Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Friday, February 23, 2007

Jason Whitlock Is Going To White Heaven

Several more capable minds have weighed in on Uncle Ruckus' weekend in Vegas, but let's look at them in juxtaposition to similar statements made by Bill Cosby. (*via Straight Bangin' ) The problem of 'mainstream' hip hop peddling violence, misogyny, homophobia and corrosive misrepresentations of the black community is hardly a new one, an ever growing movement of dissent having existed within the culture for years now. The NBA had shed it's notorious label of being "too black" during Michael Jordan's tenure, only to have the issue rear it's ugly head again in the past decade with it's marriage to hip hop. Which leads us to Whitlock's diatribe, disguised as "Real Talk". While he and Dr. Huxtable may be delivering the same message, I doubt they have the same motivations.

It's certainly within reason to question whether these types of statements should be made publicly by anyone-black or not-and if so, whether Bill Cosby should be the one to express them given his history. However, his commitment to the education and empowerment of black youth is unassailable. He's spent countless hours promoting the necessity of a robust learning experience to minorities, and has backed that talk up with money-lots of it-including a one time $20 million donation to Spelman College. A man of such means has no need for self promotion, Cosby's only agenda is to draw attention to the problems at hand. A willingness to step outside of his gregarious public image and become a controversial lightning rod in the process, in my opinion, is indicative of a genuine desire to save the future of his race.

On the contrary, Jason Whitlock's hateful denunciations draw attention solely to himself. A reasonable man would assume that someone as committed in theory to a black renaissance as Whitlock has also committed the time, effort, or money that are prerequisite to making such incendiary statements. Ha. Whitlock probably thinks a collection plate is something restaurants use to pile up uneaten food for him. Has he ever provided any true analysis or solutions? Ha. In his eagerness to brand Scoop Jackson and practically an entire culture as savage caricatures of black incivility, he seems oblivious to the fact that he easily fits the description of another narrow minded stereotype, ol' Uncle Tom...

So is all of this just his plan to get into white heaven? Could be. It would definitely explain the Gospel of Jeff George. Why else would Big Greasy paint his vitriolic masterpieces with such broad strokes, ignoring the fact that violence and misogyny are lucrative for, and detrimental to, all races? WWF? Girls Gone Wild? The Sopranos? No, Whitlock saves his love for The Wire, which provides him the opportunity to mar someone else's canvas with his senselessness. David Simon is another man who has invested in his words, blessing the idiot box with a piercing portrayal of postmodern decay, neglect, and their consequences. The Wire is universally lauded by critics for it's resolute depictions of the drug war, disillusioning viewers to contemplate the complex nature of good and evil. I have trouble believing that Simon, Ed Burns, or anyone else associated with this show would see their work in such a simplistic manner as "The Adventures of the Black KKK". Instead of joining the talking heads in tossing around irresponsible generalizations, why doesn't Whitlock emulate Simon or Cosby, and direct his efforts towards achieving an improved sense of public discernment? (He could start with how Joe Kennedy was Stringer Bell's blueprint. Or how the Nu Klan held their rally in a city built by organized crime. A city that promises discretion to it's visitors while they cheat on their spouses and feed their addictions might attract 'undesireables'.) Because like those talking heads, and those whom he despises, Big Dummy is only interested in self advancement.

The only thing Big Wasteofsperm succeeded in doing was taking a bite out of something bigger than he could finish. David Stern is well aware of the "landmine issues"-race and class-and he's also astute enough to sidestep them. Are we really asking the Commissioner to become W.E.B. Du Bois? These are issues reflected by the NBA, not rooted in it. I'm not a big Sinatra fan, I can't stand Brooks & Dunn, and Wayne Newton frightens me. The NBA hasn't exactly embraced hip hop as a collective, and until the percentages of black folks in the stands match those on the court it's going to stay that way. I understand it, and I don't find anything particularly wrong with it. "It's just business." Tell 'em, String. However, what I would like to see more of from the league is an embracing of the communities that produce it's workforce. This is not to rally for a Lil' Weezy performance at next year's halftime show, but to ask for more stories like a Caron Butler. Stories of human frailties and redemption that can shatter stereotypes. Lord-and Reagan-knows Jason Whitlock won't write them.

* 2/26 Dave Zirin. Ether.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


R.I.P. The Kobe & Kidd Era.
?-February 22, 2007.

It would've been beautiful. I'm posthumously reserving a spot for them in the greatest alleys and greatest backcourts of all time. Refreshments will be served in the community room after a processional from brother Ruffin.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hova's Witness?

"Get used to it, bitches."
...“Basketball is the right thing for Brooklyn now,” Ratner says firmly. “Just as baseball was the right thing when the Dodgers started up more than a century ago.”

This is the Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Nets that Ratner, the president of Forest City Ratner Companies, has in mind—or, soon, if Ratner has his way, the Brooklyn Nets. The team would play its home games in a spectacular arena designed by Frank Gehry, the architect who created the enviable Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. This arena would rise from a platform constructed over the Long Island Rail Road yards on Atlantic Avenue, a short stroll from the late-night halal chicken joints favored by Syrian gypsy cabbies...

...At some point soon, “New Brooklyn” may indeed need a cheerleader, a Trump all its own. But it won’t be Bruce Ratner. “That’s the last thing I’d want to do,” he says a bit awkwardly. “It’s not my nature, and at the end of the day, I’m a real-estate developer.”...

... The Bloomberg administration is feverishly pushing the interagency Downtown Brooklyn Development Plan, which would rezone significant swaths of the city’s commercial quarters, mostly around Fulton Mall, to accommodate as many as ten Manhattan-style commercial skyscrapers, plus new parks and housing. All of this could—should—happen over the next ten years, Burden says. The idea is to “knit” together all of Brooklyn’s isolated assets—from the hip bistros of Smith Street to the design studios in Williamsburg to the ever-expanding bam to the ambitious waterfront parks planned to stretch from Brooklyn Heights to Greenpoint—into a cohesive bloc. “This is an absolutely huge priority,” Burden says. “Downtown Brooklyn is a key element of the administration’s citywide economic-development strategy. The city is very prepared in order to attract this growth, and we are willing to invest scarce public dollars and public open space to catalyze this growth.”

Ratner figures to be a serious player in this redevelopment. Adjacent to a new arena, Ratner plans to build a $2 billion, 21-acre development featuring both retail and office space and some 5,500 units of housing, which he says will come in various-size buildings and serve various income levels....

...Borough President Marty Markowitz is as Old Brooklyn in manner as a Junior’s egg cream, but he lights up when talk turns to the New Brooklyn Nets. “Brooklyn is the only location that works for the Nets,” enthuses Markowitz. “They left Long Island for a reason. They wouldn’t even be thinking about New Jersey if they realized that the natural fan base is here. All we can do is hope. Football, we don’t have room for an 80,000-seat stadium. Baseball, the Mets and the Yankees have complete veto power over a third team in New York City. The only sport is basketball. If we don’t get this team, the next time this comes around probably will not be in our lifetime.”

Black Enterprise, Jan. 23 '04-
Prior to teaming with Ratner, Carter retained an investment bank to explore the possibility of putting in a bid for the team. Later, the two decided they'd both stand to benefit if they worked together. Carter officially joined Ratner's investment group in early December as a minority shareholder, though the amount of his financial stake has not been released.

Brooklyn-born Carter, CEO of the multimillion-dollar Roc-A-Fella Records and Roc-A-Wear clothing line, who also owns Armadale Vodka and the 40/40 sports bar/restaurant in New York City, looks forward to the new team. Although he never got a chance to experience the Dodgers, he says "This is the new Dodgers. It's the Nets… I look forward to bringing prosperity and bringing pride [to Brooklyn].”

MTV News, Jun. 23 '05-

Jay says James' inclusion in the shoot is just a show of solidarity between chums and nothing more — especially not a business relationship.

"It's absolutely no Def Jam Sports or anything like that," Jay says, quashing a rumor that he might be managing LeBron. "No tampering going on; just a good friend of mine. He's been a friend since before he was in the NBA. If you look back on the tapes, I'm there at the McDonald's High School [All-American] games, supporting him. We're just friends, we have no business dealings at all. I can't do it because I have an interest: I sit on the board of the [New Jersey] Nets. It's a conflict."

Jay also clarified that LeBron will not be signing to the Roc as a rapper or, for that matter, rhyming at all: The superstar is sticking to the court. "I want him to be the greatest," Jay says. "My job is to keep him focused, not to take him outside of his arena."

True Hoop via S.I., Apr. 21, '06-
A little tampering, or so it would seem, from Nets owner Jay-Z: "'I tell people all the time, he's my friend first. If Cleveland is building a championship team around him, then my advice is to stay there. If it's the Nets who are building a championship team that could be around him, then my advice is to come to the Nets.'"

The Star Ledger, May 23, '06-
And most of it is based on educated guesses -- his friendship with Jay-Z, the fact that Aaron Goodwin had the foresight to negotiate increases from Nike, Coke, etc., if LBJ plays in one of the top three markets, and LBJ’s mindset after losing a tough series. The question(s) we have are these: 1) Is Jersey considered a top 3 market? Nike might not think so, considering the number of people who come to Nets games – and they’re not moving into Brooklyn for another two years after LBJ’s free agent summer of ’07. 2) He better be happy with that Nike raise, because he might have to play for peanuts for a year, because there’s no guarantee the Cavs would be feeling cooperative enough to consent to a sign-and-trade. 3) And finally, you have to wonder whether he’s daring enough to make such a crucial basketball decision based on a few million extra bucks of endorsement income, because such a move would destroy his overly-contrived image with the public, which would hate his guts -- especially in his own hometown. Anyway, here’s the bottom line: Come July 1, when the sting of the postseason loss wears off, he’ll announce that he’ll sign an extension with the Cavs. In the meantime, the league wants Jay-Z to know that if he continues to flaunt his friendship with the kid in Sports Illustrated, that constitutes tampering, and they told him that future attempts should be less brazen and amateurish.

Bron only re-upped for three more years with an option on the fourth in 2010. The Nets will be in Brooklyn by then, with a team option on two of only four contracts currently on the books for that year. Who threw the biggest party this past All Star Weekend? Together? Stern didn't want to get in the picture and make it too obvious, but why wouldn't he want the future of the league in New York with the prevailing culture's most media friendly mogul? Who else is going to fill that arena? Why else would Stern ignore what's obviously tampering? This is going to happen.

"Tonight we're gonna party like it's, 2010?"

P.S. Couple more quick questions. Has Jay been planning this from the very begining? How long until Bron has the upper hand in this relationship? The only folks who age faster than NBA centers are rappers.

Weiden & Kennedy's Greatest Hits.

Nike's top 20 commercials. Enjoy. (I rationed the Jumpman spots since they would've dominated the list, but this one deserves an Honorable Mention. Aren't you glad money stuck with the bald head? Much respek to Jack Ruby for the find.)





















P.S. I couldn't find the Fun Police. Sorry.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Gilbert Arenas should reproduce. Several Times.

Washington Post-Moments after a group of Elvis Presley impersonators finished jumping off trampolines and dunking during a second-half timeout, Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas sneaked off the East bench, grabbed a ball, bounced off one of the trampolines and dunked. According to Arenas, the stunt was the result of a dare by Shaquille O'Neal, who has to donate between $50,000 and $100,000 to a charity of Arenas's choice. "I was nervous," Arenas said. "I was like, 'If I miss this and get hurt, I'm in trouble.'

Arenas said that one of the reasons he decided to terminate his agent, Dan Fegan, was because he wanted to be in complete control of how he was presented, flaws and all.

"I'm not going around saying I'm a good-old boy. I'm just like everybody. I make mistakes. I'm just your average kid. I'm not saying I'm this uppity guy who doesn't do anything wrong, who doesn't eat at Burger King. Hey, I eat Burger King before games." Arenas said. "You have these marketing teams and everyone is trying to create these golden images, these untouchable images -- and all of these untouchable images falter. Why? Because you've [portrayed] yourself like that, that means you're walking on eggshells. If you do anything wrong, you're down the toilet. You can't live your life."

Gil's Blog-We were sitting there in the timeout watching them Elvis guys dunk, and my big mouth, I was like, “Man, I can do that better than them.” And then they missed a couple so I was like, “When they finish up, I’m going to go do it.” Shaq was like, “Yeah, right.” He said, “I’ll put $100,000 in your foundation.” I was like, $100,000 or get in trouble by David Stern? $100,000 or get in trouble by David Stern? Oh man, I’ll take that fine. So I did it for my Zer0 2 Her0 charity. It was great though. Between the legs…Yea-ahhh! I used to practice those trampoline dunks back at Golden State. I can flip and everything. But I didn’t want to flip and crack my neck.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Breaking News: Amechi still gay, Hardaway still 'aint likin that shit

He played in Miami for how long? What are the chances that Tim Hardaway has been in a threesome? At least he doesn't sugarcoat his hypocrisy.

Update 2/21: "It puts the lotion on it's skin or else it gets the hose!"

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Just Because.

Happy Valentines Day.

Friday, February 9, 2007


NBA midseason awards are like prediciting the storyline on LOST, well intentioned, but pointless. Everything is held together by an unpredictable set of circumstances-which is why it's always better to just watch and discuss the results-but that would rob us of the joy of pontification. Our Losties have a credo, "live together, die alone", and that seems to be conventional thinking when it comes to handing out postseason awards. "Did your play contribute to any team success, or did you just get yours?" While sound in it's basis, it can also be a double edged sword-ask Kobe. Or Sawyer. With that in mind let's give out some...conjecture?

Coach of the Year

You've both instilled hope in neophytes and led them through the wild, giving them glimpses of the promised land. They are the stronger for it and every instance of their performance under duress is a testament to a true belief in your words. This is not your first clash of philosophical differences, but since it may be your last, it is the quintessential one. Is it better to prod or praise? Jerry Sloan and Phil Jackson are my leading candidates this year since they've both overacheived in a strong conference. Whoever has the better record should win the award.

Most Improved Player

Yeah, you've shaken your bad habits and proven yourself capable of handling responsibilities, but are you sincere about this? Or are you trying to compensate for your abandonment issues by pretending you can protect and provide for that girl and her baby? No, not you Kevin Martin, I was talking to Charlie. Now that you mention it though, your numbers are amazing, but aren't they just reflective of a good player getting more minutes? Have you realy improved more than Luke Walton, who is playing well above his career averages and is now starting for a noticeably improved playoff team? Or Andrew Bynum? Monta Ellis has stepped up too you know, and Golden State could finally be going places. Now that I think about it, you're just another schmuck in the right place at the right time, who has deluded himself into thinking he's useful. Oh, no, not you Kev-Charlie again. God, I hate that kid.

Defensive Player of the Year

Ah, they know better than to mess with you, Eko and Emeka. You're both broad, quick and fearless. But are you doomed to a frustrating existence in the middle of nowhere? Or worse? Neither one of those bald guys have a history of good decision making. Good luck, you'll need it.

Rookie of the Year

Who wouldn't feel that way about being drafted by Portland? Here's lookin at you Brandon Roy, left by dumb fate (a.k.a. Kevin McHale) to put up consistent numbers without thanks in a powder keg. Don't give up.

Sixth Man of the Year

Yes, it's an honor, but you can't be happy with this. Are you? Those other five have what you really want, don't they? Everyone talking about them and what they're doing, how they contribute, who they're kissing. That love triangle going on between three of them still might tear the team apart. And that big guy? He barely does anything! Why does everyone love him so much?! Five other fools are stealing your shine, and all you guys get is a trophy proclaiming you as the best backup option. A hulking, burdensome reminder. A physical manifestation of the the fact that no matter how many times you bail their asses out, you'll never get to be in their little club. Actually, Sayid you don't even get that, but Ben Gordon might let you borrow one-he should have two now. Barbosa is just one more scoring option in Phoenix, but BG is the only scoring option on many nights for the offensively anemic Bulls.

Most Valuable Player

Let's discuss this later.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

There's More Than Corn In Indiana....

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Indiana Pacers guard Jamaal Tinsley and teammates Marquis Daniels and Keith McLeod were involved in a fight with a bar manager after a home loss to Golden State, police said.

No one was immediately arrested or charged after the fight early Tuesday. Indianapolis police Lt. Doug Scheffel said Wednesday it would take several days to complete the investigation to determine if charges would be filed.

The police report said the bar manager of the 8 Seconds Saloon might have a fractured jaw and severed earlobe. He told officers that Tinsley had threatened to kill him, the report said. Witnesses told officers that McLeod shoved people during the scuffle.

The confrontation followed another fight involving a person who employees thought was trying to steal coats from the coat check area, police said.

The manager and witnesses told officers that Tinsley, Daniels and a man with them punched the manager in the face and head.

The manager "stated that he was unable to defend himself, at which time both witnesses ... stated that they felt that the life of the victim was in danger," according to the report.

Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh said in a statement Wednesday that the team was aware of the allegations but would have no further comment until police complete the investigation.

Further details are not yet available, but I imagine something like this happened...

Stories like these are always cues for the national media to regurgitate the same questions. (i.e. "Why are NBA players always in trouble?" "Are atheletes targets?" "Do they need guns?") But instead of diving headfirst into racial and socioeconomic hyperbole, shouldn't one of the fundamental questions be "Why can't these guys be more discreet?" "Or at least go to a nicer club, you know-one with actual security?" Most of these incidents occur in some seedy bar or strip club that's a health code violation away from being shut down, and employ 'dancers' that are interchangable with the average NBA groupie. More importantly they are frequented by a somewhat 'undesirable' patronage who have absolutely nothing to lose except a few crumpled dollar bills. That's who those bars are for, so why would a multi-millionaire waste any time in there? Are these guys married? If so, creep and get a hotel room. If not, what's wrong with your house? Don't want these freaks to know where you live? Pool your money and rent a party pad. Anything is better than exposing yourself to an uncontrolled envrionment fueled solely by intoxicants and machismo. NBA players don't start all the fights they get in, but they most certainly are the ones who pay for them, so you might want to think about "ordering in" next time fellas.

Sunday, February 4, 2007