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Nick Young Missed Capital Punishment Game Over MVP Snub or Travel Costs?

Wizards guard Nick Young had been a participant in the Los Angeles-based Drew League, a summer basketball league, for the past several weeks. He was one of the NBA players committed to represent the Drew League in a scrimmage against their counterparts from the Washington D.C.-based Goodman League. The exhibition game was termed “Capital Punishment,” and it was won by the Goodman League on Saturday. Young didn’t make the trip to the East Coast, and we’ve read two explanations why.

Miles Rawls, the commissioner of the Drew League, says Young was unresponsive to calls and text messages after losing out on the league’s MVP award. Young tweeted as much two weeks ago, saying “So 60 can’t get me MVP in the drewleague 30,40,41,43,45,30,60,35 each game I played.” A few days later, Young changed his tune saying “Y’all think I really care about winning MVP @rewleague come on man I play n that 2 get good run and work on moves I practice.”

So if losing the MVP award doesn’t matter, why didn’t he join the team for the Capital Punishment game? I am a GM.com passed along an explanation from Javale McGee, Young’s teammate with the Wizards, who says Young tried to book his flight for the game too late and the ticket was too expensive, so he didn’t purchase it. Hey, it is the lockout, so maybe being frugal is a wise idea. Hopefully he’ll participate in the LA rematch between the teams.

Kevin Durant Set to Star in Basketball Movie

Players are making good use of their time during the NBA lockout. Nate Robinson talked about trying to play football, Anthony Randolph returned to LSU and might join a frat, several former Bruins are returning to class at UCLA, and Delonte West might submit a job application to Home Depot. But the athlete whose offseason activities may gain the most notoriety is Kevin Durant.

The Thunder star reportedly is finalizing a deal to star in a Warner Bros. movie that has a basketball subplot. According to The Oklahoman, the movie is set to go into production mid-September. The filming location has been narrowed to Oklahoma City and Baton Rouge, Louisiana according to the report.

In a typical NBA season, Durant would not be able to star in a movie because it would conflict with the beginning of basketball training camp. However, with the NBA lockout, little progress is likely to be made in the next few months giving him time to pursue his acting dreams. It may sound odd that Durant would be starring in his movie given that he’s a basketball player, not an actor, but he would not be the first hoops star to hold a feature role in a motion picture. Recall Michael Jordan was a lead in Space Jam, and Ray Allen starred in He Got Game. We’ll also do everyone a favor and leave Shaq and his silver screen aspirations out of this discussion.

Michael Jordan Can Expect a Fine for Talking About Andrew Bogut in Interview

Some of this NBA lockout nonsense is ridiculous. Whether it’s NBA.com initially eliminating all mentions of its players on the site, or Mark Cuban being asked to leave a pickup game at a park, the league has gone too far in policing matters. For another example, we direct you to an interview Michael Jordan gave the Herald Sun in Australia.

MJ was explaining that most NBA franchises are losing money resulting in an uneven playing field. Then he got personal bringing up Australia’s top basketball player, Andrew Bogut.

“We have stars like Bogut who are entitled to certain type of demands. But for us to be profitable in small markets, we have to be able to win ballgames and build a better basketball team.

“Bogut is a good piece to build around for Milwaukee,” Jordan said.

Those are innocent comments from MJ who was only building up the hometown paper’s guy. Not only should MJ expect a fine for mentioning a player during a lockout, but it could also be considered tampering.

I know, I know, you’re probably just laughing at the minutiae right now. Matt Moore writing at Eye on Basketball sums it up best:

“There shouldn’t be any big deal about this,” Moore says. “Then again, that’s kind of what’s been going on with this lockout. Making everything into a huge deal.”

It’s sad, but he’s exactly right.

Shaq Says Barack Obama Ripped on Rajon Rondo for Poor Shooting, Affected Him

Brace yourselves everyone: Shaquille O’Neal has a book coming out.  There is no question Shaq Uncut will be filled with entertaining commentary and inside information, but his love for attention should remind us to take anything he says with a grain of salt.  This is a guy that will do just about anything to cause a stir and get a few laughs, so if you choose to use his new book as your Bible do so wisely.

Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, Slam Online shared a very intriguing snippet from Shaq’s book with us on Wednesday.  We all know Rajon Rondo’s kryptonite is shooting the basketball.  The Celtics point guard has had his fair share of offensive explosions by getting to the hoop, but he has one of the worst jump shots in the league for a guard.  According to Shaq, President Barack Obama hurt Rondo’s confidence even further back in March and his game got worse.

In early March some of the guys went to the museum of Fine Arts for a fund-raiser and got to hang with President Barack Obama. Everyone was a little bit in awe. The President turns to Ray, points at Rondo, and says, “Hey, Ray, why don’t you teach this kid how to shoot?” Everyone starts laughing.

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Video: Kobe Bryant Makes Game-Winner over James Harden at Drew League

Lakers star Kobe Bryant was the latest NBA player to hit up the park/rec league scene, showing up for a Drew League game Tuesday evening in Los Angeles. Our friends at Jersey Chaser caught it on videotape and shared it with us. Check out Kobe Bryant sinking a game-winning shot over James Harden:

Even though Kobe hit the game-winner to make it 139-137, Harden is disappointed his 50-point outburst has been overlooked. The Thunder guard asked critics not to comment on the game if they weren’t in attendance, feeling as if they don’t know the entire story. He may be right, but history they say is written by the winners.

Congrats to the two men for putting on a show. We can add this to our growing list of NBA players dominating summer leagues. With ballers hitting up the park and rec league circuits, who really needs the NBA?

Police Reportedly Want to talk to Kobe Bryant About Alleged Church Incident

When you’re rich and famous like Kobe Bryant, you can become the target of negative attention. Remember the lawsuit we told you about in July? A prostitute was suing him for not marrying her. Why do we bring this up? Because it appears as if Kobe is facing another ridiculous charge.

The LA Times passes along word of a report saying San Diego police are investigating an incident that allegedly took place on Sunday. According to the Times, the incident occurred at St. Therese of Carmel Church in Carmel Valley, when Bryant allegedly grabbed a cellphone from the man who sustained an injury to his wrist.

Bryant reportedly thought the man was taking photos of him and his wife but saw no photos after inspecting the phone, the Times says.

Alright, so I can believe that Kobe maybe thought someone was taking a picture of him at church. I can also understand why he’d be offended by that type of behavior. But we’re really to believe the man sustained an injury to his wrist because of that? Unless it was an 80-year-old man with frail bones, it’s hard to buy this story. Then again, the type of person who would try to take a picture of Kobe at church would also complain to the police about an assault.

Move along, nothing to see here … except a Scioscia Stare to the person who filed the complaint.

Taiwanese Kid Dunks on LeBron James After Stealing Ball from Him (Video)

LeBron James is on tour in Asia to represent Nike basketball. He arrived in Taipei on Thursday and participated in a game between two Taiwanese All-Star teams Friday. Actually, LeBron was just the coach of one of the teams, but he decided to jump in for the second half after seeing how much fun they were having. That was probably a bad decision:

The unfortunate thing for Nike is that they won’t be able to confiscate the videotape this time. Unsurprisingly, Nike’s recap of the event made no mention of the steal and dunk. I’m sure you’re all shocked.

Chest bump to Jimmy Traina and YouTube user king20192003 for the video