Prince: Man, Movement, Baller

Written by :
Published on : May 2, 2016

 

 

Purple will never have the same meaning. The world lost a music and cultural legend on April 21, 2016 when Prince Rogers Nelson passed away at the age of 57. He was far too young but sometimes the stars that shine the brightest burn out before their time. The Artist’s contributions to the world of music and style, as well as his assault on traditional gender norms, will keep him relevant far beyond his time in this dimension, but what about some of Prince’s other passions?

 

We all remember the Chappelle’s Show skit, right? Charlie Murphy describes a game of pick up basketball that he played with Prince in 1985. If you haven’t seen it then you should watch it below. Immediately! I’ll wait:

 

 

So if we are to believe Charlie Murphy then Prince could straight up ball. He had handles, he could shoot, and he knew how to run the floor, fruity picks and all. But how much of this is really true. Let’s see if we can’t find a little more evidence of Prince’s skills on the court.

 

It turns out that Prince did play both middle school and high school basketball and was quite talented. But at 5’2″ he was never big enough to crack the starting lineup, which pissed him off royally. Word is that he would constantly harp on his coach about not being a starter despite the considerable skill with the ball and determination that he possessed. His old coach also stated that he was a bit turnover prone which led to increased time on the bench whenever he got too sloppy with the rock.

 

PrinceBball

 

So he played as a kid, but what about as an adult? Did he keep his game strong even after he became a music icon, as Charlie Murphy had said? All indications point to yes.

 

Former bandmate, Wendy Melvoin, said that it was not uncommon for Prince to have a makeshift hoop and backboard mounted near his rehearsal spaces or studios, and he would frequently take breaks to work on his game while on tour. She is also the one who started the rumor that he would frequently play in heels. Prince apparently scoffed at the idea when asked, but either way, he was ballin’ whenever he had the chance.

 

According to Touré, the writer of the Prince biography I Would Die 4 U, he was quite confident in his hoops skills. To the point of showing off in front of anyone unfortunate enough to oppose him on the court. In an attempt to access the more human side of the notoriously eccentric and secluded star while writing the biography, Touré had a chance to play a couple of pick up games against the Purple One and see a different side of the man who liked to control the way the world saw him. For the record, he said that Prince played in Nike Air Force Ones, and was as skilled as rumors would have you believe. Prince won and just like that, the moment was over. I’m just sad that there isn’t any photo or video evidence.

 

 

After music, it looks as though basketball was the next greatest passion for the man who touched so many of our lives with the music he made. When he wasn’t playing, he was usually watching and it’s been said that he once had televisions set up on the side of the stage for a performance so he could watch a Chicago Bulls playoff game. That’s the kind of dedication to a sport that I can get behind. He even made an attempt to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves. Tell me that wouldn’t have been the best thing to ever happen to that franchise and I’ll call you a liar.

 

So here’s to Prince, musical genius and basketball fiend. May he rest in peace, and I hope wherever he is, there’s a basketball court.

 

 


Going Down in a Blaze (of Glory?): The Johnny Manziel Story

Written by :
Published on : April 23, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Heisman Trophy winner.

 

First round draft pick.

 

A complete waste of opportunity.

 

I decided against saying talent when describing Johnny Manziel. Over the course of the past two years, I have had several emotions regarding Manziel.

 

First, I thought “give the kid a break.” When he was at Texas A&M, he was investigated by the NCAA for signing and selling memorabilia. He was also arrested for fighting and producing a fake ID. Being young, dumb, and arrested around the same age as he was at the time, I figured it was all a little overblown. I rationalized that Manziel just needed to mature and I was empathetic to his troubles. Most young men mature at their own pace. Clearly, he would grow up one day, right?

 

 Johnny goes to Coachella.

 

Wrong! As Charlie Murphy once said in reference to Rick James, Manziel is a “habitual line stepper.”

 

Shortly after he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns, he allegedly was snorting cocaine in Las Vegas. Then came the domestic violence accusations after he and his girlfriend were stopped by police in Ohio. At this juncture, I started to pity Manziel. He had to be addicted to drugs and alcohol. Only a man that was addicted to drugs could continue to make a mess of a NFL career. I figured once he had the opportunity to start he would take the job seriously and there would be no time for his off-field activities.

 

Wrong! Once again, habitual line stepper.

 

Manziel got the opportunity to start a few games his rookie season and was terrible. He also had the chance to win the starting job his second season but decided to party during the team’s bye week. To make matters worse, Manziel lied about partying. Stating that the video evidence that surfaced was from an earlier date. The music that was played in the video, Future “March Madness”, was recently released at the time; not months before as Manziel told the team. At this point, I knew the writing was on the wall. Manziel was going to be released and the humiliation of being cut would help him resurrect his career.

 

 

Habitual line stepper.

 

He did eventually get cut by the team and is currently unsigned. Manziel has continued his partying since being cut by the Browns. Two agents have left him due to his unwillingness to seek help for possible drug addiction. Therefore, even if a team was interested, he does not have representation. He also lost his endorsement deal with Nike earlier this week. What a train wreck.

 

My feelings toward Johnny Football is that I no longer care about anything regarding him. I’ve come to the conclusion that he knows he will fail in the NFL. He does not have any initiative to resurrect his career. He is excelling at the one thing he knows he can do well, partying. The time has passed where we think of Manziel as a kid that will mature and we should just let nature run its course. The drinking and possibly drug use is perhaps his way of coping with the disappointment of a failed NFL career. His parents have pleaded for someone to help. Ironically, both his parents were bartenders when they met each other. You would think that they would know firsthand what alcohol abuse could do to a person. Yet, it seems as if they’re waiting for some divine intervention to save Johnny before age 24.

 

 Manziel seems as lost in life as he was on the field in the NFL.

 

The media has a hand in this as well. Every thing that he does becomes sports fodder. Manziel stopped being relevant in sports long ago. With every news story that is published, it only adds to his rep. Clubs will always welcome him with open arms because somehow they will be mentioned and it will be the easy promotion for their establishment. ESPN has done more damage than good for several athletes that should not be relevant (Tim Tebow), but I guess that’s just what they do.

 

It is the time that everyone let Manziel go. The sooner we stop talking about him the sooner we can forget about him and move on to football players who matter.

 

 


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