LeBron James, Nike introduce the LeBron X (VIDEO)

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The latest version of LeBron James’ signature shoe has started to hit retail, and by all accounts this appears to be the best edition yet. James tells the story of the shoe’s design in the video above, and we have a photo gallery below for a more detailed look. From the official release:

“Inspired by the creation and beauty of a diamond, the metaphoric comparisons run parallel to James’ career. Diamonds form between the earth’s crust and super-heated core, where intensity changes the structure of carbon over time. Under extreme pressure and temperature carbon then becomes diamonds.

“Heat, time and pressure are three things James has faced and act as the shoe’s inspiration. Although a refined diamond is beautiful, it takes work to get there – it starts as a dull rock. Over time, it gains clarity and sharpens with multiple facets.

“Each colorway of the LEBRON X has a unique story. The blue diamond colorway is symbolic of the blue tint diamonds gain from interaction with electricity, which can be paralleled to James’ electric style of play. The cutting Jade colorway is inspired by the Chinese art of cutting jade using diamonds. The story continues throughout the season with multiple colorways linked to the diamond.

“The LEBRON X+ is Nike’s first signature basketball shoe featuring Nike+ Basketball technology and is available in select colorways and in three versions: the fully loaded LEBRON X+ Sport Pack – which includes the shoe and the Nike+ Sport Kit, a Nike+ Basketball enabled version with NIKE+ technology embedded in the midsole, and a non-enabled version. The interactive experience allows users to track in-game activity with NIKE+ enabled shoes and later review, analyze, and share that information using the Nike+ Basketball app.”

The Blue Diamond edition dropped today, with the full Sports Pack retailing for $270. Let us know which colorway is your favorite and whether or not you plan to pick up a pair in the comments.

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DeMarcus Cousins barrels in for powerful putback dunk over Bucks (video)

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When DeMarcus Cousins builds up a head of steam like this… poor John Henson (and kind of Khris Middleton).

This helped the Pelicans pull away for a 115-108 win over the Bucks last night.

Enraged Jason Smith restrained from Mario Chalmers (video)

AP Photo/Nick Wass
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During the Wizards’ win over the Grizzlies last night, Mario Chalmers tried to stop Jason Smith from shooting after Smith had been called for travelling. It’s a fairly common tactic, one pioneered by Kevin Garnett. Players don’t want their opponents to gain confidence by seeing the ball go through the net, even after play stops.

But Chalmers held onto Smith’s arm, and Smith took umbrage.

NBC Sports Washington:

I think it’s more likely, after halting Smith’s shot, Chalmers was trying to hold up Smith rather than yank him down. But I can’t know Chalmers’ intentions, and holding up a falling person by his arm isn’t very effective.

The double technical foul called seems about fair.

PBT Extra: Two months from trade deadline watch DeAndre Jordan and… Paul George?

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The NBA trade deadline got moved up this season to Feb. 8 so the league can avoid the spectacle of DeMarcus Cousins being traded during the All-Star Game and then doing an uncomfortable press interview afterward where he had to be told of the situation.

That means we are less than two months away from the trade deadline, and in this PBT Extra I look at the big names that could be on the market.

The Clippers seem likely to move DeAndre Jordan, the only questions are where and what will they get back? But three other teams have big decisions to make about their stars: Oklahoma City with Paul George, New Orleans with DeMarcus Cousins, and Memphis with Marc Gasol. Right now none of those guys are on the market, but that could change.

Trey Lyles dunks on Jayson Tatum then disrespects him far worse (video)

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Trey Lyles made a nice play in the Nuggets’ loss to the Celtics last night, driving by Jayson Tatum then dunking on him.

On the other hand, that swirl around Tatum’s head was not very nice at all.