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LeBron James slams NBA over Devin Booker All-Star snub

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It’s that time of year again, when the NBA All-Star selections are announced and the annual debate over the choices — and notable snubs — can ensue.

And with Anthony Davis, who earned his eighth All-Star Game nod, dealing with a calf strain and an Achilles injury that will likely prevent him from participating, LeBron James made quite clear who his next choice would be.

“Devin Booker is the most disrespected player in our league,” the four-time NBA champion wrote on Twitter. “Simple as that.”

James had already voiced his displeasure that the game — taking place March 7 in Atlanta — is happening at all given the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star Game this year,” James said earlier this month, after the NBA pushed forward with the festivities. “I don’t even understand why we’re having an All-Star Game.”

Even though NBA Commissioner Adam Silver reserves the right to replace Davis, getting an endorsement from James is the next best thing for Booker, who many were shocked wasn’t part of the reserves. Despite averaging 24.7 points – which is 16th in the league – on 60.7 percent true shooting on a surging 20-10 Suns team, Booker was left out.

LeBron James and Devin Booker on Nov. 12, 2019
LeBron James and Devin Booker on Nov. 12, 2019
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Instead, his backcourt teammate Chris Paul received his eleventh All-Star nod. All three teams that are ahead of the Suns in the Western Conference standings – the Jazz, Clippers and Lakers – got two All-Star selections.

James also showed his support for the Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard, who was named a reserve, not a starter, by writing, “Followed by Dame Dolla” after his initial Booker disrespect tweet.

Lillard’s Portland teammates, Jusuf Nurkic and CJ McCollum, echoed James in publicizing their belief that Booker deserved an All-Star selection.

“Damn @DevinBook really didn’t make it ? That’s craxy . Bruh really cold too smh. Sick world,” McCollum wrote.



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Bulls’ Zach LaVine called cops on ‘obsessed’ fan at his home

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Zach LaVine had an unwanted visitor.

The Chicago Bulls star had to call the police after an “allegedly obsessed” woman showed up to his Chicago home and refused to leave on Thursday night, according to TMZ. 

The woman reportedly traveled from out of state, demanding to speak with the first-time All-Star, who was home at the time.

Police took her a local hospital for mental evaluation, and she has not been formally arrested or charged with a crime.

LaVine, 25, wrapped up first-half action with the Bulls on Wednesday and was drafted to Kevin Durant’s All-Star side for Sunday’s festivities in Atlanta.

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Blake Griffin a free agent after Pistons buyout

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Blake Griffin will be free to sign with the Nets or another interested NBA team after agreeing to a contract buyout with the Detroit Pistons.

The six-time All-Star forward “has interest from most of the NBA’s top playoff contenders and is expected to make a decision on his next team after conversations with prospective teams,” ESPN reported.

The Nets, Lakers, Heat, Warriors and Clippers – his former team — are among those that have expressed interest, according to the New York Times. ESPN.com added that the Blazers are interested

The 31-year-old Griffin hasn’t played since Feb. 12 while the Pistons attempted to trade him before the March 25 deadline, but they found no takers due to the remainder of his $36.6 million salary for this season and the $39 million he’s owed for 2021-22.

Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
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Griffin is averaging a career-low 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 20 games this season. He was dealt by the Clippers to Detroit in 2018, during the first season of a five-year extension worth $171 million.



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Broncos send a pretty strong warning to Drew Lock

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Drew Lock is no lock to remain the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback in 2021.

General manager George Paton and coach Vic Fangio both said Thursday that the team expects to bring in competition for Lock, possibly with the ninth pick in the NFL Draft.

“Obviously we’re always looking to bring in players at all positions that can raise the level of competition, and the quarterback is no different in that regard,” Fangio said, according to the team’s website.

“Until we get or until Drew proves to be the next great quarterback, like the ones that the Denver franchise has been used to in years past or certain teams around the league … are used to, we’re going to always try and bring in competition. But I have confidence that Drew can continue to improve.”

Lock made 13 starts in 2020 and tied with Carson Wentz for the league lead with 15 interceptions. He finished 32nd in the league among qualifying quarterbacks with a 75.4 passer rating, ahead of only Dwayne Haskins, Wentz and Sam Darnold.

Drew Lock faces the Patriots on October 18, 2020.
Drew Lock faces the Patriots on October 18, 2020.
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“Very talented, was inconsistent at times, has a lot to work on,” Paton said Thursday. “But I’ve spoken with Drew, I see him every day. He’s here early. He’s working. He really wants to be great. And we’re always going to try to bring in competition at every position, and quarterback as well. But I like the track that Drew’s on.”

Lock, the Broncos’ second-round pick in 2019 out of Missouri, had started five games as a rookie, winning four of them. Denver went 4-9 with him as the starter last season.

“I’m confident that Drew’s going to continue to improve,” Fangio said. “Drew’s had a great offseason up to this point. There’s not a lot you can do, but he’s working hard on his own, coming over here and getting workouts, and I know he’s doing a lot at home by himself, watching video by himself. He’s got a good setup over there. And he’s doing anything and everything he can to improve, even in February and now in March.”

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