Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tru School Of Kicks: Nike Air Jordan 1 "Sonics"


It seems that no matter what the color combination is that the Nike Air Jordan 1 model seems to stand the test of time. With the Sonics Colorway it is no different. For the Key Arena faithful who bleed green and yellow these should certainly allow them to take pride as they always do in Sonics Greats like Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Gus Williams and Jack Sikma. If you happen to be a Sonics fan and love sneakers then these are a must buy for you. If you want to proudly wear the pride of Seattle's colors on your feet then look no further then these coming out in July. By the way bring the Sonics back the NBA is just plain weird without them.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

My Take:Aaron Hernandez


Some Stories in sports push the boundaries of sports fans and become nationwide stories. That is the case here when speaking about former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. Hernandez has been accused for the murder of semi pro football player Odin Llyod and is facing a life sentence in prison.





This seems to be just another cautionary tale of Pro Athletes thinking they are superman and then making stupid decisions that lead to a change in public perception of them and loads of media scrutiny. This is much more then that Hernandez is not only accused for the murder of Odin Lloyd but also accused of a 2012 shooting in Boston. People who are also close to Hernandez such as his counter parts Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace are all in connection to this and multiple murders.






Before this all took place Hernandez had the world in his hands. He is a decorated football player in 2008 he was part of the Florida Gator team that won the national championship. The very next year he was awarded the John Mackey award given to the best collegiate tight end. Due to questions facing his character Hernandez fell to the 4th round of the NFL Draft in 2010. Once he got to the NFL he made the Pro Bowl in 2011. After a tremendous season he was rewarded a 5 year 37.5 million dollar contract. Back in April he signed a 2 year endorsement deal with Puma and that has now been terminated along with his contract with the Patriots.





Hernandez looked like he had it all Money, tremendous talent, a family what could possibly go wrong. Well here’s what happened with all of those things comes an ego its the way humans are wired. Hernandez is a fantastic player but people always questioned his mental make up which is why he was a 4th round draft pick in the first place. It looks like now those GM's assumptions of Hernandez were right.






Whats crazy about this whole story from my perspective is that I actually had an encounter with Aaron Hernandez as you can see in the picture above. It was like any other day with my friends hanging out at Aventura Mall we walk around, we crack jokes and just enjoy that time. Well on this particular day we were at a shoe store and we spotted this large oversized man, we knew he was somebody. Later when I was in the bathroom I went to go wash my hands and as i'm looking for soap I glance to my right, I then do a double take. The same oversized muscular guy in the shoe store was on my right and It was Aaron Hernandez. My friend Aydian thought it was the other Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski so I proceeded to ask Aaron Hernandez who towered over me “ Are You Rob Gronkowski” he replied stating “No Rob is a big white guy i'm Aaron Hernandez”. After telling him how I hated him as a Florida Gator due to the fact that I'm a UM fan and that it's a joy to watch him play I asked him for a picture and we was cool about it and gave me a yes. After the pic I went home and he went to go eat with nobody even noticing who he was. Its crazy how a year changes things.





In my heart I want to believe that Hernandez didn't shoot Odin Lloyd and that he is innocent but with all the signs pointing straight at him that’s incredibly hard to do. He is such a cool guy and he seems very humble but the way he acted towards me and other fans vs what has taken place are 2 completely different things. I don't wish bad on anybody so if he gets convicted I'm just hoping something semi good comes out of this whether its Hernandez becoming a better person or just an example of what not to do if your a professional athlete.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Kwame Brown 2001


Tonight is one of the biggest nights of the year for me and many basketball fans across the country as the decisions will impact our franchises for years to come. Speaking as a Charlotte basketball fan I witnessed so many horrible draft picks over the year such as Adam Morrison, Sean May and D.J Augustein. I've also seen a few good ones like Baron Davis, Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist but when it comes to the draft I always expect the worst when it comes to my teams decision making. Today on throwback Thursday we reflect on arguably the worst 1st overall pick in NBA history.






June 27 2001 was the date and with the first overall pick belonged to the Washington Wizards. The board had many guys that could have helped their team become better such as Tyson Chandler, Pau Gasol, Jason Richardson, Gerald Wallace even Shane Battier. All these guys went on to have a good NBA career making an all-star team, winning a championship,defensive player of the year or just helping a team out in the playoffs, but did the Wizards pick any one of them?? Well..........NO!!! They picked Kwame Brown the 6'11 290 pound blob of center. He was a beast coming out of High school but he is the living example of everything general manager doesn’t want out of its 1st round draft pick which is someone who is lazy and doesn’t take his game seriously. You can sense that about Kwame Brown just by watching him on the court over the years and looking at the back of any of his cheap basketball cards at his stats. He never progressed or took any dramatic steps forward to ever become anything more then a serviceable NBA backup. That’s what strikes me about Kwame is that someone who is or was once talented at basketball gets to the highest level of basketball and decides to just collect a check. I feel like if you work that hard to get there you should work harder to deserve to stay.






The same guy who drafted Kwame in Washington has the final say for my beloved Charlotte Bobcats (Soon to be Hornets) in tonight’s draft. I'm Hoping Michael Jordan stays on the right track like he has the last few years drafting the right guys like Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-gilchrist and stays away from the Adam Morrison/Kwame Brown type draft picks that haunted his legacy as an owner.





With that said I hope tonight my Bobcats make the kind of move that impacts this franchise the same way drafting guys like Baron Davis, Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson did. Here is to better days in Charlotte for basketball and good luck to your teams tonight if you have a rooting interest in tonight’s draft.






GO BOBCATS GO!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Puig Mania"


Several days ago I sat down to watch Sunday night baseball for the first time in a long time just to catch a glimpse of Young Cuban phenom Yasiel Puig who has been tearing it up for the LA Dodgers as of late. I've heard tremendous things about this guy reading all of the baseball scouts raving about his tools as a ballplayer.




As he stepped into the box against San Francisco Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner I watched every little detail of this guy as a hitter. He worked the count to 1-1 and he had displayed solid plate discipline laying off a borderline second pitch. Watching what occurred on the 3rd pitch was beautiful and impressive to watch a young player do. On a pitch low and away he churned those hips and swung at the ball. He stayed inside of it and hit it to the opposite field over the right field fence at Dodger Stadium for the7th home run of his very short career. Many young players you see in the Majors have a problem with any pitches low and away and he just made it look eazy on that opposite field home run, he looked like the 2nd coming of Yoenis Cespedes with that swing.





Although Puig is off to a hot start keep in mind that 20 games is still a very small sample size and that the MLB will make adjustments to him the question is how will he adjust back once the necessary adjustments are made, that’s when we find out how good he is. Looking at Puig statistically one thing bothers me which is his walk to strike out ratio which is 3 to 17. That shows me that he still has much room to grow in terms of plate discipline as do pretty much all hitters his age do.




With all of that said if he stays hitting at a high level and continues to increase his numbers I think he deserves some consideration for the All-Star game. You look at his current stats of 34 Hits, 14 runs scored, 7 homeruns, 14 RBI's while hitting 442. in 20 games that is just for lack of a better word “NASTY”. He is hitting on a torid pace and making a huge impact for the LA Dodgers. To put his numbers into perspective check out how he stacks up with Bryce Harper and Mike Trout in their 1st 20 games of their rookie seasons in the tweet below.







Puig is making history right now and is just plain entertaining to watch. He will eventually struggle as do all players do in baseball at some point but for now just enjoy “Puig Mania”.




Monday, June 24, 2013

Catching Hell


The Chicago Cubs are one of major league baseballs most storied franchise for many reasons the main one being the 105 year drought from the last time they won the world series in 1908. During the 2003 NLCS against the Florida Marlins a fan went down in Infamy this fans name is “Steve Bartman”. Bartman is known for his infamous fan interference with Cubs outfielder Moises Alou that prevented the Chicago Cubs from recording the 2nd out of the 8th inning in game 6 of the NLCS. This in turn led to the Marlins going on to score 8 runs in that same inning and take game 6 which ultimately led them to win the series and the Cubs fell short of reaching the world series yet again. Bartman was blamed and was public enemy #1 in Chicago and received death threats from locals. He cost the team a chance at winning a world series for the first time in a century in the eyes of many. Bartman and what happened on that faithful night at Wrigley Field is chronicled in the ESPN 30 for 30 film “Catching Hell” which takes in an in depth look of the Bartman incident from the people who lived it. If your a baseball fan or a Cubs fan this film is definitely for you check it down in the video down below

Ken Griffey Jr: Never Be Another One


Baseball is a great game but the current state of the MLB is far from great. Players in this day and age are under constant scrutiny as the league is trying to clean up its image from all the greats who did the game dirty in the past like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens. When you look at Major league baseball in this day and age there aren't to many elite all around talents who dominate at the level Ken Griffey Jr did on and off the field. On the field when in his Prime Griffey was talented enough to be an All-star, win MVP, win a gold glove, win a silver slugger award and lead the league in home runs all in the same year. Off the field he served as the guy who elevated the popularity as the spokesman for Nike and Nintendo. The enjoyability of watching him on the field and the marketability of him off the field combined all at the same time make Ken Griffey Jr a once in a life time player. When speaking about the future hall of famer I think the only thing we can say is that there will never be another one.




Lets knock the obvious out of the way, Griffey is a very great and well decorated ballplayer some of his accomplishments listed down below are proof of that. When speaking about his accomplishments this is just scratching the surface with Griffey.


  • 13 time all-star
  • 1992 all-star game MVP
  • 1997 MVP
  • 10 gold gloves
  • 7 silver slugger awards
  • 630 Home runs



It's what he did for baseball in terms of popularity that speaks volumes to his greatness though. Let me ask you this question and I want you to really think about it. Who was the last baseball player who was just as big by himself as the game of baseball? Think about it. Players in Griffeys day like Mark Mcgwire and Barry Bonds were tremendous players and popular in baseball circles but did any of them do anything to transcend baseball popularity and make it appeal to the casual fan? Look at it from this perspective someone who knows nothing about baseball won't know who Mark Mcgwire was (pre steroid era) because his popularity is only within the baseball/sports fan realms. Now lets look at Griffey he had his own sneaker with Nike and a video game with Nintendo. Stuff like that was monumental for the game of baseball's popularity because Griffey is getting exposed to many people who who normally wouldn't watch baseball and then people find out who he is along with baseball which could eventually lead to them becoming a fan of the game. Being someone who grew up in the Nintendo generation I can't tell you how many times I heard kids say “Griffey is the best” or “This guy makes me like baseball, this game is awesome”. Ken Griffey Jr is just the kind of guy who leaves an imprint on your mind but in a positive way.







Beyond all of mass endorsements and commercials Ken Griffey Jr actually lived up to the hype. During my younger days I saw a lot of great players come to Miami to play baseball at Pro Player Stadium like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and David Ortiz but none put on the effortless hitting display I saw Griffey take. It was every thing you saw at the home run derby hat tilted backwards, smile on his face and last but not least that sweet effortless swing that he used to deposit baseballs into those empty orange seats. I remember everyone in the stadium stopped what they where doing just to watch this guy swing a bat. Yeah it was just batting practice but Griffey was a performer.





I once heard someone say the following about Ken Griffey Jr. “He was the type of person kids can love and adults can respect”. I was lucky enough to actually Meet Griffey face to face, I use to go to Pro Player Stadium 5-6 hours before the Marlins play and wait for them and whoever they were playing and try to get autographs from my baseball heroes. I would get the roster for the opposing teams and my Marlins then gather up whatever baseball cards I had on those players the night before the game. There was one day where the Marlins were playing the Reds in the middle of the season and Ken Griffey Jr was sitting on 599 career home runs so I wanted to see him hit 600.





Before I met Griffey I had gotten Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce to sign some baseball cards but then the bus arrived. I didn't care about any other player not even the ones on the Marlins I just wanted a chance to meet Griffey. I saw him and ran straight up to him with my baseball card and sharpie in hand. Most players are stuck up and would have told me no or just walked away Griffey smiled and happily signed my card. He actually took 2-4 minutes and we talked baseball I picked his brain about playing center field because I played it for my little league team at the time and he gave me some tips and then said bye to me.....WOW!





People always say baseball is a kids game but few players actually take the time to help the kids when they are in the major leagues by just simply signing an autograph or just talking to them. They get caught up in the celebrity of being a ball player in the majors and forget where they came from and don't sign autographs for those little kids and ignore them. Griffey didn't do that and he is even greater because of that to me.





So he had all the stats, he helped grow the game like very few players, he is a humble person and most importantly he is the ONLY player in the 90's who didn't take steroids. Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmerio all these guys took steroids but the only one who did it clean was Griffey. The fact that he is part of that whole era but didn't par take in the actual activity of performance enhancing drugs makes his legacy even greater. He did it the right way and had he not been injured in Cincinnati his legacy would have been untouchable. He would have in all honesty broken the home run record set by Babe Ruth, have more gold gloves and everything statistically would be greater. Baseball right now needs another Ken Griffey Jr type star.






I think in terms of talent, personality, marketability when it comes to Ken Griffey Jr I can honestly say there will never be another one.







Video Blog: Reebok Pump Omni Lite Sneaker Review (Dee Brown)


On a recent run to the mall I went shoe shopping and made one of my sneakerhead dreams come true. I picked up the Reebok Pumps Omni lites made famous by Dee Brown of the Boston Celtics who won the slam dunk contest in 1991. In this video I just basically review and give you my take on the sneaker........They are the definition of the word "Classic"


Saturday, June 22, 2013

It's Time For Some Baseball


Now that basketball season is over and I don't have to focus on the media circus that is the Miami Heat the blog will now be changing its focus to baseball. I will still write things about basketball with the draft and summer league coming out but it's time to focus on Americas past time the way I should be. Outside of the Marlins who I follow because they are my team I was very oblivious to most things going on in the MLB this season. I'm very happy my Marlins are playing better baseball winning 5 out of their last 8 against the Cardinals,D-Backs and Giants.





I'm excited to see if Miguel Cabrera can repeat and win the triple crown again as he currently leads in the batting average and RBI categories he is still chasing Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis who has 27 homeruns to Cabrera's 20. I think Miggy who is one of the most consistent hitters we have ever seen in baseball history will be right there when it's all said and done for the repeat.




I'm definitely excited to see if Giancarlo Stanton will be in the home run derby this season. As most baseball fans know his batting practices alone are a homerun derby and he posses once in a life time power that most people aren't really accustom to seeing so him at an event like the homerun derby would be nothing but a treat for the fans of the MLB.




Of course I will still have my card posts but I'm going to incorporate other pieces of exclusive memorabilia that I feel would be cool to share with you guys. So far all my guys here who collect baseball memorabilia /Cards and all that good stuff you will love all the stuff coming up.


Still love my baseball and can't wait to show you guys some of these great posts and videos I'm have coming up.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday Tru School Sports


Today June 20th 2013 marks the 1 year anniversary of Tru School Sports. Time flies by fast when you are having fun I guess. It's been one of the greatest years of my life and I have add the chance to connect with so many great people worldwide. So before I get into this article shout out to a few people. Jerry Stackhouse,Jacorry Harris for retweeting my articles on twitter. Thanks to everybody who has ever been on this blog or gave Tru School Sports the time of day, you don't know how much it means to me. So without further ado I'm going to look back at the year that was and the people who made it just a bit more special along the way.





One of the very first “Throwback Thursday” articles I ever did was on Miami Dolphins Hall of fame quarterback Dan Marino. After tweeting it to him he actually responded, check the tweet down below.




 The most viewed article on this blog was my New York Knicks-Brooklyn Nets piece which I wrote before this past season got under way. After it garnered a decent amount of recognition I decided to tweet it out to several New York area sports writers and ESPN New York's Ian Begley responded to me, apparently he liked what he saw.





One of the reasons I even like basketball in the 1st place is because of Baron Davis. Some of my earliest memories of the NBA are of him Dunking on Tim Hardaway in the playoffs and leading the 6th seeded Charlotte Hornets to a 3 game sweep over the 3rd seeded Miami Heat. I wrote a “Throwback Thursday” Article on the legendary NBA Street video game and he read it and gave me a retweet. So cool stuff to get from one of my basketball favorites. If your on twitter go follow Baron Davis.





Early when 1st starting the Blog I remember writing a piece on how I thought The Memphis Grizzlies and how I thought they could go far in the playoffsand then Shared it with people who are around the Grizzlies on a day to day basis. On of the people was Memphis Native and former NBA Player Eliott “Socks” Perry. He liked and showed love so thank you Eliott!!!






 Earlier this year I had one of the most pleasant experiences in blogging so far when I got to interview Basketball legend “Pat The Roc”. He is honestly one of the most humble dudes I have ever talked to and it was a privilege interviewing him back in January. If you don't know anything about him check out that interview I did with him in the tweet down below it should be in a link.
RT @ThatboyBTaylor: Pat The Roc Interview from last month just hit 1k Views, im happ about that S/O to @PatTheRoc...





 I just graduated from South Broward less than a month ago and I did an article of the 5 greatest athletes to ever dawn the red and gold. After I was done I tweeted it to the one that are young enough to have social networks. So I hit up Former Bulldog/ Miami Dolphin and Current Kansas City Cheifs cornerback Travis Daniels and he responded. Shoutout to Travis Daniels, good luck with the photography career and football as well.






The other person the list of the best South Broward athletes happens to be the great Tamara James. The former Bulldog standout and WNBA 1st round draft pick saw my article on South Broward athletes and responded. I kinda messed up so she had to correct me but it's all good shout out to Tamara James!







 One of the better things that happened in the past year took a bit of initiative to manifest but I did it with the Help of my dad and friend Isaiah. In November I reached out to Former voice of the Charlotte Hornets and current voice of Charlotte Bobcats announcer Steve Martin on Twitter about meeting him and Charlotte Hornets great Dell Curry in Orlando at the Magic game and I got this response.





Steve and Dell were gracious with their time we talked basketball, Dell Currry signed my basketball card and I was one happy camper.







Being a Charlotte native it's only right that I like speaking with other people from my hometown. So with Donte Clark who is a Charlotte native being an ESPN Top 100 recruit and going to play college basketball at Virginia Tech next season I felt it would be cool to interview him. He was a pretty chill laid back dude and equally as humble I'm expecting big things from DC this upcoming season so Shout out to Donte Clark.
 Shout out to the dude that Follows Donte that said my blog was dope!






Several weeks ago when writing my “Tru School Of Kicks” segment I wrote about the Grant Hill Fila's that are coming out pretty soon so stay tuned for that. I tweeted to the Iconic sneaker brand and they showed love back so Shout Out to Fila. Being a hip-hop fan I know how iconic Fila is even though they aren't as big as they used to be but they are coming back!!!








 Several days ago I shot this video featuring the new Shaq soda by the Arizona drink company. I shared it with them just yesterday and they gave me a positive response and a follow back so shout out to Arizona beverages, I just had one last night #WatermelonTea







I live in South Florida so odds are if you turn on a TV at any point from the evening to late in the night you will see Donovan Campbell on the air talking about sports in our area. Whether its the Marlins, Heat, Dolphins or the Panthers DC does his thing with his own unique flavor. I sent him my Pat The Roc interview and he liked it. So Shout out to Donovan Campbell stay tuned for him on channel 7 if you live in the South Florida area.






Also a special thanks to someone who I think is a very cool person Charlotte Bobcats dancer the beautiful, Jennifer Embler. If your in the Charlotte area and at the Time Warner Cable Arena watch out for her and the the lady cats doing their thing. Shout out to her for reading my basketball analysis on Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving and Damian Lilllard.



This shouldn't even be called a shout out, this is more of a scream out. So HUGE thank you to the guys at Bring back the buzz, helping get the Charlotte Hornets name back to to Charlotte. These guys have so much passion for basketball in the Queen City I feel most people won't ever rival it. These guys have been supporting me since day 1 so thanks to them. Follow them on twitter @Bringbackthebuzz










Big thanks to Aydian for showing me love throughout the year. You better be playing basketball next year homie!!



 Thank You Ricky for showing me love on the Alfred Morris/T.Y Hilton article.


 Big thanks to my friend and Duke student Mayank for supporting. He's going to Duke so obviously this mans about big things.




Thanks to my main man Brian who's been supporting me pretty strong throughout the year just like on this Vince Carter “Throwback Thursday” right here. Watch out for him he has something big in the works coming soon. If your a basketball fan I suggest you follow him if you have a twitter dude is a well of basketball knowledge.













 If you supported me at any point throughout the course of this past year in any way, shape or form let me say thank you if I didn't single you out. It's been one of the greatest years of my life and I'm glad you are on along the ride with me this is just the beginning.
 
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