Don’t get a brain freeze!
Louisiana rapper Hurricane Chris (real name Christopher Dooley, Jr.) has reportedly been charged with second degree murder and illegal possession of stolen things, as reported by ABC affiliate KTBS reports (via XXL).
The 31-year-old rapper apparently told police that during a late-night encounter at a gas station, he shot a man who he believed was trying to steal his vehicle. The victim, who was shot multiple times, was taken to a hospital and later died from his injuries. However, video footage of the incident “showed that Dooley did not act in self-defense,” Shreveport police said in a news release. Additionally, detectives said the vehicle in question did not belong to Dooley, as it was reported stolen in Texas.
NBC 6 News journalist Jade Jackson shared Dooley’s arrest record on Twitter:
Y’all talking about Hurricane Chris done came to Shreveport shooting folks early this morning. pic.twitter.com/j2O5rydZnz
— Jade Jackson (@IAMJADEJACKSON) June 19, 2020
Hurricane Chris is best known for his 2007 debut single “A Bay Bay,” which peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. His 2009 song, “Halle Berry (She’s Fine),” also achieved peaks at No. 7 on both the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts. More recently, he landed a feature from Ty Dolla sign on his 2015 single, “Sections.”
Ty Dolla Sign is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.
Even though The Mandalorian‘s hit first season ended back in December, Disney+ has kept interest in the show running hot thanks to Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, which has offered an in-depth look at the making of the bounty hunting (with Baby Yoda) series. The behind-the-scenes special just aired its eighth and final episode where it revealed a neat little Easter Egg: It turns out Hamill made a secret cameo during The Mandalorian‘s first season, but not as Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker.
During the fifth episode, “The Gunslinger,” Mando lands on Tatooine, the former home planet of Luke Skywalker and the site of his epic rescue of Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt’s palace. While there, Mando stops by the infamous Mos Eisley cantina, and it’s there where Hamill makes his surprise cameo.
There’s been one major change in the bar since we last saw it in Star Wars: A New Hope. The cantina didn’t allow droids back then, but now it has plenty of them around, including a familiar one at the bar.
There’s a droid bartending who looks exactly like EV-9D9, the droid that was responsible for registering new droid acquisitions in Jabba the Hutt’s palace in Return of the Jedi. In fact, the bartender is EV-9D9, and he just so happens to be voiced by none other than Mark Hamill, who has made several little voice cameos throughout the new trilogy of Star Wars movies, in addition to reprising his role as Luke Skywalker.
What’s interesting is that, in the months since The Mandalorian aired, Hamill has kept his participation completely under wraps. He was even directly asked about what he thinks about Boba Fett returning in season two, and the actor did a very convincing job of pretending he barely knows anything about the show. This revelation also raises questions about whether Hamill is really done with Star Wars.
As Luke tells Leia in The Last Jedi, “No one’s ever really gone.”
In the wake of ESPN’s 10-part docuseries The Last Dance, many of Michael Jordan’s former teammates, friends, and competitors have added their voices to the conversation on various aspects of the story, many of them painting an unflattering portrait of one of the world’s foremost superstars.
Jordan has taken it particularly hard for his refusal to speak out on social causes during his playing days and withstood accusations that he was more concerned with image and finances than using his considerable platform to help enact change. In Jordan’s defense, he’s become significantly more active in that realm, pledging $100 million to civil rights causes and issuing public support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Still, former Bulls’ teammate Craig Hodges believes Jordan squandered opportunities back during their time together in the ’90s and says that his own activism led to him being released from Chicago and, eventually, blackballed from the NBA altogether. Hodges claims it relates specifically to the Rodney King trial, which Jordan refused to address at the time, and Hodges appearance at the White House with the Bulls in full African garb.
Also unmentioned by the documentary: His three-and-a-half year stint in Chicago came to an abrupt and surprising end for reasons that, according to Hodges, had little to do with basketball.
Meanwhile, Hodges had been unjustly painted as a militant, partly because of his words and actions, and, Hodges believes, partly because of the garb he wore at the White House, all of which made him persona non grata in NBA circles. “Those who consider it extreme, that’s what it is, man,” he said. After four years spent waiting for a call from a general manager or even the opportunity to try out, Hodges finally took the league to court in 1996, but the case was dismissed.
Hodges was a 10-year NBA veteran. He spent four of those seasons with the Chicago Bulls, winning two championships during that time. He’s a three-time three-point champion at All-Star Weekend, and he holds the record for the most consecutive shots made in that event with 19.
(Via The Daily Beast)
Browse mainstream mock drafts and you’ll come across familiar faces such as LaMelo Ball, Deni Avdija, and Obi Toppin littered throughout the lottery. All three, along with a handful of others, are seemingly locks to be selected among the top-14 come draft night in June October. One name that might have to wait until the second round but has become a Draft Twitter darling (led by The Stepien’s Zach Milner) and looks the part of a lottery-level talent is College of Charleston senior Grant Riller, who I consider a top-14 prospect.
In four collegiate seasons, the 6’3 guard averaged 18.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists. 2.2 turnovers, and 1.3 steals on 61.6 percent true shooting (.519/.356/.796 split). As a senior, Riller dropped 21.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 3.1 turnovers, and 1.6 steals per game on 60.9 percent true shooting with a 33.6 percent usage rate, underscoring his distinct combination of workload and efficiency.
The foundation of Riller’s scoring package is his elite combination of burst, body control, and acceleration/deceleration. He has the quickest and most forceful initial step in this class, capable of exploding past almost any defender before downshifting to evade help rotations. At Charleston, he lived and thrived at the basket, producing a rim frequency no worse than 30.3 percent and efficiency ranking no lower than the 81st percentile during his tenure.
As a junior, 40.2 percent of his attempts in the half-court occurred at the bucket, an area where he was in the 98th percentile. He busts out wrong-footed extensions, uses his body and the hoop as to shield defenders — scoring from awkward angles — shifts the ball in midair to avoid contests, and has no trouble finishing with either hand. The manner with which he generates force and speed from a standstill, getting low enough to blow by defenders, is unmatched in this class. Augmenting those physical traits is ambidextrous finishing, balance, and strength, providing him immense rim gravity and effectiveness. What truly stands out in Riller’s arsenal — helping to make him a genuinely special driver — is the deceptive ball-handling and manipulative changes of pace.
Riller slows the tempo or varies his dribble height to lull defenders into a false sense of relaxation before promptly burning past them. He freezes defenders or tilts them ajar with streamlined in-and-out dribbles. He utilizes swift, space-eating crossovers to drive into the lane. He slithers through narrow openings, uses his off-hand to swipe away pesky defenders aiming to deter penetration and has the frame to dislodge opponents or absorb contact without affecting results. His body control, speed variance, change of direction, handle, and 0-60 explosion coalesce for an electric downhill scorer.
Throughout his four years, Riller never ranked lower than the 73rd percentile in pick-and-rolls or 70th percentile as an isolation scorer. As an upperclassman, he was in the 98th percentile (junior) and 97th percentile (senior) in pick-and-rolls, as well as the 89th percentile (junior) and 88th percentile (senior) in isolation. His finishing expertise is a central factor in these marks, but he also excels as an off-the-dribble shooter thanks to similar physical attributes.
He averaged 0.866 points per possession (440 attempts) off the dribble at Charleston and finished in the 83rd percentile (92 shots, 0.978 PPP) this past season. To contextualize the value of his career numbers, Arkansas guard and All-American Mason Jones, one of the nation’s most impressive pull-up shooters this year, posted 0.867 PPP off the dribble, placing him in the 71st percentile in 2019-20.
As a pull-up shooter, Riller wields high-level space creation skills with quick-twitch fibers, whether it be via stepback jumpers, stop-on-a-dime elevation to spring loose, or bursting into openings for easier looks. He’s comfortable launching over tight contests, can alter his body angle to manufacture more space, and has developed a patented fadeaway jumper. All of these skills mean he is regularly prepared to shoot off balance.
There is an economical and sudden nature that lords over Riller’s scoring package. He understands when to best apply his physical tools and how to maximize the functionality of his ball-handling to simplify opportunities. Moves and decisions are, generally, precise. Wasted motion does not shoehorn its way as a thorn in the side of his game.
Much of this likely stems from four years of NCAA experience, whereas most other lottery-caliber prospects tout only one or two years in college. But recognizing and not being overstimulated by the different choices available to you as an on-ball creator is important. Riller is a legitimate three-level scorer, presenting a threat at the rim, from midrange, and beyond the arc. He’s patient in exploring all the available options when snaking around a screen or finding himself engaged in a one-on-one duel.
Scoring-wise, a few concerns still exist. Charleston’s conference, the CAA, is a quite poor defensive league, positing some worries about the degree to which Riller’s shot-making repertoire translates. He rarely faced NCAA Tournament-caliber opponents and his career Strength of Schedule was minus-1.82. Despite flashes of better arc (often in spot-up situations), Riller shoots a flat ball, which might be damaging as he adjusts to the NBA’s deeper three-point line, though this is a minor flaw from my perspective. His cumulative three-point rate of .310 is also slightly lower than you’d want for a primary initiator in this era. Given the fact he’s already 23, it’s more challenging to expect a notable shift in his shot profile at the next level.
He’s going to be a good three-point shooter, but living in intermediate zones or at the rim is a difficult proposition for a 6’3 guard. If the overall efficiency nosedives — particularly on two-pointers (59.3 percent in college) — as a result of the dramatic hike in competition, his ancillary toolkit might just not be good enough to ensure he delivers lottery-type value from this draft.
In the second half of his career, Riller showed tangible strides as a playmaker, amassing 256 assists and 176 turnovers compared to 110 assists and 111 turnovers over the inaugural two seasons. There remain holes to patch up, but the development he exhibited allows me to view him as more than a dynamite scorer with a sixth-man spark plug ceiling. Broadly speaking, he grew to better capitalize on his three-level scoring gravity, cognizant of when multiple defenders fixated on him and left themselves susceptible to breakdowns.
The ceiling of Riller’s impact as a passer is directly tied to the degree in which his scoring ability translates. If he remains a potent shot maker from anywhere on the floor, he’ll demand attention from on- and off-ball defenders, opening up passing reads and easy looks, as was the case in college. If he struggles to maintain elite or near-elite efficiency and can generally be dealt with using an on-ball stopper and one keen help defender, he’s likely not manipulative or proactive enough to consistently fashion high-value shots for teammates.
His maturation as a distributor lends credence to the belief he can continue it in the NBA and further his overall offensive game. But I’d wager there’s a limit to the extent one can improve their passing without being highly proactive and instinctual. As he’s shown, reactive passers can learn reads and sharpen their court awareness; the development curve will just plateau at some point, especially since Riller is well older than most prospects.
Early in his collegiate career, he prioritized plunging into clogged lanes ahead of kick-out reads or threading drop-off lay-downs amid the trees. Despite refinements, he wasn’t flawless throughout the final two years. Instead of hitting open shooters, he’d settle for contested jumpers and struggled with live-dribble passing. Although, he welcomed patience into his slashing reserve, better prepared to produce the best shot on the floor, even if it didn’t come from him specifically. Most of his reads were not complex, often swinging it around the arc once double-teams were directed his way, but that’s the causal effect of his scoring: He doesn’t have to be among the league’s best pure passers to be a plus facilitator.
Riller’s burst and handle are going to enact advantages. The swing factor is how regularly he ensures the offense benefits from his compromising of defenses. His size eliminates some passes from arsenal, too small to spot openings or make them. Sifting back through my notes, he still opted for cumbersome self-creation rather than straightforward passes at a fairly high rate. NBA teams are unlikely to provide him the same amount of autonomy. Poor decisions, such as a potential over-saturation of laborious jumpers, will be magnified, once again emphasizing the magnitude of his shot-making translation.
Offense will always be more important for lead guard prospects. But it’s particularly vital for Riller, who lacks the defensive projection of guys such as Killian Hayes, Tyrese Maxey, and Tyrese Haliburton, three guys with a chance to be difference-makers on that end. His Defensive Player Impact Plus-Minus peaked at minus-0.13 and the shortcomings manifest on film as well.
Navigating off-ball screens and staying attached to shooters is a significant weak point for Riller. Ball-watching plagues him at times. Despite owning the lateral burst and movement to do so, sitting down in a stance and combating dribble penetration doesn’t happen frequently enough.
Believing Riller can materialize as a neutral or slight positive defensively means investing in his flashes. His lateral movement and strength empower him to stymie attacks. He beats assignments to spots and close driving lanes, drawing charges on a semi-regular basis. Off the ball, his speed and instincts are prevalent when he’s engaged, contributing to his career 2.3 percent steal rate. Riller’s quick and strong hands shine through on stunts, and he shrinks passing lanes with his awareness.
It’s tougher to buy those sequences because he’s already 23 years old. An inconsistent defensive motor is hard to rewire the longer it persists. With 18-year-olds such as Ball or Anthony Edwards, it’s easier to coach away poor habits. The talent, though, is there for Riller to emerge as a stout on-ball guard defender with the instincts to turn teams over off the ball — nothing phenomenal, just enough to not undermine his offensive allure.
One of the most talented offensive players in this year’s class, Riller’s marriage of burst, handle, strength, finishing and pull-up shooting are rare to find. He has the outline of a dynamic three-level scorer, one who bends defenses whenever he has the ball, and his sustained passing development could make him worthy of lead guard status down the road. Even if he’s never afforded the usage to be one, he’ll have utility as a secondary handler due to his downhill slashing and spot-up shooting (40.9 percent on spot-up 3s in college, 79-of-193 shooting). The defense is troublesome, as are the age, inconsistent passing impact and level of competition. But in a class stocked with highly flawed prospects, Riller’s advanced skill set — one most won’t ever boast — has a chance to return top-15 value for a fraction of the cost.
AMC Theaters’ reopening policy has already changed a day after it first announced plans for a July resumption of showing movies in theaters in the United States. A day after its major announcement drew criticism because it would not require customers to wear a mask while watching movies inside, the company announced Friday that it would change course and make masks mandatory in theaters next month.
According to Variety and other reports, AMC revised its policy Friday and released a statement about the “intense and immediate outcry from our customers.”
“This announcement prompted an intense and immediate outcry from our customers, and it is clear from this response that we did not go far enough on the usage of mask,” the company said. “At AMC Theatres, we think it is absolutely crucial that we listen to our guests. Accordingly, and with the full support of our scientific advisors, we are reversing course and are changing our guest mask policy. As we reopen theatres, we now will require that all AMC guests nationwide wear masks as they enter and enjoy movies at our theatres. The speed with which AMC moved to revise our mask policies is a reflection of our commitment to the safety and health of our guests.”
AMC CEO Aram Aron had initially said that the company didn’t “want to be drawn into a political controversy” when it came to wearing masks, deeming it “counterproductive” if customers did not want them. But the statement and policy ignored a wide variety of medical recommendations and studies that have shown mask usage can significantly limit the spread of COVID-19, the disease still ravaging the world as a global pandemic despite various municipalities attempting to “reopen” amid continued community spread.
Alamo Drafthouse announced Friday it would require masks, but Regal and Cinemark have said they will not require masks for patrons when they reopen. Employees, however, will be required to wear masks.
Speaking at one of the ongoing protests in the nation’s capitol on Friday, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal told a story of his own experience with police violence. Just two years ago, Beal said, a Washington police officer pulled Beal, his wife, and a friend over on the highway and threatened him with a headlock.
“I didn’t do anything,” Beal said, “but because I was a Black athlete driving a nice vehicle, that’s what he came up with.”
— Darren M. Haynes (@DarrenMHaynes) June 19, 2020
The officer, Beal said, approached the car and said to Beal, “What if I f**k up your Monday and put you in a headlock and arrest you right now?”
Visibly emotional, it appears Beal has never told this story publicly before opting to tell it to those in attendance. Beal spoke up because he said he knows he’s not the only one who has dealt with these smaller forms of police misbehavior.
“It’s everywhere,” Beal said. “We just have to stop being ignorant to the fact that it exists.”
Washington has been the site of some of the most high-profile protests in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, including when the National Guard tear-gassed protestors outside the White House in early June.
During an unusually somber interview with the late night host, who’s doing his best to shine a spotlight on racism after being called out for his unfortunate use of blackface during a Saturday Night Live sketch in 2000, Cheadle revealed that he didn’t really experience any problems with racism while growing up in Kansas City, Missouri until his family moved from a Black neighborhood into the suburbs.
That’s when the actor learned some hard lessons as he experienced bullying that was “definitely predicated on race.” While noting that he doesn’t remember ever seeing the cops when he lived in a Black neighborhood, they were present in the suburbs, and they were “not on Team Don.”
From there, Cheadle gave Fallon an education on policing in Los Angeles. After moving to LA to pursue acting, he said he was pulled over more times than he can count for “fitting the description,” and occasionally, these stops included having a gun pointed at his head.
“This is something that was happening over and over again,” Cheadle said. “I had good friends that were almost killed by the police for nothing.”
Cheadle then explained that this over-aggressive policing was the direct product of “Operation Hammer,” which ultimately led to the Rodney King riots. Under LAPD chief Daryl Gates, Operation Hammer basically gave cops the green light to use all manners of force that even seasoned officers have come to regret, especially when looking back at the infamous Dalton raid. That incident involved cops beating several innocent residents while smashing up apartments and writing “LAPD Rules” in graffiti. Via LA Times:
“The management failures were so obvious,” former LAPD Assistant Chief David Dotson said of the raid. “The department was preparing people as if they were going to war. A police officer’s job is not war; it’s solving complex problems on a minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day basis. That’s a difficult job, and it doesn’t require screaming at people, putting their faces down in the street like dogs.”
Operation Hammer was a dark piece of history for the LAPD, and hopefully, Cheadle highlighting it on The Tonight Show will bring awareness to just how deep the systemic problem of police brutality goes.
Known for his evocative and soaring melodies, Grammy Award-winning crooner Leon Bridges shared the moving single “Sweeter” last week as a reflection on racism. The singer followed-up with a visual that celebrates his roots growing up in the Black community in Fort Worth, Texas. Now, Bridges returns with a stunning live rendition of the swooning single.
Backed by a full live band, including Terrace Martin who gives a captivating saxophone solo, Bridges delivers his emotional track in a concrete lot. “I thought we moved on from the darker days / Did the words of the King disappear in the air / Like a butterfly,” he sings.
Bridges penned the lyrics to “Sweeter” from the viewpoint of a Black man taking his last breath and reflecting on his life as part of the cycle that is systemic racism in America. In a statement alongside the track, Bridges reflected on his own experiences with racism. “Growing up in Texas I have personally experienced racism, my friends have experienced racism,” Bridges said. “From adolescence we’re taught how to conduct ourselves when we encounter police to avoid the consequences of being racially profiled. I have been numb for too long, calloused when it came to the issues of police brutality. The death of George Floyd was the straw that broke the camels back for me. It was the first time I wept for a man I never met.”
Watch Leon Bridges perform “Sweeter” above.