The NBA Sunk Contest

Talk to me young world.  It’s been a minute since we last rapped.  I wanted to touch basis with my people for a few ticks and  see where y’all are at with it.

I just happened to stumble up on the NBA slam dunk contest last night as I strolled into my favorite watering hole to enjoy a nice cold IPA.  Yes I’m a beer snob, but that’s not what’s in question right now.  The actual question is has the NBA slam dunk contest gone to a sunken place?

get out

The above picture describes my feelings about the dunk contest perfectly without saying a word.  It’s not that the contest didn’t exhibit some entertaining feats of athleticism that the majority of the human family couldn’t come remotely close to doing, because the contestants did have hops.  The problem was that the star power was nowhere to be found and hasn’t been for a while.

Now I admit that I haven’t been keeping up with the NBA these days like I used to because honestly I’m not a fan of the way the game is played in contemporary times.  The one thing that hasn’t changed is the raw athleticism that these boyz bring to the table, but the way that professional basketball was played when I grew up is pretty much extinct.  So naturally my interest in watching basketball has waned at about the same pace as the game has morphed into what it is today.  I wouldn’t say that it’s a worse brand of ball, just not my personal flavor.

Saying all of that, I’m not very familiar with the current players if they don’t play for my hometown Houston Rockets or are not big name players that get talked about regularly on sports talk media outlets.  Out of the four poster makers that participated in the contest I only knew who 2 of them were.  I’ve never heard of the Maverick’s Dennis Smith Jr or the eventual winner Utah’s Donovan Mitchell.  I knew who Indiana’s Victor Oladipo was because he not only mashed in previous slam dunk contests, he was a part of the trade that brought one of my favorite players in Paul George to OKC.

If Larry Nance Sr hadn’t won the inaugural NBA slam dunk contest in 1984 against the likes of an aging , yet iconic, Julius “Dr. J” Irving and an up and coming Dominique Wilkins I wouldn’t have had a clue who Nance Jr was either.

While the four high flyers brought the crowd to their feet several times throughout the duration of the contest I found myself underwhelmed.  Not only due to Oladipo’s 150 failed attempts at making the same dunk(even though he did wear The Black Panter’s mask for one of ’em), but I had none of my favorite players to cheer for like I did when I was a youngster.

Ok let me clear the old school dust out of my throat as I take a trip down “back in my day” lane.  I remember when the NBA dunk contest was must see TV for me.  I didn’t give a damn about the All-Star game itself or the rest of the season for that matter as much as I did for the post 3 point contest mash off.

In those days the NBA’s best players/brightest stars competed against each other for the title of Lord of Dunk.  There was nothing like seeing the Human Highlight Film aka ‘Nique powering his way to a 50 point perfect score using his explosive two-feet take off style verses the Michael “Air” Jordan one foot artistic gliding style that was full of flare and finesse.  It just so happened that those two brothas were also battling for NBA scoring titles throughout their primes.

Everybody, and I mean EV-ER-Y damn BODY wanted to see those two go at it on All-Star Saturday night.  Add in the 5’7 Anthony Spud Webb, Clyde “The Glyde” Drexler, Shawn “Rain Man” Kemp,  The Mamba, Vince Carter, T Mac, Stevie “Franchise” Francis etc, and you could get even the most fringest of the fringe fan to tune in.


I mean even without the names, you still have solid dunkers like Zach LaVine who won the 2015 and 2016 dunk contests.  He out-dueled fellow sky walker Aaron Gordon in 2016 to bring home the trophy in consecutive years, even though I thought Gordon should’ve won.  You judge for yourself ‘cuz this was a classic baby.

Last night I saw some cool dunks, but none of them were as memorable as Jordan from the free throw line, ‘Nique’s two hand wind mill, Carter’s reverse 360 windmill, or even Gerald Green’s cupcake dunk in my opinion.  Congrats to Mitchell for his well deserved victory though.  He laid down some nice dunks, including a tribute to Vince Cater, when he imitated Carter by wearing his Raptors’ jersey and performing one of VC’s dunks from the 2000 mash fest.  He didn’t get off of the ground like Vince though.  Well very few people in history could have.

Gerald Green

It seems that today’s top players aren’t the explosive dunkers of yesteryear.  Steph Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard aren’t known as phenomenal “dunkers” even though they all can technically dunk.  Lebron James and Russell Westbrook are both devastating in game dunkers, but have their own reasons for not being a part of it.  Here’s an article explaining Westbrook’s  position on taking part.

My suggestion to the NBA is to go outside of the NBA confines and host a world wide street ball dunk contest competition where the world’s best square off against each other and the winner enters the NBA competition on All-Star weekend.  I think that would get the fans into it.  Maybe that’s just a pipe dream though, because the NBA probably wouldn’t want to risk it’s reputation as sitting atop of the basketball hierarchy by letting a non member member show up it’s stars.

Either way I’d love to see the dunk contest make a strong consistent comeback by any means necessary.


The Rockets Are Building a Wall in SE Texas

Look out Young World.  It’s Ya manz 12 broadcasting live from the Corner Store.

I just read an article on about how the Houston Rockets are quietly putting together a nice defensive roster.  I noticed the direction that they were going in a few weeks ago when they were rumored to have traded for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ wing Iman Shumpert after trading for Chris “CP3” Paul, but instead signed P.J. Tucker who has been described as a bigger Patrick Beverly.  Instead of just rehashing the off-season moves that the dream shake covered very thoroughly, I’ll just share the link so that you can see for yourself what the Rockets are building over there in Downtown Houston.

I’m glad that MY Rockets aren’t just waiting around for the Melo deal to manifest itself.  I’ve made it known that Melo is one of my all-time favorite players and I’ll lose my Rockets loving mind if they actually punch this damn thing in ‘cuz they’ve been at the two yard line for a few quarters now, but I’ll be a homerized fool to think that just by adding Melo’s shooting touch and post game will automatically put us in position to beat the Warriors.

The Dubz can not only chuck it, they can pick it too, like they used to say in the Negro Baseball Leagues.  Everyone concentrates on how they put the ball in the hoop from behind the 3 point arc, but very rarely are they complemented by the average fan for the hard nose defense that they play.  It looks like MY Rox are following that same blueprint by bringing in these defensive minded players to help US make a run at this thing.  They have no other choice but to make these moves ‘cuz we all know that they would literally be insane if they thought that doing what D’Antoni has always done will get us to the top of Kilimanjaro.  Hopefully OUR defense will be good enough to earn a playa nickname like some of the NFL’s best defenses have earned.  I know maybe they’ll call US


Now in the name of his highness Hakeem Olajuwon, please finalize this Melo deal so that we can see just how interesting the Western Conference will get.  And of course we’ll be on #LebronWatch2018 after that.

We ain’t never satisfied


Goodbye Lance Parody

Today marks the final day that my All-Time favorite sports talk host takes a break from sports talk radio.  I’ve been listening to my man Lance Zierlein for over 20 years like a lot of other sports talk enthusiasts in the greater Houston area have been.  LZ, as he is commonly referred to as, always gave me a lane to express my love for music and sports by playing my goofy sports parodies over the airwaves.  So here’s my swan song for my boy(Even though we’ve never actually chilled or met) LZ.



Rivers’ Rant: Bubba-Chuck, Earl & Me. Me and the boy A.I. got more in common than just ballin’ and rhymin’


I’m back like a rebel causing trouble, an assassin kicking ass on the double. And there’s not a muthafucka alive that’s gonna stop me, so fuck you and your punk ass posse.

Basketball and hip-hop go together like PB&J. No player/artist comparison displays that better than the astounding careers of Allen Iverson and DMX.

You’ve probably never thought about how similar the two are.

  • Both are great among stiff competition
  • Careers blew up in 1998
  • Both could’ve been so much more of not for personal demons

nas quote

In the 90’s hip-hop and basketball had finally surpassed their older counterparts like rock, football and baseball, in the cool department with the teen demographic. Hip-hop was our religion and the court was church. The Source and SLAM magazines were holy books. You were shunned if you didn’t know who was on the McDonald’s all-star team or the latest hip hop quotable.

I first heard DMX on the underground classic ‘Time’s Up’ by Mic Geronimo. He was featured on the song along with Jay Z and Ja Rule. Of course it was a banger, but I didn’t hear anything special in him.

When 2Pac and Biggie were tragically taken away it left a giant hole in the game. A lot of fans were like ‘OH SHIT, WHAT WE GONE DO NOW?!’ Sure things survived, but the only people moving units was Em, Pimp Juice and Jay. Dope as they may be, they just didn’t have the ruggedness or sincerity of 2Pac. They could make hits just nothing that touched the soul.

There were more Pac pretenders than contenders. Take ya pick from Lil Zane to Lil Wayne with more bandanas than shirts and more tattoos than talent. Then there was X.

‘Stay out dark/ Cause if I catch you when the sun is down/ run it clown…’

4, 3, 2, 1 came with four lyrical titans, Red and Mef, Canibus, LL and DARK MAN X. Everybody on that song was fire. It’s probably better known for the Canibus and LL beef, ok it’s only known for that, but for most people that was their first time hearing DMX. The others spoke about their skills and metaphorically hurting you, but not X, he said he was gonna rob you if he saw you once it got dark and you believed him. He went on to release two highly aggressive singles that had everybody barking.


Allen Iverson came in like a whirlwind breaking the ankles of guards and disrespectfully dunking on centers. Like X he was featured on a hood classic that was Georgetown University with the great John Thompson and the not so great Othello Harrington. At the time Othello was the highest rated high school player of all time and was recruited to be the next great big man from Georgetown, but ended up being just alright. Harrington had a nice left hand, but came to the Rockets and wasn’t shit, but I digress. The Hoyas had recently added a kente cloth-like pattern to the jerseys and by the power of Alonzo Mourning they were cool again.

Allen Iverson was the first guard to be given the green light and boy did he use it. At first he played to the beat of Elder Thompson’s drum then in year three… RELEASE THE KRAKEN! The loss to North Carolina must’ve made John take it to streets and let little Allen takeover. When they got to the dance Hoyas were the sexy pick to win it all. They spanked the first round opponent, but it was their second round foe, The Texas Tech Red Raiders, where it got personal.

I’ve been posterized once in my life and it was by Gracen Avril, an all American McDonald all-star. You don’t know the amount of joy I felt as Bubba Chuck just destroyed him and the Red Raiders. Every time he scored on him it felt like I scored. The most memorable moment was in the final minutes of the game. The camera panned to the sideline and caught none other than Gracen Avril crying like a baby. I know I’m being Petty Riley, but it was at that very moment Iverson became my favorite player.

chuck in philly

It wasn’t until 1998 when these two guys really took over. Allen Iverson fresh off shaking the shit out of Jordan,  won the first of his three straight scoring titles and made cornrows and tattoos a prerequisite for urban basketballers. DMX dropped his first of three platinum records with two in ‘98 alone becoming the first hip hop artist to do so. It looked as if both guys were primed to take over the game only to be out shined by their more business minded monsters with clear cut plans for greatness, Kobe and Jay Z.


Addiction: a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble)
: an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something.

Both of these greats suffered tremendous losses and setbacks because of addiction. I would be here all day trying to document and recount each crazy ass headline involving these two but fuck it. DMX once slept under a table at a charity event for underprivileged kids due to “exhaustion” and no matter what Bubba-Chuck momma said the rumors of him being drunk with a pistol dragging his woman, who may or may not had on clothes, down the street never quite went away.

x evolution

For all the money they made they both were constantly dogged by rumors of being broke and close to rock bottom, but who knows? We talking about some game dogs that we loved for their pride, the giant size chips on their shoulders and the size of the fight in them. It’s been said that Allen has a mean nest egg he has to live to 65 before he can touch. He’s also doing something with Ice Cube so there is hope yet. DMX on the other hand looks pretty bad. He’s become the crackhead uncle of hip-hop. I have faith that he’ll come around and shock us with that Rudolph the red nose reindeer Christmas album. As for Gracen Avril. He’s a productive member of society and a great father. Currently training his young son to dunk on some words writing ass nigga like me.

Peace and harmony, Rivers

Introducing our newest Contributor…H-Town Wolverine

What’s the good word young World?  It’s ya boy 12 and I wanna introduce and welcome an old friend of mine to the Corner store and our fam(you the readers).  He goes by the name of the H-Town Wolverine and he’ll be providing articles from his unique perspective, just like all of the rest of the Corner Store contributors.  I asked him to shoot me few points about himself that I can pass along to the crew(you the readers), and this is what he sent me…

  • 39 year old white male, network engineer by day, rabid sports fan by night. Former Baseball Player, Former Student Trainer, Jackhammer of all trades, and one stubborn bastard…
  • – Teams –

o Any and ALL things Michigan Wolverines

o Big Ten Conference

o Houston Astros

o Houston Texans

o Houston Rockets

o Houston Dynamo

o Can we get a Hockey Franchise in Houston already?

  • – Favorite Quotes:

o “I don’t take vacations. I don’t get sick. I don’t celebrate major holidays. I’m a jackhammer. “- Jim Harbaugh

o “Attack each day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind” – Jim Harbaugh

o “Never underestimate the heart of a champion.” – Rudy Tomjanovich

o “1, 2, 3, NUT CHECK!!!” -Fab Five

Does The Sports Media Intentionally Promote The Narrative of The Absentee Black Father?

Young World, Young World, oh my Young World!  I’m greeting you from my favorite place on Planet Earth, The Corner Store.  I feel like the God YHWH of the Bible when it was written that he rested after putting in all of that work.  I’ve been digging in deep in regards to taking in some NFL draft coverage over the last week.  The draft was held in Philly, Pa from April 27-29 and as usual I treated it like a three day vacation from the real world cuz I can do that.

My primary mission was to see who my beloved Houston Texans were gonna add to the mix in order to help us get over the hump(Patriots) and stay competitive for the foreseeable future.  I must say that I was pretty krunk about the additions of Former Clemson QB Deshaun “National Champ” Watson in the 1st round and the 2,000 yard rusher from the University of Hook’em Horns(Texas), and Houston/Galveston area(Texas-City) native D’onta Foreman.  I didn’t know much about the other picks, but I watched their highlights and looked over the player profiles provided by two of my most trusted draft resources in Lance Zierlein and Jayson Braddock.



It would seem that we Texans fans have a lot to look forward to.  I believe with the acquisition of Watson, somebody has finally put a stopper at the base of our proverbial revolving door at the quarterback position.  All I have to say about that, and I’m sure that many a Texans fan will agree, is “Bout damn time!  This young man is going to do some special things in the NFL and I’m glad that he’s going to be doing it for my city’s franchise.

Many of you may have heard about Watson’s upbringing and it’s not much different than plenty of other young men that were drafted by the professional sports leagues in the US.  He was raised by a single mother in a rough area, but in contrast from most other stories, his family was blessed to receive a home that was presented to them by former NFL and Florida St Seminole(Go Noles) running back Warrick Dunn.

I sat through most of the draft and one story line became all too familiar.  Many of these young men, especially the black ones, didn’t have their father’s in their lives.  I’m not going to go into all of the social commentary on why I believe that is, and it’s nothing new since we hear the same narrative every draft season, but for whatever reason it just touched me enough this time around that I wanted to speak on it.

I decided to go at it from a different angle this time.  Today’s media is all about the click and I can’t explain why, but the clickers are drawn to the negative.  Even if it’s a feel good story like Watson’s that tells the tale of a young man that overcame all of the adversity he faced to become a highly coveted target in the 2017 NFL draft, it sometimes seems that the selling point isn’t that they conquered the issue.  It seems to me that sometimes the press wants to sensationalize the issue itself.

I’m actually starting to wonder if the majority of these athletes really did grow up without fathers in their lives or is that the only story line that the mic holders want put out?  It’s like they seek out the brothers that came from a broken home so that they can spin that angle.  I’m not saying that they make up these stories, or that they twist the words of the athletes in question, but I just feel like they seek out the hardship stories so that they can have a better story to report.

It may seem innocent, but if that’s all that, or most of what they are reporting then it leaves the viewing audience believing that growing up without a father is just part of being an African American.  Same way as when I was growing up, I thought everyone in Africa looked like the starving children in Ethiopia on those commercials who were being swarmed by flies and obviously suffering from malnutrition because that’s all I saw on TV about Africa.  That couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve met dozens of Ethiopians and none of them look or have lived like that. I’ve met native born Africans from different parts of the continent and none of them have ever been starving like those commercials led me to believe.  True there are people starving in certain parts of Africa, but there are people starving in the 3rd Ward of Houston, Tx.  No one can paint the entire country of America as a nation of starving people because there is a pocket of the population that can’t enjoy a meal at their leisure.

I mean, I haven’t heard a lot about the quarterback that was selected by the Chiefs two slots before Watson’s name was called by my Texans(still krunk), Patrick Mahomes II.  He was raised by a black father who happened to be a professional baseball pitcher.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been articles written about Mahomes II hanging at the major league parks with his pops and there will continue to be mentions of it. I even found a quote from about some jewels that the elder Mahomes dropped on his namesake.

“He gives me advice about how he transitioned into becoming a pro athlete and the work that you actually have to put into it,” Mahomes II said. “Not a lot of people see that when you’re growing up. You don’t get to see that people really have to work hard to become as good as they are. So, for me seeing that as a young age as I’ve grown up, has shown me that I have to work just as hard to get to that level.”

That’s a shining example of a Black father passing vital information onto his son.  All the stories aren’t heartbreaks and headaches.  It may just be me being sensitive, but I don’t see as much eagerness to push out stories of black fathers and sons building the kinds of bonds that result in boys growing into responsible young men.

So I’ll post a few of these positive images just to balance out all of the absentee black father imagery.

You probably recognize most of the athletes in these photos, but there’s probably one that you don’t. The black and white picture on the left is Texans wide out Jaelen Strong with his late father “Big” John Rankin.
Here’s an interview from of the latest Texans 4th round pick Juile’n Davenport.  He spoke about how spending time with his father kept him on the right path.
One of my favorite sports talk radio shows is Sports Talk 790s In The Trenches hosted by former NFL players Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu. I’ve heard N.D. speak on occasion about how his father stressed education and staying upright as a man. So I took it upon myself to reach out to brotha Kalu and ask him how his father influenced his direction and how much did it mean to him to have a father in his​ corner; especially during draft time. Here is his response.
“Man, words can’t express how much of an impact my father has had in my life.  Regarding the draft it was huge because it was such an emotional roller coaster.  Though we see so many great black men who only had their mother’s influence, for me I needed that man to teach me daily what it means to be a man through his words and actions.  I see on so many occasions when black men struggle or don’t get “their way” female like tendencies surface.  One minute I’m being told I could go as high as the 3rd round and then the next minute I’m seeing guys I knew I could out play getting their names called before mine.  Though disappointed, I still would just think about how good it was going to feel making a final roster and my dad’s words etched into my brain telling me that if I’m good enough, it won’t matter where I was drafted. Seeing how proud he was when Ray Rhodes of the Philadelphia Eagles called him and asked to speak to his son in the 5th round made all the gassers, Oklahoma drills and Bull in the Rings worth it!”
I appreciate N.D. for bringing the Trenches to the Corner Store for a few ticks and laying it down honestly like that.  Those are the type of stories that rarely see the light of day.
 Lastly I’d like to post a quote from the aforementioned, and pictured, D’onta Foremen talking about the warm moment he and his father shared when they found out that their favorite team, the Houston Texans, had drafted him in round 3 of the 2017 NFL draft.  This quote is also taken from’s lead writer Deepi Sidhu.
“He was just smiling and saying he was so proud of me,” Foreman said. “It was pretty emotional for him, for all of us honestly – for me being drafted was a dream come true – but for me to be able to be a Texan, his favorite team, is crazy. I’m ready to get to work. I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a great journey.”
Unfortunately there are too many stories of young black children growing up without their fathers.  I’m not interested in making any excuses or psychoanalyzing it at the moment.  I just want to say that we as black men in general have to get on the good foot and stay active in the lives of our children.  I’m absolutely positive that there are thousands of stories of us that take up the necessary time with our children, but it never makes a headline.
I’ll be the first to say that my father, my grandfather, my uncles, my older male cousins, some of my big homies, and some of my OGs played major roles in steering me in the right direction.  My goal is to do the same for my Suns, daughters, nieces, nephews, and the other ‘Lil homies that I come across on a daily basis. I’m certain someone will point out that the picture of Shaq is with his step father Phil so in essence his father wasn’t there either. I beg to differ. His father is the MAN that’s smiling right next to him. I commend a MAN who raises another man’s child when that man isn’t MAN enough to carry out his responsibility.
I’m not Elijah Muhammad or Farrakhan, but I agree when they say that it’s up to us to tighten up our own backstroke.  If there’s no pool in the hood then we need to pool our resources and build a pool.

Episode 1 of The New Corner Store Sports Talk Podcast

It’s the middle of the night young world and yes I’m still loitering at my favorite corner store cuz I ain’t got no life.  But really I just came up here to invite u to check out how we popped our proverbial podcast cherry last Friday morning.  Speaking of my boy DC and myself.  It’s just the beginning for our weekly show and we got big plans for that thang.  So if u have an hour to spare give it the once around and get back with us with ur Ish(Shit) Talk or Props. Just get back at us.