquired Rodney Hood and George Hill in a separate three-way deal with the Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings. The flurry of trades that saw the Cavs trade six players and a draft pick to bring in four new additions came shortly after the team posted a 6-12 record from Christmas through February 3.

A large portion of the blame fell on Thomas, who only logged 15 games with the Cavs after spending a significant portion of the season rehabbing from a hip injury. As the losses piled up, he reportedly called out Kevin Love, questioned his teammates’ effort, and implied the coaching staff failed to make adjustments. He also found himself on the wrong end of a hilarious meme.

“People don’t put in there that we had eight or nine new players,” Thomas added. “So it was basically a brand new team…I’m in a new system—new team, new coach, new players. And then I’ve been off for seven months. So I got to get—individually, I got to for the most part get my rhythm back, get my timing back.”

Much like Thomas, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman has since conceded that the 2017 trade that initially brought Thomas to Cleveland while shipping Kyrie Irving to Boston was a bust.

“Did it fit? Did it work? Probably not,” Altman told Joe Vardon of shortly after trading Thomas and Frye to Los Angeles. “So with those pieces, we decided to shuffle the deck and get younger and get some youthful talent with energy and enthusiasm.”

Thomas finished fifth in MVP voting after the 2016-2017 season, and many around the league believe he’ll use his time with the rebuilding Lakers as an audition for a larger contract.

“Hopefully I’m here long term, you know, with me being a free agent this summer,” Thomas said. “But if I’m not, these last 25 games I’m going to play my heart out and show the Lakers why I should be here long term.”

Thomas’ full E:60 interview is scheduled to air March 11.

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The List of Crazy LeBron James Conspiracy Theories Just Keeps Growing

During NBA All-Star Weekend, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver mentioned that the league is considering potentially altering its playoff system. Instead of having the teams divided by conference—with seeds 1 through 8 in the East and seeds 1 through 8 in the West—the change would mean all 16 teams would compete in the same bracket, with East teams competing with West teams. In theory, seed 1 would play seed 16, much like the NCAA Tournament system.

On the surface, this is a reasonable change that could make the NBA Playoffs more interesting. As it stands now, the first round of the playoffs is pretty…lacking. This would shake things up.

But some people have already asked: Could this possibly all be a ploy to benefit LeBron James? That's the perspective Out Of Bounds host Gilbert Arenas espoused on Tuesday's episode of the show. Check out No Chill Gil's take in the video above. You can also catch the full episode below.


“Why would you want to change it now? Huh, if Adam Silver knows LeBron James is coming to the West Coast,” Gil said. “If LeBron James comes to the West Coast, this actually makes sense now.”

Indeed, where the King will play next season is a topic of much debate among NBA fans. People have said for over a year that they think he's headed to the Lakers, while others have linked him to the Rockets—both Western Conference teams. Either way, Gil's theory suggests the NBA is trying to set the playoff seedings up so that LeBron would still have a relatively easy path to the NBA Finals, even while playing in the West.

Gil's conspiracy theory is far from the only conspiracy theory that has been attached to LeBron's name throughout his illustrious 15-year career. Conspiracy theories following someone nicknamed “LBJ”? You don't say. (Word to Lyndon Baines Johnson, whom conspiracy theorists blame for the Kennedy assassination.)

Below are some of the wildest LeBron James conspiracy theories we've ever seen.

1. LeBron is headed to the Lakers because of…Space Jam 2?!

It feels like Space Jam 2 is never going to happen at this point, right? However, some believe signing with L.A. would give LeBron the buzz needed to raise the budget for the film. Director Justin Lin has confirmed the sequel is happening. We just don't know when.

2. The Spurs air conditioning conspiracy

The Spurs jumped to a 1-0 lead in the 2014 NBA Finals, and LeBron had to leave Game 1 in a pivotal moment because he cramped up in the fourth quarter. People accused San Antonio of intentionally messing with the A.C. to force the best player alive to check out of the game. That would be downright Belichickian.

3. We have to address Delonte West

Did former Cavs guard Delonte West have an affair with LeBron James' mom Gloria in 2010? We may never know, but West appeared to confirm the rumors in 2014.

4. Did a young LeBron intentionally blow a playoff game against Boston?

The Cavs played the Celtics in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals, and some accused him of intentionally blowing Game 6. The theory is that LeBron wanted out of Cleveland and he used that series to show the NBA he simply had to leave because he was working with so little talent.

5. Were he and Kyrie in it together?

All the drama that followed LeBron and former teammate Kyrie Irving this summer was so perfect and theatrical that it seemed staged. Was it possible they worked together to orchestrate a move that was ideal for both of their careers? Some think so.

6. Did he play a role in Eric Bledsoe's trade demand?

Eric Bledsoe demanded to be traded and eventually was—from the Phoenix Suns to the Milwaukee Bucks this past fall. Rich Paul, LeBron's agent and close friend, represents Bledsoe. Some believe LeBron was pulling the strings because he wanted Bledsoe to get out of Phoenix.

7. Really, anything could be turned into a LeBron conspiracy—even wine

Even an innocuous team trip to Napa Valley for a nice wine tasting has proven it could lead to conspiracies. People blamed the Cavs' 2017-18 struggles (which are maybe, possibly, probably over) on their love for the vino.

The Eastern Conference looks up for grabs right now. The Cavs are surging, but the Raptors and Celtics have been good all year. Regardless of how the playoffs shake out, you can bet more LBJ conspiracy theories will hit the internet in May and June—especially after he announces his free-agency decision. Get ready to add to this list.

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The Cavaliers and Lakers Just Pulled Off a Blockbuster Trade Involving Isaiah Thomas

Things never seemed quite right with Isaiah Thomas in Cleveland. Now, less than six months after the Cavaliers acquired Thomas in a massive deal with the Boston Celtics for Kyrie Irving, Cleveland has flipped the veteran guard in another blockbuster trade.

News of the trade broke Thursday on Twitter, with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski sharing details of the swap.

ESPN's Ramona Shelburne added that the Lakers plan to hold on to both former Cavaliers players.

All we can say is: WOW. We're sure there's much more to come on this deal.

The bottom line is, the Cavs had to make a move of some kind. Things were falling apart, and they're intent on making a fourth-straight NBA Finals run in what could be LeBron James' final season in The Land. It's likely LeBron had some type of say in this deal.

It will be fascinating to see how this move affects Cleveland's on- and off-court success in the second half of the NBA season. The Cavs are currently in third in the East, behind the Celtics and Raptors.

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Isaiah Thomas Has Reportedly Already Become a Favorite of Cavs Owner Dan Gilbert

The Cleveland Cavaliers seem to be one wrong move away from a full implosion. They've been through multiple losing skids this season, Kyrie Irving's replacement Isaiah Thomas isn't gelling with the team yet, and for some reason, nobody will leave Kevin Love alone—especially Thomas. Well despite all of the recent turmoil largely centered around the Cavs' new point guard, at least someone within the Cavs organization is fairly fond of I.T.: owner Dan Gilbert.

Following a very publicized team meeting that included Thomas allegedly at the center of an attack on Love, rumors are already swirling that Thomas is on the trading block just a month into his stint on the court for Cleveland. However, that seems unlikely after this latest news. According to Bleacher ReportThomas has already developed a very good relationship with the owner.

“Thomas has become a favorite of Gilbert, and they often exchange calls and text messages,” says the report. “This isn't necessarily unusual on a team with an owner who is as involved in the basketball side of things as Gilbert is. It also isn't great for locker room chemistry, because the rest of the players know it.”

One guy in Cleveland—the best player in the world, LeBron James—isn't exactly too fond of Gilbert, so Thomas buddying up with him probably has not boded well for locker room chemistry.

Thomas has not been taking the criticism against him sitting down. He apparently even believes the team can turn this all around.

This past Saturday, things got pretty uncomfortable when he was asked about his shot selection when he's on the floor affecting the team.

Clearly, these rifts are not just being fabricated by the media. There is a very real problem in the Cavs locker room right now, and if they don't fix it, they'll likely be sitting out the Finals this year.

At least all the recent issues led to this epic rant by Shannon Sharpe.

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Even Cavs Players Are Doubtful They Can Win a Championship This Season

Contrary to popular opinion, LeBron James is human after all, and though his run of seven consecutive trips to the NBA Finals might make him seem otherworldly, it doesn't make him invincible. This season more than ever, it feels like Cleveland is surviving rather than thriving. At some point, someone in the East is going to beat them. And after Cleveland's 118-108 home loss to the defending champion Golden State Warriors last night, we might've officially reached that point.

According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, there is growing discontent and a strong sense of concern within the Cleveland locker room. The Cavs are 26-17 with only three wins in their last 12 games. They got blown out by a combined 62 points against Toronto and Minnesota last week. They might have the worst defense in the entire NBA, and they've slid so far that many of the team's veterans now doubt whether they can fix their problems this season.

Age. One-dimensional role players. Defensive-issues that go far beyond fundamentals. Several prominent players told ESPN,, and The Athletic that the team's problems won't go away simply by getting healthy. 

This is not the first time we've heard grumblings coming out of Cleveland this season. Just last week, Yahoo! Sports reported there were complaints in the locker room about “personal agendas” getting in the way of success. Some Cavs players thought LeBron was chasing assists in an effort to win one final MVP award. Others didn't like coach Tyronn Lue's rotations. The bickering reeks of familiarity, like a family that's been living together far too long.

In past years during their inevitable regular season lapses, the team could lean on Kyrie Irving. But Irving is gone, and his replacement is a 28-year-old, 5'9″ defensive problem who may or may not ever be the same after returning from a major hip injury.

LeBron has to know all of this. He also knows Cleveland holds the rights to Brooklyn's first-round pick next summer—and that there are several names potentially available on the market. That pick and this year's trade deadline might be Cleveland's final chance to position themselves for one last run at a title. Among the NBA's contenders, they have the least to lose and the most to gain by making a deal.

No one ever expects a run to end before it does. Miami's Big Three era faded with a whimper, getting blitzed by 14 points per game against San Antonio in the 2014 Finals. Kobe's Lakers collapsed in a surprising sweep in 2011, burnt out and exhausted. Before that, it was Shaq and the Lakers getting old before our eyes and even before that, it was Houston and Hakeem Olajuwon getting run into the ground by Seattle and the Detroit Bad Boys wilting under the athleticism of Jordan's Bulls. 

Is this Cleveland's moment of reckoning? If it is, it shouldn't surprise anyone.

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Flat-Earth Truther Kyrie Irving Admits His Theory Came From IG

I honestly can’t listen to Kyrie Irving talk about his thoughts on the Earth being flat anymore. First, he said it was flat. Then, he said he was just trolling everyone. Then, he said he thought it was flat again. And now, well, now he just seems amused over the fact that everyone is so hung up on his opinion on the shape of the Earth. It’s maddening, to say the least.

But Irving is still talking about his flat Earth theory, and fortunately, there are other people out there who are listening to him talk and trying to make sense of it all. On Friday, J.J. Redick debuted a new episode of his Ringer podcast, and Irving, who has been over in London with Redick for a Celtics/76ers game, was his special guest. And they wasted absolutely no time getting into Irving's thoughts on flat Earth and other conspiracy theories. It all starts at about the 1:45 mark of the clip below.

I spent about 45 seconds listening to it before I started banging my head on my keyboard and couldn’t take it anymore, but Ball Don’t Lie blogger Ben Rohrbach did us all a favor and listened to Irving go on (and on and on and on…) about his takes on different conspiracy theories, and he shared some of the high—and low—lights.

Irving and Redick started things off by speaking about Irving’s original comments about flat Earth last February, and Irving revealed that he made the comments after learning about different flat Earth theories on…Instagram. No, really, that was what started all of this.

Redick and Irving moved on to talk about conspiracy theories in a more general sense, which is when Irving touched briefly on geo-engineering and chemtrails, which are things that you should not Google under any circumstances unless you want to spend (waste?) the rest of your afternoon jumping down rabbit holes that will impossible to get out of. Irving said the things he read on such theories made him “think twice about shit.”

From there, Redick revealed he isn’t 100 percent convinced dinosaurs existed (oddly enough, he's not the only pro athlete who thinks this) before the two players moved on to talking about 9/11 conspiracy theories. At this point, Rohrbach considered turning away and shutting the podcast off, and we wouldn’t have blamed him at all for doing it. But he soldiered on and shared what Irving had to say about the 9/11 conspiracy theories he’s seen.

After that, there was even some Illuminati talk! Irving asked Redick if he had seen the new Taco Bell commercial that references the Illuminati, and Irving shared his thoughts on the Illuminati and talked about how he has “been seeing the all-seeing eye for about six months now.”

The conspiracy segment then ended with Irving going all-in on his thoughts on spiritual alchemy and—wait—Jim Carrey? Yup, this podcast appearance took even more twists and turns than anyone could have possibly predicted.

The thing is that, even after allllllllllllll of this, I actually still think Irving is probably making a larger point here that is very valid. That point being that people should use the resources available to them to do the necessary research to learn the truth about things, rather than just accepting the truth from others. But the fact that he seems to be relying on random Instagram accounts to learn the “truth”—and that he seems to be dabbling in so many conspiracy theories at once—is what makes it all so facepalm-inducing in the first place.

If your brain can take it, you can check out what else Irving had to say on the podcast—there was even some stuff that didn’t have anything to do with the shape of the Earth or chemtrails—in the video above.

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Bill Nye Comes for B.o.B About Flat Earth Beliefs

B.o.B made us scratch our heads when he shared in a series of tweets that had “scientific” evidence the Earth was flat and not round.

Bobby Ray is so committed to being a flat Earth truther that he tried to confront Nasa and Neil Degrasse Tyson’s logic on Twitter (and wrote a diss track called “Flatline” at him), dropped a series of mixtapes where he comments on society, politics, and conspiracy theories, and now wants to launch a satellite through a GoFundMe to prove once and for all the Earth is flat.

Then there’s Kyrie Irving, who is also a firm believer that the Earth is flat. But he could be trolling with his stance, who the hell knows.

It’s enough to get Bill Nye so fired up that he wants to debunk every flat Earth theory out there. Complex's Khal and Frazier Tharpe sat down with him recently to hear his thoughts about the phenomenon.

“The dismissal of so much human knowledge is crystallized that the Earth might be flat. It’s just saying, everyone we came before me is a dumbass and that’s wrong,” he says. “The passion, beauty, and joy – the PB&J of science – is you can do it for yourself. It’s not man, woman. It’s not recently from Africa, recently from Europe. It’s true for everyone—the Earth goes around the sun, the Earth is a ball.”

“And if you believe the flat Earth, go to the freaking edge, and take a picture. Post it on the ‘Gram.”

Facts. You can watch the video above.

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