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Lou Williams on His 76ers, Allen Iverson, Doug Collins, Lil Wayne, and the Playoffs

LBS had the pleasure of speaking with Philadelphia 76ers guard and Sixth Man of the Year candidate Lou Williams on Friday. Lou is hosting a bone marrow donor drive April 12th at Temple University in Philadelphia in support of DKMS, the world’s largest bone marrow center. Lou got involved with DKMS after his younger cousin was diagnosed with leukemia. Luckily his cousin found a donor, and now Williams is trying to raise awareness for leukemia and the importance of bone marrow donations.

We talked on Friday about Lou’s recovery from his hamstring injury, what it’s been like having Doug Collins as the team’s new coach, how Allen Iverson was as a teammate, Lou’s rapping interest, the infamous Lil Wayne game, and the upcoming playoffs. We also want to remind everyone they can go to www.getswabbed.org to register as a bone marrow donor. Our conversation follows.

LBS: I know you’ve been dealing with your hamstring injury, how have you been able to stay healthy throughout your career, good fortune, good preparation?

Lou: Has to be good fortune because my diet sucks and I always prepare well, but I would just say good fortune.

LBS: The team obviously lost the game when you got hurt [against the Bucks] and lost two more since then. Coach Doug Collins said afterwards that everyone can see how much the team misses you and how vital you are to the team. How does it make you feel to hear that from your coach?

Lou: It feels good for Coach Collins to have that much confidence in me and feel like I’m a vital part of this team. That’s the type of year and type of team we have with the Sixers. Everybody believes in each other and we’re a good team. We don’t have one superstar player, we need everybody on the same page, we need all our guys in order to win games. It was great to hear him say that and it was great to get that same love from the guy.

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Nets Fined $50,000 for Jay-Z Talking to Kentucky Players

A couple weeks ago, Jay-Z was seen celebrating with the Kentucky basketball team in their locker room after they punched their ticket to the Final Four.  At the time, we wondered if the NBA would levy a fine against the Nets, since it’s illegal for NBA team personnel to talk to college players.  Naturally, the rath of Stern has been felt.

The Nets were fined $50,000 by the league on Friday, as Pro Basketball Talk pointed out to us.  Personally, I don’t see it as being a huge deal that Jay-Z was hanging out with the team after their win.  Considering they were still amidst a possible championship quest, I doubt he was roaming around trying to convince players to leave school early and declare for the draft.

That being said, the fine could be seen as nothing more than a slap on the wrist when you consider the NBA fined Danny Ainge $30,000 for sitting with Kevin Durant’s mother at a Texas game.  Ainge was making contact with a college player through a family member, whereas Jay-Z was chatting it up with several players directly.  When you look at it that way, it wouldn’t have been surprising if the Nets were given more than double the Ainge fine.  Again, I don’t see either situation as being a big deal.

Scottie Pippen’s Statue Unveiled

Former Bulls forward Scottie Pippen had a sculpture made in his likeness and the bust was unveiled at halftime of the Bulls-Celtics game Thursday night. The former seven-time All-Star and six-time NBA champ was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last year, so having the statue made is just another honor in his post-career. The statue will be on permanent display in the United Center near Gate 7. Here are more pictures of Scottie Pippen’s bust from the Chicago Tribune.

SCOTTIE PIPPEN STATUE PICTURES

Gloria James Police Report

As LBS reported earlier, Gloria James, mother of NBA superstar LeBron James, was arrested Wednesday night for allegedly beating up a valet employee at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami.

LBS has obtained the official police report of the incident and it has some interesting details. The arrest was made at 5:15 AM on Thursday morning. We all know that unless you are going to work at that hour, nothing good can come of it.

The police report states that when the officer arrived on the scene, James’ SUV was trying to drive off. When he stopped the vehicle to question Gloria and her driver, they both refused to answer. Gloria also had “bloodshot eyes and a strong oder of alcohol on her breath.” However, she was just the passenger of the vehicle.

But all of this pales in comparison to the final line of the police report. It states that after Gloria James was taken in to custody, she refused to take photos, requested a phone call and was “released to Miami Heat Executive Mr. Steve Stowe.” Not even her own son came to pick her up? At this point, it is unclear if she even called LeBron or if her permitted phone call was made directly to the Miami Heat organization. But the simple fact that LeBron wouldn’t be the one picking her up if off-putting.

Below is a copy of the official police report.

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Tyreke Evans Dunks on Gary Neal (Video)

Tyreke Evans dunked so hard on Gary Neal of the Spurs even he had to smile about it. His teammates were loving it, Tyreke had a sly grin, and the play-by-play announcer nailed it when he said “we’ll see you on every highlight reel in America, Mr. Evans.” Perfectly said.

Thanks to Jose3030 for the video, and check out LBS’ collection of monster dunks for more.

Nets Use Deron Williams Billboard to Promote Brooklyn Move

Let me start out by saying I’m all for the New Jersey Nets moving to Brooklyn.  Their new owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, certainly has tried to give fans the impression he means business and being right in New York should only improve the team’s fan base.  Mark Cuban may disagree, but Prokhorov at least deserves a a shot at turning the franchise around.  However, he has yet to assemble the pieces needed to pull that off.

The Deron Williams billboard above is an unfriendly reminder that the Nets need a superstar.  Don’t get me wrong — Deron Williams is a great player.  He’s an All-Star caliber point guard, but is he a superstar?  Not really.  Something like “LeBron James and the Nets bound for Brooklyn,” or “Carmelo Anthony and the Nets bound for Brooklyn,” would have looked and sounded much better on a billboard.  The Nets are working with what they have, but the billboard should serve as a strong indication that they don’t yet have enough.

Ron Artest, Andrew Bynum Rip Amare Stoudemire After He Calls Pau Gasol Soft

On Saturday, Knicks big man Amare Stoudemire called Lakers forward Pau Gasol soft. He was at the Foot Locker House of Hoops and was asked what it was like going up against Pau Gasol when he got off the blast. Here’s the video via Slam Online:

When word got back to Lakers center Andrew Bynum, he immediately questioned Amare’s place to call Gasol soft, writing on twitter, “The NBA is a weird place! How can a man that plays 0 defense call a 2 time champion soft?”

But the best response of all came from Ron Artest, no surprise given his level of craziness. According to Beto Duran, Artest said before the Lakers’ loss to the Jazz Tuesday night “Amare butt naked in magazines and Pau’s soft?” That of course was a reference to Amare’s participation in a partially nude spread in a magazine. And if that wasn’t enough, perhaps making an Amare sailor outfit reference would have worked just as well.

The NBA, where hypocritical happens.