Month: March 2016

People I trust more than D’Angelo Russell

Most of us have heard about the D’Angelo Russell secretly videotaping Nick Young on SnapChat admitting to some indiscretions, his reasoning was that it was supposed to be a joke. Ha great joke man, got to remember that one next time I want to ruin someone’s life and my credibility along with my respect at the same damn time. If you want to know more details on it you can read about it here . But what I want to get into you is the some of the people I trust more right now than D’angelo Russell.

  1. Harry Ellis

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The businessman who worked with John Mclane’s wife Holly at the Nakatomi Corporation when it was seized by Hans Gruber and his henchman who were trying to rob it. Harry is much like D’Angelo being that he makes things uncomfortable between John and Holly by not so sneakily hitting on her by giving her a rolex for a present. But thats not even worst thing he did. He’s sleazy , loud, overtly cocky just an 80’s yuppie on the best performance enhancers money can buy. Then he sees his opening and seizes it when he sells Hans on how great he is and that he can help him and himself by giving up John’s location but really all he does is get killed for snitching.

 

2. Tim Donaghy

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The veteran NBA ref who was sent to jail after fixing games to control the point spread. At least you know when and where you are getting screwed with Tim so you can be on your toes with your head on a swivel and you don’t have to worry about a sneak attack.

3. Commodus

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I trust Commodus more than D’angelo because even though he smothered his father Marcus Aurelius and made it look like natural causes. He did it for a reason and that reason is because he wanted to be emperor. Being emperor is awesome and the perks are really great so I can see his motives. But why did D’Angelo send that video? It certainly wasn’t to be emperor or anything close.  The juice wasn’t worth the squeeze so tough break D’Angelo

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4. Pinocchio

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The main reason for choosing Pinnocchio is because I know where i stand with him. If he’s untruthful his nose literally grows so there is no absolutely no room for doubt.

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5. Petyr Baelish aka Littlefinger

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The Master of Coin and perhaps one of the most if not most skilled manipulators in all of the realm. He uses the information he collects from the brothels he owns to gain intelligence on political rivals so he can acquire more wealth. He’s a pimp and a blackmail artist and I still trust him more because I know where I stand with him. This list is all about expectations , and I would fully expect Petyr to exploit one of my weaknesses for his gain but I would never think my teammate would do it for no significant gain at all.

I still don’t understand what Russell had to gain out of all this but maybe thats the thing, there is nothing he wants to gain from it. Maybe he’s one of those individuals who just want to sit back and watch world the burn.

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How Nike lost Steph Curry to Under Armor

(ESPN) In the 2013 offseason — coming off a year in which Curry had started 78 games and the Warriors had made the Western Conference semis — Nike owned the first opportunity to keep Curry. It was its privilege as the incumbent with an advantage that extended beyond vast resources. “I was with them for years,” Curry says. “It’s kind of a weird process being pitched by the company you’re already with. There was some familiar faces in there.”

The August meeting took place on the second floor of the Oakland Marriott, three levels below Golden State’s practice facility. Famed Nike power broker and LeBron James adviser Lynn Merritt was not present, a possible indication of the priority — or lack thereof — that Nike was placing on the meeting. Instead, Nico Harrison, a sports marketing director at the time, ran the meeting (Harrison, who has since been named Nike’s vice president of North America basketball operations, did not respond to multiple interview requests).

The pitch meeting, according to Steph’s father Dell, who was present, kicked off with one Nike official accidentally addressing Stephen as “Steph-on,” the moniker, of course, of Steve Urkel’s alter ego in Family Matters. “I heard some people pronounce his name wrong before,” says Dell Curry. “I wasn’t surprised. I was surprised that I didn’t get a correction.”

It got worse from there. A PowerPoint slide featured Kevin Durant’s name, presumably left on by accident, presumably residue from repurposed materials. “I stopped paying attention after that,” Dell says. Though Dell resolved to “keep a poker face,” throughout the entirety of the pitch, the decision to leave Nike was in the works.

Dell’s message for his son was succinct: “Don’t be afraid to try something new.” Steph Curry had thrived on proving people wrong for the entirety of his career. He had delighted in it, even. And Nike was giving him fuel.

If that’s so, that psychological damage was self inflicted. For all Under Armour did and for all Nike didn’t do, Nike still had an opportunity to salvage the situation when Curry indicated he wanted to sign elsewhere.

In 2013, Nike retained Curry’s matching rights, analogous to how NBA restricted free agency works. They still could have signed Curry, regardless of his preferences. According to a Sept. 16, 2015, report from ESPN’s Darren Rovell, “Nike failed to match a deal worth less than $4 million a year.”

 

In this way, Nike’s strength is indivisible from its weakness. As the top brand, it claims the most stars, by far. That’s a massive advantage, but basketball marketing is an act of minimalism. Promote too many athletes and the message becomes garbled.

It wasn’t a thankless effort for Bazemore, either. Now, three years later, he makes six figures annually with Under Armour

That has something to do with why Bazemore’s alma mater, Old Dominion, is now an Under Armour school. “We just signed Old Dominion, so that was kind of a giveback to Kent, so he’s happy about that,” Stone says. Under Armour paid nearly seven times what Nike was paying the school annually before

This was the condensed version of Ethan Strauss’ article so if you enjoy behind the scenes looks at the NBA and how shoe companies operate within the NBA I really encourage you to read the entire piece. So Nike being the juggernaut they are (accounted for 95% of sales in the basketball marker in 2014) thought they could half ass their presentation to Steph by first by sending in Nico Harrison instead of power broker Lynn Merrit who is involved in all major deals then reusing an old PowerPoint with Kevin Durant’s name still on it. Finally they certainly sealed their fate mispronouncing his name and never correcting it throughout the presentation. Well hot damn, I haven’t seen a pitch go that well since Tommy Callahan started slinging break pads in the midwest. It seems that Nike got complacent in thinking they are the end all be all in the shoe game , and that players would beg for there chance to be signed with Nike. Or that they decided to that they were going to push Anthony Davis and Kyrie Irving as their feature younger guys.  That seems more plausible to me looking from the outside in.

But despite that bang up presentation from Nike they would need not worry because when Curry’s deal expired in 2013 because a caveat in his contract that gave them the ability to match any offer Curry would receive and keep him.   Over the course of his final year with Nike coincided with Kent Bazemore joining the team. This turned out to be a key moment for Under Armor and Curry because over that next year Under Armor would flood Bazemore’s locker with so much gear he couldn’t keep it all. Soon enough the asst coaches , team personnel and players were wearing it. During that season Curry became more aware of what Under Armour could do for him and what he could for Under Armor.

Fast forward to signing day when Curry signs with Under Armour and Nike decides not to match their roughly 4 million a year offer for him. That amount doesn’t even make the top 10 highest shoe endorsement list.

#10 – Blake Griffin, $6 million/year, Jordan Brand

#9 – Damian Lillard, $10 million/year, adidas

#8 – Dwyane Wade: $12 million/year, Li Ning

#7 – Derrick Rose: $14.2 million/year, adidas

#6 – Kobe Bryant: $15 million/year, Nike

#5 – James Harden: $15.4 million/year, adidas

#4 – LeBron James: $20 million/year, Nike

#3 – Kevin Durant: $30 million/year, Nike

#2 – Stephen Curry: Terms undisclosed, Under Armour

#1 – Michael Jordan: $90-100 million/year, Jordan Brand

At the end of 2013, Under Armour had a 0.35 percent market share of basketball shoe sales and now in 2015  they have almost 3% of the market. That can be directly related to Curry One and his Championship MVP season.

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Which has pushed Under Armour into 2nd place behind Nike but ahead of Adidas which wasn’t the case prior to 2015.  Here is growth graph to see just how much of an impact Curry had

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So far a little less than 4 million dollars a year Nike passed up hundreds of millions in sales  and the influence of the game’s superstars to hitch their wagons to Anthony Davis and Kyrie Irving instead. But its not just him they are losing but future players and thats where it could really hurt Nike in the long run and really give them a challenger. Remember this past summer Nike almost lost Durant to Under Armor. So far a little less than 4 million dollars a year Nike passed up hundreds of millions in sales  and the influence of the few  superstars in the game. This is shaping up to be a colossal miss from Nike , the company which has had very few ever. So very similar to how Steph is transcending the game maybe he can do the same to the shoe market too.

March Madness: Day 1 Thoughts

March madness started yesterday obviously and of course there were some big upsets. Starting with Baylor getting upset for the second year in a row after having to travel to Rhode Island to play a Yale team who took a 40 minute bus ride to the game when the other Texas teams playing got their game in OKC. No, before you ask I’m not bitter at all, just pointing out the facts. The game was called very tight down the stretch with some bail out calls when Baylor started to trap after a made basket, and the offensive foul called when the Yale player slipped at the top of the key and the Baylor tried to go by him. I’m still scratching my head about that one. The refs looked pretty eager those last few minutes. But ultimately it is a shot making game and when you don’t make enough of them you put yourself in a position to lose.

Moving on to the other upsets Little Rock toppled Purdue in double OT. They got there on the back of Josh Haggins who hit this deep step back three to send it to the first OT and set the tone for what was about to come

If you look closely you can see he shoots it from the bracket logo which is poetic because he busted so many brackets with that three.  Wichita St also took care if an underachieving Arizona team. Shitty draw for the Wildcats there playing one of the better teams with a couple of days to prepare and going against one of the better backcourt duo of Fred VanVleet/Ron Baker. What’s going on down at Arizona? They have had a top 5 class for the past 5 years I think with no results. That has to be frustrating, so frustrating that you sweat through your shirt watching it because you are so worked up

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He came out at half with a new Jos. A Bank white button down on but much like the first go around the shirt stood no chance.

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Maybe invest in a Dri-Fit dress shirt material of some kind. Arizona is Nike sponsored so give them a call Sean it can’t hurt.

The other upsets were number 9 Providence over 8  USC with this late inbound play to seal it.

I really like this Providence team of some reason, they just look like they really play for each other a lot like Wichita St does and those are the fun teams to watch this time of year.  Also because Kris Dunn and their post man Bentil really get after it. Moving on to the next gameUCONN pulled out a close one against the Buffalos of Colorado. Silly Buffalos,they didn’t know that you have kill UCONN 9x before they die in March. Gonzaga also routed Seton Hall, but that one didn’t feel like much of an upset to me. Probably because  Seton Hall’s best player Isaiah Whitehead started settling for jumpers and went 0-10 from 3 instead going to the rack the whole game which he proved this season he really good at. 

Finally 4 seed Kentucky took on Stonybrook team who hasn’t been in the tourney for decades and took care of business. Kentucky as a 4 seed didn’t make sense so its good to see the tourney spreading around the f-u’s team didn’t stop with just a couple teams, and Coach Cal let them hear about it. But I didn’t get to see Ashley Judd in the crowd last night where she is staple in the crowd this time of year. Just last week she was at the SEC championship game looking mighty fit and exuding team spirit as usual

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PS

It had a been awhile since I’ve last seen her and it got me thinking what are the best Ashley Judd movies. It has to be ‘Kiss the Girls’ & ‘Double Jeopardy’ with the top two and then everything else. If you like thrillers with female leads those were really entertaining plus Morgan Freeman and a balding Jeremy Piven are in it!

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Turns out the reason Ashley wasn’t there was because she was at her new job with the UN

 

A beauty and she helps others, I don’t think she can get much better…Oh wait

Pre game @kentuckymbb listening to @tomleachky and goofing off with the fun & talented @sydellesmom

A post shared by Ashley Judd (@ashley_judd) on

Yup she can get better. Look at that display of great core strength. sWOOON

*UPDATE* Stop Daylight Savings Time….Pls

Can we stop with the farce that is daylight savings time already? Seriously to be still doing this in 2016 just bottles my mind. Daylight Savings Time was first suggested by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 and was unsurprisingly shot down by critics. So the country would have to wait until the First World War until the terrible idea hatched by good ol Benny to be implemented. The reasoning behind the change is at the time the country would use less coal and save other energy resources.  Then it made headlines again in the 70’s with the oil crisis.

But congress was not done there, it was tweaked in 1986 and then again in 2007 because they thought it wasn’t a difficult enough task for everyone and passed a law starting Daylight Savings time 3 weeks earlier and ending it one week later. Now maybe before everything was so computer integrated it wasn’t that much of a hassle to switch but in today’s world that is a major problem which ended up costing the US Economy $430 million in 2o1o alone.  Most importantly it fucks with your sleep schedule and no one wants besides those few who just want to watch the world burn.

**UPDATE**

Yep, stil sucks

Bulls on Parade-Texans Make Moves

It has been busy free agency period up to this point with some big names on the move and the Texans had some major needs to address of their own. Turns out they did just that and went out and splashed some cash. Here’s what they did

Following are the free agents the Texans have signed (4):

G Jeff Allen (6-4, 306) Unrestricted (Kansas City)
C Tony Bergstrom (6-5, 315) Unrestricted (Oakland)
RB Lamar Miller (5-10, 225) Unrestricted (Miami)
QB Brock Osweiler (6-8, 240) Unrestricted (Denver)

 

Following are the players the Texans have re-signed (6):

G/T Jeff Adams (6-7, 305) Contract Extension
T Chris Clark (6-5, 305) Unrestricted
CB Charles James (5-9, 179) Contract Extension
P Shane Lechler (6-2, 237) Unrestricted
K Nick Novak (6-0, 198) Unrestricted
S Eddie Pleasant (5-10, 210) Free Agent

 

Following are the players the Texans have made qualifying offers to (2):

CB A.J. Bouye (6-0, 191) Restricted
OLB John Simon (6-1, 252) Restricted

 

 

Good for the Texans for going out and getting an QB that has actual potential of being good. This is the best prospect they have had since Carr but the difference is Brock got to sit behind Peyton for the past few seasons. He got to show a little bit this year when he started 7 games where he threw for ok numbers in his first chance at starting multiple games.

But the thing I have to wonder is why would the Broncos let him walk away when Manning has retired? It could be that they thought he wasn’t good enough to warrant that amount of money when their defense is the real star of the team and probably figure they just can plug /play a veteran in there. Not a bad thought since Peyton was completely washed this year and they won it all. Another possibility is that Brock holds some ill will with the organization after they went all in with Manning after 7 games of him starting. Resulting in being benched, hung out to dry and made out to be the fault guy for their late season struggles. Now that might stick with you as a player when it comes to sign a new contract. So when he got offered not as much as he thought he would be getting he bolted. Can’t fault the guy. In the NFL a lot of the time systems make players so with the Broncos and Texans having very similar team styles and makeup it only made sense. Von Miller also praised his leadership qualities and compared them to Manning’s for what thats worth. He has the tools to be successful and There wasn’t a better move the Texans could have made because Watt , and Hopkins are in their primes and they don’t have time to wait around for a rookie to come in right away. Especially picking at #22 in the draft. Yeah its a lot of guaranteed money at 30+ million but you have to risks and if not you can just cut him in two years.

They also signed Lamar Miller from what I have seen of him he has big play potential and catching ability, no idea why he wasn’t seeing more carries with the Dolphins but then again they continue to trot out Tannehill every week. Which will be much needed with Arian Foster gone. They also addressed some needs on the OL after losing some guys particularly center Ben Jones to the Titans. So lets hope Brock doesn’t completely suck and is better than the walking concussion Hoyer.

Running Scared: An Overlooked Gem

Running Scared was released in 2006 starring Paul Walker and the beautiful Vera Farmiga. It is an action thriller with the russian mob,mafia ,Paul Walker, video game violence, a russian guy who won’t stop quoting John Wayne, Vera Farming tushy sprinkled with some Tarantino and Tony Scott flavor. So if those ingredients intrigue your palate read on to see how much you will enjoy the final course.

Running Scared tells the tale of a low level enforcer for the mob who tries to track down and dispose of a stolen gun that was used in a botched robbery to kill some dirty cops. Set in New Jersey it opens with Walker and his crew about to finish a drug deal when suddenly a team of masked men storm in like the KGB in the 80’s and start killing people left and right. They get ready to execute Walker’s crew when one of them pulls out his backup and shoots the dick off of one of the masked men. Now when you have a dick getting shot off in the first two minutes you are in for a wild roller coaster ride. Now the gun used in the shooting to kill the dirty cops was given to Paul to be disposed of.

Instead of getting rid of the gun right away Paul goes home to wife and kid son at home. He hides the gun in his house then gets back to the real issue at hand, which is Vera and her tight tush which I will not post here because its a family site.

JK here it is

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The ass that sets the movie in motion in all its glory. It is not the first time her derriere has played the part in a major story, you may remember it from ‘The Departed’ with Leo. There is only one way to describe it and my friend Al did it best

Of course when Paul is getting busy (respect bruv) the gun is stolen by his son’s friend who also happens to be the neighbor. The son’s friend uses the gun on his abusive stepfather and now the chase is on. From this point on it becomes a game of cat and mouse trying track down the gun as it changes hands over the course of the night. It passes through the hands of everyone from the neighbor who stole it, a janitor, a mechanic  to a Mac Daddy Pimp  just to name a few. The supporting characters are excellent and really excel and are able to really chew the scenery. The way the villains are portrayed with such rich emotion and imagery it kind of feels like a fairy tale. This can be seen when Vera who is not just there as a pretty face has to roll up her sleeves and go to work to go get the missing missing neighbor kid from a very opportunistic and  definitely the most evil pair of the entire film. For example when the kid is hiding in the bathroom trying to call for help when you see the silhouette of the couple walk behind him to reveal what they truly are…monsters.

Little details like that are what really elevates this from many similar movies. Its a two hour fast paced thriller with one of the most wicked climax scenes at a hockey rink that will give you new appreciation for ‘Red Ice’. From the beginning this movie will grab your attention like the first drop on a roller coaster and it will careen you through many loops , twists before coming to a smooth end that will have you craving to watch it again. So just sit back and enjoy the ride.

 

Has Steph Curry Peaked?

After following up a Championship season in which he won league MVP and finals MVP in record breaking fashion, Curry is currently having an even better season which is quite remarkable.  He’s already topped his three point total from last season while taking less of them with 21 games left. Twenty one!  To go a deeper and get better appreciation for what he’s doing we can look at the PER (Player Efficiency Rating). PER measures of number of categories, such as field goals, free throws, 3-pointers, assists, rebounds, blocks and steals, along with negative results, such as missed shots, turnovers and personal fouls. It also accounts for a team’s pace of play so the Warriors playing in an uptempo system doesn’t inflate his PER.  Here are the top PER seasons of all time.

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Last season Steph posted a 28 which is good enough for top 60 all time but this season he has a posted a whopping 32.3 which if he keeps it up will be the best of all time. Not even LeBron who had maybe the best 5 year stretch of any player ever posted a 32. Bron went 31.7, 31.1, 27.3, 30.7, 31.6 respectively (It’s a crime that he got robbed by Rose for the 2011 MVP ).  The only other point guard’s who are in top 100 are Oscar Robertson, Magic , Westbrook, and Chris Paul. Great company to be in but none of those could shoot the rock at a transcendent level like Curry does. A 30+ PER has happened 18 times in the history of the NBA, by only 8 players. Of those 8 to do it only two players, Shaq and Wilt have gone on to have a better statical season following their first time reaching 30.

If his true shooting % stays finishes at 68% it would put him in the top ten all time. He would be the only point guard in it along with being the only non specialist wing player on it. All while taking the most shots by far of anyone on the lists. It’s not just threes either, he’s also in the top 15 in made free throws this year and on pace to break his career free throws attempted and made mark. Just shows that he’s getting it done all over the floor.

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Enough of the numbers already just take a look for yourself from his three 50+ outbursts this year

 

The answer remains to be seen if he has peaked or not but for him to best this season would put him in rarified air soaring alone and if there is a player that can pull it off it would be the baby faced assassin.

 

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*Update* He wasn’t the finals MVP, that was Iggy

5 Reasons Garlic Knots are the Worst

When you are deciding what to eat and you finally decide on Italian or pizza you always have the option of Garlic Knots. They always sound like a great compliment to your meal with their flaky , buttery, herb sprinkled crust. But then you eat one and you instantly regret it, and here are the five reasons why they are the worst.

  1. A lot of the times they are rolled too thick and essentially become rolls instead of knots. Then you are left just sitting there chewing instead of taking a couple bites and being finished.
  2. If you do manage to get some bite sized ones , you will notice your fingers will be coated with a mixture of oil, butter , and garlic. Good luck washing it off because you feel like a film is on your fingers long after you wash your hands.
  3. A lot of the times they are soaked like the ones pictured and when they are it will soak through any bag you have them in and good luck trying to get the stain out if it gets on your clothes.
  4. The garlic breath you will undoubtedly get from eating them. Garlic Breath is gross and if you eat enough garlic knots no amount of brushing , mouth wash will get rid of the smell because it will literally be coming out of your skin .
  5. The Law of Diminishing Returns which is at some point more is not necessarily better, more is just more. It’s when you take a bite and it’s really enjoyable,you are truly savoring it and then the following bites don’t pack as much flavor. Making each following bite become more of a chore to get through.