Kawhi Leonard Wins Kobe Bryant NBA All-Star Game MVP Award

Sunday night, Kawhi Leonard took home the first-ever Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP Award after playing a primary role in the victory Tema Lebron in a 157-155 triumph over Team Giannis at the 69h annual game. Leonard finished the match with 30 points, shooting 11–18 from the field. As far as three-pointers go, Leonard went 8–14 from the 3-point range.

It was Saturday night, that commissioner Adam Silver announced the league would be renaming the All-Star MVP award to honor the late Bryant. By the end his pressional career, Kobe Bryant held the league’s record for the most consecutive All-Star selections with 18 while also tying with Bob Pettit for the most All-Star MVP wins at four.

The new MVP award now goes alongside Leonard’s two Finals MVP awards from 2014 and 2019. 

“Words can’t even explain,” Kawhi expressed upon his receipt the award. “I want to thank Kobe for everything he’s done for me. All the long talks. Thank you. This one is for him.”

Elsewhere, team caption Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with a strong 25 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks) while LeBron James logged 23 points, six assists, and five rebounds. Anthony Davis also sported a strong performance with 20 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks. 

 

"Sonic The Hedgehog" Finishes In First, "Parasite" Soars At Box Office

Sonic The Hedgehog cruised to the finish line, easily securing the top spot at the box fice this weekend with earning at $57 million in North America and $100 million globally, according to Variety.

By the end the long weekend, expectations predict Sonic will finish with $68-70 million. This is all good news for Paramount as the film cost $87 million to make and was hit with a 3-month delay to completely redesign the titular character after fans protested his appearance in the original trailer.

“The consumer always determines what is right and what is wrong. They made their voices clear, and we listened,” said Chris Aronson, Paramount’s president domestic distribution, the character redesign. “This movie exceeded audience’s] expectations. That’s a testament to that reset and terrific performances by Jim Carrey and the entire cast.”

The film stars Jim Carrey, James Marsden, and Ben Schwartz and is directed by Jeff Fowler.

Parasite saw a major boost  $5.5 million this weekend after its historic Oscar win. By the end the weekend, its project to earn $6.6 million. That’s a 234% increase in ticket sales from before the Oscars. This is the biggest post-Oscars increase for a film in the last 10 years.

For more box fice results head to Variety.

Dwight Howard Hints At Kobe Bryant Tribute During Dunk Contest

Dwight Howard is set to compete in the 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest Saturday night in Chicago. He had hoped Kobe Bryant would be there to help with his performance, but according to ESPN, he may honor him during the event.

“You’ll have to wait and see,” Howard said coyly when asked if he had anything special planned regarding Bryant.

Saturday night will be the first time the Lakers’ big man has entered a slam dunk competition since 2008 when he performed his iconic superman routine.

“During All-Star Weekend, a lot guys are getting ready for the second half the season,” Howard said. “So it is pretty hard to get those guys to want to be in the dunk contest. But, this is the thing that I enjoy. I have been dunking my whole life basically.”

Howard went on to speak about an unficial dunk contest he competed in at Venice Beach.

“After we finished dunking, I was like, ‘Man, that felt really good to really get the crowd into it and just enjoy dunking and basketball again,'” Howard said. “I was super surprised that I was able to get up and dunk like that. So I said, from that moment on I was going to try to get myself ready for the dunk contest.”

The 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest is scheduled for 9:00 PM on February 15.

Jennifer Lopez To Join Black Eyed Peas & J Balvin On "RITMO" Remix

Just a week removed from her Super Bowl Halftime performance, Jennifer Lopez has shared that she will be joining in on the Black Eyed Peas and J Balvin’s “Ritmo” collaboration. The cut originally appears on the Bad Boys For Life soundtrack and will now feature J-Lo as she takes on the repetitive hook. The songstress teased the new remix a snippet the electric new video attached to the project.

“We’re taking RITMO to the next level,” echoes the message across the track’s collaborators.

It pads onto the hot streak that the Hustlers star has been enjoying as late. At the Super Bowl, she and Shakira fully tuned into their Latin heritage to craft a triumphant appearance at the halftime show. J Balvin also made a cameo during this performance as well, delivering on a rendition his “Mi Gente” smash.

“We wanted it to be impactful so that our message was clear and would make a difference,” Balvin recently told Entertainment Weekly the show. “The show was so beautiful and incredibly special. I could feel how the performance raised everyone’s emotions. It was] full good vibes. It was an honor to be able to represent our Latino culture on such a big stage. I’m very proud how it all played out.”

Jennifer Lopez Responds To Criticism Over Super Bowl Halftime Performance

Following Shakira and Jennifer Lopez‘s Super Bowl halftime performance, Ohio preacher Dave Baubenmire issued a statement in which he threatened legal action against the NFL all over the pairing’s appearance onstage. He would describe it as a “strip club performance” that contributed “to the delinquency a minor.”

Jennifer Lopez Responds To Criticism Over Super Bowl Halftime Performance

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His sentiments represented a percentage viewers who found J-Lo and Shakira’s performance to be suggestive and in contrast to the “family-friendly” nature the Super Bowl. Now, a week removed from the memorable appearance, Lopez has responded to critics her performance.

“I think that’s honestly silliness,” Lopez tells Variety. “Both us are really respectful performers who are moms and have kids and are very conscious what we do. We (put on) a show that I believe was a celebration women and our Latino culture that I think was really well reserved.”

Notably, Jennifer was joined onstage with her daughter and a multicultural children’s choir while the entire performance echoed the two singer’s Latin roots.

“That small faction people who want to be negative about it, I can’t even let in,” Lopez added. “The message standing up for yourself, being a women — that’s what I want to pass on to little girls — everything about you — be proud it. I’m very proud the performance that night.”

Russell Westbrook Dedicates 41-Point Game To Kobe Bryant: Watch

Heading into the game last night between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets, there was this thought that the Lakers would dominate thanks to the Rockets’ small lineup. In the end, this wasn’t the case as the Rockets went on to win the game by an impressive score 121-111. The Lakers didn’t seem to have an answer for the Rockets’ small-ball fense. Not to mention, Russell Westbrook went f with a 41-point performance that had fans shook.

After the game, Westbrook spoke about his performance and how much it meant to him. As he explains, Kobe Bryant was a mentor his and every time he steps out onto the court, he is trying to honor his legacy. It’s safe to say Bryant would have been impressed with that performance, especially since it went down in the Staples Center.

“It’s a blessing that I don’t take none this game for granted. Kobe was a mentor a friend, a brother to me. Every time I step on this floor, it’s definitely going out to him,” Westbrook said.

With the win, the Rockets are now Fourth in the Western Conference with a record 33-18. After this latest win, it’s clear the Rockets are still contenders despite their small stature.

Patrick Beverley Trashes Jimmy Butler After Sustaining Injury

Patrick Beverley is known as the most vocal trash talker in the entire league despite consistently putting up a triple-single on the score sheet. He could get 40 points put on his head and he would still have something to say about your performance. It’s why his teammates love him and opponents hate him. Last night, Beverley put his talents to good use as the Los Angeles Clippers decimated the Miami Heat by a score 128-111.

Heat superstar Jimmy Butler ended up leaving the game early with a shoulder sprain and ended up finishing the match with just 11 points. Beverley took this opportunity to clown Butler on Twitter where he called him a “church mouse” who couldn’t back up his own play.

It remains to be seen how Butler is going to respond to Beverley. There’s a pretty good chance he’ll just ignore it, especially when you consider Beverley scored a miraculous five points. With his latest injury in mind, we’re sure Butler has a lot more important things to worry about right now. Without Butler, the Heat could be in big trouble and he’ll want to get back in the lineup as soon as possible.

As for Beverley, this is the type energy we will be seeing from him throughout the season and well into the playfs.

Max Kellerman Explains How LeBron James Is Putting Lakers At Risk

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have been on a roll this season and it doesn’t look like they will be slowing down anytime soon. The team currently sits atop the Western Conference standings with an impressive record 38-11. Many think the Lakers have a real shot winning the NBA title and if they keep up their pace, they will certainly be in a good position to do so. Last night, the Lakers flexed their championship pedigree as they defeated the San Antonio Spurs 129-102. LeBron scored 19 points in the fourth quarter and looked like his prime self.

Today on First Take, Max Kellerman suggested LeBron should actually tone down these kinds performances because they will eventually break down his body. Kellerman wants LeBron and the Lakers to go win the title but feels like he could put the team’s chances at risk if he injures himself trying to do too much.

LeBron James isn’t exactly known for toning down his play so it would be surprising to see him take Kellerman’s advice. The race for first in the Western Conference is still quite close and the Lakers won’t want to lose out because they’re not putting in enough effort. James has consistently been against load management and it doesn’t appear as though his philosophy will change anytime soon.

Do you agree with Kellerman or is he overreacting here?

Ben Simmons Harshly Rips 76ers After Embarrassing Loss To The Heat

Despite being hailed as one the best Eastern Conference teams in the league prior to the season, the Philadelphia 76ers have been a beacon inconsistency this season. At times, they look like they can beat anyone but on some nights, they are downright awful. Last night, the latter occurred as the 76ers were defeated 137-106 by the Miami Heat. It was a horrible defensive performance that saw Heat star Jimmy Butler score an impressive 38 points.

Immediately following the game, Sixers star Ben Simmons was asked about the game and what he thought his team’s performance. As you can imagine, he wasn’t too kind as he called the team outing “st.”

“We were st,” Simmons said per NBC Sports. “You’ve gotta knock somebody, knock ‘em over. You’ve gotta hit somebody in the face and knock ‘em down, make sure they don’t score, hit ‘em in the face.”

With the loss, the Sixers are now sixth in the Eastern Conference with a record 31-20. The Sixers were a team that many felt could compete with the Bucks for first in the league although it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen this season. Perhaps when the playfs start in April, the team will be able to rally the troops and make a run. 

Nicole Scherzinger Politely Corrects Paula Abdul Who Mistook Her For Shakira

The Super Bowl Halftime Show was one for the books as Shakira and Jennifer Lopez tore up the stage and invited J. Balvin and Bad Bunny along for the ride. While everyone at home and in the stadium was surely looking forward to the big event, one person, in particular, got things mixed up when they thought it was Pussycat Doll’s alum Nicole Scherzinger who was set to take the stage, mistaking her for Shakira. 

Nicole Scherzinger Politely Corrects Paula Abdul Who Mistook Her For Shakira
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Paula Abdul, a former singer-songwriter, sent out a tweet in anticipation the show that showcased her with Jennifer Lopez, Demi Lovato (who sang the national anthem) and Nicole. Clearly, Paula mistook Nicole for Shakira and removed the tweet after Nicole let her know that it wasn’t her set to perform. “I mean, my hips don’t lie… but I’m not @shakira babes 💋❤️,”  Nicole responded. Paula has yet to respond to Nicole’s response. The duo previously worked together on the US version  The X Factor.

Nicole is a host on the new season  Masked Singer and the latest episode left fans shook as the first to be eliminated was none other Lil Wayne who played The Robot

Twitter Reacts To Demi Lovato’s National Anthem At Super Bowl

Sunday evening, Super Bowl LIV got underway at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium as the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs were poised to face f in the NFL championship game. 

Before things got underway, however, Demi Lovato took her spot center stage to deliver on her rendition the National Anthem as scheduled. Ultimately, it proved to be a powerful vocal display from the songstress, and social media proved to be in mass consensus. 

 

The moment arrived just shortly after the singer and actress resurfaced an old tweet in which she predicted that she would one day sing the national anthem at the Big Game.

“One day, I’m gonna sing the national anthem at a super bowl,” she penned on Feb. 7, 2010. “Onnnee dayyy….”

That year it was country singer Carrie Underwood who took on the task singing the anthem as the New Orleans Saints overpowered the Indianapolis Colts int he exact same venue and location, hen dubbed the Sun Life Stadium.

Lovato’s performance also arrives just a week after her stirring performance at the Grammys last Sunday. She was met with a standing ovation after delivering on a teary rendition her “Anyone” song, based on her struggles with addiction.

 

 

Fortnite Is Now A High School & College Sport

Fortnite is ficially set to become a high school and collegiate sport, according to Tech Crunch.

LA-based startup PlayVS has partnered with Epic Games to start competitive league play within the collegiate and high school level. High schools will be able to pay $64 per player to enter into a league where they can compete with other local schools. 

While the format is duos, schools can submit as many teams two as they like. The top-performing team will be put into a playf with a chance to play in a championship game in May: “A season is divided into a one-week long preseason, an eight-week long regular season, followed by the playfs. A champion is crowned at the end each season,” reads PlayVS’s website.

The site allows users to use “comprehensive Match Data & Statistics” to analyze performance and scout opposing teams. 

“We provide a robust online platform that enables schools to easily build and manage teams, check schedules, and track stats, all with real-time support,” the company says.

PlayVS was founded in April 2018 by Delane Parnell with the mission bringing competitive esports to the high school level. The company has raised $96 million since launch. 

The season begins on March 2nd.

Jarvis Landry Puts On A Clinic In Pro Bowl Dodgeball Competition: Watch

The NFL stars, minus those preparing for Super Bowl LIV, have descended upon Orlando, Florida this week for the annual Pro Bowl Game, as well as all the other festivities that come with it. Earlier this week, the league hosted the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown featuring five different events highlighted by the grande finale – Dodgeball.

The best three series came down to a thrilling finish as Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry put on an absolute clinic to upset the NFC. As seen in the footage embedded below, Landry simply rolled the dodgeballs over to the AFC side and then sat back and let his hands do what they do best. 

Somewhere, Patches O’Houlihan smiles.

The Cleveland Browns were among the most disappointing teams in the 2019 season but Landry himself had another solid year en route to his fifth straight Pro Bowl appearance. The 27-year old receiver led the Browns with 83 receptions for a career-high 1,174 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

In addition to his iconic, championship-clinching dodgeball performance, Landry also led the AFC to victory in the “Best Hands” competition during the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown. Check out that footage in the tweet embedded below.

NFL’s 2020 Draft Stage In Vegas Will Require Players To Be Transported By Boat

The 2020 NFL Draft will be held in Las Vegas this April, and the league is going 110% Vegas with their stage design.

According to the Los Angeles Times’ Arash Markazi, the actual draft stage will be situation in the Fountains Bellagio, requiring players to be transported to the stage by a boat.

According to ESPN, teams will make their draft selections at the nearby Caesars Forum conference center, aka “Selection Square.” Of course, there will also be plenty activations available for fans attending the draft in Vegas.

Per ESPN:

“Adjacent to the main stage will be the NFL Draft Experience where fans can participate in interactive games, view the Vince Lombardi Trophy and attend autograph sessions with NFL players and former players. There also will be a stage at the Experience for performances by local talent, all available without charge.”

To accommodate the NFL invasion in late April, a large portion the Las Vegas strip will be closed to traffic for the three days from April 23 to April 25, according to Mick Akers the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The league is reportedly anticipated more than 400,000 fans to attend the 2020 Draft.

“We are going to try and incorporate all the iconic features this city,” says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “We are going to do what we can to show the tremendous entertainment and hospitality that goes on in this city.”

Check out the tweets embedded below for some additional renderings what the 2020 Las Vegas NFL Draft experience will look like.

Luka Doncic Achieves Impressive New Record During Mavs Win

Luka Doncic has been one the most impressive young stars in the entire NBA over the past couple years and every single night, his prile continues to rise. The Dallas Mavericks are looking like a serious playf team thanks to Doncic and as we approach the postseason, Doncic seems to be a real threat to win the coveted Most Valuable Player award. Regardless how you feel about Doncic, there is no denying he is a star who has the potential to achieve superstar status.

Last night, Doncic achieved another incredible feat as he became the youngest player in NBA history to achieve a statline above 20 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists. He finished the game with 25 points, 15 rebounds, and 17 assists as the Mavericks defeated the Sacramento Kings. 

Doncic and his teammates have a real shot at doing some damage in the playfs and if he continues to put up performances like this, he will be in a great position moving forward. Not to mention, his contract with Jordan Brand will certainly help raise his prile moving forward. 

At this point, records such as this one might seem meaningless although they speak to just how much potential Doncic has. If he keeps this up, the NBA will be in a great place for years to come.