So, The Old, Boring-Ass Spurs Beat The Living Shit Out Of The ‘Super’ Warriors

So, just yesterday I wrote some shit detailing the sole reason why this year’s NBA season was going to be seemingly unwatchable: the gotdamn Super Friends, formerly known as the Golden State Warriors, were going to defeat the living shit out of anything breathing that dared to bounce a fucking basketball. You might as well have renamed Oracle Arena the Hall of Justice. It wasn’t a matter of if the vaunted Warriors would return to The Finals but rather when, and how they would redeem their brick-shitting ways from a year ago.

Well, that veil of supremacy was shredded last night when the Spurs paid a visit to the Bay Area. It wasn’t just that the Warriors lost. Super Teams — namely the 2007-2012 Boston Celtics, 2010-14 Miami Heat, and the 2014-present Cleveland Cavaliers — generally take awhile to gel. The Warriors may have only lost one game during the preseason, but those games are pointless. Coaches aren’t game planning the same way they would as if it were the regular season, you know when winning actually counts. Plus, the Warriors still must acclimate their style to fit one of the league’s best players given the absence of Harrison Barnes. Spacing is critical to the Warriors’ offense and Durant isn’t relegated to corner threes and sneak rebounding duty. It was the way they lost; a 29 point drubbing at home to the old-ass, boring-ass Spurs.

Durant, Curry, and Green put up some decent numbers (71 points combined shooting 27 of 51 from the floor and pulling down 25 rebounds) but Thompson never found a groove, and Pachulia was nothing more than a statue of human flesh. Moreover, the Warriors shot a horrendous 21% from behind the arc, which is concerning when you consider they shot 42% during their 73-9 campaign last year. The Spurs made the Warriors uncomfortable forcing Curry into four turnovers against four assists, and they never allowed Golden State to settle into a comfortable rhythm. Plus, their bench was about as Casper as it could get as the starters accounted 84 of the team’s 100 points.

San Antonio, on the other hand, did whatever the fuck they wanted to do on both ends of the floor. Kawhi had a career day scoring 35 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge dominated the paint with a double-double (26 points, 14 rebounds). Popovich’s crew bodied the shit out of the Boys From The Bay garnering 17 more boards than the Warriors. And the bench, headlined by unknown reserve Jonathon Simmons, put up a whopping 43 points.

There were moments when it seemed like the Warriors would string together one of their signature twenty-something point runs, but the Spurs never allowed to happen. They enforced their will from the start and capitalized on Golden State’s miscues.

For a team that was widely considered to go undefeated into the New Year, it’s jarring that they’re suffering their first defeat on opening night at home. While the expectation is that Kerr will eventually lead this group to The Finals, he’s going to have to tinker a few things before that dream is realized.

If there are any highlights from this ass-whooping — and there aren’t many — it’s that at least the Warriors don’t have to have to endure the ticking time bomb that would have been the pressure of living up to last year’s historic start. Additionally, Durant may be the go-to scorer the Warriors desperately need when their shooting strokes betray them.

In the meantime, the Spurs are not only unfrightened by the Warriors, they’re simply not having that shit. (I’m sure David Lee is happier den a mug right now having just beat the brakes of his former team.) Which makes this NBA season interesting again.

 

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The NBA Is Back! Time For Some Shit Talking!

The NBA season kicks off tonight as LeBron attempts to become a gotdamn Super Saiyan again and obliterate every gotdamn opponent in his path. I haven’t said anything about LeBron since I wrote some dumb shit about him accepting blame for his role in cultivating Cleveland’s glaring weaknesses. The Warriors were up 3-to-1 in the Finals when I wrote that. I thought the series was over. EVERYONE THOUGHT IT WAS OVER! I’m pretty sure the folks over at Under Armour were printing “Curry Is The 2nd Coming” t-shirts to commemorate the baby-faced assassin’s back-to-back title run. Ayesha was just waiting to unleash their bad-ass, annoying child on the podium so my ears could bleed. Little did I know Draymond would do some Draymond shit — like punch LeBron in his meat sack — after LeBron did some LeBron shit — like rub his meat sack on Draymond’s head — earning a pivotal Game 5 suspension.

I also didn’t realize Steph Curry’s and Klay Thompson’s light-skinnedness would cause them to be bitch-made, self-destructive assholes, incapable of hitting the very shots that earned them the nickname of “Splash Brothers.” And I had no Earthly clue Kyrie Irving was really about that buckets life after dressing up in a fat suit and some makeup to peddle Pepsi’s sugar water. I was wrong. LeBron James made sure of that.

Anywho, things are a little bit different this time around. The Warriors went out and paid Kevin Durant a bunch of money to essentially make their team a real-life cheat code. Golden State’s vaunted “Death Lineup” swaps out Harrison Barnes — who apparently was found in Dallas after Steve Kerr reported him missing during the NBA Finals — for Durantula. And if the preseason is any indication, it’s going to be a fucking nightmare for every team that doesn’t call Oracle Arena home. I usually don’t put much stock in preseason basketball, mostly because it’s more useless than preseason football.

But during the time Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Durant, and Green have shared the floor they have ransacked e’erbody. See Exhibit A here. Durant has shown an uncanny tenacity on the defensive end of the floor while still harnessing one of the most lethal offensive arsenals in the league. That’s only going to give Steph and Klay (aka Jon B.) more space to shoot as if they even need it. Andre is still a playmaking machine, and although Draymond continues to recklessly perform flying lotus kicks while grabbing rebounds, he’s still the best two-way, plus-minus player in the league. Steve Kerr is both smart enough and accomplished enough to lead this team to a redeeming championship. Plus he has one of the most talented coaching staffs at his disposal after replacing Luke Walton with seasoned veteran coach Mike Brown.

Golden State’s reserves got better too with the addition of David West, Zaza Pachulia, and “Shaqtin’ A Fool All-Star” JaVale McGhee. Let’s not forget about Shaun Livingston and Ian Clark, the best backcourt reserves to the best starting backcourt in the NBA. The Warriors, barring injury and utter fuckery, are almost guaranteed to return to the NBA Finals en route to destroying the lofty records they set just one year ago. Hell, maybe they’ll win 80 games, although that’s probably preposterous.

There are some other interesting storylines league-wide as the West is full of intrigue. Will the Clippers finally realize their full potential and give Paul Pierce a proper send off with a trip to the Western Conference Finals? How much does Russ hate Durant and how violently will he play now that he’s the only Alpha Dog in OKC? Now that Tim Duncan is off to crease his Girbaud jeans, how will Pop maximize and develop the two-headed monster of Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge? Can Harden possibly play less defense this year? And are the Trailblazers the younger version of the Warriors?

The East is far less interesting. The Bulls shipped Mr. Glass (D. Rose) and an awkward big man with two left feet (J. Noah) to the Knicks and added a guard who can’t shoot outside of 10-feet (Michael Carter-Williams) and a past-their-prime D. Wade and Rajon Rondo. If Chicago would have signed Wade and Rondo 5 years ago then maybe it’d mean something. It doesn’t. Madison Square Garden is now home to a bunch of ball-dominant shooters, one of whom doesn’t seem to understand the concept of sexual consent (D. Rose). And the Raptors are still paying Aubrey Graham to be their hype man. The only team reasonably capable of challenging LeBron and Co. are the Pacers — after adding Jeff Teague, Al Jefferson, and Monta Ellis — and the Celtics, who may or may not be supremely overrated.

All that said, we’re probably going to witness a Cavs vs. Warriors trilogy in the Finals. We likely know what’s going to happen which makes this upcoming regular-season almost pointless to watch. It’s not nearly as bad as Roger Goodell’s NFL, but it’s still kinda pointless. The only way this NBA season is going to be enjoyable is if the Warriors talk shit every gotdamn game. I mean Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnet amounts of shit. Just because they can, and there’s not a gotdamn thing anyone can do about it. At least until June.

Kid Cudi Has Nothing To Be Ashamed Of

This story was originally posted on REVOLT TV.

Tuesday evening Kid Cudi announced via Facebook that he has admitted himself into rehab for depression, anxiety, and suicidal tendencies. In a lengthy post on his social media account, and in the midst of a promotional tour to highlight his fifth studio album, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’, Scott Mescudi cited a litany of reasons for checking himself into a healthcare facility. He stated that he wasn’t at peace. He classified himself as a damaged human being. He acknowledged that there is a violent rage that exists within him and the crippling control anxiety and depression have taken over his life. It was a stark, heartbreaking jolt of reality.

But it wasn’t just Cudi’s announcement that hit me. It was his overly apologetic tone. At the center of his acceptance and willingness to get help, Cudi said that he was afraid that he was disappointing those around him. He stated that he was sorry for letting others down, ashamed of allowing the situation to reach its current level. Well here’s a message to you, Kid Cudi: Don’t be ashamed, because you’re not letting anyone down. If anything, Cudi’s commitment to saving himself should be viewed as an act of courage and hope.

You see, depression is an issue that I’ve become all too familiar within the last couple of years. Not too long ago, I was sitting in my 2012 Ford Focus, heavily inebriated as a result of downing a six-pack of Cayman Jack and a fifth of Grand Marnier. I was entrenched in a steady state of decay, rapidly losing my grip on reality, and unable to cope with my seemingly endless list of failures. To make matters worse, the more I tried to reconcile my issues, the more I sank into despair.

Never mind the fact that I was a father of two with an enviable job and an impressive sneaker collection. I was filled with worry, sadness, and anguish. At the time, I believed the only viable solution to escape my sorrows was death. On this particular night, the urges to meet my maker had never been stronger. If it weren’t for a few fortuitous events that evening, followed by a healthy barrage of counseling, I’m not sure I would be alive to write this. And thanks to Kid Cudi’s melancholy lyrics and infectious, syncopated rhythms, I found solace in his music.

Which is why I identify with Kid Cudi’s struggle. I am not a celebrity. Nor am I a rapper, singer, producer, or actor. I’m just a writer. And most of the time, I’m not even that. I’m the guy who tutors your kid so he or she can get into college so you can justify the second mortgage you took out on your house. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have an inkling as to what he’s going through.

You see, during my bout with depression, I found solace in Cudi’s musings. I lived in it. If Cudi’s work served as his catharsis, it was also my sanctuary. Some days (most days) it was all I’d listen to. Mescudi’s soulful, off-kilter voice provided refuge; a much-needed distraction from the crumbling chaos that was my existence. Man on the Moon II and Indicud are as much responsible for recovery as therapy.

“Mojo So Dope” became my daily soundtrack. Cudi’s verse on “Brothers” became my mantra for living life.

No sweatin the ho shit, too in tune with the family
I do got the ones that do know Scott
They give me the love that a nigga need
If its a place to stay or a dime sack of weed

-Kid Cudi, “Brothers”

The raw emotion permeating from Kid Cudi’s introspective lyrics resonated with my soul. And the more raw, unadulterated, and emotional the Cleveland rapper became the greater my confidence grew with respect to defeating my own malignant spirits.

While the treatment and diagnosis for depression has increased exponentially with the advancements in modern medicine, the illness is still considered taboo in many cultures. The African-American community is among these, as depression is commonly misdiagnosed as merely being sad. We frequently oppose therapy out of a misguided obligation to keep our issues hidden, or worse, for fear of appearing weak. Sitting on somebody’s couch talking about our trivial worries isn’t going to solve our problems, or so we think. For black males especially, the maintenance of false bravado and masculinity prevents us from acknowledging our thoughts and seeking the proper care that we need.

In the case of celebrities dealing with personal demons, we tend to brush it off as isolated issues of overindulgence and lack of accountability. We define their struggles as being mere fabrications of the environment and lifestyle they have chosen to adopt. We rarely empathize with their illnesses because we don’t acknowledge them as such. We trivialize their pain by saying things like, “They’re rich and famous, what could possibly be wrong with them? Maybe if they didn’t use so many drugs, they’d be fine.” But pain and struggle are relative. One cannot begin to fathom the hell people endure. Celebrities are people too. And while fame, money and social media present an opaque facade that distracts us from underlying issues, the absence of trouble within the public eye doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

Which makes Kid Cudi’s decision to seek help so remarkable and necessary, not just for his well-being, but for others as well. Too many times we don’t know of black celebrities’ struggles until it’s too late. I remember when actor Lee Thompson Young, who played the main character on Disney’s The Famous Jett Jackson, committed suicide at 29. We were shocked. Many of us couldn’t comprehend what drove him to end his life so young with so much promise. After all, Young possessed a multitude of desirable traits such as good looks, charm, and charisma, and his acting career seemed to find new life as he was starring in more television roles. But little did we know, he was struggling far greater than anyone could have imagined.

For those of us who have thought of taking our own lives, suicide is not a cry for help. It is not an over-dramatization or an act of selfishness. It’s not just a failure to cope or find solutions to our problems. For us, suicide is the answer. It’s a means to end the sorrow that has become our existence. It’s flawed, misguided, and heart-wrenching. And without the proper guidance, support, and counseling, it will kill us.

With Cudi’s admission into a treatment facility, at least this time, we aren’t catching wind of his struggles after the fact. I don’t know what has occurred in Kid Cudi’s life for him to reach this point, and frankly, it’s none of my business. But I’m elated that he’s seeking a way to improve his mental state for himself, his daughter, the people around him, and his fans. Maybe this act provides a glimmer of hope for someone else to follow. Personally, I’m happy an artist that I admire, and whose music provided comfort during my darkest time, is committed to this journey called life just a little longer. Stay strong, Kid Cudi. You’ve got nothing to be ashamed of.