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Chris Paul Confirmed He Was Nearly Traded To The Warriors For Steph Curry And Klay Thompson In 2011

The Los Angeles Clippers took the leap from league-wide laughing stock to a formidable squad in the Western Conference in 2011 when it acquired Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets. It was a trade that occurred under extremely strange circumstances — then-commissioner David Stern infamously voided a Paul trade between New Orleans and the Lakers — but it kickstarted a golden era of Clipper basketball, even if that never resulted in a championship.

However, the Clippers and Lakers were not the only west coast teams that tried to acquire Paul’s services. The new book The Victory Machine by Ethan Strauss features a fascinating tidbit about the Golden State Warriors attempting to trade Steph Curry and Klay Thompson for the All-NBA point guard, but it reportedly fell through because Paul told the Warriors he would not sign an extension with the team.

Paul was asked about this during a recent podcast cameo and confirmed that it’s all true, saying he had no interest in playing on the west coast until he got out there and experienced life in L.A.

“At that time, all I knew really about the bay is cause I had been there to play the games or whatever,” Paul told Paul Rivera and Maverick Carter of Uninterrupted. “And everything was just so hilly, and I just thought about Full House.”

Obviously this is a fascinating thing to look back on in retrospect. At least three NBA teams — Golden State, New Orleans, and the Clippers — are directly impacted by this move regardless of any other context. This doesn’t even begin to consider things like L.A. potentially going star hunting elsewhere, or some of the role players who ended up being staples of those Clippers teams like J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford potentially never ending up with the franchise, or someone other than New Orleans potentially getting the No. 1 pick and securing the services of Anthony Davis in the upcoming draft, or any of a host of other things that would have happened in the aftermath.

Things ended up working out pretty well for everyone involved to one extent or another, but it’s rare that this kind of deal that legitimately would have impacted titles, outlooks, and the careers of multiple All-Star players can be looked upon in retrospect.

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Sia Has Turned A Megan Thee Stallion Song Into A ‘Tiger King’ Parody For Charity

The Netflix documentary series Tiger King has become one of the defining media products of the ongoing quarantine era (along with the Chicago Bulls/Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance). It’s one of the most appealing options in a newly limited pool of entertainment choices, so it has turned into a phenomenon. The show has inspired a bevy of parodies, and now Sia has offered her own: A song named after the series’ star, “Joe Exotic.”

Set to the beat of Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage,” Maddie Ziegler and make-up artist Tonya Brewer do most of the heavy lifting on the song (Sia is credited as a featured artist), which opens, “Joe Exotic / Breeds tigers and lions: chaotic / His obsession with Carol: psychotic.” Although Sia doesn’t show her full face in the video, she does, in the spirit of Megan Thee Stallion’s twerking prowess, pull up her long shirt and shake her backside for the camera. The visual for the song is decidedly quarantine-friendly, as it was all filmed in a backyard, a garage, and a house.

In the description, Sia directs viewers to a donation page for The Humane Society Of The United States, which “[fights] all forms of animal cruelty to achieve the vision behind our name: A humane society.”

Watch Ziegler, Brewer, and Sia perform “Joe Exotic” above.

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Offset, Young Thug, And Others Are Hosting A Live Virtual Reality Stadium Concert

As the coronavirus pushes musicians everywhere to postpone their shows or cancel their tours entirely, many artists have turned to livestream performances to bridge the gap in live entertainment. Artists like Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, James Blake, and Post Malone have taken it upon themselves to give their fans virtual performances online. Now, Offset aims to raise the bar on digital concerts. Rather than host an Instagram live, Offset will join friends for a high-production virtual reality concert.

Virtual reality organization Oculus Venues partnered with Supersphere VR to bring an immersive and energetic concert experience to fans from their homes. Offset tapped fellow rappers Saint Jhn, Rich The Kid, and Young Thug to join him in the performance. The rappers will be broadcasting their performances into the virtual venue and donations from the event will be donated to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

As part of the virtual experience, friends will be able to meet up inside the venue and enjoy the show together through VR headsets. According to Supersphere, the event will mimic a typical stadium show along with “actual production and stagecraft that fans would typically enjoy on tour.”

Offset’s VR performance kicks off 4/29 at 7 p.m. EDT. Watch it here.

Some of the artists covered here are Warner Music Artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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All The Best New Pop Music From This Week

Despite the quarantine, pop musicians to continue to spread uplifting music through bright anthems. Charli XCX released the second song off her “DIY” quarantine album, Kali Uchis released a surprise EP, and James Blake ushers in a new era with a shimmering single.

Each week, Uproxx rounds up the best new releases. Listen up.

Charli XCX — “Claws”

Charli XCX continues creating her quarantine album, How I’m Feeling Now. Following the release of the lead single “Forever,” Charli is back with the metallic number “Claws.” Bright, wonky synths offer a pixelated background to Charli’s upbeat lyrics. “I like everything about you,” Charli sings over heavily-layered production.

Kali Uchis — “Angel”

Charli XCX isn’t the artist who has been working on new music from quarantine. Kali Uchis unveiled an EP filled with self-recorded tracks Friday and “Angel” arrives as the second number. The singer’s signature velvety cadence melts over a shimmering backbeat. “Can’t give you my album yet, but i recorded some demos in my room for u,” Uchis wrote on Twitter.

James Blake — “You’re Too Precious”

Following a series of spirited and earnest livestreams from quarantine, James Blake unveiled his first single of 2020. “You’re Too Precious” opens with Blake’s watered-down vocal track which ultimately morphs into a catchy, unassuming beat. Showcasing the full range of his voice, Blake praises his lover with intentionally choppy production.

PVRIS — “Gimme A Minute”

“Gimme A Minute” is the latest taste of PVRIS‘ upcoming third studio album Use Me. A moniker of multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer Lynn Gunn, PVRIS furthers her knack for blissed-out alt-pop numbers with the single. In a statement, Gunn said the song is a sonic interpretation of dealing with mental health issues: “The pacing and dynamic of the song feels similar to when your mind starts to spiral on something, the quiet start slowly stirring and building eventually landing into chaos.”

Alina Baraz — “Off The Grid” Feat. Khalid

After teasing it with several singles, Alina Baraz released her vibe-heavy album It Was Divine this week. With its arrival came the slow-burning number “Off The Grid” with R&B crooner Khalid. Crafting an enchanting tune with a rolling beat, Baraz’s comforting inflection blankets the single.

Jessie Ware — “Ooh La La”

Jessie Ware continues to pivot towards groovy, dance-ready music with her latest track “Ooh La La.” Opening with a heavy, euphoric bass guitar, the single features resonating synths and crashing percussion. Over the hip-shaking instrumentals, Wares lilts a story about carefree young love.

Chloe Lilac — “Moderation”

Chloe Lilac continues to preview her forthcoming sophomore EP Moderation with the eponymous single. A pivot from her formerly-released singles, “Moderation” features noisy guitar and revved-up production. In a statement, Lilac wrote that the song is inspired by her past struggle with mental health: “This song is about my struggle with mental health and self-hatred. I’m a really intense person and I sometimes feel like people can only handle me in moderation.”

Alaina Castillo — “Pass You By”

Alaina Castillo showcases her emotive songwriting with the heart-wrenching single “Pass You By.” Castillo’s fingers glide over a smooth acoustic guitar while her soaring vocals narrate the importance of knowing one’s self-worth in the face of an emotionally toxic relationship.

Miquela — “Machine” Feat. Teyana Taylor

With our current modes of technology, it was only a matter of time before the arrival of a robot influencer — and Miquela was the first of her kind. The perpetual 19-year-old AI singer Miquela teamed up with rapper Teyana Taylor to debut the buoyant anthem “Machine.” In a statement, Miquela praised Taylor’s music. “Working with Teyana has been on my vision board for a MINUTE,” Miquela said. “The stars aligned once I found out she was recording in the studio next to mine. She was as perfect and cool as I imagined, and she brought that same energy to ‘Machine.’”

Gus Dapperton — “First Aid”

What started out as a bedroom pop project, Gus Dapperton grew over the course of several years and has honed his sound as a musician. After recently seeing viral fame due to his verse in Benee’s “Supalonely,” Dapperton is at his most vulnerable in “First Aid.” The track arrives as the lead single from his forthcoming sophomore album, the singer wrote: “In the past, I’ve written my songs from a place of love and heartbreak. This album is about internal pain and suffering.”

Some of the artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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WWE Has Reportedly Released Cain Velasquez

In retrospect, it was never quite clear where the “Cain Velasquez in WWE” thing was going. After an impressive MMA career and a couple of appearances in AAA, he made a surprise debut on the first episode of Friday Night Smackdown on Fox, striking fear into the heart of Brock Lesnar immediately after the latter had squashed Kofi Kingston to take the WWE Championship. They announced a match for Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia, and then news broke that Velasquez had been signed to a lucrative multi-year deal with WWE. He lost to Lesnar at Crown Jewel, worked a few house shows… and that was it. He wasn’t in the Royal Rumble, despite saying he would be, and he wasn’t at WrestleMania 36. And now, it seems his time in WWE is already over.

According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, Cain Velasquez was released from WWE as part of their recent budget cuts. Meltzer notes that his deal was for a lot of money, so now that they’re cutting back on spending, and considering how little he’s done in the company so far, it was probably an easy choice. There are rumors that it’s been issues with his lingering knee injury that have kept him from working, and if that’s true he’ll now have plenty of time to focus on rehab before moving on to whatever the next stage of his career turns out to be.

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A Lovely Chat With Kim Bodnia About Konstantin And Villanelle’s Magnetic ‘Killing Eve’ Relationship

Danish actor Kim Bodnia has played characters who you’d never want to meet in a dark (or light) alley, but his uproarious laugh over the phone communicates otherwise. Fortunately, on Killing Eve, he’s able to let several sides of the same assassin-handler character fly. With Konstantin, viewers often don’t know exactly where his loyalties lie first and foremost, and that’s how Bodnia likes it. When it comes to being Villanelle’s primary handler, though, their surrogate father-daughter relationship somehow remains steadfast, as unlikely as that seems when she does things like, you know, shoot him. Now, Konstantin’s third-season arc is leading to more cunning maneuverings as his professional and personal lives threaten to collide, and his showy phone juggling is only the beginning of dealing with The Twelve’s whims.

We’re not sure whether Konstantin can keep managing his delicate balancing act, but if anyone can survive this series, it’s probably him. Similarly, Bodnia’s adept in the art of longevity. He’s been rolling around on film and TV screens for over two decades after breaking out in Nicolas Winding Refn’s 1996 directorial debut, Pusher, and he’s best known for his four-season stint on Scandinavian noir series The Bridge. He’ll also soon appear in The Witcher‘s sophomore season as Geralt of Rivia’s mentor, Vesemir, a different kind of father figure that fans can’t wait to see. For now, though, Bodnia was kind enough to talk with us about Konstantin’s third-season reunion with Villanelle and how they just can’t quit each other.

Your character in the book did not survive very long. Somehow, he’s still kicking, despite a few close calls, which is nice.

I’m so happy for that, too! It was a lovely surprise in the first season that they continued rewriting — so Konstantin was going through the season — because I was hired in to do five episodes. Thank god that everybody loved the relationship between Konstantin and Villanelle, and that paid off, so everybody wanted to see more of that relationship. And it seemed like it happened again in Season 2, and that’s why I’m in Season 3, isn’t that great?

Villanelle shot Konstantin and Eve, yet they both live. It feels like when she shoots someone that she loves, she can’t get it right. Does that seem accurate?

Yeahhhh, it does. But I was nervous when she pointed at me the first time because she was pointing at my head, and that’s against the rules. And the second time, thank god, she was pointing down, and I had a bulletproof vest on, and I was very fond of that. The second time when we reconnected, and she ran against me, and I could see that she had a knife, I tell you that I got scared! And thank god she didn’t stab me. You’re probably right, it seems like she’s not a good killer when it’s people that she loves, and I can only be happy for that. So, I can’t complain.

They also seem like the most stable relationship in each other’s lives.

Yes, I agree. I think, from the beginning, it was very more important for me to react to Villanelle as if she was my daughter. And it has always been the case that Konstantin that really lives Villanelle somehow and really wants to take care of her, and [that comes through in] the idea we had in Season 1 — that Konstantin was training assassins in how to react through senses and feelings so that they can survive any kind of situation when they are on the job and dressing as another person. And through this kind of work, I think they have a special relationship. But it’s definitely not like a daughter because I can’t be safe with her. I mean, Konstantin can’t.

There’s a wonderful scene this week where she surprises him in his bed.

Oh yes, that was scary! [Laughs]

And he’s got some actual family stuff going on, too. Where does his work-life balance stand now?

It was a balance to find out what direction they wanted to go within Season 3, and how to deliver the work through the eight episodes, but the world is crumbling down around Konstantin. When he has those personal issues around his family, they’re not fun. But as an actor, it’s wonderful to work with, and it gives a lot of positivity to show a lot of sides of the character that, normally, I can’t do. When they put me in these different and difficult situations, I had a lot of fun.

Can you tell me what his intent is with Villanelle right now?

Well, of course not! [Laughs] He’s kind of a double spy, so it’s difficult to say something about his plan. It’s also difficult because where at a point where, with every episode, new things are coming in, and in the first episodes of Season 3, he doesn’t know where he’s going, and Konstantin doesn’t know what way all of the departments are going to react to what’s going on right now. And what’s going on with personal stuff, so we can say that [he has knowledge about a case] that he knows that Villanelle will find out. So he conveys the information to her because Konstantin has work that he wants her to do, and that’s the case that he uses to get her back on track with that knowledge, to get her back into working with him.

Do you find out where Konstantin’s going week-by-week?

We have a wonderful meeting before we start shooting where we have an opportunity to meet with the writers and producers to talk about the way that Konstantin could move, and they are telling me what way they’re looking at it. And before we’re shooting, they tell me how to work as an actor through the season in accordance with the way the show should run. So I know what direction it’s going, but you never know! It can change, like whether I’m alive, so I’m always open for suggestions and a new way of going, and it’s always exciting. I like that kind-of movement that we have together in this type of business. That’s very funny to work with.

The head writer changes each season on this show. Do you ever sense any type of difference in the flow of language?

I often have a concern about the whole idea of the show and how it’s going to run out. How new writers are coming in, how they are putting their new ideas and their own lives into the story? For me, I just join that type of co-creation.

Going back almost 25 years though, we’re almost at the anniversary of Pusher, which is a really great action-crime, street-level movie.

Ahh, that was kind of a one-shot. It was perfect timing, and we all had great energy. We all wanted to work with the new system of video cameras that was coming into the distance. We could move around with that kind of camera and make it more natural, integrated on the street level. That was perfect for how we were wanted to work in the future. So for us, at the time, it was fantastic. The equipment that we have now is developing all the time, and I really love it every time we have possibilities to change the way we are doing things and keep on doing that. And I’m just happy that when you have success at the right time, the right moment, it can still go on. It can still be a show that people can watch and enjoy. That’s fantastic.

And decades later, the technology now sees YouTubed clips of you blazing down a street and landing in water.

Yeah, it was perfect. At the time, I was a really fast runner, and the cameraman had to be behind on a motorbike to get the right speed, and it was fantastic. You can only do that when you have that type of camera, so that’s an example of what we could do at that time, and jumping in the sea was very fun.

BBC America’s ‘Killing Eve’ airs on Sundays at 9:00 PM EST with simulcasting on AMC.

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Lil Baby Clarifies The $5-Million Demand He Made Of Quality Control

Lil Baby has established himself as one of hip-hop’s biggest rising stars over the past couple years, thanks to singles like “Drip Too Hard” and his new album, My Turn, his first No. 1 release. He raised some eyebrows recently when he suggested that his relationship with his record label, Quality Control, may not be on the best of terms.

In a recent Instagram Live video, Baby said that he gave Quality Control an ultimatum: “I told my label they need to give me $5 million or I’m going to hustle, f*ck it. […] Give me $5 million or I’m doing what I do.”

Now, though, both Baby and Quality Control confirmed that the rapper was just messing around when he said that.

In an Instagram Story, Baby tagged Quality Control leader Pierre “P” Thomas and dispelled the nation that he had an issue with the label, writing, “@qcmceo_p tell theese people it was a joke !!! How many 5ms we done ran up.” Thomas shared the post and responded, “Too Many Times Idiots. Y’all MF’s Love A Story. ‘My Turn’ Deluxe Come Out Friday. Go Run That Up.”

Indeed, Lil Baby’s deluxe edition of My Turn does arrive this week, and it comes with a handful of new tracks, including the recently shared “All In.”

My Turn (Deluxe) is out 5/1 via Quality Control.

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An HBO ‘Hellraiser’ Series Is Coming From A Director Who Successfully Reinvigorated Another Horror Franchise

It’s safe to say that any pushback that HBO received during the last Game of Thrones season has been overcome with their post-Thrones lineup. Not only did the premium cable channel keep favorites like Succession and Barry going strong over the past year, but they also deftly handled the Watchmen reinvention along with adapting Stephen King’s The Outsider in a more than respectable manner. Now, horror is on the menu again, and the project’s landed a director who’s successfully reinvigorated another horror franchise and has plenty of HBO time on his side as well.

David Gordon Green, who helmed 2018’s Halloween (and has two followups, Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends in the cards) and also executive produced Vice Principals and The Righteous Gemstones, will put a new-ish face on pain to resurrect the iconic Pinhead in a Hellraiser TV series. Interestingly enough, this isn’t the only Hellraiser project in the works, given that there’s an entirely separate film coming from Spyglass Media Group (and Sundance-acclaimed director David Bruckner of The Night House) in what’s being characterized (via EW) as “a loyal, yet evolved reimagining.”

Meanwhile, Hollywood Reporter characterizes the HBO project as “a continuation and expansion — not a reboot” of the film franchise’s already established mythology (which spawned nine official films, not counting the upcoming Spyglass project) that revolves around Pinhead, who heads up the Cenobite creatures from Hell. As such, Gordon and writers Mark Verheiden (Daredevil, Heroes) and Michael Dougherty (X-Men United, Godzilla: King of the Monsters) will likely adhere to the spirit of Clive Barker’s inception of the film franchise with his novella, The Hellbound Heart. Barker also penned a book series with five full-on novels, although he’s not currently involved with the HBO series.

It feels somewhat important to note that Barker’s not vocally opposed to the project either, unlike how Alan Moore (and his alleged “magical curse”) has historically been with any efforts to adapt Watchmen. Of course, Barker’s already well accustomed to having other writers and directors handle the various Pinhead-centered movies, and they’re an entirely different beast than Moore’s work. That is to say, the grotesesque, often campy stories about the leader of ritualistic, torture-happy extra-dimensional creatures — who are pretty straight-up in their motivations — from the bowels of Hell begs for a different handling than the expansive, layered story of Watchmen. But you never know! Maybe David Gordon Green will toss in a few extra few dimensions for Pinhead, rather than a simple continuation of the bloodthirsty character. Since it’s coming from HBO, the odds are that it will be handled in a faithful but still inventive way.

(Via Hollywood Reporter & EW)

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Post Malone’s Nirvana Tribute Livestream Has Raised Millions Of Dollars For Pandemic Relief

To cap off last week, Post Malone linked up with Travis Barker and performed a livestream concert that doubled as a Nirvana tribute, as his set consisted solely of songs by the legendary grunge group. Like many livestream concerts these days, the covers-only performance was a fundraising effort, and it turns out the livestream did extremely well on that front.

As of this post, the total money contributed sits at over $4.3 million, and TMZ notes that the $1-million mark was crossed within the show’s first hour. Donations are still being accepted now through the livestream’s YouTube page. Additionally, Google.org has pledge to double the first $2.5 million in contributions, so they will be giving $5 million as well. The money will go to The United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for The World Health Organization (WHO).

Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic was a big fan of the show, as he conveyed in multiple tweets. “So proud of @PostMalone and crew,” he wrote in one tweet. He later added, “I don’t think these fellows can play any better. They are on fire!!!!,” and, “I am holding emotions back the whole show.” Courtney Love, who gave the show her stamp of approval before it started, was also excited about the performance, writing on Instagram, “GOOSEBUMPS! F*CK YES. Go have a margarita @postmalone . nothing but love from here .”

Watch Malone’s full performance above.

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Anthony Fauci Approves Of Brad Pitt’s Impression Of Him On ‘SNL,’ Obviously

Over the weekend, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s wish came true. Well, one of his wishes. If this were a Genie situation, it wouldn’t make the top three; he’s got other, more important things on his mind than Brad Pitt playing him on SNL. But still, it was a cool moment for the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — we should all be so lucky as to have Brad Pitt pretend to be us, even from the comfort of his home.

The Oscar winner put on a wig and glasses during this past weekend’s SNL, where he spent much of the cold open responding to President Donald Trump’s “disinformation” about the coronavirus pandemic. “I don’t know if I would describe the test as ‘beautiful,’ unless your idea of beauty is having a cotton swab tickle your brain,” Pitt as Fauci said. “Also, when he said everyone can get a test what he meant was almost no one.”

Fauci was a fan of the impression, telling Telemundo’s Un Nuevo Dia, “I’m a great fan of Brad Pitt, and that’s the reason why when people ask me who I would like to play me, I mention Brad Pitt. He’s one of my favorite actors. I think he did a great job.” He added, “Everything he said on SNL is what’s going on. He did a pretty good job of putting everything together.” Fauci also called the Oscar winner a “classy guy” for his message at the end of the cold open, when he “thanked me and all of the health care workers.”

Fauci called his shot, and now I will, too: if they make a movie about my life, I want to be played by Chris Pine. He’s a perfect fit for the lead role in The Cheeto-Stained Blogger.

(Via Entertainment Weekly)