What’s up family? Hope everyone is in good health. It’s been a while since I dropped a blog since I been vlogging so much but this situation with Kyle Lowry being pushed by Mark Stevens, minority owner with the Golden State Warriors has really been bouncing around in my head largely in part to the NBA Finals in heavy rotation right now. Before I dive deeper into this one let me firs congratulate the new NBA Champions, the Toronto Raptors. #WeTheNorth and of course Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. You guys did exactly what you were supposed to do and now we have our first international champions. Next I would like to wish a speedy recovery to the Finals MVP of the previous two NBA Finals, Kevin Durant and one half of the Splash Brothers Klay Thompson. As you all should know by now, KD has a torn right achilles tendon which he suffered in game 5 and Klay Thompson tore his ACL in game 6. Durant will more than likely miss the entire season, Klay may be able to return late in the season but as of now his recovery time is predicted to take about 9 to 10 months. With that being said let’s get to it.
Let me first say that I applaud the league for acting so quickly in regards to handing out a discipline to the sound if $500,000 fine and a 1 year ban from team activities. With that being said I don’t think that’s nearly enough when considering the outcome that could have potentially unfolded if Kyle Lowry hadn’t handled the situation in the most professional way possible. Shout to Kyle Lowry though because I can’t see any other circumstance where he reacts in the same way. Now let’s examine the ramifications if Kyle Lowry decides to return the favor and put his hands on the minority owner. Which he has every right to do. Even the bible says an eye for an eye. So, if Lowry puts his hand on the owner best case scenario it’s immediately broken up worst case scenario we have the malice at the palace 2.0. After recently watching the new Ron Artest documentary Quiet Storm the Malice at the Palace is arguably the ugliest black eye the NBA has had to deal with. The top 3 would round out to the Donald Sterling and Tim Donahue incidents. But back to Kyle Lowry. This situation could have easily turned into a malice at the palace 2.0, shaved a year at least from Kyle Lowry’s career due to suspensions, cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, he would have been the bane of the NBA and would have to do everything in his power to improve his tarnished reputation. These are losses that Ron Artest, Jermaine O’neal and Stephen Jackson had to deal with. Oh and that situation started from something being thrown at a player so imagine what a push could have caused. And to be clear it was fan that threw a soda at Ron Artest which sparked the incident at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit. We’re talking about a minority owner in the Golden State vs Toronto situation. Everyone expected the players to “know better” you don’t go into the crowd the fight fans. Well in that same regard shouldn’t an owner whether they be majority or minority “know better.” They should not be putting their hands on any player or referee for that matter. Especially when we’ve seen how the Malice at the Palace turned out. That alone should have been a cause for a more severe punishment. I won’t even go in on the “he wouldn’t have tried that anywhere else” because we pretty much know he’s not gonna try Kyle Lowry outside of this controlled environment where if he touches you there is a huge chance that he causes his franchise a chance at its first NBA championship. Which in itself is a cowardly act by Stevens. Steven’s will not be able to attend any games this coming season but I for one don’t think her deserves to be a part of this league. He’s officially in the “you’re doing too much bruh” club. Even Steph Curry in post game 3 press conference said, “I don’t think it’s a representation of how we do business here as a Warriors organization and franchise, we have a standard and do things with class and professionalism.” So if your franchise player says Stevens didn’t represent the Warriors then if that’s the case it should be easy to see him go. Since he had no problem potentially creating a very bad situation he clearly doesn’t need to represent one of the NBA’s franchises.
This is why I believe the league needs to make an example out of Mr. Stevens. The league needs to make it abundantly clear that this behavior not only is not a representation of the National Basketball Association but also that it will not be tolerated and it will be punished very severely. No member of the NBA community is above discipline no matter how high or low you stand on the ladder.
GDS has been helping kids in need with their successful methods for over 17 years. The folks here at Real Fans Real Talk are proud to be helping with our latest fundraiser to benefit this organization. For only a $50 donation, you can attend our Rolling for Results Charity Bowling event which includes 2 hours of bowling on a team of 10 people per team, food, beer, wine, and soda all included. The winning team will be awarded prizes, we will raffle off prizes, and special guests will be appearing at the event. The event will be held at Bowlmor Lanes Times Square which is located at 222 W 44th St (between 7th and 8th ave) New York, NY 10003 on Saturday January 25th, 2014 from 7pm-9pm. Please arrive early to get you shoe rental (which is also included) and get situated in your lane with the rest of your team. The event is for those 18 and older, 21 to drink with proper ID. If you cannot attend the event you can still donate and receive various gifts based on your donation amount. The gifts are authentic autographed memorabilia from various superstars like Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Joe Montanna, Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Mike Tyson, Mickey Mantle, and many more! Space is limited for the event so please make your donations early. The folks at Real Fans Real Talk and GDS hope to see you there! Visit http://www.gofundme.com/GDSKIDS to donate and attend this event as well as donate to receive autographed merchandise
Ok so I haven’t really gone in on this whole Aaron Hernandez situation as of yet because I was waiting to see what would be the final result of his trial. After all this is America and at the end of the day we are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Even though I do understand that a lot of us don’t always give people that fair shake. This blog however isn’t even about me giving Aaron Hernandez a fair shake before judging him. So before I continue with this blog, let me just say that although what I’ve heard thus far about the case would suggest that Aaron Hernandez is guilty, I will not give him that branding until he is found guilty by a jury of his peers. What I will do today is speak more on the people that have thrown him under the bus without first knowing all the facts to his case or even waiting to see the final result. To be more specific, I am referring to the New England Patriots organization and the University of Florida.
I find it so funny how quickly these teams turn on their players and try to erase any memories of their existence with the team. Now don’t get me wrong, I do understand the severity of Aaron Hernandez crimes and if he is found guilty of those crimes then I am all for him being punished for those crimes but we are not at that point yet. These organizations that make so much money from these athletes are for the athletes while they are a benefactor to the team, but as soon as something goes wrong those athletes become expendable. Before a conviction Aaron Hernandez has been released from the New England Patriots, has had the team take away money from him while they continue to recoup more money, and they have even gone as far as to have a trade in program for anyone who bought an Aaron Hernandez jersey. Now I know you might say, that for what he is being accused of doing all of this is fine. After all, at the end of the day it’s a business, and long after these players come and go, the franchise itself stands. Furthermore in spite of this blog I actually have no issue with teams doing any of this. As an owner you are entitled to handle your team both good and bad the way you choose. My issue is simply this lets wash both sides of the coin. If your going to try and disassociate yourself with athletes in these situations then do it ten fold. By this I mean forfeit team stats, wins the AFC championship that he helped the team get to with his a 79 reception 910 yards receiving 7-touchdown year, give the fans that bought tickets to come see Hernandez some compensation. I bet these things wont happen though. Why would they though? That would be too much right? The same thing goes for the University of Florida who won championships during Hernandez tenure with the school.
The University of Florida won 2 BCS National Championships and the Capitol One Bowl during Hernandez three years at the school. Hernandez would be entering his fourth NFL season with the Patriots having no real involvement with his college, but the school also felt the need to erase his existence at the school. Florida players who are named All-Americans are with a brick on the Gator Walk in front of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and the school recently had the brick honoring Hernandez removed. In a statement the school said, “We didn’t feel it was appropriate to celebrate Aaron Hernandez.” I guess they felt it also wasn’t appropriate however to erase the wins, championships and bowl win that he helped the team to during his time with the team. It was appropriate to keep the money the school made from ticket sales and merchandise that was a result of Hernandez playing for the school. And yes the school did benefit from his on the field performance. We’re not talking about a third string player that never sees any action we’re talking about an All – American. That’s not an accomplishment that’s just handed out you have to earn that status. And since the debate is still on about whether or not college athletes should be paid. That however is a topic for another blog.
So while we await the decision that will seal the fate of Aaron Hernandez I’m not saying that we give Hernandez a pass. Again if he is found guilty I believe he should be punished for his crimes. But take a closer look at these organizations that seem to always put the business in front of the players who make millions upon billions for these teams. Look at how quickly they will toss them to wolves when their actions don’t earn revenue. And again if that’s the organizations choice then so be it, but don’t just stop at trying to erase a players name because that’s not where their influence ends. Erase it from everything that they were a part of with the team. Then you’ll be making a statement. But I know that’s something that will most likely not happen especially when you’re playing both sides of the fence.
So now that football season is officially over and I’m not sweating out every playoff game that features the Ravens I figured I’d put out my next blog. The topic for today’s blog: Uncle Ray. He’s definitely one of my favorite players and one of the best linebackers to play the game. Uncle Ray is a 2-time Super bowl champion, 2-time Defensive Player of the Year, 13-time Pro Bowler, and 7-time first team All Pro. More importantly though he is one of the best leaders the game has ever seen. He has that candid ability to truly motivate those around him, and that includes the offense as well. A good football player can lead his team but it takes a great player to make his teammates believe. This was Ray’s specialty. From his motivational speech after the Ravens loss to the Patriots in last years AFC championship game all the way to his heartwarming speech in which he announced his retirement at the end of the season Ray has a gift that few players possess. This is why he is so respected by his peers. Well, that and the fact that he was also one of the harder hitting middle linebackers in the league playing alongside one of the best defensive units in the NFL over the past 13 years.
Ray Lewis’ story however wasn’t always a fairy tale out of the Disney books. Back in 2000 his life was almost ruined after a Super Bowl party left him facing a murder charge. Fortunate for Uncle Ray plea bargain left him the bearer of an obstruction of justice charge, a 12 month probation sentence and a $250,000.00 fine from the NFL. Since then Ray has turned his life completely around, staying out of trouble and turning himself into a class act and role model for players both young and old. This is part of the reason Ray has always been one of my favorite players. I’m a firm believer in second chances and if you can show that you are truly willing to strive for excellence then I can forgive and show support. Ray Lewis epitomizes this. And as he concluded his final game he was rewarded for his hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence both on and off the field. He is a true class act, leaving the game the way that most wish they could, on top and with his Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers. He can now retire carrying the most coveted prize the NFL has to offer, the championship trophy. The only thing left now for uncle Ray is to walk through those doors of the hall of fame and to really go out like a true champion, as he will be a first ballot Hall of Famer and be enshrined next the to the best of the best in that elite fraternity of players.