An ending of perhaps two eras

A camera man captured a quirky moment after the Spurs’ victory over OKC: the often-stoic face of Tim Duncan as he vowed for revenge in the humblest way possible.

“We’re back here now, and we’re excited about it, and we have four more to win. We’ll do it this time around,” Duncan said.

In ensuing encounters with the media, the Spurs would be reminded of the disappointment a year ago and questioned of its presence in the back of their minds.

Each team was going to be pursuing the same goal with victory seemingly just as important for the future endeavors of both sides.

For LeBron James, these finals meant a chance to continue his rise into greatness, a chance to tack on a three-peat to a list of accomplishments in his pursuit of achieving MJ stature in the NBA.

On the line for Miami’s Big Three was an opportunity to continue fulfilling the promise of “not one, not two, not three, not four.”

Tim Duncan was looking for his fifth ring, which would tie him with Kobe Bryant for the most championships of any active players. The Spurs’ Big three was looking to capitalize on a championship window most have been claiming has been closing for years. Continue reading

The time has come

All was fine. San Antonio’s game 3 blowout was chalked up to the Spurs shooting lights out. Even Gregg Popovich said the shooting performance of game three could not be duplicated. By halftime of game four, it was clear, though, that the defending champions were on the ropes.

Miami wasn’t able to escape the early hole dug by the Spurs’constant ball movement that kept the slow Miami defense in constant motion with the end result usually either a wide open trey or an easy finish at the rim. With Boris Diaw picking apart the Miami defense(Diaw had at several points more assists than Miami) and the Heat’s Big Three looking mortal, the Spurs are clearly the better team.

LeBron James’ 28 points were irrelevant because he can’t guard all five positions. James can’t rejuvenate Dwayne Wade’s knees, which clearly slowed down Wade to the point it was sad. Mike Miller is gone, and James can’t bring him back. Rashard Lewis has played admirably after being called upon to play the four, but he has his limits, and is another easy target for the Spurs on offense. Shane Battier is done. Ray Allen is still providing, but he’s another Heat liability on defense.

Mario Chalmers is not being the ball-hawk on defense that he can be or spacing the floor like he’s capable of. He’s been MIA. Lets stop and mark our calenders because Kawhi Leonard is big time on both sides of the ball. For all the blame and shortcomings on the part of Miami, it all boils down to the Spurs’ depth and their system and the Heat looking like a car that has an overdue tuneup looming.

The Heat collapsing right before our eyes is a testament to how hard it is to three-peat, even The King has looked mortal to the point that he can’t reverse the course of the series. The Heat are down.

We are all witnesses

Picture courtesy of lawnchairboys.blogspot.com

Picture courtesy of lawnchairboys.blogspot.com

I too am a witness of LeBron James.

Yesterday, he solely kept the Heat in the game in the third quarter, going on one of those great-player runs where the only thing the defense can do is the MJ shrug. James scored 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting and was two-for-two from three in the third. He took the same jumpers that Gregg Popovich wanted him to take.

When Popovich was asked why the Spurs didn’t double James, Pop responded:

“You can go double him if you want, but he’s a pretty good player. I’m going to guess he’s going to find the open man.”

Down by two in the fourth quarter with 1:18 left, James collapsed the defense in as he attacked the rim, and that’s what he did, hitting a wide-open Chris Bosh roughly in the same spot where Bosh missed the game-winner in game five of the Indiana series.

There is something to admire about the way James truly does trust his teammates. His belief of making the right basketball play when the game is on the line is admirable. His cross-court passes that hit shooters right in their shooting pockets are amazing. But it’s something about the way he stands out in all facets of the game. Continue reading

Mark Cuban’s prejudice comments go viral

cuban625

Scrolling through the top tweets regarding Mark Cuban’s recent comments on prejudices and bigotries, there’s all kinds of reactions.

Some agree. Others disagree.

You have people saying they applaud Cuban’s honesty. Others seem to irreverently and obsessively focus on whether or not Cuban actually crosses streets (Cuban’s net worth is $2.6 billion, according to Forbes). Some say the statements are insensitive, and others say that they understand he is being honest, but that doesn’t make it okay that he has prejudices.

Here is a large portion of the interview and the parts that have generated the most attention.

“In this day and age, this country has really come a long way putting any type of bigotry behind us, regardless of who it’s toward,” Cuban said Wednesday. “We’ve come a long way, and with that progress comes a price. We’re a lot more vigilant and we’re a lot less tolerant of different views, and it’s not necessarily easy for everybody to adapt or evolve.

I mean, we’re all prejudiced in one way or another. If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it’s late at night, I’m walking to the other side of the street. And if on that side of the street, there’s a guy that has tattoos all over his face — white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere — I’m walking back to the other side of the street. And the list goes on of stereotypes that we all live up to and are fearful of. So in my businesses, I try not to be hypocritical. I know that I’m not perfect. I know that I live in a glass house, and it’s not appropriate for me to throw stones.”

One of the parts that has generated the most attention is the hoodie reference that some have attributed as a possible Trayvon Martin reference.

“If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it’s late at night, I’m walking to the other side of the street. And if on that side of the street, there’s a guy that has tattoos all over his face — white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere — I’m walking back to the other side of the street. And the list goes on of stereotypes that we all live up to and are fearful of.”

Want to check out the interview? Click the link below.

Mark Cuban's Shockingly Honest Take on Racism Today.

NBA Playoff coaching

These NBA playoffs have been nothing short of spectacular, especially early on. The playoffs are all about adjustments from quarter-to-quarter and game-to-game.

Yet, Coaches always seem to be underappreciated or over critiqued. That’s why It was nice to see Sports Illustrated publish a story about the coaches that have done the best jobs this postseason.

Of course you have the regulars: Gregg Popovich and Doc Rivers. But other coaches get credit too. Although Frank Vogel is not exactly out of the hot seat yet, he’s even mentioned for his ability to get his team to bounce back.

Sometimes sports coverage can be too much about what a team or coach is doing wrong instead of what a team or coach is doing right.

My vote goes to Rivers for being able to keep his team together throughout the playoffs despite the Donald Sterling controversy.

Here is a link to the story: http://nba.si.com/2014/05/13/nba-playoffs-coaching-frank-vogel-gregg-popovich-doc-rivers/?sct=nbar_top_dd

Saving South Sudan

Shout out to Vice for devoting an entire issue on South Sudan and covering the issues using photos, articles and documentaries.

There are some powerful images like the one below.

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I appreciate Vice dedicating an entire issue because sometimes the media forgets to continue to cover ongoing events. It’s also important to cover South Sudan because of how important history plays a role in providing the proper context.

Here’s a link to the issue: http://www.vice.com/read/saving-south-sudan

The Atlantic’s photo blog doing great work

If you haven’t already, check out In Focus, The Atlantic’s news photography blog. Alan Taylor is doing some amazing work for The Atlantic by simply using groups of images to tell all kinds of stories.

One of Alan Taylor’s recent projects is about World War I, and it’s just amazing the collection of images he collects and how they are able to put into perspective the impact World War I had on modern warfare.

Every sunday until June 29, Taylor will be posting an article for his 10-part series covering World War 1.

Here is a link to part three, which was posted May 11.
http://www.theatlantic.com/static/infocus/wwi/wwitech/

This will be the first photo blog I will begin to follow because not only are the photos good, but they tell a story.

The photo below shows American troops mounting a French gun that was called the “one-pounder” in a trench in France. Pretty cool stuff.

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