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Kevin Hart is signing on to star with LeBron James in Ballers, the basketball comedy for Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment. Brian Grazer and Michael Rosenberg are producing.
Hart will first co-write the comedy along with his scripting teammates Joey Wells, Chris Spencer and Harry Ratchford. He’ll then star as a man who lives in the shadow of his NBA superstar brother (James), but gets a chance to prove himself when he and some pals attend a weekend fantasy basketball camp in Miami. Hart is certainly dominant in the stand-up arena, but posting up against this screen sibling could be dangerous. Hart is under 5’3″ while James is a towering 6’8.” That kind of sibling size differential hasn’t been seen since Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in another Universal comedy, Twins. They’ll sign a director when Hart and his cohorts turn in the script. The plan is to start production next summer when James has time off.
Maybe the Heat will bow out early in the playoffs and give James more time to work on this masterpiece.
Based on their estimated "true talent" (as described last week), remaining schedule and performance to date and with a healthy Rose factored into more than 1,000 simulations of the season, Chicago averaged just over 52 wins, the third-highest total in the Eastern Conference, after the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat.
Without Rose, that changes in a hurry. My SCHOENE projection systemestimates that over a full season, the Rose-less Bulls would win approximately 37 games. While the oddsmakers disagree -- Jay Kornegay of the Las Vegas Hilton told Insider his line for Chicago would be 48.5 wins if Rose did not play all season -- there's reason to believe in such a pessimistic outlook.
At this stage of the season, they settled on 40.8 wins. Ouch.
We spent the better part of the afternoon at the Mall of America at the massive new Verizon store, where Fox sports broadcaster Erin Andrews was on hand to get a tour and generate some publicity for the new "Get Fit" Zone in the store.
In truth, the store is pretty cool, with all sorts of stations set up to help people realize just how powerful their phones can be.
The whole Andrews tour was your typical media event, as she was ushered from station to station. But we were able to catch up with her for a few minutes afterwards for the video you see above. The last question on the video is in reference to this piece that we wrote five years ago.
Andrews is a wisened veteran (35 years old now), and she says that dealing with any critics these days involves thick skin and that Twitter makes it worse. Please have a look-see.
This was likely an accident, but Tony Allen was certainly reckless in flinging his leg way up in the air ... Chris Paul paid the price when he was kicked in the face. Allen paid the price with an ejection. Here is the marvelous gif:
Grinnell's Jack Taylor is at it again, which we mean in both a good and a bad way.
It's impressive at any level, against any competition, we suppose, to score 100 points in a regulation basketball game. But just as we wrote a year ago when Taylor broke the NCAA record by scoring 138 points against Faith Baptist Bible, his 109-point game Sunday against Crossroads College (located in Rochester, Minn.) is a little hollow and sad.
Looking again at the video footage, it looks like a pickup game.
Crossroads is 0-9 this season and doesn't exactly play the world's greatest schedule, even for Division III. Grinnell allowed Crossroads to shoot 73.8 percent from the field. One Crossroads player had 50 points (on 25 of 27 shooting) to go with 17 rebounds.
Is that basketball or a stunt?
It sure seems like Grinnell and Taylor look for opportunities for publicity against weak opponents. It got them on SportsCenter, so it worked.
And at least Taylor got two assists this time ... in his 138-point game, he had zero.