All Articles Tagged "NBA"

NBA Baller Tony Parker Is A Dad Again

August 1st, 2016 - By Allyson Leak
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NBA star Tony Parker is now a proud dad of two. On Friday, The San Antonio Spurs player and his wife, French Journalist Axelle Francine, welcomed their second child, Liam.

In February Parker announced the pregnancy news on his radio show “The Tony Parker Show” and said: “My wife is pregnant and our first son Josh is going to have a little brother,” he told listeners. “It’s due to happen in July.” And then later posted to twitter saying: “My wonderful wife and I are happy to announce that our son Josh is going to have a little brother! #familly #theparkers #happy”

On Friday he posted his excitement that their healthy new bundle had arrived on twitter in French and English: “My son Liam and his mommy are doing well, so glad to be a daddy for the second time.”

The happy couple married in San Antonio Texas in August of 2014 and had their first child, Josh, in April. Parker loves showing Josh off on Instagram and it probably won’t be long before we see pics of little Liam too.

The 34-year-old is one of five NBA players that will head to Brazil to compete in the upcoming 2016 Olympics with the French national team.

“[Pursuing the Olympics] was a decision which had to be taken together,” Parker told French sports newspaper L’Equipe before qualifying for the Rio team. “[Axelle] knows how important this is for me. We evaluated all the possibilities and I’ve made my decision. I said, ‘I’m going.’ ” He continued, “In making my choice, my goal is to live as best as possible these two great moments — to be there for the birth of my son, qualify France for the Olympics and end my career with France’s team with a beautiful Olympic medal which I can show my sons, Josh and Liam.”

He did however admit that playing with the France team stirs up emotions and said: “It will make a lot of emotions after 15 years in the France team, and even (20) going back to cadets at (age) 14 years,” Parker stated in late June after a workout at the AccorHotels Arena. And went on to say, “For the Spurs, I know I will still play for four, five years, while in France team, I know it’ll be the end. I want to enjoy every moment with my teammates.”

When he’s not taking care of little people, playing with the Spurs, or gearing up to compete in the Olympics, he makes time out of his busy schedule to give back. According to his wiki page, Parker donates a block of 20 tickets for each home game to underprivileged youth and is the first ambassador for Make-A-Wish France.

Parker states on his site: “I already knew Make-A-Wish as it is very famous around the world and I have previously taken part in the granting of wishes by meeting children and their families. I decided to commit to working with Make-A-Wish France when I understood the true dedication there and I realized that I could help to grant as many wishes as possible.

Michael Jordan’s Open Letter on Police Respect/Brutality is Too Little, Too Late

July 27th, 2016 - By Charing Ball
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Honestly, if Michael Jordan wasn’t going to say anything remotely revolutionary, then he probably shouldn’t have said anything at all.

It’s not that anything he wrote in his open letter on why he could no longer stay silent about police brutality and the cop killings, was particularly offensive – at least not as offensive as what is currently public discourse in this country on the issues of race and police brutality.

It’s that it’s too late for him to say anything at all, especially something as cautious as this:

“Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change.

“To support that effort, I am making contributions of $1 million each to two organizations, the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The Institute for Community-Police Relations’ policy and oversight work is focused on building trust and promoting best practices in community policing. My donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s oldest civil rights law organization, will support its ongoing work in support of reforms that will build trust and respect between communities and law enforcement. Although I know these contributions alone are not enough to solve the problem, I hope the resources will help both organizations make a positive difference.”

Yes, we get it, Jordan: All lives matter. Tell us something we haven’t been hearing for the past couple of years.

And while I would like to color myself surprised, what did anyone expect Jordan to say?

In spite of being a multi-championship winning, legendary basketball player, as well as a successful business man and co-owner of his own NBA team, he is also seen by many within the community as anti-Black and unlikable. It’s a reputation both earned and born out of conspiracy.

The conspiracy part helped to position Jordan as some sort of Black version of a evil tycoon super villain who peddles a product that promoted greed, conspicuous consumption and violence in the Black community. The belief is that people kill for Jordans and the actual Jordan took no responsibility – all while cashing in on millions.

As fictitious as the belief is, it is a theory that is only aided by Jordan’s real-life persona, which many have said was downright rude, competitive and antagonistic to other people of color, who he felt were less respectable than himself.

Or as rapper N.O.R.E once told the RapRadar podcast about a chance meeting with Jordan:

“I seen him shut Redman down at a Def Jam Christmas party,” the Queens native recalls. “We were all sitting there waiting to speak to Michael Jordan. N—-s said, ‘Yo, Redman and Method Man is here.’ [MJ] said, ‘F— rap.’ I seen the n—- say that.”

“That s— hurt me. Def Jam Christmas party, Mariah Carey hosting and s— like that,” he added. “He only spoke to Hov…that’s without a doubt.”

The way Jordan, and his cohorts, wanted us to see him was as a mentor. A hero. A perfect family man. A fine example of what can happen when a kid from a rough neighborhood bootstraps his way to the top. But ironically, it was the real and fanciful images of Jordan were instrumental in the deconstructing of a counter-narrative that Jordan – as well as the media and the NBA – had carefully crafted of the star player over the years.

And the dismantling of his image would ultimately come by the hands of a younger, more socially aware, generation of millennial (and younger), who turned decades of the community’s frustration with the legend into the now-infamous crying face Michael Jordan meme.

Or as noted by Ian Crouch in this article for the New Yorker entitled, “How Air Jordan Became Crying Jordan”

“The further we get from Jordan’s playing days, the easier it is to believe that he was just a marketing mirage. This is partly his doing, even if it’s not his fault. While he almost certainly never said “Republicans buy sneakers, too”—as is often attributed to him to explain why he remained mostly aloof from politics and quiet on social issues—he has always been a meticulous curator of his public image, and a vigilant protector of his right to earn money from his likeness. (There’s even mild concern on the Internet that Jordan, Inc., might soon try to come for Crying Jordan.) It’s ironic, too, that, as the man himself becomes inevitably less cool, the sneaker brand that bears his name has become only more sought-after and fetishized, to the point that “Jordan” and “Jordans” mean very different things. Just last summer, Jordan fell victim to a different Web meme while taking questions from kids at a basketball camp. In a gymnasium packed with young people, a camper popped up and shouted “What are those?” at Jordan, mocking the legend’s new sneakers. The entire place erupted in laughter. Getting owned by a seventeen-year-old: the world must seem like a strange place to Michael Jordan these days.

A new generation of basketball fans knows only this earthly, diminished Jordan, and it seems to have decided that he holds up poorly compared to the man who now claims the title of best player on the planet: Steph Curry. Curry, like Jordan in his day, represents a step forward in the evolution of basketball. And he is the centerpiece of a team that not only wins a lot of basketball games (the most ever this season, surpassing Jordan’s 1995-1996 Bulls) but appears to have a great deal of fun doing so. It’s impossible to imagine Curry punching a teammate in practice, or mocking the lesser players on his team. Curry radiates only joy, which, for now, seems as though it will last forever. Of course, Jordan was young once, too.

“I think eventually people are going to recognize the crying Jordan face more than his actual legacy,” a real twenty-four-year-old person told the Wall Street Journal earlier this year. Please, put a Crying Jordan face on that millennial. And then put one on me, and on everyone else.”

As some will note, Jordan has given very generously over the years, and mostly in secret.

But as many others will argue, charity, while helpful, is not the same thing as activism or organizing. The money that he pledged to two organizations aimed at bridging the gap between the police and the Black community in no way competes his physical presence at negotiations with state legislatures to overturn the North Carolina bathroom law.

In an open letter where many were hoping to see Jordan finally take a stand for something, he chose to ride the fence.

And while some might be impressed that a man, known for not saying much about race, finally said something, for others his words and charity are too little and too late.

After His Presidency, Could Obama Become An NBA Team Owner?

June 23rd, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Photo Credit: WENN

Photo Credit: WENN

It’s no secret that President Barack Obama loves to hoop. So much so that shortly after taking office, he had the White House tennis court adapted so it could be used for both tennis and basketball. But now, with his stay in the White House coming to a close in January, he’s drawing out a game plan of his next big moves. And according to press secretary Josh Earnest, becoming an NBA owner is a possible option, ESPN reports.

Yesterday (June 22), Earnest shared that “potentially… under the right circumstances,” Obama would pursue the opportunity of being a part of an ownership group for an NBA franchise.

The idea also came up in GQ‘s past November issue when Obama gushed that he’d “absolutely” want to join an NBA ownership group. “I have fantasized about being able to put together a team and how much fun that would be,” he said. “I think it’d be terrific.”

President-turned-NBA owner, what do you all think?

Are We Ignoring Black Men In The Colorism Conversation?

June 7th, 2016 - By Charing Ball
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AP Images

AP Images

I believe Black folks, in particular, should have more open conversations about colorism.

However, one of my biggest pet peeves with the entire colorism debate is the framing. More specifically, how most public conversations on the issue tend to only address colorism and its effect on Black women.

Of course, colorism is not only a Black woman’s problem. It isn’t just about hair textures and skin tones and adequacy issues. It’s not just about Black women feeling they are too dark to be valued and too light to feel Black enough. It is not all in women’s heads nor is it our cross to bear alone. Instead, it is an issue that affects all of us. And that includes the brothers too.

And yet, it is rare to hear or read anything about how the brothers relate to their own, or to each other’s, skin tones. This is one of the reasons I appreciate Georgetown University sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson’s latest essay, which is entitled, “The Color Line: Stephen Curry’s prominence resurfaces issues of colorism among blacks.”

Well, I should say that I sort of appreciate it.

As the title suggests, this essay tries to make Curry’s light skin tone an issue among all blacks. Dyson even managed to tie Beyoncé and Lil’ Kim into his discussion that is largely about Curry. However, if we read between the lines, it is clear that all of us are not the primary focus here. For one, the article appears on Undefeated, which is generally a sports site. And who is the primary audience of sporting news and opinion pieces? The menfolk.

And secondly, women are fans of the Golden State Warrior MVP player. I’ll just leave it at that.

But aside from the topic’s questionable framing, I am here for it. I too have noticed the subtle shade being thrown at Curry among men. I see the light-skinned jokes on social media. And I personally know of Black men who don’t mess with him as a player simply because he is light skinned.

These sort of instigations do not exist in a bubble. They are very much examples of how brothers are active players in colorism just as much as the sisters. In short, some have no problems accepting and loving redbone women, but will object in a minute to a redbone man.

And as Dyson noted:

The politics of shade have shadowed black folk from the time we set foot in North America. Curry’s fame has upped the ante: Suspicion surrounds him because of his light skin, and because he’s been lauded by both the NBA and media establishments. The subliminal message has become explicit: Curry is a brother we may not be able to embrace because the powers that be embrace him too. Curry is not the first black man who makes some black folk uneasy because America loves him as much as we do, but he may be the most popular contemporary figure evoking that dilemma. And Curry’s color is at the heart of that dilemma.

There’s little question that Curry’s skin has inflamed a racial wound that may be invisible to folk outside the culture: the plague of colorism, or skin tone, that has yet to be conquered. Curry’s light skin and its relation to — some would argue the crucial reason for — his broad cultural appeal has not gone unnoticed.

“James Harden doesn’t stand a chance to win the MVP,” a college professor on the West Coast proclaimed in his class when I visited his school in 2015, referring to Curry’s closest competitor for the award. “He’s too dark and ‘too black.’”

Dyson then goes on to write about the time during an NBA 2K-sponsored panel discussion when Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder said that he initially didn’t believe Curry was Black when they first met.

Or as Dyson wrote of the exchange:

“I thought he was white,” Durant said. “He was this yellow kid, right? I’m just being real now, right? Where I come from, in the hood, we don’t see that. We don’t see the light-skinned guys around. It was all guys like me.” As the darker-skinned Durant told the story, Curry was engulfed in guffaws as he rested his left hand on Harden’s back, who was bent over in laughter. There was clearly no offense meant or taken.

Still, there is a premise or two suppressed in the logic of Durant’s remarks. First, “hood” and “dark” imply an inverse relation to “light” and “suburban,” or somewhere that is definitely not the ghetto. Class distinctions abound in Durant’s observations.

“I thought he was white,” Durant said. “He was this yellow kid, right? I’m just being real now, right? Where I come from, in the hood, we don’t see that. We don’t see the light-skinned guys around. It was all guys like me.”

Second, “ ‘hood” in the coded speech of black identity means “real.” Durant channels what passes for common sense among many blacks: that a “real” black may be the darker one, and the lighter black is suspect and inauthentic because his or her skin reflects symbolic, if not literal, ties to the white world. There would be no light skin if there weren’t white skin in the game — either through the raping of black women on slave plantations, or in less-volatile relations between black men and white women.

As Dyson noted, Durant isn’t the only player with colorism issues. Retired Philadelphia 76er Allen Iverson once referred to Curry in an interview as “That light-skinned dude.” And retired Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant once “admonished” former teammate Jordan Clarkson for “driving to the basket like a light-skinned dude.”

As Dyson wrote, both of these comments, as well as the many made daily online, illustrate how Black folks have fed into some pretty nasty ideals about light skin not being Black enough. “Often, without proof, lighter blacks are indicted for the sin that their skin suggests they’ve committed — the sin of collusion with white society to derive advantage from their elevated status,” Dyson said. “In such a view, their choices are narrowed to either eagerly embracing light privilege, or disdaining light skin as the mark of racial heresy — a sign of the denial of authentic blackness at the level of the epidermis.”

You can read the essay in its entirety here. I suspect that for many Black womenfolk, in particular, the ones who have been beaten over the head with the colorism issue, there are very few revelations in anything Dyson wrote. In fact, the essay itself is pretty elementary and self-evident.

But again, the mere fact that this issue was broached from a brother, among other brothers, makes it worth the consideration.

Though for some reason, I expected more of a reaction to the article. This should have gone viral the same way that the conversations about Lil’ Kim’s drastic transformation did. And yet, this piece has barely gained any traction.

Hmm, I wonder why…



That Fight With Derek Fisher Will Cost Matt Barnes $64,000

December 28th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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That Fight With Derek Fisher Will Cost Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes’ name appeared in the headlines at least twice this year. One time, when he claimed he was dating Rihanna and another when he fought his former friend and teammate Derek Fisher. For those who don’t remember, the two men got into a physical altercation after Barnes learned that Fisher was at home with his estranged wife and two sons.

Barnes drove over to the home; and while we don’t know what happened afterward, there was clearly some type of scuffle.

Both authorities and the NBA looked into the incident and a punishment has been rendered.

According toYahoo Sports, Barnes, who plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, has been suspended for two games. He is expected to serve the suspension on Tuesday’s game against the Miami Heat and Saturday’s game against the Utah Jazz.

Sitting out for these two games will cost Barnes $64,000 in salary.

What do you think about this punishment? Is it sufficient or too much?

NBA Stars Lend Their Voice To Anti-Gun Violence PSA

December 27th, 2015 - By Ashley Monaé
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As many of us know, Christmas Day was chock full of family and friends, good food, gift-giving, and of course all the men in the family huddled around the TV watching several hours of basketball.

However, the NBA stars that are known for defensive plays and scouring triple doubles, decided to talk about much more than their love for the game. On Christmas, a public service announcement debuted, in which four ballers – Stephen Curry, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Joakim Noah – lent their voices to an anti-gun violence campaign by Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization that aims to prevent gun violence.

“My daughter Riley is that age,” Curry says, referring to a three-year-old girl that was fatally shot over the summer. “The gun should never be an option,” Anthony says during his segment.

The series of videos, which aired as one commercial, was shot by director Spike Lee, who is also a member of the organization’s creative council.

“I think [Lee] sensed and saw that our guys were feeling that same passion that he had and he reached out to Adam [Silver, the NBA’s commissioner] and said, ‘I want to do something about this and I think we should do it together,’ and we thought it was a good idea,” said NBA president of social responsibility and player programs, Kathy Behrens.

“The guys really wanted to kind of put their voices behind this, and so we like the way it’s come together, and I think the guys speak very passionately about the issue of trying to end gun violence, trying to make their communities stronger and safer for families.”

Watch each of the NBA player’s video segment below.

Gifts For Him: Grab The Guy In Your Life The NBA’s New Christmas Jerseys

November 21st, 2015 - By Ashley Monaé
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With the holiday season about to kick off next week, it’s about that time to get your Christmas shopping underway if you already haven’t.

And when it comes to that special man in your life whether it’s your father, brother, boyfriend or husband, it can sometimes be tough to find the perfect gift they’ll love and actually use — not collect dust on a bedside table or some random nook or cranny in their house.

Luckily, every man’s favorite acronym, has made Christmas shopping this year a cinch. Having released new 2015 NBA Christmas Jerseys that everyone in the league will wear as their uniform while hooping on Christmas day, it’s a definite must-have for a basketball fanatic. The holiday-inspired jerseys give a nod to holiday greeting cards with a special scripted font, a scarlet NBA seal, in addition to primary team colors and cream tones.

Ladies, head over to the NBA store to snag a jersey for him. Do be forewarned that the limited-edition jerseys are a bit pricey at $109.99, but it’s definitely something he’ll enjoy time and time again.

Cougar Alert! Celeb Women Who Like Younger Men

July 31st, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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Nicki Minaj Meek Mill Couples People Don't Take Seriously

Image Source: Instagram


It’s pretty common to see a male celeb dating a younger woman. In fact, it’s expected. But nowadays celeb women are looking for their own PYT (pretty young things), and we are so here for it. Check out these 15 celeb women who are getting their cougar on!

Game, Set, Match: 15 Black Athletes Who Are Dominating

July 15th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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Serena Williams Wimbledon


The world’s biggest athletes will receive honors for their achievements at the 2015 ESPY Awards tonight. With so many Black athletes commanding their courts, fields, stages, and rings, we decided to look at 15 of today’s biggest and most dominant Black athletes in the world of sports.

Was It Riley Curry’s Charm? ABC Has Highest Ratings Ever For Last Night’s NBA Final

June 17th, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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It seems like everybody and their mama turned on the tube to watch the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers battle it out on the basketball court. According to CNN Money, ABC had the highest rated NBA finals since the network became its exclusive broadcaster in 2003.

The 2015 NBA finals, with Golden State’s Steph Curry and Cleveland’s LeBron James as the stars, reeled in a 13.9 average rating, up from 2014’s 10.6 rating. The sixth and final game, which aired on Tuesday, ABC posted a 15.9 average rating.

“It is the highest game six in ABC’s history of airing the Finals,” Entertainment Weekly said. “The ratings reached a peak with an 18.8 rating in the 11:45 p.m.-midnight window.”

Whether audiences were pleased with the results or not, massive numbers of people watched the Warriors kick the Cavaliers’ butt in a 105-97 victory — an estimated 20 million tuned in, according to Variety. These numbers are record-breaking for ABC, but in league history, Michael Jordan’s 1998 finals game was the biggest draw ever.

“That series received an average overnight rating of 18.9, continuing a long trend of big numbers for the Finals during the 1980s and 1990s,” SB Nation wrote. “…the Bulls topped the Utah Jazz in six games thanks to Jordan’s heroics.”

The 2015 NBA Finals champions, the Golden State Warriors, also experienced their own record-breaking achievement. It’s been 40 long years since the Bay Area team won a championship — and Curry is finally basking in all its glory.

“I’ve seen [this trophy] on TV so many times,” said Curry, according to Yahoo! Sports. “You dream about what it would be like to pour champagne on yourself. And when that moment comes, holding the trophy and the champagne is falling in my face, that’s when it all sinks in.”

“This is real. It’s the best champagne I ever tasted in my life,” he added.

SBNation concluded that the NBA Finals broadcast was a “major success.”