Sports

King James declares himself king of New York!

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Yesterday, November 13, 2017 at Madison Square Garden, LeBron James scored 23 points to help the Cleveland Cavaliers overcome a 23-point deficit and defeat the New York Knicks 104-101. The highlight of the game was when LeBron James dunked the basketball and  wouldn’t move out of the way as Knicks rookie Frank Ntilikina tried to take the ball back to the baseline to throw it in. Frank Ntilikina pushed LeBron James, who then exchanged words with Enes Kanter after he ran in. LeBron James shoved Enes Kanter, and both were given technical fouls.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Kanter had some more words for the man known as King James.

 

“I don’t care what you call yourself. King, Queen, Princess, whatever you are,” Kanter said of James. “You know what, we’re going to fight and nobody out there [is] going to punk us,” Kanter said.

 

When told of Kanter’s comment, James replied: “I’m the King, my wife is the Queen and my daughter is the Princess. So we got all three covered.”

 

Today, LeBron James declared himself the King of New York in an Instagram post, which became the fifth popular trend on Twitter. LeBron also referred to Madison Square Garden as his “favorite playground.”

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Sports

The 30th Anniversary of “The War”

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Three decades ago, on April 15, 1985, my all-time favorite boxing match occurred in Caesars Palace in Paradise, Nevada. Billed as “The War”, it was a world middleweight championship boxing match between Undisputed Champion “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler and challenger Thomas “The Hit Man” Hearns, who was himself the world’s junior middleweight champion. Many boxing fans considered the epic prizefight to be among the finest boxing matches in history, due to its constant action, drama, and back-and-forth exchanges. I considered “The War” the greatest middleweight championship boxing match of the 1980s. It had a great buildup and lived up to the hype. I can watch the fight numerous times because it had everything that makes a great fight.

Marvin Hagler

“Marvelous” Marvin Hagler had been the undisputed champion of the middleweight division for nearly five years by 1985. A dominant boxer, Marvin Hagler was renowned for his conditioning and durability, suffering only one official knockdown in his career, against Juan Domingo Roldan, an incident Hagler always insisted should have been ruled a slip. By the time he fought Thomas Hearns, Marvin Hagler had successfully defended the title ten times. He was approaching the middleweight record of 14 title defenses, held by Argentine boxing great Carlos Monzón, who was the middleweight champion for seven years.

Thomas Hearns

Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns was the number one ranked middleweight in the WBC, WBA, and IBF. He recently moved up from the welterweight to the junior middleweight to the middleweight division. Boxing enthusiasts regarded him as one of the hardest punchers of all time, winning 30 of his first 32 bouts by knockout. By 1985, Thomas Hearns defeated several middleweights including boxing great Roberto Durán by a dramatic second-round knockout. Thomas Hearns Hearns was named fighter of the year by The Ring magazine in 1980 and 1984. A prizefight with Marvin Hagler garnered significant media attention and fan interest around the world. It became the most intriguing matchup since Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns.

The Fight

Hagler and Hearns trading punches

From the moment the bell rang, the two prizefighters began trading power punches, with Marvin Hagler trying to get inside and to pin Thomas Hearns to the ropes. In the process, he succeeded in stunning Thomas Hearns with a hard left hand. Thomas Hearns tied up Marvin Hagler again and tried to slow the pace by boxing rather than trading power punches with Marvin Hagler, who was still the aggressor. The slugfest continued for the better part of the next two and a half minutes as both fighters traded heavy blows with little regard for defense or pacing. Marvin Hagler developed a cut on his forehead but didn’t slow as he pinned Thomas Hearns to the ropes and meted out more punishment, eventually hurting Thomas Hearns at the end of the round.

By the beginning of the second round, Thomas Hearns looked weary as he slowed the pace by boxing Marvin Hagler. Thomas Hearns stumbled several times as he attempted to move around the ring and change direction. Marvin Hagler experimented by switching to orthodox style for a moment but switched back to southpaw, as he found more success countering Thomas Hearns’ jab. By the end of the round, Marvin Hagler pinned Thomas Hearns to the ropes, successfully landing a volley of punches. The action in round two had slowed from the blistering pace of round one.

In round three, Thomas Hearns again tried to set the pace. Nearly a minute into the round, the cut on Marvin Hagler’s forehead inflicted in the first round opened up, resulted in a tremendous flow of blood down his face.

Referee Richard Steele halted the action to have the ringside physician examine Marvin Hagler. He informed Steele, “No the cut’s not bothering his sight, let him go.” Facing the new threat of losing the fight via stoppage on cuts, Marvin Hagler attacked Thomas Hearns with the aggression of the first round. A tremendous overhand left to the head drove Thomas Hearns back to the ropes. Thomas Hearns backed away, smiling to suggest the punch had not hurt him. Marvin Hagler landed a hard right hook high on Thomas Hearns’ head. The blow staggered Thomas Hearns, who awkwardly stumbled backwards into the ropes, Marvin Hagler running after him in hot pursuit. The champion smashed a vicious right hand to Thomas Hearns’ chin. Hearns went limp and fell forward, as Hagler landed two uppercuts. Thomas Hearns fell to the canvas. He staggered to his feet at the count of nine, but he was unable to continue. Referee Steele stopped the bout as he held Thomas Hearns upright. The image of a blood-soaked Marvin Hagler being carried around the ring in victory by his handlers and Thomas Hearns being carried back to his corner in semi-consciousness remains to this day a graphic testimony of the intensity of “The War.”

The Aftermath

Hagler & Hearns

“The War” was widely regarded as the pinnacle of Marvin Hagler’s career and cemented his legacy as one of the greatest middleweights of all time. Despite the loss, Thomas Hearns garnered a tremendous amount of respect from fans and boxing aficionados alike. The Ring called the fight “the most electrifying eight minutes ever,” and it won the fight of the year for 1985, despite lasting only three rounds.

 

By Shamarie Knight, 15th Apr 2015

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Music, News, Review

Happy 20th Anniversary of “Harlem World”

Harlem World

20 years ago today, on October 28, 1997, Ma$e released his classic debut album, Harlem World, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Pop and R&B LP charts selling over 270,000 copies in the U.S. its first week of release; it has since gone on to sell 3.3 million copies in the United States. Hits such as “Feel So Good” (U.S. #5), “What You Want” (U.S. #6), and “Lookin’ at Me” (U.S. #8) helped make the album a success and Ma$e a star. He was the new prince of Harlem.

Joining Ma$e on Harlem World was the rap elite that included Puff Daddy, Jay-Z, DMX, The Lox, Busta Rhymes and Lil’ Kim. The album featured production by Puff Daddy and his Hit Men, Jermaine Dupri and The Neptunes. The soulful and pop samples blended well with the well-crafted lyrics of Ma$e. His slow cadence was something fresh in hip-hop at the time and he proved that Harlem was on the rise. Harlem World definitely captured the energy and glamour of Harlem.

Mase told MTV about his first solo effort: “Well, basically what I’m trying to establish is a strong identity and foundation for Ma$e so a lot of people could know that Ma$e is his own person and Ma$e can do other things besides rap and music and things in that nature.”

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short story

A Little Moment Of Joy

Boro Taxi

It was a hot and humid Sunday evening in New York as I drove my apple green Boro taxi up the dark, energetic streets of Harlem. Chris Brown’s “New Flame” song serenaded the taxi as I hit 125th Street. There were so many half-dressed young white people getting off packed public buses and making their way down into the Lexington Avenue 125th Street Subway Station. I knew they just came from partying at Randall’s Island for Electric Zoo 2014.

A short, elderly caramel complexioned woman clad in a royal-blue dress and matching hat flagged me down. She was holding two black suitcases. I immediately stopped in front of her and got out of my car. I read an article online that 125th Street & Lexington Avenue was the most violent area in East Harlem. I didn’t want any crazed person attacking this elderly woman.

“Hi, sir! Would you mind carrying my bags to the car?” She asked.

“Sure.” I told her.

I put her suitcases in the trunk. Then I took the elderly woman’s hand, and we walked slowly to the taxi. I opened the door for her and helped her inside. I made sure she was comfortable before I closed the door.

“Thank you! You are such a gentleman.” She said.

“Thanks, I do my best to give my passengers the greatest taxi ride possible.”

“You’re sweet.” She replied.

When I got back inside my taxi, I asked her, “Where are you going?”

“Can you take me to 74th Street and West End. Take the longest way possible because I’m not in the rush to get there.” She continued. “My granddaughter would be there waiting for me in a few hours. I want to enjoy the scenery of the city one last time.”

“One last time?” I was confused.

“My doctor says I don’t have very long to live.” She murmured. “So I want to stay with my granddaughter till its time for me to go to heaven. She’s the only family I have left.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.” I felt.

I gazed at the rear-view mirror and saw tears rolled down her caramel face. I shut the meter off and began driving down Lexington Avenue. I didn’t care about the fare. The only thing on my mind was driving her around Manhattan.

As I drove downtown on the East Side, she became loquacious and shared some things about her life. Her name was Rose and she born in 1928. She worked for Madison Square Garden and the Twin Towers. Rose was married for 40 years before her husband died of cancer two years ago at Lenox Hill Hospital. She pointed at the buildings she resided in and the schools her children attended. Rose would occasionally ask me to slow down in front of particular streets. I watched her stared into the darkness and be mute. It was strange!

“You can drive now, dear.” Rose finally spoke after snapping out of her trance.

“Are you hungry? I’ll take you to your favorite food spot. It’ll be my treat.” I expressed. “I’d like to feed you before taking you home.”

“No, I’m fine.” Rose replied. “I’m tired. I’m ready to go home.”

The sunlight made the streets glowed as I drove to the address Rose told me. It was The Esplanade Residence for Senior Living. I pulled up in front of the building and a tall, light-skinned Black woman with long black hair approached the taxi. She was expecting us and I assumed it was Rose’s granddaughter.

I opened the trunk and got out of the taxi.

“Good morning.” I said to the tall woman.

“Hi.” She smiled at me.

I helped her with the suitcases and then I slowly walked Rose to the building. I was feeling both happy and sad. My short adventure around Manhattan with Rose meant a lot to me.

“How much do I owe you?” Rose asked, reaching into her mahogany purse.

“Don’t worry about it, it’s taking care of.” I told her. “I hope you have a great day.”

Then I bent down and gave her a hug. Rose held onto me tightly.

“Thank you, for giving an old lady a little moment of joy.” Rose whispered in my ear. “I appreciate it.”

I squeezed her hand, and shook the granddaughter’s hand. Then I hopped back in my taxi and drove off. I was lost in my own thoughts. I could not believe what just happened. It felt like a movie. Rather, it felt like a dream. But it was one of the greatest moments of my life.

I put the radio on and Keyshia Cole’s “Heaven Sent” was playing. That moment, I looked down and saw a crisp one hundred dollar bill on the seat. I knew it was there before, which was uncanny. I began smiling because I knew it was a blessing.

“Rose, I hope you prove your doctor wrong and live much longer than anticipated.” I said. “God bless you!”

By Shamarie Knight, 1st Sep 2014

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News

Iconic Playboy founder Hugh Hefner dies at the age of 91

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“Life is too short to be living somebody else’s dream.” – Hugh M. Hefner

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has passed away peacefully at his home, the Playboy Mansion, at the age of 91 from natural causes. The iconic ladies’ man was surrounded by his loved ones. The tragic news of his death became an instant top trend on Twitter.

“My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom,” Hefner’s son Cooper said in a statement. “He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history. He will be greatly missed by many.”

In an interview for Larry King’s 2004 book, Remember Me When I’m Gone, the original playboy Hugh Hefner shared his thoughts on his legacy at Playboy and beyond.

“I’d like to be remembered as someone who played some part in changing our hurtful and hypocritical views on sex ― and had a lot of fun doing it.”

Hugh Hefner is survived by his wife, Crystal, and his children Cooper, Christie, Marston and David.

The most famous playboy in the world will be buried next to iconic sexy symbol Marilyn Monroe, Playboy’s first cover star.

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News

‘Goodfellas’ star Frank Vincent dead at 80

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Frank Vincent, famously known for  portraying mobsters and tough guys in film and TV died yesterday, on September 13, 2017, from heart surgery after a heart attack. He was 80 years old. The news of his sudden passing became a top trend on social media.

Vincent’s family issued a statement Thursday, obtained by CNN through his publicist Morgan Pesante.

“Legendary actor and accomplished musician Frank Vincent has passed away peacefully at the age of 80 surrounded by his family on September 13, 2017. We ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time,” the family’s statement read.

Born in North Adams, Massachusetts, and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey, Frank Vincent began his legendary acting career in 1976 when he co-starred in the crime film “The Death Collector” alongside with Joe Pesci. Then he appeared in Martin Scorsese’s classic film “Raging Bull” that sparked the first of many epic collaborations between him, Joe Pesci and Roberto De Niro, including “Casino” and Goodfellas”. He delivered the iconic line, “Go home and get your shine box!” as Billy Batts in “Goodfellas.” Frank Vincent had small roles in two Spike Lee films in 1989 and 1991 respectively: Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever.

Frank Vincent was also known for portraying Phil Leotardo on the hit HBO TV series “The Sopranos”. The hip hop generation remembered him in rap artist Nas’ 1996 music video for “Street Dream” as his character from “Casino” and playing a mobster in “New York Undercover”. More recently, he starred in the movie “Chicago Overcoat” and made a cameo in an episode of “Stargate Atlantis”.

In addition to his film and TV career, he was an author that co-wrote the book “A Guy’s Guide to Being a Man’s Man”.

R.I.P. Frank Vincent!

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