“Knowing that our EA SPORTS experiences are platforms for players to create, we want to make Madden NFL a place that reflects Colin’s position and talent, rates him as a starting QB, and empowers our fans to express their hopes for the future of football. We’ve worked with Colin to make this possible, and we’re excited to bring it to all of you today.”
EA Sports has worked with Kaepernick to make this opportunity available to the fans, even adding in his signature Black Power touchdown celebration.
When Colin Kaepernick scores on Madden 21, his signature celebration is a Black Power fist@BRGaming 🎮 @brgridiron
Amazingly, Kaepernick’s in-game statistics are somehow higher than his last appearance in Madden 17.
Unfortunately, it seems as if all the gears are turning for Kaepernick except for him actually having a job. The quarterback has yet to sign with an NFL team and has not taken a snap since the 2016 season.
Remember back in June when interested teams were supposedly talking to "friends and associates" of Colin Kaepernick before contacting his agent? They didn't contact his agent. And still haven't. https://t.co/X1gHq0CPZe
Following a series of PR-like press workouts, reports arose that teams were interested in signing Kaepernick. As of September 2020, not a single team has put pen to paper.
According to NFL Media, teams had contacted “friends and associates” of Kaepernick, and they would be contacting his agent when they “get to the point where they’re confident enough that they think they can work out a contract.”
Unsurprisingly, nothing ever saw the light of day.
It seems as if the league has been publishing these reports and organizing these press events in order to save some face. After all, the last thing that they want is to appear antagonistic towards one of the largest activists in the world.
To make it even more bizarre, 41-year-old quarterback Josh McCown recently signed a backup deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. The strange thing is that he doesn’t actually have to show up to work.
McCown will be paid $12,000 weekly to stay at home and remain “on-call” in case of an emergency.
Philadelphia is signing 41-year-old QB Josh McCown to its practice squad and making him oldest practice squad player in NFL history, league sources tell ESPN. McCown will live in Texas, make $12,000 a week and serve as the Eagles’ emergency QB.
The problem is not McCown’s contract, nor the fact that he is in his early 40’s. The real issue is that if a journeyman player like McCown can sign this “on-call” type of deal, how can a proven, in-shape, Super Bowl quarterback like Kaepernick remain unemployed?
It is a strange series of events that seem to keep twisting and turning. There is positive light though, with EA Sports recognizing and promoting Kaepernick’s off-field activism. This has arguably been a more important step in his career than any championship run could be.
15-year-old Bronny James was recently announced as the newest member of the professional eSports organization. He joins fellow athletes JuJu Smith-Schuster, Ben Simmons, and Josh Hart on the virtual games bandwagon.
The move will surely boost James’ online reputation, although it is already quite high. The Sierra Canyon high school star is the son of the NBA’s greatest player and will have his pick of division 1 schools to continue ball.
Since the announcement, James has gained an additional nearly 100,000 Instagram followers and has seen his views on Twitch skyrocket up 855%.
FaZe Clan head of communications Chelsey Northern clarified James’ position within the organization. “He does not have a contract with FaZe Clan… It’s an organic relationship between the talent and Bronny. He is an official member of FaZe, it’s just not a contractual or financial relationship.”
A post shared by @ bronny on Mar 21, 2020 at 6:11pm PDT
Money is clearly not an issue with James, who will likely be able to play collegiate ball free of charge. Furthermore, his forthcoming professional career will be his main priority in the next few years.
Before things get underway.. let's all give our thanks to the incredible team at @ATLFaZe for this unforgettable season.
From the players to the staff to Atlanta, we thank you.
The Los Angeles-based FaZe Clan is known for its lavish lifestyle, frat-like personalities, and top expertise within the online gaming community. Hundreds of millions of monthly views and pricey merchandising are just two of the benefits that James will receive in his initiation.
The move once again will help bridge the gap between athlete-fame and gamer-fame. It is a slightly surprising combination that has picked up significant steam in recent years, and will only grow with James’ addition.
The actions come in light of the recent shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old African American man in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake was shot seven times by police officers on Sunday while trying to enter the driver’s side of his vehicle. His three children were inside.
I applaud all the NBA players who decided that now is not the time for sport and play.
“The past four months have shed a light on the ongoing racial injustices facing our African-American communities. Citizens around the country have used their voices and platforms to speak out against these wrongdoings,” the Bucks players said.
For The Bucks, the systemic injustice and oppression were especially personal.
Bucks forward Sterling Brown was tased and arrested for parking in a handicap spot in 2018. Eight cops apprehended him for a misdemeanor, booking him for a misdemeanor, but did not properly Mirandize him, and searched his car without a warrant, or even probable cause.
The Bucks continued, “When we take the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort and hold each other accountable. We hold ourselves to that standard, and in this moment, we are demanding the same from our lawmakers and law enforcement.”
President Barack Obama and several other players sent their support in favor of the boycotts.
Change doesn’t happen with just talk!! It happens with action and needs to happen NOW! For my @IPROMISESchool kids, kids and communities across the country, it’s on US to make a difference. Together. That's why your vote is @morethanavote ✊🏾 #BlackLivesMatter
“We’re just trying to figure out what we can do to not only bring light to the situation of what happened and how it’s wrong with police brutality,” said safety Duron Harmon, “but how can we as a team create change.”
“When people you care about go through things like that, it’s tough,” said Matthew Stafford. “And I wish America, I wish everybody could be on these calls or be in these meetings. I feel so lucky and privileged to be a part of it.”
The ripple effect continued across the NFL, as several other teams suspended practice and delivered statements.
Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill: America “was founded on racist ideals.”
The moves across the sports world have resonated throughout the country.
Athletes are demonstrating to their leagues and to the nation that racial violence cannot and will not be tolerated. Their refusal to participate in sporting events is a courageous and humble move that will only help stress the severity of the situation.
There are several things across the world that are more important than sports now. A global pandemic and unacceptable occurrences of racist-fueled attacks and police brutality have plagued society and culture in an unforgettable way.
The only way past these two crises are to stand together. And that is just what the world of sports is doing.
We look forward to watching safe play resume, but not before a profound and striking message has been established. Luckily, the world’s sports stars will not give up until change is made.
Licensed scumbag Dan Bilzerian is everything that kids want to be when they’re older.
Vivid parties, beautiful women, and Gatsby-like mansions take up just some of the 39-year-old internet personality’s life. Not to mention his 32.1 million Instagram followers.
Unfortunately, it looks like Bilzerian’s time might just be up. According to a lawsuit that was filed this week, Bilzerian rents his house and charges his lavish lifestyle to a credit card that someone else pays off.
In other words, the money doesn’t belong to him. Oof.
Bilzerian’s Los Angeles house, for example, has a monthly rent of $200,000. The house, along with the parties, boats, and models are charged to Ignite International Ltd., a company that Bilzerian helped develop.
This information comes courtesy of Curtis Heffernan, the former president of Ignite. Heffernan was supposedly fired from the weed company after he acted as a whistleblower, bringing suspicious company funds to light.
According to TMZ, some of these funds included a $60K ‘Star Wars’ gun set, a $50K bed frame, and a $75K paintball field.
Besides the fact that these are the dream purchases of a 12-year-old, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with buying these items. That is unless you made them with the company’s credit card.
According to Forbes, Ignite managed to lose a staggering $50 million in 2019. They had a lot of “other peoples’ money” which they were using to cover operational and miscellaneous costs. The company reportedly even went on a “spending spree” right when its stock had tanked.
I wonder who could have been behind that?
The suit continues to claim that the company paid upwards of $26,000 to boost Blizerian’s Instagram following, and has continuously cashed in for the “rotating cast of models that permanently accompany Bilzerian wherever he goes.”
In a statement provided by TMZ, Bilzerian denied the allegations in Heffernan’s suit and vowed to counter-sue.
While an outsider might view this as a bad patch in an influencers’ life, Blizerian’s antics and behaviors have never failed to impress.
In December 2014, Bilzerian threw a pornographic actress off the roof of his house into a pool. She came up a bit short, and broke her foot after hitting the edge. The event had been part of a magazine shoot, and the 18-year-old model ended up asking Bilzerian for $85,000 of injury money.
Bilzerian refused. After a lawsuit was filed, the magazine’s attorney claimed that the toss was “an act of God,” and that it was neither the magazine’s nor Bilzerian’s fault for the injuries.
That same year, Bilzerian was arrested in Los Angeles for making a bomb. He was booked at the LAPD’s Pacific Division on December 9, and was released from custody the next day. Bilzerian pleaded no contest in 2015, and was fined $17K.
In June 2015, Bilzerian made the heartwarming announcement that he would be running for President of the United States in the 2016 election. A few months later, he just ended up endorsing Donald Trump.
While taking a trip to Armenia in 2018 with his brother and father, Bilzerian visited a shooting range in the Republic of Artsakh where he fired weapons. Due to the contested nature of the country at the time, the government of Azerbaijan sent a note of protest to the United States government, demanding an arrest warrant for Bilzerian.
Unfortunately, the warrant did not go through, but Bilzerian remains on the country’s international wanted list.
Most notably, Bilzerian has boasted several times about participating in United States Navy SEAL training twice. He never actually became a SEAL, though, but curiously felt the need to sue the Lone Survivor film producers for not giving him more screen time.
In case Bilzerian wasn’t aware, Lone Survivor tells the true story of a 2005 group of American heroes who gave their lives fighting against Taliban insurgents. The film was a beautiful and emotional piece of cinema, telling one of the most notable stories in American military history.
The 25-year-old actor recently starred in He, the People, a short film documenting the life of security guard Frank Wills and his experiences after blowing the whistle on the Watergate Scandal.
I had the opportunity to speak with Kelly about his own life and work with this recent project. It was an eye-opening and learning experience that taught me how visions come to fruition, and how a genuine interest in storytelling can change times for the better.
As a young kid, Kelly’s introduction to acting came when he was thrown into various drama clubs and after-school programs. It served as his outlet at the time, and when he entered his teenage years, Kelly enrolled at the Harlem School of the Arts.
Kelly met several of his lifelong coaches and mentors at HSA. It was a strong experience for him that allowed him to build a foundation of mentorship and early passion for acting. Here, Kelly also met his manager who later started her own talent company.
Since 2010, Kelly has been signed with Innovative Artists, working professionally to achieve his dream. He has always been a charismatic and entertaining individual and has loved imitating people whom he has encountered or viewed on T.V. This is where he realized his love of acting came from.
“I really enjoy storytelling, whether it’s acting or writing music, just using my skills and my gifts to tell stories and to inspire people. I knew that that was what I wanted to do from a young age.”
Kelly’s love for creating music is another part of his thriving artistic life.
He put out his first extended play record in 2016 and hopes to incorporate more music with his show Wu-Tang: An American Saga. The Hulu show has had him portray Masta Killa since 2019. It tells the story of a young group of Black men torn between music and crime, who eventually grow to become one of America’s unlikeliest success stories.
“People get a chance to actually see that side of me because, for the longest time, people just saw me as an actor. But now with Wu-Tang, I have a chance to shed some light on the music side.”
Growing up, Kelly was always attracted to dramas and biopics. He enjoyed tapping into iconic and legendary characters who had a strong significance to culture and society. With his versatility towards storytelling, Kelly has been able to reach great success in this genre by representing individuals whom he believes in.
The story of He, the People
Kelly portrayed Frank Wills, a security guard involved with the Watergate Scandal, in Steven Spielberg’s 2017 film The Post. The film tells the story of two Washington Post writers who decided to reveal the Pentagon papers to the American people.
Frank Wills was a security guard working at the Watergate complex in 1972. He discovered a suspicious piece of tape and called the police, who found five burglars in the building wiretapping phones and stealing documents.
These individuals were connected to Richard Nixon, who was engaged in corruption at the time. The reveal led to his resignation.
“If Wills had never found the tape or was never diligent enough to call the police, American society would have never known that there was corruption going on in the White House at the hands of the President,” Kelly explained.
In Spielberg’s film, Kelly had one scene at the end where he took the tape off the door and called the police. The film ends on a cliffhanger, and the audience assumes the following events given the nature of the Watergate scandal.
One night, Kelly was discussing the film with his father, and they decided that a movie should exist based on Wills’ life.
They had been researching him and realized that following his brief moment of fame, Wills was blackballed when trying to find a job. One company even told him that they couldn’t hire him because they were federally funded.
“He was a man who did his job and exposed evils in an American government. And at the end of the day, he got punished for it,” Kelly said.
Wills eventually had to move back in with his mother and live off of her social security income. After she passed away, they could not even afford a funeral.
He was arrested after trying to hide a pair of tennis shoes in his bag for his son. It was meant to be a surprise, but by the time the cashier called the police, the officers arrested him. Wills was sentenced to a year in prison, where “He, the People” takes place.
Kelly found it interesting how nobody had ever told the man’s story before although he had been an icon in the ‘70s. No film or even literature existed about Wills’ life. Kelly took it as his “divine orchestration” to tell the story and shed light on his life.
Brandon Hugo Arroyo was the director and co-writer of the film alongside Kelly. The two had worked on several films together in college and on one of Kelly’s music videos. They agreed to create a short film, a “snap-shot” of Wills’ life.
To figure out his motivations, Kelly traveled to Augusta, Georgia to spend the day with Wills’ family. They took him to his gravesite, and Kelly was able to meet his family members, childhood friends, and spend time in his high school.
Wills passed away in 2000 at the age of 52 due to a brain tumor. Kelly, fortunately, got a feel of who he was through his family and hometown.
Following that, Kelly visited the Schomburg Library in Harlem to print out vintage Jet Magazine articles about Wills. This further developed his understanding of the man’s life and motivations, and Kelly was ready to portray his life on screen.
“Those nine minutes were just a matter of trying to stay true to the essence of who he was and maintain his integrity, but then also, take the right artistic liberties in certain regards, and just try to tell a captivating story.”
The main thing that the pair wanted to highlight in the film was the mental damage caused to Wills following the Watergate event. Wills’ uncle had told Kelly how paranoid he was following Watergate, and how Frank was concerned about retaliation. This was something that they wanted to portray in his fight for freedom, and include all of the aspects of his life.
Significance in today’s America
“This is a film that directly puts a mirror up to nature, as Shakespeare once said,” Kelly explains. “I think that in order to change, the first step is to confront what the problem is.”
Kelly believes that the film reflects the realities of today’s world regarding justice, government corruption and racial tension. “Frank Wills represents a normal person who happened to be in the right place at the right time.”
There was a moment in his life where he changed history, just from being vigilant and aware. Wills represents the symbolism that everybody can create and spark positive change in our society. He demonstrated that idea on a practical level.
As Kelly explains, there are so many things that ordinary people can do towards change. Calling centers, writing letters, and voting are just some of the individual aspects that society desperately needs.
“It’s not far-fetched for me to wonder why no one ever told his story and maybe it was due to fear themselves. As an artist to tackle this, this is a film that speaks so much to corruption in government.”
The story’s future
In the next five years, Kelly hopes to continue developing the full story. He and Arroyo are working on developing the full biopic for a feature-length by using the short film as leverage.
They are not rushing anything, but they are intentional about how they are using their time, as a certain responsibility comes with telling a full story. The pair are prioritizing the writing aspect currently, and are looking forward to meeting with studios and executives soon.
“I really see people being impacted by this story because I don’t think a lot of people know who Frank Wills was. And I think once people understand who he was and his impact, it will serve as a catalyst for action.”
In terms of advice for aspiring storytellers, Kelly recommends to find a distinct and heartfelt narrative:
“Make sure that your story is unique. In our case, it was interesting because nobody had ever told his story. But for other people who are writing any story based on like another living person or any type of time period, know that reality. It’s just a matter of doing the research and making sure that your voice can stand out, because it has to be unique.”
Kelly’s representation of Wills is a powerful and gripping role. His attitude towards film, stories, and representation is truly magnificent, and inspire all who view his content.
We cannot wait to see what Kelly will work on next. It will surely be a moving piece of history.
As sports and shoe fans alike know, no story is complete without the right designer. These magicians are the heads behind the project, constantly creating and outlining the tools towards an athlete’s performance.
Reggie Wilson is the designer behind the UA Embiid Ones. A senior designer at Under Armour, he loves the challenge of designing better shoes and constantly aims to help athletes achieve maximum performance.
We had the opportunity to speak with Wilson regarding his career and the behind-the-scenes aspects of professional shoe design. It was an insightful look into the world of imagination and passion that leads to top-notch material.
A post shared by Reggie Wilson (@reggie.wilson.rj) on Jan 15, 2020 at 6:19am PST
Sports and design were things that Wilson always had a strong interest in. As a kid in Baltimore, Maryland, the two things that he truly loved were shoe design and NBA basketball. He knew that he wanted to do one of these things as an adult and luckily settled for the design realm.
After working at FedEx after high school, Wilson decided to follow his dreams. When the competitive reality of professional basketball hit him, he remembered his youthful passion for drawing. It led him to shift away from the typical 9-5 job and pursue something different.
“I’ve been exposed to so much and I’ve been able to see so many things because of this job, professional, traveling, things like that. I couldn’t imagine being here 15 years ago.”
Wilson’s largest roadblock came during the financial crisis in 2008, right after he had graduated college. He received an apprenticeship with Reebok, but encountered a hiring freeze, and was forced to go back home and live with his mother.
“I just remember working in the night, during our lunch breaks at two o’clock in the morning just sketching. I would take naps on the shelves at like three o’clock in the morning,” says Wilson.
It was a low point for him, but after he received his first job with PUMA as a designer, he hung up his Walmart badge in his cubicle as a reminder.
The early work made him hard-headed, as working simple retail could not solve thousands of dollars in student debt.
“Let me quote Under Armour’s tagline right now, it was the only way through and I just keep grinding. I was motivated.”
Wilson’s experience as a designer with professional athletes still hasn’t sunk in yet. He remembers walking the streets of Philadelphia, dreaming about one day designing sneakers with athletes. Ten years later, Wilson has walked those same streets with a grasp on his successful work.
Wilson finds pride in working with Under Armour, a company that has helped revolutionize the athletic industry. He loves the story that is attached to Embiid’s career.
“To start playing basketball at 15 and then six months later, he’s in the US to start his transition is a unique journey. We were able to capture some of that with the design of the shoe because if you look at the outsole it literally shows its journey. Where we have Africa in the heel of the shoe and then it kind of transitions to this outline of America,” explains Wilson.
Wilson mentions how it is an all-around good shoe for any athlete, but more importantly, holds that deep storytelling aspect.
The outsole is Wilson’s favorite part of the shoe, as it chronologically follows Embiid’s journey starting with his origins in Cameroon, his childhood, and his eventual path to the US.
Wilson has learned many things in his career, but one notable notch of information is how he utilizes movement and size. There are several decisions that a team must take with this, as they measure the tread thickness on the bottom of the shoes. Even two millimeters of measurement can make a difference in durability.
The process consists of a lot of research, meeting with 76ers trainers, and of course, discussing with the big man himself
“It is important to remember that you are designing for a super athlete that is at the peak of his game on a championship team,” Wilson says. “So it is really, really critical.”
Wilson also recognizes the importance of being a Black man working in this position. There were not many Black designers back when he was growing up, and even fewer designers have the opportunity to design these signature shoes for athletes today.
A post shared by Reggie Wilson (@reggie.wilson.rj) on Aug 19, 2020 at 12:22pm PDT
Wilson believes in the importance of the process, and how it can inspire kids of color in the future.
“There are more opportunities than just being an athlete,” he says.
Being a Black man working in this industry comes with a considerable amount of pressure. For Wilson, the pressure is a good thing. The edge that he feels helps him hone in on his work, designing the best possible materials for athletes.
Wilson tries not to think too much about the next few years.
“If you think about that, if you make it bigger than what it really is, you can cripple yourself mentally. Just try to think about it as art. I played basketball growing up, so I can tap in [to] some of those things that I did as a kid.”
In terms of an endgame, however, Wilson hopes to continue working with athletes. Long term, he recognizes the systematic issues that exist in his hometown Baltimore.
Wilson has a “weird dream” to eventually get into politics. He feels that politicians could use a design mind, a different edge than the lawyers and business people who currently fill the spots.
“It’s kind of this outside dream that I have. But I thought the dream of being a designer was a dream as well. So maybe I could be on that ticket in 20 years,” Wilson says.
In terms of advice for a younger designer audience? Wilson says, “Definitely continue to sketch as much as you can.” He advises finding something unique and different that draws passion.
“I would tell a young designer to kind of figure out what you want to be, what is your lane? What will help separate you from other people, because at the end of the day, that’s what makes you stand out and what makes a potential employer want to take a chance on you.”
“We believe that safety protocols have been established and can be maintained to mitigate concerns of exposure to COVID-19. We believe that we should have the right to make decisions about what is best for our health and our future. Don’t let our hard work and sacrifice be in vain.”
The petition has raised over 286,000 signatures and has garnered the attention of big-time athletic directors and television networks.
“The vote of the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors was overwhelmingly in support of postponing fall sports and will not be revisited,” Warren said in an open letter to the Big Ten community.
Warren continued to cite multiple safety factors leading to the decision, including the fact that “transmission rates continue to rise at an alarming rate with little indication from medical experts that our campuses, communities or country could gain control of the spread of the virus prior to the start of competition.”
Fields believes that student-athletes are safer on-campus within a football bubble than anywhere else during the COVID-19 battle. He has decided not to opt-out this fall.
“For me, it’s just for the love of the game and my love for Ohio State, my coaches, and my teammates,” Fields told Good Morning America. “Just having us play football within the facility daily will keep us safe from the virus.”
The quarterback does have a point. With quarantine, consistent testing, and strict social distancing measures, a college football bubble could. The NBA’s success so far could represent a positive outlook for the method.
However, it is not quite that simple. College football is more than just a simple pastime, it is a tradition of American culture.
Because of this, the effects extend far beyond solely the players on the field.
Tailgates, parties, and other huge gatherings tailored to football are a norm among college campuses. Not to mention the countless amount of alumni, family members, and production staff who attend these events.
As a social phenomenon, college football exists as a danger to those who support it. The success of a bubble format would have to be contingent on the limitation of the NCAA’s social extensions.
Along with this exists the issue of University liability. College football players have the responsibility of being students first and therefore fall under all University rules and regulations.
There is a fantastically large number of policies that the NCAA must hold in coordination with university systems to allow athletic eligibility.
The sum of them all point the responsibility to the universities at the end of the day, and no college is willing to risk the health of their students over college football, no matter how financially crucial it is.
The financial loss is a bullet that universities are willing to bite. The 25 most profitable college football programs made well over $1 billion in revenue in 2018. The Texas A&M program alone garnered $148 million in revenue, netting $107 million.
NEW: Most valuable college football teams. Texas A&M and Texas are No. 1 & No. 2, according to three-year revenue averages, according to @Forbes. pic.twitter.com/3o90V62b2V
Universities and athletic leagues are in a sticky situation as nobody wants to cancel college football. It is a profitable, longstanding, and integral part of American culture that has countless positive benefits.
Unfortunately, safety regulations are preventing any advancement. It is difficult for student-athletes to recognize it at the moment, but all of the cancellations are designed for safety purposes.
Very few people, if anybody, is benefiting from the loss of college football. Perhaps the elderly neighbors who are trying to get some sleep on a Saturday night.
We eagerly await the final decisions regarding the fall sport. Regardless of the outcome, things will eventually get better.
The NBA playoff season is finally here. And with it comes the standard flurry of predictions, hot takes, and not-so-friendly bets.
As the 16 teams will finally square off in bubble, numerous storylines have formed to bring us to this point. Most notably, the current season is taking place in one of the strangest times in history. Never before has a public health nightmare taken such a large toll on the world’s favorite hoops league.
Nevertheless, the battle will resume during these uncertain times. Regardless of the long-lasting impact, one squad will be returning home with the shiny Larry O’Brien trophy. Unfortunately for the city of Los Angeles, it will not be the Lakers.
The Lakers were one of the league’s best teams after bursting through the gates with a 17-2 record. Much of this success was due to the Lakers’ offseason free-agent revamp, with former Pelicans forward Anthony Davis leading the pack.
By March 10th, the Lakers had fought their way to a 49-14 record, primed to take a top spot in the Western Conference.
However, the team encountered some trouble following the league’s extended break. The Lakers have only managed to go 3-5 since arriving in Orlando, managing close wins against the Clippers, Jazz, and Nuggets.
The squad was shaken by the Raptors during their 65th game and endured a three-game losing streak after taking a pounding from the Thunder on August 5th.
The Lakers are set to begin a first-round series against the Trail Blazers. This is where one of their biggest problems exists: Damian Lillard.
The 30-year-old guard is the last type of player that the team needs to encounter first. In the past two weeks, Dame D.O.L.L.A has recorded 45, 51, and 61 point performances, tying his career-high with the latter.
The Lakers have faced trouble this season when underestimating opponents with hot-off-the-press talent. Their recent 97-113 loss against Houston saw James Harden drop 39 points and Ben McLemore dish out a generous 20.
Although Lillard has only averaged 42 minutes per game in the bubble, a revamped rush of adrenaline against the league’s best in LeBron James could quickly shy away from his fatigue. Not to mention that Lillard has averaged 36 points per game against the Lakers this season.
Along with this, the Lakers have had the second-worst true shooting percentage during the bubble’s eight games. The Blazers can use this to their advantage by forcing the ball from the deep court.
Even if the Lakers do find a way past the Blazers, their two best players could come to haunt them in the later rounds.
While it would be borderline insane to place “LeBron James” and “non-clutch” in the same sentence, James’ 2020 action-shot points must be taken into consideration.
Out of the 54 players who have scored at least 50 clutch points this season, Mavericks guard Luka Donic is the only player to have done so less efficiently than LeBron. His shooting percentage of 41.9% came to hurt the Mavs in their loss against the Clippers last night.
James is only 6-for-39 in jump shots outside of the paint during clutch moments. Along with this, he has attempted less than half of the number of clutch shots than he did two years ago. With only 60 attempts, the Lakers must take a more approached structure with James in the playoffs. It is all notable, but it is also likely one of the byproducts of a player in his 17th league year.
Anthony Davis, on the other hand, has a glaring lack of playoff experience.
By only making the playoffs twice, including one first-round loss, Davis will have to start mentally sound in an opening match against a flaming hot Blazers squad. Again, this will be tough to overcome given the substantial change in atmosphere and nonexistent arena fans. Impossible, no, but a notable challenge, most definitely.
LeBron has not succeeded with a playoff partner carrying the lack of experience that Davis has. Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving both had heavy exposure to the playoffs during James’ past championships.
Davis will have to step up in the unfamiliar territory that exists within the Orlando Bubble. This will be especially necessary against Lillard’s Blazers, but will also have to translate to the further rounds.
All in all, the Lakers have a chance to make yet another Finals. Of course they do. They have LeBron freaking James.
However, this is one of the most uncertain and cautious LeBron squads that we have seen entering round one of the playoffs. Frank Vogel will have to game plan accordingly in order to utilize his two superstars effectively and hold off the flames and uncertainty of a loud Blazers squad and quiet Orlando bubble.
We look forward to seeing the Lakers and Blazers face off tonight. If they start struggling though, it might be time to read in between the lines.
“I’m blessed enough to have millions of fans and followers,” he said. “So it is a great partnership. I’m going to bring new eyes to their service, they’re going to bring new money to my bank account, and — I’m just kidding.”
This sudden announcement comes only mere days after Logic announced his retirement from rap. It is a peculiar move that prematurely ends the 30-year-old’s lively and popular career.
Officially announcing my retirement with the release of “No Pressure” executive produced by No I.D. July 24th…
It’s been a great decade. Now it’s time to be a great father.
Born Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Logic grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He was surrounded by drug abuse and was dismissed from his high school in tenth grade for unrelated reasons.
Logic met Solomon Taylor at the age 13, quickly viewing him as a role model and a mentor. He became interested in rap after watching Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Volume 1, which included a score produced by Wu-Tang Clan member RZA.
Logic released his first mixtape, Young, Broke, & Infamous, in December 2010. Over the next decade, he would soar in popularity and go on to release five studio albums, one soundtrack album, six mixtapes, 36 singles, and three promotional singles.
He won the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards “Best Fight Against the System” for “Black Spiderman,” and the 2017 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards “Most Performed Song” for “Sucker for Pain.”
Logic was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2018 for his smash hit “1-800–273-8255,” and won the “Award Winning Song” at the BMI Pop Awards for the same work.
While Logic’s sudden jump into Twitch might surprise some, he is a self-proclaimed video game nerd, as his 2016 album Bobby Tarantino features a song titled “Super Mario World.” The same song also makes a reference to widely popular PlayStation exclusive game Uncharted 4.
Rappers and performers like Logic are always looking to engage with their fans in the best ways possible. Twitch is a platform that offers unique ways of connection in the form of live-streaming and event-gatherings.
“I think it’s a powerful platform that allows me to connect with my fans in the best way possible,” he said.
“This is the place where if you want to interact with me, you’re going to do it here. I’m not going to be on Twitch, having political debates. I’m going to be on Twitch, helping people smile after they’ve had a day of protesting or political debates, unwind and laugh and smile.”
Twitch is the world’s largest video game streaming platform and has recently seen celebrities take their shots to earn subscription-based money and new forms of entertainment.
According to Forbes, the sense of community offered by Twitch is unparalleled to any other streaming site.
“Users don’t join the platform just to watch on-demand video solo like they would on YouTube. They come to engage with their community, one that’s fueled by a live chat that connects directly with the streamer and is built around that streamer’s personality. The community is often more important than the live stream itself.”
With esports taking a huge popularity increase, and the future of professional sporting events, concerts, and social gatherings unknown, Twitch is the place for connection in the pandemic-stricken year of 2020.
Logic’s seven-figure contract proves that no celebrity or performing artist is above the methods of live-streaming and community connection. His sudden career change reinforces the way that stars strive to engage with their audiences and demonstrates key importance in online branding and socialization.
Logic’s welcoming stream occurred on July 21, and he is sure to drop more events throughout the rest of the summer. His final album, No Pressure, will release tomorrow exclusively on Twitch and is certain to be a bittersweet experience.
The five-time NBA All-Star smashed 61 points through the hoop to lift the Portland Trail Blazers in a critical win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Lillard scored a late three to tie his career-high points scored, and rolled to his third 60-plus point game of the season. He is one of two players to do so in league history, taking a spot next to Wilt Chamberlain.
Only two NBA players have ever scored 60 points three times in one season:
Recently, Lillard has caught buzz regarding his interactions with the media and fellow players.
After missing two free throws in the last 18 seconds on Saturday, Lillard was mocked by opposing LA Clippers guard Patrick Beverly. He imitated Lillard’s trademark Dame Time celebration by pointing to his wrist and waving goodbye to the Blazers.
“Asking me about Patrick Beverley, who I sent him home before at the end of a game. Paul George is a guy sent home by me last year in the playoffs, so they know. The reason they reacting like that is because of what they expecting from me, which is a sign of respect, and it just shows what I have done at a high clip more times than not. I am not offended by it.”
Damian Lillard to Paul George: Keep switching teams … running from the grind. You boys is chumps.
Lillard held himself accountable for the loss but refused to let it hold him down. His comments, as well as his off-court interactions with players, have shown the honest, outspoken, and loyal leader that he is.
Recently, Lillard has also developed beef with infamously outspoken sports columnist Skip Bayless.
The Skip and Shannon: Undisputed star has been known to criticize LeBron James over various topics during his career. Lillard recently admitted over Twitter that he has confronted Bayless regarding the hate.
Lillard was rated only a two-star prospect by Rivals coming out of high school. After helping lead his Oakland Oakers high school team to a 23-9 record his senior year, he accepted a scholarship to Weber State University.
As a freshman, Lillard was named the Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year after averaging 11.5 points per game. In his sophomore year, he improved his average to 19.9 points per game and led the Wildcats to the conference championship. He was named honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press.
After taking a medical redshirt the following year, he averaged 24.5 points per game his junior year and won his second Big Sky Player of the Year award. He forewent his senior season to enter the 2012 NBA Draft and picked up sixth overall by Portland.
Lillard’s rookie year was a boom. He was one of 10 NBA players to score 1,500 points and finished fifth in the league in 3-pointers made. After starting all 82 games and averaging 19.0 points per game, Lillard won the Rookie of the Year Award, becoming the fourth person in history to do so unanimously.
Over the next seven seasons, Lillard would garner five All-Star selections, an All-NBA First Team selection in 2018, and would lead his team to Western Conference Finals in 2019.
It takes a village!
My new video for #HomeTeam is out now. Celebrating family, friends, loyalty and what we can build when we stick together.
Lillard’s success has come in the form of team wins, awards, and a distinct off-court approach. It is rare to come across a player who is so honest to himself and his teammates. Lillard will say and do things as they are, without worrying about repercussions.
The Oakland-native has the opportunity to take the Blazers deep into the playoffs this strange season. We cannot wait to see Lillard take fire these next few weeks.