Archive for April, 2013

Jason Collins

April 30, 2013

jason-collins-cover-t1-tall

I won’t lie to you – I seriously thought about not writing about this story. I think some in my circle of family and friends don’t understand my support for gay rights and same-sex marriage and I know for a fact, that they really wish I’d change my mind or at least be quiet about it. And yes, I’ve gotten more than a few emails and Facebook in-box messages – some of them not so nice – questioning not only my “manhood” but my belief in God and my sanity and one that surmised that “you must be ‘one of them’” for my position.

Well, for the record, I believe in God and by all acceptable metrics I am sane and no, I’m no more “one of them” (whatever) than the non-black people who marched and worked for Civil Rights in the 1950s and 1960s were black.

But, as I was considering whether to write about this, a few people including my Facebook friend Iris Vazquez, asked me if I was going to and that made me stop and think. Why was I reluctant to speak out today of all days? Jason Collins had the courage to step out and express himself on a far bigger stage and at more possible risk to his professional life than I could ever imagine so, what was there for me to be afraid of? My late grandfather, the Reverend D.S. Cunningham, wasn’t too afraid to put his life on the line when fighting for the rights of black Americans at a time when doing so could mean death. Others have stood up and risked far more than I to be on the right side of an issue, no matter the risk. So, why shouldn’t I write about this today or any other day?

I recently saw the film “42” about Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in major league baseball in 1947. The things he and his wife endured are still shocking and somewhat unbelievable almost 70 years later. There were those who didn’t want him to play baseball just because of the color of his skin; nothing more, nothing less. And there are and will be those who don’t want to play basketball with and against Jason Collins just because he’s a homosexual. But, I think he knows and accepts that, but he’s not going to let it define his life and nor should he.

God made us all, Jesus died for our sins and civil rights belong to EVERYONE.

Good luck Jason Collins and may Almighty God bless and keep you every step of your journey.

LAKERS AT THE CROSSROADS

April 27, 2013

KOBE

Regardless of what happens at Staples Center tomorrow night, it’s time for sweeping changes in the Lakers organization and those changes should start at the very top. Jim Buss needs to swallow his ego and realize and accept the fact that his sister Jeanie should be the president of the franchise. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, in the franchise should ultimately report to her and that includes the clueless Jimbo.

Secondly, while you can work for someone smarter than you, it’s damn near impossible to do the same for someone dumber than you and that’s why it might be time for Mitch Kupchak to move on. As long as he has to appease Jim Buss’ meddling, Kupchak’s going to be forced into make the kinds of deals that gave a 38 year-old Steve Nash a sweeter than sweet three year guaranteed deal. He needs to be in charge of putting together a roster without the mindless interference of the NBA’s version of George W. Bush.

Third, and this is where it gets difficult, once the above are decided, Jeanie Buss and whoever the GM is, must call Kobe Bryant’s agent, Rob Pelinka, and inform him in no uncertain terms, “That for business reasons related to the luxury taxes under the new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), we’re going to ‘amnesty’ Kobe in July.” Don’t say “We’re thinking about…”or “What if we…?” – make it crystal clear that the decision has been made and that it’s in the best interests of everyone involved, to make this as painless as possible.

Make sure Pelinka understands that the Lakers will profusely thank Kobe for his 17 years of greatness, the championships, say that they look forward to retiring his number one day, etc, etc. Also, that they’re ready and willing to absorb the inevitable PR that will come their way because to be fair, this franchise has been incredibly supportive of and loyal to Kobe even when he hasn’t shown the same respect and loyalty to it.

This is about the Lakers moving forward and like it or not, their future is a 27 years-old Dwight Howard and not a soon to be 35 years-old Kobe Bryant coming off serious foot surgery and rehab.

This isn’t personal, this is business.

IS THIS END OF KOBE BRYANT’S CAREER?

April 14, 2013

KOBE
Kobe Bryant faces an unsure future

On the night of Friday, April 12, 2013, all the worst fears of Lakers fans, management and the NBA front office were realized. Kobe Bryant, easily the most famous and controversial player of the last decade suffered a season ending Achilles heel injury that could also end his career. Bryant, who had surgery on Saturday to repair the torn tendon, faces a long hard period of hard work if he plans on returning to the NBA. Some estimates have him returning in time for next season’s opening night in late October while others, focusing on his age (34) and mileage on his legs (17 NBA regular seasons and 220 playoff games plus 2 Olympics), openly wonder if he’ll return in less than a calendar year, if at all.

Bryant, in a pain-medication induced haze, posted a message on Facebook early Saturday morning that neatly encapsulated all the feelings and emotions one could expect from someone in his position: This is such BS! All the training and sacrifice just flew out the window with one step that I’ve done millions of times! The frustration is unbearable. The anger is rage. Why the hell did this happen?!? Makes no damn sense. Now I’m supposed to come back from this and be the same player Or better at 35?!? How in the world am I supposed to do that…”

Monday will be the first full day Lakers fans and haters will take to the local radio airwaves to weigh in on Bryant’s injury and what it means to the team both short and long-term. Some will say that it’s the end of any playoff hopes for this season and means that Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak must move heaven and earth to re-sign Dwight Howard this off-season. Others will insist that the team can and will play better WITHOUT Kobe because “_____________.” And, on the Lakers flagship radio station, ESPN 710AM, once Colin Cowherd’s national show ends at 10am, it will be non-stop “Kobe Watch 2013” led by team radio play-by-play man John Ireland, the self-proclaimed “unapologetic Laker homer.”

I’ve been watching the NBA since the historic 1966-67 season when the Wilt Chamberlain-led Philadelphia 76ers to a then-record 68-14 regular season and then defeated their hated rival Boston Celtics on their way to the championship. In all those years, I have never seen a more polarizing figure on his own team than Kobe Bean Bryant. Make no mistake about it: no other player in Lakers history has invoked such a wide range of emotions as he has over his career. Jerry West and Magic Johnson are as beloved as any former players can be. Fans respect and admire Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and were awed, amused and frustrated by Shaquille O’Neal’s antics and moods over the years. But, fans either love or hate Kobe Bryant and reaction to this injury will clearly show that.

I for one do not believe that we’ve seen the last of Kobe in a Lakers uniform. Much like Yankee great Mariano Rivera who was hurt during batting practice during a game in Kansas City last season yet returned to play one last season this year, Bryant is going to want to go out on his own terms. And in my opinion, he’s more than earned the right to do so.

Love or Loathe him – there’s no halfway point with Kobe Bean Bryant. He is who he is.

“WORST SLAVE EVER!”

April 7, 2013

DOONESBURY - Mississippi Slave

April 1, 2013

THE OBAMAS - Easter 2013

The First Family – Easter 2013

Tyler Perry’s Temptation has to be seen to be believed! Once again, Tyler Perry has made a film that no one else could make. His scripts, directing, choices of performers and pace of his storytelling can’t be duplicated by a trained filmmaker anywhere. No other director, and I include those with Best Director Oscars on their resumes, can do what Tyler Perry does over and over again. I can honestly say that I have never seen a film like this and probably never will again. I left the theater in a daze from what I’d just sat through. It’s going to be a long, long time before I see another film like Temptation.

All things considered – the age-old Celtics/Lakers rivalry in particular – it’s really not that remarkable that Heat president and minority owner Pat Riley told Celtics GM Danny Ainge to “STFU” last week after Ainge said that Heat star LeBron James should be “embarrassed for whining about the referees’ calls” (“Danny Ainge needs to shut the [expletive] up and manage his own team,” Riley proclaimed. “He was the biggest whiner going when he was playing and I know that because I coached against him.”) What was remarkable is how Riley did it – in an official statement released by the Heat’s public relations department.

Chelsea Handler is ugly.

Does anyone really think that Tiger Woods and Nike give a damn what the media, or anyone else for that matter, thinks about his most recent ad?

How you meet someone/get something is usually how you lose them/it. Isn’t that right Jay Leno?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Berry Gordy, Jr is going to outlive everyone he personally signed to Motown.

Imagine what Tony Romo would have gotten from the Cowboys if he’d won TWO playoff games in his career.

Is American Idol still on?

Justin Bieber, Lindsay Lohan and a monkey walk into a club…

Roland S. Martin wasn’t let go by CNN because he’s African-American, he was let go because his shtick isn’t wanted by Jeff Zucker for the new and improved network. Nothing more, nothing less.

Tennis on TV is boring.

The latest Tyler Perry crack, excuse me, “movie”, came in third place with an estimated $22.3 million at the box office, despite receiving what can be described as extremely mixed reviews: critics hated it and his fans, at least those who post on his message board at tylerperry.com loved it. But, the diminishing box-office results on Perry’s “non-Madea” films show the persistent problem he has in crossing over with other material.

What new UCLA men’s basketball head coach Steve Alford just did – leaving New Mexico mere days after agreeing in principle to a 10-year extension of his contract – is like a guy spotting another, slightly hotter woman at the rehearsal for his 25th wedding anniversary vows renewal ceremony who tells his wife, “Upon further review…”

Whatever happened to Sarah Palin?

Why is it that the Southern states with the poorest and unhealthiest populations, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina come to mind, are among the ones whose governors are most adamant about NOT accepting Medicare and Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act? Oh that’s right – all have Republican governors who oppose anything from the Obama Administration.

Yes, Doug Gottlieb was on the CBS March Madness studio-show panel to give the “white man’s perspective” just as Ernie Johnson, Jr is there on TNT’s Inside The NBA to translate for those who speak English as a first language, especially on the nights when both Shaq and Sir Charles Barkley are on together.

You know you’re getting old when after going to the Lab to give blood after seeing your doctor, you forget to stop at the pharmacy to pick up your prescriptions. Oh well, the VA will mail them to me. -:)