Steph Curry joins Barack Obama for My Brother’s Keeper event

Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. — Former President Barack Obama and Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry told a roomful of minority boys on Tuesday that they matter and urged them to make the world a better place.

Obama was in Oakland to mark the fifth anniversary of My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative he started after the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The death of the African-American teen sparked protests over racial profiling.

The initiative was a call to communities to close opportunity gaps for minority boys, especially African-American, Latino and Native American boys, Obama said to roughly 100 boys attending the alliance’s first national gathering. The My Brother’s Keeper Alliance is part of the Obama Foundation.

“We had to be able to say to them, ‘You matter, we care about you, we believe in you and we are going to make sure that you have the opportunities and chances to move forward just like everybody else,”’ Obama said.

Obama, who left office in 2017, was joined by basketball star Curry. The men spoke for about an hour, answering questions from the audience and joking around. They talked about lacking confidence or being aimless as teens.

Obama praised single mothers, including his own. He advised the boys to look for a mentor and to find opportunities to guide others.

Curry joined the former president in praising the value of teamwork.

“What we do on the court and the joy that comes out of that is second to none,” Curry said, “because nothing great is done by yourself.”

The former president cracked up the audience — and Curry — when asked a question about being a man.

Obama said that being a man is about being a good person, someone who is responsible, reliable, hard-working and compassionate. Being a man, he said, is not about life as portrayed in some rap or hip-hop music.

“If you are very confident about your sexuality, you don’t have to have eight women around you twerking,” Obama said to applause. “‘Cause I’ve got one woman who I’m very happy with. And she’s a strong woman.”

Obama and Curry join together for My Brother’s Keeper Alliance

A new program, MBK Rising!, is set to ‘bring opportunity for youth and community leaders to connect, learn, and share’


OAKLAND, California – Former President Barack Obama sat on a stage next to 23 young men of color, looked toward the audience and said solemnly, “Trayvon [Martin] could have been my son.”

Obama spoke those words Tuesday afternoon as part of a town hall discussion at the Oakland Scottish Rite Center in the first national meeting of the Obama Foundation program MBK Rising! Obama and Golden State Warriors all-star Stephen Curry participated in the event, discussing the importance of mentoring, being a role model and their personal influences before taking questions from the young men on stage.

My Brother’s Keeper was an initiative started by the Obama Foundation following the death of teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012. Martin was a 17-year-old African-American fatally shot on Feb. 5, 2012, in Sanford, Florida, by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman. Martin’s death led to national protests over racial profiling.

“Every single day there were young men of color who were being shot and killed … Every single day there were young men who were dropping out of school. Every single day there were men who were more likely to go to prison than college,” Obama said. “The requirement was for society to wake up and find ways where we can come together and say to all of our young people, but particularly young men of color who, according to a whole lot of educators, were having a more difficult time in society for a whole range of historical reasons, we have to be able say to them that, ‘You matter, we care about you, we believe in you and we’re going to make sure you have the opportunity and the chances to move forward just like everybody else.’ And through out of that, we decided to start My Brother’s Keeper.”

To kick off MBK Rising!, a national convening hosted by My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, participants attend a Day of Service at MLK Elementary School in Oakland, California, on Feb. 18.

The goal of MBK Rising! is to “bring opportunity for youth and community leaders to connect, learn, and share.” The MBK Alliance, now part of the Obama Foundation, also is focused on encouraging mentorship and reducing youth violence for young men of color.

Obama and Curry also talked about fatherly influence — or the lack thereof. The questions from the young men on stage were about the large incarceration of people of color, receiving and giving support to women, police issues, the influence of music, high school discipline, masculinity and expectations for greatness and respect.

“From the moment I was elected president I was constantly thinking about how we make sure that everyone in this country has an opportunity and every child is valued,” Obama said. “This is the greatest country on Earth. And there are still people who are able to rise despite disadvantages. The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of late bloomers who are still left behind and a lot of young people who sadly don’t have the resources, don’t have the support, don’t have the attention that other humans have.”

Curry once wore a pair of customized My Brother’s Keeper Under Armor Curry 4 sneakers during a road game against the Washington Wizards for charity. The hand-painted and autographed shoes were auctioned off for $28,000, according to Curry also spoke about the importance of mentoring and said he and his Warriors teammates believe it is necessary to make an impact in the Bay Area and in their hometowns.

“How I carry myself, how I speak, what I am educated on, my willingness to try to meet people where they are, can make a huge difference whether it is five seconds, 10 minutes, multiple run-ins. We all have the platform and the responsibility to shape somebody’s perspective,” Curry said. “That one moment can be a difference-maker for a lifetime. I can speak for my teammates and a lot of people in this league that we have a social responsibility to take a stand for things that we believe in and look out for the next generation.”

To kick off MBK Rising!, a national convening hosted by My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, participants attend a Day of Service at MLK Elementary School in Oakland, California, on Feb. 18.

Curry’s conversation with Obama came two days after the two-time NBA MVP played in the 2019 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte. Curry and Obama, a huge basketball fan, have built a friendship that has led them to playing golf together several times and have dinner in San Francisco on Saturday night. Curry and the Warriors also celebrated their 2015 NBA championship with Obama in the White House but didn’t celebrate 2017 and 2018 titles with President Donald J. Trump.

The crowd booed when Obama mentioned a high school initiative changed by Trump administration. Obama responded by saying, “Don’t boo. What do I always say?”

The crowd responded, “Don’t boo. Vote.”

The friendship between Obama and Curry was easily visible as they opened their session in lighthearted fashion and had some fun along the way while talking about serious subjects.

Obama introduced himself as “Michelle’s husband” and Curry as “Ayesha’s husband.” Obama joked that he “lost his job” as president and is now retired and focusing on the Obama Foundation. Obama also said he helped Curry become the greatest shooter in NBA history, but “no one wanted to see my jump shot.” They also debated about who was better rapper: Drake or Kendrick Lamar.

“Even a Bulls fan has to acknowledge that he has been fun to watch with the Warriors,” Obama said of Curry. “He’s the greatest shooter of all time because I gave him some tips about five seasons ago.”

Former President Obama surprises participants in the Young Leaders Track for a class photo during MBK Rising! in Oakland, California, on Feb. 19.

Curry would later get a laugh from joking about Obama’s age. But Obama got the loudest roar after joking about Curry’s past injury woes.

“Why don’t we tell the kids about some of the struggles with your ankles?” Obama said.

Before the Obama-Curry conversation, Grammy award-winning singer John Legend led a discussion with Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin; Rev. Wanda Johnson, the mother of Oscar Grant; and Rep. Lucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis. All three mothers lost their sons to gun violence. McBath said all three women are fighting against injustice to help the nation. Fulton added that the three women have to be “the voice for the voiceless.”

“We continue to champion and fight with every breath of our being because we know it matters,” McBath said.

Said Fulton: “It’s not about Trayvon anymore. It is about everyone is in here.”

The event concludes on Wednesday with panel discussions that includes former NFL receiver Victor Cruz, Black Panther filmmaker and Oakland native Ryan Coogler, actor/producer Michael B. Jordan, actress and activist MJ Rodriguez and Queer Eye star Karamo Brown.

Original article:

Barack Obama spends President’s Day at Ayesha Curry’s restaurant

Dalton Johnson | NBC Sports

Where were you on President’s Day this year?

If you’re Barack Obama, you were in San Francisco seen at Ayesha Curry’s restaurant, International Smoke. 

Celebrity chef Michael Mina shared a picture on Instagram of himself with Obama, plus Steph and Ayesha at the restaurant.

Obama is in town for a three-day national convention in Oakland, hosted by his foundation, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. Curry will be joining him at a town hall as part of the conference.

Curry and the Warriors spent time with Obama in Washington, D.C., before their game against the Wizards in late January, thanks to a players-only meeting set up by Curry.

WATCH: Kyrie Irving exclusive interview on Celtics’ struggles, LeBron James, free agency buzz | The Jump

Kyrie Irving sits down with Rachel Nichols of The Jump to reflect on the Boston Celtics’ up-and-down first half of the 2018-19 NBA season. Irving discusses the growth of the C’s blooming young players such as Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier, while also addressing Marcus Morris’ frustrations surrounding the Celtics before the All-Star break. In addition, Irving speaks about his newfound leadership role in Boston, reaching out to LeBron James and the buzz surrounding his impending free agency.

‘It’s been a trying year for us’: Kyrie Irving talks Celtics’ struggles, free agency buzz in ESPN interview

“I’m 26 years old heading into my prime. Why do I have to wait for anybody?”

By Nicole Yang 11:22 AM

During the NBA All-Star break, Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving openly acknowledged the current season has been “a trying year” for the team.

“We basically have a bunch of young men in our locker room that feel like they’re capable of doing a lot more than they’re doing,” Irving told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “That’s OK, but there’s a maturity you have to have, there’s a professionalism you have to really showcase every single day. That’s what the great ones do.”

While the focus often shifts to how the younger players — namely Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier — are adapting to decreased playing time, Irving freely admits he, too, hasn’t logged as many minutes as he would have liked this season. As he put it: “I’m 26 years old heading into my prime. Why do I have to wait for anybody?”

Irving also recognized that the situation can create tension between him and Rozier, who stepped up as starting point guard throughout Boston’s playoff run when Irving was sidelined due to a season-ending knee injury. Rozier has said all the right things since getting relegated to a backup, but Irving hinted that the adjustment might not be that easy.

“Terry Rozier, he played in the playoffs, he did extremely well,” Irving said. “Coming back, that’s a natural competition that me and him have. It is what it is. No one wants to say it, but I will. It’s part of their growth. When you have winning in mind, then you got to do what it takes, but you got to understand your teammates.”

Irving touched on a couple of other topics, including his evolving approach to leadership, his phone call with former teammate LeBron James, and the league’s upcoming free agency period. Though Irving announced before the start of the season that he intends on re-signing with the Celtics once he can in July, there are rumblings he may elect to play elsewhere — with the New York Knicks as the frontrunner of possible destinations.

Over All-Star Weekend, Irving’s chumminess with superstar Kevin Durant, who may leave the Golden State Warriors as a free agent this summer, only added fuel to the fire, as some floated the idea that Irving and Durant could team up in New York. Irving didn’t address any specific rumors, though he expressed gratitude for being included in the discussion.

“Talk follows the great players in the league,” he said. “I’m appreciative and grateful to be one of those great players in our league now. I’ve worked my way to get here.”

He was quick, however, to dub the chatter “a distraction.”

“A lot of people don’t realize from the outside that a lot of things that are said get into locker rooms,” Irving said. “A lot of things that are put in headlines get into locker rooms. Media has broken up locker rooms. It’s been done before. You say something and it’s misinterpreted and instead of addressing it with the person or individual, like human interaction, you read it on your phone.”

Could Lakers miss playoffs dealing with Lebron James injury pickle and lack of team cohesion due to trade fiasco?

Lakers reportedly ‘concerned about’ LeBron James’ groin: How hard should they push him?

Jason Owens | Yahoo Sports

All is not well in Lakers land at the All-Star break in the aftermath of failed Anthony Davis trade talks and a 28-29 start to the season for Los Angeles.

Concerns about LeBron James‘ health can be added to the list.

According to The Athletic, the team is ‘a little concerned’ that James hasn’t fully recovered from the groin injury he suffered on Christmas that sidelined him for several weeks.

From Joe Vardon:

The Lakers are privately a little concerned about LeBron. Is he fully healed from the groin strain that cost him a career-worst 18 games? Is he going to pick up his intensity and propel this team back into the playoffs, as he did last year in Cleveland? James, 34, is actually averaging a triple double for the Lakers since his return from injury (23.2 points, 10.8 rebounds, 11.0 assists), but he’s just not moving at the same speed nor is he engaging at the point of attack. 

Injury concern shouldn’t be taken lightly at James’ age

Much like Tom Brady, the decline of James’ game has been predicted unsuccessfully on many occasions. But also like Brady, James is assuredly on the back end of his prime, and an injury concern like this one warrants attention.

Of James’ many remarkable assets as a basketball player, one of his most valuable is his availability. As Vardon noted, James had never missed 18 games with a single injury in his career. The most games he’s missed in a single season was 20 in 2011-12. He’s played 74 or more games out of 82 in 11 of his 13 complete NBA seasons.

That the Lakers are concerned that the 34-year-old James who just suffered the most significant injury of his career isn’t back at full force makes sense.

What should the Lakers do?

Now comes the question of how they should manage that concern.

After failing to add Davis or another difference-making piece before the deadline, the Lakers are playing for little more than pride for the rest of the season. This team is clearly not going to compete for a championship.

But that pride factor can’t be underestimated.

James has made the playoffs in every season since his second in the league. If his celebrated arrival in Los Angeles ends outside the playoffs, this season will be considered a massive failure. The pressure on Magic Johnson to make blockbuster moves this offseason will be even more intense.

And just think of the reaction from all of the Kobe-stans who scoffed at James being the next great Laker before he adorned the purple and gold.

What would missing playoffs mean?

But that disaster would be primarily in terms of perception. In practical terms, missing the playoffs wouldn’t make much difference from a likely first-round exit at the hands of one of the West’s powers.

Right now, the Lakers are in 10th place in the West, three games behind the 32-27 Clippers for the final playoff spot.

Caution is prudent

So if the Lakers are genuinely concerned about James’ health, then proceeding cautiously is the correct answer. This project is not about this season.

It’s most assuredly about next season and the season after that.

If James is good to go after some rest at the All-Star break, then the Lakers should move forward full throttle with the intent of making a playoff run. It’s a worthwhile goal.

But it’s not worth risking James’ health moving forward. This is a lost season in Los Angeles.

Next season still has potential and should be the primary focus of the Lakers moving forward.

Can you guess Joel Embiid’s choice for GOAT? (Hint: it isn’t MJ or LBJ) PLUS: 76ers star has MRI – to miss at least a week

Joel Embiid picks the greatest player of all time and it isn’t Michael Jordan or LeBron James

Chris Cwik | Yahoo Sports

Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid isn’t shy about sharing his opinion. Embiid has made an enemy of Andre Drummond, Russell Westbrook and a number of referees. After some comments Tuesday, he may have to add legions of Chicago Bulls fans to that list.

Embiid does not think Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. Jordan isn’t the sure-fire choice in that argument, but he’s the popular one. Others like to argue LeBron James deserves the nod. That’s who Embiid went with, right?

Nope. Embiid chose a different player.

While appearing on The Ringer’s NBA Desktop with Jason Concepcion, Embiid revealed he believes Wilt Chamberlain is the greatest basketball player of all time.

Here’s what Embiid had to say about that pick, according to Uproxx.

“To me, you got Wilt Chamberlain. I mean, he has all the records. They’re never gonna be beaten. I don’t see anybody getting 100 points in a game. That’s it. He’s the GOAT.”

No matter how you look at it, the greatest of all time debate is going to be subjective. 


Sixers star Joel Embiid out at least a week with knee soreness

Sam Cooper | Yahoo Sports

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid is dealing with left knee soreness and will miss at least a week, the team announced Wednesday.

Embiid, who played in his second NBA All-Star Game earlier this week, had an MRI on the knee and “no structural damage” was found. The next steps for his return to the court are “treatment involving physical therapy and load management,” the team said. Embiid will be re-evaluated in “approximately one week.”

The 7-foot-2 center is averaging 27.3 points and 13.5 rebounds per game for the Sixers, who are currently in fifth place in the Eastern Conference coming out of the All-Star break.

When meeting with reporters Wednesday, Sixers head coach Brett Brown described the injury as “tendinitis.” Brown said Embiid had the MRI on Tuesday and the time off is geared toward ensuring Embiid is ready “when it matters most at the end of the year.” Embiid has been listed on the team’s injury report numerous times throughout the season, both with knee soreness and back tightness.

Philly also announced Wednesday that forward Furkan Korkmaz suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee in the team’s loss to the Boston Celtics on Feb. 12. Korkmaz is averaging 5.8 points in 14.2 minutes per game. The team said the injury could require surgery.

The Sixers (37-21) return to action Thursday night at home against the Miami Heat.

On one hand, that’s a pretty bonkers opinion. Generally, the greatest of all time debate is focused on Jordan and James in basketball. If you wanted to expand that, Chamberlain would probably be in the top-10. But he might not make the top-5. A FoxSports article from 2017 ranked Chamberlain No. 8, for reference.

Then again, is it really all that surprising that Embiid picked a big man as the greatest basketball player of all time? Did you really think he was going to go with a guard or a forward?

Rockets getting healthy for stretch run with expected return of Clint Capela

Jason Owens | Yahoo Sports

The Houston Rockets are getting good news upon returning from the All-Star break.

Starting center Clint Capela is back at practice and is expected to play Thursday against the Los Angeles Lakers, barring a setback, according to multiple reports.

Capela missed 15 games

Capela was diagnosed with ligament damage in his right thumb on Jan. 14 and hasn’t played since. he missed 15 games.


WATCH: Was Kyrie Irving Caught Trying to Recruit Kevin Durant to the Knicks During All-Star Weekend?


Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were engaged in an unabashedly heavy bromance throughout All-Star Weekend, getting into some light-hearted 1-on-1 together. 

They also played jokes on each other. 

And they spoke to each other as if no one else was in the arena, somehow managing to ignore robot Kawhi Leonard showing off his new beta dance move software. 

Irving even stuck around to the bitter end of Durant’s MVP trophy ceremony because that’s what real friends do. 

It’s like, guys, forget a room, get a team to play together on already! Kyrie appeared to be putting that plan into action when he and Durant were spotted speaking in the hallway of the Spectrum Center. During their one-sided conversation, Irving appears to tell KD, “Two max slots, it’s time!” 

Even though there are a few teams that would need to make some moves between now and July 1, the Knicks are the only team currently with two max slots already available. Now, their fan base and NBA fans alike believe that Irving’s remarks—if was really saying “two max slots”—in the video, coupled with everything that happened between them this past weekend, practically confirms the belief that these two are headed to New York.

Original article:

Related commentary…

Full Highlights & Best Moments From the 2019 NBA All-Star Game

Team LeBron rallies late to beat Team Giannis, 178-164

Kevin Durant steals the show in Charlotte, wins second All-Star MVP

Dave McMenamin | ESPN

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In Stephen Curry‘s homecoming, Kevin Durant stole the show.

Durant scored a team-high 31 points for Team LeBron, helping to lead his team of All-Stars back from a 20-point deficit in a 178-164 win over Team Giannis and winning All-Star MVP for the second time in his career.

Durant, who last won the award in 2012, shot 10-for-15 from the floor (6-for-9 from 3) as Team LeBron set a new All-Star record for most made 3s in a game with 35.

He added 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks as LeBron Jamesimproved to 2-0 as a captain since the NBA All-Star Game changed to a draft format last year.

Durant went 4-for-4 from the field (3-for-3 from 3) in the fourth quarter as Team LeBron pulled away.

“We just started making shots … and we took off from there,” Durant told TNT’s Ernie Johnson after accepting the MVP trophy on the court after the game.

Curry, who played for Team Giannis, scored 17 points on 6-for-23 shooting (4-for-17 from 3), adding nine rebounds and seven assists.

NBA All-Star Game Awards: Steph Curry’s bounce pass alley-oop to Giannis was too good


The NBA’s best players put on an absolute show in the 2019 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night in Charlotte.

In the end, Team LeBron used a big second-half rally to beat Team Giannis, 178-164, in a game that got really competitive (we actually saw some defense!) late in the fourth quarter.

Giannis Aantetokounmpo led all scorers with 37 points. Kevin Durant, however, led Team LeBron with 31 points and was named the game’s MVP for the second time in his career.

Let’s take a look back at all the moments that everyone should be talking about Monday morning.

Best bounce pass alley-oop: Steph Curry’s ridiculous pass to Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Seriously?! All of that is what makes this game so awesome.

Best moment between two old friends who won a few titles together: This one with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.

It was fun to see D-Wade and LeBron get to enjoy this night together before Wade retires.

The second best moment for a pair of ex-teammates: This one between Kyrie Irving and LeBron James.

We had a little Cleveland Cavs reunion Sunday night, as Irving hooked up his former teammate with that nice little alley-oop.

Best job of making sure your real teammate gets involved: Russell Westbrook.

What a sweet move by Russ to make sure his Oklahoma City Thunder teammate, Paul George, didn’t feel left out.

Best job of guarding someone who’s normally your teammate: Steph Curry on Klay Thompson.

Curry sure had fun guarding his fellow Splash Brother on that play.

Best between-the-legs pass by a guy who’s not used to passing: James Harden.

We kid, we kid. But that really was a great pass by Harden, who’s on a ridiculous scoring run this season.

The best 3-pointers by a 40-year-old future Hall of Famer: Dirk Nowitzki.

Dirk immediately found his stroke in what will be his last All-Star Game and it was great to see.

Best job of using volleyball skills to get ready for a basketball game: Joel Embiid and Steph Curry.

This had us wondering if they were going to try something different in the game. Or if they just forgot for a minute that this was going to be a basketball game.

Best burn by the channel broadcasting the game: This one by TNT.

Yup, that’s New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who has six Super Bowl rings, saying hello to Charles Barkley, who has zero championship rings.

Coolest pregame moment for a legend and his son: This one for Dwyane Wade.

Wade’s legendary career will come to an end this season so it was pretty cool to see he and his son share a moment like this before his final all star game.

Best joke about LeBron’s team: This one by Arash Markazi.

The Los Angeles Times columnist nailed this one, as it sure looked like LeBron drafted his team in order to have a recruit weekend.

Best reaction by a first-timer to seeing is jersey: D’angelo Russell

That most have felt pretty good for Russell, especially how his career has gone after being traded from the Lakers to the Nets.


Zion Williamson is the only man who can save the NBA slam dunk contest

Charles Curtis | Yahoo Sports

I’ll save you the usual take on the NBA slam dunk contest being dead, because it is, although it had a brief revival in 2016 with Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon.

Part of the problem is that we’ve sort of come to the end of innovating around the slam dunk and have replaced it with props and such. The other problem is the lack of star power — Miles Bridges, John Collins, Hamidou Diallo and Dennis Smith Jr. are in this year’s group.

No offense to those promising players, but the days of Michael Jordan vs. Dominique Wilkins are looonnnnggg gone.

But there’s a solution to the problem: Zion Williamson will save us all.

He’ll be in the NBA next year, and PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF VINCE CARTER he’d better be in the dunk contest in his rookie year.

But why can’t he do it this year? Who cares if he’s not an NBA player? Can’t the league and NCAA work out an agreement to make sure he doesn’t violate any collegiate rules?

Now I get to remind you that he’s already won a dunk contest, and it was absurd:

He could show off the missed dunk that left jaws on the floor, one that he completed in warm-ups in 2017.

He combines Carter’s springiness with Wilkins’ explosiveness! We shouldn’t have to wait a year for this.