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Charles Barkley offers brutally honest take on Confederate statue debate

Former basketball star Charles Barkley recently weighed in on an argument that has the entire nation riled up: the removal of Confederate statues.

>> Watch the interview here

“I’m not going to waste my time worrying about these Confederate statues. ... I’m going to keep doing great things, No. 1 in the black community because I’m black,” Barkley said in an interview with Rick Karle of WBRC.

>> Charlie Daniels compares Confederate statue removal to ISIS' actions

He continued: “I’m not going to waste my time worrying about a neo-Nazi who’s going to hate me no matter what.”

>> There are hundreds of Confederate monuments, not just in the South

When asked if the best option is to leave the statues up and ignore them, Barkley answered, “I’ve always ignored them. I’m 54 years old; I’ve never thought about those statues a day in my life. I think if you ask most black people, to be honest, they haven’t thought a day in their life about those stupid statues.”

Barkley has weighed in before on the Confederate statue and flag debate. In 2004, he said he was on his way to a NASCAR race and turned around when he saw 10 Confederate flags.

>> Read more trending news

Barkley was a star player with the Philadelphia 76ers and then with the Phoenix Suns, where he earned the NBA Most Valuable Player award.

Report: LeBron James ‘100 percent’ leaving Cavaliers in 2018

The idea of LeBron James departing Cleveland again is slowly resembling a possible reality.

>> Read more trending news

NBA reporter Chris Sheridan, who said James was returning to the Cavaliers two days before the announcement, reports James will wear a new uniform for the 2018-19 NBA season.

Kevin O’Connor and Bill Simmons of The Ringer first reported James’ interest in joining the Los Angeles Lakers next summer as a free agent. Speculation has taken off since.

James referred to Los Angeles as “home” in a recent tweet, further tossing fuel on the fire. James’ business is based in Burbank.

The consensus best player in the NBA isn’t a stranger to using social media as a medium to convey his feelings. The firing of general manager David Griffin and Kyrie Irving trade request have made the Cavaliers organization look in disarray, correctly or not.

Owner Dan Gilbert and James have reportedly not seen eye-to-eye. Since Gilbert’s letter criticizing James for joining the Heat in 2010, despite James’ return, there’s been a lack of trust between the two, reportedly.

James delivered his promised title to Ohio, but perhaps that gives him an avenue to close out his career elsewhere. But there’s another NBA season to be played, and a lot can change in a year. 

Kevin Durant apologizes for critical comments about India

Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant tweeted an apology Friday for saying that India is “20 years behind” and other comments critical of the country, Fox News reported.

>> Read more trending news

The comments stemmed from an interview Durant gave Thursday to the sports website the Atlantic, Durant recently visited India and was blunt about the culture shock he experienced.

It’s a country that’s 20 years behind in terms of knowledge and experience,” the website quotes Durant as saying. He added that residents of India were "just a bunch of underprivileged people there and they want to learn how to play basketball."

Durant also said he was disappointed with the conditions near India’s famed Taj Mahal monument, saying he was expecting “holy ground, super protected, very, very clean.” But instead, he saw “mud in the middle of the street.”

Durant also said that houses were unfinished but people were living in them. “No doors. No windows ... stray dogs and then, boom, Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world,” he said.

The reaction from India was swift. 

“Maybe you need to be educated on a place you deemed ‘rough’ and ‘20 years behind,’ wrote actress and writer Chhaya Nene, in an “open letter” published by the American Bazaar.

Durant posted a message on Twitter, saying he was “sorry that my comments about India were taken out of context.”

Durant said he intended no disrespect and intends to return to India to run more basketball camps for youth, Al Jazeera reported.

During his visit to India, Durant helped set a Guinness World Record for the world's largest basketball clinic, with more than 3,400 Indian youths taking part, according to a the Bleacher Report.

Beyoncé interested in buying share of Houston Rockets, report says

Singer-songwriter Beyoncé is interested in buying a stake in the Houston Rocketsaccording to a Bloomberg report.

>> Beyoncé’s wax figure restyled and ‘adjusted’ after criticism

The Houston native is mulling an investment in a franchise that owner Leslie Alexander announced last month that he was planning to sell. Alexander paid $85 million for the Rockets in 1993. Forbes valued the organization at $1.65 billion earlier this year.

>> Read more trending news

Beyoncé's representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

Read more here.

Bob Knight investigated by FBI after complaints of inappropriate conduct

Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Knight was targeted in an FBI probe after four women at an American spy agency alleged he had groped or touched them inappropriately in encounters before a speech he made in 2015, the Washington Post reported.

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Knight, 76, who won three national titles at Indiana University before he was fired in 2000, delivered a lecture on leadership to employees at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency on July 10, 2015. 

Knight was accused of making inappropriate comments, hugging a woman tightly around the chest and hitting another woman on the buttocks, the Post reported, citing documents compiled by investigators and interviews with three of the women.

The allegations, made public for the first time, led to criminal investigations by the FBI and the U.S. Army, the Post reported. The Pentagon, Congress and other intelligence agencies in Washington also were alerted, the newspaper reported.

Knight was interviewed at his Montana home by FBI agents in July 2016, according to the report, which was part of a yearlong criminal probe. Federal prosecutors in Virginia decided not to bring charges against Knight, his lawyer told the Post.

“There is absolutely no credible evidence to support this in our opinion, these allegations,” Indianapolis attorney James Voyles told the newspaper. He added that the FBI agents “reported to their superiors that there was no basis for any further action, period.”

Knight did not respond to requests for comment. But in a text message to Post, his wife, Karen Knight, said: “Bob did nothing wrong and there is NO evidence to prove that he did. Case closed.”

Knight won 902 games in a head coaching career that began in 1965 at Army. After leaving Indiana in 2000, he coached at Texas Tech from 2001 to 2008. He also coached the U.S. men’s basketball team to a gold medal in 1984.

On an internal blog, some NGA employees objected to the agency inviting Knight, citing his controversial actions and comments during his career.

In 1979 Knight was charged with assault on a policeman while he was coaching the U.S. basketball team during the Pan American Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Knight later apologized.

In a Feb. 23, 1985,  game against Purdue, Knight threw a chair onto the court after the Indiana coach objected to referees’ foul calls.

In April 1988, Knight was asked by NBC News correspondent Connie Chung how he handled stress. The coach said that “I think if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.”

Knight added that the phrase “was an old term,” and said that “The plane’s down, so you have no control over it. I’m not talking about that, the act of rape. I’m not talking about that, the act of rape. Don’t misinterpret me there.”

In 1997, Knight attacked and choked player Neil Reed during a practice. Knight denied the charges, but video of the incident surfaced shortly after Reed made the allegations in 2000.

Former Atlanta Hawks security manager sues; alleges racist practices

A former security manager for the Atlanta Hawks has filed suit against his former employer and the team’s vice president of customer service and security, alleging that “security measures were enforced, or not enforced, based on race” and that his firing was racially motivated.

The team disputes the claims, saying the plaintiff was fired due to poor performance.

>> Read more trending news

Samuel L. Hayes III filed suit in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. Among the allegations:

“On Aug. 26, 2016, Drake and Future (both of whom are black) performed at Philips Arena. Both Drake and Future asked to bypass metal detectors but their requests were denied. One week later at the AC/DC concert at Philips Arena, Axl Rose and Brian Wilson (both of whom are white) requested to bypass metal detectors. Their requests were granted.”

The suit lists other examples of what Hayes said was a discriminatory practice of subjecting black entertainers to more thorough security measure than white entertainers. Kanye West wasn’t able to bypass the metal detectors ahead of his Sept. 12, 2016, concert. Neither were Cedric The Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, and D.L. Hughley before their Sept. 30, 2016, show.

Amy Schumer and her team were allowed to skip the measure when she performed on Oct. 15, 2015, Hayes said. Same for Adele. Katt Williams had to go through the metal detectors when he performed at Philips on Feb. 3, the suit said.

Hayes was fired, a decision he said in court documents “was based on race, including racial stereotypes, myths, assumptions, and preconceived notions of blacks (especially black men) as ‘angry’ and ‘aggressive.’”

The team disputed the allegations.

“Samuel Hayes is a former security manager at Philips Arena. He was terminated for poor performance and his claims are baseless,” said Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Nzinga Shaw. “We will defend vigorously.”

Warriors' Stephen Curry signs record $201M extension

Point guard Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors has agreed to a record five-year, $201 million contract extension, ESPN reported, citing the player’s agent, Jeff Austin.

>> Read more trending news

The two-time MVP is the first NBA player to cross the $200 million mark. Curry has led the Warriors to their second NBA title in three years.

Curry’s current contract had been a four-year, $44 million deal, ESPN reported. The eight-year veteran received a congratulatory tweet from Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, who has played against the Warriors in the last three NBA Finals.

Curry, 29, has average 22.8 points, 6.8 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game during his eight-year NBA career. He also owns a 43.8 percentage in 3-point shooting, which is currently the third highest in league history, ESPN reported.

Michael Jordan fan has crying LeBron James tattooed on leg

Kalen Gilleese concedes that LeBron James is one of pro basketball’s greatest players, but he still believes that the Cleveland Cavaliers’ star is not in the class of Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, his favorite player.

>> Read more trending news

So after the Cavs were beaten in the NBA Finals by the Golden State Warriors, Gilleese, who already sports a body full of tattoos, added a crying LeBron James face to his right calf.

“I think LeBron is in the top five of all time, but he’s not Jordan,” the Salt Lake City resident told ESPN. “I just get ticked off by everyone saying that. And I absolutely hate how LeBron flops.”

Gilleese said he bugged his friend, tattoo artist Preston Schooley, to do the tattoo for the last two months.

“After the Warriors won, I convinced him to do it on me,” Gilleese told ESPN.

“He likes to be a troll, and this does the trick,” Schooley told ESPN.

Gilleese said that whether people like or despise James, they are impressed by Schooley’s intricate work.

“I’ve heard from a lot of people that have seen it,” Gilleese told ESPN. “No matter what they think, they end by appreciating how well done it is.”

Cavaliers’ star LeBron James embraces the bald look

LeBron James, smarting after the Cleveland Cavaliers were beaten in the NBA Finals by the Golden State Warriors, has decided to take on a new look.

>> Read more trending news 

King James, who has been compared to Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, took on MJ’s bald-headed look, showing off his shaved head on his Instagram account. James’ hairline has been receding for years, so he decided to take action, USA Today reported.

James is also back in the gym, hoping that his work ethic will pay off with the NBA title the Cavaliers were unable to defend this season.

Warriors deny reports that they unanimously declined White House visit

UPDATE June 13 at 3:30 p.m.: The Associated Press reported Tuesday that no decision has been made about the Golden State Warriors visit to the White House, according to a statement from the team.

"Today is all about celebrating our championship,” the statement said, according to CBS Sports. “We have not received an invitation to the White House, but will make those decisions when and if necessary.”

Original story:

It didn’t take the Golden State Warriors long to decide to skip the traditional championship White House visit.

>> Read more trending news 

Less than 24 hours after winning the 2017 NBA Finals on Monday night, the Warriors unanimously voted to decline the White House ceremony honoring their Finals win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to several reports, including one by CNBC analyst Josh Brown.

The Warriors attended the White House ceremony to honor their 2015 NBA Finals title when former President Barack Obama was in the White House.

The news comes the day after Clemson visited the White House in honor of their National Championship win over Alabama in January.

The Warriors’ rejection of the White House’s invitation builds on the sentiment expressed by several New England Patriots who announced they would not attend the Trump White House ceremony in April. Notable Patriots, who missed the April ceremony were Tom Brady -- who said he would not attend for personal reasons -- Legarrette Blount, Martellus Bennett and Danny Amendola.

Thirty-four Patriots were present for the White House ceremony to honor their Super Bowl 51 win, which was a similar number of attendees to when the Patriots won in 2004 and 2005, according to Patriots spokesman Stacey James.

>> Related: Patriots respond to comparison photo showing team with Obama versus Trump

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