Hey everyone! Sorry the blog has been empty since October but I got a full-time job as the new Assistant Editor over at Esquire, so all my time and energy have pretty much moved over there. The good news: I’m now being paid for my writing! The bad-ish news: I don’t know what to do with this space much anymore. Obviously, I want this personal writing outlet to remain. So, I thought I’d make it a bit more blog-like and let ya’ll know what I’m thinking about (hopefully week-to-week), when it comes to music, movies, TV, podcast, comics, and of course, basketball. Never fear, I’m still consuming media at an unhealthy rate.
For starters, let me shout out some of the work I’ve been doing that I’m most proud of so far. Last month, one of my heroes, Jason David Frank, sadly passed away. He played Tommy Oliver, a.k.a. the Green Power Ranger, and I wrote a touching, personal tribute harking back to the time I met him as a young martial artist. I also reviewed the new Black Panther: Wakanda Forever sequel, talked to the busiest bartender in Philadelphia during the World Series, spoke with Mayor of Kingstown co-creator Hugh Dillon, and went crazy covering House of the Dragon weekly for a little over 4 million views on Esquire.com.
Enjoying the break this past long weekend for Thanksgiving, I spent time with the family while listening to The Family–the latest of two “final” Brockhampton albums, along with TM. Where The Family was a gut-wrenching and borderline hard to listen to solo project from frontman Kevin Abstract, TM marked the true end for Brockhampton’s journey as a collective (probably). Look, if it doesn’t have Merlyn then it’s not a Brockhampton record. So, thank you boys for not ending things on The Family. Honestly, this moment had been stretched out so far that each new release feels a little like unfinished recordings from the hard drive thrown together for posthumous content. I thought Brockhampton was over back in 2018 when I witnessed them leaving a Boston Calling performance huddled and sobbing. Yet, here we are–four years and five albums later at another “final” bow for the rap group/boy band. I still really enjoyed a lot of moments on TM, however, including the double-packed Merlyn tracks “New Shoes” and “Keep It Southern.” I can’t wait for that man to go solo.
I’ve also, as usual, been watching a lot of basketball–and I’m really torn about these damn Brooklyn Nets. Let me explain. I got into basketball around the same time that I really felt settled in Brooklyn long-term, which just happened to correspond with a new super-team formation of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden. I don’t know why I chose the Nets other than the Knicks–or the 76ers–except for that reason alone. I thought it would be fun to win my first season. They call that a bandwagon fan, but whatever. I guess I got punished just as well. Much like Brockhampton, I had a lot of fun watching these boys win even as the whole situation slowly decayed for years. Joe Harris was my Matt Champion. Bruce Brown my Dom McLennon. Patty Mills my Merlyn Wood. You get the picture.
But it’s harder and harder to be a Nets fan every day, and the worst part is that none of that challenge has anything to do with basketball. For those who aren’t as glued in, the super-team not only imploded but it’s been just controversy after controversy ever since. Without even getting into all the drama that led us to this moment–we should probably just skip to the heart of the problem: Kyrie Irving. For how amazing he is at basketball, he’s been doing everything he can the past two years to not play it. After rejecting the Covid-19 vaccine and throwing an entire season down the toilet, he recently shared an antisemitic film on Twitter–resulting in a two-week suspension and even more ire from fans. So… what, I’m supposed to keep cheering for these guys now? I’ve been watching less and less Nets games recently and more games around the league–which is fine because I love basketball more than any one team. But, it feels like the end of an era. So much so, that I wish Brooklyn just traded all their stars for picks and started fresh. But the “East Coast Lakers,” as I now call them, seem to want to keep these bad vibes going.
I, on the other hand, would prefer to only have good vibes around me. So, I pick and choose. Seth Curry had seven three-pointers for the Nets the other night and I loved watching Yuta Watanabe level up in real time at the Grizzlies game on Nov. 20. Good stuff. Like Bruce Brown’s first career triple-double for the Denver Nuggets–or Merlyn Wood’s fantastic energy on TM–I hope my favorite boys eventually all reach the mountaintop. Sometimes you just gotta go solo.