Culture Change in Basketball? Series 2

jay-z-skratt 2

The Hip Hop Culture in the NBA, is it bad? Like i mentioned earlier in the first post the NBA has always been a clean-cut, blue-collar sport over time. As i have come to notice over time is that the culture of the NBA has been changing, but what exactly is changing? Lets think about this, in the age of the 80’s to early 90’s the hip hop culture had been growing and revolutionizing. People during these ages were drawing their attention towards the rap culture during these times because Hip hop was growing in to a every day phenomenon. As society was starting to embrace the hip hop culture, some sports specifically started to embrace it as well! Which sport then?

Baseball remained the same during the 80’s and 90’s with no dramatic changes, other than player skill levels. Football was trying to maintain its respected order and fan support. While these sports were doing their own thing Basketball was starting to change and become different? Basketball players had changed the way they had dressed in games by wearing baggier shorts rather than short shorts. What culture promoted baggier clothes? It was the hip hop culture, the fashion of baggy transferred to the NBA.ImagesviaGetty1_display_imagerapper

Is this necessarily bad though for basketball? Having players wear baggier shorts than original short shorts? It is actually not as bad as people say, Michael Jordan actually preferred baggier shorts than the short shorts because he felt more comfortable wearing them like that. Even though it seems completely wrong to some having longer baggier shorts is not as bad as it seems. Players in todays NBA culture all wear baggy shorts because they are loose and comfortable for them to play in. The influence of the hip hop culture helped bring this movement  in to the NBA.

Has the Hip Hop culture rubbed off too much on players in the years of the NBA? Well this is where things could get controversial because NBA stars actually tried to start rapping careers as a side for there basketball career. Honestly I think NBA players to this to far by trying to rap. I understand that Hip Hop is getting better but it didn’t mean NBA players should start rapping as well! The Hip Hop culture definitely rubbed off on players too much to the point where they think that can become rap artist. This is where the NBA pushed it by players thinking they can become rap stars as well. Some examples are Shaquille Oneal, Kobe Bryant, and Allen Iverson. these three players were icons in the game of basketball and now they think they can become rap icons. Overall, this did not end up panning out for them which is a good thing. Just stick to basketball m,y friend because that is your profession; not rapping, so stay to the program.

nba_rap2  TO MUCH TO HANDLE HERE, STICK BASKETBALL

If we had to choose a winner and loser for the rap culture being in the NBA the score would be 1-1. The baggy shorts of the hip hop culture actually helped the NBA culture. But the rapping in the NBA now that is to far, this is defiantly a loss. Now, what about the celebrities and customs of the hip hop culture is it unneccessary for the NBA?

11wayne-durant

In todays NBA hip hop celebrities such as Jay-Z, Lil-Wayne, Drake and many more attend NBA games on a consistent basis. Jay_z even owns an NBA team by the name of the Brooklyn Nets. Jay-Z recently became a sports agent as well and signed one of the NBA iconic players in Kevin Durant! Celebrities are incorporating themselves in all kinds of ways. They talk to players court side, also they ask players to be features in rap songs and music videos. The hip hop culture had blended with the NBA tremendously and the NBA is soaking it all in like a sponge. The hip hop culture of dance is being incorporated during half time shows, hip hop music is being blasted throughout the arena. Espn and other NBA sponsors are using hip hop related music during commercial breaks and advertisement. Is this to far or just what the NBA needs? The NBA is actually gaining more attention from the hip hop world but also fan support. Fans are actually enjoying the fact that the rap culture has imbedded itself i n to the NBA now. The hip hop culture and  NBA are giving majority of the NBA fans more entertainment rather than disappointment. The NBA has enhanced its entertainment level as hip hop has grown over time. Hip hop celebrities are performing during all-star games, and halftime breaks. Do the fans enjoy this though? According to ESPN it doesn’t matter both the NBA and Hip Hop are businesses. As a fan I enjoy that the NBA has the hip hop culture personally I think it makes the NBA more entertaining. People choose to hate the hip hop culture and the fact it has grown in to the NBA people have gotten a little more aggravated. Business is business and i think the NBA and Hip Hop are good business partners they go hand in hand with each other.

7224-a-hip-hop-dance-duo-e

Ultimately I don’t think the hip hop culture corrupts the NBA, truthfully i think it betters the NBA it gives the NBA a “SWAGGER”. The NBA has become more appealing to fans that don’t even watch basketball. More fans are coming to watch players because of the hype of the hip hop culture and the overall feel of watching a basketball game. The swagger of hip hop has bettered the NBA rather than corrupt it. To me Hip Hop’s culture in the NBA gives more pro’s that outweigh the cons people try to create. I mean players seem to enjoy the game much more and see other opportunities to get noticed and shine out to the celebrity world. These are businesses that overtime have grown to become best friends. They work good together and right now in this day and age they seem inseparable.

Here are is some of the hip hop dance culture in the NBA called the “Dougie” performed by NBA player John Wall http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBD0093jEvI

Here is poll, so go ahead and feel free to express your thoughts!

Advertisements

Ladies and Gents Meet Lebron James

lebron-james-300

The question arises who is the face of the NBA? Is it Kobe? or Kevin Durant? ChrisPaul maybe? All are solid candidates, but the biggest face of the NBA is Lebron James! Lebron has been the talk of the NBA since he had come in to the league; not only has he been the talk but has changed the game tremendously. Let us take a look at Lebron James from the start of his career till now..

Lebron James Timeline

lebron_james

Lebron had the superstar fame from the beginning when he was drafted by his hometown team the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was called the chosen one of the NBA and hoped to bring a title to Cleveland. Lebron James was putting up numbers like no other in Cleveland and making a mark from the beginning. He all of the eyes of the NBA on him, he continuously  took the Cavaliers to the playoffs putting up big playoff performances. Performences that people would talk about for ages, Lebron always seemed to get to the playoffs in Cleveland but could never win the NBA title for Cleveland. Lebron had brought the Cavs to the finals one time to face the San Antonio Spurs. Everyone had thought this was Lebron’s chance to finally capture a ring and a title. Even though Lebron fought hard during that Finals series he just could not lead his team to victory, resulting ultimately in a Finals loss. Year after year in Cleveland Lebron could not get back to the finals and lost in his final year as a Cleveland Cavalier. When Lebrons final year of his contract had ended he had decided to talk to his close buddies of other NBA teams by the name of Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. After speaking with them Lebron decided to leave his hometown faithful Cleveland Cavaliers, and go to Miami to join his two NBA superstars friends. The famous quote of Lebron, ” I have decided to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.” This was the start of a new chapter in Lebron’s career and causing an uprise in the world of the NBA.

nba_g_heatb3_sy_576

When Lebron joined the Miami Heat with his other NBA superstar friends the fan base of the NBA arose. People of Cleveland were burning Lebron James jerseys, calling him a quitter, a choke artist, a fluke, and etc, the list goes on trust me. While Cleveland was mourning the loss of Lebron, Miami had given their heart and soul to the so-called “Big Three”. With Lebron James as the leader of the three, he had promised Miami that he would try to bring seven titles to the team. When the fans of the NBA heard this Lebron went from the Most Loved to the Most Hated. Lebron had set so high of expectations of himself and made the decision of his life to leave his hometown and join his NBA trio of superstars. During Lebrons first year on the Miami Heat he had taken them to the NBA Finals once again; every one expected the Heat to win over the lowly favored Dallas Mavericks, but that didn’t turn out as planned. Lebron and the “Big Three” had lost fueling the hatred around the NBA. After the Finals loss Lebron started to forget about the outside world and focus more on his game.

lebron-james-2012-nba-champion-trophy

Coming in to his second season with the Miami Heat Lebron had to prove all the haters wrong and show them that he was still the best player in the NBA. Lebron went on a tear during the season leading the league in majority of the statistical standings and team record. Pushing the Miami Heat right back in to the playoffs once again. Lebron continued to bring dominating performances during the playoffs hitting clutch shots, having key defensive stops, and taking his team back to the NBA Finals. Lebron had won the NBA leagues MVP award and was off to face the Scoring Champ of the league Kevin Durant. When the Finals had started Lebron was changing the minds of viewers as each game progressed, people came to realize that Lebron was in fact still the best NBA player in the league. Lebron had brought it to the final game to win  the series and receive his Championship he longed for. Many doubters around the league said Lebron would choke opnce again, that he wouldn’t be able to step up, that this moment was his to lose. All the haters around the league rallied up to down Lebron James. But of course, Lebron James ignored the criticism and lead his team to victory giving him his first championship ever! Lebron was finally starting to win the fans back over in the NBA and gained the respect he had once had. Lebron’s next task was to defend his title.

Lebron-Miami-Heat

Bringing us to now, Lebron James once again had another MVP season, and lead his team back to the NBA finals for the third straight year. Lebron this year was given another chance to redeem himself against his old Finals rival the San Antonio Spurs. This past Finals series ended up going to the last game, Game 7. In the crunch time of 1 minute left to go and the Heat up by 2 Lebron hit a clutch shot from the right side of the key to ice the game and give his team another NBA title. Lebron completely silenced the haters once again, and showed them that he is in fact the face of the NBA and “KING JAMES”. Right now the world has feasted there eyes upon Lebron and he is basking in the fame and embracing the moments of his accomplishments. Lebron is not done.. he plans on winning more titles and packing on the achievements. Let us sit back and be Witnesses my friends enormous-nike-ad-reminds-us-that-lebron-james-is-the-face-of-the-nba

 

In the Clutch (Lebron James)- NBA Finals Game 7 it comes down to a nail biting moment, Spurs have the ball with less than a minute left. Down by 2 Manu Ginoboli passes the ball down to the hall of famer Tim Duncan. Duncan catches the ball turns and drives towards the basket. He rises up for the layup….everyone in the stadium is quiet. The play looks as if it was in slow motion, every fan in the arena knows this ball is going in, even Tim knows himself. He releases the ball from his hands, the ball carries softly over the front of the rim and hits the back of the rim. The ball falls off the side and Duncan is unable to grab the rebound to put it back up. The Miami Heat push the ball forward and give the ball to Lebron James. Lebron drives to right side and rises up from the top right corner of the key and shoots the ball over Kawi Leahnard’s fingertips. The high arc of the shot makes it hard to judge if the shot is going to go in or not. Until, the ball falls perfectly through the rim with the sound of swish from the net. Lebron James channels a Michael Jordan moment and hits the one of the most clutches shots to seal the lebron-james-game-7-shot

NBA championship for the Miami Heat. GAME OVER.

Here is a Harlem Shake Video of Lebron and the Miami Heat and Career highlights 🙂 Enjoy!

Aren’t They Free?

Free-throw

During a basketball game your bound to see high intensity plays, emphatic dunks, and an immense amount of cheering. The higher level of play the higher amount of action and physicality; meaning more contact resulting in foul calls. When a player is fouled in the act of shooting in basketball they are then sent to the line (free throw line); there they are awarded with two free shots with no one to block them or to interfere with their shot. It would seem simple right? Two free shots with no one to block you or bump you, many would say HA! Piece of Cake. Well my friend actions speak louder than words, in basketball free throws can become a players worst nightmare… http://www.foxsportswisconsin.com/02/05/13/Why-are-free-throws-so-gosh-darn-hard/landing_badgers.html?blockID=859329

raymond-feltondistracting-basketball-fans-funny-free-throw-7free-throw-distraction

I would have to agree with Jesses article, players in todays basketball are looking for the high-flying plays and trying to become a human highlight reel but what does that all mean if you can’t make free throws? Players take time to practice everything else but free throws? Free throws are shots that everyone in the stadium or gym expects you to knock down. The best players are more recognized because there clutch players at the free throw line. These players can handle the high pressure situations and know how to focus up in the moment. Many other players are good in other parts of their game but when it comes to the free throw line its like a whole new world to them. When at the line guys minds start to run about  the next shot, or how tired they are, or the fans behind the backboard waving signs and shouting. All these factors come in to play, but the biggest fear that gets players is the fear of the moment, the fear of the situation, knowing everyone’s eyes in the stadium are looking at you and counting on you to sink the shot. Free throws carry more pressure than you think. Two free shots could end up being the two free shots you never wanted. You would never think free throws would  do this much to you. Some players regard free throws as easy, but a vast amount regard them as a different psyche, and a whole new world! Look at prime examples like Shaquille O’neal and Dwight Howard, they are not exactly best friends with the free throw line.

dwight-howard-shaquille-oneal-cavs

Dwight’s career free throw shooting is 49% and his partner in crime Shaq shot a career  53% from the line. These are horrible free throw percentages…

There free but they are not exactly easy, free throw shots consist of screaming fans, distractions, fatigue, adrenaline, and finally PRESSURE. It just comes down to who can handle the two FREE shots, because these two free shots can cost you a game. Just ask the San Antonio Spurs from there NBA Finals Game 6 collapse. A couple missed free throws here and there could end up costing you a game. I suggest that you take a look at Game 7 of the NBA finals or catch the recap of the game when you can; try to focus on each teams free throw percentages after the game. Those two FREE throws could go a LOOONNNGGG Way trust me!

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like if you were at the line?

kevin-love-crazy-face

 

Here is a little taste if you are interested 🙂 I Think I Could Shoot?

Well I love leaving some humor with you, so here are some guys at the line who are in a whole “New World” haha 🙂 Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhWbo1obAF8

Fool Me Once, Fool Me Twice?

Image

Flopping – the act of pretending a foul has been committed in the hopes of fooling an official into blowing the whistle – has long been one of those “I know it when I see it” things. Unfortunately, it’s much easier to see it and know it when watching an instant replay, usually in slow motion (NBA League Officiating Office).
Hmm the art of the flop, players over the years in the NBA have been perfecting this style of acting within the basketball world. You have players yelling for fouls, flailing awkwardly, and trying to draw attention to the officials. Flopping has always been around in basketball, but over the course of the years its starting to grow more and more. This past year flopping in basketball has become an engaging topic with sports analyst’s and fans around the country. Flopping in the NBA has attracted so much attention to itself, it even has the league commissioner concerned? Let us dive deeper into this subject.
After reading from Thomas Duffy’s article I found some unusual comments that I wouldn’t have expected. In the article big name stars Lebron James and Dwayne Wade made comments on flopping in the NBA. To hear Lebron James, the best athlete on the planet talk about flopping I paid very close attention. In the article Lebron James claims that flopping can be used as an advantage to win, and when your team wins then everyone is happy. As much as I like Lebron it sad as a fan to hear that a player is willing to flop to help his team win. Flopping in the NBA slows down the game, and it takes away from the physicality in basketball. If you’re a basketball fan as much as I am it’s rather disturbing to see players falling on the floor every time someone lays a finger on them. I know, I know, flopping can never be officially removed but it can be monitored and that is what the league commissioner has taken action upon. David Stern the head honcho of the NBA has set up a fining system for floppers in the NBA. The league is able to review the games and pick out bona -fide floppers; the league continued to establish an official flopping video to inform us a flop from a non flop.
Let us see for ourselves shall we http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3I65Lqjh4fo
It’s good to see this as a fan, knowing the league is taking action on these skillful actors in the game of basketball. Of course refs are doing the best possible job of monitoring in-game flopping; The speed of the game makes it that much harder for refs to point it out and catch these perpetrators in the act. As the game evolves overtime I hope our star athletes  don’t encourage our younger athletes to flop. The art of flopping has continued to grow in the game of basketball and the country is now starting to take notice. So, as we continue to watch these blowout Finals games and the next basketball season let us pray that our athletes don’t turn the NBA in to the next WNBA…. oops to soon..
Here are some notorious flops for your enjoyment 🙂