Monday, July 6, 2009

Ron Artest Misses MJ, Too

I don't normally post stuff like this because I try to keep it PG, so you have been warned that there is strong language that some may find offensive.

But Ron Artest has the right to give Michael Jackson a tribute, which I happened to have discovered on the eve of MJ's memorial service. Ron has never disappointed me. Ever.

Monday, June 29, 2009

GYGM: Who's Bad?

Wow, I can't believe I haven't posted at all in the month of June...

Well, now is as good a time as any to post a GYGM (I know it has been a long time). I promise I'll be back to posting in the near term (even though NBA is done, I have some thoughts on the trades and draft picks...and what I think will continue to be an interesting summer for all of those...)

But I had to give all due respect to what I can safely say is the greatest entertainer of all time. Everything else has already been said.

It's funny that LeBron mentioned during the BET Awards last night that MJ did a lot for basketball, as he may have not considered the veracity of his statement, but he is right. Michael Jackson's influence across all forms of entertainment certainly paved the way for others (black, white and other) from sports to music to movies and television.

Thanks for the memories, MJ.

Friday, May 29, 2009

A (Derrick) Rose By Any Other Name *Is* Just As Sweet

I'm working on very little sleep but had a few things on my mind and needed to vent (I have the good fortune of needing to unwind and watch TV when I get home, no matter how late it is...), so here goes:

As we all suspected, the University of Memphis basketball player whom the NCAA is investigating about his involvement with some academic integrity issues (i.e., having someone else take the SAT in his stead and changing a high school grade from a D to a C) is none other than your now-NBA (Sprite? KIA? Quicken Loans? (not just yet)) Rookie of the Year, Derrick Rose. Of course they're interviewing everyone under the sun from the NCAA to students at Memphis to the NBA to discuss the potential impact of this. I just heard a lawyer explain why all of his endorsers are watching this closely and yada yada yada. I don't have the time to get into this like I'd like to so I may need to revisit, but needless to say if you've been here before, I find this all to be a bit ridiculous. Rose actually seems reasonably intelligent and learned, but even given that, let's be honest: did Memphis really recruit him for his academic prowess? Is he the only athlete who has ever had a grade changed? Sure, it's not a good thing to have someone take the SAT for you, and there should be punishment for that.

But that's not what this is about. I don't know if people truly understood the great lengths that the NCAA goes to pursue their goals of free labor and higher revenues. They have succeeded in convincing people that they have a genuine interest in the education of their athletes and that playing for nothing more than the "love of the game" (while the schools and the organization rake in millions of dollars every year) is sports at its most "pure." And, oh yeah, that "one and done" rule the NBA adopted? Well, one year of going to class and socialization is better than none, right? Two years would just be overkill.

When I was in law school, having played college sports myself, I considered filing a lawsuit on behalf of other NCAA student-athletes to get the organization to change its oppressive system but then I realized that I wasn't the first person who had tried nor would I be the last. Instead, I settled for writing a paper on the topic. And, thankfully for the NCAA, I'm not a big fan of litigation. Ha.

But the point remains the same: Everybody in and around basketball knows the deal. It's not that these kids are dumb, it's that people don't even want them to try for fear that they won't succeed and, therefore, won't be able to play. (Then we wonder why they have trouble trying to balance life as an adult...) How genuinely surprised would folks in the NCAA or NBA, or companies handing out these millions of endorsement dollars really be if it turned out that every single NBA star had received a grade they didn't deserve at some point in their scholastic careers? Considering that people representing each and every single one of these groups have been following these kids since they were in 7th and 8th grade, I'd have to say not many. No one can claim they were left in the dark, and in many cases, these same folks now crying foul (no pun intended) were the ones providing the "light." After all, the [insert name of basketball shoe/clothing company] guy who came to all of their high school games is the same guy who connects the kid with his college team, which team often leads him to his NBA agent, who leads the kid back to the shoe/clothing guy. Given all of this, I find it hard to believe that the NBA, NCAA and endorsers are banking on the fact that these kids are actually doing their own work; rather, I'd say they're banking on you and I not thinking about that.

Now, the NCAA wants to strip Memphis of the games they won (including their tournament run) if they find these allegations are true. But even if they take away the games from the "record books" (they must be kept in a library and not on the Internets), there will always be an asterisk there, not to mention that people have memories - they can't quite erase those.

So if the NCAA, the NBA (the "A" apparently used to stand for "academia"), and Rose's endorsers decide to distance themselves from him now that he (and more likely, if this is true, the others around him) allegedly had low academic integrity a few years ago (he is a pro now, last I checked), that's fine. As long as they don't mind being called on the hypocrisy.

I've got at least one more bone to pick this week. Stay tuned . . .

Monday, May 4, 2009

MYSM . . . A Little Bit Late

Funny stuff. Congrats to King James on the MVP award.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Title This One: "And Sometimes She Blogs, Too"

So many of my convos involve sports these days, I am starting to believe that it's just a more enjoyable forum to do what I like to do most: analyze things. Here are a few things I've been talking about:

1. Kudos to those of you who correctly guessed - on the blog and off - Ray Allen, aka Jesus Shuttlesworth, as the "smart guy" in Saturday's Quickie. I wrote the Quickie after finally seeing his PSA with his wife and son who has diabetes about the JDRF, which I thought might help you all figure out who I was talking about, but what do I know. If you read the blog, you know that I don't often support "hype" but trust me when I say this guy is the real deal . . . and rare. First Kevin Garnett, then Ray Allen. Who's next?

2. Carlos Boozer just said he would like to be a Utah Jazz next season. HA. I will believe it when I see it. It's funny because people had him going to the Pistons when they seemed like a title contender but now that they've effectively blown themselves up, he probably feels he's a lot closer to winning in Utah than he is to winning one in Detroit. I can't say I blame him since he isn't getting any younger and the Pistons are at least a few years away from a championship . . . yet I'm not certain Jerry Sloan can get over the "always a bridesmaid" hump with Utah, but some people feel better about at least coming close even if they never win. Not me. When my team gets to the finals and loses repeatedly, it's bad for my blood pressure, and it just plain sucks. I don't know how Portland Trailblazers fans did it back in the day. If they just stink, then at least I know what I'm getting. I can't be alone in this . . .

3. Unless you're a sports writer/reporter, a prospective player (or a member of said prospective player's massive entourage . . . ) - basically, employed in some way by the NFL either indirectly or directly, the NFL draft is somewhat of a snooze fest. How anyone can retain interest in watching 240 guys get picked is beyond me. Most people I know don't watch past the first 10 to 15 picks, and only listen out for their own teams picks. I mean, there are so many people to choose from, let's just admit this is sort of a random crapshoot after the first round or so, eh? Or admit that the way the players in the later rounds are picked is based on some criteria like, say, "finished 2nd in the 40 behind the guy who tested positive for weed during the combine." And these late picks may well be the guys who mean the most to the team in the long run. I think any GM who continually makes successful picks in the draft deserves a bonus just for that.

4. Derrick Rose! Show them why you were #1! I'm happy to see him rising to the occasion in his first playoff series, especially after the way he and Memphis let the championship slip from their grasp in the '08 NCAA final. Perhaps that was just a freshman mistake . . . only time will tell.

5. They're still showing Michael Vick's rescued dogs in segments on national news shows. The one I just watched (no idea what channel it was) featured a woman who was taking her Vick rescued dog to a trainer to help with its behavioral problems. And while this is still ongoing, she's bringing the dog around her small children. The interviewer asked her about this and she indicated that she wasn't concerned because of all the love and attention the dog was now receiving. Well, here's an anecdote for her: Recently, I was running out the door and left some chicken out on my stove in an aluminum tray. When I returned home, I discovered that my small-ish dog somehow managed to jump up on the stove, knock the tray down, and eat all of the chicken and most of the aluminum foil that was underneath it . . . all of which she managed to expel over the course of the next twelve hours. This is only the second time this has happened in the time I've had her, the first being nearly four years ago when she and her partner in crime jacked a Christmas ham. The moral of the story is this: dogs will be dogs so watch your back. . . and at least wait for the dog to complete the training before you loose it on your kids. I'm certain she wouldn't have allowed it around her kids if we were talking about a human who was trained to only kill people . . .

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Quickie: The Smart Guy

It's nice to be able to write something positive about a superstar.

I don't know why all of the ones I've been running into are basketball players but maybe football players aren't as visible to me (although come to think of it, I did see one of those, too, but I didn't talk to him so it's not worth mentioning). Anyway, on with the story.

I've never been a huge fan of him, not because of his personality or anything like that, but just because he has been on team(s) I could never root for (not if I wanted to go back home, that is). But I had the absolute pleasure of randomly chit-chatting with this NBA superstar and I must say, he was quite impressive. He seems like an intelligent guy on TV, even in his "holy role," but he's not just smart, he puts his money and time where his mouth is, and encourages his teammates to do the same.

In a 20 minute convo with him and another sports figure, basketball was not on the agenda. Instead, we discussed topics such as why our society is in poor health. By all accounts, he is a rare breed indeed in any sport, but every team could use a guy like him in their locker room.

The sky is definitely the limit when it comes to his post-NBA vocation.

If this isn't easy enough, I'll add that he and his team are in the playoffs.

Monday, April 20, 2009

MYSM: Walk-In Closets

As one might imagine, as a chick who really likes sports, I'm not a fan of stereotypes but this is pretty amusing.

Happy Monday!