J. Cole Challenges Fayetteville’s Future NBA Star To 1-on-1 Game

When it comes to bars about balling, J. Cole’s catalogue already holds weight next to greats like Cam’Ron, Fabolous and even his boss, Jay Z. The 6-foot-3 rapper can hoop a little bit, as he showed in the 2012 NBA Celebrity All Star Game, but even he’d admit that he’s a way better rapper than he is a basketball player. We’re all waiting a week to cop that 2014 Forest Hills Drive album, but none of us would stick around to watch cole shoot jumpers.

That doesn’t mean Fayetteville doesn’t produce actual ballers. Recently, on a trip back to his home town, Cole came face to face with Dennis Smith, a high school talent most experts consider the next John Wall or Russell Westbrook. Watch the two meet for the first time, as Jermaine challenges him to a 1-on-1, inquires about his grades and reminisces with hometown homies about when he used to handle his on the hardwood. Oh, and remember where you heard the name Dennis Smith. He’s NBA good. Trust us (see below).

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NBA free agent Carmelo Anthony watches play from the sidelines between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on November 24, 2018 at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia.
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Carmelo Anthony Will Reportedly Sign Deal With Portland Trail Blazers

Carmelo Anthony has been a topic of heavy discussion concerning his presence in the NBA. The small forward has remained on the outskirts of the league for more than a year but it looks like that'll change in a matter of days.

According to ESPN, the New York native will sign a non-guaranteed deal with the Portland Trail Blazers. The link will see Anthony travel with the team during a six-game string, an opportunity that has seemingly been a long time in the making.

During his free agency, the 35-year-old pro-athlete remained vocal on his desire to hit the hardwood again and potentially win his first championship title. The Blazers' star point guard Damian Lillard has echoed those sentiments of obtaining that coveted trophy. The franchise last won a championship title in 1977.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Anthony entertained thoughts of retirement but his love for the sport is still burning. "I'm sure it's coming soon," he began. "I'd be sitting lying to you if I said it's not coming soon. I think I want it to come soon. I don't think I want to do this forever, but because you love it so much, it's hard to give it up. At the end of the day, at anything you do, when it's your time to go, it's your time to go. But as long as you feel good with that."

Anthony has suited up for the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, and previously the Houston Rockets.

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Rapper Jay-Z attends the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 19, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
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NFL Network Insider Claims Jay-Z "Had Some Influence" With Colin Kaepernick's Workout

In August, Jay-Z and his Roc Nation imprint inked a partnership with the National Football League (NFL) that pins social justice at the top of its list of priorities. The deal received backlash from those opposed to the NFL's controversial practices and treatment of Colin Kaepernick, but according to a league insider, Jay-Z might've played a role in the quarterback's potential to re-enter the sport.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Jay-Z "had some influence" concerning Kaepernick's invitation to a private workout with NFL clubs. The news was made public on Tuesday (Nov. 12), but immediately stirred up rumors of it being a PR stunt. "I am also told that Jay-Z, who has been working with the NFL on some social justice initiatives, was involved in this and pushed this idea to some extent," Rapoport said.

Two notes: 1. Jay-Z, a partner with the NFL on social justice, had some influence here. 2. This is not part of Kaepernick’s settlement, nor did he ask for this in his settlement. https://t.co/6l7z3MYJ5x

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 13, 2019

Rapoport isn't the only sports news professional to mention Jay-Z's name in the same sentence as Kaepernick's. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith believes the billionaire mogul played a role in the invitation.

"Clearly there appears to be a collective effort that has taken place to include these teams with league participation and league approval, obviously, so it appears to be something very, very serious and the only thing that can get in the way of Colin Kaepernick being back in the NFL is if he refuses to shut up and/or he goes out there and shows that he can't play," Smith said.

Following his partnership announcement, Jay-Z stated that it's time to make tangible moves to revamp the league's social justice initiatives. "I think we're past kneeling," he said. "I think it's time for action." As a means of protesting, Kaepernick would kneel during the national anthem to bring awareness to police brutality and other injustices that affect minorities.

The workout will take place on Saturday (Nov. 16) where representatives from various NFL teams will assess if Kaepernick is ready to take the field again. This will mark the first time Kaepernick will be able to showcase his skills since being out of the league for three years.

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Former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick watches a Women's Singles second round match between Naomi Osaka of Japan and Magda Linette of Poland on day four of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2019 in Queens borough of New York City.
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Colin Kaepernick To Suit Up For Workout Invite From NFL

Since 2016, Colin Kaepernick has remained on his toes despite opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers. The decision followed a season where he kneeled during the national anthem as a means of protesting police brutality and social and economic injustice.

While keeping in shape for the day an NFL team adds him to a roster, the 32-year-old pro-athlete has shared videos of him training so that he's good to go once that day arrives. Now, it looks like he'll be able to, per his recent tweet. On Saturday (Nov. 16), Kaepernick will attend a private workout with NFL teams in Atlanta. According to ESPN, the details of the workout will include on-field drills, an interview, and other methods to determine Kaepernick's preparedness to return to the league.

"I'm just getting word from my representatives that the NFL league office reached out to them about a workout in Atlanta on Saturday," Kaepernick shared with his 2.2 million Twitter followers. "I've been in shape and ready for this for 3 years, can't wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday."

I’m just getting word from my representatives that the NFL league office reached out to them about a workout in Atlanta on Saturday. I’ve been in shape and ready for this for 3 years, can’t wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday.

— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) November 13, 2019

On Oct. 10, Kaepernick's legal team released a fact sheet to clear the air on his situation. Questions like offers from NFL teams, why he declined re-signing with the 49ers, and if him filing a grievance hindered his standing with the multi-billion dollar league. Per ESPN, the league later outlined in a memo its reason for hosting a workout after conversations with the quarterback's team.

"Earlier this year, we discussed some possible steps with his representatives and they recently emphasized his level of preparation and that he is ready to work out for clubs and be interviewed by them. We have therefore arranged this opportunity for him to work out, and for all clubs to have the opportunity to evaluate his current readiness and level of interest in resuming his NFL career."

Colin Kaepernick’s representatives released statements today to clear up some facts surrounding their client: pic.twitter.com/Wo86KTkKDM

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 10, 2019

5am. 5 days a week. For 3 years. Still Ready. pic.twitter.com/AGczejA1rM

— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) August 7, 2019

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