Vince Carter: Savior or Zero?

Vince Carter is no longer part of the elite group of NBA players. He is not a great scorer, not a great defender and no longer the finisher he was once. Vince Carter is basically no longer a franchise player. And yet, the Magic will count on him in the next few weeks to help them win the NBA title. Kanye West has a song in which the chorus goes: "Everything I'm not made me everything I am." Vince Carter has had an intriguing NBA career to say the least. For the past few years, we have all openly wondered: "how comes he doesn't get it?" No one can grasp why such a talented  player does so little. As a result, he has had several shots taken at him over the course of his career. Earlier this week, Orlando Pinstriped did a feature on him giving some insights on his playoff performances with the New Jersey Nets. The feature was prompted by an article that ESPN's Bill Simmons wrote about Vince's inability to be counted on in big moments. As a result, naysayers will tell you that the Magic cannot win an NBA championship with Vince Carter as the main perimeter scoring threat. Is that statement entirely accurate? Not quite. Click here for the rest of the post

Simply The Greatest

Here’s a shocker for you all: Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. And yet, every year some new guy comes up with some form of statistical analysis that measures the production of a current player and then cross references it with Jordan and tells the masses that this said player is having a Jordan type season. Perhaps it’s time that someone brought us back to reality; perhaps someone needs to give us all a Jay-Z type Reminder. One day, someone might come close to touching MJ’s legacy or even possibly surpassing it; but make no mistake, if you look at his team and individual success, it hasn’t come close to happening yet.  
Click here to read the full article: Simply The Greatest.

Slaughterhouse Show

Before the show
Ladies and gentlemen, after failing to assist a Hip Hop show for 12 years, I finally left the house to watch my favorite rap group. Prior to the show, I had the chance (with my cousin Philly) to meet with the group and talk with them (sadly Crooked I could not make the trip due to an emergency back home) for a bit.

-Royce Da 5’9 was by far the nicest dude of the group. He went out of his way to come seek us out and ask us to come talk and take pictures with the group. He made sure to make the whole experience as positive as possible and as fun as it could be for the people in attendance.

-Joell Ortiz was the funny energetic guy. He was full of life and made sure to take pictures with everyone there and try to interact with us all. This one dude asked Joell about what it took to make it in the business, and the Brooklyn rapper gladly offered his insights on what it took to at least have a decent shot at being successful in the music industry.

-Let it be known that Joe Budden is my favorite rapper. However, Joe wasn’t on the same wavelength as the two other Slaughterhouse members. He was available to talk to and he interacted with everyone but the others overshadowed him to some degree. He was more willing to talk to the Slaughterhouse members and crack jokes with them and then entertain whatever conversations resulted from those. Joey’s biggest concern was finding a Best Buy so he could purchase some DVDs because the group was making a 21 hour drive to Thunder Bay immediately after the show.

Opening Act
I won’t bore you with the names of the guys that performed to open the show because, well they were relatively boring. However, there was one guy there that really opened up things properly. I honestly didn’t think he would be such a showman on stage, but Pharaohe Monch really killed it.

He was accompanied by Showtyme who is a cross between Earl Boykins and Carl Thomas (he tried to hustle us after the show and sell us CDs, good times). If you didn’t get the reference; he was basically short and he sounded like Carl Thomas (which is a good thing). Pharaohe Monch and Showtyme went on to perform a few tracks, but naturally the ones that stood out were Desire, Oh No, My Life & Simon Says. Great job getting the crowd ready for the main event.

Main Event
As the beat off Sound Off started playing, Royce’s name was announced. Before he even came out, one of his lines from the track Wack MCs was going through my mind: “I’m married to a bottle of Patron wearing a wedding dress…”. Completely random and yet Nickel came out on stage with a bottle of Patron. Ortiz came out with his pants almost falling off his ass while Joe Budden came out with a pair of shorts, a tank top and some black Jordans.

The group felt it was important that we all know what city they came from and thus played a snippet of a classic joint originating from their hometown and also included the lyrics:

-Royce Da 5’9, from Detroit, Michigan: The Way I Am by Eminem
-Joe Budden, from Jersey City, New Jersey: Hip Hop Hooray by Naughty By Nature
-Crooked I, from East Long Beach California: Nothin But A G Thang by Dr. Dre & Snoop.
-Joell Ortiz, from Brooklyn, New York: Hypnotize by Notorious B.I.G.

Here’s a quick list of some of the tracks they performed (couldn’t remember all the songs):
-The One
-Pump It Up
-Onslaught 2

After performing one of their joints, Joell stopped the music to ask the crowd if they were pumped. After getting a positive response from everyone, he went on to say that he was pumped to perform in Montreal aka The Real City (let me be honest, I was making fun of people before the show that called Montreal The Real City; but Slaughterhouse said it, so now it’s official; yes I’m fickle). Ortiz then asked Royce who said he was pumped as f*ck. Then they asked Joe and he said “hmm I dunno how pumped I am, but let’s find out”. And then it happened: “PUMP PUMP PUMP PUMP PUMP PUMP PUMP PUMP IT UP!” Joe performed his hit single and drove the crowd into frenzy and caused me to lose my voice (just so we’re clear, I was not part of the groupie patrol after the show, I felt you needed to know this).

By the way, the show has convinced me that perhaps I should start to write after smoking a blunt and drinking some alcohol. These guys performed with Patron, Jack Daniels and Fruit of Passion Oasis juice up on the stage (Mary Jane’s odor was present at the meet and greet and also after the show).

After The Show
So at the end of the show, my man Money was able to orchestrate something with the promoter for us to have a quick talk again with the Slaughterhouse guys.  We were outside the Corona Theater (out back), and Joell Ortiz was cool but he disappeared real fast on us. He checked out early it seemed. Joe was surrounded by five or six ladies that kept trying to sweat him. After about seven minutes, Joe flashed the peace sign and left.

Consequently, we were left with Royce and Money asked him a few questions about a possible signing with Nas and his gravitation towards rappers that take Vicodin (Eminem and Joe Budden). Royce thought it was funny and said he probably had some issues too. To conclude the night, Money asked Royce to sign a picture of his favorite rapper……He took out a picture of Benzino and everyone there just started laughing like crazy. And that’s how my night at the Slaughterhouse show ended. I was able to watch my favorite rap group perform in my city and also get to hang out with the guys for a few hours. Hip Hop is in great hands…..

Left to right: Royce Da 5'9, Joe Budden, me and Joell Ortiz.

Empire State of Mind Free Agency

Donnie Walsh has done all in his power to have the Knicks to be a major player in this summer’s free agency. With players such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson and Amar’e Stoudamire potentially being available, the allure of New York might attract a few players. Or will it? 

Picture Monica Bellucci. Imagine her as the hot woman that you have come to repeatedly try to catch in movies, interviews and celebrity shows. You have an attraction to her because in your heart and your mind, she is the marquee hot actress of the day. Now imagine the likes of Dennis Rodman, Tommy Lee, Screech Powers (his real name is Dustin Diamond, I know), Ric Flair, Mick Foley and Soulja’ Boy all getting a piece of Ms. Bellucci; would she still give you the same feeling as before? You might still be attracted to her, but in the back of your mind, she still hooked up with some screwed up dudes, and that would make you think twice, right? Well in a nutshell, that’s the New York Knicks. Click here for rest of post. 

Scattered Thoughts

At the SBG blog, I do my best to cover a wide range of topics. I'm often faced with a multitude of things that go through my mind that I'm not necessarily sure how they all fit together. For instance, I have a Joe Budden line on my mind from the track Unthinkable that's playing in my head:

"They say you doing something wrong
 If all the critics love you
For some it's a career
For some it's just a hustle
Me all I do is win,
And that begins with not rocking my LeBrons
Unless the n*gga got a triple double"

What does the track mean? I'm not sure. But when my mind goes racing like that, that's when I know it's time for me to share my Scattered Thoughts.

*"If you still hollering that men ain't sh*t, you need to shut the f*ck or get yourself a girlfriend". Immortal words to live by, as told by Katt Williams. But the man has a point ladies; every time you find this new "perfect guy", you go head over heels for him and then he inevitably shows you the peace sign (whether you realize it or not, he does it) and does his best Jay-Z impersonation as he moves On To The Next One. 50% of my audience just nodded and gave their approval. Another 25% are already in relationships but are nonetheless curious. The remaining 25% are either in denial or have figured out men by now.  So you ladies must be curious to know how to avoid falling for that guy (you know, the fake perfect guy). The answer is easier than you might think.
The first thing ladies, is you must have standards. Whatever they are, it's important that you have some because they will dictate the type of men you end up with. For instance, the Los Angeles Lakers expect to compete for NBA titles, not divisional banners and playoff appearances. Consequently, they set the bar real high in terms of the people that join the team. They want winners. So if we bring this closer to home, if people that lack standards, tend to settle for less and get disrespected. Take that to the bank.

Now that the most important factor is out of the way, you have to figure out how to differentiate between a good dude and a fake dude. Now pay attention closely; because I'm about to lay out the men's player manual right here for you. Here's how it goes:

  1.  He scopes you out or gets friend to introduce you.
  2.  He lets you talk and gets perspective on your interests.
  3. He shares some info about himself but not too much, a mystery leaves a woman somewhat intrigued. If he's not getting through to her with the mystery, he'll share more about himself and get you to endear yourself to him.
  4. The info exchange (phone number, email, Facebook, etc..).
  5. The date set up.
  6. The date: he might not blow you away but he will be good enough to warrant either a second date or even first date sex.
  7. Whether the sex comes after the first, second, third or whichever date; the rest of steps are the same.
  8. After about two to three weeks after having sex with the woman, he stops texting, stops calling and moves on to something or someone else.
  9. You have officially been relegated to old news: when you call or text him, he tells you to stop sweating him, and that you're always bugging him.

 That is the how men behave in a nutshell.. Keep in mind, the steps won't be exactly as such, there might be a slight variation but all in all, that's how things will break down. Admit it ladies, you recognize some of these patterns. I bet you're curious to figure out how to avoid falling prey to the "game".

Guess what, you're in luck. Let me breakdown the crucial mistake that you almost always make. Once you provide your list of standards to the guy that's courting you, you automatically disqualify the guy that's honest about his shortcomings. His faults might not even come into conflict with your standards but you perceive his weaknesses right off the bat as a sign that he's not worthy of your time. Big mistake. The guy that's perfect is the guy that you want to run away from. He's the guy that's lying to you and hiding all of his faults. You want to be with the guy that's honest with you from the get go. That's the guy that once you get to know him (granted this comes after several dates), you will know exactly how he will always treat you. Once you have witnessed that; then you can decide if he's the guy you want to be with. Yes it's true.

If you chose to keep the same patterns and keep on dating the perfect types, you will continue to be a victim in the game of "Get Some & Get Out" (I own the copyrights to that term from now on, ok maybe not but I had you convinced for a second there that I did). Good luck on your mission.

*I was talking with this girl I know and she's having trouble hooking up with this guy that she's really into. Here's her problem in a nutshell: the dude is always casually flirting with her but when it's time to seal the deal and set up a date, he backs off. If she tries to initiate a conversation that might lead to a potential date with the dude, he kind of goes quiet and disregards what she says. So she asked me: what gives? 

To me the answer was simple. If a guy acts like Mike Lowry one second and then switches it up and acts like the 40 Year Old Virgin the next moment; there's only one reasonable explanation: dude is in a committed relationship. He just wants to know if he still has it. Can he still call on his pimp game when needed? That's all he wants to know. If this is your situation ladies, show him the peace sign and move on to bigger and better things.

Although I wrote it last summer, it still applies today. So if you're interested, feel free to go check out the Booty Call Guidelines.

Because I typically write about the NBA on the blog, you won't find anything new or earth shattering in here (just giving you a heads up).

*Have a look at the NBA standings

Eastern Conference
1- Cleveland
2- Orlando
5- Milwaukee
6- Miami
7- Charlotte
8- Toronto

Western Conference
1- L.A. Lakers
6-Oklahoma City
7-San Antonio

If the Western Conference standings stay as is, the Lakers will have to go through some tough solid battles just to get back to Finals. The champs would get the Blazers in the first round, the Nuggets in the second round and the Mavericks in the Conference Finals (obviously this scenario assumes that the teams that are favorites to win their respective series actually do win).

On the other hand, in the Eastern Conference, with the way the standings are right now, Cleveland would face Toronto (Bosh's last games as a Raptor and perhaps a bit of a yawner), Boston, and Orlando on their way to the Finals (if favorites win in each round).  We might be in for a great postseason this year.

*In case you missed it, I strongly suggest you read up on my list of NBA franchise players. It took me about a month to compile in, but hopefully you'll enjoy reading up on some your favorite current NBA players. Here's the list of players.

*About two months ago, I asked the question: Whose career would you rather have: Kobe Bryant's or LeBron James'? If you didn't get a chance to read up on it, you can click here and give it a read.

*Brooklyn's Finest: This movie completely disappointed me. I was expecting a story a bit like Donnie Brasco, where an undercover cop gets in too deep and actually assumes the persona of a certified gangster; and can no longer go back to being a cop. Instead, I was left with a weak imitation of The Departed. I won't spoil the movie for you but the movie is a poor attempt at replicating The Departed; except with a predominantly African-American cast and story with more holes than an orgy porn set. Seriously, when did it become cool to just steal off movie ideas from people and then just change the type of cast involved in the movie?

I'm genuinely terrified that someone in Hollywood might like the idea and re-make every movie with actors of a different ethnic background. Illustration:

- Pirates of the Caribbean with a cast of Mexicans: "Nah papa, the treasure no esta aqui hermano; go tell segnor Turner we have to go now. Davey Jones is on our culo yo."

- The Dark Knight with some Jamaicans: "Nah mon, ya cannot cross the Dark Knight mon; Jah Bless".

- The Bourne Identity with Italians: "Hey bro, I'm gonna go hunt down those paysans from Treadstone and then we can go have some of my mom's lasagna. Now get the f*ck outta heeeeere"

If those ideas sound completely ludicrous, why was it a good idea to take a Boston based movie, and have it done in New York? I bet the director is a Yankees fan.

*Shutter Island: Good movie overall but you kind of have an idea from the start of the movie how it's going to end. Good movie overall, but I was expecting to be completely shocked and dumbfounded (I call it the Saw movie effect; no matter how smart you are, you fall in the little traps they set for you and end up surprised by the end of each of the Saw movies) by the ending; but such was not the case after watching Shutter Island.

*In case you missed it, I'm a big Trey Songz fan. Check out my post on him, it's right here.

*Ladies and gentlemen, let it be known that your favorite Silverback Gorilla will be attending the Slaughterhouse show on April 10th.  Those of you that know me, know I'm a huge Joe Budden fan and consequently a huge fan of Slaughterhouse as well. I missed the show last year unfortunately but this year I'm all in. Since I can't just be a name dropper, let me quickly breakdown my favorite Slaughterhouse track.

Cut You Loose: Joe, Royce, Joell and Crooked talk about their love relationship with a special someone. Unfortunately, too many people have been with that special someone and might have ruined her for others. It's like when you date a girl that's been around the block and she's had her head messed with by a bunch of guys, you end up dealing with all of her issues that stem from her past actions with her former partners. In this case, the Slaughterhouse cast isn't actually talking about a girl, they're talking about music. Please give it a listen. Here's a quick line from Joe's verse on the song.

"I used to dream about just being with you,
Woulda probably gave whatever to be seen with you
On the block
On the scene with you,
And the most beautiful with you
Is we shared the same passion
And I can get cream with you…"

ShynePhone Rotation
Gucci Mane ft Ludacris – Atlanta Zoo
Joe Budden – Hello Expectations
Joe Budden ft Royce Da 5'9 – New York, Jersey, Philly
Royce Da 5'9 – Over Freestyle
Crooked I – So Close, So Far Freestyle
T-Pain – Reverse Cowgirl
Lil' Wayne ft Gucci Mane – We Be Steady Mobbin'
Joe Budden - Unthinkable
Jay-Z ft Rihanna & Knaye West – Run This Town
Joe Budden – Downfall
Webbie ft Letoya Luckett – I Miss You
Mariah Carey ft Trey Songz – Inseparable (Remix)
Pleasure P – Boyfriend #2
Usher – Lil' Freak
Royce Da 5'9 – Slaughter
Chris Brown – Shoes
Usher - Guilty
Chris Brown – Perfume
Questions, comments or feedback? Feel free to drop me an email at You can also find me on Twitter, look me up