Tuesday, June 22, 2010

JB Smoove is amazingly hilarious

Friday, June 18, 2010

For real basketball fans only

After watching the Lakers repeat as NBA champions the talk immediately turned to talks of Kobe Bryant’s legacy. More to the point, the innevitable comparisons to Michael Jordan began anew. The biggest knick on Kobe right now appears to be that he is not as good as Michael Jordan. Well, who is? Jordan is the greatest player in the history of the league, and to use it as a negative when comparing the two is to diminish the impact that Jordan had on the league.

While there have been athletes who made more of a social impact such as Ali, Jim Brown or Jackie Robinson, Jordan was the first commercial athlete. A crossover star that had fans who didn't even follow basketball. Before Jordan the league was star driven, but those stars had to have a nemesis. The biggest stars of course being Magic and Bird. They saved the NBA from tape delay hell and put it back on primetime. But it was Jordan who’s style of play and his marketing of himself off the court is what took the game global. We all grew up wanting to be like Mike, and Kobe is no different. He grew up emulating the man, and honestly why hate him for that? He’s the closest facsmilie to Jordan the league has ever seen, but he is not the original. And that’s not a negative.

After a game 6 loss it was rumored Bryant went on a tirade against his teammates. It was said Jordan would never do that. Wrong, Jordan went off on teammates all the time. Remember when he punched Steve Kerr in the eye for beating him a game of 21 in practice? Constantly referring to Toni Kukoc as soft? Even forcing guys to play poker with him until he won. The two are wired the same. Jordan is just better. Period.

The question I pose to the Kobe haters is this, your life is on the line. Who would you rather have with the ball in their hand? If he’s not the one, he’s definitely in the conversation. Skp Bayless has gone on haraungs recently stating Jordan never needed a game 6. True. But we’re not talking about Jordan, were talking about Kobe.
The talk of his 5 titles aren’t as impressive as Jordan’s six, it’s more like two. No, it’s five and guess what he was one of the main reasons they won five.

You can’t measure a player’s greatness by the amount of rings he has. If that’s the case Rusty Larue is a better player than Jerry West. And no disrespect to Mr. larue but Jerry West is the logo, the fact he won no rings does not diminish his greatness it just shows how hard it is to win a title.

I guess the point of this whole rant is, if you hate Kobe, fine. But to knock him because he’s not Michael Jordan is ridiculous and it shows a lack of knowledge of the greats of the game. He’s the best player right now, not all-time. And you know what, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hip-Hop/ R&B Videos

Recently with the installation of cable tv into my home I decided to do something I haven't done since I was a teenager. That's right folks, I watched some music videos. And I gotta say...not impressed with today's artists (for the purpose of arguing "today" refers to somone who debuted since 2006). Here are my favorite five videos by some people I think with some fantastic artistic value.

5. Make Her Say- Kid Cudi (Man On The Moon: The End Of Day)
I realize his debut is fairly recent, but this video just makes me smile.

4. The Blast- Reflection Eternal (Train of Thought)
My introduction to one of may favorite and one of the best in the game. The simplicity is what I love about it.

3. Still Ray- Raphael Saadiq (Instant Vintage)
Speaking of simplicity, Saadiq and a tuba player is all takes for this simple song of a man pining for his lady.

2. Lauryn Hill- Doo Wop (That Thing), (The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill)
Bringing the old school vibe in the middle of the bling era of hip-hop, Ms. Hill's block party where she has a Supreme's look and a newer urban look as well introduced the mainstream to the one Fugees fan knew as L-Boogie.

1. Kanye West- All Falls Down, Jesus Walks (College Dropout)
I couldn't choose between the two so sue me. All Falls Down is just revolutionary as probably the first video shot from the rapper's point of view. And Jesus Walks...just wow. The message, the visuals, it all ties in so well together, something that artists these days seem to ignore.

Monday, June 7, 2010

"A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment."

You would think that anything ever written about John Wooden would have to be about sports. You would think that the biggest impact a man who was responsible for the longest winning streak in college sports history, a man who won 8 consecutive national championships as a coach and was even enshrined as a Hall of famer as a player and a coach surely the only thing we can talk about is basketball right? Wrong. While all that I said about the man as a coach and as a player is true, what should be remembered about Coach Wooden is that he was a man of principle.

Anyone who is an avid follower of basketball has their own favorite John Wooden story. Be it Rick Reilly who told the story of how he never was paid more than 35,000 dollars a season and numerous times resisted the overtures to become the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and be paid ten times as much as he was being paid at UCLA. To Wooden education was one of the most important things one can acquire and he relished the opportunity to inspire young men for over forty years.

I think that while he instilled lessons through basketball, anyone who has read any of his maxims can attest to being able to take them and apply it to everyday life. While sports may not be important in the long run, Coach Wooden believed that the lessons learned from a game can be used to make you a better person. The seven point creed that he taught all of his players, given to him by his father, have affected millions in a ways some never thought possible by a sports figure. His pyramid of success has been used for years as a motivating tool and a template for succesful living. Pretty impressive for just a sports figure?

Would I say I am sad to see such a distinguished man pass away? No. He lived a full life, with no regrets in an honorable manner that is far too rare these days. I think I’ll end this with a few of my favorite quotes from the Wizard of Westwood.
"Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming."
"Be quick, but don't hurry."
"Talent is God – given. Be humble. Fame is man - given. Be grateful. Conceit is self - given. Be careful."
"A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork."
"Sports don't build character, they reveal it."
And probably my favorite, his world famous seven point creed:
1. Be true to yourself.
2. Make each day your masterpiece.
3. Help others.
4. Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.
5. Make friendship a fine art.
6. Build a shelter against a rainy day.
7. Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.

A Template for success

Thursday, June 3, 2010

So long Kid, thanks for the memories.

I understand that all that is going on in the world, the rettirement of a baseball player who has earned millions ranks very low on the importance scale. I get that. So if you are one of those who love depressing, serious, and or social concious commentary let me stop you now as I wax poetic on the career of Ken Griffey, Jr.

You have to look at the time of the emergence of the Kid. The big stars of the time were solid character guys who were great players in their own right. Guys such as Tony Gwynn, Will Clark, and Joe Carter. Never before had baseball seen a kid like Griffey who came to the majors at the ripe age of 19 and turned the baseball world on its head. From wearing his cap backwards to the gold chains and flashy catches which were somehow still fundamentally sound, there hadn't been a player like him since Willie Mays.

But in my opinion his biggest contribution to was that he single handedly was responsible for the rejuvination of baseball in Seattle with his thrilling run around the bases and safely scoring the game winning run in the first wild card playoff series versus the Yankees. Griffey played the game with a child like enthusiasm until he could no longer play the game. A man who played the game so as hard as he possibly could, sometimes resulting in injury, never lacking in dramatic flair.

What I hope most remember about Griffey is that his career, like that of Frank Thomas the other slugger of his time, has been done without a single accusation of steroird use. 630 home runs, and the man missed 2 seasons or more due to injury. I hope we don't ask "what if?" when the topic of his legacy comes up. Instead I hope we'll remember that the man had the sweetest left handed swing in the buisness and we won't see aplayer like The Kid for a long time.