Archive for the Sports Category

Loose Ball or Loose Cannon: Who Is Lavar Ball?

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , , on March 2, 2017 by geniusscribbleink

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“Basketball is my favorite sport, I like the way they dribble up and down the court”-Kurtis Blow

 

It was the year 1984 and yes the bias child that still lingers within me unequivocally believes that life just couldn’t get much better than the 80s. I remember watching some local cats embattled in a break dancing contest in front of a local store front and at the time the very song I borrowed an excerpt from at the beginning of this blog Basketball was providing the nostalgic soundtrack for what is arguably one of the greatest forms of self-expression to date which is the B-Boy or Break-Boy. Of course this is not a blog on the evolution of Hip Hop culture as we can save that for a future blog. My true intent and focus is actually about the song Basketball. I recall hearing that song for the first time during that break dancing memoir I previously detailed. It was then in which I realized just how relatable that song was to me on a personal level.  I love basketball, just like Kurtis Blow articulated in that song. In fact I have healthy/not-so healthy obsession with the sport that often hovers on the cusp of insanity. But is that not what passion is all about?  Passion is defined as: “strong and barely controllable emotion”. Well if you ever catch me watching my New York Knickerbockers play, all that is described in that definition is always on full display, as my television is usually a sounding board for both those positive exclamation during heroic moments, as well as the profanity laced discourse of villainous failure. Indeed it is the quintessential polar opposite dynamic that embraces the concept that in order to understand great love you must first experience even greater heartbreak. But that is what unbridled emotions are about. They are lively and in the moment. They are raw and organic. And at times they can even be misconstrued. This is why I entitled this blog focusing on the father of UCLA’s basketball star Lonzo Ball; asking whether or not he is merely a loose ball or a loose cannon? We all know he loves his son, but is his passion too strong and uncontrollable due to his emotions. Let us delve into his history and let you decide.

 

First let me state that I am a very confident person. I don’t wear it with an arrogance or exude the type of bravado that sucks the air out of all living species. In fact I despise narcissism and self-absorbed people. To me confidence is just believing high in yourself and your ability to accomplish anything you set your mind towards doing. If we are going to give confidence its fair description, its definition states the following: “the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust”.  When examining Lavar Ball and his impassioned assurance in his son Lonzo Ball’s basketball prowess, one could conceive that he believes and trust in his son’s ability to become a great basketball player at the professional level. I don’t believe it is a farfetched notion as Lonzo Ball’s projected ceiling has zenith and apex written all over it. Projected to be one of the top draft picks in this up and coming NBA 2017 draft class, many have Lonzo Ball being either the number one or number two pick. So one can concur that not only does Lavar Ball have confidence in his son, but apparently those at the professional level endorse his conjecture as well. But this is normal and not outlandish. We have seen young prospects be ballyhooed year after year, projected to be the next Michael Jordan. So no harm no foul in that regards. In the case of Lavar Ball what has been an unprecedented act is the fact that he has predicted greatness for his son (who has never played at the NBA level) by climbing over the back of two NBA champions (Jason Kidd and Stephen Curry, the latter a two-time league MVP) in order to transmogrify his son into a basketball savant.  If it stopped there then maybe this blog is not written, but he then goes on the lament the fact that his son would only play for a particular franchise of his preference (he has since backtracked the statement) even though the drafting process is in laymen’s term is “first come, first serve” as whatever organization that is in position to draft said player has every right to pick whoever they so choose. He also went on to proclaim that albeit sneaker companies have been after his son (once again his son has never played a professional game in his life) he is only willing to discuss distribution deals for his son’s sneaker brand in the likeness of Jordan brand called Triple B’s. So to give this perspective, a young man who has never played professional basketball father is demanding that his son have a shoe deal, his choice of the team he wants to play for, all while insulting two NBA legends as well. Wow. We often talk about handing out trophies to all participants, but what does it mean when a kid’s father hijacks the trophy truck way before the trophy presentation. I can understand having confidence in your child and feeling passionate about his life and wanting the best for your child. I get it. But what kind of precedence or standard of respect is this teaching your child? To each his own with regards to how they choose to raise their offspring, but sometimes some things are so egregious that you have to question a person’s parental guidance. Lavar Ball is not lacing up those shoes, in fact the university is paying for them more than likely. Lavar Ball will not have to pay his son’s salary at the NBA level, because the org he plays for will handle that. Lavar Ball will not have to face competition night in and night out against the world’s best basketball players who will look to annihilate young kids who come in with an air of arrogance surrounding them. So all in all why is Lavar Ball acting like he is the one playing for UCLA and not his son? This should be a time for his son to showcase his greatness, yet we are talking about the arrogant proclamation of a father  who is stealing the spotlight from his son. No one is questioning Lavar Ball having high standards for his child or anyone having high expectation for children. Really good parents want their kids to exceed abundantly. I have always believed that true power is alway silent. Greats like Tim Duncan barely made a squeak during his entire tenure as a professional and yet his NBA resume puts him atop a list of the all-time greatest ever to play the game. So is Lavar Ball “that” parent?  We all know them, the ones who scream at their kid’s coaches and trip cheerleaders who make the squad over their kid. The ones who create a generation of entitled anal cavity muscles who believe they deserve everything just because they showed up. Lonzo Ball has apparently worked his butt off to get where he is and I think it is safe to say his father played a humongous part in doing so. But one of the worse things any person can do is pull a Leon Lett and celebrate prematurely before reaching the finish line. You respect the goal and you respect the process, I don’t know of any great person no matter how confident he or she is that does not adhere to this philosophy. In sports you may see players scramble for a loose ball now and then and are able to corral it, but when a loose cannon misfires the results are always quite damaging. My hope is for a great career for young Lonzo Ball who is talented beyond measure, but I also hope that Lavar Ball recognizes that he has done a great job that does not require these demands as validation of that terrific job. And perhaps in the end Lonzo Ball will be remembered in a song by his generation’s Kurtis Blow’s much like Julius Irving was. #when Dr. J shook the whole damn team with moves that came right out of a dream #they’re playing basketball  #ballislife

No I(dolatry) in Kaepernick

Posted in News, Sports, Trending with tags on August 30, 2016 by geniusscribbleink

Colin-Kaepernick

 

“Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.”-1 Corinthians 10:14

 

Actress Q’orianka Kilcher stated:  “I love the power of celebrity because you can give voice to the voiceless.”  I guess the real question at hand is, who exactly are these voiceless people? I mean I have a strong voice that can carom off a wall like a set of Bose speakers, so I guess that would make me not a voiceless person or does that make me merely a person who is just extremely loud at times? So does that eliminate me from being included in the so-called voiceless people of the world?  I mean we all have the ability to say what we want, to be what we want and to act as we want as it is our God-given right and by all accounts our said freedom and our way of life according to the mantra of the country we reside in. Freedom, justice and equality, you cannot beat the power that resonates in a statement so bold, so forward and so fair. Certainly this proclamation in itself is not voiceless as it speaks of a way of life we are afforded by claiming residency in these here United States of America. So my question remains vehement in soliciting answers as to who could be voiceless living under the pretenses of a country who eats apple pie while standing on the trifecta pillars of freedom, justice and equality. It almost would appear blasphemous that such an absurdity of being “voiceless” could exist in today’s society. We live in an era of the communicator, where at the mere click of a single button you can get a message across the world having to never leave the comfort of your favorite arm-chair. We are living in a technologically savvy world that allows one to view the entire planet in a microscopic fashion, so much that even if you live in an encapsulated environment/own little bubble, you can be just as informed and as aware of any atrocities or grandeur that is occurring in any place at any given moment. In saying this, one would think that there is no realistic reason to be the void of apathy. If you can see it or read it then you are indeed informed. In surmising the notion that we are in fact “informed” and we in a nutshell have an “eye in the sky” watching over the vast world we dwell upon, then I am still asking: “Why are there still voiceless people in this world”?  Maybe (just maybe) I am approaching this the wrong way.  Maybe my angle is too forward and less provocative, so I am going to approach this in and entirely different manner. If no one is voiceless and these same individuals live in a free, just and equal society, then the real question is “Why is there no one listening to them?” If we are indeed a society of values and standards and we are said to believe in being patriotic in our prideful display as Americans, then why are there voiceless people here. Our pledge states:  “One nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all”. Then I ask my fellow Americans, when a section of Americans are not receiving these same liberties and justice stated in our national pledge, then what is this saying about who we are at our very core if this is not indeed righted? Racism tends to be the cheapest way to expense off the debt of the non-humanitarian. Lines are often drawn in the sand whenever a person of color is outspoken regarding the integrity of America, often having their entire history from their financials to their family lineage exploited in the media for dissection and ridicule. Yet when those same exact proclamations are pronounced by those who lack the melanin hue in their skin, often results in them being praised as being “patriotic” or “saying it like it is”. The newsflash is not a really a newsflash in these particular cases. Americans are just more enamored with race idolatry as opposed to being enamored with acting like a humanitarian who is trying to align themselves with the words of God. Samuel Johnson once stated that “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” The Enlightenment Thinkers often viewed patriotism as being similar to faith but in strong opposition of one another. Here we have a young man of mixed racial lineage with his biological father being African-American and his biological mother being Caucasian, who was in turn adopted by a Caucasian family with a German surname of Kaepernick. He is the quintessential melting pot that is America and is living the true “American Dream” as not only being raised by an ethnic village, but he also has obtained incredible wealth in the process. His crux you ask? He had an opinion and decided to voice that to America under the guile of being free in his seeking of justice and equality for those he believe are not getting what this country asks that we pledge our commitment to as citizens every day. Why is this considered criminal?  Why is Colin Kaepernick suddenly less patriotic and considered cantankerous because he is making the choice as a free person and as an American to speak out against what he is considered an injustice? Most importantly is how dare someone try to own the definition of patriotism while reprobating Colin Kaepernick in the process. These acts are indeed synonymous with that of the scoundrel. Idolatry is defined as the: “immoderate attachment or devotion to something”. Immoderate is described as being excessive or extreme. Colin Kapernick is obsessed with helping people, while his opposition is obsessed with campaigning against him for his supposed lack of respect for an anthem and a flag. Colin Kaepernick has spoken openly that his stance was also about military personnel that are not being taken care of by its own government as well. Whether one agrees or disagrees with his stance, it is their inalienable right to do so, but no one owns the term patriot and no one owns America. There’s no idolatry in Kapernick, but how much idolatry is in you?  #humanitarian

No Longer Just A Melo Voice

Posted in Sports, Trending with tags on July 29, 2016 by geniusscribbleink

stay melo

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth”-Muhammad Ali
 

Servitude is defined as: “the condition of being a slave or of having to obey another person”. I felt this word was appropriate when placing the phrase “modern-day professional athlete(s)” on the table for debatable dissection. The reason I think of servitude when discussing the modern-day professional athlete(s) is due to the fact that more than often we find that modern-day athletes tend to be more enamored/concerned with their marketability/branding and tend to stray away from speaking on social topics in fear of damaging their earning potential.  Yes they may not have asked to be a role model or a shining example, however it is the “monies of the people” that assists them in affording that luxurious lifestyle that they tend to dwell in. I am an unapologetic subscriber to the biblical theory captured in an excerpt from Luke 12:48 that states: “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required”. I strongly believe that we all have a certain responsibility or accountable role that we must play in this ever-changing, transitional world. Albeit the roles may differ depending on our individual situations, I don’t feel that it is an unreasonable request that we lend an obliging hand to our fellow-men/women that are in need. Of course the reality is that you cannot save or help everyone, as there are individuals and groups that are far beyond changing. But when we hear someone cry out for help and we have the ability to be a beacon of hope and refuge for them, then I why not simply help out?  Why starve out the needy when you have an abundance of wealth and why not lend a voice to those who are voiceless when you have the platform in which to pontificate from?  I often equate standing up for something to a childhood game called musical chairs, as I have stated on numerous occasions that the minute you stand up for something then you run the risk of losing your seat once the music stops playing in your favor. Not many are equipped to stand in the shoes of leadership; in fact I believe that being the leader of men/women is not for the faint at heart but is in fact tailored made for an individual who is willing to turn his/her nose up at the proverbial status quo. Today we long for those who are difference makers. We rarely see those who choose to go against the grain and carve out a new niche in life. Are you a trailblazer or a pathfinder is a question for the ages; as we witness a time of mob mentality and people wanting to adhere to the masses at large.  The question is who is willing to “come out from among them” and stand-alone amid the social fray? Well apparently Carmelo Anthony is one of those individuals who is willing to do just that. It has been well-known around the NYC area about the type of philanthropist Carmelo Anthony has become from initiating food drives, to donating basketball courts in Red Hook (Brooklyn) to visiting inmates at Rikers Island; he has indeed stepped up to make an impact in the lives of those who are in need.  All of these accomplishments are to be admired, as I have stated after seeing his visit to Rikers Island that this is a guy who really understands his place in life and where he can in turn make a difference in another person’s life. Undoubtedly we need more men like this.  Men who do more than just cut a check but are also willing to just show up and be present. In spite of all the aforementioned list of charitable efforts by Carmelo Anthony, I feel that none have been greater than his recent work of calling out his fellow athletes in an effort to heal the volatile relationship between the communities and police departments throughout the country. Carmelo is working to create town hall formats in an effort to open up dialogue between all parties involved in the hopes that a round-table discussion can help jettison a solution to mending the broken clasp between community members and police forces. In one of his interviews I gained greater admiration for him when hearing that he does not rush to judgment on every situation that involves community and police clashes, but tends to wait until all facts are on the table. These are the thoughts of a measured man who is utilizing a tool many in today’s world tend to ignore. That tool is sound perspective. Perspective is: an understanding of how aspects of a subject relate to each other and to the whole. Carmelo Anthony has matured greatly in front of the ever-present cameras of the New York media, but the true measure of his growth has come in front of the national media as a whole. Unlike his nickname of “Melo”, no longer does his voice remain mellow as he is now orchestrating from a platform that is giving a loud voice in his call for change. He is to be commended for taking that step forward in trying to spearhead an effort in darning the fence between the citizen and the justice system. Carmelo Anthony is a tremendous on the court basketball, but perhaps his greatest achievement today is in the court of public opinion which is now seeing a man who a champion in his own right as he campaigns for a new tomorrow and a better way for today. For this I salute him #stay melo #7 #nyk

The Black Eye On The Black Athlete

Posted in Dining, News, Sports with tags , , , on May 4, 2015 by geniusscribbleink

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Long before Simon Cowell introduced the term “American Idol” to the forefront of pop culture, we were very well aware of the concept of idolizing an individual for his or her given talents in a perspective field. Some talents are considered “God Given”, however until those talents are harvested, honed and polished, they truly are dormant attributes dwelling inside the solitude of your internal DNA. So in retrospect I solute those who are committed to their craft, who sacrifice and pay a tremendous toll in ordered to reap the benefits of the fame, notoriety and financial rewards. I often reference Proverbs 18:16 as I aspire to be a writer, for it states that: “A man’s gift maketh room for him and bringeth him before great men”. I believe this to be the absolute truth, as a man/woman’s gift or talent, can bring them to places that others may only dream of. It can catapult you into a different realm; an unfathomable dreamscape to the said individual, due to the countless hardships one faces on the journey towards the pinnacle of success. Duly noted is the fact that even if you are a savant, there is still a responsibility when trying achieve greatness. A responsibility to both your predecessors and your peers, whose sacrifices beforehand, helped to provide you with very the platform in which you stand upon. Regardless of any achievements, we are all standing on the shoulders of someone else’s prominence. This is why I subscribe to the philosophy that with great power comes great responsibility. Everyone has someone to answer to and acknowledge; a proverbial pecking order one encounters during their epic climb towards the echelon of their zenith. It is during this process that we are admired, critiqued, adored and to some degree; idolized. As it relates to the black athlete, there is an added criteria of also being a role model. In spite of what asinine theory Charles Barkley states, the fact remains that the African-American community still lacks the accoutrements for sustainable and applicable success. So to believe that we don’t require more positive role models is about as ridiculous as believing that the brain can survive without oxygen. The black male is absent inside the household, whether by death or by incarceration. This has spawned an undeniable crippling and rippling effect that is no longer on the table for debate because it is indeed factual. It’s either a Hip Hop artist or an athlete that garners both the admiration and the attention of African-American youth, due to the absenteeism of the black male as an everyday role model. It the athlete/musician who many emulate, simulate and replicate more so than that of the professionally educated. For this blog, I am concentrating on the black athlete; I will save the musicians for another soliloquy at a later date. Now before I go further, let me acknowledge that not all athletes are bad role models. Athletes like Serena Williams, Lebron James, Tim Duncan, and Russell Wilson; all who have kept a clean images for the most part, give the black youth a template for decorum, professionalism and being image conscious. But I would be fallacious if I did not mention the flip side and the reason for this blog entry. There are those who I refer to as the poisonous athlete. The people like Greg Hardy, Ray Rice and Floyd Mayweather Jr., who in my opinion belong on a terrorist watch list for the black community far more than that of any white supremacist for a multitude of reasons. Bravado; I get. Ego; I get. Arrogance; I get. Being brash and a bit cantankerous; I get also. These are common attributes that most great people have in their DNA makeup that makes them elite and usually puts them at the top of their professional field. What I don’t get is the brutal beating of women. What I also do not get is the amount of fans that blindly follow them and idolize them like the prodigal son. I respect Ray Rice for at least coming forth to accept responsibility for his actions; but the fact that a person like Floyd Mayweather Jr. has never come forth and been contrite or apologetic (mind you he’s considered a lethal weapon due to his training) yet hordes of black men and sadly enough, black women follow behind him like he’s a God is disgusting and deplorable. What am I missing? Am I so caught up in my own moral compass to the point that my direction is not on a GPS tracking system? To me it speaks volumes on how we so need more positive role models to the point of possibly suggesting a black version of The Purge on the African-American community in order to rid ourselves of not only the tainted idols, but those minions of followers who still remain clueless to a fault. For far too long we have adhered to the pathway of failure by self-inflicted injury; a malpractice of a botched surgery that has crippled the very legs we stand upon. No one expects perfection, but it is too much to ask for apathy, especially when the lifestyle that you are afforded is due to the public consumption of your said brand. A person with a full stomach does not need to be fed, but perhaps it is time we begin to starve those who benefit from the people, but continue to show that they are not about our people. #it’s time to make a change

Nik Stauskas: White Men Can Jump, Pass & Shoot

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , on October 9, 2014 by geniusscribbleink

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” You can put a cat in an oven, but that don’t make it a biscuit.”-Sidney Deane (White Men Can’t Jump 1992)

The fore mentioned quote that I extracted, was from what many would consider to be one of the most enlightening, yet extremely funny, comical movies of all times: White Men Can’t Jump. The movie starred Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes as two playground basketball hustlers who find themselves unwillingly intertwined in continuous financial mishaps and mindless blunders due to their pension for feeding both a gambling addiction, as well as, egotistical pride. Whether or not you are a fan of basketball or not, this movie is wildly entertaining even to this day. It allows you a peek inside the nuances of everyday life, but it also lends insight into the general psyche and dialogue of basketball players while on the court. Now I for one believe that if this movie was entitled “Black Men Can Only Dunk” that the venom and vitriol Hollywood would have received would have been enough to rival the burning of Chernobyl. However, I digress in saying that there are certain societal allowances that have been deemed acceptable (i.e. White Chicks), although I personally feel it creates a dicey double standard as it pertains to racial insensitivity. Needless to say, certain avenues of controversy can open up a necessary dialogue that brings forth awareness while unveiling the truth in the process. As we examine White Men Can’t Jump, it delves into what many of us think, assume or project an individual to be in accordance to their pigmentation. In an open forum on ESPN, Larry Bird stated “The one thing that always bothered me when I played in the NBA was I really got irritated when they put a white guy on me. I still don’t understand why.” Albeit I’m no pundit of the coaching realm, I am a huge fan of the game of basketball and I can answer Larry Bird’s rhetorical question by stating one noticeable elephant in the room: “Because you are white?” But is this not typical society, where image dictates perception? I reference the human perception to that of The Wizard Of Oz, whereas the polarizing image, coupled with unknown facts, can make a frail, old man standing behind a curtain appear to be Goliath in nature. But do we need Toto to pull at the pant leg to reveal what we have all known for a long time? Blacks have always been thought to be athletically superior and while being intellectually inferior, while Caucasian athletes are believed to be the exact opposite. It was not until Adolph Hitler’s belief in Aryanism, that there would be an adverse challenge to the athletic superiority of the black male; that is until Jesse Owens’ performance in 1936 Berlin Olympics. So when Nik Stauskas of the Sacramento Kings, referenced his race as being a part of the mental scouting report that we all reference, I ask why is this news? Why is this a sudden “shockwave” in the media circuit/circus? Sidney Deane and Billy Hoyle lifted the veil/curtain off of stereotypical theories, the minute Billy Hoyle caught that alley hoop pass from Sidney Deane. But even more so, guys like Larry Bird, Brent Barry, Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Williams, Kevin Love, John Stockton, David Lee, JJ Reddick, Mike Miller, Chandler Parsons completely shatter the unsophisticated premise regarding Caucasian basketball players. In fact I could not name ten black players I would take over Larry Bird period, because he was that damn good. So in conclusion, Nik Stauskas words of controversy are not controversial, they are truthful. I am not sure what the media gains out of conjuring up what has been reported on basketball courts throughout the country for decades. But I find it absurd to just say pigmentation is the only thing on mental scouting reports. Weight, height, age and confidence also dictate how players perceive their opponent to perform prior to setting foot on the hardwood or asphalt. I am sure Zach Randolph (who is black) would be perceived as being overweight and not mobile, that is until you see him play in an actual game and he’s beating your team down like they stole something. So I ask, when has an image not formulated a stereotype? There is no need to even expend your brain matter on an answer because as Junior would say “We goin’ Sizzler, we goin’ Sizzler…” #write about something else

San Antonio Spurs: A Lesson In Globalization

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , , , on June 17, 2014 by geniusscribbleink

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The term globalization is defined as “the process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas, and other aspects of culture.” Two of the supposed “basic core aspects” of globalization is said to be the migration and movement of people and the dissemination of knowledge. Acclaimed Sociologists Martin Albrow and Elizabeth King described globalization as: “All those processes by which the peoples of the world are incorporated into a single world society”. Throughout the vast history of the United States, New York City is often thought to be the center of the world and is said to be the quintessential “melting pot” due to the migration of diverse cultures that migrate to this great metropolis in search of a new life, a new hope and ultimately to live out the so-called “American Dream”. What gets often lost in this country, as we seemingly find the topic of immigration being heavily debated amongst politicians and certain sections of the population at large, is the fact that for the most part, this country’s evolution was in large part due to the lack of borders and the acceptance by Native Americans of all who sought refuge on their land. In other words, before the concept designation and construction of Ellis Island, America for the most part was one gigantic, freestanding “Ellis Island” that was immersed in the ideological aspects of globalization. In our current world, we live in a time in which the world has for the most part shrunk due to the World Wide Web and other tele-communicative devises; however the process by which we seek out our dreams remains the same. And as the old adage goes “we must go where our dreams take us”. In this particular instance, globalization will not be about trade transactions or capital investment. This take on globalization in its truest form, is about two things: Basketball and the players from around the world who migrated to play it. Their destination? San Antonio Texas.

I love to ingratiate myself with people from different cultures because it is the easiest way to touch the entire globe without purchasing a plane ticket. Albeit I am a die-hard NY Knicks fan (don’t worry my wife sends me to counseling for this condition of lunacy) I make no qualms in revealing the envious basketball crush I have on the San Antonio Spurs (we are dating they just don’t know it yet). Their franchise has always exhibited the type of class, professionalism and dignity that any fan of any sports team yearns to cheer for. But what enhances their allure that much more is the fact that they also win championships in the process. I am a person who embraces change in most aspects of life, however I hold a certain stubbornness when it comes to basketball and my theory on how the game should be played. I grew up watching arguably the greatest era of basketball during the 1980s and in turn, I had the privilege of watching what most of us deem as the greatest player ever to play during the 1990s. So for me, I know basketball only one way and that is “the right way”. It’s what dynasties have been founded on and what the history of this great game was solidified upon. Now I’m not dead set on the refusal of change. Let’s face it, my High Definition television forbids me to even compartmentalize the black and white television I grew up viewing that reminds of the scene from the movie Poltergeist (I refuse to look back into the gray and black pixels of the light Carol Ann). In fact I love the newfangled gadgetry of this era. I recognize that time evokes a need for change, but overall it’s hard to change ones system of values. My mother taught me a valuable cliche when assessing a movement towards change. She would say “You don’t go from sugar to sh%t”, meaning you make change for the better and not the worse. I’ll admit that I have been a miserable basketball fan for several years now, as I’ve been pining for a glimmer of hope. A hope that someone would please resuscitate the air back into the orange sphere of Spaulding and dribble the damn ball the “right way”. Well sometimes prayers are answered and sometimes there’s an additional windfall that accompanies the prayer. After a seven-year drought, the San Antonio Spurs captured their fifth world championship of basketball on Sunday and they did so by overthrowing the reigning two-time champions (Miami Heat) in what was perhaps the greatest route in NBA Finals history. This win was done by playing sound, fundamental basketball; all within the context of team concepts. This phenomenal feat also marked that of a philosophical change in the NBA, as this idea of five individuals playing together as a one went completely away from the modern-day, standard, norm of featuring supremely gifted individual talents as a focal point instead. I am also one who likes to “wax poetic” from time to time and wanted to also sensationalize another point of emphasis with regards to the changing of the philosophical guard as well. Not only was the San Antonio Spurs a team oriented team; they are also a team that resembles the philosophy of globalization. When peering down their roster, you will find a collection of globally diverse individuals from many different parts of the world. Tim Duncan was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Tony Parker and Boris Diaw both hail from France. Manu Ginobli is from Argentina. Patty Mills and Aron Baynes are natives of Australia. Rounding out this United Nations mosaic is Marco Bellinelli of Italy, Tiago Splitter of Brazil, Cory Joseph of Canada and of course Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Austin Daye, Matt Bonner, Jeff Ayers and Damian James of the United States of America. This worldly conglomerate, at the command of head coach Gregg Popovich, all convened in the one of the most unlikely place of destination (San Antonio) because they decided to go where their dreams took them. The dream of course was to capture an NBA Championship. I think what we can draw from this is the fact that when there is a common goal and there is a genuine collective effort being put forth to achieve that goal; that the backgrounds, religious beliefs, cultural rituals and language barriers of the individuals should not be deal breakers, but more so mere hurdles to be jumped over and not to be thwarted by. Sports has commonly been known to bring together people from many different economic classes, ethnicities and genders. It is the one time where everyone roots for the home team and against the common enemy at hand. Not that the issues of society can be solved by a lay-up or a three-point shot, however, somehow teams like the San Antonio Spurs have been able to do what no world leader has been able to do, which is gather nations, set a goal and commit to achieving it. I’m not sure what the solution is for the world problems at large, but I do believe that the leaders of the world may want to take a look into Gregg Popovich’s play book for some answers. Some may dismiss this by saying it’s just a game, well I will offer a rebuttal of that by saying don’t many refer to our existence as the “game of life”? Perhaps I’m wild and zany or perhaps I’m just a dreamer of sorts. But this I do know, San Antonio solved my basketball misery, so it’s not so far-fetched that they just may be able solve other issues as well. As children we are taught to “play nice”; but now we just seem to want to “play evil” instead. If we only knew how to play together, then maybe we can start to “play the right way”. #SA World Champs

Racism In The Work Place

Posted in News, Sports with tags , , , on April 29, 2014 by geniusscribbleink

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“Dear Mr. Nigger”,

“I hope you don’t break the Babe’s record. How do I tell my kids that a nigger did it. But it took, more at bats, live ball, and other nigger tricks. I wish you the worst at any thing you do nigger! KKK (forever)”.

How does one conceptualize the ideas of death when it looms over them like an omnipresent dark cloud of terrorism? The relentless tirade of exhaustive torment in knowing that your mere presence at your place of occupational labor would require FBI protection, all but speaks epic volumes about the deep seeded venomous plague that is racism in America. This letter in particular was addressed to baseball legend Henry Aaron during his campaign towards eclipsing the longstanding all time home run record test was then held by the iconic Babe Ruth. This was one of many poisonous darts spewed in the direction of Henry Aaron during this era of social injustices and social unrest. Henry Aaron would also receive countless death threats, one famously known as the “Man In The Red Jacket”, in which a man described in a letter written to Henry Aaron that he would shoot him during a random game and that Henry Aaron would know who he was because he would be wearing a red jacket. This prompted Henry Aaron to tell his teammates not to sit next to him while in the dugout for fear that they too could be victimized by the looming threat of an assailants bullet meant for him. As we are once again amidst yet another racially fueled social matter in the realms of sports with the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers Donald Sterling; I find it extremely shocking that people are actually shocked. We can skip his well renowned history that could be a recipe for Bigotry 101 and go straight to the bigger picture. The bigger picture is one simple ponderous: “What has really changed in America?” We can retort by saying that economically we are afforded greater opportunity of financial gain, however that still does not sever the root on the tree of woes that has existed some 500 plus years. And what has existed for more than 500 years is the tradition of racism. Now have we moved forward from an ancestral perspective? The answer to that question is yes. But is the war over? The answer to that is a resounding “hell no!”. This issue of Donald Sterling was a necessary wake up trumpet for not only African-Americans, but for America as a whole. The money, the fame and the comfort continues to pacify and tranquillize the dragon that has pillaged this great nation for ions with flames of inequality and inhumane treatment. And dare I say that the African-Americans have been part and parcel in contributing to this with minstrel television and minstrel music acts all for the sake of selling out for the almighty dollar. There is a responsibility to educate and become more proactive in our plight towards abolishing racism and moving towards a better tomorrow. It is not just a certain culture or race’s responsibility, it is an American responsibility. In an era that elected the first African-American president only to see a constituent contemporary wag her finger dismissively in his face like an unwanted child, speaks strongly of this country’s temperament and the fact that our work is far from being complete. The Donald Sterlings and the Daniel Snyders of the world need to be made examples of. How racial epithets as logos and plantation mentalities continues to exists in this day and time falls on the lap of Caucasian Americans as well. To remain silent is to accept, your voices in these matters need to come to the forefront as well. #we are a work in progress