How exactly does a Dallas fan usher in December, the month that has continuously tortured the franchise for years? He invites Freddie Gibbs to serve as the special guest host of tonight’s Cowboys/Bears Monday Night Football open thread, of course.
With myself a fan of you know who and Gibbs a diehard Bears supporter, spicing things up a bit for a game both teams desperately need was the only acceptable solution. Besides, it’ll be great to have a central location to harass Fred when Romo and Dez make reservations for six or Sean Lee and Jason Hatcher have Josh McCown running for his life.*
Damn right I’m doing what rappers wouldn’t dare by talking big shit to Freddie. But I’m doing it from the comforts of a keyboard – exactly how thuggin’ is supposed to go down in 2013. Tell a friend, to tell five more friends, to tell 12 more to come chop it up with Freddie, myself and the rest of the TSS fam.
Join us here tonight at 8:30 p.m. EST. Complimentary roll-ups and drinks will be provided.
This is what’s commonly referred to as a “great look.”
Nearing the end of Bieber’s #MusicMondays series, Justin releases the most anticipated installment from a Hip-Hop perspective with the Chance The Rapper-featured “Confident.”
Judge for yourself, but be aware there is a tough little knock to the record. Bieber ensures he has another winner on his hands, but doing so by deviating from the more intimate route #MM has become known for. Meanwhile, the young Chicago Bull handles his opportunity to be heard by a completely demographic in style.
“And we all can’t be new slaves if vanity’s what you preaching…”
I’m late on a lot of music. Like a lot.
Thankfully, my brother Beware keeps me in tune with a lot of under-the-radar acts that I still look cool whenever people ask me who are the new artists I’m keeping tabs on. Add Christian’Dee aka Christian Deshun to said list.
With a style unique all to his own, the Shreveport native continues to drive home the notion Louisiana’s musical DNA is as wide-ranging as it is infectious. The visual for “Thurzdey” – and this could be just me – has a throwback late ’90s feel from the camera angles to the video quality, which I swear is a compliment.
Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’ve got homework to do.
Pending the transition to Mavericks/Blazers was made immediately following the Ohio State/Michigan State title game, you tuned in at the absolute perfect time. A flurry of big baskets from Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum and picture-perfect Dirk Nowitzki one-leg fadeaways defined the final two minutes including a Lillard double-clutch three over Shawn Marion to tie the game at 106 with 1.9 seconds left.
With everyone in (and out) the building expecting the rock to go to Dirk – myself included – Monta Ellis came off a DaJuan Blair pick that freed him up just enough to curl around for the game-winning jumper a foot inside the three point line. Dirk remains the unquestioned leader and finished with a team-high 28 points, six rebounds and seven assists, but ask any Mavericks fan this, especially TSS extended family Willie P. and Jay Greene. They’re both grown men, and I’d never put words in their mouth – well, on their keyboard – but coming from someone who still has “the sadz” whenever the 2011 Finals topic arises, I’ve got to call a spade a spade.
Monta Ellis in a Mavericks uniform has quietly been one of the best pickups of the year. Of course, he comes with his own set of Monta frustrations, but the guy has fit in beautifully alongside Jose Calderon in the backcourt and riding shotgun with Dirk in the scoring department. Seriously people, Monta’s averaging 21.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.6 steals on 47.2% FG, 38.0% 3PT and 84.4% from the charity stripe.
Those last three percentages are all career highs, by the way. Through the first-fourth of the season, the Mavericks are 13-8, good for sixth in the West. That’d be third in the Eastern Conference, but whatever.
Meanwhile, a little further east (but still out west), the No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks traveled to Colorado to take on a suprisingly “impossible-to-beat-at-home” Buffaloes squad. And if you’re Kansas, shooting 52.9% from the field as a team had having Andrew Wiggins post 22 points and five rebounds on 7-11 shooting seems like a recipe for re-entering the top five following Michigan State’s loss earlier this week.
Kansas could never put together a run putting Colorado away. Instead, it was Bill Self’s squad who played from behind a good chunk of the game – the Buffaloes shot 17 more free throws. With a Perry Ellis basket to tie the game at 72 in the closing seconds, that’s when the miracle happened. Asika Booker nailed a prayer of a three at the buzzer giving him 15 for the game, but more importantly Colorado the 75-72 victory.
“Unless I’m in the NBA championship, that’s the only thing that could top that,” Booker said.
Good for that kid. The victory marked the school’s first in 20 tries against their former Big 12 rival. Kansas drops to 6-2 while the Buffaloes improve to 9-1 (7-0 at home) and more than likely a Top 25 ranking once the new polls are released.
* – Update: Ellis’ career-high is 53.1% in the 2007-2008 season, his third year in the league. It is, however, his highest percentage since then.
Disclaimer: For those yet to see The Wire, stop reading now because spoilers will follow.
Allow me to address two brief thoughts about Season 5 of The Wire. Okay, three.
1. It’s that weird season agreed upon by many that falls far behind the genius that was Seasons 3 and 4 – the best run of television ever, and this comes from a guy who was just finished the series a year ago – behind Season 1, but before Season 2. That said, S2 is vastly underrated for reasons LC scribed in July and we can all agree there’s no true horrific season of The Wire.
2. This collection of thoughts nearly focused on Marlo and Avon’s prison conversation after passing by the Jessup exit on I-395 on my way to Delaware about two months back heading to my homie Zakee’s wedding.
3. I don’t know where Marlo Stanfield has placed himself on my favorite characters hierarchy, but I’ll be damned if that son of a bitch doesn’t rank somewhere near the very, very, very top. Some days it’s Avon. Some days it’s Slim Charles. Some days it’s Marlo. Some days it’s Bodie. Some days it’s Omar. Some days, it’s even the incredibly flawed hero himself, Jimmy McNulty.
Season 5, however, does harbor two of the series’ trademark scenes. The first being the aforementioned Avon and Marlo “Clash of the Titans” – off the strength of Avon’s “authority figure” soliloquy alone.
The second being Marlo single-handedly evaporating the co-op. Funny enough, the Miami Heat’s self-deemed coronation in 2010 or Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse have repeatedly drew comparisons in my head with Season 5′s involuntary transfer of power. All three represent single entities assuming jurisdiction in a room filled with contemporaries while detailing new guidelines of how business operates with no legit regard for backlash.
Avon Barksdale, the walking quotable
Part of me will forever hold a grudge against Marlo for making the call that ended in Bodie’s death. My friend Sophia – who told me for years to invest in the the DVDs and watch the series – expressed afterwards Bodie’s death is still the one lingering the most long after her first experience with the show.* The same feeling resides in me. The same feeling resides in nearly everyone who saw the show. And Marlo’s to blame for that.
Nevertheless, the small sense of “fear” to arise in the pit of my stomach whenever Marlo, Snoop or Chris appeared on camera was nothing short of authentic. And f*cking spectacular. Like Avon, Marlo ruled with an iron fist and a “my way or the highway” approach. But perhaps because Avon came up in the drug game with family (Stringer, D’Angelo, his sister), there was an ounce of compassion he’d exercise on rare occasions.
With Marlo, compassion ran through his veins similar to Bishop in Juice. It was always business and personal. We’re talking of the same man who in demented and perverted fashion sang Prop Joe a bedtime story as Chris unloaded a bullet in his skull, a murder that fell on Omar’s lap. And then dismantled the aforementioned co-op two episodes later with his own set of #NewRules.
Exterminating the middleman while destroying every ounce of order and prestige Baltimore’s multi-million dollar street pharmaceutical conglomerate was built on was both incredible and incredibly stupid. He became too powerful and too selfish for his own good. But dammed if it wasn’t one of the most beautiful and poetic train wrecks to witness.
Marlo was responsible for half of the murders in the city of Baltimore and probably more than half of the dope. And much like Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, rooting for the bad guy never felt so right.
* – I’d venture to say Bodie’s hurt slightly worse than Wallace’s. And Wallace’s still brings a tear to my eye at sheer mention.
“I did a show for 50 people, still got the chills…”
Often times without fail, certain songs show face at the absolute perfect time. Scotty ATL’s visual for his latest record, the DJ Mr. Rogers-produced “I Could’ve Gave Up,” hits home personally on levels I’ll divulge at some point in the future. The lesson, however, sticks to the ribs regardless of who we are and where we’re at in life.
Chasing a dream is the toughest challenge we’ll ever embark on.
Scotty’s journal is filled with his own narrative of events from former rapping partners joining the Navy to just believing in his goal of impacting people with his music. The same goal, by the way, that has carried him all the way to Sway’s legendary morning show.
More than anything, “Could’ve Gave Up” goes to prove what a little faith in oneself can produce. That sentence is “pot calling the kettle black” more than you’ll ever know.
Revisiting Pimp C interviews is a national past time. So when a previously unreleased clip of Chad speaking about anything from Europe’s economy to his experience working with the different producers on UGK’s 2007 double album, I’m all ears.
For the accompanying clip in particular, The Pimp speaks on the latter. No one was aware at the time the project would go on to become UGK’s last authentic album together making the excitement and innocence of the clip that much more spine tingling. However, it is cool to hear him enthusiastically reveal the track that would eventually become their biggest hit ever in “International Players Anthem.”
Rest in power, Chad. We miss you down here.
Bonus: It’s not everyday a Webbie interview takes a backseat to anyone, yet even Young Savage would gladly do so for the man responsible for his career in the first place. It’s Webbie. It’s Jack Thriller of ThisIs50. It’s Webbie calling God “my n*gga.” You do the math.
Laker Nation, your fearless leader has returned to lead your current scrappy (and entertaining) bunch to…well, I don’t know, but the wait is officially over.
For whatever reason, Kobe Bean “Money Bags” Bryant loves torturing the Toronto Raptors. In Staples Center, at that. Not only did his historic 81-point onslaught take place there, but now, his official return from an eight-month hiatus after tearing his Achilles will, too, this Sunday.
The announcement was made via Facebook in a clip painting itself as dramatic and makes those Derrick Rose “Return” videos look like Saturday morning cartoons.
But allow me to play spoiler, the video is two minutes of a jersey flapping in the wind with its condition going through various stages symbolizing Kobe’s rode to recovery and the doubt surrounding him. And unlike those hilariously depressing Keith Sweat-esque “Stay D12″ banners, at least this decision will actually produce a positive result.
All one really needs to know, however, is Kobe’s back this Sunday, December 8. Versus Toronto. Possibly playing point guard. With the first episode of the Swaggy P And The Mamba Do Hollywood reality show on full display. And if we’re lucky, Rob Ford with a court side seat.
Here’s the Captain Obvious statement of the day: Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories is going to appear on a lot of year-end lists under the “best albums” category, a well deserved honor if there was one.
To close out 2013 strong, the French duo requested the services of The Strokes’ leading man Julian Casablancas for the visual to their collaboration, “Instant Crush.” Nothing out of the ordinary either as two mannequins in a museum fall in love with each other only to be united forever in the absolute worst way possible in what’s really a bizzaro Romeo and Juliet-like story.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” - Nelson Mandela, Long Walk To Freedom
Famed South African leader Nelson Mandela passed away today following a prolonged bout of illness. Mandela was 95 years old and had been battling what doctors called a recurring lung infection. Family was present at his home at the time of his passing.
Changing the world is a burdensome task. My grandma – many, many moons ago sometime between my ninth and tenth birthdays – informed me who Mandela was and why being South Africa’s first democratically elected, Black president was the groundbreaking news it was. In her words, “Hopefully I’ll be alive to see something like that over here one day.” Those who know my grandma know on the surface her skin tone is much closer to white than “Black.” But as with any person of color who lived through the Depression, the Jim Crow era and Civil Rights Movement, a scar of what once was eternally lingers.
Time passes, people and laws change, as do mindsets, but memories never fade. Memories of dogs set loose on peers because of simply walking down the wrong street at the wrong time. Memories of being hassled by police for the everyday task of loading groceries into a car. Or memories of Klan members and burning crosses in front lawns backed by threats demanding “Go back to Africa Nigger.” Indelible images and moments similar to those and many more lacking expiration dates depict horrors myself or anyone my age can never directly relate towards. The anger our parents/grandparents harness will always be repressed because to live a somewhat “normal” life, it has to be.
In America, the stories of Black leaders who changed the world and the legacies they created are beyond well-documented. Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Huey Newton, Rosa Parks, Fred Shuttlesworth and, of course, Martin Luther King, Jr. represent angels with broken wings in Black American culture. They’re reminders of what once was, what once could have been and what is now, for better and worse. And while his sphere of direct influence never cracked concrete in Birmingham, Memphis, Compton, Selma or Greensboro, Nelson Mandela ranked as one of the last olive branches to a generation willing to die for a cause infinitely bigger than themselves or longer than their own lifetimes.
“Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone. And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same.As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Nelson Mandela
At 95-years-young, it’s no secret Nelson’s better days were far behind him. The constant battles with lung infections and repeated back-and-forth trips to hospitals manifested as the ominous final chapter and battle in a life defined by overcoming so many. These words aren’t meant to serve as the one billionth semi-biography on Mandela’s life. More qualified individuals exist, as do more well-written accounts. These are words from a young man who was still learning to color inside lines by the time Mandela completed 27 years of imprisonment. This is, if anything, a thank you letter, of sorts.
Chances of Nelson’s immediate family coming across what’s stated here are slim-to-none, which is to be expected. Hopefully, through faith, however, the thoughts and prayers of a random 27-year-old Black kid from North Carolina somehow produce a slightly more peaceful rest than the night before. Mandela’s trek through apartheid and a time period desiring nothing more than his own demise is proof the end result in life is what matters; a lesson I’m forced to learn and accept day in and day out. His letters from prison to his wife and children remain monuments on remaining dedicated to what a man’s true responsibility is and was – his family.
President Mandela’s marriage ended in 1996 because – surprise, surprise – nearly 30 years away from the dinner table is impossible to recover from. Mandela’s life wasn’t without flaws or severe criticism (Google “Nelson Mandela evil man”), once even referred to as the Antichrist. Yet, his story and his journey are what truly mattered. Taking a stand for personal beliefs in the face of overwhelming negativity and bigotry is the most difficult decision a person has to make. Conforming is easy when under scrutiny. Mandela, instead, gave his life, marriage and relationship with his children up for a cause that damn-near broke him in half for the betterment of generations who may not ever earnestly take the time appreciate his true sacrifice.
Several years back, the poem “Test Of A Man” is one I learned at a much different and tumultuous phase in life. Nevertheless, it’s an entry I’ve long associated with Mandela for obvious reasons given his life story.
The test of man is the fight that he makes.
The grit that he daily shows.
The way that he stands upon his feet.
And takes life’s numerous bumps and blows.
A coward can smile,
When there’s not to fear.
And nothing, his progress bars.
But it takes a man to stand and cheer.
While the other fellow stars.
It isn’t the victory after all,
But, the fight that a brother makes.
A man when driven against the wall,
takes the blows of fate.
With his head held high.
Bleeding, bruised, and pale!
Is the man who will win, fate defied,
For he isn’t afraid to fail.
Ironically enough, the man despised the label of “saint” given to him while he was imprisoned. And therein lies the issue. Because, realistically at least in the eyes of many who grew to know and love the man on a much deeper level than myself, not many words are better equipped to do so.
This UNC squad is quirky as all get out. They suffer embarrassing losses to Belmont and UAB. But they turn around and beat then-No. 3 Louisville and last night they march right into Izzo Country and hand deliver the fade to the No. 1 team in America, Michigan State.
In even more impressive fashion, Carolina led from wire-to-wire and employed a critical 12-1 run in the second half helping put the game out of reach for good. The star of the night for UNC was freshman Kennedy Meeks who provided 15 points and seven rebounds off the bench to go along with J.P. Tokoto’s 12 points and 10 boards.
For Michigan State, it all centered around not being able to knock down shots. Keith Appling and Gary Harris both shot 5-15 from the field with the team as a whole shooting a paltry 35.9%. The loss ends nearly an 11-year run for Michigan State in dominance over unranked non-conference teams. The last defeat came at the hands of Toledo on December 30, 2002.
And here’s an impressive stat to toss out at the bar this weekend. With last night’s dub, Roy Williams improved to 7-0 against Tom Izzo at North Carolina; a record which includes the 2009 national championship. Expect Arizona to claim the country’s top ranking with Kentucky at No. 2 and C.J. Fair, Tyler Ennis and Syracuse rounding at the top three.
With the negative press about the Affordable Health Care’s website, the economy and whatever other stresses arise with being the leader of the free world, there’s sort of the feeling President Barack Obama is counting down the days until he’s officially able to hand the keys over to the next unlucky sap to grace 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
That way, he can enjoy the rest of his life basically collecting checks for speaking engagements (a la Bill Clinton) and pursue his true calling – SportsCenter host.
At a November 26 private meeting with entertainment moguls before his speech at Jeffrey Katzenberg’s DreamWorks Animation, the President revealed to Disney’s Robert Iger, “At least I know what I want to do when I retire … host ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 list.”
I mean, hell, let’s take it one step further and have him host an entire episode. For one, it’d be the highest rated show of all-time, marking an unprecedented moment in the history of sports broadcasting. Two, it’s not like the guy doesn’t have experience speaking in front of a camera, he’s got personality out the wazoo and he’s obviously a sports junkie. Three, do you realize how many athletes who have games that night would go out of their way to post unreal stats just to say they were interviewed by Obama on SportsCenter?
Four, can we make President Obama a freelance personality allowing him to rotate between SportsCenter host and Inside The NBA guest analyst because the possibilities of Ernie, Kenny, Chuck, Shaq and The Prez is enough to for me to start a petition on Change.org right damn now. And five, most importantly, if we’re really going to make this happen, his co-host absolutely needs to either be Scott Van Pelt or Stuart Scott.
There’s still a little more than two years before #GetObamaToBristol is actually a real thing, but even the world’s largest tree started with a tiny seed long, long ago. Speaking of point three, however, hopefully Kevin Durant drops 70 points or something that night so we can receive another installment of this.
Bonus: And since we’re on the topic of high-profile names invading The Worldwide Leader, be sure to tune in tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. EST because – wait for it – Anchorman 2′sRon Burgandy and Champ Kind are hosting SportsCenter. Here’s a preview of Ron’s in-depth, incredibly personal chat with Peyton Manning.
Alicia Keys has had a career 97.4% of people who have dreams to make it in the music business would kill for. She’s toured the world, made millions upon millions of dollars, collaborated with everyone from Jay Z, to Drake, to Beyonce to Maxwell, went from mistress (allegedly!) to wife and became an irreplaceable figure in music.
Feeling humbled by such success and possibly in a reflective state during the holiday season, Mrs. Keys-Beatz introduced AK Vault. This is the spot where the Grammy-winning artist will release photos and unreleased tunes she’s been sitting on for years. Such is the case in “Die Without You,” a cover of the popular PM Dawn record that’s been on ice since June 2007.
If she’s taking suggestions for the next installment, however, might I humbly request anything from the Diary Of Alicia Keys era. It’s only one of the 10 (15 at the most) best R&B albums since the turn of the century.
There’s a difference between being bad and boring as opposed to bad and entertaining. The Milwaukee Bucks are bad and boring. The Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic are bad and entertaining. Leave it to the two latter squads to play one a 126-125 double overtime slobberknocker (*word to Jim Ross*) with eye-popping stat lines from just about all major players involved. For example:
Yet, Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo waltzed away with triple-doubles, making it the first time in league history rookies dropped triple-doubles in the same game. They also just happen to be the two leading candidates for Rookie of the Year thus far. MCW finished 27 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and three steals on 11-19 shooting while Oladipo tallied 26 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and three steals.
Looking out for the futures of both squads, hopefully the Sixers and Magic stumble upon quality draft picks.* That being said, MCW and V.O. are worth the watch (as are other players on their team, such as Arron Afflalo who is making claims as the NBA’s most underrated player). So, here, allow me to do you a favor: the next time Orlando and Philly play is February 26. That’s plenty of time to plan appropriately.
Oh, and by the way, the Sixers won this game.
* – Like, imagine the possibilities of Julius Randle on that Orlando squad in the post with Nikola Vucevic.
Forget the fact Project Pat’s Mista Don’t Play turns 13 next February 27. And forget the fact it’s taken that same amount of time to receive a visual for “Gorilla Pimp,” Pat’s ode to operating a successful business in the world of pimping. Just be thankful he never lost sight on the fact the aforementioned record is one of the best in his catalog.
In the nearly six-minute clip, twerking accompanies Pat having to raise his pimp voice and hand which about sums up the musical portion. And as an intermission of sorts, the OG Memphis legend even partakes in car shopping with Young Buck. Thankfully, none of the whips were hot and the entire transaction was on the straight and narrow.
Those without League Pass, a reliable stream or residents of Portland and its surrounding areas probably never saw Monday night’s contest between the Trail Blazers and Pacers. That’s too bad. Accept these three takeaways from the observations of one man and his remote as a consolation prize.
1. I really, really, really hope and pray Portland keeps this up for the entire season. They aren’t shown on national television a lot, but trust and believe they’re one of the most fun watches in the Association. And they’re an entirely different squad from last year with an improved bench, a LaMarcus Aldridge who wants to be there and Damian Lillard who appears to be fending off any resemblance of a sophomore slump with ease. It was Lillard (26-6) and Aldridge (28-10) who stepped up in the fourth quarter going shot-for-shot with the league’s best defensive team in a 106-102 win.
2. Local play-by-play announcers are fascinating. And wild corny (which makes them hilarious at the same time; ex. San Antonio’s team refer to Manu Ginobili and Marco Belinelli the “M&M Boys”). They exhibit no hesitation in showing bias to their hometown squad, which is to be expected. But the awkward moments are plentiful. Case in point, last night following Lance Stephenson fouling out and slapping the scorer’s table, one of the Trail Blazers announcers says to the other, “You’re used to violence since you’re from Detroit, right?” From there, a weird five-to-seven second exchange about stepping to Lance Stephenson occurred.
And since we’re on the topic of local broadcast teams, Portland’s falls right in the middle of the pack. If an award for best local duo existed, Orlando’s would probably get the nod (they’re about as unbiased as it’s going to get) while Chicago’s has to fall in the most annoying category based solely off Stacey King.
Here’s to hoping Danny Granger is okay with not being the number one option anymore. Paul George is more versatile, longer, more disruptive on defense, a budding star altogether and a guy with two first names which has to account for something. Granted, Granger was near this same mold at one point and could be the boost this year’s Pacers need to make a serious run come spring, but PG24 has the “it” factor and has “breakout playoff series” written all over him.
So that was slightly off-base about Granger returning healthy last year, but everything else is on the money.
PG24 already has a vote from yours truly as All-Star Game starter. Without getting into rankings, George has hands down been must-see TV this still young season and while his game has taken strides to improve upon last year, it’s his confidence in being “the man ’round here” that’s evident with each dribble, shot and lockdown defensive possession. That’s the most beautiful part about watching game’s mature. We saw it when he completely made Madison Square Garden his personal playground a few weeks back, and we saw it again in Portland.
George poured in 43 points last night, including 15 in the final three minutes. Hell, he was one missed three away from a made three-inbounds steal-another made three sequence from conjuring memories of Reggie Miller in New York late in the fourth.
The storyline being forced down our collective throats now is “the arrival of the NBA’s next superstar,” only in this case the assessment feels like it’s spot-on. Even in a loss, watching George nail miraculous shot after miraculous shot – and do it all with a stoic “this is what I’m built for” demeanor – completely made up for a Monday Night Football game that was effectively over by the end of the first quarter.
With games against the Clippers and Blazers already in the rearview, five of Indy’s next eight work nights look like this – @San Antonio, @Oklahoma City, vs. Miami, @Miami and vs. Houston. So much is already known, anticipated and expected from a squad who was literally a quarter away from the NBA Finals last year. And even before Christmas, we’re about to find out a lot about these Pacers.
Consider it an early gift for basketball fans everywhere.
It was to be expected Bieber would eventually begin giving the visual treatment to his #MusicMondays offerings. Good thing he decided to start with “All That Matters.”
The video itself isn’t anything groundbreaking or one that’ll push the culture of music forward, but it is another avenue for J.B. to milk the popularity of not only the song, but the successful (and in some ways image-altering) series. And while I can admit to being biased about the kid for close to five years now at TSS, watching the maturation process with his music has been worthwhile.
Everything I’ve read or heard in interviews gives off the impression he’s taking this direction with his music because it’s what he’s wanted for some time now. Plus, it’s easier to respect him attempting to crossover into a new segment of listeners by allowing the music to speak for itself than someone, like say, Miley Cyrus who attempted to swipe twerking away from The Twerk Team while desecrating Michael Jordan’s jersey and the good names and faces of Tupac and Biggie all within less than six months.
Don’t expect Bieber to slow down either. Word has it, the Canadian megastar is unleashing a collaboration with Chance The Rapper next week (one of two they recorded together) and one with R. Kelly, Lil Wayne, Big Sean and Diplo in the coming weeks.
While it doesn’t seem like it on the surface, UConn’s Shabazz Napier and Tim Duncan of, well, we all know what team Tim Duncan plays for, share one particular trait in common. In terms of their level of basketball, they’re both old as dirt.
Of course, neither are “old” in the grand scheme of life, but being a senior in college basketball and a 37-year-old (extremely productive) big man in the NBA full under the minority umbrella. Yet, both Napier and Timmy D came through when No. 14 UConn and the Spurs needed them the most nailing game winners at home against No. 12 Florida and the Atlanta Hawks.
In what was a thrilling college basketball game – one many had no clue was even happening – the lead changed six times in the final six minutes. Napier’s second opportunity at glory capped off a 26-point performance (5-8 from three), which included a sick sequence of events of nearly losing the rock, splitting a double team, heaving a prayer only to have it tapped to him a la Robert Horry in the 2002 Western Conference finals.
Duncan, meanwhile, finished with a man-sized double-double of 23 points and 21 rebounds, making The Big Fundamental the first player 37 or older with a 20-20 game since Robert Parish in 1991. “The Chief’s” is the more impressive of the two. Not because of nostalgia, but rather because Parish was probably higher than Sputnik that game.