The Sideline Notes Special

About a month or two ago, one of my good friends (Steph) suggested that I should make a whole article post of “Sideline Notes”, which in the history of the blog, is a collection of random thoughts that I have on current events in sports, music, & or pop culture that’s added at the end of a particular article posting. Initially, I was against this, but as time went along, I decided to give it a shot. So I welcome you to the 1st ever, “All Sideline Notes Edition” of the Baseline Blog. As you can imagine, if this idea works and you guys love this, then feel free to fully credit me as a genius. If it turns out you guys hate this to no end, not only am I willing to throw my friend Steph under the bus, I’m also willing to give you his email address to send over your harsh comments, plus more info if you need it. In other words, I’ll be snitching his business out like his name was Nick Young. At that point you should refer to me as Kobe Russell or D’Angelo Bryant, whichever you prefer*. Anyways, let’s get this thing started….. 

* This is a joke. I am not a snitch. I swear. Please believe me. 

Regarding this whole D’Angelo Russell – Nick Young fiasco that has added more lighter fluid to the smoldering Laker dumpster fire, not only was that a major violation of Guy Code Law, but this is a situation that could hurt business for the Lakers moving forward with regards to landing free agents. He was supposed to be an attractive piece for Free Agents to play with, especially as the franchise Point Guard. But who will trust him in the locker room now? He may have killed that trustworthy and sociable side to him for many years to come….. but in the fast moving social media age that we live in now, I’m not totally sure anymore if this will ruin his career. If this happened 10-15 years ago, D’Angelo might have had to announce his retirement from the league last week & spend the rest of his life trying to define his self-worth by bouncing around from one reality show to the next (jumping from Survivor to The Bachelor, for example. Frankly, this still might happen). With this Millennial generation, I’m not so sure anymore. Russell will have his name and image rolled through the Meme & GIF cycle for a while, but once that passes, he may be able to shake it off publicly. In the NBA Player fraternity however…..

So much for Golden St. breaking the all-time record huh? I’ll say this much, to me, getting to 70 wins in the NBA Western Conference with the Spurs breathing down your back (regardless of how you feel about the Warriors getting past 72 wins) is an incredible feat. Technically they can still get it done, they just have to be prepared for San Antonio to defend that undefeated home streak (who would be the 1st team in NBA history to go 41-0 at home) like a Lioness protects her cubs… 

I actually thought at one point last summer that Jahlil Okafor might be more ready for the NBA this season than Karl-Anthony Towns. Don’t judge me…..

Pan……. Pand…….. Panda……..

As the hip hop community grieves over the passing of Phife Dawg (as you should for a legend), they held a Memorial service at the Apollo this week, where many luminaries spoke, from Kanye to KRS-One. But the biggest news is when André 3000 stated in his speech that there were talks of an Outkast/A Tribe Called Quest album as recent as a year ago, but they slept on it. Um, what the f***???

The decision on Thon Maker’s entry to the NBA draft will be super important to what happens to High School seniors who want to forgo college right away; because if there is a loophole that they can jump around without having to play overseas for a season, believe me, it will be exploited. Something will have to change with regards to the One & Done rule that forces kids to play for one season in college, because the rule is a flawed one at all costs….. 

As much as people would like to advocate for kids to stay in school for two years for NCAA Division I Basketball (and 3 years removed from HS for NCAA D-I Football), when you factor in how much some of these exceptional athletes can make coming out of High School, plus the amounts of money the NCAA makes off of amateur sports (where the kids don’t see a dime), it’s hard for me to see how people can still stand behind this current system, development be damned. Or worse, make these kids stay even longer. If you read the report from Patrick Hruby of Vice Sports about the financial breakdown generated from NCAA sports, it will sicken you…..

Reason why I hate reality TV and the negative part of the social media lifestyle: When I see Rob Kardashian – Blacc Chyna / Tyga – Kylie Jenner dynamic. I won’t even hyperlink to it. Let’s just bow & shake our heads…..

What’s the fascination with O.J. Simpson right now? Within the 1st half of 2016, we will have watched “The People vs. O.J. Simpson”, another documentary on the OJ Tapes, and then a upcoming 5-part 30 for 30 in June of this same trial? I know it was the Trial of the Century & all, but why is there a sudden interest to feed us content on all things Orenthal? I’m genuinely confused by that one. #ImNotBlackImOJ

Speaking of Black, I dare anyone to tell me that Black’ish is not one of the funniest and most well written shows on TV right now. *** Spoiler Alert *** Just in this week’s episode alone, I laughed so hard at the Different Strokes segment, I almost lost my breath. Every character in the show has such depth, & is played so well by the actors. It almost amazes me that it took 20+ years for an African American show to be on a major network……

There’s confusion, there’s disorientation, there’s anger, then there’s the moment when all three of those feelings and emotions bubble together like lava when you know the National Championship game is on right now, and you’re staring at your CBS channel wondering why Scorpion is on, then remembering that CBS lost their rights to a channel you don’t have….

Why did I feel like the only a**hole in the world that didn’t have the channel to watch that epic (so I heard) championship game on Monday night? Days later, people are still talking about it. I missed it all because I don’t have TBS or TSN5?!?! Between my cable package & my android box, I have almost every channel in the world, except those two!!! What’s worse: I couldn’t even see the highlights of the game right afterwards because every Canadian sports channel I had was either showing hockey or baseball, because Lord help us if we miss the Arizona Diamondback’s 2nd game of a 162-game season. Even the ESPN feed was shaky. You got to be kidding me….. 

On top of that, you don’t even have the decency (again…..so I heard) to show “One Shining Moment”? Right to hockey huh? Thanks Canadian TV for making me feel like I’m living in the 80s & 90s all over again, waiting until 2:30A to watch basketball highlights on CNN. The only thing that was missing was the Cross Color T-Shirt & jeans set I could have had on to really bring it home…..

Oh yeah, & nice shot Kris Jenkins. Whatever…..

Who didn’t see these Bryan Colangelo rumors to the 76ers coming? That was a difficult to figure out as a Dr. Seuss rhyme. I’m sure as soon his father Jerry Colangelo came on board to Philadelphia, he was in town the next week looking at penthouses with a unblocked view of the Liberty Bell….

Panda…. Panda…… Panda-Panda-Panda-Panda……

Just so you know, the Kobe reasoning earlier was strictly hypothetical. Everyone forgets now that so much time has passed, but how he snitched on Shaq, his general behavior during the 2004 season afterwards (according to Phil Jackson’s book), & playing his hand on getting Shaq traded was beyond reprehensible. I mean, when Jadakiss & Nas start taking shots at you in their songs…… 

With that said, the reason why Kobe was able to move past that situation started way before he won his back-to-back titles in 2009 & 2010. He deflected people away from his issues because of how great he continued to be on the court, even more so after his case. He threw himself into his craft, and it helped as well that at the time, he was entering the peak of his prime as the undisputed best basketball player on the planet (which lasted for about 5 years until LeBron won his 1st MVP in 2009). Even during that 2004 season, he would come off the plane from Colorado after spending the day in court, and drop 40 as easy as channel surfing on your TV. As long as you’re winning &/or being elite at your craft, while steering clear of any more controversy, people tend to forget. It’s kind of the same reason why someone like R. Kelly is still around now. When he was being charged & the world was looking at him like an absolute scumbag back in 2002, he threw himself into the studio. He put out classic material like Ignition, the Ignition remix, The Chocolate Factory album (a masterpiece), Step In The Name of Love, Happy People, etc. By the time his trial started rolling around, people started questioning if that was even him in that notorious video, all because he got us two-stepping again. He may still have that stink on him to some people, while some others may change the channel if they see him performing on an award show, but as soon as he performs material from the 12 Play & Chocolate Factory albums, to most people he starts smelling like Febreeze. Fortunately, or unfortunately, however you want to look at it, there is a blueprint here for D’Angelo to follow, and he’s able to look at an example for at least another week or two in his locker room. Be GREAT, and everything else will work itself out. Yup, it’s true. Go on, you could be depressed about it.

 

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

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