It’s been debated to the point of irrelevancy. Most will tell you, Jay-Z over Nas, especially with the back-minded consideration that the former has Beyoncé on his arm. And Kelis probably hates Nas… So. Much. Right. Now!
It was always mostly about lyricism, amongst the variety of other factors that go into one’s musical experience. I still personally struggle with the debate. They are the two best rappers alive, and for my money, not alive, too (at risk of committing hip-hop blasphemy in not buying into the over-inflated value in the lives and skills of Tupac and Biggie after death).
If Jay-Z’s debut album, Reasonable Doubt, is a 9.8, then Nas’ debut, Illmatic, is a 9.9—I’m hesitant to give anything, even LeBron’s basketball skills, a perfect 10. Ask me in the early-to-mid-2000s (Blueprint albums to the Black Album), and I’d be more inclined to say Jay-Z. Ask me later in my timeline (Street’s Disciple/Hip Hop is Dead to Life is Good), and I’d be more inclined to say Nas (including up to this very day).
I’ll concede that some of Nas’ lows are lower than Jay-Z’s lows, and that Jay-Z’s overall career is more decorated. And I might also find some irony that Nas’ “Ether” effectively killed the mano a mano battle between the two (although Hova’s “Blueprint 2” retaliation off the Blueprint 2 album was pretty badass).
So Bradley Beal’s rookie season over. After originally injuring his left ankle in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers on March 3 and then missing six straight games through March 15—being declared “day-to-day” the whole time—Beal came back for three games. He then injured that same left ankle, again. Beal was declared “day-to-day” from March 21 through March 29, missing five straight games. He returned to the court last Sunday against the Toronto Raptors and played again on Tuesday against the Chicago Bulls. His jump shot, and game, seemed present (he did make a career-high six 3s against Toronto), but Beal was clearly not himself during those two contests. He looked stiff. So on Wednesday, the Wizards shut him down for the season, as they discovered a “stress injury” to his right fibula, a clear indication that, in playing, Beal was compensating for his left ankle injury.
What does it all mean? Bad, #SoWizards luck, that’s what. Should Beal have paid more attention to the signals his body was likely sending him? Should the Wizards medical staff have better monitored the rookie for such issues? Probably a little of both. The injury doesn’t diminish a very good rookie season for Beal, and it doesn’t have an affect on a meaningless chase for the ninth spot in the East. The Wizards caught the stress injury, albeit seemingly a tad late, Beal will get rest, and, according to team release, he will return to basketball activity in six weeks.
After the Toronto game, I asked Beal (video below) if this particular ankle injury was the type where it helps to get back on the court and work some of the stiffness out.
“Throughout my life, I’ve always sprained my ankles. That’s probably any basketball player,” said Beal. “But I always just kept playing. Now, it’s something totally different. These are ankle injuries I’ve never had before. It’s affecting different areas of my ankle and my leg. It’s just something that I just have to deal with and take time to be able to rest it.”
The Wizards put a two-game losing streak to bed by managing to defeat a Nick Young-less Philadelphia 76ers squad, 90-87, despite a late surge fueled by Jrue Holiday. But, Washington didn’t escape without damage. Rookie Bradley Beal went down with an ankle sprain with just over two minutes left and did not return. He is likely to miss some time, but how much has yet to-be-determined. The injury, or at least the sight of Beal crumbled on the floor in the aftermath, left Wizards nation and the immediacy of Twitter gasping for breath — some quickly speculated that the issue was with his knee. After the game, Beal admitted that he initially thought it was worse than it was, but said that x-rays showed no significant damage to his ankle. He walked on crutches in the locker room; from my perspective, there didn’t look to be too much swelling.
Below, we have Randy Wittman’s post-game opener, my ESPN.com “Daily Dime Live” reaction submission, and then a video of Beal talking about his ankle injury.
[Spoiler Alert: Wittman talks about laptops again.]
[Friday night thoughts before John Wall's scheduled Saturday debut.]
Let’s be fair to John Wall. I haven’t seen him in practice. Haven’t seen him on Ted Leonsis’ AlterG “anti-gravity” treadmill from outer space. All the Internets talk about, however, is tubby Johnny Wall. Belly full ‘o junk food, y’all. It … would be … soWizards. Whatever the case, Wall is slated to return to action this evening. You might have heard.
So where does that put us as a team? I use “us” in the most ”It’s in the best interest of all involved if this franchise started winning” way—fans, employees, media, etc. You see, I’m no longer a ‘fan’ fan. No face painting, ra-ra, and all that crap. Never really was.I cover this team, but have been dedicated in my following since 1990. I don’t enjoy watching the Wizards lose, and sometimes I appreciate it when they win (I used to get genuinely excited about the local team coming out on top), but for the most part, I’m now just an interested observer. Yet, there’s this whole blog website that kind of goes beyond mere interest.
It’s ‘New Wizards Eve’ … if you will (again), 11 days into 2013 and 28 losses out of 33 played. At least the Mayans weren’t wizards.
On September 9th, the first Sunday of the 2012 NFL season, Robert Griffin III (RGIII) led the Washington Redskins to a 40-32 victory over the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome. The days of tepid offensive performances were gone, replaced by a skilled quarterback who seemingly could engineer scoring drives at will. The next day, via his local radio show on D.C.’s Sportstalk 980, Tony Kornheiser proclaimed that this new and improved RGIII-led Redskins team was ushering in an era of “unbridled optimism.” Read more »
It was the sight that all Washington Wizards fans had been waiting for since 2012 draft night: John Wall and Bradley Beal on the Verizon Center court together playing hoops. Granted, it was just Beal and Wall partaking in individual warm-ups before the Wizards tipped-off against the Oklahoma City Thunder. But after the doldrums this team has been through this season, it was a refreshing sight nonetheless.
Wall was in an jovial mood, joking with most everyone around him. Assistant Coach Sam Cassell joined the backcourt duo for a series of drills. Wall went full speed and showed no signs of being slowed by his knee injury. The real news broke when a young fan watching courtside asked Wall when he was going to be playing again. Wall responded to the youngster, “Saturday.”
We know a couple things about Wall’s return. During Comcast’s broadcast of last Friday’s game versus the Brooklyn Nets, Steve Buckhantz said that Wall indicated he wanted to come back in next “week or two.” The next day, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix also reported, via “sources,” that Wall would make his debut “within the next two weeks.” Today, A.J. Price returned from a fractured hand and the Wizards waived point guard Shelvin Mack. After facing the Thunder, Washington will have four days off before hosting the Atlanta Hawks… on Saturday.
For those still depressed over RG3 and the Redskins, Wall’s return to the basketball court could be a sliver of hope. We will see….
Nene has played 11 games this season and is averaging 21.5 minutes per game. He has come in below the 20-minute mark four times, and he has exceeded the 24-minute mark three times — 29 minutes in his second game, a double-OT loss to the Bobcats; just over 24 minutes in his sixth game, a nine point loss in Atlanta; and 24 minutes in Tuesday night’s OT loss to the Hawks in Washington. Along the way, Nene has sat out two games — against the Spurs after those 29 minutes in game No. 2 against Charlotte; and he sat out last Saturday’s Heat game after playing against the Lakers on Friday.
Well, there is good news on the John Wall injury front. We think. After a visit to the doctor today, it has essentially been announced that John Wall can “do more stuff.”
Specifically, via team press release and New York City orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Altchek:
“John’s examination today showed improvement in his stress injury that will allow him to begin ramping up his activity level. There is still some irritation in the knee which we have treated over his last several visits with a series of three lubricating Synvisc injections, the last of which was given today. He will continue to be evaluated on an ongoing basis.”
After originally diagnosing John Wall’s “pre-stress fracture” as something which would cause him to miss “approximately eight weeks” in late-September, the team has now announced … well, nothing.
Jesus Shuttlesworth shared some of his secrets to success before the Heat took on the Wiz in Washington. Find that, plus a John Wall update, below.
On adjusting to life as a member of the Heat:
“I’m learning the guys and not trying to force my ways on how I’ve done things on them. It’s been pretty good, it’s been a pretty easy transition. This start of the season, I’m still trying to figure out different ways that you can be better—for me, how I can help—but it’s always a work in progress, especially if you want to be good.”
On where the 16-year veteran wants to get better:Read more »
The last time TAI reported on the respective health statuses of John Wall and Nene, it was cloudy. After missing Monday’s game against the Spurs, Nene played on Wednesday against the Blazers. He saw 19 minutes of action, almost nine minutes coming in the fourth quarter. Trevor Booker missed this fourth straight game with a knee strain and John Wall, well, he was bowtie coolin’, as evidenced above.
In terms of the injury status for all, it remains cloudy. Coach Randy Wittman pixelated on Wall before the game (via Bullets Forever):
“His rehab and the things he’s able to do on the floor have increased, but it’s not to the point where he’s done everything with the team. It’s hard to say what the timetable is. Everybody focuses in on the 8-12 weeks or whatever it is, but you’ve got to do the things that are right for the individual.”
Cloudy? Or simply the coach being relatively mum? (As mum as uncertain can be.) In any case, Wall was shootin’ the roundball before the game with assistant coach Sam Cassell, and he didn’t look all that bad. More on that to come…Read more »