Love and Basketball : Ferguson Missouri

Anthony Powers Love and Ball

11/26/ 14
Much of the language of the following was taken directly from transcripts of Darren Wilson’s grand jury testimony in the police murder of Michael Brown.

So here’s what happened. I ‘m in my police SUV patrolling Lincoln Street in New Lenox, IL. I see these two male whites walking in the middle of the street. It’s a hostile territory. They don’t like blacks too much in this area. I often see guys standing on corners with Obama in Hitler mustache and Swastika signs.
A robbery was called in a little earlier in the day. Two male whites had allegedly stolen some cigars. We take cigar theft and jaywalking real seriously in these parts.
I notice that the larger male white has marijuana socks. I notice this because he has on basketball shorts. He also has strange tattoos. I drive along-side them and say: “Hey fellas, why don’t you get on the sidewalk.” The smaller male white replies: “We’re almost to our destination.” I ask them, “What’s wrong with the sidewalk, guys?” At that point the larger male white comes around the mirror and says: “Fuck what you have to say.”
I was taken aback by his response. I guess he had a real thing about sidewalks.
Suddenly I see the larger male white has some Cigarillos in his hand. I realized that the two male whites match the description of the alleged Cigar thieves. They are male whites. And the Cigarillos I suddenly see in his hands are a dead giveaway. They are prime suspects!
They keep walking in the middle of the street. I call for backup. I position the SUV to cut them off. As I move to get out the car, I tell the larger male white: “Hey, come here a minute.” He turns and faces me, and says: “What the fuck you gonna do about it?” I say, “about what? He says, “about it”. I say, “about what it”. He says, “about it”. I guess that’s just the way these thugs talk.
Then in a flash, before I can get out the car, he slams the door shut. I tell him to get back but he just stares as me, like to intimidate or overpower me. It was definitely an overpowering look. His face was intense, like a beast. I tell him, “get the fuck back” and push my door at him. He pushes my door back, ducks into the car window, and begins to punch me in the face. Then he stops punching me in the face, hands the Cigarillos’ to his friend (Cigarillos are obviously a prize possession in this ghetto), saying “My man, hold these while I kick this armed cops ass in his patrol car”.
He is on foot and I am in a Police SUV with backup on the way. This gives the large white male the advantage over me. These thugs are very athletic you know. And mean. That’s why they dominate Hockey. And football offensive lines.
He had already hit me twice. The two punches grazed me. I am certain a third would’ve killed me. Or put me in a wheelchair for life. These large white males can really hit. You ever see a hockey fight?
I grab the large male white’s arm and pull out my gun. I say: “Get back or I’m going to shoot you!” He says: “You are too much of a pussy to shoot me”. I say: “Huh?” He says: “You are too much of a pussy to shoot me.” I say: “Me being a pussy has nothing to do me being able to shoot you”. He says: “yes it does”. I say: “no it doesn’t”. He says: “yes it does.”
He reaches in and grabs my gun. This wasn’t covered in my police academy training for apprehending a crazed male white from within your stationary vehicle. He pushes the gun into my leg and pushes his finger into the trigger area. Then I somehow manage to push the gun up and at him in spite of his superior strength, leverage and animal rage. He continues to hold the gun. I guess he really did think I was a pussy. I pull the trigger until it goes off. Glass and blood falls on my hand.
He steps back and looks at me with this intense aggressive face. He had this real angry look. The only way I can describe it is like a blue eyed devil.
He comes at me again. I shield my face as he punches me again. While shielding my face, I fire two more times. Now he knows I’m definitely not a pussy. He begins to run, followed by a cloud of dust. Like a horse in old western.
I call again for more cars. I get out the car a begin give chase. Suddenly he stops and turns around to face me. At this point I really wish he would make up his mind as to whether or not I am a pussy.
I tell him to get on the ground. He grunts. Stamps his feet menacingly. He is like the Incredible Hulk and I am like a five year old. He gives out an aggravated growl. Then he barks. He comes at me, his hands reaching under his shirt. Oh my God, I think to myself, he must have a gun in his basketball shorts. Those whites wear them real baggy to accommodate their large….
Anyway, he’s coming at me. I begin repeatedly firing at him. I know I hit him at least once because he flinches again. At this point it looks like he is almost bulking up to run through the shots, like it is making him mad that I’m shooting at him. And the face that he has is looking straight through me, like I’m not even there, like I’m not even anything in his way.
It is then that I realize he is a mutant.
I am backpedaling quickly. I know if this mad white male mutant reaches me he’ll crush me like a tin beer can. He’ll pull my eyes out my skull. He’ll eat my children. He’ll knock me into a state of Bolivia.
When he gets ten to eight feet away, all I can see through my sites is his big ass head, so that’s what I shot. The demeanor on his face goes blank, the aggression is gone, it is gone, I mean, I know he stops, the threat is stopped. This is what tends to happen when you shoot a young large (as in my height) male white in the head. Having successfully stood my ground against overwhelming odds, I could only mutter to myself: “Told you I wasn’t a pussy”.
So here’s the question for you, Dear Reader: Do I get arrested? Properly investigated? Charged? Given opportunity to present the above case to the grand jury without cross examination? Given the opportunity to have the District Attorney prosecuting the case as my de-facto Public Defender? Assured that the foregone conclusion would be never having to suffer the inconvenience of an indictment and trial?

Is the media sympathetic to me? What is the reaction from the New Lenox community?

By the way: note from the County Prosecuting Attorney: Every single eye witness to the events from the New Lenox community is either too much of a liar, too emotional, too much of a criminal element, or too dumb to be credible.
So this is Love and Basketball. Here’s the basketball. Stay with me here. I recently read Roland Lazerby’s; Show: The Inside Story of the Spectacular Los Angeles Lakers , a great oral history of arguably the premiere franchise in NBA history. From George Mikan and Jay Pollard, Kareem and Magic through Shaq and Kobe, no franchise other than the Celtics represent the whole of NBA’s short history like the Lakers. Ran across this story: Jack Kent Cook, the Laker’s owner who preceded Jerry Buss and the emergence of Showtime, was at a restaurant shortly after a doctor’s appointment. The doctor called and congratulated him for having “the constitution of a 25 year old man and the heart of an ox.” Cook hangs up the phone and immediately has a heart attack. He survives, and when his mother visits him at the hospital, he informs her that he had actually “died” for 30 seconds. His mother replies: “Tell me Jack, which way were you going? Heaven or hell?
I wonder if Officer Darren Wilson’s and County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch’s mamas would have the same question

Love and Basketball

Love and Ball

By Anthony Powers

It’s twenty three degrees outside this cloudy day in Chicago. Winter did not tarry getting here this year. But it could be worse. It could be Buffalo, currently buried… I mean literally buried…I mean folk trapped under snow inside their homes waiting for rescue by the National Guard buried. I know the climate change delusional deniers have an appropriately pseudo-scientific explanation for this. I’m waiting…

Anyway, am thankful and blessed to be in a warm home, while we await the grand jury down there in Ferguson Mississippi circa 1963 where they jailed Fannie Lou Hamer and beat her damn near to death Missouri to determine the current value of a large young black man’s life. This value, as you know, shifts like that of other publically traded commodities, although always kept artificially low except in various entertainment industries.

There is palpable fear in the air. The Nigras are getting restless. A state of emergency is declared in St Louis, and 400 National Guard troops deployed. National Guard troops are deployed around Ferguson because they must be contained. Ladies and gentlemen of these United States of America, this is the greatest gonna-be crisis since the Saudi Arabian oil scion orchestrated the destruction of the Twin Towers! Hide your valuables! Send away your daughters! Call out the troops! Call out Blackwater! Keep your military assault rifles trained on families engaged in anti- American sitting on the porch activities. Shoot to kill! Bring in the drones! Keep those niiii….urban prospective rioters and otherwise senselessly and irrationally angry Black People in their place at all costs!

After all, if Michael Brown didn’t want to get shot, he shouldn’t have run so fast. And who can blame a peace officer when confronted with a large black young man with a bullet in him and his hands raised? Don’t you know what damage a large black young man (LBYM) can do to an armed officer if he has a bullet in him and his hands raised? He’s a mad wounded beast!!! No wonder the District Attorney find the very notion of charging the officer profoundly and historically distasteful. That man was fighting for his life!!!!

Flipping back and forth between MSNBC and the game after coming in from the cold. The Kings vs. Pelicans. Boogie vs. The Destroyer. Boogie is a load. Boogie got crazy skills. Literally. Boogie gets down in the lane and pushes people around like Moses Malone. Big men tumble off his shoulders. He spends the first half…maybe three quarters of the game alternating from whupping that ass in the lane to channeling his inner Lebron…skying for the board, pushing the ball on the break, dishing to open teammates with precision. Boogie’s got 24 on 10 for 18 shooting, 17rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks for the upstart Pels. All appears to be well in Boogie World. And then…and then…well a couple things happen.

Anthony Davis gives his team exactly what it needs every time he’s on the floor. With his protector, Asik sidelined with a back injury, the team needed someone to match Boogie’s ability to wreck a defense. Enter The Destroyer with a smooth and totally in the flow of the game 28 points on 11-19 shooting, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals. Need somebody to bend space and time to create wide open pastures for Ryan Anderson to bomb away for 22? To extend rim protection out to the three point line? To turn away interlopers into the lane..I mean actually turn them around by suddenly removing the lane as an option..at critical moments in the game flow? To dive to the floor for a critical steal? Here’s the scoop: Anthony Davis is not from here. He’s from a place, far far away. Maybe the same planet or at least solar system that produced the Honorable Bill Russell, the brilliant underappreciated Kareem (I mean he had to advocate for his own statue in LA? What??? Did he really piss that many people off with his idiosyncricities, much having to do with his stereotype-defying intelligence), and the GOAT power forward /de facto center Tim Duncan.

And then…Boogie’s team collapses around him. Collison reminds everyone he’s not a floor general. He’s more of a floor private. They stop giving Boogie the ball. Unforced turnovers. Wild jacked up shots. Rudy Gay deciding to challenge Mr. Davis at the rim, giving Davis opportunity to go all Mr. Fantastic on him. AND THEY STOP GIVING BOOGIE THE BALL. After blowing a 24 point lead to the Mavericks, and a 26 point lead to the Grizz…do you see a trend? Nevertheless, man was this fun.

Some other random reflections on Love and Ball:

Kobe sets the record for most missed shots. This is great catnip for the Kobe haters, the MJ idolizers, and those who live in fear of intelligent confident gifted Black men. Yes Kobe has…um let me see just off the top of my head…feuded with coaches, high-jacked offenses with one on one play, destroyed teammates with his pathological competitiveness and ruthless intimidation, stormed out of practices, threatened to go to the Knicks, punched out Steve Kerr, and retired having gunned the fifth most missed shots behind John Havlicek, Elvin Hayes, Karl Malone, and Kareem. Opps…that’s not Kobe. That’s the lord thy baller Michael Jordan. And MJ played fewer years than all of the above.

Kobe was no different than MJ in his approach to the game. MJ was just better at it. And was a lot better in PR in an era before the onset of omni-media coverage of professional sports and sports celebrity.

Unless one is prepared to dismiss the careers of Hondo, The Big E, The Mailman, Kareem and MJ, one shouldn’t dismiss Kobe’s accomplishments over a cosmetic stat. The most missed shots is really an indicator of sustained offensive brilliance over time. And maybe we should

acknowledge the astonishing fact that Kareem was first in scoring all-time but only fifth in misses.

I agree with Noah. Everybody needs to chill the fuck out about Rose. In fact, Rose needs to chill the fuck out about Rose. Note to the fandom…it’s not the athlete’s fault if he is beset with injuries in the course of the game. If he needs to sit and be cautious for him to get to the playoffs in one piece…so be it! Grow up, Bull’s fans and keep the main thing the main thing. This is a team with a short window opportunity to contend for a title, dammit! I don’t care if Rose sits with a sprained ankle in November if he’s dive bombing to the rim come June. Note to Rose: nobody cares about your retirement plans. Just do you and everything will be alright. Or it won’t. That is the nature of sports, and of life. That’s why we walk by faith and not by sight.

I got love for Michelle Roberts. “I don’t know of any space other than the world of sports where there’s this notion that we will artificially deflate what someone’s able to make, just because,” she said, talking about a salary cap — a collectively bargained policy that, in its current form, has constrained team spending in the NBA since 1984-85. “It’s incredibly un-American. My DNA is offended by it.” Giancarlo Stanton just signed a contract with MLB’s Miami Marlins for $325 million over 13 years. That’s $25 million per. LeBron James’ contract is capped at $ 42.1 million for two years. That’s $21 million per, the max he is allowed to be paid due to the owners locking the players out and giving it to them up the collective bargaining agreement. Counsel rests her case. Nice to see the NBPA finally getting their shit together. This could end up being Chis Paul’s greatest legacy.

I love God. I love humanity. Let’s spread the real love in the global ‘hood. Got to get out here and go to work. ‘Til next time. Peace.

The Chicago Bulls are rounding into shape.

The Bulls recent 102-91 victory against the Pistons at the United Center produced a sneak preview into what kind of team the Bulls could be as they work to live up to those pre-season predictions of a possible eastern conference crown.

The Bulls starters were finally together for one of the few times in this young season and the results were impressive as the team displayed their new found offensive potential spearheaded by Derrick Rose. Utilizing his considerable speed Rose controlled the pace of the game and repeatedly penetrated the pistons defense for passes to his teammates.

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As Pau Gasol said to Sam Smith, “It was great to have everyone, a full roster on the floor, available and healthy. Now we’ve just got to keep it that way. It’s great to have (Rose) on the floor, difference maker, very explosive, gets to the hole. He’s a key player for us. “

Joakim Noah added “ Derrick’s a hell of a player.” “ To have your best player on the court, floor general, means a lot. When he’s out on the court, he demands so much attention it opens up a lot of easy opportunities for everyone else.”

It seems like Rose put his time off to good use. One refreshing trait is Derrick’s ability to drive, elevate and find teammates with what seem to be laser shots. Few NBA point guards throw cross court passes off penetration and It’s a coaching adage in some circles that one should not leave ones feet to complete a pass. Derrick however, and he showed signs during the World Cup that he has added a number of new passes that are delivered with a crispness that on occasion catch his teammates off guard.

Unlike the San Antonio Spurs who on offense rely on ball movement only after a one dribble slash into the crease the Bulls will have the added advantage of seasoned play maker who is just about impossible to keep out of the lane.

When you throw in his speed and decisions on the fast break the Bulls will benefit greatly on offense as the season progresses.

Joakim Noah had his best outing so far this season scoring 13 points with 14 boards and showing the grit and mobility that he is known for. Noah’s start to the season was tough as he had to overcome off- season knee surgery along with the finding of his place in an offense featuring Pau Gasol who does just about everything better than Noah with the possible exception of Noah’s heart and incredible defensive footwork.

If players were cars then Noah would be a Camaro SS to Gasol’s Jaguar. Paired with Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic, The Bulls have what makings of the best front line in the league.

Albeit Detroit is an improved team under new team president and coach Stan Van Gundy but the Bulls served them and now it’s on to The great north and the Raptors.