“AND YOU GET A RING! AND YOU YOU GET A RING! And You!!!! Not you KOBE , sit down!” lol!!!

Here is a status update  to my Friends on Facebook today:

“Dear America,

Fifty Shades of Grey!? Fifty Shades of Grey!? come the F*CK on! Haven’t we seen this before? It’s CALLED “EROTICA” and the “SEX” book! Isn’t this the same type of fantasy stuff that got Madonna forever hated by some people? That’s it! America has finally managed to make bondage and various “kink” uncool….Now it has become Oprah book-club soccer-mom bullshit!? What the hell!

That is all.”

As you can probably tell, I have finally emerged from my NBA basketball coma and have directed my attention to what is going on in  pop-culture/the world at large.

What the hell is happening to people with this “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy crap?

Is America really this horny all of sudden? Fifty shades of Grey. Magic Mike. Vampire Orgies on True Blood. Mainstream coach-potato America is getting comfortable showing off their sexual curiosities in public? It is as unsettling as watching your parents drunkenly make-out at a family reunion…and probably even more rote looking! It all seems so artless AND raunch-less at the same time. It occupies that BORING grey area that America seems really good at finding. It’s that banal/mediocre area that is searched out like a truffle and gorged on by the masses.

I can’t wait for the Fifty Shades empire and branding to come next: Fifty shades curtains, fifty shades butt plugs, fifty shades soap for washing away the “shame” and fifty shades Ray Bans  (I got a million ideas for them… 🙂 ) . All of this will happen until we “shoot” our collective load on this type of stuff and “walk-of-shame” our way back to pretending that we don’t think of this stuff all of the time…again.

Ultimately that is what really bothers me about this little KINK/FETISH  phase America seems to be going through right now. We don’t know how to handle incorporating sex into our society in a mature way . So we end up seesawing  between “sexy” and “saints” . Until we can learn how to incorporate sex into the pop-culture  without the stupid shame dance afterwards…we should leave the kink to the Germans and French (not to mention the Dutch).

No one likes a mere “Tourist” into dark/different territory!

Bad! Bad America!…you “dirty little whore”!  lol!

I am all for people exploring a little more. Only if this is all SHAME FREE, though. No one wants a bunch of psychologically damaged straight-laced people with regrets walking around, condemning everyone because they couldn’t handle it.

lol 🙂 !

Yet another reason to dislike Dominique Wilkins .  lol.   I was going through Youtube crap and found this  video with him in it (4:35 minutes in). It Made me think of the time I met Mr. Wilkins…

When I was a 19 year old  package pick-up dude for Sears, I brought something out for Wilkins  one saturday afternoon.  As you can tell by the Articles in this blog, I am a HUGE basketball fan (and 5’5″) . It was an insanely busy day at Sears (another “Super Saturday”…sales days which I grew to loathe ) and package pick-up was a little backed-up with customers waiting for their stuff. After pulling tickets and pulling down HUGE televisions and lawn mowers etc. , I heard the people in the back office (next to package pick-up) joking about “Dominique Wilkins buying the place (Sears) and making changes”. I chimed in with “doesn’t he play in Europe now” and some other comments about him never winning a title or something (never knowing why they even brought him up).  Then I walked outside with the microwave that I pulled off of the shelves, and read “Wilkins!” off of a pick-up slip.  The room full of people started to chuckle. Confused, I looked around and then ‘Nique stepped from behind a vending machine that he was crouched next to. I was extremely surprised to see all 6’8″ of “the human highlight” film while I was bringing a microwave to him while I was at work. Needless to say I was like a little kid again.

That ended pretty quickly though.

When I finally go over being in awe, I managed to  say something lame like “I liked [his] game in the NBA” or something. Instead of some standard fan meet-and-greet pleasantries , he said “Yeah, my ride is over there”  and pointed to his HUGE hummer vehicle. I was a little embarrassed that I had complimented him. Then he gave a half-assed “thank you” and drove away in his gas-guzzler !

It was the most ANNOYING expirence that I ever had meeting an NBA player and he made “the list”. lol. That imaginary list that we all have (admit it!) of assholes that we would love to get to verbally blast one day.

Over the years I have tried to rationalize it. Maybe he was busy and running late? Maybe he was tired of being “on” all day and wanted to get home? Who knows what his deal was that day? I don’t really care as much about Wilkins’ demeanor as this blog probably makes it seem (and I love my height too 🙂 ). It just had me thinking about NBA players and celebrities in general.

I’ve met a few NBA players  living/working  in Orlando…the coolest of which were Matt Gierger, John Amaechi and Nick Anderson. Anderson gave toys to underprivileged kids at my community center when I was a kid…without his Magic teammates or the organization/cameras with him (I got a remote-control car…if I remember correctly).

NBA players (or celebrities in general) please remember to be  good to the fans…especially “the kids”. That’s why I always respected Michael’s approach to the game and to his fans. Realizing his importance to fans and being so nice to people (knowing that it may be the ONE time that they get to see him) showed how PROFESSIONAL he was. Good or Bad the experiences we have with these guys  makes an impression (We won’t even get into P.J. Brown at Universal Studios (when I worked there…yet 🙂 ). That meeting was probably a little worse…those two made me not want to meet celebrities I liked).

In the case of Dominique Wilkins, a pretty horrible impression was created…but a pretty funny story came out of it too!

Thanks Dominique!                            

♫So who’s it gonna be him or me?♫…

Big rapper for a big game tonight. In tonight’s game  5 of the NBA finals (OKC Thunder vs. Miami Heat) does Miami wrap-up the championship, in the last home game in American Airlines arena (no matter who wins tonight) like most believe they will? Or does the Thunder prove that such “Big talk”  about  their demise is “Dead Wrong”?  

Biggie Smalls paraphrasing aside…the OKC Thunder truly have ONE MORE CHANCE tonight (and for the rest of the season).

So How does this one play out? Does Lebron finally silence all of the critics who have called him “The King Without a Ring”, “Lechoke” and stuff I can’t even post on my wild page? Does Kevin Durant prove that he isn’t about to accept the new “timid” tag , that the basketball world is trying to push on him (the “timid” tag becomes the “soft” tag very fast, Kevin…watch out). Does Harden ACTUALLY show up tonight in Miami tonight (Come on “BIG CUZ”, lol)? Will Westbrook have to Score 50 points grab 10 rebounds and dish 50 assists to FINALLY GET some respect for what he does/has done all year (Check out my “Lay off of Russell Westbrook” blog from DECEMBER)?

My hope and belief is that Lebron finally gets his ring in a Miami Heat coronation tonight…completing his “South Beach Redemption”. Lebron has been stellar in these playoffs and his team has follwed suit. Lebron has not only “come of age” in his “Superstar to Legend” quest, but the heat are finally becoming a team and Spoelstra is becoming an EXCELLENT coach.  Yeah, I just typed that…but he deserves it with his coaching in these finals (and I thought that he was going to need a “blindfold and a cigarette” against Scott Brooks in a coaching duel). The Heat have all rallied around Lebron’s brilliant play (the refusal to jump-shoot his team into a shallow lead and ultimately a devastating loss and his all-around (year round) brilliance). Now The stars are playing like STARS and the role players are playing their roles. The old talk (about the “hollywood as hell” Miami Heat) is about 48 minutes of championship basketball away from being SHATTERED.

Credit the trials and tribulations that the Heat have had to endure, if they pull this off tonight!  They have been through HELL in these playoff and have learned from it. More importantly though, they have learned about themselves (and how to play together).

Kevin Durant and the  OKC Thunder seem poised to go through the same thing. After an amazing playoff run, he and  his team of “upstart” OKC Thunder players are starting to see REAL NBA pressue.  He and Harden are now  running up against some rumblings of criticism, after some “less than agressive” games vs the Heat. That type of criticism was usually reserved for Russell Westbrook. Westbrook’s heroic attempt to get his team the win in Miami (ending with 43 points , 7 rebounds and 5 assists) absolved him of a lot of the UNFAIR criticism he had been getting. Even Magic Johnson apologized for his reckless comment about Russell playing the WORST point guard  play he had seen (in the finals). Meanwhile , the team’s true playmaker has been INVISIBLE in Miami. James Harden has been completely out-played by the “Heat Collective” that I described in my “New School vs Newer School” article.  Do Kevin Durant and James Harden (and I would even add Scott Brooks to the mix) redeem themselves and their team tonight? Or will they have the kind of 2012-2013  that the Heat had  to endure this year (before they found their true identity in these playoffs)?

In the end, it just seems to be the Heat’s “year”. Last year ended terribly for this team and they have been dying to redeem themselves.  We saw this with Dirk Nowitzki  in last year’s Dallas Mavericks championship run. The Heat  are playing the right way, at the right time and against a TOUGH team. 

Who will get their redemption tonight? Let’s play ball!!!!!!!

You too small!!”                                  

That’s What Kevin Durant (close to 7 feet tall) told Dwyane Wade (6’4″) in a cross match-up that saw the silky smooth Durant swish another shot in these NBA Finals. Dwayne Wade could only manage a surprised “what did you say?”.

 I’m a 5’5″ Miami Heat fan and I still loved it!

I LOVE OKC and I LOOOOOOVVVVVEEEE the HEAT ! OKC may be the future but Miami seems to be the “NOW“! They have the urgency and they are playing great right now! I love KD getting a TINY bit of cockiness, though. Great scorers, who want to ultimately win it all, MUST  have a little cockiness.

Oh, and one little guy to another…Wade you have to COVER HIS EYES, not go for the block! He is waaaaay too tall for that (with an even taller person’s wingspan) !If you would have gotten the ball (highly unlikely)…you would’ve got some hand too. Then you would end up in foul trouble like Kevin. 🙂 

The Heat won the game and Kevin’s uncharacteristic trash-talk may be an attempt to give himself and his team more urgency. Could this be a crack in the Oklahoma poised armor or lightning before the THUNDER comes? We will see…PIVOTAL game 4 on Tuesday 9pm on ABC.

Check out the Video of this Exchange below:

What the hell is going on with Dwyane Wade?

Let me back up a little…

When the Heat acquired Lebron James last year (along with all-star Chris Bosh), it was seen as a REVOLUTION in Miami Heat basketball and that the next 5-7 years would see a new dynasty in the NBA. Well…a funny thing has happened on the way to prosperity for this Heat basketball team. It seems as though the Heat aren’t “jelling” quite as well as we all expected. Now the Heat are now in danger going down 2 games to 0 in their second finals appearance in two years. What happened to the expected  Jordan and Pippen 2k of Wade and Lebron? What the hell happened to Lebron in last years final’s and what is happening to Dwyane Wade this year?

Let me start off by saying I LOVE DWAYNE WADE. His play during this year’s playoffs…not so much. Dwyane is a future hall of fame player and at certain points in his career ( ’06 – ’07  when they won it all  when he averaged 27.2 points, 6.7 assists and 5.7 rebounds with Shaq…30.2 pts, 7.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds in ’08 -’09) he has been THE best player in the league. Book it. Dwyane Wade has become a shell of himself recently and it has left everyone scratching their heads .

So why is Wade pulling a David Copperfield and disappearing right before our very eyes like the Statue of Liberty…or a New York Knick? Dwyane Wade has (since the Conference semi-finals) gotten progressively worse in these playoffs. His scoring, field-goal percentage and rebounds have all gone down during this stretch. Not so surprising (when you see those stats), his assists have gone up. Looks like Dwyane is Leaving Lebron out to dry…errr deferring to Lebron.

So what is up with Dwyane? Is he deferring to Lebron? Is Wade getting “lost in the shuffle’ of Lebron’s attempt at retribution (for ‘Bron-‘Bron’s own disappearing act from last year)? First off, I am tired of hearing this deferring crap from both of these players. It smacks of EXCUSES! “Oh I’m not kicking ass in these games because i’m worried about stepping on other guys’ toes!”. I play basketball in my local parks, community centers and L.A Fitness and that sounded very familiar to me when I heard it…

The way that Wade made unrelated excuses (as if they pertained to the real reason  why his team was losing)  echoed  the way losing teenagers (I’ve played pick-up basketball with) downplayed loses. It’s as if they both are more worried about taking away from the others on their teams or the opponent. This, instead of admitting that they played badly or the other team played better. Or speaking more broadly: If they win, they have all of the “cool” and sportsmanship you could ask for. If they lose, they become sore losers and excuse producing machines (with the “I’m not sure whose team it is?”, talk).  

Michael and Pippen famously called themselves “doo-doo” and “shit” after a playoff game, before. How is that for PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY?

Let’s Get real and let’s get in this series Dwyane Wade! Number one, it’s the owner’s team! Number two, if you are hurt…fess up (without giving up). Number three, help Lebron…he needs you and I know you didn’t drag him down to Miami to ditch him when it counts!! Lebron already played with Larry Hughes !!  Number four, we know Eric Spoelstra sucks but play beyond that…YOU HAVE A RING.

Is Wade gun-shy because of fear or injury and that’s why he stopped trying? Has seeing Lebron become a MONSTER in the playoffs made Wade get a little sheepish…standing at the proverbial playoff urinal feeling inadequate?  He has mentioned aging for the very first time…Mike and Kobe never started talking about “aging” when they were just turning 30 years  old. Dwyane needs to remember that he is in that league of greatness. The Heat need those answers. If not…the Heat are about to get swept or lose in 5. I think Wade can do it. If he isn’t injured.

Wade doesn’t seem to know what’s going on (with his game) either.

So, it’s  finally happening!

Starting Tuesday it’s the NBA Finals match-up that most basketball maniacs have been waiting for this entire season. On Tuesday we will finally have game 1 of the OKC Thunder vs. Miami Heat for the Larry O’brien trophy and league-wide bragging rights! Ooooh this one is exciting!

The Individual match-ups and stories for this year’s finals,  are some of the most compelling in decades. In the paint, we have the “forgotten men”  (who secretly keep it all together) Serge Ibaka vs Chris Bosh .  In the back-court we have “speed-limit” violators Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook in a “combo guard” battle for the ages (and maybe even for Westbrook’s name in the league).   We have the  the Heat’s collection of role players and bench pieces vs James Harden. And then there is is the BIG matchup…Lebron James vs Kevin Durant! MVP (Lebron) versus Primary competition for the prize. When you add in the  Glamour (Miami) vs. Grit (Oklahoma) of the cities involved this series starts to take on a near-mythical status. Is this the battle for basketball’s very soul? I may be exaggerating…but THAT’S HOW TRULY EXCITING this match-up is.

Let’s break it down:

Serge Ibaka vs. Chris Bosh

Often forgotten with all of the other star-power shooting off around the court, Serge and Chris have shown just how valuable they really are. It’s not exactly Russell vs. Chamberlain but the idea is surprisingly the same when you think about it. Chris’  main objective is going to be to S-C-O-R-E. We saw what happens when he isn’t a threat to score in the series with Boston…defenses collapse on Wade and make it tough for the Heat offense. Meanwhile, Ibaka has a role similar to Russell (the role is similar…not the player)…when he rebounds, defends and patrol’s the paint, he shuts the other team down while igniting the OKC offense. far from one-dimensional though, each will be required to work the opposite side of the court too.

speaking of both sides of the court, there are few in the league who get back and  forth  faster than…

Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook

Here is one of the “Main Events” of this year’s playoffs. Dwyane Wade vs. Russell Westbrook is very interesting. You have the (still very young) athletic Russell Westbrook going against who is essentially his player-mold in Wade. ‘Brooks has been very good in these playoffs, despite some spotty moments as the point guard for his team.  Wade experienced a tiny bit of scrutiny for his point-guard abilities when he first came into the league too. The Heat eventually realized that he was better as a BASKETBALL PLAYER and relieved him of the point duties like the Thunder did with Westbrook. The Thunder have Harden…the Heat got creative and brought in Lebron (after some hit or misses with Jason Williams , Carlos Arroyo and some guys we don’t even need to talk about). This battle will be a scorer/speed  master’s class and hopefully ‘Brooks will come prepared. If Wade demolishes him, offensively and/or defensively, those murmurs about OKC not winning it all with his unorthodox skill set (at his position) could get louder and run him out of town.

Harden vs The Heat “Collective”

This match-up could be the key to the entire series. James Harden has been AMAZING in these playoffs. As the primary ball-handler in some key situations and the second wave in the offensive attack, his importance can not be overstated. It has also been very celebrated among the basketball fans and analysts all over the country, while the Heat players have been slightly maligned. The Heat bench and role players have their work cut out for them…specifically Mike Miller, Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers. Collectively these guys will have to defend (keeping him out of the lane and honoring his outside shot) and OFFEND (hitting the shots that Lebron and Wade get for them and pushing the ball when necessary). The Heat role players have shown to be capable of doing this, but now it is for all of the “marbles” (and everyone is watching and waiting to pounce on them if they fail).

Which brings us to the TRUE “Main Event”…

Lebron James vs. Kevin Durant

Lebron James vs. Kevin Durant looks to be an all-time great match-up with some serious undertones going on. These two are the  wunderkinder of today’s NBA and the similarities end there. Lebron straight form highschool (when the league still did that) was immediately anointed the NEXT BIG THING. Kevin Durant came to the league after (a sensational) one year of college basketball, with questions about how his game (and body) would translate to the NBA. Lebron  has been a flashy superstar over the years and moved his talents to another city to optimize his legacy. Durant is a quiet assassin and stayed with the team that drafted him in the most low-key re-signing of a superstar in recent memory (I won’t go as far as calling Kevin the anti-Lebron…he is more of an anti-Carmelo to me). Kevin is a deadly outside Scorer/athlete and has become the most CLUTCH player in the league. Lebron is nearly impossible to stop in transition and his rebounding and passing have no equal at his position (probably EVER). Whose will is going to be imposed? It’s going to be fun to watch…if Lebron doesn’t “Clyde Drexler” Durant. Remember what Mike (the BIG mike) did to his supposed “rival” and NBA legend in his own right? Or does Durant have “something for” ‘Bron?

Watching the major questions  about these teams and individuals being answered, should be a treat for basketball fans all over the world. Will OKC’s inexperience finally catch up to them (that’s why they brought in Fisher)? Will the Heat break under the finals pressure again (they seemed to handle themselves supremely in the semi-finals and finals)? Is it better for the league to see smaller market OKC win it all (through building organically with the draft/developing talent and minor free agent tweaks) vs Miami’s bigger city “slickers” (buying superstar talents from under other teams and promising titles right away)…?

If it comes down to coaching, give Spoelstra a blind-fold and a cigarette vs OKC coach Scott Brooks (yeah, I said it).

I am a Heat fan but I kinda think it would be better for OKC to win! I love Wade and ‘Bron-‘Bron from their underdog days, so I wanna see them get a title to take the targets off of their backs (ironically, because that usually puts the target on a player’s back). I also love the OKC thunder (ever since Durant came into the league with all of the doubts) and watching them beat all the former champions has been thrilling …it is simultaneously a can’t lose and can’t win situation for me.

Hopefully this is the start of a new rivalry!

But as a Harden, I should probably be siding with OKC! 🙂

“Big Three battle” takes top billing…but there’s more underneath the surface!