All posts by Sonny

I’m taking my talents to………..

lebron james

It was all good just a year ago. Lebron wins his 2nd ring. Lebron is king of the basketball world. He is in discussion as the greatest small forward of all-time. He was on the verge of a three peat but the San Antonio Spurs said ‘I’m gonna protect this house’   As of this morning, LeBron James told the Miami Heat upper management that he is opting of his contract and will become a free agent.

Free agency went from 0 to 100 nigga real quick. Real quick whole NBA on some real shit.  LeBron was due $20.6 million this year as part of the 6 year/ $109.83 million deal he signed with the Heat.  I mean they have been talking about this all year but it was just barbershop talk; you know the drunk talk or high talk you have with your friends. But now social media has gone wild with the LeBron memes, GroupMe chats were on fire as the discussion began like we were on the set of ESPN.  The running joke is that I work for ESPN but what if i told you (morhpeus voice) that I had a phone interview back in 2009. Of course nothing turned from that but back to the man of the hour, LeBron James or as Mark Jackson would say “mama there goes that man”.  Almost half of the league as of right now will have cap space with some intriguing teams like the Lakers, Cavs, Bulls and others. Now LeBron is once again the prize fish of free agency like he was in 2010.

Before everyone starts to play GM and say that he’s coming to their team just know even though LeBron will be a free agent doesn’t mean that his career with the Heat is over. In my opinion, this is the ultimatum to GM Pat Riley either you improve the team or I’m out. The thing about ultimatums is if they don’t do anything will LeBron really leave. For the other teams in the NBA they hope he does.  Under the new bargaining agreement, Miami can offer him a 5 year deal worth about 115 million while a new team can only offer a 4 year/ 85 million deal. So that’s a difference of about 30 million, is that enough incentive for LeBron to leave or nah? If it he does leave then he’s back to rebuild a legacy mode like he was playing 2K. LeBron opting out is just allowing him to weigh his options. The media was in a frenzy when his wife sent a tweet, “We are coming home” regarding his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

Let’s face it, Dwyane Wade’s prime is coming to a close and Chris Bosh at times pulls a David Blaine and disappears from games. What’s interesting is that they both have the options to become a free agent as well. Maybe this is a scheme to opt out of their current contracts so they can sign new contracts at a discount rate so they can bring in new talent. Because if they stay with their current salaries, then Miami will be strapped for cash and won’t be able to help out the team. Other factors to consider is that Ray Allen will be 39 in a few weeks, Shane Battier retired, Mario Chalmers can leave as could Udonis Haslem and Birdman. There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle and only person can put this together; the slick hair back man known as Pat Riley.

Even though their roster is a little older the fact remains that they went to 4 straight NBA Finals and successfully won 2. That’s not a small feat by any means but teams are getting younger, teams are becoming more financially savvy and scouts are really becoming the eyes and ears of an operation. It would be a shame to see LeBron leave at such a critical time, but if Pat Riley doesn’t deliver on his word then why should he.

If LeBron does resign with the Heat it will be a 5 year deal worth about $123 million but he would be 35 when that contract is up. Would he retire after this or keep playing? Would he earn another big payday at 35? If Kobe can do it, why not LeBron. Whatever LeBron decides to do it will the first story on every news channel in the world.  Will he leave 30 million on the table or is another 5 years with the Heatles.

So where could he go?????? According to Spotrac, only five teams beside the Heat will have the cap space to offer James the maximum without making any other roster moves: Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers. They are other teams that could get involved like the Rockets, Wizards, Cavaliers and the rest of the whole NBA but they will have to make roster cuts some tougher that others but for LeBron James anything is up for grabs.

Philadelphia won only 19 games last year but Thursday could speak volumes of what the future holds for them. They have 7 picks in Thursday’s draft including the 3rd and 10th pick which could turn into 2 instant starters like Dante Exum, Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon and don’t forget they also will have Nerlens Noel.  After Thursday night, Philly can be a team on the come up and could even be enticing for the King to begin a new reign of terror.

I was speaking the Steven Cook, the East Coast spokesperson for the Dallas Mavericks (just joking) and he said, why would we want him we beat him the Finals then he said, sike i’m bullshitting hell yeah bring him on so he can learn how to shoot a jumper like Dirk and with Monta Ellis and company and an underrated coach in Rick Carlisle they could be instant contenders. LeBron has stated that the Mavericks are ‘probably the reason why I am who I am today’ which  would be an instant boost to the Mavs, but it’s the task of getting out of the daunting Western Conference that poses the tougher challenge then winning the chip with all the improvements the conference plans to make. Would Cook wear a LeBron James Mavs jersey? So about those Utah Jazz…. next.

Then comes the Tinseltown Lakers with recruitment from the Laker greats starting with Magic Johnson, Jack Nicholson, Diahann Carroll and others that will try their damnest to get LeBron to come to the city that Magic built. Would Kobe be second fiddle to LeBron? Is there enough room in the stadium for both of their egos?  Will Kobe still be Kobe? Can he remain healthy after 2 major injuries? Is 35 really 35 or did he go back into the DeLorean to 2002 and bring his fro and rap album with him. Even with LeBron, I don’t see them rising above the Pacific Division especially with the improving Clippers and Warriors( with or without Kevin Love).

There is always the Houston Rockets and that crafty GM Daryl Morey who has already stated that he has deals for Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik to generate cap space for LeBron. A Houston Big 3 of LeBron, Harden and Howard would definitely bring Hakeem, Drexler and Sam Cassell out of the tunnel.

One of the most intriguing teams that could land LeBron is the Phoenix Suns. They were just one game from making the playoffs with a rookie coach in Jeff Hornacek and the emergence of Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic made for one of the best backcourts in the league.  They can actually offer LeBron the max with no roster moves and bring a style and flair that would make Charles Barkley say, ‘The Phoenix Suns are back’ They would be one of the most exciting teams in the league especially if they can keep Eric Bledsoe. Even if they can’t they have 3 first round picks on Thursday and 3 more the following year so this team will definitely be on the come up.  Money, money…money moneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey…money is what the Suns have. They have enough to sign someone for the max this year and in 2015 and with those extra picks they can land another star player.  There is so much potential in this pairing but will the media hype be too much for them? Will their expectations be so high that only method man and redman can reach it?

Of course I would love for him to come to the Wizards where the backcourt of Wall and Beal would bring all types of shine to the city or maybe they are waiting on Durant in 2016.  But if LeBron did go to the Wizards the time would be now. For some it would be best if he stayed in Miami for others it would be poetic justice to come back to the place that he calls home; the Cleveland Cavaliers. I know you are supposed to be a forgiving man but after all the backlash he received especially from the owner Dan Gilbert unless I get the chance to put them paws on him, I am not  going back to Cleveland.

This is a rendition of the Should, Could,  Dream tour. Because he SHOULD stay in Miami, he COULD go to another team and now the GM’s must DREAM on how they can get the best player in all of basketball to their team.

Until then (cues the Sportscenter theme song)..da-da-da…. da-da-da

One Father to another from the Ultimate Father

sonny kidssonny and the kids

What does the bible say about Fathers? A father is a giver of his time, talents, treasures; he is a teacher of the Word to his family, a good example of Christ to others, and a servant to the Most High. A father is instrumental in the growth of his children’s life spiritually, emotionally and physically. A father acknowledges his responsibility and commitment to his family by providing things to his family, just like our Heavenly Father provides for us. His job is to leave behind a legacy & inheritance to his children and wife. A father serves in many capacities for example we are warriors. The warriors that we are, think that most of the battles are won through hand to hand combat but most of the battles are going to be won on our knees. It is us getting on bended knee that unveils the truth as we continue to place our confidence in Him. As fathers, we must be trustworthy and truthful. Our Heavenly Father loves to spend time with His children. As fathers, we must make the time to spend with our families. It is a time we convey God’s Word to keep the family healthy and in sync. Our Heavenly Father is our source for help. (NKJV) Psalm 121 2 ‘My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth’. God has the answer! Our Heavenly Father is an encourager. God is in our corner shouting “you can do it”, “I got you covered”. Each father needs to be the greatest cheerleader for his children. We need to be the biggest encourager in our family’s lives. Rejoice in every achievement.  Our Heavenly Father is our source of strength; He is our defender in times of need. As father we need to be that source of strength to our family and a protector in times of need.  As fathers, we must always be teachable to the will of God. We should teach our children to have respect for God, womanhood, life, and morality. We are all fathers but are we godly fathers.

 

Many men desire to be good fathers, but there is a criterion that helps fathers become godly fathers. Here are four Biblical principles that, by God’s grace, will lay a sound foundation in helping fathers become godly fathers.

First, godly fathers are first godly men. It doesn’t make sense for fathers to do wrong then say to their children, “Do as I say, not as I do” (Matthew 23:3). Children must be able to see an example of Christ in their fathers. Paul says to his spiritual children in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” Those who imitate Christ in thoughts, attitudes, and actions are those who have the right and Biblical ability to properly train and disciple their own children.

Second, godly fathers love their children unconditionally. Unconditionally is the key word. It implies that love is not earned based on the potential gain that the child may receive. In other words, their focus is on themselves and upon what they can gain rather than upon unconditional love for their children. We’ve seen with child actors and most recently in the NFL. Tyron Smith a 22 year old offensive tackle recently filed a restraining order on his parents based off physical threats to himself and his girlfriend. Currently he is in his 2nd year of a 4yr, 12.5 million contract which by his parents’ standards isn’t enough. He received a text from his coach stating that he would be moved to left tackle which could generate more money on his contract. Instead of congratulations from his family they were already talking about their next purchases with this new surplus of cash. His family felt like they should live the same lifestyle as him and when he refused family members traveled from California to Dallas to beat up his girlfriend. When that was unsuccessful, his parents threatened his life. They stole over a million dollars from him so far after using the financial adviser that his parents recommended. Despite all of this, Tyron is willing to reconcile with his parents which shows that even though his parents may not love him unconditionally, he does. His many mentors have been counseling him which is in my opinion an application of Psalm 68 verse 5, ‘A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation’. Even though they aren’t his biological parents, these people are having a fatherly impact on this man in way that his parents are refusing to do.  Before I became a father, I was fathered as well. My grandfather and my father had an influential impact on my life and then when I went to college my older cousin mentored me in ways that only a father could.  It was these lessons that gave me the foundation for when I had my own kids. It’s imperative to establish a foundation with your kids where there are rules and regulations and consequences if they are not met. Because these streets have some a mystique that it can lure your child in the wrong way and once the streets gets hold of them it’s very hard to get them back…unless they have the Lord on their side. This reminds me of the story in Luke chapter 15 verses 20-24 where a father waits for the return of his son to return to him. Instead of scolding him, judging him or disowning him, he threw him a party to celebrate his return.  Godly fathers don’t make their children earn their approval, and they don’t use their children’s behavior or potential gain as a condition for their love. I challenge us men to do the same thing for these kids.

Third, godly fathers train their children how to love and honor God. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” To take it another step further Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” The issue as a father is teaching a child to love the Lord as they model their own love for Him. Always remember kids aren’t stupid. In fact, they are a lot smarter than most parents give them credit for. For example I was having a conversation with Quianna when I said something that prompted Morgan to say ‘Daddy, that’s a bad choice. Thumbs down’. My face frowned up and I said “who are you talking too, bad choice man spell it’. I didn’t think she would respond with C-H-O…go to your room. She was upset but in my mind I had to flex my authority over her even though I may have been wrong. The real lesson is that in order to be a godly father, I must model submission to authority and welcome correction if I have sinned. I know this won’t be the last time this will happen especially as my kids get older and think they know more than I do. Training requires learning the Scripture but how that Scripture is applied must correlate with true righteousness. Otherwise, the child will be left confused and may even grow resentment for the Word because they couldn’t full grasp it. But let us not forget the role of discipline in the training process. Even our heavenly father disciplines those sons whom He loves (Hebrews 12:6), and the fact that a father is willing to discipline his children demonstrates love. Young children need to know their boundaries as it makes them feel secure. For example, every child at one point has been told not to touch the stove when it’s hot but if you did then you were in trouble. As kids grow older, they must see that they don’t run the household and that Biblical principles will be followed in the home. Discipline reinforces what will happen if you decide to break these rules. But it must be evident to the children when they are being disciplined that the father’s love for them has not changed. Discipline is never aligned with wrath because it is kindness that leads to repentance (Romans 2:4). Discipline is simply another expression of love (Deuteronomy 8:1-6, Hebrews 12:6). In Proverbs 3:11–12 the father says, “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”  Before any father disciplines his children, he must spent time enjoying his children, encouraging his children, laughing with his children, being affectionate with his children so that a deep bond of love and joy can be formed between the children and their dad.

Fourth, a godly father seeks to give his children good gifts such that his children are blessed through him. Of course, love and discipline and the training of the Lord are blessings of eternal value, but godly fathers go beyond just spiritual gifts they aspires to provide good gifts to their family for their benefit and will being. If you need an example look no further than our heavenly Father.  James 1:7 says, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” Our Father is the giver of every good and perfect gift because He knows when, how, and what to give us. He knows what we desire and ask for because He knows and cares for what we really want and need. Gifts a father can pass on to their kids are: protecting them by fearing God, working hard, being a man for your kids by living righteously and creating a legacy. Protecting them by fearing God shows the ultimate respect for God and his teachings. Proverbs 14:26 says, “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. It creates confidence because man knows that if God is watching over them then everything will be ok. In today’s world our children aren’t safe and it’s up to us to use God’s teaching and our masculine physique to create a force field that will protect and create provisions over the welfare of our loved ones. For example make sure that you really trust the people that you leave your kids with. I know you may want to be at your friends’ house having fun but I rather be cautious then take the law into my own hands. I know forgiveness is between man and God but I have no problem setting that meeting up. You must be willing to go thru great lengths even sacrificing it all to maintain a safe environment. One of the most important things a father can do for their children is to be a man. Being a man by taking care of responsibility and not expecting any more praise than a thank you and continue to keep moving. Proverbs 20:7 says, “The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him!” Paul echoed these words when he said ‘when I was a boy I acted as a boy but when I became a man I let go of my childish ways’. These childish ways can have a damaging effect if not eradicated in the beginning stages. Another factor of being a man is being a hard worker. When kids see people working hard they want to imitate those actions. Watching my father work numerous jobs working all hours of the night made me realize that I was a priority even if for him he was sacrificing sleep and other things. Being able to provide for your children holds no bounds and every avenue should be taken in order to do so. God isn’t pleased by lazy men because it sends the wrong idea to kids who are very impressionable and will duplicate actions good or bad. Proverbs 26:7 reiterates this by saying “Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools.” This creates hypocrisy between man and son and eventually establishes a mockery of authority as the child will grow up with the notion that because my father did it then it must be cool but in all actuality it wasn’t… It can sway them to make the wrong decisions as they get older which can have grave consequences. Creating a legacy for your kids is very important because it shows how God’s teachings have been utilized since the beginning of time and still going strong. Before my son was born, I was the last male Grayson in my family so it is my honor and duty to make him a better man than me so when he has kids they can be better than him and so on and on. Being a father is the starting point but being a godly father is the finish line? Will you meet me there?

 

NBA Mock Draft 2.0

nba draft

With the draft a few weeks away why not do another mock draft:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers- Joel Embiid, Kansas- I know you’re thinking come on man are you serious there’s Wiggins, Parker and maybe even Exum if you aren’t a fan of Kyrie Irving but Joel Embiid barring any back problems fills the need of interior rebounding and interior defense. Now if Anthony Bennett comes to form and Cleveland spends some money in free agency then who knows, but first things first who is going coach…not Calipari

2. Milwaukee Bucks- Jabari Parker, Duke- He has already said that he doesn’t mind playing here so why not Milwaukee. Under new ownership, you need a marquee player to sell seats and it isn’t that far from his hometown of Chicago. This should be a win for both teams

3. Philadelphia 76ers-Andrew Wiggins, Kansas- Philly with 7 picks in this draft and money to spend has the opportunity to rebuild into a contender in the East. They have the potential to trade some of those picks for another first rounder even though they technically have 3 first rounders anyway with Nerlens Noel coming back. Picture Michael Carter-Williams passing the ball to Andrew Wiggins on a fast break. Good grief-Charlie Brown voice

4. Orlando Magic- Dante Exum, Australian Institute of Sports- This could be an ill backcourt with him and Oladipo not to mention the 12th pick in the draft as well. I like this pairing for the near future but Orlando is also looking at other prospects such as Aaron Gordon, Marcus Smart and Julius Randle.

5. Utah Jazz- Noah Vonleh, Indiana-Utah needs help even though they have Kanter and Favors in the frontcourt, he adds more of an inside presence since rebounding has been an issue as of late.

6. Boston Celtics- Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State-  I don’t believe all the hype that they are giving towards Aaron Gordon not because he isn’t a good player but I just think they could do better with the pick. Who knows they could trade it to Minnesota? (You see what happens last time a superstar from Minnesota was traded to Boston; 5 words: Kevin Garnett, “Anything is POSSIIIBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBLLE”. I like Marcus Smart here because he kind of reminds me of a Tony Allen and that complimentary piece with Rondo could be nice. It is also an insurance policy in the event Rondo leaves next year.

7. Los Angeles Lakers- Aaron Gordon, Arizona- A freakishly gifted athlete on both ends of the floor had an impressive week in workouts. Lakers need everything and with the possibility of Gasol leaving this could be a good starting piece. If Gasol stays he and Gordon could form a nice tandem. But with the Cavs, who is going to coach??? Other candidates could be Julius Randle, Noah Vonleh, Marcus Smart

8. Sacramento Kings- Julius Randle, Kentucky- He’s a bruiser in the post and can wreak havoc on the offensive end. Sure he has some things to work on such as mid range jumper and going to his right but him with Cousins and Gay could form an intriguing frontcourt. Kings need a true point guard but you can’t pass this guy up plus this is why too early for Tyler Ennis.

9. Charlotte Hornets- Nik Stauskas, Michigan- He can shoot the lights off the gym, he can break the AC in the Spurs gymansium. He is arguably the best shooter in the draft and three point shooting needs to be addressed quickly. Imagine Kemba Walker penetrating and dishing to this kid. As Mark Jackson would say, “Mama there goes that man”

10. Philadephia 76ers- James Young, Kentucky- With the 2nd first round pick of this draft, Philly selects James Young. Now with the addition of Andrew Wiggins 7 picks earlier, Philadelphia adds another wing player who could play both ends of the court. Possible starting 5 for 76ers: Carter-Williams, Young, Wiggins, Thaddeus Young, Noel. Not to mention 5 second round picks and money to spend this team could elevate very quickly.

11. Denver Nuggets- Gary Harris, Michigan State- At 6’4 he may be undersized to play the 2 guard but he plays both ends of the court well and could be a nice piece to add in the backcourt with Ty Lawson.  Randy Foye is just a filler while Evan Fourier has yet to develop into a NBA starter. Expect a trade here for a veteran or more picks.

12. Orlando Magic- Dario Saric, Croatia- At 6’10 about 225, Saric could be the versatile play maker that Orlando needs in the front court. With Vuceic, Exum and Oladipo this could be a nice complimentary piece to the puzzle

13. Minnesota Timberwolves- Adrien Payne, Michigan State- With the looming trade of Kevin Love hanging over the heads of Minnesota like a sword ready to behead someone, Minnesota may be left to pick based off of need rather than best player available. He provides rebounding, can score on the low post or shoot the three. Hopefully Shabazz Muhammad shows up this season and makes it easier on Rubio who will really be running the show if Love leaves.

14. Phoenix Suns- Doug McDermott, Creighton- Arguably the 2nd best shooter in the draft, Doug could create a three point threat that Phoenix desperately needs. With the possible addition of Kevin Love, Phoenix could be a dark horse for the Western Conference, even though it could cost them Eric Bledsoe, Dragic, picks or maybe all 3.

*These picks are liable to change at any given time because there can be trades or I can be just dead ass wrong. Either way thanks for reading*

 

 

Lannisters vs. Whitewalkers: NBA Game of Thrones

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You ever played a video game against your friend and it’s a close game all the way to the end but then one mistake gets made and the other person capitalizes and wins the match. What are your first words after that game? It isn’t good game I can tell you that. It normally goes like this, “Fuck..That was some bullshit. You ain’t even that nice fa real. Man run that shit back”. Well Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich told LeBron and the Heatles, ‘run that shit back’. Starting tonight and hopefully for the next 7 games these two teams will be battling for a place in history, a banner to rise in their stadium and the right to call themselves NBA Champions. Some say San Antonio was robbed by Jesus Shuttlesworth and his game 6 heroics but guess what the series went 7 so San Antonio had another opportunity a few days later to win the title. As Uncle Joey from Full House would say, CUT…IT…OUT.  There is nothing more exciting than a rematch between two very great teams but this has the makings of a classic. This series could have an ESPN 30 for 30 Documentary, a NBA TV documentary, an Outside the Lines special and straight to DVD collection after game 7. This series could be a war that only the strong will win. If I had to compare this series to anything, I would choose something from my favorite show right now, Game of Thrones and call this the Lannisters vs. Whitewalkers.

The NBA Game of Thrones has come down to the Lannisters vs. Whitewalkers. The Heat is the Lannisters simply because they are the current kings of basketball. The Whitewalkers remind me of the Spurs because they are old yet a force to be reckoned and led by a man that has been through every trench in the books and comes out clean every time. If this was back in that time, I can imagine LeBron in a meeting with Pat Lannister (Riley) saying, Your Grace we disposed of all competition in such a wicked fashion time to celebrate with a royal party when Lord Wade and the Bosh Dragon come roaring through the chambers yelling they’re coming…they’re coming. LeBron looks at them and says who Lord Wade and in a somber voice he says ‘the Spurs’.

June 5,2014 marks the beginning of war between these two teams that just had an instant classic the year before. If it wasn’t for Raymie Lannister(Ray Allen) the Spurs slayer, this could be a different article as many assumptions could be made if the Big 3 went to the title 3 times and lost twice. While the Heat have triumphed through small battles including the Starks aka the Pacers because they fell off so hard and quick as one would say, ‘the North was stolen from them’, the Spurs have been tested through the likes of Yunaki aka the Mavericks in 7 games and Lord Stannis aka the Thunder because they are coming for the throne but just can’t get it.  This has already been a postseason for the record books so what would make this even more memorable: The Heat vs Spurs.

The Spurs led by the Fantastic Four of Leonard, Parker, Ginobili and Duncan hope that their team approach will defeat the best player in the world LeBron James. Last year didn’t work out as well as San Antonio dared LeBron to shoot which would have made Skip Bayless happy but one thing happened; LeBron made his jump shots and scored 69 points in Game 6 and 7 of the series.  We all know what’s on the line but let me remind you: LeBron has a chance to three-peat for the first time since Kobe and the Lakers while Duncan is going for his fifth ring since 99. 5 rings would make Duncan arguably the most accomplished player beside Kobe since Michal Jordan decided to leave (Sidebar: in my opinion the NBA logo needs to be changed to Michael Jordan and not Jerry West) Either accomplishment would create a new debate for each player, for example if LeBron 3 peats is he the greatest SF ever or if Duncan wins 5 rings is he the greatest PF ever. These conversations will be held in a few weeks at a cookout filled with food, liquor and the opinions that make First Take look like Fourth Try. Even though some people don’t view the Spurs as a dynasty, this is a chance for both teams to solidify themselves in the conversation of what a dynasty really is.

We all remember the press conference unveiling this new unit in which LeBron said he’s winning not 1…not 2…not 3 and so on well after this year he could possibly say not 2 because he would have 3 now.  I think the key player for the Miami Heat is Dwyane Wade. With all the LeBron James hoopla, Dwyane Wade sometimes gets lost in the mix but If he wins another title then he has 4 and could enter the ranks of Top 5 SG of all time even though some already have him but this ring would only stamp that thought. Dwyane Wade is healthy and has been a contributor throughout the playoffs averaging about 19 points a game. In the Pacers series he averaged 20 points a game and remained a threat with his ability to weave in and out the lane. Sure, Wade has had his knee troubles but right now he has been healed by Mr. Miyuagi and ready for battle. Is Wade as explosive as 2006 of course not but can he be as effective…of course. With a healthy Wade and LeBron there’s no room for as Mark Jackson would say ‘hand down man down’ for the Heatles will make you pay every time.

The key matchup in my opinion for this series is LeBron James vs. Kawhi Leonard. If you are basing purely on skill then LeBron wins hands down but Kawhi Leonard at 22 is an exceptional defender. Who would of thought trading George Hill for the 15th pick in the draft would result in Kawhi Leonard? I wonder if the Pacers are regretting that decision. Kudos to RC Buford, San Antonio Spurs GM for that move. He gave Ellis and Durant fits in the previous rounds and what better way to become a household name than to stifle Akron’s finest. He’s the one player the Spurs have that can contain LeBron but make no mistake no one is stopping LeBron. Since we always like to compare players, will this be the 2014 version of the Jordan Rules (Look up ESPN 30 for 30 Bad Boys if you don’t know what I mean). Leonard main goal is to make LeBron’s day a living hell offensively and defensively. This will be no small task but this is where champions are made. Let’s be real if LeBron goes ham then pass the bread and cheese because Miami will feast on the Spurs.  But we all know Pop will adjust accordingly with defenders on LeBron such as Danny Green and others.

One area that can determine this series is the bench play of both teams. The Spurs have Tiago Splitter, Matt Bonner, Patty Mills, Manu Ginobili, Boris Diaw and Marco Bellineli like this team can run 10 deep.  Miami has Norris Cole, Ray Allen, Birdman, Birdman, Birdman you see my point. Last series, Rashard Lewis came back into Orlando Magic form but will be as effective this round. Will we see Michael Beasley, Greg Oden, Udonis Haslem, James Jones or Shane Battier in this series? Clearly, San Antonio has the better bench but when the game is close guess where they will be…the bench.  San Antonio has unprecedented depth with a bunch of players that can shoot like Larry Bird in the 3 point contest and it’s a beautiful thing to watch if you are a basketball purist. This is the classic example of what’s better: an all-around team or a team with superstars. This will not be an easy series for either team as coaching, bench play, rebounding, referees will all play a part in who carrying the throne for another year.

I will be enjoying each game on someone’s couch but my prediction is that Miami Heat will three peat in 7 games and if there is one player who will have a difference in all areas maybe not the stat sheet, I predict that player will be Shane Battier.  I expect a clean fight, I expect for you to obey my rules and commands at all times shake hands and let’s get it on.

The Dream Team

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We all look at the bonehead decisions that GM’s and owners make everyday with our favorite team and we say to ourselves, “man i can do what he does”. If you were a GM and given only $15 dollars to create your Dream Team who would you pick.

My first team would be: Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley and Hakeem Olajuwon.

Can you come up with anything better? Remember you only have $15 dollars. Put your GM hat on and let the games begin.

King for One Night

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Whether you’re Homecoming King, Prom King or Mr. ‘whatever college you go to’, there is that one night where you are celebrated and put on a pedestal in which most mortals couldn’t dream, but in the sports world we call that a Game 7. The most exciting game in pro sports has produced some of the greatest performances ever. It has catapulted careers (Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and MJ) and also diminished them as well (John Starks going 2-18 including 0-10 in the 4th quarter). I know my Knicks fans are going to burn my post but it has to be documented.  If you were in a Game 7, which basketball player would you want to be: LeBron, Kobe or Michael Jordan?

Before I began writing this, I asked some of my brothers their thoughts and most of them scoffed at this question. As a matter of fact the first response I got was MJ doesn’t get to Game7 lol. Damn man…don’t shoot the messenger it’s all just regular conversation.  From this conversation, I gave them three choices: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. Even though these 3 names were selected leave it to my man Cook to say Dirk. I ignored that response not out of spite but if everyone throws a name I will be writing forever. When talking to these guys, the consensus I got was MJ all the way and I can’t blame him. They went as far as saying; MJ shouldn’t even be included in these scenarios. He shouldn’t be mentioned with other basketball players. I can sense any 80’s baby with any basketball acumen would pick MJ but times have changed and possibly so will the answer. As so eloquently stated: “If you ask Jordan or anybody…you be crazy not to pick Jordan 99% of the time LOL”.  The respect for MJ is definitely warranted as I continue to hear support for MJ for example, ‘in practice I’m taking MJ, on vacation I’m taking MJ’. Another quote was ‘I’m picking MJ in games 1-7. And 8, OT, 1st quarter, 4th quarter. Halftime. Offseason.’

While success is normally determined by championships, Game 7 can be used in many arguments as well.  How a superstar competes under the fell clutch of circumstance goes a long way? This is the ultimate “win or go home” scenario. It’s a 48 minute PowerPoint presentation on clutch with a lot of visual effects. There is no bigger game, no greater moment than a Game 7. So how do some of the greatest players match up?

Game 7 Performances  
Michael Jordan Kobe Bryant LeBron James
Record 2-1 5-1 3-2
PPG 33.7 22.2 34.4
RPG 7.7 8 9.0
APG 7 5 3.6
FG% 45.7% 38.9% 47.3%

 

We can start with the man of the hour which is LeBron James. There was a time when LeBron was called “LeBrick James” or “Prince James” by Skip Bayless but recently he has begun to shed those names with 5 game 7’s in his playoff career.  He was 0-2 in Cleveland but now he has won 3 straight Game 7’s with the Heat averaging 34.4 pts, 9.0 reb and 3.6 ast. Let’s not forget his last Game 7 against the Spurs won them the championship.  LeBron has been on the come up and with a lot of basketball life left these stats could become staggering.

Here’s how LeBron has done in Game 7:

Opponent Minutes  Played FGM FGA FG% 3P% PTS REBS ASTS STLS W-L
Pistons(2006) 47 11 24 45.8 0.0 27 8 2 1 L
Celtics (2008) 47 14 29 48.3 27.3 45 5 6 2 L
Celtics(2012) 48 9 21 42.9 20.0 31 12 2 1 W
Pacers(2013) 41 8 17 47.1 50.0 32 8 4 2 W
Spurs(2013) 45 12 23 52.2 50.0 37 12 4 2 W
 
Career Game 7 Average 45.6 10.8 22.8 47.3 29.5 34.4 9.0 3.6 1.6 3-2

 

Next contestant is Kobe Bryant. The Black Mamba. The next legend in Laker colors. Only a matter of time before he has a statue and jersey lifted to the rafters amongst other Laker heroes. In six games, the Mamba averages 22.2 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal on 38.9 percent shooting. Even though his shooting percentage isn’t as efficient as the others he still has a 5-1 record which equates to 83.3 percent. Pretty impressive. One of these Game 7s wasn’t just a series clincher; it was a title clincher back in 2010 against the Boston Celtics earning him his 5th championship.

Here’s how Kobe has done in Game 7:

Opponent Minutes Played FGM FGA FG% 3P% PTS REB AST STLs W-L
Blazers (2000) 47 9 19 47.4 25.0 25 11 7 0 W
Kings (2002) 52 10 26 38.5 66.7 30 10 7 2 W
Suns (2006) 43 8 16 50.0 50.0 24 4 1 0 L
Rockets (2009) 33 4 12 33.3 25.0 14 7 5 3 W
Celtics (2010) 45 6 24 25.0 0.0 23 15 2 1 W
Nuggets(2012) 45 7 16 43.8 100 17 1 8 0 W
 
Career Game 7’s averages 44.2 7.3 18.8 38.9 37.0 22.2 8.0 5.0 1.0 5-1

 

Then the final contestant and notably the greatest player to ever play this game but the government calls him Michael Jeffrey Jordan. “Psycho, I’m liable to go Michael Take your pick, Jackson, Tyson, Jordan, Game 6” MJ has the least amount of appearances in Game 7, none of them which occurred in the Finals which further exemplifies that Jay lyric and how dominant the Bulls’ team were during their era. Even though he played in only 3 Game 7’s, his stats are mind blowing: 33.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal  on 45.7 percent shooting.

Here’s how MJ has done in Game 7:

Opponent MP FGM FGA FG% 3P% PTS REBS ASTS STLS W-L
Pistons   (1990) 45 13 27 48.1 0.0 38 8 9 1 L
Knicks   (1992) 42 15 29 51.7 N/A 42 6 4 2 W
Pacers   (1998) 42 9 25 36.0 N/A 28 9 8 0 W
 
Career Game 7 Average 43 12.3 27.0 45.7 0.0 33.7 7.7 7.0 1.0 2-1

 

What makes Jordan so revered about his game 7 performances is that he almost got a triple double in 2 of the 3 games. The Bulls were rarely pushed to a game 7 in MJ’s career but something worth mentioning is that in the two times that he did win game 7, he went on to win the championship.  The same can be said for Kobe as well as LeBron nevertheless MJ has the superior stat sheet.

Upon further review which may not have been a review for some of us, I would choose Michael Jordan. The other 2 contestants are by no means a slouch in this category but like my brother Whitfield said, ‘MJ shouldn’t even be included in these scenarios. He shouldn’t be mentioned with other basketball players’. If you went by number of Game 7’s played then Kobe wins hands down but looking at these stats MJ had the most polished Game 7’s. Even with 3 straight wins, LBJ is still just beginning his NBA Playoff career. These three people are the Game 7 Past, Present and the Future which makes this harder than before because Kobe if healthy has about 2-3 years, if LeBron stays healthy maybe another 10 years. If that occurs then this conversation might not even matter sike who I am kidding as long as Michael Jordan name is brought up it’s worth a conversation.

*All tables used in this article were compiled from Bleacherreport.com, ESPN.com and NBA.com

 

As the Ping Pong Balls Turn

NBA Draft Lottery

“Draft Day, Johnny Manziel…Five years later how am I the man still…Draft Day A. Wiggins…Fuck the other side bitch we stay winning…Now don’t think for a second if I have a Drake lyric, I wouldn’t have a Jay lyric: “keep it 100, I hit the lottery…lottery…lottery”

While the Pacers, Spurs, Heat and Thunder are preparing for Game 3 of their perspective conference finals, the rest of the league is preparing for the NBA Draft. There will be numerous commentary for Jay Bilas and the crew, Chad Ford mock drafts and hearing the word potential as many times as Solange hit Jay in the elevator.  There are countless meetings, tons of scouting reports and discussions about potential draft picks. I wonder if the staff is only allowed to watch the NBA TV Channel until the draft is over.  On Tuesday Night, the NBA Draft Lottery painted a rough sketch of the Mona Lisa but the masterpiece won’t be completed until the selections are made. Just hope your pick doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth like drinking orange juice right after brushing your teeth.

The NBA Draft Lottery is the one time where losing is actually winning. It’s like that scene in Project X where 3 nobodies have the illest house party in the land and their credibility shoots as high as Andrew Wiggins’ vertical. However, it could be like the dude who was a geek in high school coming back to their 10 year reunion stunting on them chicks who now look like Cleo from Set it off. Either way the glass can be half full or half empty depends on who does the pouring.

For the 3rd time in 4 years, Cleveland Cavaliers will receive the 1st
pick in this upcoming draft. According to basketball enthusiast, Tony Taliaferro, “since Cleveland did so shitty with their last pick they shouldn’t get a pick at all they should give it to the Lakers”. Tony if only the NBA was like that but since it’s not Cleveland will have the first selection in what has been ordained as one of the best drafts since 2003. Cleveland for obvious reasons is the winner because they keep getting chance after chance to improve their team. They did well with Kyrie Irving; however Anthony Bennett is looking like Hustle man for Martin playing the kazoo for a music exec because
that man is stealing. Is 3rd time a charm or 3 strikes you’re out?

Now that the NBA Draft Order has been picked why not created our first mock draft containing just the top 10 teams:

  1. Cleveland- Joel Embiid, C from Kansas

Don’t shoot me just yet but my spidey senses are tingling and I smell a C-O-N…spiracy. Bad enough Cleveland get the number one pick again but guess who’s a free agent???? LeBron James. Now I know we’ve heard this before but to be honest Cleveland needs help in the interior especially with rebounding and Anderson Varajeao is getting up there like my weight so why not Joel Embiid. In the event all of this is nonsense Andrew Wiggins will be the pick.

2.  Milwaukee Bucks- Jabari Parker, SF from Duke

What’s Cleveland loss is Milwaukee’s gain. Jabari Parker’s refined offensive game could be the spark that they need and is probably the safer pick as of right now. He can torch defenders with the jumper or with his back to the rim. He could be a 3 or a 4 but he does have things to work on such as his defensive ability to guard the quicker wing players. In the event they do make him a 4 does he have the size to be a good post defender?

3. Philadelphia 76ers- Andrew Wiggins, SF from Kansas

The slide for Andrew Wiggins ends here and the Philly fans begin to rejoice all up and down the city. They should have Allen Iverson introduce this pick but back to reality here. If the jump heard around the world didn’t excite you then check your pulse. He’s a great athlete who averaged 17 points at Kansas and is a great wing defender. Now imagine if he can refine his offensive game.

4. Orlando Magic- Dante Exum- PG from Australia

Well let’s face it…Jameer Nelson isn’t get it done anymore and Orlando needs a point guard. Don’t try to make Oladipo into a PG just let him be a great scoring guard. This is a wildcard pick because he’s only 19 years old and he’s from Australia. But 6’6 with a 7 ft. wingspan for a point guard can’t be frowned upon. His upside is too much to pass up at number 4 and it creates a young backcourt of Exum and Oladipo.

5. Utah Jazz-Noah Vonleh, PF from Indiana

Utah has a few options here but adding a big man to help out Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter could be beneficial. Noah has a back to the basket game but he can also stretch out the floor to hit the jumper. Right now I would call him a poor man’s Serge Ibaka. Here’s something to consider even though he only played 27 minutes a game at Indiana he still led the Big Ten in rebounding.

6. Minnesota-Zach Levine SG from UCLA (trade with Boston Celtics; Boston gets Kevin Love and the 13th pick while Minnesota gets the 6th pick, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, Brandon Bass and a 2015 first rounder)

Zach Levine did very well at the NBA Combine to boost his stock up to this pick. His agility time was fastest in the gym, a smidge under 6’6 and 41.5 vertical could be a great compliment to Ricky Rubio.

7. Los Angeles Lakers- Julius Randle, PF from Kentucky

He’s probably not the Lakers’ first choice but he may be the top option on the board with his size, strength, athleticism and offensive prowess that could cause fits for others big men. He could be a day one starter if Pau leaves or they can keep Pau at the 5 put Randle at the 4 add a role player a healthy Kobe and a good coach who knows….If Randle can find a jumper watch out.

8. Detroit Pistons-Nik Stauskas, SG from Michigan (Trade with Sacramento Kings: Sacramento gets Greg Monroe while Detroit gets 8th pick)

In one of Stan Van Gundy’s first move as head of basketball operations, he unclogs that jam at big man by unloading Greg Monroe for the 8th pick where he selects Nik Stauskas. He’s a good wing player with a deadly jumper and that backcourt of Jennings and Stauskas could be a jumpstart to something good as long as Josh Smith doesn’t shoot jumpers at al. But for Sacramento, can you imagine a frontcourt of Cousins, Monroe and Gay.  I don’t believe what I just saw –Jack Buck voice

9. Charlotte Hornets- Aaron Gordon, PF from Arizona

This would be a steal for the Hornets if Aaron Gordon is available at this spot. He provides defensive versatility and could form a formidable frontcourt with Al Jefferson. He’s pretty quick and has a 39.5” vertical which could make Kemba Walker smile like how he plays in Madison Square Garden…big

10. Philadelphia 76ers- James Young, SG from Kentucky

Philadelphia has to be smiling like a big man when he opens the grill and smells delectable grill food. First they get Andrew Wiggins and now you add James Young. Not to mention you really have a third 1st round pick with Nerlens Noel and the rookie of the year in Michael Carter-Williams.  This could make the Liberty Bell ring again. That lineup could be Noel, Young, Wiggins, J. Young and Michael Carter-Williams. Don’t forget they have money to spend this offseason as well could this be a 180 or another 360.

Until next time stay classy AI.

 

They dont LOVE you no more

Kevin-Love1

I wonder if Kevin Love listened to rap and if so does he blast the ending of “They don’t love you no more” by DJ Khaled featuring Meek Mill, French Montana, Rick Ross and Jay-Z. I wonder while he’s cruising in his vehicle is his saying, “they don’t love me no more”, “all this shit I have done for yall and yall don’t leave me no more”. According to Glen Taylor, the owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves he says “Is Kevin that great because if he is then why haven’t we made the playoffs yet”. Now for those that works in the real world like me imagine you’ve been at the company for 6 years; you’ve won numerous rewards, recognized by your peers and upper management as one of the best workers for the company just for the CEO to say, “are you really that valuable because we haven’t made no profit off of you”. If this happens to me then I should have the right to blast “Wanksta at 1000% but just the part where he says, “damn homie in high school you was the man homie what the fuck happened to you” Well this is what faces Kevin Love.

Kevin  Love is one of the premiere big men in the league and possibly has the second best jumper behind Dirk Nowitizki for a man of his size. (Don’t let Cook read this because he will quote every GroupMe with this, shit for all I know he might change the group name to Dirk has the best jumper for a big man because sonny said so).  He would be a valuable asset to any teams but as of right now:  Lakers, Rockets, Celtics, Suns, Bulls and Warrriors have expressed interested in Kevin and his services. Will he take his talents somewhere else? In the words of Lil Wayne, I say “hell yeah hell yeah hell yeah fuckin right yeah right all right”. Don’t get me wrong the one free agent everyone should be after is Carmelo Anthony but since he has yet to declare officially whether he’s leaving the New York Knicks, Kevin is the topic of discussion.

What does Kevin Love, milk, cars and some relationships have in common??? They all have an expiration date and Kevin is about to reach his. He is forcing the Timberwolves’ hand and now Flip Saunders has no choice to at least entertain phone calls for the power forward. I mean he could do nothing and lose his hand like Jamie Lannister and be the butt of  all the jokes. But one of the problems both parties will have is finding the right fit. It’s like a virgin at the drug store looking for condoms for his first time. What did I do is that case…I bought a pack of all of them and tried them out like Steve Carell in 40 year old virgin. Technically he isn’t a free agent until next year but instead of waiting a slow death he demands a trial by combat. If you don’t know by now Game of Thrones is one of the hardest shows ever. Six straight years of no playoffs (cues Jim Mora’s voice and face) and he wants out now. The Timberwolves have 2 options: either trade him and get as most as possible or let him play another year be a distraction and let him go for nothing. So for all the fighting you end up nothing like when Shenene sued Tommy on Martin. So let’s see what team could acquire Love.

Boston is very intriguing because they have the assets such as draft picks, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger which all come at a cheaper rate than Love and it could create a young nucleus for a few years. That should buy Flip Saunders some more time but if not off with his head. Of course this wouldn’t be a good story unless I talk about the New York Knicks. They are willing to give up Tyson Chandler, Iman Shumpert and a first rounder which isn’t until 2018 so it’s safe to say that the Knicks are out of the running but who knows with the Zen Master running the show. One of the more deadly teams that could possibly get Kevin Love is the Houston Rockets. Now can you imagine Harden, Love and Howard on the same team? Naw me either but Daryl Morey, GM of the Rockets is a pretty creative guy with respect to trades and he wants a third superstar on that team. If it wasn’t for Damian Lilliard and his Game 6 heroics who knows where the Rockets are right now.  Just for kicks, Houston would have to give up at 4 players and a draft pick but as long as it ain’t Harden or Howard I think everyone else is expendable. If I was Houston I might go for Melo instead of Love because they both can play the same position and imagine Melo, Howard, Harden, Parsons and others good grief.  Chiraq should also focus more on Melo than Love but hey when you have one of the best coaches in the game with Tommy Thibs and a healthy Rose and Noah anything is possible. I think Chicago has at least 2 first round picks which could be enticing but I know for sure they would have to give up Taj Gibson and others and that might not be worth it especially if he stays for only one year. Now if I talked about the Knicks then you know I have to talk about the Lakers. Come on now, even though Kevin’s father played for the Lakers they have no coach, an aging superstar in Kobe, no real assets and no financial flexibility until 2015. If Kevin decides to wait it out then they become more appealing. But for Lakers fans the time is now and they have faith when most of the world doesn’t. Case in point, I was talking to my brother Tony Tal and when I asked him what team would be a good fit for Kevin Love he said, “uhh Lakers duh. Now I know he is getting a lot of criticism about not making the playoffs in 6 years but I feel with K Love and Kobe and a role player or two and a decent coach. We can at least make the second round of the playoffs next year”. Is he delusional naw but there are numerous variables that can cause this not to work and fast. A young team that can be interesting is Phoenix Suns. They have a good coach in Jeff Hornacek and a backcourt with Dragic and Bledsoe but in the end one of them got to go and right now Dragic is the hotter commodity. Could you imagine Dragic and Rubio in the same court holy Toledo with draft picks yikes? Now the problem with the Suns is that there is no appeal in comparison to Lakers, Knicks or the Bulls but if he makes the playoffs with them then why not wear the purple.

My favorite team out of all of those teams is the Golden State Warriors. They have a lot of talent to give up such as David Lee, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green and first round pick which is in 2019 but could be very valuable when the time comes. David Lee and Kevin Love are both white boys that average double-doubles and owed a lot of money so why not. Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green aren’t household names but they could create a young core that can save money and maybe wins. For Golden State, check this lineup out: Bogut, Love, Iggy, Thompson and Curry. That would be the meanest pick and pop combo in the league and the defense would have to pick their poison because all of them except Bogut can shoot the J, shoot it. But since they fired Mark Jackson after 51 wins the most since 93-94, the time is ticking now. The sand in the hourglass is reaching its end. They can’t hesitate they must win now even though this adds pressure to Steve Kerr but fuck it what’s the worst thing that could happen: they fire him. In my opinion the most intriguing is Golden State followed by the Bulls, Suns and Celtics. We shall see but until then, “where is the love?”

 

 

Move Onward Soldier

1st Air Cavalry Brigade ground troops build on advanced skills

(Disclaimer: I am not a preacher by any means..this is what I learned from church yesterday but last night I fell asleep to Joel Osteen and this is what was on my mind when I woke up)

There always comes a time where things aren’t going the way that you hoped but you continue to perserve. You begin to question Why me, Lord did I not tithe enough and the list of questions go on and on. But yesterday in church we discussed suffering and how it is broken down into 3 components:

1. All suffering is temporary

2. All sufferings is educational

3. All sufferings is beneficial

All sufferings are temporary for nothing last forever sure it may last longer than you want it to but it doesn’t last forever. For example you get the flu and you feel like you are suffering to the point of a slow death but within a week you back like cooked crack and ready to go back to your routine.  Abraham Lincoln once said, “almost all men can handle adversity but the true test of a man’s character is when you are given power”. See we are given limitless power through our Spirit but it how you use it determines the legacy you leave behind. The majority of my friends watch Game of Thrones and we saw King Joffrey being a bitch amongst all the bitches, if it wasnt for Tywin Lannister he would have been murked long along. See he used for power only for his gain whether it was getting the wolf killed in season 1 to his dealings as King. As we all know now he met his untimely demise but he’s a character I won’t miss at all.

All sufferings is educational. Like Hov said I dont lose because i learn something everytime which makes me even. ( I know a HOV enthusiast will give me the correct lyrics, song, time on youtube where he says it and maybe even do it in his voice..I nominate Tony Taliaferro as that guy but it could be a wildcard but you get my point) We as humans learn inwardly. Suffering brings us pain which in turns brings us purpose. There’s 2 things that you can’t learn unless you suffer: hope and patience. Whether it was me on line in 2003 or almost getting evicted in 2012 with a pregnant wife I learned the possibility of hope and patience. You ever pray for something and you get the complete opposite. I have before back in 2012, I just got married had the illest reception possible and I asked the Lord for a promotion. Guess how God responds? I get laid off a month later. So I have a pregnant wife, a toddler daughter, bills mounting up and the only work I could find at the time was driving a flower van for the Wylie Funeral Home. An educated black man with a Master’s Degree in Engineering driving a flower van, I couldn’t write this if I tried but I persevered and out of one conversation at my church, I’m at Verizon as an Engineer. I learned about hope and paience right there and now I must continue my path to provide for my family at all costs. I feel I may not have suffered as much as some but I’ve suffered enough where I can speak on it and you gonna respect it. If not then cool but you can suffer an ass whipping through these hands too. I can be amongst my Brothers and from the outside everything can be perfect but you can’t tell how someone looks from the inside. You see the cars, the women, the clothes but what you don’t see is the car note, car insurance, budgets and bullshit these same women are putting them through.  As I’m getting older I am realizing that I can’t focus on the earthly possessions because they are meant to fail, break and die. For example I bought a car and as soon as I drove off the lot the price value drop 10 stacks like “what the fuck”. 10 stacks tho I can see 2-3 because these Baltimore CIty potholes will fry ya whip like Royal Farm chicken boxes.

All sufferings are beneficial. I know you like this is past Sonny bedtime and he needs a nap. For the record once you have kids you don’t get no naps. See our sufferings are never meant for evil but for good. Because it’s all good because it’s all God. Our suffering reveals our weakness and it forces us to confront our problems. One of the problems that I have is that I try to live up to this persona as a pillar of strength for my wife and kids. The first problem with that is that a pillar is an object that doesn’t move or have feelings like a mountain, monument or stone. I’m not made of stone (gumbs made sure that with his clubbing escapades). It’s like because I’m the big black I can’t show emotion unless it’s me cooking food on the grill, watching sports or having tea parties with Morgan. I failed to realize that I am human and that I must express my feelings. I’m not one of those men that cries at the drop of a hat as a matter of fact I may have cried about 5 times in about 5 years. 3 of those times were at funerals and the other 2 for my kids because doctors always trying to say some negative shit and ruin the brief utopia I have.  But when my wife says show your emotion let me know that you care then I feel like is this a setup or nah. In our moment of weakness it’s God praying for God because he is praying for his children

Suffering will never replace the love that the Lord has for us but forces us to re-evalute our priorities. What I have learned throughout my life regarding religion is 2 things: There is a God and I’m not HIM because if I was there would be a lot less corny niggas out here in the world and a  lot of my friends wouldn’t be dead but that justs my limited perspective and that’s why I am not God. Since I can’t see the Lord in this life, I must keep my trust in Him because I know he’s capable of anything. I had to stop asking the Lord “why me” because he responded back with “why not you, just know thoroughout all of this I have been here every step of the way. Don’t worry about the earthly problems for MY glory is better”

The more I care about something the harder it is for me to pray about it because it’s personal. I can pray for all the homeless people, sick and shut in, soldiers without a problem because I don’t know any of them. But trying to pray for my friends is hard because I hate to see the people that I love goes through something. At times I feel like I can take anything and everything for everyone else because I’m strong as an ox and I can take whatever you throw at me. Then I realize I’m human because I get humbled from a Wylie slap, a Quianna lean or a dropkick. Have you ever been so drained you just didn’t know what to say? Were the 4 words you were supposed to say “Lord please help me” turn into ” man fuck this shit”. In that moment of weakness that’s when you become the strongest because the Holy Spirit is taking over and praying for you.

This thing called life ain’t easy but if it was how would you  be living. Throughout all the trials and tribulations there’s a turning point where there is a trimuph and victory. For those reasons alone, move onward soldier.

Kids say the Darnedest Things

morgan

Around 5-5:30 pm every day during the week, I pick up my daughter from school and we cruise to the city to pick up my son. The weather is getting better so more sights to see which means more questions by the little one. Normally, my son is gutted while I’m driving so it’s just me and Morgan talking about life well at least as she see it. So I’m on the corner of Greenmount and 25th waiting on the light to change jamming to some music when I hear my daughter say ‘Why is that man sleeping standing up?’. I said Morgan what you talking about homie. She repeated it then I saw a man on the corner dope fiend leaning. Now my daughter is asking me questions like ‘How is he doing that?, Daddy, I thought you need a bed and a pillow. Have you done that before Daddy. He needs a nap daddy’ I was thinking of the best approach because she is only 5 so she really won’t understand but it has opened her eyes to something like she hasn’t seen before. I said ‘Morgan, main man tired fa real and he couldn’t wait to get home but just know you will never do that, there is always a bed and pillow for you baby girl’. Morgan says ‘thanks daddy and can I hear that song again’. The song that was playing ironically was called ‘Move that Dope’. I can tell she was glued to the window to see what else she could see.

So we get home, I’m fixing her dinner helping her with her homework you know the normal Sonny routine when my wife comes home. Her steps become heavier as the baby grows every day. Quianna in advance I’m saying sorry because we breed some big ass kids. 8 pounds and up gang stand up. But, Quianna and Morgan are talking and of course Morgan says ‘Mommy, guess what I saw today… a man sleeping standing up have you done that before.’ The world stops even Reid woke up like awww shit. My wife face said it all. She was confused but had to remember the area where we live and shit like this happens every day B. Quianna sends Morgan upstairs and as soon as she hit the final step she turned to me with disgust and said ‘Sonny, keep my daughter innocent. The last time we had a conversation it was about butterflies not dope fiend leaning’. My first though was like ‘I aint even do shit why you buggin but since she pregnant I let it ride but on Greenmount those are just some of the things you see. Some of it may be my fault because growing up over West, my grandfather would drive me thru all hoods like Pennsylvania and Gold, McCulloh Homes, Murphy Homes, Lexington Terrace just to show how blessed I am and you could end up here if you don’t act right. I saw the hookers, hand to hand drug deals, fights, dice games anything you name it I saw it. I can’t front when Morgan is of age I will do the same she needs to know that everything that glitters aint gold. I know Morgan didn’t mean to try to get me in trouble but I can understand Quianna’s frustration. You know you work hard to get your kids out of every possible bad situation and yet it still happens. I look at those bad scenarios as teachable moments. Bad things happen to good people all the time going back to the Bible. You can ask God, ‘Why me’ and I can see Him responding back ‘Why not you’. Kids will humble you, make you laugh but they will always say the darnedest things.