JOSH CHILDRESS DOESN’T BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION

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So I was casually browsing the twitter page of Josh Childress aka @JChillin (a twitter handle I assumed would have already been taken by a thirteen-year-old) when I came across the above picture.

Whoa. This was a mystery that needed investigation. I sought out Childress’s alma mater and discovered he WENT TO STANFORD. I know what you’re thinking, “He probably just went for one year like most college players nowadays. This isn’t that big of a deal.”
Well it’s time to stop thinking that thought, hypothetical reader, because it’s wrong! Very wrong. He didn’t go for one year, not two, not three, BUT ACTUALLY GRADUATED

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As you can see Josh is in his cap and gown flashing an unmistakable “just graduated” smile. After discovering this, I assumed that Josh was just playing a joke on ‘ol twitter, pulling our leg with that effortless wit he undoubtably crafted at the most reputable university in the Western United States. However, then I looked deeper at the first picture, notice the privates of the various representations of human evolution are obscured by a subtle black rectangular shape. After soiling his reputation with the concealment of the various evolutionary penises, I decided to check the comments for more clues into this enigma.

To say the plot thickened is to say Van Gogh painted, JChillin confirmed that he is in fact an evolution denier in emphatic fashion with several comments answering his naysayers.

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Standard ignorance through the first few comments, then Chill J-Dawg drops a real bomb; “Where else in nature have we seen the same occurrence? Or are we the only ones to evolve?”

Whoa just whoa.
It appears JChillestHomie missed the day in class where one of Stanford’s reputable and award-winning professors explained how Charles Darwin came to his theory of evolution on the Galápagos Islands after studying the various beaks of finches, who are decidedly not human. Darwin, along with other scientists, then applied the theory to a variety of other animals further strengthening his theory until it reached the widely accepted status it enjoys today.

However, ChillJ69 missed that day and has proven beyond a doubt that when you are tall and can put the ball in the basket, Stanford will let you in to their fine university regardless of your stance on one of the foundational theories of modern science.

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Boom. Roasted. @MDoveton where’s your piece of paper they gave Josh for chillin’ on campus and playing basketball? Where is it? Exactly! It’s nowhere, you idiot! JChillSwagPimpin’ is a learned scholar and you are nothing but a lowly serf fit only to clean the hem of his presumably extra long graduation gown.

JMadStacksChillestOnDaPlanet is expected to release a statement regarding his position on the Earth’s shape later this week, and so the world holds it’s breath to hear from it’s foremost athlete-scholar. To the average person, such matters of the universe would overwhelm our feeble mortal brains, but Josh is not flustered by science, in fact, you could say he’s JChillin.

Enjoy your millions Josh, I’ll get back to studying so that I might get a job if the economy turns around.

In Defense of Pot in the NBA

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In a recent Gallup poll, it was revealed that for the first time a majority (58%) of Americans support the legalization of marijuana. Within ten years, it is reasonable to assume that marijuana will be legal in many, if not all, states in America. If and when marijuana becomes legal, I believe NBA players should be allowed to partake.

In many states, usage of marijuana is for medicinal purposes is already legal, and NBA players should be entitled to use pot for those purposes. Pot, by all indications, is a fine alternative to pharmaceutical pain medication and may even be safer than certain pills. It is as safe, if not safer, for a player to take an edible or inhale some marijuana vapor before a long flight to alleviate a nagging injury and aid sleep as opposed to the player popping pain and sleeping pills to achieve the same effect. By the same toke(n), a player with a long-term painful injury should have the choice of using marijuana as a pain reliever, instead of traditional pharmaceuticals. Marijuana in a medical capacity, would probably be accepted by NBA honchos after a bit of grumbling, however, I think that limiting marijuana usage to medical purposes would not fully utilize the plant’s properties.

The NBA should legalize marijuana in a recreational capacity as well.

Legalization for recreational purposes would appeal to players for obvious reasons, as I’m sure there are some NBA players who wouldn’t mind getting a little high for whatever reason. I’m looking at you J.R. Smith.

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Klay Thompson

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Michael Beasley

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However jokes aside, I think recreational marijuana has benefits for team owners and other members of the NBA who are concerned with the league’s image. Marijuana offers an alternative to the standard practice of NBA players hitting the clubs and partaking in some alcoholic beverages. This ritual has resulted in embarrassing player conduct like bar fights, drunk driving, and unsavory relations with unsavory ladies.

If pot were legalized, instead of going out and potentially damaging their reputation or bodies, players could stay in, order a movie, and partake in some cannabis to unwind from the stresses of the NBA. In fact, teammates smoking marijuana together could improve friendships and chemistry on the court. Furthermore, due to the drug’s other side effects, pot, unlike alcohol, would encourage players to hydrate and go to bed early. Finally, since marijuana ingestion technology has advanced to vaporizers and the like, players would not need to worry about the smoke affecting their lungs and stamina.

Obviously, there would need to be guidelines that prevent players from rolling up to practice or other team events blazed and if it can be proven that marijuana negatively affects play, the privilege of smoking could be taken away. Furthermore, players would not be allowed to be outrageously high in public just as they are not allowed to be belligerently drunk. After all, these players are multi-million dollar investments that should be performing at their highest level and marijuana should not be allowed to affect that performance any more than alcohol or any other legal drug that a player is currently allowed to ingest. 

Although there will be players who abuse marijuana’s legalization, I think once the policy has been in place for a few months, there would be very few negative incidents involving the drug and less than there are involving alcohol. Marijuana is an effective pain reliever, a safer alternative to alcohol, and should be legal in the NBA as soon as it is legal in the United States. The NBA can continue to live in the age of misinformation and stigmatization of marijuana or it can be a leader in increased awareness of the drug and improve the league by embracing the medical and recreational uses of the plant.

If not, players will just continue to use it illegally as they always have, isn’t that right Bill?

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Rudy Gay to the Kings

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In an unexpected move, Rudy Gay is now a member of the Sacramento Kings

Sacramento gave up borderline starters Patrick Patterson and Grievous Vazquez and bonafide scrubs John Salmons and Chuck Hayes and will receive Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy, in addition to Gay.

For the Raptors, they get rid of Rudy Gay’s contract and his abysmal shot selection and receive players who will aid them greatly in their tanking efforts. If they play Salmons and Hayes for over ten minutes a game they may not win another game this season. Those two were washed up years ago and have rotted to the point where their putrid carcasses give off a strong stench of incompetence that can be smelled from many miles away. They are a potent one-two punch of terrible that will mentor the young Raptor players in the art of making it look like you’re giving enough of an effort to receive a paycheck. The Raptors have guaranteed themselves a very high draft pick with this trade and gained a couple of tradable assests/fairly competent basketball players in Vazquez and Patterson.

Now for the Kings, who are the ones actually taking a risk by committing to this inconsistent and inefficient semi-star.

The Kings are dedicated to changing the losing culture that has saturated deeply into the foundation of Sleep Train Arena in recent years. Gay is a similar acquisition to Derrick Williams in that both players at one point in their career were highly valued and have lost that value since. The Kings gave up players that were not crucial to their long term plan for a potentially team-changing player in Gay. Rudy’s shot selection of late has been laughably awful, but nonetheless he can be a very productive player who scores in bunches. He brings a shot creation ability and athleticism that could make the Kings very exciting.

Theoretically, the Kings new starting line up is Isaiah Thomas, Ben McLemore, Rudy Gay, Derrick Williams, and Boogie Cousins. That lineup has a whole lot of athleticism surrounding a dominant big man. Defense will be an issue especially against larger post-based power forwards like Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge who will probably have their way offensively with either Gay or Williams. However, offensively the Kings have added a dynamic scorer who in the right system is a borderline All-Star. Additionally, the non-Boogie players are frighteningly athletic and can create a new exciting style of play that could change things around in Sacramento.

Best Case Scenario: Sacramento takes some lumps this season, allows that five to grow together, and misses the playoffs by a fair margin. Gay, Williams and McLemore all live up to their potential and form an impressively athletic trio that disrupts other team’s offenses and throws down nasty dunks. The Kings luck out in the draft, score a franchise player, and execute another trade that ships Jimmer somewhere he can get a fresh start and improves the bench. Should that occur I think the Kings are a playoff contender for as long as Boogie Cousins is in town and the fans start packing the new arena with a feverous passion.

Worst Case Scenario: Boogie and Gay clash over who gets the lion’s share of possessions and the feud comes to a head when Boogie murders Rudy with his bare hands after Rudy chucks up his fifteenth straight off-balance long two of the game. But in all seriousness, it’s very possible that chemistry never develops, all three of the upside players never meet their full potential, and the Kings get set back another decade in terms of putting a winning team on the floor.

However, these are necessary risks for the Kings who desperately need to change the team’s culture if they stand any chance of becoming relevant in the NBA again. This trade has it’s risks, but it actually could work out and the Kings could be talked about in NBA circles outside of mockery. The Kings could develop a small-ball, fast-breaking, and outrageously athletic identity that excites and wins games. This trade could be the moment that professional basketball turns around in Sacramento.

Or it could be a tremendous disaster.

Either way, welcome to Sacramento Rudy, we’re happy to have you, please don’t fuck us over.

Magic and Bird

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Magic and Bird not only saved the NBA during a period of unpopularity, but also opened up the country to discuss race in a meaningful and productive way. Some saw the two rivals as the manifestation of the White and Black racial struggles within America at the time, and used them as rallying points of racism. However, the majority of America profited from seeing two men, one white and one black, on a national stage, who were for all intents and purposes, equals. 

When Americans of all races tuned in to watch the NBA, we gained a subject of mutual interest. Black and White schoolchildren would not feel as though they have nothing in common to talk about when they can discuss how the Lakers or Celtics game went last night. Furthermore, kids who were inspired to play basketball by the two superstars would enter a sport with an interracial population of players and form relationships with members of the other race. Basketball alone is not enough to change the national culture, but when blacks and whites can get together over basketball, it is likely that the conversation will turn to other areas of life as well and presumptions about the other race can begin to fall away. Magic and Bird being equals opened the door for relationships to form on equal ground between people of different races.

A problem that does arise and is mentioned in the Spike Lee Movie, “Do the Right Thing” is that like Denzel, Oprah, and Obama after him, Magic is seen as an exception to the rule in the black community. In the movie, John Turturro’s character’s favorite basketball player is Magic, but he still calls members of the black community “niggers,” and looks down upon black people as a whole. This is a dangerous sentiment, but is one that has been prevalent in our society in the past and continues to this day. It claims that since these exceptional people have achieved so much, that reform is unnecessary and the problem of race has been solved in our country. If only blacks worked harder, they could be just as successful as Magic or Obama. It ignores the rampant racism that exists in the privacy of job interviews, loan applications, and classrooms that stacks the deck against the members of the black community. It is inaccurate, discriminatory, and gives the illusion of progress when much more is needed. 

However, it is the way that a large amount of the American populace thinks and it, for better or worse, shapes our national culture. The road to racial equality in this country is long, but when the mind of one person is changed, then a step is taken towards that goal. Our country needs to recognize more black people who are exceptional like Magic, because then we can realize that they are not rare.  When Magic played just as well as Bird, the exceptional black person became less rare. When Oprah became the voice for an entire generation of women, the exceptional black person became less rare. When Obama gained the nation’s trust and led our country the exceptional black person became less rare. Hopefully one day it will become clear to the American populace that the exceptional black person is not an abnormality, but a natural occurrence when a person of great talent is given the opportunity to succeed. 

Now, obviously not every black person can live up to the lofty standards of Magic, Oprah, or Obama just as every white person can not live up to the lives of Bird, Madonna, or Lincoln, but it shows that greatness is not limited to one race. If we can set aside our prejudices and work to bridge the gap between whites and blacks in terms of income, education, housing, and healthcare, black people will be able to excel at the same rate as their white peers because they have been given equal opportunity not just in law, but also in practice. We must recognize that black people are unequal in this country not because of a lack of work ethic or some other false reasoning born out of racism, but due to social constructs blocking their path. When we recognize this and begin to tear down those social constructs, the black person who achieves will not be looked at with astonishment, but with appreciation for their work.

Magic and Bird did not end racism in this country, but they started conversations. Their games did not change the minds of overt racists overnight, but it might have caused their children to question the status of the black man in America. Their friendship did not start a wave of interracial brotherhood in America, but it proved that a black man and white man could look at each other with respect and as equals. Magic and Bird proved that Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream was possible. On and off the court, it never mattered to either of them what the color of the other guy’s skin was, what mattered was the content of the other’s character. When they saw who the other man really was, it didn’t led to division, it led to love. We may not be able to replicate the feats of basketball greatness that Magic and Bird accomplished, but it does not take transcendent skill to create a brotherhood like they have. All it takes is understanding.

An evening with King Push

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Last night at 5:30 I received a message telling me that Pusha T was coming to Sacramento. By 7:30, I was in the door eagerly awaiting a man whose discography I had just devoured in two hours.

Pusha is the newest member of G.O.O.D. Music, a subsidiary of Kanye Inc., and you know him from his features on So Appalled, Runaway, and Mercy, three monumental tracks where he more than holds his own. He recently released “My Name is My Name” his boisterous, emphatic, and trappy first album which has generated a fair amount of buzz. Safe to say King Push (his nickname) can bring the ruckus and I was ready to receive. However, the ruckus would be delayed as Pusha did not come onstage until 10:45, which for those counting at home, is over THREE HOURS from when I arrived.

That time was filled by a myriad of opening acts, which the crowd received with increasing hostility as legs grew tired and pregame buzzes began wearing off.

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This opener, whose name I didn’t catch, consisted of at least 8 dudes onstage with only 1 member of the entourage who actually rapped. However, the rapper only dropped a couple of bars before rejoining his friends to smoke and check their phones onstage while music, presumably for him to rap over, continued. I don’t think anyone had any ideas as to what was supposed to be happening during this time and the loitering went on for about fifteen minutes before the M.C. kicked them off.

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Suave Debonair consisted of three heavy set men who kicked things off by tossing dozens of Capri Suns into the crowd. The Rick Rossian rappers moved with surprising agility and had a hook that sampled “FACE DOWN ASS UP THATS THE WAY I LIKE TO FUCK” which created a nightmare worthy mental image. The child who is partially visible in the picture was present for about an hour onstage and treated the audience to some adorable break-dancing despite the large amounts of weed smoke and alcohol present. It was strange and probably unsafe, but who am I to question a father’s parenting decisions?

The other acts ranged from above average to terrible and were concluded by Sacramento’s finest, Jay Cyrus, who infused life into a crowd that had just tossed the last act’s free CDs back onstage.

Finally, Pusha T arrived.

Pusha displayed his dominance and rapped with an unbridled aggression that demanded the audiences attention for his whole set. He wore all black and sported intricate braids, two Jesus pieces, and a small pot belly. He dropped all his Kanye features, all of which exceeded expectations, especially Mercy, which is a song that needs to be heard live in a raucous crowd to be fully appreciated. He played songs off his mixtape, which the majority of the crowd hadn’t heard, but fully appreciated. He shouted stuff like “I heard Sacramento has a lot of REAL NIGGAS,” and sweated up a storm before closing with his only no-feature song off “My Name is My Name”, “Numbers on the Board”, which proclaims his proficiency in rap over one of the dopest beats of the year.

King Push put on a show that made me a subject in his kingdom and I left hoarse, exhausted, and satisfied. Pusha T is here to stay and I sense his reign will be a benevolent one as he brings a toughness and street cred that is lacking in the game at the moment.

Last night, I learned I needed to do two things: show up later to rap shows in smaller venues and acquire more of Pusha’s music.