Thank You David Stern and the NBA League of Owners

You really do sound like a super hero league and not the collection of rich white people playing with million dollar toys and trading and buying African American and foreign players like the modern day slave owners that Jesse Jackson loves to refer you as.

So why all the fuss now? Well, you totally f’d up the CP3 deal yesterday. But I’m actually kinda happy about it. Not only does it keep the Lakers from getting the Rook that lands them the Bishop that is Dwight Howard, but it also chips away at the lowly Hornets, owned by the NBA since they couldn’t find a buyer that wasn’t a rich Silicon Valley mogul sitting in a city with a basketball ready arena that’s only being used for hockey games and Taylor Swift concerts. And no disrespect to the City of New Orleans, but I am not in the camp that thinks professional sports helps build up a city economically. Au contraire mon frere, I think they’re all an economic drain with their free land grants, tax exemptions and inconsistent/low paying jobs. So what now? Well, its a lose-lose all around according to the worst source for sports best source for news ever, the NY Times. And then what? Glad you asked. I have the next few outcomes all chronologicalized just for you:

  1. NBA officially cancels all trades for Chris Paul no matter how beneficial to the Hornets they are
  2. NBA decides they cannot run an NBA team and puts the Hornets back up for sale.
  3. No one is willing to buy the team for the $450 million that the NBA paid, except for one man, Larry Ellison, who everyone is afraid will move the team from the 38th largest city in the USA to the 10th largest city
  4. The season ends and Chris Paul pulls a Lebron, I mean a Bosh, and free agents his way to the Lakers
  5. The value of the Hornets drops significantly without a CP3 and without any of the players/draft picks they could have gotten from the Lakers
  6. The NBA realizes they can’t afford to run the team AND they also realize they can’t afford to have 30 teams in cities with no market and no population, especially since there’s only one each of the cities of Los Angeles, New York, and Miami. Larry Ellison calls again.
  7. The NBA decides to “take care” of the 5 teams with the lowest fan attendance by: retracting 2 teams:  the Indiana Pacers/Memphis Grizzlies, continuing the Nets to Brooklyn move, allowing the Maloofs to move the Kings to Las Vegas, and FINALLY allows Larry Ellison to buy the Hornets (for the original $450 million he offered) and move them to the San Jose Arena in a newly remodeled for basketball Shark Tank/Hornets Nest (Only $17 million to remodel for bball folks).
  8. The Warriors move to San Francisco and free agents actually return phone calls.

If you don’t want this to happen, call up the NFL and ask them how they share revenue so teams like the Green Bay Packers will never ever leave Wisconsin.

My Like/Indifferent Relationship with the City of Oakland

The following is a tirade by AzN and does not reflect the overall feelings of all BcB writers. Past and present.

Let me start by saying, I really like working in Oakland. I enjoy the warm, sunny side of the Bay, Monday-Friday. 9AM-6PM. Sometimes 9-10PM. But I gotta say, I’m not a fan of much else. I realized that this weekend when I was at the Apple Store in southside San Jose. Right before walking over to another part of a mall to watch a movie in the theater. My realization: Oakland is just so damn difficult. Everything is difficult. Its not easy to live in Oakland. You gotta LOVE Oakland to live in Oakland. Props to folks that live in Oakland, cause they really are down. Great to be you, I’m so proud. But for me, it would be hard.

Why? Oakland has the worst attributes of a suburban city and ALSO all the side effects of an urban city.

Suburban problems: suburban tract homes, dependency on cars, poor public transit, disconnected neighborhoods with separated land uses, long commutes to work (cause you probably don’t work in Oakland), fast food stores everywhere, things to do in general, and highways/highways/highways.

Urban problems: access to conveniently located stores (1/3 a TARGET doesn’t count), parking, traffic, crowded/ill-timed buses, crime or perception of crime, Race Wars!, rioting, downtown Oakland after 11PM, active parks, and Piedmont (need I say more?).

You wanna go shopping? Oaklanders drive to Emeryville. Wanna go see a movie? That’s in Alameda. Wanna work? Take the ferry to SF. Nice romantic dinner for two? Better hop on BART to Berkeley. Eventually wanna raise your kids up in a good public school? That’ll be Albany. Wanna take the kids to the mall? BART over to Union Square or Hilltop (if you’re adventurous). Wanna see Doug E. Fresh or De La Soul perform, oh wait, you can stay in Oakland for that and head to Yoshi’s in Jack London… Oh Shit, they’re not performing at Yoshi’s in Jack London, they’re at the new Yoshi’s in SF… damn.

I’m not saying Oakland isn’t a great city, I’m just saying it doesn’t have any the benefits that a suburban city provides a family and it ain’t got the benefits that an urban city provides it yuppie DINC couple (dual income no children). Sure, Oakland has San Jose and San Francisco beat when it comes to diversity cause there aren’t many Black folks in those other cities. But what about that couple from Germany you run into when you’re in SF or that family from Japan that’s on a 1 year contract to work in San Jose? I consider that diversity as well.

So I’m not sure what any of the counter arguments will be, cause I’m sure I’ll see some. But all I can say is for now, while I’m single and looking for an urban environment, I’m happy in The Mission. I can walk to cafes, bars, grocery stores and BART. And when I want to settle down and get coerced  by the missus to move to the suburbs, I’d go to San Jose where I can shop at Target and CostCo and take my kids to soccer practice, all without leaving my car. I’m not saying I would actually want to do any of this, mind you, cause I f’n hate the suburbs. But I’m just sayin’, Oakland is going to attract the folks that want a little urban/suburban mix. But getting a little of both means you’re getting both sides of a shitty coin. And the look in my friends’ eyes after happy hour in Oakland when they have to ride AC Transit or hop in their car (usually drunk) to go back home while I hop on BART to continue the party in the Mission. That shit is priceless and I’m glad I’m walking those steps to BART and not waiting for the #18 to never come on Broadway.

Ain’t No Party Like a San Jose Party, Cause a San Jose Party is… Mandatory

Congratulations to the promoters of this party in Downtown San Jose for being the first recipient of BcB’s “Most offensive party club flyer for a Downtown San Jose nightclub for 21 and overs with a house/electro VIP room serving Grey Goose at the tables and a main hip-hop room”. You would think such a narrow award category would probably lead to a limited number of nominees, but if you thought that, you’ve never been to San Jose. Congrats! And remember, guns don’t kill people, the “guy that shanks you with a knife and your brother who retaliates by running him over with his car in the parking lot behind the Camera 3″ kills people.

The Return of Vietnamese 80′s New Wave

New Wave Guy Smoking

GO TO THIS BLOG: Amoeba Music’s “Keep on Music New Wave and 80s Reunion Party – The Vietnamese New Wave Revival

Were you ready for that? All those PICTURES and VIDEOS of the height of the 80′s Vietnamese New Wave experience! Well, its coming back apparently. My first thought is, “did it ever really leave?”, cause just looking at my aunts and uncles nowadays, you wouldn’t have known it died and resurrected as this new kitschy, so ironic let’s put it on an Amoeba blog post phenomenon. My second thought is, I can’t believe people outside of Westminster and San Jose’s Viet community might actually recognize this subset of the New Wave pop culture of the 80′s (or this subset of the Vietnamese American immigrant experience, depending on your lens). The fact that this generation of Vietnamese Americans came over to the States and immediately and wholeheartedly adopted this genre of music and lifestyle still amazes me today, decades after sharing a room with my older cousin with the largest OMD and Depeche Mode posters I have ever seen in my life. Maybe its all the excess hairspray I swallowed as her roommate, but if this is coming back, and the girls look like this, sign me up for them marbled jackets and fishnet gloves.

FourVietnameseNewWaveGirls

Black History Month Tribute to the 1968 Olympics

Just a friendly reminder to y’all that February is Black History Month. One of BcB’s favorite blogs, P is for Props had a tribute to the 1968 Olympics’ heroics of Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the medal podium. If you’re interested in the history behind the statement, come down to sunny San Jose to visit the SJSU campus where a statue of Smith and Carlos (both products of SJSU’s “Speed City” track team, coached by Lloyd (Bud) Winter) was built in 2005. Its been a long time coming…

The San Jose Flinch

My hometown. I’ve been critical of it in the past, most especially regarding the gender inequity (thanks Intel!). And I know I complain about the dangers of club hopping on First Street/Market and the dress to impress attitudes at the bar (No hoodies! No hats! No Sneakers! No blank shirts! Means no style and a lot of dudes wearing XXXL striped shirts and Doc Martins with baggy jeans). The long lines with 90% ratios of dudes to dudettes is also intimidating, not to mention the wall of girls inside that are only interested in dancing with each other or the homeboys they grew up with since birth. But the one thing I will say about San Jose that is much different than all the other places I’ve been to in the world is what I will dub the “San Jose Flinch”. Guys know what I’m talking about. The SJ Flinch occurs when you’re out at Glo, Agenda, Vault, Fahrenheit, VooDoo, Wet, Vivid, Taste or Toons (eat your heart out Vegas, the San Jo game has the one name club lingo down better than you!) and you accidentally bump someone. You (and him/her) immediately turn around and apologize. Profusely and quickly. The other situation? You both start gearing up for a beatdown. But in all likelihood, you BOTH apologize. Anyone that has spent some time in SJ knows that the likelihood of a fight is relatively high. And for those of you asking, San Jose lost its 6-year reign as the safest biggest city in America thanks to El Paso, Texas and Honolulu, Hawaii in 2007.

PS. Thanks car load of dudes for tossing a half empty can of Bud at me and my folks outside of the Children’s Discovery Museum last night. You are a scholar and a gentleman, and a wasteful drinker of watered down spirits.

Warriors: Same Ish, Different Year

Ridiculous. I can’t believe I’m sitting here in NY, and I’m a fan of a team that actually has a worst team and management than the New York F’N Knicks. Unbelievable. First the Warriors lose almost ALL of the players from the last playoff team they had (notice how I’m using “they” and not “we”), then they drop Chris Mullin as GM (who’s Knicks-bound now!), then shit really hits the fan this month and we’re not even close to seeing the Warriors ruin their 7th overall pick yet! And I’m not even referring to the Warriors stupid Director of Public Relations that got caught logging into WarriorsWorld.net as “flunkster dude” and posting up “anonymous” fan forum comments of praise for upper management on how they handled season ticket renewals, only to be caught because the web admin was able to trace his IP address back to the Warriors front office (doesn’t he know the Bay Area fan-base is all GEEKS?)

So what happened that’s pissing me off? All Warrior fans know Paul Wong, simple man, family man. Owner of one Hawaiian Drive-In chain in Alameda (oh snap, I’m craving a Loco Moco with gravy on the side as I write this). But most famous for single-handedly creating the WE BELIEVE phenomemon in the middle of the Warriors 2007 regular season, when the team had a 28-35 record and was nowhere near playoff contention. And what happened after that? An unbelievable winning streak that brought them into the playoffs and momentum from 18,000+ fans with We Believe shirts and signs that crushed the Dallas Mavs’s best record in the NBA in the 1st round of the playoffs. The Warriors promised Wong that they’d stop using the slogan after the season. They also promised him “season ticket holder of the game” at the last home game, which is stupid and mindless (ooooh, I’ve been a season ticket holder since the team moved out from Philly and all I got was this autographed Marco Belinelli Jersey?!?). And what did the Warriors do? No compensation, We Believe shirts for another year, and NO fan of the game. Dude was #1 fan of the YEAR! And now he’s CANCELING HIS SEASON TICKETS! How do you go from the Bay Area’s undisputed Warriors SuperFan to canceling your season tickets? Oh, the woes of being a fan of the most poorly run franchise in major league sports…

So why do the Warriors continue to operate like school on sundays (no class)? Cause they CAN. We’re talking one of the most consistenly WORST teams in the Bay Area that doesn’t come close to the playoffs every single year, but an average arena attendance that ranks NINTH in the NBA?! NINTH! You know what that means? Even if they trade Biedrins and Ellis for the rights to the Lakers’ 29th overall pick in 2009 and decide to replace them with 7th grade basketball players from the local Oakland schools they use as halftime show amusement, fans will STILL be coming to games. So how do we solve this dilemma, other than getting the Sacramento Kings to move to San Jose for fan competition (hmmmm… What a coincidence, the NBA’s last place team in attendance is located exactly 120 miles from the 10th largest city in the nation with the most corporate tech headquarters in the world…). 

BOYCOTT THE WARRIORS. Easy as that. Stop going to games, stop buying jerseys for players that won’t be around in a year (I have a closet full of Speewell, Davis, and Webber jerseys), and stop watching games on TV. Don’t even be tempted with the twice yearly Kobe visits or the yearly Celtics or LeBron visits. Give it 2-3 years, and we’ll get what the City of Charlotte got, a new basketball team with better owners, in the same great Oracle Arena in the greatest region for basketball.

Chronicling My Move to NY: Part I – Finding a Vietnamese Sandwich

So I’m doing it. Moving from the Yay Area to the Big Apple. Although everyone is concerned for me because of the weather, crime or the “urban” living. I am most concerned with my habitual consumption of Vietnamese food. I need my Banh Mi Cha Lua + Pâté and toothbrush/dental floss/mouthwash afterwards.

My favorite is Cha Lua (steamed pork sausage) and Pâté

My favorite is Cha Lua (steamed pork sausage) and Pâté

NY has historically been one of the worst places for Vietnamese food (in relation to the Vietnamese population) versus VA, Houston, San Jose, SF, the OC, and Seattle, which have always been good to me. So when the NY Times has to dedicate an entire article to Banh Mi, I get a little concerned. Cause in San Jose, everyone (including the My Trang, and My Den for that matter) knows where to go already. You don’t need the San Jose Mercury News to tell you where to get Banh Mi.  The fact that the article mentions fusion Banh Mi annoys me, why don’t they f’n learn how to make a good authentic one first before they stuff Pho ingredients in?

And I like how one of the sandwichmakers calls out San Jose as being too backwards to accept a fusion Banh Mi. Well then Mr. Fred Hua, have you thought that maybe San Joseans can’t accept your fabulous creation cause you’re a Chinese dude with the first name Fred? And that the classy New Yorkers can because Manhattanites have never tried a real Banh Mi before cause they’ve never ventured that far into Brooklyn?

And everyone should totally read the comments in the NYTimes article for gems like these: 

A couple of weeks ago I made a prediction to my husband, “The Vietnamese Sandwich is the New Cubano.” The Banh Mi’s at Anh Choi are SOOOOOO gooood! My old Vietnamese sandwich spot on Mulberry just closed, sorry to see it go!— rinky, NYC 

Thanks so much for this. Sounds like a perfect Passover treat!— Alan J. Weisbard, Madison, WI 

I remember having one while in Viet Nam in the mid -60′s .
It was dog as I later found out . Sad but true .Not saying
that’ s true in the U.S.
— dr.martin, new york,ny  

Madison Nguyen Recall: Political Machine vs Random Neighborhood Folks

madison_071

San Jose's District 7 Council member, about to go through a recall election, March 3, 2009.

 

Let me start by saying, I don’t necessarily support the recall, but I’m not entirely against it. Madison’s campaign was grassroots and got all the Vietnamese Americans in San Jose to respond to local politics, in many cases, for the first time. Her campaign also had its humble beginnings right in my parents house. But somehow between then and now, a whole lotta shit happened.

The first of which was the decision on the naming of the Vietnamese hood in Eastside: Little Saigon vs Saigon Business District. Personally, I don’t see the difference. Both are exclusive and both ghettoize the neighborhood (the old Jewish American connotation of the word Ghetto, not the Ice Cube as Doughboy in Boyz in the Hood meaning). So the fact that Madison was adamant against naming the neighborhood “Little Saigon” means something was going on in the background. There is a Little Saigon in SF, OC, VA, pretty much everywhere. Why there couldn’t be one, officially, in San Jose, confounds me. It SMACKS of the same xenophobia that hit Santa Clara when the council there rejected the Koreatown proposal, despite the fact that the stretch of El Camino Real filled with Korean restaurants, bars, and shops is already an F’N K0-town, whether they like it or now. 

The other reason I am not out there campaigning against the recall like I did for the election of President Obama (coincidentally, the Silicon Valley for Obama group is officially against the recall) is because the two sides are completely lopsided. The pro Madison side is filled ENTIRELY with local businesses, politicians, LARGE political groups (like the Democratic Party), and other randoms from OUTSIDE the District that this affects. The people FOR the recall? I have no idea. Why? Cause its just a bunch of random people FROM THE NEIGHBORHOOD who were able to gather up 7,000 viable signatures from the District and got this thing to ballot. If this doesn’t scream democratic process and grassroots coalition building, then I don’t know what does. Cause between the thousands of dollars spent on billboards and TV ads the Madison side is pulling vs the random stragglers on the street knocking on doors the anti-Madison group is putting together, I think its pretty obvious which side is speaking for the people of District 7…  

 

Grassroots is a caller list on one hand, a 900 mhz cordless phone in the other, and a newborn latched into a baby bjorn on your chest. In your living room.

Grassroots is a caller list on one hand, a 900 mhz cordless phone in the other, and a newborn latched into a baby bjorn on your chest. In your living room.

Why (most) Americans Will Never Like Hockey

I fucking hate hockey. It has nothing to do with communism or Canada or the low scores, like how most Americans feel (have you ever seen a pitching dual in baseball, America?!). I just feel it is the least socially and economically accessible sport there is. You need pads, helmet, skates, puck, stick, an ice rink and 9 other people that can afford the same. Its probably $2000 just to get on the ice prepared for a pick up game. And that’s not even including a ref cause icing and off sides ain’t something you can self regulate like backcourts and double dribbles. It also has nothing and everything to do with race. Cause kids in the projects or kids with immigrant parents don’t have any opportunity to send their kids in to get fitted with hockey equipment and training.

 

When I think of a hockey team called the Dragons, i think of a team that looks like this. Including Ronald Weasley taking some time off his Quidditch team to play hockey (second from the right).

When I think of a hockey team called the Dragons, i think of a team that looks like this. Including Ronald Weasley taking some time off his Quidditch team to play hockey (second from the right).

 

Compare this to basketball, and you got yourself a huge discrepancy. If you dont believe me, go to a Warriors game in Oakland then go to a Sharks game in San Jose. In Oakland, I’m one among thousands of blacks, whites, browns, and yellows. At a sharks game, I’m the ONLY PERSON of color. I literally could not find a token Asian or Mexican kid. Have you ever been the token minority in a group the size of thousands before? In the f’n Bay of all places? If you wanna be, head straight to the club level bar behind section 101 at the Shark Tank. You won’t even find that one little 1st generation Asian kid that grew up in Los Gatos and doesn’t have any Asian friends cause he didn’t grow up around any. 

 

And this is why I’m an Obamaniac. Cause our President balls, and people in his cabinet ball:

 

  • Arne Duncan, Center. Secretary of Education. Harvard and Australian Pro.
  • Eric Holder, Guard. Attorney General. Queens native. NYC Stuyvesant High School, Columbia University. 
  • Susan Rice, Guard. United Nations Ambassador. National Cathedral. 
  • James Jones, Forward. National Security Advisor. Georgetown. 
  • Reggie Love, Obama’s Body Guard. Duke University National Champion, 2001. 
  • Barack Obama, guard. Punahou High School.  

 

 

Its the only sport you can play a whole game by yourself, in your backyard, at midnight (which was my saving grace as an only child). Its the only sport you can show up in any neighborhood court in the WORLD with a pair of tattered Jordan’s and an NCAA bball and play with 1, 3, or even 9 other like-minded individuals. Or play by yourself in between plays of a 5 on 5 game you complete loser.

 

Hockey is for those that can afford it. And my America can’t.