Ball Is Life

DeMarcus Cousins says conversations with Warriors sealed decision to join

All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, recovering from a torn left Achilles, has agreed to a one-year, $5.3 million deal with the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors, league sources told ESPN.

Joining the Warriors, who already have a staggering lineup of All-NBA talent, should allow Cousins enough time to comfortably recover from his injury prior to returning to the court next season.

A two-time All-NBA selection, Cousins, 27, became expendable in New Orleans on Monday after the Pelicans agreed to a deal with free-agent center Julius Randle.

Cousins, who averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists and shot 35.4 percent on 3-pointers last season in 48 games, told The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears he was confused and hurt that he had no offers, even from the Pelicans.

Cousins told Spears that he called his agent and they discussed various options, including the Warriors, who lost center JaVale McGee in free agency to the Los Angeles Lakers. Sources told ESPN's Chris Haynes that Cousins had narrowed his choices down to Golden State and Boston.

The Warriors, already -110 favorites to win the 2019 NBA championship at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, jumped to -150 favorites when Cousins' impending signing was reported.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 2018-19 Warriors will be the sixth team in NBA history -- and first since the 1975-76 Celtics -- to have five All-Stars from the previous season.

Source: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/2398015...

LeBron James agrees to four-year, $153.3 million deal with Lakers

LOS ANGELES -- LeBron James' next NBA chapter will be set on the West Coast.

James will be playing for the Los Angeles Lakers on a four-year, $153.3 million contract. He will try to bring the storied franchise another championship.

The announcement was made through his agency, Klutch Sports Group, which announced the deal as $154 million.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported that the fourth year is a player option. It is the longest deal James has signed since inking a six-year contract with the Miami Heat in 2010. His previous three deals were three years or shorter.

James leaves his hometown team as a free agent for the second time in his career. Four years ago, James had stated his intention to finish his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Whether the four-time MVP and 14-time All-Star does that or not, he certainly has left his mark on his city.

James, 33, thanked his home area in an Instagram story. He wrote in text overlaying a photo from the Cavaliers' 2016 NBA title victory parade, "Thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible 4 seasons. This will always be home."

He delivered the first championship to the sports-obsessed city in 52 years and did so with storybook gusto, helping the Cavaliers become the first team in NBA Finals history to rally from a 3-1 series deficit to win it all. The team he took down, the Golden State Warriors, had the best regular-season record in league history, at 73-9.

"Words do not express the meaning and the feeling this accomplishment brought to the people of Northeast Ohio," Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said in a lengthy statement thanking James. "None of this would have happened if LeBron James did not agree to come back home and lead the Cavaliers to the promised land.

James leaves the Cavaliers franchise as its leader in nearly every major statistical category: games played, points, rebounds, assists and steals.

Source: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/2396772...

Netflix, ESPN Films Releasing a 10-Part Michael Jordan Documentary

In what can only be described as a gift from the Basketball Gods, Michael Jordanand his Chicago Bulls of the 1990s are getting a massive documentary treatmentfrom Netflix and ESPN Films.

“The Last Dance” features over 500 hours of “never-before-seen footage” from the Bulls’ last title.

ESPN Films and Netflix today announced a joint production “The Last Dance,” a 10-part documentary series that will chronicle one of the greatest icons and most successful dynasties in sports history, Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls. Directed by Jason Hehir (“The Fab Five,” “The ’85 Bears,” “Andre the Giant”) and produced by Mike Tollin, the anthology will examine the simultaneous rise of Jordan and the NBA during those years.
Anchored by more than 500 hours of never-before-seen footage from the team’s last championship run in the 1997-98 season, “The Last Dance” will have the full participation of Jordan and other key figures from the Bulls’ championship teams, as well as dozens of other luminaries from basketball and beyond.

32-Year-Old Rookie Andre Ingram Shines in First NBA Game After 10 Years in G League

Here's a real-life NBA story that sounds like it's straight from a Hollywood script.

Andre Ingram is a gray-haired 32-year-old basketball player who has been grinding it out in the NBA's developmental G League for the past 10 years—384 games to be exact.

He says he fully expected to finish his career in the league without ever getting called up to the NBA, but that changed this week. The injury-plagued Los Angeles Lakers signed him for the final two games of the season on Monday.

At the time this article was written, Ingram was a perfect three-for-three from the field and lead the Lakers with 11 points as they headed into halftime. Fans in the Staples Center were even heard chanting "MVP!"after he made the shots. What a story.

Kobe 1 "Protro" x UNDFTD

Following a preview from the Swoosh a few days earlier, UNDEFEATED delivers the Nike Zoom Kobe 1 “Protro” in a pack featuring three colorways matching its signature colorways. The Camo version gets a white midsole and Five Strikes branding while the white rendition sees classic black logos similar to the brand’s Nike Dunk High released back in 2013. A third Olive/Orange suede model was teased by UNDEFEATED CEO Eric Peng Cheng and will most likely be a friends and family version similar to the UNDFTD x Air Max 97 collaboration from last November.

Take a first look above, and expect the White/Gum and Camo Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protros to hit shelves on February 15 and February 16, respectively. Currently there is no information on the release date for the Olive Green pair, but keep your eyes peeled for updates.

Official Release Info For The Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro

Nike unveiled the Zoom Kobe 1 Protro, an evolved retro that is tailored to fit the needs of today’s athlete without compromising its original design. The Protro, a combination of the words “performance” and “retro”, will feature full-length Air Zoom cushioning and a lighter build while featuring the black/yellow colorway of its first iteration. It appears that Nike has big plans for Zoom Kobe 1 as we’ve already learned of a collaboration with LA-based UNDEFEATED, while the timing of the releases appear to coincide with the NBA All-Star game taking place in Los Angeles, the city where Bryant made his name. There certainly is more to come from the revived Nike Kobe footwear legacy, and it all starts next week.

The Zoom Kobe 1 Protro will release on 2/17 for $175 on nike.com and the SNKRS app at 11 AM EST.

Kobe Bryant jersey retirement: Lakers hang No. 8, No. 24 in Staples Center rafters / Ko8e24!

The ceremony began with Kobe's short film, "Dear Basketball," played on the arena Jumbotron. Then Bryant was introduced by fellow Lakers jersey retiree Magic Johnson, and he was followed by Lakers owner Jeanie Buss. Following the introductions, Bryant's jerseys were revealed, one on each side of former Lakers announcer Chick Hearn's in the rafters of Staples Center.

Kobe Bryant watched as not one, but TWO of his jerseys were retired by the Lakers in front of a packed house at Staples Center. No. 8 and No. 24 were unveiled simultaneously in the rafters as the Mamba grinned, soaking up the energy in the arena that his 20 years of play created.

It was a great moment in Lakers history, which featured an animated video tribute, words from team president Jeanie Buss, high praise from Magic Johnson, and Kobe surrounded by his family.

"Thank you so much for tonight. But it's not about my jerseys that are hanging up there for me," Bryant said to the crowd. "It's about the jerseys that were hanging up there before. Without them, I couldn't be here today. They inspired me to play the game at a higher level.
"It's also about the fans. ... I don't think you guys understand how present you guys were with me. You guys were there at 5:30 in the morning when I was running the track and I was midway through my workout. I didn't know if I could make it through, and I thought about the expectations you guys had for me, you had for our team. And it pushed me through."

Bryant led the Lakers to five championships, three while wearing No. 8 and two while wearing No. 24, during his 20-season career. He's the franchise leader in several categories, including points (33,643), games played (1,346), 3-pointers made (1,827) and steals (1,944).

Bryant won two NBA Finals MVP awards and one regular-season MVP, and he retired as No. 3 on the all-time NBA points list behind Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who also has his jersey retired by the Lakers.

BREAKING NEWS: D-WADE REUNITED W/ KING JAMES!

James and Wade have been friends since entering the NBA together in 2003, and were teammates with the Heat for four seasons from 2010 through 2014. They won two titles together and went to the NBA Finals in each of those seasons, and remained close even after James left Miami for a return to his hometown team in Cleveland.

According to ESPN, Wade has agreed to sign a one-year, $2.3 million deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

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