The Weekness: A Rundown of the Things that Happened This Week
A run down of all things everything since last week; get it? got it? good.
Sport Clip of the Week
Ben Simmons showing us he’s really good
At the 0:55 mark of the video Simmons pulls down a rebound and shows us a glimpse of what is to come in Philadelphia. At 6' 9", Simmons runs the break like a 6' 3" point guard, only he has the vision of a veteran. That bounce pass is the first ray of light breaking the cloud that has hovered above the 76ers franchise for the last three years; something tells me the sun will be shining soon.
Song of the Week
Brian Fresco — Higher ft. Chance the Rapper & Blue Hawaii
The latest in the Save Money crew to release an album (mixtape?) this year (after Taylor Bennett, Chance the Rapper, Joey Purp and Vic Mensa), Brian Fresco’s Casanova probably sits second behind only Chance’s Coloring Book. An impressive follow up to his last full-length album, Mafiosco, Fresco has seen marked improvement in both production and lyricism. Whereas Mafiosco seemed like Fresco was working alongside those around him, Casanova — and in particular “Higher” — showcase how others are there to help him push his message forward. Chance the Rapper is on the song, which usually means the song is going to be good. The catch here? Fresco’s the best part of the song.
Movie of the Week
Liam Neeson never gets old. Sure, Taken 3 and Run All Night are movies I will never, in my right mind, watch. But when he makes a decent original movie with all the classic Liam Neeson tropes — raspy yelling, utter confusion, catching guns midair while a plane is rapidly descending with a bomb on board — something about it just works. Non-Stop is no different in terms of action and fighting sequences, only this time there is nowhere for him to run and that tends to raise the stakes. This was a movie that I had no interest in consuming when it first came out, likely due to the onslaught of Neeson movies that year. I regret that decision and will likely see whatever is next (maybe Liam-Neeson-on-a-train?).
TV Show of the Week
The Night Of, HBO
During my many hours binge-watching Game of Thrones over the past two months (honestly, far far far too many), I watched about a dozen promos for The Night Of, none actually telling me about the show. A man is in a jail cell — OK. A lawyer is with him — OK. Somebody is dead — OK. I think we’ve seen this before. Little did I know, all the familiar feelings of a crime drama go out the taxicab window within the first 10 minutes. The show simply feels and looks different; the acting is sensational, the setting looks (and is) real, and the stakes build and build throughout the episode. I’m one episode in and wish I could binge it like I did with Thrones.
Thoughts and Stuff
- Basketball free agency’s first weekend was a doozy, as the kids say. Among the lavish, ridiculous, and mind-boggling contracts given out, they all paled in comparison to Kevin Durant spurning the Thunder for the Warriors. The Warriors are the greatest team of all time since the 2015–16 Warriors and based on how that turned out, I think we should pump the breaks on crowning them champions quite yet. They likely will be, as that is how basketball often works. But then again, if Cleveland can win a title then anything is possible.
- Another note on free agency: this is crazy (and next year will be too when the cap is expected to jump another $15 million), but things should settle down within a couple years when it plateaus. That has me feeling really bad for all those who recently signed contracts in the last year or two. I mean, sure, people like James Harden, Draymond Green, and Kawhi Leonard all got paid — though they didn’t quite get paid. When Ryan Anderson is getting $20 million a year and Green is getting $16–17 million, something is up.
- The Fourth of July Weekend came and went. Does anyone remember what happened?
- ESPN’s body issue hit the shelves — do things still “hit the shelves”? — this week and it’s a pretty cool thing, in my opinion. I’m sure it’s tough to have the confidence to pose in one of those, even if you’ve spent all your years in and around locker rooms and the press. Perhaps especially so for transgender duathlete Chris Mosier. Really neat stuff.
- So it turns out that aloe vera is a lie, which is a bummer for multiple reasons. One, I’ve spent money on it. Two, one time I was flipping an omelette and moved the scalding-hot pan straight into my shirtless torso. Upon placing aloe on the burn, I felt better, but now I know it was just all in my head.
- Donald Trump apparently made another anti-[enter race, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, etc. etc.] comment (this time it was anti-Semitic). Honestly, they are all blurring together. These are coming in at an alarming rate and if this latest one hasn’t helped to make up your mind on the “Presidential Candidate”, then I don’t know what will.
- Despite Wales’ loss earlier today, this piece ESPN FC’s writer Chris Jones on the sense of connection Wales fans are feeling right now with their team in the semifinals of the Euros.
- The Ringer’s Jon Favreau on Donald Trump’s millennial problem and the eerie parallels to the Brexit decision.
- FiveThirtyEight’s Walt Hickey on how competitive eaters are only getting better, which is pretty cool.
- ESPN’s Royce Young on the process behind Kevin Durant’s decision to leave.
Youtube Clip You Should Have Really Watched By Now
With basketball news once again dominating the air- and digital-waves, it is time to revisit one of the best performances by anybody in a sport. Who else but the Warriors?