LeBron James tweeted about his college eligibility and fans on Twitter had jokes

Ok, but if not basketball then which sport?

It’s the first Saturday of fall, college football is having itself a day and NBA training camps are slowly beginning to open.

In other words, sports are alive and well.

There’s rarely ever a dull moment in the world of sports as it is, and today, LeBron James is here to make sure our sports brains do a little extra work.

Completely out of the blue on this fine Saturday afternoon, LeBron posed a question to his 52.2 million Twitter followers — a random one, but a simple one.

The question: “Do I have college eligibility if I want to play another sport besides basketball?”

Based on LeBron’s tweet, it’s unclear what sport he may be talking about. But everyone is assuming it’s football that he’s referring to.

With their assumptions came jokes.

Here’s actual footage of LeBron playing football in high school. You decide for yourself if he’d be a good college player.

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Atlanta Hawks players gift John Collins with a birthday cake of him posterizing Joel Embiid

Not a bad birthday gift to have.

Summer is behind us, which means a pretty entertaining (dramatic?) NBA off-season is in the rearview. Now, teams are entering training camps, with preseason and regular-season basketball around the corner.

Media Day is usually the unofficial signal of the start of the upcoming season.

And as the Hawks were addressing the media, it just so happens that forward John Collins’ birthday fell on the same day. And as with all birthdays, the Hawks celebrated.

Here are a few of the guys presenting Collins with a cake for his 25th birthday. On the cake? An iconic picture of Collins dunking all over Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid.

For those who don’t remember the play:

The moment came during an Eastern Conference semifinals matchup between the Sixers and Hawks back in 2021. Atlanta would lose this sixth game but would defeat Philly in seven to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

With a core of Collins, Trae Young and newly acquired Dejounte Murray, Atlanta has +2000 odds at Tipico Sportsbook to win the East.

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NBA will reportedly install blue lights in arenas to signal a scoring change is coming so bettors can relax now

This will help a lot of people.

The in-arena NBA experience is certainly different from the at-home one. Obviously, no one knows that better than NBA players, who recently experienced playing chunks of seasons without fans in attendance.

But the statement holds true for fans, especially.

While those in-person spectators have an up-close look at the game, those watching the television broadcasts have the advantage of audio and visual breakdowns that in-game attendees don’t.

Ever wonder which basic replays the people at games are seeing as you sit home with five or six different slow-mo views of the same play? What about when there’s a scoring change that the broadcast team announced but the public address announcer didn’t?

The NBA is getting ready to make life a little bit easier for those fans attending games—and bettors everywhere.

An addition like the upcoming one for scoring changes is great for fans and players — a signal of the reviewing of a scoring play will add another layer of transparency that might not have existed before in real-time.

It will also help ease the minds of those who are participating in sports gambling.

Whether is the points total, prop bets or the spread, worrying about a missed point or two here and there might cause a massive headache for bettors who wonder if those unaddressed situations could cost them money.

Now, they won’t be left in the dark.

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The Ime Udoka scandal deserves so much more care than anyone has been willing to give it

The Ime Udoka situation didn’t need to be reported the way it was

Welcome to Layup Lines, our daily NBA newsletter where we’ll prep you for a tip-off of tonight’s action, from what to watch to bets to make. Subscribe here to get it delivered to your inbox every afternoon

Welcome back to Layup Lines. It’s Sykes here to send you off into the weekend. A quick word on the Ime Udoka scandal that has taken the NBA by storm over the last few days.

For those of you who don’t know, Udoka has been suspended for the 2022-23 NBA season by the Celtics for some sort of inappropriate relationship he had with a woman on Boston’s staff.

We don’t know details on exactly why or what he did. We only know that there’s a relationship at the center of this. Outside of that details have been shaky.

But from the beginning, there’s been speculation about all of this including, but not limited to, what woman — or women — Udoka could’ve been involved with, what role those women play for the team, and whether their relationship was consensual or not.

It’s run rampant on the internet over the last couple of days. So much so that Brad Stevens even felt the need to address it during the Celtics’ extremely vague press conference about the entire situation.

“Nobody can control Twitter speculation — rampant bulls–t — but I do think that we as an organization have a responsibility that we’re there to support them now because a lot of people were dragged unfairly because of that.”

This “rampant bulls***,” as Stevens called it, only exists because of the way this story was reported to the public from the beginning.

There were very few details available for people to grab on to. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski initially reported it as Udoka facing “possible disciplinary action” for an unspecified violation of team guidelines. The very next day, Woj reported a season-long suspension was “imminent,” which is a huge jump from “possible disciplinary action.”

There’s more. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Celtics’ organization knew about this “consensual” relationship in July but are only choosing to act now, which is a very odd decision considering that it’s resulted in a year-long suspension for the Celtics’ head coach. But none of this is explained at all.

In fact, later on, the relationship is described as “intimate” instead of consensual, which is a completely different thing.

To make measures worse, other media members have received information from sources close to the matter but are hesitant to reveal anything. And that’s totally reasonable considering the sensitivity of the matter. But if you can’t say anything about it, then why speak at all? That’s the question nobody seems to be asking here.

This is the sort of piecemeal reporting we’d get for a trade negotiation or an offer in free agency. But lives are in the balance here. People’s peace has been taken away from them. Udoka’s fiancé, Nia Long, has to see all of this and constantly live through it.

This could’ve all been avoided had things been carefully reported out wholly and fully. What we have now feels more like lunch table gossip.

And these women all deserve way more respect than that.

The Tip-Off

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Some NBA goodness from around the USA TODAY Sports network.

John Wall meant a lot to me and so many other Wizards’ fans. Over the last decade, he almost single-handedly lifted the franchise from obscurity into NBA relevance.

So to see him struggling with mental health and contemplating suicide after everything he’s been through is hard. I wrote about it on Thursday. He described the grip depression had on him in a piece for the Player’s Tribune and it was deep.

“The one thing I always held on to, in the darkest times, was the thought of my boys — just the little things, like wanting to be around for their first day of school, or their first vacation. Or wanting them to see their dad play in an NBA game for real, and not just on some highlights from back in the day. Those thoughts held me down during a lot of hard nights. But if I’m being honest, even the thought of being a father wasn’t enough for me to get help. That’s how depression lies to you. That devil on your shoulder is whispering to you, ‘Well, maybe they’d be better off without you here.’”

That’s rough. Extremely rough. But I’m glad Wall is still here with us. And so many others are too.

Shootaround

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Malika Andrews rightfully called out Stephen A. Smith for placing any sort of blame on the woman involved with Ime Udoka.

— Nia Long finally broke her silence on the Ime Udoka scandal.

Ben Simmons finally explained why he passed up that dunk against the Hawks.

— Everything you need to know about Celtics’ new coach, Joe Mazzulla.

Enjoy the weekend, folks.

Gannett may earn revenue from Tipico for audience referrals to betting services. Tipico has no influence over nor are any such revenues in any way dependent on or linked to the newsrooms or news coverage. See Tipico.com for Terms and Conditions. 21+ only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA).

Nia Long breaks silence after fiance Ime Udoka’s suspension for Celtics relationship scandal

Nia Long spoke out via a statement after the Ime Udoka scandal.

Actress Nia Long has spoken out after her fiance Ime Udoka was suspended for a year by the Boston Celtics.

Long and Udoka have been together since 2010, with the actress publicly rooting him on during the Celtics’ run to the NBA Finals last season. The pair have a son, Kez Sunday Udoka, who was born in 2011.

Until now, we hadn’t heard anything from her. The last public message to Udoka was wishing him a happy birthday on Twitter last month.

Amid the scandal in which Udoka allegedly had a relationship with a woman on the Celtics’ staff, Long had this to say in a statement to CNN:

“The outpouring love and support from family, friends and the community during this difficult time means so much to me,” she said in the statement. “I ask that my privacy be respected as I process the recent events. Above all, I am a mother and will continue to focus on my children.”
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Malika Andrews, Stephen A. Smith had a heated First Take argument about the Ime Udoka scandal: ‘This is not about pointing fingers. Stop’

This one got heated fast.

It’s very rare to see two of ESPN’s biggest personalities in a space where they’re interacting with one another in a less-than-favorable manor. But that’s what happened on Friday.

Stephen A. Smith, who hosts ESPN’s biggest program in First Take, got into a heated exchange with NBA Today’s Malika Andrews after she called him out for his take on the Ime Udoka scandal.

The thing here is we still don’t know very much about the Ime Udoka scandal — at least not anything concrete.

The team has officially suspended him for an entire year, but they’re not giving us details on exactly why or what he did. All we know from previous reporting on the matter is that there was some sort of relationship with an unnamed woman on the Celtics staff at the center of this.

That didn’t stop Stephen A. Smith from calling the Celtics out on First Take for suspending Udoka and not the unnamed employee he was involved with.

It said, in the numerous news reports, that it was a consenual relationship and violated an organizational policy. So only he is in violation of a company policy? The woman who elected to have a consensual relationship with him is not in violation? He gets to get mentioned and put on front street? We don’t know who she is.” 

He went on to talk about how outing the woman involved in the scandal would then alleviate the stress of other women in the organization who have been wrongfully involved in the scandal because of online speculation.

Without even thinking twice about it, Smith is placing blame for rampant and incorrect speculation on the woman involved in this scenario who may have even been wronged by Udoka herself. The simple fact is we don’t have those details yet and, without them, it’s wrong to make any assumptions.

That’s why Andrew wasn’t having it. She called into the show to let Smith know.

“Stephen A., with all due respect, this is not about pointing the finger. Stop. What became apparent to me, in this press conference, is that we do not have all of the information here and it was frustrating to me that the Celtics declined to elaborate or give more specifics about what exactly the rule-breaking was that led up to this point.

We are not here, Stephen A., to blame women. That is not why we are here.

Of course, Stephen A. Smith came back at her and he very clearly didn’t appreciate what Andrews had to say here.

“First of all, let me be very clear, I don’t appreciate where you’re going with that. I’m not blaming anybody but Ime Udoka. The fact of the matter is, I said he deserves to be fired if you’re going to fire him. If you’re not going to fire him then don’t fire him. My issue is all of this being publciized.” 

Andrews tried to squeeze in another point here, but Smith swiftly cut that out.

“Excuse me. I listened to you. You’re the one telling me to stop on my show, that ain’t happening. OK. That’s number one. Number two, I’ve already said he deserves to be fired or he deserves to be there and handle it internally and privately.” 

This is almost certainly a conversation that won’t stop today. It’ll be a topic of discussion for the next few weeks as we head into the start of the new NBA season.

Hopefully, moving forward, we can see this entire thing handled a bit more carefully. That way we might not have to sit through arguments like this one anymore.

The best takes and the sharpest bets on all the hoops storylines you need to know. Sign up for our Layup Lines newsletter, hitting your inbox on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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Bronny James, Bryce James to face top NBA draft prospects Ausar, Amen Thompson in dream game for scouts

This is a big test for Bronny James.

After an eventful summer of collegiate recruitment, the next test for Bronny James on his road to the NBA will come in a game against Overtime Elite.

Bronny and his younger brother Bryce, who recently received his first collegiate offer, are set to suit up for the California Basketball Club for a preseason tournament at OTE Arena in Atlanta.

They will face the City Reapers, led by twins Ausar Thompson and Amen Thompson, at 8:00 p.m. on Oct. 20. Ausar and Amen are both projected top-10 picks in the 2023 NBA Draft.

While this matchup is a big opportunity for James to showcase what he can against NBA-bound talent in the Thompson twins, it’s not the only big game that this tournament offers.

Miami’s Columbus High School Explorers, featuring Class of 2025 No. 1 overall recruit Cam Boozer, will play against YNG Dreamerz on Oct. 20 and Cold Hearts on Oct. 21. The top recruit is the son of two-time NBA All-Star big man Carlos Boozer.

After the preseason games, the OTE League season begins on Nov. 4.

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NBA fans reacted to Ime Udoka’s season-long suspension from the Celtics

Here’s how the NBA world viewed Udoka’s suspension.

The Boston Celtics announced Thursday they’ve suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the entirety of the 2022-2023 season. Earlier reports from various outlets alleged the coach had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a Celtics staffer. However, the team did not state why Udoka was being suspended in their formal statement.

In a statement released through ESPN’s Malika Andrews, Udoka apologized to Celtics players, fans and the organization, noting he would not have further comment or elaboration “out of respect” for everyone involved.

Here’s how NBA fans reacted to the news of Udoka’s season-long suspension. (Note: Some tweets have NSFW language.)

The Celtics suspended Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-2023 season

A decision about Udoka’s future with Boston will be determined later.

The Boston Celtics have officially suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-2023 NBA season. Though reports surfaced earlier today alleging he engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a Celtics team staffer, the team did not publicly state the reason for Udoka’s suspension.

Udoka’s suspension will start effective immediately.

In reaction to the news, Udoka released a statement through ESPN’s Malika Andrews:

“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down. I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.”

The Celtics released their own statement after the news of Udoka’s suspension was made official:

Udoka’s long-term future with the Celtics beyond this season is unclear at this time.

Cayó en picada; LeBron James ya no está en el Top 5 de mejores de la NBA

LeBron necesita hacer un trabajo mucho mejor si quiere recuperar su posición en el ranking.

LeBron James no va a estar contento este fin de semana. ESPN reveló los detalles de su top 100 de mejores jugadores de la NBA rumbo a la temporada 2022/23. El medio deportivo lleva décadas lanzando su ranking, sin embargo, este año vimos un cambio radical en el listado.

James no logró entrar en las primeras 5 posiciones del ranking. La temporada pasada James estuvo en el tercer lugar y años anteriores dominó en el número uno. Sin embargo este año las cosas no fueron a su favor.

Específicamente James quedó en la 6ta posición. Y aunque no suena nada mal, no había estado ahí.

Con la explicación de ESPN queda claro que LeBron no haya podido superar su posición en la lista:

Por segunda vez en cuatro temporadas como Laker, James se perdió los playoffs, después de solo perderse la postemporada dos veces en sus primeros 15 años en la liga. El promedio de 30.3 puntos por juego de James no tenía precedentes para un veterano de 19 años, pero los 26 juegos que perdió por varias lesiones y una lista que no encajaba a su alrededor hicieron que fuera una de las temporadas más decepcionantes en la historia de la franquicia“, alegaban desde ESPN.

Falta que revelen el top 5. Por lo pronto, LeBron necesita hacer un trabajo mucho mejor si quiere recuperar su posición en el ranking.

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