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What Had Happened Was: 6/17/16

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GAME. BLOUSES.

Give LeBron James credit. For the second straight game, James dropped 41 points for the Cleveland Cavaliers (Kyrie Irving added a cool 23 with efficient shooting and Tristan Thompson contributed 15 points and 16 rebounds), and now the best player of this generation gets to square off against the Golden State Warriors, the most dynamic team in the NBA over the past two years, for the best moment in all of sports: Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

There is so much to unpack from Thursday night — Stephen Curry’s father-in-law was threatened with an arrest, his wife Ayesha Curry tweeted and then deleted that the NBA is rigged, Harrison Barnes missed a ton of wide-open shots for the second straight game — but the most important thing to note is this: Holy hell, James has been good. This feels more like the James of the 2012 Miami Heat than the tortured, “we know it’s not quite good enough” James of the 2015 Finals. And that should terrify the Warriors. The Warriors tend to figure these things out — how long can they possibly keep missing open shots? — but there is a lot the team needs to suddenly change with one game left.

Curry hasn’t looked like the regular-season version of himself for the last couple of weeks. James is shutting down Draymond Green, Barnes can’t buy a bucket and #FreightTrainJames keeps showing up to collect on a debt that hasn’t been paid in over a year. The Warriors can still win Game 7 and render this series from James as merely an inspired performance, instead of a historic one, sure.

But it’s no sure thing, anymore.


BLESSINGS!


SOCIAL STATUS

Ayesha Curry had a difficult night that deserves our empathy. But that doesn’t mean Twitter didn’t light her up when she brought out the bazooka Thursday night — NBA CONSPIRACY TIME!


FOR THE CULTURE

Rappers Drake and French Montana shot a new music video in the Dominican Republic.

Rapper Lil Wayne, on the other hand, went to a skate park to shoot his new video.

Actor Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson went on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to do a skit about two embarrassed guys at the prom. It was embarrassing.


TOP THREE TWEETS

Every morning we’ll hit you here with the best of what we saw on social media the previous night. Why? Why not?

1. MMM, CHOCOLATE.

2. JIUJITSU

3. CAN’T BE DENIED


#ICYMI

Our comrade Justin Tinsley wrote an important piece on Tupac’s birthday about the man always remembering and reminding people of a terribly important name: Latasha Harlins.

It is Latasha, however, who appears in Shakur’s music throughout his career, even long after his death. Tupac and Latasha were born four years apart. And their spirits seem joined this week, as Latasha makes a brief but emotional appearance in the recently aired second episode of O.J.: Made In America. Latasha was killed by convenience store owner Soon Ja Du in March 1991. Her death, along with the beating of Rodney King that same year, became detonators of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. There was no prison time served by either of the members of the Los Angeles Police Department who beat King, or by Du. “Latasha Harlins, remember that name,” Shakur pleaded on his 1993 sophomore album, Strictly 4 My N—–. “Because a bottle of juice is not something to die for.” On the same album is the track Keep Ya Head Up, a standout pillar in not only Tupac’s catalog, but in hip-hop culture as a whole.


PICTURE PERFECT

 

Ryan Cortes is a staff writer for The Undefeated. Lemon pepper his wings.

Rhiannon Walker is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a drinker of Sassy Cow Creamery chocolate milk, an owner of an extensive Disney VHS collection, and she might have a heart attack if Frank Ocean doesn't drop his second album.

Kofie Yeboah asks for Sweet Tea at every restaurant and recites approximately 2.5 Spongebob lines per hour.