Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Problem with LeBron, Kobe and Jordan Fans

Usually I write a little introduction, but its not needed tonight. If you saw the All Star game you saw Kobe block LeBron James not once, but twice down the stretch. This event, which was so insignificant because it happened in an exhibition game, sent Twitter into a sh*t storm. It was incredible. Seriously, some of the most ridiculous banter over an exhibition game. Our society needs help, but that topic is for another day.

The Twitter eruption that took place got me to thinking about what makes us as fans so loyal to these players and what problems arise from this. Kobe's two blocks generated so much buzz about him being better than LeBron and LeBron being better than Kobe and for some reason Michael Jordan came up. I can't reiterate how crazy this sh*t was. It made me think though about the issues I have with fans of Jordan, LeBron and Kobe. 

Before I get into it I want to give my stand on the whole thing. First things first, I do not like Kobe and everyone that is a friend of mine knows that. With that said though, I respect his game and think he is one of the best ever. LeBron is my favorite player right now and I honestly think he has a chance to be the greatest of all time. Jordan is the best of all time, hands down, and its not even close at this point. Lastly, I am a Knicks fan and have been since I came out of the womb and my dad told me this was the way things had to be. 

The Problem with LeBron Fans: 

This is a simple one. LeBron fans, since he was a 16-year-old in high school, have been too quick to crown him the best. A lot of LeBron fans are too young to have seen Jordan and too lazy to do their homework. They haven't seen the game tape of MJ so they can't fully comprehend how great he was. They don't know he had the best fadeaway of all time or that his mid-range jumper was untouchable. They don't know how fast he was or how crafty he was on the defensive end. They've never taken the time to study the tape and see what so many older heads rave about. For the casual fan its cool not to do your homework, but if you're going to argue LeBron verse Jordan you have to. Otherwise you're just living up the the belief that Americans are ill informed. 

The Problem with Kobe Fans: 

The problem with Kobe fans is also their most endearing trait. Kobe fans are ride or die. They rep Kobe no matter what. Kobe drops 81 they're there. The Lakers are on the verge of not making the playoffs and they refuse to jump ship. Its respectable how loyal they are, but also annoying at times. Kobe can go 3/17 with eight turnovers and Kobe fans will still find someone else to place the blame on. Kobe can take 10 bad shots in a row then hit three turn around jumpers and they proclaim, "Black Mamba!" Really? 2010 NBA Finals, game seven, he shot 6-24. They won, but Kobe fans don't mention how bad he played. Nor do they mention Pau Gasol's 19 points and 18 rebounds, nine of which came on the offensive end. All I hear from Kobe fans is the five championships. I'll give you that, but you have to give me the fact that the first three came with the most physically dominant player of the last 25 years. Sub Allen Iverson for Kobe on those Lakers teams and I think they still come out with at least two rings(see there is some of that Kobe hate coming out). But for real, T-Mac and Vince Carter could have probably even paired with Shaq to get a couple rings. He was just that good back then. With all that said, Kobe's one of the best ever and I will stop.

The Problem with Jordan Fans:

They refuse to believe that someone better can come along. Don't get me wrong, its going to be damn near impossible for someone to reach Jordan's level, but its possible. We seem to forget that LeBron James is only 28-years-old. This guy gets better every single year and is in the middle of his prime. Its not inconceivable to think LeBron could win three of the next four championships and maybe a few more after that. If LeBron wins even three or four rings total playing at the level he's at we have to discuss him in the Jordan conversation. His skill level and dominance of opponents is just too great not to consider. I used to think that no one could ever top Jordan, but LeBron is the best since him in my opinion. He still has at least 10 more years of game left in him and will probably break a number of significant records when its all said and done. Right now its too early to say he can be better than Jordan, I'll admit that, but this notion that no one can ever be better than Jordan is just silly. The world is going to go on for billions and billions of years. Believe me, its possible he can be dethroned, but I bet we will all be dead by then. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

My 5 Favorite Verses

The Way I am (First Verse)- Eminem
This entire song is full of angst and f*ck you. No rapper lets you into their personal life quite like Eminem and on this song, which I think is his best, he did it like never before. He lets you know he's not really comfortable with fame and that like any normal person, he needs some space. The first verse is a favorite of mine just because of how complex the rhymes are. Em is always rhyming words at the end and in the middle of lines, but this one is so complex its almost hard to read.

It Aint Hard to Tell (First Verse)- Nas
To really understand everything Nas is saying you've got to run the track back at least two or three times. On "It Aint Hard to Tell," Nas embodies what it means to be an emcee. The rhyme scheme is complex. The metaphors are intriguing and challenging to understand. His voice, smooth, street poet. And the beat he spits over is a classic with the Michael Jackson sample. Nas' verse explains to you why he's so ill and what separates him from everyone else. Oh and lets not forget, he wrote this when he was like 17.

Notorious Thugs (B.I.G. Verse)- Notorious B.I.G. ft Bone Thugs
 Biggie Smalls was a gift to hip-hop. His flow in my opinion is the best ever and on this track its evident. He rips through the beat and lays down some of the most G lyrics in the history of rap. There isn't much to say about this verse. B.I.G. does all the speaking himself.

Nuthin' a but a G Thang (Snoop Dogg, first verse)- Dr. Dre
When Snoop comes on to the track with that laid back flow and undeniable style its hard not to settle into a groove. Snoop is the coolest dude to ever do this rap thing. I could honestly have picked about 15 of his verses to be in this spot, but when you factor in that chorus and Dre production its hard not to go with this one.

Till I Collapse Remix (50 Cent Verse)- Eminem

50's verse on this remix is nothing short of amazing. He doesn't waste a single breath, word or line. Every syllable is perfectly placed and each rhyme hits harder than the previous. 50's genius on the mic is undermined by his business savvy, but we shouldn't get it twisted. When 50 wants to be, he's one of the best rappers and thats unquestionable.

Barely Missed the Cut

How I could Just Kill a Man (B-Real, second verse)- Cypress Hill
B-Real's voice is unmistakeable. One of my favorite rappers to listen to along with Snoop. On this track B-Real keeps it just that while chronicling the rules to LA street life. The rule? If someone tries to get you, you get them first.

99 Problems (Second Verse)- Jay-Z
Jay-Z's second verse tells a story about him riding with some work in the trunk. We've all been there right? Something in your car that you shouldn't have? I digress, Jigga's verse tells a simple story in a clever way and in the end he makes it out alive and becomes the biggest rapper of all time. HOV!

Da Art of Storytellin' Part 4 (Andre 3000 Verse)- Outkast
This verse is just perfect. You don't expect less from Three Stacks, but my goodness. He tells a story, uses metaphors, makes you think and is the coolest while doing it. My favorite part is when he explains to a young lady why he doesn't spend money in strip clubs, its both thought provoking and economical (And that is not a joke).

*Disclaimer: These are not necessarily their best verses, just my favorites, so don't come at me. Who am I kidding? No one will see this.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Is 2 Better than 1?

At Still on the Bench, I try to keep my focus on sports, but when something amazing happens outside of that realm we must touch upon it. So by now everyone has seen Kate Upton hit the Cat Daddy, considering the video has over 13 million hits. However, there is a lesser known video with only 4 million views, which features the beautiful Melanie Iglesias and the equally attractive Lisa Ramos. So I've got to ask, is two better than one?

Kate Upton in my opinion takes the W, purely for the video quality.....Sike! That slow motion is no joke! On the other hand, Melanie Iglesias is that elusive Spanish mami we're all looking for. Really at the end of the day, we're all winners, because both of these videos are masterpieces.