As you may all already know, Carmelo Anthony is officially a New York Knicks player. When I got the phone call that it was official I was beyond myself. I was so excited and proud of the great news. I’m a bit upset that I didn’t make it to his first official game as a Knicks, due to being out of town but I will sure make it to a game real soon. I can’t wait!!
In other news, according to to his wife, the former MTV VJ La La Vazquez, Carmelo Anthony makes delicious lobster tails. This kitchen intimacy was revealed Wednesday at halftime of Melo’s Knicks debut, in a courtside television interview.
Carmelo Anthony is hugged by his wife La La and his son, Kiyan Carmelo Anthony, at a news conference to introduce him as one of the newest members of the Knicks.
“He’s an excellent cook,” Vazquez said of her husband, who finally and mercifully arrived in New York this past week after months of overwrought drama. Standing aloft a pair of striking six-inch Louboutins in Knicks blue, the Brooklyn-born Vazquez beamed as she recalled the news of the mega trade. “Baby, we’re coming home,” she said her husband told her.
Since this is New York, the conversation quickly pivoted to real estate. Vazquez, who will be starring in her own VH1reality show—La La’s Full Court Life—said she’d already been flooded with leads.
“I have at least 200 referrals right now,” she said.
It was a charming moment of Anthony family diplomacy, and not the first. Earlier that night, Knicks owner James Dolan almost managed to undermine Anthony‘s feel-good introductory press conference with a ramble attacking rumors of his continued collaboration with ex-general manager and coach Isiah Thomas.
After a gracious nod to the departed players the Knicks dealt to acquire Anthony, Dolan defended his relationship with current GM Donnie Walsh and said, “I will say this very directly: While Isiah Thomas is a friend of mine, a very good friend of mine…”
“Dada!” Carmelo‘s son, Kiyan, whispered loudly, interrupting the man who is set to pay his father a $65 million, three-year contract extension. Anthony, seated on stage next to Dolan in an orange headband and Knicks sweats, cracked up, as did many in the crowd.
The tension had been sufficiently punctured. This would not be a night of finger-pointing and recriminations. Even after Dolan continued, he was soon back smiling with his new star.
The enthusiasm of the Anthonys melted the complicated feelings of the deal—at least briefly. On Wednesday night, this was not a forced-hand acquisition of a superstar eager for a maximum contract with his desired team.
This was a gooey homecoming.
Later, before a rowdy Garden crowd, the Knicks would pluck the violin some more with a video that burnished Anthony‘s Red Hook roots and his toddler-aged worship of Bernard King (Baltimore—where Anthony was raised, became a school hoops legend and built a youth center that bears his name—wasn’t mentioned). Diddy‘s spare anthem with Skylar Grey, “Coming Home,” tinkled in the background.
Anthony is thrilled to be here and stay here. (The long term is not so certain across the river in New Jersey, which pulled off its own major deal on Tuesday, acquiring Utah All-Star guardDeron Williams.) In Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire the Knicks have two stars in their twenties enamored of a franchise that hasn’t won a title since 1973. They buy into the mythology, the bombast, the center-of-the-universe-ness that LeBron James so obviously did not.
The thing is, they also have to play basketball, and right now they have to do it on a depleted team. On Wednesday, despite 27 points from Carmelo and 21 from veteran add-on Chauncey Billups, the Knicks treaded water against the dreadful Milwaukee Bucks before finally winning, 114-108.
The Big Debut is out of the way. But there is so much else in the path—Boston, Miami, Chicago; the lack of a dynamic center; the steep learning curve of new players trying to adjust to unfamiliar coaching and tendencies. This is what Carmelo Anthony wanted and why he turned a pair of franchises upside down. It won’t be as easy to fix as lobster tails.
Jay-Z and Kanye West are working on a full album together.
The pair previously announced they were to collaborate for an EP called ‘Watch the Throne’, but Kanye has since revealed this will now become an album.
He told MTV:
“We’re putting out a whole album now. We had done five songs so far, but then a few of them kind of were out there – and I put them on my album. Sorry, Jay!”
Although Kanye used some of their initial ideas for his forthcoming ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ album – including the track “Monster”, a version of which featuring Jay-Z has been released – he added the pair have set a date to record again, and he doesn’t expect Jay to have any problems coming up with lyrics.
“We’re going to the South of France at the end of this month just to record new ideas. We’ll probably be done with the album in like a day or whatever. If you think about it, it’s really easy for Jay: He only has to think of, like, 10 verses!”
Kanye has a long association with Jay, working with the star as a producer on his breakthrough album ‘The Blueprint’ in 2001.
Jay-Z to Stump for Obama Again in 2012
During the 2008 presidential election, Jay-Z made it known that he was rooting for now-President Barack Obama. The rap superstar appeared at campaign rallies with Obama and even sang his praises during (typically sold-out) shows.
Jay-Z hasn’t been involved in the upcoming mid-term elections, but that doesn’t mean he’s done with politics. While speaking with the New York Post, Deputy White House Press Secretary William Burton made it sound like the Obama camp is expecting Jay-Z to help out in 2012.
Burton joked about the rapper taking over a key economic post before admitting his appeal to the Democratic party.
“In all seriousness, keep in mind he was pretty active during the 2008 election, so I don’t think it’d surprise anyone that he would be involved again,” Burton said. “But it’s a little premature.”
I’m A Business, Man! Jay-Z’s 10 Smartest Business Decisions According to Vibe Magazine
Guess who’s bizzack? Less than a month before the release of “Decoded”, a book that breaks down the meanings behind many of his most complicated lyrics, Jay-Z is proving once again why he landed atop of the Forbes “Hip-Hop Cash Kings” list late last summer.
Last week, Hov teamed up with Microsoft‘s search engine Bing to launch an advertisement campaign that will see pages from his upcoming book plastered to billboards throughout the country as well as surfaces like the bottom of a pool and the top of a pool table. Jay-Z fans are encouraged to use Bing to find and locate these pages, and the first fan that locates all of them and “decodes” them properly will win a chance
to catch a Jay-Z concert in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve.
It’s already proven to be an incredibly deft business move by Jay-Z. The promotion has given the book a ton of free press and a good chance of moving off bookshelves quickly on Nov. 16.
In honor of Hov‘s latest deal, VIBE looks back at 10 of his smartest business decisions. If you’ve ever wondered how he managed to take his life from Marcy to Madison Square, look no further.
“I think the list is a bit bogus. Nothing against VIBE by all means they are a great magazine. I just feel the list could have been put together more for his Business/Investment ventures, rather than what kind of champagne he prefers, but that’s just me.”
Here’s one from wikipedia.org:
Jay-Z has also established himself as an entrepreneur like his fellow hip hop moguls and friends, Russell Simmons, Dr. Dre and Sean “Diddy” Combs, who also have business holdings such as record companies and clothing lines. In an interview, he stated that “my brands are an extension of me. They’re close to me. It’s not like running GM, where there’s no emotional attachment.” He is the founder of the urban clothing brand Rocawear along with Damon Dash. Rocawear has clothing lines and accessories for men, women and children. The line was taken over by Jay-Z in early 2006 following a falling out with Dash. In March 2007, Jay-Z sold the rights to the Rocawear brand to Iconix Brand Group, for $204 million. Jay-Z will retain his stake in the company and will continue to oversee the marketing, licensing and product development.He also co-owns The 40/40 Club, an upscale sports bar that started in New York City and has since expanded to Atlantic City and Chicago. In 2008, the 40/40 club in Las Vegas was closed down and bought back by the hotel after attendance steadily declined. Future plans will see 40/40 Clubs in Tokyo and Singapore. In 2005, Jay-Z became an investor in Carol’s Daughter, a line of beauty products, including products for hair, skin, and hands, as well as fragrances.
Jay-Z serves as co-brand director for Budweiser Select and collaborates with the company on strategic marketing programs and creative ad development. He provides direction on brand programs and ads that appear on TV, radio, print, and high-profile events. He is a part-owner of the New Jersey Nets NBA team paying a reported $4.5 million for his share. He is interested in relocating the team to Brooklyn. In October 2005, he was reported in English media as considering buying a stake of Arsenal F.C., an English soccer team. He has also invested in a real estate development venture called J Hotels which recently acquired a $66 million mid-block parcel in Chelsea, New York. Jay-Z and his partners are contemplating constructing a high-end hotel or an art gallery building on the newly acquired site which has the potential to go up about twelve stories. Through his company Gain Global Investments Network LLC, had an interest estimated between 2 and 7% in the Aqueduct Entertainment Group (AEG) consortium which in January 2010 was awarded a contract to operate a 4,500 slot machine racino at the Aqueduct Race Track. Jay-Z became interested in the project after New York Governor David Paterson who awarded the contract said there had to be an affirmative action component to the ownership. Jay-Z initially approached Steve Wynn who was also bidding on the contract. On March 9, 2010, Jay-Z and Flake withdrew from the project and Paterson recused himself from further involvement.
Jay-Z’s Interview With The Wall Street Journal
Here are excerpts from an interview from The Wall Street Journal with Jay-Z in his office.
WSJ: This book puts a frame around your career. When did you really start thinking about how you wanted to present your legacy?
Jay-Z: You think about legacy before you even start. When a kid is practicing on the basketball court, it’s “5-4-3-2-1 and the crowd goes crazy!”
As you start realizing your dreams and it’s tangible, you think about it in a real way. But I think that emotion happens from the beginning, from record one.
The legacy, I think about that as I make the music, all the time. How can I make the best album of all time? You always fail. But every time I go up to bat, I’m thinking how can I make an album better than “Thriller.”
WSJ: I’ve talked to some of your friends who say that when you guys make personal career decisions, you’re taking into account how the decisions will move hip-hop culture forward overall. Can you give me an example?
Jay-Z: For us, this is the music that saved a generation. So there’s a big responsibility for those who it saved to make sure that thing is intact for the next generation. We’re the first generation that really took advantage of it, starting with Puff [Daddy] and Master P, guys who really made a name and became successful as entrepreneurs.
Even more than that, when you’re under attack so much as a genre [as hip hop is], you’re forced to come together. But probably the last time we really came together on something was working for Obama, lending our voice and the people we had toward that campaign. Whether he does a great job or not is almost secondary to what it did for the dreams and the hopes of an entire race. Just based on that alone, it’s a success, the biggest we’ve had. Period. To date. It’s Martin Luther King’s dream realized. Tangible. In the flesh. You can shake his hand.
WSJ: What would you change about hip-hop if you could?
Jay-Z: We have to find our way back to true emotion. This is going to sound so sappy, but love is the only thing that stands the test of time. “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” was all about love. Andre 3000, “The Love Below.” Even NWA, at its core, that was about love for a neighborhood.
We’re chasing a lot of sounds now, but I’m not hearing anyone’s real voice. The emotion of where you are in your life. The mortgage scandal. People losing their jobs. I want to hear about that.
WSJ: What’s the most important decision you made along the way to help keep your career in your own hands?
Jay-Z: We got lucky. In the beginning we couldn’t get a deal. We had to work our own records in the beginning. It gave us a different way to negotiate when we came to the table. Most people get excited and take the first deal they’re offered. We had a little bit of success already, so we were stubborn enough to think that we could really do it at that point. They offered us a deal and we asked for a co-venture. That pretty much ensured that we’d have control from the beginning, from album one.
WSJ: You don’t hand out awards. Are there other things you say no to automatically?
Jay-Z: That doesn’t have anything to do with building the myth. I’m just uncomfortable speaking. I can do a stadium show for two hours and I’m in my comfort zone. But if you look at any of my acceptance speeches they’re maybe seven seconds. I want to get off the stage.
LeBron James’ decision to sign with the Miami Heat made NBA commissioner David Stern go “Hmmm…”
James’ decision to turn his decision into a made-for-TV spectacle called the “Decision”?
That made Stern cringe.
Stern said Monday he has no problem with James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami – and he has no reason to think the Heat engaged in tampering to get him. But he does wish James had chosen a better platform to announce his decision, particularly because he didn’t give the Cavaliers more notice he was leaving.
“Had he asked my advice in advance, I might have suggested that he advise Cleveland at an earlier time than apparently he did that he was leaving, even without announcing where he was going, so we could have eliminated that,” Stern after a meeting with the NBA’s board of governors. “I would have advised him not to embark on what has become known as ‘The Decision.’
“I think that the advice that he received on this was poor. His performance was fine. His honesty and his integrity shine through. But this decision was ill conceived, badly produced and poorly executed. Those who were interested in it were given our opinion prior to its airing.”
James’ decision prompted Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert to send a scathing letter criticizing his former star to the team’s fans. In it, he called James “narcissistic” and said he displayed “cowardly behavior.” He also vowed that Cavaliers would win a championship before James did with the Heat.
Stern said he had fined Gilbert $100,000 for the comments.
One league source said the Cavaliers’ media relations staff begged Gilbert to not send the email, but he ignored the pleas and wanted it out immediately. Gilbert also told The Associated Press that he felt James quit on the Cavs during the playoffs the past two seasons.
“Remarks by Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cavaliers, catalyzed as they may have been by hurt with respect to the manner and the fact for himself, his team, and particularly for the people of Cleveland, though understandable, were ill advised and imprudent,” Stern said.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson had previously criticized Gilbert’s comments, saying they”personify a slave master mentality” and sounded like they were directed at a “runaway slave.”
“Equally imprudent, I believe, are the remarks by my good friend Jesse Jackson, which purport to make this into a racial matter,” Stern said. “I find that to be, however well meaning Jesse may be in the premises on this one, he is, as he rarely is, mistaken. I would have told him so had he called me before he issued his statement this morning.
“But he is a good friend of the NBA and our players, and has worked arduously in many good causes, and we work together in many matters. I have a great deal of respect for him. We would just call this a disagreement amongst friends.”
Stern had no problems with James and Bosh joining Wade with the Heat to form a team that Las Vegas odds makers are already calling the favorites to win the 2011 championship. Stern compared the new Heat to the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s and the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty of the 1990s. Those teams, he said, “didn’t have three Hall of Famers, but sometimes had four and a half.”
When asked about his immediate response when he learned of James’ decision, Stern said: “I wasn’t like, ‘Whoa.’ You know, it was more like, ‘Hmm, that’s pretty good.’ ”
James left fans in Cleveland angry, crying and shocked after the decision. Some even burned his Cavaliers jerseys and T-shirts. His famous mammoth Nike billboard in downtown Cleveland was also brought down.
“We touch an emotional cord in our sport,” Stern said. “That’s what happens. Fans feel disappointment. You might feel jilted. We’ve seen that in other circles. Maybe not quite as dramatically.”
With a representative from every franchise on hand at the board of governor’s meeting, Stern also said no team expressed any desire to file tampering charges against the Heat for allegedly talking to James prior to the beginning of the free agency period on July 1. When asked if there were any exchanges between the Cavaliers and Heat ownership, Stern said it was “all very cordial.”
“There’s nothing here at this time that is causing us to launch an investigation,” Stern said.
Source: Yahoo News!
“I think he made a very poor decision. He made such a big deal about keeping it a secret on what team he will choose. Really what was the big deal? He would have done good in NY.”
Did Chris Brown and Rihanna Reunite at the NBA Finals?
An unexpected reunion between Chris Brown and Rihanna nearly took place at Thursday’s NBA finals game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic.
During the first half of the game, sources at Orlando’s Amway Arena revealed that Rihanna and Brown sat in adjacent courtside sections, not far apart.
Ironically, the duo has been seen (separately) at previous finals games in Los Angeles and Orlando over the past few weeks.
Reports speculating that the duo would arrive together at the game late Thursday proved to be false. According to parties in attendance, the duo remained separate and during breaks went to separate lounges.
Both Brown and Rihanna are due to appear at a schedule preliminary hearing in Los Angeles this month. The hearing, confirmed this week, is set for June 22 and is expected to include testimony from Rihanna in relation to the duo’s altercation in February.
As an aside, sources claim Rihanna was rooting for the Lakers.