July 12, 2013
After the dust settles from the Dwightmare, Laker Nation is left wondering what’s next for Hollywood’s team. There are so many questions for next year and beyond. Gone are Howard, Metta World Peace, and Antawn Jamison. Steve Nash will be 39 and coming off a tough season statistically, and who knows if/when Kobe Bryant’s Achilles will fully heal? I personally would like the see the Lakers blow this team up and join the “Tank-for-Wiggins” campaign. Wiggins looks promising and next years draft will feature plenty of players with all-star potential. However, this likely won’t be the route the Lakers take… so now what?
After signing former PG Jordan Farmer, swingman Nick Young, C Chris Kaman, drafting former Duke big man Robert Kelly, and assuming Chris Douglas-Roberts will make the roster… this is how the 2014 Lakers will look:
PG Nash — Blake — Farmar
SG Kobe — Meeks
SF Young — Douglas-Roberts
PF Hill — Kelly
C Gasol — Kaman — Sacre
If Kobe can return by the All-Star break, this team has a decent chance of making the playoffs. Gasol’s numbers will increase with Howard’s absence, Nick Young is streaky but can provide some instant offense, and the back up PG’s are serviceable. Nothing will be certain though in the Wild Western Conference as teams like the Thunder, Warriors, Rockets, Pelicans, and Trail Blazers are steadily improving.
This team looks destined for another 1st round exit. However, the Los Angeles Lakers’ success is defined by championships not playoff appearances. It looks like Lakers fans will have to get used to a few years of mediocrity before Mitch Kupchak can reel in another franchise cornerstone to return the Lakers to championship glory. #SadderDay
July 11, 2013
I often think of our Haitian ancestors who refused to be treated as animals, forced to cultivate sugar cane in the French Colony of Saint Domingue. At the peak of production, this French colony produced 40% of the sugar and 60% of the coffee consumed in all of Europe. With such great wealth and prosperity coming from the island, France found themselves under attack from British forces. Led by Toussaint L’Ouverture, with over 500,000 African soldiers at his command, he convinced France to grant their freedom in exchange for their help to defeat the British army.
Toussaint L’Ouverture, recognized as the father of Haiti
In 1801, L’Ouverture drafted a constitution for St. Domingue which provided the right to self govern itself as an independent sovereign nation, and decreed that he would be governor-for-life. This infuriated the French Emperor Napoleon, who sought to re-establish slavery in the cash cow that was St. Domingue. That same year, he sent over 30,000 troops to regain control of the island, captured L’Ouverture and sent him to exile where he died in prison a year later. After a few months of oppression under Napoleon, a new leader emerged by the name of Jean-Jacques Dessalines. Dessalines commanded the rebel forces against the French army culminating at the Battle of Vertières. On December 4th 1803, the French colonial army of Napoleon Bonaparte surrendered to Dessalines’ forces. Dessalines then promulgated the Declaration of Independence in 1804, and declared himself Emperor. He renamed St. Domingue after the indigenous Taíno culture term for “Land of Mountains”, or Haiti.
Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Haiti’s 1st emperor
Why is this important? The Haitian Revolution is the only slave rebellion in world history which successfully resulted in establishing an independent nation. Haiti was the 1st African republic ever established, and the 2nd in then western hemisphere after the US. If it was not for this powerful movement the US would be 1/2 its size.. ending at Missouri. So the next time you think about America, think about those former slaves that refused to accept their current situation and made something happen! They are just as an important piece of American history as the Revolutionary War and the Deceleration of Independence.
Remember, if you don’t know your history, you don’t know yourself!
Next time you see a Haitian, salute them! They are our brothers/sisters and play an important part in our past and present ongoing battle against oppression… Stay Woke!