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Rapper Lil B might not be a household name at the level of Jay Z or Kanye West, but the Bay Area-born man also known as The Based God carries much power in NBA circles.

Which is why the following tweet and subsequent comment to TMZ are big deals.

And, to TMZ: "If Harden doesn't tell what he is doing, which is the Lil B cooking dance, he will be cursed. He needs to stop stealing Lil B swag without showing love."

Lil B of course is referring to this dance from James Harden, which caught on late in the Houston Rockets' season, as well as the rapper's dance from his song "I Cook" (whose NSFW video we can't embed here):

But why is this a big deal? Because Lil B's curses work.

Just ask Kevin Durant.

Years ago the Oklahoma City Thunder star tweeted the following:

Lil B was not pleased.

So far? One MVP, sure, but no titles, only one NBA Finals trip, and this season an injury that helped keep the Thunder almost incomprehensibly out of the playoffs.

See? PROOF.

Note: There's a LOT more to this story, including a diss track, a temporary lifting of the curse, a return of the curse, a proposed truce, taking credit for the injury, and much more. Grantland broke it down last year -- warning, much NSFW language -- and Lil B commented on the injury this season.

Now, TMZ says Lil B is giving Harden until after Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors before the curse comes into effect ... although the consequences likely would have to be greater than losing to the Warriors, which is a probable outcome even without a curse.

(But that doesn't mean Lil B is wrong! Please don't curse us, Based God!)

UPDATE: It appears Lil B did not wait until Game 3 to make his presence felt.

Toward the end of Game 2, Harden had the chance to win, but mishandled the play.

And then:

Lil B clarified that this is just a warning, but ... point taken.

H/T TMZ

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On Wednesday we asked fans: Who, among the top four choices, is your pick for 2014-15 NBA MVP?

As of Thursday evening, the results were nearly unanimous: Stephen Curry, the prodigious point guard who has led the Golden State Warriors to be the best team in the NBA, is the one.

Unless you're an Oklahoman:

NBA MVP SportsNation MapESPN

Yes, Texas chose Curry over Houston Rockets star James Harden and, even more surprisingly, Ohio picked Steph over homecoming king LeBron James. But the Sooner State is standing with its own point guard: Russell Westbrook, whose recent triple-double binge has helped keep the Oklahoma City Thunder in playoff position despite the absence of Serge Ibaka and reigning MVP Kevin Durant.

If you haven't yet voted, now it's your turn: Do you stand with Oklahoma, or the rest of America?

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Happy Mother's Day! Here's hoping you sons out there didn't forget. A number of athletes sure didn't, taking to social media to share photos and deliver special messages to some of the most important women in their lives.

Kevin Durant, whose emotional NBA MVP acceptance speech included much love for his mother, Wanda Pratt, shared this powerful image before his Oklahoma City Thunder took on the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal:


Teammate Russell Westbrook was among many other NBA stars to take time out -- some from their still-active playoff runs -- to show their love. Also among them: Paul George, the Indiana Pacers All-Star whose mother, Paulette, suffered a stroke when he was 10.


In the NFL, Seattle Seahawks Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas paid tribute to his mother, Debbie, a cancer survivor who was diagnosed two years before Earl was born (she calls him her "miracle baby"):

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sent a greeting to his mother and sister, while teammate NaVorro Bowman got his mom quite the gift:


Newly minted draft picks Sammy Watkins and Carlos Hyde joined NFL players Cameron Jordan and Chance Warmack in talking about their favorite mom-related memories:


Courtesy of Relativity Sports

And on the baseball diamond, where teams throughout Major League Baseball are using pink balls, bats, cleats and other accessories, the Milwaukee Brewers' Carlos Gomez went an extra step to show love for all the moms of the world:


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Kevin DurantLayne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images

Who is the hardest player to defend in the NBA? Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers says -- surprise, surprise -- it's Kevin Durant, calling the Oklahoma City Thunder star a taller, better version of George Gervin. Do you agree with Rivers? Where does LeBron James fall on the list? Click on the images below to set your rankings!

Hardest to Defend in NBA

LaMarcus Aldridge

Carmelo Anthony

Kobe Bryant

DeMarcus Cousins

Stephen Curry

Anthony Davis

Goran Dragic

Kevin Durant

Paul George

Blake Griffin

James Harden

Dwight Howard

Kyrie Irving

LeBron James

Al Jefferson

Damian Lillard

Kevin Love

Dirk Nowitzki

Chris Paul

John Wall

Russell Westbrook

Your Rankings

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AP Photo/Don Ryan

Are Houston Rockets contenders?

If you ask most of SportsNation, there are three primary contenders for the NBA title: the Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder. But it's not unheard of for an unexpected champion to emerge, and one of those hopefuls plays Wednesday night on ESPN (10:30 p.m. ET): the Houston Rockets. Entering their road game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Dwight Howard, James Harden & Co. are jockeying for first-round home-court advantage with the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers. But do they have enough to be a real threat? Is Dwight Howard still a top player?

How will the Rockets fare in the playoffs?

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    15%
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    54%
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    23%
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    3%
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    5%

Discuss (Total votes: 15,842)

  • Which of these teams is the biggest threat to the Thunder in the West?

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      27%
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      15%
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      37%
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      21%

    Discuss (Total votes: 103,289)

  • Is James Harden an elite player?

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      75%
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      25%

    Discuss (Total votes: 13,955)

  • Where does Dwight Howard rank among the NBA's best players?

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      30%
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      70%

    Discuss (Total votes: 31,787)

  • How many championships will Dwight Howard win?

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      58%
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      42%

    Discuss (Total votes: 14,788)

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