In the fifth installment of Reebok’s video series documenting Derrick Rose’s recovery, Rose speaks on what gives him drive and where his passion for the game stems from. Take a gander.
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I don’t personally stand by Chief Keef or his movement, GBE, but I give the people what they want. ChiSide doesn’t discriminate. The controversial Chicago emcee drops the video for his latest banger, “Love Sosa”. Not even going to lie, this track more listenable than a lot of Keef’s previous stuff.
Not often do original motion picture soundtracks break the mold of mediocrity, but the RZA-directed “The Man With The Iron Fists” soundtrack certainly turns heads thanks to features and production from Kanye West, the RZA himself (accompanied by Wu-Tang Clan), Talib Kweli, and others. This may be one of the few scores that actually cements itself as a top five hip-hop album in any given year. Listen below:
In a league where teams can drastically improve overnight (see: 2011 Miami Heat, 2012 Brooklyn Nets), high expectations are to be had when the offseason rolls around. This goes especially for young, contending teams. Where high expectations are held, high expectations are rarely met. This is an adage that generally holds true and can explain what many bewildered Bulls fans are feeling right now in this frustrating free agency bid. Let’s recap some of the moves made so far: first, management lets superstar duster Brian Scalabrine walk (along with more prominent players such as rotation guard Ronnie Brewer, backup center Omer Asik, and backup point guard C.J. Watson). Players like Scals don’t grow on trees. Then, they trade the sharp-shooting Kyle Korver to Atlanta in exchange for a briefcase full of Benjamins and a trade exception (more on this later). And just like that, the bench mob is downgraded into something that resembles more of a sob. Continue reading
[UPDATED 6/27/12] Picks changed: #10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 29
Moved into the first round: PF Andrew Nicholson, SG Will Barton
Moved out: C Feztus Ezeli, SG John Jenkins, SG Doron Lamb
Biggest Movers: G Austin Rivers (11 spots up), PF Jared Sullinger (12 spots down), Perry Jones III (5 spots up), Terrence Ross (6 spots up)
It’s 6:00 am on a stuffy, hot Chicago summer day. Kevin Durant would say “Man, that’s messed up” if he knew how unwonted my sleep schedule is right now. Why am I doing this on approximately zero seconds of shut-eye? I have no idea. I spend my free time doing strange things. Here is ChiSide’s first NBA mock draft for 2012:
1. New Orleans Hornets select…
F/C Anthony Davis, 6-10, 220 lbs, Kentucky
What more do I have to say that hasn’t been said? The Chicago native will certainly be a stud at the next level, but not immediately. Davis was only a mere six feet tall five years ago and has sprouted 10 inches since then. He has yet to fill into his frame, weighing only 220 pounds, but that will come in time. His defense is NBA-ready, and fits in well with New Orleans’ defense-first style of play. Expect Davis to find his offensive game two to three years down the road in addition to perennial All-Star selections for years to come.
Ceiling: Kevin Garnett; Floor: Marcus Camby
2. Charlotte Bobcats select…
F Thomas Robinson, 6-9, 245 lbs, Kansas
Will Jordan find a way to screw this one up again? I think so. I’m not sold on the big man from Kansas, but I have a feeling MJ is. While Robinson has as much heart as anyone in the draft, I don’t see his skills translating into a game-changing player for the Bobcats. He doesn’t bring a significant defensive presence nor do I think he’s talented to score 20 a night in the association. Robinson possessed limited post moves and an inconsistent jumper in college, but was able to get by due to elite athleticism. His strengths are rebounding and heart, you can count on him to give it his all every night. He’ll be a solid pro for sure, just not worthy of a number two selection. Jordan will be kicking himself for passing on guys like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (who they should select), Harrison Barnes, and Brad Beal.
Ceiling: Derrick Williams; Floor: Patrick Patterson
3. Washington Wizards select…
SG Bradley Beal, 6-4, 200 lbs, Florida
I’ve been in love with Beal since his high school days and I believe he’ll be one of the best players to emerge from the draft. Beal didn’t put up eye-popping numbers during his freshman year at Florida (15 ppg, 7 reb, 2 ast; 44.5% fg, 34% 3pt), but showed that he plays an all-around game by making plays on both ends of the court despite playing out of position. Beal has an extremely high basketball IQ, plays unselfishly, and can knock down shots from anywhere on the floor. He has no glaring weaknesses as far as I’m concerned other than size. The Wizards desperately need a perimeter scoring threat after shipping SG Nick Young to LAC, and Beal fits the bill. Expect this guy to be a strong ROY contender from day one.
Ceiling: Eric Gordon; Floor: Marcus Thornton Continue reading
After a heartbreaking Game 7 defeat, Boston Celtics guard Keyon Dooling said it best:
“Everybody should relax a little bit,” Dooling said. “He is great for the game. He is our game. We need to uplift him, instead of try to tear him down. He is a guy who is the most unselfish superstar I have ever seen. He rebounds the ball, assists the ball and empowers his friends from his community. He is a model citizen. He should not have a stain on his reputation. I hope that it stops.”
No, Dooling wasn’t uplifting any of his teammates. He was praising his opponent, Miami Heat’s Lebron James.
As a Chicagoan, a cursory glance at my Twitter feed during Heat games reveals the same old jabs and jeers at the three-time MVP: “Lebron sucks!”, “Lebron will never get a ring!” “*Insert unoriginal fourth quarter joke here*”. It’s all non-sense. This is a new year, and frankly, I don’t see where Lebron went wrong. He shut his mouth and played the best basketball of his life. The beauty of these NBA Finals is that he has the chance to quiet the noise. What’s even better is that he can accomplish the feat over the greatest competition available, leaving no excuse for fans to continually deride him.
Everyone wanted Lebron to falter in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, but I did not. I wasn’t ready to watch the Thunder steamroll a far inferior (and a far more dull) opponent in another unexciting Finals. This year’s matchup
may be will be the most exciting in a decade. When was the last time we saw the top two MVP vote-getters, the Sixth Man of the Year and five total All-Stars competing for the O’Brien trophy? I don’t know if that’s happened since MJ left the game. As much as you hate Lebron, trust me, you wanted him here all along. This is when you should be rooting for him to fail.
Not to take anything away from OKC’s prized possession, forward Kevin Durant. He brings as much to the table as James does, but in a more reserved manner. Durant doesn’t have to deal with media scrutiny, as he is the antithesis of James’ public persona: beloved, uncriticized, uplifted. There’s not much to say about him that is new. The clash of differences between the two stars, however, summons the cliché “good vs. evil” storyline, which just adds to the fire. You wouldn’t have found that in a Thunder-Celtics matchup.
I’m going to continue the format of five thoughts for the series as I did in my NHL preview. I’ll try and keep the stats to a minimum (doubtful). Here we go:
1. The Presence of Bosh
It was obvious that Miami’s previous two victories couldn’t have happened without the return of Bosh. It may have taken an epic Game 7 80% shooting performance that included knocking down a career high three of four three pointers for fans to realize that he’s an undervalued asset to the Heat’s success. During the regular season, the Heat were 42-15 with Bosh on the floor and a mere 4-5 without him. In the playoffs, they are 7-2 with Bosh playing 5-4 without Bosh seeing action. If Bosh continues red-hot shooting from outside, this series can end a game or two early as defense will have to respect him and stretch the floor, opening lanes for Lebron and Wade to penetrate.
An overlooked factor all playoffs has been OKC’s atypical ball protection. During the regular season, the Thunder led the league in turnover ratio, but was able to improve vastly upon that throughout the playoffs, by becoming the second best team in protecting the ball. This can be attributed to the Thunder playing opposition that weren’t exactly huge generators of turnovers, which the Heat are. The Heat, however, didn’t force many turnovers against a usually turnover-prone Boston team. It’s safe to say that PG Russell Westbrook is much more reckless with the ball than Rajon Rondo, though, so the stats may fluctuate back to their norms.
3. Heat X-Factor: Dwyane Wade
Wade has been surprisingly inconsistent in this year’s playoffs. The absence of Bosh may have had a huge affect on that, allowing teams like the Celtics to double-team him constantly, turning him into a jump shooter (one skill he does not excel at). The Thunder do not have the quickness on the perimeter to close out space as the Celtics could do, so we may see more of those patented 25-5-5 games.
4. Thunder X-Factor: Russell Westbrook
I feel as if the Thunder live and die by Westbrook’s play. When the Thunder drop games, you can’t help but look towards Westbrook to see a sub-35% shooting night coupled with a near one-to-one assist-to-turnover ratio. On the other hand, Westbrook has the capability of taking control of the game and scoring at will. The Heat defense will be his toughest task to date, and I really don’t see him breaking it more than one time all series.
5. Thoughts & Predictions
I think this series will mirror the Thunder-Spurs series. Pundits all around will assume the Thunder have the edge, and they will look good… for two games. Lebron will turn on his “Game 6 face” and go off for another spectacular 40+ point-near-triple-double performance in a win to tie the series or take the lead. Durant will be impossible to quiet, as usual, but will not be able to close out the series thanks to a few careless Westbrook games. Like the Spurs, the Thunder won’t know what’s coming after facing three teams with mediocre defending. The Heat will suffocate Westbrook and Harden and force turnovers which will lead to dozens of fast break buckets. Bosh will render Ibaka ineffective by forcing him to the perimeter. Four to five of the games will be instant classics, possibly overtime thrillers. Most will end with only a 3-5 point disparity between the two teams. With that said…
Heat in six games
Finals MVP: Lebron James
And I’ll leave you to a completely irrelevant song that has been on repeat in my Itunes 24/7 since Sunday night:
What will arguably be the most sought after shoe of 2012 finally has a US release date. Nike announced today that the Air Yeezy 2 will be dropping at select locations on June 9. Two colorways of the shoe will be available for purchase, Pure Platinum (as seen above) and the Solar Red. The shoe is reportedly slimmer and sleeker than its predecessor, the Air Yeezy 1, and features a similar strap and glow-in-the-dark sole. View more detailed pictures after the jump.
Nike Air Yeezy 2
Black/Solar Red & Pure Platinum
UPDATE: CDQ Version available for download. Click the link below.
Edit: 6:57: Updated swap of picks three and four.
1.) Indianapolis Colts select…
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Unless you live in a cave without access to human life, this won’t be news. Not much more can be said about Luck than you’ve already heard. He’s touted as one of the best QB prospects in a long while thanks to his physical ability (he tested similarly to Cam Newton at the NFL Combine), coupled with his outstanding football IQ. In short, the Colts are expecting a player that one-day will develop into an Aaron Rodgers-type with Peyton Manning-like brains.
2.) Washington Redskins select…
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
History says that one of these two top QBs are doomed to fail — but my eyes tell me otherwise. Griffin is worth as much (if not more) than the three 1st round picks and one 2nd round pick Washington sent to St. Louis to secure him. Washington may finally have hit the jackpot they have been searching for, for all these years with Griffin. He brings Michael Vick athleticism in addition to excellent arm strength and accuracy. There’s not much more to be had.
3.) Cleveland Browns select…
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
After finishing last season with one of the league’s most effective secondaries, this leaves the Browns with two choices at number three: elite running back Trent Richardson or the blazing fast Justin Blackmon. Richardson seems like the most logical choice of the two, although Blackmon fits as well. However, Cleveland’s main option in the back field is unproven Montario Hardesty, who did little to impress when given extended action last season. Richardson is the only elite talent at his position and Cleveland can take a chance on a WR later on, especially since there’s more depth at the position.
4.) Minnesota Vikings select…
Matt Kalil, OT, USC
The Vikings should not even consider taking anyone but Kalil at number four. Wide receiver Justin Blackmon and cornerback Morris Claiborne are hard to pass up on, but Minnesota’s best bet is to immediately improve a porous offensive line if they want to sustain the career of Adrian Peterson and give their young QB room to operate. The Vikings can afford to take a wideout or a corner in the early second round.
5.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers select…
Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
The Bucs take Richardson in a heartbeat if he’s still around, but unfortunately for them, he won’t be. Claiborne is a great consolation prize, though, as he will instantaneously bolster a struggling secondary. Starter Aqib Talib may miss games due to jail time and Ronde Barber is nearing retirement. Coincidentally, Tampa Bay recently hired LSU’s secondary coach, Ron Cooper. Continue reading