Topics for this edition: Dwight Howard being a diva, Yeezus being average, and Daniel Bryan being awesome.
Dwight Howard Is A Diva: It feels like we just went through a whole saga with Dwight Howard. Probably because we did. When he wanted out of Orlando, then didn’t want out, then wanted everyone fired, then wanted out again, things dragged on for months before he was finally traded to the Los Angeles Lakers and it looked like things were resolved. But after a season of turmoil, here we are again. Dwight Howard is officially a free agent, the courting process has begun, and he’s already making demands.
According to an early report, Howard asked the Houston Rockets to add a third superstar, I guess feeling like he, James Harden, and an improving Chandler Parsons isn’t enough to compete for a championship. Because you can’t win an NBA title without having three max contract players, thus ruining your team’s future if things don’t quite work out.
Of course Howard doesn’t seem to realize that with the Lakers, he’s already playing with three stars in Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Steve Nash. But he doesn’t like the coach, who refuses to change his system and who won’t be fired.
So to appease Howard you need two other stars, a system he likes (meaning he gets his touches), a situation where he isn’t faced with pressure, teammates who won’t be too hard on him, media who won’t be too hard on him, a stock supply of headbands and arm wraps, knowing that he’s going to be a pain in the ass if he doesn’t get his away, a coach he likes and if he doesn’t like the a coach then a willingness to fire that coach, and a willingness to accept that he’s not going to improve at this point in his career. If you can accept all of those things and have $100 million to spare, congratulations, you just signed yourself a starting center.
To me, Dwight Howard isn’t worth it. I don’t want that kind of personality in my locker room, especially from a guy who hasn’t won anything. I’ll accept attitude problems from Kobe Bryant because he has five rings. I won’t accept attitude problems for Dwight Howard, not only because he hasn’t won anything, but he hasn’t proven to be a leader. Stan Van Gundy kept him in check in Orlando and we saw what happened when Van Gundy could no longer contain him, and it’s only gotten worse since then. Dwight is just wired differently, which is fine. LeBron James is wired differently than Michael Jordan, but LeBron is still winning. LeBron isn’t a liability in the final 2 minutes of a game. But at least I know LeBron wants to win. I’m not so sure Dwight cares about winning.
Dwight wants his touches. Dwight wants his money. Dwight wants no one to question him. And Dwight wants to have a good time. That’s all he cares about. If he wins, great. If he loses, he’s still smiling and cracking jokes.
I wouldn’t pay for that. I’d rather sign two or three players who fill various needs. Give me David West and Andre Iguodala. Or Tony Allen, Jarrett Jack, and Carl Landry. I can understand wanting Howard. He’s the best center in the league and a sometimes dominant force. But he’s 27, the back surgery still lingers, he hasn’t shown improvement over the years, and he’s a huge headache to deal with. He’s going to improve your team. But I don’t know if he helps your team win a championship.
Yeezus Is Average: Kanye West released “Yeezus” a couple of weeks ago. For the most part, it received rave reviews and was easily #1 on the billboard charts, even though sales were lower than expected. People heralded Kanye as a genius for trying something new and different in rap. That’s all fine and well, but trying something new doesn’t mean it’s any good.
“Yeezus” is a painfully average effort from Mr. West. The lyrics are basic, the message is played out, and the tracks are far too busy. Yes, Kanye tried something that we’d never heard before, so what? I’ll compliment him for thinking outside of the box, but I won’t praise him for releasing an average at best album just because he tried different thinks.
I realize that I’m never going to get the “College Dropout” or “Late Registration” Kanye anymore and I’m fine with that. Artists change and grow. I was perfectly happy with the “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” Kanye. “808’s and Heartbreak” Kanye sucked though. “Yeezus” Kanye wasn’t much better.
It’s like people are afraid to criticize Kanye though because he’ll throw a fit and take away access or they’re afraid to criticize him in fear of not fitting in with everyone else praising his ability to go off the board because they don’t want to look like they “don’t get it.” When it comes to production, Kanye is one of the best. He’s creative with his beats and samples, but lyrically he’s basic and “Yeezus” was a complete cluster.
I get what Kanye was going for. He wanted to declare himself a God and be spokesperson for black power. But come one. This guy is pussy whipped by Kim Kardashian and could cower if Kris Jenner shot him a dirty look. Only fools buy into Kanye’s game on “Yeezus.” Meanwhile J. Cole is providing lyrics and story on his new CD “Born Sinner” and yet he’s not nearly as praised by the mainstream media because I guess rap is no longer about lyrics and storytelling. It’s about simple rhymes and busy banging beats.
Daniel Bryan Rules Wrestling: Ever since he was Bryan Danielson, I’ve been a huge fan of Daniel Bryan. He’s succeeded in the WWE despite his size and perceived lack of charisma. Now he’s taken things to a whole new level.
He’s not only having a great match with whoever he’s paired with, he’s become a compelling character that the fans have gotten behind. He’s become the underdog babyface, out to prove that he wasn’t the weak link against The Shield and that he can be the top guy in the company. Whether fans are chanting “YES!” or “NO!” the people are getting behind Bryan and connecting with him.
I don’t watch wrestling as much as I used to, but I’ll go out of my way to see what Daniel Bryan is doing on a weekly basis because I know that it’s going to be good. Whether he’s in a match, cutting a promo, or just a backstage segment, I know that I’m going to entertained. And after all, wrestling is entertainment.
The problem with Bryan, which shouldn’t be held against him but ultimately will be, is that he’s most likely not going to move the ratings. Of course, no one moves the ratings for WWE at this point, especially for any significant amount of time, but don’t tell that to the McMahon’s. If they ultimately decide to put the title on Bryan, he’ll be blamed if the ratings/buyrates don’t go up or if they happen to drop a bit. It’s unfair since Bryan is doing the best he can and he’ll make a great champion as long as he’s booked correctly, but if you’re not moving the needle, the title goes right back on John Cena, who probably continue to main event PPVs even though he’s not the champion anyway.
No matter what the ratings say, there’s no denying that Bryan has become a superstar over these past few months and once you reach that level, the only way you’re brought back down is if you fail a drug test or get in trouble with the law, both of which are highly unlikely in the case of Bryan. And, as a now casual fan who doesn’t really care about ratings, I just want to not be insulted by the product. And Bryan doesn’t insult me with the way he wrestles or cuts promos. The more Daniel Bryan, the more I’ll be watching.