LeBron James: The First Hired Gun Superstar?

Posted in Blogroll on July 10th, 2014 by Michael Tillery


Money, power, respect…and charity?

Observing fans while covering sports, a ubiquitous expression persists. It’s an expression of excitement generated by accomplishment and also fraught of consummate publicity. The consistent publicizing of an athlete’s professional performances, salary, stats and even social whereabouts generate worldwide buzz, and when a fan knowing of that buzz sees an athlete in person, fantasy becomes reality. LeBron James is the first social media megastar. He has become arguably the most scrutinized athlete to ever live mainly because of social media and his career will be spoken in love an hate long after he retires. ESPN’s broadcast of his much talked about decision to leave Cleveland casts him into a world exclusive of sports and more defined through the lens of entertainment. Since it appears casual fans (read: new money) are more interested in news buzzing off the floor as it relates to what culminates on the floor, LeBron might as well do something that has never been done in pro sports…

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2014 Orlando Pro Summer League: Will Nerlens Noel show and prove?

Posted in Blogroll on July 5th, 2014 by Ronald Glover

(Getty Images)

Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams used the Orlando Summer League as a springboard to 2013-14 Rookie of the Year.

Those waiting to see their favorite teams draft selections won’t have to wait anylonger as the Orlando Pro Summer League kicks off July 5th and will end on July 11th. Ten NBA franchises will take part in the 7-day event.

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Matt Maurer (@thedraftreview) comes on TSF Live on The Starting Five

Posted in Blogroll on July 1st, 2014 by Michael Tillery


2nd part of our interview from 6/29/14

On the first part of my interview with Matt, the NBA Draft was analyzed. In part 2, we discuss LeBron James. We hope you enjoy the show!

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@TSFSports NBA Draft live blog: Will the Cavaliers deal the top pick or stand pat?

Posted in Blogroll on June 26th, 2014 by Ronald Glover


The Philadelphia 76ers have made no secret of their desire to select Andrew Wiggins

As the NBA Draft draws nigh, rumors are hot and heavy surrounding the possibility of the Cleveland Cavaliers dealing the No.1 overall pick.

The most enticing offer has come from the Philadelphia 76ers — who have offered their 3rd, 10th, and 32nd picks in exchange for the chance to draft Kansas standout Andrew Wiggins.


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@TSFSports NBA Draft live blog tonight at 6:30 pm hosted by @RonGloverII

Posted in Blogroll on June 26th, 2014 by Ronald Glover

(AP Images)

Regardless of who goes No.1, things are looking up for both Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins.

@TSFSports Editor-In-Chief Ron Glover (@RonGloverII on Twitter ) will host an NBA Draft Live blog beginning at 6:30 pm. There will open discussions on  predictions, rumors and of course who’s wearing the freshest vines in the green room of The Barclays Center.

Joel Embiid’s broken foot rocks the NBA Draft landscape; Are Kevin Love and Klay Thompson on the move?

Posted in Blogroll on June 22nd, 2014 by Ronald Glover


Despite his health issues, some team is gonna hang their hopes on Joel Embiid.

Former Kansas Jayhawks center and potential No. 1 pick Joel Embiid suffered a stress fracture in his right foot last week. The injury required surgery and two screws were placed in his foot.

This is a major setback for the All-American — who showed no ill effects from a back injury he suffered late in his dominant freshman season.

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Myron Piggie: The Scarface of Amateur Basketball

Posted in Blogroll on June 19th, 2014 by Michael Tillery


It’s time to hear Myron Piggie’s side of things…

An authentic viewpoint of a polarizing topic often goes ignored simply because it’s contrary to what usually saturates the news cycle. Opinions are formed based on repetitive information many times dismissive of facts respectful to those accused, and subsequently judged by the court of public opinion unjustly. The result is a mistrust of truth said and unsaid, and unfortunately a lazy perception becomes reality.

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Interview with Sports Anchor Keith Russell from 1/10/08

Posted in Blogroll on June 19th, 2014 by Michael Tillery

Importing interviews from archived TSF to current site.

Covering Sixers games you come across all kinds of Philly luminaries inside and out of sports. Sitting in press row, you might see legendary journalists like David Aldridge or Phil Jasner doing their thing any given night. Since I live in the Philly area, I get a chance to see their local news stations and there’s nothing like Action News. I grew up watching professionals like Vernon Odom, Jim O’Brien (Sportscaster turned comedic weatherman who tragically died in a parachuting accident helping someone parachute to safety) and the beautiful Lisa Thomas-Laury. So one day to my surprise, I saw Keith Russell anchoring sports on 6-ABC. I was shocked being that he was one of my favorite ESPN News anchors because of his quick wit, chemistry with other anchors and funny as hell facial expressions. My sister, Gina, does the best Keith Russell impression…Has me rollin’ just thinking about it. Simply put, Keith is a natural and one of the best. I wanted to do something different (type of journalist) and get the perspective of a sports anchor to give everyone an idea of what it takes to be one of the elite. Keith’s dedication to Philly sports as well as his craft goes unparalleled. Enjoy, but more importantly pass this interview to a talented youngster who has a dream of doing what Keith does so well.

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Interview With Jemele Hill: The Kev Dog Special from 11/6/07 (Kev Dog is a TSF commenter)

Posted in Blogroll on June 19th, 2014 by Michael Tillery

Importing interviews from the original site to the current version.

Jemele Hill, columnist for ESPN.com, has caught some flack around these parts. This is an age where some media entities represent Disney eared, Aaron McGruder caricatures adorned with extra teenie glasses whose sole aim is to pander to the disillusioned masses–themselves jackasses. You all know where I personally stand with Jemele. Similar to what we have here with the TSF creative, I wanted to engage you with provocative thoughts of visualizing where she stands in OUR collective hearts. There’s no one in journalism like her and she hears it from everyone. Could you imagine being in the center of a room with your eyes closed and wearing headphones? Opening your eyes, you are bombarded with screaming criticism from any and everyone. The faces are Black. The faces are White…Brown and so on and so forth. There are men. There are women and even youngsters.

You stand up with a sista burned fire ready to snap.. As you remove the headphones, the faces and voices fade to black like rescinding fog in a bizarro world. You wonder to yourself , “What the hell is going on?” Thinking aloud… “Is this my professional existence? Is this what I signed up for? Am I supposed to care what these strangers think? Why are they so passionate about the words I write? Do they scream their loved ones way, like they spew hatred and venom in my comment section every day?

Why do all these people want my writing to just go away?

I tell you what, this my destiny. I do this for the love. I’m here to stay no matter what they say….

Read Jemele’s archived work here.

It’s Friday. Jemele is coming off the set of ESPN’s First Take and on her way to the airport. She graciously takes time to give TSF some real rap.

I hope she answers some questions a few of you have about her writing philosophy. There are many music links below. Please check them all out because your soul will be enriched.


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Jemele Hill Part 3: 24 is better than 23 (interview from 4/27/2007)

Posted in Blogroll on June 19th, 2014 by Michael Tillery

Importing interviews from the original TSF wordpress site to the current version.

I have to personally apologize for the delay of part three. I simply have no excuse so I won’t cowardly use one. This conversation is more of a precusor for an interview DWil and I conducted with Scoop Jax that will be posted Monday entitled Vantage Point.

Read the first part one of Jemele’s interview again and notice that Jemele was the first to alert the sports world regarding Don Imus’ now infamous comments. We also discuss her knighting 24 as a better player than 23. That column sparked a mini controversy that she backs up her very eloquently here. Jemele is simply a journalistic force–not in a couple of years–but right now. Open your perspective to change and I assure you, it will be duly noted. She will be a voice of dissent in a white male dominated field that desperately needs adaptation. She’s not a female kicker, but a strong armed quarterback with the keys to an entire gender.

Could you handle the scrutiny?

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Interview with ESPN Columnist, Jemele Hill Part 2: #42; Pacman; Pokey, and the Real NBA MVP from 4/13/07

Posted in Blogroll on June 19th, 2014 by Michael Tillery

BET Presents "BALLERS" - May 24, 2007
Importing archived interviews from original TSF site to current site.

In Part 2 of this conversation, Jemele and I converse candidly about some issues that need to be addressed in sports. I really appreciate her honesty. It’s unusual to hear someone voice their true thoughts in such an arena. She deserves mad props for understanding the true meaning of what The Starting Five is all about. My wish is that all writers would be this forthcoming because only then will sports fans truly learn through a writer’s extensive experience as well as the sports they cover. We see sports differently than fans. The levels and layers of understanding are vastly different because its our specialty. These interviews have that in mind, so begin to see a little more objectively and open up your perspective of sports in general.

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Interview with Jemele Hill Part 1 from 4/11/07

Posted in Blogroll on June 19th, 2014 by Michael Tillery

Importing interviews from the original wordpress site to the current version.

Jemele Hill is the only Black female sports columnist currently writing for a major outlet. It’s very important there is a prominent influx of dissenting minority female voices in journalism so fans of sports get more objective coverage of the games they love. Jemele is very talented, knows her stuff and will be the force formidable for years to come. Because Jemele is alone, she carries the burden of cultivating role models in female youth who aspire to do what she does so well. Open your minds people and allow yourself to see things differently. I enjoy interviewing journalists because readers can get a insider view of the voices behind the pen. I hope you enjoy.

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Meet Doug and Jackie Christie (Interview from 10/6/06)

Posted in Blogroll on June 19th, 2014 by Michael Tillery

Importing interviews from MichaelTillery.com to TSF.

The Christies are a great example of what love should be. In a society where people flip flop in and out of marriages, they are the constant. They project strength that is refreshing to see. It has to be very difficult being a celebrity couple, but they do what works for them. During a recent trip to Vegas for Chris Webber’s charity weekend, Bada Bling, I was able to observe their interaction with other people. I can say personally that the media’s negative characterization of them is incorrect. Jackie wasn’t overbearing at all. Doug certainly wasn’t put off by her being there. There were scantily clad women everywhere – Vegas is what it is – and her reaction to people seemed very genuine. It put a smile on my face to see them dance, laugh and smile with one another. At times you could see the separation from everything that was going on when they shared private moments. Taking it all in moments. You could surely see that they are indeed best friends. They are their own entity and their picture of love is what every couple in this world needs to view.

The reality show will air on DirecTV’s new network, BET J on channel 330 starting October 5th at 10 PM EST. They recently gave me an interview via telephone to in part dispel the negative perception of their rock solid relationship.

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DJ Irie interview: The Soul Flow of DJ Irie from 4/27/07

Posted in Blogroll on June 19th, 2014 by Michael Tillery

Importing interviews from MichaelTillery.com to TSF.

During a trip to Vegas to cover Chris Webber’s Bada Bling Charity event, I happened upon one of the baddest DJ’s on the planet by chance. I was exhausted from having such a good time mingling and getting to know the numerous celebrities at Hard Rock Café’s Body English—from Nas and Kelis (Bossy was currently number one on the charts) to Emeka Okafor, playground legend Lloyd “Sweet Pea” Daniels, NBA champion Gary Payton and defensive stalwart Doug Christie (who was there with his lovely wife Jackie). Just so you know, Jackie is not the otherworldly jealous caricature media associated, so gently squash those ridiculous rumors. Common and Talib Kweli performed a classic set that I’ll not soon forget. My fiancé and I saw Common—my favorite alternative to what’s popular presently—perform a couple months earlier at the University of Delaware, so I knew the night would somehow develop its proper perspective. The night was laid back and especially memorable because I was able to reminisce and laugh with Webb, Juwan Howard, and Jimmy King of the Fab Five about their glory days—literally a dream come true.

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Interview with Dave Zirin from 5/10/07

Posted in Blogroll on June 19th, 2014 by Michael Tillery


Importing interviews from the original TSF wordpress site to the current one.


Dave Zirin is a lightning rod for trouble. He is a white man who boldly stepped into the arena of sports and race and politics – and took the side of the underdog. He has been attacked by writers like me (dwil) who questioned his conviction, his purpose, and his motives; questioned why a white man would chance the comfort of his skin color’s privilege to champion female athletes and athletes of color. He is still attacked by the other side who question his politics, mistaking his beyond progressive politics for the overly simplistic label of liberal-leftist.

By withstanding these attacks through plainly facing his critics, Zirin stands even taller than most allegedly insightful sports writing peers. What separates him from them is the depth of his understanding of the intersection of race and sports and politics, and society.

Now, he is feared by shallow members of the sports media, respected by thinkers who too see beyond the games into the dark morass of the corporate fray; into the fear-based sickness on which rests the pillars of institutional racism and sexism.

Dave Zirin is one sports writer who is unafraid to place his beliefs before the glare of the sun’s harsh light and unafraid to search moonless nights for hidden truths. In the following interview we explore these beliefs and these truths with him.


dwil (D. K. Wilson), mizzo (Michael Tillery)…


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