It has been way, way too long since Jamie Foxx has been in the news.
Luckily, Mr. Foxx not only makes an appearance in today’s blog post, but also proves why he is, as Jay Leno puts it, entertainment’s “Renaissance Man.” And, in the process, consoles an entire city draped in sadness with a brand new lyrical bedtime story.
Cleveland, OH tourism: If you’re watching and reading this, get Jamie Foxx’s agents on the phone ASAP.
Plus, call LeBron James as well.
The excitement when speaking about popular destinations in and around Cleveland, OH by LeBron James is the best pitch for a city I’ve seen in a long, long time.
“I gave it everything I had both mentally and physically, so obviously I’m drained right now, I’m ready to get home.”
–Lebron James, after Game 3 of the NBA Finals
It’s not surprising that Lebron James, the favorite son of Akron, OH/the Cleveland area, is exhausting all that he has for his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. What is surprising is that his Energizer bunny-like effort has not translated to any wins in the championship series versus the stacked (under statement) Golden State Warriors.
And, for Cavs fans, the possibility of a 4-game sweep increased greatly last night. Not simply because the Warriors have a 3-0 series advantage, but because of one person:
The Golden State Warriors are playing great basketball. However, the Cleveland Cavaliers (truthfully) have a squad equipped to handle and defeat the Warriors. True story. But that’s regarding last year’s Warriors team that the Cavs defeated 4-3 for the NBA title.
If the first three games in the 2017 NBA Finals has revealed anything, it’s that Kevin Durant is the prized x-factor and the one player the Cavs have no answer for. Not only does Mr. Durant score a lot of points, block a lot of shots and generally influence Cleveland’s play in myriad ways, but he simultaneously takes pressure off of his teammates (who may be struggling) and stretches the Cavs defense far too thin for 4 quarters.
Odds are very, very high that the Golden State Warriors will win this year’s NBA championship. And Cleveland’s personnel deficit against Kevin Durant is proving to be too costly thus far in this series. Still, the Cleveland Cavaliers came back from being down 3-1 to win the series 4-3 in last year’s NBA Finals. The question is whether the Cavs can strategically figure out how to minimize Kevin Durant’s impact on the court.
Stopping Kevin Durant seems unlikely, but anything is possible. And yes, that sentiment that “anything is possible” does include a chapter in which a professional sports team in Cleveland won a league championship in the 21st century with a surreal, magic run. If a 3-1 series comeback was magical, how would a 3-0 series comeback be described?
Thanks to the 2016 NBA Finals, people in Cleveland, OH have a legitimate reason to dream such wild things. And that’s part of the underlying magic of sports:
A smile doesn’t go on for a mile…
it lasts a lifetime.
Craig Sager, the relentlessly positive NBA sideline reporter, has died at the age of 65. His toughness was iron strong, as he faced cancer and, incredibly, experienced that same cancer go into remission. Mr. Sager certainly had a memorable collection of high-profile interviews with basketball icons, but his legacy was built on something much more profound and meaningful.
His personality, decorated head-to-toe in spectacularly strange and overwhelmingly loud jackets and suits, was one defined by kindness. A rarity in this world, for sure. So many believe that we must be cool and removed, yet Mr. Sager is one example of how spreading happiness and trying to get people to smile (regardless of and because of their personal struggles and circumstances) is a gift that should be copied-and-pasted over and over…and over again.
One of the great misconceptions about people who appear happy all the time is that there isn’t a darkness or broken element in their life or that they don’t understand the grit of the world. In other words, that they aren’t “real.” Actually, it’s precisely the opposite. If you meet someone beyond the age of 10 who makes it their purpose to be happy, it usually means they have or are enduring deep struggles, but choose to be joyful and bright and bring out happiness in others.
Choosing to be happy instead of aloof and indifferent?
That sounds pretty damn real to me (in more ways than one).
Even just one smile can make all the difference…to somebody.
RIP Craig Sager.
Remember when anybody who was anybody had a fast-talking, lookalike puppet?
The ’90s was an insanely awesome decade for many reasons, least of which was because the NBA was actually fun to watch. Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Steve Kerr, Dennis Rodman, Toni Kukoč and the Chicago Bulls were led by “The Zen Master” Phil Jackson. The Seattle Supersonics was a real team with Gary “The Glove” Payton, Shawn Kemp and one of the greatest sports names ever: Detlef Schrempf. And let’s not forget about Hakeem Olajuwon firing up the Houston Rockets.
Even so, the real magic of the NBA in the ’90s went down in Orlando. Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway is one of the league’s all-time greats, including his nickname. Along with his immense talent was his prowess for marketing and nobody talked a big game like Penny’s small friend who sounded precisely like comedian Chris Rock:
This blissful commercial is why “Throwback Thursday” is such a fantastic phenomenon.
It’s just a nice coincidence that Penny happened to throw the ball through the back of the hoop.