We’re talkin’ less than a month before my squad opens up the 09-10 NBA season vs the Cleveland Cavaliers. After being on an extreme high of watching them take the 2008 NBA title, I had to suffer in disgust as Kobe and the Lakers hoisted the hardware this past summer. With a healthy Kevin Garnett back, I look forward to an exciting season where they’re going deep into the playoffs. There’s no one in the East that wants to see them. No one!!!!
There’s been a handful of changes to the roster since close of the ’08-09 season.
Additions: Rasheed Wallace – from Detroit Marquis Daniels – from Indiana Lester Hudson – 2nd round Draft Pick from Tennessee-Martin
Mr. Candace Parker… oooops I mean Shelden Williams – from Sacramento
Losses Leon Powe – Signed with Cavaliers
I’m gonna miss Leon. Hardworking brotha who made my eyes light up at Game 2 of the 2008 NBA Finals. In just 15 minutes, he scored 21 points. I think there’s a YouTube video of me screaming “Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah Leon” in the stands when he dunked on Ronny Turiaf. This guy always came to play, just sad that he couldn’t stay healthy. Best of luck to him… even in Cleveland.
Departures (sure as hell can’t call them losses) Mikki Moore – Signed with Warriors Gabe Pruitt – Free Agent Stephon Marbury – Free Agent.
Steph’s career is most likely done after the summer meltdown. I wasn’t thrilled with his signing in the first place. Peace homie. Word on the street is that he’s on tour with Kirk Franklin and working on an endorsement deal to promote the dietary benefits of eating Vaseline.
Starters: PG-Rajon Rondo SG-Ray Allen C-Kendrick Perkins PF-Kevin Garnett SF- Paul Pierce
Key Bench & Rotational Players: F/C- Rasheed Wallace PG/SG- Eddie House PF- Glen Davis SF- Marquis Daniels
Rest of Bench: Tony Allen JR Giddens Brian Scalabrine Bill Walker Shelden Williams Lester Hudson
Team Strengths • Defense • Veteran Leadership • Clutch Performers • Scoring in the paint
Team Weaknesses • Backup Point Guard and Point Guard Play • Overall Bench Play • Team Age
Time for my squad to get back to ballin’. I didn’t stutter when I said earlier that no team in the East wants to see them. Sure, it’s going to be very competitive. But I have faith that they’re going to get it done. The quest for Banner #18 begins…
First of all, make sure you see this documentary film. Second, check out this joint. Thirdly, don’t miss it!!!
Have I made myself clear?
The documentary film on the life and tragic death of Len Bias made by Kirk Fraser is outstanding. I had the opportunity to see a screening of it this past Friday night at the Lincoln Theatre. The film won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the 13th Annual American Black Film Festival
It’s scheduled to air on Nov. 3 at 8pm as part of ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary film series. It will continue to air on ESPN2 and ESPN Classic over the following month after at various times.
Now, if you’re a regular on here, then you know how the death of Len Bias affected me. If you’re not, feel free to check out an entry I penned entitled, Death of Len Bias: 20 Years Later on the anniversary of his death before continuing to read this one.
There’s are a variety of reasons why I looked forward to this film. First off, Len Bias was an incredible athlete. Being truthful, using the word ‘incredible’ is a gross understatement to the talent that this man possessed. That’s like saying that Michael Jackson was a decent entertainer. Since the untimely passing of Len Bias, I’ve read tons of articles, watched specials on athletes and substance abuse and talked to youth about the dangers of drug use at various mentoring programs. Quite often someone much younger will ask me to give more details about Len Bias and what occurred. I always pause for a second, almost like I did when the news of his death was first received. There’s almost no way to explain the events that took his life. I mean, even 23 years later it still stings. Seeing Without Bias really answered some questions that I had. It gave me some clarity on things I had wondered for many years. I’m sure it will answer questions that folks have.
I’m not saying that there’s earth shattering testimony given during the film. We hear from the James & Lonise Bias, former Georgetown coach John Thompson, former UMD coach Lefty Driesell, former UNC coach Dean Smith, a number of Bias’ Terrapin teammates including Keith Gatlin, David Gregg & Jeff Baxter and various sports writers including Michael Wilbon, Kevin Blackistone, James Brown & Jackie MacMullan. Now a documentary would not be complete without having Marion Barry in the mix. He said a few words also.
However that biggest impact on the film was the appearance of Brian Tribble. After all these years, we finally to hear from him during the film. I’m not talking about a quick 10 second sound byte either. You get to hear the story in his own words regarding what occurred. You get to truly see how Len’s death affected him. You can feel it. The segments where Tribble talked were very profound.
As an added bonus to the evening, director Kirk Fraser was available for Q&A after the screening. It was clear that many folks either didn’t care about the Q&A session or just didn’t know because as the credits rolled, people were piling out into the lobby. I’d guess that maybe 75% of the folks had left, but best believe I remained. Fraser answered a handful of questions from the audience. A good number of folks also stepped to the mic to commend and thank him for making the film. There was a brief point where one of the audience members asked if there were any of participants of the film in house. At that time it was announced that Brian Tribble was present and he was given a mic and stepped to the stage to sit next to Kirk Fraser. The brother at the mic in the aisle began to ask a variety of questions to Tribble all in one breath. To his credit, Tribble maintained his composure amidst a flurry of random thoughts that seemed to pop in the gentleman’s head and said something to the effect of “That’s a lot of questions, what’s your primary point?”, which garnered a laugh from the remaining crowd.
The man proceeded to ask Tribble what he had learned from the incident, but also asked him whether the drugs were supplied by him or Bias that night and how such pure cocaine found it’s way into the dorm room that night. Without transcript of the Q&A, it’s impossible for me to summarize that complete dialogue. However, Tribble acknowledged being ‘hard headed’ and making young mistakes in life as everyone does. He also said that folks should listen to those who love them. In response to the question about the cocaine, he basically said “Only two people know where it came from… me and Len. He’s passed on, so I could easily say it was him. But he’s not here to defend himself, so what’s the purpose in discussing this aspect?”. That’s not a direct quote, but his response was similar to that. The way it is quoted might sound abrasive or snappy, but it was far from that. It was said more in a somber tone that I think everyone in the audience understood.
What does it matter 23 yrs later where the drugs came from? Why disparage the man’s name now or ever? Regardless of where it came from, the circumstances won’t change. It won’t bring Len Bias back. At some point he made a conscious decision to use cocaine that night and it took his life. I gained respect for Brian Tribble. First, just his appearance in the film and secondly for walking up to that stage and answering questions. That definitely was not anticipated. I for one, laid a great amount of blame upon him in my conscience for Lenny’s death. I don’t feel that way any longer.
Getting back to Kirk Fraser, there was one answer that really stuck with me. When asked by one attendee whether he was connected to the Bias family or what was the reason he decided to make the film he answered “My connection is I’m one of the individuals that he saved… because of his story I didn’t go down that path”.
Props to Kirk Fraser on making the story come to life and told the way it needed to be told. Look out for Frosty (Len’s nickname), the biographical motion picture sometime in 2011
But first, make sure you see the documentary film. Yeah I said it again.
What started out as an innocent question on Facebook, led me to sit down and compile a list of all artists I’ve seen perform live. I figured I’d get to 50 easily, but never imagined that the overall number would be closer to 150. I know I’ve attended a lot of shows over the years, but maaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!!! Keep in mind that aside from being an audience member on my personal time for a number of concerts, I attended both the American Music Awards in ’92 and the Soul Train Awards in ’96 at the Shrine Auditorium in LA. I worked at WKYS for a few years and did a lot of remote set-ups and club hits during that time. I also toured and audio engineered for a number of artists and attended a ton of industry parties where artists performed live sets. So most of the time I was seated in an assigned location comfortably. But as far as other locations I’ve been backstage, on the side of the stage, behind the stage, at the mixing board, in the pit, in other standing room only locations, whatever.
Two things I want to point out. The first ever show I attended featured Today, Guy, MC Hammer and Sir Mix-A-Lot at Charlotte Coliseum in North Carolina. My pops worked for the Hornets at the time and while visiting him on winter school break I had tickets for pretty much everything going on at the arena from wrestling to basketball games to concerts. That evening was cool cuz I had free reign all over the coliseum. Show didn’t really excite me, but as a teenager with wandering eyes, I was watching every sistah up in the place with their new hair styles and fresh gear. Need I say more? I think not. The other note is that there are at least 15 of the artists listed that I’ve seen perform more than 3 times, not including Go-Go music bands. But none more than Patti Labelle. At last count I’ve seen her perform 6 times. I think I first saw Patti in ’91 or ’92 and fell in love with her from that day.
Every time I think I’m done adding an entry to the list, I think of 2 or 3 more performers I’ve seen. I’m pretty sure I’m close to being done at this point. I started this 2 nights ago, so it’s taken me 48 hrs plus to come to the current number. Anyway… here it is.
1. 311 2. A Tribe Called Quest 3. Alicia Keys 4. Amel Larrieux 5. Anita Baker 6. Anthony Hamilton 7. Ashanti 8. Backyard Band 9. BBD 10. Beyonce 11. Big Pun 12. Biz Markie 13. Boyz II Men 14. Brandy 15. Busta Rhymes 16. Cam’ron 17. Carl Thomas 18. Celine Dion 19. Chill Rob G 20. Chuck Brown 21. Color Me Badd 22. Cypress Hill 23. D’Angelo 24. Da Brat 25. De La Soul 26. Del tha Funkee Homosapien 27. Destiny’s Child 28. Digital Underground 29. DMX 30. Dru Hill 31. Eric Roberson 32. Erykah Badu 33. Estelle 34. EU 35. Fabolous 36. Faith Evans 37. Fertile Ground 38. Foreign Exchange 39. Foxy Brown 40. Frankie Beverly & Maze 41. Gerald Albright 42. Gerald Levert 43. Ghostface 44. Ginuwine 45. Groove Theory 46. Guns N Roses 47. Guy 48. Heavy D & Boyz 49. Hoobastank 50. Huck-A-Bucks 51. Ja Rule 52. James Brown 53. Jay Electronica 54. Jay-Z 55. Jazmine Sullivan 56. Jean Grae 57. Jill Scott 58. Junkyard Band 59. K’Naan 60. Keith Murray 61. Keith Washington 62. Kid-N-Play 63. Kriss Kross 64. Lalah Hathaway 65. Lauryn Hill 66. Lil’ Benny & The Masters 67. Lil’ Kim 68. LL Cool J 69. Lost Boyz 70. Luther Vandross 71. Mad Lion 72. Mary J. Blige 73. Mase 74. Maxwell 75. MC Hammer 76. Method Man 77. Michael Jackson 78. Missy Elliott 79. Montell Jordan 80. Morris Day & Time 81. Mos Def 82. Musiq 83. N.E.R.D. 84. N.O.R.E 85. Nappy Roots 86. Nas 87. NE Groovers 88. New Edition 89. Notorious B.I.G. 90. Outkast 91. Patti Labelle 92. Peabo Bryson 93. Pharcyde 94. Pharoahe Monch 95. Prince 96. Public Enemy 97. Puff Daddy 98. Queen Latifah 99. Queen Pen 100. R. Kelly 101. Rachelle Ferrell 102. Raekwon 103. Raheem Devaughn 104. Rakim 105. Raphael Saadiq 106. Rare Essence 107. Redman 108. Regina Belle 109. Ronald Isley 110. Royce 5’9” 111. Run-DMC 112. Sir Mix A Lot 113. Stevie Wonder 114. Talib Kweli 115. Tamia 116. Tech9ne 117. Teena Marie 118. The Fugees 119. The Lox 120. The Roots 121. Timbaland & Magoo 122. TLC 123. Today 124. Toni! Tony! Tone! 125. Total 126. Whitney Houston 127. Whodini 128. Will Downing 129. Yolanda Adams 130. Ziggy Marley
I think that’s it. I do reserve the right to add more as necessary. LOL!!!!