Happy Veterans Day to my Grandpa Ball, my friends who served, and everyone out there. We take for granted the freedoms afforded to us citizens due to the sacrifices and service of our nation’s Veterans. #VeteransDay
Here’s my report on Lonzo Ball after seeing him get a triple-double in person in a 94-83 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. His shot is really bad and they are going to have to reconstruct it to make him a shooter in the league. But he’s a really smart player. He get’s it done on offense and defense, and in all statistical categories. He’s a team player, and the comparisons to Jason Kidd are spot on. He’s going to be the next Jason Kidd and a good one. As long as he’s more of a distributor than a shooter. Even Jason Kidd made himself into a decent shooter and Ball is ahead of Kidd there, in my opinion.
Brian Laesch is an “independent” Chicago Bulls beat writer waiting out the rebuilding process.
Here’s an interesting article I came across while sitting in a Malibu home in the hills, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. (This detail has nothing to do with the story. I just wanted to document it because this place is awesome.) It’s a history of the drink of choice for every single U.S. President. Some of the historical records used to validate this are a bit of a stretch, but either way, it’s an interesting historical account of the drinking habits of the leader of the free world. (A term that first came into play during the Cold War, by the way.)
Happy Labor Day, everybody.
Well, as a sit here on the heels of a Team Boom loss in a tough battle in the Tempe Rec League championship game, I am completely wired. Which works to my advantage, at the moment, as I am packing for a trip to Chicago in the morning. This will be my third year in a row heading to the Windy City for Lollapalooza weekend and a reunion with the friends I grew up with, and my second trip to Chicago this summer. We aren’t actually going to the festival this weekend, but I’d recommend it, if you haven’t been. We are getting a boat on Lake Michigan Saturday which should pretty sweet.
It was tough to lose in the championship tonight but things are good. Always excited about getting back to Chicago, when I can. Still my favorite city in the world. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend it (especially in the summer). There’s a reason Kanye West calls out “summertime Chi,” in particular, in the song “Good Life“ from his 2007 album, Graduation. (Kanye, I miss that soulful stuff, by the way, man.)
In fact, let’s close this post out with the video. (Also, Chicago did not commission me to write this somewhat generic endorsement. It’s just a great place, and felt like mentioning it.)
Have a great weekend, everybody.
After the killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and 5 Dallas police officers this week, an African-American friend of mine posted on Facebook that, essentially, white people can never fully understand the plight of the African-American and what it’s like to live in the U.S. Naturally, a series of comments followed. A lot had been bubbling up inside me, as I’m sure it had for a lot of American citizens. I ultimately responded with the below comment. These are just some of my thoughts on the current situation. It sickens me, but I believe we as American, truly are better than this.
As a white man in America, I wholeheartedly agree that I will never completely understand the African-American struggle. It is impossible for me to have the same perspective. But what I very much do understand is human struggle. And while I can never totally understand, I do empathize and I do deeply care about it. The killings of innocent black people by police officers disturbs me, deeply. The killings of innocent police officers in Dallas disturbs me just as much. The whole situation right now sickens me. I wish I had a magic solution but there is none. But the killing of innocent people, of any color, is completely wrong. So in my opinion, there needs to be major systemic change in police departments across the country to weed out bad or racist officers, and stop the unnecessary use of excessive/lethal force. And, in my opinion, the way these stories are portrayed by the media and by politicians needs to change. As long as it’s “us versus them,” “blacks versus whites,” black versus police,” there will continue to be tension. There will always be that misguided, frustrated person who will hold onto that, easily find a gun and take action. Killing innocent, unrelated officers in Dallas does not bring back the innocent who have been killed by officers elsewhere. And it does nothing to unite the people against the real problem officers out there. All the focus in the world should go towards the individual police officers who abuse their power, and in seeing that they are removed from the force, and ensuring that their precinct takes responsibility and action. We have to, have to, have to come together as a people, have a real conversation, and focus on removing those who do wrong from power, instead of blaming an entire group. The killing of innocent people is wrong. The stereotyping and profiling of an entire people (Black, white, police officers, Jews, Muslims, Christians, etc.), it’s just wrong. It’s not honest. It’s an excuse. We need to find a way to unite, fix these issues, recognize the progress that has been made in this country, and be honest about how far we still have to go. It may be 2 steps forward, 10 steps backwards, but progress continues to be made. As long as we have checks and balances in this country, we should have the means to continue to root out those who do wrong. The good things happening in this country do seem to get drowned out by the 24-hour news cycle, but progress can’t really be stopped. I still believe that most of us in this world want to see justice. And by justice, I don’t mean revenge. My post here is more of a response to the entire comment section, not necessarily your post. I still think there is more good in the world than bad. And I know the United States is better than this.
I’ll be heading to San Diego in the morning to celebrate American Independence Day (the 4th of July). I’ll be staying in the Pacific Beach area. This is an incredible place to celebrate the 4th of July. Beautiful beach. Incredible summer weather. Laid back, oceanside bars/restaurants. San Diego is a great American city. Blessed to be able to make the trip. Looking forward to an early morning drive over to “America’s Finest City,” and an extended weekend by the beach. Happy Independence Day, everybody. America!