Tag Archive: bill simmons


Philadelphia 76ers’ Allen Iverson calls for crowd noise during the final minutes of the 76ers 96-93 win over the Indiana Pacers Wednesday, March 12, 2003 in Philadelphia. Iverson led all scorers with 31 points.(AP Photo/Miles Kennedy) ORG XMIT: PXC106

Worked away from the camera lately, setting the baseline for my voiceover work.  Like being in front of the camera, you try to gravitate toward things you’re naturally passionate about, so for this I went to ‘The Book of Basketball’, the beginnings of black cinema, and luxury cars.

Enjoy.

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Alright, let’s look at the biggie:

Best Picture

  • Who I Want to Win: Hm.  Good movies this year, but nothing that feels like ‘I’ll stop whatever I’m doing when this comes on cable next year’.  I’d say ‘Moneyball’ but now I want to pull a ‘reverse jaded’ move (yep, made that word up) since Pitt was there after the screening to charm us up.  So let’s say ‘Hugo.’
  • Who Should Win:  To steal a phrase I’ve heard Bill Simmons say, ‘When we look back at the past 12 months, what’s the movie historically that we’ll say, ‘Oh yeah, that was what happened in 2011?’  And the answer is ‘The Artist’, right?
  • Who Will Win: Yep, ‘the Artist’.

Last note for the weekend, you can expect the rare weekend post from me since it’s going to be Oscar Sunday.  I talked to my partner in crime today, and he’s down, so at the moment we plan to do one of our Martin & Lewis style, ArtFradieu live running commentaries of the show Sunday.  Hopefully the All-Star Game will be over by then!

Anyway, for some politically incorrect, bridge burning comedy, come back Sunday night!

 

The Book of Basketball

 

I’ve gone on record in saying I’m a fan of the writing of Bill Simmons (ESPN’s the Sports Guy).  A friend of mine who I converted to the ‘Church of Simmons’ got me ‘The Book of Basketball’, the Sports Guy take on the history of the NBA.  The book is 700 plus pages, but I have to say if you are a) a fan of Simmons’ mix of sports passion and pop culture references, or b) a lifelong follower of the National Basketball Association, this book is definitely worth picking up.  If you’re like me and in the c) category – a fan of the Sports Guy AND a lifelong follower of the Association, then you’ll need to get around to the Book of Basketball sooner or later.

As to be expected from such a large book, Simmons offers his breakdown of the best player ever (no one really debates that one), the best team ever (you can cry homer-ism here but he makes his case), and even goes so far as to break down the best individual seasons ever.  Along the way you’ll get amusing side stories such as ‘The Secret’ of basketball (which I think also applies to life in general), his revisionist model for the Basketball Hall of Fame (the Pyramid, amusing but it will never happen), and an incredible number of anecdotes that covers each era of the NBA (one such example is an ‘incident’ between Rick Barry and Bill Russell that happened before I was born but is still a ‘has to be seen to be believed’ story.)

I was able to get through the book in a week (which is absurd for the size of it), but it’s one of the more enjoyable reads I’ve had in a while.  Worthwhile read for any sports fan.

Pay It Forward Friday

Just as there are some of you who stop by on a regular basis to check out whatever is on my mind, I thought today I would pass on three stops on the Net that are always part of my daily routine.  Let’s start with the obvious:

1. YouTube

My goodness, what was life like before YouTube?  As I’m writing this, I realize I probably spend more time watching and researching clips I like than I do watching actual television shows these days.  But why not?  This is the age we live in, where more than ever we can pick and choose what content we want to support and watch.  You can find old clips from reruns all day, personally I love the clips I would have never seen otherwise due to geography or age.

Prime Example:  OK, so my first five choices all had, um, language issues.  This was the first thing I thought of that is clean.  The lesson as always; old black guys laughing = comedy gold. 

Favorite Quote: Anchor 1: We would to apologize…    Anchor 2: ‘HOLD ON!  HOLD ON!!!’ (More laughter…)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0eINGyJHz8&feature=related

2. Very Smart Brothas

I’m sure they’ll pop up again in a couple months of my favorite things of 2009, but there has been many a night when I haven’t been feeling it, I check out their latest rant and 30 seconds later, I’m falling over laughing.  The two main writers are The Champ and Panama Jackson: young, college educated brothas with an amazingly silly sense of humor.  So…I can kind of relate.

Prime Example:  “Three Signs He’s a Good Dude”:  http://www.verysmartbrothas.com/signs-that-hes-a-good-dude/

Favorite Quote:  “there’s no surer sign, no more concrete indication that a man is a good dude than if his close friends are good dudes too. with no exceptions, every guy i know who i’d consider to be a “good dude” has nothing but other good dudes in their immediate circle. basically, if a guy is repeatedly telling you stories about his best friend, and this “best friend” sounds more triflin than eating food with utensils on the bus, run.”  (Malik note: that last metaphor alone damn near got me and one of my black co-workers fired for laughing at our desks.) 

3. Bill Simmons, ‘The Sports Guy’

Few writers in my lifetime have been as consistently good at blending sports, pop culture, and humor into their writing as much as Bill Simmons.  I don’t even remember who in my circle found him first, but we’ve all been reading him regularly for years now. One of the benchmarks of this blog, the Most Important Black Film and TV Show Countdown, was inspired in part by Simmons trying to countdown the best Sports Movies of All Time.  (He didn’t finish his, mine should be done by the end of the year).   I’m sure if you’re a teenager now, some of his references are already starting to feel dated, but for my generation he’s been pitch perfect. 

Prime Example:  The Vengeance Scale – http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/040720

Favorite Quote:  

9.1 — Tupac Shakur recording “Hit ‘Em Up.”

(Note: In my book, the most devastating rap song of all-time. And you wonder why Pac was murdered. This made “Who Shot Ya?” look like it was written by James Ingram and Michael McDonald. Every line is crossed: This one has death threats, admissions of sleeping with other people’s wives, jokes about sickle cell, mama jokes and at least 100 F-bombs. I’m not kidding. And while we’re on the subject, “We ain’t singin’, we bringin’ drama – f— you and your motherf—– mama!” remains the greatest single moment in 2Pac history. And yes, I know I’m white.)

One last personal note: if you’re wondering why I didn’t include any of my friends and their blogs on this list, it’s because I treat them like I treat my children: I think they were accidents and try to act like they don’t exist.

(joking, joking, it’s Friday, sheesh!)

Anyway if you check out my Blogroll, you’ll find blogs written by people I care about, covering everything from politics to religion to personal advice to living in L.A. 

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

M