Sunday, June 12, 2016

NBA Playoff Seeding - Reformat!!!

One thing is clear several games into the 2016 NBA Finals. The playoff seeding needs to be changed. Right now it's the top 8 teams from each conference. There are cases seemingly every year when a really good team gets left out of the playoffs because of this. The 2007 Warriors finished the season with the 12th best record in the League but because they were 9th in the NBA standings, they missed out on the playoffs. They had a better record than 5 teams that made the playoffs. Same situation with the 2013 Phoenix Suns. This isn't the problem though. Honestly, the Suns and Warriors most likely would have been gone in the first round so it's not like it mattered. The issue with the current seeding is that means we are supposed to believe the Cleveland Cavaliers are the second best team in the League lol. The Thunder and Spurs would have been better Finals opponents for the Warriors. Hell, I'll take the Blazers over the Cavs too, shout out Rasheed Wallace.

It's ridiculous to argue that the top 16 teams should not be in the playoffs. The resisting, I'm assuming, has to be related to travel and the regular season schedule. First off, the travel. I understand if the Clippers get matched up with Toronto over a 7 game series, those are some long flights for everyone involved. Some long flights on a first class private plane with 2-3 days of rest in between games. This travel issue effects the players solely. Let the players decide if they would want the top 16 teams in the playoffs at the sacrifice of more convenient travel. I think we all know what the choice would be.

Alright, down to the nitty gritty. The real problem is the regular scheduling. Give the 2015-16 Cavs a Western Conference regular season schedule and it's safe to assume they don't have the same record. Same with the giving the Warriors an Eastern Conference schedule. Who knows if the Warriors still break the record if they play the Bucks and Celtics 4 times a year versus 2. So how can this be resolved?

Let's set parameters for an 82 game schedule (quick fix edition):
30 teams
6 divisions

Play each team in your division 4 times a year = 66 games left
Play other 25 teams at least twice = 16 games left
Play 3 teams from other divisions one additional time (rotate teams every year) = 1 game left
I don't care what they do with the one extra game

Adam Silver...holla at me. Peace

Cool Kids - Free Throws

Sunday, May 22, 2016

2016 NBA Final Four Power Rankings

The Final Four of the NBA Playoffs are getting exciting with the Raptors finally winning a game to make their series 2-1 against the Cavaliers and the Warriors head to Oklahoma City with the series tied at 1. I always hated on power rankings because I feel like it is a cop out when you can't think of anything to write and that is exactly what happened to me. Here is my power ranking of the remaining four teams and why they either will or won't take Larry O'Brien home come closing time.

Seriously the best player on Toronto right now

4. Toronto Raptors

NOT GON BE ABLE TO DO IT. Shout out to Jalen and Jacoby. The Raptors best player right now is Bismack Biyombo.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers

Either everyone is hyping up the Cavs or I just so happen to only follow people who hype them up. Regardless, people who are hyping them up are enamored with how the Cavs are playing and are missing the point on their new philosophy. If the Cavs and Warriors meet in the finals (where's David Stern at to make sure it happens), Cleveland's strategy is to get into a 3 point shooting contest with the Warriors. Let that strategy sink in. I mean yeah, North Korea can get into a nuclear war with America...but who are you taking to come out on top. The Cavs are North Korea and the Warriors are America by the way. LeBron is more than capable of hitting 3's but every team would rather have him do that than drive to the basket by a significant margin so it isn't a pick your poison type of situation. Kyrie Irving can be dangerous when he is on a roll but the Warriors thankfully have multiple defenders to throw at him to break his rhythm. This means the Cavs are relying on Kevin Love, JR Smith, and Channing Frye to bring shoot their way to a championship. It sounds good when everything is clicking and they're shooting 25 3's on the Pistons but the Thunder and Warriors offer a slightly tougher challenge. Also their best shooter, Kyrie, apparently has some kind of chest injury. When they lose in the Finals, I'm not trying to hear injury excuses again. I love Kyrie but the dude is made of paper mache. There is going to come a point in time where you can't make that injury excuse if it happens every year. Shout out to the soon to be Back to Back NBA Junior Varsity champs. And while we're working on getting Lil B courtside seats for the Warrior-Thunder series, can we work on getting Kehlani and PartyInTheHall some seats as well.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder

Whenever a team has 2 of the 5 best players in the world, they are going to have a chance to win every game. Come to think of it, the Thunder might have the most talent of anyone in the League. Their starting five consists of the #2, #4, #12, #24, and #26 picks of their respective drafts. Their main guys off the bench were the #3, #4, and #7 picks in their drafts. Shout out to Anthony Morrow too. 5 of their top 8 players were top 7 picks and the player who was selected #12 is Steven Adams so yeah, a ton of talent over there. I might be oversimplifying things here but in order to win the title, the Thunder need Westbrook and Durant to go crazy every game in addition to their role players hitting open shots. A1 analysis right there. ESPN, I'm available and I'll do it for half the price.

1. Golden State Warriors

Honestly, the purpose of this is to try and convince myself of a reason the Warriors won't win the title. That didn't work. I have never seen a team have to ability to turn the switch on/off at will. It really does seem like they play shitty sometimes because they are bored and want to see how bad they can play while still winning. The Warriors play like shit just to entertain themselves against the best competition in the world. They do, however, know when the spotlight is on and the team happily obliges to give us a show. Surprise, this is my pick to go home with Larry O'Brien but we shall see. It's still weird to me that Warriors are good. Shout out J-Rich. Peace.

1 Slam Dunk title and 1 Rookie Challenge MVP were all Warriors fans had to brag about before Steph

Friday, May 20, 2016

Post Malone - Monte

Post Malone. I, like everyone else, first heard of the dude from White Iverson. I initially thought White Iverson was Grayson Allen's nickname because I first heard of it right when Duke was making their championship run so I figured that is what everyone christened Yung Grayson. Grayson Allen has the most punchable face since Jay Cutler by the way. Anyways, once I found out White Iverson and Grayson Allen were two separate entities, I gave the track a shot. I liked it but it wasn't anything special. It was aiiigggghhht. Nothing original. Sounded like everything else at the time just from a different voice. Whenever it came on, I let it play all the way through and if someone were to play DJ and slap White Iverson, I wasn't mad at it. What I'm trying to say is that I could care less if Post Malone was going to be a one hit wonder or if he ended up winning 5 Grammys for Album of the Year.
When his new project, August 26th, came out, I still didn't care about Post Malone. I saw it there on the website but was like "maybe I'll give it a listen eventually." It came out the same day as the new Chance tape so I was on that tip for a good minute. Funny how I came across the new Post Malone project (really just the one track if I'm being honest) so I'll tell you. Like I said, I was bumping the new Chance project and I showed my homie my favorite track off of it, Mixtape. Shout out to Chance, Thugger, and Lil Yachty for that one. We started talking about Lil Yachty aka Lil Boat and the homie showed me his most recent verse. It happened to be a feature on the Post's project called Monte. I didn't think anything of it just by the track title so I said yeah bump that. Once I heard the words though I realized real quick it was about Monta Ellis.

For those that don't know how bad of a dude Monta Ellis was, people were legit outraged when the Warriors traded him instead of Steph Curry. Obviously I'm glad the team made the trade and it's ridiculous to question it looking back but there were reasons why fans were pissed. I can't put into words how bad the Warriors were but between the We Believe team and the juggernaut they have become today. Monta Ellis was the singular shining hope of Bay Area basketball in during that period. He gave everything he had every single night for a team that was guaranteed to miss the playoffs. Monta is a top 5 player to watch for me hands down. Anyways I digress...this song is dope as hell, no one is going to convince me otherwise. However...Post Malone bruh. How you going to misspell the title of the track? This is my only gripe with the track. Other than that, I think it's flawless. It's catchy, the beat is dope, and Post's flow is sick. Lil Yachty's verse was hella funny to me and straight comedy gold. In the last two days, I've had to of listened to this at least 200 times. And for those to say Post Malone and his project that "this isn't real hip-hop" go do something with your life and have some fun. This is a song about Monta Ellis by a white guy with cornrows and gold teeth from Dallas who blew up off a song called White Iverson. Don't listen to the song if you predetermined you were going to hate it. To sum it up, Monte might be my favorite song this year but don't hold me to it because I can't think right now. Definitely top 3. If you like the track spread the love. If not, don't be a hater and bash the guy. Use that time to find a song you do like. Peace

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

In Honor Of Travis Ishikawa

Travis Ishikawa was designated for assignment by the San Francisco Giants the other day meaning the Giants have no need for him at the moment. It's a semi-watershed moment for fans because Ishikawa did give the franchise and the fanbase one of its greatest moments EVER. This team has been around since the 1800s and Travis Ishikawa of all people graced us with one of the greatest baseball moments of all time. If Buster Posey did it, it would be up there in terms of moments for sure. It would have been even less of a surprise if Bumgarner hit that home run. However, it would not come within the same stratosphere in terms of shock value compared to Travis Ishikawa hitting the home run. It was so shocking because it was Travis Ishikawa. Such a random player to deliver us such joy. It got me thinking as to what are some other great moments came from seemingly random Giants players over the years. My memory is terrible so my favorite moments have come in recent years.

1. Travis Ishikawa

Might as well finish the Travis Ishikawa story. I remember texting my friend once Ishikawa started to get starts in Left Field that it would be some crazy shit to envision "World Champion starting left fielder...Travis Ishikawa." I mean, come on. The Giants were fighting for the final playoff spot and their best option to start meaningful games in the last week of the season that carried playoff implications was a 31 year old first baseman whose career had peaked as a backup at the position. Bruce Bochy decided putting this guy in the outfield for a team that relied heavily on its defense to win games gave them the best shot at winning the World Series. And then they wonder why they get underestimated. This is why Ishikawa hitting a walk off home run to win the pennant for a team that could not buy a home run until that night off of a pitcher who was the defending NLCS MVP and is a strong Cy Young candidate this year is such a shocking moment. I mean Ishikawa was released earlier in the year by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Giants made him go to the minor leagues before bringing him up. How is a movie not being written about this right now?

2. Cody Ross 2010 Postseason

His October made him a legend in the city of San Francisco forever. And they got him for nothing. The Marlins released him. How many General Manager ever had this thought cross their mind..."If we get Cody Ross, we're winning the World Series." I think my guess might be a little high but I'm going to say zero. But seriously, the Giants don't win the 2010 World Series without Cody Ross.

3. Guillermo Quiroz Walk Off Run

The fact that this was the second consecutive walk off home run because Buster Posey hit one the night before was the cherry on top. I never heard of Guillermo Quiroz until the Giants shocked the baseball world by keeping THREE catchers on the team. Okay, it wasn't that shocking but one of the catchers was the aforementioned reigning MVP, Buster Posey. Well Quiroz earned that third catcher spot and delivered when his name was called against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Everything about that sequence was beautiful. The swing, the flip, the fist pump around the bases, the fat man run, the smile, the embraces by teammates who knew that was his one shining moment, everything was perfect for Quiroz in that moment.

Monday, May 25, 2015

What Happened To...XV

Check the first two in the series of What Happened To...Asher Roth/Nipsey Hussle 

I think this is a fair enough question. XV is a rapper from Wichita, Kansas who seemed primed to breakout every year. XV first emerged with his mixtape 40 Days/40 Nights where he released one song in the morning and evening for 40 days straight. Then he got some more attention with 2009's Everybody's Nobody. That is when it seemed XV was primed to become the next underground superhero. He was working with Just Blaze and signed a deal with Warner Bros. Every year, the comment section on blogs across the internet always mentioned how XV got snubbed from being an XXL freshmen. He didn't let that stop him. In 2011 he released Zero Heroes, a mixtape featuring the likes of Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and Pusha T so it's not like he was working with strictly the underground of the underground. He was working with established guys and dudes who were set to blow up next. Still, no album though. Then the next year he dropped another mixtape, Popular Culture to some more rave reviews. However, still no album and then it felt like only the hardcore fans were the ones still following him. The push for him to get on the XXL cover diminished over the next few years. He temporarily slid out of irrelevancy last spring with his March Madness series but that was short lived. With this post, I'm going to try and see why and how XV seemingly fell off and how he can come back.

I have literally no idea what XV has been up to or where he is even chilling at. He's been MIA. It's kind of startling to be honest. He was supposed to be the next underground emcee to break on through to the mainstream but that was almost three years ago. I can't even find an interview written or on youtube since 2012. In an age where someone's every move, even if you are a minor celebrity, is recorded somehow there is an argument to be that the fact XV has been able to pull a Houdini is more impressive than him actually releasing an album. The only news we've gotten from him are promises that the album is coming and his March Madness series from a year ago. His twitter doesn't reveal anything. I haven't been able to find anything about his whereabouts on any message boards. All speculation and whatnot. So to answer the main topic of the article...My hands are up in the air about what happened to XV. He might be dead for all I know.

Say XV released his album back in late 2012 or 2013 like when it was supposed to be, allow me to offer my best oracle impression. I believe XV would have been a hit. He had catchy tracks, got co-signs from notable artists like Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, Talib Kweli, and Pusha T amongst others. Like I said earlier, Just Blaze was and for all I know is still set to executive produce the album. Just Blaze knows a little something about churning out hits. If you don't know who Just Blaze is, then wikipedia him. If you never heard of XV's music, picture a nerdy cross between J Cole and Lupe Fiasco. Late 2000's rap saw the genre move away from the gangsta rapper and ushered in acts like Kid Cudi, Drake, and the aforementioned Cole and Lupe. XV took the go against the grain approach and took it even further. He would spit about Wichita (his hometown), comic books, sample Smashing Pumpkins, and just do things out of the ordinary even for "conscious" rappers. The only question I would have for XV as a commercial artist is what kind of hits he would bring. He showed with Awesome that he can make a positive radio hit that could be played on commercials and self-esteem promos until the end of time but the question is whether or not he could make money. AKA make that club banger. That gets the radio spins which equals to getting the paper. XV seems like a grounded enough dude to at least try and stick to his guns and make an XV album versus making a Warner Bros album. Maybe that is what the delay has been about. Maybe XV isn't willing to compromise and that is why the album still has not come out. Who knows? But if he is really bashing heads with label execs they would have dropped him a long time ago. Labels don't put up with that. They know there are numerous rappers eager to jump at the chance to make a radio hit if that means becoming a company yes man.

Another theory I heard was that XV just hasn't been the same without longtime producer Seven. They had a falling out or something because they don't work together anymore which is kind of significant because part of the reason of how XV blew up was because of the music that he had conjured up with Seven. That's like running for President and then you and your running have beef over something and now you need a new running mate. There are obviously other candidates to replace your running mate and they might even be more talented but the replacement can't come in and replicate the same chemistry you had with the original one. It's that unspoken bond two people have that allows them to create something beautiful they can't necessarily match when working with someone else. Who knows. Maybe Seven felt some type of way about XV working with bigger names and felt he was getting left in the dust after all the work he had put in. Maybe XV was getting an ego and since he was on the move constantly, couldn't respond to Seven in timely manners. Who knows? I'm just throwing rumors out there which I am sure XV and Seven can appreciate. Oh well, free country. Maybe them seeing this will get them back into the lab together. You both aren't doing anything anyways. Might as well give it another shot. I don't even want any compensation for being the mediator. Just give the people what they want.

I really hope this helped slide XV back into your relevancy. I know I had zero thoughts about him until I came across one of his tracks while the iTunes was on shuffle. I'm pulling for him. Although absolutely every molecule of his momentum has evaporated, it would be a nice comeback story for XV to get some shine. Hell if he can crank out some hits, I think he'll actually do better than if he came out when he was supposed to because he would have more of an underdog story which we all know the media will eat up. The question then will be (other than if he ever breaks out) will be if it will be some 15 minutes of fame type stuff or was XV fooling us all and is a secret rap/mogul genius hiding out in farm country (or whatever Kansas is known for, other then perennial underachieving basketball teams).

Blu- The Only One