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Topics - The Dark Wright

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Sports Talk / Dennis Johnson (of Celtic's fame) dead at 52
« on: February 22, 2007, 04:03:42 pm »
AP - Feb 22, 5:23 pm EST
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Dennis Johnson, the star NBA guard who was part of three championships and teamed with Larry Bird on one of the great postseason plays, died Thursday after collapsing at the end of his developmental team's practice. He was 52.

Johnson, coach of the Austin Toros, was unconscious and in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived at Austin Convention Center, said Warren Hassinger, spokesman for Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services.

Paramedics tried to resuscitate him for 23 minutes before he was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead, Hassinger added. Mayra Freeman, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office, said there will be an autopsy.

The Toros postponed home games Friday and Saturday nights, the NBA Development League said.

"He was one of the most underrated players in the history of the game, in my opinion, and one of the greatest Celtic acquisitions of all time," said former Boston teammate Danny Ainge, now the Celtics' executive director of basketball operations.
"D.J. was a free spirit and a fun personality who loved to laugh and play the game. We had spoken at length just the other night about basketball and his excitement about coaching the Austin Toros. "

Johnson, a five-time All-Star and one of the top defensive guards, was part of the last Boston dynasty. He spent 14 seasons in the league and retired after the 1989-90 season. He played on title teams with the Celtics in 1984 and 1986 and with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1979, when he was the NBA finals MVP.

"Whether he was leading his teams to NBA championships or teaching young men the meaning of professionalism, Dennis Johnson's contributions to the game went far beyond the basketball court," NBA commissioner David Stern said. "Dennis was a man of extraordinary character with a tremendous passion for the game."

Johnson was a favorite teammate of Bird's, and the two were part of one of the most memorable plays in Celtics history.

During the fifth game of the 1987 Eastern Conference finals against Detroit, Bird stole Isiah Thomas' inbounds pass under Boston's basket and fed Johnson, who drove in for the winning layup. Boston won the series in seven games but lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA finals.

"Dennis was a great player, one of the best teammates I ever had, and a wonderful person," said Bird, now president of the Indiana Pacers. "My thoughts and condolences are with his family at this difficult time."

Bill Laimbeer, the center on that Pistons team, remembered Johnson as a "great player on a great ballclub."

"He played with passion and grit," Laimbeer said. "It was fun to play games like that. You always enjoyed it. It made for not only great games, but great entertainment."

In the 1984 finals, Johnson guarded Magic Johnson effectively in the last four games. In 1985, he hit a last-second jumper against Los Angeles that won the fourth game. In 1986, he was part of a team that featured four Hall of Famers -- Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and Bill Walton.

"He was truly one of the good guys to play in the NBA, and he was a great teammate who was fun to be around," McHale said.

Johnson had a reputation for delivering in big games.

"I hate to lose," he once said. "I accept it when it comes, but I still hate it. That's the way I am."

He averaged 14.1 points and 5.0 assists for his career. When he retired, he was the 11th player in NBA history to total 15,000 points and 5,000 assists. Johnson made one all-NBA first team and one second team. Six times he made the all-defensive first team, including five consecutive seasons (1979-83).

Johnson was born Sept. 18, 1954, in Compton, Calif. He played at Pepperdine and was drafted by Seattle in 1976. Johnson was traded to Phoenix in 1980 and Boston in 1983.

He is survived by his wife, Donna, sons Dwayne and Daniel, and a daughter, Denise.

I used to watch him play.  He looked just my dad's childhood friend (fair skinned, afro, and freckles). 

 R.I.P. brother Johnson.


Latest Flicks / NORBIT
« on: February 11, 2007, 05:21:30 am »
Saw it yesterday.  Funny stuff... got a little over the top at times but, it's comedy so... I suppose that's allowed.

Heard Ed is in for Bev Hills Cop 4--good news indeed... as long as John Landis stays his ass far, far away (Man, what I wouldn't give to write that script)

All right everybody I know it's still a bit early but I know we've all been thinking about 'em.

I know I gotta get back in shape.  Simple tasks are starting to wind me. I'll think of some more later.

General Discussion / Ed Bradley remembered
« on: November 09, 2006, 04:11:48 pm »
NEW YORK - Ed Bradley, the award-winning television journalist who broke racial barriers at CBS News and created a distinctive, powerful body of work during his 26 years on "60 Minutes," died Thursday. He was 65. Bradley died of leukemia at Mount Sinai hospital, CBS News announced.

He landed many memorable interviews, including the Duke lacrosse players accused of rape,        Michael Jackson and the only TV interview with Oklahoma City bomber        Timothy McVeigh.

Bradley "was tough in an interview, he was insistent on getting an interview," said former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite, "and at the same time when the interview was over, when the subject had taken a pretty heavy lashing by him — they left as friends. He was that kind of guy."

With his signature earring and beard, Bradley was "considered intelligent, smooth, cool, a great reporter, beloved and respected by all his colleagues here at CBS News," Katie Couric said in a special report.

Bradley's consummate skills were recognized with numerous awards, including four George Foster Peabody awards and 19 Emmys, the latest for a segment on the reopening of the 50-year-old racial murder case of Emmett Till.

Three of his Emmys came at the 2003 awards: for lifetime achievement; a report on brain cancer patients; and a report about sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. He also won a lifetime achievement award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

Bradley joined "60 Minutes" in 1981 when Dan Rather left to replace Cronkite as anchor of "The CBS Evening News."

His reporting ability was matched by his interviewing finesse. When he spoke with McVeigh in February 2000 at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., the convicted bomber told Bradley that he was angry and bitter after fighting in the        Gulf War. In December 2003, Jackson said he had been "manhandled" when arrested on child molestation charges a few weeks earlier.

"Ed could get people to say the damndest thing because he put them at ease," said former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw said Thursday. "It was like talking not to a reporter, but talking to an interested counselor of some kind. ... He had this wonderful way of stroking his beard and saying, `Well, what do you mean by that?"

Though he had been ill and had undergone heart bypass surgery about a year ago, he remained active on "60 Minutes." In one of his last reports, an investigation of the Duke case that aired last month, he broke new ground with the first interviews with the accused.

"The first time I really understood that he was ill, on the air, was a couple of weeks ago," said fellow "60 Minutes" correspondent Mike Wallace. "He was narrating a story, and his rich voice wasn't there anymore. It was just thinner."

Born June 22, 1941, Bradley grew up in a tough section of Philadelphia, where he once recalled that his parents worked 20-hour days at two jobs apiece. "I was told, `You can be anything you want, kid,'" he once told an interviewer. "When you hear that often enough, you believe it."

After graduating from the historically black Cheyney State College (now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania), he launched his career as a jazz DJ — he was a lifelong jazz fan — and news reporter for a Philadelphia radio station in 1963. He moved to New York's WCBS radio four years later.

He joined CBS News as a stringer in the Paris bureau in 1971, transferring a year later to the Saigon bureau during the Vietnam War. He was wounded while on assignment in Cambodia. He was named a CBS News correspondent in early 1973 and moved to the Washington bureau in June 1974. He later returned to Vietnam, covering the fall of that country and Cambodia.

Cronkite recalled first meeting Bradley in Vietnam: "He seemed to be fearless, an incredibly smart reporter in getting the story."

After Southeast Asia, Bradley returned to the United States and covered Jimmy Carter's successful campaign for the White House. He followed Carter to Washington, in 1976 becoming CBS' first black White House correspondent — a prestigious position that Bradley didn't enjoy.

He jumped from Washington to doing pieces for "CBS Reports," traveling to Cambodia, China, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. It was his Emmy-winning 1979 piece on Vietnamese boat refugees that eventually landed him on "60 Minutes."

The latter piece still resonates for Wallace. "I'll never forget the picture of Ed picking up a man who was about to drown," he said. "... If Bradley told a story, you could be sure it was accurate, and at bottom it was done with integrity."

"60 Minutes" producer Don Hewitt, in his book "Minute by Minute," was quick to appreciate Bradley after he arrived at the show. "He's so good and so savvy and so lights up the tube every time he's on it that I wonder what took us so long," Hewitt wrote.

Bradley recently served as a radio host for "Jazz at Lincoln Center," where he won one of his four Peabody awards.

Wynton Marsalis, artistic director of Lincoln Center's jazz department, called Bradley "one of our definitive cultural figures, a man of unsurpassed curiosity, intelligence, dignity and heart."

Accepting his lifetime achievement award from the black journalists association, Bradley remembered being present at some of the organization's first meetings in New York.

"I look around this room tonight and I can see how much our profession has changed and our numbers have grown," he said. "I also see it every day as I travel the country reporting stories for '60 Minutes.' All I have to do is turn on the TV and I can see the progress that has been made."

But, he added, "There are many more rivers to cross, and many more stories to cover and, I hope, a lot left in this lifetime."

Bradley is survived by his wife, Patricia Blanchet.

Ed was a good brother.  R.I.P.

Hudlin TV / Damon Wayans's Tha Undergound
« on: November 03, 2006, 06:49:37 pm »
How 'bout this?  Funny azz s**t, man!  Damon's kid, L'il Damon is pretty funny, too!  Whole family is talented, it's amazing.  The talking vaginas are funny and horrifying... at the same time!

Hudlin TV / House & Boston Legal anyone?
« on: November 02, 2006, 01:58:03 am »
Anybody watching HOUSE or BOSTON LEGAL?  Some of the smartest writing on Tv, beside the now defunct Studio 60...

Sports Talk / Former heavyweight champion Trevor Berbick found dead
« on: October 28, 2006, 12:54:27 pm »
By HOWARD CAMPBELL, Associated Press Writer
October 28, 2006

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) -- Former heavyweight champion Trevor Berbick was found dead in a church courtyard Saturday with chop wounds to his head, police said.

Police are treating Berbick's death as a homicide, Inspector Victor Henry said. Berbick's body was discovered about 6:30 a.m. in his hometown parish of Portland, constable Beverly Howell said. No other details were immediately available.

Berbick, who was believed to be 52 and was beset by legal woes following his retirement from the ring, lost his heavyweight title to Mike Tyson and was the last boxer to fight Muhammad Ali.

After beating Ali in 1981 in a unanimous decision in the Bahamas, Berbick went on to win the WBC heavyweight title fours years later in a decision over Pinklon Thomas. His reign was short, however, as a 20-year-old Tyson knocked Berbick out in the second round of their bout on Nov. 22, 1986, to become the youngest heavyweight champion in history.

In his loss to Tyson in Las Vegas, Berbick was knocked down twice in the second round. After trying to get up from the second knockdown he fell another two times.


Berbick fought from 1976 to 2000, finishing with a 50-11-1 record, including 33 knockouts. He also fought for Jamaica at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. He was a strong puncher who moved well and had the potential to be a lasting force in the heavyweight division before the emergence of Tyson.

In spanning the Ali and Tyson eras, Berbick beat such fighters as Iran Barkley, Greg Page and John Tate. Among his losses were those to Buster Douglas, Renaldo Snipes and Larry Holmes.

Berbick's career soured following the loss to Tyson and he began to run into legal trouble.

In 1991, Berbick was convicted of misdemeanor assault for attacking his former business manager, who testified the boxer put a gun to her head and accused her of stealing money from him.

The following year, he was convicted of raping a family baby sitter and was sentenced to four years in prison. He also was convicted in 1992 of second-degree grand theft for forging his ex-wife's signature to get a mortgage on a home.

After serving 15 months in prison, Berbick was deported. He went to Canada, where he lived for a time following the 1976 Olympics. He eventually moved back to the U.S., but was deported a second time.

He had been living in Portland parish since 2002. Recently, he had been coaching boxing at clinics in Trinidad.

Though Berbick was believed to be 52, according to boxing records, other reports said he was as old as 56 or as young as 49.

"Legally, I'm a spirit," he once said. "I have no age."

Man, R.I.P. brother.


Hudlin TV / Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
« on: October 24, 2006, 05:49:47 pm »
Anybody watching this besides me?

If not, watch last nights episode on ABC's site.  Had a nice little topic about black writers not being hired on writing staff and how "most" black comics are recycling the same-ol'-same-ol' "baby mama jokes and big ol' ass jokes".  It's a smart show.  D.L. Hughley is making strides.  I'm very impressed.  Aaron Sorkin is doing it well.

Redjack, Reggie...any thoughts on the subject?

Latest Flicks / CRANK-ed UP
« on: September 10, 2006, 10:30:55 pm »
This was some crazy-@$$ stuff!  Jason Stratham is on point.

Not executed to its best ability but it'll have you laughing and scratching your head at the same time like WTF?!

Check out a matinee.

General Discussion / Any riders in the house?
« on: August 26, 2006, 11:35:00 pm »
Bought my first motorcycle today -- '03 Yamaha R-6 (Black w/Brandywine on the fairings)

Never was fortunate enough to ride dirtbikes/motorbikes as a kid and I always envied those that did.  Midlife crisis?  Possibly. 

Took a riders safety course a few weeks ago and got my M1 license.  Let the good (& safe) times roll.

Any current/past owners up in here?  Share good and bad experiences please.

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