Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The new generation of "Bigs"



The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a guard-driven league. The Golden State Warriors chase on the 1995’-96’ Chicago Bulls dominates NBA news. Television is all about what the fans enjoy. Little do they know, the average sports fan is not paying attention to the new generation of “bigs” in the league.

With Kevin Durant’s unicorn comment on Kristaps Porzingis,” He can shoot, he can defend, he is a 7-footer that can shoot all the way out to the 3-point line,” Durant said. “That is rare. Plus he can block shots – that is like a unicorn in this league.”

Journalists and broadcasters, especially within the New York area, ran away with Durant’s comments and now consider Porzingis to be the unicorn of the NBA. Looking at the younger “bigs” in the NBA, it seems like the emerging “bigs” are shaping out to be unicorns.

Since the NBA draft in 2010, these new special big men entered the league “tacitly” but were undervalued and overshadowed by the impact guards stamped on the hardwood.

2010 Round 1 Pick 5: Demarcus Cousins
2010 Round 2 Pick 33: Hassan Whiteside
2011 Round 1 Pick 16: Nikola Vucevic
2012 Round 1 Pick 1: Anthony Davis
2012 Round 1 Pick 9: Andre Drummond
2012 Round 2 Pick 33: Draymond Green
2015 Round 1 Pick 1: Karl Anthony Towns
2015 Round 1 Pick 3: Jahlil Okafor
2015 Round 1 Pick 4: Porzingis

Traditionally, this group of athletes does not fit the category of the typical big man that America is accustomed to seeing.

Upside wise, these guys could bring something new to the table (total package sense) that the league has yet to seen. Cousins and Davis highlights the list of emerging big men. Cousins is averaging 27 ppg and 11.3 ppg. Davis is averaging 24.3 ppg and 10.1 rpg.



Older basketball fans fascinated with the physical nature of the way the NBA was played in the 1980s/90s would contend that Cousins and Davis style/dominance of play compares to modern day Shaquille O’Neal and Kevin Garnett.  

Shaq and Garnett were both drafted in the 1990s.

Since those comparisons create conversation, here is something to consider that will spark further discussions.
Whiteside (26-years-old) is our modern day Dikembe Mutombo.
Mutombo at age 26 (37 mpg) stats: 13.8 ppg, 4.1 bpg, and 13 rpg
Whiteside (28.5 mpg) stats: 12.6 ppg, 3.9 bpg, and 11.4 rpg

People on social media and basketball fans love comparisons and these “bigs” in modern day basketball adequately relates to NBA great bigs. Want to know the last time a big man won most valuable player during the regular season? Dirk Nowitzki in 2006-07. Prior to Nowitzki, it was Garnett, Duncan and Shaq.

Good company right? Since the past “bigs” won MVP, the way basketball is played changed the NBA by storm. But in a guard-driven league, the NBA never saw such a variety in “bigs” over the past few years. Cousins and Whiteside was the start of something new. The two of them improved year by year in FG%, points, rebounds, and etc. Cousins shaped the center position, precisely in the mid-range and 3-point shooting.

Shaq at age 25 stats: 28.3 ppg and 11.4 prg

Cousins and Shaq are averaging the same amount of points at the same age. An exception is that Cousins is scoring not only in the paint, but along the perimeter as well. When was the last time Shaq shot almost 75% from the free throw and 35% behind the arc? The answer to that question is NEVER.

In Davis career night against the Detroit Pistons this past Sunday, he scored 59 points with 20 rebounds. He showed his all-around talent (being on a roster depleted team) as the franchise player and earned his way with mentions of former NBA greats. Davis throughout his short and still going career, has shot the ball over 50%. That is something Garnett could not do at age 22 like Davis.

Garnett at age 25 stats: 20.8 ppg, 10.4 rpg, and 46 FG%

I enjoy watching Towns, Okafor, and Porzingis play. I see Towns with a Duncan ceiling, Okafor with a Hakeem Olajuwon ceiling in post-game alone, and Porzingis as a more aggressive Dirk. But of course, these young rookies have to choose whether they want to be great or not.

Since basketball has been considered a guard-driven league, guys like Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook are the face of the guard position leaving out the emergence of the bigs over the past few years. One may argue that the change of rules in the league benefits towards guards and forwards more than it does big men.

The NBA will continue to be a guard-driven league until a mass of new “bigs” draws excitement towards the fans. How will fans become excited to watch 7-footers? Simply winning. It is a reason that Duncan is one of the most respected guys in the NBA and also a 15x all-star.

The tail of the league and current trend is the 3-ball. Soon it will become a habit to see a good shooting NBA at all positions. Maybe not as great as Curry but the three point spot is becoming expected.


At the end of the day, the NBA’s new generation of “bigs” is in good hands. Glimpse of former legends in these young guys games into their own unique styles gives us not only unicorns, but dragons and thunderbirds.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

College Students Take an Approach

South Carolina Court Clears 'Friendship Nine' Of Civil Rights Crimes in 1961.

They don’t want us to know all social issues, political issues, violence, government changes, and etc. that are happening in America.

The revolution is amongst us and is looking for power players. We won't be silenced because these are issues that people don't want us to talk about.
The gut feeling in me speaks that college kids are aware of the killings among police officers to black people. More specifically, white cop vs. black teenagers. The term “Black Lives Matter” was documented after George Zimmerman was let off the hook for a crime he committed on
17-year-old Trayvon Martin which is why these problems – 1960s civil-rights – never left.

Student activism, black students on American college campuses, has brushed the matter of ethnic stiffness from recent weeks, but perhaps not this fall semester. There are students in higher education, such as Sam Houston State University NAACP student Angelique Price, who understand that college is not only to educate students but to enlighten and align them in the role they will play in society. It’s never a problem until it happens to you….right? This is the problem in America and the University of Missouri is living a real life horror story right now. They are experiencing the civil rights movement at first hand.

“The president of the school made $20 million strictly off of his football team alone,” said Xavier Banks, a passionate Texas A&M University–Kingsville student. “Over ¾ of the athletes on scholarships are black, and once they rebelled against the president, the school caught amnesia and became known as “hometown heroes.”

Angelique also dropped knowledge on what is going on with college campuses.

“The issues that have been playing out for years under our little collegiate noses have come to a head like a bad pimple,” Price said. “We protest and we take stands but we won't be silenced because these are issues that people don't want us talking about. The revolution is amongst us and is looking for power players--activists to do the field work, and advocates taking the smart business side.”

The thing about college is that you find yourself and you go through things you never been through.

Que Wayne, founder of New Perspective Development community outreach organization, gave an opinion on the problem with college students protesting. “The point of college is to find your purpose of life,” Wayne said. “College is the prime of your life and you’re going to leach your way through or fight for it. College is a good platform for resources.”

Everybody has access to different technologies. In the real world, you can’t pick up a camera from the mass communications department and turn it in after you use it. Everything is given to the student in college.

“College is a chain reaction,” Wayne said. “When one college starts to protest, then more schools take the same stand. We approach or stand towards the issue. One half of the students are on the bandwagon side trying to leach and the other half is really upset about the reality of what’s going on.”

Fresh college students – from every race and class – are either followers or leaders. Either they take a stand on an issue and stand up against it or continue to seek higher education that their parents instilled in them since being in their school lives. The ones leaching their way through the protests and actions on campus could come from different backgrounds as the ones who are actually touched about the battles blacks are facing.

Students at Sam Houston State University protest in 2015.

Rev. Jesse Jackson wasn’t afraid to speak out on the recent issue on Laquan McDonald’s death. Don’t hold your tongue… close mouths don’t get fed!

Parents of these college students will always think their generation was better. But in reality, these college kids are smarter than what is being interpreted. From over 50 years, college students have been leading marches, voter-registration drives, and various protest movements. 

Pointing out the black students and showing them ways to attack disparities are the future of our generation.



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Everything is bigger in Texas



The phrase “Everything is bigger in Texas,” came true over the weekend during the Texas State Championships games at NRG Stadium.


The Katy Tigers won its 8th state championship tied with Celina and Southlake Carroll High School for the most state titlesdefeating Lake Travis (Austin) 34-7. Since 1997, Katy won seven of those eight titles. 


The Katy Tigers are in a similar spotlight and position as the New England PatriotsThe disputing, opposing and fault-finding person considers them to be similar because both teams “bend the rules.” On the other side, the pleasing, understandable and well-informed person recognizes the greatness of the 2000’s era. 


“I can say this is the best one I have had in 34 years at Katy High School,’’ said head coach Gary Joseph.


In another part of Texas, the comeback team North Shore can not be overlooked. This team is now the Class 6A Division Istate champions. North Shore has put this team out of GalenaPark back to the promise land after defeating No. Westlake Austin 21-14 in overtime fashion. 


“If it wasn’t for our early-season adversity,” head coach Jon Kay said. “I don’t know if we would have had the guts to finish this.”


However the adversity played out, the competition of high school football in Texas legitimate expresses factual truth. If the testimony of someone’s hard work and dedication is playing in a high school championship game, then North Shore’s QB Maciah Long is destined for greatness. 


"It felt amazing playing in a championship game,” Kansas commit Long stated after their successful victory. “We were blessed to be there. I think I played pretty good. My teammates kept faith in me and I stepped up. My skill set is that I am a well-rounded athlete who is able to do a lot of things with the ball.


If the world understood Westlake Austin talent, this North Shore team would be appreciated much more on a higher note because Westlake had a squad point blank period. 

APSE’s Player of the Year awards for all classifications is a big deal in the south. University of Texas pledge and also Westlake QB Sam Ehlinger gave his acknowledgement to North Shore.  

 

 

 

 

Playing in the state game was crazy,” Cedar Park’s Jordan Meredith said. 


Cedar Park high school won their second Class 5A-DII state championship over the weekend defeating Frisco 22-6 after losing last season to Ennis in the same environment. 


“We needed to slow down their quarterback because we know he’s a great player,” defensive MVP Mac McCaskillsaid.  “Losing in this game last year drove us all off-season. This is a great feeling.''


Junior Jason Shelley was the quarterback McCaskill was talking about. Shelley is a three star recruit with big offers from Clemson and Nebraska. 


This was one of the largest crowds that I have played in front of by far,” Meredith said. It adds a lot of pressure on situations that would regularly be routine. The state game is the biggest stage and the ultimate finish of a great season. It can make or break a team. Overall, it was an amazing experience!”


Texas outshines the list of high schools that have had the most players drafted to the NFL along with California and Florida. 


Over 250 NFL players came from a high school in Texas dealing with all classes. Superiority writes between the lone star state lines that crystalizes everything is bigger in Texas. 


Undervalued flair is repeatedly found within blue-chippers. What is better than a two-star country boy from in the valleys being a future NFL star? America loves the JJ Watt and Johnny Manziel. Manziel was a three star recruit and Watt was two-star. The underestimated realization of legit talent generates conversation of Texas producing the best football athletes. Texas high school state championships aren’t nationally televised on ESPN. The average football fan unfortunately does not get a chance to see Friday night lights here weekly. 


Richmond George Ranch, Waco La Vega, West Orange-Stark, Brock, Waskom, Canadian, and Bremond all were state champions after the weekend. Small schools need love too. 


“It was awesome,” Canadian quarterback Tanner Schafer said. “Especially being that some of us seniors had went to state last year and had the opportunity to go back to back. I felt like we played as a team and probably had one of the best all-around team efforts we have had all year.”


Canadian Football had an undefeated season going 16-0 defeating Refugio 61-0. Four star University of Houston junior quarterback pledge Jaylon Mascorro loved the moment even after losing in the championship game.



“It is always a great feeling to play in the state game,” Mascorro said. “I did not play my best game, it was horrible.”


It is what it is. Talent is all over the board in Texas with kids being recruited from small schools. A state championship is a game where small town kids can get noticed by the top notch recruits.  


“These state championship games are an awesome place and environment where high school kids like me are extremely thankful to get this opportunity,” Schafer said.  

Monday, December 14, 2015

Dance moves new trend in winning?

Television has a big impression on sports.



Americans are more inclined to follow the new trend, especially from athletes as collectively adored as Cam Newton and Odell Beckham. They are generationally accepted as long as their games back them up.

Reality: Cam Newton is a 6-foot-5; 245lbs quarterback with similar speed as Danny Amendola, trucking skills like LeGarrette Blount, and slings the ball like Ben Roethlisberger.

However, trends are derived from what is “new” and “in” at the time. Newton’s “dab dance,” was originated by Atlanta rapper Skippa Da Flippa. Odell Beckham’s “hit dem folk’s dance” started in Columbus, Georgia and it is similar to the Lambeau Leap in the 90s.

Vines, Twitter videos and sports highlights focus on every media outlet and constructs creativity, excitement, and likeness towards players. This is very similar to viral Newton and Beckham moments that is recently captured.

How can you not enjoy two young upcoming stars in the NFL dominating on the field with a “cool” celebration dance? Some may think it is cocky, and others my see it as an act of selfishness by creating the attention upon themselves.  In addition, Carolina’s head coach Ron Rivera is doing the dance also known as the “dab.”

Carolina is currently being “slept on”. They are the only undefeated team in the NFL at 12-0.  The media is focusing on the rejuvenated Seahawks and celebrity quarterback, Russell Wilson instead of the Panthers.

States like Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia are considered the south. Newton (26 years old) is from Atlanta and Beckham (23 years old) is from New Orleans. Let’s not overlook the fact that both players were considered as the “underdog players” in high school.

Beckham was a three star recruit out of Isidore Newman School but signed to LSU where he dominated his stay in Baton Rouge and practiced his spectacular catches at Charles McClendon Practice Facility.



Newton was the ninth ranked quarterback out of Westlake High School and ranked 58th in the country. In his college years, he signed with Florida where he faced zero playing time. However, Cam Newton excelled on every level. He transferred to Blinn and carried them to a 2009 NJCAA National Football Championship and then committed to Auburn where he won a 2010 BCS National Championship game.

Both athletes overall NFL success boosted their admirations. Making impacts in a way the league has never seen before generates discussions. Beckham’s famous one-handed catch is arguably the best catch ever. With Ted Ginn, Corey Brown, Devin Funchess, and Jerricho Cotchery, Newton is challenging Tom Brady for league MVP based off what less he is working with. Additionally, the attention remains on every Newton’s touchdown as he continues to “dab” his way into winning football games. Newton has no pro bowl receiver. But somehow, his group of guys’ rallies behind his confidence he shows every week. Let’s not forget that Newton seeks out the younger fans in the stands and gives them hope as they receive the actual football from one of his many touchdowns.

The biggest question is will the Panthers be able to dominate the same way thus far as they’re doing in the regular season?
The highlight videos, which Americans witness on a weekly basis, ties back into the growth on social media and television towards sports. A fan focuses on off-field situations and personalities of a player on their favorite team in addition to how well they are playing. Kids around age eleven have access to watch highlights on their social media sites where the vast majority of new trends are established. Without technology, athlete’s off-field issues would not matter because it would be less media buzz.

To every success comes attention, whether positive or negative. (Just ask Rivera)

"I know the league has talked about trying to find ways to allow the players to keep their personality,” Rivera said. “But at the same time do it in a tasteful, positive manner that isn't taunting.”

By adding too much attention on yourself can be a good and a bad thing. Along with the attention, comes the ability to handle the consequences. Basically, not just talking that talk but walking the walk too.

Beckham and the Giants are 5-7, which leads to limited room for Beckham to talk.


Newton can continue to “dab” as long as the Panthers keep winning games.  

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Idols of the Past and Present

Stephen Curry is present day Michael Jordan?

Not saying he is as good as Mike or even close to him.


The impact is similar based off children looking up to both players. Only difference is that Curry is doing it in a generation of more technology and social medias quickly evolving the sport.

On Friday, December 11th, the Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry scored 38 points against the Boston Celtics in double overtime in a nail-biter that extended their streak to 24 wins.

“I think Stephen Curry, for sure, is going to change what we see in players coming into this league,” Hall of famer Jerry West said. “All those little kids would want to look like him [and] play like him,” West said. “He doesn’t have a big body, he’s not the most incredible athlete we have, and he plays the game with finesse.”

Even though the Warriors streak ended Saturday night in a 108-95 loss against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Warriors are 24-1 and looks to be at the top of their game early in the season.

Since winning the NBA championship, Stephen Curry is leading the league in scoring. He averages 31.6 points a game. The 27-year-old Curry is revolutionizing the game of basketball before our own eyes in a perimeter-oriented league.

I decided to speak out to Anthony Morgan, Plano West basketball coach, about his style of basketball that he teaches his kids and the direction he feels basketball is heading. Morgan coached guys like Mickey Mitchell, DJ Hogg, and Tyler Davis. Last season, Plano West won the UIL 6A basketball championship against Clear Lake 56-54.

Last season, Plano West had only one player under 6-foot. The height is attractively tall for a high school team who only lost five games last season. This team displays excellence in multiple ways with their up-tempo style and feeding down low.

“Basketball is slowly moving away from the big post game to taller more skilled guard and wing play,” Morgan said. “Offenses are not necessarily changing; the players are more skilled and athletic.”

“We are accustomed to the big game, High Low with solid guard play,” Morgan continued. “My basketball style is Flow offense, similar to the Dallas Mavericks style with quick hitters. I believe in up tempo and man to man defense with ball pressure.”

In Morgan’s knowledge, he doesn’t think the game is changing quite yet. He just believe that basketball players now are more skilled than before at a younger age.

During the Michael Jordan era with the Chicago Bulls, kids grew up watching him and modeled their games just like him. Reason #1: The NBA never had a player like Mike before. Jordan was idolized by many players and fans. His athletic shoes and accessories continue to soar in profits today. Unfortunately, every kid cannot be 6-foot-6. Near Jordan’s retirement, there were more scoring guards under 6-foot-6. For example, Stephon Marbury, Allen Iverson, Baron Davis, Steve Francis, Dwayne Wade, and Gilbert Arenas just to name a few. Guys like Vince Carter and Kobe Bryant were fortunate enough to have similar size to Jordan. The players, who arose after the Jordan era, grew up watching the best player to ever play on this planet.

The NBA seemed to be prepared for Curry’s lights out shooting. Curry entered the league in 2009 during the LeBron James, Bryant, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony fiasco. The league was dominated by shooting guards and forwards at the time despite Derrick Rose’s MVP season being the last dominance by a point guard.

“Curry is going to create remarkably a good shooting NBA five years from now,” Colin Cowherd said. “The league is making it more perimeter. Kids 12, 13 and 14 years old will mimic his game.”

For those growing up having a younger sibling, that younger sibling usually mimics everything their older brother or sister does. Some of the habits include, wearing the same clothes, playing the same sports, and doing the same daily routines. In a nut shell, kids become what they see.

The impact sports has on America is tremendous. Even if someone misses a game, there are usually highlights or video clips on Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and etc. With that being said, the hot topic right now hands down is Curry. From the Warriors winning the championship last season, to them being 19-0, America are accustomed to watching Warriors games or at least hear about what is going on.

Curry has to be the “coolest” basketball player on the planet right now. He has a stunning wife, cute baby girl, beautiful family, son of Dell Curry, and the best shooter to ever live. Let’s not overlook that he is only 6-foot-3 in stature. He is becoming an American Idol similar to Jordan.


We are now witnessing a new trend of basketball favoring three point shooters since the game is a perimeter league. In the 90’s era, the game was played inside out. If this is the transition, the 2015 NBA champions, Warriors, style of play benefits from the NBA rules of modern basketball. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

DJ JY

Intelligent minds generally attend college. In an era of rap/hip-hop expanding the global field, rap artists from overseas tends to get overlooked because of the quantity that America is used to.

Most won’t know anything about Bermondsey, South London. With tons of bars and pubs in this town, Bermondsey also provides the Design Museum, the Scoop, and the Maltby Street Market for outside attraction.

“I’m originally from Southwark, south east London in the United Kingdom,” Johnathan Yesson said. “Living in central London has been a struggle because the area is very modern and living costs are expensive but I love London.”

Twenty six year old Yesson, known as DJ JY, turned a talent into reality by simply chasing his dreams & doing what he loved. He studied at Bacon’s College and worked as a website manager at a major power-tool company. Online marketing is what he specializes in and is a power tool expert.

Yesson started working with music at an early age and free-styling was an art that he showcased outside of working I.T. “Freestyling” is where someone improves words and displays it on a beat or without one. Music has always been within the blood of Yesson being known on Twitter, Keek, Facebook, Instagram, Google, and etc.

“I got into rapping the moment I first heard Eminem's Marshall Mathers LP which was the first album I ever listened to,” Yesson said. “From then on I knew I had to work towards becoming a rap artist. The best part about making music is hearing the feedback from listeners; it’s why I do this.”

Many artists are influenced by someone similar to their lifestyle or persona of specific genre that relates to most of the artists cases. For example, there are legends in the hip-hop game that most can compare based off parallel characteristics.

“Eminem is someone I look up to,” Yesson said. “I was raised listening to his music; he inspires me because he is a fantastic story teller and has complex rhymes. Other’s I look up to are Dizzee Rascal, Skepta, JME and a few other grime artists as I love to support other UK artists.”

With the great support of the UK movement, Yesson also understands that in order to get his national rotation on the spins one day means hard work has to come into play.

With dreams, there are a lot of hesitant minds in regards of chasing them. If you feel like you’re a better actor than Michael B. Jordan, then typically the best move is to show the world. Same goes with dreams of opening a business, being a doctor/lawyer, real estate agent, construction worker, along with profusely more careers as in music.

“My goal from making music is to be in national radio rotation which would be a dream come true,” Yesson said. “But honestly I just want people to hear me. I want to go out to America and test the water. I love American TV, music and culture. I’d like to take my music over there and share with the American audience.”

Rap is poetry.

Music is art.

With art and poetry underlines a true story within that musician’s life.

“As a child growing up was particularly difficult as I was raised by my single mother and I don’t know my dad,” Yesson said. “We never had much money and when I was younger I wanted to be a futbol (soccer) player but have recently changed focus. I have a half brother and sister both younger than me.”

Everyone loves the transition from a boy to man. Another example would be a girl to a woman. These are things the normal human pays attention to whether someone likes it or not. From I.T guy, to known UK artist, and the rest of the transition is put on hold until his next list of things planned.

“I’m currently working on my debut EP called “The Way Forward” which I will be releasing to iTunes in early 2016,” Yesson said. “It will be produced by Los Angeles based record label: Redstar Music Group owned by celebrity mentalist Morgan Strebler.”

You can expect some collaboration between DJ JY and a few other artists.


“2016 is going to be a busy year for me with new EP, singles and music videos,” Yesson said.