Friday, July 9, 2010

The Lebron Effect

I’m not sure where to begin about Lebron James’ decision and all the hoopla of last night. So, I’ll just jump right into it. I don’t want to break down why him going to Miami is a good or bad thing because there’s so much else that went on last night and there will be plenty of time for player talk. But, for the record, I was surprised he chose Miami, but I’m still excited he did.

I spent much of the day functioning while checking my Twitter feed on my blackberry. The outrage of so many for Lebron having an hour special was enormous, yet ridiculous. People came at me about how “Lebron thinks he’s bigger than the game”, “He’s going about this all wrong”, “He’s a quitter”, “I have no respect for him”. And on and on.

First of all, Lebron decided an hour special was good idea to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club charities. Secondly, he has never said anything about being bigger than the game. He’s only said and demonstrated the opposite. He’s the ultimate distributor on and off the court.

People said he went for the money. Not true. He left $30 million plus on the table by not signing with Cleveland. He’s preached TEAM all along and said that he wants to win. Period. Some say he’s big headed and has a big ego. If that were true he wouldn’t go to a team where it was unclear who the best player was (a number one trending topic on Twitter was people were calling him the new Scottie Pippen). If he was all about himself and being the man, he would’ve gone elsewhere to be the clear number one guy. He didn’t do that. He thanked Cleveland for everything they’d done for them. He explained he was sorry he couldn’t bring them a championship. He didn’t even react when his jersey was being burned. Some said he quit on his team in the playoffs. Since when is having bad games quitting? He looks for his teammates, his shot may be off at times, hell, he may even get tired at times. None of that is quitting. It’s part of the game. So what is there not to like about the guy? You tell me.

Following Lebron’s decision, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert lost his mind when he wrote a public letter to the fans. Instead of telling you what he said, I’ll let you read it for yourself.

Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever "witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.

The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.

You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

You have given so much and deserve so much more.

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:


You can take it to the bank.

If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

Sorry, but that's simply not how it works.

This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And "who" we would want them to grow-up to become.

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called "curse" on Cleveland, Ohio.

The self-declared former "King" will be taking the "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

Just watch.

Sleep well, Cleveland.

Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day....

I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:

DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue....

Dan Gilbert
Majority Owner
Cleveland Cavaliers

Classless . That’s the first word that comes to mind. He’s the owner, but he sounds like a bum at some bar in Cleveland. He’s way out line. Gilbert gave a lot of talk about loyalty. Mike Brown had the best NBA record for two years straight. He was fired. Where’s the loyalty there?
Players are consistently blind-sided by trades every year. They find out while on cruises, from the ESPN ticker, from fans, etc. People complain all day about how players need to be loyal and not chase the money. If that’s the case, the front office needs to be held to the same standard. They fire people and chase money all the time.

Dan Gilbert must learn one thing: Fans, especially in Cleveland, are fickle. They’ll show up if you’re good, they won’t if you’re bad. So, there’s absolutely no need for him to be spouting off to all the fans about how he thinks Lebron is disloyal a narcissist, and a coward. The fans can’t win games. Players do. Last night Dan Gilbert killed himself in the player/agent world. If I’m an NBA player or agent I’m in no hurry to ever discuss anything with him. No deals, no money, trades, and especially not free agency.

That’s another thing that Gilbert lost sight of in all this. Lebron was a free agent. That means he’s free to work wherever he wants! He’s earned that right. He owes nothing to Dan Gilbert or to Cleveland for that matter. He’s lived and played there for years. He entered a business where you use your body to make your living. Making as much money as possible is important because you could be cut, traded, or released at any moment. It’s a business. Also, it’s not like Lebron said ‘I hate the city the city and am never coming back.’ He made the best decision for him and his family – the decision that makes him happiest. Shouldn’t we all be doing that in our lives? Why criticize someone for doing so? It makes no sense. He obviously still loves Cleveland. It’s his home, but he just chose to work somewhere else. Cleveland fans will survive.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Kanye West's Horus Chain

Kanye West made his triumphant return from exile by opening the BET Awards on June 27 with his new single, "Power". While he rocked his performance on top of a faux mountain rapping to everyone down below, I couldn't help but notice the huge chain hanging from his neck. All of us Kanye fans have grown accustomed to the Jesus piece he consistently wore. But this was no Jesus piece.

It was a "Horus" chain custom made for him by the often hip-hop name-dropped "Jacob the Jeweler". According to mythology, a Horus is the ancient Egyptian god of the sun, son or borther of Osiris and Isis, represented as having the head of a hawk. Horus means "the high-flying one."

According to multiple websites, the chain costs a reportedly $300,000. I'm wondering if Kanye will rock the chain elsewhere or if it was just for the performance. Either way, I'm elated to see him back. Word is, his album, titled Good Ass Job, drops September 14th.

Check more pics and the video Kanye's performance below.

Mad Men. Nice Style.

I've only watched Mad Men in passing. I know, I know. Big mistake on my part. While I may be late in becoming a regular viewer of the show, I've always admired the style. GQ and Esquire fell in love with the look, therefore, so did I. I've even adopted it with a couple of dark, tailored suites, crisp white shirts, and the famous straight, white pocket square. Word is the outfits have been slightly toned down for the season 4 premiering July 25.

If my roommate and I decide to get cable I will be watching it. Although I'm not sure I'll know what's going on, as I'll be drooling over Christina Hendricks.

Check out this video featuring Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant giving a preview of the clothes you can expect to see in season 4.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Meet Uffie. Hot Mama with a Hot Album.

I was browsing through the iTunes store last week sampling new music when I came across a unique sound of electro hip-hop/pop from an artist who I found to be sexy, but one I'd never heard of. Who was this artist? Her name is Uffie.

I listened to the 30-second snippet of all 17 tracks on her studio debut album Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans (released June 11) and was really impressed. She sounds like an artist who won't sell a hell of a lot, but she'll garner a strong niche audience. I'm also betting she probably puts on one hell of a concert.

Born in Miami, raised in Hong Kong, and living in Paris, Uffie is a sassy young thing who raps tough lyrics over auto-tuned, synthy beats. The media have already compared her sound to Ke$ha. Uffie was recently interviewed by Complex magazine where she addressed that issue along with tattoos, hickeys, and guns. It turns out she's a 22-year-old divorcee and just had a daughter. But, before you say "Yikes!", know that this sexy mama still loves to party and her music reflects it. I have yet to buy her album, but I will soon. So, count me in that special niche. And yes, I think she's better than Ke$ha.

Below is her video for her first single "Pop The Glock"

Designer Spotlight: Kelly Framel

What comes to mind when you think of jewelry, Texas, and fashion? Probably gaudy cuff links, pins, and topaz pendants. But rising jewelry designer/stylist/blogger Kelly Framel goes against the norm.

A native of Austin, Texas and graduate of the fashion school at the University of Texas in Austin, the 26-year-old Framel's style resembles very little of her Texan roots. She mixes styles from the 1920's through 1970's, loves a garcon look, caftans, chiffons, and vibrant prints. Her blog, shows off her personal style and sartorial prowess.

I've long admired Framel without really knowing anything about her. I saw a picture of her on a fashion blog over a year ago and it stopped me in my tracks. She was stunning, sexy, hip, and chic. She's an "it" girl. You can't take your eyes off her. She came to mind yesterday as I equated her looks to a friend of mine (and yes, she's stunning, too.)

Among others, Framel has worked for designer Naeem Khan, known for his impeccably cut dresses, gowns, and chic embroidery all done by hand. His long list of celebrity clientele include Beyonce, Eva Longoria, Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Taylor, and Queen Noor of Jordan.

Framel recently released her capsule jewelry collection for Shrimpton Couture. An assembly of avant-garde pieces with an elegant DIY spirit, she's designed something for every woman.

With her jewelry embodying her cool, chic, ambitious, free-spirited lifestyle it's safe to say she should be on your next shopping and gift-list. Even if her jewelry roots are from Texas.

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