Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Music: Jay Complex - WildFire (Bonfire Freestyle)

Here's a pretty dope freestyle of Childish Gambino's track, "Bonfire" done by my bruh and former ACCC blog mate Jay Complex. He's based out in Nassau and he's pretty ill on the bars. So if y'all could just help me please check out the freestyle below and hit the links to peep the mixtapes too and let me know what y'all think on twitter (@Jabber_Wocky) or Facebook if you got me as a friend or better yet hit up the artist himself on twitter @JayComplex and let him know what you think.

Mixtapes: The Underdog Mixtape and b.l.i.s.s.

Peace and Much Love to Ya :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mixtape: Chris Brown - Boy In Detention

Chris Brown has been working hard on his music since his rise back to popularity with his album release F.A.M.E. earlier this year. His latest effort however, is coming to his fans in the form of his first hip-hop/rap mixtape. I must say that it is actually pretty good for a first mixtape. The second half of the mixtape is considerably better than the start, but the project is still a well rounded compilation of hip hop based songs from Breezy. It features a wide array of hard hitting beats that really seam the mixtape together well from top to bottom. Also that is some dope cover art for a mixtape shout out to the artist, Mina Kwon. Without further ado, enjoy!

Download Mixtape

Peace and Much Love to Ya :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Throwback Thursday Vol. 1.0

In an order to post on a more frequent basis I'm gonna post something every Thursday that was influential in the past and has either been forgotten or had a lengthy legacy. It could be music, movies, sports, shoes, style trends etc... you get the idea. Anyway here's the first throwback: The Nike Air More Uptempo (1996).

Now y'all might be thinking "they're just shoes" but to me these were the first real pair of shoes that I was proud to rock on the playground. I was 6 years old and I begged my ass off to my parents to buy me a pair of Air Jordan XI's but they were mad expensive and my parents weren't about to spend a whole lot of money on kicks so instead they bought me the much more affordable Uptempos and from that day forward I was a sneaker head for life. They were to me at that point in my life the best shoes I'd ever had.

What made them even cooler to me was that they were worn by one of my favourite players in the NBA in Scottie Pippen. I grew up as a Bulls fan and Michael Jordan was my favourite player (I used to watch a video called "Come Fly With Me" which was about Jordan's life in the NBA, pretty much every single day) and of course I rooted for Scottie too so when I found out the shoes I was wearing were the same ones he wore on the court I felt like maybe the shoes had magical powers and I would become a better basketball player (It's gotta be the shoes right?). And for that the Nike Air More Uptempo's will forever be remembered by me and for other shoe aficionados it'll just be the fact that they were one of the most stylish kicks of the mid 90's that embodied the fast rising hip-hop culture revolution that was taking place.

Let me know what y'all consider your first "real" pair of kicks to be in the comments box.

Peace and Much Love to Ya :)

Raptors Draft Review

“With the 5th Pick in the 2011 NBA Draft the Toronto Raptors select Jonas Valanciunas...”

Mere seconds after NBA Commissioner David Stern uttered those words I took to twitter and was not surprised at the reaction of my fellow Raptors fans. The subsequent tweets that followed from Raptors fans were very much calling for Raptors general manager, Bryan Colangelo, to trade the pick to get Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker or Kawhi Leonard depending on who Raptors fans wanted but one thing was certain: no one wanted Valanciunas. I personally was very happy with the pick (maybe even ecstatic) of Valanciunas at the end of the day (I was not so pleased with the fact that the Raptors couldn’t acquire a 2nd round pick to use on Josh Selby or Isaiah Thomas). At least he didn’t take Bismack Biyombo (great name aside he is way too raw and has buyout issues and is a shorter version of current Raptors project: Solomon Alabi in my opinion).

The frustration of the pick for Raptors fans stems directly from Andrea Bargnani’s 1st overall selection in 2006 and the Euro style of play the Raptors have unsuccessfully tried to play since he was drafted. Bargnani is the most polarizing player on the Raptors because although he can score 20+ points per game, the consistency isn’t there and in 5 years he still hasn’t learned how to play defense and lacks the drive to rebound the ball even though he is 7 feet tall and more athletic than most bigs. Even Colangelo (his biggest supporter) seems to be running out of patience with Andrea as he called him an enigma in the exit interviews after the season and made some pointed comments about Andrea’s development on the defensive end. Valanciunas is unfairly being cast as another Andrea simply because he’s physically a carbon-copy of what Bargnani was like in ’06 (Legit 7 footer who’s athletic but too frail for the NBA, worst thing he did was admit it which fired up the naysayers to heights unseen). However, I’m glad the Raptors took him at 5 and here’s why.


He’s long (like really long), agile, and very fluid while running the floor and at only 19 years old he’s a bigman with a lot of promise who still has potential to grow over 7 ft and of course fill out physically. In terms of his style of play he is the exact opposite of Bargnani. His game is much more North American than European. He is much more comfortable playing in the low post and his range only extends to about 12-15 feet. He is surprisingly a really good free throw shooter which should translate to a good mid range game with some time and work. He is at this point much better on the defensive end. He is intimidating in the post because he is so long and he plays with a lot of heart often taking hits to the body in order to protect the rim. He has a very high motor on both ends and on the glass and loves to play the game (basketball in Lithuania is like hockey in Canada). He’ll take some time to develop but he’ll be a good starter at the Center position with the potential to be really good. He’s more of a C than a PF which would allow Bargnani to slide over to his natural position at the 4. However, the Raptors already have a logjam at that position so it’ll be interesting to see what Colangelo does if the lockout ever ends.


There aren’t really many but the main thing is he needs to fill out physically and he has to develop a lot more post moves as he is predictable down there. To be fair, Lietuvos Rytas (his current Lithuanian team) uses him as a defensive specialist and someone to collect garbage points on the offensive end so he hasn’t really had many opportunities to be a significant contributor on the offensive end. With a new coach in the fold for Lietuvos Rytas who has said he plans to use Valanciunas a lot more in the upcoming season hopefully Valanciunas can improve on the offensive end because presently he doesn’t really have an offensive game. His jumper also lacks consistency or real range but he has good form and release so after lots of repetition he should be able to develop a solid mid-range jumper. The other big issue with him was his buyout but it seems it’s not too big of a deal ‘cause apparently it was taken care of rather quickly after the draft and he will be coming over to the Raptors for the 2012-2013 season. This could work in the Raptors favour if the lockout cancels the season but if it doesn’t, it becomes a bit of a drawback because they won’t be able to directly develop him with an NBA regimen and schedule. However the Raptors have the peace of mind that this isn’t anything like the Ricky Rubio situation or what the Biyombo situation might become.


The Raptors could quite possibly have the best player in this draft after it’s all said and done and they were really fortunate he was available at 5 ‘cause most mocks had him going 3 or 4. He has been successful at every level he has played at especially when he has been matched up against players in the same age group as him. In 2008, at the FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship in Italy. He dominated the tournament, averaging 14.3 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 23.5 minutes of action. His team went on to win the gold medal and he was chosen as the MVP of the tournament. Fast forward 2 years to the 2010 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship held in his native Lithuania and he once again dominated the opposition to claim the gold while averaging 19.4 points, 13.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocks, and was once again voted as the MVP. And earlier this summer at the, 2011 FIBA Under-19 World Championship in Latvia. He led his team to another gold medal, averaging 23.0 points, 13.9 rebounds and 3.2 blocks in 31 mpg. He was once again named the tournament MVP. Furthermore, he scored 36 points in the gold medal game against Serbia, which was the highest point total scored in a game by any player in the tournament and displayed his improving offense. He has also had success with Lietuvos Rytas and should be on the roster for the Lithuanian senior men’s national team for EuroBasket 2011 which will be held in Lithuania starting August 31st. All in all he is a very promising big man and I look forward to his Raptors debut. Also the Raptors could market him as "V" think of the ad possibilities! (as long as I never have to see another Bargnani Primo Pasta commercial I'll be happy)


2011 U19 World Championship Highlights:

Peace and Much Love to Ya :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Breakdown of Choices for the Toronto Raptors

So all of you probably know by now that the NBA Draft lottery on May 17th was not kind to the Toronto Raptors, as they fell from the 3rd spot to 5th in the order. This isn’t necessarily as bad a thing as many fans are making it out to be as the Raptors technically had a greater chance to move down than move up. Furthermore, from a salary cap point of view, based on the rookie scale the 5th pick will be paid less than the 3rd pick which frees up a few extra dollars for the Raptors which is always a good thing especially heading into a year with CBA uncertainty (I’m praying there won’t be a lockout but it doesn’t look good). Also if one wanted to fall from 3rd to 5th in a draft this would be the year to do it with what is being called the weakest draft since 2006 (coincidentally the same draft that the Raptors selected Andrea Bargnani #1). After the 1st 2 picks who will undoubtedly be: Duke PG Kyrie Irving and Arizona F Derrick Williams; the draft pool from picks 3-9 is pretty much a coin flip.

Here are a few of the names you may hear tied to the Raptors in the coming weeks: UConn PG Kemba Walker, Kentucky PG Brandon Knight, Turkish/Kentucky C/F Enes Kanter, Lithuanian F Jonas Valanciunas, Czech F Jan Vesley, San Diego St. F Kawhi Leonard, Texas F and Toronto native Tristan Thompson. Now whom should they take? Let me break down every one for you.

Enes Kanter – Height w/shoes: 6' 11.25" Weight: 259lbs Wingspan: 7' 1.5" Standing Reach: 9' 1.5"5

He’s the #1 center on the board with excellent size, strength and what appears to be a high basketball IQ. However, he hasn’t played since he dominated the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit in April as he was deemed ineligible by the NCAA to play for Kentucky in 2011 for taking improper benefits from a Turkish pro team. He did remain at Kentucky as a student and practiced with the team but no one has seen him in a game in quite some time and there is risk in that. Also shows signs of immaturity as he has stated he would like to play for the Washington Wizards and declined interviews, at the NBA Combine in Chicago, with the Raptors (5th pick), Utah Jazz (3rd pick) and the Milwaukee Bucks (10th pick) but you do have to keep into account that he is only 19 years old. He’ll most likely be gone before #5 but he could slide and the Raptors would take a serious look at him if he does but if declining his interview means anything it could mean that he’d hold out to force a trade to team he really wants to go to a la Steve Francis and the Vancouver Grizzlies fiasco of 1999.

Brandon Knight – Height w/shoes: 6'3.25" Weight: 177lbs Wingspan: 6' 6.75" Standing Reach: 8' 2.5"

Depending on whom you talk to he’s rated as the #2 or #3 PG in this class. He has excellent size for a PG and a great amount of speed and scoring ability and excels pushing the ball up the court. Also has a great first step to get by opponents off the dribble. With that said he isn’t an elite athlete but he is above average and his basketball IQ and decision making need a lot of work. He didn’t make the type of impact most expected in his 1 year at Kentucky but he has a high motor and seems to be a hard worker. He shoots it well but nowhere near consistent enough for the pros. At 177lbs he was the lightest player at the combine but in time he will fill out so I don’t see that as much of a concern. At 19 years old he’ll be a project and teams will have to wait a bit for him to develop. I’ve heard Utah likes him at 3 or would be willing to trade down to get him but most mocks project him to be there at 5 if the Raptors want him. If Kanter is gone the Raptors will look really hard at him.

Jonas Valanciunas – Height w/shoes: 6’11” Weight: 240lbs Wingspan: N/A Standing Reach: N/A

I know that mock drafts don’t mean anything since they’re never right but it seems that most of the mock drafts out there see the Raptors selecting Valanciunas. This could be true especially if the Raptors are serious about shopping Andrea Bargnani because Valanciunas is almost a carbon copy physically of what Bargnani looked like in ’06. He’s long, agile, and very fluid while running the floor and at 19 he’s bigman with a lot of promise who still has potential to grow over 7 ft and of course fill out physically. In terms of style of play he is the exact opposite of Bargnani. He is much more comfortable playing in the low post and his range only extends to about 12-15 feet. Defensively he is intimidating because he is so long and he plays with a lot of heart. He needs to fill out physically and he has to develop a lot more post moves as he is predictable down there but he has a very high motor and loves to play the game. He’ll take some time to develop but he’ll be a good starter for any team down the road. He’s a PF and the Raptors already have a logjam at that position so they’d probably only take him if they have a deal in place to free up that part of the roster.

Jan Vesely – Height w/shoes: 6’11” Weight: 230lbs Wingspan: N/A Standing Reach: N/A

If you see this guy play you would think he was a North American player. He isn’t a traditional Euro player as he isn’t robotic in what he does and openly shows his enthusiasm, often times trying nice dunks in the layup line and screaming and gesturing to the crowd when he makes a dunk or a block. In Europe that is frowned upon and seen as not having respect and all that other strict stuff but it fits right in with the North American culture of the NBA. He has a terrific combination of size and length for the SF position but again he’s another player that needs to fill out physically (do they not lift weights in Europe?). He’s great at running the floor and attacking the rim but his offensive game is very limited and with his handle he won’t be leading the break. He is great on defense however and fits more into the mold of someone like Andrei Kirilenko but he is more athletic than Kirilenko was in his prime and he’s also taller and longer. The Raptors would look at him ‘cause he is huge at the SF position but he doesn’t push the ball up the floor and that doesn’t fit with the style of play that they want to play with but he does have the potential to be a lockdown defender and that is something the Raptors severely need.

Kawhi Leonard – Height w/shoes: 6' 7" Weight: 227lbs Wingspan: 7' 3" Standing Reach: 8' 10"

Has good size for the SF position but his wingspan and huge hands are what are really impressive. He is a terrific defender on both the perimeter and inside. Physically he is very strong but he is also very agile; he can push the ball up the floor but not on a consistent basis. He has a relentless motor and plays the game with a lot of energy and aggressiveness. He likes to play on the outside and although his shooting has improved it has to get a lot better since he likes to drive and attack the rim. Showed a willingness to play with his back to the basket but he has to vastly improve in this part of his game. His huge hands combined with his length, energy and great timing allow him to grab rebounds on both ends of the floor that are seemingly well outside of his rebounding area. He is extremely quick off his feet, and he is very good at tipping the ball and keeping it alive on the rim. He’ll bring the defense and intangibles and give a little bit of offense but he possesses leadership qualities and already has a NBA body and his shooting will become more consistent over time in my opinion. 5 may be a little too high for him so the Raptors could trade down to 7 or 8 to take him. He provides toughness, rebounding and intangibles something the Raptors desperately need at the SF position but could maybe get those same qualities out of incumbent SF James Johnson.

Tristan Thompson – Height w/shoes: 6' 8.75" Weight: 227lbs Wingspan: 7' 1.25" Standing Reach: 9' 0.5"

He is a Toronto native and has already said he would love to play for his hometown team but that is not a reason for the Raptors to draft him or to please the fan base. He’s a lefty post player with average size for the PF position but he has a tremendous wingspan. He’s also worked really hard on his body to gain some muscle but his frame looks like it’ll allow him to carry even more weight without sacrificing his speed and quickness. He’s not a great athlete but he’s a good athlete, he’s able to make plays on both ends of the floor thanks to his length, energy and blue collar style of play. He’s got great hands and can catch passes in transition very easily and he runs the floor extremely well. He’s also fundamentally sound in positioning for rebounds and although his post game is a work in progress he has shown the ability to go over both shoulders. He is extremely quick off his feet especially on a second jump but he needs to attack the glass at both ends more consistently. He’s a good defender and with his long arms he alters and blocks a lot of shots but with time he can become a great defender especially on the help side. 5 is too high for him so the Raptors would trade down to get him if they really want him but his stock has risen since the middle of the college season to now. He’ll go in the top 10 and some mocks have him up as high as 7 but I think he’ll be in around 8-11. If the Raptors were to take him they would have to deal a forward and most likely it would have to be Amir Johnson as they have similar skill sets. With that said I don’t see him ending up with the Raptors in any scenario but I wish him the best of luck and as a Canadian I’ll definitely follow him closely and root for him.

Kemba Walker – Height w/shoes: 6' 1" Weight: 184lbs Wingspan: 6' 3.5" Standing Reach: 7' 7.5"

At 6’1” he is the second shortest player in the draft (only Isaiah Thomas from Washington is smaller) and at 184lbs he is the second lightest player in the draft (only Brandon Knight is lighter) so that should be a testament to how tough he is as he led UConn to the national championship. However, he is explosive for a PG. He has amazing speed and quickness and his ability to change direction and tempo make him the player he is. He has a great handle and gets into the seams of the defense quite easily with his quickness and often times uses floaters to score or just gets to the rim for easy layups. His shot has improved but is still not quite fully there yet. He's become a better spot up shooter but it’s his pull-up jumper off the dribble that will propel him to become an effective PG in the NBA especially off of screen and rolls and who better to learn from than Jose Calderon who has all but mastered the screen and roll. He already has a good feel for the screen and roll but his range isn’t consistent yet. However, with time he can become a good 3 point shooter. He finishes well and gets to the line a lot but at his size there is a risk of injuries with his style of play. He has above average vision with the ball and has shown the ability to hit the open man, open up the floor, or thread the needle but his decision making needs to get a lot better. Often times he forces the issue too much but this could be a by-product of playing with inferior talent around him. On defense he is strictly “in-your-face” because his speed and quickness allow him to keep up with opposing PG’s but he’ll have to get stronger physically for bigger guards. He does play the passing lanes well and has good instincts on when to go for the ball. His biggest drawback is his size and poor decision making as he is still turnover prone but the NBA is filled with small guards who are great players like Chris Paul, Aaron Brooks, Ty Lawson, Darren Collison, Jameer Nelson, Raymond Felton etc... and his decision making will get better with time. In my opinion if the Raptors keep the 5th pick this is who they should draft. There is something to be said of a winning track record and at every level he’s played at he’s won and he proved he could carry a team on his back and I think he’ll be fine at running a team in the NBA as he has great leadership. If he were to go to the Raptors he would fit right in with their up-tempo style of play and also if you’re drafting on the best talent available he’s probably it at 5.

Peace and Much Love to Ya :)

*All the measurements used are from DraftExpress.com*
**Don’t forget to comment!! Let me know what y’all think and if I’m right or wrong!**
***I’ll have full draft profiles for the projected top 15 in the coming days!***

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A New Cabinet for a New Majority Government

The new cabinet was sworn in today to signify the birth of the new government led by a Conservative majority. There were many rumors floating around preceding the official event, the main one being John Baird (who was the Government House Leader) filling Lawrence Cannon's old position as Minister of Foreign Affairs. This turned out to be true and can I say that I am very satisfied with this particular shuffle.

Some people claimed Baird is too hot-headed and, to put it politely, angry, to represent Canada on the world stage. Bullshit. He played the role of government attack dog very well because he is a very talented politician. In a cheesy American-style line, he serves at the pleasure of the Prime Minister because a united government is an effective government. Now that he can put away his snarky hat (and boy will I miss that), he can focus on the current international missions, mainly Afghanistan and Libya. Osama (that didn't autocorrect, odd) being dead and Gaddafi being close to something similar will lead to troop levels rightfully lessening. I know European countries, and when I say that I mean the UK, want to bring home troops soon, especially from Afghanistan. Canada will inevitably follow suit if the timing is right. I am confident these big decisions, negotiated on the world stage, will be competently made by Prime Minister Harper and his new right hand man, John Baird. I can't wait until other foreign affairs ministers (namely William Hague who is my favorite for many reasons) and Hillary Clinton meet him.

I am incredibly proud and glad that BC MPs Alice Wong (Richmond) is the new Minister of State for Seniors and Ed Fast (Abbotsford) is the new Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. James Moore remains in his position as Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. Jason Kenney is also staying as Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jim Flaherty as Minister of Finance, McKay, Toews, Ambrose, and some others are also keeping their old portfolios. Tony Clement has been given President of the Treasury Board and Julian Fantino has the new title of Associate Minister of National Defence. This leads to the total number of cabinet positions increasing to 39. The small government in me is raging but I am taming it. I've already crossed off a bunch of cabinet positions that does not need to exist (most of the "Minister of State" positions, especially Sport).

All in all, a very exciting day. I'm back =)

- Franny.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

March Madness 2011!!!

This is by far my most favourite time of the year. The NBA and NHL seasons are winding down towards the playoffs and the MLB season is just around the corner. However, before all of that we have March Madness and as much as I love college football there is nothing like March Madness in terms of college athletics. There is always drama, intense jubilation, and intense heartache as some emerge as Cinderella stories while others settle for maybe just one upset and some live up to their ranking and go all the way. The possibilities of what can happen are endless and what makes it supremely unique is that it's the way sports is played on the playground: if you win you get to stay on the court but if you lose you go home.

This year's tourney is a little different because there was no "play-in game" but rather a "play-in round" consisting of 4 games between 8 teams this is also being called the 1st round so
technically March Madness is under way but in the hearts of many (like me) it won't start until the "real" first round: the round of 64 (which is now the 2nd round). The field of 64 is set as VCU, UT-San Antonio, UNC-Asheville, and Clemson won their respective play-in games and March Madness is set to begin!!! So fill out your brackets ladies and gentlemen if you have not already. Check out my brackets below, just click on them to enlarge them:

My very professional, official and objective bracket:

My uber prejudiced: "what I want to happen" bracket:

This year's tourney is really tough to predict 'cause there hasn't been any team that's really been consistently good or dominating so I wouldn't be surprised if we see a lot of upsets. In my opinion though, this may be a tourney where there might not be monumental upsets like we had last year with Butler and Northern Iowa but there are plenty of teams in that 8-13 seed range that could make a good run because honestly they shouldn't be seeded as low as they are.

Anyway I don't care if my brackets don't run true, because in all honesty they probably won't. I'll be rooting for my Duke Blue Devils to the fullest (shout out to all my fam in Durham, Fayetteville, and Charlotte even though some of y'all are UNC fans) and of course I'll be rooting for the home town Washington Huskies (shout out to my fam in Lynnwood). So let the madness begin!!!

Share your Final Four picks with us in the comments section!!

Peace and Much Love to Ya :)