Kevin Durant is on Stephen Jackson’s rap album, so that’s a wrap on life as we know it


Stephen Jackson loves to rap. He spent a lot of the lockout working on an album, and has a new one he expects to drop this month.But his guest star is what is likely to make some waves. It’s Kevin Durant.

From XXL Magazine’s interview with Captain Jackson, via HoopsHype:

You mentioned that KD is on the album. How do you kind of stay away from getting grouped in with all of the other NBA players who try their hand at rapping? A lot of people have this and that to say about players who make music, so how do you kind of stand alone on that?

I don’t care, I don’t pay attention to it, I’m me. Who cares what people say? I mean, people’s opinions are like buttholes—everybody has one. I don’t even pay it attention.

So Durant’s kind of nice with it?

Yeah, KD can go, man. I respect him for even getting on the track with me, because a lot of athletes are scared to even get on the same song with me ’cause they feel I’m gonna embarrass them. I’m just happy he took the time to do it, and he really killed the verse so a lot of people are gonna be surprised by it.

via Stephen Jackson Speaks on His Rap Career, 2 Chainz Sleeping on His Couch and More… | XXL.

Durant could drop a verse on milk and cookies, and this is somehow still going to negatively affect his image, which is ridiculously stupid. Even if his words contain the usual offensive-to-mainstream-and-by-mainstream-we-mean-rural-white-America words and ideas, he shouldn’t get more grief because he happens to be the scoring champ in Oklahoma. He should be able to express himself like anyone can.

But he’s held to a different standard because of how he’s been billed. It’s not even what Durant has spun himself as. It’s about what his team hasn’t spun hims as. And what they haven’t spun him as is someone who has tattoos and raps. Which really just speaks to how society is uncomfortable with that culture rather than anything else.

But we’ll see. Maybe Durant will spit the most offensive line in history and it will be shocking or maybe it’ll be like Cookie Monster doing “99 Problems.”

Gallinari ready to take big role in new Nuggets offense

Danilo Gallinari, Jimmy Butler
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DENVER (AP) — Danilo Gallinari wants everyone to know this: His surgically repaired left knee, the one that took three procedures to fix and nearly two seasons to fully trust, no longer bothers him.

The Denver Nuggets forward doesn’t need to be on any sort of minutes restriction. He doesn’t need days off during the season. And he certainly doesn’t need to be coddled.

He’s Gallo again, the hard-to-guard Italian playmaker who can knock down the 3-pointer just as easily as drive to the hoop or even post up. He believes he will fit in quite nicely into new coach Michael Malone’s system.

“The thing I’m focused on is trying to get (this team) back to the same level that the Nuggets were when I got to Denver, when we were going to the playoffs easy. When we were clinching a playoff one or two weeks before the season was over,” said Gallinari, who was acquired in the 2011 blockbuster deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. “We need to get back to that level.”

Almost seems so long ago, given that the Nuggets have missed the playoffs two straight seasons after consistently making it for nearly a decade.

Gallinari returned last season for the first time since blowing out his knee in a game on April 4, 2013. His minutes were closely monitored early in the season. He never really got completely on track until late last season, when he averaged 20.5 points over the final 10 contests, including a career-high 47 against Dallas. He’s hoping to carry that kind of confidence this season.

“I’m good to go. I was good to go as soon as the beginning of last year,” Gallinari said. “I was not on the same page with the coach that we had.”

That would be Brian Shaw, who was fired last March after 1 1/2 seasons in charge and going 56-85. Exactly why he wasn’t on the same page with Shaw, well, Gallinari preferred the past remain the past.

“I’m ready to play the new season,” he said. “We need to win games, and get back to the same level we were before.”

Gallinari thinks the Nuggets have the personnel to do just that, especially with a rookie point guard in Emmanuel Mudiay and Gallinari’s knee feeling better than it has in a while. He feels like he has some ground to make up, too, since he said that knee robbed him of some of his prime.

“Playing my best basketball right before I got injured,” the 27-year old said. “Now, we’re back to the same level, hopefully better.

“My knee has been feeling great. It felt great last year. Feeling great during the summer. Feeling great now. I just feel good.”

He spent the summer playing for the Italian team at the EuroBasket tournament, where he averaged nearly 18 points a game. In those games, Gallinari saw quite a bit of time at the four spot on the floor, forcing teams to either use a bulkier big man to cover him and risk getting burned on a drive or a smaller player that Gallinari could simply shoot over.

Malone plans to employ a similar type approach, something they discussed over gelato when the coach visited Gallinari in Italy soon after he was hired.

“He’s 6-foot-10. He can handle the ball. He can play pick-and-roll. He can stretch the floor and shoot the 3,” Malone said. “There’s not a lot he can’t do offensively.”

Gallinari wants the responsibility of being the go-to player for the Nuggets this season, especially at crunch time.

“I’ve always been trying to do that, since I came to Denver,” Gallinari said. “That’s what I like to do. I feel good filling those shoes.

“I want to have the ball in my hands. I do want to have the ball in my hands a lot more.”

Knicks’ Rookie Jerian Grant gets up, throws it down (VIDEO)

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The Knicks did well trading for Jerian Grant on date night — he’s going to be able to walk in this year and play quality minutes off the bench.

And, he can get up and throw it down.

Carmelo Anthony had 18 points to lead the Knicks to a 94-88 win over the Sixers.