What up world? This EJ back with another edition of The Blog About Nothing. It’s actually above freezing out here in New York City. I mean, after all of the snow we’ve had the past couple of weeks, the fact that it’s raining and in the low 50’s feels real pleasant. With that said, the dreaded polar vortex will be making it’s return next week so I’ll enjoy this brief respite from the cold while I get it. This week was supposed to be my big NBA trade deadline recap, but the deadline went out with more of whimper then a bang. I’ll still recap what I like but I’m not going through every deal. Also this week, I’ll blog about the roller coaster ride that is the North Carolina Tar Heels basketball team, and I’ll close out with something special. I promise. Let’s do this!
The NBA trade deadline came and went yesterday. While some big names were tossed about, the likes of Rajon Rondo and Pau Gasol remained with their teams. What we got with this trade deadline were lesser names dealt like Marcus Thornton to the Nets, Gary Neal to the Bobcats, and Evan Turner to the Pacers. Actually, I really like the Turner for Granger swap that the Pacers and 76’ers pulled off. Indiana is in go for it mode. If there’s any year you’re going to catch the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference, this is the year. Especially if Indiana can finish the season as the #1 seed in the East and have home court advantage. In picking up Turner the Pacers acquire a player with length, some athleticism, and a decent scorer. Turner, the former #2 pick in the 2010 Draft may not be performing at the levels expected of him when he entered the League, but he’s turned himself into a serviceable rotation player. He’ll help the Pacers 2nd unit keep up with LeBron and company in the short term, and he also provides Lance Stephenson insurance, in case negotiations for the restricted free agent ends up in a place that is too rich for Larry Bird’s blood.
Another deal I liked was Golden State picking up Steve Blake. The former Laker, Blake, is a competitive team oriented guy that will replace the void the Warriors had when they let Jarrett Jack sign with the Cavaliers as a free agent last offseason. Blake can come off the Warriors bench and play point guard or shooting guard, and he can provide consistent play while Steph Curry and Klay Thompson rests. He could also play as part of a three guard lineup, when you need to spell small forward Andre Iguodala. Losing Vino Blanco, Blake’s nickname bestowed upon him by Kobe Bryant, will be tough for the Lakers but Blake finds himself in a situation with a team that can make a playoff run. Also, as a soon to be free agent, he has a chance to audition himself for a franchise that desperately needed someone with his skill set.
Despite my approval of these two deals, the deadline as a whole was a major disappointment. As a Lakers fan, I’m perplexed why Mitch Kupchak couldn’t find takers for Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman. Those two big men would have been good additions to any contender, and it looked like he could have dealt away both players. The Lakers season is essentially over, and a golden opportunity to shed some luxury tax dollars was missed. Overall, I’m also disappointed that there were no blockbuster deals. Rajon Rondo is still a Celtic, Kevin Love is still a Timberwolf, Carmelo Anthony is still a Knick, Pau Gasol is still a Laker (will Pau Gasol ever not be a Laker?), and the Detroit Pistons didn’t do anything to correct their mistake of a front court. It’s not for a lack of trying though. If you were logged into Twitter, like I was, you would have seen plenty of tweets from insiders speculating what could have happened. It just didn’t happen. Too many prospective deals fell apart, but it gives hope that this summer we’re going to see some big names change teams. Just a feeling.
Changing gears to the college game, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels are a damn roller coaster. They have great wins, but they have horrible losses. It’s up and down for Roy Williams’ crew. Last night at Chapel Hill, the team had another high with their 74-66 win over hated rival Duke. This season the Tar Heels have beaten Kentucky, Michigan State, Louisville, and Duke. However, they have lost to Belmont, U.A.B., Wake Forest, and Miami. Up and down. Up and down. These are your Tar Heels, ladies and gentlemen. So, why am I blogging about them? Here’s why: despite their high and lows, I actually think this Tar Heels team is good enough to make a Sweet Sixteen run depending on how they are seeded in the NCAA Tournament next month. What? Am I crazy? Probably, but check this out: James McAdoo is finally living up to his promise of being a good player, Marcus Paige is a steady point guard, J.P. Tokoto is a decent forward, and the Heels always seem to find key contributions from players opposing coaches weren’t keying on before the game started. I’m drinking the Carolina Blue Kool-Aid. Hopefully, I don’t regret it.
Finally something special. I’m going to move away from sports for this. The reason I’m here at 7poundbag is because I was a part of this site called FanNation. Before it was destroyed by the assholes behind SportsIllustrated, FanNation was a special place where talented people were allowed to create their own content for their peers to read. I started blogging there. Besides blogging sports related topics, I was one of the earliest members of something called the Hip-Hop fans group. I blogged some music stuff there. While, I need to get back into the music stuff, I wanted to drop a little knowledge on an artist that I like, and I hope you, the reader, will get in to based off of my recommendation.
His name is August Alsina. I’m not much of an R&B guy but I do like August’s music, because his music incorporates that hip-hop energy, into his blend of smoothed-out R&B. The 21 year old New Orleans native, has a sweet crooning voice which he uses to sing about life in the streets, and sings to the women he wishes to bed. While I’m making it sound like he’s a typical contemporary R&B artist, August’s style is harder than most. It’s also more genuine than most. A few of his songs, detail his hard life in New Orleans. Issues with family members on drugs, selling drugs himself, and losing his brother in a violent incident a few years ago. Songs like Downtown, Make It Home, and Don’t Forget About Me paint vivid pictures of what he’s been through. Don’t Forget About Me in particular. That track is dedicated to his deceased brother, but it’s also about how August is trying to move on while keeping the memories of those who’ve pushed him forward alive in his music.
His best track, and the one you’ve probably heard before, is the Trinidad James assisted I Luv This Shit. The song is all about a young man that has came up, and is in love with all that is around him. He has the women, the money, and all of the trappings that comes with it. It’s raw, but it’s celebratory. It’s boastful, but at times it’s contemplative. If I have to define August Alsina as an artist: that’s what I’ll define him as. Boastful, raw, and contemplative. His debut studio album Testimony will be in stores on April 15, 2014. Look out for it, and from more good productive from the young New Orleans singer.
So that’s it. I’m done. Thanks for reading. Thanks for supporting all that we do here at www.7poundbag.com and peace be with you. Later.
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