Steph Curry Says It’s ‘Very Likely’ Warriors Will Play Celtics, Not Cavaliers, in NBA Finals

Kyrie Irving and the Celtics are on an absolute tear right now. Since losing their first two games of the season—and losing their big-name free agency acquisition Gordon Hayward to a devastating leg injury—Boston has reeled off 14 wins in a row, including a come-from-behind win over the Warriors on Thursday night. They have been playing well on both ends of the court, despite short-term injuries to Irving and Al Horford, and they have looked like the title contender people thought they could be heading into this season.

But will they actually be able to beat LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the playoffs this season to advance to the NBA Finals? That obviously remains to be seen. But after Golden State went down to Boston on Thursday, Steph Curry made a prediction of sorts when he was asked if he thought his team might end up playing against the Celtics, not the Cavaliers, in the NBA Finals this year after three consecutive Finals matchups against Cleveland. And he said it’s looking “very likely” that the road to an NBA championship could come through Boston rather than Cleveland.

“Very, very likely, right?” Curry said. “They’re playing the best right now in the East. Obviously, until they beat Cleveland, who has done it three years in a row, we’ll see. I hear the weather’s great [in Boston] in June, so we’ll see.”

Before anyone in Boston gets too excited about what Curry said, it’s important to remember that there’s still a ton of basketball to be played between now and June. As Celtics fans have already learned on several occasions this season, injuries happen, and those injuries could play a role in how far Boston is able to advance in the postseason. There are also inevitably going to be trades that take place between now and February that could impact the outcome of the Eastern Conference Playoffs and the NBA Playoffs as a whole.

But at least for now, the idea of a Warriors/Celtics matchup in the Finals doesn’t seem all that crazy, given how well both teams have played so far this season. And if Thursday night was any indication, it could end up being one hell of a series if those two teams face off in the Finals at the end of it all.

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Mia Khalifa and Gilbert Arenas Discuss Why Kyrie SZN Is Finally Upon Us on ‘Out of Bounds’

On today’s Out of Bounds, Gilbert, Mia, Pierce, and Adam chat about the past week’s NBA, NFL, and college football standings and U of Miami’s Bowl prospects. The crew also run through Steph Curry’s mouthguard-related first ejection, coach firings, why the Cleveland Browns are trash, and Gabrielle Union’s discussion of tossing salads in her life prior to Dwyane Wade.

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Mia Khalifa Just Trolled Steph Curry Over His Foot Fetish

Here’s how Mia Khalifa responded to learning about Steph Curry’s foot fetish.

Memo Reminds NBA Players Must Stand During National Anthem, Outlines Ways Players Can Effect Change

NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum sent out a memo to all 30 teams Friday instructing players and coaches to stand during the national anthem. Although there was no mention of punishment should players choose to kneel, he expressed that the league has a rule in place disallowing players from sitting or kneeling during the anthem. 

In the memo, obtained by Complex Sports, Tatum asked that teams use their season openers “to demonstrate your commitment to the NBA’s core values of equality, diversity, inclusion and serve as a unifying force in the community.” The memo continued: 

If you have not done so already, we suggest organizing discussions between players, coaches, general managers and ownership to hear the players’ perspectives.

One approach would be for team leadership to review existing team and league initiatives and encourage players to share their thoughts and ideas about them. Following those conversations, teams could develop plans prior to the start of the regular season for initiatives that players and senior leadership could participate in, such as:

  • Hosting Community Conversations with youth, parents, community leaders and law enforcement about the challenges we face and our shared responsibility to create positive change.
  • Creating “Building Bridges Through Basketball” programs that use the game of basketball to bring people together and deepen important bonds of trust and respect between young people, mentors, community leaders, law enforcement and other first responders.
  • Highlighting the importance of mentoring with the goal of adding 50,000 new mentors to support young people through our PSA campaign.
  • Engaging thought leaders and partners.  A variety of experts, speakers and partner organizations are available to players and teams as you continue these conversations and develop programming.
  • Establishing new and/or enhancing ongoing team initiatives and partnerships in the areas of criminal justice reform, economic empowerment and civic engagement.

Teams are urged to show videos prior to tip-off in their efforts to exemplify unity. It was also recommended that a player or coach address fans directly if a message is to be conveyed. 

Earlier this month, NFL players across the country took a knee during the anthem in protest of police brutality and in honor of Colin Kaepernick's decision to spearhead the gesture. This collective demonstration roused a response from the president, causing something of a sociopolitical tidal wave. NBA players Lebron James and Steph Curry both spoke out in support of NFL players’ decision to take a knee, and publicly criticized Donald Trump for claiming they should be fired for doing so. 

More likely than not, individual NBA players or entire teams are going to express their solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement (something their counterparts in the WNBA have been at the forefront of), whether that be in the form of kneeling during the anthem or not. And it's not because they don't have respect for the NBA or the white men who run it. It's because they should have the right to take a stand against the bigotry and racism that continues to plague this country. 

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You Buying This Explanation for Why Colin Kaepernick Wasn’t on That Controversial SI Cover?

Earlier this week, Sports Illustrated released one of the most controversial covers they’ve put out in a long time, even though they probably didn’t necessarily think that it would be all that controversial when they were planning it. As a reaction to all of the protests that took place last weekend after Donald Trump came out and criticized NFL players for taking a knee during the national anthem prior to games, SI put together a cover with the title, “A NATION DIVIDED, SPORTS UNITED.” It featured LeBron James, Steph Curry, Roger Goodell, Steve Kerr, Michael Bennett, and Candace Parker on it, among others.

As soon as the SI cover started circulating on social media, the first question most people had was: “WTF is Roger Goodell doing on it?” While Goodell did release a statement and—sort of—distance himself and the NFL from Trump’s anti-protest comments, he hasn’t exactly gone out of his way to support the players who have protested racial injustices and police brutality over the last year. And lest you forget, he’s kept quiet with regards to the petition that a handful of players sent him over the summer asking for the NFL to devote an entire month to social activism. So his inclusion on the SI cover was puzzling at best and downright disrespectful at worst in the eyes of many.

It also didn’t take very long for people to start asking another question once they got a glance at the cover: “Where is Colin Kaepernick?” Kaepernick is obviously the reason that this SI cover even exists in the first place. If he doesn’t take a knee during the national anthem before a preseason game last season, and if he doesn’t continue to take a knee during the national anthem before every regular-season game last year, and if he doesn’t influence other players to start taking a knee during the national anthem before games, and if he doesn’t get blackballed by the NFL in the offseason for igniting the entire #TakeAKnee movement, there is no reason for SI to do a “NATION DIVIDED, SPORTS UNITED” cover. So—where is Colin Kaepernick?

A lot of people asked this question:

Hell, even Curry, who was featured front and center on the SI cover, thought it was completely idiotic for SI to run a cover like this without giving a nod to the guy who is responsible for it existing. He went off on the cover on Wednesday and accused SI of trying to capitalize on the moment rather than actually doing something impactful for the culture.

“That was terrible,” he said. “Just kind of capitalizing on the hoopla and the media and all that nonsense. The real people that understand exactly what’s been going on and who’s really been active and vocal and truly making a difference, if you don’t have Kaepernick front and center on that, something’s wrong. It’s kind of hard to see how certain narratives take place, being prisoners of the moment.”

On Thursday, SI attempted to cover its ass by having Executive Editor Steve Cannella put together a video to explain the magazine’s original intention when they first conceived the cover. And it’s a great video—if you’re a fan of hearing someone use a bunch of buzz words that sound important. You can hear all about the “enduring message” of unity that SI was trying to get across with their cover below or here.

But what about the omission of Kaepernick? Again: Where was he? Cannella touched on that, too, and in doing so, he tried to sell everyone on the idea that Kaepernick was on the cover, even if he wasn’t actually there in the physical form.

“In some ways, even though his picture is not there, Colin Kaepernick is there; I think we all know that,” he said. “Colin Kaepernick—for lack of a better word—was looming over everything that happened this past weekend, and looms over many of the issues in society right now.”

Cannella continued by saying that SI’s intention wasn’t to ignore Kaepernick (for the record, he was mentioned at length in the accompanying cover story). Rather, the magazine wanted to shine light on some of the other professional athletes who stepped up in his absence last weekend—since, again, he has essentially been blackballed by the NFL—and continued to carry out his message.

“I thought what we were trying to capture with this cover was the way new voices emerged this weekend,” he said.

And later, he once again tried to push the idea that Kaepernick was a part of the cover even though, well, he wasn’t.

Colin Kaepernick is on that cover,” Cannella said. “Even if his face and his name aren’t there, we all know who stands behind this movement. We all know who got it started. Colin Kaepernick has many more brothers than he did a week ago.”

The problem with all of this is that by not including Kaepernick on the cover, SI—and those who are in favor of the message SI presented with its cover—are taking the focus away from what Kaepernick was protesting last season and instead turning it into a completely different issue. The “united” approach that SI took when it put its cover together is now leading to protests that really aren’t protests at all.

Kaepernick made it very clear why he was protesting shortly after his first protest went public.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” he said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder…I have to stand up for people that are oppressed.”

So by pushing Kaepernick out of the spotlight—or in this case, off of the SI cover—you’re also pushing the message that he fought so hard to get out there last season out of the spotlight, too. And you’re replacing it with a different message that is overshadowing the one that should be front and center right now. Just like Kaepernick should be front and center on that SI cover.

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Donald Trump Only Supports Free Speech When It’s White People Speaking

Donald Trump is not slick. He thinks he is, but he's not. For one, President U. Bum still hasn't figured out how to thread tweets.

Exhibit A: this disjointed, idiotic statement he made over the weekend about the legal, peaceful NFL demonstrations against police brutality and racism, which started with the still-unemployed Colin Kaepernick. After calling them “sons of bitches,” Trump insisted that players exercising their First Amendment rights be fired for “disrespect” to the national anthem and flag. 

Because America is already (somewhat) great, that statement was met with even more player protests, some of which included the very owners Trump attempted to appeal to. But that didn't stop him from doubling down on his stance Monday, insisting 1) it wasn't about race; and 2) that players not be vocal or demonstrative about their legitimate criticisms of this country's fucked-up, systematic, race-based issues.

Trump is mindbogglingly inconsistent in his support or criticism of free speech. But, as it turns out, he's pretty damn consistent with when he chooses to be critical. Instead of telling you, I'll just show you.

Trump had a busy weekend on Twitter; in addition to dropping his unsolicited opinion about the NFL, he announced he was rescinding his White House visit offer to Steph Curry, leaving Curry's team, the Golden State Warriors, with no choice but to decline the visit as a unit.

Even though Trump attributed the reason for the withdrawal to Curry's “hesitation,” the basketball star had been made it abundantly clear that his stance is unwavering against Trump and his dangerous rhetoric. It's pretty safe to assume Trump's decision was made in response to Curry's personal opinion, which he has every right to vocalize.

And then there's the incredibly messy case of ESPN correspondent Jemele Hill's recent criticism of Trump. In a conversation on Twitter, Hill unabashedly (and correctly) called Trump a white supremacist.

In retaliation, the Trump administration, via White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, recommended Hill be fired.

“I think that's one of the more outrageous comments that anyone can make,” Sanders said during a press briefing, “and certainly something that I think is a fireable offense by ESPN.”

What do the aforementioned presidentially shunned figures have in common? Yep, that's right: they're all people of color. Keep that in mind. Let's press on.

In contrast, Trump praised figures in the NASCAR industry Monday for saying anyone who protests in the sport would be fired, effectively quashing members' rights to demonstrate peacefully.

You don't need Google to know that NASCAR is one of, if not the whitest sport in the world. But in case you need some context: this summer, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. became the first black driver to race at NASCAR's top level in more than a decade. The reason he made it in? He replaced another driver, who was injured in a wreck. So, here we have Donald, supporting the very white NASCAR owners and corporate leaders, for making it clear that they don't support free speech. Got it.

But wait a minute. Let's go back to February, when Trump threatened U.C. Berkley with the revocation of federal funds because they did not “allow free speech.” In this instance, Trump tweeted in defense of former Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos, whose inflammatory, racist speeches regularly incite riots and violent protests.  

But wait a minute, take two: just last month, Trump tweeted in support of protestors in Boston, who counter-demonstrated against a self-described free speech rally that was held one week after the convening of white supremacists in Charlottesville that turned deadly.

Hmm… what is it about Boston that makes it different than say, Ferguson or Baltimore? Why might Trump be more willing to support protestors there?

Looking a little funny in the light there, President Bum.

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The Sports World Responds to Trump’s Attacks on NFL and NBA (UPDATED)

With our neighbors to the south, Mexico, recovering after getting hit with a series of earthquakes, and Puerto Rico still dealing with the effects of Hurricane Maria, Donald Trump spoke to the crowd at a campaign rally for “Big” Luther Strange in Huntsville, Alabama on Friday about offering a helping hand to those in need.

Man, who are we kidding? Instead, Trump attacked the NFL players who protest racism and police violence by not standing during the national anthem. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when someone disrespects our flags to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now! Out,” he said. “He’s fired! He’s fired!'” 

And why stop there? On Saturday morning, Trump also took aim at Steph Curry, who said he would not be going to the White House.  

Plenty of sports figures jumped to the defense of the basketball and football players suddenly in the crosshairs of the leader of the free world, while making #UBum a hashtag for the ages.

Even Colin Kaepernick's mom had a light-hearted response to Trump's remarks.  

ESPN's Jemele Hill, also a recent target of Trump's ire for calling him a “white supremacist,” had a message for Curry.

As did the company Curry endorses, Under Armour.

Leave it to a sporting goods company to have a stronger response to Trump's bullying than the NFL.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Trump responded to the outrage on Saturday afternoon with tweets clarifying his original position: that employees of a private company should be fired for their political beliefs.

Simultaneously, another championship team declined an invitation to the White House. A team spokesman confirmed that the UNC Tar Heels national championship men's basketball team will not visit, despite having been invited. 

Steve Kirschner said, “We couldn't find a date that worked for both parties. We tried about eight or nine dates and between they couldn't work out that date, we couldn't work out that date, so—we would have liked to have gone, but not going.” 

The players were “fine with going,” he added.

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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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Steph Curry Crashed a Random House Party and Pounded Bud Lights After Harrison Barnes’ Wedding

Mere hours after Steph Curry trolled LeBron James's workout video in front of Kyrie Irving at Harrison Barnes's wedding, the Warriors star point guard crashed the house party of some likely ecstatic dudes, where he pounded some beers and posed for pictures. In one such shot it appeared that Steph had trouble putting said beer in his mouth from point blank range, which seems kind of odd for a guy who makes sinking NBA three-pointers look so easy:

 

No afterparty is complete without @stephencurry30 randomly rolling in asking to party..

A post shared by Jim Marrinan (@jimboslice401) on Jul 31, 2017 at 6:31am PDT

The unexpected entrance was likely a giant fucking shock to the partygoers, especially since the bash went down on the opposite side of the country from the Bay Area in Newport, Rhode Island.

Curry came with a mini entourage of five people, one of which was ex-teammate Kent Bazemore:

Stephen Curry poses with some people after crashing a house party.
Image via Instagram

According to TMZ, the pro hoopsters stuck around for roughly 30-45 minutes.

Tough luck if you were invited and took a rain check.

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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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