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Kanye West called Mike Conley after midnight just to say “I admire you”


Rappers don’t really run on the same schedule as an NBA player during training camp. Those NBA stars — let’s say, hypothetically Mike Conley of the Memphis Grizzlies — are having two practices a day, spending time in the film room, and generally passing out early exhausted. Rappers run on vampire hours.

So Kanye West didn’t blink at calling up Conley after midnight recently — and Conley was good with it, as he told the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

“He said ‘I admire you. I really like what you do. I hate that you’re underrated,'” Conley said during the Grizzlies Media Day Monday. The call from the rapper/producer came after midnight, he said.

“He’s going through all of these things like he really watches me play,” Conley said with laughter. “He was like ‘You can be up here and they don’t see you like that.’

“I was like ‘I’m 100 percent with you. What can we do? Help me. I’m looking for a feature. Put me in the background of some of music or something like that.’”

Does this mean Conley is going to start wearing Yeezys around?

Conley is the NBA cliché for underrated at this point. Conley is a very good point guard who, unfortunately, is playing in the era of greats at the position in the Western Conference — Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, and before that players such as Tony Parker — which led to him being overshadowed. Conley is a great floor general, averaged 20.5 points a game and shot 40 percent from three last season, he had an All-Star level PER of 23.2, and he is a strong defender. What awards does he have to show for a career of those kinds of numbers? One All-Defensive team (2013). That’s it.

The Memphis Grizzlies understand how good he is, which is why they maxed him out two summers ago and made him one of the highest paid players in the league. That’s respect he can appreciate.

And so can Kanye.

Cavaliers reportedly talking trade sending Kyle Korver to Sixers

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Philadelphia struck out going big game hunting this off-season — LeBron James, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard all ended up elsewhere. The Sixers decided to trade for Wilson Chandler (absorbing him into their cap space) and re-signed J.J. Redick, but they have continued to look for the right trade.

That could involve adding Kyle Korver.

From Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

According to a league source, the team has had discussions about trading Jerryd Bayless to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyle Korver.

That move would enable the Sixers to bring back a fan favorite who’s one of the league’s top three-point shooters.  He would be an upgrade from former Sixer Marco Belinelli, who signed as a free agent  with the San Antonio Spurs earlier this month.

This trade is still in the talking phase.

That this was leaked means an agent of one of the teams involved wants to see the deal done and hopes leaking it puts enough pressure on one or both sides to get it done.

For the Sixers it makes sense on the court, they get out of a contract in Bayless they have tried to trade for a year, and they bring in a sharpshooter who can fit within their system and add bench scoring.

For the Cavaliers, they have to be getting a pick or picks of some kind back in this trade (probably a second round or multiple second-round picks, of which the Sixers have several besides their own in the next couple of drafts).

Something to watch as we head into the weekend, to see if this deal can get done.

Giannis Antetokounmpo doesn’t believe in the NBA 2K cover curse


Milwaukee Bucks superstar at Giannis Antetokounmpo will bless this year’s cover of NBA 2K19. It’s a big deal for the Greek Freak, who has come a long way since be a heralded prospect after being drafted in 2013.

Antetokounmpo is also apparently aware of the noted curse from the 2K franchise. That is, that former players who have been on the cover in years past have notoriously ended up in different jerseys shortly after getting selected for the honor.

LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan, Paul George, and Kevin Durant all left their respective teams shortly after being featured on the cover.

Antetokounmpo signed a contract extension in 2016 that runs through the 2020-2021 season. Unless something goes horribly wrong, there’s no reason to think that he will be gone anytime soon.

But is the cover curse real? People certainly seem to think the Madden one is.

Lakers fan paints another LeBron James mural in Los Angeles (PHOTO)


There was already one LeBron James mural in Los Angeles. Several people decided to attack it with paint, ruining a nice gesture by a local artist in Venice and proving how annoying (presumed) Kobe Bryant fans can be.

Now, there is another mural in LA and this time it paid a little more attention to former Lakers legends. Hopefully this time around the subject matter will help stave off would-be vandals.

Via Twitter:

This LeBron piece was done by another Venice muralist, Gustavo Zermeño Jr., who posted photos of his work. In it, LeBron is seen looking up at Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

No doubt that should satisfy some Lakers purists around the area, at least enough to keep them from throwing white paint all over it and ruining and impressive piece of artwork that took the artist a long time to create.

Lakers fan should just be happy that LeBron is in their state.

Clippers sign free agent Luc Mbah a Moute for second stint

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LOS ANGELES — Luc Mbah a Moute is back with the Los Angeles Clippers, signing a free-agent deal.

The 31-year-old forward averaged 7.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.18 steals in 61 games for Houston last season.

Mbah a Moute played two seasons for the Clippers from 2015-17, averaging 4.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in 155 games, including 137 starts.

He was selected 37th overall by Milwaukee in 2008 after three seasons at UCLA. Besides the Clippers and Rockets, Mbah a Moute has played 10 seasons with Milwaukee, Sacramento, Minnesota and Philadelphia.

Terms of the deal announced Thursday were not announced.