THE RATIONAL POST – SLANG HUGH – ONE BALL ISN’T ENOUGH

Not Enough Balls…

Genius. Albert Einstein. Steve Jobs. Michael Jackson. Michael Jordan. Eccentric, rare and often misunderstood. Often dismissed as crazy.  In my opinion, crazy is a necessity for a genius.  Greatness isn’t forged from used molds.  It’s created with a unique spark, an uncanny ability to look not only recognize the Matrix but find a way to write new code. Make new rules.  Your own rules!
Now trailblazers aren’t responsible for the trees that are chopped down and left in their wake.  Their eyes and efforts are focused on the prize, clearing a new path.  Any damage caused is collateral.  It’s a path to the dream, and if you’re not on the yellow brick road, easing on down with the Dorothy the genius, then maaaan, fawk ya, let the wicked witch have your visionless ass.  Enemies will be made along the way.  Simply because the way one thinks is different from anyone else’s.  One man fits the criteria.  One man may be eligible for the title he has already bestowed upon himself.

Genius. Albert Einstein. Steve Jobs. Michael Jackson. Michael Jordan…. and LaVar Ball? Yes, you read that right LAVAR BALL!!! Is he polarizing? Yes. Is he off putting? Yes. Is he different? Unique?  Creating enemies? Blazing paths?  The answer is simple and it’s not A, B, or C.  It’d D ALL THE ABOVE.  YES!!

Is he a genius? Before I answer that question, let’s examine the man.

A black man in America, who has managed to raise, 3 sons who ALL have full scholarships to a top division 1 university. Not 1. 3! His eldest Lonzo is projected to be top 3 2018 NBA draft pick, after having a very successful year at UCLA.

Let me repeat, A Black Man in America!  The chips are already stacked again him and the bad cards have been dealt before he even sat at the table.  The big boys of the game already are looking at you with the “who are you again?” Face.  Yet Lavar boldly spits in that Face of authority while yelling “I need 2 billion!!”. To Nike. To Adidas. To Reebok. To whomever.

And while we laughed at this man and told him he was crazy.  He smiled and told himself he was a genius…a genius with a plan!! A father with a plan for his sons.  A blueprint for the empire!  Their empire!! Doing the very thing that any father should try to do.  Make a kingdom for their princes to one day rule over.  in the case of the royal Ball brother it’s not a crown they have been passed but a shoe company. Understand this, that $500 shoe – that even I will admit is a bit steep for my lower middle class pockets – is a crown jewel in the cap of King LaVar’s cap.   He has made his first born, the FIRST black athlete, not with his own shoe.  His own shoe Company!

The only draw back to genius is that its not recognized until results are shown. And the Ball family’s genius title rest heavily on the shoulders of its eldest son Lonzo. In the words of Skip Bayless, Lonzo has the target of a tattoo bigger than Lebron James’ “chosen one” emblazoned on his skin. Will he be able to carry that mantle? Will he be able to meet his father’s lofty expectations and predictions? Will he be better than Steph Curry and Lebron? Either way I’m not so sure he has to be THAT good, but he must be DAMN good!! But only time will reveal if the son truly must pay for the sins of the father.

As for the father, I often wonder what our real problem is with LaVar. Is it because he dares to defy the rules? Is it because we in the norm can’t comprehend what goes thru the mind of a mad man aka genius? Is it because we rarely see the image of a black man, demanding respect, commanding power, from those that he may be worthy to challenge, all while building a future for his family that is already making history? The irony is, he may be unworthy in the eyes of John Public, but in his mind and effort he is worthier than us, who dare to criticize. And that makes it clear to me, that there are not enough Balls in the world!

 

Genius. Albert Einstein. Steve Jobs. Michael Jackson. Michael Jordan. Eccentric, rare and often misunderstood. Often dismissed as crazy.  In my opinion, crazy is a necessity for a genius.  Greatness isn’t forged from used molds.  It’s created with a unique spark, an uncanny ability to look not only recognize the Matrix but find a way to write new code. Make new rules.  Your own rules!
Now trailblazers aren’t responsible for the trees that are chopped down and left in their wake.  Their eyes and efforts are focused on the prize, clearing a new path.  Any damage caused is collateral.  It’s a path to the dream, and if you’re not on the yellow brick road, easing on down with the Dorothy the genius, then maaaan, fawk ya, let the wicked witch have your visionless ass.  Enemies will be made along the way.  Simply because the way one thinks is different from anyone else’s.  One man fits the criteria.  One man may be eligible for the title he has already bestowed upon himself.

Genius. Albert Einstein. Steve Jobs. Michael Jackson. Michael Jordan…. and LaVar Ball? Yes, you read that right LAVAR BALL!!! Is he polarizing? Yes. Is he off putting? Yes. Is he different? Unique?  Creating enemies? Blazing paths?  The answer is simple and it’s not A, B, or C.  It’d D ALL THE ABOVE.  YES!!

Is he a genius? Before I answer that question, let’s examine the man.

A black man in America, who has managed to raise, 3 sons who ALL have full scholarships to a top division 1 university. Not 1. 3! His eldest Lonzo is projected to be top 3 2018 NBA draft pick, after having a very successful year at UCLA.

Let me repeat, A Black Man in America!  The chips are already stacked again him and the bad cards have been dealt before he even sat at the table.  The big boys of the game already are looking at you with the “who are you again?” Face.  Yet Lavar boldly spits in that Face of authority while yelling “I need 2 billion!!”. To Nike. To Adidas. To Reebok. To whomever.

And while we laughed at this man and told him he was crazy.  He smiled and told himself he was a genius…a genius with a plan!! A father with a plan for his sons.  A blueprint for the empire!  Their empire!! Doing the very thing that any father should try to do.  Make a kingdom for their princes to one day rule over.  in the case of the royal Ball brother it’s not a crown they have been passed but a shoe company. Understand this, that $500 shoe – that even I will admit is a bit steep for my lower middle class pockets – is a crown jewel in the cap of King LaVar’s cap.   He has made his first born, the FIRST black athlete, not with his own shoe.  His own shoe Company!

The only draw back to genius is that its not recognized until results are shown. And the Ball family’s genius title rest heavily on the shoulders of its eldest son Lonzo. In the words of Skip Bayless, Lonzo has the target of a tattoo bigger than Lebron James’ “chosen one” emblazoned on his skin. Will he be able to carry that mantle? Will he be able to meet his father’s lofty expectations and predictions? Will he be better than Steph Curry and Lebron? Either way I’m not so sure he has to be THAT good, but he must be DAMN good!! But only time will reveal if the son truly must pay for the sins of the father.

As for the father, I often wonder what our real problem is with LaVar. Is it because he dares to defy the rules? Is it because we in the norm can’t comprehend what goes thru the mind of a mad man aka genius? Is it because we rarely see the image of a black man, demanding respect, commanding power, from those that he may be worthy to challenge, all while building a future for his family that is already making history? The irony is, he may be unworthy in the eyes of John Public, but in his mind and effort he is worthier than us, who dare to criticize. And that makes it clear to me, that there are not enough Balls in the world!

– SLANG HUGH

Slang Hugh can be heard as part of the Podcast “The Man Dem” alongside Sir Toks –   and found on instagram @slanghugh 

Advertisements

Children of the Form – The Rational Post – SLANG HUGH

Clothes Don’t Make the Child

“Dear parents….who told you, you needed to be your child’s friend in order for them to grow. Who told you that letting them have relationships was best for them? Who said allowing your daughter’s to wear mac instead of showing her beauty was love. Did back pack companies close and Michael Kors take over? When did bundles replace bubbles and lashes instead of pencil? Dear parents when did living through your child become the new lick then throwing your daughter’s to the streets once she’s taken some…. listen if being a “new aged” mom is what’s the best then I guess we have failed our children.”
Courtesy of ~Chevy Nicole Lewis

 

That’s not much more for me to add. Well other than countless examples of Instagram pics posted by parents proudly displaying their life sized, Gucci and Prada babies for all the digital world to see. Have we really become this superficial? This materialistic? Are we so image based, that even our children are unknowing victims of our own visual insecurities?  Perhaps this could be chalked up to another generation gap scenario. Maybe I’m too long in the tooth to properly chew and swallow what you modern parents are selling.  Turning your children into mini “yous”, as if God’s gift came in a box with a plastic window and the words “Your Baby” emblazoned across the front. But this is the wave right?  Well I guess I’m too old to surf then. I’ll often look at these pics and remember a time in my late teens, early 20s, when I was at my clothing obsession peak!  In those times, all my summer earning at my Dad’s place had gone to FUBU, Adidas, and Helly Hanson jackets. And I was making pretty good money at that age, so you can imagine how much Champs and The Bay was making off my summer factory sweat.  But I remember one time, coming home and my mother watching me come in with yet another shopping bag in my hand, with a look of disappointment on her face. I figured she was saddened at my waste of money, when she shook her head. I was partly right. She said “you don’t know how I wish I didn’t dress you guys up in all that clothes when you were kids?” I almost asked her why but I already knew the answer.  Her disappointment wasn’t in me as much as it was in herself. She felt like she started me on that path of image means everything way before the Sprite commercials.  That she contributed, if not planted the seed in my head that clothes make the man, the man don’t make the clothes.  And though I’d never blame my parents for my actions, I can see where her theory makes sense.  Perhaps her innocent attempt to make sure I had more than she did, started me on my fashion fixation. Many years and many many wasted shoe dollars later, I finally get it.

I get that we all want to give our kids more than we ever had.  I don’t even have children and I can fully understand that ideal.  But sometimes giving them more of the material is taking away from building their character.  No one is saying to dress your children in Stitches and Giant Tiger garments.  Shoot even I don’t think I’d do that….no wait, I might! Lol.  But I wouldn’t tell others to follow suit, but come on people!! Some of you are running your household like a daycare meets America’s Next Top Model!!  Does your 2 year old really need a purse from Burberry mom? And Pop does lil Aiden really, really feel comfortable with that big old Hermes belt buckle holding up his diaper?  I hope as much attention is paid to Junior’s spelling as it is his name brand jeans. And I pray Princess knows how to add 1+1, before she knows what red bottoms are.
But hey I don’t have kids right so what do I know?  I don’t know how to swim either but I damn well can tell you how to drown!

– SLANG HUGH

Slang Hugh can be found on instagram @slanghugh