Friday, April 29, 2011

Just incase you were wondering... Marquis Daniels wasn't interested in the Royal Wedding.

So me and my friend were coolin out at work yesterday... It was homework time at after school, so we were holding down fort in the computer lab, making sure the kids were doing what they needed to do. My friend is obsessed with the Royal Wedding. She couldn't wait to watch, say things like "pish posh, bloody hell and sodding cow," and she was dying to know what Kate's dress would look like. She was on the computer reading about the then pending nuptials, and I was on twitter. The idea was then born that we should ask Marquis Daniels his thoughts on the wedding. And we did: 
To which he replied: 
What a nice guy. No word on whether or not he thinks Kate Middleton is a banger... But I'm sure he does, seeing as she looked absolutely gorgeous and her dress was stunning. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The latest on Shaq and what Glen Davis did with his 2 days off after sweeping the Knicks

Nothing we haven't heard before.
Not surprising. 

Jackie MacMullan throws the ultimate gauntlet down on Jeff Green

For Celtics fans missing this scowl and all of its intensity:
Being asked to replace it with stoicism such as this has been a tough sell:

MacMullan eloquently presents the argument that the upcoming series against Miami will be Jeff Green's time to prove his worth on this team. She paints the picture of Boston fans impatiently waiting to see what made Green so valuable that he was worth trading Kendrick Perkins away for, "discerning New Englanders have stood stiffly with their arms folded and lips pursed waiting for proof that Green's presence enhances the Boston Celtics' chances of still being 'championship driven.'" 

It is indisputable that Jeff Green is in a tough place here. He is being asked to make himself over as a player, and do so in a drastic reduction of minutes from what he played in Oklahoma City. He's supposed to be the spark off the bench, to be offensively versatile, to maintain any lead compiled by the starters, to be comfortable playing in a myriad of different lineups at different positions- oh, and while he's doing all of this, he's supposed to be guarding the best player on the other team, so Paul Pierce and Ray Allen can catch their breath. And don't forget- we're supposed to be winning a championship here, so the margin for error is nonexistent and the pressure is off the charts. To expect him to be immediately effective is unrealistic, but in his short time here, he has displayed tremendous athletic ability and a willingness to try and morph in to the player the Celtics need him to be. He also played stints of successful defense against Carmelo Anthony during the first round of the playoffs, which is perhaps what prompted MacMullan to throw the gauntlet down on him. With Lebron James seemingly looming near in the Celtics future, expectations for Green will continue to rise, and, "If Jeff Green has anything to do with sending LeBron and the boys packing, the discerning fans' stiff arms won't be folded anymore. New England will embrace him as one of its own. But, if it goes the other way, the poker-faced forward better be ready. Those pursed lips know how to boo, too."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The case of Lebron

I first came upon this piece written by Ethan Strauss of ESPN on Reds Army. The writer at Reds Army highlighted this part of the article:

A title victory protects an athlete. Don’t have a ring? Likability is the next best defense. If fans identify with a star, they’re less inclined to impugn him. Steve Nash has eluded the cruel “choker” tag, despite many playoff exits. My assumption is that sportswriters and fans are more likely to empathize with someone who looks like them. It helps that Nash plays a beautiful game and exudes charisma. So, it makes sense that much of the media narrative surrounding him revolves around how the Suns have failed him -- not the other way around. 

LeBron James does not look like most media members, or a majority of the fans. He irritated significant numbers with the tone-deaf Decision and what many felt was a power play. The angry masses were further enraged by the local celebration of Miami’s free-agent haul. Should LeBron fail, should his team fail, mockery will write history. 

The implication here is clear: Mr. Strauss believes that much of the criticism Lebron received as a result of the soap opera that was, "The Decision," was because he was black and the majority of NBA fans and members of the media are white. The writer at Reds Army dismissed this argument as tired and disgusting. That writer argued Lebron was criticized because he acted obnoxiously and alienated his fan base by acting so pompously. 

I have to side with Mr. Strauss. He brings up a point that I should be more widely talked about, and that is the racial makeup of the majority of the fans verses the majority of the players. I'm actually not comfortable calling the majority of the fans white- I believe that the fan base is extremely diverse, but the exorbitant price of tickets causes the population in stadiums watching games live to be homogeneous, and unrepresentative of the heterogeneity of the actual fan population. There is no denying that at the game, there is a stark contrast in the makeup of the audience versus the makeup of the teams competing against each other. I'd be lying if I said that at times, the dynamic created by this difference hadn't made me uncomfortable. It most certainly has. The obsession of Brian Scalabrine made me extremely wary, just like the Boston crowds eager readiness to embrace Luke Harangody did. I mean- why Luke? Why were there chants of "Luuuuuke" for him, and why did everyone go crazy when, on the rare occasions he played, he scored? That same enthusiasm simply isn't there for Avery Bradley when he checks in to the game. 

Our country may be transforming in to an increasingly multicultural place, but a lot of us still exist in worlds where our neighbors look the same as us, our children attend schools where the majority of their peers look like them, and our circle of friends are made up of people who look like us. Professional sports do not exist in a vacuum. The prejudices and preconceived notions (conscious or not) that we all carry with us every day are not checked at the door. 

Lebron, in so openly (and yes, obnoxiously) abusing his power as a beloved figure in Ohio, disrupted the unspoken hegemonic code in our country. Would a white sports figure who committed similar transgressions and PR blunders be continually crucified as Lebron has been? It's an argument with no definitive answer, because the white equivalent to Lebron does not exist and because the amount of attention paid to free agency has increased heavily due to social media and a new emphasis on fan participation to increase viewership. In pondering the question in my own mind, I don't think the scrutiny would have been the same for a white player. We're told that we live in a "color blind world," but such a claim is insulting- racism is still very much alive in 2011. It is intricately sewn in to public policy and present in every facet of political discourse and determining who has clout and who does not. It is why so many balked at Lebron and the spectacle he created in exerting all of the power he held. 

My sister helped me with this article, and for that, she deserves this wonderful public recognition and lavish praise.

Mediatakeout accuses Ray Allen of cheating

What a tasteless and silly website. I don't know why I even visit it, because it seems like they just make stuff up out of thin air and claim it's true. Wamp wamp to them. Anyway, they found this picture of Ray at a pizza place:
Well. They're right. That is in fact, not his wife. They claim that Ray was spotted with this woman Friday night after Celtics-Knicks and that they had dinner together, and this somehow means he's cheating on his wife. Seems silly to me. First of all, it's not clear that he's even with that lady. He could have just been standing next to her. Second of all, she could be anyone- a publicist, a family friend... Anyone. I don't buy it. Must be a slow gossip day. 

Tony Allen REALLY loves being on the Grizzlies.

Wow T.A., wow. But you know what? I appreciate his enthusiasm and excitement. Shout out to my team for kicking complete butt in the first round and wowing me with their play, but I have to be a bit of a debbie downer here and say that I miss the days of T.A. freaking out on the bench. Nate Robinson too. Nowadays everybody just sits on the bench and claps civilly. 

Speaking of being civil... Tony Allen isn't about that, and as Celtics fans will remember from his days in green, he never was. He is and always has been, a wild boy, and that's one of the things you love about him when he's playing well, and what drives you crazy about him when he's stinking it up. As you may remember, earlier in the year, he punched teammate OJ Mayo in the face. Well, he's stopped taking shots at members on his own team, and now directs them towards people on the Grizzlies first round opponent, the Spurs... Namely Manu Ginobili. It seems that TA doesn't buy Ginobili's alleged "arm injury," and he believes that Manu is milking it so that the Grizzlies will lay off him: "He ain't playing like his arms hurt. I think that's all for the birds right there. I don't think nothing is wrong with him." Oh, TA. I personally love comments like that. If I was a Spurs fan, it would piss me off, because I'm pretty sure Manu is too much of a competitor to fake an injury and TA is probably just saying it to get under Manu's skin... But if I was a Grizzlies fan? That's exactly what I want to hear from my guys. This is kind of random, but I wish TA could pass some of that mean-ness off to Jeff Green. I wish Jeff Green would take the poker face off sometimes, and be a little mean or animated. But hey. We all have our own styles I guess. 

Hoopz gave Shaq a piggy back.

Ow. That hurts just to think about. But it happened- there's proof:
I think these two are so cute together.
She looks like an official cheerleader in that one... Which she is: 

Loves it!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dwight Howard is not effing around.

Not only has he been ballin' out of control for Orlando during round 1 of the playoffs (Paging anyone else on the Magic... Please show up if you have any interest in advancing), but he's going after money owed to him by Royce Reed, the mother of his child. Dwight previously sued Royce because she was talking trash about him in the media, and was awarded $500,000. Apparently Royce didn't pay up, because according to Dwight Howard and his legal team- she now owes him $551,606.74. Why the increase in amount, you might ask? Interest is a b*tch.
I doubt Dwight will be seeing that money any time soon... But she must be working with a little something- why else would she still be on Basketball Wives if she wasn't getting paid? Oh, and speaking of the Basketball "Wives" (quotes because none of them are actually married)- they were invited to an event in Miami called the AMG Beach Polo World Cup this weekend, and a fight broke out. No word yet on what caused the altercation... But it's a hot mess in the street nonetheless.  It looks like Royce was holding Tami back. Good luck with that.