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Minnesota Lynx guard Maya Moore receives June WNBA Cares Community Assist Award

Her passion for supporting underprivileged children and improving criminal justice reform is being rewarded

5:59 PMMinnesota Lynx All-Star Maya Moore says she’s been given an “opportunity that’s bigger than basketball.” In an on-camera video for The Players’ Tribune, Moore told former NBA player and Memphis Grizzlies assistant coach Jerry Stackhouse that she gets pretty worked up when seeing injustice.

Inspired by the story of an incarcerated family friend, she’s spending much of her time off the court fighting against wrongful convictions.

Her deep passion for this work and her support of underprivileged youths has earned her the WNBA Cares Community Assist award for June, the WNBA announced Thursday. The honor is awarded each month during the WNBA season to a player who best reflects the WNBA’s passion to make a difference in the community.

“I’m honored to be a part of celebrating the great work that was able to be done between the community and the Lynx organization,” said Moore. “I love having a chance to use the game of basketball to serve those around me.”

Moore says Jonathan Irons, who was sentenced to prison for the nonfatal shooting of a homeowner during a robbery in 1997 near her hometown of Jefferson City, Missouri, is serving time for a crime he didn’t commit. Irons has served 21 years of his 50-year sentence. As Moore looked into his case, she believed there was a lack of evidence.

She has worked with Athletes for Impact, an organization that connects athletes with the community, to launch the Win With Justice project, an interactive platform seeking to advance a fair and equitable criminal justice system.

On June 17, Moore hosted her annual Maya Moore Academy in Minneapolis, where she awarded the Minnesota Lynx FastBreak Foundation with 20 scholarships, giving local underserved female youths an opportunity to attend her camp free of charge.

When the Lynx celebrated its 2017 WNBA championship in Washington, D.C., despite not receiving an invitation to the White House, Moore and her team partnered with the nonprofit Samaritan’s Feet to provide all 340 students at Payne Elementary School with new Jordan Brand shoes and Nike socks. The team also played basketball with students from the school, which serves homeless children and students from low-income families.

Before the Lynx’s 2018 home opener, a poster of Moore debuted outside Target Center. After a picture of 4-year-old Liliana Sikakane posing in front of the billboard went viral, Moore and the Lynx invited Liliana and her father, Justice, to their practice facility, where she received a surprise meet-and-greet from the five-time WNBA All-Star. Liliana and her family were also invited to Minnesota’s game on June 1, where they sat courtside for pregame warm-ups.

In recognition of Moore’s efforts, the WNBA and State Farm will donate $5,000 to benefit the Social Impact Fund.

Thanks, Keke, we love you for giving us the ‘In my feelings challenge’

OBJ, Ciara and James Harden, sort of, killed it

2:24 PMFirst of all, let us all take this moment to thank “Keke,” the woman who inspired Drake to make one of the top hit songs of the summer, “In My Feelings.”

The upbeat love anthem is arguably the best song from the newly released album Scorpion and has had people dancing and belting out, “Keke, do you love me?” since the album was released on June 29.

According to PopBuzz, “Keke” is the nickname of Drake’s first girlfriend, Keshia Chanté.

After the comedian Shiggy, who is most known for his impressions of Stephen A. Smith, took to Instagram to bust his moves to the song, the immediate result is the latest viral dance challenge on social media. High-profile stars such as Ciara, Odell Beckham Jr. and James Harden attempted to show off their dance moves for the #inmyfeelingschallenge.

So we ranked their performances from No. 5 to No. 1:

No. 5: DJ Khaled

For obvious reasons, DJ Khaled comes in last at No. 5. His dance moves had him looking like Pumbaa from The Lion King. This man’s dancing ability is the visual equivalent of hearing ICE JJ Fish sing. Khaled’s attempt at “shooting” was worse than Rajon Rondo in 2008. We appreciate the effort, Khaled, but as we like to say, “that ain’t it. “

No. 4: The entire set of Good Day L.A.

Stop. Please Stop. The whole set looks like a private school PTA meeting gone horribly wrong. They look like the Full House cast trying to do the Tootsee Roll. I can only imagine the disappointment on their kids’ faces.

No. 3: James Harden and Meek Mill

Harden’s moves were respectable. His two-step was similar to the drunk uncle at a Labor Day cookout who lost his knees 10 years ago. While Harden did not show anything spectacular, he displayed enough church rhythm to be slotted at No. 3. Having Meek Mill as a hype man added some bonus points.

No.2: Ciara

With all due respect to Ciara, she would have been No. 1 if it weren’t for her husband, Russell Wilson. Ciara showed out, as we all expected. However, hubby seemed to be overwhelmed by the moment. Wilson looked like that father whose daughter forces him to do a dance routine. He gave about as much effort as Trae Young gives guarding the pick-and-roll. The Seattle Seahawks quarterback acted like Malcolm Butler was in the background ready to steal another Super Bowl from him. Yet, I can’t talk about Wilson too bad. Sometimes you got to know when to hand the ball off to your teammate.

No. 1: Odell Beckham Jr.

OBJ’s technique and precision were masterful. Every beat drop was on point, and his creativity level put him over the top. You could see every ramen noodle strand of his hair flopping to the sound of Drake’s voice. OBJ made the challenge seem effortless, and that is why he is our “In my feelings challenge” winner.

Here are some other notable “In my feelings challenge” videos, including Drake doing the dance on stage and even one from Golden State Warriors guard Nick Young, most notably known as “Swaggy P.”



Behind the scenes at NBA Las Vegas Summer League: The vibe is all LeBron, Donovan Mitchell and Boogie Cousins

And not even top-level NBA execs seem to have a clue where Kawhi Leonard is going

5:15 PM“We’ve got LeBron,” says a Lakers fan in a throwback Magic Johnson jersey — to another fan in a vintage Kobe Bryant No. 8. “It’s lit. I don’t care. At least we’re relevant again. I’ll worry about the rest later.”

Rookies, undrafted rookies and unknown free agents looking for a chance to change their lives are the main plot lines of summer league in Las Vegas. It’s where the legend of Donovan Mitchell was born this time in 2017. This week, Mitchell is shaking hands, kissing babies, and signing autographs in Sin City like he’s the mayor.

NBA Summer League is a first chance to see the league’s new crop of talent in action, from Trae Young to Deandre Ayton to Zhaire Smith. The annual summer tradition is a bridge between the draft and the start of training camp. A potluck of players — rookies, young vets, older veterans and retired OGs — are in Las Vegas, as well as scouts, agents, fans, sportswriters and broadcasters from across the country. Tourists trying to escape the heat, or nurse a hangover, show up for the festivities as well.

Summer League is also a hotbed of speculation about how the league will look when the season tips off in a few months. The dominant conversation among the NBA extended community in town for NBA Summer League is still free agency.

A group of Warriors fans walk past press row at the University of Nevada’s Thomas & Mack Center during Saturday’s Hawks vs. Knicks game, the best game of summer league so far, in Warriors jerseys. One is wearing an Andre Iguodala swingman. The other, a Klay Thompson. A third rocks a Stephen Curry swingman, and the fourth is in a makeshift DeMarcus Cousins jersey with “Boogie” written on Scotch tape pasted on the back. The Warriors organization isn’t too far from anyone’s mind either.

“It’s a case of the rich get richer. Boogie never reached out to us,” said one Western Conference executive. “I don’t think it was a case of anyone trying to disrespect Boogie. It was more so shock. Like this guy is really available?”

He continues, “It’s great for Golden State. Great for Boogie because he gets to rehab with the best team, basically have a strong second half … and get paid next summer. Great for them … terrible for the rest of us.”

By far the most glaring question mark hovers above superstar San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard. Quite literally no one knows (or will even whisper) what will happen with the former Finals MVP. But Kawhi is the talk in the casinos. He’s the talk on The Strip. He’s the talk throughout the Thomas & Mack.

“It’s weird, right? Where do you think he goes?” asks a Western Conference executive. He never expected the Spurs to be in a position in which the face of the franchise wants out. “You gotta expect that he’s gone sooner than later. You don’t want that dragging into the season. And for someone like Kawhi, you absolutely have to get something in return. … It’s like the entire league is just waiting on the shoe to drop.”