Michael Jordan Takes LeBron James’ Side After Trump Tweets ‘I Like Mike’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

President Trump unfavorably compared LeBron James to another basketball legend, Michael Jordan, as he insulted the newest Laker on Twitter. But Jordan — like scores of other celebrities, politicians and athletes — made it clear on Saturday that his support is with Team James.

“I support LJ,” Jordan said in a statement to NBC News, referring to James. “He’s doing an amazing job for his community.”

NEW: Jordan sides with James over Trump tweet. NBA legend Michael Jordan tells NBC News through a spokesperson: “I support LJ. He’s doing an amazing job for his community.”

— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) August 4, 2018

Also Read: LeBron James Sidesteps Trump Diss, Celebrates New School Instead

That put Trump in an awkward position. Jordan rarely speaks out on politics, but he did make the effort to take the side of James, the player Trump was trying to insult Friday after the NBA star’s interview on CNN. Trump was presumably reacting to James’ comment during the interview that he “would never sit across from” the POTUS to Lemon earlier in the week.

“Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon,” Trump tweeted Friday after the NBA star’s interview on CNN. “He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!”

James’ first and only tweet after the president dissed him came on Saturday morning, when he celebrated the opening of the “I Promise” school, a project of the LeBron James Family Foundation, that provides 240 at-risk third- and fourth-graders in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, with free meals and a new bicycle.

Also Read: Here’s a Montage of Trump Saying ‘It’s True,’ Courtesy of ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ (Video)

 

Jordan wasn’t the only person to back James, though. Hillary Clinton tweeted James was a “great family man” and a “class act.” James had stumped for Clinton on the campaign trail in 2016.

.@KingJames is a great family man, incredible ballplayer, gives back to his community, and isn’t afraid to speak his mind. He’s a world class athlete and a class act. We need more like him in this world.

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 4, 2018

Also Read: Here’s a Montage of Trump Saying ‘It’s True,’ Courtesy of ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ (Video)

The Lakers came to the defense of their new superstar on Saturday as well.

“We could not be more proud to have LeBron James as part of our Lakers family,” said Lakers CEO and co-owner Jeanie Buss in a statement.  “He is an incredibly thoughtful and intelligent leader and clearly appreciates the power that sports has to unite communities and inspire the world to be a better place. Those efforts should be celebrated by all.”

Even Melania Trump seemed to side with James, saying she was “open” to visiting his new school.

Also Read: Jake Tapper Defends CNN Reporter Kaitlan Collins as a ‘Great Reporter’ After White House Ban (Video)

President Trump is coincidentally enough hosting a rally in James’ home state on Saturday night.

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Melania Chooses Team LeBron Over Team Trump, Is ‘Open’ to Visit NBA Star’s New School

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The first lady just picked Team LeBron over Team Trump.

One day after President Trump blasted LeBron James’ intelligence, Melania Trump broke ranks with her husband, saying on Saturday that the hoops superstar was doing “good things” and that she’d be “open” to visiting his newly-minted school for at-risk kids in Ohio.

“It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today,” Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s spokesperson, said in a statement shared with the AP. “Her platform centers around visiting organizations, hospitals and schools, and she would be open to visiting the I Promise School in Akron.”

Also Read: Twitter Picks LeBron Over Trump: ‘James Represents the Best of America. Donald Trump Represents the Worst’

More from Melania Trump’s spokeswoman:

“Her platform centers around visiting organizations, hospitals and schools, and she would be open to visiting the I Promise School in Akron”

— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) August 4, 2018

One of Melania Trump’s initiatives as first lady is to bring children to the “forefront of her agenda,” according to the White House’s website.

James opened the “I Promise” school earlier this week, providing 240 kids in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, with a host of perks, including free meals and a new bicycle.

Also Read: Trump Disses LeBron James, Don Lemon After CNN Interview: ‘Dumbest Man on Television’

President Trump reacted Friday night to an interview James did with CNN’s Don Lemon earlier in the week in which the new L.A. Laker said he “would never sit across from” the POTUS. Trump dubbed Lemon the “dumbest man on television,” and tweeted that the host “made LeBron look smart, which isn’t easy to do.”

Trump then jumped back to the early ’90s, referencing Gatorade’s Michael Jordan ads by adding, “I like Mike!”

Jordan — now the owner of the Charlotte Hornets — said in a statement that James is “doing an amazing job for his community.”

Also Read: Colbert Ends the Week With a Paul Manafort-Themed ‘Take on Me’ Parody (Video)

Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan’s official statement, via spokesperson, in wake of Donald Trump tweet referencing him and LeBron James: “I support LJ. He’s doing an amazing job for his community.”

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 4, 2018

We’ll keep you updated if anyone says they’ll back Trump in his latest feud.

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LeBron James Sidesteps Trump Diss, Celebrates New School Instead

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

LeBron James has tweeted his first words since President Trump dissed him on Twitter — and the hoops superstar celebrated the opening of a new school rather than fan the flames on Saturday morning.

Instead, James simply retweeted a message from his newly-minted school, saying “Let’s get it kids! Love you guys.”

Let’s get it kids!! Love you guys https://t.co/kY88geedus

— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 4, 2018

Also Read: Trump Disses LeBron James, Don Lemon After CNN Interview: ‘Dumbest Man on Television’

James opened the “I Promise” school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, earlier in the week — providing 240 students with a myriad of benefits, including free meals and a new bicycle.

But the president wasn’t talking about James’ philanthropy on Friday night. Trump responded to an interview between James and CNN’s Don Lemon, who Trump dubbed the “dumbest man on television.” Trump tweeted that Lemon “made LeBron look smart, which isn’t easy to do.” He even jumped back to the early 90s, referencing Gatorade’s Michael Jordan ads by adding “I like Mike!”

Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2018

Also Read: Trump Needles ‘Morning Joe’ Ratings Again: ‘Dead Show With Very Few People Watching’

Trump was apparently miffed by James telling Lemon he “would never sit across from” the president.

And while LeBron took a detente approach, Lemon called out Trump on Saturday morning. “Who’s the real dummy?” Lemon tweeted, attaching a link to his interview in which James discussed the new school for at-risk youth he launched in his native Akron, Ohio. “A man who puts kids in classrooms or one who puts kids in cages?”

In related news, LeBron James just changed from playing for a swing-state team to a heavily blue state.

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LeBron James Gets Big Hollywood Welcome From Schwarzenegger to Snoop Dogg

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Hollywood rolled out the red carpet to welcome LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday following the announcement that the NBA superstar had signed a four-year contract with the one-time championship team.

“This is so exciting that you are coming to the city of stars,” Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a video post. “You, without any doubt, are going to be the biggest star of all, on and off the court.”

Welcome, @KingJames. pic.twitter.com/Gy7JywiUwu

— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) July 2, 2018

Also Read: LeBron James Signs $154 Million Deal With Los Angeles Lakers

Chris Rock joked, “Congratulations to the Boston Celtics next years eastern conference champions.”

Congratulations to the Boston Celtics next years eastern conference champions.

— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) July 2, 2018

Here are a handful of the other celebs applauding the deal:

Welcome home @KingJames ???? pic.twitter.com/sq6NrloqXu

— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) July 2, 2018

Lakers got LeBron, congratulations LA & Congratulations Magic Johnson remember when Dick Stain Dan LeBaTard questioned if Magic was “qualified” for the job?The DickStainDan who’s Father is on TV daily? Fire Yourself & Fire Poppy NOW. You know Jack Shit @LeBatardShow @Stugotz790

— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) July 2, 2018

There is a God! Must be Magic! #happydaysarehereagain https://t.co/HUC9QIzzle

— Ice Cube (@icecube) July 2, 2018

told youuuu https://t.co/ENTrEuq0NC

— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) July 2, 2018

YESSSSSS!!!! @Lakers #LA pic.twitter.com/Y3SwnJOg5U

— Mario Lopez (@MarioLopezExtra) July 2, 2018

Also Read: Vegas Odds Favor LeBron James Playing for Lakers Next Season

Welcome to LA, Mr. James. @KingJames @Lakers

— Larry King (@kingsthings) July 2, 2018

Ummmmm. Greatest news ever? #Lakers #NBA #TeamTouch https://t.co/PE11XP6Ke4

— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) July 2, 2018

Honestly, this LeBron news is the best birthday present my husband could have possibly gotten.

— Busy Philipps (@BusyPhilipps) July 2, 2018

BREAKING NOW!!!!!!!!LEBRON TO THE LAKERS 4 YEAR CONTRACT.

— Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) July 2, 2018

Also Read: The Latest ‘Three Billboards’-Style Campaign to Lure LeBron James to Philadelphia

WOWZERS!! Just left a VICTORIOUS game for my @la_sparks and just found out @magicjohnson got us da KING @kingjames to sign to @lakers WHAT?? Getting my season seats NOW!! #LifeIsGoodhttps://t.co/EpEpDItxGX

— Vivica A. Fox (@MsVivicaFox) July 2, 2018

The feel-good story would’ve been LeBron finishing his career in Cleveland. I feel sorry for all the great Cavs fans. But LeBron was born to be a Laker playing for the original LeBron, Magic Johnson. Can’t fault LeBron for finishing his career in Hollywood. #StriveForDrama

— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) July 2, 2018

Kathy Griffin not only welcomed James to the Lakers, she simultaneously jabbed conservative commentator Laura Ingraham for telling The King he should “shut up and dribble.”

cc: @IngrahamAngle he’s still dribbling but thankfully he’s not shutting up. https://t.co/4UEwatoUPG

— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) July 2, 2018

Also Read: Tom Brady, LeBron James Lead 2018 ESPYS Nominations

Current and former Lakers stars joined in on the excitement.

Welcome to the family @KingJames #lakers4life #striveforgreatness @JeanieBuss @MagicJohnson and RP well done!!! ????????

— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) July 2, 2018

I am sure the Lakernation is rejoicing The acquisition of LeBron James means that the Lakers are just a smidgen away from being real contenders. Congrats to @MagicJohnson & @LALakersLive et al. Cross your fingers for news from San Antonio.

— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@kaj33) July 2, 2018

YES Thank you @KingJames Welcome to LA ! Congratulations to the @Lakers Owners @MagicJohnson and his Front Office and all of LakersNation https://t.co/Clv29BrTBu

— Rick Fox (@RickFox) July 2, 2018

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Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

After a year of speculation, LeBron James is once again leaving Cleveland and, for the first time in his career, is taking his talents to the West Coast.
On Sunday afternoon, James’ agency, Klutch Sports, announced that the three-time NBA champio…

Vegas Odds Favor LeBron James Playing for Lakers Next Season

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

LeBron James is set to become a free agent on July 1, and online sportsbook Bovada gives the Los Angeles Lakers the best odds of landing the four-time league MVP.

The Lakers — mired in a franchise-record five-season absence from the playoffs  — have better than a 2-to-1 shot (7/4 odds, or betting $100 to win $175) to land James.

But why would James, coming off his 8th consecutive trip to the NBA Finals, join a Western Conference bottom-feeder?

Also Read: Yes, Kobe Bryant Is Now an Oscar Nominee

James has a number of ties to the entertainment industry. He played himself in 2015’s “Trainwreck,” and James’s Warner Bros.-tied production company, SpringHill Entertainment, is based in Burbank.  Recently, James has spent more than $40 million on homes in Brentwood, further fueling the #LaBron speculation.

 

LeBron James and his wife, Savannah Brinson, at the “Trainwreck” premiere in 2015

From a basketball standpoint, the Lakers have been connected to free agent swingman Paul George for almost a year, have a talented group of young players and are one of the NBA’s most popular teams. Despite being 33-years-old, James averaged 34 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists in the 2018 playoffs for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Lakers have aren’t the only team with strong odds to sign James. The Philadelphia 76ers narrowly trail the Lakers as 11/5 odds to sign James, while the Houston Rockets have a 2.5-to-1 shot. James’ current squad, the Cavaliers, have a 5-to-1 shot. And for hopeful New Yorkers, who missed out on James when he initially left the Cavaliers back in 2010, Bovada gives the Knicks have a 30-to-1 chance.

Also Read: Kobe Bryant Shades Laura Ingraham’s ‘Shut Up and Dribble’ Comment in Oscars Speech

Check back in a few weeks to see if Lakers legend Magic Johnson will be rolling out the red carpet for James at Staples Center.

Here’s a look at the full odds below:

Los Angeles Lakers                   7/4

Philadelphia 76ers                     11/5

Houston Rockets                      5/2

Cleveland Cavaliers                   5/1

San Antonio Spurs                    8/1

Boston Celtics                          12/1

Golden State Warriors               30/1

New York Knicks                       30/1

Miami Heat                                40/1

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Facebook’s Watch Is Surprisingly Popular With Young People, New Study Shows

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

It looks like a fair amount of people are checking out LaVar Ball on Facebook.

Facebook’s Watch — its budding video platform — is off to a strong start, according to a new study from Morgan Stanley.

Forty percent of Facebook users check out clips on a weekly basis, according to analysts Brian Nowak and Ben Swinburne. Watch launched last August, with the social network streaming hundreds of shows — including content from A&E, Vox, Thrillist, and debuting shows like “Ball in the Family,” following around Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball and his zany family.

And Facebook — often more associated with an older crowd than Instagram, its trendy photo app — will be happy to see Watch is performing well with a younger demo; 40 percent of 16-34 year-olds check out Watch on a daily basis. Short form content (20 minutes or less) has been the most popular on Facebook, Morgan Stanley pointed out.

“We are encouraged (and admittedly surprised) by this early Watch traction as it speaks to [Facebook’s] ability to drive adoption of new products,” said Nowak and Swinburne. “We view Watch (and video) as the next key long-term driver of FB engagement and monetization.”

The data was pulled in December, with Morgan Stanley surveying 1,400 Americans, aged 16 and older.

YouTube remains the king of the online video hill, however, 78 percent of respondents watch YouTube on a weekly basis — and one out of four saying they watch at least an hour each day.

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Kobe Bryant Has Not One But 2 Jerseys Retired: ‘Forever Immortalized, Truly Legendary’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Kobe Bryant’s 20 years playing for the Los Angeles Lakers were honored on Monday in a star-filled journey down NBA memory lane,

The 18-time NBA MVP had not one but two jerseys immortalized at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, as both his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys were hung from the rafters.

When asked which jersey her preferred, the Lakers legend replied: “I kind of go back and forth,” Bryant said. “[No.] 8 has something that 24 will never, ever, ever, ever have, and that’s the ability to grow hair. So it’s tough,” he said, according to USA Today.

Also Read: ‘Dear Basketball’ Makes the Shortlist — Will Kobe Bryant Get to the Oscars?

“I think 24 was more challenging, and I tend to gravitate to things that are harder to do. Physically for me, it was really, really hard to get up night in and night out. It was a grind,” Bryant added.

Bryant had changed from wearing No. 8 to 24 at the beginning of the 2006-07 NBA season so that he could resume wearing his high school number, which was previously unavailable.

In honor of the jersey retirement, which came 20 months after Bryant’s real-life retirement from professional basketball, a flood of famous names of the sports world professed their praise on Twitter.

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“Forever immortalized through the yelling of his name every time someone shoots a crumpled paper ball towards a garbage can. Truly Legendary,” Houston Texans’ JJ Watt wrote.

Even former Lakers coach Phil Jackson praised Bryant, tweeting: “Congratulations Kobe Bryant! Hail Momba, too. Two Jersey’s retired is one way to measure your impact for the Lakers.

Meanwhile Shaq — who was once Bryant’s greatest nemesis — also came out to join in the celebration and offer his congratulations.

Also Read: Kobe v Shaq: a Timeline (Photos)

See the tweets below:

Forever immortalized through the yelling of his name every time someone shoots a crumpled paper ball towards a garbage can.
Truly Legendary. #Kobe

– JJ Watt (@JJWatt) December 18, 2017

Congrats @kobebryant ???? much deserved ????????8️⃣????????2️⃣4️⃣????
See you tonight my brother!… https://t.co/lsKFzg8p8A

— SHAQ (@SHAQ) December 18, 2017

You deserve this one and all the recognitions in the world. Thank you for bringing so much to the sport of basketball #brother!

Te mereces este y todos los reconocimientos del mundo. Gracias por todo lo que has aportado a este deporte #hermano! #Ko8e24 pic.twitter.com/bM3ySD83jX

— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) December 18, 2017

Congratulations Kobe Bryant! Hail Momba, too. Two Jersey’s retired is one way to measure your impact for the Lakers. The GOAT measure is:????????????????????

— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) December 18, 2017

Greatness recognizes greatness: On hand to honor Kobe tonight at Staples are Shaq, Kareem and Bill Russell. That’s 21 rings. Kobe, closest to MJ ever. Fearless fire. Mamba mentality. Congrats, 8/24.

— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) December 19, 2017

#Ko8be24 2 jerseys retired is Legendary!!!

— Breanna Stewart (@bre_stewart30) December 19, 2017

I never got to go up against Kobe wearing #24 but it was a joy watching him thrive in an offense I knew so well. ????#Ko8be24 pic.twitter.com/19JABzOgjl

— Scottie Pippen (@ScottiePippen) December 19, 2017

Congrats!!! #Str8SerialKilla @kobebryant pic.twitter.com/m2LhIAGp9W

— Allen Iverson (@alleniverson) December 18, 2017

Forever my favorite player ???? #Ko8be24 pic.twitter.com/75iZKmU8VP

— Shade’ Dixon (@ShadeEsq) December 18, 2017

Kobe Bryant retiring two numbers tonight? That’s not done everyday. This legend is the one who got me into basketball when I was young and it’s carried as a passion ever since. Thank you for 20 season of galvanizing moments. From 8 to 24, to 81 and 60 in the last game. #Ko8be24 pic.twitter.com/qexLdbaVCm

— Dylan Young (@zestydylan) December 18, 2017

Kobe and Bill Russell. What a moment. pic.twitter.com/ZUJt5iQuSJ

— ESPN (@espn) December 19, 2017

Kobe Bryant will be the 1st player to have No. 8 retired by an NBA team, and he’ll be the 8th player to have No. 24 retired by an NBA team. pic.twitter.com/jZWt7wsjrv

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 18, 2017

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Lonzo Ball Has Huge Game, Immediately Drops New ‘Dragon Ball Z’-Inspired Single

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, fresh off his big win against the Phoenix Suns on Friday, took to Twitter to announce his new single, “Super Saiyan” — which will definitely get ’90s babies hyped up for its “Dragon Ball Z” inspiration.

As athlete rap songs go, this one isn’t too shabby. Check out the chorus — which, of course references “Triple B’s” for Big Baller Brand — for a taste:

“Triple B’s, I’m the man. I’m leveled up, I’m Super Saiyan. You said I can’t, but I can. Triple B’s got the plan. I had to stunt on my haters, I had to show ‘em who’s boss. I had to flex on my haters, diamonds they drippin’ in saucev.”

For the fans ???? #SuperSaiyan #OutNow pic.twitter.com/nbzLdV47xA

— Lonzo Ball (@ZO2_) October 21, 2017

Also Read: Lonzo and LaVar Ball Re-Up With Facebook: ‘Ball in the Family’ Renewed for Season 2

 

Ball had an inauspicious debut on Thursday night, putting up only three points as the Lakers were drubbed by their hometown rival L.A. Clippers. Circumstances flipped on Friday, however, with Ball scoring 29 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and dishing 9 assists.

For all the Lakers fanboys out there, the new single, released under his “Zo” nickname, is available now on iTunes, Apple Music, Tidal and Spotify.

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LaVar Ball, digital media mogul?

With the NBA season tipping-off, Facebook announced on Tuesday it’s bringing back the Lonzo and LaVar Ball-led series “Ball in the Family” for a second season.

The show debuted on Facebook’s Watch platform in August, following the first family of SoCal hoops as it navigated from Lonzo being drafted to the Lakers, to high school sensation LaMelo running into girlfriend problems. But the star of the show, as hoops heads have come to expect, was cocksure patriarch LaVar Ball, who took 13 seconds to announce the show’s return. And yes, he was decked out in his trademarked Big Baller Brand merchandise when he shared the news.

Also Read: 3 Reasons Why LaVar Ball Is Internet ‘Gold’

The first episode was a smash, racking up more than 22 million views. But the following seven episodes haven’t pulled in as many eyeballs, with about 8 million combined views. The season finale is coming up on Oct. 29.

Reality TV hitmakers Bunim/Murray Productions — best known for “The Real World” and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” — will continue producing the show.

Beyond Lonzo’s budding career in Los Angeles, the show looked at LaVar building out the budding BBB sportswear brand, along with matriarch Tina Ball’s battle to come back from a stroke. “Ball in the Family” was part of Facebook’s initial push into original content over the summer.

Here’s to viewers finally being treated to that one-on-one battle between LaVar and Michael Jordan in the season two premiere.

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Michael Jordan Tells LaVar Ball: I Could Beat You ‘One-Legged’ (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Michael Jordan — widely regarded as the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) when it comes to hoops — has finally shot back at LaVar Ball, the brash father of the Number 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft Lonzo Ball, saying that he couldn’t beat him “if I was one-legged!”

Air Jordan was responding to a question from an attendee at his annual Flight Camp in Santa Barbara, California. His Airness didn’t mince words, and clowned LaVar for his college career in the process (Ball Sr. played at Washington State from 1987-1988).

“You’ve got to understand the source. He played, I think, college, maybe?” Jordan asked. “He averaged, like, 2.2 points a game. Really? It doesn’t dignify an answer, but I’m going to give it to you, because you asked the question: I don’t think he could beat me if I was one-legged.”

Also Read: ESPN’s Jay Bilas Rip ‘Misogynistic Buffoon’ LaVar Ball: ‘He Has Become a Joke’

Did you expect anything less from Jordan? He’s the same guy who spent the majority of his Hall of Fame induction speech rehashing a laundry list of old foes he had vanquished, Richard Nixon-style.

If you haven’t been following the MJ-Ball “rivalry,” LaVar made waves in a March USA Today profile when he said “back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one.” Ball has built a cottage industry out of his outlandish claims, using the headlines to promote his budding Big Baller Brand line of apparel and sneakers. A select few of his greatest hits include: saying Lonzo was better than two-time reigning MVP Steph Curry (he’s not),  guaranteeing Lonzo would lead UCLA to an NCAA championship (didn’t happen), and saying it’d take a billion dollars to sign his son to a shoe deal (Nike and Adidas, uh, passed).

His cocksure attitude has also gotten him into hot water. Ball was under fire last week for demanding a female referee be removed mid-game during an AAU tournament for his youngest son.

Also Read: 3 Reasons Why LaVar Ball Is Internet ‘Gold’

Jordan, for his part, actually took a second to see Ball’s side of things — before laying the smackdown once more.

“Look, every parent is very proud of their kids,” the Chicago Bulls legend said. “I don’t discourage that. I think the kid [Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo] is really good. I think he has the potential to be a good player. But I would say, if I had to sit down and talk to him right now, if he was here, I would tell him (LaVar) to shut up and let the kids play.”

And if you expected Ball to go quietly into the night, you don’t know LaVar. He gave his response loud and clear on Instagram later on Tuesday.

Also Read: LaVar Ball and Sons Take Over WWE’s ‘Monday Night Raw’ (Video)

We’ll keep you posted if the PPV goes down.

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3 Reasons Why LaVar Ball Is Internet ‘Gold’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

While the Boston Celtics won the NBA lottery on Tuesday night, giving the franchise the first overall pick in next month’s draft — the real winner across social media was clearly LaVar Ball.

The outspoken (to put it mildly) father of UCLA phenom Lonzo Ball — who appears destined to be drafted No. 2 by the Los Angeles Lakers — has become an internet sensation thanks to his outlandish comments and GIF-able mannerisms.

“Anything with Lavar Ball’s name attached to it is going to drive clicks,” Drew Ruiz, a contributor for Slam Magazine, told TheWrap. “He says the most wild things, man.”

Also Read: Twitter Thinks Lonzo Ball’s New ZO2 Shoes Aren’t So Baller

Once the Lakers secured the second overall pick, and most likely Lonzo in the process as the Celtics are expected to take Washington guard Markelle Fultz, Twitter was flooded with LaVar memes.

And with the No. 2 pi — pic.twitter.com/5PuLmWF7EO

— Drew Ruiz (@DrewRuiz90) May 17, 2017

Ball Sr.’s comments soon followed, as he doubled-down on his previous claim his 19-year-old son would play for the Lakers because he would “speak it into existence.”

The former football player also made the brash proclamation that “the Lakers make the playoffs as soon as my boy gets there,” Bleacher Report reported. His younger sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, are both star players at Chino Hills High School, and are heading to UCLA “if you put Bobo the Clown in as coach,” their dad says.

For the uninitiated to the Lavar carnival, his internet appeal boils down to three core fundamentals.

Also Read: LaVar Ball Blames Slow ‘White Guys’ for UCLA Not Winning NCAA National Championship

1. He’s Loud
“It’s the brashness — the way he gives these one liners” that makes him the perfect fit for social media, according to Harrison Faigen, associate editor-in-chief of Silver Screen and Roll, a Lakers blog. His “punchy” quotes are tailor-made for Twitter.

Faigen pointed to Ball’s comments about Jason Whitlock, a national sportswriter who was critical of Ball after he told Fox Sports radio host Kristine Leahy to “stay in your lane.”

Lavar Ball: “Jason Whitlock can’t comment on anything but snacks.”

— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) May 17, 2017

“If you’re the first person to transcribe it [what Ball says] and tweet it out, it’s going to get you a million retweets,” said Faigen. “What comes out of his mouth is generally gold.”

Also Read: NBA Draft Lottery: Boston Celtics Awarded First Overall Pick

2. He’s Unpredictable
People are willing to click on a LaVar Ball story because he’s capable of saying anything. And it’s not going to be boring. Whether it’s saying his son is better than reigning two-time MVP Stephen Curry, or that he’d “kill” Michael Jordan in a game of one-on-one, Ball keeps topping himself when it comes to asinine statements.

It’s a cyclical — and cynical — process. Writers, radio hosts and TV shows fall over themselves to have Ball on their show. The more he speaks, the more often he goes viral, and the more likely he’ll be asked to come back — no matter how dumb his comments are.

LaVar Ball making threatening comments towards @KristineLeahy on “The Herd.” pic.twitter.com/O2ePgbnVug

— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) May 17, 2017

3. He’s Polarizing
The audience for LaVar Ball content is divided into two camps: Those that love his loud personality, and those with a severe case of schadenfreude. As Ruiz puts it, “regardless of if you love him or hate him, you’re still going to talk about him.”

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The trifecta of Ball’s persona goes beyond the realm of an obnoxious sports dad. There are plenty of those in every NBA draft, and you can’t name one from last year’s crop of players. It’s now become a weapon for Ball to utilize in his effort to build his nascent shoe and apparel company, Big Baller Brand.

Ball was widely clowned for having his “co-branding” pitch turned down by Nike, Adidas and Under Armour. After deciding to go solo, the jokes kept flying on social media when Lonzo revealed the $495 “ZO2” shoes he’ll sport next season. LaVar immediately fanned the flames, tweeting “If you can’t afford the ZO2’s, you’re NOT a BIG BALLER!”

It was liked or retweeted more than 50,000 times.

Big Baller’s loose! If you can’t afford the ZO2’S, you’re NOT a BIG BALLER! ????

— Lavar Ball (@Lavarbigballer) May 4, 2017

“They’re taking a page from the Trump playbook: say outrageous shit, and you’ll cut through the noise,” Michael Bilello, CEO of Centurion Strategies, a public relations firm with NFL and NBA clients, told TheWrap. “Once you choose to [start your own company], the only way you’re going to get attention for this is to be extremely bold.”

Also Read: LA Lakers Name Magic Johnson President of Basketball Operations

Ball’s business prospects have now become inextricably linked to his ability to stay in the news cycle. To keep the free publicity flowing, he has to continue churning out tweet-able content.

But the long-term viability of his brash, social media-friendly game plan will ultimately come down to something he can’t control: how his son performs on the big stage in the NBA.

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LaVar Ball Blames Slow ‘White Guys’ for UCLA Not Winning NCAA National Championship

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NBA Draft Lottery: Boston Celtics Awarded First Overall Pick

NBA Draft Lottery: Boston Celtics Awarded First Overall Pick

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

It’s been a busy 24 hours for the Boston Celtics.

After winning a crucial Game 7 on Monday night to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team was awarded the number one pick in the 2017 NBA draft courtesy of Tuesday’s lottery in New York City.

Going into night, Isaiah Thomas’ team had a 25 percent chance of nailing the top spot following a swap with the Brooklyn Nets stemming from the 2013 trade involving Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry.

Also Read: Celtic Isaiah Thomas Lost a Tooth But Gained Shooting Superpower In NBA Semifinal (Video)

His impact on the outcome was not ignored by newly-retired Pierce.

And look what I leave behind for the Celts on my way out #1 pick????????????????????

— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) May 17, 2017

The Los Angeles Lakers snagged the number two pick, with Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings rounding out the top five.

Boston is the first team to finish with the top record in a conference and then pick first overall since the Lakers did so and made James Worthy the No. 1 pick in the 1982 draft, according to ESPN. It also marks the first time that longterm rivals Celtics and Lakers have boasted the number one and two picks.

Also Read: 5 Things to Watch for During the NBA Playoffs, From LeBron’s Resurgence to the MVP Race

The Celtics are expected by many analysts to Washington guard Markelle Fultz with the number one pick, which could leave UCLA guard Lonzo Ball and his outspoken father LaVar Ball heading to the Lakers.

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While the Celtics had the luck of the Irish on Tuesday, Vegas odds are predicting that their pot of gold will be empty when the face LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the next round of the NBA playoffs. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has Cleveland as a -700 favorite, and Boston was +500, meaning that $100 bet on the Cavaliers to win the series would now win $14.29 — that same $100 bet on the Celtics would win $500.

The two face off on Wednesday night in Boston, while the NBA draft is Thursday, June 22.

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LA Lakers Name Magic Johnson President of Basketball Operations

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The Los Angeles Lakers have named Earvin “Magic” Johnson the new president of Basketball Operations.

To clear space, General Manager Mitch Kupchak and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Jim Buss have both been fired. Buss remains an owner of the team with the rest of his family, most notably sister and team president Jeanie Buss.

“Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect,” Jeanie Buss said in a Tuesday media release. “Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me. Our search for a new General Manager to work with Earvin and Coach Luke Walton is well underway and we hope to announce a new General Manager in short order. Together, Earvin, Luke and our new General Manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness.”

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“I took these actions today to achieve one goal: Everyone associated with the Lakers will now be pulling in the same direction, the direction established by Earvin and myself,” she added. “We are determined to get back to competing to win NBA championships again.”

“It’s a dream come true to return to the Lakers as President of Basketball Operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family,” said Johnson. “Since 1979, I’ve been a part of the Laker Nation and I’m passionate about this organization. I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court. We have a great coach in Luke Walton and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions.”

Johnson, an NBA Hall-of-Famer and a Lakers legend, played 13 seasons with the team and won five championships. He had been an adviser to the team up until this point.

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On Kupchak, Jeanie said, “We are grateful for the many contributions Mitch has made to the Lakers over the years and we wish him all the best.”

On brother Jim’s ousting, she added: “Jim loves the Lakers. Although he will no longer be responsible for basketball personnel decisions, he is an owner of this team and we share the same goal: returning the Lakers to the level of greatness our father demanded. Our fans deserve no less.”

The struggling Lakers have the second-worst record in the NBA’s Western Conference this season, sitting at 19 wins and 39 losses. Only the Phoenix Suns rank worse, and by just one win.

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