Good Time, Snowpiercer, & Bam Adebayo

Good Time – This pick was inspired by the Oscars. After watching and loving Uncut Gems, I thought I would give their earlier film Good Time a try. It is also quite good, and although not quite good as Uncut Gems, it successfully merges the two obsessions of the Safdie Brothers: New York City and men who take advantage of the people around them. The story revolves around the Nikas brothers, Connie who is a criminal, and Nick who is mentally disabled. Connie and Nick rob a bank, and Nick is arrested while Connie escapes. Connie then decides he has to spring Nick from jail.

Robert Pattinson does an excellent job playing Connie. He takes advantage of so many people at times it can be upsetting to watch, but part of you always wants to root for him. He makes a good anti-hero. The film is a bit too zany for my tastes and wanders at points but the core story of the film is very enjoyable. A definite recommendation. B+

Snowpiercer – This pick was also inspired by The Oscars. Before Bong Joon Ho won Best Picture for Parasite, he wrote Snowpiercer. It was his English language debut, and it still is quite good. It like 1917, feels like a video game, but it is much more fun as the setpieces and scenarios are increasingly wild and outrageous. It is a good movie filled with interesting political commentary, but much of it is a bit too silly for it to really mean much. Parasite is a better film, it is more subtle and more fun to watch. I would still recommend Snowpiercer, but not my favorite Bong film. B-

Adebayo is heading to his first All-Star Game. He is in line for a huge contract once his rookie deal expires. He has reoriented Miami’s present and future. “He’s the Zo [Alonzo Mourning],” Riley says. “He’s the UD [Udonis Haslem]. He’s the Dwyane [Wade]. They were standard-bearers. Bam is that person. He is the real deal.”

This is a fantastic profile of The Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo by Zach Lowe. Even if you have a small interest, I recommend you read it.

I am working on a piece about my grandparents which I hope to be out these next couple of weeks and I just preordered Patrick Radden Keefe’s Say Nothing, which I am very excited to read. I am also currently watching Breaking Bad so there will be plenty more to come on all of that!

Track Race Reflection & Kobe Bryant

 

*Race Reflections are going to happen every time I compete this year. I think it will be helpful to process my running and see how I can get better.*

Date: 01/25/2019 SVSU Jet’s Pizza Invitational

Events Run: 400 Meter Dash and 4×400 meter dash

Times: 58.13, and 57 split

I ran fairly well for taking a big break last semester. I am still disappointed with my times yesterday. I think my effort level, specifically on the open 400, needs to be better. I felt like I still had more to give at the end and that should never be the case. On the relay, I ran much better. Although I was much slower than most of the guys around me, it was good to at least show that I had some fire and heart. At a certain point, I can only worry about what I can control, so running hard in the relay is good and important. Nevertheless, I have to do better.

It is a long season, so there will be plenty of opportunities to get better and get back to my PR of 54. Right now though, this feels a little disappointment. My next meet will be at Findlay. Hopefully, I will be better by then.

Kobe Bryant’s death is shocking. You never want this to happen to everyone, and it happened all too suddenly. You get on a plane and suddenly you’re gone. It is hard to put into words. No one should have to lose their life so suddenly. 

As a Clipper fan, Kobe drove me crazy on the court. He killed the Clippers and I knew it. However, I could not help but respect him. His dedication and respect for his craft were second to none. It is hard to put this into words. The only thing I can do is to thank Kobe for everything. Even though Kobe drove me crazy, he helped grow basketball and make it better. Kobe taught us patience, persistence, and dedication.

Rest in peace, Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, and the others that died on that plane.

KAWHI AND PG! I MUST BE DREAMING!

If this is a dream, I do not want to wake up. Today, Kawhi Leonard signed with the Clippers and Paul George is getting traded to the Clippers. OH MY GOD!!!

I shall not bore you with the story of my everlasting love for the LA Clippers, as courtly and as beautiful as it may be. I will tell you that it is genuinely shocking to be in this moment. When I first fell in love with the team, The Clippers were the laughing stock of the NBA. No one came to games. Clipper Daryl would scream his heart out, and the 30 other people in the arena would respond with glory. When Lob City came to LA, the momentum of the franchise shifted drastically. That momentum however, was halted by an owner too ignorant to admit he was wrong.

Steve Ballmer set things in a new direction, and he hired Jerry West. West brought with him a vision of an organization that could win a title. Now that organization is finally here.

I cannot say enough about the Clippers team this past year. Everyone wanted to talk about LeBron and the new look Lakers. It never bothered this group. This team showed grit and determination when no one even paid attention. They came and gave the Warriors a run for their money, and showed impressive heart throughout the year. A team led by two guys coming off the bench, found new hope. I also cannot say enough about Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari, both of whom played their hearts out this year. Shai and Danilo will continue to do great things and I am excited to see their futures in Oklahoma City.

Today is a day that has been years in the making. The Lob City years were great, but our shot at winning the title was never really tangible. Today, the possibility of winning a title feels real. Clipper Nation, this year is our year.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo, LA Clippers, and Jamal Khashoggi

Cristiano Ronaldo has been accused of sexual assault, and while I do not like speculation do me a favor and indulge in my speculation for a little bit. This will once again be a case of he said she said, however if he is guilty it would not surprise me in the slightest.

He mentioned in the press conference that he “had everything,” and in a sense he does. This attitude could lead him to do exactly what he is being accused of, as he could feel that something that is not is he needs to take. While there is no doubt he faced a hard road to become one of the greats, now he is an incredible athlete who has been and is continually told that he is incredible. He is an incredible looking male, who is one of the greatest athletes ever. After a while, when people tell you that everything is yours, you start to believe it, for good or for ill. To me, he probably felt as though this is a woman he could take, because he was Cristiano Ronaldo. Again, innocence until proven guilty is crucial, and so at this time it is hard to say. However, it would not shock me if this is true.

In lighter news the LA Clippers are 2-2, which is a decent start for a very decent team. While many of you may be wondering whether or not Clippers fans even exist, I can tell you with confidence they do and I am a part of a small minority. My beloved Clippers traded away most of their best players, for assets. This team is full of assets, and it is going to be fascinating to see how not only they will perform but if they can attract a legitimate superstar.

The ceiling in my eyes for the Clippers is a 6th or 7th seed in the playoffs. Will they actually win anything? Probably not, but the team is still an exciting prospect nonetheless. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander looks to be a sensational rookie, with length, handles, and defense to match. I am hopeful for my Clippers but also willing to moderate my expectations in the hopes of a team that is incredibly successful in the future.

Also, I am shocked at the Jamal Khashoggi killings, and at the responses from both Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Both seem desperate to remind others of their importance, however both come off as hypocrites. President Erdogan wants to remind everyone that he is a pivotal ally who is against this kind of press brutality, but he has cracked down on his own people and officials for years, and is in charge of a country that has attempted to bully others into denying the Armenian Genocide. Meanwhile, the Crown Prince has tried to shape himself as a reformer, yet he cannot seem to stop himself from resorting to brutal tactics in order to take power.

This is a sad saga, and one that I hope gets resolved. But it is on all of us too hold both of these regimes accountable, and to make sure that justice in this case is served. Journalists and the press keep our leaders accountable, and it is our responsibility to make sure both countries understand this.

Fixes for the NBA and Monday Motivation

Here are a few ideas on how to fix the NBA:

  1. Reduce season to 58 games in which every team plays each team twice. Tie breakers would be decided first by head to head, then by point differential throughout the season, if neither break the tie they would play an extra game. This would reduce injuries and increase the importance of each regular season game, rather than the season dragging on for too long.
  2. Make the playoff an eight team playoff in which the top teams regardless of conference or region make it. Eight teams would create more pressure on regular season games and force teams toward the top to play until the very end of the season and not rest or stop playing once they have clinched a playoff spot. This would also reduce the length of the playoffs, which can go on for months. This leads to more injuries and less novelty toward each playoff game.
  3. The bottom four teams should be relegated to the D-League or a lower tier counterpart and those teams would be replaced by four newly promoted teams. This would prevent tanking and force teams to be as competitive as possible each season.
  4. Get rid of the NBA Draft and allow players to sign for whichever team they like so long as it fits within the salary cap. Preventing players from playing for there desired franchise is absurd and would be deemed unfair in any market outside of professional sports. That being said, I enjoy trades and they can make for fascinating drama. It also gives teams consequences and it is much simpler than the current transfer system throughout soccer. I would keep the rest but give players more leverage in picking which teams they can play for. While I also am not a fan of the salary cap, it helps even the playing field if properly used. However, in time I would like to see it go and allow teams to offer as much as they can in order to woo players.

Those are just some ideas although I am sure there needs to be much more than that to prevent injuries and keep the entire season engaging.

For your Monday Motivation, this stop and assist by Wayne Rooney to win the game for DC United is incredible. If this doesn’t fire you up, I don’t know what will. Happy Monday!