Posts Tagged ‘Kobe Bryant

12
Jul
09

It’s Da Wrap Up Pt.2: NBA, McNair, The Dunk

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If you thought I was done, you’re sadly mistaken. I knocked out the MJ wrap up, now it’s time to hit on what I love most…sports.. It’s going down folks, let’s go!

 

 

The Rich Get Richer

 

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Parity is not a word that can be used to describe the current state of the NBA. The same teams who were considered the league’s elite are positioning themselves to remain head and shoulders about their peers. As we’ve seen in the past, top tier teams usually stand pat and make minor moves to tweak their teams, but that’s not the case this offseason. Shaq’s headed to Cleveland, everyone’s favorite psychopath is doing it big in Tinseltown, and the need for Sheed is being felt in Boston. I guess I could do a quick run through of the tops teams and rank them with their moves to this date.

 

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5. Orlando Magic – Getting Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson for Skip to My Lou, Courtney Lee, and Tony Battie was a steal for the Magic. When you can get the best player in a trade, you’ve won the trade. Now, winning a trade doesn’t mean you’ve improved your team in the long run. I feel like losing Hedo Turkoglu diminishes their chances of defending their Eastern Conference crown. Orlando needed to go out and get a player who could create his own shot, while keeping enough money in the pot to hold on to Hedo. I love Dwight as a person but the offense can’t flow throw him. Unless he develops a consistent 10-12 ft jumper to aid his limited low post repertoire, Orlando can’t matchup with Boston and Cleveland.  Hedo was their best playmaker and created difficult matchups for all the other championship caliber teams. Even in the Finals the Lakers had trouble stopping him from getting to the rim, and creating opportunities for his teammates to succeed. I’m not calling Hedo a better player than Vince, which would be moronic. But do you honestly believe Vince is capable of taking a playoff game over without scoring? 

 

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4. San Antonio Spurs – San Antonio pulled off a Pau Gasol type deal, where they got one of the more underrated ballers in the game, for next to nothing. When the deal went down, I told some friends the Spurs were the team to beat if Lakers aren’t able to keep Trevor Ariza and Lamar Odom. Ariza’s in Houston and Lamar Odom is still out the market, but is expected to return to L.A. So what am I thinking now? L.A. is the prohibited favorite to win the West. Despite Dejuan Blair falling into their laps with the 37th pick, the Spurs need a rebounding presence at the 5 spot. I know they’re in talks with Big Baby Davis from the Celtics, and recently signed Antonio McDyess, however they’re suitable at the 4, certainly not at the 5. There was some talk of Duncan playing more at the 5 while the Spurs were pursuing Rasheed Wallace. Maybe Popvich is considering that route or try to trade for a big man. Either way the jury is still out on the Spurs. Hopefully we’ll learn more soon.

 

Cavaliers Shaq3. Cleveland Cavaliers – CAN YOU DIG IT???? As a Shaq fan, I’m estatic about the possibility of him getting his 5th ring. I’m telling you now, Shaq being paired with Lebron is next dynamic duo of Shaq’s career. We saw him with Penny, we saw him with Kobe, and we briefly saw him with D-Wade. Now we get to see Shaq in unfamiliar territory. For the first time in his career, he’s playing with someone who is more famous, and has already established himself without Shaq. What is Shaq’a favorite press conference quote when he goes to a new team…”I’m looking to make _______ better. _______ is already great, I’m looking to help him become greater.” That’s not happening with Lebron. Lebron has led a team to the Finals, and won the MVP without Shaq. So Shaq is entering this situation as the unquestioned 2nd fiddle for the first time in his career. No longer is he the alpha dog in the locker room. That’s Lebron’s role. It will be interesting to see how well these two can coexist. I think seeing Kobe catch up with his 4th rings, has lit a fire in Shaq’s belly. There won’t be any trouble between he and Lebron as long Danny Ferry goes out and signs the missing pieces the team needs to win.

I’m calling my shot now. If the Cavs want to keep Lebron, they need to win the NBA title this year. And I’m going on record saying, signing Anthony Parker was a nice pick up but he’s better offensively than defensively on the perimeter. If I were Ferry, I’d look into what it would cost them to snag Shane Battier away from the Rockets. That’s not to say Battier is on the block, I’m just throwing out ideas to get my boy Shaq a 5th ring. And the only way they’re getting a ring is if they sure up what ails them on the perimeter.

 

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2. Los Angeles Lakers – Who in the hell thought Ron Artest was signing with the Lakers? All I kept hearing from these supposed insiders was Artest was either staying with the Rockets or headed to Cleveland. They screwed this one up. ESPN’s Ric Buchor was tweeting about talking to Artest and Lakers officials, and there was no truth to the reports, then later rescinded that tweet after Artest went public with the agreement. See what happens when you play around in Ron’s World? Artest is an upgrade in talent over Ariza but there is a potential ticking time bomb in the Lakers’ locker room now. What Lakers fans have to hope is since Phil Jackson is returning, he can have the same sort of affect on Artest, and he did on Rodman.

There are a couple major differences between Artest and Rodman. Rodman’s antics were more off the court than on it. Once the game started, he was all business, looking to break his opponents with his strength, activity, and basketball IQ. Artest is similar but more of a loose cannon. Artest can go from cool calm and collected to straight up homicidal in a second. Another thing was from what I’ve heard from those who covered the Bulls during that time, Rodman feared Jordan. Jordan was such a strong leader that Rodman wouldn’t dare to cross him. I’ll be damned if Ron Artest fears anyone who isn’t a family member. I’m still waiting for him to put a table leg through Kobe’s heart. Artest is real but sometimes he’s a little too real. If somehow he’s able to keep his craziness at 50-60%, the Lakers are in a good position to win another title. But what I think will happen is Kobe will regret Ariza leaving for Houston. Ariza came up big for the Lakers in the playoffs, by knocking down a lot of timely shots. Artest is cold more than he’s hot so who knows if he’ll make those same shots. It’s a boom or bust gamble. But it’s a gamble you have to take so we’ll see how it all turns out.

 

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1. Boston Celtics – The Celtics were a healthy Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe away from winning it all again last season. Now they have Garnett, and they bolstered their depth with the addition of Rasheed Wallace. You already know it’s a wrap. Of all the contenders, Boston went out and signed the biggest difference maker on the market. They found a player who can defend both the 4 and 5 spots, as well as post any big man up on offense. Another underrated quality of Sheed’s game is how unselfish he is. He’ll go into Boston and accept any role Doc Rivers asks of him. Can you imagine what it’s going to be like when Sheed, Garnett, Pierce, and Allen are all on their games at the same time? That’s going to be ridiculous. It’s hard to argue that the Celtics aren’t the favorites next season.

 

You think you know but you have no idea

 

McNair Killed Memorial Football

How do I describe the thoughts running through my head right now, when it comes to the murder of Steve McNair? It’s like finding out a man you considered invincible was actually human. We as a society tend to put our favorite athletes and celebs on a pedestal they don’t belong on. Once you hold a person in such high regards, they’re inevitably going to disappoint you. From what the police have announced, McNair was asleep when his 20 year old girlfriend put four bullets in him, two in the head and two in the chest. She then proceeded to blow her own brains out.

You have to wonder what McNair was thinking when started dating this 20 year old. He bought her car, took her on vacations, and had her over at the condo he was leasing/renting with his boy. I would’ve never believed that McNair was so damn ignorant. What ever happened to keeping your relationships on the low? Didn’t he listen to Creep by TLC? Take those ladies advice and get your freak on, without the hassles of your lover shooting your ass. Also, if you’re going to pick a woman to creep with, a 20 year old Iranian is the last woman you want to pick. They’ll kiss your ass, and that’s a lesson McNair learned the hard way.

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McNair will go down as the toughest QB to step on the field. Unfortunately for him, he’ll also be known as the dumbass who got himself killed cause he picked the wrong woman to sleep with.

 

Nike: We won’t allow witnesses

 

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For all you Lebron apologists out there, are you finally seeing the light? The guy you’ve been backing for years is nothing more than a whiny a$$hole, who’s been pampered so long he expects the world to bow at his feet. You all said his poor sportsmanship following the Eastern Conference Finals was an aberration. After this week what do you have to say now? He gets dunked on by Xavier’s Jordan Crawford during a pick-up game, and runs to a Nike official to make sure all tapes of the dunk were confiscated.

Freelance photographer Ryan Miller was one of at least two cameramen shooting at the time of the pickup game, and he talked to CBSSports.com about what went down.

He told CBSSports.com that Nike Basketball Senior Director Lynn Merritt took his tape.

“He just said, ‘We have to take your tape,'” Miller said. “They took it from other guys, too.”

“LeBron called Lynn over and told him something,” Miller said. “That’s how I knew his name was Lynn. LeBron said, ‘Hey, Lynn. Come here.'”

Minutes later, Miller said Merritt demanded his tap

What was Bron Bron thinking? He can dunk on whomever he wants, but how dare Crawford dunk on him. Get over yourself Bron Bron. It was ONE dunk. All great players have been dunked on. How they dealt with it that sets them apart from you. They didn’t pout like a like a 5 year old, then run to their big cousin up to street and aske them to do their dirty work for them. The great players would ask for the ball the next play and call out the guy who dunked on them, then attack him head on. That’s what great ones do.

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Nike’s no better than Lebron. His image is so precious to them that they made up a non-existent policy to explain what happened.

“Nike has been operating basketball camps for the benefit of young athletes for decades and has long-standing policies as to what events are open and closed to media coverage. Unfortunately, for the first time in four years, two journalists did not respect our no videotaping policy at an after-hours pickup game following the LeBron James Skills Academy.”

Save the bull crap for someone who actually believes it. If there had been a policy in place, the media would’ve received it upon arrival. When CBSSports.com writer Gary Parrish asked for a copy of the policy, he was told no copy could be produced. In other words, there was no policy until “the dunk” became a national incident. I thought Nike was better than that but I guess not. The best thing they could do is release the tape in a commercial or on Youtube. Either way, they’d take some of the sting off of this whole ordeal, and help it blow over sooner..

 

 

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I’m done! My fingers are killing me from all this typing. Da Wrap Up is complete. If you loved it or hated it, just drop a comment and keep it moving. Look out for me, I’m bringing some life back to Da FiF. It’s rent time, homies! It’s not a game…it’s big bidness! Uh oh!!!

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12
Jul
09

It’s Da Wrap Up Pt. 1: Michael Jackson

fiffloorlogoWhy do I feel like a deadbeat dad who only sees his children once a month or whenever he remembers they exist? Does anyone else see the correlation? I don’t blog as much as I should or could but Lady has done a wonderful job of maintaining Da Fif, and keeping our readers coming back each week. That’s all about to change. No longer will I be a half ass parent around here. I can’t promise I’ll post everyday or 4 or 5 times a week. Who really knows that sort of thing? What I can do is assure you’ll see more posts from me. Prepare yourself, my limited vocabulary, boring topics, and less than amusing sarcasm is back on the scene and it’s going down.

What better way to jump back into the swing of things than to touch on recent stories I missed and tie a nice crunk bow on top. Let’s double it up around here. I’m hitting you with two blogs touching on the tragic loss of legends, shocking signings and trades in the NBA, and why Lebron is not the king just yet. It time for me to drop my thoughts for the world and it’s going down right now.

 

The G.O.A.T. has gone home

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Twenty years ago if someone told me Michael Jackson died unexpectedly, I probably would’ve locked myself in my room and listened to Thriller on the record player, until my dad kicked the door in so he could sleep. That’s a testament to the musical brilliance Michael possessed. He’d hit you with songs that made you want to jump on the dance floor and get your boogie on. And when he felt it was time for mental stimulation and public awareness, there were songs for that too. We Are the World, Black or White, Man in the Mirror, Heal the World, Will You be There, and They Don’t Really Care About Us are possibly the most thought provoking songs released during my time. It’s undeniable that MJ was the greatest to ever release an album.

That being said, Michael was hit with a substantial amount of negative publicity the final years of life. But Da FiF isn’t a tabloid or TMZ type site. So I’m going to say this and be done with it. Several events and accusations have tarnished this man’s reputation. He brought it all on himself. Whether Michael molested any children or not, kids don’t belong in a grown man’s bed. They especially don’t belong in the bed of a grown man who calls himself Peter Pan. Also, Michael’s sexual preference isn’t and was never anyone else’s business but his own. But it’s quite simple to see he turned himself into a white metrosexual Ken doll. Those kids probably aren’t his biologically but he’s raised them from infancy, which makes them HIS children. If Debbie Rowe wants her cut, all she has to do is ask Katherine to break her off cause money is the only thing Debbie loves.

Enough about all that, let’s try not to dwell on his image like CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and any other spineless news organization. The greatest artist and performer that’s ever done it, has left us. Focus on the musical legacy he’s left behind for us to share with our kids and their kids. Face it, this man really was the King of Pop music and culture. F*ck Elvis and the Beatles, Michael is the G.O.A.T.(Greatest Of All Time). Want proof? Just take a look at how he packed the Staples Center and Nokia Theatre for his funeral. The man does it just as big in death as he did while he walked among us.

 

A Tribute fit for a king.

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Imagine the most elegant and tasteful memorial service a man such as Michael Jackson deserved, and his service surpassed it. It wasn’t over the top like some people envisioned. There was no concert with has been artists performing Michael’s songs while drawing attention to themselves. Every performer checked their ego at the door and showed appreciation for the King of Pop. I’ll try to do a run through of the performances and moments that stood out to me.

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Michael’s Entrance – Wow….talk about a moment when you realized he was really gone. As a choir sang “We’re Going to See the King”, Michael’s casket was escorted by his brothers. Of course the mourners in attendance gave him a standing ovation. And if you were like me, you couldn’t look beyond his $25,000 bronze casket with 14 karat gold plated handles. Simply put, a casket fit for a king, 

Mariah Carey – Damn she fell off. She screamed her way to so many hits, yet I’ve always loved Mariah’s rendition of I’ll Be There. She said she was emotional due to Michael’s casket being in front of her. Don’t lie Mariah. Just admit you choked on the biggest possible stage any performer could be on.

Lionel Ritchie – Is it just me or does Dancing On the Ceiling pop in your head just from the mention of the dude’s name?

Queen Latifah – I’m not a Queen fan so I wasn’t trying to listen to her at first. Once she mentioned Maya Angelou asked Queen to share a poem she’d written, my ears perked up. Best line was the first line. “Beloved, now we know that we know nothing.” Maya speaks the truth. Let that simmer in your head and you’ll get it.

Berry Gordy – Where has Berry Gordy been all these years? I thought he was still reliving Motown 25 with his nursing home buddies. He did say one thing that made a lot of sense. Michael was the greatest entertainer that ever lived.

Steve Wonder – It’s time to get rid of those braids homie.

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Kobe Bryant & Magic Johnson – First thought when I heard Kobe would be involved in the memorial, “Kobe’s going to crossover the casket then dunk the ball through one the flower arrangements.” As always, that bastard denied me of my joy. Magic was cool cause he considered learning Michael Jackson ate Kentucky Fried Chicken, the greatest moment of his life. Really Magic? It wasn’t winning the ’79 national title or your 5 NBA titles, or even being a prominent member of the original Dream Team after being diagnosed with HIV. It was cool for a laugh but I doubt anyone believes you.

Jennifer Hudson – Will You Be There is a difficult song to sing. It requires more than having a great voice. You have to have a swagger about yourself. Jennifer walked with a baby in her belly and this look in her eyes, she proceeded to make that song her b*tch. I knew she could sing, but I was speechless while she performed. That was “shut it down” worthy.

Al Sharpton – He was Al…only shorter than usual.

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John Mayer – If you know me, you know I’m a John Mayer fan. Line up any other artists this decade and I’d take John Mayer and Alicia Keys into that battle. Anyway, Human Nature was out of his vocal range so he did what he does…shut it down with his guitar.

Brooke Shields – She’s aged well. Didn’t pay attention to most of what she said, but damn I wonder if MJ ever hit that.

Jermaine Jackson – Who knew Jermaine could sing like that? Very moving performance and you could hear the sorrow in his voice. You have to give the man respect for singing at his bother’s memorial.

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Usher – Jennifer Hudson did her thing but Usher was on top of his game. He did everything perfectly. The range was there, the presentation was there, and the wardrobe was there. He starts out chilling on a stool, then walks down the steps in the middle of the song to touch Michael’s casket. Wait, he didn’t stop there. The guy walks maybe 5 or 6 feet to the side of the casket to hit that long ass high note at the end. He finally brings it home by crying, then taking his shades off so you could see he really shed tears. Showman…Usher is a great showman. Don’t get me wrong, nothing he did was an act. I was just amazed how appropriate it all was. Big ups to Usher, he did the damn thing.

The Kid? – Who was that kid who did a pretty good job with Who’s Lovin’ You? Apparently his name is Shaheen Jafargholi. Way too long of a name for me to use so I’ll call him ShaJa for short. ShaJa has a bright future ahead of him. I said this was the biggest possible stage an artist can be on. You can sell out shows, in every city on your tour, and you wouldn’t come close to performing for as many people as those who watched Michael’s memorial. So this young man showed some spunk under the pressure. I’m looking forward to seeing how this kid’s career turns out.

The We Are the World/Heal the World Lady – Judith Hill, remember her name because you’ll be hearing it a lot over the next few weeks. If anyone benefited from performing at Michael’s memorial, it was Judith Hill. Before Tuesday the only Judith I knew of was Judith Light from Who’s the Boss. Now Rolling Stone, CNN, and every other news entity is talk about the “mystery singer” from Michael’s memorial. She has the look and the voice to do some things in the business, let’s wait and see how that goes.

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Paris Katherine Jackson – They just had to let the kid speak, didn’t they? Here I was just chilling and feeling a slight bit of sadness but nothing to bring me down. Then Paris spoke and I damn near shed a tear cause this little girl lost the only father she’s every known. She’s a cute kid and I hope Michael’s family can keep her on the straight and narrow.

Wonderful memorial for Michael, thanks to whoever put the whole thing together. The right artists were chosen to perform and it turned out magnificent.

 

BET took a L(oss)

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I was going to let this go since it was almost 2 weeks ago, except I couldn’t. For three days all I kept hearing about was the tribute BET had planned for their awards show. It’s like Arsenio Hall said before the show began, “The people who can honor Michael are in that building.” I admit, I was a little anxious to see what Debra Lee & co. had planned. I’m still waiting to see what they had planned because I refuse to believe what I saw was a tribute to Michael Jackson. I’m telling you, during the after party show I was getting so frustrated when Jamie Foxx was talking about how incredible the MJ tribute was. That was a bunch of bullsh*t. Maybe I missed some but let me try to remember the MJ tribute.

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New Edition – Yes, the dance steps aren’t there anymore but other than the Jackson 5, you can argue that New Edition was the most legendary black boy band. New Edition was our NSync and Backstreet Boys. And who came before them…the Jackson 5. So it was fitting to have them on the show.

Jamie’s Intro dance – He’s a comedian so I like that he went out there and talked about what MJ meant to him, and I respect Jamie for bringing his “A” game. “Half of yall can’t sell out a bathroom at Carl Jr’s.”, “Grown white men fainted”, “Camel toe”, and that busted moonwalk of his had me laughing my ass off.

Neyo – I don’t know what the hell he did cause his dome distracted me. When your head looks a king size milk dud, keep your hat on. I bet the light bounced off that damn thing and blinded the front row.

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Ciara – Why the f*ck would you have her non-singing ass out there? Alicia Freaking Keys was there, and so was a damn piano. Why put some little girl up there who can’t sing for sh*t to pay tribute to the greatest, when you have Ms. Keys in the audience? What in the hell was BET thinking?

KeKe Palmer – If she he ever sings in public again, somebody needs to beat her ass. After I heard her sing one line of Who’s Loving You, I pressed mute and cussed out the TV.

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Jamie & Neyo – That last performance was cool, but damn you’ve got to end the show better than that.

My biggest problem with the show was it was a poor tribute. I don’t want to hear young kids paying tribute to a legend. So many artists have sampled Mike’s music over the years. Why not have a medley, showing the artists who sampled his work. Bring out Rihanna, Mariah, Diddy, Kanye, etc to shut the show the down. Bring out REAL artists to do this man justice instead of your “C” squad.

Also, what did we love about MJ besides his music…his dancing. Where were the dancers? I know Usher was in London but I saw Ginuwine in the audience. Chris Brown is free so he could’ve been there. They invited Travis Barker to the show, pick up the phone and invite Justin Timberlake’s copycat ass if you were that desperate. I was hoping to see some dancing, and I didn’t see it. So for me, BET failed…big time.

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We’ll miss seeing the G.O.A.T. perform and make random appearances on TV. Hell, I’ll even miss seeing him on the cover of tabloids at the grocery stores. But like Jackson 5 hit said…I never can say goodbye.

R.I.P. MJ and thanks for the memories.




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