Sunday, April 26, 2009

And This Is Different From Groupie Love How?

I really don't need to add yet another magazine to my reading list, but when I see one with Will Demps on the cover...well really, what's a girl to do. This is the premiere issue of SET Magazine, the vanity project brainchild of Mrs. Samari Rolle. According to the website:
"Our mission is to provide an intimate look at professional athletes lives as they endure hardships, overcome failures and celebrate their success in their perspective professions. We get up close to take an in-depth look at otherwise classified information."
I didn't realize the failures and successes of athletes in their respective professions were classified. I'm glad SET came along to unclassify that info - ie, Will Demps being the Texans' secret weapon despite being released by them. Amazing.

Anyway, one of the NBA's "nice guys" - Antawn Jamison - is profiled in the mag along with his wife, Ione. Jamison has a squeaky clean reputation, has been married to the same woman for 5 years, and has kids born well after the first 9 months of marriage. On paper, this seems like a model marriage, especially by NBA standards, so I was curious to read what SET unclassified. I should've just stopped at the pictures of Will.

SET: What's the last romantic thing you did for each other?

Ione: Antawn is the best gift giver ever. Just Monday, he upgraded my diamond earrings [from two to three carats]. He went to Vegas, and I didn't even know he'd taken them with him.

SET: How does she spoil you?

Antawn: She gives me little gifts all the time. I really wanted this Louis Vuitton backpack and I couldn't find it anywhere, and she went and got it made for me.

Seriously, is this what romance boils down to - a bigger pair of diamond earrings and a Louis Vuitton backpack? Regardless of the state of the economy, what the fuck? Groupies trade sex for material goods. Shouldn't marriage/love/romance go beyond groupie love? What is so romantic about buying shit when one spouse's yearly salary - $16,360,090 for 2007-2008 - makes buying shit limitless? Before you say, "But that just shows they don't spend their money on all that all the time so it is romantic when they do," let me stop you, future much-younger-second-or-third-wife-of-some-rich-man. Let me also discount the notion that I think money is bad or diamond earrings are bad. But if your romance is driven by the same accumulation of shit that drives groupie love, how is your love any different?

Photo/Article Source: SET Magazine

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Change Your Look, Change Your Life"

The little, indie bookstores I usually go to don't carry ESPN the Mag, but I was waiting for someone at Barnes & Noble yesterday and this picture of Dwight Howard caught my eye. The cover story, "Above the Rim, Beyond the Arc" by Ric Bucher, is a really interesting revisit to the controversial-at-the-time NBA dress code and how opinions and behaviors have changed since then.

Beyond just their physical appearance, players have re-examined their lifestyles and perceptions. Bucher writes,
"Times have changed. Players not only have rethought what they wear, they've also rethought what they drive and eat. Gone are the days of a player hopping out of an Escalade with 24-inch spinning rims and tinted windows that rattle from the beat of the speaker box. Now the car is likely to be a dark-colored sedan or SUV with standard equipment...You can also find players circling the team buffet, casually mentioning the egg-white omelet and protein shake their personal chef whipped up for them that morning."
Players have also started thinking broadly and more long-term. Shane Battier says, "Guys want to be players and businessmen. And they understand you have to look the part. They're more sophisticated."

The most interesting part of the article was the key figure cited as, if not integral, definitely influential in effecting this change - and it's not Barack Obama. It's Hova himself, Jay-Z. We know Jay's influenced Lebron directly, but who knew he influenced the entire league indirectly. Bucher writes,
"And when Jay-Z turned in his Yankees cap and white T's for French-cuffed shirts and three-piece suits, tailors with NBA clientele noticed. 'Guys started buying a ton of woven dress shirts to wear with cuff links,' says designer Cary Mitchell. Teams steal defensive schemes; players eye what others are rocking. 'It's a copycat league,' says Mitchell."
Other owners better hope and pray Jay's influence is solely sartorial and won't affect where players want to play, ie Brooklyn. I think it's hilarious though that this designer calls the players out as copycats.

Another benefit to the dress code was that it bridged one divide between the Americans and the Europeans. Some of the Europeans felt mocked for their choice of clothing, which tends toward close-fitting, but now, that's the style 'round the league.
Time was when Warriors center Andris Biedrins thought he was getting dap when someone said, "That suit is tight." But that was "tight" as in "too small," not as in "That looks sharp." No more. Says Hawks center Zaza Pachulia: "Euro style used to be a bad thing. Now guys like it."
If only other conflicts could be so easily defused. Anyway, check out the story. It's really interesting. One other thing - the Blazers provide a personal chef to rookies whose moms aren't accompanying them to Portland. How cool is that!!!!

Together Again

First, Shaq and Kobe reunited at the All Star Game. Then, it was Angelina and Aniston at the Oscars. Now, and with much less drama, Conan and Andy will be back together on NBC! Can Andy still be naked at 11:35pm or will that be Jimmy Fallon's domain now? *Shudder*

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Quote for Sonics Fans

I just finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which wasn't quite the old lady book I'd thought it would be...okay, maybe it was a little but I still really enjoyed it. Anyway, there's a line from Shakespeare in the book that I thought fitting for Sonics fans, particularly after the show Kevin Durant put on this weekend. It goes, "The bright day is done, and we are for the dark."

Didn't mean to start your morning off on such a somber note. Here's a video from the hilarious Paul Brogan to properly start the day. I don't know how I didn't see this before. Thanks @PhoenixSunsGirl for all the manic Twittering.

Seriously, how could David Stern take the NBA from a city that produces fans like this? Now look what the cat dragged in to Oklahoma City:

They're calling him Rumble the Bison. He can't even make a basket! So sad.

Highlight of Clippers-Suns Game

The best part of the ridiculous 40 point blowout came during halftime when they showed a clip of the Step Brothers spoof Baron Davis and Steve Nash made for Baron BoomDizzle's site, IBeatYou. Look at Steve's moves! Shaq's not the only one with some skills. Two words: Dance off.

Jay, if you don't know who the JabbaWockeeZ are, I'm shaving your head to reflect the old man you've become. I love PTI and Tony Kornheiser, but damn, sometimes the age/generation/technology/pop culture gap is ridiculous. Today he and Dan Le Batard talked about Twitter and Tony went off on the "twitter machine." It's called a computer. And I loved when he finally discovered Amy Winehouse...a year after Rehab blew up. I know ESPN wants to skew young, but forcing people to talk about topics they have absolutely no understanding of - I thought that's what they kept Skip Bayless around for.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Pistons' Mascot is Cooler than Yours

Hooper's doing it in costume AND heels!
I humble myself before thee.
And those dancers! Hot sex on a platter.

Benny or Gorilla, whatchu got??

He's jealous of this dog, too.

When Mom's Away

Obama is totally jealous of this kid.
Stay strong, Mr. President.

The Aftermath in Seattle

What Clay Bennett wrought.
Sonics fans in Portland for the ex-Sonics return to the Pacific Northwest.
So sad.

Photo Source: AP


Slam has a fantastic article by John Krolik on the rightful heir to Sam Cassell's testicle dance. (The only adjective I can think of to properly describe the dance is 'singular,' but somehow 'singular testicle dance' just sounds wrong...and misleading.) Thus far, only Kobe and Andre Iguodala have been brazen enough to show off their cojones (Andre in front of the one and only Sam I Am). Kobe broke out the dance again tonight after a late basket against the Jazz, but like the last time against the Spurs, Lakers lost. Last time, Roger Mason, Jr. answered back with a testicle dance of his own. This time, Mehmet Okur answered back with what can only be characterized as the Jonas version of Sam's dance. I'm trying to find a clip of it, but the only video of the game on YouTube cuts off before the end.

My vote is for Roger Mason, Jr. Sam had a swagger disproportionate to his position on the NBA totem pole. Roger Mason - 2nd rounder, journeyman - has the same outsized bravado.

Krolik dismisses Manu as a possible heir, saying:
I’m pretty sure Manu thinks the dance means “I have accumulated a lot of change and am unsure what to do with it, so for the moment there is much change in my pockets, which I find unwieldy.”
This can also describe Mehmet's dance. Check out the other potential heirs apparent here.

*Quick note to my very white friend, Jay. Cojones is not pronounced 'co-jones,' which is what I know you were saying in your head. It's Spanish and therefore pronounced 'co-ho-nez.'