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

On this day: The Dream Team wins Olympic gold in 1992

The iconic squad made the world fall in love with hoops

2:45 PMLong before guys were accidentally walking into Brazilian brothels and inadvertently posting pictures of their anatomy to social media, there was a group of 12 basketball players that tore through the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, with a vengeance we’d never seen before. On Aug. 8, 1992, the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team, known as “The Dream Team,” won gold. They smashed Croatia, 117-85, capping off the tournament run.

These days, anything less that a beatdown from the Americans is considered an embarrassment. Watching them play is borderline not fun, because there’s really no competition. But back in the ’90s, we were really here to watch the Chuck Daly-coached team run roughshod all over the world. And their uniforms are still some of the most fire this country has ever seen.

The most important thing about that tournament is that it definitely redefined the concept of success for a program that had quite a few ups and down in its history. In 1988, the team had won only the bronze medal in Seoul, South Korea, under head coach John Thompson. It would be the last time the United States did not field a team with NBA players.

In 2004, under Larry Brown — a squad featuring Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury, Tim Duncan and a young LeBron James — the Americans finished third again. Then, USA Basketball decided it was time to rethink things altogether. Duke University men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski took over, and after a rocky start in the 2006 FIBA World Championship (bronze), the team got things back on track with two straight gold medals at the Olympics.

Despite stories of late-night gambling and all-night parties from the ’90s in Spain — in an era when that kind of info wasn’t going to be leaked nor get anyone in trouble — it was a time when playing for your country meant a lot to everyone on the team. Losing was not an option, and the players who were famously left off the team (Isiah Thomas and Shaquille O’Neal) still don’t like talking about it much, because of the bitterness.

Perhaps most importantly, though, this team jump-started the globalization of the game on another level. Everyone saw the likes of Michael Jordan in his prime alongside Earvin “Magic” Johnson and an aging Larry Bird, all doing their thing. By the time the next Olympics came around, it was clear what happened.

The 1992 Dream Team was iconic not just for Americans, but the entire world, too.

Hillary Clinton gets covered up

Australian artist then has to remove image entirely after legal threats

7:00 AM

@kevin did u donate today ?

A post shared by Lushsux (@lushsux2) on

The nature of street art is temporary, by design. You paint something on a wall. Eventually, someone paints over it. The time of its existence is part and parcel with the satisfaction of the experience of creating it and looking at it. So when a provocative piece goes up, there’s the chance that someone either complains or buffs it entirely. In the case of Lushsux, an Australian artist, both ended up happening.

Earlier this week, a mural of Hillary Clinton in a bikini that was designed after an American flag made a lot of noise. On the surface, the so-called shock value was obvious. Of course, local government complained, so the artist made an adjustment. He covered her in a niqab. Smart, no? Makes a good point about how ridiculous not only censorship is, but particularly in the case of allowing women to be themselves. A provocative mural doubled down.

Then, guess what? He had to cover it up altogether. The council deemed it sexist. According to the National Post, he answered back on social media. “This is no longer a wall of a supposed ‘offensive and near naked’ Hillary Clinton, it is now a depiction of a beautiful Muslim woman. No reasonable person would consider this offensive,” the artist wrote in a post.

Alas.

The Brujas are about that life

Meet the all-female skate crew from New York City everyone’s talking about

7:00 AM

Skateboarding attempts to be inclusive. The notion that your board and your skills are all that matter are major tenets of the philosophy of the genre, but it doesn’t always work that way in practice. So, what you get is, per usual, girls being excluded because a bunch of dudes just can’t handle the basic concept of say, equality.

No matter for the Brujas, though. They’re a skate crew mainly from the Bronx, New York, that is not here for the nonsense and uses its collective genius to empower sisterhood. That’s what’s up. And they’re getting a lot of love these days. Vogue, The New York Times and Dazed, to name a few.

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These girls are dope.

Chicago police release shooting video

Officers fire into moving vehicle during incident

1:58 PM

Just after a minute into this video, you can watch Chicago police shooting into a moving vehicle. You then see an officer cursing at and chasing a suspect, and then pushing his head into the ground during an arrest. We’re not experts on police policy here, but this appears to be rather reckless, to say the least. The teenager died.

Policing is hard, scary work. This video shows you what it’s like when the guys with the badges decide that guns are the best answer. This video is courtesy of the Independent Police Review Authority of Chicago. The incident occurred last week. WARNING: Footage and language is graphic.

Paul O’Neal is his name. He was 18 years old.

2 Chainz delivers more heat

New Music? 2 Chainz drops 10-track mixtape

12:00 PMKendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Chance The Rapper and Drake.

This year in the hip-hop world, those four rappers have been dominating the conversation. However, while those artists have been the center of attention, Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz has quietly been having a strong year.

2 Chainz has had a busy 2016, to say the least. In January, the Atlanta rapper released a short, six-song project titled Felt Like Cappin. Then in March, he followed it up with COLLEGROVE, a more commercial collab album with Lil Wayne.

On Thursday night, fans were anxiously waiting for Frank Ocean and Travis Scott to release their projects (which they didn’t). While they were waiting, 2 Chainz decided to bless the internet with a 10-track mixtape titled Daniel Son; Necklace Don.

According to his Twitter account, the new project was released early by 2 Chainz to beat the bootleggers to the punch.

The drop came to the joy of 2 Chainz fans everywhere.

While people have been waiting a long time for this new Frank Ocean project (sorry Rhiannon), this is the third 2 Chainz project in just this year alone. Say what you want about El Chapo Jr., but the man delivers.

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Yes, 2 Chainz songs haven’t been dominating the radio like he did in 2011-2012. But the man is still putting out bangers for the whip and has one of the funniest Youtube video series of all time.

Will we get a Frank Ocean or Travis Scott project soon? Only time will tell. But for now, 2 Chainz got us.

TRU.

Daily Dose: 8/5/16

All right, Rio — Let’s get this thing started

10:11 AMWilliam Rhoden is great, and Thursday night at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) convention I was more than honored to moderate a panel for a great film, Olympic Pride, American Injustice, with him and director Deborah Riley Draper. Most fun I’ve had in a long while.

You want a real hardcore look at what our justice system is? Go no further than Dylann Roof. The white supremacist kid that walked into a Charleston, South Carolina, church and opened fire after a prayer meeting, then got to eat fast food courtesy of the police. Yeah, well, he’s trying to get off from the death penalty by arguing that it’s unconstitutional, as cruel and unusual punishment. You don’t say. Also, some guy assaulted Roof in jail Thursday and people are giving him money for it.

The Donald Trump circus continues into the weekend. For his latest trick, the Republican presidential nominee is now describing things he’s never seen to wide audiences, claiming to have a firm grasp on their belongings. If you weren’t aware, the United States of America occasionally drops straight-up cash payments on people to settle scores. It’s kind of obnoxious but also respectable at the same time, lest you divest yourself from the reasons why it’s happening, which is near impossible. Anyway, the last time it happened, Trump didn’t see a video of the transaction. But, he says he did. Or something.

Full disclosure: Watching bears eat fish is a favorite pastime of mine. Seriously, I’ve got these live cams on deck of these ursine creatures standing in moving water and trying to snag these salmon. It’s one of the most bizarrely therapeutic, circle of life type things you can do. (If you’re counting, this is day two of bear news on this blog.) ANYWAY, here’s a question for you, in the form of a riddle from FiveThirtyEight’s Oliver Roeder. Should the grizzly bear eat the salmon?

By the way, the Olympics “start” Friday. I say that in such a way because multiple events have already gotten underway, but the opening ceremonies aren’t until Friday night. This is the part where I remind you that the person who popularized the Olympic march is a guy who also thought that genocide made sense. Yes, it was Adolf Hitler and the Nazis who created this tradition, so just think about that when you’re watching your favorite athletes parade through Rio de Janeiro. Also, here’s a great story about what athletes do with their medals after winning.

Free Food

Coffee Break: This isn’t “news” in the truest sense of the word, but it’s worth noting that rapper Snoop Dogg is producing a new television series about two women who run a weed delivery service in California. Snoop, please never stop being you.

Snack Time: I’ve got a buddy who lives in Hong Kong. He’s the one who got married in Italy, which is why I was there. When I finally go visit him, I’ll stop at his place first. Then, I’m immediately going to this joint. Obviously.

Dessert: It’s the weekend. And Miguel’s got a new track out. You’re welcome.

Daily Dose: 8/4/16

Tiger Woods’ career is waning, and Nike Golf is suffering

11:22 AM

I played spades Wednesday night. I just need you to know that, because it’s the most fun card game on Earth. That is all.

When the headline reads “Family of Bears Enjoys Outing at California Lake,” then it leads. Let’s take this to its logical conclusion: A family of bears woke up in the morning, deciding that day, they were going to take a dip in the glorious waters of Tahoe, as you do. Mama Bear said, “Cubs, we’re going for a swim. Don’t forget your trunks.” Then, when they arrived they bathed graciously, unlike many of the rude humans around gawking and talking. Just kidding, this is quasi terrifying but also mega cute and why we shouldn’t encroach habitats, folks.

Ikea, for all its greatness, brings out the worst in people. The absolute worst. If you’ve ever been there with a significant other, never mind your parents, you know what I’m talking about. And because it’s all open plan and public, when you disagree with bae about which side table fits better in the guest room: everybody knows. My god, it’s awkward, but it’s part of the deal. You will watch people fight when you go to Ikea. VICE‘s Yasmin Jeffery asked a psychologist to break down what we’re looking at when we see these pre-Swedish meatball disagreements.

Have you ever seen the movie Minority Report? It’s a sci-fi “tech noir” movie about people who can see the future and thus predict crimes before they happen. Crazy, right? We wouldn’t want a society in which people were assumed to be committing crimes and thus throwing them in jail or killing them, as a result, would we? Oh wait, we have that. The next step to that is giving people longer sentences for one crime, based on another that they *might* commit. Check out FiveThirtyEight’s investigation into what Pennsylvania is trying to do next.

So, Tiger Woods just sunk Nike Golf. This is mind boggling. Back when he was at the height of his powers, every new school kid on the course was rocking whatever Eldrick had on. This was proverbial par. If he was the one that got you into the game, you were about this swoosh life. His influence was wide enough to hold up an entire golf equipment business. I’d like to think that Elin smashed that truck with a Nike 5-iron, too. Anyway, ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports that the Beaverton, Oregon, retail behemoth is now out of that business. Wow.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Old guy entry alert. Back in the day, I had a friend who was a subscriber to Nintendo Power. It was somehow better than him having an actual NES game system. It was the first magazine I remember genuinely being excited to read every time I saw it. And someone digitized an archive of it. Yessssssss.

Snack Time: The internet is telling me that Eminem has a beef with Drake over something said on a terrestrial radio station that may end up in a battle on Apple Music. Old guy rap sucks.

Dessert: This should be a fun show.

What happens when you hoop it up with a deer?

A hot viral meme, that’s what

1:17 PMOn Wednesday morning, a guy who goes by @iAmTerrace on Twitter posted a picture of a dude trying to cross up a deer on a basketball court, somewhere in suburban America. The caption read “Deermarcus Cousins.” It’s funny because Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is a relatively intimidating defensive player, and well, how would you get to the paint against a ruminant mammal? It’s no “Fear the Deer,” but the meme is solid.

Then, things went completely insane.

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For real, people started reaching deep into the recesses of NBA lore, which we’re here for.

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After that, we went full haywire.

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Finally, we have a winner.

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There are tons more that you can check for yourself. Never change, Twitter.

‘Suicide Squad’ is a perfect date movie

If you don’t consider yourself too cool for school

10:55 AMOnce high school started, my life with comic books pretty much ended. I was never a collector of much more than cards, but gladly read my friends’ copies and listened to them talk about characters in stories, while I was more than happy to trade cards and, in earlier years, watch cartoons and play with the toys.

For me, Batman is Michael Keaton and Superman is Dean Cain. The only reason I have a remotely basic working knowledge of the Marvel vs. DC Comics world is because it’s required these days to live in the world of people who even talk about movies. All this is to say: I am not a nerd (Star Wars notwithstanding) nor a comic fanboy, even in its newly weaponized subverted pseudo-popular definition. Which is perhaps exactly why I loved this film.

Forget what all the critics flooded the internet with based on early previews Tuesday, Suicide Squad is fantastic. And if you’re looking for a date night flick, the Warner Bros. production is a great bet. It takes itself about as seriously as it needs to. Don’t forget, this is not real.

For one, we get the best kind of Will Smith. Not “one-man band on the marquee” Smith, but the guy that we grew to love as a character actor that could shine around a solid cast. He’s funny without being overly comedic and the family tale surrounding his character is heartwarming enough. Teaching a kid geometry through ballistics? Sure, why not.

We haven’t even mentioned Viola Davis yet. Her role as Amanda Waller, an intelligence officer running the ship for this ragtag group of meta-humans, is completely on-brand considering her recent run as the star of Shonda Rhimes’ TV series How to Get Away With Murder. Davis is badass, end of story.

Most importantly, however, is that for a movie about superhero and alien forces, the love stories are as humanly real as anything I’ve seen from a comic book tale on the big screen in a decade. Are you the type who needs a large manly figure to protect his ever-so-fragile flower of a lover? That’s there for you. Perhaps you were in an abusive relationship and looking to atone? They try to tackle that. Or you are living on the edge with your slightly crazy lover whom you may share with other people from time to time more your speed? Got that, too.

From first date to a night out with the spouse, this film will remind you of a time when your heart ran hot for someone, whether they’re sitting right next to you in the theater or not. Jared Leto as The Joker and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is a combo that deserves its own movie and subsequent television series. Mix that in with a storyline that’s easy to follow for even the most basic of comic book fans, and action sequences that don’t subject you to tons of blood, and you’ve got a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Plus, the soundtrack is a super banger.

If you’re fun at parties, you’ll love Suicide Squad. If not, there might not be another date night, anyways.

Daily Dose: 8/3/16

Rolando McClain is having problems with the lean

9:09 AMSuicide Squad is as much fun as I’ve had in a long time, trust me. And if you’re looking for other ways to do that, listening to our podcast will help. Trust me on that, too.

Just when we you think he couldn’t do worse, he does. In the immediate aftermath of the fallout regarding how he chose to treat the parents of a soldier killed in Iraq, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump continued to undermine the sacrifice involved with military service by saying that a man gave him a Purple Heart as a gift, something he always wanted. Dude has zero shame. Trump also yelled at a baby. I have a friend with a Purple Heart. It’s not something you want. ABC News reports on how Trump himself managed to avoid military service.

If you know me, you know how I feel about The Bachelor. It’s a great television product with multiple shows. The Bachelorette ended Monday night, leaving way for the best part of the franchise, Bachelor in Paradise. It’s easily the best show of the three, because the format is the most ridiculous and the show takes itself the least seriously. That also means that people tend to get the most crazy, which is why it rocks. If you know who Chad is, you could have bet that he went nuts on the first night. You would have collected, ABC’s Lesley Messer reports.

Doping, as a practice for professional athletes, doesn’t particularly bother me. That’s somewhat of a hot take in some worlds, but I’m of the feeling that if you want to destroy yourself for athletic glory, that’s on you. The larger problems come when these drugs get into the hands of high schoolers. They are correlated, yes, but still not one for one comparisons. Anyways, since it’s Olympics season (just two days away, kiddos!), steroids are top of mind. Many get popped, but here’s a question: Can anyone ever really make it back after that? VICE‘s Mary Pilon investigates.

Remember JaMarcus Russell? The No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft? Well, he was not only not very good, but also had major drug problems and flamed out of the league in what felt like an instant? Well, he might want to be dropping a phone call to Dallas Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain. My man is suspended for 10 games from the league for drinking too much codeine. As ESPN’s Todd Archera and Jean-Jacques Taylor detail, this is nothing to laugh at. The man has a substance abuse problem.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Playing NFL football in Los Angeles must be great. That lovely weather, laid-back lifestyle and you get to be a bit of a star, too. Except, since the team hasn’t had football in so long, people don’t even recognize Rams players. Their cheesy burger ads, though? Absolutely.

Snack Time: My man C.J. Wallis is an incredible filmmaker who makes music videos, too. His latest animated/motion graphics number for Currensy and Rick Ross’ Dope Boys is MEGA hot, though.

Dessert: Now, THIS is how you take someone down in an argument on television. Expert level.