Wednesday Morning Starting Five: The Mos Def Challenges Jay-Z to a Rap Battle Edition

Posted in Blogroll on June 17th, 2009 by Michael Tillery

In my first interview with Chuck D on Michaeltillery.com (only a shell is still up on the server…won’t be there long.), Chuck said he thought Hov was the GOAT. I was surprised by the admission but understood his explanation. It touched off a huge debate across the web on various Hip Hop message boards that still goes on today. Well, Mos Def read an article somewhere and questioned whether or not Hov is in fact the best of all time.  He issued his initial challenge here (tongue and cheek, but it is real). I can’t wait for this to go down. I will be front and center. Trust.

Back at it.

The Rooney Rule has been expanded to include NFL high level vacancies. Really interested in your thoughts on this. (PFW)

Thoughts on Sammy Sosa reportedly testing positive for PED’s in 2003? (Chicago Tribune)

Verbum Dei: Black Institution or Done? Andre Miller’s high school makes historical coaching hire which has split its administrative and alumni base. (The LA Sentinel)

The Mighty Mos issues a rap battle challenge to Jay and Kanye. Damn right. We’ve all been waiting for something like this for a long time. (MTV)

An open letter to the class of 2009. Congratulations (Real Talk Express)

Surviving the summer. (Final Call)

The remix of one of my all time Hip Hop tracks:

The Lakers Are 2008-2009 NBA Champions: Kobe Bryant, A Distinction In Commitment

Posted in Blogroll on June 15th, 2009 by Michael Tillery

Barry Bonds’ timing mechanism. Reggie Jackson’s swagger. Tiger Woods’ precision. Michael Jordan’s desire. Tim Duncan’s consistency. Derek Jeter’s professionalism.

After last night, now we can add Kobe Bryant’s level of commitment.

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NBA Finals Game 5 Preview: With the Lakers on the Brink, Will the Magic Show Up Or Fold Up?

Posted in Blogroll on June 14th, 2009 by Michael Tillery

It hasn’t quite been a muggin’, but it sure looks like it huh? What do you think? Do the Lakers win it all tonight on Orlando’s floor…sending pre-teen Magic fans on a tearful lifelong journey of what if regret?

That was me when Magic went 42, 15 and 7 to go along with Silk’s 37 and 10 rips. My little black and white TV went out because I smacked the mess out of it and watched Magic smile historically on my sister’s TV as she slept. Still stings.

Damn right I cried. Cried like I had on one of those onesy jawns you could moonwalk with…yeah the ones my two rock heads used to wear. Damn Messy Marvins…

Oh, my bad.

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The Atlanta Falcons Release Michael Vick

Posted in Blogroll on June 12th, 2009 by Michael Tillery

We all saw this coming. Michael Vick has been released by the Falcons. There are many many fans who will miss the thrills he gave them during his time under center in the ATL. This gives Mike a chance to sign with any team in the league. Personally, I would like to see him go to San Franciso. Coach Mike would make sure Mike does everything he’s supposed to do and will also ensure everything stays in house. Whoever picks up Vick will have to deal with constant media and Peta pressure.

There is going to be a bevy of press reporting this over the weekend and into next week. Most pundits you hear and read will say he’s old, he’s not a quarterback, he’s a running back, a wide receiver or a kick returner.

BS.

This is how I see it:

Right now, he’s one of the best athletes in the league with one of the strongest arms as well. After Goodell decides if he’s gonna suspend Mike or not, I would sign him to an incentive based contract, give him all the support I could and let him show what he can do.

He’s paid his debt to society when he served jail time for dog fighting.

Mike was contrite before entering Leavenworth and humbled himself before the world.

Time to move on.

He’ll have a huge chip on his shoulder to prove to the world he’s not a wildcat quarterback. It’s ridiculous to think there are 30 better quarterbacks in the NFL.

He’s not a running back. He’s a quarterback.

Get over it. Stop thinking it. Doesn’t matter what the pundits say.

He never really had a shot at seriously competing for a Super Bowl in Atlanta despite taking the Falcons to the NFC Championship. Hopefully he’ll go to a team where there are receivers in place so he can show the world just how talented he still is.

Watch and listen how teams hype up their qb’s so their collective fan base are ultimately against signing Mike.

Mike if you or any of your people read this, I want to interview you.

NBA Finals Game 4: The Lakers Put the Magic in the Kobe Clutch and Defeat Orlando 99-91

Posted in Blogroll on June 12th, 2009 by Michael Tillery

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

NBA TV Notes added at the very bottom.

“If you wanna crown them, then crown their ass! But they are who we thought they were and we let em off the hook!”

Denny Green must have been in the building because the Orlando Magic gave this game away and now trail the Los Angles Lakers 3-1 in the best of seven NBA Finals.

The Magic just didn’t want it enough. This is soul rock soul. You can’t fold! Kobe takes no prisoners. Dwight? Not so sure. The spin move and pass for the Gasol dunk was as pretty a play as you’ll see in sports.

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Friday Fire: Do We Care Too Much About Sports?

Posted in Blogroll on June 12th, 2009 by Michael Tillery

Full disclosure, I got this from my sister who is torn up over the Yankees dropping yet another game to the hated Red Sox. Thinking about it last night at work and seeing many NBA fans down in the dumps on the numerous social networks after the Magic loss, the question must be asked:

Do we care too much about sports?

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Donovan McNabb Gets Raise to Play 2 More Years in Philly

Posted in Blogroll on June 12th, 2009 by Michael Tillery

You can say this is expected or not expected and be right either way. How will it all play out is the big question. Months after leading the Eagles back from the murky depths of the Skuykill River and into the NFC Championship game, Donovan McNabb was rewarded with a 2 yr./24.5 million dollar contract (5.3 million dollar raise). The deal was restructured from his previous contract and depending on his play, could (and should) be extended. He’s the best quarterback the Eagles have ever had and the Eagles have been one of the best teams in the NFL during his tenure. His play speaks for itself and he’s led the Eagles to five (1-4) NFC Championship games despite sub par talent on the offensive side of the ball.

He was scheduled to make 9.2 million this year and 10 the next. There’s also another 1 million in incentives in the new deal.

You would think a player of his caliber would be a lot more celebrated in a town he’s led to the playoffs 7 of his 11 years, but hey, it’s Philly.

They can’t get right.

His 29,320 passing yards and 194 touchdown passes are franchise bests. He also is third active in wins and has the best touchdown to interception ratio in NFL history.

With the addition of LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin through the draft to add crucial depth to the backfield and receiver corps and also Jason Peters and Leonard Weaver via free agency, the Eagles should contend for the NFC title. Balance is the key for the Eagles offense and it might all come down to Maclin. Don’t wanna put pressure on the young fella that he can’t handle, but if he approaches anything close to what DeSean Jackson put up last season, the Eagles will be scary.

Donovan will be expected to provide more leadership after Eagles legend Brian Dawkins was allowed to sign with Denver. This was definitely an emotional offseason as a result.

Frankly, I’m shocked. In a town where McNabb is considered an also ran outside of the Lincoln Financial Field faithful, a McNabb trade is something that probably would have occured in years past.

There is the Westbrook foot injury concern, but hopefully Brian will come back full strength in a season that is huge for the Philadelphia Eagles organization.

Thursday Morning Starting Five: The Those Who Were Left Behind Edition

Posted in Blogroll on June 11th, 2009 by Michael Tillery

Yesterday I was a part of a great conversation on the state of Hip Hop Journalism with my man NYOIL on his blog talk radio show. The brotha is concerned how Hip Hop is being portrayed and reported in the press so he brought together some experts (Ashahed M. Muhammad, Davey D and Bruno Gaston) on the subject and we had a solution based discussion. You all know what I do. I’ll report and dive into any arena that’s good for all of us so I was honored to be a part of something despite my lack of qualifications in the field. I offered what I could and tried to compare what I do with sports to what is going on in the Hip Hop world. The spot (2 hours long) follows the links and a very disturbing video. Check it when you get a chance.

The Holocaust museum shooter was gangster with his hate. (USA Today)

Yanks hope Carsten Charles stops this Red Sox skid. (NY Daily News)

Kareem: Magic’s Howard ‘kind of predictable’. (Miami Herald)

Lakers assistants Jim Cleamons and Brian Shaw are interested in coaching position at USC. (LA Times)

Mexican national arrested trying to smuggle marijuana ashore on surfboard. Creative. (LA Times)

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NBA Finals Game 4 Preview: Will the Lakers Show and Prove Game 2 Was An Aberration? (NBA TV Notes from Game 3 included)

Posted in Blogroll on June 11th, 2009 by Michael Tillery

6 straight wins after a loss this postseason, but 7 straight Finals losses on the road? What gives?

Has Kobe hit the Great Wall of China? Has the Olympics and playing so many games before and after Beijing finally caught up to Kobe Bryant?

Will his shooting percentage rise or continue its downward pattern?

Is Pau Gasol really this good? He’s really hitting at a nice clip in the Finals.

What about LO? Will he step up offensively and defensively to solidify his X-factor status in this series? Rashard is shooting his eye out.

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Wednesday Morning Starting Five: The What’s Up With Kareem Having Problems With Finals Security Edition

Posted in Blogroll on June 10th, 2009 by Michael Tillery

Last year at the NBA Finals, Kareem sat down at my table during dinner. We had a great conversation about his career and life in general. All of it was off the record out of respect. One story that struck me was that he had problems getting into the the TD Banknorth Garden. I couldn’t believe it. He’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar! He’s 7’4″. Little kids know him even though they’ve never seen him play. Well, I just heard on Mike and Mike the same thing happened again just last night (scroll down to quick hits). What the hell is going on that one of sports all time greats has gone through this two times now?

Roy Boe, who owned Islanders and Nets but sold the contract of Dr. J, dies at 79 (NY Times)

Jackie Tonawanda, known as ‘Lady Ali’ and boxing pioneer, dies at 75 (NY Daily News)

Jermaine O’Neal, Yakhouba Diawara will return to Miami Heat. (Miami Herald)

Kings to hire Paul Westphal as new Head Coach. (News 10)

Tim Floyd resigns as USC coach. (LA TImes)

Battle to Halt Graft Scourge in Africa Ebbs. (NY Times)

L.A. closes loophole for medical marijuana dispensaries (LA Times)

Shock is one of the most underrated talents that there has ever been in Hip Hop. Sex Packets was a straight classic.

It is real.

Behind Great Shooting and Teamwork, the Magic Defeat the Lakers 108-104 In Game 3

Posted in Blogroll on June 10th, 2009 by Michael Tillery

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The most impressive aspect of this game was the way the Magic held on for the victory. This was a team win personified. After shooting a Finals record 75% in the first half despite Kobe Bryant looking like he was going to go for 82, the Magic were as professional as they have been this entire playoffs and held on for the most important win in franchise history. The Lakers still lead the best of seven series 2-1.

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Reggie Evans Traded for Jason Kapono

Posted in Blogroll on June 9th, 2009 by Michael Tillery

The Sixers have coveted a long range sharp shooter ever since they traded away Kyle Korver. This is a roster of hustle players and athletes whose defense creates fast break opportunities because of an inability to score consistently in the half court. Well today Sixers fans got their wish as Jason Kapono comes to town with a green light in tow. He’ll be great spotting up for threes in transition and off secondary breaks. Problem is, Reggie Evans unfortunately was on the other end of the trade. Reggie Evans came in with Andre Miller as part of the Iverson trade and is infinite hustle. Great teammate who was one of the few professional athletes who paid visits to the opposing team’s locker room after games because he was one of the most liked players in the league. I’ll miss dude’s enthusiasm in the locker room as well. He is the epitome of what a cult figure should be. They’ll love Reggie in Toronto. This past season, he worked on his free throws but had his minutes cut with the emergence of Mareese Speights. Mos def will miss Reggie for stuff like this:

Tuesday Morning Starting Five: The Rest In Peace Omar Bongo Edition

Posted in Blogroll on June 9th, 2009 by Michael Tillery

Omar Bongo Ondimba, Africa’s longest serving leader, dies of a heart attack. (Reuters)

NBA Shows No Respect for Black Press. (LA Sentinel)

Mos Def is diverse to say the least. (USA Today)

Drake is killin’ the game right now. (Rolling Stone)

Kwame is still doing his thing…just not in the D. (Detroit News)

The Tampa Bay Rays leads the revival of the stolen base. (Canadian Press)

Mighty Mos and Slick Rick the Ruler…

NBA Finals Game 3 Preview: How Will the Magic Hold Serve Against the Lakers?

Posted in Blogroll on June 9th, 2009 by Michael Tillery

6 baskets. 1 dunk. 9 turnovers. 2 losses.

It’s not all his fault. He’s getting better. Yeah, I go hard on Dwight, but my criticism is grounded in his vast potential. This is not about creating a sensational headline. After all, I am the son of a Marine and because of experience, see things a little more hardcore than most.

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Monday Morning Starting Five: The President Better Go Get Our Daughters Edition

Posted in Blogroll on June 8th, 2009 by Michael Tillery

Laura Ling and Euna Lee sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in North Korea. Go get ’em bruh. Go get ’em. Not to be insensitive, but whatever type family life they have is irrelevant, this is just GP. Could this be something deeper? (AFP)

China wants PC’s to come with anti-porn software? I guess they better not read this huh fellas? Yeah, ya’ll got crazy at the end. Funny stuff. (AP)

Mayor Ray Nagin and wife are quarantined in China. (NY Times)

All-black battalion that landed in Normandy, France on D-Day to be honored on anniversary of siege. (NY Daily News)

New film brings A-game to black youths. (Medill Reports: Chicago)

BART officer admits Oscar Grant III posed no threat before Mehserle shot him. Duh. (Inside Bay Area.com)

Tim Henman says Roger Federer is the best ever. I have no idea. Dwil would be the better man to ask in this instance. (BBC)

Speaking of the best ever, did you see Tiger get out of the bunker oh so nicely? (NY Times)

Reggie Williams hit me off to this. One of the baddest tracks I’ve ever felt. Who fights for fighter who writes for the writer. Hang in there ladies.

Spencer Haywood interview Wednesday.