Stephen Douglas Kerr is an American professional basketball coach and former player, the head coach of the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association. He is an eight-time NBA champion, having won five titles as a player as well as three with the Warriors as a head coach. Kerr has the highest career three-point percentage in NBA history for any player with at least 250 three-pointers made, he held the NBA record for highest three-point percentage in a season at 52.4% until the record was broken by Kyle Korver in 2010. On June 2, 2007, the Phoenix Suns named Kerr the team's president of basketball operations and general manager. Kerr helped managing partner Robert Sarver buy the Suns in 2004 and became one of Sarver's trusted basketball advisors. Kerr announced his retirement from the Suns in June 2010. Afterwards, Kerr returned as a color commentator for NBA on TNT until 2014, when he pursued a career in coaching. On May 14, 2014, the Golden State Warriors named Kerr the team's head coach.
On April 4, 2015, with a win over the Dallas Mavericks, Kerr broke the NBA record for the most regular-season wins for a rookie coach. The Warriors went on to win the 2015 NBA Finals, making Kerr the first rookie coach to win a championship since Pat Riley in the 1982 NBA Finals. On April 13, 2016, the Warriors broke the record for the most wins in an NBA season, breaking a record held by Kerr's 1995–96 Chicago Bulls; the Warriors returned to the Finals for three straight years, losing in 2016 and winning again in 2017 and 2018. Kerr was born in Beirut, Lebanon to Malcolm H. Kerr, an American academic who specialized in the Middle East, his wife, Ann, he has three siblings. His grandfather, Stanley Kerr, volunteered with the Near East Relief after the Armenian Genocide and rescued women and orphans in Aleppo and Marash before settling in Beirut. Kerr spent much of his childhood in other Middle Eastern countries, he attended Cairo American College in Egypt, the American Community School in Beirut and Palisades High School in Los Angeles.
Malcolm Kerr was killed by members of the Shia Lebanese militia called Islamic Jihad on the morning of January 18, 1984 at the age of 52 while he was serving as president of the American University of Beirut. He was shot twice in the back of his head, by gunmen using suppressed handguns, in the hallway outside his office. Kerr was 18 years old at the time, a college freshman. Bad things happened to other people." The Kerr family sued the Iranian government under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. While warming up with the Arizona Wildcats for a game at arch-rival Arizona State in 1988, Kerr had to deal with many ASU Sun Devil fans in the crowd chanting "PLO" and "your father's history." Though tearful, Kerr led the Wildcats to victory, scoring 20 points in the first half, making all six of his three-point attempts. The athletic director of Arizona State, Charles Harris, sent a letter of apology to Kerr a few days later. Kerr graduated from the University of Arizona in 1988 with a Bachelor of General Studies, with emphasis on history and English.
Minimally recruited out of high school, Kerr played basketball for the University of Arizona from 1983 to 1988. In the summer of 1986, Kerr was named to the USA Basketball team that competed in the FIBA World Championship in Spain; the team was the last American Men's Senior Team composed of amateur players to capture a gold medal. He blew out his knee in the tournament a career-ending injury, forcing him to miss an entire season at Arizona. After returning to the team, Kerr became a fan favorite due to his leadership, his ability to triumph in adversity, long-range shooting; every time he got the ball, the Arizona fans would chant "STEEEVE KERRRR." It became a rallying cry. He helped the Wildcats reach the Final Four of the NCAA Division I basketball tournament in 1988 along with fellow All-American teammate Sean Elliott. Kerr set an NCAA record for 3-point percentage in a season. Kerr was selected by the Phoenix Suns in the second round of the 1988 NBA draft, he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1989.
He spent over three seasons there and part of the 1992–93 season with the Orlando Magic. In 1993, he signed with the Chicago Bulls; the Bulls made the playoffs in the 1993–94 and 1994–95 seasons, but without Michael Jordan's presence for all of 1994 and much of 1995, the team could not advance to the Finals. However, with Jordan back full-time for the 1995–96 season, the Bulls set a NBA-record of 72–10 and defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1996 NBA Finals. Kerr played a major part of the Bulls' championship victory in the 1997 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz. In the final seconds of Game 6 with the score tied at 86, he took a pass from Jordan and hit the title-winner; the Bulls won. Kerr won the 3-Point Shootout at the 1997 All-Star Game. In the last minute of Game 2 of the 1998 NBA Finals against Utah, Kerr missed a 3-pointer, grabbed his own rebound and made a pass to Jordan who made a crucial three-point play, putting them in the lead for good; the play helped Chicago win the game and tie the series at 1.
The Bulls won the series in 6 games. In January 1999, Kerr was acquired by the San Antonio Spurs in a sign-and-trade deal with the Bulls, whereby Chuck Person and a first-round pick in the 2000 NBA draft was sent to Chicago; the Spurs reached 1999 NBA Finals and won their first NBA Championship with a 4–1 series victory over th
Dana Elaine Owens, known professionally as Queen Latifah, is an American rapper, songwriter and producer. Born in Newark, New Jersey, she signed with Tommy Boy Records in 1989 and released her debut album All Hail the Queen the same year, featuring the hit single "Ladies First". Nature of a Sista was her final album with Tommy Boy Records. Latifah starred as Khadijah James on the FOX sitcom Living Single, from 1993 to 1998, her third album Black Reign, spawned the single "U. N. I. T. Y.", which won a Grammy Award and was successful on the Billboard Hot 100. She starred in the lead role of Set It Off and released her fourth album, Order in the Court, in 1998, with Motown Records. Latifah gained mainstream success and acclaim with her performance in the film Chicago, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Latifah released her fifth album The Dana Owens Album in 2004. In 2007 and 2009, she released two more studio albums -- Persona, she created the daytime talk show The Queen Latifah Show, which ran from late 2013 to early 2015 on CBS.
She has appeared in a number of films, such as Bringing Down the House, Barbershop 2: Back in Business, Beauty Shop, Last Holiday, Joyful Noise, 22 Jump Street and Girls Trip. Latifah received critical acclaim for her portrayal of blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO film Bessie, which she co-produced, winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie. Since 2016, she has starred as Carlotta Brown in the musical drama series Star, she has long been considered one of hip-hop's pioneer feminists. Queen Latifah received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006. Latifah's work in music and television has earned her a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, an Academy Award nomination and sales of over two million records. Dana Elaine Owens was born in Newark, New Jersey, on March 18, 1970, lived in East Orange, New Jersey, she is the daughter of Rita Lamae, a teacher at Irvington High School, Lancelot Amos Owens, a police officer.
Owens attended Essex Catholic Girls' High School in Irvington, but graduated from Irvington High School. Her parents divorced. Latifah attended Catholic school in Newark, New Jersey, she found her stage name, meaning "delicate" and "very kind" in Arabic, in a book of Arabic names when she was eight. Always tall, the 5-foot-10-inch Latifah was a power forward on her high school basketball team, she performed the number "Home" from the musical The Wiz in a grammar school play. After high school, Queen Latifah attended classes at Borough of Manhattan Community College, she started beat boxing for the hip-hop group Ladies Fresh and was an original member of the Flavor Unit, which, at that time, was a crew of MCs grouped around producer DJ King Gemini, who made a demo recording of Queen Latifah's rap Princess of the Posse. He gave the recording to Fab 5 Freddy, the host of Yo! MTV Raps; the song got the attention of Tommy Boy Music employee Dante Ross, who signed Latifah and in 1989 issued her first single, "Wrath of My Madness".
More recent artists, like Ice Cube and Lil' Kim, would go on to sample Latifah's track in their songs, "Wrath of Kim's Madness" and "You Can't Play With My Yo-Yo" in years. Latifah made her mark in hip-hop by rapping about issues of black women, her songs covered topics including domestic violence, harassment on the streets, relationship problems. Freddy helped Latifah sign with Tommy Boy Records, which released Latifah's first album All Hail the Queen in 1989, when she was nineteen; that year, she appeared as Referee on the UK label Music of Life album 1989—The Hustlers Convention. She received a Candace Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in 1992. In 1998, co-produced by Ro Smith, now CEO of Def Ro Inc. she released her fourth hip-hop album Order in the Court, released by Motown Records. Latifah was a member of the hip-hop collective Native Tongues. After Order in the Court, Latifah shifted to singing soul music and jazz standards, which she had used sparingly in her previous hip-hop-oriented records.
In 2004, she released the soul/jazz standards The Dana Owens Album. On July 11, 2007, Latifah sang at the famed Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles as the headlining act in a live jazz concert. Before a crowd of more than 12,400, she was backed by a 10-piece live orchestra and three backup vocalists, billed as the Queen Latifah Orchestra. Latifah performed new arrangements of standards including "California Dreaming", first made popular by 1960s icons the Mamas & the Papas. In 2007, Latifah released an album titled Trav'lin' Light. Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Joe Sample, George Duke, Christian McBride, Stevie Wonder made guest appearances, it was nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album" category. In 2009, along with the NJPAC Jubilation Choir, recorded the title track on the album Oh, Happy Day: An All-Star Music Celebration, covering the song that the Edwin Hawkins Singers made popular in 1969. In 2008, Latifah was asked, she was quoted saying the album was done and it would be called "All Hail the Queen II".
The following year, in 2009, she released her album Persona. The song "Cue the Rain" was released as the album's lead single, she has a song with Missy Elliott. 2011 saw Queen Latifah sing "Who Can I Turn To" in a duet with Tony Bennett for his album "Duets II". In January 2012, while appearing on 106 & Park with D
Klay Alexander Thompson is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association. He is credited as one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, he is a five-time NBA All-Star, a two-time All-NBA Third Team honoree, a three-time NBA champion. Thompson is the son of former NBA player Mychal Thompson, he played college basketball for three seasons with the Washington State Cougars, where he was a two-time first-team all-conference selection in the Pac-10. He was selected in the first round of the 2011 NBA draft by Golden State with the 11th overall pick. In 2014, Thompson and teammate Stephen Curry set a NBA record with 484 combined three-pointers in a season, earning the pair the nickname the "Splash Brothers". In 2015, Thompson helped lead the Warriors to their first NBA Championship since 1975, was a key contributor in the Warriors' 2017 and 2018 titles. Thompson was born in Los Angeles to Mychal Thompson, his mother was a volleyball player in college, his dad was the first overall pick of the 1978 NBA draft.
When Thompson was two, he and his family moved to Lake Oswego, where he was childhood friends and Little League teammates with fellow future NBA star Kevin Love. At age 14, the Thompsons moved to Ladera Ranch, where Klay graduated from Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Rancho Santa Margarita in 2008. In his junior season he was named to the Orange County third team; as a senior Thompson averaged 21 points per game and led SMCHS to a 30–5 record and a Division III State Championship appearance. During the state championship, Thompson set a state finals record with seven 3-pointers in a game, he was named Division III State player of the year, League MVP, first-team Best in the West, an EA Sports Second Team All American. Thompson started all 33 games as a freshman at Washington State University, leading his team in 3-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage, averaging 12.5 points per game. He was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team and Collegehoops.net All-Freshman Honorable Mention Team.
Thompson began his sophomore season by leading the Cougars to the Great Alaska Shootout Championship, being named its Most Outstanding Player after scoring a tournament single game record of 43 points in its championship. This was the third highest single game point total in WSU history. After becoming the third fastest Cougar to reach 1,000 points, Thompson was named to the All-Pac-10 First Team, he earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors twice during the season and was chosen as a midseason candidate for the John R. Wooden Award. Thompson finished the season averaging 19.6 points, good for second in the conference. Thompson led the Pac-10 in scoring as a junior, he became just the third Cougar to win first-team all-district honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches twice in his career. In addition, he became the first Cougar to be named Pac-10 Player of the Week three times when he won the award for the week of Nov. 22–28, extending the record to four after the week of December 6–12.
Soon after, Thompson was named one of the 30 midseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award. In the 2011 Pac-10 tournament, he set tournament records with 8 three-pointers. Thompson finished the season by setting WSU's single season scoring record with 733 points, he is WSU's 3rd all-time leading scorer. Thompson declared for the 2011 NBA draft after his junior season, being selected 11th overall by the Golden State Warriors; this pick of a guard prompted speculation. Warriors general manager Larry Riley praised Thompson for his shooting ability and expressed confidence that Thompson would improve his defensive skills with new coach Mark Jackson; the NBA did not select Thompson for the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend Rising Stars Challenge. However, in the four games after that decision, Thompson improved in all areas of basketball over his current season averages: points per game, shooting percentage, assists and turnovers; the Warriors traded Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks on March 13, 2012. The following game, Thompson scored a season-high 26 points in a loss to the Boston Celtics.
A week he exceeded his previous high with 27 points in a win over the New Orleans Hornets. As of mid-February 2012, Thompson played around 17 minutes per game, but he played an average 30 minutes per game during the next month. At the end of the season, Thompson was voted to the NBA NBA All-Rookie First Team. On January 29, 2013, Thompson scored a season-high 32 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Warriors coach Mark Jackson said that Thompson and Stephen Curry formed the best shooting duo in NBA history; that season, the two combined made 483 three-pointers, the most by an NBA duo. The Warriors defeated the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs and would be matched up against the San Antonio Spurs. On May 8, 2013, Thompson recorded a playoff career-high 34 points against San Antonio, hitting 8 out of 9 three-point attempts, along with a career-high 14 rebounds. Thompson and the Warriors would go on to lose to the Spurs in six games. In the opening game for the Warriors, Thompson scored a season-high 38 points, including 5-of-7 three-pointers.
He and Curry set an NBA record for 484 combined threes on the season, besting by one the record they set the previous year. Thompson averaged 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists on the year. Thompson and the Warriors entered the 2014 NBA playoffs as the sixth seed in the Western Conference and were matched up wi
NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award
The National Basketball Association All-Star Game Most Valuable Player is an annual National Basketball Association award given to the player voted best of the annual All-Star Game. The award was established in 1953 when NBA officials decided to designate an MVP for each year's game; the league re-honored players from the previous two All-Star Games. Ed Macauley and Paul Arizin were selected as the 1952 MVP winners respectively; the voting is conducted by a panel of media members, who cast their vote after the conclusion of the game. The player with the most votes or ties for the most votes wins the award. No All-Star Game MVP was named in 1999; as of 2019, the most recent recipient is Golden State Warrior forward Kevin Durant. Bob Pettit and Kobe Bryant are the only two players. Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, LeBron James have each won the award three times, while Bob Cousy, Julius Erving, Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, Allen Iverson, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant have all won the award twice.
James' first All-Star MVP in 2006 made him the youngest to have won the award at the age of 21 years, 1 month. Kyrie Irving, winner of the 2014 All-Star Game MVP, is the second-youngest at 10 months, they are notable as being the two youngest. Four of the games had joint winners—Elgin Baylor and Pettit in 1959, John Stockton and Malone in 1993, O'Neal and Tim Duncan in 2000, O'Neal and Bryant in 2009. O'Neal became the first player in All-Star history to share two MVP awards as well as the first player to win the award with multiple teams; the Los Angeles Lakers have had eleven winners. Duncan of the U. S. Virgin Islands and Irving of Australia are the only winners not born in the United States. Both Duncan and Irving are American citizens, but are considered "international" players by the NBA because they were not born in one of the fifty states or Washington, D. C. No player trained outside the U. S. has won the award. S. since age two, Duncan played U. S. college basketball at Wake Forest. Bob Pettit and Russell Westbrook are the only players to win consecutive awards.
Pettit, Bob Cousy, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Willis Reed, Dave Cowens, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Allen Iverson all won the All-Star Game MVP and the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in the same season. 14 players have won the award playing for the team that hosted the All-Star Game: Macauley, Pettit, Adrian Smith, Rick Barry, Jerry West, Tom Chambers, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, John Stockton, O'Neal and Davis. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has the distinction of playing in the most All-Star Games without winning the All-Star Game MVP, while Adrian Smith won the MVP in his only All-Star Game. NBA Most Valuable Player Award Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award List of NBA All-Stars List of NBA All-Star vote leaders General Specific
Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden, colloquially known as The Garden or in initials as MSG, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in New York City. Located in Midtown Manhattan between 7th and 8th Avenues from 31st to 33rd Streets, it is situated atop Pennsylvania Station, it is the fourth venue to bear the name "Madison Square Garden". The Garden is used for professional basketball and ice hockey, as well as boxing, ice shows, professional wrestling and other forms of sports and entertainment, it is close to other midtown Manhattan landmarks, including the Empire State Building and Macy's at Herald Square. It is home to the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League, the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association, was home to the New York Liberty from 1997 to 2017. Called Madison Square Garden Center, the Garden opened on February 11, 1968, is the oldest major sporting facility in the New York metropolitan area, it is the oldest arena in the National Hockey League and the second-oldest arena in the National Basketball Association.
In 2016, MSG was the second-busiest music arena in the world in terms of ticket sales, behind The O2 Arena in London. Including two major renovations, its total construction cost is $1.1 billion, it has been ranked as one of the 10 most expensive stadium venues built. It is part of the Pennsylvania Plaza office and retail complex, named for the railroad station. Several other operating entities related to the Garden share its name. Madison Square is formed by the intersection of 5th Broadway at 23rd Street in Manhattan, it was named after James Madison, fourth President of the United States. Two venues called Madison Square Garden were located just northeast of the square, the first from 1879 to 1890, the second from 1890 to 1925; the first Garden, leased to P. T. Barnum, had no roof and was inconvenient to use during inclement weather, so it was demolished after 11 years. Madison Square Garden II was designed by noted architect Stanford White; the new building was built by a syndicate which included J. P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, P. T. Barnum, Darius Mills, James Stillman and W. W. Astor.
White gave them a Beaux-Arts structure with a Moorish feel, including a minaret-like tower modeled after Giralda, the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville – soaring 32 stories – the city's second tallest building at the time – dominating Madison Square Park. It was 200 feet by 485 feet, the main hall, the largest in the world, measured 200 feet by 350 feet, with permanent seating for 8,000 people and floor space for thousands more, it had a 1,200-seat theatre, a concert hall with a capacity of 1,500, the largest restaurant in the city and a roof garden cabaret. The building cost $3 million. Madison Square Garden II was unsuccessful like the first Garden, the New York Life Insurance Company, which held the mortgage on it, decided to tear it down in 1925 to make way for a new headquarters building, which would become the landmark Cass Gilbert-designed New York Life Building. A third Madison Square Garden opened in a new location, on 8th Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets, from 1925 to 1968.
Groundbreaking on the third Madison Square Garden took place on January 9, 1925. Designed by the noted theater architect Thomas W. Lamb, it was built at the cost of $4.75 million in 249 days by boxing promoter Tex Rickard. The arena was 200 feet by 375 feet, with seating on three levels, a maximum capacity of 18,496 spectators for boxing. Demolition commenced in 1968 after the opening of the current Garden, was completed in early 1969; the site is now the location of One Worldwide Plaza. In 1959, Graham-Paige purchased a controlling interest in the Madison Square Garden. In November 1960, Graham-Paige president Irving Mitchell Felt purchased from the Pennsylvania Railroad the rights to build at Penn Station. To build the new facility, the above-ground portions of the original Pennsylvania Station were torn down; the new structure was one of the first of its kind to be built above the platforms of an active railroad station. It was an engineering feat constructed by Robert E. McKee of Texas. Public outcry over the demolition of the Pennsylvania Station structure—an outstanding example of Beaux-Arts architecture—led to the creation of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The venue opened on February 11, 1968. In 1972, Felt proposed moving the Knicks and Rangers to a incomplete venue in the New Jersey Meadowlands, the Meadowlands Sports Complex; the Garden was the home arena for the NY Raiders/NY Golden Blades of the World Hockey Association. The Meadowlands would host its own NBA and NHL teams, the New Jersey Nets and the New Jersey Devils, respectively; the New York Giants and Jets of the National Football League relocated there. In 1977, the arena was sold to Western Industries. Felt's efforts fueled controversy between the New York City over real estate taxes; the disagreement again flared in 1980. The arena, since the 1980s, has since enjoyed tax-free status, under the condition that all Knicks and Rangers home games must be hosted at MSG, lest it lose this exemption. Garden owners spent $200 million in 1991 to renovate facilities and add 89 suites in place of hundreds of upper-tier seats; the project was designed by Ellerbe Becket. In 2004–2005, Cablevision battled with the City of New York over the proposed West Side Stadium, cancelled.
DeMarcus Amir Cousins is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association. Nicknamed "Boogie", In spring of 2019, Cousins has shunned the nickname, wanting to only be referred by his real name, he played college basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats, where he was an All-American in 2010. He left Kentucky after one season, was selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings. In his first season with the Kings, Cousins was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, from 2015 to 2018, he was named an NBA All-Star, he is a two-time gold medal winner as a member of the United States national team, winning his first in 2014 at the FIBA Basketball World Cup and his second in 2016 at the Rio Olympics. Cousins attended LeFlore Magnet High School in his hometown of Alabama, he was a first-team Parade All-American in 2009, played in the 2009 McDonald's All-American Boys Game, finishing with 14 points and 8 rebounds.
Cousins played in the 2009 Nike Hoop Summit at the Rose Garden in Portland and the Jordan Brand Classic at Madison Square Garden where he scored 10 points for the black team. Cousins led LeFlore to the Alabama class 6A Final Four against Hillcrest that beat Austin High School to progress to the state championship. Cousins first committed to Alabama-Birmingham on February 28, 2008, but never signed a letter of intent. Cousins decommitted from UAB and committed to Memphis on March 9, 2009, he reopened his recruitment after Memphis coach John Calipari was hired at Kentucky. On April 7, 2009, Cousins decided to follow John Calipari to Kentucky, he signed his letter of intent on April 15. At Kentucky, Cousins averaged 9.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. Led by Cousins and John Wall, the Wildcats reached the Elite Eight of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. On April 7, 2010, Cousins announced that he would forgo his final three seasons of collegiate eligibility and enter the 2010 NBA draft, where he was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the fifth overall pick.
On July 7, 2010, Cousins signed his rookie contract with the Kings, worth about $7 million for the first two years with a team option for the third and fourth years. Cousins was named the Rookie of the Month for July during the NBA Summer League. Cousins was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team at the end of the 2010–11 season. On January 1, 2012, head coach Paul Westphal sent Cousins home from the Kings' home game against the New Orleans Hornets, saying that Cousins was "unwilling/unable to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team. Cousins, averaging 13.0 points and 11.3 rebounds per game at the time of the dismissal demanded to be traded from the Kings. Cousins denied asking to be traded. On January 5, 2012, Westphal was fired from the Kings, leading many to speculate that the head coach's tumultuous relationship with Cousins was a factor in his being replaced. On February 8, 2012, Cousins was selected to play in the Rising Stars Challenge, he played with a mix of rookies and sophomores.
On November 11, 2012, the league suspended Cousins for two games without pay for confronting San Antonio Spurs color commentator Sean Elliott "in a hostile manner" after he criticized Cousins for attempting to bully Tim Duncan on the court. Cousins was informed of Elliott's remarks after the game, he left the locker room and waited on the court for Elliott to finish his post-game show before confronting him. Some criticized the suspension as overly harsh and based more on Cousins' reputation than what happened, while others said he needed to grow up and learn a lesson about confronting the media. Cousins apologized to Elliott in person before a game against the Spurs in March 2014, which Elliott said he appreciated. On December 22, 2012, Cousins was suspended indefinitely from the Kings, who accused him of "unprofessional behavior and conduct detrimental to the team." The suspension was lifted on December 24, 2012. The season was up-and-down for Cousins, who posted career-highs in Player Efficiency Rating, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, but led the NBA with 16 Technical Foul infractions, was ejected several times and suspended by both the league and the Kings.
On September 30, 2013, Cousins signed a reported four-year, $62 million contract extension with the Kings. After signing the contract, Cousins announced he would donate $1 million of his salary to the families and community of Sacramento, he opened the season with a 14-rebound performance against the Denver Nuggets. On February 26, 2014, Cousins received a one-game suspension for punching Patrick Beverley in the stomach. On March 11, Cousins recorded a career-high 6 blocks, along with 13 points and 14 rebounds, in an 89-99 loss to the Detroit Pistons. After averaging career-highs of 23.5 points, 12.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks over the first 15 games of the season, Cousins was diagnosed with viral meningitis on December 7, 2014. He subsequently missed 10 games with the virus and showed no signs of a let up in his return to action on December 18 against the Milwaukee Bucks as he recorded 27 points and 11 rebounds in the 107–108 loss. On January 30, 2015, Cousins was named to replace the injured Kobe Bryant as a Western Conference All-Star in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game.
Cousins' selection marked the first time a Kings player earned All-Star honors since Brad Miller and Peja Stojaković represented Sacramento in 2004. On April 1, 2015, Cousins recorded his second career triple-double with 24 points, 21 rebounds, 10 assists, 6 blocks and 3 steals in a 111–115 loss to the Houston Rockets. In doing so, he became ju
Russell Westbrook III is an American professional basketball player for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association. He is an eight-time NBA All-Star, a two-time NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player, winning consecutive awards in 2015 and 2016, he is a seven-time All-NBA Team member and led the league in scoring in 2014–15 and 2016–17. In 2017, Westbrook became one of two players in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season, along with Oscar Robertson in 1962, he set a record for the most triple-doubles in a season, with 42. He was subsequently named the 2016–17 NBA Most Valuable Player, he went on to average a triple-double the following two seasons as well as leading the league in assists and becoming the first player to lead the league in points and assists in multiple seasons. Westbrook played college basketball for the UCLA Bruins and earned third-team all-conference honors in the Pac-10, he was selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics, who relocated to Oklahoma City six days later.
Westbrook has represented the United States national team twice, winning gold medals in the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Olympics. Westbrook was born in California, to Russell Westbrook Jr. and Shannon Horton. He has a younger brother named Raynard. Growing up in Hawthorne and his best friend, Khelcey Barrs III, had hopes of going to UCLA and playing together. However, in May 2004, Barrs died from an enlarged heart during a pickup game. Westbrook entered Leuzinger High School as a point guard who stood only 5 ft 8 in tall and weighed only 140 pounds, although he did have large feet, he did not start on his school's varsity team until his junior year, did not receive his first college recruiting letter until the summer before his senior year. Westbrook grew to his adult height of 6 ft 3 in that same summer. During his senior year, Westbrook averaged 25.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.1 steals, 2.3 assists and helped lead them to a 25-4 record. That same season, he recorded 14 double-doubles, scored 30 or more points on eight separate occasions, registered a career-best 51 points at Carson on January 6, 2006.
Westbrook did not attract much attention from top college basketball programs until head coach Ben Howland offered him a scholarship to play for the UCLA Bruins after Jordan Farmar declared for the NBA draft. Westbrook wore number 0 throughout his career at UCLA; as a freshman in 2006–07, he played as a back up to Darren Collison and was used as a defender and energy player off the bench. Westbrook averaged 3.4 points, 0.8 rebounds, 0.7 assists on the year. The next season, Collison was injured and Westbrook was named the starter, he finished the season averaging 3.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.6 steals. At the end of the year, he was named All-Pac-10 Third Team and won the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year. UCLA advanced to the Final Four during each of Westbrook's seasons with the team. In 2007, they lost to eventual national champion Florida, 76–66 and in 2008, they lost 78–63 to Memphis. After two years at UCLA, he decided to enter the 2008 NBA draft. Westbrook was selected 4th overall in the 2008 NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics.
He signed with the team on July 5, 2008. On March 2, 2009, Westbrook recorded his first career triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, he was the first rookie since Chris Paul and the third rookie in Sonics/Thunder franchise history to record a triple-double. Westbrook averaged 15.3 points, 5.3 assists, 4.9 rebounds, 1.3 steals on the season. He finished fourth in the 2008–09 NBA Rookie of the Year voting behind Rookie of the Year winner Derrick Rose, O. J. Mayo and Brook Lopez, he was named to the NBA's NBA All-Rookie First Team. In his second year, first season as a full-time starter, Westbrook went on to average 16.1 points, 8.0 assists, 4.9 rebounds, 1.3 steals on the season. On April 4, 2010, he recorded 10 points and a career-high 16 assists in a 116-108 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves; the Thunder made a huge turnaround by more than doubling their wins from the previous season and qualified for the playoffs with a 50–32 record. However, the Thunder were eliminated by the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in the first round.
In the series, Westbrook stepped up his play from the regular season, averaging 20.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 3.2 steals. On November 26, 2010, Westbrook scored a then-career-high 43 points against the Indiana Pacers. On December 1, 2010, he scored 38 points with 9 assists and achieved a new career-high of 15 rebounds in a triple-overtime win over the New Jersey Nets. Westbrook was selected by the NBA head coaches to be a Western Conference reserve for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game; this was his first all-star appearance. Westbrook finished the season with averages of 21.9 points, 8.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 1.9 steals. He was named to the All-NBA Second Team for the first time; the Thunder finished the season at 55–27 and lost to the eventual world champion Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals. Westbrook averaged 6.4 assists and 5.4 rebounds in the playoffs. In the 2011–12 season, Westbrook was again selected by the coaches to participate in the 2012 NBA All-Star Game. On March 23, 2012, he scored a career-high 45 points in a 149–140 double overtime win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He averaged 23.6 points, 5.5 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals for the lockout-shortened season and was voted to the All-NBA Second Team for the second