Daily Dose: 6/20/16
Believeland gets its moment
10:07 AMThere was a basketball game Sunday night, apparently, but it was also Father’s Day. So, for that reason you should read this story about a father and son, both of whom are in journalism. And that’s putting it *very* lightly.
If you didn’t already know, the president and first family were on vacation last week. They went to Yosemite, as part of their tour around a couple national parks, which sounds and looked quite fun. Sidebar: I’ve never been to New Mexico. My mom loves it. I met a guy from Sante Fe a couple weeks ago and he had quite the worldview. Anyways, the first lady and crew were on their way back from the trip when a little thing called the NBA Finals got in the way. Obama is as Obama does, and they smooth stayed on Air Force One to watch the end of the game. Bawse.
Before Game 6, there were a lot of people who were in the Currys’ corner. Count me in. They were so fun! Living in Walnut Creek, California, cooking shows, ridiculous 3-pointers, who wouldn’t want to be them? It was like the NBA version of the aforementioned Obamas. Then, things got weird. Stephen Curry threw a mouthpiece. Ayesha Curry started hilariously roasting people on Twitter. It was like they showed what life was like when the cameras were off, and suddenly the “Calaviers” as my brother calls them, were way more likeable. Pablo Torre explains “the NBA is rigged” conspiracy theorists.
Let’s talk about something real quick: LeBron James notched a triple-double Sunday night. It was Game 7, on the road, and the man had one of the most quietly tremendous lines in the box score we’ve ever seen. Let’s also be clear about something else: If he’d managed to connect on that dunk attempt at the end of the game, it would have been the greatest play in the history of the NBA Finals. (BUT THAT BLOCK THOUGH!) Alas, he just sunk a free throw instead, to seal it. I mean, really. The lead-up to this game was nuts and the actual product was bananas. Kevin Arnovitz reports.
Don’t forget Kyrie Irving. The man who sparked this incredible comeback from down 3-1 in the series, had a couple of monster buckets himself Sunday night. Yes, King James had 41 the same night he did. Yes, King James had 41 the next game, too. But the fact that Irving went into takeover mode in Game 5 was as critical to the Cavs winning this series as anything else. And Sunday, he capped it off by draining a triple in Stephen Curry’s face, which was stone-cold vicious. Late in the shot clock, too? Uncle Drew came to play, kiddos. Now he’s got a ring to prove it.
Coffee Break: I love J.R. Smith, always have and always will. His DM slides and club-going ways aside, it always felt like he genuinely loved playing basketball. On Sunday, after his team won the title, he had a full-blown breakdown at the podium. It was a really intense moment. Also, his dad is named Earl and so is mine, so, yeah. Tears.
Snack Time: Kevin Love was the first person that James embraced when the buzzer sounded Sunday night, which was perfect for so many reasons. That aside, when the celebration was on, the beach boy went full WWE, as you do.
is awash in art of all kinds, and it is quite ‘impressionante’
7:00 AMLast week, I visited Italy for a wedding. For a week, I was in Rome doing what I do, which is looking at as much local art as possible. And sure, there’s gallery life, but that’s way less fun than just walking around. So, here’s some of the stuff I was lucky enough to find on the trip. Hope you like it.
These were from the neighborhood of Trastevere, where we stayed.
Now, this next set might look familiar to you. If you can picture a silver Aston Martin speeding down this stretch at night, then you’ll remember it from the James Bond film Spectre that came out in 2015. The chase scene actually happened at night, which allowed city officials to feel better about how they were presenting their city. Apparently, there was a large concern that the cleanliness of the streets, or lack thereof, would reflect poorly on Rome if not properly cleaned up (or digitally removed).
Anyways, what you get is a great stretch of art that only Rome could provide.
These next two were actually just outside of a monastery. There are some things you don’t tag. That’s one of them.
Here’s one from Assisi, an extremely religious town. Literal street art, and an interesting back story. The artist here basically painted the same thing every day, touching up the work as needed. Then, on Sunday, he’d add another. And that was it. Very cool.
Lastly, back in Rome, this guy was my dude.
gets the graffiti treatment in France
T-Kid is as legendary in the graffiti game as Mike Tyson is in the boxing world. But this time, he posted a piece from an artist named Alex One, who is French. This tremendous portrait of Tyson looking thoughtful if not regal, on some level, is from a festival in Vitry-sur-Seine, which is a suburb of Paris.
As an aside, can we talk about how forward thinking Tyson’s face tattoo is, as a matter of art? When he first did it, people thought he was completely insane and ruining any level of marketability he might have had in even trying to resurrect his life. But in retrospect, it looks great, if not elegant compared to some of the other stuff we’ve seen from celebrity face tats.
Mike Tyson: creative thought leader.
Nike SB hits Los Angeles
to bless a couple app users with a fun surprise
7:00 AMThe last time we checked in with Theotis Beasley, he was regulating at a skate park. This time he’s handing out goodies to the kids, with his team Nike SB. It’s a short video in which you get to see pros interact with hopefuls, and watch them catch wreck at a courthouse, a school and a park. This is quite a lot of fun packed into two minutes.
Plus, free shoes are always awesome.
Which would you take?
That’s the question in ‘The Skate Pill 2’
7:00 AMWhat happens when skaters Lamont Holt, Manny Santiago and Jason Wakuzawa get together? Tremendous storylines, that’s what. In The Skate Pill, we were treated to a tale that’s part Karate Kid, part The Matrix. You know the deal. A kid goes to the skate park, can’t skate, gets clowned. But then, the local d-boy shows up, hooks up said loser and he comes back and dominates the jerk.
It’s a fun one, mainly because of Holt’s charisma and the mock seriousness of the tone. In the sequel, however, we get much less skating and much more thespianism. You see, in order to get a second hit, Holt is forced to go to idiotic lengths to get his next fix. It’s worth your time, for the dialogue alone, but the intro features handstand skating, which is the best skating.
I have no idea which I’d choose.
Daily Dose: 6/17/16
The Warriors had a terrible night, on and off the court
9:23 AMWhat up, kiddos. Thursday was an exciting day in the sports world, what with the Euros, the U.S. men’s national team winning a knockout-round game AND the Cleveland Cavaliers looking like an actual franchise. Former Cav Craig Ehlo must be pumped.
Did you know that guns are designed to kill? This basic fact seems to escape a decent amount of people and on Thursday President Barack Obama had to remind America that such is the case. You know why this notion that guns make sense in society still prevails? You guessed it! Our old friend patriarchal supremacist garbage. The fact that this even has to be explained to some people is truly depressing, but whatever. ABC News’ Robin Gradison and Alexander Mallin explain how Obama broke it down.
So, there’s a thing called Brexit. It’s the name used for the question of whether the United Kingdom should leave the European Union. It’s the other topic that everyone was talking about in Italy when I was there, and many Brits have very strong opinions about it. The concern is that if the U.K. leaves then half of the continent will collapse (among many other things). But the debate took a turn for the far worse, when a British politician was killed in what appears to be a politically related assassination on some level. ABC News’ Louise Dewast reports.
There’s something I need to tell you: I love the Kardashians. Not that I keep up with them, so to speak, or that I have any particular affinity for their day-to-day shenanigans, but I respect their hustle on a level that I do for few celebrities. They’re America’s television family of this generation and if you’re one of those people who thinks they don’t have talents, you try getting someone to pay you to do whatever you want with your family and friends. Right. That said, Kim Kardashian did an interview with GQ recently and it was insightful. ABC’s Lesley Messer has the details.
Yooooo, the Golden State Warriors had a bit of meltdown last night, yeah? LeBron James has dropped 41 points in two straight NBA Finals games and the team from Oakland, California, had a poor night well beyond that. Let’s review. MVP Stephen Curry was tossed from the game. Then his wife, Ayesha Curry, got her tweets off, calling on NBA conspiracy theories. Then, her dad got mixed up in a bizarre, mistaken-identity situation in which the police thought he was a con man, who’s shown up at several high-profile league events. What a mess. Anyway, James moved that work, as J.A. Adande notes.
Coffee Break: Neither one of my grandmothers were around when they would use computers regularly, but after reading this story, I certainly wish they were, beyond my feeling about them as family members. One grandma in the U.K., however, wins the prize for adorable because when she Googles things, she is beyond polite.
Snack Time: Chan Yuen-ting is a soccer coach in the Hong Kong Premier League. Chan Yuen-ting took Eastern to its first title in 21 years. Chan Yuen-ting is 27 years old. Today, she’s my hero.
Dessert: *DJ Khaled point* Philly, you smart. Happy weekend, everybody.
Happy Birthday, Tupac
Here’s a preview of the movie about your life
2:32 PMToday is the birthday of Tupac Amaru Shakur, the legendary rapper who was gunned down in Las Vegas at the age of 25. He would have been 45 years old today, and in conjuction with the commemoration of his death, a trailer for the new biopic about his life All Eyez on Me (named after Pac’s 1996 album) has been released. In it, we see actor Demetrius Shipp Jr. playing the West Coast icon, with what is presumably the voice of his mother Afeni (played by Danai Gurira) imparting her indispensable knowledge.
Perhaps most strange about this film, coming in what is effectively a golden era of hip-hop biopics, is that Jamal Woolard is reprising his role as Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace, from his own biopic about Biggie from 2009, Notorious, which is just cinematic synergy on a whole other level.
It’s unfair to Shipp to call his portrayal of Shakur surprising, but the role of the Death Row Records artist is a tall task if for no other reason than he was so charismatic, so overwhelming and so skilled, that he could barely be imitated. Alas, it appears Shipp is up to the task. Pac was obviously more than just a rapper, as he went on to act in films, and his work as a traditional poet and activist has garnered much acclaim in the years since his death, as well.
The movie, directed by Benny Boom, is schedule to appear in theaters on Nov. 11.
wants to help out the youth of North Long Beach, California
9:07 AMWhen rapper Vince Staples came out in 2015 and said the ’90s were totally overrated from a rap sense, it angered quite a few people. Old heads freaked out, calling on the usual “you don’t know nothing about this” logic, while many other proud millennials were all basically like, “Hmmm … he might be right.”
My point is the youngins don't know … Look at Vince Staples who said that the 90s were overrated.
— IG: Tammy_Hendrix (@Tammy_Hendrix1) January 9, 2016
— Rich vision (@richp305) November 12, 2015
That convo aside, it was the first time some had heard of the Long Beach, California, native, who was born in 1993. Now, the Norf Norf star who has openly said he doesn’t like rapping with other people, and openly dislikes Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul even though he’s a Clippers fan is giving back to his hood.
He’s backed an initiative with the YMCA that launched this week to support 20 high school kids in programs that feature tracks for learning filmmaking, music production, graphic and production design and 3-D production. The announcement was made Tuesday in Ramona Park, the Def Jam artist’s native neighborhood, alongside Long Beach Councilman Rex Richardson.
“I think the most important thing is opportunities. What I can say is, living over here my entire life, I’ve never had an opportunity given to me from the area, only examples of how to mess up, and what I didn’t want to do,” Staples told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “I want to be able to be one of the people that reinforces the fact that we matter just as much as the next person. That’s actually the biggest thing I can do for this community.”
While the program itself is a dozen years old, this expansion is specific to North Long Beach. According to its website, the “youth are chosen based on the risk factors they face which might influence high school completion. The factors may include neighborhood violence, poverty, family conflict/poor family management, poor academic performance or lack of commitment to school, and involvement with antisocial peers. Youth are selected to ensure ethnic and gender diversity. Of the 900 youth helped to date, 39 percent were Latino, 22 percent were African American, 19 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander, 11 percent were European American, 7 percent were of mixed ethnicity and <1 percent were Native American. About half (51 percent) were male.”
Say what you want about his thoughts on the ’90s, there’s no denying that this is a tangibly tremendous effort to give kids something to do and a space to do it. Even the most generous rappers from the ’90s aren’t exactly doing that in droves and never were.
Plus, his new song with Clams Casino is flames.
Daily Dose: 6/16/16
Freddie Gray’s neck injury was immediately obvious to a professional
9:02 AMWe’re coming down to the tail end of O.J.: Made in America, and Wesdnesday night was Part 3. It might have been the most shocking installment yet for many viewers. Our interview with director Ezra Edelman and ESPN analyst and Los Angeles native Marcellus Wiley about the episode is here.
The case of Freddie Gray is still ongoing in Baltimore. Two of the six officers charged have yet to be convicted, with one trial resulting in a hung jury and another resulting in an acquittal. Now, it’s the van driver himself who’s on trial for second-degree murder. The practice of “rough rides” is now well-known as a common occurrence in police brutality. Clearly, the driver has a major role in said activity. On Wednesday, a medic with the Baltimore City Fire Department described what Gray’s neck felt like when she arrived at the scene. ABC News’ Serena Marshall details the horrifying account of the first responder.
Orlando can’t catch a break. First, singer Christina Gimmie was killed by a stalker while signing autographs after a show. Then, the mass shooting that rocked America occurred a few days later. Following that, a 2-year-old boy was killed by an alligator at a lake adjacent to a Disney resort. I’m not an expert on Central Florida, but this has to be one of the worst, if not the worst, stretches that city and region has ever seen in modern history. Both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will be traveling to the city Thursday to address the situation that unfolded at Pulse, a popular gay nightclub. ABC News’ Robin Gradison has the story.
Remember when Obama was first running for president? Remember what the biggest critique against him was, aside from all the dog-whistle racism stuff about his name, his birthplace and his “religion”? It was his lack of experience. He’d only served as the Illinois junior senator for a couple years after being in the state Senate for less than a decade. He was effectively a young buck (my God, those photos from then) in the game. Well, as it turns out, that could have helped him more than it hurt. FiveThirtyEight’s Julia Azari points out that some of our worst presidents have come in to office with a lot of experience.
Game 6 of the NBA Finals is tonight. We’re back in Cleveland, which means Quicken Loans Arena should be rocking on the strength of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love combining for 84 points in the big Game 5 win on the road to extend the series. In all seriousness though, it was the best game of the Finals so far, leading to a monster showdown that could end with the Warriors once again claiming victory in Ohio, now that Draymond Green is returning. Back to Irving though, here’s 17 things you missed on that vicious and-1 that we all remember.
Coffee Break: Studies have shown that many believe black people don’t feel as much pain as others. This has led to countless issues in the medical world, nevermind trauma. But this story about the Tuskegee Airmen experiments explains how medical exploitation has long-term effects.
Snack Time: So, the reason I was in Italy recently was for a friend’s wedding. That friend is part of a startup company called Enzi, which makes fashion-forward shoes with 100 percent Ethiopian products. Here’s a profile on them.
Dessert: I’ve listened to a piece of music by Oddisee nearly every day for five years. Learn more about him here.
is doing the most at OTAs with this Allen Iverson-style sleeve
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) June 15, 2016
When this site first started, the staff of The Undefeated got into a heated, afternoon-long argument about one thing. IHOP vs. Waffle House. It basically broke down to people who went to school or were from the South and everyone else. Both have places in all our of drunken-college histories, but the question of their cultural importance, respectively, is undeniable.
When it comes to song lyrics, Waffle House wins the battle. It’s not even close. The question of the actual quality of the food is one for you to have with your friends. But we need you to know about B.W. Webb, the Newport News native, whose been rocking this Allen Iverson-inspired Waffle House sleeve. The cornerback has been wearing this for a few days during organized team activities (OTAs) for the Tennessee Titans.
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) June 14, 2016
This ranks incredibly high on the list of ratchet-yet-inspired athletic wear, just above those spinner shoes that nobody had but everyone seemed to know about. Most importantly, this is not a custom job for Webb. Waffle House is selling all sorts of things that seemingly make no sense. Cycling jerseys somehow feel more pointless for Waffle House regulars than arm sleeves.
The NFL is obviously going to ruin this bit, like, yesterday, but here’s to looking for side endorsement deals by scouring gift shops of mid-level regional eateries.
is keeping the Jordan meme alive, which we’re here for
JULY 8tH pic.twitter.com/lLXDru8KfZ
— ScHoolboy Q (@ScHoolboyQ) June 14, 2016
The Crying Jordan meme will outlive us all.
The image of the NBA legend’s face during his Basketball Hall of Fame induction in 2009 has been everywhere you turn for a good two years now. With it has come lament that people will never remember who the Chicago Bulls great actually was, aside from dudes in your mentions who do nothing but play NBA 2K on the couch, telling you that LeBron James will never achieve his heights. Anyway, Jordan himself says he doesn’t mind it.
But ScHoolboy Q is going next level. Creating an edited meme as your full album cover is peak rap in 2016. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The TDE rapper is just riding the wave, to quote homey Aaron Dodson, which is all you can really ask of someone trying to move units these days. This is also known as Drake’s entire album philosophy these days. We ain’t mad.
But there’s a side question here about that meme. First off, no one will ever forget Jordan, or his basketball career. Which is simultaneously part of the problem and the raison d’être for “Legacy Twitter” to begin with. Lest we not forget where this meme came from though, which is why we will NEVER feel bad for it potentially outlasting Jordan’s impact: It came as a result of the pettiest moment of his career.
Remember that nonsense? He got up on stage and basically acted like a complete savage to everyone in the room who ever crossed him, like some sort of weird Tarantino revenge-flick situation without all the blood and N-words. It was so lame. Jordan even took shots at the Hall of Fame itself, because he had to pay for his own tickets, as if he’s not a multi-gazillianaire.
My man even flew out his old high school teammate who made the team his sophomore year above him to the ceremony, just to make fun of him, along with throwing his old high school coach under the bus, too. The whole thing was foul, and no one was afraid to admit it at the time. Jordan spent the one night he could have been gracious by trying to roast people and will end up paying the price for that from an image standpoint for the rest of eternity.
We might have to buy this album just on the strength of that alone.
All Day Podcast: 6/15/16
O.J. Simpson in today’s society, style at the NBA Finals and anti-gay prejudice in the black community
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We’re back with another edition of our podcast today, after two of us were on the road for some time. To start things off, we caught up with both my vacation and Jill’s trip to Cleveland for the NBA Finals. Then, we tackled a couple different topics.
First, we took at look at Part 2 of ESPN’s 30 for 30 O.J.: Made in America. We broke down the latest episode and discussed the story from several angles, highlighting three separate stories from The Undefeated that have analyzed his current role in American society.
Then, we took a look at the NBA Finals from a style standpoint, specifically talking about Cleveland Cavalier Kyrie Irving’s all-black look and Under Armour’s latest marketing move with the Chef Curry 2s, which have been ridiculed across the internet.
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) June 14, 2016
— SoleCollector.com (@SoleCollector) June 13, 2016
Lastly, we discussed anti-gay prejudice in the black community and how that relates to the terrible tragedy that unfolded in Orlando, Florida.
Have a listen.
Daily Dose: 6/15/16
More details trickle in about Orlando shooting tragedy
9:09 AMIt feels good to be back. Italy was fun, but we can get to that part later. It’s time to work. Check out my interview with former Los Angeles police officer Ron Shipp and director Ezra Edelman about the 30 for 30 O.J.: Made In America. Don’t forget, Part 3 is Wednesday night on ESPN at 9 p.m.
Being overseas during a mass shooting in the United States is a bizarre experience. As an American, we are often immediately identifiable before any words come out of your mouth, and once they do, people want to ask you about two things: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and guns. In the case of the Orlando mass shooting, many foreigners were completely perplexed and I had one answer — this nation values bullets more than lives. That aside, the latest update in the case is the wife of Omar Marteen, the man who shot and killed 49 people at nightclub, is now being investigated about what she might have known regarding his intentions on that horrific night in Central Florida.
Speaking of guns, South Africa is not far behind the U.S. In that nation, the regard for property protection far outweighs everything, because there was a time when it was literally the law for the minority white nation to suppress and abuse the black people who surrounded them. Their culture of violence overall puts ours to shame, to some degree. Point being, for as bad as Oscar Pistorius — an Afrikaner — might feel about shooting and killing his girlfriend, it’s entirely possible he might not feel he genuinely did anything wrong. With sentencing coming up in his case, he entered the courtroom Wednesday on his stumps, not his blades. ABC News has the details.
Reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton is a full-blown superstar in every sense. Incredible football player, media darling and truly talented guy in many respects. We’ve often seen him singing and, well, dancing, even though he recently retired the dab (thank God.) Anyway, the Panthers quarterback made an appearance on a Charlotte morning show and got his karaoke on. He got stuck with Usher’s Nice & Slow, which is an extremely difficult song to nail, particularly with a live audience listening. Power 98 not only managed to get him to sing it, but he did it pretty well, reminding us all that when it comes to the ‘oke, it’s about feeling, not your voice. ESPNW’s Tory Barron reports on the fun.
I love Nate Robinson. My man has been 10 pounds of muscle and hustle in a 5-pound bag for his entire career. Now, the former NBA player is trying to make the Seattle Seahawks as a defensive back. The thought isn’t that outlandish. He played for the University of Washington in college after initially getting there on a football scholarship. He switched his focused to hoops, and later — at 5-foot-9 — ended up as the only three-time NBA dunk contest champion, as dubious as that title may be. But, as a 32-year-old man, breaking into the NFL is not an easy task. ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia asked head coach Pete Carroll about his chances.
Coffee Break: There’s a thing people are doing now in order to calm themselves down and relax (or sleep at night) that might remind you of when you were a child. It’s called AMSR, and it’s wildly popular. Folks are just listening to a woman whispering in a light voice and doing random things like rubbing brush bristles in a 3-D mic. Wow, fam.
Snack Time: My friends tend to give me a lot of flak because I genuinely enjoy Wiz Khalifa as an artist and always have, but my man is doing more than just making mega-hits and getting into spats with Kanye West. He’s a legit style icon.
Dessert: Johnson Publishing sold Ebony and Jet magazines. This is flat-out, terrible news. End of many eras.