Reality Check

8 12 2009

by: christow

“The truth is generally seen and rarely heard”

Can you tell which videos are real and which are fake? Or are they all real?

In the 90’s and early 2000’s, CGI clearly drew the line between animations and reality. We could see with our own eyes the aliens, explosions, “twins” and space scenes and we would know the real from the movie magic. We knew when we walked into those theaters that we were paying for the entertainment of the films and we engaged in the trickery.

But now…some of that trickery has encompassed the viral realm. For those that have heard the term but are unfamiliar, viral videos are those that gain notoriety through the internet via social media or video sharing sites. Just think of videos like this and that.

For the most part, viral videos have the look and feel of being homemade and done by someone like you or me. These viral videos were able to catch some of those moments we all need to satisfy our need for entertainment or to visualize something we had heard through the grapevine. For a while Youtube delivered that void of our imagination.

And now we have this…

Marketing has now broken into the viral realm and in many facets blurred the line of reality. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy watching these videos produced or real. To me these videos serve as entertainment purposed only. My concern though is when we reach points where we do need to authenticate a video, will we be able to?

I honestly can’t tell with some of videos now because the quality of video is supposed to be low. So unless something stands out as incredibly fake or unreal I simply have to cast off most videos as entertainment and entertainment only. The best way for me to actually believe if a video is real or not is actually the source in which I find the video. There are certain blogs that I “trust” more than others and certain websites I get more assurance from. Even then I am leaving myself vulnerable to the persuasion of others, something I don’t feel all too comfortable with. What I fear are the videos that will come out that could possibly tarnish reputations and create false hysteria, so keep your eyes pealed and don’t be fooled by all the Youtube magic.

Download ~ Binary Star – Reality Check





Who Controls the Butter?

6 11 2009

by: Kevin Connors

On Sundays

Who has control of the butter? That’s an important answer to know as you go through life. Myron Rolle is a guy who in 20 years everyone will know: from high society executives with their perfect posture and thorough knowledge of fine wines, to the guys on Sundays who never quite make it to the stadiums because they got to the parking lot at 8AM for a 4PM game. Rolle is our generation’s scholar-athlete. Despite the fact he is still only an amateur, his demonstrated athletic ability as a college football player at Florida State University dovetailed with his academic success can only leave us wondering one question: what’s next? Enrolled in St. Edmund at the University of Oxford, Rolle is studying for a master’s degree in medical anthropology—which essentially translates to “Bro! This dude is really smart…he’s studying how guys like you and me are affected by health care and all that shizz-nit.” Well let me tell you that, “dude” this guy really is THAT smart. With desires to one day be a neurosurgeon, Rolle now finds himself in one of the most elite clubs our world knows as a Rhodes Scholar. Bill Clinton’s lawyer? Yeah, he was one. Oh, and Bill Clinton? He was one too back in ’68. The guy who invented that little GPS you use in your car? That was made by Ivan Getting, a Rhodes Scholar in 1933. The list goes on and on, from the former president of Pakistan, Wasim Sajjad, to the presidents of some of the most prestigious universities in the world. The Rhodes Scholar alumni list reads like a Who’s Who in the world of geniuses.

Our parents’ Myron Rolle was a guy named Bill Bradley.

Player

Case and point, the commencement speaker at my graduation this past spring was Chris Matthews, a popular political commentator and TV show host of Hardball on MSNBC. Matthews started off his speech by explaining to us this idea of “who has control of the butter” with a story about player turned Senator Bill Bradley…

“Do you guys know who Bill Bradley is? Well, let’s just say he’s everything you’d want to be and more. So here’s Bill one evening at a dinner at the White House. The waiter is filling water glasses and passing out bread and butter. Bill says to the guy, ‘Hey you, waiter. Get me some more butter, this just isn’t enough.’ To which the waiter says, ‘I’m sorry, each guest only receives one serving of butter.’ Nearly hysterical Bradley then goes on to ask, ‘Son, do you know who I am?’ A bit startled at the challenge the waiter says ‘No, I’m sorry sir, but I don’t.’ Leaning back with an assured grin Bradley then begins, ‘I’m Bill Bradley. I was an All-American basketball player at Princeton and got an Olympic gold before even graduating. Then I turned down the NBA to be a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. After finishing that up I came back to the US, played for 10 seasons with the Knicks and won two championships. Then I retired and became a senator. Oh yeah, and then I ran for President.’ Taken aback a bit by the aggressiveness in Bradley’s short outburst, the waiter took a few moments to gather himself then returned the brazen stare and said, ‘I don’t think you know who I am.’ ‘Well, who ARE you?’ Bradley asked. The waiter grinned, ‘I’m the guy in charge of the butter. One per person.” And with that, the waiter walked away.

Myron Rolle is a guy who knows who’s in control of the butter at all times. It’s something to aspire to become but there’s just no shame in looking at a guy like that and thinking, “Damn, what a great guy. Best of luck, Myron.”

Future NFLer and Rhode Scholar Myron Rolle – NYTimes

Clipse – I’m Good

Download – I’m Good





The Thrown is Up For Grabs

5 11 2009

by: christow

The King

The crown sits on top of Air Canada eternally for me. No one, none of the highlights I can muster up have changed my mind that Vince Carter was and is the greatest dunker of all time. He took Mike’s style, Dominque’s power, and Dr. J’s finesse and made it his own. From 1999 to 2002 there was not a night on Sportscenter that did not chronicle another highlight clip to add to his resume, he made those NBA Live dunks come to life. What separated Vince from the likes was his determination to dunk on anyone and anything in front of him. You could throw a giraffe in the key and Vince Carter will make it his mission to posterize it.

Let’s refresh your memory.

If you can’t watch 7 minutes of highlights, I suggest just watching the last minute, it’ll be the best minute of your day.

Dr. J established the dunk as a viable way to score two points, Jordan revolutionized the art of dunking, and Vince Carter conquered the dunk.

I believe we are in a very dry state of high flyers in today’s game. There isn’t one name that comes up to the question of, who is the best dunker today? Here is a brief list of the players who could possibly hold that crown.

Josh Smith

Josh Smith

Similar to Dominique Wilkins, Josh Smith has the meanest windmill in the game right now. At 6’9 he has no problems getting up there, but what he lacks is the flair and the consistency. He already won the dunk contest back in 2005, but he really has not made himself a household name yet. He makes LeBron’s cockback dunk look elementary, but Smith simply doesn’t dunk on people. He has all the freakish athleticism to fit the mold, but when you watch his highlights, he remains just a fast break open court dunker.

J.R. and Nate

J.R. Smith and Nate Robinson

6’6 is the magic number for a dunker. Just tall enough to pull off amazing look dunks without making it look too easy because you’re already tall, and not too short to be able to pull those amazing looking dunks that are great because they are great and not because the dunker was small.

Michael Jordan (6’6)
Kobe Bryant (6’6)
Vince Carter (6’6)
Clyde Drexler (6’7)
Julius Erving (6’7)
Harold Miner (6’5)
J.R. Rider (6’5)

I had high hopes for J.R. Smith when he entered the dunk contest a few years ago. Everyone talked about how this guy was a high flyer, a leaper, a dunker. Because he played on the Hornets and didn’t receive much playing time, I figured he’s just getting used to the league. The 2005 dunk contest was his opportunity to prove the hype right (or wrong). So on the main stage he delivered the behind the back dunk. On paper and through word of mouth this sounds like a dope dunk that really hadn’t been done yet.

But he missed his first try. The hype bubble burst, the flair was gone, we knew what was coming. And really the approach he took for the behind the back dunk just didn’t look cool. Why not go behind the back on the baseline and end up on the other side for the flush? Since he appearance in the dunk contest J.R. has shown glimpses of becoming a great player, but just hasn’t put it all together to be a complete player. In fact, today he is known more for his 3-point ability more so than his high flying acrobatics. Sorry J.R. I guess 6’6 wasn’t a lucky number for you.

As for Nasty Nate? Anyone who watched this little guy run things with Brandon Roy in Washington knew this kid could get up. Gary Coleman with hops?!? He had that (for lack of a better word) swag, that little train that could. He brought out Spud Webb (he should have lined up Muggsy Bogues and Earl Boykins too) and showed the world he was serious. I won’t lie, KrypotNate earned the his crown in 2006 (and arguably in 2008).

But the problem for Nate, which he showed in the most recent dunk contest, is being a short dunker limits your ability to be a creative dunker. A short dunker’s biggest attribute is his height. Normal dunks look cooler because they aren’t supposed to be done by someone under 6’0. Nate simply doesn’t get the opportunity (and realistically) can’t dunk over someone like Dwight Howard, Deron Williams, or Shaq in a real live game. Nate earned his dunking legend but just like Spud Webb, he is more of a slam dunk legend than anything else.

King James

Lebron James

It’s pretty simple why Lebron James would be on this list. He is the most freakish athlete I have ever seen. At 6’8 he is as strong as a linebacker but moves like a wide-receiver, on the basketball court. Out of every player in the NBA, LeBron beats the rim down the hardest. Every dunk the insurance company on the hoop holds their breath.

The problem? LeBron has ZERO creativity when it comes to dunking the ball. This the real reason why we haven’t seen LeBron in a dunk contest the past few years. His signature dunk is bringing his arm back as far as he can with one arm. He’ll sometimes throw his off hand on his head, you know for style. I guess well you are built like a Ford F250 you won’t be able to make the turns like a BMW. But this is why I cannot consider LeBron the best dunker today, because the excitement only on how hard he will dunk, and not how he will dunk the ball. You got time kid, in fact since you mentioned you will be in this year’s dunk contest, you have 4 months.

Dwight

Dwight Howard

Dwight has all the tools to destroy every hoop he touches. He is 7’0 and built like an armored Hummer (the army version). But have you seen Dwight dunking the ball in a game?

Jaw-Dropping? Not really. Dwight can jump for a big man but he doesn’t SLAM the ball. He treats the hoop like he treats the NBA media, with smiles and high fives. Hang on the rim Dwight, scream a little, put some fear into the groundskeeping crew that they will have to roll out a new hoop this season.

Dwight should be the best dunker in the game. Think about it, if Vince can dunk on people at 6’6, Dwight should be able to serve up every single player in the NBA. So I suggest Dwight to watch every single clip of Shaq and Amare Stoudamire. They treated the hoop like a a Piñata with gold bars in it.

Get it Dwight?

So the question is, who is the best dunker in the NBA right now?

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Bonus

James White

Probably the most fun dunker I have seen since Vince. His problem? He can’t find a home in the NBA. Can’t someone just keep him around long enough so he can be eligible for the dunk contest?





Time to Shine

18 10 2009

by: christow

Here are the players I’m most excited to see play this coming season.

the kid

Kevin Durant

Who was the last great lights out shooter in the NBA? Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, Glen Rice are the first names that come to mind. These were players that anywhere past the half court line could drain a shot. Kevin Durant has one of the sweetest strokes in the game and he combines that deadly touch with a 6’9 frame. He can kill you with his jumpshot, drive to the basket and the scariest part is he’s still putting it all together. With two years under his belt and at the tender age of 21, he has all the talent in the world to become be a superstar. Talent is all too common in professional sports, which is why I am so excited to watch Durant. Can he combine the work ethic and the skills this coming season? If he can (and I believe he will) Durant is likely to become the leagues premier scorer, watch out D-Wade and LeBron.

For the Stat geeks:

’07-08: 20.3 PPG 4.4 RPG 2.4 APG 43% FG 28% 3P

’08-09: 25.3 PPG 6.5 RPG 2.8 ASG 47% FG 42% 3P

The stat I want to watch the most? Assists.

randolph

Anthony Randolph

There is no hype greater for a player next season than Anthony Randolph. In the same way that Kevin Garnett was able to transcend the power forward position, the entire San Francisco Bay Area has high hopes for the youngest player in the NBA (just 20 years old).

Why I’m excited to see him play?

Don Nelson is notorious for his small ball type of play, but even more so for how tormenting his doghouse is for young players. I believe Randolph is in the same mold of a Chris Bosh hybrid forward. He can do a little bit of everything scoring wise, and his athleticism could develop into a monster on the defensive side. Scariest of all is Randolph’s ability to handle the ball. In his first summer league appearance last year, Randolph spent time at the point! Randolph can push the envelope and become a trailblazing point-forward type of player (a point forward is similar to a point guard, but just in the frame of a bigger frame *think Grant Hill, Magical Johnson, and Lebron James). If he can somehow find minutes on the court for the players, it will an interesting core of players to grow from with Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins.

Rose

Derrick Rose

This soft-spoken point guard is a monster on the court. During the playoff series with the Boston Celtics last season, he showed that he had the poise to be manage a team. With the departure of Ben Gordon (a very gifted scorer), more pressure (and opportunity) awaits Rose, the Chicago native. There is no doubt that Derrick Rose will be a great player in the NBA, the question is how good will he be? The reason I’m so excited to see him play this season is to see that development. Will he shoulder the load of an entire team through his scoring capabilities? Or will he develop into a well-rounded point guard that makes everyone better?

granger

Danny Granger

He is built in the same physical frame as Lebron James. At 6’8 and 223 lbs. Mr. Granger is the do-it-all player for the Pacers. Last season he was 5th in the league in scoring and this year we will likely see slip into the top 5. Kobe and Dirk Nowitzki (3rd and 4th in points per game) both have improved rosters on their teams this year and they will most likely contribute less points this upcoming season because they simply don’t have to. Believe it or not, Granger was also one of the best 3-point shooters in the game last season, ranking 4th with 3’s made and shooting at a high percetange (40%, on par with Ray Allen). Now that he proved he can score, Granger spent the off-season working on ball-handling and passing. If he can develop into a complete player and increase his assists from 2.7 a game up to the 4 assists a game range, he and the Pacers will improve dramatically this season. I’m excited to see the development of Granger and if he can become the same type of player as the King.

Dev the Dude

Devin Harris

Devin the dude is the closest thing to Gilbert Arenas since Gilbert Arenas because the kid can flat out score. Last season he break in the 20 PPG territory as a point guard. That number should only increase this season because with Vince Carter now gone, he and Brooke Lopez are the face of the New Jersey Nets. Harris also increased his assists to just under 7 a game so we know he can also distribute the ball. I am excited to see Harris play because I want to see if he becomes one of the leagues best scoring point guards, or if he can develop into an all-around player and make his teammates better. I am leaning towards the former because I believe he has and always will be a scoring guard and his supporting cast just isn’t solid enough this season. Lookout for Devin Harris to explode as an offensive machine this season as well.