Tag Archives: Barack

Shepard Fairey Posterizes Michael Jordan

The existence of these Shepard Fairey Jordan prints have probably been public knowledge for a minute, but I’m just seeing them now. (Hat tip to @HarleyBlock) It’s probably apropos, however, that the best MJ artwork I’ve ever seen was done by the same guy who did the Obama “Hope” portrait (which inspired these endeavors in awesome) and it came to my attention literally five minutes after I watched that same Barry O give the best speech I’ve ever heard.

Shepard categorizes his inspiration to create these as such:

Everything about Michael Jordan is iconic, from his slam dunks to his signature shoes to his tongue wagging to his number, so he makes a great subject for portraiture because everything about him is laced with cultural significance. You can tell from the look in his eyes, even back when he was at the University of North Carolina, that he was obsessed with greatness, but he also managed to do everything with a sense of flair. I think it’s that combination of intensity and style, and of course his singular talent, that make him the embodiment of a legend.

Since I’m rich, I’ll probably buy all three of the MJ/Fairey-signed, 26” x 36” master prints later today. Fortunately, all your poor people can get in on the fun, too, and purchase individual 18″ x 24″ prints signed by just Fairey for only $79.99. Then you can, I guess, tack it up in your boxcar or whatever.

Man, your life sucks.

Jordan Shepard Fairey

A Referee’s Wife* Writes a Letter to NBA, Inc.

I haven’t been following the NBA/referee union negotiations/lockout all that closely, mainly, I guess, because I seem to be one of only about six diehard NBA fans who rarely cares — or even thinks — about officiating. Sure, there are tons of bad calls and there are probably some systemic problems, but my main position on the whole matter has always been that, in my entire lifetime, I don’t think I’ve seen more than a couple of well-officiated games of basketball at any level, whether that be the NBA, NCAA, high school, intramural or pickup. It’s just an incredibly difficult sport to officiate and I expect there to be a lot of bad calls given the speed, complexity and general nature of the sport — not to mention the vast number of subjective rules that regulate it.

Maybe my expectations are too low. That certainly may be the case.

But I watch and write about basketball because I love watching basketball players play basketball. I’m weird, I know. But I simply do not enjoy or even often pay attention to what the referees do on the court. Their role in the game is just entirely uninteresting and ranks somewhere below the roles of the fans, announcers and mascots on the things I care to pay attention to while watching my favorite sport.

That said, it is exceedingly troublesome that this year’s season might begin with replacement referees. You can read more about the negotiating impasses here if you like, but Tim Povtak describes what many have stated to be the most contentious stalemate.

The league has been asking for significant concessions from the union, most notably a reduction in pension benefits. The league has said that it wants the union to accept a deal that is more in line with the compensation awarded its office employees and administrative staff.

To let David Stern know why, in her opinion, NBA refs deserve a better pension than the typical NBA employee, one referee’s wife — a characterization she terms being a “referee widow” because of how little time NBA refs are able to spend with their families — wrote a heart-felt letter to the League office.

Julie Davis, the wife of Marc Davis (a long-time referee who, in addition to being a motivational speaker in his off time, has benefited from such on-the-job perks as having his bald head kissed by Rafer Alston), wrote the following:

“In any given season, we are lucky if my husband works three home games in a 75-game schedule. We are lucky if he is home more than five 24-hour periods a month. Who else on the NBA staff can say they do the same? Players can’t. David Stern can’t. Office staff can’t, nor can anyone else who works for the NBA. Referees are unique in what they give to and what they give up for the game.

Julie continues:

“It was not my dream to be an NBA referee. It was not our kid’s dream to have a father who is one either. But it is a dream we are fully committed to supporting because it is my husband’s dream. I take on single parenthood and being a ‘referee widow’ because I love my husband and believe in him and his dream. All that has happened with this contract just has me questioning whether the NBA realizes the sacrifices 57 families of their employees make to continue to put out the ‘best product in the world.'”

This is just a portion of the letter, which I suggest you read in its entirety over at FanHouse.

If more real-life, referee-related revelations like this were discussed around the internet, maybe I would care a little more about NBA officials. I highly doubt it, but this inside look inside the life of a referee is infinitely more interesting to read about than the same clichéd complaints about poor performance and conspiracy theories.

* It required a Herculean effort on my part to not refer to a ref’s wife as a “whistleblower” in the headline. If I truly had any decorum, I would have also refrained from mentioning it here, too, but alas…

NBA referee lockout

I try not to chastise NBA referees, but even I really don’t want to see what the JV squad has to offer. Let’s work this out, fellas. If not, our Hoop Head in Chief, Barry O, needs to fire up the White House kegerator and invite David Stern and Dick Bavetta over for a beer.

Brackets, Brackets, Brackets & More Brackets

Since we’re kicking off week two of March Madness tonight, it seems an apt time to mention that everyone and their moms have a bracket-styled contest in which you can witness the wonders of Web 2.0 first hand by voting on some arbitrary matchups.

Ball Don’t Lie is rocking its NBA Bedlam Tournament, which has thus far featured inspiring contests like “Spurs Beards vs. Luis Scola’s Hair,” “Baller-in-Chief [Obama] vs. Marbury’s Head Tattoo” and “Inside the NBA vs. NBA TV Gametime.” The fact that both Steph and GP/CWebb are both not only losing but getting blown out like Chattanooga just further proves my theory that I’m watching an entirely different NBA than most people who may theoretically be reading this sentence.

Zoner Sports has it’s own version of Madness going on, and this one actually includes me somehow. Their “Best Sports Blog Names Tourney” features an array of well-known sports sites like Kissing Suzy Kolber, The Sports Hernia and Mr. Irrelevent in addition to the Both Teamsters Union’s own Both Teams Played Hard. Despite the #12 seed I was given, we mounted a first-round upset over some site called “Pittsburgh Sports and Mini-Ponies” and now look poised to take down #2 seed “Five Ounces of Pain” to advance yet again. Thanks for the votes, voters. I play solely for stats not championships, so I can’t say I really care all that much about winning this thing. But for poetry’s sake, it would be kind of dope to see an Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Sheedtastic Supremacy in the Final Four, pinning me against Ball Don’t Lie. And, yes, if that does occur, I will guaranSheed victory. Vote early and vote often, Both Teamsters.

In vagina-ier news, NBA.com has its “Dance Team Bracket,” where you can vote on which NBA franchise has the best team of future strippers dancers. (via Heels on Hardwood)

Conversely, our girl ticktock6 over at Hornet’s Hype is running the “First Annual NBA Hot Baller Tournament,” where I presume the ladies and the gays can debate beefcake matchups like Popeye Jones vs. Tyronne Hill.

I think we all know who would walk away with the Belt of Sheedtastic Supremacy.

Brad Miller Has Solved the Financial Crisis

Dear Barry O,

All us NBA guys were really excited when you beat that Darth Vader sans helmet guy in that one election a while back. However, I know that you’ve had a rough two months since you went to that Beyonce concert.

Well luckily I was listening to some classic Swizz Beatz tracks (“Flesh of My Flesh,” “Memph Bleek Is…,” “Wild Out,” “Jigga My Nigga,” some Drag-On ish, etc.) last night with Tim Thomas and it made me remember that famous quote from Ruff Ryder Teddy Roosevelt: “The only thing we have to fear is carrying a bit stick softly.”

Never before has this truism been truer than it is true during the current dough crisis. But if you watch my solution in the video below (via The Blowtorch), I think you can agree that the whole country will be fine.

In summation: I got this.

Your welcome,
Bradley Alan Miller

P.S. – Now that you have some free time, we could use you in the back court. That Gordon kid is good, but he’s kind of a cock. Text me.

O.P.P.S – Tell the Defense Secretary that I have no plans this summer and can head over to Afterganistan if he needs help training the the troops.