Let’s face it: if you’re looking fresh during finals, you’re probably not studying hard enough. Reading period is the perfect time to ditch the selvage denim and Jordan IIIs and go into academic hibernation, and there’s no better item to bring with you than a pair of these beauties. No longer confined to the world of Apres-skis and log cabins, these slippers represent the pinnacle of below-the-ankle comfort for anyone planning to leave the library for the next hundred hours. But don’t despair if you have to venture outside and have a rep to protect- just tell people that you woke up too hungover to even attempt tying real shoes, then quickly hurry back to Plato and the Louisiana Purchase. Your secret will be safe with us.
+ The American Apparel Cult Suit.(Salt & Pepper Hoody & Sweatpants.)[LINK]
Let’s ignore the legal trouble in which the American Apparel brand may currently be embroiled and focus on the facts here for a moment. By our humble estimation there is nothing more comfortable than the combined efforts of the American Apparel Salt & Pepper hoody and accompanying sweatpants. Or, what we commonly prefer to call them when Ellington decides to wear both garments in excess of four days in a row, “The American Apparel Cult Suit.” At 40 bucks a pop, you can beat the price, and with cotton combed as soft as Danilo Gallinari attempting to defend Blake Griffin, once you grab your own set, you’ll probably never take it off. If this is the uniform, direct us to the sign up desk for the cult immediately.
+ Aunt Jemima Original Pancakes/Buttermilk Frozen Waffles [LINK] (Yes, seriously. A link.)
Fresh after learning about the deeply entrenched racial history of the packaging in your Intro to Race Relations or Marketing class, you can display your educational dexterity by utilizing real world application of a learned fact. We’re talking about everyone’s favorite Aunt here folks, Jemima. Absolutely essential brain-food. During finals week we probably go through about four boxes of these. Toasted dark, really dark, almost burnt dark, smothered in Country Crock butter (not no Parkay, not no margarine). Empty calories at their finest.
+ Avoiding Internet Provided Distractions [LINK] (Definitely don’t click that.)
Listen up guys, if you’re actually trying to get something done, the internet is absolutely and unequivocally off limits. You already know your Professor isn’t going to accept Wikipedia as a source,not to mention the fact Twitter and Tumblr are more distracting than those blasphemous full page web ads with Diddy and his two new nephews that seemed to be on every single website this side of Compton a few days ago. Personally, we find it very difficult to stop ourselves from watching Lil B classics on Youtube an/or the newly crowned best Tumblr on the internet, KJLAT, but seriously, don’t look at that if you’re trying to get work done. Damn. The fact that you’re reading this here means this whole paragraph was a failure.
Disregard all this slanderous press that Four Loko and Redbull and Five Hour Energy have been recently subject to: caffeine is awesome, and absolutely obligatory during finals week. Why waste precious time sleeping when you could be going over note-cards one last time or, even more important, squeezing in some raging between study sessions? Matt stumbled across the incredible combination of M&M’s and Vault Red Blitz soda his sophomore year of high-school, and subsequently went six straight days without sleep. After kicking his chemical addiction, he realized that, in moderation, Vault and M&Ms are a one-shot energy boost that can turn any night of burning the midnight oil into a BP-sized firebomb. Just don’t add Pop-Rocks to the mix, word to Little Mikey from the Life Cereal commercials. For the rest of you who may not be trying to earn elementary Mixologist degrees while studying, 7-11 has you covered with enough ridiculous caffeine and sugar riddle concoctions to require at the very least a stomach pumping by the week’s end.
As much as we’d enjoy seeing you all wired off of Nos and Rockstar energy drinks, we realize that a few of you out there have GPA’s to protect. So in the interest of academic glory, Quentin has the real word on the streets. Have some water instead of soda. Water maintains body functions and keeps the brain active.
If water is too boring, because let’s face it…it’s water. Green Tea is the next best choice. Not only is it still basically water (See what we did there?), but it brings about a refined sense of class to your study session. It might be exactly what you need to talk to that girls on the other side of the lounge. “Hey girl, you want to sample my Bigelow brew?” Works every time.
That’s it folks. That’s all we’ve got. Not because we couldn’t go on all day, mostly because we can’t afford to procrastinate any further ourselves. That fifteen page research paper isn’t writing itself and the 9AM wake up tomorrow is only getting closer. With sincere wishes from The Club as we descend back into our own enclaves of academia, we wish you the best of luck on your upcoming examinations. Carry on wayward sons, carry on.
Access the full article here. I’m not much of a Rick Reilly fan, but this is a brilliant look into one of our most misunderstood athletes.
LOS ANGELES — There are some dangerous places to be in the world. Inside Ron Artest's Cadillac Escalade is one of them. Inside Ron Artest's brain is another.
We’re about to spend 16 hours inside both.
Friday, Dec. 3:
7:15 a.m. — Yes, Ron Artest is crazy. Crazy people think Ron Artest is crazy. But he’s not crazy 24/7. For instance, this morning, Artest is taking his kids to school in his Escalade, not his bright red, open-wheel Indy race car. But he has.
"Cops always pull me over, but it’s street legal!" protests Artest, 31.
Like so much in the life of the most unpredictable man in the NBA, the Indy car is four parts crazy, one part brilliant.
Take, for instance, during the playoffs, when he usually rents himself a Lamborghini.
"I don’t know. I don’t know how to drive a Lamborghini, and the last time I did it, I had to pay them another $20,000 extra. So I’m not going to do that anymore."
There are three of his kids in this car — Sade (13), Ron (11) and Diamond (7), and one more — LeRon (9) — back in NYC. He is mostly a very fun dad to have. Sometimes they wake up in the morning to find out that their dad appeared on the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” the night before in just his boxers. Or did a TV appearance in a fake beard. Or went to a practice in just a bathrobe.
"It’s fun. My kids think it’s funny, so I do it. But my wife doesn’t like it. So I don’t tell her."
Also, it gets him invited back. And makes his appearances go viral. Four parts crazy, one part brilliant.
7:21 a.m. — Driving or talking with Artest, you have to hang on tight. The conversation does not just go off the rails. It’s a shorted-out Tilt-a-Whirl with loose bolts. For instance, Ron takes a right off Barrington on to Bundy, two streets that became famous during the O.J. Simpson trial.
Do these streets take you back, I ask him?
"Kind of. But if the traffic’s bad, I go the other way."
Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty ImagesRon Artest’s Tru Warier company logo isn’t the only thing that gets carved into his hair. This Lakers-themed pattern signifies defense. Or so he says.
7:48 a.m. — Ron Artest is pumping gas. And because he’s 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds and being followed by an ESPN camera crew, people gather to watch.
Someone sidles up and asks, “Is this for that Kardashian show?”
Sorry, wrong Laker.
Ron-Ron is watching the dollars spin by much faster than the gallons and laments, “It’s so expensive here.”
Six million dollars a year only goes so far, you know. Keeping this in mind, Ron-Ron has planned three post-basketball careers:
1. Record producer. To promote his Tru Warier label, he sometimes carves the company logo into his hair.
2. Boxer. Someday, perhaps in four years, he hopes to fight as a pro. He trains under Freddie Roach, who also handles Manny Pacquiao. Who starts a pro boxing career at 35? So far, nobody.
3. NFL tight end. He works at this diligently in the offseason. He has studied the ages of the people who play. He has even consulted with Terrell Owens about it.
"How’s he going to do that?" says Ron’s coach with the Lakers, Phil Jackson. "He’s got a contract with us through 2014!"
Ron-Ron is undeterred. “I always follow my plan 100 percent, even if I know I’m going to fail.”
Artest Logic. Get used to it.
8:01 a.m. — Ron goes inside his rented Brentwood mansion to do chores and an interview. The day before, Ron-Ron went on a Houston radio station and the host inexplicably thought he was interviewing Houston Rockets forward Luis Scola. So Ron-Ron did the whole interview as Scola, proclaiming himself “the greatest player in the world” in a Spanish accent that morphed into Jamaican.
'I always follow my plan 100 percent, even if I know I'm going to fail.' Artest Logic. Get used to it.
Otherwise, Artest is maybe the most honest interview in the league. He’ll answer anything anytime. But his news conference after he hit the game-winning 3 to clinch Game 7 in the Lakers’ Finals win over the Celtics last season has to go down as the best in NBA history.
He was giddy as a solo lottery winner. “Kobe passed me the ball!” Artest said through his giggles, with Diamond on his lap. “Kobe never passes me the ball! (titter) I could hear the Zen Master [Jackson] in my ear. ‘Don’t shoot, Ron!’ But I’m like ‘Whatever!’ (grin) … But I definitely want to thank my psychologist.”
Don’t all Game 7 heroes thank their psychologist s?
9:21 a.m. — Sometime today, Artest will probably call, text, e-mail or Skype that psychologist. “Maintenance,” he says.
Artest is very big on counseling. He gets parental counseling, marriage counseling, anger counseling and personal counseling. Artest is such a fan of psychiatry that he’s raffling off the $26,000 championship ring he won to pay for school psychiatry. So far, the raffle — go to RonArtest.com — has raised nearly half a million dollars.
"When I told my mom, she got real pissed at me," he says. "My dad, too. And my brother. And my wife. They said, ‘You played your whole life to win that and you’re giving it away?’" It befuddled his teammates, too. "I’d never do it," says Bryant, who has five. “How f—-ing crazy is that? I’d just give them the money instead.”
Not Ron-Ron. Already, the money will pay for “at least eight school therapists,” he says. Plus, the more he talks about it, the less weird therapy becomes.
"I needed a therapist when I was a kid," says Artest, who was suspended every single year of his elementary school career. "I needed one real bad. I want kids to know that what they’re going through, they’re not alone."
10:07 a.m. — Ron-Ron will never get Allstate’s good driver discount. He hits the gas and brake constantly even when there’s nobody in front of him. Our sound guy in the back seat is turning white.
He favors right turns from the far left lane. And he’s always lost. One time, he left Milwaukee by car to go to Chicago and didn’t realize he was going the wrong way until he hit the Iowa line. “I need my GPS a lot,” he admits.
That’s true for Artest in hoops, too.
"He’s the kind of guy, if you give him specific, exact directions, he’ll follow them," Bryant says. "But they have to be exact. But once you give them to him, he’ll follow them even if he has to run through a wall."
Don’t give him any ideas.
10:25 am. — Ron-Ron is about to go into the shootaround at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo.
What time should we expect you out, I say?
"Well, it’s over at 10:30, but I always overtrain. I always start shooting after practice and I can’t stop. I need to rest, but I’ll probably keep shooting and shooting."
"Because once I get into that gym, that ball is like a drug. When you see that ball go into the basket, that’s like one of the best drugs ever. I’m addicted, and I hope the state of California illegalizes it."
11:31 a.m. — The shootaround is over, but, sure enough, Artest is shooting 3s. He’s hot. He’s making four out of every five. A very good 3-point shooter, he has hit about a third of them in his career, yet he rarely takes them in games now, and when he does, they always seem to be from the corner.
"See, I can’t really understand the Triangle [offense]," he admits. "There’s 1,000 plays in the Triangle. It’s such a challenge. I get so frustrated about it, I have to call my psychologist. So I just stay in my one spot in the corner. If I leave my spot, I get yelled at. Phil’s gonna say, ‘What are you doing over there?!?’ So I just don’t move."
Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty ImagesRon Artest, known for his defensive intensity, bodies up some of the best players in the league. Case in point: Kevin Durant.
11:42 a.m. — Ron-Ron is carrying a large bag of food for his lunch — all vegan. But Ron-Ron is not entirely vegan. “About 80 percent,” he says. “I like pork chops.”
Whatever Artest is doing, it works. He remains one of the best shutdown defenders in the game.
"Who’s better?" he charges. "You gonna say Bruce Bowen[the retired San Antonio Spur]? That’s just political. Nobody wants to say, ‘The best defensive player in the NBA is Ron Artest.’ Because who would want Ron Artest to be the face of anything?
"People try to put themselves on my level, defensively. But none of these guys have ever done what I do — hold All-Stars to zero points. I held Latrell Sprewell in his prime to zero points. I held Carmelo Anthony to two points. I’m the only player in history to hold LeBron James to zero assists.
"Really, I feel like I’m better than I ever was. I’m just not getting to show it … I’m on Kobe’s team. If he’s not there, I’m on Pau [Gasol]’s team. If he’s not there, I’m on Lamar [Odom]’s team. It’s all right. I had my chance to have my own team — in Chicago and Indiana — but I messed that up. I blew it."
4:07 p.m. — After a quick nap and three meetings at his house — for his BALL’N shoes, his ring raffle and his Beijing soul singer, Shin Shin — Ron-Ron is having his usual pregame meal. A can of beans. “Beans are nature’s steroids!” he says.
But don’t they, uh, backfire on you during the game?
"Not on me they don’t. Other people, yeah. But I always blame it on the refs."
5:05 p.m. — Ron-Ron is 35 minutes late leaving for the 7:30 game at Staples Center. He has to be there by 6 p.m., and it’s rush hour. Unlike Kobe, he does not have access to a helicopter. He’s further delayed when he sees his son Ron playing basketball in his socks, which are already getting holes.
"Where your shoes?" he yells.
Of course, he knows where young Ron’s shoes are. They’re sitting on the porch stoop in plain view.
Ron Jr. shrugs.
"Turn around," Artest yells.
Ron Jr. turns around. Artest cuffs his him hard on the back of his head. Thwack. But Ron Jr. doesn’t cry.
"Now go inside and help your mom."
As we’re pulling away, we can see Ron Jr. in the backyard playing with the two dogs. In his stocking feet.
Like father, like son.
But the father is learning — slowly. Before, he would make incredibly stupid mistakes and follow them with fists. Anybody remember the Brawl at The Palace? Now, he makes incredibly stupid mistakes and follows them with a shrug.
"My whole life has been mistakes," he says. "I know I’m going to make bad decisions in basketball. I know I’m going to probably get knocked out boxing. I might break an elbow playing football. But without pain, there’s no pleasure. Without failing, there’s no success. I’m a perfectionist who’s not perfect."
Phil Jackson can live with it. “Ron has such a clean heart,” Jackson says. “There’s nothing devious in him. The other night, Ron chased a ball he wasn’t supposed to be chasing. He knew he wasn’t supposed to be chasing it, but he chased it anyway, as hard as he could. And he chased it and chased it and eventually the guy got panicky and threw it away. So sometimes, his mistakes work out for the best.”
After circling Staples Center twice trying to find his entrance, Ron-Ron makes it — two minutes early.
6:14 p.m. — In the Lakers’ locker room, reporters want to know if Ron-Ron will reject the shots of President Barack Obama when the Lakers visit the White House on Dec. 13.
"Oh, absolutely!" he says. "I will lock down anybody anytime, even the president of the United States."
More stitches for Mr. Obama is not the most worrisome part of that trip. The most worrisome part is that Artest will also address Congress on mental health.
If we are not at the end of days, we’re close.
6:38 p.m. — I ask Jackson why he’s playing Artest fewer minutes this season. “I’m not,” Jackson says. “Ron overheard [substitute forward Matt Barnes] asking me for more playing time, so he’s been raising his hand just to get Matt more time.”
"Because we’re a team. I just want to win another title. Who cares about minutes? Who cares about points?"
Uh, everybody else?
7:41 p.m. — Tonight’s assignment: Check Tyreke Evans, the Kings’ best player by far. Enter Artest Logic.
"I overtrained swimming this week," he said on the way to the game. "So I’m going to be really tired tonight. Which is kinda how I like it."
"I can be too strong for some small forwards, so they don’t want to go at me, so I get bored. So sometimes I overtrain on purpose before a game just to see if I can lock a guy down with only half my energy."
Tonight, the coaches have told him to force Evans to his left, but the first four times Evans touches the ball, Artest forces him right.
"Just to see if I can stop them," he says. "I like looking at a guy’s face when he realizes that even his best moves aren’t going to work on me all night. They look depressed."
Artest knows about being depressed. He’s been depressed plenty of times. Especially in (his rookie year in) Chicago. “Man, all that losing depressed me. We won 17 games one year. Do you know what that did to my ego? It just crushed me. And I had a baby to take care of. That’s when I started turning to Mr. Hennessy [cognac]. I tried to solve my problems with Mr. Hennessy.”
He drank hard the night before games, he admits. Drank mornings of games, too. Previously, he has admitted to drinking Hennessy at halftimes of games. “Hennessy should give me a damn endorsement,” he says.
Now, he’s happier (mostly) and doesn’t drink (mostly). After winning Game 7, Artest stayed up for 48 hours straight. At 4 a.m. that first night, cutting a record with Dr. Dre (don’t ask), he saw singer Chris Brown and gave Brown the jersey he hadn’t taken off the entire night.
"I don’t know. I think I was drunk."
Not to worry, Ron-Ron. California hasn’t illegalized it.
10:48 p.m. — Game’s over. Artest was his typical Ziploc bag, holding Evans to only five baskets. He was also his usual lawn ornament on offense, standing obediently in the corner and scoring just two points. The Lakers won by 33.
"Overtraining," Artest shrugs.
I feel overtrained. The crew is overtrained. Artest, though, isn’t close to being done. He’s off to a closed-door record company meeting. Says we can’t go.
"I’ll be in bed by 2 or 3," he says.
I was glad to hear him say he was going to promise to use his GPS.
It’s time for a re-introduction. My blog has changed considerably in the past several months, including a huge increase in my posting frequency. Please feel free to ask questions.
The title is now Legitly Hyphy. And under there, I have the general inspiration/idea behind the whole blog. Street/s(m)art(orial) it could be as well. This has become mostly a fashion blog, but music, women and the rest are not absent. Some of it is my own musings, and others are acquired from various corners of the interwebs, whether it’s friends of mine, the good people at The Madbury Club or any number of other sites and blogs I follow.
Stay up, it’s just getting better from here on. Much love.