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Using Peloton's 'Last Dance' ride to feel like Michael Jordan was a mistake

Using Peloton's 'Last Dance' ride to feel like Michael Jordan was a mistake

The Last Dance may be done but The Brands never will be, which is all the explanation you need about why Peloton and ESPN released a Michael Jordan-themed ride the morning after Sunday night’s final episode. The ride featured a strong playlist of songs used in the 10-part documentary, and it'd open doors for an early-afternoon ice cream sandwhich, so I was game. Plus, truthfully: I don’t really get Michael Jordan. Like, I get MJ, but I don’t get MJ. (In my defense, growing up in Washington D.C. does not do one’s opinion of him any favors.) I understand the historical significance of everything he did, but I know a lot of very kind people here in Chicago who I’m pretty sure would get in fist fights for him without blinking an eye. Maybe this 30 minute ride would be just what I needed to better understand the MJ ethos. At the very least it’d be a decent SEO play. Here’s how it went: 

Sirius - The Alan Parsons Project 
I do have to say, this was great. It’s a banger. So far so good. The instructor, Alex Toussaint, is bringing a LOT of energy right off the top, and I’m fired up. He tugs at his red Jordan jersey with excitement and pride. I feel similarly about my extra large Freshman Move-In Weekend tee. Alex tells me he’s “going to kick my ass and smile while doing it,” and now it really feels like a Jordan ride. 

Ruff Ryders Anthem - DMX
Alex starts this song by thanking Michael for inspiring him to find a new level of intensity. Imagine being fit enough to feel graciousness. We’re doing a few sets of sprints right now, and Alex wants me to activate my hustle. I do my best for Alex, as if it were that simple. Legs are feeling fresh though, and Alex informs me I’ve already won a ring. So that’s cool! Feels like this could be a good stopping point, no? Alex says no. 

Jumpman - Drake, Future 
Hey I know this song! Alex says this one is the practice before the game, and I’m officially lost in the analogy. In the midst of more yelling, it dawns on me that maybe I’m the Scott Burrell of this bike ride? Alex shouting directions – while directly quoting MJ – a few moments later clears that up for me. All in all, this still isn’t too bad. I’m not tired yet and I already have a ring! Basketball is easy. 

How Ya Like Me Now - Kool Moe Dee 
At this point in the ride, I’m noticing that everyone else in this class is starting to give out virtual high-fives, a perk that – and I cannot stress this enough – makes absolutely no difference. I high five back because it feels like the polite thing to do. The whole ‘be a good teammate’ thing does take away from the ride’s authenticity, though. Alex has us doing hills now, and somewhere along the way we won two more rings. I no longer have the energy to be sarcastically thrilled. 

Definition - Black Star
Alex says it’s time to slow down. This is the ‘active recovery’ section of the ride, or, as he puts it with a totally straight face, the baseball section. The metaphor is too good to be true. Baseball! 

That being said, more than halfway through and I still feel okay? I’m not about to drop 63 in the Garden, but I can breath.  

Right Here Right Now - Fatboy Slim 
I can’t breath. The Flu Game sweat arrives not a moment too soon and it’s right here, right now, when I realize how truly stupid this idea was. I’m convinced that somehow MJ could feel the patronizing tone of my first half notes and put me on his list. There’s no other possible explanation for how immediate and painful the wall I just hit was. 

Lost & Found - YBN Cordae 
I didn’t take any notes for this song because my brain lacked the necessary oxygen. Also my phone slipped out of my hand.  

Victory - Puff Daddy, The Notorious B.I.G, Busta Rhymes 
My back tightens up and starts to hurt, which is strange because this was NOT labeled as the Scottie Pippen Ride. (I’m particularly proud of this joke because I thought of it *on* the bike). Alex is just full-blown yelling at me by now and, you know, maybe Horace Grant was onto something. My thighs feel like they may rupture. Honestly at this point I hope they do. Get me off this bike. 

Can I Kick It? - A Tribe Called Quest 
It’s over. 30 minutes, 6 rings. People smoke cigars in this moment? On purpose? I think I hear Can I Kick It, but it’s hard to tell what’s the beat and what’s my own body gasping for air. I get off the bike with all the grace you’d expect from someone who writes about sports instead of playing them and wait for the sense of accomplishment to kick in. It doesn’t. 

That happens an hour later, when a note from the Peloton app (I promise I hated writing this sentence more than you hated reading it) pops up on my phone, congratulating me on setting a new personal record during the last ride. The GROAT! I’m not sure I get MJ any more now than I did 30 minutes ago, but you can’t say he doesn’t get the best out of people. 

NBCA, Adam Silver speak out following George Floyd’s death and recent protests

NBCA, Adam Silver speak out following George Floyd’s death and recent protests

The National Basketball Coaches Association (NBCA hereafter) and commissioner Adam Silver recently joined the chorus of voices speaking out in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.

A statement from the NBCA, signed by 33 coaches and almost 180 assistant coaches, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports:

 

The statement pinpoints “police brutality, racial profiling and the weaponization of racism” as “shameful, inhuman and intolerable.”

And their call for “positive change” will reportedly be followed by some action. The NBCA has also formed a “committee on racial injustice and reform to pursue solutions within NBA cities”  Wojnarowski reports, which will be comprised of at least Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr, Lloyd Pierce, David Fizdale, Stan Van Gundy, Doc Rivers, JB Bickerstaff and Quin Snyder.

Already, many in the NBA community have acted to protest systemic racism and police brutality in the wake of Floyd’s death. Stephen Jackson, Karl-Anthony Towns and Josh Okogie demonstrated with many in Minneapolis. Jaylen Brown drove 15 hours from Boston to lead a peaceful march in Atlanta that also featured Malcolm Brogdon. Lonnie Walker aided in clean-up efforts after a night of protests in San Antonio. The list goes on from there.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver wrote in an internal memo to NBA employees obtained by ESPN that he was “heartened” by those “speaking out to demand justice, urging peaceful protest and working for meaningful change.” Silver also called for introspection and promised the NBA will “continue its efforts to promote inclusion and bridge divides through collective action, civic engagement, candid dialogue and support for organizations working towards justice and equality.” He expressed condolences to the Floyd family, outrage over the wrongful deaths of Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and an obligation to not ignore the issues of “racism, police brutality and racial injustice.”

As of this writing, 26 of 30 NBA teams have issued statements on Floyd’s passing, either as entities or through organization spokespeople, ranging from executives to coaches. Hopefully, the words of many lead to action — and that action to appreciable change.

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Dennis Rodman asks looters to stop, protest George Floyd killing peacefully

rodman_gronk.jpg
USA Today

Dennis Rodman asks looters to stop, protest George Floyd killing peacefully

Dennis Rodman isn’t sugarcoating things as he calls on looters to stop the destruction across the country, and protest peacefully.

“Please, please understand we have to live together,” Rodman said in a video on TMZ. “We’re human beings. We’re not f---ing animals, we’re human beings.”

Rodman likened the protests going on today to the Los Angeles riots in 1992, and said younger generations may not have a full appreciation for how things spiraled out of control back then.

“It’s a bad situation and I think we should all understand the fact that there’s a new generation,” Rodman said in the video. “People my age all knew about the Rodney King thing, and things start to happen, people looting, setting fires, damaging people’s homes, businesses and stuff like that. Now we have this incident.

“I think someone needs to come out and say, ‘Hey guys, why are we looting? Why are we stealing? Why are we creating more issues, more problems, stuff like that?’”

Rodman elaborated that he believes these latest protests across the nation are a symptom of a larger problem, and that the country needs to address the underlying issues.

“Let’s get to the head of what’s really going on,” Rodman said. “This is a bad, bad situation. If you’re going to protest, protest in the right way. You don’t have to go and burn down things, steal things… and stuff like that.

“We’ve got enough issues with the COVID virus right now. We’ve got enough issues.”

Finally, Rodman made an emotional appeal for people to come together, not create an even wider divide.

“Why are we doing this? Why are we hurting each other again? Why not just help each other, hold each other's hands and try to solve the problem? We didn’t create this problem, but guess what, we can help. Especially the new generation, the 24/7 generation, help us as older individuals to understand this. Don’t add to it. Do not add to it. Help us, and help everybody right now.”

RELATED: Michael Jordan issues statement of solidarity in wake of George Floyd's death

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