Posts Tagged ‘Detroit Pistons’

Emmanuel Mudiay: Bucking the System

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

by Jon Carroll





(Image via

(Image via

Emmanuel Mudiay made headlines this week by signing the richest contract ever for a high school graduate to go overseas and play basketball.  Despite reports that this decision was made to escape inquiries into his eligibility and amateur status by the NCAA, Mudiay has insisted that this was about taking care of his family.  He told “I was tired of seeing my mom struggle”.  With his decision to pursue the overseas route to prepare for the NBA, Mudiay joins a group that includes Brandon Jennings and Jeremy Tyler, both of whom are now in the NBA.  Mudiay’s decision is a rare one among elite high school prospects, even in the age of having to be nineteen to be draft eligible.  I hope that other elite high school athletes will give this avenue increasing consideration moving forward for reasons relating to the court and off.

On the court, there is the obvious issue of pay.  Mudiay is scheduled to be paid $1.2M to play for Guangdong of the China Basketball Association.  The athletic potential of young black men is commodified so early these days that coaches are forced to scout middle school games in order to stay on top.  With that commodification comes parasitic behavior which often leaves the athlete with little to no say over their future.  When it comes to college, the popular narrative is that elite prospects should be grateful for the $200-300k in scholarship that they could get over four years and forget about any other possible money they could make, not to mention the first class education.  I used to buy into this argument as an educator, but it crumbles when you recognize that the majority of the time, the athlete has long ago decided that they want to be a professional athlete.  A year of unwanted classes on a full scholarship pales in comparison to $1.2M and not having to check-in at the 9am lecture or 6pm study hall. If they have an opportunity to pursue their passion at eighteen and be paid for it, then why should they be stopped?  Olympic athletes, tennis and baseball players have been exercising this option for years.  Young, talented basketball players should feel no shame in doing the same.  By doing so, they have an opportunity to escape the identity shackles that American culture places on their worldview.

Going to China effectively gives Mudiay a one year fellowship in one of the leading civilizations in the world.  He has an opportunity to experience a completely different lifestyle.  This next year will have an impact on his life long after he’s done dribbling the ball.  Perhaps he learns the language, perhaps his notion of “blackness” evolves, maybe he makes business contacts that he can leverage when he does make it to the NBA as expected next year.  Yes, being seen numerous times on ESPN during the college season is a big stage, but so is becoming a star in China.  The exposure on national TV also means little if your game doesn’t develop and you can’t make it past the initial three-year rookie contract.

While Jennings, now a Detroit Piston, lamented that his time in Italy was not all fun and games, he acknowledged that he did mature.  It also sounds like he was humbled by not being treated like a star while playing for Lottomatica Virtus Roma.  A scout noted that he increased his capacity to play defense and that his draft stock had not been harmed.  At worst, Mudiay will be immersed in a professional culture that will prepare him for the rigors of the NBA and he won’t have to worry about being dissected at every turn the way Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker were this past year.  He’ll be doing this while controlling all facets of developing his brand, which is a key component to being a professional athlete today.

While the overall success of Jennings’ and Tyler’s careers can be questioned as neither has yet become an all-star, what cannot be denied is that they were not adversely impacted by their time overseas.  Ultimately it enabled them an opportunity to pursue their chosen professions at a high level and prepare them to play on the world’s most elite basketball stage.  Both matured on the court, and I would venture to guess they learned a lot about being an adult.  I expect the same for Mudiay and hope that as these examples continue to mount, that the prospect of going to foreign land will become a more tantalizing option for the nation’s elite high school basketball players who do not want to submit to the current NCAA policy.


Jon Carroll, for War Room Sports

Michael Jordan: The Gift and the Curse

Friday, June 1st, 2012

By Brandon McConnell

The game of basketball has been around for years.  We have seen multiple teams win championships over the years using different ways of getting there.

In the ’80s, we had three teams in that decade that won multiple championships, which included the Lakers, Celtics, and Pistons.  All of these teams had something in common.  They were complete teams that played together in order to accomplish one common goal. 

The Lakers had a starting lineup that included:
Magic Johnson
Byron Scott
Michael Cooper
James Worthy
Kareem Adul-Jabbar

The Celtics had a starting lineup that included:
Dennis Johnson
Danny Ainge
Larry Bird
Kevin McHale
Robert Parrish

The Pistons had a starting lineup that included:
Isaiah Thomas
Joe Dumars
Mark Aguirre
Bill Laimbeer
James Edwards

All the above championship teams had players who came together and played team basketball.  These teams had productive bench play and no one was trying to outshine their teammates.

Then came the birth of Michael Jordan.  A player who took over the NBA by himself, taking on all teams.  He led the league in scoring almost every year.  If you grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, you wanted to “Be Like Mike”.  Michael Jordan, not purposely, taught little kids to be selfish and go after your individual stats to succeed in basketball.  After many years of losing to the Celtics and Pistons, Michael realized that it took a team effort to become a championship.  He finally figured it out, and partnered with Scottie Pippen and other great role players to win six NBA championships.

While becoming a champion, Michael Jordan birthed children like Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, and Tracy McGrady.  These and other players came into the league with the belief that they had to win championships by solely leading their teams and by putting up the majority of shots like Michael did in order to become great.  Kobe Bryant quickly learned, due to veteran leadership around him, that it takes a team to win championships.

The offspring of Michael Jordan has finally grown up to become great players.  They are finally teaching the up and coming players that team basketball is the way to go.  Just take a look at the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats, who were dynamic underclassmen that came together to achieve one goal and that was a National Championship.  The Kentucky Wildcats all compromised their individual success in order to gain team success.

The NBA is finally getting back to great team basketball.  The Dallas Mavericks won last year with great team effort.  They even had bench players like Jason Terry and J.J. Barea who really made the difference during the 2011 NBA Finals.  This year you have the San Antonio Spurs, who just had a 20-game winning streak snapped, playing the best team ball I have ever seen.  If you want to see basketball the way Dr. James Naismith designed it, watch the San Antonio Spurs.

We can all thank Michael Jordan, because he showed us how life was when you have all the individual honors and no championship and how life is when you make your teammates better and win multiple championships.

Brandon McConnell of “Respect Da Game”, for War Room Sports

Charlie Villanueva: “CV4…Plus 27”

Friday, April 15th, 2011

I have a question for all my readers out there.  When in the blue blazes of hell did Charlie Villanueva become such a tough guy?  In the second to last game of the NBA season (well, second to last game of the season for Charlie’s bum a$$ Pistons), Villanueva got entangled with Cavaliers “big man” Ryan Hollins.  The altercation started when Charlie Tyson…err…Villanueva (excuse my propensity to get the two mixed up) apparently took a swipe at Hollins’ “man region” while setting a pick on him.  That’s strike 1 Charlie!  You never touch a man’s private parts for ANY reason WHATSOVER!  That’s nasty dude. 

After the “fight” was broken up and the two “players” were separated, “Charlie Tussle” stood around for a good part of 25-30 seconds, and only began to charge Ryan Hollins again after the two were ejected and security had already started to walk Hollins up the tunnel to the visitor’s locker room.   That’s strike 2 Charlie!  You had plenty of time (while standing around contemplating what you could do to look like less of a wet noodle) to get to Ryan Hollins, IF YOU REALLY WANTED TO, that is.  However, you waited so you could MAKE SURE someone would be in your vicinity to “restrain” you as you ACTED as if you really wanted to rumble.


So after Charlie “Bonecrusher Smith” Villanueva ran around the Palace hardwood, dragging teammates, trainers, and whoever else that decided to entertain his tomfoolery by attempting to “restrain” this pretender, he was escorted by security up the tunnel to the home locker room.  However, reports say that he TWICE tried to get into the Cavs locker room to get at Ryan Hollins, but was stopped both times by Police.  Yeah Charlie…as if you didn’t know that would happen.  That’s strike 3 my friend!  You are OUT!…Out of your damn mind that is.

Isn’t this the same guy who earlier in the season went snitching to the media and to the “Twitterverse” that Kevin Garnett had called him a “cancer patient” on the court?  Isn’t this the same guy who WAITED till he got to an internet device to challenge Kevin Garnett to a fight, instead of handling his business at the arena where he was in KG’s presence for about 4 hours earlier that evening?  So instead of displaying his “thug-it-out” tendencies to a “big-name” player, when he EVIDENTLY and by YOUR ACCOUNT, did something to provoke you, Charlie B…I mean “V”…decided it would be better to go home and “E-Gangster”/“Twitter-Bang” with “KG”.  HOWEVER, with a lesser known player (Ryan Hollins), who by video accounts, did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to provoke you, you decided to live out your MMA dreams and ACT like a stray dog chasing a steak.  I only wish they had let you loose because I was really curious as to what you would REALLY have done with a clear path to Mr. Hollins.  I’m betting on 1 of 2 outcomes.  1. You would have sought out and FOUND another way to be “restrained”…or 2. You probably would have gotten you’re a$$ whupped by an NBA bum.  Either outcome would have been humiliating for you, but extremely hilarious for us.  The Palace must bring out the fake thug in men.

MC Charlie

With all of this said, my advice to Mr. Charlie is: 

Take your “CB4-MC Gusto” impersonation elsewhere, because an NBA basketball court IS NOT the place for it…ESPECIALLY when you PICK & CHOOSE who you want to play MC Gusto with.  “We don’t believe you…You need WAY more people.”  FOH Charlie.

Devin “Dev Mac” McMillan of The War Room, for War Room Sports 

HOF or FOH? (Grant Hill)

Monday, April 4th, 2011

HOF or FOH? (Dennis Rodman)

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Sports Has Become Soft!

Friday, December 10th, 2010

The sports I grew up watching were a lot tougher and a lot more competitive. Now I have nothing against sportsmanship but what I have been seeing lately is utterly ridiculous.

In the NFL you are not allowed to hit anybody without giving the NFL a rebate, in the NBA you are not allowed to have any emotion without hurting your team by getting a technical foul.

I watched Lebron James go back to Cleveland and make jokes with his former teammates after an off-season where he basically called them all garbage. He chose to leave a team that won over 60 games to play with his two friends and a bunch of players that wouldn’t make it on the bus if this was an And 1 try out.

It is ridiculous. I see players in football and basketball knock each other down and then rush to pick up the player they just knocked down. “WHERE THEY DO THAT AT?” I sit back and think of the “Bad Boy” Pistons or the Pat Riley Knicks or Heat teams and imagine them picking up a player they just knocked down. YEAH RIGHT!

I sit back and wonder what Buddy Ryan would have said if Andre Watters or Wes Hopkins would have picked up a wide receiver they just knocked down! That would have been an offense comparable to Colonel Nathan Jessup ordering the code red on William Santiago.

I know why Sports have become this way. It’s an amalgamation of free agency, corporate sponsorships, and athletes becoming businesses themselves. When Tom Brady said he hates the Jets I got excited and thought “that’s the way it is suppose to be”. Stop being politically correct and telling people what they want to hear! Tell your opponent you hate them and then do your best to defeat them.

I guarantee if sports stopped being so soft, the contest would mean more to the athletes and we as fans would get better contests. More players should be like Tom Brady and hate their opponent. Then again Tom Brady wears Uggs so he is also soft. Oh well!

Jimmy Williams

Who cares about what Kevin Garnett said to Charlie Villanueva? FOH!!!

Saturday, November 27th, 2010