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Daily Dose: 1/17/17

Serena Williams is back in the land down under

10:00 AMYour boy made an appearance on the True Hoop podcast with Amin Elhassan, and it was a great time. We talked All-Star Game cities, Rip Hamilton vs. Derrick Rose and Barack Obama’s best.

Martin Luther King III is not a character without controversy. You might recall his role at the center of various things involving his father’s legacy, including their whole family fighting over various dollars, but that’s another story. On Monday, he met with Donald Trump (at Trump Tower no less), a decision that I’m sure had his dad spinning in his proverbial grave, if you believe in things like that. Apparently, it was a “constructive” meeting. Sure.

The circus is leaving town. After more than a century on the American landscape, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is shutting down. The company claims it wasn’t due to PETA’s incessant protests, which led to a phase out of elephants altogether, but due to the nature of the entertainment industry. Basically, the company is losing too much cash to stay afloat. This isn’t a huge surprise. Circuses are archaic.

When you watch sports, do you yell at the screen? It’s a natural reflex sometimes: A player does something wild, or a ref blows a call, and you start going nuts. Then, someone invariably will turn to you and say, “Why are you screaming? They can’t hear you, you know.” Well, as it turns out, in the actual NFL, all that yelling actually does have an effect. Coaches get vocal with referees in games, because it straight up works.

The Australian Open is tremendous. Matches are played in the middle of the night if you’re stateside, and it’s hot as Hades at all times. Plus, because it’s the land down under, the fashion is typically on a fun level of neon that we can all appreciate. Plus, the Australian Open has the best side court setup of all the majors. Some feel like black box theaters with tennis happening inside. Most importantly, though, Serena Williams is back to busting heads.

Free Food

Coffee Break: If you got shot, and were in a wheelchair, how do you think you’d live out the rest of your life? I don’t know what I’d do, but we do know what Tyrone Shoemake is doing with his. The Upper Body Boy is now a thing, so when you need inspiration in your life, check for him.

Snack Time: For MLK Day, the cast of TNT’s Inside the NBA went to the Center for Civil and Human Rights to participate in a simulated sit-in. The results were powerful.

Dessert: Here’s what happens when Young Thug doesn’t show up for a video shoot. It’s great.

Daily Dose: 1/13/17

The presidential bromance ends perfectly

1:50 PMWe got the gang back together in the studio this week for the first All Day Podcast of this year, which was exciting. This week, we talked President Barack Obama’s farewell speech and the Golden Globes, among other things. Tune in!

Things got very real at the White House on Thursday. President Obama pulled an all-time great on Vice President Joe Biden, surprising him with a Medal of Freedom, which doesn’t happen every day. Men aren’t necessarily allowed to show love to each other, like actual love, in public or professional spaces, but it happened in a glorious way Thursday. Biden was legit caught off guard, but because he’s such a boss, he apparently just had a half-hour speech ready to go, which is basically what being a grandfather is all about. It was a pretty incredible moment, all around.

Did you know that the sky is blue? That water is wet? Those things seem obvious, no? Well, a new report from the Department of Justice shows that in Chicago, police officers have been engaging in patterns of violence that put both themselves and other civilians at more risk than necessary. I’m not trying to be flippant, but ask any person who’s lived in Chi-Town for any amount of time and he or she will tell you that these are all known facts. It is quite something to hear actual government officials admit that law enforcement officers are doing way too much.

Here’s the thing about diplomacy: If you suck at it, people notice. Meaning, if the people whom your country elects to lead them are wandering around the globe acting like jerks, it presents a problem for the regular citizens of said nation. Fast-forward to here in the United States of America, and Donald Trump being the president-elect. Is this actually going to be a problem for us, beyond our shores? It’s been said for a long time that the U.S. needs to improve its image, but the question remains: Is that still true?

You know Bo Jackson. The man who played for the Los Angeles Raiders and the Kansas City Royals and was a generational star from a marketing standpoint who is now driving cars on television? He’s cool. His impact as a two-sport athlete was unlike anything we’d seen to that point, and the way his career ended was a bummer to everyone. Now, he says that had he known about the effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), he would have never played football at all. Of course, that makes sense, but to hear former players be so candid about the game that gave them so much is really telling.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Hip-hop can be so incredibly dumb sometimes. Artists are artists and live in worlds that are different from anything you and I will ever know, but some things are just ridiculous. If you want to instantly understand why people hate the rap game these days, check out this interview with Kodak Black on The Breakfast Club.

Snack Time: Police officers and donuts go together like peas and carrots, to quote Forrest Gump. So someone in Georgia decided to take advantage of that. I’ve gotta say, writing “Black Lives Matter” on a box of donuts is strong.

Dessert: I hate coins. But this is a coin I’d gladly spend anywhere I could.

Daily Dose: 1/12/17

Vance Joseph is ready for his close-up

12:37 PMThe show Black-ish really did the damn thing Wednesday night, y’all. If you didn’t see it, check out this recap. That show continues to be one of the best of its generation, and we’re here for it.

I happen to live in Washington, D.C. I also happen to be from D.C. So, for all of my life, I’ve been looking at the Old Post Office Tower downtown, like it was nothing. Then, one day, Donald Trump decided he wanted it and the government let him have it. Then, he decided he wanted to run for president. Now, that’s creating a big problem, because hello, you can’t have a lease from GSA and actually be commander in chief. However, Trump thinks he can.

It’s awards season. The time of year when the people who work so hard to entertain the rest of us are given the opportunity to dress up, show up and show out in front of the cameras, to let the world know just how great they are — in theory. Those situations don’t always involve the most people of color, because you see, when it comes to greatness in characters, oftentimes, the powers that be don’t recognize us. Desus and Mero sat down with the great Wesley Morris to discuss.

Among all the crazy things to happen this week, Jeff Sessions is high on the list. The man looking to be confirmed as the U.S. attorney general sat in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, and it was a doozy. The guy has been a senator forever, so there were quite a few familiar faces in the old network for him to call on, and it showed. As it turns out, it’s actually rather difficult to block a cabinet nomination, and here’s what we learned from all that.

Before yesterday, I had never heard of Vance Joseph. But today, he’s the head coach of the Denver Broncos. He’s also a black man. I don’t know why, but that’s the last franchise I expected to hire a man of color to lead its squad. Alas, they’ve done it, so we’ll see how things go. For all you screaming about how the Rooney Rule is bunk, well, that’s exactly how Joseph got hired, if you were wondering. Right now, though, he’s got a lot of work to do.

Free Food

Coffee Break: I must admit that one of my favorite things to do on my phone is play games. Simple as that. I’m big into 8 Ball Pool, but I’ve shuffled others through the rotation over the years with much success. Anyways, check out this list of the best iPhone games. It’s dope.

Snack Time: Bike lanes are always the source of much controversy, but in London they’re starting a pilot program to help people out. Laser projections are always fun.

Dessert: Janelle Monae’s having a great year. Listen to her talk about it.

Twitter bids farewell to Barack Obama

but everyone wants to know, where was Sasha?

10:40 AMTuesday night in Chicago, President Barack Obama gave his last public speech and Twitter was watching feverishly. There was a lot of raw emotion and the TL was definitely an indicator of how much a lot of people are going to miss him. It broke down into three main categories and hashtags. And, of course, the big question was: Where’s Sasha? The answer is at home, studying for a test. Sidwell Friends School is WAY wrong for not letting her get out of that one, if you ask us. If you want to read the speech in full, here you go.

In general, most people just couldn’t keep in the love, including for Michelle Obama, who is just so, so sweet.

Let’s not forget how good my man was with kids, either.

https://twitter.com/UrbanNoize/status/819026016802918400

This song will never really be the same.

If cats like you, you’ve probably done something right in your life.

Now, as for Sasha Obama, this was basically the story of the night for most people. The whole scene felt a tad incomplete, which was rather unfortunate. Also, it was tough to see Malia Obama cry without her sister there. Anyways, it was not easy to watch for many.

Not sure this is how it works, but OK.

Nah, they wouldn’t do this.

Before the news broke, it was a legit problem.

In the end, though, people just wanted to make sure that it was well-known that Barack Obama was appreciated. There was even an official way to do so on Twitter.

Nearly everything he did captured some people.

Then, Drake stepped in being the absolute worst with this awful Photoshop job, which should have never, ever seen the light of day. Stay in your lane, Drizzy.

But, we saved the best for last.

What a family, what a time.

Daily Dose: 1/11/17

A wild news day, indeed

10:30 AMHidden Figures is quite the film. There should have been nothing “unexpected” about its success, even if showing on fewer screens than normal. When our stories are told, people show up because they’re interesting. Period.

Let the countdown to Donald Trump begin. Now that President Barack Obama’s farewell speech is behind us, there’s really no looking back. Tuesday night in Chicago was an emotional one, as the 44th president of the United States delivered his final remarks while the nation looked on. All this came after a very bizarre and troubling news dump that indicates Trump was likely in cahoots with Russia the entire time. Overall though, it wasn’t just some victory lap speech for Obama. He basically had to defend his entire presidency and the need for democracy not just globally, but right here in the United States, as well.

Speaking of Trump, he’s supposed to be holding an actual news conference Wednesday. You’ll recall that he basically never, ever, does this, because it’s a matter of power and control. It’s the same reason why he very rarely made actual television appearances while campaigning, simply choosing to call in. Now, he’s been up early this morning getting these tweets off, so who knows how the rest of the day will go. It’s scheduled for 11 a.m. in New York, of course. Meanwhile, the Russians are denying any involvement with him, either.

Tuesday was a wild news day. Caught among all the frenzy was the outcome of the Charleston, South Carolina, mass murder trial. Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine black people at a church, had his fate in the hands of a jury, and they chose to put him to death. What the purpose of that is, at this point, who knows, but he’ll be the first person put to death for a federal hate crime. Families of the victims call it a hollow victory, which if you don’t believe in an eye for an eye is a grand understatement, considering.

3-on-3 half court has always been my favorite form of basketball to play. In short, there’s no loafing whatsoever. You either guard your man, make a play or just get burned all day long. In high school, we used to do an outdoor tournament in that format and it was tons of fun. There was talk of having it in the Olympics, and every once in a while, you’ll find it on TV somewhere. Anyway, Ice Cube is part of a new group starting a league for old NBA players, and it appears that Allen Iverson will be a player coach in said outfit. Alrighty, then.

Free Food

Coffee Break: If Chris Brown and Soulja Boy actually do get in a boxing ring, it’ll be a win for the rap game overall. If this is how people choose to start settling beefs in the future, I’m all for it. Is their feud ridiculous? Of course. So much so that they’ve decided they apparently want to take this thing to Dubai, which actually sounds fun. I guess.

Snack Time: That episode of The Simpsons about hip-hop drops soon, so we’ve got a preview to watch. I’m simultaneously excited and mega worried about how this is going to turn out, if we’re being honest.

Dessert: Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson? Terrible. Idris Elba as a radical militant in 1970’s London? Awesome.