Posts Tagged ‘2010’


Remember when the Black Eyed Peas used to be the hottest thing in hip-hop? I do. Their debut album Elephant was great because it

Black Eyed Peas performing.

Image via Wikipedia

gave us a memorable song by the name of  Where Is the Love? The song combined a fresh style with socially-conscious lyrics that made people re-evaluate the world they were living in, all in 4 or so minutes. The band, as is known, continued to be successful despite allegations of them plagarizing almost all their hits from other sources. Somewhere along the line, though, they went from being all about hip-hop into David Guetta‘s dream-project, as demonstrated by their last album The E.N.D, where their most successful song, at least in this country, I Gotta Feeling was produced by said person. So, bye bye hip-hop, and hello really cliche electronic music.

Well, they’re doing it again with this month’s release of *drum roll please, because really this is going to be a surprise* The Beginning, which judging by the album’s first single is going to be very, very much like it’s predesecor.

So let’s talk about that single, The Time (Dirty Bit) which is set to be released as a single just four days before the album (Really now? Smart marketing move BEP). (more…)


For all those interested, I found the video for the Los Angeles Lakers’ ring ceremony that took place last night. It was something for all Lakers’ fans, as they managed to raise their 16th banner and collect the 2010 championship rings, which were made out of 2010 NBA Finals Game 7 ball’s leather that crowned the Lakers champs.

What’s special about this ring ceremony is how the Lakers’ players all introduced one another after receiving their rings, which made them look more of a family rather than a team (and it also brought back the attention to the champs, not the wannabe champs).

Interesting points I noticed:

  • If you pay attention when they are introducing the team staff, you’d notice that Tanter (the announcer) skips over an assistant coach and jumps off to Kareem Abdul Jabbar. That guy’s name is Rashard Hazzard and he happens to be another special assistant coach (He got to thank the announcer, Hazzard is now like 100 times famous because of that and is being searched over the Internet. Like they say, any publicity is good publicity).
  • Adam Morrison getting booed when Phil Jackson said his name (Well, after all, the guy literally did NOTHING in the Finals).
  • At first, it sounded like Luke Walton was getting booed for some reason when coach Jackson introduced him. Turned out the crowd yelled “Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuke”. Makes sense.
  • They showed Khloe Kardashian when Lamar Odom received his ring, but it seems Maria Sharapova wasn’t there to witness her fiancee Sasha Vujacic’s second ring ceremony. It looks like the relationship is not TMZ material just yet.
  • Andrew Bynum introduced Pau Gasol as the “greatest all around big” in the game (Bye bye Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki), Shannon Brown introduced Derek Fisher as “El Presidento”, Derek Fisher introduced Kobe Bryant as the “greatest basketball player in the world” (Take that LeBron!) and Kobe Bryant introduced Dr. Jerry Buss as the “greatest owner in team sports history”.
  • Ron Artest is giving out his ring in a raffle to raise metal health awareness (like the cause, but seriously dude, the ring?).
  • Gotta love those that are called as “Special Assistant coaches”. Just say what they do!

As you all know, less than 24 hours ago marked the beginning of the 2010/2011 NBA season where the opening day featured three games: the new look Miami Heat losing to the Eastern champs Boston Celtics, the Portland Trailblazers defeated the Phoenix Suns, and the defending champs Los Angeles Lakers rallying from a 15 point deficit to knock out the Houston Rockets.

Miami's center Joel Anthony and their lack of frontcourt made Shaquille look like he was 27

In the most watched regular season game EVER on cable, the Boston Celtics hosted the Miami Heat in the first game of the season. Everybody was waiting to see the Miami Heat in action, rather the presence of MVP LeBron James and Chris Bosh alongside to Dwayne Wade. As usual, the TD Garden’s crowd was merciless, shouting overrated everytime the Heat had the ball and booing LeBron James upon possesion. The Heat had one of the most sluggish and rusty first quarters in their history, scoring only 9 points in the first 12 minutes to trail the Celtics by 7. The second quarter started and the turnover party of the Miami Thrice, well basically James and Wade, kept on going on eventually helping the Celtics to gain a lead as much as 19 points and making Shaquille O’Neal looking younger than ever and Marquis Daniels play like a superstar, eventually ending the first half leading 45-30.

James started to make more of his shots, and slowly, he and Carlos Arroyo brought the Miami Heat back into the game, making the most anticipated game as interesting as it should be, with James scoring 15 of his 31 points in this quarter, with the Heat only trailing by six by the end of 3 quarters. However, Paul Pierce wouldn’t let his Celtics fall, and made one of the biggest statements in the game by standing in James’ way as he was running on the fast break, committing a blocking foul and making sure that the East champs are not ready to surrender their Eastern title yet. Pierce sat out a bit and came back in, knocked down two straight three pointers and drew a foul off a three point shot to kill the Heat, who were shooting abysmally throughout the game, starting with a miserable 23% in the first half and eventually only 37%, leaving the Celtics to hold off a late Heat charge and win the game 88-80. LeBron James had 31 points, yet 8 turnovers for the Heat, in addition to Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh having miserable games, with Wade’s 13 points off 4 for 16 shooting  and 6 turnovers and Chris Bosh scoring a measly 8 points. Ray Allen led the way for the Celtics with 20 points, getting help from Pierce (19 points, 9 rebounds) and an astonishing performance from Rajon Rondo (17 assists, most ever in an opening game). The Celtics fly to Cleveland to play the Cavaliers, while the Heat finish their first back-to-back in Philadelphia against their 76ers.

The opening night continued with another rematch of last year’s playoffs, this time in Portland with the Phoenix Suns visiting the Trailblazers. As expected, the game started as a really close one, with no team being able to get in control, despite the fact that the Phoenix Suns were playing their first official game without Amare Stoudemire since losing him to the New York Knicks in free agency. The Blazers led by 2 at the end of the first quarter, and finished the first half up by 4 behind the good play of Brandon Roy and newcomer Wesley Matthews. The Phoenix Suns started the third quarter strong, behind Jason Richardson’s excellent play, giving the Suns a ten point advantage in the third quarter and end up by 6. Pprtland came back from the dead in mid fourth, ending the game on an 18-1 run to win it all 106-92 behind Roy’s 24 points, Nicholas Batum’s 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Matthews’ 13 points off the bench. Steve Nash had 26 points, 6 assists, but 9 turnovers for the Suns as well as 22 points from Richardson.

The night ended with a ring ceremony where the Los Angeles Lakers received their 2009-2010 championship rings and started their title defense with a tough game against the Houston Rockets, who were playing their first game with Yao Ming, who eventually played 23 minutes as planned, after an absence over a year. The Rockets started out strong in the first half, leading by as much as 11 by halftime (62-51). Then the Lakers stormed back, behind a collaborative performance, starting with Kobe Bryant ( 7 assists, 27 points, 11 on free throws) and Pau Gasol (29 points and 11 rebounds) and eventually Shannon Brown going off like a loose cannon after the Lakers trailed by as much as 15, scoring 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, and eventually Lakers new acquistion Steve Blake putting the icing on the cake, scoring three 3 pointers, including the go ahead, to win the game 112-110. Houston Rockets were led by Kevin Martin’s 26 points and Aaron Brooks’ 24 points, while Yao Ming had 9 points and 11 rebounds.

Kobe Bryant kissing his fifth ring - hopefully not last.

TnT’s Excellence of the Night: Paul Pierce (BOS, 17 points, 9 rebounds), Nicholas Batum (POR, 19 points, 11 rebounds), Shannon Brown (LAL, 16 points).

TnT’s Must-NOT-See Players of the Night: Miami’s bench, Dwayne Wade & Chris Bosh (44points on 15 for 49, 9 TOs)

TnT’s Leaders of the Night: LeBron James (MIA, 31 points), Luis Scola (HOU, 16 rebounds), Rajon Rondo (BOS, 17 assists)



The one thing that British popband Hurts have in common with the rest of the artists is their affinity for the unconventional, depending on how you would look at it, that is. In a time where commercial music has been reduced to the same beats repeating over and over again, lyrics are thrown together haphazardly, and crazy outfits are as much as part of the whole look, this band comes along like a breath of fresh air. They use technology to their advantage, write lyrics that resonate with the emotions, and are never caught performing without suits.

 

Theo Hutchcraft (L) and Adam Anderson (R) on album cover for "Happiness"

 

A first listen to their debut album comes off across as a product of the 80s, not present day, something that works much to their favor. It is interesting to note that both members are in their early to mid-twenties.  These unique sounds are due to the masterful arrangements of multi-instrumentalist Adam Anderson. His compositions are complemented by the voice of Theo Hutchcraft, who comes across as charismatic even if you have not seen one of Hurts’ video clips.

The album’s name and main message contrast with the band’s name, but this too is yet another forte for the duo. They are able to cover a wide scope of emotions without coming off as pretentious or as trying too hard to prove themselves from their first foray into the industry.

Not all the tracks are memorable, but the ones that do stand out are guaranteed to get stuck in the listener’s head. (more…)


For the past 6 years, Lebanese have been known to be divisive because of politics. Many villages have constant feuds over a bunch of supposed politicians and you got brothers not talking to each other because two politicians can only get along under the table but not show it publicly, keeping the country in unrest.

But let’s put politics aside for once. This country unites under sports, and when our national team is playing basketball. all our differences are put aside and we root for one name: LEBANON.

Lebanese Basketball, Our Pride :D

As you all know, the FIBA World Cup is about to start in about 6 weeks,  and yes, Lebanon is making its third straight appearance.  It all started last year after our national team played in the Asia Championship and made it to the semis to face the Chinese national team. Our team always had this jinx against the Chinese, where due to major height differences and players that play in the NBA (Yao Ming, Wang Zhizhi, etc…), the Cedars could never beat the Chinese in the past.

So came the semis, and Lebanon was hanging in close against a Yao-less Chinese team and managed to get a lead in the last two minutes. Coming down to the last seconds, the game was tied and mysteriously, one of the Chinese players fakes getting fouled by our Roni Fahed and gets three undeserved free throws, leaving China to beat our national team by 3  points, making Lebanon’s chances for qualifying to the World Cup harder than ever since both teams that play the final automatically qualify. Yet they still had a chance if they beat Jordan in the bronze medal game, which they failed to do, as they lost an 80-66 to the Jordanians.

FIBA World Championships 2010 - Turkey

Despite all that, it still had a slight chance to qualify, by being awarded one of the 4 wild cards. FIBA awards a wild card to a country based on different criteria, such as playing in its Zone’s qualification tournament, popularity of basketball in country, success of country, and government support.

A fee of 500,000 € (approx $765,000) was paid to be eligible for a wild card spot. A few months later,

(yes, you guessed it right) Lebanon was awarded a wild card spot and earned its third consecutive berth in the FIBA world championship. I know, many Lebanese say it isn’t as big as football, but believe me, going to Turkey to watch your national team play in a world cup of a popular sport is HUGE.

Last month, however, conflicts emerged in the Lebanese Basketball Federation that led to the resignation of nine of the the thirteen board committee members with the FBL chief and its members calling each other names, including “mosquitoes”, “lacking loyalty”, and “having other agendas”, which led to the idea that Lebanon might not participate.

If the July War back in ’06 didn’t stop our national team from participating in a World Cup, conflicts among the federation members weren’t going to either. 21 players were invited to try-outs for the team, where 15 of them are playing in the 32nd edition of the Williams Jones Cup that is taking place in Taipei. So far, Lebanon is undefeated in its first two games, where it defeated Japan 87-82 in the first game on July 14th and Chinese Taipei 93-84 yesterday.

After its participation ends in Taipei, our national team will be going to play the Japanese team in the Japan Invitational Games in three different cities. Then, Beirut will be hosting the 3rd Stankovic Cup, which also includes Japan and Chinese Taipei, and others such as the Phillipines, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Its final stop before the World Cup will be one week before the main event, where the team will be going to Ankara to play in the 3rd Efes World Cup, and will play against the likes of Argentina, the host Turkey, and Canada before finally heading to Izmir for the World Championship.

Being placed in Group D with defending champs Spain, Argentina, France, Lithuania and New Zealand,  we have a very fragile chance of making the top 4 in order to qualify to the knock out stages. Yet no one expected Lebanon to win a game in the last World Cup, and despite that, we won the first game vs. Venezuela (ok, you might be saying “so what, it’s Venezuela) but then we beat FRANCE, which had at the time 5 NBA players, (what are you going to say now?) in one of this country’s most legendary wins in international play.

Our National Team Will Make Us Proud No Matter What!

The Lebanese team’s chances in this tournament are to go end somewhere in the middle between their first two participations, where they finished dead last in the first and were on the verge of making the 2nd round in the next. With our star Fadi El Khatub trying to get over nagging injury problems, our team will have to refer to the likes of star point guard Rony Fahed, Matt Freije and Jackson Vroman to take on this difficult challenge as the underdogs in this group and make some noise by surprising the world in making knock-out stages.

All I know is, that come August 28th, every Lebanese person that is capable of traveling to Izmir, Turkey should do so to cheer their country playing vs. Canada and show national pride, and if not, to tune to their TVs to watch our players raise the Lebanese flag high. After all, our country doesn’t play in a World Cup everyday, and you never know when the next time might be.

GO LEBANON!

The Lebanese National Team Roster (Not Final Yet):

Rony Fahed

Ali Mahmoud

Rodrigue Akl

Jean AbdelNour

Elie Estephane

Elie Roustom

Ahmad Ibrahim

Ghaleb Rida

Fadi El Khatib

Ali Fakhreddine

Roy Samaha

Ali Kanaan

William Pharis

Matt Frieje

Jackson Vroman

Head Coach: Tab Baldwin

Asst. Coach: Nikos Dimitriou