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DeMarcus Cousins calls the NCAA ‘bulls—t’ following Zion Williamson’s injury

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Cousins was one of many NBA players to call out the NCAA.

Zion Williamson suffered a knee injury when his Nike sneaker collapsed early in a game against North Carolina, causing him to fall awkwardly. The severity of the injury is unclear: Coach Mike Krzyzewski called the injury a knee sprain, but said “we’re very concerned about Zion.”

Since his injury, the prep-to-pros debate has been revitalized, with NBA players like Isaiah Thomas and Donovan Mitchell joining in on Twitter.

Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins was even more blunt. He said Williamson should immediately sit out, calling the NCAA “bullshit.”

Cousins: Knowing what I know now, college is bullshit. College basketball, the NCAA, is bullshit. My advice to him is to do what’s best for you and your family. Obviously college… it does nothing for you at this point. You’ve proven you’re the No. 1 pick. You’ve proven your talent. You’re ready for the next level. It’s happening.

When I was at that age, you enjoy the moment, the experience and all that. But there’s so many risks involved to get to the ultimate goal, which is this level.

Cousins went on to reveal what he’s learned since his lone season at Kentucky.

Cousins: Just how crooked the NCAA business is. I saw a post the other day that showed the highest ticket for the UNC-Duke game was $2,500-$3,500. How much does Zion Wiliamson get? That’s who they’re coming to see. So how much does he get? Who does it go to? How does it benefit any player on that team? But they’re able to give $20 and a meal so this “bad kid” can get a bad rep, “uncoachable,” “thugs,” whatever it might be. It’s bullshit. It’s been bullshit.

When asked about potential solutions, Cousins referenced the G League route. This season, the G League will implement a new rule which allows a $125,000 payment to a select group of “elite” high school athletes, which is an increase from the roughly $7,000 per month wages players typically make over a five-month season.

Cousins sees its future, though. “The G League route, I think that’s helpful,” he said. “Obviously it’s not a popular thing right now, but I think it will grow over time. You’ve seen a couple of young guys enter that program already.”

If Williamson’s injury costs him his season at Duke, or spots in the upcoming NBA Draft, it could have much bigger implications.


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Anthony Davis and LeBron James filmed an episode of ‘The Shop’ during All-Star Weekend

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Of course they did.

If I gave you $100,000 to correctly guess LeBron James’ next guest on his hit HBO series, The Shop, you’d probably go with Anthony Davis. Davis and James are both Klutch Sports clients, and we just witnessed a wild period of the season that featured James’ Lakers nearly dealing three-quarters of their roster to New Orleans for Davis at the trade deadline.

You’d be oh so right.

Davis will join James, Maverick Carter, Steelers All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown, as well as entertainers Jamie Foxx, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz and Jerrod Carmichael on the Season 2 premiere of The Shop, which will air on March 1 on HBO. The episode was filmed in Charlotte during the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend, which is after the trade deadline ended with Davis staying in New Orleans.

Of course Davis is on The Shop

And some fans think this is an instance of tampering.

In reality, the league doesn’t enforce player-to-player tampering because it’s tough to call. But that doesn’t stop fans from being angry at the connection — or cracking jokes about it.

James wants Davis on his team, and vice-versa. The Pelicans may not trade The Brow directly to the Lakers, but in his All-Star Weekend media appearance, Davis said he would be open to being traded to any of the 29 teams before his unrestricted free agency hits in 2020. At that point, anything can happen — including signing with the Lakers in free agency.

Davis and Brown are in similar situations. Brown is also engineering an exit from his current team, having requested a trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is one of the two or three best players at the wide receiver position but the Steelers haven’t been able to find a deal for him.

So … what are they going to talk about?

Will they even address the rumors? They kind of have to, right?

If so, is James going to talk about winning championships, something Davis has yet to do? Is he going to swing questions about what Davis wants, and where things went wrong in New Orleans?

This can go a number of ways, which is exactly why there’s hype around the return of this series.


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Kaepernick and Nike unveil new black ‘Icon’ jersey

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Dubbed Kaepernick’s “Icon” jersey, it’s an all-black uniform with white lettering and the player’s name and number. It’s his first big move since settling with the NFL.

Colin Kaepernick, fresh off his recent settlement with the NFL over the collusion case he levied against it, is making moves. He’s not playing pro football, if he ever will again, but he is still doing big things with Nike, which has released a new Kaepernick jersey for sale.

This is the first real thing we’ve seen from Kaepernick since the settlement with the NFL, which also involved former teammate and activist Eric Reid.

The jersey itself is pretty nice — all black, with white numbers. It’s clean and I’ll probably get one myself. This jersey is part of a larger campaign with Nike and Kaepernick, the face of the company’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. Kaepernick’s deal with Nike is a “star” deal, on par with deals signed by top athletes in the NFL, and will include shoes, shirts, and of course: jerseys.

Kaepernick previously had sold a jersey on his own website, one that said “#IMWITHKAP” in place of a name, but it looked fairly similar to the one now being offered by Nike. It also sold out seemingly immediately. The jersey Kaepernick sold was to benefit the Know Your Rights Camp, and as far as I can tell, there is no such provision for those sold by Nike.

Of course, Kaepernick himself has been very generous with charitable giving in the past, and Nike is always going to do what Nike does: make and sell stuff, usually at a high price and quality.

In less than a day, the jerseys were already out of stock:


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LCU coach reportedly told German player: ‘I’m your new Hitler’

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The Independence Community College’s coach became a national star based on his brash persona.

Independence Community College head football coach Jason Brown called himself “your new Hitler” during a discussion with a player from Germany, per the Montgomery County Chronicle. The player, said to be a redshirt freshman named Alexandros Alexiou, reportedly shared the following on social media, which also shows the coach calling the player “u German f—,” though the exact epithet is unclear.

Last Chance U, the successful Netflix show on JUCO football, spent Season 3 following Brown around ICC. Brown’s explosive temper was the primary storyline of at least the first half of the season, which covered the team’s 2017. Former quarterback Malik Henry disputes the show’s portrayal of Brown, and other players have spoken up for Brown on social media before as well.

Referring to himself as “Hitler” for any reason would go quite a bit beyond cussing a lot, though.

The show filmed at ICC again in 2018 for Season 4, slated to premier this summer.

The “points” in the message refer to a disciplinary system in which players who accumulate 25 are booted, per the paper.

Seemingly confirming the screenshot’s validity, the paper reports ICC president Dan Barwick said, “Independence Community College does not condone the language Coach Brown used in his message. I have spoken with Coach Brown about his message to the student, and he fully understands that his language was not appropriate. The college is investigating the matter and will have no further statement at this time.”

“The Independence Board of Trustees will hold an executive session in a special called meeting” on Feb. 21, per nearby KGGF NewsRadio.


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Why in the world do Odell Beckham Jr. trade rumors keep popping up?

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Every NFL team would love to have a receiver as talented as Beckham. So would the Giants want to trade him away?

In August 2018, Odell Beckham Jr. signed a five-year, $90 million contract with the New York Giants that appeared to put trade rumors to rest for good.

“We feel good about having him on our team for the next five years,” Giants owner John Mara told reporters.

Beckham responded with a bounce-back season with 1,052 receiving yards, despite missing four games. He even threw two touchdowns for an offense that struggled to be anything more than average with Eli Manning at the helm.

But it didn’t even take a year for trade rumors to bubble back up.

It’s not surprising that Beckham is a player many teams would want to acquire. The 26-year-old receiver already has 5,476 career receiving yards and 44 touchdowns in just 59 career games. His 92.8 yards per game is the second best average all-time behind only Julio Jones.

That’s also exactly why it’s so puzzling that trade rumors follow the receiver so persistently. Why would the Giants want to get rid of one of the league’s most elite, young talents?

What are the latest Beckham trade rumors?

Feb. 18, 2019: Bleacher Report’s Chris Simms said the Patriots pushed hard for a trade for Beckham in 2018. NBC’s Mike Florio responded to that by saying the 49ers have been — and continue to be — interested in trading for the receiver.

Feb. 13, 2019: Jay Glazer wrote on The Athletic that his bold prediction of the offseason is that Beckham will be traded.

Oct. 28, 2018: Jay Glazer said on Fox that several teams called the Giants ahead of the trade deadline with “some decent offers,” but were rebuffed.

Oct. 7, 2018: The receiver sat down with rapper Lil Wayne and ESPN’s Josina Anderson for an interview and gave some surprisingly honest and candid answers. That reignited a rift between the player and team, and just like that trade rumors were back.

Why won’t the Beckham trade rumors go away?

Shortly after the end of the 2018 season, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman tried to dump some water on the trade rumor embers before they turned into a fire.

Apparently that didn’t work.

With the possibility of a Beckham trade continuing to make headlines in February, the receiver has posted a few tweets that appear to show his frustration with the rumblings.

A comment on Instagram was even more pointed:

But the trade rumors are — at least to some degree — a self-inflicted wound for Beckham. A year ago, they popped up right around the time a video made the internet rounds that showed the receiver with an aspiring French model, a pizza, and a couple of things that resembled illegal substances.

“I guess my response to that is I’m tired of answering questions about Odell’s behavior,” Mara told reporters in March 2018. “He knows what’s expected of him, and now it’s up to him.”

Beckham has never been arrested and his only suspension was a one-game ban following a knock-down, drag-out battle with Josh Norman in 2015. While his colorful and larger-than-life persona has been a pain in the ass for the Giants at times, it hasn’t kept him out of action.

But the Giants wanted to see personal growth before they committed long-term to the receiver.

“The only question was, was it going to be this year, or were we going to give him another year to prove himself,” Mara said in August after Beckham was extended. “But as I said, he came in with the right attitude. His energy level has been off the roof. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do.

“I think he’s matured quite a bit. … I think he’s ready to go on and be the type of player and citizen that we expect him to be, and I think he will be.”

Then came the interview with Lil Wayne. Beckham questioned Manning’s abilities, and suggested the Giants were holding the receiver back.

“I don’t feel like I’m being given the opportunity to be the very best that I can, to bring that every single day — and that’s really all I want to do, to bring that every single day,” Beckham said. “Since I’ve been here I’ve put up numbers, records have been broken and all those good things, not to say mean nothing to me, but I know they could have been double, or triple whatever they are now. That’s the part that bothers me.”

The reaction was swift.

On top of the ill-advised interview, 2018 was another injury-shortened season for Beckham. A fractured ankle cost him 12 games in 2017, and a quad injury kept him out for the last four games of the year in 2018.

Five seasons into his career, he’s missed 20 games due to injury and one because of a suspension.

That combination of drama and unavailability makes the idea of cashing in a talented headache for draft capital and cap space intriguing.

You still shouldn’t expect a Beckham trade to happen

A day after Glazer predicted a trade will happen this offseason, odds were released that showed the Giants are still the likeliest team to have Beckham on the roster in 2019 — although it wasn’t very lopsided:

The biggest obstacles for a trade getting done are:

  1. Beckham’s contract
  2. Trade compensation

The receiver is due to count $21 million against the Giants’ salary cap in 2019, but they would only save $5 million of that space by trading him this spring. If the Giants wait until after June 1 to trade Beckham, the team could recoup $17 million of that cap space and carry only $4 million in dead money. But that’d mean missing out on trading Beckham for 2019 draft picks and the big savings wouldn’t be that useful months after free agency.

Bottom line: If the Giants decide to trade Beckham for a pick (or picks) in the 2019 NFL Draft, the team is going to carry $16 million in dead money in 2019 and $12 million in 2020. That’s a whole lot of money going to a player who isn’t even on the roster.

Can the Giants even get enough for Beckham to make that much dead money worthwhile? A year ago, Brandin Cooks was traded for a first-round pick, presumably setting the price tag for Beckham — an even more productive receiver — higher than that.

Antonio Brown is currently on the trading block and a player at Beckham’s level, but it’d be surprising if the Steelers got anything more than a second-round pick for the 30-year-old, pricy receiver.

A team would probably need to come with a significant trade package to pry Beckham from the Giants. Given his contract, his injury history, and a persona that may scare away a team or two — you probably shouldn’t count on a trade getting done.


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