What Had Happened Was Trending stories on the intersections of race, sports & culture
Street Art Sundays

Desmond Mason

is one of the most well-rounded guys the NBA has ever seen

4:58 PMYou might remember Desmond Mason from the NBA. A high-flyer who came out of Oklahoma State and won a dunk title with the Seattle SuperSonics, he was a fun player to watch for a good few seasons. Now, he’s a full-time artist, who’s created works for the likes of actor George Clooney and former league commissioner David Stern. It’s not a remotely new venture for the 6-foot-5 Texas native, though. He majored in studio art in college.

Now, he’s done an interview with Just Not Sports — a podcast that describes itself as sports talk with any talk about sports. It’s a fun listen, with Mason discussing how he got into graffiti and where he draws his inspiration from. He really is a fascinating, multi-faceted guy. He describes himself as an “abstract expressionist.”

They talk about the worlds of street vs. gallery art and what it means to hone your craft at the highest level in multiple disciplines. Also, in case you didn’t know, Mason has bars, too. Back in 2007, he made a song called We Dem Hornets about his team at the time. As far as music either by or about basketball players, or both, it’s pretty solid. It’s no You Da Man, but then again, nothing is.

“I always say, you evolve or you dissolve,” Mason said at one point on the podcast, regarding his approach to life. Pretty good advice from a guy who’s found his place and really understands that, for some people, ball is not life.

Go Skateboarding Day

was a fun one. Here are some highlights.

7:00 AMIf you don’t know what Go Skateboarding Day is, it’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s a quasi-holiday in which people from around the globe celebrate their love for the sport, law enforcement be damned. Here are some highlights from the day, which was Tuesday.

Here’s what it looked like in Munich.

And Barcelona, Spain.

And Tampa Bay, Florida.

And lastly, Surabaya, Indonesia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV8vGsPgIe0

Go skate, kiddos.

Afropunk

invited M.I.A. to perform, a decision disappointing many

3:10 PMAfropunk, what are you doing?

The festival started in 2005 in Brooklyn, New York, and featured black acts that didn’t necessarily fit the mold of “urban,” but were certainly popular enough to draw large crowds. The event held a special place in the black community as a haven for weird, in a certain sense, without all of the pejorative stigmas that come with that word.

So, when M.I.A. was announced as the headliner of the inaugural show in London, things went sideways. If you don’t recall, M.I.A., who very much considers herself a part of the hip-hop community, decided to take what many have called an anti-black stance regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, specifically regarding Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime show.

“It’s interesting that in America the problem you’re allowed to talk about is Black Lives Matter … Is Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar going to say Muslim Lives Matter? Or Syrian Lives Matter? Or this kid in Pakistan matters? That’s a more interesting question,” she said.

So, having her headlining Afropunk is obviously a problem. People reacted accordingly, and then the festival brass got weird. They defended her.

OK, well, actually … no.

In an awkward about-face, M.I.A. then said that she won’t be performing there after all, because according to her, she’s been told to stay in her lane. Then, Azealia Banks defended her as well.

https://twitter.com/MIAuniverse/status/744964018239078400?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Bottom line: None of this is a good look. This year’s show is scheduled for Aug. 27-28.

Black skin matters

and the Cleveland Cavaliers had plenty on display

2:34 PMIt started with J.R. Smith, then it spread to Kyrie Irving. Next thing we knew, Iman Shumpert was showing off, too. Mo Williams then jumped in on the fun. As the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers celebrated with their hometown fans in downtown Cleveland on Wednesday, the hyperbole was flying about the rebirth of the city, pride and any number of other forms of motivation that Northeast Ohio natives gained from the title. But the strongest message was sent in its purest form: black skin.

Thursday night at the NBA draft, the newest basketball bodies showed themselves off to the world, dressed in their greatest outfits, in full “look at me” mode, as they should be. When you present yourself to the world for the first time, it’s a big deal.

But Cleveland was on a different level. The city has been outwardly showing its pride for years, as losers, to be frank. This is the same NBA. The association where people regularly complain that they don’t see enough white American bodies for their taste. The same league where former commissioner David Stern felt the need to implement a dress code, because the way that the very players that were making him money were clothing themselves in a manner that he deemed unfit.

The Cavaliers parade was as close as we’ll get to the NBA’s full capitulation to the black body. In a city where a 12-year-old named Tamir Rice was gunned down by a police officer for carrying a toy gun, with no repercussions, grown men who won a basketball title were parading around with their shirts off, displaying their truest selves, with no qualms.

https://twitter.com/ProHoopsHistory/status/745659299301564416

On Tuesday, a columnist named Joe Soucheray from Minnesota’s St. Paul Pioneer Press was beside himself that Smith dared to present himself to the world without a shirt. As if the shirt won the NBA title. He could barely understand the notion that kids might actually *prefer* self-expression, rather than clutch their nonexistent pearls.

“Am I asking too much that when you get off the airplane for the photo opportunity that you at least wear a shirt?” Soucheray wrote. “I wonder what impact it might have had on kids all across the country to see the Cavs get off their airplane dressed to the nines. I would think it might give a kid pause. Wow, look at those guys. I have to get a tie like that.”

Let’s be clear about the impact it had on many young black men across America. The statement was obvious: My skin is not a threat. This might strike some people as a revelation, or even inflammatory. But think about how empowered one must feel in order to show themselves off in such a way. It’s a privilege that few can enjoy safely. Ask any woman.

Sure, President Barack Obama might have joked about it. But there were thousands of kids and adults in that crowd, who for once might have gotten to respect the athletes they cheered for, for more than just the name on the front of their shirts. They were looking at the actual humans they rooted for.

More importantly, they had little choice but to like it. Now, let me go find my shirt.

Daily Dose: 6/24/16

The UK is on its way out of the EU

10:07 AMSo, how about that NBA draft? Guys in suits walking across the stage, yeah? In all seriousness though, the Phoenix Suns are like Kentucky West now, which is cool if you care about that sort of thing. I’m just over here crying for my Washington Wizards.

It actually happened. The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, a decision that is completely shocking if you want to do the math on how this will affect the rest of the puzzle pieces on that continent. Don’t get it twisted, this is nothing short of a super wow, on many levels. It was an extremely close vote, too, comparatively — and it’s a referendum that everyone over 21 will be talking about for the rest of their lives. But, whatever, I’m not British, but you know who is? Prime Minister David Cameron. Oh, guess what? He’s stepping down. ABC News reports.

In a complete stunner, slash not at all, your boy Donald Trump loves Brexit. In that way that dudes of a certain age do, he’s all concerned about taking things back, as if they ever “owned” them in the first place, and as if that matters anyway. “It’s one of the big votes in the history of Europe and Scotland and everywhere.” That’s what he said. Think about that quote. Let’s be clear about something: the referendum was bad news for Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, and he knows it. Check out what he had to say, while he was in Scotland. Katherine Faulders and Veronica Stracqualursi have the details.

Internet commenters. Let’s talk about them. In my life as a person who writes his opinion onto your computer screen, I’ve dealt with quite a bit of these people. Here’s how it goes: HI, I HATE YOU, LET ME SPIT SOME VITRIOLIC FOOLISHNESS THAT SOUNDS GOOD SAYING IT TO MYSELF IN THE MIRROR. Reply: Hey, thanks for reading/listening/watching, much appreciated. I don’t understand why you feel that way, considering [devastating minor point they overlooked.] Commenter: Oh, well, hey, sorry, I didn’t realize you’d reply and were a real person. FiveThirtyEight’s Christie Aschwanden wants to know why you comment.

Back to the NBA draft. Do I love basketball? Absolutely. Do I care about who plays for which team? Yes, no, maybe so? For me, the draft is really all about watching how guys hug their families and rep their sets. It’s also about how disappointing it can be when you go from guaranteed money to having to actually play to get that cash. But most importantly, it’s about fashion. If you had one big coming-out party in front of the world, what would you wear? Me, I’d go with jeans, a T-shirt and Vans. But pro hoopsters don’t do that. Check out what they did do Thursday night.

Free Food

Coffee Break: There should be a National Sweatpants Day. Like, for real. Not one of these bunk cosmetic days that don’t count, I mean a national day in which we honor the glory of sweatpants. You know who loves sweatpants? The Hungarian men’s national team goalkeeper, that’s who. And he has no shame in his game about it. Salute.

Snack Time: If you didn’t read Bomani Jones’ interview with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates from Paris, you should. If you did, good for you. Now read this — the interview about the interview.

Dessert: Rapper Gucci Mane put a new song out for the weekend and for the culture. YOU. ARE. WELCOME.

Affirmative action is not dead

Supreme Court upholds University of Texas’ policy

5:12 PMIf you read all the headlines, affirmative action as we knew it was dead. When a young lady named Abigail Fisher went full privileged and took the University of Texas to court because she thought she wasn’t admitted based on the school’s policies about race, many people thought it could have marked the end of a practice that began in the 1960s, designed to level the playing field.

Alas, nope! The Supreme Court actually voted 4-3 in favor of the institution, shocking not only every black person in America, but also most of the education world, too. Before we get to Fisher getting dragged on Twitter via the #BeckyWithTheBadGrades hashtag (a twist on the previous #StayMadAbby), let’s take a look back at how ominous the expectations were among experts.

“Supreme Court Justices’ Comments Don’t Bode Well for Affirmative Action,” the New York Times surmised. “End race-based affirmative action? Yes,” the NY Daily News offered. “This Move By The Supreme Court Probably Means The End Of Affirmative Action,” Think Progress asserted. “The End of Affirmative Action?” The Atlantic wondered.

The argument, as unfortunate as it seemed, made a fair amount of sense. Maybe we’ve come far enough that we don’t need such rules anymore. Most people know that the fundamental discrimination that exists in the academic world would never be unraveled by 50 years of affirmative action, but with the Supreme Court, there’s no way to predict what will be done.

So this, in many ways, was a victory for progressives.

To be clear, Fisher not getting into that college had a lot more to do with its stringent standards, not what anyone looked like. Earlier this year, ProPublica broke down exactly why that is.

“Race probably had nothing to do with the University of Texas’ decision to deny admission to Abigail Fisher,” Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote. “In 2008, the year Fisher sent in her application, competition to get into the crown jewel of the Texas university system was stiff. Students entering through the university’s top-10 program — a mechanism that granted automatic admission to any teen who graduated in the upper 10 percent of his or her high school class — claimed 92 percent of the in-state spots. … But Fisher failed to graduate in the top 10 percent of her class, meaning she had to compete for the limited number of spaces up for grabs.”

Score one for learning.

13 rappers

we’d love to see as video game characters

2:35 PMIn the early 2000s, there was a golden era of hip-hop fighting video games. Def Jam and Electronic Arts got together and licensed musical artists to appear in games that allowed you to get in the ring as one of your favorite rappers. First came Def Jam Vendetta in 2003. Then there was Def Jam: Fight for NY. They were classics.

But on Wednesday, New Orleans’ Curren$y Spitta got us to thinking. He was apparently just having a session and thinking, when it occurred to him that rapper Desiigner looks like something he’s seen before.

Based upon this premise, it’s time for someone to create an updated version of the original roster that included Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Lil Kim, Redman, Method Man, N.O.R.E. and DMX among many. Desiigner, the man responsible for Panda, is just one of many we’d love to see in the ring on the sticks. Let’s run down the list.


Curren$y

(Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

(Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

Obviously, he has to be involved if only because he’ll probably the one that makes it happen. He’d have an array of super dope outfits and could whoop you without even getting his sneakers dirty. Come to think of it, he’d probably make the title track to this game, too.

Wiz Khalifa

(Photo by Tabatha Fireman/Getty Images for Red Bull)

(Photo by Tabatha Fireman/Getty Images for Red Bull)

Standing at 6-foot-4, he obviously would be a character with quite a bit of reach. And that sinister, yet hearty, laugh would certainly come out after any victory. His finishing move would obviously be called the “Taylor Gang” in which he drops a hot bar, then his squad appears from nowhere and brutalizes the opponent.

Pitbull

(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Dressed in all white, Mr. Worldwide would clearly be the one that pummels you to death with fist pumps and foot stomps. His finishing move, “Dale,” would involve a grand buildup after which the force of the music from the drop would instantly floor you, while the rest of the crowd just danced around your lifeless body.

Lil Wayne

(Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Samsung)

(Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Samsung)

Armed with a skateboard and getting extra power from various Styrofoam cups of liquid, Wayne would be a formidable character. Although a tad diminutive, he’d use that to his advantage by being able to duck your short-range attacks. Plus his grill makes for a nearly impenetrable defense system.

Future

(Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage)

(Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage)

The key is to pay attention to the hat. It would serve as a Peaky Blinders type weapon (or Oddjob from James Bond for our older readers), which would be devastating from long range. That and his dance moves would also double as defensive dodges in the ring.

2 Chainz

(Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)

(Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)

His weaponry is in his name, but you’ve got to go to the Bands A Make Her Dance remix to figure out his real tool of precision: four bracelets. With all this jewelry shining on you and coming at you, he’s almost impossible to get at. Let us also not forget that Mr. Chainz also played college basketball, so his hops would off the charts.

Fetty Wap

(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Firefly)

(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Firefly)

A one-eyed guy from New Jersey that rides motorcycles and ATVs? Yeah, he’s making the list. I have no idea what his powers would be, or why. But he would be the default character if you chose to play in story mode, just because.

Remy Ma

(Photo by John Ricard/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Ricard/Getty Images)

Wielding the most vicious door-knocker earrings you’ve ever seen in your life, if you even get close to her face, expect a serious clapback. Her natural defensive stance, obviously, is the Lean Back making it nearly impossible to actually connect on any offensive charges.

Iggy Azalea

(Photo by Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns)

(Photo by Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns)

Scissors, folks. Scissors. Remember when she said she’d go full Lorena Bobbitt if she caught her then-man Nick Young cheating? Yeah, she’s about that action. So, good luck avoiding those blades when you’re trying to level up.

Action Bronson

(Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

(Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

This is the guy you face right before the boss levels. At home in a kitchen that doubles as a recording studio, he’d have an arsenal of knives, pots and mics to swing your way and get you hemmed up in his web. His finishing move would be a delicious meal that you ate thinking you were regaining power but, alas, you were being poisoned.

DJ Khaled – First Boss

 (Photo by Steven Lawton/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steven Lawton/Getty Images)

This is obvious. With a keychain full of major keys, unlocking this man’s defense is unlikely. Just imagine him firing those things at you while yelling, “Another one!” the whole time. Then when you’re finally defeated, he hits you with his tagline: “Congratulations, you played yourself.”

Kanye West – Second Boss

(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Able to embody everyone else’s fighting styles, West’s strategy is to make you think he’s doing one thing, then devastate you with an entirely different approach you’ve never seen. Dressed in overpriced rags, it’s tough to get a grip on him. But if you can disrupt his creative process long enough then you can find yourself at the biggest boss of them all …

GUCCI MANE AKA BIG GUWOP

(Photo by Prince Williams/FilmMagic)

(Photo by Prince Williams/FilmMagic)

You had to know this was coming. If you think there is anyone that embodies rap video game super boss more than the Atlanta supernova, you’re bugging. Here’s how it would go: At first, you’d get a tough, wiry six-packed Gucci that hits you with his prison fighting skills at close range. Then, after you defeated him and you think you’ve won the game, up from the ashes rises Spring Breakers Gucci, who rains ice cream cones down from the sky, all controlled by his face tattoo. If you can avoid or consume the dizzying volume of mixtapes and albums he throws at you all the while, only then are you victorious.

Please, someone, make this game happen.

Another not guilty

verdict in the Freddie Gray case

11:31 AMIt was considered the biggest one of them all.

In the case of Caesar Goodson Jr., the Baltimore City police officer who was the van driver in the incident that eventually killed Freddie Gray Jr., Goodson was acquitted of second-degree, depraved-heart murder, among other charges Thursday. It’s also another blow to the reputation of Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who very publicly pledged to bring justice to those responsible for Gray’s demise. She reportedly shook her head repeatedly in the courtroom as the verdict in the Goodson case was read.

“All six, murderers!” the protesters yelled outside of the courthouse Thursday morning. Goodson was the third officer charged in the case, and the third who has had no guilt assigned his way. The first officer’s trial ended in a hung jury, the second was acquitted. Most depressing, of course, is how incredibly unsurprising this result is.

https://twitter.com/KimBrownTalks/status/745984580432330752

Once again, this is how institutional injustice works. If you can spread the plausible deniability of intent across multiple people, and you have a dead man who can’t speak for himself against others, it’s difficult to prove anyone specifically is responsible. Six people saying, “It wasn’t me, I didn’t mean to do it,” when the actual tool of harm has an engine and four wheels becomes a tough burden in a courtroom to overcome. Apparently, Gray’s neck just broke itself.

The next trial is set for July 5.

Daily Dose: 6/23/16

Sleepover on Capitol Hill

9:32 AMOn Wednesday, as a staff at The Undefeated, we were asked what our favorite NBA playoff moments of all time are. Here’s mine. It’s important to note that Allen Iverson is also my favorite basketball player of all time, too. What’s your favorite moment?

The House floor has turned into even more of a spectacle than it already is. After Republican inaction on a gun control bill, representatives en masse took to the floor and plainly just didn’t move. It’s a very old-school move, which from an optics standpoint can be highly effective. Whether this is the series of bills that Democrats should be doing this for is a different matter. (Meanwhile, Republicans voted to take their ball and go home.) That said, there is the small matter of survival if you’re going to be having a sleepover at work, ABC’s David Caplan reports.

There will be developments in the case of Freddie Gray on Thursday. Caesar Goodson was the van driver for the rough ride that eventually claimed Gray’s life and he faces charges of manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. Interestingly, he opted to forgo a jury trial, and leave his fate up to a judge. That ruling comes down on Thursday at 10 a.m. If acquitted, he’ll be the third of six officers involved in that death who will not be going to jail, just yet. ABC News’ Serena Marshall has details.

College is an interesting thing. If you come from a certain part of the world, you assume that once you’re done with high school or gap year, you go to college and get on with it. But alas, that’s not how most of America works. On the campaign trail, however, higher education is a hot topic because candidates always throw it out there as a path into a more successful economy. But is that even a realistic goal for most families in the U.S.? Check out the latest episode of FiveThirtyEight’s Kitchen Table Politics podcast, in which they discuss said topic.

Today is draft day in the NBA. You’ll get to see a couple dozen extremely tall guys walk across the stage and shake hands with shorter guys. Then, you’ll get to look at various families in different states of pride as well as a few pockets of maniac fans reacting as if they have any clue how one random guy is going to pan out in a league full of opportunities. Ben Simmons is expecting to go at the top, then Brandon Ingram (whose hair is looking great these days) second. Perhaps most important, though, is that Simmons is signing with Nike, ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Are you having trouble watching all the television you need to? You have a couple of choices. One, put down the device and get outside of your house, but no one wants to do that. Or two, watch them all in fast-forward. Seriously, one guy is actually doing this, and claiming it works. Ironically, it feels like a giant waste of time.

Snack Time: The Brexit vote is today, which is only going to determine the economic future of all of Europe, but, that’s it. The best part, however, is that people are bringing their dogs to the polls and taking pictures. It’s back!

Dessert: Wiz Khalifa is a fool for the album art on his new track. Very well done, however.

All Day Podcast: 6/21/16

NBA draft preview and summer movies

5:35 PM

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed

We made it back to the studio this week before senior style writer Jill Hudson hit the road for the NBA draft and staff writer Justin Tinsley heads out to Los Angeles to cover the BET Awards. Now that the NBA Finals are over, we can all finally catch our breath.

To open the show, we discussed how we watched Game 7 and I had to drop in a Father’s Day update. Other highlights from the show include my feelings about what the future of hip-hop is, Jill revealing which movie she saw day one with her kids and Justin breaking out one of the best impressions our show has ever seen.

Give it a listen, and if you have any feedback or show ideas, feel free to email us at allday@theundefeated.com.

MLB

Jeter and Obama

make a great combo for interviews

12:27 PMFuture Baseball Hall of Famer Derek Jeter and President Barack Obama are boys. Not necessarily super tight, but they talk trash on the golf course and dap each other up when they’re both at the same baseball game in Cuba. You know, the usual.

On Wednesday, The Players’ Tribune (which Jeter founded) released an interview with the commander in chief and the New York Yankees legend in which — from the Roosevelt Room of the White House — the two recently talked about their lives, their initiatives and what’s next for each of them.

At one point, they discussed what they would have told their younger selves, at 15 and 25 years old. The exchange was funny. Earlier in the talk, the four-time World Series champion described how his dad had an old collection of clippings that made him want to be a better ballplayer than his father.

Jeter: I did something my final season, I kept a little diary. Every day I wrote something in there. How I was feeling after every game. I don’t know if too many people know about it. I’ve yet to look back at it. The idea was, I don’t have children, and I thought if and when I had kids.

Obama: Dad actually had some game?

Jeter: Yes, sort of like my dad’s scrapbook that he had, now I have photos. … But I wish I would have done that throughout my entire career. Because there are so many experiences you have that you tend to forget. So, if I could go back to 25, I’d say do it. Every day.”

Obama: At 15, I would have told myself: Hit the books and stop goofing off. Because at 15, I was not the most responsible young man. I loved basketball, but outside of basketball, I was getting by on charm and wit, but not taking my schoolwork as seriously as I could have. And when I think back now and say, ‘If I just invested the time…’

Jeter: Things … would have worked out a lot better for you?

Obama: You know I might have made something of myself, doggone it. Fifteen years old I would have said work harder, get more serious. … At 25, my advice would have been to lighten up.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is exactly how comfortable Jeter was in that room and that setting. And the measured replies, along with the light sprinkling of humor and self-reflection, made his demeanor seem, dare I say, presidential.

Far less popular athletes have made it in the field of politics. Maybe Jeter will be the next to do so.

Daily Dose: 6/22/16

Lionel Messi continues his dominance in Houston

9:27 AMThis week’s podcast was a fun one, with senior style writer Jill Hudson telling stories about her summer movie plans and staff writer Justin Tinsley revealing how he watches sports when he’s nervous. And you get to learn about what I did on Father’s Day.

Want to watch patriarchy work? Look no further than Kathleen Kane. She’s the attorney general of Pennsylvania who exposed the old boys network that existed in state government, with employees of all ranks sharing racist and misogynist emails, not to mention pornography. Instead of being lauded for her courage in the face of an obviously gross situation, her colleagues are basically trying to ruin her life, for what they feel was selective vindictiveness. ABC News has the story of the scandal she’s now facing herself.

It feels like nothing can go right with the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, at this point. We won’t even get into the national internal politics of what’s happening in Brazil, but the games themselves are at serious risk. Athletes are pulling out left and right due to concerns about the Zika virus and the entire Russian track team has been banned altogether for doping concerns. In addition, a jaguar that was used in a ceremony involving the Olympic torch this week had to be killed, after it got off leash and tried to attack someone. What a mess. The Associated Press reports from Sao Paolo.

The world of wine is a fascinating one. As someone who doesn’t consider himself an expert, but knows what he likes, it will forever fascinate me that people care so much about it from a personal standpoint that they have cellars full of it. Also, they will spend outrageous sums of money for something that they probably won’t even drink, but will just show off to their friends. It is not dissimilar to the sneaker world in that way. All that aside, the specific economics of high-end wine is intriguing. FiveThirtyEight’s Oliver Roeder breaks it down.

So, yeah, about Copa America. Argentina is the best team in the world, with the best player on the globe. Jurgen Klinsmann’s United States men’s national team never really had a chance in this semifinal in Houston on Tuesday, but there were people acting as if American exceptionalism alone was somehow going to will this team to a win, which was so hilariously myopic that it was almost sad. The Americans got absolutely drubbed from the first whistle, and had no shot. Literally, zero shots on goal. Think about it. ESPN FC’s Doug McIntyre explains the beatdown.

Free Food

Coffee Break: The Los Angeles Police Department doesn’t exactly have a great reputation when it comes to what we’ll call public relations, but a new policy is looking to change that. One of the most notorious police forces in the country is actually enacting a policy that is designed to help them be more compassionate toward the homeless. It’s a good start.

Snack Time: There’s a new movie about Serena Williams airing tonight at 9 p.m. For those of you who don’t follow her every move as closely as her biggest fans, it will be a behind-the-scenes look at her pressure-packed life.

Dessert: Tired of blowing cash on crappy lunches? This will help with your lunch planning game.

Nick Young

is getting somewhat dragged in these streets

4:55 PMIt’s been a strange couple of days for Swaggy P. First, the NBA guard tried to pull a news dump on the world by tweeting right before Game 7 of the NBA Finals that he was single again, after a rather tumultuous relationship with Australian rapper Iggy Azalea ended. We really wanted this one to work, but it’s concluded with such a fireball that it’s probably better that these two never see each other again.

Now, even Foot Locker is getting in on the fun, all with the help of D’Angelo Russell, Young’s Los Angeles Lakers teammate, who is half the reason Young’s relationship spiraled out of control to begin with.

If you don’t recall, it was the 20-year-old Russell who videotaped Young talking about his dalliances with women who were not his fiancee, then posted it on the internet, then said he didn’t do it (?), then admitted it, apologized and the Lakers’ season crash-landed into the Pacific Ocean as it was destined to do the second Kobe Bryant decided to return for one more year before retiring at the end of this past season.

After that moronic incident, the marriage plans were put on hold. Russell was widely chided as being incredibly immature, but that insane game Bryant had to close his career sort of made us forget that Young’s life was in shambles. Now, shoe stores are out here clowning him in ads, and that’s just the beginning.

As it turns out, Azalea is not here for the nonsense. She put his stuff out in the street and had his car towed, which is relatively low on the “things your ex can do to put you on blast” list. If you’re wondering, the No. 1 seed in that group is what we call going “full Left Eye” and burning down your man’s house. Lower on the list is Angela Bassett’s treatment from Waiting To Exhale, putting all your man’s stuff out and torching it. Honorable mention goes to Elin Woods, who went upside golfer Tiger Woods’ Escalade with a golf club.

Anyway, it appears that Young has escaped relatively unscathed from his side-chick shenanigans. Yet, instead of playing it cool, he’s found himself in cahoots with the biggest savage around the NBA not named Derek Fisher: GILBERT ARENAS. Of course, these two know each other from their days as knucklehead teammates with the Washington Wizards. This will not end well.

GilbertandSwaggy

Fam, seriously. This picture just looks like instant, ratchet goonery. Half that caption is redacted because this, on some levels, is still a family site. Let’s just say it involved describing in detail what (and whom) the two would be socializing with (to put lightly) in the immediate future. That post was followed up with another video of Young playing a guitar in a store, with a caption that, of course, insults Azalea.

Arenas has been about this life for some time, so it’s nothing particularly surprising, but if you’re in Young’s squad right now, you need to get your boy. Or join him.

Black Twitter

#BlackTwitterDate

is one of the best love stories of the year

4:10 PMBlack Twitter is so many things to so many people. For many, it’s a window into our culture. For some, it’s a source of education and entertainment, and for others, it’s where all civility goes to die. But on Monday, the site Blavity teamed up with a new dating site called One App, which targets black millennials, and the result is perfect.

Titled “If Black Twitter Went On A Date With You,” it tells the story of a first date that starts off a tad awkwardly, but ends well. In it, the actions of both are peppered with various comments from around the Twittersphere, expertly balancing all the discussions we have about dating and inserting a lovely level of emotion and fun that make up those first-night jitters.

It’s a genuinely touching story, even if you know, #brands.

Daily Dose: 6/21/16

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union are doing just fine

2:36 PMHey y’all, sorry for the late post today, but we’re here. We taped another podcast this morning, and as a bonus, you can watch Justin Tinsley and I discuss what I think was the best defensive play in the history of the NBA Finals.

Whether it’s an elementary school classroom or a popular nightclub, Congress doesn’t care. You will not be keeping people from their guns, no matter what. The gun lobby is so pervasive, so influential and so large that our elected officials apparently live in fear of getting on their wrong side. More than one bill designed to prevent people on terror watch lists from being able to get firearms with such ease, in fact, failed. Think about that. We sit around and pray when people get shot to death, but refuse to take responsibility to remove the guns. Needless to say, President Barack Obama is not happy about it.

It appears that not all is hunky-dory with the NYPD. A federal investigation has turned up details of the force’s top brass and someone linked to Mayor Bill DeBlasio, who were allegedly taking big-time gifts from citizens in return for protection and favors. In short, having a police officer on your personal payroll does not come at a small price, but definitely has its benefits. And when you see the words: flights, hotel rooms, prostitutes, expensive meals and home improvement in a court document, you have a problem. ABC News’ Michael Edison Hayden reports.

Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade are one of our favorite celebrity couples. They’ve had their ups and downs, but the actress is still very much here to ride for her man, no matter what. She’s out in these streets showing love, and we all see it and appreciate it. Wade, a longtime player for the Miami Heat, is on the cover of the next ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue and his relationship with Union is no small part of why he did it. He calls her his best friend; it’s really kind of adorable and rather admirable to see a man so willing and able to talk about love. ABC’s Michael Rothman has the details.

In all of the LeBron James haze, there’s the question of Stephen Curry. People, including me, were calling Curry the best player on the planet. There was talk of him revolutionizing the entire league and many were ready to hand over everything in the NBA to him. Then, the NBA Finals happens. Curry didn’t exactly have a great series, even as the MVP of the league, and Legacy Twitter has been roasting him ever since. Dudes were even out here disrespecting his dad, Dell, which is very extra. FiveThirtyEight’s Benjamin Morris wonders: Is the Curry revolution already over?

Free Food

Coffee Break: If you like Girl Scout Cookies, there is good news. If you don’t like them, I have no idea what’s wrong with you. Pillsbury just unveiled baking mixes that feature all your favorite flavors, allowing you to put all the best stuff in your cookies and brownies. This is huge news for a certain segment of the population.

Snack Time: Oh, you didn’t want to see a video of comedian/actor Kevin Hart rapping the lyrics to Desiigner’s Panda while using his panda voice from the movie The Secret Life of Pets? Too bad, because it actually happened on British radio.

Dessert: If you’re an aspiring movie director of color, click here. Could be helpful.

Best hair of the Euros

It’s not the strongest field we’ve ever seen, but it isn’t bad

8:00 AMAs is the case with every international soccer tournament, hair is a big part of things when it comes to how players present themselves. We’ve got some usual suspects in the 2016 UEFA European Football Championship, with a couple new twists as well. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites.

Jerome Boateng, defender, Germany

LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 12: Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany talks to his team mate Jerome Boateng after the UEFA EURO 2016 Group C match between Germany and Ukraine at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on June 12, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

LILLE, FRANCE – JUNE 12: Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany talks to his team mate Jerome Boateng after the UEFA EURO 2016 Group C match between Germany and Ukraine at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on June 12, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

The man who’s made perhaps the best play of the tournament so far with his incredible clear off the line in Germany’s opening match against Ukraine, also happens to have a very smooth ‘do. In what I can only describe as a “conk fade,” he’s thrown in a couple racing stripes that give it a flair beyond the obvious. This is German efficiency and style at its best.

Daniel Sturridge, striker, England

LENS, FRANCE - JUNE 16: Daniel Sturridge of England celebrates England's second goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group B match between England and Wales at Stade Bollaert-Delelis on June 16, 2016 in Lens, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

LENS, FRANCE – JUNE 16: Daniel Sturridge of England celebrates England’s second goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group B match between England and Wales at Stade Bollaert-Delelis on June 16, 2016 in Lens, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

He scored a thrilling goal as a sub to help England secure its first-ever win in the Euros after being down at half last Thursday, but his hair has been the subject of discussion for some time. Over the years, the Liverpool man has effective kept the curly flattop, while occasionally adding a few flourishes that felt like tributes to Michael Jackson, with the slightest touch of Jheri curl on them. It’s all forgiven though, because his dance is the best in the game.

Paul Pogba, midfield, France

Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images; Photo by VI Images via Getty Images

Photo by Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images; Photo by VI Images via Getty Images

Pogba is a legend in the on-field hair game, no questions asked. He’s gone with the gold-striped mohawk with side lettering, the leopard-print motif and the full peacock — he’s got it all in his arsenal. What’s he’s got for this tournament is relatively tame, all styles considered, but it still features his patented gold, along with his name on the other side, a nice touch. And by the way, as he told ESPN The Magazine, he wants to be the best ever, not just one of.

Divock Origi, striker, Belgium

LYON, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Divock Origi of Belgium vies with Leonardo Bonucci of Italy during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group E match between Belgium and Italy at Stade des Lumieres on June 13, 2016 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

LYON, FRANCE – JUNE 13: Divock Origi of Belgium vies with Leonardo Bonucci of Italy during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group E match between Belgium and Italy at Stade des Lumieres on June 13, 2016 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The blond, faux-hawk fade certainly isn’t a style unique to American culture by way of NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. In fact, though he receives all the credit, Beckham didn’t even start the trend — but, that’s a different story. Origi has given the look a European stamp of approval with his own blond hue blended into a naturally curly mohawk (Origi has also rocked the perm in the past). Shoutout to him for telling his barber “close on the sides” to maintain the tight fade.

Éder, striker, Portugal

Eder (R) of Portugal looks on prior to the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier match between Portugal and Luxembourg at Estadio Cidade de Coimbra on October 15, 2013 in Coimbra, Portugal.

Eder (R) of Portugal looks on prior to the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier match between Portugal and Luxembourg at Estadio Cidade de Coimbra on October 15, 2013 in Coimbra, Portugal.

David Ramos/Getty Images

What’s so admirable about European soccer is that crazy styles of braids are still socially acceptable. Nowadays, you rarely see NFL players rock braids and, except for San Antonio Spur Kawhi Leonard, the NBA is no longer a home for braids, which Allen Iverson popularized in the league in the early 2000s. You can find, however, countless players like Portugal’s Éder on the pitch with braids flapping in the wind. The best part? The tire-tread designs that probably took hours to finesse.

Raheem Sterling, striker, England

MARSEILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 11: Raheem Sterling of England during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group B match between England and Russia at Stade Velodrome on June 11, 2016 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)

MARSEILLE, FRANCE – JUNE 11: Raheem Sterling of England during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group B match between England and Russia at Stade Velodrome on June 11, 2016 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images)

Sterling’s hairdo at this year’s Euros — a high fade, grown out on the top with a side part — is pretty basic, and maybe even the least interesting on this list. But his hairstyle history? A buffet of beauty. Sterling has sported the dreads fade, the twists (word to Whoopi Goldberg) and, our personal favorite, the perm fade with the side part (word to Uncle Bobby). Keep doing your thing, Raheem. No “Make Soccer Fun Again” movement needed with that hair.

Johan Djourou, defender, Switzerland

LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 19: Johan Djourou of Switzerland gestures during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group A match between Switzerland and France at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on June 19, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

LILLE, FRANCE – JUNE 19: Johan Djourou of Switzerland gestures during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group A match between Switzerland and France at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on June 19, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Despite being born in the Ivory Coast, Djourou is a defender for the Swiss. Inexplicably, he chooses to keep his hair at a length most men hate. He wears his hair in a starter-dreads fade. Considering the hair choices of some other Ivory-born footballers like Drogba’s perm and Gervinho’s braids, Djourou looks pretty good rocking “The In-Between Phase.”

David Alaba, defender, Austria

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 18: David Alaba of Austria looks on during the UEFA Euro 2016 Group F match between the Portugal and Austria at Parc des Princes on June 18, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images)

PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 18: David Alaba of Austria looks on during the UEFA Euro 2016 Group F match between the Portugal and Austria at Parc des Princes on June 18, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images)

Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Born in Vienna, Austria, Alaba is the son of a Nigerian prince, who is also a rapper and DJ. Alaba, Austria’s best player, also has the team’s best hair, rocking an Odell Beckham-esque, blond-tipped faux hawk. I can guarantee Alaba does not have hands like Beckham, but he looks good in the “Blonded Like Beckham” look.

Maroune Fellaini, midfield, Belgium

LYON, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Marouane Fellaini of Belgium during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group E match between Belgium and Italy at Stade des Lumieres on June 13, 2016 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)

LYON, FRANCE – JUNE 13: Marouane Fellaini of Belgium during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group E match between Belgium and Italy at Stade des Lumieres on June 13, 2016 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images)

Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Towering over most other footballers, Fellaini is conspicuous on the pitch. Belgium’s 6-foot-4 midfielder starts matches sporting “The Foxxy Cleopatra” fluffy, blond Afro. But, by the end, perspiration pulls his hair down into the “Sideshow Bob” look, also known as the “Full Varejao.”

Lastly, let’s pay homage to the G.O.A.T. of European soccer hair: former Portuguese player, and current Mozambique national team coach, Abel Xavier.

(GERMANY OUT) 30.11.1972-Sportler, Fussball, PortugalAbwehrspieler (Hannover 96)gestikuliert mit ausgestrecktem Zeigefinger. (Photo by contrast/Ralf Pollack/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Abel Xavier. (Photo by contrast/Ralf Pollack/ullstein bild via Getty Images)