Public Enemy Number 1

number one overall

In the end of June Adam Silver will have the privilege to say, “and the number one draft pick in the 2015 NBA Draft is……” Until the new edition arrive we have to listen to a young Ralph Tresvant and just  cool it now (see what I did there). Last week the NBA Draft Combine was held where numerous draft prospects some highly touted some not so much displayed their talents to many scouts, coaches and GM’s. In their interview sessions various players such as Stanley Johnson and D’Angelo Russell said that they are the best player in the draft and they should be drafted number one overall next month. Is being called the Number 1 draft pick the title that you really want to hold?

First things being the number one draft pick will get you endorsements, instant fame, possibly a nickname from Robert Flores or Stan Verrett, a ridiculous rating on NBA 2K16 and most importantly about $26 million dollars over the next 4 years. So you mean to tell me for the next presidency I will make close to $6.5 million dollars a year…where do I sign up.  The distinction of being the number one draft pick is a gift and a curse. You can be a Monster like the Meek Mill track or the fans can start chanting you some doo-doo-doo-doo like the Troy Ave hook. I don’t have to be a car driver on Talladega Night to remember the saying  ‘first or last’. This tends to be the mindset of people not just athletes but the stage in sports is set for such a dramatic story. It’s the universal goal to be the so called savior, the franchise cornerstone, superstar and inspiration to the youth. Being chosen Number one carries a mystique of its own in which those picked after you will train harder just to dethrone you.  But we tend to forget that even though they are the number one pick in their perspective draft they are still rookies.  They still putting ProActiv on their face, they can’t even buy alcohol by themselves shit some of them still get carded to see a R rated movie yet they are supposed to get a struggling team amped up like the Ante Up classic.

The measurement of the number one pick is based upon the players that were drafted after them and amongst the number ones of yesteryear. Their careers are under higher scrutiny for a number one pick can average a double-double and still be a bust because at number 9 there was a player who was selected All-Decade Team and won multiple MVP’s.

Tonight during halftime of a playoff game, the NBA will showcase its lottery selection which will determine which team will get the number one pick June 25th. The most popular names to come up are Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor and D’Angelo Russell. A wise man once said, ‘It’s not how you start its how you finish’. We as fans must realize that this is another level and it will take time, effort and patience. I can still remember the transition from high school to college. I felt out of place like Larenz Tate in the movie Inkwell until I got with an older woman and then the world was synchronized. Some players use this as fuel, some exceed expectations and some just stay on E. For every John Wall there’s an Andrea Bargnani. An NBA bust can happen at any time for example Adam Morrison, Darko Milicic, Chris Morris but being a bust at number 1 is unfathomable. So for those teams that drafted Michael Olowokandi, Kwame Brown, Joe Smith and others were left with a bitter taste in their mouth as other players in those drafts went on to flourish like McLovin in Superbad.

We live in a microwave society in which we need our results not now but right now. We are yelling ‘expeditiously’ so loud even Joe Clarke has no choice but to move quickly. Sports are the same way in which they want their production now. If you’re allowed to sit for a year or two and develop then why not, see what it does in other sports such as baseball and football. Every NBA career is shaped by decisions made by management as well as the players itself. The higher picks are awarded to the teams that are turrible-Charles Barkley voice or a team led by idiots and then they ask Moses either the player or the Biblical icon to save everyone.  So the question becomes is it the production or the draft selection. For example Michael Olowokandi was number one and had a lackluster career but if he was number 10 would he still be a NBA bust. Is the number one pick title too much to handle? But in that same draft you had Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitizki, Vince Carter, Antwan Jamison and my favorite player from that draft Cuttino Mobley but at 10 there was Paul Pierce who will be a first ballot Hall of Famer and still hitting clutch shots to this day. If they did a re-do of the 1998 NBA Draft would Paul Pierce go number 1?

I learned a valuable lesson in 2003; it isn’t the physical that breaks down the quickest it’s the mental.  Every player has its own uniqueness that made them the player that they are today so what if you are not number one are you really last, is the hurdle that much harder to climb or does the journey become that much more rewarding when you achieve success. Would you rather have the mountains moved for you or would you rather climb the mountain?

Another variable to consider is the jump from high school to NBA and the phenomenon known as the One-and-Done which make it even harder for team executives to effective evaluate talent because a crucial mistake in the draft means pink slips instead of openings of pink lips. For every Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James and Tracy McGrady there’s a Jonathan Bender, Al Harrington and Jermaine O’Neal. Being a Number 1 pick offers no guarantee of success. From 1990 to 2009 only three number picks led their teams to NBA championships: Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan and LeBron James. Let’s not forget Shaq and LBJ lost in their first appearance in the Finals with their original team and it wasn’t until they went to another team that they won a championship.  Even though Glenn Robinson won a championship with the Spurs in 2005, he didn’t lead them to a title. 60 percent of number one draft picks made at least one All-Star team but according to society’s standards their career was average at best. Some were derailed by injury such as Andrew Bogut and Greg Oden and there are others who just let the pressure burst pipes in their veins and they didn’t live up to the hype. In the past few years we have been delighted to the likes of Anthony Davis and Andrew Wiggins with Anthony Bennett being the mulligan of the NBA draft.

You only get your name called once. The draft may only last for a few hours but your career last a lifetime. Welcome to the NBA and may you flourish even if you will be labeled as Public Enemy Number 1.

Ex Marks the Spot

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Dating these days is very hard…so I’ve heard since I’m married I have no clue. But with social media so prevalent, men acting like women, women acting like men the dating pool has become murky. I can only imagine what the dating pool is like now when you reach your 30’s.

Despite all the knowledge you’ve acquired over the years you see this girl that you wanna make your girlfriend. You were once Wilt Chamberlain or how Harper Stewart from Best Man would put it ‘an ebony humper’ now you trying a new thing called Monogamy. If you’re a female maybe you don’t wanna be like the girl from ‘She gotta have it’. Maybe you’re tired of being with multiple women or men at the same time so now you want to be exclusive.

You make yourself vulnerable and you approach this woman and it starts off like one of those science books. For example, if I can have your number go to page 65 if not close out my tab and walk away. To your credit you pressed your luck and you get the number and you begin to converse on a daily basis.

Throughout your first conversations you find out whether or not he/she has kids, a man/woman, religion and various topics. Then you have that conversation about your past relationships. It’s a necessary evil because you don’t want the girl that has circled the track more than Jeff Gordon and ladies don’t want a man that’s coached more girls than Geno Aureimma. Don’t get me wrong I’m not judging. I’m not like the new show called Hot Bench where there are three judges coming at your neck at the same time. But know all the information that you’ve told one another has been talked about in a GroupMe or text with their close friends. I don’t have a gavel or the robe or a bailiff saying all rise but I’m on the jury. I’m on the jury because you want all the information available so you can make an informed decision on whether or not you want to pursue this relationship any further. Here’s my first question: Do you come clean with all your information or do you give just enough? How do you react if you hear way too much? How do you react if you’ve done your own research and it doesn’t match what he/she says? Now you all fucked up but you still have a decision to make.

Well you have made the decision to pursue this further and things are going well but what do you do if you actually see one of those ex boyfriends she mentioned back in the beginning of the relationship. It’s bad enough you had to hear about it but to actually see it is a whole new set of worms. With men being such visual creatures just the sight of another man that you know was intimate with your girl just doesn’t sit well with you. Don’t get me wrong you knew she wasn’t a virgin when you got with her but you never thought you would see someone that has seen the same naked body that you get to see now. The go to spin move that she does on special occasions is this the guy that taught her. I thought about this when I was watching an episode of Blackish and Dre’ happens to be in the same house as his wife’s former man and that night found out that they were once engaged. Do you give your girl the Ike Turner look because you about to fi-fi-fi-fi-fine her ass? Do you just shake his hand and play it cool because the ultimate prize which is your lady is now yours or do you get angry and go for blood like Beanie Sigel going after Dame Dash in those State Property movies? If you’re the ex-boyfriend do you play it cool because you’ve moved on to another person? Do you shake his hand and say nothing even though that smile is really saying, ‘yeah man I fucked ya girl and I taught her all that shit…you’re welcome’ If you’re the ex and this girl was the one that got away because you were slipping do you turn into Snoop Dogg from Baby Boy and come at him saying this…’ Is this Jody? The Jody that got my boo pregnant and can’t take care of his responsibilities as a muthafuckin’ man? Livin’ at yo’ mamma house? Walking around the streets like a little ass boy? Nigga, you’s a *bitch*!’ I expect an all-out war Game of Thrones style if he goes this hard but be careful he may be an UFC fighter and he may whip your ass and take your girl but that’s a chance you have to take 100 percent of the time.

Ladies, what do you do in that predicament? Do you let these two guys fight over you? Do you reassure your current man that he has nothing to worry about? Do you ask yourself why did I put myself in this position? Do you try to run away from it like Bill Bellamy in How to be a Player? Do you become paranoid like that Ty Dolla Sign song? Do you just carry it like a pimp and say yeah I fucked y’all both not at the same time but I ain’t ashamed of my past but just know you are my present and if this is going to damage what we have then maybe we don’t have a future. For the record if your girl says this how do you respond because that sounded like some Goldie from the Mack type shit. Here’s another scenario what if you are out with your man and you see one of his former exes, do you show your ass? Do you show extra PDA just to let her know that he’s your man? Do you still keep it cute but in your mind you’re saying, “I see you lookin with cha lookin ass”

If everything ends up good do you scream Hallelujah like Jamie Foxx did at the end of national anthem? Can you be mature about a delicate issue or has the foundation been compromised and you back to diving in those murky waters?

What are your thoughts??? What do you do in this situation?

The Sport of Being A Dad

Kanye West

As a black man and proud father of 3 under 6 yeah I know I know  what I was thinking about but I look at sports as an outlet and stress reliever. So to my astonishment tomorrow night is the Golden Corral of sports. It’s a buffet worth sitting down and getting comfortable because you have NHL Playoffs, MLB Baseball, NFL Draft, Kentucky Derby, Game 7 between Spurs and Clippers and arguably the biggest fight since Hagler vs. Leonard in the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao extravaganza.

Fellas, you must under all circumstances fuck the shit out of your spouse tonight to make sure there are no problems tomorrow, as you shall be glued to a HD TV with snacks. Yeah, you might have to eat some groceries (if you know what I mean, but hey you do it well enough she might even buy the snacks). You have to leave her with the same glow as Keisha from Belly after DMX said ‘I don’t know no fuckin Quianna….listen…listen….listen’ or for you youngsters that don’t know Belly how about like Yvette when Jody jammed her in Baby Boy. This day of sports is the equivalent of the new season of Orange is the new Black dropping on Netflix. This is what Diddy was talking about on Mase album when he said, ‘if you have 24 hours to live just think what would you do…’ Life as you know it is at a standstill. You don’t care if the baby crying, phone ringing or nothing. You just want to be in front of a TV as you switch from one cable channel to another, which reminds me I gotta pay that shit soon. For some NHL playoffs are a big deal, I can’t front those jerseys and fitted hats are tough as hell but to some grown men get smacked and throw hands afterwards like that is exhilarating. Baseball is in the infancy stages of the season so I ain’t really that excited about it. I love football and the nuances that come with it. In my mind, I am a GM so the NFL Draft is a game of strategy which picks the best players to suit your organization and to see these young men fulfill their dreams is awesome baby with a capital A. See, I played football in high school and at times, I feel like the equivalent of Arthur Agee as my football dreams have been deferred. The Kentucky Derby is the fastest 2 minutes of sports action. The Kentucky Derby is like having a quickie with your wife either as she is getting for work or when you hear the baby moving in the crib like she about to wake up and you know you gotta wait at least another 6 hours and by then who knows where the momentum so you gotta fuck now and expeditiously-Joe Clarke voice. There is nothing like a Game 7 in basketball when you the San Antonio Whitewalkers against the team that Steve Ballmer bought. This game is in competition with the biggest fight in about 30 plus years as Floyd Mayweather contends to remain undefeated against Manny Pacquiao. Some people are in Vegas, some are having fight parties, some girls is putting on their best outfits even though they are just going to see the fight in someone’s basement but all in all, we will all echo the words of Ice Cube tomorrow when we say ‘today is a good day’

All of this is well and good but what if for some reason you won’t be able to see hardly any of these events how will you function. This is the dilemma that I face because my kids are going to Sesame Place tomorrow. My first thought was fuck these kids they don’t have to go nowhere, I gotta introduce them to disappointment now but then I almost fell in public and for a big dude almost falling that’s a game changer. First and foremost big people fall in sections. It makes you want to re-evaluate all your decisions in life prior to that moment, so I think that was God getting me back for saying that dumb shit. I was only joking to begin with but when my wife told me that her cousin bought tickets to Sesame Place including hotel stay for all of us, I was thinking aint that nice but will we be back in Baltimore in time to see the fight though. At first I was like what were you thinking getting tickets to Sesame Place on the same day as Mayweather-Pacquiao. They should never gave you people tax refunds. You just had to go the park the first day it opened huh. You can’t reschedule for another day. You know those characters ain’t real right shit for all I know they gonna call out of work just so they can see the fight. So it’s just gonna be a park with costumes on the floor. I can hear Big Bird saying ‘I’m not here  for teaching nobody the alphabet song but if I could rearrange the alphabet I would put F and U together.

Even if I was able to come back to Baltimore, this curfew would of fried the shit of me unless the fight party is held in the county then we got something here. Of course this was all silly conversation between my wife and I because we clearly saw the bigger picture. The bigger picture was that my kids get to go to an amusement park and we don’t have to come out of pocket for shit. So when I asked my wife did her cousin pay for all this she said, ‘hell yeah, hell yeah hell yeah fuckin right yea right all right’. I know they will be showing this fight any and everywhere it’s just fighting the right place. I pray finding a good place to watch don’t turn into a Harold and Kumar adventure but if so that’s another story to tell. There comes a point where sports comes second and to my dismay this is one of them but to see the excitement of my kids face when they see this place tomorrow is worth it. I’m going to tell you this right now if they start cutting up not only am I whipping ass but we going home. Going home is really just a diversion for real to see the fight and I will let my kids think it was because of them. I know I aint shit for that but I also know my kids aint stupid and they want no parts of the big hand so everything will be cool. I feel like Dave Chappelle in on my shoulder saying, ‘Tough break nigga there’s always FUBU’ I salute those that will do the right thing and the fruits of your labor will be glorious as you get to rejoice and bask in the ambiance known as sports television. This is something you sit and tell your grandkids when they ask about your life accomplishments. Being a dad comes first and I hope I get closer to Heaven for doing this.