Rest easy, Mac

Still reeling. This tragedy had me shook. I told my buds too, I wasn’t even a fan of Mac Miller’s music like that. To me, his authenticity, coolness, and overall positive vibe is what I liked most about him even more than the music.

I’ve been gravitating to this collab a lot lately — an uplifting one he dropped with Anderson .Paak which is the perfect vibe for sunny LA.

R.I.P. 🙏

R.I.P. Darryl Dawkins

This afternoon, reports say that Philadelphia 76er legend Darryl Dawkins, a.k.a. Chocolate Thunder, has passed away. He was only 58 and there was no cause of death cited. (UPDATE: Dawkins family has said it was because of a heart attack.)

The news shakes NBA fans of many generations because Dawkins was one of the game’s most colorful personalities and most powerful dunkers.

Some of my earliest memories becoming a fan of the game actually involved Dawkins. I was too young to ever see him play, but his shattering backboards were always in the highlight videos on VHS I would run back again and again. I also loved that he nicknamed all his dunks and even hailed from “Planet Lovetron”. And by many accounts too, he was a nice and generous man, especially with the youth in his retirement. R.I.P. Chocolate Thunder.

Watch some of those said dunks and shattered backboards in his Top 20 Dunk countdown below.

Dawkins named the first backboard-breaking dunk “The Chocolate-Thunder-Flying, Robinzine-Crying, Teeth-Shaking, Glass-Breaking, Rump-Roasting, Bun-Toasting, Wham-Bam, Glass-Breaker-I-Am-Jam.”[3]

He named other dunks as well: the Rim Wrecker, the Go-Rilla, the Look Out Below, the In-Your-Face Disgrace, the Cover Your Head, the Yo-Mama, the Spine-Chiller Supreme, and the Greyhound Special (for the rare occasions when he went coast to coast). The 76ers also kept a separate column on the stat sheet for Dawkins’s self-created nicknames: “Sir Slam”, “Dr. Dunkenstein”, and “Chocolate Thunder.”

via Wikipedia

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R.I.P. Sean Price

Hip Hop lost another one today. Reports this morning confirm the passing of Sean Price. He was 43. Details remain uncovered about how Price passed, except that it was in his sleep late last night.

“It is with beyond a heavy heart that Duck Down Music is sadly confirming that Sean Price passed away early this morning in his Brooklyn apartment, Saturday, August 8th, 2015,” reads a statement from his reps. “The cause of death is currently unknown, but it was reported that he died in his sleep. He’s survived by his wife, and his three children.

The hip hop community is already pouring out some heartfelt condolences. We of course do the same and thank Sean Price, or as you may have heard him as Ruck or 0.5 of Heltah Skeltah, for his many contributions to the culture.

R.I.P. Ruck….Love and Respect to The Duck Down Family!!! #SeanPrice

A photo posted by @djpremier on

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#RIP Sean Price

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(A lot of people are remembering Sean Price’s humor this morning. Here’s an example. This is hilarious.)

Damn. Some of Sean Price’s last tweets.

R.I.P. Hussein Fatal (of The Outlawz)

Another sad blow for the world of hip hop as Hussein Fatal, longtime 2Pac collaborator and member of The Outlawz, has passed away in a car accident. The death was confirmed by fellow Outlawz members and on Twitter below.

You may not know you know Hussein Fatal, but if you’ve ever played “Hit ‘Em Up”, “Troublesome”, “Still I Rise”, or “All About U”, you definitely have heard his verses. That’s just a sampling of his features with ‘Pac, let alone his solo material too (here’s the full list.) This, on top of the news I just learned even earlier today, that GBE’s Capo was gunned down here in Chicago, and it’s just an unfortunate day for the rap community. R.I.P.

(Hussein Fatal on the second verse.)

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Ernie Banks remembered

Nobody represented his city or team more joyously, or admirably, than Mr. Cub.

Michael Wilbon on Ernie Banks

Last night, we lost a baseball legend and a Chicago hero, Ernie Banks. He was 83.

Affectionately called “Mr. Cub”, no one could say it better than Wilbon up above. He continued to write that in an era of iconic Chicago athletes in the 60s and 70s, “Banks would have sat at the head of the table.”

For my 20-something generation, we have to take numerous accounts like these of Banks’ impact as a player and in the city of Chicago during his playing career. The breadth of tributes from sportswriters and former teammates alike sound just like this. I even have a first-hand source myself who can back them all up: my dad.

He’s the biggest Cubs fan I know and was devastated at the news of his childhood hero. We reminisced through amazing statistics, dad’s personal stories of getting his autograph, and browsed through a lot of the photos seen up above in the gallery.

One main takeaway after our talks and being immersed in the coverage: Ernie Banks lived with the most positive, happiest spirit that anyone could recall. His famous saying, “It’s a great day for a ballgame. Let’s play two!” was said during a 105-degree summer day at the ‘Friendly Confines’ of Wrigley Field (a phrase Banks also coined and lasts today.)

Let’s play two! It means so much.

As we reflect on Mr. Cub’s hall-of-fame playing career, his impact in Chicago and around the world as the first African-American to play for the Cubs, we can also emulate our own life and mentality in alignment with the way Banks has lived. “Let’s play two!”

***

One of the most heartbreaking anecdotes from Ernie Banks’ passing is what he planned to do when the Cubs eventually do win a World Series. Via the conclusion of the aforementioned article by Wilbon:

Ernie always said when the Cubs finally won a World Series — it’s 106 years and counting — he wanted to go to Wrigley Field one night and just stand there alone, in the dark, and soak it all in. So you know what we’re thinking, all the little kids who are beyond 50 now and who watched Banks play all those years ago. Maybe this will be the Cubs’ time. They’ll wear his No. 14 on their jerseys this season and feel about the Cubbies the way he did, which is to say inspired and joyous and ready every single day to play two.

Hopefully the Cubs can win it for Ernie… and Ronnie, Harry, Jack, and all of the Cubs legends who passed through Wrigley Field at one time or another. This is the year?! It’d be even more of an amazing Hollywood story than Back to the Future could have ever predicted.

R.I.P. "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks
R.I.P. “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks

Stuart Scott Remembered

Earlier this morning, the sports world was shook about the news of legendary ESPN anchor Stuart Scott passing away at age 49.

Scott was battling a rare form of appendix cancer for 7 years, but used this challenge to inspire many others through similar struggles — whether cancer or not. By all accounts, Scott attacked cancer with a positive attitude and hard work, with the chief motivation of his 2 daughters keeping him going everyday.

At this past summer’s ESPYS, Stuart Scott was honored with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance and delivered one of the most moving speeches in the distinguished history of this Award.

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You see, in his own words, he didn’t lose to cancer. And as Hannah Storm emotionally delivered the news of Scott’s passing this morning, she said he didn’t lose to cancer… we just lost Stuart.

Throughout the day, I’ve seen countless tributes, stories, and salutes to Stuart Scott from his colleagues and fans of his work alike. Each one is as stirring as the next and I can’t help but echo the sentiment of my generation in the wake of the news.

Stuart Scott was SportsCenter.

His distinct style brought the hip hop culture and authenticity into the program and appealed to adolescents like myself in the mid-90s. Through his own shining example of authenticity, Stuart Scott rose to the top of sports journalism, interviewing the likes of President Obama, Clinton, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and countless others while hosting more ESPN programs in addition to SC.

The mini-documentary by ESPN below is also a testament to Stuart Scott as a person. The genuine emotion and reflections from his colleagues certainly reflect the genuineness that defined Scott as an individual. Watching and seeing all these tributes today makes me feel his passing a little more but also appreciates the breadth of the impact he’s had on sports journalism, that Dan Patrick is correct in saying, may still not be fully realized until 5, 10 years from now.

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Lastly, the other must-see tribute to Scott was by his longtime partner Rich Eisen who broke the news this morning on the NFL Network. Holding back tears, an emotional Eisen saluted his partner so wonderfully. This had a great impact on me as that’s how I was first introduced to Scott and Eisen. I remember during my summer breaks from school watching the 9am SportsCenter… followed by the 10am SportsCenter again just so I can re-watch both of their catchphrases on the night’s baseball highlights. They, and Stuart specifically, helped me to love sports more during my formative years. I join the millions of others today in prayers and positive thoughts for Stuart Scott, his family, friends, colleagues, and everyone he has touched throughout his life. Rest in Power, Stuart Scott.

UPDATE: Rich Eisen delivered the highlights of Bengals-Colts by including numerous catchphrases from Stuart Scott. It was as perfect as it sounds.