LeBron James Reveals Hidden Talent With Instagram Raps
Let's say you're LeBron James (you're not LeBron James). You've just won back-to-back NBA titles and cemented your status as the world's foremost basketball specialist. How do you spend your off-season?
Rapping, of course. James took to Instagram this week to share his actually rather smooth flow with fans and followers.
Two short audio tracks on Instagram video feature James rapping over the beat to Jay-Z and Kanye West's song "Ni**as in Paris." Here they are, using Instagram's new embeddable content tool — for your listening pleasure:
Compared to some of the attempts at rap by NBA stars over the years (Jason Kidd, we're looking at you), LeBron doesn't actually sound that bad. But don't count on James quitting his day job anytime soon.
How would you rate LeBron's rapping skills? Let us know in the comments.
Chris Paul signs his max contract with the Clippers, with some help from CP4 (Photo)
The annual moratorium on NBA teams completing trades and free-agent signings ended at 12:01 a.m. ET Wednesday, allowing players to actually put pen to paper on the loads of deals and agreements we've been poring over and analyzing for the past week and a half. (Whew.)
And, as was the case when the league's free-agency negotiating period opened at one minute past midnight Eastern on July 1, All-NBA point guard Chris Paul wasted very little time in confirming his intention to stay with the Los Angeles Clippers, inking a five-year maximum contract worth approximately $107 million just after midnight, with a little help from his trusted advisor:
'OK, now initial here.' (Photo via @LAClippers)This apparently wasn't Chris Jr.'s first involvement in Dad's contract negotiation. Paul told ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi that he'd opened the door to dialogue on the decision: "I talked to my wife about it because I told her it was going to be a family decision. We even let 'Little Chris' chime in on it."
So if any other NBA teams were wondering why they didn't get the chance to even meet with the 28-year-old six-time All-Star, they might want to give CP4 a ring. (Just don't be surprised if he proves to be a tough cookie.)
Now that Paul's deal is done, L.A. basketball operations bosses Doc Rivers and Gary Sacks will turn their attention to finalizing the other deals they've shaken hands on during the moratorium, headlined by the three-team deal that will send Eric Bledsoe to the Phoenix Suns for Jared Dudley and ship two second-round picks to the Milwaukee Bucks for a signed-and-traded J.J. Redick. They'll also work to lock down deals for free-agents Matt Barnes, Darren Collison and Ryan Hollins to round out their rotation.
Other deals confirmed on Wednesday:
• The Chicago Bulls confirmed their two-year, $6 million deal with swingman Mike Dunleavy, who spent the last two seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks.
• Tyreke Evans tweeted that he has "officially signed" with the New Orleans Pelicans, who extended the 23-year-old guard a four-year, $44 million offer sheet early during the moratorium before eventually working out a three-team trade with the Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers that imported the former Rookie of the Year and the draft rights to Kansas center Jeff Withey, with Sacramento receiving former Pelicans point guard Greivis Vasquez and a future Portland second-round draft pick, while the Blazers took in ex-New Orleans center Robin Lopez.
• The New York Knicks announced that they'd officially re-signed Pablo Prigioni. It had been previously reported that the Argentinian point guard had agreed to terms on a three-year, $6 million deal to come back to New York.
• The Atlanta Hawks officially announced the signing of former Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap. The team didn't disclose terms of the deal, but he'll reportedly earn $19 million over the next two years.
• The Dallas Mavericks confirmed that they will officially introduce Israeli point guard Gal Mekel on Wednesday afternoon. The 25-year-old, 6-foot-3 Mekel — who played college ball in the U.S. at Wichita State and last season led Maccabi Haifa to an Israeli championship — will sign a three-year deal worth $2.3 million.
• The Toronto Raptors announced the completion of the trade that sends Andrea Bargnani to the Knicks in exchange for Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson, a 2016 first-round draft pick and second-round draft picks in 2014 and 2017. The Knicks followed up by tweeting a shot of Bargnani's new jersey — apparently, the former No. 1 overall draft pick will wear No. 77 in New York.
• The Portland Trail Blazers officially announced the signing of small forward Dorell Wright, who'll receive a two-year, $6 million contract to provide some floor-spacing shooting and improve what was one of the worst benches in the NBA last season.
• The Blazers also officially completed their acquisition of 2012 lottery pick Thomas Robinson from the Houston Rockets in a trade that sent the draft rights to 2012 second-round pick Kostas Papnikolaou and 2013 second-round pick Marko Todorovic, both of whom currently play overseas, and two future second-round picks to Houston. The deal enabled Daryl Morey to clear enough cap space to make a maximum contract offer to Dwight Howard, offered Houston another few assets to potentially parlay in the future, and gave the Blazers an intriguing young power forward prospect, so, y'know, cool stuff all the way around.
• Al Jefferson officially signed his three-year, $41 million< contract with the Charlotte Bobcats, giving the long-moribund 'Cats a legitimate low-block scoring option for the first time, um, ever.
• The Detroit Pistons officially announced their deal with free-agent forward Josh Smith, formerly of the Atlanta Hawks. They wouldn't disclose the terms of the deal, but Larry Lage of The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Smoove will get $54 million over four years.
Peyton Siva Shines In Professional Debut
Louisville fans have been telling anyone and everyone willing to listen that Peyton Siva has what it takes to make it in the NBA, now it appears all those other folks are starting to find out for themselves.
Siva was a standout performer in his NBA Summer League debut, dishing out six assists to just one turnover in a 76-67 win over the Brooklyn Nets.
"Everybody's a lot bigger," Siva said. "But also the great thing is everybody is capable of making shots. You're playing with an elite talent (level) of guys. So I think that's great for me, just getting them open shots and getting them the ball."
Siva missed both field goals he attempted, but controlled the game and played with a level of poise that you don't see often in the summer league. He would have finished with five or six more assists had it not been for the offensive ineptitude of some of his teammates.
The folk over at Detroit Bad Boys were impressed enough by Peyton's play to name him the Taco Bell Unsung Hero of the Game, which I can only assume is the city's highest or second-highest honor.
Peyton and the Pistons will be back on the court today at 3 p.m. against the Boston Celtics. The game will be televised on NBATV.
NBA Stars Speak Mandarin With Yi Jianlian
NBA fines Rockets $150K for speaking about Dwight Howard
They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the fine, which was announced in an e-mail to team executives.
After Dwight Howard decided last week he would sign with Houston Rockets, which was first reported by USA TODAY Sports, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey went on Twitter and TV in Houston and discussed Howard's decision. That is against league rules during the moratorium, which lasts from July 1-10 this year.
While Howard's decision is common knowledge, teams cannot complete deals or talk about agreements reached during the moratorium.
Morey made at least five Tweets after Howard's decision was revealed and went on Comcast SportsNet Houston to discuss Howard's decision.
The memo sent to league executives addressed Howard specifically, and the contents of the memo were shared with USA TODAY Sports: "Under league rules, such comments are not permitted during the moratorium period. Please be reminded that during the moratorium period, teams are not permitted to announce publicly that they have agreed to terms of player contracts or offer sheets to free agents."
The Rockets also were fined in June for tampering after a story on Houston's official team website discussed players who were still under contract with other teams but were expected to be free agents in July.
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