Why I: Love Being Black

Say it loud – I’M BLACK and I’M PROUD!!

Other than the phrases, “God is good,”

or

“Pizza is from Heaven”

or

“I have the best family and friends ever,” no truer words have ever been spoken.

Today, is the last day of Black History Month. Today marks the culmination of a push across America to squeeze in as much information into the minds of those who will listen about the contributions of black people in America. While today signifies the end of the collective focus, spanning various races, it does not signify the end of the cycle to educate, highlight and uncover facts that need not be ignored.

But that’s not why I’m here.

I could go on and on about the lack of teaching when it comes to black history.

But that’s not why I’m here.

Continue reading “Why I: Love Being Black”

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I am not feeling it…

{Source: Google Images}
{Source: Google Images}

 

I have a confession. 

I have not been feeling very “sportsy” lately. 

What does that mean exactly? Well, my life often revolves around sports. I have been known rearrange activities or even skip them because “the game” is coming on. I watch SportsCenter daily. I read ESPN.com daily to stay abreast on the latest happenings. And I answer at least one question a day from someone regarding something sports related.

Continue reading “I am not feeling it…”

Go Timmy Go!!!

I went to bed early Wednesday night and I wish I had not. I mean I needed to be at work early the next morning. Since I am not a morning person, regardless of how much sleep I get, I knew I needed to go ahead and get some shut eye.

I was watching the end of the second quarter between the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers. It was a tight game that could either way. However, what was most intriguing about the game was the immortal Tim Duncan. Timmy was being Timmy. In the first half, he was seven of eight from the floor for 16 points. He was tossing in floaters, posting up one the the league’s best defenders, DeAndre Jordan, and he was creating space to allow his teammates to knock down easy baskets.

For some reason, the Twitterverse was shocked. I was more shocked to see Steve Blake still in the league playing for the Portland Trailblazers. There was absolutely nothing shocking about Timmy doing the same thing he has been doing for the past 17 years. Were people shocked because he will be 39 on Saturday? Were people shocked because he plays for the Spurs, a team many label as boring? Or were people simply shocked because it was Tim Duncan.

Those people made me laugh. If it was Kobe Bryant or LeBron James or Kevin Durant, shock would be the furthest thing from their mind. Newsflash, ain’t nobody doing what Timmy has done for as long as he has done it. The man is immortal. He barely ages. His energy level has barely diminished. And after watching him play last night, I am convinced that he is capable of catching up with Michael Jordan this year in the rings department.

For 17 years we have been witnessing greatness and we better embrace it while he is still dishing it out. He has stayed true to himself since he raced up and down he courts at Wake Forest. He will not draw you in with his cockiness. He has none. He will not draw you in with his outward display of emotion. It is rare that you see it. He will not wow you at a press conference. He is not a many of many words. Where he will wow you is on the court. Watching him play makes me smile. His fundamentals are some of the purest I have ever seen.

Often, I do not hear Timmy’s name mentioned in the top 5 category. Let me tell you this, Tim Duncan is one of the five greatest players to ever step onto an NBA court. Want to debate it? Come on. I have plenty of facts to back it up. Until then, sit back, relax and enjoy the Timmy show! #GoSpursGo

 

{Image: ESPN}
{Image: ESPN}

 

 

C’Mon LeBron!

Well. Well. Well. I cannot remember an NBA off-season being so dramatic in a loooooong time. Every day I wake up, it is the same story. Where will LeBron end up? Will Carmelo stay in New York? Will Bosh leave the sunny beaches of Miami to head west to the humidity in Texas?? Goodness. Make it stop already. I know these are not easy decisions for these players but goodness. Make it stop already.

Due to my lack of NBA excitement, the only player I am in really interested in finding out where he lands is LeBron. I like LeBron. Always have. But if he goes back to Cleveland to play, all respect I have for him goes out the window and into the deep blue sea. The fact that Cavs owner, Dan Gilbert, just had his infamous letter removed off the website last week is an indication of how little respect he has for LeBron.

Yes, I know this is a business but in this instance I need LeBron to “man up.” Playing for Gilbert should never be an option again. NEVER. It is that simple.

 

 

Until next time…TOODELLS.

How sweet is redemption?

I have not watched the NBA consistently since around 2004. The year the Pistons won the chip. I remember very vividly how much I liked to watch them play, together. Plus who did not love hearing John Mason croon out “Deeeee-troit Basketball” over the PA system a few times during the course of a game.

Last night took me back to those days. The days when I would sit in front of a tv for over two hours watching men run up and down the court. The days when I would squeal with delight when a player made a play that would have me hopping out of my seat(ala Ginobli throwin it down on Bosh). The days when basketball was played as a TEAM. Watching the San Antonio Spurs dominate the NBA Finals was a thing of beauty. The passing, the shots, the unselfish play, the adjustments, the patience, the coaching…just beautiful. I have never seen the game of basketball executed so beautifully.

{Source: Google Images}
{Source: Google Images}

 

The Spurs are the type of team I grew up watching. In the 90s, I loved watching the Bulls play. I was a “fan” of them just like everyone else. I enjoyed watching them execute the triangle offense with so much precision. While they had a dominant force in Michael Jordan leading the way, everyone, including MJ, played their role and they played it well. When the NBA started shifting from the team game to having one major superstar, a few semi-stars and a bunch of bench fillers on the team, I checked out. There was nothing enjoyable about that style of play.

So back to last night. Here I was, gleefully, watching the Spurs put on a clinic, reminiscing on the old days. Happy to see old school basketball prevail. I think it is safe to say only a handful of people around the world picked the Spurs to dominate the Heat. Shoot, I did not even see many people picking the Spurs to win(I did) which was baffling considering they were 25 seconds away from a championship last year. However, the Spurs made it obvious in Game 1 that they were seeking three things: revenge, redemption and a fifth ring. Check. Check. And check.

From the rejuvenated Tim Duncan to the elusive Tony Parker to the sparkplug Manu Ginobli to the silent assassin Kawhi Leonard to the reliable Boris Diaw to the dagger Patty Mills to the trigger Danny Green to the confident Tiago Splitter to the mastermind Gregg Popovich, the Spurs executed the very finesse that is basketball. The game is team first. It is next man up. It is fun. It is resilient. It is exciting. It is selfless. That is Spurs basketball. However as good as they are, I heard so many people moaning and groaning about them playing in the Finals again that I have to wonder if we have become so accustomed to only being able to equate success with individuality that we have failed to realize that success often comes in the form of a team? Whether it is your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, church family, etc, there is often a group of individuals that pushes and holds us up as we climb the ladder of success. The joy I saw on the Spurs bench was nothing short of a complete team celebrating in an accomplishment that they all contributed too. And hopefully, Timmy will not retire and they can do this again next year. Fingers crossed.

 

{Source: Google Images}
{Source: Google Images}
{Source: Google Images}
{Source: Google Images}

 

{Source: Google Images}
{Source: Google Images}

 

So you got cramps, aye?

Last night’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals was one of the best NBA games I have seen in a very long time. From the tip, the game proved to be nothing short of exciting, nail biting and intense. The Spurs and Heat traded baskets, swapped leads several times and got real wide eyed almost every time a foul was called as if it was impossible for them to foul. A game that was too close to call for much of the night quickly took a turn when the game’s leading scorer, LeBron James, had to leave the floor due to severe cramps. His exit sparked a 16-3 run by the Spurs who rode that momentum to a Game 1 win.

However, the talk today is not about how two teams battled until the end. The talk is not about how dominant 38 year old Tim Duncan was. The talk is not about how bench players played significant roles in which side of the column that team finished on. The talk is about cramps. Yes, cramps. You know those things that athletes tend to get. Yeah, those. The AT&T Center was more reminiscent of a sauna last night than a basketball arena as the electrical system charged with supplying juice to the arena malfunctioned. The temperature in the area soared above 90 degrees. Players were seen wringing out their uniforms and placing ice packs on their necks to keep cool. Fans tapped into their creative side and made fans out of signs that were passed out before the game. Via Twitter, former NBA players compared last night’s experience to playing in the Boston Garden. 

Who cares about all of that though when the league’s best player is unable to finish the game due to cramps. With a little under four minutes to play, James hobbled off the court plagued by a condition he has suffered from before. When he left, I knew it was coming. I knew the tweets would start. I knew what the comparison would be. I prepped myself to hear it. “MJ played through the flu. You mean to tell me he can’t play through cramps.” For years, James has been criticized for what many have called a lack of killer instinct. So for him to exit last night just added more fuel to the fire that was already hot.

All I could do was laugh. It was obvious that everyone who was tweeting, chatting and flapping their gums had NEVER experienced severe cramps. I do not care how tough you are mentally or physically, a severe cramp especially in your leg or foot, will send you into limp noodle status quick. I saw all kinds of ridiculousness. People accusing James of not being a well conditioned athlete because he cramped. Say what now? I must assume these people have not been watching him play for the last 11 years. Those that have been watching obviously do not understand how this cramping thing works. Seeing that it is Friday and I am in a good mood, let me break it down for you.

Cramps can occur as a result of a number of factors. Muscle fatigue,  dehydration, low potassium, low sodium and electrolyte disturbance. Exposure to large changes in temperature can also cause cramping. A person with a large amount of lean muscle is more susceptible to cramping. Have you ever watched a track meet? Exactly.  The combination of the temperature in the arena, James’ profuse sweating which caused the electrolyte disturbance(your muscle cells will begin to shrink) and the fact that he received no IV’s during the game(which still baffles me since this not the first time he has had to exit a game due to cramping) is why James was unable to finish the game. HE COULD NOT PLAY. If he had received IV’s during the game, this probably would have not been an issue. The trainer, team doctor, coach, somebody needs to answer for that foolishness.

So there you have it. You can call him soft, a wuss, whatever. Let one of those cramps catch you. I bet you will be calling on Jesus. Trust me. I know.

 

Until next time…TOODELLS.

 

P.S. Even in my defense of LBJ, I have to admit that the pictures of people LeBronin last night left me in chuckles. #NoChill