LeBron James Cements His Status As One Of The Best Ever

The NBA MVP award is very important for legacy.

LeBron James won his fourth this year, putting him in rarified company with Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, and that's it. If you were making a starting five of best players in NBA history, those five are not a bad way to start.

But Thursday night, James did something else. He won his second ring, and his second Finals MVP Award, after submitting two huge games to drag his team back from the brink of elimination. He beat a Spurs team that has been as close to a dynasty as can be in the modern NBA. He beat Tim Duncan, one of the foremost players in NBA history and himself the owner of some impressive hardware. In fact, James joined Duncan on the list of multiple Finals MVP winners, alongside some other dudes like, oh, Kobe Bryant and Shaq and Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon and Magic and Larry Legend and Willis Reed and Kareem.

Heady company. The Finals MVP is the money award, because it all but guarantees you got a ring to go along with it. James won his second straight Finals MVP with most of the world against him, with a team that seemed to be crumbling around him, in a city where half the crowd had given up midway through Game 6.

If it wasn't official before, it is now: LeBron is King.

Every time it seems like James is not living up to expectations, he exceeds them. Every time we expect him to falter, he jumps so damn high he nearly decapitates himself on the rim. And right when it seemed time to stick a fork in the Miami Heat, James messed around and got a triple-double, then poured in 37 to drop the axe on a really sensational Spurs team.

It was closer than it should have been, perhaps, but there was no way to predict Dwyane Wade simply not showing up for much of the series or the Spurs bench submitting record-breaking performances. The so-called Big 3 is really a Huge One Plus Two, and barely two given the way Chris Bosh has played at points this season. The win streak, the domination, the back-to-back titles: let's not pretend it's the work of Erik Spoelstra.

Depending on how the Heat come together by the beginning of next season, James should be staring at a fifth MVP and a potential third consecutive NBA title. At that point, you start thinking Top 5 All-Time, and you stop sounding crazy bringing it up. Jordan won 6 at a time when the talent pool in the NBA was somewhat weaker - it sounds sacrilegious, but MJ didn't win his first title until Magic, Bird, Isiah Thomas and the great players of the 80s were over the hill. Jordan's greatest nemesis was probably Karl Malone. James has had to battle Duncan, Kevin Durant, Kobe, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and a whole host of other superstars who are gunning for his no. 1 spot.

A third title in this day and age, with roster turnover and 24/7 news cycle and the specter of The Decision still looming, would make James the best of his generation and a candidate for the best of any generation.

And the scary part? He's just reaching his potential.

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Marvel Announces Mahershala Ali Will Take The Screen As The Next 'Blade'

Over the weekend, as the East Coast was beating the heat, comic enthusiasts gathered in San Diego for Comic-Con 2019. On Saturday (July 20), Marvel Studios got movie-goers amped in standard form by announcing their slate of movie releases for the next few years, but threw an added surprise in the mix. Not only is the studio delivering a new version of Blade, but it will be fronted by none other than Mahershala Ali. The accomplished actor, who took home Oscars for both Moonlight and Greenbook, was on-hand to celebrate the moment.

There’s just one more thing... #SDCC pic.twitter.com/0Q3F4AZJLg

— Dustin Sandoval @ #SDCC (@DustinMSandoval) July 21, 2019



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Just announced in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios’ BLADE with Mahershala Ali. #SDCC

A post shared by Marvel Studios (@marvelstudios) on Jul 20, 2019 at 6:43pm PDT

After the triumph of Black Panther and a host of other inclusive super hero movies in the last couple years, Ali carrying the torch after Wesley Snipes immortalized the role is a win.

The Comic Con celebrations didn't stop there. Other major Marvel titles announced starring some of our faves included Eternals in 2020 (Brian Tyree Henry), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in 2021 (Awkwafina), THOR: Love and Thunder in 2021 (Tessa Thompson), Black Widow in 2020, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in 2021 in theaters, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in 2020 (Anthony Mackie), WANDAVISION in 2021 (Teyonah Parris), WHAT IF...? in 2021 (Jeffrey Wright), Hawkeye in 2021, and LOKI in 2021 for their Disney+ streaming service.

No release date for Blade has been announced.

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Michelle Obama Named Most Admired Woman In The World

Michelle Obama is the most admired woman in the world according to an annual survey conducted by research firm, YouGov.The former first lady beat out previous champion, Angelina Jolie, who slipped to third place behind Oprah Winfrey, while Queen Elizabeth and British actress Emma Watson rounded out the Top 5.

Fellow former first lady, Hilary Clinton, came in at No. 8, two spaces behind activist Mala Yousafzai, and ahead of Nobel Prize winning chemist Tu Youyou, Taylor Swift, and Madonna. Current first lady Melania Trump landed near the end of the list at No. 19.

Billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates was again named the world’s most admired man, a title that he has won every time that the survey has been conducted. Former President Barack Obama came in second on the men’s roster followed by Jackie Chan, Chinese president  Xi Jinping and Chinese businessman Jack Ma. The Top 10 includes footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, the Dalai Lama, Russian president Vladimir Putin, and billionaire Warren Buffet. President Donald Trump is at No. 14 on the list behind Elon Musk and just ahead of Pope Francis.

Although the women’s list changed this year, the men’s list has remained the same since last year’s survey. For the first time ever, YouGov expanded its polling to more than 42,000 people across 41 countries. Participants are asked who they truly admire where they can choose multiple options, and “who do you MOST admire” where they can only pick one person. In December, YouGov collected “opened ended nominations” with the question: “Thinking about people alive in the world today, which [man or woman] do you most admire?” The nominations were used to compile a list of 20 men and women in at least four different countries.

Besides topping the women’s and men's lists respectively, The Obamas secured the No. 1 spot on the tally of most admired man and woman in America. Trump landed in second place alongside Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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Rapper Tay-K 47, whose given name is Taymor McIntyre, is on trial for the capital murder of Ethan Walker during a botched home invasion. He pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery, but not guilty to the capital murder charge.
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Tay-K Facing Up To 99 Years In Prison After Being Found Guilty Of Murder

A Texas jury found Tay-K guilty of murder and three counts of aggravated robbery Friday (July 19) in connection with a 2016 home invasion that left one man dead and another wounded. According to The Star-Telegram, jurors deliberated for around four hours before returning a verdict.

The 19-year-old rapper, born Taymor McIntyre, is facing five to 99 years in prison but avoided a capitol murder conviction which would have ended in automatic life in prison. The jury will likely return a sentence Monday (July 22).

During a court hearing earlier in the week, Tay-K pleaded not guilty to the murder of 21-year-old, Ethan Walker, and guilty to aggravated robbery charges in relation to injuring two other victims. “The Race” rapper, who went on the run after the incident, is one of seven people charged in the fatal robbery. Tay-K's lawyers argued that the gun that killed Walker was fired by his accomplice, Latharian Merritt. But prosecutors argued against the notion that Tay-K had no involvement in the fatal robbery as he was armed at the time.

He also stands accused of robbing and killing a 23-year-old man at a Chick-fil-A, as well a attacking and robbing a 65-year-old man while on the run from authorities in 2017.

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