2017 NBA All-Star Weekend


February is one of my favorite months for sports because of the Super Bowl, pitchers in MLB report to spring training, college basketball is starting to get down to the wire, and NBA All-Star Weekend. This year, the festive event will take place in New Orleans. I took a trip to New Orleans in May of 2015, and that was one of the best experiences of my life. The culture in “NOLA” is truly one of a kind. The original destination was Charlotte, but due to anti-gay laws within the state, the NBA elected to change locations. The NBA just hosted the All-Star Game New Orleans in 2014.

Besides Kyrie Irving’s belief that the world is flat, the most intriguing headline of the weekend is Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook reuniting as teammates. Their brotherly friendship has been derailed since KD’s departure to Golden State. The two has yet attempted to patch things up so that should make way for an interesting interaction in the locker room. 

The events for Saturday includes the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, JBL Three-Point Contest, and the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest. I’m picking Isaiah Thomas for the Skills Challenge, Nick Young for the Three-Point Contest, and Glenn Robinson III for the Slam Dunk Contest.

As for the NBA All-Star Game itself, I have Anthony Davis as the MVP. With that being said, I hope all the events live up to the hype! 
JGOOD

Katrina: 10 years later


Can you believe it’s been 10 years since one of the most catastrophic storms in this country’s history attacked New Orleans? The people that were affected knows first hand how it changed their lives. Rebuilding in the Big Easy has been difficult. Do you remember where you was at when this horrific event occurred? Do you remember the aftermath?

I remember I was at my grandmother’s house watching the coverage on television with my aunt and cousin.  It was the day before I started my senior year of high school. The only thing I remember seeing right before the storm was 4 people surfing in the background against towering waves. I was stuck thinking either the storm was not going to be as bad as advertised or… those people are idiots. Unfortunately, the people being idiots were accurate. Neighborhoods were drowning, cars looked like flotation devices, and homes were decapitated. People either left (some never came back), survived at the Superdome, or were taken by the hurricane. The citizens of NOLA were left hopeless for days without assistance from the government. There were people saying that New Orleans is a wasteland… just leave it be… there’s no hope.

The city of New Orleans was in for a long road to recovery. They were getting help from many charities. These people were trying to rebuild their lives one day at a time. One of the cornerstones to redemption for the city came a few months later in 2006. The New Orleans Saints signed Drew Brees.

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He was coming off a serious shoulder injury. The San Diego Chargers decided not to have negotiations with him after drafting Philip Rivers a year prior. The city needed a hero and Brees had something to prove. The things that Drew Brees has been able to accomplished during his tenure in the Big Easy has been untouchable. He has the highest completion percentage in NFL history. He also have the most 5,000 yard seasons in league history; most consecutive seasons with at least 4,000 yards (9); most consecutive games with a touchdown (54)…

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His biggest achievement was winning Superbowl XLIV against the Indianapolis Colts in 2009. That was probably the most meaningful Superbowl for any team in the past decade. The city rejoiced in emotion over what Drew and the Saints were able to achieve. Drew Brees has also started a charity to help relinquish New Orleans. He was everything that the city needed and more.

I went to visit New Orleans this past May and it was an incredible experience. From the music, the food, the buildings, the vibe… it is a place that’s incomparable. Check the link for some videos of my trip below:

New Orleans Bourbon Street

New Orleans French Quarter

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There are still some areas in New Orleans that has been revitalized from Katrina, but their culture hasn’t flinched. New Orleans is still around. That city has shown it’s ability to be resilient over the past decade. NOLA will continue to get back to it’s stature of being the heart of Southern Culture, one day at a time.

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JGood