Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Failed Concept by Many: Marbury leads the Pack

So it seems Stephon Marbury cannot keep himself out of controversy.

Marbury stated camp in October that, "he refuses to come off the bench in New York."

In an ironic twist of events. Marbury was granted his wish.

No matter how much Marbury has claimed to become a new man, there seems to be flashes of the old Starbury lingering. Marbury, who has stated that he refuses to accept, "a penny less" than the $21 million he is owed, has been relegated to Jerome James Universe, otherwise known as the inactive list. The Knicks refuse to jeopardize their growth and development for Marbury, who will not be wearing orange and blue after the 2008-09 campaign anyway. With the second highest salary in the NBA, Marbury is untradable, unmovable, and basically stuck. As long as this "stalemate" of a standoff between Marbury and New York Knicks management continues, he will continue to be an issue, and a dark cloud (with a Starbury logo stamped in ofcourse) over the Knicks organization, its season, and its new era.

With the Knicks eleven games into the season, the Marbury issue has begun to lose life. And why shouldn't it? There is not anything left to speculate or discuss until a major move occurs. Buyout or trade. With that said, a statement from another NBA player regarding Marbury's issue has sparked another issue. In a previous column written before the season started (Star(bury) Crossed Career: Now or Never for Stephon), yours truly touched on this year being a make or break year for Stephon's career.

So far, Marbury's year seems to be a driving force into the final nail of his coffin for his career and image.

Marbury, who seems to value the $21 million more than his own legacy (not the one he has created in his own mind), has not budged on negotiations for a buyout. He wants all of his money and he wants to be let go. He wants his cake, and wants to eat it as well. Unfortunately, for such a savvy businessman as Stephon Marbury, he doesn't understand the value and importance of this year.

Which brings the story to the comments made by Sam Cassell of the Boston Celtics. Sam Cassell stated:
They should let him go. They always tell us to be professional. Be Professional about it. Let the man go. Why not? I've known steph for years. I said a long time ago that he was special. That he's still going through all of this; its crazy. Let him go.
Now there are a lot of baggage that comes with that statement. I understand the loyalty to the NBA Players Association. And I understand the bond to the fraternity as players. However, for Cassell to request that the New York Knicks give Marbury $21 million to go play somewhere else without any sort of compromise is ludicrous.

Cassell, who last year signed an agreement with the Los Angeles Clippers wanted out, and was highly interested in signing with the Boston Celtics. He requested a buyout with the Clippers. Despite the shady character decision of wanting out of his deal to sign with a better team mid-season, Cassell agreed to forgo half of his salary to be let out of his contract. Cassell understands the process of a buyout. You give something, to get something.

Stephon Marbury has failed to grasp this concept.

The same way he has failed to grasp the concept of him embarrassing the Knick organization through his countless escapades of trials, empty promises, outlandish comments, team hiatus' and running off various coaches.

In a rare situation, the owner, and management have created a new way for leverage in negotiation and business. And suddenly, the players are crying about it.

Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks have followed suit in the Stephon Marbury situation by benching and rendering Jerry Stackhouse inactive, another talented, but overly verbally aggressive character.

Is it morally correct? No. But neither the way some athletes have signed rich and incentive laden deals, yet still carry themselves like they deserve, have the right to, or the world owes them.

Stephon Marbury and Jerry Stackhouse are both very talented players in the NBA. But somehow, most fans will never see the day when a Tim Duncan is told to "just sit out." And there is a clear and concise reason for a situation such as that never occurring with Duncan. Sam Cassell in essence was correct. Be Professional. However, he should have added, not only when it is beneficial to you, but at all times.

Another concept Stephon Marbury has failed to grasp.

It's dissapointing for Stephon Marbury to be linked with the greatness of Oscar Robertson statistically, yet be worlds away in the way fans see them both. Marbury could play next year for another team, in another city, and go on to do great things, even win a title. However, as stated in that article in May, "Marbury's antics as a Knick have cost him his career, and that can be solidified this upcoming season. Mark my words - this is Stephon Marbury's last chance."

And it is. Yet, Marbury is more concerned with not accepting "a penny less" than $21 million.

Just another failed concept for Marbury.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lesnar Brings More Than Pain


Here comes the pain!

It's a reference many fans of Brock Lesnar have heard throughout his career. Whether it be professional wrestling, professional football, or mixed martial arts, Lesnar has always done just that - brought the pain. Standing six foot two inches and weighing two hundred and sixty five pounds, and boasting a freakishly massive frame combined with his remarkable athletic background, Lesnar had few doubters regarding the potential of a bright future.

Following his historic collegiate career, Lesnar joined the WWE in pursuit of fulfilling his career. Lesnar wasted no time capturing World titles, the main event, and even headlining Wrestlemania XIX. However, the grueling life and travel of a professional wrestler (340 days per year) began to grow and wear Lesnar down mentally and physically. In a decision he was highly criticized for, he soon opted to quit, giving up fame and millions of dollars in return for his happiness.

Crtitics jumped all over the decision.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dome Pondering Import - President Elect- Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech: "This is Your Victory"

This is the transcript of President-Elect Barack Obama's speech on November 4th, 2008. His speech, a momentous one, epitomized the journey and moment for America, emphasizing this footnote in history, all the while emanating a touch of Dr. King in his delivery. A truly excellent speech which shall stand the rest of time.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Better Day

President Elect Barack Obama.

There is so much emotion, thought, and recollect that emanates from that statement. For the first time in the history of this glorious nation, the highest office in the land is held by a man of color.

There isn't much that can be seen, written, read, or said that hasn't been already. It was a historic moment for people of color. The issue hits the heart with many people who are just generations away from segregation and Jim Crow laws, children who are constantly battling stereotypes and lasting racism, and those today who are trying to shake the gorilla, and move forward toward a better America - a better day. That all culminated on November 4th, 2008 - that better day.

Yours truly has experienced the awkward aura and almost disappointing look on an educator's face faking emotion and fabricating a positive vibe when a young ten year old child claimed he wanted to become President of the United States of America. It's a look seen too often by children who are often told that the sky is the limit, but there are certain things that you just might not be able to accomplish. All of us, every race, color creed, and nationality looked forward to that day when a young child can be told honestly, effectively, and whole heartedly, to quote President Obama, that "yes you can." That all culminated on November 4th, 2008 - that better day.

Although President Obama has yet to make any reform, and we are still reeling off his high created by the sense of hope and change, the mere elect of Barack Obama is evident of what has been said so many times since that better day, "America has come along way." An election that caused so many to come together from all forms of life to make such a historical event happen without hatred, bias, or bigotry, is a true testament of what America in the year 2008 - on that better day - is made of.

It is the substance the great Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed 45 years ago in front of the Lincoln Memorial. It is the mere fabric of the beauty that can happen when color is transparent, and character and brotherhood is held up as the standard that can defeat hate and bigotry. On November 4th, 2008, it almost felt like part of Dr. King's dream were a reality. Millions around the nation, of all ethnicity, race, religion and color coming together, in one strong bond.

Who knows what the future holds? President Obama has many issues to tackle, many tasks to attend to, many conflicts to resolve, and many situations to change. There is no guarantee he will fail, nor is there a guarantee he will succeed. The next four years will give us those answers. However, on November 4th, 2008, President Obama's election gave us just a touch of Dr. King's dream. Character and brotherhood over color. Character and brotherhood over our foolish past. For one day, we were able to touch Dr. King's dream for a moment, and see the beauty of his vision. It was just a pinch and yet, remarkable. A day that neither, you, or I will ever forget. It was a better day.

November 4th,2008. President Elect Barack Obama. Keep The Dream alive.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Missing Ingredient In The Melting Pot

Every Sunday, about 85,000 people fill FedEx Field in the nation's capital to support the Washington Redskins. Million more cheer on from local bars, pubs, and from the confines of their home for one of the wealthiest and most valuable franchises in the National Football League.

However, with so many looking to support the Redskins on every, and any given Sunday, there are many more that are against the Redskins, their management, and even FedEx.

If you guessed its the Dallas Cowboys and their fans, you are incorrect. It is not the Giants, Eagles or any other NFC East divisional rival. In fact, this large assembly of people and their issue with the Washington Redskins has no ties to football at all.

Give up?

Well, the answer is Indian Country.

"What, and who is Indian Country", you may say? Indian Country is comprised of all Native Americans from every tribe within the borders of our great nation. Indian Country for many years have fought for rights, freedom, and equalities just like others have in this nation's storied and grim past. However, unlike other races, Native Americans have little to no progress at all.

It is no secret that race relations in America is still a work in progress. It is fragile at best. From slave trades, immigration laws, annexation of territories, civil wars, segregation and civil rights movements, we have seen a fair share of struggles amongst ourselves and to live amongst one another in peace and harmony. An idea so simple, yet so shaded and blurred by ignorance and hatred, the thought of it becoming reality is nearly non-existent.

Yet, despite the ugly that surrounds our vision of race relations, it is, and always has been simplified between the two races-black and white. Although we all know as a society, even when being politically correct that there are indeed more races, our society tends to throw these two races to the forefront of every issues. And can you blame us? There has been a lot of history between the two.

Yet, despite the horrific past of blacks and whites, Native Americans still managed to survive an even more horrific past than both. Lest we not forget, throughout history, and throughout the wars and battles between the blacks and whites, it was the Native Americans who were hated by both. American history has shown us that Native Americans were persecuted by everyone. Although blacks were often seen as the inferior race, Native Americans were not considered good enough to be slaves, and were often killed.

But what about Nazi Germany, you might ask?

The Six million that were murdered in Nazi Germany is still the worst plague in World History. The sheer brutality and slaughtering of the innocent is still a black eye, and is a great reminder of the power of bigotry and ignorance.

And how about the slave trade?

The slave trade was equally as great. Many men, women and children were punished, beaten and raped while under slavery to force blacks to feel subhuman based on the simple shade of their skin. It is as ridiculous as it sounds. It's an issue that lasted a century, from the trades, through segregation and the civil rights movements. Some can argue, that it still exists today, yet, it is another race relations issue that has marred our history.

Although both are terrible, each have managed to mend the broken hearts, right the wrongs, and help erase ignorance to prevent history from repeating itself in our nation. Nazi Germany has fallen down, and the swastika and all that surrounds the evil under Hitler has as no credibility at all. In fact, it has opened our eyes in our society to see that the thought of a superior race is a mere delusional concept.

As for the slave trade, blacks have come a long way. Although, there still is tension between whites and blacks, the struggle is no longer as great as it once was. The civil rights movement helped America toward integration, and was also a catalyst for whites, blacks and other races becoming one America.

An example of that progression is evident that we can possibly bear witness to the first United States President of color. However, that is a subject in its own self.

Native Americans have had little, if at all, any progress since the days of their ancestors being uprooted from this land. After being tortured and killed, similar to the slave trade, and the holocaust, Native Americans have yet to make any progress for the better of their people, and the better of this nation. And much of it has to do with us as a society.

Our lack of understanding for Indian Country is a great reason. We all assume Native Americans are happy with their territories, and are all doing well due to Casinos and other forms of gambling, gaming and private businesses not regulated by the United States Government.

However, the truth is, many territories, and tribes are struggling to make ends meet just like every other American today. In fact, 20 percent of tribal territories across the nation do not have proper plumbing and electricity in their villages. 80 percent of Indian Country is unemployed, with 60 percent of those employed, still below the poverty line.

Although many are self-governed and for the most part, attempting to be self-sufficient, Indian Country pays taxes to the Federal government and participates in all courses and actions as a United States citizen. Despite their contributions, Indian Country are not eligible to receive the perks of health care, medicaid and even protection from police forces. Just this past year, President Bush decided to cut the budget for Indian Country growth and development for the umpteenth time during his presidency. In result, many Native Americans continue to die due to illnesses, disease, and murders that are overlooked, undetected and unreported right here in our backyard.

Unlike many other races, Indian Country is still stuck in a phase where general human rights are still being denied to them. And unlike other races, Indian Country is not fighting for their voice to be heard in the mix of our society, they are just merely attempting to strike a chord.

However, we all continue to drown them out every Sunday as 85,000 people fill FedEx Field to support the Washington Redskins.

Redskin- A term used as a slur towards Native Americans deeming them sub-human; A term used for Native Americans who were skinned alive and burnt at a stake.

As a society, we have made great strides toward becoming that desired melting pot. But, it seems we have been leaving out a key ingredient.