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Joel Embiid hilariously puts the Twitter moves on Rihanna

Joel EmbiidJoel Embiid won’t play enough next season to make a run at NBA Rookie of the Year, but the guy already has NBA Twitter MVP locked down.

The Philadelphia 76ers draft pick made some noise earlier this month by trying to recruit free agent LeBron James to Philly. Then a few weeks ago he turned his attention to recruiting Kim Kardashian, though that was for more personal reasons.

After having no luck with Kim, Embiid moved on to Rihanna. He sent these tweets Tuesday:

How awesome is it that he set dinner plans for them?

[Read more...]

LeBron James gives neighbors cupcakes for putting up with media frenzy

LeBron James cupcakes

Just four years ago, LeBron James was being crucified for holding “The Decision,” a 1-hour televised show where he announced he would be leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. Many considered the show to be a massive PR blunder, and James later admitted it was a mistake.

Four years later, LeBron is showing that he has become a master of public relations.

Not only did LeBron announce his decision to return home to Cleveland in a heartfelt essay published by Sports Illustrated, but he also gave cupcakes to his neighbors to apologize for the media frenzy in the neighborhood due to speculation over his announcement.

LeBron James cupcakes note

“Dear Friend. We know things have been hectic in our neighborhood these past few weeks and we are sorry for the chaos. We are so thankful to live in this wonderful community and we are so blessed to have understanding neighbors like you.”

The names of the cupcakes had a basketball theme, too: one was a “Just A Kid From Akron Cherry Cola” cupcake, and the other was “Homecourt Chocolate Chunk.”

Remember we told you all about that “just a kid from Akron” branding LeBron was doing? None of it is an accident. His new PR people are incredible.

Photos via Twitter/JonCheyney
h/t Darren Rovell

Isaiah Austin has job with NBA waiting once he earns degree

isaiah-austin-draft-smallThe NBA Draft is a time guys who have been dribbling a basketball for as long as they can remember realize the dream of hearing their name called by the commissioner as being selected by a team.

In the weeks leading up to the draft, it appeared Baylor’s Isaiah Austin would be among those set to embark on their professional basketball careers. Just days before the big night, Austin was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome. The risk of continuing to play basketball was too great, bringing to an end the 20-year-old’s basketball playing days.

During the draft’s first round, commissioner Adam Silver called Isaiah Austin to the stage to announce he had been selected by the NBA.

Next up for Austin is returning to Baylor University to finish his degree. After that, a job with the NBA awaits, as he told TMZ.

In the meantime, Austin will work with the NBA Cares program.

Obviously, this isn’t the capacity Isaiah Austin envisioned he would be associated with the NBA a few months ago. However, thanks to Adam Silver and the league, Austin will still be able to say he’s part of the NBA family and will have no shortage of support in whichever role he takes on.

Report: Bulls ‘biggest threat’ to Cavs in Kevin Love sweepstakes

Kevin LoveThe Minnesota Timberwolves have put themselves in a great position to get maximum value for Kevin Love. By being patient and not unloading Love the minute he said he wanted out, the T-Wolves have created a bidding war for their All-Star forward. In addition to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Chicago Bulls are also reportedly making a strong push to land Love.

Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN report that the Bulls are the Cavs “biggest threat” in the Love sweepstakes.

Sources say that the Bulls, though, have re-entered the race and would appear to be the biggest threats to the Cavs, thanks largely to the Golden State Warriors’ resolute unwillingness to add longtime Wolves target Klay Thompson in any deal.

Although the full extent of the Bulls’ offer wasn’t immediately known, it is believed Minnesota would seek a package from Chicago featuring forward Taj Gibson and defensive ace Jimmy Butler in addition to other assets. The Bulls shelved their Love interest while trying to sign Carmelo Anthony away from the New York Knicks but, according to sources, have re-emerged as contenders.

We can probably assume that the Cavs still have an advantage in that they have the most intriguing player to offer. Andrew Wiggins has the highest ceiling of any player that has been discussed as part of a Love package. Still, one report indicates that the T-Wolves are ready to pull the trigger on the Love-Wiggins deal but the Cavs are unwilling to part with future first-round picks.

If the Bulls are willing to offer first rounders in addition to Gibson and company, Minnesota might be inclined to blow off the Cavs. The Bulls missed out on Carmelo Anthony, so they could get antsy. In all likelihood, the Wolves have the Cavs exactly where they want them. They want Wiggins, and LeBron supposedly wants Love. Getting the Bulls involved can only drive up the price.

Jason Whitlock on Andrew Wiggins: Canadian athletes ‘don’t want it as much’

Andrew-WigginsThe Cleveland Cavaliers seem like they have decided that they would rather pair Kevin Love with LeBron James and hope for instant results instead of developing rookie sensation Andrew Wiggins. The Cavs have reportedly agreed to include Wiggins in any potential trade for Love. Does that have anything to do with Wiggins’ nationality? Jason Whitlock seems to think so.

During his chat with Keith Olbermann on Monday night, Whitlock cited the fact that Wiggins is Canadian as one reason the Cavs should trade him for Love.

“I think that smart basketball people, and I don’t want to attach this to LeBron and his camp — Andrew Wiggins is from Canada,” the ESPN columnist said. “Canadian athletes, I think, among NBA players and NBA people, perhaps don’t want it as much as even some of the European and certainly the American players.”

In other words, the Cavs should take ethnic stereotypes into consideration when pondering Wiggins’ future. Olbermann later reminded Whitlock that Wiggins is only half Canadian and that his father is an American who played in the NBA.

“Andrew Wiggins’ effort and intensity was sometimes inconsistent at Kansas,” Whitlock said. “That may be a personality quirk that he will deal with throughout his entire career and that’s why I think (Cleveland) would probably prefer to play with Kevin Love.”

If Whitlock believes Wiggins lacks a “motor,” that’s fine. He’s entitled to his own opinion and assessment of the player. But if he thinks the Cavs should trade Wiggins in part because he is from Canada, that’s probably something Whitlock is best keeping to himself. Then again, this is the same guy who made an Asian penis joke about Jeremy Lin.

Video via SB Nation

Jamal Crawford introduces Kobe Bryant as this generation’s Michael Jordan (Video)

Is Kobe Bryant this generation’s Michael Jordan? Jamal Crawford certainly thinks so.

Kobe Michael JordanKobe was in Seattle for the weekend for a few different events, including the Seattle Basketball Pro-Am. All proceeds from the Pro-Am go to the Jamal Crawford Foundation, where Jamal has been a fixture since he was a teenager. You could tell that Crawford was excited to have Kobe in attendance, because he was all jacked up and gave Kobe a nice introduction, calling him “this generation’s Michael Jordan.”

Though the comparison to Michael Jordan will probably rankle some people, and the merits of whether or not there is such a thing as another Michael Jordan are debatable, Kobe is probably the closest thing to a generation’s Michael Jordan.

Kobe is a 16-time All-Star, 5-time NBA champion, two-time Finals MVP and two-time scoring champion. Jordan won six titles, six Finals MVPs, five regular season MVPs, was a 10-time scoring champion and 14-time All-Star.

Few players can stack up with Michael Jordan, but Kobe is probably the closest to him from our generation.

And if Kobe’s weekend in Seattle is any indication, he might even be as good at baseball as MJ. Did you see the home run he hit at Richard Sherman’s celebrity softball game at Safeco Field?

Coach K would trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love without hesitation

Kevin LoveOpinions on whether the Cleveland Cavaliers should trade Andrew Wiggins to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love have been split. On one side, you have the people who believe Wiggins is a rare prospect who could eventually be one of the best players in the NBA. On the other, the argument is that Love is already an All-Star and you know what you are getting with him. Duke and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski belongs to the latter group.

During an interview with John Feinstein on CBS Sports Radio Monday, Coach K said he would make the trade “right away” if he were running the Cavs.

“I think there’s absolutely not one second of hesitancy,” Coach K said. “I’d trade for Kevin Love. That’s not saying anything about any of the other (players involved in the deal). Love’s an All-Star. He’s a double-double guy, but he’s a double-double guy that can spread the court. There aren’t many double-double guys, if any, who spread the court. He can go inside and outside.”

Krzyzewski, who has coached Love with Team USA, also brought up a point that I agree with — LeBron is pushing 30 and isn’t exactly a young player anymore.

“You look at LeBron and you have the best player in the world,” Coach K added. “He’s 29. I’m not saying he’s at the end of his career, but he’s in the second half of his career, let’s put it that way. And in the first half of his career, he was becoming a great player. He was a great talent becoming a great player. That takes time – just like if Wiggins or (Anthony) Bennett are going to be great, it’s not going to happen right now. They’re great talents. LeBron is a great player right now. You do not want to waste any year of a great player’s career.”

As I mentioned before, the Cavs would only regret dealing Wiggins for Love if it didn’t turn into a championship. If Cleveland wins one or two titles with LeBron and Love and Wiggins becomes Kobe Bryant, there would be no regrets. The Cavs have never won an NBA championship, so any trade they make that helps them win one is worthwhile.

Assuming the Cavs are willing to include Wiggins in a potential Love trade, it is probably the Timberwolves that are holding up the deal. Now that they have gotten the offer they want from Cleveland, an even more aggressive bidding war for Love is taking place.

H/T Eye on Basketball