Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Struggles Of Bob and MJ

BET founder Bob Johnson purchased the NBA Charlotte Bobcats in 2004, naming NBA legend Michael Jordan as his president of basketball operations as well as an investor in the franchise. 4 years into the venture, the Bobcats continue to struggle, although with Larry Brown as their new coach, they appear to be making progress with their young talent.

Johnson is a self made billionaire, and Jordan is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Both are notorious for not wanting to lose money in business ventures, and obviously with their wealth they're both successful businessmen. With the Bobcats at present apparently a financial albatross, the Charlotte Observer is reporting that Johnson may look to move the team or sell it within 5 years as indicated below:

There is a question in some minds as to whether the Bobcats will still be in Charlotte five years from now.
Now in their fifth season, they are still struggling to develop any momentum within the community.
“It seems like to me that within the next five years, (owner Bob Johnson) will either sell the franchise for someone to move or move it himself,” said Max Muhleman, the sports marketing consultant who helped bring the Charlotte Hornets and Carolina Panthers to town.
“Losing money is never fun, no matter how much you've got. He has made a major effort here. I think it's precarious.”
If the Bobcats are to succeed in five years, team President Fred Whitfield believes it will be because the franchise will have taken an active and aggressive role in community affairs, and the team's on-court performance will have improved.
“We have a big task ahead,” Whitfield said.
He insists the team is not for sale despite rumors.
“Bob (Johnson) has made a public statement that he's not selling the team,” Whitfield said.
Having already seen one NBA franchise leave the city, losing another could have serious negative consequences.
Developer Harris said, “Clearly we have to get the Bobcats on a firm footing. We do that in two ways. We have to work hard on our side supporting Bob and his ownership group, and the NBA has to do something about its product to make it more appealing.”

According to, the Bobcats have a current value of $277 million, with Johnson having purchased the team for $300 million. Hopefully Johnson will realize that he's playing with the "big boys" and give the city of Charlotte a fair chance. Johnson is the only black owner of a Major Sports Franchise, and with that comes major responsibility as a role model.

A "Brother" Dies In Wal-Mart Stampede

Jdimytai Damour was working at a Long Island, N.Y. Wal-Mart yesterday morning, because he had recently lost his job. Unfortunately for Damour, a stampede of anxious bargain hunters trampled over him in an effort to take advantage of holiday sales, killing the 34 year old in the process. The New York Post reports on the melee that also injured an 8 month pregnant woman, among others.
Wal-Mart had the audacity to reopen the store at 1 p.m.. I guess a man's death doesn't override potential profits.

Atlanta's Challenging Real Estate Market

Atlanta has become "Hotlanta" for many looking to find a better life for family and friends, with the real estate market traditionally being one of the vehicles used to catapult into the "middle class." The recent economic downturn has diminished the real estate opportunities in the city, with lenders not lending to many individuals and companies looking to either upgrade homes or expand portfolios.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution profiles the impact of the real estate downturn on families and companies alike.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Obama's Thanksgiving Address

President-elect Barack Obama gave his weekly address yesterday to the country. He continues his mantra of tough economic times, and his goal to create jobs and reinvigorate our economy. He also spoke about America being "one" and looking towards a new beginning, with all of us coming together to deal with the adversity that we're facing as a country.

Charities Struggling With Increased Poverty

The tough economic times have touched every aspect of our society. Local charities throughout our country have not been immune to the increased pressure to keep up with individuals and families who are in need of their services. The Los Angeles Times reports on the Catholic Charities of Orange County assembling dinners for 500 families, but attracting 920, with many leaving empty handed. With unemployment continuing to rise in all sectors, the white collar workforce is being heavily impacted and contributing to the increased pressures on charities.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Obama's Giving Back!!!!!!

It's going to be very different having a president who is a man amongst the people. Showing that he hasn't abandoned his roots, President-elect Barack Obama and his family gave out food to the homeless and also visited a local Catholic school on the Chicago South Side yesterday. Obama noted that the local church has seen a spike of 33% in the people needing food. Thanks to the Chicago Sun-Times for the article and photo.

I hope and pray that Obama is allowed to complete the mission that he's been elected to do, which is lead our country back from what sometimes seems is near oblivion.

Condoleezza's Next Move

Outgoing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plans to move back into the education sector and write 2 books according to the Washington Post. She plans to return to Stanford University to teach, and write books about her parents, and foreign policy respectively. Although Rice has been unwavering supportive to President George Bush, she does appear to have a close affinity to her parents and the values that they instilled in her. She credits her ice skating and piano lessons with giving her discipline, and her mother's words of "Always remember, if you're overdressed, it reflects badly on [other people]; if you're underdressed, it reflects badly on you," for her impeccable dress.

Rice's profile has seemed very diminished to me under President George Bush, here's wishing her well with her future endeavors.

Yes We Can

No this isn't an article about President-elect Barack Obama. However it is a great article from the Philadelphia Inquirer about an Albanian immigrant named Hysni Syla - known as "Sam" among his American friends and colleagues, who decided to undertake and completely transform a block of blighted homes in West Philadelphia. Syla's dream is coming to fruition with an $850,000 project that's complely revamping a block of homes.

Syla, came to this country from Kosovo, where he led 100 men in the Kosovo Liberation Army. In 1996, he came to the United States with a mere $1,000 to his name. He's decided with his company to rejuvenate a black neighborhood. Black people can learn a lesson from our president-elect, and from Mr. Syla.

Stephon Should Be More Thankful

Stephon Marbury has not played a single minute for his team, the New York Knicks this year. Marbury, who is in the final year of his contract is scheduled to make $21.9 million dollars this year. Still only 31 years old, Marbury and the Knicks have been in and out out of buyout discussions all year, but with the Knicks presently reorganizing their roster, Marbury now has the opportunity to play but is refusing the offer according to the New York Post.

Like many black athletes, Marbury is letting his ego get the best of him, and if he isn't careful it will also be his downfall. Perhaps Marbury, whose made an estimated $130 million over his career, should consult the other black athletes who have squandered hundreds of millions of dollars before he completely gives the Knicks his backside to kiss. His behavior is eliminating any future career opportunities, and showing that Marbury has forgotten his very humble beginnings as a youngster in New York who lifted an entire family out of poverty.

B Still #1

Superstar singer Beyonce' has spawned her third straight Number 1 album with "I Am ... Sasha Fierce" which sold 482,000 units according to In a tough economic climate, these are great numbers. By contrast 2006's "B-Day" moved 541,000 albums.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Walkin' the Walk and Talkin' The Talk

The last two days have found President-elect Barack Obama in the role of introducing his Economic team and a Budget Czar to the American public. Obama is handling the transition to president just as he ran his campaign: smooth, graceful and to the point. He's immediately gained respect from members of both parties as he seamlessly navigates the transition from president-elect to president.

We essentially have a situation of two presidents, as President George Bush's approval ratings are so low, his credibility is minimal to the American people. The American people clearly want change, and Obama is taking the opportunity and running with it. Sure there will be slip ups along the way, but clearly Obama has the ability to view the needs of a particular situation, assess the need, and at least attempt to enact a workable solution. Reuters reports that Obama is essentially a co-president.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kanye Still Navigating His Way To Greatness

Resident Elvis Wannabe Kanye West released his latest album "808s and Heartbreak" yesterday to consistently rave reviews. Below are links to a few of the newspapers and sites that are lauding the masterpiece:

Kanye has decided to go in a totally different direction focusing on the Roland TR-808 drum machine, and Auto tune to essentially sing on the entire record. The heartbreaks that West has suffered in the last year, losing his mother, and breaking up with his fiance would be enough to knock anyone to his knees. West, who has just recently begun to discuss the loss of his mother continues to change the music landscape with his improvisation and creativity. Kanye, keep doing what you're doing, and be the music trendsetter that you've become in a very short period of time.

Brandy On The Comeback Trail

It's hard to believe that Brandy is now 29 years old, and on the comeback trail. She's in Detroit this week performing and making the usual rounds of an artist looking for a resurgence. The Detroit Free Press reports that Brandy has high hopes for her upcoming album titled "Human" which hits stores on December 9th. The disc is being primarily produced by Rodney"Darkchild" Jerkins.

I wish Brandy the best of luck, but in these tough economic times, if your name isn't Beyonce';Rihanna; Mary; or perhaps Keyshia, it may be hard to sell some records.

Tiger Let Free

The Detroit Free Press reports on GM dropping Tiger Woods as an endorser. Obviously GM can't go back to Washington with a solid plan while paying Tiger millions of dollars. I'm sure Tiger's is thankful, and probably saying it was good while it lasted.

KJ Prepares For The Next Level

Former NBA Star, and Sacramento, CA Mayor-elect Kevin Johnson is preparing for his new job by canvassing the streets of his hometown at 4:30 a.m., and preparing for a 15 hour day according to the Sacramento Bee. A good 3 page read on Mr. Johnson.

Rev. Wright "I'm Coming After You"

Rev. Jeremiah Wright, our president-elect's former pastor gave a radio interview on Monday to Sirius XM radio opening up some more about his feelings on the recent election and his treatment in the media according to the Chicago Tribune. During the interview, Wright still blamed the media for his treatment, but also stated that he would be holding his former church member accountable while governing our country. While it appears that the 2 have not spoken, Wright states:

"I've already told . . . Obama: On Nov. 5, I'm coming after you," he said. "It's not you the person . . . it's the policies of this country. And as long as you are presiding over policies that grind God's people into the earth, I'm coming after you."The minister, the prophet's role and allegiance is to be faithful to God, not a particular government."

Our President-elect is in for the time of his life as he tries to navigate our country out of this economic morass. Hopefully Rev. Wright will give him a short term pass.

Camden, NJ 2nd Most Dangerous City

The small city across the bridge from Philadelphia with a population of about 80,000 people is the 2nd most dangerous city in America according to recently released statistics. The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Camden, NJ has 22.3 violent crimes per 1,000 residents in the city according to a yearly study published by CQ Press. Philly, is listed as the 22nd most dangerous city.

Drugs appear the be the issue driving the crime in the city, which has been in the top 10 for the past decade.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Are Award Shows Still Relevant?

Last night the American Music Awards were held, and I know that Chris Brown won 3 awards including Artist of the Year. I also saw Kanye go on one of his rants about trying to become Elvis. I watched the first hour in a stupor amazed at the excess of the stage presentations, and they even cleaned the cobwebs off of New Kids On The Block. As I only watched the first hour I had to say to myself does anyone really care about watching these assumed millionaires parade across stage while many in our country are looking for work, or just struggling to stay gainfully employed.

Perhaps our artists of today should remember that they are disposable commodities, and that once they're unable to deliver that next hit record, the record label will drop them like hot potatoes. The excess that I saw during the first hour of the show was really unnecessary, and a toned down performance is possible, and perhaps necessary.

Obama's Economic Plan

President-elect Barack Obama is scheduled to introduce his economic team led by Timothy Geithner today. The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting on a potential Obama Economic Plan. Obama is apparently thinking about backing off repealing the Bush tax cuts that will expire in 2011. Also his economic plan could cost upwards of $700 billion over time, with a package likely to presented to him when he takes office in January.

I love Obama's assertiveness during these tough times, it seems like he's already the President, as he's already making decisions that will impact the country in these perilous times.

What Michelle Will Mean To Black People!

Award winning writer Allison Samuels writes in Newsweek "What Michelle Obama Means To Us." A very good read about our future First Lady.

Did Donovan Deserve Better?

Yesterday, the Philadelphia Eagles were humiliated by the Baltimore Ravens 36-7. Trailing 10-7, and their star quarterback Dononvan McNabb clearly laboring, coach Andy Reid decided to bench McNabb in favor of the inexperienced Kevin Kolb. Reid and McNabb came to the Eagles organization at the same time 10 years ago, and McNabb has been nothing but a solid citizen for the franchise leading them to 4 NFC Championship games and 1 Super Bowl Bowl berth.

Andy Reid decided that yesterday was the moment that he essentially lost his starting quarterback. Granted McNabb has been struggling the past few games, but he was owed more than to be told by the quarterback coach that he was being benched. Perhaps he should have gone to Reid and demanded an offensive line, a running game and semi-effective wide receivers. Don't worry Donovan, you've always handled yourself with grace and class. This too will pass and you'll move on to a team that is really willing to support you.