Joel Embiid still going hard after Rihanna with new avatar


Joel Embiid is not ready to give Rihanna the Kim Kardashian treatment just yet. After all of his tweets about Kim K. were ignored, Embiid has moved on to courting the R&B singer. The Philadelphia 76ers rookie went on a fictional date with Rihanna last week and has even changed his Twitter avatar to make it look like they had dinner together.

Embiid continued his path toward making “Johanna” a reality on Thursday night by sharing some hilarious photoshops of him and his fake girlfriend.

The former Kansas star then must have gotten frustrated with some of the feedback he was getting, because he threatened to get off Twitter.

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Eric Bledsoe’s relationship with Suns reportedly on verge of being ruined

Eric Bledsoe SunsEric Bledsoe is a restricted free agent and has a qualifying offer on the table from the Phoenix Suns, but not the long-term contract offer he is seeking.

Bledsoe wants max money from Phoenix and reportedly wants a five-year, $80 million deal. The Suns supposedly offered him a four-year, $48 million deal. But Phoenix has said they will match any contract offer for Bledsoe, which he believes has limited his options and resulted in no teams signing him to an offer sheet. That has him upset.

Here’s what CSN Northwest’s Chris Haynes reported Tuesday:

According to league sources, an “ominous development” has arisen with sides still “very far apart” in contract negotiations. It has even escalated to the point where the “relationship is on the express lane to being ruined,” a source with knowledge of the situation informed CSNNW.com.

This sounds like a threat coming from Bledsoe’s camp. If they get the 5-year, $80 million max money deal they want, I’m sure all feelings will be fine.

But you have to wonder what Phoenix is dragging their feet for. Bledsoe had a great season and was a huge reason for the team’s surprising success. The Suns are planning to have him team with Goran Dragic as part of a great backcourt, but they also acquired Isaiah Thomas and drafted Tyler Ennis, leaving many to wonder why they were going so point guard-heavy. Did they stack up on guards because they thought they might lose Bledsoe? I’m not sure this makes sense.

Metta World Peace likely headed to China?

Ron Artest RapperMetta may be taking his World Peace movement global.

According to Ian Begley, Metta is close to agreeing to terms with the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Metta will be 35 next season and averaged a career-low 13.4 minutes per game last season with the Knicks. Many players have revived their careers in China — see Stephon Marbury — so it would not be a stretch to figure that World Peace would do well there.

Metta has flirted with the idea of playing in China for a while, so this would not be surprising.

Kevin Durant thinking about going to Wizards?

Kevin DurantKevin Durant is a long way from home with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The reigning NBA MVP grew up just outside of Washington, D.C., where he was a kid rooting for the Washington Bullets and Wizards.

Has Durant ever considered playing for his hometown team?

After a training session with USA Basketball on Tuesday, Durant gushed about LeBron James’ decision to return to Cleveland to try to help the Cavaliers win their first championship.

“He thought about the city where he comes from, about Northeast Ohio and how he can affect so many of the kids just being there playing basketball. I love that,” Durant said. “So many guys get criticized for making the decision that’s best for them, instead of what’s best for everybody else. He’s a guy that did that. You gotta respect that. I applauded him, I texted him and told him congratulations on the decision and told him I was happy for him. As a fan of the game, it’s going to be pretty cool to see him back in Cleveland.”

While Durant said he is completely committed to the Thunder and reminded reporters that he has two years remaining on his contract, he stopped short of ruling out a return to D.C.

“Look, we going to put it out on tape,” Durant said. “It’s been talked about. Everybody’s asked me about it every time I go on Instagram or Twitter. All my friends ask me about it. So I’m not going to sit here and act like I’m naïve to the fact that people think about that stuff. But I just tell everybody that I’m here in Oklahoma City, [and] I love it here. Who knows what will happen? I never close the door on anything. But I like where I’m at right now, so I can’t answer that question.”

The major difference between LeBron and Durant is that LeBron won two championships before returning to Cleveland. If Durant still doesn’t have a ring when his contract with the Thunder is up in two years, he’ll probably sign with the team that gives him the best chance to win a title.

Dion Waiters: ‘I believe I should start’

Dion WaitersThe Cleveland Cavaliers still have yet to complete a deal for Kevin Love. That’s not to say it won’t happen, but at the moment the Cavs have a somewhat crowded backcourt. There may not be enough room for both Dion Waiters and rookie sensation Andrew Wiggins.

Waiters, who recently created a stir on Twitter by answering a follower’s question about his willingness to come off the bench, told reporters at Team USA training camp on Monday that he believes he should start.

“I want to start and I believe that I should at the two (guard),” Waiters said, per Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.

Kyrie Irving has the starting point guard duties locked down, while some guy named LeBron James will start at the 3. Waiters’ presence likely plays a huge role in the Cavs willingness to include Wiggins as part of a package for Love, but if Wiggins stays he could very well earn the starting shooting guard job.

As Haynes noted, Waiters was not saying he believes he should start to cause trouble in any way. He is simply confident he can beat out the rookie, as any third-year player should be.

“I just say how I feel,” he said. “I’m going to do whatever is best for the team, of course, but at the end of the day, I’m a man and I’m confident in myself. I’ve always been a guy that gives it right to you. I’ve never been a guy that plays that political stuff. I was brought up that way. I’m straightforward.”

Of course, there were rumors last year that Waiters was not getting along with some of his teammates and wanted to be traded, but that seems like water under the bridge now. Unless, of course, Cleveland keeps Wiggins. Then it might not be.

Charles Barkley offers to pay for funeral of young church volunteers

Charles BarkleyCharles Barkley is known for being a goofball, but the man is also a humanitarian who uses his wealth for good causes.

The NBA legend and media personality offered to pay the funeral for three siblings who were killed Friday when a carjacking in the Tioga section of Philly went wrong, Philadelphia DA Seth Williams said, according to CSN Philly.

Here are the details on the victims of the crime:

Ten-year-old Joseph Thomas Reed, his 15-year-old sister Keiearra Williams and their 7-year-old brother Terrence Moore were struck and killed Friday when a carjacked SUV plowed into the church-run fruit stand where they were volunteering on a street corner in the Tioga section of the city.

The children’s mother, 34-year-old Keisha Williams, was critically injured, and their 65-year-old neighbor Thelma Brown broke an ankle.

The children were selling fruit as volunteers to raise money for a community park.

The only shred of positive news in the horrible story is that at least the suspects are in custody. Cornelius Crawford, 23, and Jonathan Rosa, 19, were charged Monday with second-degree murder, robbery, carjacking, sexual assault and other counts. Rosa’s attorney apparently said his client wanted to atone for his crimes.

We’ve seen superstars like Derrick Rose and Floyd Mayweather Jr. offer to pay for funerals in the past, and now it’s Barkley doing the same. It’s never not a nice thing to see someone like that offer to use their fortunes for good reasons.

Derrick Rose ‘disappointed’ Carmelo Anthony chose Knicks

Derrick RoseDerrick Rose does not like putting himself out there and recruiting players to the Chicago Bulls, but that does not mean he does not want superstars joining him on the team.

Rose was hoping the Bulls would be able to sign Carmelo Anthony in free agency and admitted he was disappointed they didn’t.

“I mean, who wouldn’t be disappointed?’’ Rose said Monday via the Chicago Sun-Times. “Of course. But at the same time, you can’t be mad at the decision he made. If you put yourself in that decision, that’s a hard decision. You got your family to think about. You got money to think about. Not to say you should think about money. But when you’re talking about millions and millions of dollars, you can’t just put that behind you. So I’m not mad with the decision that he made and I wish him nothing but the best.’’

‘Melo chose to re-sign with the Knicks and got an extra year and about $40 million guaranteed compared to the offer he had from the Bulls. He recently admitted that his decision came down to returning to New York or going to Chicago.

The response from Rose is notable because his attitude makes it seem like he doesn’t care about free agents even though he does. It’s just not in his personality to be a recruiter.

At least the Bulls weren’t totally left out in free agency; they signed Pau Gasol, but they did release Carlos Boozer. Their success next season, as usual, depends on Rose’s health.