Friday, September 18, 2009
Movie: He Got Game
Starring: Ray Allen (yes, the basketball player), Denzel Washington, Rosario Dawson (young version, but still FINE), Jim Brown (yes, the football player) "Radio" from "Do the Right Thing," Milla Jovovich
Plot: Jesus Shuttlesworth (Allen) is the top high school basketball player in the country, but with the deadline to sign with a college less than a week away, Jesus has yet to choose one. Meanwhile, everyone, his family, coach, friend, and girlfriend, has an opinion of what he should do. If that wasn't enough, Jesus's dad, Jake (Washington), who is in prison for the accidental murder of his wife (Jesus's mom) is temporarily released from jail on a "work-release" program. Turns out, the governor happens to be a big college basketball fan and wants Jesus to attend his alma mater, the fictional Big State University. Jake has a week to persuade his son to attend Big State, if he does, he will reduce Jake's sentence substantially.
Reaction: I saw this movie in the theater when it first came out, but watching it some 10 years later, gives me a different perspective on it. The movie deals with three main themes, basketball, celebrity, and the relationship between a father and son. Though the movie revolves around basketball, there's not a lot of it in the movie, save for a pickup game, and the climactic scene between Jake and Jesus. Every kid dreams of one day making it big in sports, and Jesus is on the verge, but that glamooruous life doesn't look as appealing. Everybody wants something from Jesus, even if it's just to rub elbows with him, and it's hard for Jesus to weed out who's really there for him, and who just wants things from him. Denzel is terrific as Jake, but it was hard for me to get past the fact that it was Ray Allen the basketball player, acting, even though the basketball scenes are that much better because he's an actual professional basketball player. The subplot of Jake courting a prostitue (Jovovich) is also unnecessary.
Rating: Though the move can drag at times, the climactic basketball game scene with Jake ands Jesus, as well as Jesus's recruting visit with friends Jill and Chasey make this movie worht it alone. good times. Weird subplot and Ray Allen dock it though. "He Got Game" gets 3 quarters and a nickel, for 80 cents.
I love Hawaii. I really do. This place is amazing, there's nothing in the world like it. But there's two things about Hawaii that I can't stand: 1.) The lack of quality Mexican food, and 2.) People don't know how to conduct themselves on the basketball court.
I've been playing pick-up basketball a long time and I've watched it for even longer. My Dad would play every Saturday morning at Walter Haas Park in Diamond Heights and he'd take me with him when I was 4. I literally grew up watching, and playing it. There's something beautiful about pick-up ball. 10 strangers just competing, no shoe deals, no commercials, no instant replay, no thousands of people in attendance, just playing for the love of the game. You can tell a lot about a person by how they conduct themselves on the court, how they react to a call, how they treat their teammates and opponents, and how they react after a win or a loss.
But for whatever reason, players in Hawaii aren't as refined to the game as on the Mainland, and the one that are, aren't from here. There's a certain etiquette to streetball, unwritten rules that palyers have to follow, and I'm going to write them down.
1.) Full court games gotta have 10 people, 5-on-5. Anything less goes half-court.
2.) All games go to 15 by 1s and 2s. If there is more than one team, 5 people waiting, games go to 11. The point is to get as many games in as a possible.
3.) You gotta win by 2.
4.) Winning team gets to stay on the court. Always.
5.) Find 4 other people, and call "Next." Loud. Really loud. So that everyone at the park can hear you. You can't call Next until you have a whole team.
6.) If there are less than 5 people waiting, losing team shoots free throws to determine who gets to fill in for the Next team. Everyone gets to shoot at least once.
7.) Score is always announced after every basket and before every inbound.
8.) Last game of the night always goes to 21.
9.) (There's always a debate of who should call fouls, offense or defense. I don't really think it matters, but this will help clarify it.) Only the person committing the foul, or the person getting fouled can call the foul. If you're standing at the 3-point line or running up court when someone hets hacked in the key, don't say anything.
10.) No ticky-tack calls. If it's game point, and someone calls 3-in-the-key, when it hasn't been called all game long, it's ok to call that person names that are also women's genitalia and say thigns about their mother.
11.) Expect contact. People here take contact too personally. It's a physical game. You have 10 people on a court, jostling for position, battling for rebounds, and swatitng at the ball. Every now and again there's going to be some contact that might be a little harder than expected, take them accordingly and don't be an idiot and start an altercation.
Now print this out and send it to every park and court on the Island.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
So, we were thinking, is it fair that we have our own piece of cyber space for the world to hear our thoughts? Well, yea, actually it is. But like Uncle Ben told Peter, "With great power, comes great responsibility." So we're giving our friends guest spots where they get to speak their mind and talk about whatever they want, using our site as a forum. Cuz that's what we do here at A Dime & A Nickel, people helping people.
Our first guest blogger is "Ceyonce Knows." Ceyonce happens to be the "cousin" (the way colored people use the word "cousin," not like actual blood-related cousin) of Jrue Holiday. Jrue played basketball at UCLA and after his Freshman year, declared for the NBA Draft. Ceyonce was part of Jrue's entourage and accomapnied him to New York for the NBA draft. As an aspiring sports journalist I've always wondered what happened at these things, luckily, Ceyonce was there to tell us what transpired.
"We arrived in New York around 10pm and were picked up in a black SUV and headed to the Westin in Times Square. As we pull up to the hotel, the driver says, "Oh wow, there's still fanfare." By this time, it's about midnight. And then it hit me, we were staying in the same hotel as all the draftees! (AD&AN: Ceyonce is a HUGE fan of tall men, athletic men, and Black men, and when you put her in a confined area with tall, athletic, Black men, well, let's just say she probably needed a new pair of underwear.) Now, this was bad and wonderful at the same time. It was bad, because well...I already have a huge ego. I think I'm a princess, and although I have no fame-worthy talents, I feel like I belong with the stars, because I am one. So naturally walking in and out of the hotel surrounded by fanfare made me feel like a bigger deal than I already thought I was. But the wonderful part was that i was like a kid in the candy store! I mean, anyone who knows me knows what my weaknesses are: food, music, and most of all tall, dark, handsome, athletic men (AD&AN: Told you.); all of which were in abundance around me.
Ok...so enough about me. It was all about Jrue, well at least for the 20ish of us that flew to New York to support him. Thursday morning (the morning of the draft) there was a bruncheon for all the draftees and families, however there was a limit as to how many family members could go, so all the cousins under the age of 40 got cut. I wasnt bitter at all, who wants to sit at a boring brunch anyway. (*insert sarcasm HERE*)
As it got closer to the actual draft we were all getting anxious! Jrue, his parents, older brother, and agent left early. At about 6, the rest of us left. When we got to Madison Square Garden, it was CRAZY!! What we didnt realize before was that yes we had tickets, but it was open seating. There were certain areas reserved for families, but other than that, seating was a free. Lucky for us, we have young, talented athletes in the family that were more than glad to SPRINT as soon as they opened the doors to get good seats. We sat in the second row! Obviously as the clock counted down till 7:00pm, the anticipation continued to grow. Then finally, NBA Commissioner David Stern walks out. HERE WE GO! Well we already knew who the first 3 picks were going to be, so those were a breeze. Jrue was projected to go anywhere between 4 and 10, so this is where we all start to get antsy. Alright, so 4th pick...Tyreke Evans...alright. The Warriors liked him so he should be 7...nope, Stephen Curry. Ok ok, everyone in New York was talking about Jrue Holiday, so let go he's next. Wrong again, Jordan Hill. Alright, alright the Raptors LOVED Jrue, he's going to Canada...Demar DeRozan. Oh by the way, there is a 5 minute interval between each pick soo by this point the draft has been going on for almost an hour, ADD started to kick in about 20 minutes into the draft AD&AN: I'm not sure if Ceyonce has ever been diagnosed with ADD, but it's kinda of one of those things where it's pretty much obvious). Hunger started to kick in an hour into it (AD&AN: Should've gone to theat bruncheon). So by the time we get to the 15th pick, I have to pee, I'm anxious, I'm hungry, and to top it all off my cousin has not been picked yet!! Then FINALLY it happened he was picked! The rest of the draft is a blur. To be honest, I checked out after Jrue got picked, all I could focus on was food (AD&AN: And young, athletic, soon to be very rich men)! The funny part was when we got back from dinner at about 1am, there was still fanfare outside the hotel. And as we got out of the taxi with Jrue, they were all yelling "Jrue! Jrue!", asking for autographs, some had pictures of him. Its strange to think of Jrue as "famous" but, he definitely is in Philly. They love him out there. And Jrue is happy to be there. While all of us were getting impatient and anxious as the draft went on, Jrue wasn't. He said the whole time he was fine, because he knew he would end up where he was supposed to be.
"With the 17th pick in the 2009 NBA draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select Jrue Holiday from UCLA." That was it, that one sentence that lasted no more than 10 seconds was what we had all waited for. It was what we spent our money to come to New York for. And in the end, it was well worth it. I am so proud of him and what he has accomplished at the tender age of 19. And to top it all off anyone who knows or has met Jrue knows what a good kid he is. It's funny, my Mom told me, "Just think, there's gonna be girls that think of Jrue the way you think of Dwight Howard." Now thats just gross!"