The way I cheated the game, I try to give back that much more through my foundation. I can tell you all the wrong things that I did. I did all of that.

Mason Jr. oversaw the creation of the Ewing Concept X Anthony Mason Tribute and the T-shirts from thought to finish.

Initially, he was just trying to put together a logo for his foundation. He chose to go with a profile shot of his father, but as soon as he saw it on paper, he tweaked it to showcase his dad’s haircut, which read Mase in cursive on the side of his head. Then, he added a halo over the M.

People loved it, and once they heard the story behind it, it resonated immediately. Mason Jr. knew the image could serve as the first piece to a clothing line but he didn’t stop there.

But the history of the NBA shows that you’d lose a lot of money over the years betting on presumed dynasties. Too much can happen. Look at, say, the Shaq-Kobe Lakers of the early 2000s, the Big Three Celtics of 2008 on and the LeBron James-Dwyane Wade-Chris Bosh Heat. None won as many championships as projected. (Weren’t the Heat still supposed to be winning titles now, seven years later?) Injuries take their toll. Egos get in the way, on the court and off it.

It seems as if Harden has been enjoying his time in Houston, where he has spent the last five years of his career after spending three seasons at OKC. Now that Harden has signed a four-year, $228 million extension with the Rockets, it seems he’ll be able to continue his extracurricular activities.

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When news broke late Friday that Kyrie Irving had requested a trade, it was reported the Cavs were given four preferred destinations: New York, Miami, Minnesota and San Antonio. While several teams have likely inquired about adding the All-Star guard, it looks like the Knicks and Timberwolves have become serious potential landing spots after appearing on Irving’s initial list.

On Thursday’s edition of First Take, ESPN’s Pablo Torre revealed he had spoken with a trustworthy source who said Irving very badly wants to join the Knicks. It would be a homecoming of sorts for Irving, who attended St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, N.J., where he excelled on the court next to current Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

As for the off-court drama, it’s likely newly-signed executive Craig Robinson, who just joined the Knicks’ front office after serving with the Bucks, provided info on Beasley. As USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt notes, Beasley proved he had grown up in Milwaukee last season. Whether that remains the case under the bright lights in New York City is the question.

If Beasley can bring the offensive firepower while keeping the media’s focus on basketball, this could be a great value signing for the Knicks, particularly in the event Anthony is moved. Beasley could end up seeing significant minutes next to rising star Kristaps Porzingis, but Beasley appears to recognize he can still find playing time as a supporting act. He should yes, that’s a big should understand Porzingis is the guy and not swallow possessions. (Beasley had the second-lowest usage percentage of his career last season on a team with a similar unicorn in Antetokounmpo.)

Beasley certainly isn’t a game-changer, but in the context of what he brings to the Knicks, he may turn out to be a valuable piece as the franchise attempts to build around Porzingis in the post-Phil Jackson era.

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Malik Monk wants to challenge his boss to a showdown on the court.

While speaking with the media Saturday at an autograph session near Louisville, the Hornets rookie bragged about his skills and said he is confident he could beat team owner and NBA legend Michael Jordan in a game of one-on-one.

He’s pretty old right now, Monk said, via the Charlotte Observer. I think I can get him.

While Monk admitted Jordan is one of the greatest players of his generation, he also noted the six-time NBA champion is now 54 and not at the same skill level he had during his career.

Monk, 19, was selected by Charlotte out of Kentucky with the No. 11 overall pick in the recent NBA Draft. He averaged 19.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game during his only season with the Wildcats.

He wasn’t taken in the 2010 NBA Draft, despite being a staple on draft boards throughout his college career. He was picked up by the Heat and lasted through Summer League, preseason and training camp, but he was cut just before the season started. He wound up spending more than a half-decade bouncing around the NBA’s Developmental League and overseas, where he had stops in Bahrain, France, Italy, Japan, Venezuela and Cyprus.

The injury bug bit him again during his time in the D-League (now called the G-League) on a night he was killing. Close to a posting a triple-double with NBA scouts in the stands, he got tangled up trying to box out former Hawks forward Ivan Johnson, and he tore his labrum.

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First Irving asks for a trade. Then James is blindsided. Then Irving said he thinks James leaked the story. Now this story from Stephen A. Smith, which he told on his radio show Monday afternoon.

Now, whether James would be tempted to beat Irving because he asked for a trade or because Irving alluded to the fact that James was the one who leaked the trade rumors to the media is unclear.

They will be looking to get both LeBron and Paul George, one general manager said. Anything they have been doing has been all about protecting their cap space next summer.

But the Lakers will have to show improvement this season, especially among its young players, to make it clear they have the potential to play with the Warriors in the West.

Rocket reunion Should Anthony join Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston, the opportunity could be open for James to join the Rockets next summer and play with Paul and Anthony, two of his best friends. It won’t be easy, however. The Rockets would have to get into luxury-tax territory to make that happen, and with the franchise up for sale by owner Les Alexander, there’s no telling what the approach to the tax would be in Houston.

As one league official said, I think that is a great idea in theory, but you’d have to have those guys be willing to take less money than the max. Maybe they will. But they’re all big union guys, and it would be tricky for them to be seen giving owners a break like that.

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LeBron James has turned a slice of Blaze Pizza into roughly a $35 million stake.

According to ESPN, James, along with his business partner and financial adviser made an investment in the pizza chain for less than $1 million in 2012. James’ nearly 10-percent stake in the company is now worth $35 million to $40 million thanks in part to James becoming a Blaze Pizza spokesman in 2015.

For James, success breeds success outside of the sports world as well. The fast-casual chain Blaze Pizza is one of the fastest growing food chains in North America.

Not only did James decide to join the Twitterverse and completely ignore the Kyrie craziness, but he also doesn’t plan to intervene in trade discussions. Windhorst reported James will leave that job to the Cavs front office and owner Dan Gilbert: James has expressed to the team that he is focused on his offseason workout regimen and is planning to report to training camp with the intention of leading his teammates to a fourth consecutive Finals — no matter who those teammates are.

What does the other member of Cleveland’s Big Three think about all of this drama? It turns out Kevin Love might be even less concerned than James.

Did you notice how Love used the word peculiar in that tweet? Probably not a coincidence considering Irving said the Cavs were in a peculiar place this offseason. If nothing else, these Cavs provide plenty of entertainment.

As for Irving, he’s overseas touring around Asia for Nike Basketball. Yeah, don’t think he’s going to address this stuff any time soon.

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The mystery surrounding Allen Iverson’s absence from his BIG3 game Sunday just got a little deeper.

Iverson was seen gambling in a Chicago-area casino the night before the game in Dallas, TMZ Sports reported.

One person said Iverson was still at Rivers Casino as late as 3 a.m. on Sunday. He was then seen at a Chicago-area restaurant Sunday night wearing the same clothes he donned at the casino.

BIG3 released a statement Sunday afternoon saying it was looking into Iverson’s absence and that it had launched an investigation.

So far, BIG3 has not released an update on Iverson’s whereabouts, and Iverson hasn’t posted anything on his social media in several days.

For the Rockets and coach Mike D’Antoni, the hope is that Anthony is ready to love NBA basketball again, that he can take with him to Houston some of that spirit he’s shown as an Olympian over the years. That is, of course, if the Rockets and Knicks are finally able to grant Anthony’s wish and come up with a deal that sends him out of New York and off to Houston, where he could join good friend Chris Paul and MVP runner-up James Harden.

The nuts-and-bolts of Anthony with the Rockets, plainly his preferred team, will be complicated. First, there is the roster. Should Houston have to give up some combination of Ryan Anderson, Trevor Ariza or Eric Gordon, they’ll be left with a significant dropoff in talent from the Anthony-Harden-Paul trio to its second tier of players, even with the signings of veterans like Nene, P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute.

Anthony wants the ball in isolation to do what he does best: create a shot and score. Last season, according to NBA stats, 23.1 percent of Anthony’s possessions came in isolation situations, fourth-most in the league.

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On Jersey, featuring Drake, Future says in the hook, You do what you want when you poppin’, and Antonio Brown is doing just that.

Brown arrived at Steelers training camp on Thursday in a 1931 Rolls-Royce Phantom 1 Phaeton four-door convertible. But Brown didn’t show up driving it himself he had his own driver to go with the exquisite ride:

Based on the tunes blasting from the ride, it sounds like AB got himself an aux cord in there. It’s incredibly fitting that one of the smoothest wide receivers in the NFL made one of the smoothest entrances to training camp.

The standard five-star preview never ever favors quarterbacks well, but Brady gets the important 99 overall, as well as a 99 awareness rating. This is the fourth time Brady has received a 99 at launch, along with 2007, 2008, and 2011.

We don’t know how Rodgers stacks up against Brady in the key quarterback areas, but he’s extremely close to the top spot. His Throw on the Run is a 97 overall, which means he’s going to be awesome outside the pocket.

Ryan has always been a mid-high tier quarterback, but this year he leaves that in the dust. His 96 overall is the highest of Ryan’s career, and paired with Julio Jones will make the Falcons a force when the game is released.

Normally, buying your way into contention doesn’t quite work out it’s a classic last-ditch attempt by an embattled GM to save his job. The thing is, Reese’s spending spree … actually worked? The Giants’ defensive DVOA jumped from 30th all the way to second, while ranking 10th in yards allowed and giving up the second-fewest points in the league (17.8) one year after allowing the third-most (27.6). It was a dramatic turnaround on every level, easily the biggest reason why the Giants went from 6-10 to 11-5.

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With that said, the speed to which Garrett got to QB Cody Kessler was impressive, and even though Thomas lets Garrett have the edge, I don’t think he quite wanted to let him get to the spot that he did as quickly as he did — to the point where you’d even risk your quarterback hitting the turf (which Kessler did after some light contact).

After practice, Garrett talked briefly with reporters about his encounters with Thomas. Per Dan Labbe of Cleveland.com, here’s what he said:

I think I beat him on the last rush. But there was a rush where I tried to ‘bull [rush]’ and he started to slow me down. Then, Bitonio came and basically stopped me in my tracks. I heard Joe whisper to me, ‘nice try.’ That’s going against one of the world’s best. You’re going to get better each day by doing that.
In Jackson’s post-practice press conference, he was asked about Garrett’s promotion to the first-team defense. He acknowledged that they didn’t plan for today to be the day that Thomas and Garrett finally went at it; it just so happened that everything lined up that way.

It was a stunning trade on the Seahawks’ end, especially when they gave up their starting center on an already shaky offensive line. Nonetheless, they finally had a dynamic pass-catching threat at tight end, something that Russell Wilson lacked up to that point.

Despite the concerns about his usage, Graham was a valuable asset in the offense until his season ended on the worst possible note. During a Week 12 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Graham tore his patellar tendon, one of the most severe knee injuries an athlete can suffer. He was immediately ruled out for the year, and with the injury occurring late in the season, there was legitimate doubt that Graham would be ready for the start of 2016.

In short: Graham’s first year with the Seahawks was a disappointment, and it didn’t look like Seattle was going to get much return for the heavy price it paid.

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The Chiefs finished last season 12-4 but fell to the Steelers in an 18-16 heartbreaker in the divisional round. Eleven-year veteran linebacker Tamba Hali hardly saw the field.

Hali tweets often to promote his new album or interact with fans, but he doesn’t typically spend his Saturdays tweeting a flurry of complaints about the Chiefs. Over the weekend, Hali went on an uncharacteristic Twitter rant about his playing time and his former college coach, Joe Paterno. On Tuesday, he took to Facebook Live to try to clear the air.

Guys, I think it got blown out of proportion, Hali said. All I was trying to say is, at the end of the day, I love the game.

He plans to play out the final year of his current contract and leave the negotiations for next offseason, but that means the pressure is on.

To continue to be the quarterback for the Saints, Brees can’t just stick around as his stats dwindle. He’ll likely need to continue to produce big numbers and show little to no signs of slowing.

It’s mind over matter, I think, in a lot of ways, Brees told NOLA.com. Yes, there’s a lot of things that I do to take care of my body, but … my approach to the game is I tell myself I’m young, I act like I’m young, I approach the game like I can do anything I want to do. I’m smart about it, but … that’s how I keep my edge.

Forecasting what things would look like if Brees isn’t able to keep his current pace is tough. Would he be willing to play elsewhere if New Orleans moves on? Would he even continue to try to stay in the league (even if it’s still with the Saints) if his play dropped off?

It’s probably a safe bet that Brees can tally another 6,000 yards, but the odds are probably stacked against him throwing 75 more touchdowns.

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Reddick is an undersized linebacker but has the speed and quick feet to cover tight ends and rush the passer. Baker thrives in pass coverage and making plays on the ball as a safety.

The Cardinals already have a stout defense. But if Reddick and Baker can showcase their skills early and consistently, Arizona’s defense will be scarier this season.

Fans should also be excited about the Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 5 at 7 p.m. ET. Kenny Easley, Kurt Warner, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jerry Jones, Terrell Davis, Jason Taylor, and Morten Andersen are the seven inductees this year. All of them will receive a yellow jacket and their own carved bust.

The NFL is taking a new approach toward diagnosing injuries, particularly concussions, on the playing field, and it’s going to take up some prime real estate on the field level.

The league will install collapsible, movable medical tents on each team’s sideline throughout the 2017 season, allowing doctors and training staff a measure of privacy and calm when examining a player. These tents will be noticeable from the stands they’re big enough to fit a training table, the afflicted player, and all the doctors and staff members needed to perform a comprehensive test.

These examinations were previously conducted on the sideline in full view of fans and television cameras. The league hopes this measure will allow for better evaluations and a more respectful environment to assess an injured athlete.

All of our sideline concussion evaluations will occur inside the tents, which we think will not only obviously provide more privacy and dignity for the player, but certainly will eliminate some of the visual and auditory distractions that we want to try to eliminate to get the best concussion evaluation we can, Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, told the Washington Post.

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