If this isn’t a real-life parallel to the beloved 2000 classic, I don’t know what is. We all secretly wanted to be Monica Wright and Quincy McCall after they stole our hearts in the basketball romance box office hit Love & Basketball… even if we didn’t outwardly express it. (That 8th grade summer basketball camp definitely flashed through my mind… I just wasn’t born with the gift).
The two have reportedly known each other since high school (another similarity…), specifically the 2006 McDonald’s High School All-American Game. Both Wright and Durant are 24-years-old and were both selected No. 2 overall in their respective drafts. They are also both Texas natives. Oh and if all the previous cited “coincidences” don’t strike you as peculiar… I got the game winner right here…
Durant posted this tweet in 2011 that now takes on a new significance… can’t tell me nothing!
Well… I must say the two did do a good job of keeping their relationship under wraps… They reportedly started dating in high school. And an article from May on FoxSportsNorth.com made no reference to a romantic relationship between the “close friends.” Well, I’m happy for them. And if their story ends anything like the movie that was clearly inspired by them (as if director’s foretold their future), then we know there will surely be a happy ending… with insane basketball bred babies in the future lol!
As if he can stand to make more money, the billionaire entertainer mogul Jay-Z has found a way to do just that. He's adding yet another title to his endless list of accomplishments, this time as sports agent. The Roc Nation Sports founder has partnered with Creative Arts Agency to represent professional athletes and has been certified as a an agent by the player associations for MLB and the NBA. A spokesmen for both groups confirmed the news today.
Mr. Carter has already signed Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, Giants wide reciever Victor Cruz, Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith and former Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins, who recently was selected third by the Tulsa Shock in the WNBA draft. Diggins apparently received a pre-signing bonus from Roc Nation as well... after her graduation in May, Diggins tweeted "I got 99 problems, but a benz ain't one" along with a picture of a spankin' new silver Mercedes CLS 63 valued at over $100,000. Inside was a short handwritten note from Jay-Z himself simply stated, "enjoy."
But not so fast Jigga! The director of security and agent administration for the NBA Players Association, Robert Gadson, says that while Jay-Z's application has been accepted, he won't be able to take on player contracts until he proves that he no longer has any financial ties with the Brooklyn Nets. A spokesman for Jay-Z declined to comment. Earlier this year, Jay-Z said he was willing to comply with NBA rules to relinquish his stake in the team. Owners of NBA teams cannot represent players. But a close source says that as of Wednesday, the Hip-Hop mogul had not sold his small ownership share, less than 1 percent, of the team.
Jay-Z also may have violated the NFL "runner rule." I guess having the last name Carter doesn’t mean much in this case. The rule says that anyone who is not certified cannot recruit players. And Jay-Z is not NFL certified. Yet that certainly didn't stop him from meeting with the Jets' rookie quarterback Smith, who tweeted a picture of himself and Jay-Z at a meeting. Guess Smith didn't know about the rule before he tweeted the picture. In any case, Mr. Carter doesn't seemed to be phased by the hooplah. He was seen in a picture with Cruz, Cano and Smith at a party Monday in Manhattan to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his 40/40 sports bar.
The first NBA player Jay-Z is expected to sign is Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant. The basketball star told his agent, Rob Pelinka, in recent days that he would sign with Jay-Z. The news has been blasted on every social media site. But Durant has not commented publicly on the situation yet.
Jay-Z's agent certification is pending with the NFLPA.
In breaking NBA uniform news, both the OKC Thunder and New York Knicks have revealed new alternate uniforms they will be wearing this season. Both teams needed something else to wear on the road, but now I just wish it was somethin' else.
As you can see above, the Thunder go the unconventional route with 'Thunder' draping the jersey vertically. They also go the unconventional route by not including any of the team's colors. I dig the concept, I dig the simplicity, I don't dig that they look more like Penn State uniforms than OKC Thunder uniforms. Where's that unique shade of blue? Why not mix in some orange and black as well?
All that said, the Knicks alternates make the Thunder's alternates a smashing hit. I normally vibe with mono-themed clothing, but not with NBA jerseys, and not with orange. Especially disappointing after their new away/home unis successfully paid homage to the 80s and 90s Knicks threads. They could have done the same here if they had simply reversed some of the colors, with the orange-based unis making for a modern twist, but they unfortunately missed the boat on that opportunity.
You can look forward to seeing these unis throughout the season, starting tonight when OKC debuts them at home. They actually have a great glimpse at the design inspirations on their site, so check that out as well.
Out of nowhere tonight, Olympic gold medalist and reigning 6th Man of the Year, James Harden was traded away from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Houston Rockets. OKC received Kevin Martin, rookie Jeremy Lamb, two first round draft picks, and one second rounder while Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook, and Lazar Hayward will be joining Harden in Houston.
You may be wondering why OKC would trade James Harden just days before the start of the new season? Well, after this season, Harden would become a restricted free agent and would likely get a 'max' deal from a team eager to build around the 23 year old shooting guard. This would mean large luxury tax penalties to the Thunder, who already have Durant, Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka locked up to lucrative long-term deals.
Now I'm kind of surprised that OKC still didn't play out the season and then maybe do a sign-and-trade in the offseason if they decide they don't want to pay the tax. I feel like Harden on the squad gives OKC the best chance to win the Finals this year, but that's still entirely possible with their core, plus Kev Mart and Lamb. Will be weird seeing the beard not flanking Durant and Westbrook anymore. Looks like they had some real camaraderie. We shall see though...