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Houston Bargain Store Drops Prices to Make Fun of LeBron James

Breaking news: LeBron James is not Michael Jordan.  After a poor individual showing in the last few games of the NBA Finals, the media-proclaimed and self-embraced “King” still has zero championship rings — exactly six less than the man he is so often compared to.  LeBron was as clutch as they come for most of the postseason but couldn’t seem to close when the trophy was within reach.

Criticism of King James certainly hasn’t been lacking over the past couple days.  DeShawn Stevenson made headlines with his “How’s My Dirk Taste?” t-shirt while guys like Rory McIlroy found themselves defending LeBron for whatever reason.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but if you are going to voice it publicly you might as well find a way to be clever.  That’s why we can all appreciate the Houston-area dollar store that dropped their prices from 99 cents to 75 cents in honor of LeBron never being able to put together a fourth quarter.

My friend told me a similar joke yesterday, but the fact that a store was able to turn it into a marketing scheme and take advantage of LeBron’s reputation as a choke artist is classic.  Most people hate LeBron James and want him to fail.  It’s nice to know there are people out there who can put a unique spin on such a common opinion.  H/T to Deadspin for the pic via.

Mikhail Prokhorov Takes Shot at Mark Cuban While Complimenting Mavs

Since Mikhail Prokhorov has taken over as owner of the New Jersey Nets, he and Mavs owner Mark Cuban seem to have developed somewhat of a love-hate relationship.  The two teams aren’t rivals or anything, so the banter between them cannot be taken for much more than friendly word play.  In any event, the dynamic between them is entertaining.

Just a few short months after Prokhorov took the reins in New Jersey, Cuban was already criticizing the way he runs the team.  One of Cuban’s main issues with Mikhail’s style is that he rarely shows up to games.  As we told you before, the Nets seemed to play better in their owner’s presence, so Cuban may have been onto something.

Cuban remained unusually quiet throughout the entire postseason as he watched his Mavs go on to upset the Miami Heat and win the franchise’s first ever NBA Championship.  Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki voiced his opinion about Marky Mark staying out of the spotlight during the run a few weeks back, and Prokhorov alluded to it as well on Thursday when he congratulated Cuban with a note.  Here is what the letter said courtesy of Nets Daily via SB Nation:

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Rory McIlroy Defends LeBron James from Media Criticism

While LeBron James is taking a public beating from fans and the media, he can take comfort in knowing he at least has one supporter. Golfer and fellow sports prodigy, Rory McIlroy, defended the star Heat player to reporters Tuesday.

Speaking at Congressional where the U.S. Open will be held this week, McIlroy said of LeBron “I think he’s been unfairly scrutinized. Everyone is going to have bad days, if it’s on a golf course or on a basketball court. And with sports these days everything is over-analyzed, stats here, stats there, how has your team combined points in the last quarter of the Finals or whatever. It’s just one of those things.”

McIlory continued to put things in perspective. “If people keep talking about having a bad last quarter all the time, it’s going to sort of get to you,” the young golfer said. “But he’s got plenty more chances to win Finals. And I’m sure the Heat will have a chance to win it again next year.”

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How the Dallas Mavericks Mounted the World and Became 2011 Champs

It’s over now, the journey that led the Mavericks through heartbreak and frustration and, finally, redemption. They won the title Sunday. They beat the Heat and bathed in champagne, 250 bottles worth apparently.

After 13 seasons, Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban finally became champions. They made their mark. They partied with Lil Wayne.

Dallas was the unexpected contender. Few expected them to get out of the first round, much less win it all. They kept coming, though. Kept coming like a tidal wave, Hurricane Dirk crashing on the shores of Portland, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and Miami. Hurricanes Terry and Barea crashing intermittently behind. Rick Carlisle orchestrating the whole thing like Poseidon, a crafty, Grinch-looking sea wizard.

The Mavs were resolute. They didn’t complain when they lost, didn’t brag when they won. They were a team of destiny. They defied setbacks and challenges, including Dirk’s illness and the injury to Brendan Haywood. Like Khal Drogo they aimed to mount the world, and they did. Few of them did it beside a woman as hot as Daenerys, though. And by few I mean J.J. Barea. Lucky jerk.

Ultimately, the Mavs stunned LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and won their first title in franchise history.

How did they pull it off?  Here were three keys to Dallas’ 2011 Finals victory:

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Mark Cuban Pees with Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy in Hand (Picture)

I know Dirk Nowitzki and many Dallas Mavericks players worked their entire life to become NBA champions, but I’m not sure if anyone is enjoying the team’s title more than owner Mark Cuban. Not only did Cuban rent out Club LIV for his team to celebrate Sunday night and spend $110,000 doing it, but he’s taking that Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy with him everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Check out this awesome picture Busted Coverage uncovered of Mark Cuban peeing with the trophy in hand:

If you had won the NBA title, would you take the trophy into the urinal with you? Probably so. Can’t blame the guy, can we?

Shaq Allegedly Linked to Gang Members Kidnap of Robert Ross over Sex Tape

Shaq is in the middle of possibly his worst scandal yet, one that alleges he had seven gang members kidnap another man, beat him up, and take an incriminating sex tape from him. If I had known about this story two weeks ago, it easily would have made Shaq’s Top 10 worst moments, but it did not come out until now. Here are the details of the allegations according to TMZ:

According to the police report, the 7 gang members met up with [Robert] Ross at a convenience store — Pink Dot — on the Sunset Strip. The men allegedly surrounded Ross’ Rolls Royce Phantom with guns drawn, jumped into Ross’ car and ordered him to drive to [gang member Ladell] Rowles’ house in South Central L.A.

Once there, Rowles allegedly pistol whipped Ross and demanded that he turn over the sex tape. Ross said he would get the tape and bring it back to them. The 7 men then allegedly took Ross’ Rolex, diamond chain and earrings, along with $15,000 in cash — then let Ross go.

The seven men have been arrested and are being held in jail on charges of robbery and kidnapping. Now if you’re wondering about a motive, TMZ explains it. Apparently Shaq and Ross were supposed to have a deal where Ross would get a finders fee for bringing artists to Shaq’s musical label. Ross apparently delivered some talent but never got the fee he was promised. Ross supposedly threatened Shaq with a security tape that showed him having sex with different women (while Shaq was married to Shaunie O’Neal prior to their divorce). There supposedly was even more bad blood because Shaunie and Robert Ross may have had a relationship after she and Shaq separated.

Like I’ve said, though Shaq comes across as a fun-loving big guy, he has an ugly side most people don’t realize.

Mark Cuban Drops $110,000 Celebrating Win Including $20,000 Tip

What is more insane: dropping $110,000 during a postgame celebration or working as a waiter and getting a $20,000 tip?  We don’t mean to beat the concept of the Dallas Mavericks celebrating their championship win at Club LIV in Miami to a pulp, but the tab Mark Cuban ran up and the tip he left is worth it’s own post.

As we mentioned before, Cuban reportedly bought 250 bottles of champagne for the celebration.  According to the NY Post via Ben Maller, the final damage on the night — or should we call it a nick when you have as much money as Cuban does — was $110,000.  A $90,000 bottle of Armand de Brignac that the Mavs owner purchased for Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Brian Cardinal, and Shawn Marion made up the largest chunk of the bill.

I know the wait staff in a place like Club LIV is used to high rollers, but imagine scoring a $20,000 tip in one night?  I don’t care who you are, that is a chunk of change that can be put to good use — even if they had to split it 10 ways.  We all know Cuban has an endless amount of money, so what better time to spend it.  What I’m really wondering is if a $110,000 celebration doesn’t qualify as something special other than championship rings, what will?  People may be annoyed by Cuban and think it’s dumb that he’s trying to be unique, but you have to be curious about what he has up his sleeve.