Chris Paul Reminds Us He's Good At Basketball

RIP Big John Thompson

It might boil down to personal perspective, but it’s been a rough couple of years for Chris Paul from an optics standpoint. While most everyone agrees he’s an excellent basketball player, there’s something about his role in the NBAPA that’s rubbed people wrong.

Paint by numbers gone wild, call me one of those people. For whatever reason, through memes about him being a snitch to his general sense of self, CP3 “feels” like a dislikable fellow. One of those who earned a power of authority within a union, then used it to buddy around with ownership instead of properly representing the employees he’s meant to.

I have no idea if any of that is true. It’s unfair and a result of mob mentality thinking. Nonetheless, it’s merely my perception of him from the outside, which has directly influenced how I view him as a player; unfortunately tainting it in the process. Not allowing me to enjoy his greatness why he still had some of that left within his torso.

On Monday, Paul showcased his all-time excellence in a must-win game for the Oklahoma City Thunder, scoring 28 points on a plus-20. It’s good math.

He was excellent. Adding seven rebounds into the fold, as well as shooting 50 percent from the floor and deep, it was a reminder of just how good Chris Paul STILL is.

An all-time great point guard who just so happens to have a history of punching people in the dick, Paul spoke about the Thunder’s fourth quarter disposition after the game.

"When it gets to clutch time, fourth quarter, some people are built for it, some people shy away from it," Paul told TNT's Jared Greenberg after the game. "Some people are built for it, man, and we're just gonna keep hoopin'."

Paul scored eight of the Thunder’s final 12 points, making me now hate him again since the above quote comes off like a grifter-turned-prophet but only after the event already happened, proclaiming his clutch greatness even though we didn’t need to be told about it.

Thanks a lot, CP3. I liked you again for a few seconds, but then you had to go on to say some outlandish shit, propagating your greatness when others should be doing it for you.

RIP Big John Thompson

Former Georgetown Hoyas coach, and general legend, John Thompson passed away at 78.

Not wanting to be one of those people who forces someone else’s passing to be all about themselves, all I’ll say about my personal feelings for Big John always went beyond basketball.

Thompson polarized college basketball in the best ways possible during his heyday, making bigots uncomfortable and confronting them at every turn.

Without turning this into a full obituary post, I’ll relay one story that paints me in a rather bad light; though it might better highlight to younger readers how powerful Thompson’s stay at Georgetown was.

Everyone can find videos of fans jeering Georgetown players or calling Patrick Ewing racial slurs. It had to be a terrifying situation not only for the players, but John Thompson himself, as he was the man who was meant to protect his kids from those types of people.

And yet, he leaned in. Thompson saw the anger and vitriol, using it to his advantage, even if it meant putting himself in harm’s way. He, of course, still protected his kids, but he never shied away from those who constantly inferred he and his program were inferior simply because they were black. Or, more accurately, “too black.”

How black was his program? It wasn’t until I was 16 that I realized Georgetown wasn’t an HBCU. That could possibly say more about me than how Thompson ran the Hoyas, but I know I wasn’t the only one who equated Big John’s version of the Hoyas to black excellence.

And that last part, that’s the point that matters. It wasn’t just “a black school” or something like that. It was black excellence. With the passing of Chadwick Boseman recently, and now Big John, that community has sadly lost two important members. But what both represented, whether it be in art or in a sport, will live on.

John Thompson didn’t only set an example. He set a tone. It’ll echo for years after his death.

RIP Big John.


NFL Taking Over Washington Football Team Probe

The NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE informed Washington Football owner Daniel Snyder it would be taking a deeper look into numerous allegations made against the franchise.

Basically, instead of Washington doing it themselves, it’ll be the NFL… so yay? You’d think a way outside third-party would be best here, given what’s at stake and alleged, but what do I know?

There’s really no way to sugarcoat anything here. Nor is there a way for someone like me to hammer a point home without having more public information available. I’ve — obviously — done zero reporting on this, and even those who’ve had are likely up against it; probably facing issues gaining access to the information they most want to obtain.

Anyway, I’m usually anti-NFL getting involved in stuff. In a weird way, they represent America a bit in this regard. This “all powerful” entity that dips its toes in waters it should otherwise not — us allowing it to happen out of fear or the need of immediate justice.

The Patriot Act, in hindsight, was a mistake. People were fine with at the time because of fear. We were afraid. We wanted protection. It was promised to us through this deal in which we lost a ton of privacy.

The NFL did similar when we all called for blood after the Ray Rice video. Something horrible happened and we — as a collective — demanded justice. The NFL saw that, went in to punish outside their usual jurisdiction, in order to satisfy our quench for law and order.

There are many issues with the two instances mentioned above, but there’s one glaring cluster-fudge above all else: Whenever you give something or someone powerful more power and less oversight, they’re not going to ever give it back. The United States isn’t going to wake up one day to tell us they’re giving up more power in the name of our privacy. And the NFL isn’t going to stop dancing in issues outside their purview and/or capabilities.

So, ugh, I guess it’s better than nothing that the NFL is looking into the Washington Football Team. I just don’t know if those are the group of people we want doing this given its history of… {gestures broadly at everything}.

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Joseph used to write a bunch of things for places like Forbes, FRS and others. Now he’s ‘the man’ in management. A big old loser. A washed, leathery face, too. Here’s his own newsletter.