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Putting Chris Paul’s Game 7 Into Proper Context

When everyone else was talking about “the fight“, Chris Paul was amidst the fight of his basketball life. By the time you read this, the Los Angeles Clippers will have already (surprisingly) won Game 1 of their second round series against the Houston Rockets. Game 2 will be on the horizon and will thus be the focus of both teams,

The Hip-Hop Sports Report Podcast 5.2.2015

The Preseason Podcast of the Year is on location! We hit the road to fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada and give our immediate reaction to the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight. Guests Michael Hicks, Mike Snipes, Vince Hicks and Kenneth Hicks breakdown why Floyd won, whether his checkered past should impact his perception as a boxer & where he now ranks all-time! The gang

The Parallels Between Tiger Woods And Mike Tyson

Masters Week used to be can’t miss television for golf enthusiasts and novices alike. Maybe it still is, but for very different reasons. From 1997 through 2009, people tuned into golf’s most hallowed tournament to see the world’s best player — the man who was possibly better at this particular skill than anyone was at anything — chase the all-time

The Andrew Harrison Comment: Once Again, Usage Of The Word “Nigger” Consumes Much Of White America

On Saturday, Wisconsin defeated Kentucky to advance to the NCAA men’s Div 1 basketball national championship game  in one of the best college basketball games of the season. You probably already knew that. What you might not know is that after the game, Kentucky’s Andrew Harrison, an African American, said of Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky, a white man, in a

Fabolous Still Doesn’t Get Enough Credit

Read these lyrics carefully: Let’s talk about how I’m killin everything I touches/ Or how I walked in this game with no crutches/ No Diddy, No Dupri, No Dr. Dre/ No Cash Money from Baby and no Rocs from Jay/ And I’m still here (still here), we still here (still here)… His hand was forced. Fabolous had to go the

The Top Five Most Surprising Developments From The 2015 NBA Playoffs

We’re halfway through the NBA Playoffs and a few things have definitely stood out.

We’ve reached the final four. No, not that Final Four, but the NBA version. You know, the one with far more entertaining and talented basketball players that you can actually recognize and you don’t feel like a complete dirtbag for supporting the billion dollar institution they’re affiliated with that actually compensates its players properly? Yeah, that final four.

Anywho, the four teams left vying for the Larry O’Brien Trophy are the Golden State Warriors, the Houston Rockets, the Atlanta Hawks and the Cleveland Cavaliers. There’s something different about this NBA postseason though, a certain uniqueness that has made it well…unique. The surprises have been non-stop since mid-April, and we’re going to rank the top five “Wait, what the hell?!?” moments of the NBA playoffs. Read more

Putting Chris Paul’s Game 7 Into Proper Context

Chris Paul’s Game 7 against the San Antonio Spurs was stuff of NBA lore.

When everyone else was talking about “the fight“, Chris Paul was amidst the fight of his basketball life.

By the time you read this, the Los Angeles Clippers will have already (surprisingly) won Game 1 of their second round series against the Houston Rockets. Game 2 will be on the horizon and will thus be the focus of both teams, the media and fans. But Chris Paul’s transcendent Game 7 performance against the San Antonio Spurs cannot be simply glossed over.

The key in differentiating good games and great games, and great games and “transcendent” games, is context. Taking a holistic inventory of all factors involved is necessary for the full comprehension of the gravity of a performance. This is why Magic Johnson’s effort in the 1980 NBA Finals is arguably the most impressive in league history. Johnson, a rookie point guard, played center in a close out game on the road and put up 42 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists in the Finals. It also served as the ignition of one of the greatest careers we’ve ever seen.

Just as Chris Paul’s skeptics have grown in number, his detractors have grown louder in recent years. Read more

The Hip-Hop Sports Report Podcast 5.2.2015

The Preseason Podcast of the Year is on location! We hit the road to fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada and give our immediate reaction to the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight. Guests Michael Hicks, Mike Snipes, Vince Hicks and Kenneth Hicks breakdown why Floyd won, whether his checkered past should impact his perception as a boxer & where he now ranks all-time! The gang also discusses the NBA playoffs, including Clips/Spurs Game 7 and we make our picks for the conference semis!

HHSR Podcast May 2, 2015

The Hip-Hop Sports Report Podcast 4.24.2015

The NFL Draft is this Thursday and since mock drafts are dumb, we’ve recruited our NFL Draft guru Mark Hicks to once again bless us with another Mark Draft on The Preseason Podcast of the Year! What should each team in the top 10 do with their pick? Can Jameis Winston be trusted as the head of a franchise? And what about the Cleveland Browns two picks? All questions are answered on the 2015 NFL #MarkDraft!

HHSR Podcast April 24, 2015

DaRundown Sports Podcast – Episode 35

Given all that’s going on right now in the worlds of sports and hip-hop music, it’s fitting that HHSR would once again collaborate with another up-and-coming podcast that recognizes and appreciates these exciting times…

Enter DaRundown Sports Podcast, hosted by the the one and only CL “The Main Event” Palmer! The DaRundown offers laid back, insightful sports commentary with crossover appeal that takes you through the world of hip-hop culture, offering a creative perspective on all things Atlanta. The podcast also includes interviews with bloggers, writers, artists, athletes, and other contributors; recently, NBA.com’s Sekou Smith joined the show to talk playoffs and the Atlanta sports scene (it was actually a two-parter). Read more

The Cleveland Cavalry: How Two Castoffs Proved Once Again That One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

Cavs GM David Griffin should’ve already had Executive of the Year in the bag…and then he pulled off this heist.

On January 5, 2014 the Cleveland Cavaliers announced they had acquired swingmen JR Smith and Iman Shumpert (and a first round pick) in a three-team deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder and New York Knicks.

For the Knicks, getting rid of New York Knucklehead JR Smith, and in particular his $6.4M player option for next season was worth it even if it meant dealing Iman Shumpert in a lost season. Shumpert had seen his stock drop league-wide after dealing with injury woes and offensive struggles, but was still regarded as a fierce defender with the potential to become a “3 and D” guy. Smith, who also missed games with injuries to his heel and knee was ineffective when he did play, struggling to adjust to the new triangle offense.

The Thunder, once again looking to fill the hole created by letting James Harden walk for basically nothing, sent a protected first rounder to Cleveland for Dion Waiters aka “JR Smith Jr”. Ironically, the Knicks and Thunder were in talks at last year’s trade deadline to send Shumpert for that same draft pick.

The James Gang in Cleveland hoped that Shumpert, who was nursing a shoulder injury at the time, and Smith would come in and give a much needed boost to their backcourt. New Cavaliers coach David Blatt was forced to give significant tic to Waiters (who never meshed with Kyrie Irving), Matthew Dellavedova, a washed up Shawn Marion and rookie second-round pick Joe Harris during the first two months of the season prior to the deal. Consequently, Cleveland’s rotations were completely out of whack and the new super Cavs got off to an inauspicious start.

Meanwhile Knicks fans everywhere, myself included, rejoiced seeing JR shipped out even if the price tag included a fan favorite in Shumpert. The 2014-2015 season was dead on arrival in Gotham. The Knicks beat these same Cavaliers in their home opener on October 30 at The Q and basically haven’t won since. A salary dump was just what the doctor ordered as the Phil Jackson-led rebuild was on at Madison Square Garden.

Then a funny thing happened…JR Smith once again became JR Swish. Read more

“They Don’t Want To See Them”: HHSR’s 2014-15 NBA Playoffs Preview

It’s time.

Take a second and think of all the playoff basketball proverbs you can. There’s a lot of them…

“Old teams win in the playoffs.”

“The game slows down in the playoffs.”

“It’s not about X’s & O’s, it’s about Jimmy’s & Joe’s.”

“Big players make big plays in big games.”

“The best player on the best team usually wins.”

“In a 7 game series, the better team usually wins.”

“Defense wins championships.”

You’ve heard em all before. Many times. My least favorite (not the first time I’ve said this) is, “The team that wins Game X of a series wins the series X% of the time.” Playoff series are only the best of seven, therefore a team only needs to win four. Therefore, the team that wins any game will have a significantly higher chance to win because anytime you win a game, you’ve won 14% of all the games. It’s arguably the most meaningless stat in sports, but you hear about it every spring.

One of my personal favorite proverbs however, is “the playoffs are all about matchups.”

Overused? Sure. Erroneous? Not entirely. There have been instances when a bad matchup in the first round of the NBA playoffs significantly altered the course of the postseason. Obviously, the classic example of this is the 2007 series between Dallas and Golden State, when the eighth seeded Warriors knocked off a 67-win Mavericks team. While the Dubs didn’t make it past round two, that series was historically significant in three specific ways. Read more

The Hip-Hop Sports Report Podcast 4.11.15

More Preseason Podcast of the Year in your ear!

Special guest Cray Allred from The Sunday Oldskool Podcast and Welcome to Loud City joins the show to discuss Kanye West, Tidal, the dangers of “fake hype”, the NBA MVP race, the future of the OKC Thunder and the NBA Playoffs!

HHSR Podcast April 11, 2015

The Parallels Between Tiger Woods And Mike Tyson

Though they’re drastically different people, the stories of Tiger Woods and Mike Tyson are remarkably similar.

Masters Week used to be can’t miss television for golf enthusiasts and novices alike. Maybe it still is, but for very different reasons.

From 1997 through 2009, people tuned into golf’s most hallowed tournament to see the world’s best player — the man who was possibly better at this particular skill than anyone was at anything — chase the all-time PGA Tour major championship record, held by Jack Nicklaus. Now, people tune in to see not Tiger Woods the golfer, but Tiger Woods the sideshow.

What’s the “sideshow”, you ask? Put it this way: People used to check for The Masters to see, “Is Tiger winning?” Or, “How much is Tiger winning by?” Nowadays it’s, “Will the old Tiger comeback?” And, “Will Tiger make the cut?” The hopeful optimism for dominance has long since been replaced by just hopeful optimism, with the understanding that a complete meltdown is arguably the most compelling theater of all. Just ask 1990s Mike Tyson. Read more

Tale Of The Tape: Big Sean- Dark Sky Paradise

The “Dark Skies” the “Control” record his public breakup are behind him— maybe that only leaves “Paradise” for Big Sean.

Fighter: Big Sean

Trainer (Gym): Kanye West (G.O.O.D. Music, Def Jam Recordings)

Cut Men: Kanye West, Mike WiLL Made It, DJ Mustard, Boi-1da, T-Minus, Vinylz, KeY Wane, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Allen Ritter, Amaire Johnson,  Da Internz, DJ Dahi, DJ Mano, Jay John Henry, L&F, Metro Boomin, Mike Free, Nashiem Myrick, Noah Goldstein, OG Webbie, Rob Got Beats

Weight Class: Rap Star

Notable Fire: Blessings Feat. Drake, All Your Fault Feat. Kanye West, Paradise

Notable Trash: I Know Feat. Jhené Aiko, Deserve It Feat. PARTYNEXDOOR

Tale of the Tape: “Blue collar, gold swagger’, is the brilliant marketing tag line for the Indiana Pacers, bestowed upon them a couple of years ago when they feebly attempted to knock the Miami Heat from atop the ranks of the Eastern Conference. The slogan fit that team like a glove, and though Big Sean hails from “The D” and not “Nap Town”, as a product of the Midwest, the moniker is equally appropriate.

Big Sean prides himself on his work ethic — there’s the blue collar — which he repeatedly made known on his third solo album Dark Sky Paradise. Sean has been mildly obsessed (if that is such a thing) with his own career achievements and his perception within the hearts and minds of rap fans. He transitioned his Finally Famous mixtape series into Finally Famous the album when he first broke through on G.O.O.D. Music in the summer of 2011. With his sophomore record, Hall Of Fame, being hit with a mixed critical and commercial response, and following the very public breakup with this ex-girlfriend it seemed like Sean could potentially go into a shell, or worse, lose the faith of Def Jam.

Like a true Midwesterner, Big Sean persevered. Read more