Saturday, June 12, 2010

Potluck Post 6/12/10

I've been out of regular posting for a good while now. School had been tearing me up pretty bad this past semester and then I've just been outright lazy since the summer started, so here's a little catch up. Drake. John & Demarcus. Terrence Jones. Kobe. Kanye. Here we go.

I thoroughly enjoy Thank Me Later. I wrote a pretty harsh column on the notion of Drake ruining a good thing by becoming popular. And while many of those points still ring true in the contextual sense of commercial reception, I've had a personal 180 on my opinion of the dude. My roommate at school has met Drake four separate times and still holds that the kid is a genuinely nice person. What further standards can I act self-righteous enough to hold another artist to? Drake has his style and raps about what he wants to rap about. He doesn't try to hide that he intentionally makes certain kinds of records. He has the arrogant boi-1da street banger. He has the Kanye-helmed 808s-esque singing joint. He has the career(-so-far)-reflecting album closer. But he still goes out and makes music. And at this point, I'm just glad that the album doesn't feature Gudda Gudda or Lil' Twist. "Fancy" is the only cut that I'm inclined to say outright sucks, but that might be more so because of my utter distaste of all post-DMX Swizzy. So while Thank Me Later may not strike me as perfectly as Man on the Moon did a year ago, I've still spun this leak endlessly with genuine enjoyment and will be shelling out a purchase on opening week. After seeing him in concert and having a crazy good time, I have a legit investment in his career. So here's hoping that he throws a great pre-Draft party for my UK boys.

Speaking of the future greatest point guard ever ... I hope John Wall saves the Wizards. It's guaranteed that they will take him with the very first pick and though I'm inclined to believe that a Wall-Arenas backcourt wouldn't be optimal, John'll make it work. I just think Gil is kinda the one player in the entire league who wouldn't be content deferring at times to a player of Wall's magnitude for the good of the team. He's kind of annoying like that. All future Wizards decisions must be made knowing that the ball needs to be in J's hands as much as humanly possible, whenever he wants, so he can get NBA-adjusted in the first 15 or so games of the season. I don't know if they have enough talent to compete for the playoffs after their roster implosion last year, but I wouldn't be surprised if John found a way to sneak them in there. It is the East after all. And staying with the Cats ... whoever doesn't pick up Demarcus Cousins in the proceeding draft picks after J will innately regret it down the road. His body is the perfect NBA big man prototype that you can never find with an aggressive attitude mixed in. He will not only be an immediate contributer, but he'll be an all-star within three years with KG, Duncan, and the last remaining '90s bigs on their ways out. Neither Favors nor Monroe nor anyone else from this class who was not a Kentucky Wildcat will be able to compete with Cousins' career. If an NBA GM is dumb enough to skip over Boogie because of his perceived attitude problem, then they won't matter anyways because they'll be promptly fired once he hits his professional stride. That's a guarantee in my book. Quote me.

I cannot believe we got Terrence Jones. When dude came for a visit forever back for the Blue-White game, I sat at a table with him and John Wall (who was destroying way too many crab legs from Hooters) while we watched the Bulls and Spurs play on TV. That's the first time I understood why J came to Kentucky hands down (he sweats Derrick Rose like none other) and the time that I gave up on TJ committing to UK. The kid was as nice as possible and became a personal favorite of mine after admitting he was a Laker fan even though he lives in Portland, but I could just tell how insanely homesick he was just from spending a single weekend that far away from his home. He was talking about all of his other scheduled visits and he wasn't even looking at another school that wasn't plastered right on the Pacific coastline. So I had him pegged for Washington and told everyone confidently so for that day forth. Little did I know the commotion that would come due to that decision so many months later. From now on I'll just firmly entrust all my recruiting worries in Coach Cal's hands. He's infallibly great at selling his offensive system, the tradition of the school, and his professional track record. No one thought this 2010-2011 roster could possibly look so great after our mass early departures, but Coach Cal had his plan all along. Since every single potential LeBron destination is filling out its coaching position without a genuine Calipari scoping (no matter what Adrian Wojnarowski keeps making up), it's safe to say that our all-time 2011 recruiting class will remain intact as well and we will see an unprecedented level of talent funnel through my great University. It's a good time to be a Wildcat fan. There will be no violations on our books. There will only be similarly immaculate 3(or less)-loss seasons.

I have said it before and will hold to the fact that I think Kobe Bryant is the greatest basketball player of all time. The NBA Finals is currently tied 2-2, but I fully expect the Lake Show to pull it out. Kobe's skill set is so vastly superior to any player ever, plus he adds to it unrelentingly on a yearly basis. His long range prowess is what notches him above MJ in my book. Here's exhibit A. He still can be a slasher whenever it's in the game plan, but his midrange game and the billion ways he can get a quality look off is where his natural dominance has lied in the last seven or so years. But I don't need to regurgitate everything you already know about Mr. Bryant. I just wanted to remind you that he is now one of the ultimate and prolific winners in NBA history. Besides his late game heroics (having that reputation cemented with seven game winners this year) in general, he's now made his way to the Finals for the seventh time representing the Western Conference. And in case you haven't watched any professional basketball since Michael Jordan retired, the West has been the far stronger conference in each of those instances. In hopefully capturing his fifth title within the next week, how can anyone deny Kobe's resume? Do you actually remember that there was a discussion as to whether Kobe or T-Mac was the premier wing in the league only five years ago? It was a misguided argument back then that has turned into a psychotic one now. Kobe's run of playoff vengeance this year has been nothing short of brilliant and awe-inspiring. I'll be watching the next two or three games praying that he finishes off his first hand in rings finally.

Lastly, I just wanted to say that the Kanye West comeback will be epic. There's no way around it. This guy is most prolific commercially viable rap artist ever. With his new single "Power", he's continued his constantly evolving sound that never ceases to impress and push boundaries. He's completely unpredictable and no one but the G.O.O.D. Music family and certain guys like Premo know what to expect from his full-length return to rapping, A Good Ass Job. I just know it will be great. His catalogue ensures so. He literally cares what no one thinks about the next direction he takes because he knows the masses will eat it up. It's encoded in his DNA. The man is a legend. Now and for as long as he graces us with his creative genius.

... and do the John Wall.

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so what did ya think about whatever the heck i wrote?