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LaVar Ball says “every summer” he had received “illegal offers” from recruiters

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For once, I don’t think LaVar Ball is being bombastic, exaggerating, or just talking out his ***.

LaVar is the outspoken father of the recent No. 2 pick of the Lakers Lonzo Ball, plus he has another son now at UCLA as a basketball player, and a third that is a high school junior and highly recruited. Ball recently joined the CBS Sports Flagrant Two podcast and in the wake of the ongoing NCAA college basketball scandal was asked if he had received “illegal offers” to help steer his sons somewhere (hat tip Eye on Basketball).

“Every summer. They keep coming every summer to get me to say ‘yes.’ They offered you money, they offered to take care of the AAU team (LaVar runs), they’re gonna give everybody uniforms, everybody shoes. I mean, it’s just, any kind of way.

But see the word got out that LaVar don’t need that. Someone even had a false accusation that said, ‘Oh LaVar asked me for $200,000.’ I was like, ‘Wow, that’s funny.’ What am I gonna do with $200,000? After I’ve bought a car and paid some bills I’m stuck right where I’m at. So $200,000 ain’t gonna do nothing.”

Not every family is in the position to think a couple hundred thousand is nothing. LaVar is right when he goes on to say that money is a short-term fix for most and it comes with a lot of strings, but saying no to it is not easy for everyone.

However, I do not doubt for a second LaVar’s comments that he’s been offered money and more to help steer his sons to certain schools or agents. Not in the least. College recruiting is a dirty, dirty business, and this scandal has simply put common practices in the spotlight. Right now shoe companies and runners are getting nailed, but that web is going to grow and ensnare some agents as well.

Heat forward James Johnson expected to miss 7 to 10 days

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MIAMI (AP) The Miami Heat will be without starting forward James Johnson for at least two games and probably more after bursitis was found in his right ankle.

Johnson left Miami’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday with ankle pain, and an MRI performed Sunday led to the bursitis diagnosis. Johnson is not traveling with the team for its trip for games at Atlanta on Monday and Boston on Wednesday.

The team says Johnson could miss seven to 10 days, which would also mean his status for home games against Dallas on Dec. 22, New Orleans on Dec. 23 and Orlando on Dec. 26 is in some doubt.

Johnson is averaging 10.9 points and 5.2 rebounds for the Heat this season.

LeBron James wears one black, one white LeBron 15 shoes with “Equality” on back (VIDEO)

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LeBron James notched his third-straight triple-double on Sunday, this one coming against the Washington Wizards. But before the game, the story was all about how James was voicing a silent protest — in Washington D.C., no less — by wearing a special version of his shoes.

LeBron took to the floor wearing his LeBron 15s, but this player edition had the word “Equality” on the back of them. James wore one black shoe and one white shoe.

James wore the black versions of this shoe in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ opener to start the season.

Via Twitter:

LeBron finished the game with 20 points, 15 assists, and 12 rebounds. The Cavaliers beat the Wizards, 106-99.

Stephen Curry says he’d want in on potential Panthers ownership

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The Carolina Panthers are up for sale. Owner Jerry Richardson said he would sell the team late on Sunday following an announcement by the NFL that Richardson was under investigation for “workplace misconduct”. The NFL’s investigation and Richardson’s decision to sell was preceded by a report from SI saying Richardson had paid out settlements amid sexual harassment and racial slur claims.

Enter Sean Combs and Stephen Curry.

Combs — that’s Diddy, you to and me — has previously voiced his interest in being involved with the NFL, and after seeing that Richardson would be selling the team, jumped at the chance to boost his profile. Combs tweeted that he wanted to buy the team, and that’s when Curry joined in.

Via Twitter:

Naturally, Curry is from Charlotte and went to both high school and eventually college in the area, playing at Davidson. He’s an avid Panthers fan and has been on the sideline for the team publicly many times over the years.

Curry being part of an ownership group for the Panthers would be pretty wild. Perhaps Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan would like to join in? It seems like they would have the liquidity and credit availability between the three of them to get the team.

Then again, the asking price for the Panthers could be north of $2 billion. The last team to be sold was the Buffalo Bills in 2014 for $1.4 billion. In September, Forbes released a valuation for the Panthers that put them at $2.3 billion.

Might need to get a few others involved in this one.

Watch Raptors fans give Vince Carter a standing ovation in Toronto (VIDEO)

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Vince Carter is 40 years old and playing in what could possibly be his final NBA season. The Sacramento Kings guard started his career with the Toronto Raptors, and on Sunday he played what could possibly be his final game at the Air Canada Centre.

And so, when Carter was subbed out late in the fourth quarter on Sunday, the folks in Toronto did what came naturally: they cheered.

The whole thing was pretty great to watch, and a real testament to how Carter is viewed by fans in Toronto.

Via Twitter:

Carter scored just four points in 25 minutes for Sacramento, going 2-of-5 from the field while adding three blocks, two assists, a rebound and a steal.

The Raptors got the win over the Kings, 108-93.