I made a mistake today.
It’s rare for me and perhaps even more difficult for you to believe, but… I did.
To be absolutely clear, I’ve never been wrong before.
Mistaken a couple times here and there? Yes.
I happened upon a certain rotund sports talking head’s minimizing diatribe about the racist vandalism that occurred at LeBron James’ tony Brentwood estate on the same block where Orenthal James Simpson once held sway over many if not all of his neighbors in Los Angeles.This is what generally ends up happening in these cases where guys like this spew verbal diarrhea, eschewing nuance and critical thought for arguments on binary extremes that often tangentialize in order to engage in the #EmbraceDebate sports culture so prevalent today.
HINT: #itsATrap #ChooseWisely
I thought about bringing the hostile gospel to someone who looks like he still writes with his entire fist, but I channeled my inner Andre #3Stax and chilled.
“NAH, NAH… DON’T DO IT, ICE COLD…”
It is incumbent upon the more highly evolved carbon-based life forces on this planet to work diligently toward not succumbing to that wave.
Whether we like it or not, in some shape, form or fashion, Race affects everything we do in this Life, particularly in the world’s propaganda headquarters, the good ol’ U.S. of A!
We didn’t make this world; we were merely born into it.
For many, having to navigate social, federal and cultural institutions designed specifically for suppression, destruction and elimination is a daily operation.
Gotta deal with it the best way we can.
Some try to ignore it; others are wantonly oblivious.
Some fight for equality, often to deleterious ends; others fight to avoid conflict and “stay in their place”.
But for what exactly are we running?
Sometimes, staring in the mirror at all of your wounds and scars, yet somehow learning how to appreciate something in them is a task unto itself.
To try and fight conditioning, all the while seeking to find Beauty in the supposed Hideousness of You…
It’s a state of being I can’t begin to fathom as many others who look like me actually live in it on a regular basis.
When I was a kid, I recall reading Ralph Ellison’s brilliant work, The Invisible Man.
Looking at the cover of the book, I really believed it was about some being no one could see… then I realized it was truth in an entirely different fashion.
The book in essence is about Black identity and that identity not being recognized or respected by society-at-large in America, primarily and probably most importantly, not recognized or respected by other Blacks.
The 2017 NBA Finals Game One saw the explosive Golden State Warriors, led by the two men who gathered the last three NBA MVP Awards in Wardell Stephen Curry and Kevin Wayne Durant best the reigning, defending world champeen Cleveland Cavaliers, fronted by the man generally considered to be the best player on the planet and owner of four of the last five MVPs before Curry and Durant scooped the hardware in LeBron Raymone James.
Plots and subplots aplenty are at play, raising questions that were answered by some in Game One.
Others not addressed, but looking to spell themselves out over at least the next three games only heightens the electric atmosphere around this series for the fans and players alike.No matter how luminous the star power is between the two best teams in the Association meeting for the third consecutive time in another ‘never been done in the history of…’ scenario, on the eve of this NBA Finals, real life hit home for the transcendent superstar James.
“What LeBron James just did today for this generation and generations to come… he’s the greatest player to ever play the game.” – Zeke pic.twitter.com/vy1jNCO8Ky
— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 31, 2017
Rich or poor, The GOAT or not, there are some things and some words that strike at the core of Black souls no amount of money and apology can heal.
That the effect of this heinous slur being spray painted on LeBron James’ LA home’s exterior gate was assumed and summarily discharged as a “disrespectful inconvenience” to the extremely wealthy Black athlete is… well… disrespectful.
The insolence is not limited to James and his family.
It also goes but to all those before him who endured similar fates and found ways to fight the ignorance and pave a way not to be outliers, but active participants recognized as such in the pursuit of Life, Liberty and Justice within the so-called American Dream.
Almost fifty years ago to the day, a couple other prominent Black athletes met in Cleveland.
The gathering was not to announce summer vacation plans, take talents anywhere or celebrate, but to support the rights of another GOAT and fight the powers that be through unity and candor about their rightful position in American society.
To insinuate that somehow this flagrant, more–than-microaggression was a harmless act and should be brushed off as just a word is disingenuous and dangerous.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I actually made two mistakes today.
I dived Twitter fingers-first into the cesspool of social media comments in support of our sports television provocateur’s posturing on the racial epithet “discomfort” caused to LeBron and his family.
I did so, unsure I would be able to swim up Shit’s Creek and come out clean with a new lease on Life and human perspective like Andy Dufresne.
Sadly, I didn’t.
When acting Warriors head coach Mike Brown, who is Black, tried to laugh off Oakland Police’s treatment of him during the Western Conference Finals in the player’s parking lot at Oracle Arena, where he coaches, I didn’t laugh with him.
And when a TV sports pundit looked to dismiss the incident at LeBron’s James’ home, complete with assumption about the crime rate in the area, I cringed.
I’m not sure I’ll ever see the day where people treat people like people should be treated in America, Canada or anywhere else.
I’ve never really been the “Kumbaya / We Are The World / Let’s Hold Hands” cat.
The world can be hard, cruel and ugly… and this was but one event of many that occur more often than not.
And if I could be so bold and assumptive to relay my desire for all lives, in this particular case, Black lives, be they in possession of Malcolm and Martin Amex cards or EBT cards, to be at peace with the world and one another, I would hearken to the words of an immortal KneeGrow poet whose canon is legendary in Post-Modern Contemporary Literature:
“TRUTH AND UNDERSTANDING IS WHAT I CRAVE…
IN THE LAND OF THE THIEF, HOME OF THE SLAVE”
–Lawrence Krisna Parker
Ride The Wave
Back in October the sky was the limit. LeBron had decided to move to LA and join the Lakers. Things were good then.
Back in October the sky was the limit. LeBron had decided to move to LA and join the Lakers, drawing in a decent support team and a lot of talk that the West was looking incredibly dominant next to a “weaker” East. Things were good then.
Five months later and things couldn’t be farther from that idylistic picture. The East thrived without the King and GMs put together some of the most noteworthy teams in a while. And the Lakers? The Lakers currently sit in the 11th spot of the Western Conference with very little hope of making it to the playoffs. They’re a team that is constantly attacked for their lack of chemistry, skill, and effort. For the first time in a long time, LA became synonymous with “hopeless”.
This wasn’t the future we saw for the King.
On the heels of a night filled with one of his greatest achievements ever, the Lakers as a team walked away with a loss to the Denver Nuggets. A night that began on a high note went out on one that was equivalent to sour candy. Furthermore, a frustrated team left an arena, hopped on social media, and found a bevy of congrats for their star player, while enduring the storm that came with another Lakers loss.
It seems that James’ stardom has reached a tipping point, one that makes him a GM one moment, the King of the league the next, and finally the biggest point of contention within the locker room. The most notable thing is that it is clearly wearing him down. Chris Martin let us know that “nobody one said it was easy”, but you’ve got to ask yourself, does it have to be so hard?
The answer is unfortunately, yes. It’s always going to be this way, and there is no fighting the current, but there is beauty in riding the wave. Embracing that moment when the wave comes crashing down on you is important, because it’s always going to happen, but your attitude will always be remembered. LeBron rides high, and keeps things in the positive light for the media, but he’s got to realize that they are writing his story, and he doesn’t have to play into their’s. Ride the wave, and take the loss in stride with all the great that has come with it, but take the loss because your part of a team that is.
The wave has crashed down, but the current will bring another.
Year 15 | A Mini Documentary
Year 15 of a legacy…
Something Out of Nothing
It’s March 2016, and I’m driving with Alan Shane Lewis to Montreal to meet with Marc Griffin and Phil Boileau. We’re meeting to speak about this exciting new idea I pitched to them. We were tired of spinning the wheels on our own individual internet shows, and I told them that it was time we stopped waiting for a network and became the network.
We spoke that weekend about creating a community of content creators that all loved ball and came together to make unique content with unique voices – voices we felt were never heard in the mainstream. This community was the base of Press and we’d continue to push forward from that spot. We spoke about some amazing show ideas, article ideas, social media plan. It was truly an exciting time, and still one of the best weekends of my life.
Two years later and that group is a lot smaller, and that idea is Press Basketball.
It caught fire at the beginning and we had people joining our bright shiny new plaything left, right, and center. It was exciting, but now I kind of realize that a lot of it was just that we were that “bright shiny new thing”.
We ended up with a lot of Press Basketball “members” but when I stepped back and looked at what was happening… it wasn’t what I’d imagined. The fire burned out. The idea was gone. We had just become another thing trying to stay alive, waiting for some deus ex machina to show up with money and make everything okay.
I’ve gone through most of my life making something out of nothing. It’s never easy, but when it happens it’s always worth it… ALWAYS. Press made me feel alive at a point. It was literally all I could think about, and while it still is on my mind, it doesn’t make me feel alive. This hurts more than I can ever explain.
Changes are coming my friends. We’re not laying down and dying, and if we do it’s not going to be like this.
The core of Press will be setting fire to a lot over the next few weeks and I personally can’t wait for this to start. From the ashes something new will rise (I watched a lot of XMEN growing up).
Stay tuned, because it’s not over.
Ride The Wave
Year 15 | A Mini Documentary
An Ode to the 2007-2008 Warriors
USA VS EVERYBODY | The Break | Episode 17
Trading Places | The Break | Episode 18
Christmas Day Showdowns | The Break | Episode 10
Western Conference Preview | The Break | Episode 1
Eastern Conference Preview | The Break | Episode 2
NBA & More Mailbag with Josh Howe — TWT 102
Memphis Grizzlies Season Preview with Keith Parish — TWT 101
Ride The Wave
Back in October the sky was the limit. LeBron had decided to move to LA and join the Lakers. Things...
Year 15 | A Mini Documentary
Year 15 of a legacy...
Something Out of Nothing
It’s March 2016, and I’m driving with Alan Shane Lewis to Montreal to meet with Marc Griffin and Phil Boileau....
Lonzo Ball: The New Face of the Lakers
Lonzo Ball is the new face of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise. The new savior. The Big Baller Brand is...
Carmelo Anthony has been traded away from the New York Knickerbockers to the Oklahoma City Thunder. You probably knew this...
Reloaded Raptors Banking on Young Guns
Masai Ujiri is a smart guy. No matter which conference your team is in, you’re either stuck with the issue...
Jamal Murray: Maestro in the Making
It’s been four years since the Denver Nuggets have made the NBA playoffs. The last time the Nuggets were playing...
Nikos Galis: The Greatest Greek To Ever Do It
When you grow up Greek, you get the entire culture instilled into your veins. From the stubbornness that flows with...
Fantasy Tips from a Man Who Played One Year and Lost
Let me set the scene for you: A cutthroat, 10-team head-to-head league with a zero dollar buy-in, and a few...
Talking LA Clippers with Tom West — TWT 99
Hey there, and welcome to another episode of Timeout with Ti. Last time out on episode 98, I (Ti Windisch)...