Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Downtown Shannon Brown!!

Shannon had an all-around great game last night but of course the highlights are his dunks. The 1st is an old skool alley-oop from Lamar Odom. Just a great heads up play. The second is an outlet pass from Derek Fisher that has him SKYING!! The final dunk is just STRAIGHT UP NASTY!! It's a put back of a free-throw miss by Andrew Bynum. Check out Shannon's walk after the dunk...SWAGGA!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lakers Make Visit to White House

Lakers Make Visit to White House
By Elliott Teaford, Staff Writer
Updated: 01/25/2010 11:48:12 PM PST

President Barack Obama smiles as he poses with members of the Lakers on Monday in the East Room of the White House. (Alex Brandon/The Associated Press)

WASHINGTON - The Lakers took a field trip Monday afternoon. They met President Barack Obama and visited the White House as his guests in the East Room, smiling and laughing like giddy school children instead of NBA champions.

Obama hosted the Lakers players, coaches, staff and executives and assorted friends and family. He gave them a few chuckles and they gave him a gold-and-purple Lakers jersey with his name on the back and a signed basketball.

Jeanie Buss and Magic Johnson represented the Lakers' ownership. General manager Mitch Kupchak joined them and the Lakers players and coaching staff. They all stood on risers behind the president, who spoke from behind a podium.

Gold drapes adorned the ballroom, which made it feel all the more comfortable for the Lakers. Obama seemed at ease while praising Kobe Bryant and Lakers coach Phil Jackson and bantering with Johnson.

The president also took a moment to thank Jordan Farmar, Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol for their efforts in raising money for earthquake victims in Haiti. He shook hands with everyone on the stage and also greeted Bryant's daughters, Natalia and Gianna.

"I'm especially excited to meet Coach Phil Jackson, the Zen Master," Obama said during a 15-minute ceremony. "I've been a fan of Coach Jackson's ever since his days running the triangle offense in Chicago (Obama's adopted hometown).

"I want to congratulate him on his 10th NBA championship - the most in history. I do want to point out that six of them came with the Bulls." Obama then pantomimed Michael Jordan's classic layup in which he switched the ball from one hand to the other while in midair during the 1991 NBA Finals, when Jordan and the Bulls defeated Johnson and the Lakers.

"You remember that, Magic?" Obama said. Johnson laughed and said, "Yes, sir."

Later, downstairs in the Diplomatic Reception Room, a laughing Johnson told Lakers beat reporters he wanted to make a snappy retort, but thought better of trading trash-talk with "the most powerful man in the world."

"I got a kick out of that," Johnson said. "You know, what can you say when the President of the United States can trash- talk you? Normally, I have a pretty good comeback, but this time I had to let him slide.

"I had to let him slide, because he was right, Michael did do an incredible move."

Johnson said he was every bit as excited Monday as during his first visit to the White House while playing with the Lakers during the Showtime Era of the 1980s.

Many of the same feelings flooded over him as he waited to meet Obama.

"I was sweating just like I was sweating back then," Johnson said. "You were sweating to meet him. Sweating to shake his hand. Sweating because this is a great moment. I knew how special this moment was for all these guys. "It's a great day for them as young men. It's a great day for the organization. We'll see if we can get back here again. I don't think we'll ever have a president with as much basketball knowledge, with as much basketball skills and yet still run the world."

Obama praised Bryant, quoted Lamar Odom and wished Chicago native Shannon Brown well in the dunk contest during the NBA's All-Star Weekend next month.

Obama also lamented the fact that he was no longer an effective player now that he's nearly 49.

Before the ceremony began, Bryant said Obama spoke with the players "about sports, about Shannon winning the dunk contest. We talked about the Bulls. We talked about the Lakers. We talked about my (broken) finger. We talked about doing it again. He kind of came up to everybody individually and shook hands."

During the ceremony, Obama quoted Odom from the NBA Finals last June, recalling the versatile sixth man's words of unity while the Lakers chased the championship that eluded them when they lost to the Boston Celtics in 2008.

"We all kind of always saw that light," Obama recalled Odom saying after the Lakers dispatched the Orlando Magic in five games last June.

Obama also praised Bryant for playing at such a high level despite suffering a fractured right index finger last month.

"Of course, I have to recognize Kobe Bryant, one of the most competitive players I have ever seen," Obama said. "If I had a broken finger, I would have trouble getting out of bed in the morning."

Asked if his teammates appreciated the significance of the visit, Bryant nodded.

"Lamar is very emotional," Bryant said. "He actually went to see Obama speak at the Democratic Convention in Denver (in 2008). He was very emotional about that, so I know everybody understands the significance of it. It's great to see him."

President Barack Obama with Lakers guard Derek Fisher, left, and guard Kobe Bryant, center, on Monday. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Sentiments EXACTLY!!

This songs seems so appropriate for today...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Serena Williams Auctions Clothes For Haiti

Serena Williams has turned her punishment into a charitable opportunity by launching an online auction of her personal clothing and memorabilia in order to raise $92,000 for Haiti earthquake victims, as well as schools and charities.

The target equals Williams total fine for her profanity-laced outburst at a lineswoman during her semifinal loss to Kim Clijsters at the U.S. Open in September.

“The purpose of the mission is to turn a negative into a positive by educating and helping women, men and children so that they have a fighting chance,” Williams writes on the Web site of her charity, the Serena Williams Foundation.

Williams’ eBay auction began Monday with items including an autographed pair of sneakers that she wore in her championship run at the Australian Open last year, her 2008 Olympic team dress and a Phoenix Suns jersey signed by Steve Nash.

She announced the auction in December, shortly after she was fined a record $82,500 by the Grand Slam tournament for her profanity-laced outburst at a lineswoman during her semifinal loss to Kim Clijsters at the U.S. Open in September. She also paid a $10,000 penalty to the U.S. Tennis Association.

Williams said the idea for the auction came after the International Tennis Federation denied her request to donate some of her fine to charity.

The auction will run for 92 days, with new items up for sale each week.

The proceeds were originally designated for schools in the United States and Africa, but Williams decided last week to direct some of the money to victims of Haiti’s devastating earthquake.

Pants On The Ground The Original & The Brett Favre/Vikings Remix....(I have a feeling this isn't the last we've heard of this song)

Shannon Brown Officially Named To Dunk Contest 2010-Nate Robinson Attempts 3rd Championship...

Brown, Robinson, Wallace to compete in 2010 Sprite Slam Dunk
By Official release
Posted Jan 18 2010 12:44PM

NEW YORK -- 2009 Sprite Slam Dunk champion Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks will attempt to become the first three-time winner of the competition when he defends his title on NBA All-Star Saturday Night, Feb. 13, at American Airlines Center (8 p.m. ET on TNT) in Dallas. Robinson will compete against the Charlotte Bobcats' Gerald Wallace and the Los Angeles Lakers' Shannon Brown.

The 2010 Sprite Slam Dunk participants were unveiled today at a special event at New York's Pennsylvania Station, where artist Dan Dunn brought each player's image to life in a speed painting display on giant canvases.

Participant Team Pos. Ht. Wt.
Shannon Brown L.A. Lakers G 6-4 205
Gerald Wallace Charlotte F 6-7 220
Nate Robinson New York* G 5-9 180
DeMar DeRozan Toronto** G 6-7 220
Eric Gordon L.A. Clippers** G 6-3 222

* - indicates 2009 winner
** - will compete in the NBA All-Star Dunk-In to determine fourth dunker
The Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan and the Los Angeles Clippers' Eric Gordon will compete in the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk-In, a single-round slam dunk competition that will be held at halftime of the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam on Friday, Feb. 12. Fans will be able to vote via SMS text message and at to determine who will advance to the Sprite Slam Dunk the following night.

In Phoenix last year, Robinson, who also won the event in 2006 in Houston, edged defending champion Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic, and in the process converted a dunk that became an instant classic. Robinson, who won the 2006 event by dunking over 1986 champ Spud Webb, used Howard as a prop this time around, slamming the ball through the hoop after leaping over the 6-11 center. Robinson's final dunk was a reverse alley-oop off the bounce that he brought down to his knees before stuffing it through.

"From capes and kryptonite to blowing out candles and leaping over legends, Sprite Slam Dunk has produced some of the most creative moments in NBA All-Star history," said Ellen Lucey, director, sports marketing, Coca-Cola North America. "It's only fitting that we reveal this year's dunkers with a spark of creativity as Nate, Gerald and Shannon prepare to wow fans by pushing their performance to new heights in Dallas."

The only back-to-back Slam Dunk champions were Chicago's Michael Jordan (1987, 1988) and the Golden State Warriors' Jason Richardson (2002, 2003). The only other two-time winners were Atlanta's Dominique Wilkins (1985, 1990) and Miami's Harold Minor (1993, 1995).

The two dunkers with the highest first round scores will advance to the final round. The dunker with the lowest total score from the first round will compete first in the final round. Dunks then will alternate until each player has completed two. Time limit rules still apply. In the final round, fan voting polls will open via SMS TXT message and at The combined results from SMS TXT voting and will determine the champion.

The Sprite Slam Dunk and T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam are part of NBA All-Star 2010, which also includes the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk-In, Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout; Taco Bell Skills Challenge; Haier Shooting Stars; NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas; and the 59th NBA All-Star Game.

Sprite, the world's leading lemon-lime soft drink, has been the official soft drink of the NBA since 1994 and the title partner of the All-Star Slam Dunk competition since 2003.

Below is a list of previous winners Sprite Slam Dunk winners

1984 -- Larry Nance, Phoenix
1985 -- Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta
1986 -- Spud Webb, Atlanta
1987 -- Michael Jordan, Chicago
1988 -- Michael Jordan, Chicago
1989 -- Kenny Walker, New York
1990 -- Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta
1991 -- Dee Brown, Boston
1992 -- Cedric Ceballos, Phoenix
1993 -- Harold Miner, Miami
1994 -- Isaiah Rider, Minnesota
1995 -- Harold Miner, Miami
1996 -- Brent Barry, L.A. Clippers
1997 -- Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
2000 -- Vince Carter, Toronto
2001 -- Desmond Mason, Seattle
2002 -- Jason Richardson, Golden State
2003 -- Jason Richardson, Golden State
2004 -- Fred Jones, Indiana
2005 -- Josh Smith, Atlanta
2006 -- Nate Robinson, New York
2007 -- Gerald Green, Boston
2008 -- Dwight Howard, Orlando
2009 -- Nate Robinson, New York

Bananas!: A Day In The Life of Josephine Baker @Lucy Florence Cultural Center-Los Angeles

You may have seen them on "America's Next Top Model" as the "Aswirl Twins" but for many year Ron & Richard Harris have owned & operated Lucy Florence Coffee House & Cultural Center. They have featured many visual artists, authors, and theatrical productions at their facilities. Please support this show if you are in the Los Angeles area during the dates. It's a limited engagement so catch it while you can...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What Have You Done For You Lately?

I don't agree with everything the Obama administration has done but I refuse to fall victim to this, "Instant Forgetting" syndrome that has seemed to permeate the collective thinking of our society.

Have we forgotten what the 8 years before this past year was like?

What I got from the message of, "Change" is that we are part of the solution as much as the administration.


What have you done for you/us lately?


By The Literary Masturbator™

The Elders have left their fingerprints in my heart: Through ancestral memory I am Re-Claiming my stolen destiny...
Copyright©2010 Jair

Friday, January 15, 2010

Reviews: Kobe Doin' Work & Passing Strange

Initially you would think these two works have nothing to do with each other but the tie that binds is the incredible work of Spike Lee.

As a narrative filmmaker I've enjoyed most of Spike Lee's films but occasionally they have left me wanting. I took it as artistic license. Some directors want you to work for yourselves. That being said I think as a documentarian Spike has really done some exceptional work. These two projects reviewed here, along with "4 Little Girls" & "When The Levees Broke" prove his has a keen eye at telling stories in the documentary genre that rivals many who have been making those kinds of films for years.

Kobe Doin' Work

I must admit my bias could show in this particular review. Along with most of my family I am a life long Laker fan. I grew up in Inglewood, Ca less than a mile away from "The Fabulous Forum" as it was known back in the day where the Lakers who gave way to "Showtime" played. In fact my high school graduation was held at the Forum. I knew Byron Scott as a teen and Elden Campbell and his family both of whom grew up in the area and attended Morningside High School.

My friends and I would get cheap tickets for the games and during blowout Laker wins when people closer to the action would leave their seats we'd sneak down and watch closer up. It seemed the security during that time didn't have to be as strict as it is now. I was one of those kids who'd hang over the railing hoping the players would slap our hands as they headed to the locker room at the end of games.

Kobe Bryant through his on and off court dealings has become part of the Laker legacy. He is the current banner holder for Laker greats. There have been times when he has wanted to leave the team but like others before him he seems to be a lifetime Laker.

This film follows him for one game against the San Antonio Spurs. With the use of cameras from ESPN and additional coverage by Spike and his crew we get an intimate view of what happens during a game with Kobe miked. Kobe also voice overs commentary explaining what is happening and his thought process during the flow of the action. He did the voice over work on the night that he scored 61 points against Spike Lee's beloved New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in the 2007-2008 season. There is some ribbing between them about this that I found really funny from two men who respect each other but in another setting could've been two guys from the "hood" talking trash about to descend into a round of "yo momma" jokes.

Again I might be biased but I think Spike did a great job of capturing a lot of things we as sports fans and common observers don't see.

Even if you're not a fan of Kobe or sports this film gives you a glimpse of what it's like when someone is working in their passion.

Passing Strange

Passing Strange has a lot of passion as well.

It tells the story of a, "youth" trying to find himself. The themes are exploration and self discovery in the classic sense. It's something we all go through. That journey of getting away from what was already there only to re-discover it and realize it was there all the time.

One thing I realized after viewing this show is that some of my choices were made by a person (myself) who was living in fear so I can no longer fault that person for the decisions they made. They were doing the best they could at the time on the information they had.

I was watching the initial auditions of American Idol before I turned to the broadcast of Passing Strange on PBS's "Great Performances" series. Although it's fun to see people get a chance to pursuit their dreams on Idol and also watch the people who have no business auditioning within 5 minutes of Passing Strange I knew I was seeing true artistry at work.

The collaborators Stew & Heidi Rodewald have created a work that is deep, funny, insightful, and fresh even though the story is one that's been told in many formats by many people many times.

The musicians are top notch changing from each genre that is required to move the story forward from South Central Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Berlin, & back again.

The cast is exceptional. Each member except the, "Youth" & "Momma" characters portray three distinct and different people. It requires a adept skill at acting, singing, and dancing. They meet the task with aplomb and in a way I hadn't expected.

Spike Lee has done a great job of capturing the live theater experience of this show. I had heard of Passing Strange previous to this airing and seen clips of songs but that did not prepare me for the tidal wave of emotions I experienced while viewing. I highly suggest you look for the re-broadcast of this show in your area.

In The Beat Of The Drum...

In The Beat Of The Drum...
by The Literary Masturbator™

There's something in the beat of the drum that transports me to a place where I am caught up the rhythm

It enters my ears and swells in my spirit like a tidal wave of pulsations seeking to drown me in the memories of the ancestors

It's as if they have left their fingerprints on my heart as evidence of my place in the Universe
They admonish me to run on, to fight on, and to be free...

You see their drums were taken away, but I hear them...

I hear them

In the crack of the snap of a queen giving a major read to amplify a definitive point
In the cadence of a preacher caught up in the holy ghost making a definitive point
In the slam dunk of Dr. J, Michael Jordan, & Kobe Bryant all rolled into one making a 2 definitive points
In an Oprah AHA! Moment when she recognizes a definitive point

And I hear them in my prayers and meditation as the elders point me towards wholeness and holiness

There is just something in the beat of the drum...
Copyright©2010 Jair

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The 20 Deuce Dime....

Greetings & Salaam,

I haven't done any end of the year or decade wrap up or beginning of year post because I didn't see the reason why.

I am not sure if I have become cynical (or more cynical than I already was) but with all the information out there what I post is such a drop in the ocean of BS that it almost doesn't matter to anyone but me...

I am very optimistic about this upcoming year. I see it as harvest time for me. Since moving to the bay I feel like I have finally put down roots. So now it is time for that which has taken root to grow and prosper and I really looking forward to it.

I've decided it's time to re-focus on my projects and produce my work. I did find out that an essay I wrote for a book that is to be titled, "Mighty Real" will be published this spring. It's interesting I submitted the work in early 2008 and had actually thought it wasn't accepted because I heard nothing form the editors and also saw posts where they were still looking for submissions. Getting that call was an affirmation. No matter how talented you think you are as a writer or artist it's nice to know when people like and respect your work.

So that's it for now. Not much really to post...

My prayer is for you to achieve everything you can think of...

My hope is that you will be able to grasp onto those things you were never able to imagine...