What The Russell Westbrook Trade Means For The Los Angeles Lakers

The quest to maximize whatever elite years remain in LeBron James took another turn, and perhaps the sharpest one yet, with the Los Angeles Lakers getting Russell Westbrook in a major Draft-day trade.

This was a deal that required the Lakers to cross their fingers while shaking hands with the Washington Wizards. That’s because, as combustible as Westbrook is — he’s rewritten all the triple-double records in the book — his skill-set fits only in certain systems and situations. Placing Westbrook next to LeBron and also Anthony Davis will require adjustments and sacrifices with everyone involved in this Big Three experiment, but especially with Westbrook.

First, the deal itself: Westbrook, the 2024 second-round pick and 2028 second-round pick go to the Lakers and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma and the 22nd pick go to Washington, as first reported by The Athletics’ Shams Charania.

Westbrook is easily the heavyweight in the deal, as a former MVP and nine-time All-Star who’s coming off his third career season averaging a triple-double – 22.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 11.7 assists in his only season with the Wizards.

Westbrook now goes to his fourth team in four years, and just as curious, he’s aligned with yet another superstar in an effort to develop championship chemistry. There was no payoff in Oklahoma City with Kevin Durant and then Paul George, or the Rockets with James Harden, and certainly not the rebuilding Wizards who had little to offer as help besides Bradley Beal.

With the exception of reaching the NBA Finals with Durant — and that happened almost 10 years ago — Westbrook has advanced as far as the conference finals just twice despite those starry tandems.

Westbrook proved last season at age 32 that he’s still a highly productive point guard who plays at a rapid pace. That aids him at reaching the rim for layups, pushing the ball upcourt on the fast break, and out-rebounding taller players even in traffic. It also results in turnovers, too, as a result of his high-risk, high-usage style.

He’ll be teammates with LeBron, a player he respects, and a player who’d be willing to adjust for someone of Westbrook’s caliber. One area where LeBron can and probably must sacrifice is ball-handling. While LeBron assumed that role since arriving in LA three years ago to great success, Westbrook is most effective with the ball. Without it, Westbrook must play off the ball, where his shooting issues become more glaring.

Also, Westbrook has never had a big man with Davis’ talent. Therefore, the change of scenery plus an uptick in the caliber of running partners should trigger something positive within Westbrook, or at least the Lakers hope.

Whether it results in another championship is anyone’s guess, though. LeBron and Davis are coming off a frustrating season because of injuries largely to blame for their first-round playoff exit. Now they’ll get a celebrated third partner who will allow them to recharge and reboot.

The reason for adding Westbrook is clear: The Lakers are doing whatever they can, within the constraints of the salary cap, to give LeBron as many swings at the championship plate as possible. With LeBron entering a 19th season, he’s running out of time to get a fifth ring. And Westbrook is running out of teams.

Source: NBA

After 105 Years, Cleveland Changing Name From Indians To Guardians After 2021 Season

Known as the Indians since 1915, Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team will next be called the Guardians.

The ballclub announced the name change Friday with a video on Twitter narrated by actor Tom Hanks, ending months of internal discussions triggered by a national reckoning by institutions and teams to permanently drop logos and names considered racist.

The name change is effective at the end of the 2021 season.

Cleveland’s new name was inspired by the large landmark stone edifices — referred to as traffic guardians — that flank both ends of the Hope Memorial Bridge, which connects downtown to Ohio City. As the team moved closer to making a final decision on the name, team owner Paul Dolan said he found himself looking closely at the huge art deco sculptures.

“Frankly, I hadn’t studied them that closely until we started talking about them and I should emphasize, we’re not named after the bridge, but there’s no question that it’s a strong nod to those and what they mean to the community,” he said following a news conference at the ballpark.

The organization spent most of the past year whittling down a list of potential names that was at nearly 1,200 just over a month ago. But the process, which the team said included 140 hours of interviews with fans, community leaders, front-office personnel and a survey of 40,000 fans, quickly accelerated, and the club landed on Guardians.

Dolan has said last summer’s social unrest, touched off by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, spurred his intention to change the club’s name.

“We do feel like we’re doing the right thing and that’s what’s driving this,” Dolan said. “I know some people disagree, but if anything I’ve gotten more and more comfortable that we’re headed in the right direction.

“And actually, the selection of the name solidifies that feeling because of the values that the name represents.”

The team’s colors will remain the same, and the new Guardians logos will incorporate some of the architectural features of the bridge.

In 2018, the Indians stopped wearing the contentious Chief Wahoo logo on their jerseys and caps. However, the team continues to sell merchandise bearing the smiling, red-faced caricature that has drawn protests from Native American groups for decades.

Cleveland’s change comes as the Washington Football Team continues to work toward a similar makeover. Washington recently said it will reveal a new name and logo in 2022.

Source: ESPN

‘Take Your F*cking China Flu, And Shove It Up Your A**!’ Beningo Fronsaglia And Other Florida Men Hurl Racist Abuse After Ramen Lab Eatery Tells Them To Eat Their Pizza Elsewhere

The Florida Men are at it again.

Ramen Lab Eatery, a ramen restaurant in Delray Beach, Florida, was the site of several instances of anti-Asian vitriol, perpetrated by three White men who intruded upon the outdoor tables of the restaurant while it was closing.

The men, who showed up and started unstacking chairs to sit and eat slices of pizza, began spewing profanity at a female employee after she asked them to leave so the restaurant could close.

You can see footage here:

The men grew increasingly irate after being approached by owner Louis Grayson, calling the female employee a “little bitch” and unprompted, saying to Grayson:

“Take your f*cking China flu, and shove it up your a**! A**hole, you f*cking Taiwanese ch*nk motherf**ker.”

Shortly after, Grayson called the police, which caused the men to run away.

Shortly after the incident, Grayson took the footage online.

“We have zero tolerance for violence,” Grayson wrote on the Ramen Lab Eatery’s Instagram page. “We are a honest hard working business. We stand against any type of racism, harassments and discrimination. We pride ourselves in having a multicultural environment.”

“Unfortunately, this situation was very heart breaking and will not break our spirits. We will not accept this type of behavior and attack on anyone and especially to our staff.”

It didn’t take Twitter sleuths long to identify at least one of the men.

One of the men was identified as Beningo Fronsaglia.

Twitter went digging for all the dirt.

Delray Beach police declined to investigate or press charges.

Source: Comic Sands

Pregnant Man And Multiracial Handshake Emojis Unveiled Before Launch

A pregnant man, a multiracial handshake and a face that cannot bear to watch are some of the emojis that will hit devices over the next year, according to a draft list published by the Unicode Consortium, which approves icons for use.

The new emojis, illustrated by Emojipedia to celebrate World Emoji Day on Saturday, all but complete the consortium’s drive to offer masculine, feminine and gender-neutral versions of every available emoji, as well as a selection of skintones.

Trans and non-binary pregnancies will now be represented in the emoji set, thanks to two new gender options for the “pregnant woman” emoji, while “person with crown” joins “prince” and “princess” for gender-neutral royalty.

The additions, which follow a similar update to the “bearded person” emoji that allowed users to choose between a masculine and feminine bearded face, “will mean that nearly all emojis can have default a gender-neutral option, with choice to use a woman or man where relevant”. said Jeremy Burge, the chief emoji officer of the reference site Emojipedia.

A few emojis remain without a gender-neutral option, largely in cases where it is unclear what an appropriate gender-neutral approach entails. The two dancer emojis, for instance, depict a male disco dancer and a female flamenco dancer: options under discussion include offering identically attired versions of each for other genders (allowing men to depict themselves dazzling in a red dress, for instance); offering gender-appropriate alternatives (with a new male flamenco dancer); or, the preferred option, deciding on a dancing style to offer in a gender-neutral version. Emojipedia has suggested breakdancing.

Elsewhere, the draft list contains support for handshakes between two hands with different skintones, hands making a heart-shape, and additional faces, such as “peeking eye”, “holding back tears” and “saluting”. There are also 20 new icons, including coral, a playground slide, a crutch, an X-ray and an empty battery.

Source: The Guardian

TK Kirkland: Parents Should Push Their Kids, Look At Floyd, Michael, Serena And Tiger

In this clip, TK Kirkland explained why some people are more gifted than others, including Eddie Murphy, who is gifted in the world of comedy. TK then spoke about other greats, including the Williams sisters, Tiger Woods, Michael Jackson, and Floyd Mayweather, as people who were pushed by their parents to be great. To hear his full argument on why some people “need a little dictatorship,” hit the above clip.

Oreo Creates Deceptive Camouflage Packs To Hide Cookies From Snack Thieves

The crisp, more understated nature of Oreo Thins makes them so much easier to pop into and hide in your mouth. But with their bags kept in plain sight, they’re still subjected to getting stolen by little hands.

To ensure adults can have their cookie and eat it too, Oreo has created the ‘OREO THINS Protection Program’, where Oreo Thin packets are sneakily disguised as objects to be slipped into areas kids probably wouldn’t think to look at.

For ultimate stealth, Oreo teamed up with industry experts Ford, Green Giant, Hanes, and Better Homes & Gardens to design the most convincing ‘2022 Maverick Owner’s Manual’, ‘Riced Veggies Cauliflower Medley’, ‘Tagless T-Shirts’, and ‘Cookbook’.

“We figured no one can eat your Thins if they can’t find them!” Oreo describes in a social media post.

Source: DesignTAXI

Trick Daddy Addresses Telling Black Women To “Tighten Up”

In this VladTV Flashback from 2017, Trick Daddy attempted to clarify what he meant when he told Black women to “tighten up” in comparison to other ethnicities of women. Trick stated that his statement wasn’t meant to be disrespectful and said that some women even seconded his comments. He even said that “half of ’em already tightened up.”