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Damian Lillard responds to being cut by Team USA with Instagram post

With just one week until the FIBA World Cup gets underway in Spain, we now know the 12 members who will compete for the United States team.

Prior to the roster being finalized, additional cuts needed to be made from the squad that had been participating in recent exhibition games. After the final four cuts, this is who will be wearing red, white, & blue in the upcoming competition.

There’s one notable exception: Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard was among the last group to be removed, along with Chandler Parsons, Gordon Hayward, and Kyle Korver.

Late last night, Lillard said there were no hard feelings and he wished Team USA the best. On Saturday, the NBA’s 2013 Rookie of the Year posted the above photo on his Instagram account with the following caption:

“This is team USA letting me go. My head up, spirits up, and I’m going back to work. #TeamAdidas #JustGetBetter #WoodOnTheFire”

Lillard is just 24 years old, so in no way will this be our final opportunity to see him in a USA Basketball uniform. However, it means the next time we’ll get to see one of the NBA’s brightest young stars in competitive action will be the preseason, which seems so far away.

Photo: Instagram/damianlillard

Timberwolves announce Kevin Love-Andrew Wiggins trade with newspaper ad

Timberwolves-newspaper-ad-trade

Saturday was the first day Andrew Wiggins was eligible to be traded after signing his rookie contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers 30 days ago, and as expected the No. 1 overall pick was officially traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love. The T-Wolves introduced their new players with a newspaper ad in the Pioneer Press.

While the Cavs will likely be the Eastern Conference favorites with a big three of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Love, the Timberwolves have assembled an exciting young core of players. Minnesota drafted Zach LaVine with its first-round pick in June and will now add two top overall picks in Wiggins and Anthony Bennett. The Wolves are also getting 26-year-old Thaddeus Young from the Philadelphia 76ers.

As expected, Philly will receive a first-round draft pick, Alexey Shved and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.

H/T SB Nation
Photo: Twitter/John Shipley

Suns offer Eric Bledsoe for Kevin Love trade to T-Wolves

Eric Bledsoe SunsThe Kevin Love trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers has been agreed upon and is expected to go through on Saturday, but that didn’t stop the Phoenix Suns from making a last-minute offer for the big man.

According to ESPN, the Suns offered Eric Bledsoe to Minnesota for Love in a sign-and-trade deal.

Bledsoe and the Suns are at odds over the emerging guard’s contract situation.

Bledsoe is a restricted free agent and has been offered a 4-year, $48 million deal by the team. Bledsoe is seeking a max deal for 5 years and $80 million from Phoenix, or a max deal of four years and $64 million if another team signs him to a max offer sheet.

After a contentious offseason where the relationship between Bledsoe and the Suns soured, reports said this week that the Suns were finally willing to sign-and-trade deals for the point guard. They’re not going to get Love for him, but this further shows they’re looking to trade Bledsoe.

Klay Thompson said to be ‘pissed’ Warriors considered trading him

Klay ThompsonThe Golden State Warriors were one of the teams most prominently mentioned in the Kevin Love trade conversations, and the talks largely centered around their willingness to include Klay Thompson in a potential deal.

The Warriors reportedly were reluctant to include Thompson in a package for Love, though some reports said they finally were willing to trade him. In the end, the Timberwolves agreed to trade Love to the Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett.

Though he was not traded, Thompson supposedly is unhappy Golden State talked about dealing him.

Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher says the Warriors have to do some fence-mending with Thompson and David Lee, whose name also appeared in trade talks. A source told Bucher that Thompson was “pissed” the team seriously considered trading him.

You can say Thompson needs to toughen up and get used to the rumor mill since being mentioned in trade talks are part of the business, but these guys are still humans and being mentioned in trades can easily hurt someone’s feelings. I understand why he’d be upset. If there’s anyone he should commiserate with, it’s Pau Gasol, who was mentioned in trade talks every week his last few years with the Lakers.

Chest bump to Pro Basketball Talk

V Stiviano says Donald Sterling is gay

Donald Sterling girlfriend V Stiviano

V. Stiviano is getting down and dirty when it comes to her legal dispute with Donald Sterling. For her latest act, she accused the former Clippers owner of being gay.

You may recall that the tension between Stiviano and Sterling began when Shelly filed a lawsuit trying to get back the cars, property and gifts (valued at over a few million dollars) that Donald gave to Stiviano.

After the suit was filed against her, Stiviano set out to ruin Sterling and successfully did so. Not only did her efforts lead to Sterling losing the Clippers, but she now is accusing the longtime team owner of being gay.

According to TMZ Sports, Stiviano says she never was a sexual partner of Sterling and that she was just a cover-up for the man being gay.

In the docs, Stiviano states she was “not ever a sexual partner of Donald T. Sterling” and “believes that [Sterling] is a homosexual and enjoys sexual acts and or sexual congress with males.”

Stiviano also says Shelly Sterling was “acutely aware of [Donald's] sexual orientation and condoned same as well as acknowledged and approved [Donald's] gifts of money [to Stiviano].”

This appears to be Stiviano hitting below the belt in a mud-slinging effort to get her way, or at the least a nice settlement from the Sterlings. She also says the gifts she received were not community property and therefore hers to keep.

Perhaps it’s allegations like these that Stiviano had in mind when she said, “Let the games begin!”

Despite Stiviano’s allegations, there is some evidence that indicates Sterling is heterosexual. Remember the former employee who sued Donnie boy? She detailed some pretty gross, explicit sexual stories that suggest Donnie is pretty hetero. Also keep in mind that Stiviano hinted on Instagram that she has a child with Sterling. It would have been pretty hard for them to have kids without ever having sex, unless they used artificial insemination.

Kevin Durant offered over $265 million deal by Under Armour

Kevin Durant where amazing happens

Under Armour has just given a huge wake-up call to Nike.

The Maryland-based sports equipment and apparel company has offered Kevin Durant a 10-year deal worth between $265-285 million, according to an ESPN report. The deal includes stock offers and other incentives for Durant.

Nike has the option to match the offer from Under Armour. If they choose to do so, Durant would be contractually obligated to stay with them.

Durant visited the UA headquarters last week and ended up staying there the entire day despite only planning to remain for a few hours. ESPN described UA’s pitch to Durant as impressive. They say he even worked out in their basketball shoes.

Only a tiny portion of UA’s annual revenue comes from basketball-related products, so this would be a huge way for them to grow in the market. They already made a big move last year by signing Steph Curry away from Nike and are looking to steal another one of the swoosh’s top athletes.

A big part of their sales pitch will be tying together theirs and Durant’s DC/Maryland-area roots. UA’s headquarters are less than 40 miles from where Durant grew up.

Durant wanted to sign with Nike so badly coming out of college that he turned down an offer from adidas for 33 percent more money — $20 million in all. Will he be as generous this time around? We will soon find out, but one thing is for certain — his new representation at Roc Nation Sports has him shopping for the best deal.

John Wall shows off ‘Great Wall’ tattoo while sitting on Great Wall of China

John-Wall-Great-Wall-tattoo

John Wall is currently touring China to promote his new Adidas shoe line, which is scheduled to be released in October. One of the many rare opportunities Wall has been presented with while overseas is the chance to show off his tattoo while sitting atop the structure that inspired it.

As you can see from the photo above that he posted on Instagram, Wall put his “Great Wall” tattoo on display while sitting on the Great Wall of China.

If the Washington Wizards point guard comes across an owl during his travels, he’ll have a chance to show off this piece of art.

H/T DC Sports Bog