I am reading it now myself, but it’s a Wojnarowski expose (I have no accented “e” on my keyboard) on LBJ.
From Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski to managing director Jerry Colangelo to NBA elders, the issue of James’ immaturity and downright disrespectfulness had become a consuming topic on the march to the Olympics. The course of history could’ve changed dramatically, because there was a real risk that James wouldn’t be brought to Beijing based on fears his monumental talents weren’t worth the daily grind of dealing with him.
When the mandate had been to gather these immense egos and get the NBA’s greatest players to fit into a program, no one had a more difficult time meshing into the framework than James. Other players made it a point to learn the names of staffers and modestly go about their business without barking orders and brash demands.
No one could stand James as a 19-year-old in the 2004 Athens Olympics, nor the 2006 World Championships. Officials feared James could become the instigator of everything they wanted to rid themselves for the ’08 Olympics. For as gifted as James was, Krzyzewski and Colangelo subscribed to a belief that with Kobe Bryant(notes) joining the national team in 2007, they could win a gold medal in ’08 with or without LeBron James. Behind the scenes, officials had taken to calling James’ inner circle, “The Enablers.” No one ever told him to grow up. No one ever challenged him. And yet, James was still a powerful pull for his teammates, and everyone had to agree they could no longer let his bossy and belittling act go unchecked. These weren’t the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Team USA wasn’t beholden to him.
I can understand a high school kid doing that, because they don’t know any better. College too, perhaps, because people under the age of 25 think they know everything, but really, they don’t know shit. But late 20s? 30s? Who are these people? What kind of lives are they leading? I can’t even remember the last time I had any sort of ‘drama’ in my life. This has to end for people at some point, doesn’t it?
“I watch all the teams and what they did for LeBron, and [the Heat] still have to go through the Lakers with Kobe Bryant out there, who’s been my favorite player for a long time. And I don’t think whatever they do in the East is really going to concern him that much.”—
Yesterday was as intense a day across the city of Oakland as I have seen since I moved here. I have never really experienced anything quite like it. Old timers talked about King’s death in 68’ and my students talked about the BART/Grant related violence from last year. I thought a lot about Rodney King and Peggy McIntosh yesterday and was reminded that I could not empathize with the Oscar Grants in my life.
For some other liberal white folks my age it was OJ, but for me, it was Rodney. The 1992 LA riots were the first time that my 11 1/2-year-old ass realized that being white came with privilege. Rodney King was another Oscar Grant. Only he got to live. 1992 was the first time I realized that being black in this country meant that you go the short end of the stick.
We are not all Oscar Grant, because I know that I am not. I have the privilege of not being a black male in our society. I also have the privilege of not being gay or a woman. I get to ride out this white thing. I get to stand back and “be objective.” To say and hear other white guys say things like: “The facts weren’t quite there for murder 2…not with a presumption of innocence.” or “It’s amazing a police officer gets any kind of conviction.” Rather than just being fucking pissed off that this has happened again. Mostly, I have to sit back and watch this continually happen to other people.
I have the privilege to live in a world where people assume that I am not a criminal, that I went to college and that I have a job. No one follows me around stores. I get to stick my arm out the window at check points and be waived along and women don’t cross the street before I walk by them late at night.
I live in South Berkeley and work in Oakland. I am a social worker. Justice is the principal value of my life. I live around and work alongside Oscar Grants. I attempt to ally with Oscar Grants and I sympathize with Oscar Grants, but I am not Oscar Grant.
If you get the chance please take a look at White Privilege: Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh. A seminal work that has been instrumental in putting the dimension of privilege into discussions of gender, race and sexuality. Accoding to Oakland’s Speak Out: “The essay set forth the concept of white privilege, a theoretical construct that has since significantly influenced anti-racist theory and practice as well as other activist movements.”
49 songs… expertly mixed, cut and transitioned by two of America’s most popular DJ’s. The songs cover any and everything ‘summer’ related. From songs about summer to songs that just feel like the sunshine season, this multi-genre mix will be sure to make your already great summer even better!
I'd just like you to know that I lost my "meat virginity," if you will, to a grilled steak and pesto sandwich at the Missouri Lounge last week. It was Divine. I will definitely be there tomorrow. Don't be a stranger :)
At just 19 years old, Martha’s Vineyard-raised singer/songwriter Willy Mason was the second artist signed to Conor Oberst and Nate Krenkel’s Team Love Records. Major label deals soon followed, as well as high-profile opening slots for bands like Death Cab for Cutie and Radiohead. Two LPs, a slew of house shows, and a handful of festival gigs later, Mason has retreated from the limelight a bit. And though he hasn’t released a new studio record in over 3 years, the now 25-year-old is still keeping busy with scattered solo shows and studio performances.
In any event, I’m not sure if Mason has another album in the can or what his future plans may be (aside from a guest appearance on the new Mark Lanegan/Isobel Campbell record and opening for Norah Jones at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland this weekend), but he posted two wonderful recordings earlier this spring and I’d be remiss not sharing these songs. (Let’s just say that they offer plenty of hope for fans of “Oxygen.”) Stream “If It’s The End” and “Don’t Stop Now” below: