Friday, April 27, 2012

30HomeGames NBA 2012 Playoff bracketology

30 Home Games: 2012 NBA Playoff Bracketology
I like underdogs and I'm definitely being cute with my picks here. These playoffs will be unpredictable that's something I'm certain of.

The Dallas Mavericks followed the same fate as the team they vanquished last year as they were swept in the First rd a season after winning the Championship. The 2006-2007 Miami Heat got swept in the First rd by the Chicago Bulls a year after upsetting Dallas in the NBA Finals the season previous.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Scams in Istanbul: Why I trust people (1 of 3)

up in the air, clooney, connection, travel
"The best adventures are when you trust somebody"
- paraphrased quote entered into a running mate's phone
The third week into my Turkey experience and I was in snow-covered Göreme. It was a foggy day. I was eavesdropping on an exchange between a Tour operator and a representative for a busload of tourists. The owner of the nearby horseranch came out and we chatted about the unreasonable expectations people have. "If you come to Turkey in Winter be prepared for snow" he began. "It doesn't matter that it was sunny last week in Dubai. Today you're in Turkey". We connected, he invited me inside where it was warmer.

I hung around for about 5 hours. He commanded a staff of 6 or so of varying ages and experience. They came in and out and we talked about the usual - girls, dreams and life. One associate had been living in Japan for 2 years, it was his second day back in Turkey. He confided that he had a miserable time there but he loves his newborn son and his Japanese wife (they met when she was a tourist). He had a lot of thinking to do. We drank Raki and Efes beer, ate some kebab and smoked.

I mentioned my time in Turkey has been more scenic than social. These are the types of interactions I value and what I've enjoyed most about how I travel. Having had difficulty finding it in Turkey, I cherished this experience all the more.

Its ultimately what connects me to a place - being accepted or feeling like I belong in some way. The ranchowner described the feeling like a mirror, "we tend to like things when we can see ourselves in it" . The ranchowner commended me on my openness, the feeling was mutual. I explained that all my best experiences and adventures have come with an exchange of trust. Strangers off the street, Couchsurfers have welcomed me into their lives and homes. As a stranger I've been welcomed into classrooms and house parties and been handed house keys from people I've just met.

Times I've trusted in others and vice versa:
- CouchSurfing: I accompanied Latvians as they delivered flowers to beloved former teachers and been escorted by scooter to a wrestling show in Germany.
- Strangers met on Lithuanian streets have invited me to parasail and pick mushrooms
- Gone on road trips and slept in unfurnished apartments with new friends
- I was an honorary Student at the SpoHo in Köln. Eating at their Mensa (cafeteria), joining them on social theme park trips and participating in University classes
- Had amazing meals in Portugal through the kindness of strangers
- I surrender myself each time I Ego Trip

We tried to figure out why two strangers could be so trusting, so quickly. The Ranchowner offered "When your soul is naked, people can recognise". Its just my nature, I have faith in people and my 'Spidey Sense' has served me well.

Enter Istanbul...

- Scams in Istanbul: Why I trust people (1 of 3)
- Scams in Istanbul: Why people trust others (2 of 3)
- Scams in Istanbul: The reality of trusting (3 of 3)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nike Sportswear honor the 20th anniversary of the Dream Team and the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona

nike dunks, barcelona, usa, 1992 olympics, dream team
"USA" United States of America tongue
nike dunks, barcelona, usa, 1992 olympics, dream team
"USA" Nike AF1 lo
nike dunks, barcelona, usa, 1992 olympics, dream team
"BAR" Barcelona tongue
nike dunks, barcelona, usa, 1992 olympics, dream team
"Barcelona" Nike Dunk Hi
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Nike Sportswear are releasing pair of Dunks (Hi and Lo) in honor of the legendary Dream Team that represented USA

The "USA" Dunks will be primarily red whilst the "BAR" (Barcelona) pairs will be in a colorway of red, black and yellow.

- Pics courtesy of kumastock.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Guest posting on 'The Facial' - Finding basketball around Europe

facial, nba, fiba jersey,
'A Memento Year' exhibition - Lithuania tribute corner
I recently contributed to 'The Facial', an international blog covering all sorts of hoops nerdiness from the NBA, BBL and FIBA basketball. The first post was a writeup detailing my exploits in Europe - Finding basketball around Europe and the ’30 Home Games’ mission

the facial, 30 home games, hoop dreams - Finding Basketball around Europe and the ’30 Home Games’ mission
Keep checking into 'The Facial' as they continue to cover the NBA and the coming hoops action for London's 2012 Olympics and expect future contributions from 30 Home Games.

Read more European experiences below:
- Social Sunday Sports, Basketball in London
- Balancing Basketball and Travel in Lithuania - Part I
- Balancing Basketball and Travel in Lithuania - Part II
- Trigger: Day 114 - An NBA day in Portugal

Find my other Guest Posts:
- Nod n Smile: Things that make you go hmm in Portugal
- The Facial: Finding Basketball around Europe
- Couple of Sports: How I won personalised sneakers in Lisbon, Portugal
- Nomadic Samuel: The many faces of the South of Spain, Andalucia

Bad News Bears: Memphis Grizzlies to win the Chip

memphis grizzlies, bad news bears, zach randolph, marc gasol, rudy gayAs stated previously I'm a sucker for the underdog and thus drawn to the grit of the Memphis Grizzlies. This graphic pays tribute to the Grizz as well as referencing the classic Sports underdog movie remade by my artist rolemodel Richard Linklater in 2005.
"Bad News Bears" was also the name of my 2009 Fantasy Team.

I'm calling it now, the Memphis Grizzlies to win the 2012 NBA title.

Friday, April 13, 2012

30HG Destination Spotlight: Wieden + Kennedy, Nike Kitchen (Portland, Oregon)

The Pacific Northwest has been an incubator of progress and cool for years. Seattle birthed Grunge and hosted the infamous G8 protests, conversely founding behemoths Starbucks and Microsoft. Its gotten a rep as a haven for hipsters of late but as a trendsetter it comes with the territory.

Seattle is also where Comedy and Indie started dating, unlocking a sizeable crossover audience. The Bumbershoot and Sasquatch Festivals were amongst the first to host comedians alongside their lineup of indie bands. Seattle's Sub Pop Records released comedy records for the likes of David Cross and Flight of the Conchords. Eugene Mirman recently exported his New York based 'EM Comedy Festival' to Seattle in March 2012.

While I geek out to Seattle for being innovators in comedy and music. Its neighbors to the south, Portland are the trailblazers in Sports and marketing being home to Wieden + Kennedy and the Nike Kitchen.

wk seeking, portland, wieden kennedy
Snapshot of my entry to 'WK Seeking'
My love for hoops and Graphic Design stemmed from my fascination with Signature Basketball kicks, Nike and the creatives behind W+K being the undisputed masters. In 2007 the folks at W+K invited creatives into their hallowed studios with the cryptic 'WK Seeking' initiative. My submission didn't make the cut so I didn't join the 40 lucky people (which included Biz Stone, founder of then fledgling Twitter) who networked, drank and got merry together.

There's definitely been a theme to the 30HG Destinations I've listed so far from Pixar, to TroubleMaker and Wieden + Kennedy - they're all creative environments that cross the "Haimish Line" with its sense of community.

wk, portlandia, wieden kennedy
Wieden + Kennedy on 'Portlandia'
Portlandia's Carrie Brownstein in conversation with comedian Marc Maron said this of her time in W+K:
WTF podcast with Marc Maron. Episode 267 - Carrie Brownstein (54m 30s)
MARC MARON: (feigning righteous voice) But you're punk maaan, its f*cking advertising! When did you snap?
CARRIE BROWNSTEIN: It was actually great. For one if you're involved in any singular community (comedy, music) it can start to feel small. Even if you live in a big city you think "I know everyone here". And I show up at Wieden + Kennedy, "Oh my God I have 400 new friends" you know. It felt like switching High schools or something. There's also a lot of creative people there.
NIKE Tales from the Kitchen: Hyperfuse

Find a more in-depth look of the process outlined above and the team that made it possible - HYPERFUSE Tech by NIKE Innovation Kitchen

It would take a miracle for me to be granted access into the famed Innovation Kitchen or standing by the likes Jason Petrie (AKA Alphaproject) but it would be nice to peek behind the curtain of Sport's most innovative brand.


wieden kennedy, nike kitchenWieden + Kennedy and the Nike Kitchen appear on my Northwest Division wishlist of the 30 Home Games mission.

Explore my to-do lists for the Western Conference States
1) Southwest Division
Louisiana | Tennessee | Texas
2) Pacific Division
Arizona | California

Friday, April 6, 2012

Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy - The Indecision

ESPN has been covering Dwight Howard's 'Indecision' 
At the end of the day Sports is theatre. NBA Superstars aren't really paid to play the game they love, as we saw during the lockout. They're getting the big money for the baggage that comes along with it - The unrelenting media pressure, press conferences and expectations that come with creating the show. Attention is a double-edged sword.

I love underdogs, I wish the best for Orlando. They've made a fairytale run to the finals by upsetting the favorites before, only time will tell if they can recreate that magic.

Update 2014: Déjà vu Indecision with Dwight Howard and the Lakers
Lakers Dwight Howard ''Indecision' 

Update: 2015 Indecision with the LA Clippers and Deandre Jordan
Deandre Jordan's 'Indecision' 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

30 Home Games mission: Central Division map

Central division, nba maps, chicago, indiana
'30 Home Games' Central Division wishlist
NBA Tickets
Chicago Bulls - United Center
1901 W. Madison St
Chicago, Illinois

Cleveland Cavaliers - Quicken Loans Arena
1 Center Ct,
Cleveland, OH 44115

Detroit Pistons - The Palace of Auburn Hills
4 Championship Drive,
Auburn Hills MI 48326

Indiana Pacers - Conseco Fieldhouse
125 S. Pennsylvania St.
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

Milwaukee Bucks - Bradley Center
1001 N 4th St,
Milwaukee, WI 53203

Comedy- Gilda's Laughfest (MI) March
- Second City (IL)
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (OH)
- The Comedy Attic (IN)

- WBEZ Chicago, This American Life
- Lollapalooza (IL) August
- Esquire. Bar City of the Year: Milwaukee

NBA Postcards: Greetings from the SouthEast Division
Greetings from:
Indianapolis, Indiana | Chicago, Illinois | Cleveland, Ohio | Detroit, Michigan | Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Explore my to-do list for the States of the Eastern Conference
1) Atlantic Division
Massachusetts | New Jersey | New York | Ontario, Canada | Pennsylvania
2) Central Division
Illinois | Indiana | Michigan | Ohio | Wisconsin
3) Southeast Division
Florida | Georgia | North Carolina | Washington DC

Monday, April 2, 2012

Preview of LaMarcus Aldridge on ‘Portlandia’

'Portlandia' Trailblazers star LaMarcus Aldridge with Carrie Brownstein. "Put a bird on it"
As mentioned on my previous Berlin post, NBA All Star LaMarcus Aldridge is making a cameo for hilarious IFC show 'Portlandia'.

Watch a preview of Aldridge's small screen debut below

Sunday, April 1, 2012

30 Home Games mission: Atlantic Division map

'30 Home Games' Atlantic Division wishlist
My tentative to-do-list for the Atlantic Division: Connecticut | Delaware | Maine | Massachusetts | New Hampshire | New York | New Jersey | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | Vermont

NBA Tickets
Boston Celtics - TD Banknorth Garden
TD Banknorth Garden, 150 Causeway Street,
Boston, MA 02114

Brooklyn Nets - Barclays Center
620 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn
New York 11217

New Jersey Nets - Prudential Center
165 Mulberry Street, Newark,
New Jersey 07102

New York Knicks - Madison Square Garden
4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York,
New York 10001

Philadelphia 76ers - Wachovia Center
3601 S Broad St,
Philadelphia, PA 19148

Toronto Raptors - Air Canada Centre
40 Bay St, Toronto,
ON, Canada

- TimeOut New York Comedy listings: Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Comedy Cellar, Gotham Comedy Club, Carolines on Broadway (NY)
- Laughing Skull Lounge (ATL)
- MaxFunCon East (PA)
- The Comedy Studio (MA)

- WrestleMania 29 at MetLife stadium (NJ)
- 'Book of Mormon' on Broadway (NY)
- 'Live Audio Wrestling' meetups at the Fox and Fiddle (ON)

NBA Postcards: Greetings from the Atlantic Division
Greetings from: Boston, Massachusetts | Brooklyn, New York | New York City, New York | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Toronto, Ontario
Explore my to-do list for the States of the Eastern Conference
1) Atlantic Division
Massachusetts | New Jersey | New York | Ontario, Canada | Pennsylvania
2) Central Division
Illinois | Indiana | Michigan | Ohio | Wisconsin
3) Southeast Division
Florida | Georgia | North Carolina | Washington DC