Stars Were Out


by Mack Williams
18 February 2015

I. Love Is In The Air

After Valentine’s Day Weekend, where people were going on dates with significant others and candy companies were preparing for significant bank deposits, U. of Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma has to be loving what he saw in Little League shutout pitcher Mo’ne Davis in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.

Davis, currently in the eighth grade and the captain of her high school varsity team, has said she wants to attend and play basketball at UConn.

II. Can Man Fly?

Nowadays, at the NBA Dunk Contest, people are attempting dunks over players and chairs and stars and cars, but there’s still something riveting about the original contest-winning dunk Julius Erving did at the first ABA Dunk Contest in 1976. (Oh, as they say, to have been a fly on the wall at New York Nets – yes, their ABA name – practices where I’ve been told that Dr. J and Larry “Mr. K.” Kenon used to have dunk contests that were a sight to see on the regular!)

But back to the future, this year’s winner, Zach LaVine has some stuff with him! He and Andrew Wiggins and Ricky Rubio may have the beginnings of something big, or at least bigger, with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

III. End Of An Era

When thinking about the New York Knicks and their history during their last 45 years, one can more or less group them in eras of significance:

The Championship Era (1969-81…extended through the retirement of the last championship player, Earl Monroe)

The Bernard King Era (1982-87…although he did not play in 85-86 and only the last six games in 86-87)

The Patrick Ewing Era (1985-2000)

The Amar’e Stoudemire Era (2010-2015)…which is now over now that he has been waived after the negotiation of a buyout. It was an era which began with the excitement level somewhat similar to what Bernard King brought, as Amar’e was arguably the best player in the league during the first half of the 2010-11 season…prior to the arrival of Carmelo Anthony.

But in realty the Amar’e era ended right then, for the combination of these two stars did not for the most part produce the success that would have been hoped for, if not expected, with the exception of the 2013 division-winning team – and once Carmelo arrived, it became his team. Plus injuries sadly took Amar’e from superstar to part-time player. Hopefully the rest of his career will work out well for him.

IV. Why?

Accused of using players from out of their district, the U.S. Champion Jackie Robinson West Little League has been stripped of their title and had their wins taken away…as if you can really erase history, and that awarding someone else a title they didn’t win on the field will cement their legacy as champions.

A few questions, however, remain:

1) To the coaches/administrators…why? Life should have shown you by now that a Black person or organization would be under more scrutiny. But…

2) Why would it take so long to find these transgressions? My youth baseball experience was that as a coach, you often carried everyone’s full info with you to tournaments…and now it took six months to find this?

3) Why would their neighboring Little League organization allegedly drop a dime on them, especially considering the positive effect the JR LL had on the city within what was a horrific year with respect to the violence in the city of Chicago? With that said, glad to see that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is going to honor the team with championship rings.

V. Fair And Balanced

When I finish this I’m tempted to send my resume to FOX News…a place that I would never have imagined myself looking to go to. But if Brian Williams is suspended without pay for six months from the anchor desk at NBC for one falsehood told, then by all rights virtually every anchor position at FOX should be open. So they should really be accepting resumes.

UPDATED: Fox Affiliate Apologizes For Airing Obama Photo Instead Of Rape Suspect

VI. The Gospel Truth

After what many felt to be a much less than thrilling Grammy performance of Precious Lord, Take My Hand by Beyoncé, some were trying to connect the dots to something six years ago…which in all fairness to Mrs. Carter, does not work.

On the evening of January 20th, 2009, while Republicans in D.C. were plotting how they were going to thwart any and everything proposed by the newly-inaugurated President Obama – good or not – the President and First Lady were dancing at various inaugural balls to “At Last,” as sung by Beyoncé, not the original artist, Etta James. Beyoncé took heat from some for that, but her presence was undoubtedly by request from the First Family – and it was her time, her era.

This situation was different…in that she asked her way onto this spot despite the fact that Ledisi – a contemporary of hers – had performed Precious Lord so brilliantly in the film “Glory.” Then after getting herself put on, she failed to channel any Mahalia Jackson in her performance. Nor did she put her own unforgettable spin on it to make you consider it a new classic.

Another reason to see “Glory” if you haven’t already.

VII. Shondaland

Finally a grand jury indicted a policeman for the killing of an unarmed person of color…especially since it’s been said that a DA worth his or her salt can get an indictment on a ham sandwich.

I was beginning to believe How To Get Away With Murder shouldn’t be starring Viola Davis.

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