Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Knicks are Happy, For Now

The 2016-2017 NBA Season wraps up for now. You can argue that no one is happier than the New York Knicks.

They are definitely not playoff bound, are in the upper portion of the draft lottery. They have had more drama than The Young and The Restless and Scandal combined this season.

It started with Phil Jackson calling LeBron James and his teammates "a posse." Derrick Rose is always a big storyline with his nagging injuries, but then he suddenly goes missing and none of the coaches know.  Then Phil has had a season long saga with Carmelo Anthony. Many thought he was be traded but never was. Of course you had the Madison Square Garden scuffle between former player Charles Oakley and the Knicks owner that drew even more media attention than the Knicks already receive. Last but not least Joakim Noah  (who knew where Rose was when he went AWOL) gets suspended for taking banned substances.

The Knicks are a far cry from their 90s Patrick Ewing teams and their two time champion teams of the early 70s. They are an embarrassment on and off the court. You have to be as true of a fan as Spike Lee to still be rolling with them.

The owner and the possible lame duck Phil Jackson have some serious reevaluating to do during the off-season. Bringing in better players and All-Stars is a start. Having players that will play together and fit the offensive and defensive schemes is way better.

The Knicks, like the Lakers and other major market teams, will always have the microscope on them. Despite the saying, not all publicity is good publicity. The Knickerbockers have quite an image to rebuild. They need more of an identity other than losers, troublemakers or drama queens.

They are definitely relieved, for now. However, fans, coaches, players and of course the city of New York.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Take Me To The Well

This was another exciting, suspenseful March Madness, even moreso for the Carolinas. The quaint, upstate city of Greenville, SC finally got to host first and second round games once again at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in downtown. This was the first time in 15 years the Palmetto State was able to do this. The removal of the controversial Confederate Flag from the state capital grounds, coupled with the HB2 bathroom bill from North Carolina, made this all possible.

Duke, North and South Carolina played there and tickets sold out for that Friday and Sunday faster than in any other city. Greenville and "The Well" put on a very first class venue, admist a Confederate Flag supporter from across the way.

"The Well" has grown in popularity over the years. Formerly called the BiLo center, events and concerts are regularly held there. The Harlem Globetrotters, several country music stars such as Luke Bryan and Brad Paisley, and even the late Prince. It's a great venue and an awesome uptown to have these caliber of events.

This didn't matter to the NCAA while the Confederate Flag was flying 100 miles south in Columbia. In 2015, Governor Nikki Haley decided it be removed in the wake of the Charleston 9 mass shooting.

Then last year, HB2 was passed by North Carolina, ruining NCAA events for their entire state as well. The flag was down and HB2 was still in effect so the league decided to give Greenville and The Well another chance.

Hopefully more games will come to Greenville in the future, potentially a preseason NIT.  Yes now HB2 has been repealed in NC. SC should still get more opportunities as well. The Well is an awesome venue but Columbia and Charleston are also good host cities and fine for tourists and fans.

Greenville still has work to do regarding their roads, especially at the 85/385 intersections. They currently have crews working around the clock to improve traffic flow. It's obvious they want more money into their city and a more positive image for the state.

Therefore, take me to "The Well" for any sporting event. I feel confident the NCAA echoes my sediments.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Darius Rucker may be the most notable Gamecock supporter, except for?

The South Carolina Gamecocks men's basketball team have made quite a run in this year's NCAAs, appearing in their first ever Final Four. Not to be discounted, the women's basketball team is making their second appearance in the Final Four. It's definitely a great time to be a Gamecock.

South Carolina has several notable alums and boosters, including George Rogers, Sidney Rice, and Alex English. The one that's in the spotlight the most is Darius Rucker.

This country music star and former lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish has supported the University of South Carolina as well as anyone. He attends nearly every sporting event, especially football, basketball and baseball. He has been with them through the highs and the many lows.  The camera was definitely on him Sunday afternoon as the Gamecocks won in dramatic fashion over SEC rival the University of Florida. He was in dramatic, Crying Jordan meme tears. He is extremely emotional regarding his Gamecocks.

The Gamecocks' success has brought former Gamecock and NBA Hall of Famer Alex English out in the spotlight more. Rucker is used to it, but English has been more low-key. English has been seen in Greenville, SC and New York City, texting all of his friends and other Gamecock alums. He is arguably the best and most notable Gamecock men's basketball player and this success has made him so happy, seeing how he or former coach Frank McGuire never saw the program reach these heights.

The Gamecocks face 1 loss Gonzaga in the Final Four Saturday in Phoenix, AZ. Both English and Rucker are expected to be in attendance at Saturday's game, and possibly Monday's game should the Gamecocks win.

Fans are fans in good and bad times. There has been no bandwagoning with Rucker or English. It would be great to see either, or both basketball programs take it all. Rucker may not have enough tissue or handkerchiefs for all of the tears he will shed.

Both have been equally passionate in their professional careers. Now if more of us could be that passionate about, well, anything. Imagine what you could accomplish.

Maybe this all could spawn a Grammy winning album for Rucker, who is more than an accomplished musician. He, along with English, are definitely  true to their school.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Steph Curry has toughened his regime due to being a target

Yes we're in March Madness and everyone's brackets are busted due to many upsets and mid seedings.

Nine years ago, Golden State Warriors guard and two time reigning MVP Stephen Curry was on a bracket busting Davidson Wildcats team that barely lost to eventual champ Kansas in the 2008 Elite Eight.

It was at that point that he was no longer Dell Curry's son, a former NBA guard himself. He had formed his own legend, which led him to being drafted 6th overall in 2009 by the same Warriors.

Despite criticisms about his ankle, size, and level of competition he faced, I knew Steph was the real deal. I watched him in person for $10 play against Wofford College. He dropped 40 on them that night, making it look easy.

Fast forward to now, 2017. He not only has formed a brand for himself, his team, franchise and even family  (wife, Ayesha and young daughters), he has had to get stronger and tougher.

This began to surface last season in the 2016 NBA Finals, when he was so frustrated with the officiating and his friend off the court LeBron James that he threw his mouthpiece that regularly hangs from his mouth. He was uncharacteristically ejected and fined $25,000. The other night, he and Russell Westbrook traded some shoves and pushes, as Russ is the leading MVP candidate this season and has become a rival for Steph.

Steph went from undersized underdog to NBA superstar with a deadly shot. So yes other teams and players will come at him and taunt him nightly. For the most part he and his teammates have handled it well. Steph has to act out and show the NBA that he will not stand for it, or be unfairly harassed. He is a tough guy, and also has his tweeting wife's support and even his baby sister Sydel, who attended the Spurs game last season in San Antonio and was vocal about her thoughts.

Point being, Steph is more than just a baby faced, slim shooter. He is a star and he is not to be messed with.

Does he deserve passes or special treatment now that is living in a new normal? Of course not. But the NBA had better recognize that Curry is no joke or fluke, and will show hands, arms, and his mouthpiece if necessary.

Also, if his coach, Steve Kerr or commissioner Adam Silver, restrain him, he not only has supportive teammates and family, but huge fans now. He demands respect and will get it.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

How to Know If You Were Raised in the 90s

Most of you know I was raised in the 90s and therefore I am a 90s fiend. Now there's a difference between being raised in the 90s and being born in the 90s. It's like saying I was raised in the 70s because I was born in 1978.

This post is for both nostalgia and clarification for older and younger folks, especially those that don't need Google to understand everything on this list.

You were raised in the 1990s if:

- You remember exactly what day, time, and network shows such as The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, Martin, Seinfeld, Boy Meets World, Beavis and Butthead, Married With Children, and Renegade came on

- You didn't miss TGIF on ABC

- You watched the OJ Simpson trial as if it were American Idol, Scandal, The Walking Dead, or This Is Us

- You know when and where you were when the OJ verdict was announced, Mike Tyson lost to Buster Douglas, you learned of Susan Smith, Bill Clinton's infidelity, and Tupac and Biggie's murders

- You remembered when actual cartoons came on Saturday mornings

- You had a cordless house phone with the huge antenna

- You remember dial up Internet, Windows 95 and a world without smartphones and social media

- You remember that growing up in the country meant no cable and possibly no satellite since DirecTV and DISH weren't yet around

- You watched at least one of the last Super Bowls the Dallas Cowboys won

- You remember Chris Webber calling that timeout that won the UNC Tarheels the 93 NCAA championship during the Fab 5 era

- You remember watching the Fab 5 of Michigan and wearing black socks because they did

--You remember all of the awesome Michael Jordan moments: the half court slam, the 45 point flu game, him stepping away after his father passed and playing baseball and of course Marv Albert yelling "Jordan for 3!" whenever he shot the ball

- You remember the Atlanta Braves winning the World Series and cheering and crying

- You watched, possibly live in person, the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, GA

Sunday, March 12, 2017

TABLES: Things are getting old, and it's not just the table

Eli is starting to get fed up with the older guys at the table and their morale. It's like they are always sour, especially Hank and Jeff. Rarely anything positive and complaining about the same stuff everyday.

Hank's a little more proactive, especially involving safety hazards. He's one of those guys that lives to complain. Over time, that's a buzzkill. Jeff seems to whine over the same ole same ole. He is like the kid that gets bullied after school but continues to let it happen instead of doing something about it. No follow through or spine whatsoever.

Then the turning point came: near the election.  Jeff received an unfair punishment that we all knew he would whine and moan about for days on end. Plus the election was ending and that would be another bummer.

Eli doesn't like nor want this in his life. They are all genuinely good guys, but he cannot stomach this bitterness and negativity anymore.

Therefore, it's time to seek out another table. But where?

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Really Man?

More poetry for you, very relieving. May be time to do spoken word again.

Really Man?

You're already angry at me
Blocking and discarding my presence hastily
You have so much at stake
What you did last night took the cake
You may say I don't know how to be a friend well look at you!
You don't bail on folks, so we see how you do
Having internal issues doesn't allow you to be a jerk
Get some help if you're about to go berserk
This ain't Remy and Nicki but you seem to want a show
Better go back to Netflix as I complete this flow
Nothing to see here, change the channel
I'm speaking the truth, plain as flannel
You can't handle that, so you shut yourself down
Then betraying that dude, man you're a clown
Well I see you for what you are
Hurt people apparently do hurt people,  so keep yourself afar
It's best for now, until you get the help you need
You still have positive folks, stop being petty and follow their lead!