Despite a LeBron-less path to the top of the Eastern Conference, the Charlotte Hornets continue to buzz unnoticed. They sit firmly in the playoff race at 5-5, having lost a few close games and having stomped some unworthy opponents. Cardi B’s favorite baller, Kemba Walker, has picked up where he left off last season. He currently averages a cool 28.0 points per game on 46% shooting, to go with nearly six assists per game. However, for all his accomplishments, Kemba has never gotten his due. Part of the reason might be his inability to beat the best. Heading into this season, Kemba’s team faced LeBron’s team twenty-two times. Twenty-two times, Kemba lost. Why? Kemba has the chip on his shoulder and flashy handles of a Hornet, but LeBron, poised and composed, is more like a wasp.
“Let’s make a Black baseball team.” William C. Rhoden, author of Forty Million Dollar Slaves, shared that idea, speaking on behalf of former MLB manager Jerry Manuel. It would reinvigorate interest in the game from Black players, he said. It would make baseball more exciting. Most importantly, it would connect the game to Black culture and bring along more all-time greats like Hank Aaron, like Willie Mays. It’s a fun idea.
Jimmy Butler, the workhouse, the self-made star, doesn’t wanna be in Minnesota. It’s hard to blame him. Appearing to have all the ingredients for sustained success, this iteration of the Timberwolves has failed to come close to reaching its potential. Despite the production of all-star unicorn Karl-Anthony Towns, the unmatched natural talent of “Maple Jordan” Andrew Wiggins, and the defensive tenacity of coach Tom Thibodeau, along with Jimmy Buckets, the T-Wolves only managed to snag the eighth seed last year. When Butler was injured for the last quarter of the season, the team had a losing record. They can’t seem to put all the promise together. There’s constant bickering, passive-aggressive shots, and unproductiveness on the court. This team whines with potential.
Today is Christopher Columbus Day, a symbolic celebration of our country’s lifelong commitment to the erasure of Native Americans without their consent. Two days ago was Stanford football’s Set The Expectation game, a symbolic celebration of football’s commitment to present itself as an upstanding, positive institution while it exploits players’ bodies and in many cases…
“You must really like the Suns,” my friend suggested, pointing to my purple T-shirt emblazoned with “PHOENIX BASKETBALL” across the chest. It was an innocent mistake; one people make all the time when I wear my Diana Taurasi Phoenix Mercury shirt. The orange spherical logo is placed aside, so that the big letters are all you see unless you look closely. I cherish that shirt. Later in the day I hooped on the Wilbur courts, doing my best to warmly welcome frosh with an L. The shirt feels like it belongs in a pickup game.
Trump’s groundbreaking meeting with North Korea was canceled because “hostile” behavior on their part. Trump explained that this missed opportunity “is a tremendous setback for North Korea.” In related news, the NFL announced their new national anthem policy which, believe it or not, they claim to have thought about carefully. They have decided that players are not allowed to express themselves or their views in any way that does not include standing for the entire national anthem. (They do get the choice to wait in the tunnel off the field.) This new policy is a disgrace to the NFL for a number of reasons, some of which I’ll discuss here.
Who are the best coaches in the league? The typical fan might rattle off a list like: Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr, Rick Carlisle, Brad Stevens, maybe Erik Spoelstra. It’s not often that you hear of a black coach celebrated for his success. Raptors coach Dwane Casey had a great season this past year, and likely will win coach of the year. But, his team got bounced from the playoffs early on. Already, critics are calling for him to be fired while uplifting white coaches like Brad Stevens.
Not like this. Not like this. This wasn’t how it was supposed to happen. Sure, I thought they might not win the Finals. I knew, deep down, that this team was fatally flawed in a way Golden State would be able to exploit. But I was so sure it would take the Warriors. I was so determined that they’d at least make the conference finals. Instead, they lost to the Jazz. Not like this.