Month: June 2016

My favorite parts of HBO’s all too soon cancelled Vinyl

(DeadlineHBO has changed course on VinylThe 1970s rock n roll drama had been renewed for a second season with a new showrunner, Scott Z. Burns, replacing co-creator, executive producer and showrunner Terence Winter. Now the premium cable network has decided not to go with Season 2 of the series, executive produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger.

“After careful consideration, we have decided not to proceed with a second season of Vinyl,” HBO said in a statement. “Obviously, this was not an easy decision. We have enormous respect for the creative team and cast for their hard work and passion on this project.

Vinyl has been a disappointment, a big-budget series from A-list auspices and a star cast that had underperformed. “Vinyl didn’t launch in the way we were hoping it would; it’s disappointing, but it happens,” HBO’s outgoing head of programming Michael Lombardo told Deadline last month.

So HBO did something out of the norm and cancelled one of their shows after the first season then did something even more rare by picking it up for a second season only for that to change a couple days ago. If you are not familiar with the subject matter of the show it is about a record label in New York during the 70’s. A ride through the sex and drug ridden music business at the dawn of punk, disco, and hip-hop, the show is seen through the eyes of a record label president, Richie Finestra. Played in bombastic fashion by Bobby Cannavale. If you enjoy history , and the music of that time I highly suggest you watch it. Since I’m too young to have grown up in that time it was fun to see how the world used to be and how music became embedded in our culture especially with emergence of new genres that you get to see from its infancy with the birth of hip hop. I haven’t seen an atmosphere of a show recreated so well in awhile.

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It never gained the numbers to justify a second season but I do feel that show was gaining momentum towards the end of the first season, around episode 5 or 6 particularly with . Since the show is gone here are some of the most memorable moments from the lone season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

and my personal favorite to close it out

 

I’m bummed to see it go because I would have loved to see more of what this last clip had to show and where they would follow the beginning of hip hop and discoveries along the way. It really would have been interesting to see what they could have done with HBO’s budget. I hope this was enough to get you hooked on a good show that won’t take long to finish.

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PS. Ray Ramono crushes it

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Game of Thrones Top 10 NBA Draft Picks

(Uproxx)  One of my great hopes in life is that George R.R. Martin will release the next book in the series that inspired Game of Thrones, and when fans start reading, they will quickly discover that the whole thing is about a 3-on-3 basketball tournament in Westeros. My reasoning is simple: it would be hilarious. Think of the reaction. People would lose their minds.

A few preliminary notes about my methodology:

The rankings are based on things we’ve learned on the show only. I have not read the books. If you have read the books and have information that would alter the list substantially, you should consider making your own. It’s quite fun.

The rankings are not limited to characters who are still alive. We’ve got dead ones in there, too.

Living characters are ranked based on current potential ability (with one exception), and deceased characters are ranked based on potential ability at the time of their death.

10. Oberyn Martell

9. Melisandre

8. Bronn

7. Jon Snow

6. The One Wildlings Giant

5. The Night King

4. Jaqen H’ghar

3. Jaime Lannister (pre-amputation)

2. Brienne

1. Khal Drogo

 

Cool idea by ‘Brian’ over at Uproxx  but there are some glaring problems with his picks. I get trust the process but My Lanta you have the Wildings Giant aka Wun Weng (you better put some respeckt on his name from henceforth!) going 6th overall and that is a tragedy. Along with having Oberyn going tenth and the ever slow moving Melisandre somehow going above him its time to get started on my list of the top 1o picks if this was the NBA draft.

1. Wun Weg Wun

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You can’t teach size and Wun Weg has it in spades, 14 ft of it to be exact combined with the strength of 12 men. He is the franchise changer and a championship cornerstone that you expect from the number 1 pick spot.

2. The Night King

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Second off the board is the Night King. He possesses a plethora of skills and talent like his inability to get rattled because of his icy cold demeanor and his win at all costs method. He’s a lot like Kobe Bryant so you know what you’re getting.

3. The Mountain

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Going with more size since its a rare commodity in the GOT world and The Mountain fits the bill coming in tipping the scales at 6’9″ four hundred pounds. He is the fierce defensive force you crave to protect your basket. No one is gliding through the lane with him holding down the paint.

4. Jon Snow

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Some may he’s too undersized to go this high but I don’t care the kid’s got game. He is a natural born leader and pair that with his quickness and his agility as seen in the above gif he slides perfectly onto any team in the lead guard position. He’s battle tested and plays with a chip on his shoulder like so many of the great ones did.

5. Khal Drogo

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The last of the big men goes here because of his strength, explosiveness. He just oozes bravado and he will need that going up against the other giants in this game. Not too mention is his uncanny wingspan, he has all the tools to be a great defender.

6. Bronn

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With the game shifting towards position-less basketball Bronn is a great value pick going here. Born iscrafty, agile, mobile and hostile. He’s a jack of all trades what I’m saying and his humor is infectious among his teammates. He most closely reminds me of Draymond Green

7. Jaquen H’ghar

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For all the same reasons as Bronn especially except he is not as funny so he loses a couple points in my book.

8. Brienne

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I said the last of the big men were gone but I didn’t say the last of the big women. Brienne is a skillfully trained player that can you beat you physically and mentally. She reminds of Marc Gasol , just the prototypical grit N grind player. She would make a great sidekick to a powerful duo.

9. Oberyn Martell

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He may not win you a championship but Oberyn Martell will put asses in the seats and be all over Twitter the next morning with his high flying , flashy play. No one can excite or a shock a crowd more than Oberyn with his charisma. His NBA comparison  would be another guy with a nickname almost as good as “The Red Viper” and that is Jason ‘White Chocolate’ Williams.

10. The Hound

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Finally rounding out the top 10 is The Hound. He may be a little banged up with some injuries over the years but he’s been in rehab after his near catastrophic fall at the hands of Brienne. Since then he’s been in rehab putting in the work grinding to get back. He could really be the steal of the draft going this low and no one swings a sword or axe quite like him. He has the bloodline as well with his brother ‘The Mountain’ going earlier. He’s highly motivated and seems to have found some peace with his true purpose.

 

The table is set for the Cavs & Warriors Final’s Rematch

 

Before I get into the Cavs Vs. Warriors let me touch on a few things on the teams that lost  to them. The Raptors took it to six which no one expected by playing inspired ball on their home court with the help of Lowry , DeRozan and the emergence of Bismack Biyombo who has made himself a lot money this offseason from his performance. The Raptors will have a nice core returning next season with a healthy Jonas coming back. But I wonder if they can attract any bigger free agents to come there since they have failed to do so in the past. Add that to DeRozan’s impending free agency when the Lakers (his hometown ) will be most likely calling and I would be willing to bet he would leave. Personally I wouldn’t DeRozan on my team just because his lack of a 3pt shot, and now he flat-out doesn’t take them. But I’m sure the Raptor fans out there would be bummed breaking up their best team ever including this super fan, who I’m sure you’ve seen if you have ever watched a Raptors game.  His name is Nav Bhatia and he has been a season ticket holder for 21 years and he is also a really good dude. By giving out the rest of his many season tickets to bring  hundreds of underprivileged children to the games every year.

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Now onto the Thunder who by all accounts looked to be firmly in control of their series versus the Thunder until a devastating loss at home in-game 6. I felt that after that loss the series would be over going back to Golden State at home. The Thunder’s late decision-making came back to bite them the final two games. This really shouldn’t come as a surprise since they led the league in 4th quarter collapses this year even beating the woeful Sixers in that category. But this postseason they looked like they had finally turned the corner and put those days behind them. Also in games 6 and 7 their second half scoring was abysmal including a 12 point third quarter in game 7, you just cannot expect to win with that kind of output. Going forward for the Thunder I think they are in a good position with Durant’s free agency looming. They have a young coach who is only going to get better. There isn’t a team that could he could go to that would give him a better chance to win like the Thunder unless you believe those Warriors rumblings are true. I say just sign the 2yr deal with an option to opt out after 1 which will also be Russ’ last season under contract too. They have great pieces with emerging pieces like Adams and Kanter. They do need to tweak their roster some because at this rate the Thunder now will be the new age version of those 90’s Jazz teams with Stockton/Malone, in that they continually get to the apex but just can not seem to conquer it. I do think they should deal Ibaka to get back some more shooting and draft picks to bolster their roster. Although I would like to see Durant next to a pass first point guard like a Chris Paul. I just can envision the dynamic pick and rolls those two could unleash on the league.

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Now finally we get to the main course, and what a dish it is between the Cavaliers & Warriors. This will be the 14th time in NBA history that The Finals will be a rematch of the previous season. The runner-up has won the rematch in seven out of the 13 re-matches, but they’ve won six of the past seven so this bodes well for the Cavs.

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The Cavs will be entering the finals at full strength unlike last season and they will have the shooting to back it up. The finals features the top two 3pt shooting teams ever to go against each other in the finals. The individual matchups will be interesting as usual with Kyrie probably guarding Curry exclusively because they wouldn’t want him to guard Barnes or Iguadala because of the mismatch guarding them in the post. Tristan Thompson will need to make more of an impact in this series against the smaller Warriors team than he did against the Raptors and he must make them pay on the offensive glass. They won’t be able to defend the Warriors like the thunder did with their mobile 7ft’ers so they will try to outscore them, and they can be able to pull it off winning the  on the offeensive glass. LeBron can basically go 4 out and him driving in creating for himself or dishing it to an array of shooters. He is the best driver in the league as well as one of the best passers to an epic 3pt shooting team (No one team EVER has made more threes in the playoffs than them). Finally if the Cavs really want to win they have to capitalize when Golden State goes cold and step on the gas to get as much of a lead as possible. Because a 10-15 pt lead is only 5 or 6 shots from the Warriors and POOF its gone.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Charlotte Hornets

Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors on the other hand with just a couple of nights rest will not be rusty and looking to make a statement in-game 1 which is the opposite of what they did against the Thunder. Now they know just how quickly things can change after losing game 1 on your home court. Can we get more Klay Thompson pub?! The guy has been absolutely lights out this post season , especially when Curry went down with mcl sprain and in game 6 against the Thunder when he shot literal fireballs on his way to 11 threes.

Bogut will be very important this series because of Bron’s ability to dominate the paint and without Bogut playing at high level it will be a long series for dubs fans. I wonder if Draymond can keep himself from getting another technical since one more will mean an automatic suspension and that could be more than enough to swing the series. I’ve talked about how great Curry has been this whole year and he just keeps proving it by going for 36 in-game 7 just solidifying his  Boy Scout bad motherfucker badge even more.  Steve Kerr may also want to put out a BOLO on Harrison Barnes because that guy has disappeared from second halves of games this post season run.

NBA: Miami Heat at Golden State Warriors

 Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

There is a lot on the line for this finals legacy wise, on one side you have the Warriors attempting to do something that hasn’t been done before and if they accomplish it they can begin to compare themselves to the better dynasties the league has seen , and arguably on the path to being one of the greatest teams ever. Then on the other hand you have LeBron who has been to six consecutive finals which has never been done before in the history of the Association. Then there is the added pressure on Bron bringing a title to Cleveland which hasn’t been done since Jim Brown was truck sticking folks in the 60’s. There will be a lot of history on the line this time around and with each team at full strength it will be a pleasure to watch. I’m going to ride with the Cavaliers in 6 games because as my friend Darren pointed out earlier this week that