German Album!

So I have been pretty good about updating my album with all the pictures from games on facebook, but I got a couple messages saying that not everyone could see them. Well, I created a Flickr album that I will also update after every game, and here is the link! Let me know if it doesn’t work for some reason.
See My Album HERE!

Yet Another Sunday…

Whassup people. Its now 7:43 PM on a Sunday and I can effectively say I’m still in my pajamas. That’s kinda the way things go out here on Sundays. My friends on the girls team had the weekend off, so they are all gone, leaving me to my thoughts, books, and blogs. In all seriousness though, it’s been somewhat of an independence building experience. I really drove around the town on my own for the first time, and the world didn’t end nor did I stall out. It’s going to be very weird getting back to America and not having to think about when to shift your car. Oh well.

So about the game. We got back on the winning track last night due to a great team effort. Not only did I not foul out (and earn a free dinner from my dear young vet), but I also put up my 4th double double of the season (18 and 12). It pretty much comes out to when I don’t foul out in 20 minutes or less, I end up with a double double. So my new goal for the last 4 games is to STOP fouling. But for the most part, I can say I have adjusted well to the style of play and refereeing out here. Like always though, CONSISTENCY IS KEY…

In other news, I have now booked 2 little mini vacations on my way home. Last game out here is April 24th, then I fly directly out to Boston April 27-29th. After that I’ll be in LA for a couple days, then its off to Vegas May 3-6. Let me know if you are going to be in either place when I’ll be there, would be great to catch up with as many people as I can! Also, if you are interested in joining up on the Vegas trip, get at me… the rates are REALLY low right now… Okay, off to watch the NCAA Tournament. By the way, if you had to chose between the tournament or the NBA playoffs, which would you go with? I gotta go with my man Skip Bayless on this, and say I’d rather watch the playoffs than the tournament, but I’ll still watch for sure… Let me know your preference/reasoning in the comment section!

Hall of Fame x My Memories

Growing up in LA, being black in the 90s, everyone remembers NWA. Just as iconic as the curl and dickies, was the black Raiders’ fitted cap. Pretty much everytime you saw Ice Cube, or Eazy E or anyone from the early-mid 90s, they had an all black Raiders’ fitted. A streetwear company out of LA, Hall of Fame, recently put their own spin on the LA classic, and currently has it up for sale. They still have a full size run, but I would get on these before the NFL lawyers do, and the hat is taken off the site… Just for fun, I included a picture of Gangster rapper turned children’s star Ice Cube, to remember the good ol’ days… Picture of the hat and purchase info after the jump!

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Watches…

Recently I’ve been on a huge watch hunt. I just can’t decide which watch I want to get. I like them all, but really can’t decide. At home a white and black watch, as well as two all black ones, so those colors seem out of the question. Leaving me pretty much with a colored watch. The fad these days seems to be the diamond G-shocks, which is a real possibility, but I feel like if I am going to spend serious money, I better LOVE the watch. Unfortunately, the ones I have been looking at are all great, but I don’t NEED to have them by any means. Here’s a quick picture of the watch I think I’d like the most, but honestly not sure if I want it for REAL. I originally saw the watch on my man Ben Baller’s blog, and was thinking about it, maybe when I get back to LA I’ll stop by the shop… Check out his blog!
(Watch pictured here, obviously it’s the men’s version, lol)
http://ifandco.com/wordpress/?p=699

I was really thinking about it, shared it with my mom for her advice and got a swift “way too gaudy.” Which I guess is true, so I’m really not sure. Option 2 for watches: Much more elegant, cheaper, but still not IN LOVE with it… Getting there though. I gotta go back to the store and try it on before buying, but it’s looking good…

A Bit of Change

For the past 4 or 5 weeks, I’ve been pretty consistent in blogging about my adventures out here and about basketball. But for those who really know me, know there is a big part of me that is missing. I like to shop, a lot. And I like to think of myself as often finding clothes/shoes/hats/watches that are a little off the beaten path, but worth looking at (for me). So for these people, periodically, I am going to start posting little nuggets I find during my hours of browsing on the internet. Hopefully for those of you who don’t know me personally, it’ll be a chance for you to kind of see something else that is important to me, and kind of get to know my personality/style. If you hate it… sorry…

Choose UP

So, its been awhile, but I’m still alive, and this post will be my best attempt to catch you guys up on the last couple of weeks. First things first though, we lost yesterday and it was probably my worst performance in a basketball game… EVER. We are talking a missed dunk, and an airballed jump shot (more on that later).

Anyways, naturally I was beyond pissed last night. Sat on the back of the bus, probably said 3 or 4 words the whole ride, and then went home to blow off some steam. This morning is a completely different story. Right before leaving, I had downloaded some new music for my ipod, and in particular some random songs I have heard on youtube and liked. I never actually listened to the words, but they both actually were very inspirational in making me feel better. The first is called “Good Mourning” by R-Swift, while the second is “Giving it Up” by Rhema Soul. If you want some upbeat, positive music, check it out.

Speaking of that “Giving it Up” song, I originally heard it on a youtube highlight of JR Smith, of the Denver Nuggets. I have been telling everyone out here that JR is one of the best shooters in the league (when he’s hot), and have been catching a lot of flack from certain people out here for that. What do you all think? (By the way, I’ll repost said highlight video in another post).

As a first year pro player, its often hard to find your niche on the court. In college, I was more of a defensive, energy guy, who was good for 10-12 a night. Here in Germany (and in Romania as well), I’m expected to score the ball much more than that. I completely am capable, it’s just a mental thing with me. For example, in Friday night’s practice, I won 3 of 4 3 point shooting drills against the whole team. However, come any scrimmage or game situation, I really hesitate to shoot the ball. This is where the air ball story comes in… So I’m standing on the wing, while my man is legit in the paint. I’m originally just looking to move the ball and keep the offense moving, but hear my coach yelling “shoot, shoot”. So I follow coach’s directions, and shoot. Wasn’t the most confident shot I’ve ever taken, in fact, it was the least.

The good news is, looking back I airballed, but that’s the worst thing that happened. In fact, looking back at the whole night and my attitude about it, things could have definitely been worse. Not to say things were good by ANY means, but oh well. This situation reminds me of a story I read about Michael Beasley after his second summer league game. After Beasley’s 1-13, 7 foul performance (I shot 2-7 with 5 fouls, so little better), he remarked,

“You can’t have a great game every night… It wasn’t that bad of a game… Nobody died.”

Yes, nobody died. But beyond that, you really can’t have a great game every night. Last night I was unfortunately on a bus back, but was receiving numerous text updates about the Kansas-UNI game. While it sucks for Sherron Collins to go out like that (4-15, 5 TO), he still has more basketball ahead of him, so it’s pretty much on to the next one.

In other news, I still have 6 weeks here. This last blunder was a huge eye opener for me. Basketball in general is a game of action/reactions/and more action. It is no secret what people’s strengths are on the court. Most of the game is more related to how well the defense can take away those strengths, and what the offense can then do in response to that. I have to tip my hat to Wurzburg. In all my years of playing I have never been as frustrated offensively as I was last night. Whether it was post or perimeter defense, they definitley had my strengths/moves down to a T.

Closing thoughts, as a competitor, there is nothing better than being shut down like that. This team completely exposed my weaknesses, and I was thoroughly embarassed after the game. I had my anger phase, my depressed phase, my stay up until 6AM phase, and now I’m in my get back to work phase… Next time I see Wurzburg (or any other team) I am going to shore up my weaknesses… Got a good week of hard work coming up, going to take the rest of this day off, and get right back to it hard tomorrow…

About the title – Choose Up is the single from Dom Kennedy’s “From the Westside With Love”, that is set to now come out later this week… I have obviously listening to Dom for awhile now, but this song is one of his better ones. I put it up there with Who Rollin’ With Me and Showtime in terms of things I just put on repeat and vibe out to… When the mixtape comes out later this week, I will post the download link (it’ll be through http://www.LAxpaperboys.com), but here is a youtube version of the song!

In terms of other music, I have still been listening to tons of Big Sean and Nipsey Hussle, and now moving into J. Cole (a little late). If you haven’t, go listen to “4 My People” by Big Sean, you won’t be disappointed…

Before I forget! Shoutout to my Cousin, who has been doing his thing on the “Sneads By Ree” comic strip. Its times like this where I realize that I am actually the least talented person in my family, lol.

Youtube – BASKETBALL!

So it’s no secret that while you are one of 5 Americans in a small German town, you have a lot of time to yourself. Between the basketball, and reading and Skyping with family/friends, you still have a ton of time on your hands. Most if not all of this time is spent on your computer. During the tournament, CBS streams every NCAA game online for free, so I have been having some late night tournament parties. But I also have watched a ridiculous amount of Youtube.

Youtube has many different uses. By that I mean, you could watch it as pure entertainment, as a mirror of society, or whatever you want. Often times I will just sit and watch highlights of basketball players, in attempts to learn/steal moves, workouts, swag from them (not so much swag, but you never know…). SO I thought because I do this so much, I might as well give you guys some of my favorite youtube basketball videos that I have been watching, and trying to get a little piece here and there to make myself into a complete player. Without further ado… (Videos/descriptions after the Jump)
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