Tuesday, June 20, 2017

NBA is a Business

Last week the Golden State Warriors with their newly acquired super star Kevin Durant won over Lebron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers to be the 2017 NBA Chamions. Soon after, this old article from July 2016 criticizing his transfer started being shared again on the internet. I don't really know why people like to throw people down and look for bad stuff just after winning. Social media has exposed sore losers on the internet.

Unlike in Philippine collegiate basketball where I am a hardcore fan of the Ateneo Blue Eagles, having been brainwashed from an early age, I do not particularly follow any teams on professional leagues, I however, have teams which I like and teams I dislike but it's not because I have particular disdain against them or any of their players. I was initially a fan of Lebron until his "decision" to move to Miami, while there is some dis-like, his greatness can not be ignored. He will go down as one of the greatest NBA players ever. Given this, I essentially dislike any Lebron team also because I usually for for the underdog. After writing this I realized I like most teams in the NBA except for the Clippers and any team Lebron is on (after his "decision"). Ultimately though, you'd need to dislike one team to enjoy sports, not rooting for a team sometimes is boring.

Kevin Durant essentially moved to the team who beat them in the conference finals. That was a big no-no for old school players. This was part of most NBA talk shows heading to the finals. Players from the 80s to the early 2000s collectively said they would not do what he did but they said that times have changed and they understood why he did it.

From a competitive standpoint, it was definitely a bad decision. But while basketball is a sport the NBA is a business. Outside looking in nobody has the right to criticize his decision - it was his to make. He was a free agent and there was a better opportunity to enable him to reach a goal. For the Warriors as an organization and a business it made sense to make a strong team even stronger. It's all about setting an objective and reaching that goal, and they did.

The environment in the NBA is ripe for the situation and this was only magnified because of 1) how dominating the Warriors are 2) how good a player KD is and 3) the fact that KD lost a 3-1 series lead to the Warriors. The Miami team of Lebron and the Champion Celtics of 2008 essentially can be seen as the precedent to this shift. From big two's to big three's and now this super team.

KD made a decision for himself and Warriors wanted another championship it made sense for both to get together and they won. The NBA had a trilogy (maybe a tetralogy next year?) and they had one of the highest ratings so it was win for everyone.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Some things I just find cool: La La Land

We watch movies for entertainment value, it's a time where you suspend your reality and accept the imaginings of the writer or director of the movie. A movie to a certain extent expands your experience in life, it involves you in the characters you watch making you feel what they are going through. I decided to write about La La Land because I felt it made me experience the beautiful art of movie making which I don't often notice because I get too engrossed in the story or I just don't care. But this movie made me look.

From the way the camera panned during a scene or during a dialogue from the murals used as the background. Everything had been placed there for a reason. The combination of the visuals, the music, and dancing made a lot for the entertainment value. While I saw criticism online about the choice of actors, I felt the choice was both for the box office success and the undeniable chemistry Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling had. More talented actors with better voices and dancing chops may not have the rapport these actors had on screen.

The movie is an ode to old Hollywood and has that innocence of the era, but shows some new age couple issues. My favorite scene was when Mia, Emma Stone's character was looking for Seb in the movie theater. The movie projectors light showed Mia's face while an old Hollywood film was showingin the background. The dreamy musical sequences divide the romance and the reality. Where there were troubles music was just on the background and the musical was used to uplift the audience.

Maybe it's just another love story of dreamers in Hollywood. But the movie was artfully done. Colorful costumes and murals with LA as a backdrop and Jazz giving it the rhythm.