Return of the Mack

kobe and derrick

Listening to channel 46 on Sirius XM which is the old school hip-hop it was fitting that they played the Mark Morrison classic, “Return of the Mack”. Why is it fitting you may ask? It’s fitting because basketball season is about to begin with more questions than a kid reading the Bible. Will San Antonio repeat? Will the Cavs go to the Finals? How many ankles will Jamal Crawford break this year? Will Philly tank another season? How will the 2014 Rookie squad fare against NBA competition? The questions can go on and on but since I love sports and rap music another song came into mind when thinking about this upcoming NBA season. The song is called Guess Who’s Bizzack featuring Beanie Sigel, Scarface and Jay-Z. Even with all the hoopla of LeBron returning to Cleveland or Clippers under new ownership, there are 2 players that I want to see flourish to the highest level; Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant. The words from Scarface probably echo the sentiments of the mentality that these two ball players’ have:

“It’s a new game doin, lemme give ya the rules Get outta line and I’ma give ya the blues It’s a new game doin, lemme give ya the rules Get outta line and I’ma give ya the blues, whoa”

Make no mistake Kobe and Derrick will make you look stupid if you try to them on some sweet shit. I can still see Kobe dropping 25 a night and with all the disrespect he has been getting from sports media he may snap for even more. If you haven’t noticed, Kobe ran out of fucks a while ago regarding interviews from reporters so don’t add fuel to the fire or as my dad would say, ‘son don’t add no more lighter fluid to that grill’. Derrick Rose won MVP back in 2010-2011 and has lived with his crossover and ability to penetrate to the basket and with that team he has now he is definitely stepping with the big dogs-martin voice. With all of this being said, which return means more to their team and franchise: Kobe Bryant or Derrick Rose?

Throughout the course of any NBA season there will be injuries, lackluster play and contract disputes. Already there have been some key injuries to Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal, Paul George, Manu Ginobili that will impact at least the beginning of the season. In Paul George’s case it will impact the whole season but a speedy recovery to all players injured. But for the past two years it was about Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant being injured, not no more my friends these two men are 100 percent healthy and ready to crack some heads like security at a strip club. These players are returning this season but their teams are going in different directions.

Kobe Bean Bryant entering his 19th season in the NBA. 36 years old. 5 championship rings. You know the man’s stats and even to this day he is the draw of Laker nation. But like this season as in last season when you watch the Lakers this year you won’t be seeing a team fighting for a playoff spot in the Western Conference but you will see a scrappy team following the leader and icon of this franchise. Kobe Bryant is the Leonidas of the Lakers. He is preparing his team the best way he knows how but will it end tragic. It definitely doesn’t help that Steve Nash has been ruled out for the entire 2014-2015 season with a nagging back injury which will probably sideline him for the rest of his career. If that’s the case in my opinion, Steve Nash is a first ballot Hall of Famer. But there are other elements to look for in the Lakers’ this year; there’s the development of Julius Randle, the amount of And 1’s yelled by Carlos Boozer, the ability of Jeremy Lin at point guard. Let’s be real there are some veterans that make it 18 years in the NBA but none have the anticipation of a fairy tale ending then Kobe Bryant. He’s still the life preserver of the team and will fuel this team like a Gatorade  after an intense workout (which reminds me to go to the gym today). Kobe is in a fight bigger than his team trying to make the playoffs. He’s in a fight against father time, silencing critics and eliminating any self-doubt. If there’s anything that I know about Father Time is that it’s undefeated. Well at least he’s still getting paid handsomely which to some think it’s a detriment to any financial flexibility that the Lakers may have left. But the near future is looking mighty bright for this team so 82 games for a chance in prosperity for years to come is worth the wait.

Derrick ‘I don’t know your middle name’ Rose is coming back after 2 years of catastrophic injuries to both of his legs. His timing is impeccable as his team is favored to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Additions like Pau Gasol, Mirotic and Doug McBuckets definitely help but the biggest addition is a healthy Derrick Rose. Wright Thompson from ESPN Magazine writes, ““Everything he wants is right in front of him, and he’ll know in a year, maybe two, whether he can have it — or whether his dreams evaporated when he blew out his knee. All this will be fascinating to watch. His second mission begins now, and, as with the first one, he doesn’t know how it will end. Internal drives aren’t easy to understand, much less defeat, even if he is healthy; Michael Jordan won every battle he fought, and he is entering middle age unhappy and lost. Derrick Rose escaped his neighborhood and his old life, but he remains a citizen of his own ambition”. How far will Derrick Rose’s ambition take him? Make no mistake Chicago Bulls won 48 games last season and with their excellent offseason they are arguably the top team in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls are ready to win and win now so there’s no more mulligans, no more what if Derrick Rose is healthy…the time is now and the clock is ticking. I never thought there would be a time where people would regard the Lakers as a rebuilding team but even if Kobe comes back wearing Number 8 and an afro, the Lakers aren’t expected to make any noise. Let’s not kid ourselves Kobe returning is huge but not as huge as Derrick Rose.

I say Derrick Rose’s return means more because of the age difference between these two players. Kobe will always sell tickets but he will be remembered for what he has already done not what he’s going to do. No matter what Kobe does the Lakers’ future will be in free agency not his health. Kobe already has his Hall of Fame ticket stamped, the championship rings and a highlight reel made for a documentary while Derrick Rose is aspiring to capture the same accomplishments. Fabolous says it best, “Being hot gets you the MVP, staying hot gets you in the Hall of Fame” Kobe has been hot for the best decade and change but even the hottest of fires have to be extinguished let’s just hope Derrick Rose has the same longevity.



A House is not a Home


There have been many things that I can honestly say that makes me proud. For starters, I’m still alive at 30 that may seem like nothing to some but when you worked for a mortician since you were 12 looking at dead bodies and caskets makes me a little numb to the situation; however, I love the fact that I get another opportunity every day to make up for the dumb shit I’ve done in the past. Other things that I am proud of are: getting 2 degrees, married with kids, a great relationship with God and overall a great person. The biggest monetary investment that I have made by far is buying a home. In April of 2014 that dream came true. I remember it like it was yesterday getting cramps from all those signatures, taking pictures with realtors, my wife being brought to tears and me dressed in all black like the omen. Everything was set…I had the wife, kids, cars and now a house.

First issue was the fact that I didn’t have a lawnmower and that made my wife sick but being the man that I am I used my resources and I make sure everything is cut. She wants to hire a landscaping crew but my front and back yard put together is like 10 minutes of yard work so cut the bullshit. First and foremost what the fuck I look like letting another dude cut my grass plus I don’t even have the money to pay that when you add up all the expenses and weekly allowance for chicken boxes at either Sunny’s or Stoko’s something has to go and it aint that…words from my wife therefore I gotta do this shit myself. I was doing some yard work last week with my older cousin who has been married for 19 years now and he says…’sure you may be mad now but you will laugh about it in a hour but always remember one thing…you take care of the outside and let her take care of the inside’…Will this statement haunt me forever?

My wife decides that we need artwork in our house. I can’t front looking at beige walls and straight lines my son has made with a crayon is starting to look dull. So I’m like cool let’s buy some artwork. I suggested some classic black art like the Good Times picture, the man playing the saxophone, the funeral and other stuff that I think is great. She said it didn’t go with her color scheme or the vision that she has for the house. How can the Good time picture not be in the vision, I mean ‘aint we lucky we got em…boom da boom boom boom boom..good times and you know the rest of the song and the pose’. So I wasn’t surprised when she smiled and said ‘let me handle this’. Part of me was like that scene in Notorious when Biggie find out Jan was pregnant and he turned his head and said ‘oh fuck’ while the other half was like ‘I knew this shit would happen so just remember the words from your cousin and everything is good’. What better time to debut these new additions than Morgan State Homecoming.

Before we get to homecoming the only task I had to do was get the TV mounted. I made the appointment for Saturday morning at 8:00 am. Why 8 am on a Saturday because my thinking was I can have the TV mounted and still go to the parade with my kids since it’s right down the street from my house. That’s easy right….this is me we’re talking about so fuck no. So Friday night I go out with some of my brothers get drunk take a nap and get home at 6 am. I tell myself I will take a 5 minute nap and I’ll be good for the TV mounting people. Now it’s 8:47 am, I got 3 missed calls 2 text messages and a wife who’s looking at me like I am Charlie Brown. The one thing that I was supposed to do and I messed it up. I can only imagine what my wife was really thinking, “You blockhead,  how could you mess this up. You had to go party the night before huh.You was with Gumbs weren’t you”. But to my surprise she said, “It’s ok Sonny, I would rather have you at the parade then in the basement” So you know that music from those TGIF sitcoms came in my head and we proceed to the parade just to miss it anyway because they really started on time but hey we tried right…D’oh-Homer Simpson voice.

Back to the artwork though..all last week I’m making sure the outside is taking care of and one day my wife comes home with bags from HomeGoods and other places which mean she spent some money. She kept me in suspense regarding the artwork and I thought she got some exclusives from Andy Warhol at the Patapsco Flea Market or the art you can find at a hood gas station or maybe just maybe she got the artwork that I suggested. Well she sits me down and she pulls out piece after piece and she was so happy about her purchases that all I can do is smile and say great job. Now when she left the room I looked at this work a little more thoroughly. There were some good pieces for example any picture with a scripture is always cool but then I saw an assortment of pictures and all I can think of was the Martin episode when Gina brought home the butt statue. Like one pic looked like the inner workings of a clock real close up but if you tilt your read it look like a rim painted in brown. One of them had some words in French that I’m not even going to Google. But one painting that she didn’t buy was the one that she actually painted herself. She went to a sip and paint party awhile back at Bill Bateman which was a win for me because it was on a Monday which meant all you can eat wings. So yeah baby paint as long as you want make a Picasso for all I care just don’t stop the wings baby. I like the painting that she did because she stepped outside the box but since she is her worst critic she doesn’t like it. She has the skyline, buildings, birds and the Naty Boh man on a light like the batman symbol. Even though the Naty Boh man is doing the ducklips in the picture maybe it’s the Naty Boh girl see what I have learned is that art can be interpreted in so many ways that there is no right or wrong answer. I haven’t found a place to put it but it will go up. Safe to say I listened to my cousin and let my wife do the inside while I do the outside. Happy wife happy life until the next project…Despite my pushback the house looks nice and this is what I have to say to my wife about this…

Are you gonna be? Say you’re gonna be Are you gonna be? Say you’re gonna be Are you gonna be? Say you’re gonna be Well well, well well Still in love, so in love, still in love with me Are you gonna be? Say that you’re gonna be Still in love with me, yeah