Welcome to The Blog About Nothing. It’s the 2nd Friday in April, and that means that the college basketball season has come to an end, and the Major League Baseball season has begun. Congratulations to the men of Villanova University, and the women of the University of Connecticut for winning their respective NCAA championships. Villanova won their second championship, their first since 1985, in terrific last second fashion, and UCONN won their fourth national title in a row in dominated, undefeated season, fashion. Both schools deserve a tip of the cap.
As I sit here listening to Daniel Caesar’s soulful Death & Taxes off of his Pilgrim’s Paradise EP, and get all caught up in the emotion of it all, I will try my best to craft together a blog this week. So this week I’ll talk a little Ray Lewis, Greg Hardy, and my regrets to the fanbases of New York City and Philadelphia. Sounds interesting? Cool. Let’s do this!
I have an issue with former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. This week in a video that posted to his Facebook page, Ray made several emotional statements asking if black lives really mattered. Ray brought up the murder statistics in the City of Chicago and asked if black lives really matter, why are there not any voices from the Black Lives Matter movement voicing their anger over the rising black on black crime rates.
Ray is entitled to voice his opinions. This is America after all and free speech is truly free. So here I am free to voice mine: you were involved in a homicide, Ray. I’m not too sure I’m looking at you as the voice against black on black crime when you yourself committed the act. Yes, your incident in Atlanta didn’t end your career and you went on to have a fine one, but on issues like this, you might want to remember your past and pipe down. Yes, you can have an opinion, but you might not want to venture to far out in order to have people like me label you as a damned hypocrite.
To that end there have been several Black Lives Matter members who have loudly voiced their opinions and critiqued their own community over the issue of black on black crime. As a black man, I’m more than aware that we ourselves are own worst enemies. We do target each other, but unfortunately we cry the loudest when a white person kills a black person. Which is wrong. On that I give Ray his credit. I never did like the rioting and more violent aspect of protestors of the Black Lives Matter movement. I felt that was more vigilantism and hooliganism than constructive protesting. There is a means to an end and I always felt that wasn’t it. I stand by that.
However, instead of criticizing the movement, why not join it? No movement is perfect and as I stated earlier I absolutely hate the angrier edge of Black Lives Matter, but there is a real issue when it comes to black on black crimes in the urban community. That much is real. My thing is instead of throwing a whole organization under the bus, why not join it. Yes, I just criticized Ray’s past, but he does have a presence in the community. He might as well use it for good instead of making broad based and untrue statements. Get with the leaders. Help the movement. Help your people instead of just criticizing. Criticizing is easy. Offer a solution. Offer your hand, no matter how flawed it is.
Moving on I also have an issue with former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy. This week he gave an interview where he stated that he has never put his hands on a woman. Greg entered this season with a former girlfriend alleging that he struck her and threw her on a bed full of loaded guns. The ex, later dropped her charges and the case was dismissed but there is photographic evidence of her bruises. The bruises in itself seem pretty conclusive that Hardy at least put his hands on her, but to say he never abused her is just bullshit in my opinion.
Look, I will never condone domestic violence. No man should ever, ever, ever put their hands on a woman. It’s a deplorable act and it’s an act of cowardice. That isn’t a man. That is a child. With all of that said, if it happened, admit it happened. Greg Hardy will likely never play in the National Football League again, and I know that interview was his way of trying to obtain another job in the League but he blew it. Admittedly if the Cowboys, usually the safe haven for assholes, won’t give him another chance then his NFL career is over anyway, but at least admitting the truth would have made him look better than that interview did. Now? He’ll never come close to sniffing the NFL again.
You know who I also have an issue with? ESPN personality Bomani Jones. I can’t stand the guy. He blocked me on Twitter some time ago because I tweeted at him challenging his opinion. Now, I can be thin skinned, this I know, but if you’re going to go on national TV and kick some shit like he does, he might want to have skin thicker than a piece of crepe paper.
Anyway, this blowhard appeared on the Mike and Mike show recently with a t-shirt that mocked the Cleveland Indians Chief Wahoo logo. His shirt read “Caucasians” and the logo was Chief Wahoo in white face with a dollar sign where the feather would be. I’m part of the MLB Roundtable here on 7Poundbag, and one of our questions was about the Indians phasing out Chief Wahoo which I was in favor of. I think it’s time to end racist names like Indians and Redskins. It’s not necessary any more in my opinion. However, I hate what Bomani is doing. Instead of calling attention to the issue, he is calling attention to himself. Can’t stand the guy, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty of issues with him going forward.
Finally, I feel sad for the fans of the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers. First I’ll start with the Sixers. I really wanted to believe in Sam Hinckie and his “process”. I really did. I really wanted to believe that the losing and the high draft picks would lead somewhere other than losing seasons but it got them nowhere. Hinckie resigned this week in a bizarre turn of events that saw him leave the organization a 13 page letter of resignation, and not telling his staff that he was leaving.
Hinckie put all his chips into the draft and it failed him. Nerlens Noel is a decent player, but not a star needed to transition a franchise. Jahlil Okafor could have star quality but he strikes me as a player that will self-destruct in the atmosphere that currently surrounds the Sixers. The kid was a winner in high school, a winner in his only season in college, and to spend his rookie year on a franchise that barely escaped the losingest record in NBA history, has been too much for him to take. A change of scenery may be best for him but it likely won’t happen.
Hinckie also got snake bitten on Joel Embiid. Embiid had a fantastic season at the University of Kansas but he ended it injured, has spent his first two years in the NBA on the sidelines, and he may never play again. Or so it seems. Hinckie also selected Dario Saric who might be a fine NBA player, if he ever comes stateside. So on the surface he drafted good players, but it hasn’t worked out. I understand his thinking in that Philadelphia, while a great City, is also a hard one to lure marquee free agents to.
The Knicks are another issue altogether. They are about to miss the playoffs for the third season, yet all we hear locally is that Phil Jackson, the man calling the shots for the Knicks, will like to keep head coach Kurt Rambis for next season. Rambis who replaced Derek Fisher earlier this season has a horrible record. He’s 100 games below .500 as a head coach. Phil has lost over 100 games since he was hired by owner James Dolan to turn around the Knicks franchise. Yes, Phil has hit on Kristaps Porzingis and he looks to be the future of the franchise but if Phil insists on sticking with Rambis, then I think Dolan needs to pull the plug on Phil Jackson.
Phil Jackson has 11 rings as a head coach. He coached and managed the egos of all-time greats in Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe Bryant. However, facts are facts. Phil’s body is not in the best of shape and he’s spent more time in Los Angeles this season than he has in New York. You cannot lead a turnaround when you are not physically present. You also cannot lead a turnaround when you stubbornly stick to a system in the triangle that has not worked, for anyone besides you. None of Phil’s coaches have had winning records running his system. None. It didn’t work for Fisher, it didn’t work for Brian Shaw, and it has not worked for Kurt Rambis. Thankfully, Steve Kerr can claim to be a descendant of the Gregg Popovich coaching tree. He might have been the only good blip on Phil’s record if he ran the triangle but thankfully Kerr got to Golden State saw the talent he had and decided on ball movement and letting Steph Curry be Steph Curry. Thank goodness for that.
The New York Knicks are not that bad though. Yes, Phil has to go, and it would help if Carmelo went as well but with the right coach and finally admitting that the reset button has to be hit, then they can come back. Problem is it won’t happen as long as Phil Jackson remains as stubborn as he is. It’s a shame, but it is what it is. Hopefully, Dolan pulls that plug and ends the misery.
I’m done. Thanks for reading and supporting us here at 7Poundbag.
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