Sometimes you think that you’ve moved on from your past, but the feelings of pleasure and joy keep trying to bring you back. It’s tough to hold on because you’re constantly being told, “you shouldn’t still enjoy this! You’re an adult now.” As a kid, I loved video games, cartoons, and graffiti. Even though these were a few of the things I loved as a child, they weren’t accepted by everyone. It seemed as though everyone around me was saying “You need to grow up and stop liking that shit.” (I swear…people really said this to me.)
So, I decided to listen to the “wise words” spoken to me. I stopped playing video games for a while, and I completely abandoned wrestling. After getting arrested for doing graffiti at 15, my mom punished me for the entire summer, (holy shit… that was a long summer.) Regardless of whether or not I was on punishment, I was no longer interested in the things from my childhood.Between friends and ex-girlfriends who just didn’t “get it,” it was easy for me to lose interest.
During my first year of college, I was out so much that I never had time for anything. I received a Xbox 360 for my birthday that year, so video games were slowly making a comeback into my life. I’ll never forget the night that Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 was released, conveniently the night right before my midterms. I couldn’t buy the game due to low funds, but a friend of mine had a copy. The next thing I know, we’re playing 12 hours straight, with breaks strictly for food and the bathroom. The entire time I’m thinking to myself “I should really stop and study,” but then I thought, “Fuck that this is SO much fun.” Needless to say, I barely passed that midterm, but the feelings from the previous night made it all worth while.
As time went on, my video game usage continued to waver. More and more it seemed as though I never had time for the things I truly enjoyed. In my last three years of college, I relocated and lived in Buffalo, New York. The locals there call their city “Ruff Buff,” but I don’t, just like I don’t call New York City the big apple (no one here does.)
The best thing Buffalo gave me was time. Buffalo is where I first started this blog. It’s where I slowly (and still very slowly) began to actually think about what I want to do with my life. I had school and a part-time job, but Buffalo was a slow city, so it felt like you had a full 24 hours to get things done.
The thing I got done was loving everything that made me who I am.
Getting back into video games was in full effect, and now I had more time available. All of my roommates and co-workers also played, so I had people around me with similar interests, and lord does that make a difference. Having video games back was a huge step toward feeling good again, but I always felt that something was missing for the cycle to be completed.
The squared circle.(wrestling).
I remember being in my room on Twitter during Valentine’s day in 2011. Long distance relationships suck, because you go months without seeing her, and Valentine’s day that year was just another day. While browsing on Twitter, I noticed that my timeline was exploding with tweets. Tons of people tweeting in caps with the same tweets “HOLY SHIT!,” or “NO WAY HE’S BACK.” I was so confused as to what was going on. Everyone was watching, but I didn’t know what they were watching, or where to watch. Around midnight the hysteria calmed down, yet I still didn’t know exactly what was happening. Finally, I saw the words that would change everything …
“The Rock has returned to WWE.”
I couldn’t believe it at first. What was this all about? I decided to skip the questions and reading and went straight to the source that is the internet . It was the most awesome thing I had ever witnessed. Twenty-three minutes of pure joy that included screaming, yelling, that my girlfriend didn’t understand. It was more than just about The Rock returning, it was also about seeing grown ups go crazy for something involving pro wrestling. It felt like someone was telling me “those adults were not only wrong, but they were stupid.”
So I used Twitter to help me get back into wrestling. Tons of people sent me links of YouTube of matches I had missed, and all I kept thinking was, “what else did I miss?”
There were a few moments in between that were just as important, but there’s no solid YouTube video for them. Since 2011 I’ve been back into wrestling, and in 2015 I can officially say I would never change a thing. It took time to get back into the groove, but it wasn’t until the WWE Network came out that I was fully allowed to engulf myself back into wrasslin’. Twitter continued to help me in regards to knowing who is who, and where they came from. Live tweeting was something I officially took part in during Monday Night Raw, and Pay-Per-Views. FYI … NXT is even cooler when they do live specials.
Now I find myself not only a weekly watcher, but I am buying merchandise. I’m going to Summerslam in August at the Barclays Center! I am 100% going to WrestleMania next year in Dallas, Texas. I write for a video game website, Wegotleagues.com, and of course there’s a wrestling section that I write for. It truly is something I love doing.
I learned recently that the best thing about being an adult compared to being a kid is that when you find something that you love, you never let it go. People may not think what you like is acceptable or cool, and will tell you to grow up; but when you’re an adult you do what you want, and no one can truly change your mind.
So thank you great people of the internet. You truly did help someone regain a love they thought was long lost. Thank you WWE Network, you always make time easy to manage.
Everyone does it, this used to include me.
Up until this season, I was just like every other sports fan. No matter what you could do as a star in the NBA I felt the need to compare what you did or who you were to someone of the past. For my generation it is always “Kobe already did it”, or “Kobe wouldn’t have let that happen”. For those older than me the first person used is always Michael Jordan followed by Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley and so many others. We see it all the time on TV where the analyst has to compare players of the past to the stars of the league now and you always see that for some reason the stars of today can never get to the level of past superstars.
We need to stop that.
Yesterday Kevin Durant received his first NBA MVP trophy after a season in which he averaged 32.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.5 assist per game. It was a long time coming for Durant, who has been widely regarded as one of the top players in the world and known as the best scorer in the NBA. He doesn’t necessarily have the marquee nickname like how LeBron James has “King James” and Kobe Bryant has “The Black Mamba”. When when we tried to give him one earlier in the season and he jokingly tried to give himself one with “The Servant”, it never stuck and everyone simply went back to calling him “KD”. He doesn’t have the nickname, but he doesn’t need it. He’s a top 3 player in the league, now a league MVP, and yet it seems no matter what the world will not be ready to appreciate Kevin Durant or in fact, any other uprising young superstar in the NBA.
It’s time for a change (I owe you one Barack).
When watching the press conference for KD the one thing that truly blew my mind is the fact that what we’ve been witnessing has been going seven years strong. I immediately went on YouTube and watched the highlights of his rookie season and was fascinated. It feels like Durant has only been in the league five years.
As a Los Angeles Lakers fan, my first true glimpse of KD did not come until the 2010 playoffs when the Lakers and Thunder squared off in the first round. The series went six games, but I remember it not being easy considering the series clinching game was won on a put back by Pau Gasol. After that season the Thunder kept getting better every year, similar to what we’ve witnessed with the Indiana Pacers over the past three years.
During the NBA lockout when players weren’t at meetings they were playing charity all-star games. During the summer of 2011 Durant showed up to New York City and put on a 66-point performance at the Annual EBC Rucker classic in Harlem. Rucker Park is the symbolic sanctuary of street basketball. Anyone who is anyone has attended the Rucker whether they were a spectator or a player like Durant was. Later on in 2012 Durant made the United States Olympics men’s national basketball team. In the Olympics Durant averaged 19.5 points per game and capped it off with a 30 point, 9 rebound performance in the gold medal game against Spain. After his Olympic performance his stock shot up higher and eventually cultivated to having us where are today.
When I saw that Kevin Durant was in his 7th season it made me wonder how long other players have actually been in the league, including this season:
LeBron James: 11
Dwayne Wade: 11
Carmelo Anthony: 11
Chris Bosh: 11
Dwight Howard: 10
Chris Paul: 9
LaMarcus Aldridge: 8
Russell Westbrook: 6
Derrick Rose: 5
Stephen Curry: 5
Blake Griffin: 4
Paul George: 4
Kyrie Irving: 3
It is a very sample sized list, but at the same time it is meant to be the focus of this piece. As a Lakers fan I have been blessed to watch the greatness of Kobe Bryant for over the past decade, but while watching these playoffs and seeing how much fun it has been it didn’t even cross my mind that there was no Kobe for me to tune into for a Western conference game. For the most part of the season there has been no Kobe at all, and it might have made me a better overall basketball fan. Regardless of how the season panned out, I still watched the Lakers play (Swaggy P you’re the best), but at the same time I watched other teams and appreciated what I was tuning into.
Say what you want, but no one appreciated how truly great LeBron James was until about 2 years ago. For eight seasons, all you ever heard about LeBron was that he would never be like Michael Jordan no matter what he did. When he wasn’t being compared to MJ, he was being compared to Kobe. Here’s what I don’t understand. Everyone in the world knows what Michael Jordan did, and what Kobe has done, so is there really a need for the “He can never be Jordan or Kobe” sentence to be sputtering out every time a player in today’s NBA does accomplish something? Take talking to adults for instance. The first thing they say is that the players today could never play in the league back during their childhood and how the league is supremely soft. It is never a compliment from these people, only criticism over harebrained situations that can never happen, such as “LeBron would never have been able to dunk on Patrick Ewing”.
At the end of the day there is a reason the past is the past. It’s a time frame that has happened and will never come back. There are players whom in the future will have their idols be players not named Michael Jordan, and for those kids the first thing you should not say is “kid you know nothing about basketball”. Instead understand that there is a new generation of stars in the league that the kids have that they can look up to. For those of us who are in the midst of watching these great players, lets enjoy what we are watching without saying “Man Jordan would have made that shot Mr. Durant”. Instead lets just appreciate what we have in front of us because soon they’ll retire and appreciating something once it’s gone is never the same as during the situation, especially when they will never be back.
In life choices have to be made. People face decisions that can make an impact on so many people whether the impact is for good or for bad. When making a decision a person can tend to not think of those who will be effected by what he or she will do. In sports the choices are made all the time, not all are seen as good moves, whether it is a star player being traded or a player leaving on his own to go to another team, owners wanting new arenas for their teams which results in the raising of ticket prices; more than ever the world of sports and the world of business financials are synced together. In the world of sports controversy can create cash. The fall of a major superstar can create attraction simply based off the wonder of whether or not the star can make a comeback. No one had a clue when Kobe Bryant was going to return from his torn Achilles injury but you probably could have made a bet that opening night was going to be sold out in anticipation that he would be there in action.
No professional sport over the past decade and a half has had more controversy than Major League Baseball. It seemed like from the late 1990’s until now there was always a scandal happening and the scandal was focused on one thing and one thing only, Performance Enhancing Drugs. This year baseball was back in the headlines with the Biogenesis scandal. Early last year Major League Baseball investigated Anthony Bosch and his Biogenesis clinic in Florida for allegedly providing major league players with performance enhancing drugs. The main culprits were New York Yankees third basemen Alex Rodriguez, and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun. Along with them twelve other players were supposedly involved in the scandal. In the end the scandal that was Biogenesis delivered a black eye to game of baseball that MLB thought had gone away years ago. Ryan Braun accepted a deal with MLB that involved him being suspended for 65 games with no pay. Twelve players including Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz were all suspended 50 games without pay but the suspension allowed the players to play in the postseason had their respective teams made the playoffs. Alex Rodriguez received the worst of all with a suspension that not only was slated keep him from playing for the rest of the 2013 season BUT all of next season as well (He ended up appealing his suspension and playing the rest of the season as the appeal went on). The suspensions were brutal. The scandal was the worse thing for baseball since the Pete Rose gambling controversy. Major League Baseball is doing all it can to put the steroid era behind but the era doesn’t seem to want to take its foot off the gas. Is what MLB doing purely for the love of the game? or is this bigger than cleaning up the game?
If you cheat and are caught then you deserve to be punished. No matter the circumstances it is a protocol that pretty much everyone can agree on. What you did was try and get ahead of everyone else. You thought that you could get an edge by sneaking around and finding a loop hole that only you knew of. When you are caught you deserve all the punishment that comes, but is there ever a time where you feel that maybe what happened to the alleged cheater is a bit to much? That those who are out to catch the cheater might have taken it a bit too far? In Alex Rodriguez’s case this could be very true.
This past weekend Alex Rodriguez learned that he would be suspended for the entire upcoming 2014 MLB season following the ruling of his appeal by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. The suspension includes the postseason if the New York Yankees make it. The ruling came after Horowitz heard a testimony from Anthony Bosch of Biogenesis, and evidence that included numerous text messages between A-Rod and Bosch, and maybe most importantly the testimony that Rodriguez did not give. Alex Rodriguez had the chance to testify and defend himself that all that he is being accused of is wrong. but he chose not to which did not help his case and now he is missing the whole season because of it.
This is not really about Alex Rodriguez, but more about Major League Baseball and commissioner Bud Selig. For twenty-two years Bud Selig watched over baseball and depending on what you believe, watched the steroid era happen and did nothing until there was pressure to do something. For the most part it is hard for you to find a person who does not think Barry Bonds was on steroids. Has Bonds ever failed a drug test? No but neither did Mark McGwire. McGwire only came out because he was coming back into baseball as a hitting coach for the St.Louis Cardinals. The 2003 Mitchell report only included Barry Bonds and till this day Bonds has not admitted to using steroids. In 2009 Sports Illustrated reported that in 2003 MLB conducted a survey to see if players were using steroids and 104 players turned out to test positive for performance enhancing drugs. The players were never punished because MLB commissioner Bud Selig and the players association came to an agreement that this was just a simple survey to determine if should change its drug policy. In 2004 the government was investigating 10 MLB players in connection to the BALCO scandal. During the investigation the government seized test results from a lab in California that MLB was using. The results were supposed to stay confidential but somehow were leaked. The SI report only named Rodriguez and the two drugs he tested positive for. A list later leaked that included players such as David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, but not only was the list not ever confirmed, but the list only named seven players. The only player confirmed on a list of 104 was Rodriguez which led to him admitting to using Ped’s.
Just like with the SI report the Biogenesis was based off a report that came from a former employer who then told the goods to a Miami newspaper. MLB decided to investigate Biogenesis by having Anthony Bosch be sued this way he can testify in court, but instead of going that route he decided to cooperate with MLB who in turned paid $125,000 dollars for evidence such as text messages between Rodriguez and Bosch from a guy named “Bobby”. Along with the payment MLB is paying for security to be around Bosch and all his legal fees as part of the agreement so that in return he testifies against Rodriguez. During Rodriguez’s appeal commissioner Selig decided not to testify and Rodriguez stormed out. During this whole process Rodriguez has felt that MLB is after him, and that they have nothing on him to present.
““The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one. This is one man’s decision, that was not put before a fair and impartial jury, does not involve me having failed a single drug test, is at odds with the facts and is inconsistent with the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement, and relies on testimony and documents that would never have been allowed in any court in the United States because they are false and wholly unreliable. This injustice is MLB’s first step toward abolishing guaranteed contracts in the 2016 bargaining round, instituting lifetime bans for single violations of drug policy, and further insulating its corrupt investigative program from any variety defense by accused players, or any variety of objective review. ” – Alex Rodriguez statement after learning of his suspension.
This was the first paragraph of Rodriguez’s statement following the news of his suspension. Of course he is going to say something like this and defend himself to the fullest, but is this simply just a defense? We know that MLB is the place for guaranteed contracts unlike other pro sports. A-Rod was the first to command a $300 million dollar contract. He is the guy who opted out of his contact to receive a 10 year $300 million dollar deal. He is the inspiration behind guys like Albert Pujols, Robinson Cano, and maybe soon Clayton Kershaw receiving contracts worth up to $300 million. He is also the guy that everyone assumed would be the next great home run hitter. He was supposed to not only break Barry Bonds record of 762 career home runs, but become the first man to hit 800, and most importantly the man to do it cleanly. We know he has admitted to using PEDS while with the Texas Rangers, but that was based off a leaked survey that was never supposed to come out. This is whole entirely different situation.
At some point everyone who has watched this drag on his just hoped for A-Rod to simply give up and go away. Not many have ever put to to thought of what if there is something we do not know. The players who all took their suspensions due to the Biogenesis scandal were told of the evidence that MLB had and decided that it was a fight they could not win.
Except Alex Rodriguez.
He said MLB was bluffing, that they did not have evidence that could withstand in court. He walked out on his arbitration hearing after commissioner Selig declined to testify. Major League Baseball’s drug policy states that players who fail drug test for the first time are suspended for fifty games, after that a second offense is 100 games, and a third is a lifetime ban from the game. If this is the case then why is Alex Rodriguez being suspended for 162 games when he has never failed a drug test? What is so vastly different between what Rodriguez is alleged to have done and what the players who did accept the suspensions have done that has caused such a different attack by Major League Baseball. One has to wonder if MLB would pay $125,000 dollars for evidence on Nelson Cruz from a guy named Bobby. His name is Bobby. No last name because MLB never got his last name.
Hustlers Hustle. They see an opportunity when they have one, and go get it. Bud Selig is entering his final year as commissioner. In an era that is tainted by cheating commissioner Selig has never been able to purely catch one of the biggest stars cheating red handed and make him his poster child for what will happen if you try to cheat the game.We only know McGwire cheated because he wanted back in baseball and knew he would have to answer questions. We will never know if Barry Bonds truly ever used performance enhancing drugs. If not for the SI report we would never know if Rodriguez truly ever did either. So if you are a retiring commissioner what better way to go out then with a extreme dagger that shows that you stepped and took down the steroid era. You will be remembered for so many great things, but everyone will remember that you did not let this steroid era just breeze on by without action. With taking down Rodriguez you have your poster boy. You have your guy that you can show the world and say ” This is what happens when you cheat. Do you want to be like this guy?” If this is what Selig wanted then paying $125,000 for information from a guy named Bobby was the only way to go. It was the only way to show the world what happens when you cheat, and think you can get away with it quicker than Ricky Henderson stolen base.
Then you have to wonder what if Alex Rodriguez is right? What if the evidence that MLB has on him is actually flawed and cannot prove that he used steroids. It’s a fight you have to continue to fight if you’re Rodriguez, but if this is just a fight he’s doing knowing that what MLB has on him is legit then he should give up. At the end of the day we might truly never know who is telling the truth in all of this, but for now Rodriguez can plan as many vacations as he wants to for the rest of 2014 while commissioner Selig rides out into the retirement sunset. He may never play another game again, and for a guy who has won three league MVP awards, a world series championship, multiple all-star team selections and gold gloves it’s a sad possible ending for a guy who was slated to be the greatest of all time.
Six years is how long I’ve been a loyal member of Facebook. When I first signed on it made me feel like the coolest kid ever. I knew about it because of my older brother, but at the time it was only for college kids so the simple wonder of what it was like made me want to join. Myspace will forever be Myspace, there is nothing Facebook can do to ever make the feel the way I felt when G-Unit was my profile song, and I had the newest Stone Cold Steve Austin wallpaper (Before I became Mr. Cool and made it Cosign Squad), But I needed something new and there was Facebook ready to open its glorious social arms to me.
It started off with a bang, poking girls you had crushes on, when you got a new girlfriend you had to make it that you were in a relationship, it was the little things that you couldn’t do on Myspace that made us love Facebook. You will find those who make the claim they never loved Facebook, but people also say they don’t love sweet potato pie which is to say there is a such thing as a person who is in complete denial.
Facebook now is not what it used to be. I see it more as for just another social media website. I think it just happens as you get older, you don’t do things that you did when you were a reckless teen trying to make sure you had a date for when everyone wanted to go to alpine after the football game. Now I see it as the website where my relatives tag me in things I have no reason to be tagged in. Facebook is still very useful to store images, keep in contact with distance friends, and then theres the lovely 2 am dramatic post about how your life sucks ever since breaking bad ended, and the “why is everyone hating on me and caring about what I do? ITS MY LIFE HATERS” post that we have all grown to love and adore.
I log onto to Facebook everyday. For no particular reason I just feel like it has to be on my tabs while I’m on the computer. Today when I clicked on Facebook it let me know that I could see my 2013 year in review. “Review? I barley post anything on this site anymore” I thought to myself until I clicked on my review and noticed it was postings from Instagram and a few statuses that I came up with over the course of the entire year. Later on Google released an advertisement showcasing their own personal review of the highlights of this past year, and it got me thinking, what are my favorite moments of 2013? In this particular situation what are my favorite sports moments of 2013. This took longer than I expected, it seemed as though every time I had a set list another moment popped into my so I decided to make a top seven list. On the 7th day of January I made a post about my seven favorite sports moments of 2013.
And incase you were wondering. Seven is my favorite number.
(This List is no particular order).
1. Miami Heat Harlem Shake
At the beginning of the year one of the most popular songs out was Harlem Shake by Bauer. The song actually does not have an official music video, but a fan decided to make one with himself and his college friends. The video starts with a group of people in the room with either one person dancing solo while everyone else pretends to ignore him/her or a group of individuals dance, once the actual be drops everyone channels their inner kid and goes berserk with obscene moves that only their mother could love. The video struck gold and became an internet phenomenon. Hundreds of thousands of amateur videos to the song were uploaded to youtube, heck even the job I was working at the time thought of making our own version. One day I checked my twitter feed to LeBron James post a youtube link and behold the magic that was. Ray Allen dancing? D-Wade as the Kanye West mascot? This was way to priceless and still is.
2. Kobe Dunks on Brooklyn Nets.
Anything Kobe does amazes me. Along with being a sad and loyal New York Knicks fan, I also happen to be a Los Angeles Lakers fan. During the inaugural season of The Brooklyn Nets Kobe decided to show us all that even at old age you can still get up on guys when needed. Its safe to say Brooklyn got the memo.
3. LeBron James Dunks on Jason Terry but Jim Ross Makes it Even Sweeter.
Oh nostalgia how you make love the internet more than I already do. As a kid I was always glued to the television screen to watch wrestling. Everything about it was cooler than anything else on the entire planet so when this 1998 Hell in The Cell match between The Undertaker and Mankind went down the young me was excited. Two minutes later life changed.
Fifteen years later Nostalgia proved its loyalty. During a game between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat LeBron James caught an alley-oop and destroyed Celtics guard Jason Terry, Later on a genius unknown took the commentary from announcer Jim Ross and added it to when James dunked on Terry. I fell in love on sight
4. Mariano Rivera’s Last Game at Yankee Stadium
A little known fact about me. New Yorker born and raised. Red Sox fan. There are not many like me in this great city, but here I am. Nonetheless I know to appreciate greatness no matter the uniform you wear, and I couldn’t help but watch and slightly tear during Mariano Rivera’s last game at Yankee Stadium. The fact that he is retiring doesn’t seem right but the fitting was perfect with teammates Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte coming to take him out. He cried man, the sandman cried.
5. Johnny Football
Johnny Manziel is THE MAN. OvO Johnny came from out of no where in 2012 to being the man by seasons end and picking the Heisman trophy as a FRESHMAN. After a summer in which all he did was party and drink like the rest of us college kids love to do, he became public enemy number one to some. Johnny couldn’t wait to play and shut the world up and he did. This is not really a favorite moment, but more of me stating Johnny Football is my favorite athlete of 2013.
6. Boston Red Sox Win the 2013 World Series
Your favorite baseball team wins the World Series. Is an explanation needed?
7. Auburn Game Winning Field Goal Return to Beat Alabama
It’s a field goal return for a touchdown to beat the number one ranked team in country that just so happens to be your arch rival in the biggest game of the season (and to many of auburn the only game that matters). Moments like these are why sports rules and everything else drools.
And there it is. SEVEN. I could do ten if I wanted, heck i could do more, but seven is perfect. 2014 lets see what you have up your sleeve.
Oh and thanks a lot Facebook.
For good or bad everyone has a right to express their opinion, if that was not the case I wouldn’t be sitting here typing away on something I have no clue if people will read (if you do read what I write HI AND THANK YOU). The opinions people have are not always the best, and most certainly not the smartest of thoughts, but that is why it’s an opinion, the opinion belongs to them and it’s not meant for you to try and change.
Side note: If people do not agree with your opinion they will change it.
Last week Miami Dolphins player Jonathan Martin left the team after being fed up with being bullied by teammate Pro Bowler Richie Incognito. At first no one knew why Martin left, he just left and his agent told his coaches and Dolphins management.
His agent asked to investigate what was going on that would cause his client to take off. At first the Dolphins denied anything until evidence showed up. Richie Incognito left a voice mail in which he threatened to kill Martin and called him a “Half Nigger piece of shit”. In a stadium program given out the week of Halloween Incognito named Martin as the easiest person to scare.
Football players are viewed by many as the toughest athletes because of brutality they give and receive on a weekly basis. It’s the sport that can make a man retire early simply to protect his health in the life after football, it’s also become the sport parents are always afraid of their young children playing. You put so much time and effort into lifting weights, running sprints, trying to be the alpha dog in a sport full of alpha dogs that you would never think that someone can actually be bullied right?
There are those who understand Jonathan Martins side, and there are those who do not. There are people who have been bullied, and there are those who have not. The ones who feel like Martin should have stood up for himself are the same ones who feel like they 100% would have stood up to Incognito and not allowed him to bully him. The ones who disagree with Martin also will see this as the NFL getting “soft”, they will also be the first to tell you that if they have a simple ankle sprain they could still compete in any sport because they have more heart than the next guy.
The thing about those people is that more than likely they have never had any type of experience like what Martin is going through and have no way of even understanding. They simply see a headline like “NFL Player Claims Teammate Bullied Him” and think “wow that guy is soft”. It is one thing if you never experienced something before, but a completely different situation if you never experienced something and refuse to see the other side that includes the person who is experiencing it. I have never been bullied in my life but that doesn’t mean i am going to call an NFL player soft because he claims to have been bullied. People are so quick to judge and come up with opinions that they sometimes never even try to evaluate and process their actual thoughts before getting on a keyboard and typing away. At the end of the day Bullying is wrong, we’re so quick to wanna protect everyone from it but a Professional Athlete makes the claim and people are ready to shut the door before he can even ring the bell.
And for what it’s worth I bet anyone who thinks Jonathan Martin is soft wouldn’t agree to any amount of money to actually say it to his face.
This was supposed to be everything for the city of LA.
After back to back titles in 2009 and 2010 the Los Angeles Lakers were swept in the second round by the Dallas Mavericks in the the 2011 playoffs. Following the end of the season coach Phil Jackson decided to retire and Jim buss, son of owner Dr. Jerry Buss began to run the team. His first action was hiring former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown. The move was seen as his way of letting people know that this was his team with the star of the team Kobe Bryant voicing his opinion stating he wanted assistant coach at the time Brian Shaw to be the head coach. The 2011-2012 season did not kick off until christmas day due the players and owners engaging in lockout that produced a 66 game season. Before the season even started the Lakers made headlines by acquiring point guard Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets in a 3 team trade but the NBA blocked the trade in a fashion that still is mind boggling to this very day. Instead of the lakers Paul ended up being traded to the clippers in a trade that seemed to be worst than the laker trade. In the midst of all this forward Lamar Odom was unhappy with almost being traded and no longer wanted to play for the lakers and was soon traded to the Dallas Mavericks for a trade exception.
No Chris Paul, no Phil Jackson, The Jim Buss era was not off to the best starts to say the least. Under new coach Mike Brown the Lakers ended up making the playoffs only to be eliminated in the second round, this time by the Oklahoma City Thunder, this instead of a sweep they were eliminated in 5 games.
Two years of back to back NBA titles followed by two years of second round exits that were not competitive at all.
And then the summer of 2012 happened.
It started with the shocking announcement that the Lakers had agreed to a sign and trade with their division rival the Phoenix Suns for point guard Steve Nash in exchange for draft picks. The move gave the lakers their best point guard in over a decade. A two time MVP who after years of being the best player on a bad team finally lands on a team with a chance to win a championship.
But it got even better.
A month after the deal that brought Steve Nash to the city of angels, the city was treated to the man who was seen as more than an angel, he was simply seen as “Superman”.
In move that was seen as a tide shifting to the point it instantly made the Lakers the predicted team to beat, the lakers acquired center Dwight Howard in a four team trade that sent their center Andrew Bynum to the Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia sent small forward Andre Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets while also sending forward Moe Harkless, and center Nikola Vucevic to the Orlando magic. The Denver Nuggets sent guard Arron Affalo and forward Al Harrington to the magic. The Lakers sent forward Josh McRoberts to the magic. The Magic sent Chris Duhon and Earl Clark to the lakers while sending Jason Richardson to Philadelphia along with the teams receiving draft picks. This was supposed to be it. After two years of second round playoff exits that didn’t even seem competitive, the Lakers were supposed to be back. Reports surfaced that when the trade went thru Kobe Bryant, whom at the time was in London for the Olympics with team USA was walking around telling his telling teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder that they weren’t going back to the finals now that he had not only one of the top point guards in the league but also the best big man in the game.
So much for the trash talk being more than just that, Trash.
The lakers never won a game during the preseason. Dwight Howard, who was recovering from back surgery, decided to play through the pain instead of simply resting until he was 100%. They started out 1-4. Steve Nash broke his leg his in the second game of season, and to top it all off coach Mike Brown was fired five games into the season. No wins in the entire preseason, along with one win in the first five games of the season, triggered the firing of Mike Brown. For all that was happening, and all that seemed to go wrong was indeed going wrong, Jim Buss still had a chance to fix things in one swift move.
“We Want Phil”.
Once Mike Brown was fired reports surfaced that the Lakers were interested in bringing back coach Phil Jackson. It seemed like the perfect way to fix things. With all that was going on in lakerland, with all the questions surrounding the team it seemed that the hiring of Phil Jackson would be the simple way to bring everything back to normal and forget what happened and move on.
To easy right?
Phil Jackson was indeed approached by Lakers management about returning to coach and was given the weekend to make a decision; turns out that was to much time.
While Phil was sleeping (maybe dreaming up offensive schemes?) Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak called him in the middle of the night to inform him that he wouldn’t be the returning to coach Lakers were going to go with Mike D’Antoni instead. The move sent shock throughout the league because to anyone it confused you as to why would you go with a coach who recently just finished and uneventful and terrible stint in New York with the Knicks over a guy who has brought you 5 championships with each reign being including repeat title defenses.
As the season went on the lakers never really got much better. Dwight Howard was still recovering from back surgery and to make things worse was now hit with a torn labrum on his shoulder. Pau Gasol was battling a concussion that kept him out then suffered a foot injury that kept him sidelined, and when he was healthy D’Antoni refused to believe him and Howard could play together so Gasol was coming off the bench and voiced his displeasure. Steve Nash was still recovering from his broken leg, Steve Blake strained his abdominal muscle which left the team without its two best point guards. Back up Jordan Hill went down with a season ending hip injury, which led to the rise of Earl Clark who ended up producing which led to him replacing Gasol.
Because Gasol and Howard doesn’t make sense in Mikes world.
With a 17-25 start to the season, a head coaching change five games into the season, A promising starting five who was supposed to cause so much havoc throughout the league but by the end of the year only ended up playing only 286 minutes together because of injuries to every player. There truly seemed to be nothing that could go right.
Except the face of the franchise.
Despite everything that was happening it seemed that the one thing you could count of was Kobe Bryant. He couldn’t afford to miss games and with Nash out even took it upon himself to become a point god and put up assist numbers we thought he couldn’t do/wouldn’t want to do.
But nothing was allowed to go right this season.
With the season on the line the Lakers were looking on the outside of the playoffs with only a few games left in the season. With most of the team injured Kobe Bryant stepped up and went into overdrive with heroic efforts that included games where he played most if not the whole game.
Then the fat lady truly sang.
On april 12th in a game against the Golden State Warriors that was a must win, Kobe Bryant suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the fourth quarter of what ended up a 118-116 win for the Lakers. Bryant suffered the injury driving to the basket, at first he asked small forward Harrison Barnes if he tripped Bryant, but once he said he didn’t Bryant knew what happened. In dramatic fashion Bryant was able to take two free throws and then walk off for what would be the last time of the season. What followed was the lakers managing to secure a playoff spot on the very last night of the season by defeating the Houston Rockets (how ironic) and ultimately being swept in the first round by the San Antonio Spurs.
It was finally over. The season that had so much promise the year before simply because of two trades was finally done. It might be considered one of the most bizarre seasons a team ever a had. A coach is fired after five games and replaced with a coach most did not want. The star acquisition who is a pending free agent never truly lives up to the pressure granted the sacrifice he makes by playing through an injury. The point guard that has been sought for years finally shows up just o break his leg in game 2 of 82. The only way the season could have gone worst is if the team didn’t make the playoffs but to the Lakers getting swept in the first round is equivalent to missing the playoffs.
With the season over, the spotlight was only getting brighter for the team. Usually when a team is eliminated you don’t discuss them until it is time for training camp but not the Lakers, they had world watching their moves because the big man had a decision to make.
Dwight Howard was set to finally become a free agent in the summer of 2013. No more opting in than opting out, no more being traded to a team he possibly did not ever want to be on. This was finally his time to pick where he wanted to play, the most indecisive athlete in years was finally going to have to be decisive and make a call that he could not turn back on. For the most part while watching the season unfold you had this feeling that as time went on Howard was likely not going to come back. There was the supposed clash between him and Kobe that ended up being front and center of a team meeting in Memphis that ultimately turned the team around. For what it’s worth you even saw Steve Nash yell at Dwight on national t.v in a game against the Miami Heat.
In game four of the western conference playoffs against the Spurs Howard was ejected in the third quarter for arguing with the referee. He ended his night with only seven points and it turned out he would end his laker career on that note.
When free agency started most people had it penciled in that Dwight was not going to return to the Lakers. For whatever reason it may be it just was not happening and it turns out those people were right. Dwight decided to leave 30 million extra in Lakerland and head to Houston to join the James Harden and the rockets. They sold him on working with coach Kevin McHale who is possibly the best post up big man the league has ever seen. He gets his star shooting guard in Harden who can not only get his own shot but also a great passer. A sixth man and Chandler Parsons who actually credits himself as the man behind the wheel in regards to getting Howard. More importantly he gets what he wants.
Dwight Howard finally is getting what he wants.
He wanted to choose his own team and he did. He can’t change his mind for nothing. To him all the mess he has caused in the past 2 years is all worth it now that he finally got to pick where he wanted to be.
For as much as this is about Howard finally being where he wants to be it is also about where he could’ve been and why he is no longer there. Maybe down the line someone will finally come out and truly give the details as to what happen during Howard’s one year in the city of angels. Say what you want to say but no top free agent just decides to LEAVE the Lakers. Its one thing if you want to be there and that does not fall through, but to actually be there and leave is unheard of. During the offseason the lakers were putting up billboards across the city with Howard on there along with the word STAY on it.
This was the way to supposedly get Howard back. He wanted to be catered to. He wanted to be loved, but maybe at the end of the day what he truly wanted was to not be a Laker. You can say all you want to say at press conferences and media sessions but half of that is truly how you feel. There is a chance that Dwight was only happy about LA because it wasn’t Orlando; there is a very good chance that no matter what he was saying, in his mind Dwight Howard never wanted to be a Laker. The sad part is the Lakers may have never saw it coming. Never would they think that a star player of his caliber would not want to be apart of the organization that has the second most titles in the NBA. It is the simple case of “It’s not me it’s you” like the scene from American Psycho when Christian Bale dumps Reese Witherspoon while out to eat. He tells her he no longer wants to be with her and she can’t seem to understand why.
Evelyn Williams: What about the past?
Patrick Bateman: We never really shared one.
Thats Dwight Talking to Lakers when it comes to choosing to not stay. No matter what you could’ve said to try and salvage the relationship it was never going to work, and one injury filled season in which he was highly criticized by anyone and everyone was not going to make things better. For once the Lakers don’t get the big fish in the pond. For once the Lakers look like just some average NBA team who loses its chance at a free agent instead of the team who is guaranteed to get the star. The big star headed to Houston instead of donning the colors of one of the most storied franchises ever; and there is no billboard big enough to explain that.
Dwight Howard: A box of roses for me from LeBron?
*Reads note*: Dear Dwight,
Keep making me look good I love what you’re doing with your coach and team it’s awesome. See you in the playoffs!
For good or bad, better or worse “The Decision” by LeBron James will always be remembered. No one wants to remember how LeBron treated the season before in regards to how he handled the questions and attention that came with trying to see what he was going to do; the only thing that will forever be remembered is the words “I’m taking my talents to south beach”.
Dwight Howard was this season’s LeBron. Since last season the world has been wondering where Howard was going to go, whether he was going to stay in Orlando, or move onto to another city. For the past 4-5 years it seems as though we have been dealing with and lobbying for insight on where guys were going more than the performance on the court. From LeBron, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, to Carmelo Anthony last year, to this year’s participants being Howard, Deron Williams, and Chris Paul (before he was traded) when it comes to these athletes and other high profile athletes their in-season decisions can less important to some people than their offseason decisions.
The Link between LeBron and Dwight is similar in ways more than some of the others. Of those groups of players listed above only Wade has an NBA title. Dwight and LeBron both made were number one draft picks in their respective draft classes, and came in the league with very high expectations to revive struggling franchises. Both were able to bring their franchises to NBA finals when no one expected to. Dwight’s lone finals appearance actually came at the expense of beating LeBron in the conference finals. Both also lost in their first appearance in the finals.
So what links them this time around?
Easy: the way their situations are being handled. LeBron never forced his way out Cleveland. LeBron showed up to the gym played basketball and went home. When reporters asked him about his upcoming free agency sometimes he gave them an answer or a quote but for the most part it was simply “next question” or “l will handle that when it’s time”. Since the lockout was done Dwight has not handled it this way. It started with Dwight having his agent meet with nets management over dinner. Dwight later told Magic management that he wanted to be traded even giving in a list of teams of where he wanted to be traded. Up until All-Star weekend it seemed as Howard was giving the world 2 answers every week. On Monday he was saying he wanted to be traded by Friday he was saying he wanted to stay “and see how this works out” when All-Star weekend arrived Howard did not answer a question about the free agency, it was wise, it was smart, it was something he should have probably been doing all season long. He welcomed the NBA world into the arena that was built for him, and did his best to make everyone feel at home.
When the trade deadline was 24 hours away the Magic had put out that they was indeed going to trade Howard instead of him walking out in free agency? The seriousness of being traded seemed to have scared Howard who came out and said he wanted to stay and finish the job then decided to opt in and stay for another year. Howard’s indecisiveness all season made the magic decided to give Howard 24 hours to think over his decision as he decided on the plane he wanted to stay. 24 hours later Howard decided to not change his mind and signed the papers making him Magic for at least another year.
So for all of this you would think the Dwight saga would be over right? NO. Suddenly Howard now wants his coach Stan Van Gundy fired, and if you ask the coach he’ll tell you he’s known this all year. With this entire situation going on it makes you wonder and realize that what LeBron did was not bad at all compared to this. It seemed everyone before and including CP3 and Deron Williams this year was on board the “I’m just going to play basketball and see whatever happens” train except Dwight Howard. Maybe it was the people around him who caused him to act this way but at the same time he is a grown man. Maybe he just wanted to feel what it was like to be wanted by so many teams and be recruited considering he did not go through the college process since he went straight to the NBA from high school.
All of this plays in to what he has done this year. The fact that his opt in is only for next year just shows that unless he signs an extension over the summer we will be doing this all over again next year, if that’s the case can he at least do something LeBron did and give all proceeds to his decision to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America?
It seems like every few years something happens that you don’t see coming in sports. Michael Jordan coming back to join the Washington Wizards, Brett Favre retiring then coming back to play for the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings, Mario Lemieux coming back after retirement to play for the Pittsburgh Penguins. These sports moments along with so many others stand out forever. You always assume the greats play with one team their whole career. Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson ONLY played for the Lakers; Tom Brady will only play for the New England Patriots along with so many others.
Peyton manning was the face of the Indianapolis Colt for 14 seasons. He was their number one pick back in 1998. He took the colts from being the team that other teams looked on a schedule as an easy win to the team no one wanted to face. He took them to two Super-bowls, winning one. He gave them constant accolades, four MVP trophies, record breaking seasons, but most importantly hope to city that on every Sunday they were witnessing one of the greatest to play the game.
So when the person who has wore the same blue jersey for fourteen years all of sudden takes a photo holding up a bright orange jersey, how do you feel? All of a sudden you have to prepare yourself to no longer hear “Peyton Manning and the colts” coming through your speakers, instead you’re going to now hear “Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos” weird right? The only things that are not in this is that Manning is still in the AFC and his team is still horse related, and he still will wear the number 18. This is where it stops. No more Indianapolis, in fact he won’t play there at all in the 2012 season. No more Primetime Colts vs. Patriots games now that the rivalry has officially been killed. He goes from indoor stadium to outdoors with high altitude. From dominating the AFC south he moves on to the AFC west.
The one thing that everyone will care about in the end is whether Peyton will change? Will he be fully recovered from the neck surgery? How rusty will he be after missing an entire year of football? Will he be able to control the offense and call the audible like he is so famous for when he was in Indy? Manning says he’s about 80 percent right now but of he had to play this Sunday he most certainly can. This is it for him. He is going to more than likely retire as a bronco. Many athletes who create legacies just to go a 2nd team before retiring never produce like they did with their old team. Manning is determined to be one of the greats who did; starting off with a simple touchdown with ease will be a very good beginning.
It seems like every season no matter the sport a feel good story is guaranteed to make headlines and give people something to root for. MLB had it in 2008 with Josh Hamilton and his amazing performance at the home run derby. This past season in the NFL it was Tebowmania with the Denver Broncos. It was the only thing on ESPN for months and, i admit while at first i was all into it watch his performances in full games then seeing only him getting the credit turned me off (thank you Skip Bayless).
In the NBA the story of the year goes to New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin. Tebow has Tebowmania. Lin has Linsanity. Lin and Tebow were also in the second season as professionals and aside from the crazy media attention that is pretty much where the comparisons stop. Jeremy Lin is an underdog but only for the fact he went undrafted, was cut twice by two other teams, and on his way to being cut by the Knicks. Udonis Haslem of the Miami heat actually said that when the Knicks came to play the heat in January Lin went to the chapel in the America Airlines Arena and asked the the pastor on hand ”Can you pray I don’t get cut?”. Lin knew the February 10th deadline for teams to cut players so their contracts are not guaranteed for the season was approaching. Before the deadline the Knicks decided to give him a shot to that would decide his fate. His first game against the Celtics was not the performance you want to give if your job is on the line. The next game against the nets Lin was put it and that is where the Linsanity began.
If you ask Lin he credits him getting into the game thanks to teammate Carmelo Anthony. Carmelo Anthony was the one who suggested coach Mike D’Antoni to put Lin in their Feb 4 game against the nets. That game Lin produced 25 points and 7 assist off the bench; the next game was placed as the starter against the Utah Jazz, and the rest is history.
Linsanity was born and from the jump went full speed ahead. The fame came instantly, but how could you not appreciate and like it? A second year kid out of Harvard University goes from almost being cut to Leading the New York Knicks to a 7 win streak after what seem like the season was going downward in all ways. In the biggest city in the country on the brightest stage the kid was shining so bright. It was also a cultural thing with him being Asian-American. The NBA is all about expanding their game across the globe and not since Yao Ming has the Asian community had a star as big as Lin. Linsanity was taking over everywhere. T-shirts, hats, twitter with #Linning and replacing any other word you could with Lin in the beginning.
With every good story though there must be some negativity. There are the negatives of his game such as his inability to go left, his amount of turnovers during games. Then there is the personal negativity that comes with being in the world where free speech is protected by the first amendment. You have people like boxer Floyd Mayweather who believes that all the hype is simply because of Lin’s Asian decent. There was the New York Post headline after a Knick win that said “AMASIAN” in bold letters. Things went over the top the night the Knicks lost their first game with Lin as a starter to the New Orleans Hornets. A writer for ESPN.com made the headline about the loss titled “Chink in the Armor”. The headline was taken down within minutes and the writer was fired by ESPN. A ESPN sports broadcaster was suspended 30 days for using the word chink in relation to another topic during an interview. Issues like these can show that remarks and words still have meaning. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream made a flavor dedicated to Lin called “Taste the Lin-Sanity” that included pieces of fortune cookies in the initial recipe. Officials had to issue a statement of apology to anyone who had been offended. The limited edition flavor replaced the fortune cookies with a fresh baked waffle cookie and sold out at the company’s Harvard Square location.
In the end Jeremy Lin is doing something no one could predict. He is gaining respect from his NBA players and even as much praise from league leading scorer Kobe Bryant. ”The biggest thing to me is how everybody missed it,” Bryant said before the All-Star Game, via the New York Post. “They all would be fired if I was owning a team. I hear this stuff, ‘It came out of nowhere.’ I think it’s a load of garbage. You can’t play that well and just come out of nowhere. There has to be something there and everybody missed it. So heads would roll if I was owner.”
The Linsanity resumes Wednesday when the Knicks return to action. There will continue to be support and negativity, but in the end like Ben & Jerry’s says everyone is just going to have to “Taste the Lin-Sanity”