Under Armour took a chance on an untested, unproven Kent Bazemore back in 2012. His loyalty to the company is second to none, and he takes the rivalry with Nike very seriously. That includes a rivalry with arguably Nike’s highest-profile active athlete: LeBron James.
Bazemore admitted that he hopes James is less friendly with him because of the rivalry.
Kent Bazemore, on whether he gets a less friendly version of LeBron James because of the Nike/Under Armour rivalry: pic.twitter.com/Nhr1Df4Dle
Do you think LeBron thinks about this? Sure, he’s extremely loyal to Nike, but with all due respect to Bazemore, he’s not exactly a big fish in James’s pond. James doesn’t really seem to treat Under Armour endorser Stephen Curry any different on the court than he does anyone else, and considering how Curry and Nike parted ways, James would have more reason to take it out there than to take it out against Bazemore.
Steve Blake was traded by the rebuilding Los Angeles Lakers to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, the night before the trade deadline in the NBA. Blake was dealt to the Dubs for MarShaon Brooks and Kent Bazemore.
Blake actually showed up to Staples Center for the Lakers’ game with the Houston Rockets and warmed up with the team before being told he was traded. The Warriors are at the Sacramento Kings Wednesday, but they host the Rockets on Thursday night, so we expect him to play in that game.
Blake has averaged 9.5 points and 7.6 assists per game for the Lakers this season. He’s been particularly good on 3-pointers, making 40 percent of them and nearly two a game. He should give the Warriors another outside option. He’s in the final year of his contract, which pays him $4 million this season.
According to Mike Bresnahan, who first reported the deal, Blake said he enjoyed LA and did not rule out returning to the Lakers in free agency.
Bazemore is a second-year guard from Old Dominion. He’s averaged just 6.1 minutes per game this season and has shot 37.1 percent for his career.
Brooks was originally drafted by the Nets and averaged 12.6 points per game for them as a rookie. He was traded to the Celtics in the offseason as part of the Paul Pierce/Jason Terry/Kevin Garnett deal, and he was dealt again as part of a three-way deal in January.
Last summer, ESPN ranked NBA players from No. 500 to No. 1 based on ratings from 104 experts who work for various websites, publications and other media outlets. Unsurprisingly, they came up with LeBron James at No. 1. The bottom of the list included a number of players the average fan has probably never heard of.
One of those players is Kent Bazemore, who played in 61 games for the Golden State Warriors last year and averaged 2.0 points in 4.4 minutes per game. The 24-year-old forward is still trying to make a name for himself, which is why ESPN’s “experts” ranked him No. 499 on their list of 500 names. As Bazemore showed during the Summer League (via @cjzero), he had “499” stitched on the inside of his sneaker as motivation.
Ball Don’t Lie pointed out that the NBA has only 450 available roster spots, so Bazemore was probably offended that ESPN ranked him lower than some players who aren’t even in the league. He is averaging 18.4 points per game in the Summer League, so the youngster is getting an opportunity to showcase his skills. If he becomes more of a contributor next season, the Warriors can thank ESPN.