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Kobe Bryant and Kevin Ware bet on who would return from injury first

Kevin WareKevin Ware revealed that he and Kobe Bryant made a friendly bet to encourage each other as they return from injuries. Bryant is rehabbing his torn Achilles’ tendon, while Ware has already returned from his gruesome broken leg suffered during the NCAA Tournament in March. Ware’s return (he played in an exhibition game, not a regular season game) means he won his bet with the Los Angeles Lakers star.

The Louisville Cardinals guard spoke with ESPN for the “Sunday Conversation” and was asked who the biggest name/person he spoke with since the injury. That’s when he mentioned Kobe and their friendly bet.

“Definitely Kobe. Kobe’s actually one of those guys … we actually made a bet, whoever came back first, we had to come to each other’s game.”

Looks like Kobe is going to have to trek out to Louisville to watch Ware. And by the time Ware is ready to play in a regular season game, Kobe might be ready to do the same for the Lakers.

Ware mentioned in April that he had heard from people like Dwight Howard and Charles Barkley. Looks like Kobe tops them.

H/T Beyond the Buzzer

Kevin Ware is back to dunking (Video)

Kevin-Ware-dunkLouisville guard Kevin Ware suffered one of the most horrific sports injuries we have ever seen less than six months ago. Ware’s broken leg likely changed his life, but that does not mean it has to throw his basketball career completely off-course. On Monday, junior college transfer Chris Jones posted a video of Ware dunking.

It was previously stated that Ware will likely miss the start of the 2013-2014 season, which may still be the case. However, the fact that he can already dunk a basketball — albeit gingerly — has to be taken as a positive sign. Ware must be making good progress with his rehabilitation. Here’s hoping he can return to being the player he was pre-injury.

H/T Cardinal Connect via Eye on College Basketball

Kevin Ware cuts down the net after Louisville wins title

Kevin Ware nets

One of the nicest moments of the NCAA Tournament was when Kevin Ware cut down the nets following Louisville’s 82-76 win over Michigan in the national championship game Monday.

A plan was in place for Ware to partake in the tradition of cutting down the nets if his school won the title game. With a handful of strands remaining, the basket was lowered so Ware, on crutches following his gruesome broken leg injury, could cut down the net.

Ware became an inspirational figure during Louisville’s championship run after getting hurt in the regional finals against Duke. Despite having a bone sticking out of his leg, Ware told his teammates that day, “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be OK. Go win this thing.”

They not only own that game, but they took home the entire tournament.

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Kevin Ware wears pink Nike foamposites; Louisville is Adidas school

Kevin Ware Nike Foamposite

Louisville may have done Kevin Ware wrong by attempting to profit off his broken leg while he couldn’t get a cut of the proceeds, and it looks like the sophomore guard got them back (intentionally or not).

Ware, on crutches, came out of Louisville’s tunnel inside the Georgia Dome to join his team for the national championship game Monday. He was shown wearing his jersey, sweat pants, and pink Nike Foamposite shoes.

Just when Adidas was catching a huge break by having two of its schools play against each other in the national championship game, Ware got the swoosh a moment of unexpected air time on TV.

H/T CJ Zero

Adidas pulls Kevin Ware T-shirts

Kevin-Ware-Louisville-shirts

Adidas has stopped selling controversial T-shirts that they began manufacturing following Kevin Ware’s gruesome leg broken leg injury suffered last weekend, USA Today reports.

The shirts were being sold on the Louisville athletic website for $24.99. The shirts said “Rise to the occasion” on the front, and had the number five on the back. Ware’s No. 5 was not only on the back, but it was also in the place of the “S” in rise.

Adidas received plenty of backlash for attempting to profit off a player’s injury while that athlete is unable to receive any of the proceeds due to NCAA rules.

Dan Wetzel at Yahoo! Sports puts that into context of the corrupt NCAA. He also points out that Adidas likely pulled the shirt not because of the moral dilemma, but because it is illegal; schools are not allowed to profit directly off a player, according to NCAA rules.

How do they get away with selling jerseys and shirts with a player’s number? Schools argue that numerous players have worn the number throughout the years.

Ware, meanwhile, has received plenty of support and notoriety since the injury. He received phone calls from Dwight Howard and Charles Barkley among others, and he did the Top 10 on Letterman Thursday.

Kevin Ware goes on David Letterman and presents the ‘Top 10′ (Video)

Kevin-Ware-David-LettermanIt has been five days since Louisville sophomore Kevin Ware suffered one of the worst sports injuries you will ever see, but the nation has yet to stop talking about it. I guess that’s what happens when someone snaps their leg and the bone literally sticks through their skin.

On Thursday night, Ware made an appearance on “The Late Show” with David Letterman to present the notorious “Top 10.” He was a great sport about the entire thing, laughing through some vivid memories that he has probably tried to push as far out of his mind as possible. At one point, Letterman asked  Ware if he was in a tremendous amount of pain when the injury occurred.

“No, being perfectly honest,” Ware said. “It was more so, when I saw it, I went into shock. It was like one of those things you see in ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’ Coach (Rick Pitino) kind of gave it away with his eyes.”

Shock can be a very, very good thing. Ware will be joining the Cardinals in Atlanta on Saturday when they sport these warmup jerseys for their Final Four game against Wichita State. Simply having him in attendance should provide a major emotional boost for the team.

Adidas looking to profit off Kevin Ware injury with Final Four T-shirts? (Picture)

Kevin-Ware-Louisville-shirts

The topic of sports apparel companies making a profit by using Divison-1 athletes to sell products has been heavily debated over the years. Under no circumstances are college athletes allowed to be paid or receive “improper benefits,” yet their jersey numbers are plastered all over merchandise that is constantly flying off the shelves. It appears Louisville sophomore Kevin Ware is no exception.

Ware’s incredibly gruesome leg injury has been the talk of the nation since the Cardinals defeated Duke in the Elite 8 on Sunday evening. The team has decided to honor him with these warmup jerseys at the Final Four, and it looks like Adidas has decided to pay tribute to Ware by profiting from his injury with the T-shirt you see above. You can pre-order your very own “Ri5e to the Occasion” shirt today, which is currently selling for $24.99 on the Louisville athletic website.

When contacted by Larry Brown Sports, an employee from Louisville’s online apparel shop said that there has been no indication that proceeds from the shirt are going to support medical bills or any type of charity. The employee did mention that the shirts were not created “internally” and had come directly from Adidas.

Paying these young men and women would be insane, but profiting off someone’s horribly broken leg is great business.

UPDATE: A Louisville spokesperson told WDRB the school “proactively decided to waive any traditional licensing royalties revenue connected to the No. 5 graphic to be worn by the team on the court. . . . The shirt was created as a respectful tribute to honor Kevin within NCAA trademark apparel parameters, and allow fans to rally around the team. Because of that, adidas is contributing a portion of every sell to the university’s scholarship fund.”