mikenov on Twitter: RT @HuffPostPol: John Bolton has been dubbed a “war monger” and “human defect” by North Korea after he condemned the country’s recent missi…

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John Bolton has been dubbed a “war monger” and “human defect” by North Korea after he condemned the country’s recent missile tests. huffp.st/Rd2oWcR


Posted by

HuffPostPol
on Monday, May 27th, 2019 7:03pm
Retweeted by

mikenov
on Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 10:30pm

23 likes, 18 retweets

mikenov on Twitter


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PHOTOS: Catch all the sickening looks from RuPaul’s DragCon 2019

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Another RuPaul‘s DragCon has come and gone and the city of Los Angeles is officially out of stock on makeup remover.

Here’s a quick peek at what Queerty was up to, via our Instagram story:

And here are some incredible shots from throughout the three-day extravaganza, courtesy of Photo Larry.

How many can you name?!


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mikenov on Twitter: 5:21 PM 5/28/2019 Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠ – In 50 Brief Posts trumpandtrumpism.com/2019/05/28/521…

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5:21 PM 5/28/2019 Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠ – In 50 Brief Posts trumpandtrumpism.com/2019/05/28/521…


Posted by

mikenov
on Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 9:23pm

mikenov on Twitter


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WATCH: Todrick Hall brings it to the runway with new video ‘Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels’

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Back in the day we had the audience participation classic “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes (Knees and Toes)”.

And oh how we delighted in connecting our fingertips to each corresponding part. It was the essence of joy.

Related: WATCH: RPDR stars make surprise cameo in ‘Drag Race Thailand’ music video

Now RuPaul‘s Drag Race judge and entertainer extraordinaire Todrick Hall has released a new video that has us isolating body features (and accessories) all over again, but with a bit more attitude.

Watch Todrick and a fleet of fierce backup queens work it out to “Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels” below:

For more info on Todrick’s music and tour dates, head here.

Dan Tracer is a queer writer, noisemaker, and amateur astral projector. Find him on Instagram.


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mikenov on Twitter: The Godfather – Orchestral Suite. – The Danish National Symphony Orchest… youtu.be/X-jdl9hcCeg via @YouTube

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The Godfather – Orchestral Suite. – The Danish National Symphony Orchest… youtu.be/X-jdl9hcCeg via @YouTube


Posted by

mikenov
on Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 7:18pm

mikenov on Twitter


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R.J. Hampton skipping college basketball for the pros in New Zealand is the right move

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Why the 5-star basketball recruit choice to go pro in New Zealand instead of going to college makes sense.

R.J. Hampton didn’t mince his words as he sat in an ESPN studio and announced the decision that would shape his future as one of the brightest young basketball prospects in the country.

“My dream never has been to play college basketball,” Hampton said. “My dream was always to get to the next level and play in the NBA.”

Viewers tuned into ESPN to find out where Hampton would play his college ball, with Kansas, Memphis, and Texas Tech named as the three finalists. It turns out he won’t play college basketball at all. Hampton is headed to NBL, an Australia-based professional league, to play for the New Zealand Breakers. The plan is for him to spend one season there before entering the 2020 NBA Draft, where he’s projected as a possible top-five overall pick.

Hampton has been planning to accelerate his career for months. He had been set to graduate high school in 2020 and even played one weekend of grassroots ball this spring before announcing he was reclassifying to 2019. That made Hampton — considered a top-five prospect in either class — the biggest recruit available on the college hoops market. After assessing his options, Hampton decided his best move was to turn pro overseas.

The 6’5 guard is a shifty ball handler and explosive athlete who can create offense for himself and others. The length and quickness that makes him so hard to defend when he breaks down an opposing defense off the dribble and finishes in the paint also gives him tremendous defensive versatility. NBA scouts will keep a close eye on the development of his jump shot.

Hampton is following the path of recent top recruits like Emmanuel Mudiay, Brandon Jennings, and Terrance Ferguson who also chose to play for a paycheck overseas out of high school, but with his own twist. Each of those past players had questions about their college eligibility. Hampton is doing this because he believes the NBL will prepare him for the NBA better than college could.

It wasn’t hard to find salty college fans upset that Hampton spurned their program for a year abroad when he made the decision on Tuesday. While Hampton may face a difficult adjustment to life as a pro in a new country, his decision to play in the NBL rather than the NCAA is the right one for multiple reasons.

Hampton didn’t have a perfect college option

Perhaps Hampton would have played college basketball next season if one program established itself as a great destination to showcase his talent. It never happened. As Hampton hastened the recruiting process and assessed his options, he simply didn’t have an obvious choice. Let’s take a look at each of his three finalists.

Kansas

The Jayhawks felt like the prohibitive favorites heading into Hampton’s announcement. Kansas has a talented and experienced team in place for next season that will again be among the favorites to win it all, but the roster did pose some questions. Hampton was waiting on NBA draft decisions from Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes, staples in last year’s backcourt as freshmen. It seems likely both players will return to school, which would have meant Hampton was sharing point guard duties with Dotson and a third starting guard in Grimes who likes to operate with the ball in his hands. Add in Marcus Garrett and the backcourt in Lawrence was suddenly crowded.

There’s also the issue of what Bill Self has done for blue chip freshmen in the recent past. A five-star recruit like Cliff Alexander never developed in his one-and-done season before being held out amid eligibility concerns. Andrew Wiggins was the No. 1 pick in 2014 and Josh Jackson was the No. 4 pick in 2017, but neither showed much improvement under Self and still have major questions as NBA players. Fair or not, Self is a coach who has a reputation for putting the program ahead of the players in many regards. It may not be a coincidence this the first year Self hasn’t landed a top-50 recruit on the recruiting trail.

Memphis

The Tigers are an emerging powerhouse behind head coach Penny Hardaway and assistant Mike Miller. Memphis is the coolest and most interesting team in college basketball right now, but it still has a lot to prove. The Tigers haven’t made the NCAA tournament since 2014 and Hardaway will have to answer questions about his coaching acumen. While Memphis does have the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, it also has a lot of talented players to keep happy who also want to showcase their talent for the NBA like Hampton does.

The Tigers could have been looking at an all-freshmen starting five with Hampton next to Boogie Ellis, DJ Jeffries, Precious Achiuwa, and James Wiseman. That team likely would have had three lottery picks, but the inexperience would have been a lot to overcome, as well as the challenge of juggling winning games while also developing those players for the NBA. Memphis will be just fine without Hampton next season.

Texas Tech

The hometown school for the Dallas native, Texas Tech put itself on the map by running all the way to the Final Four this past season. Coach Chris Beard is now regarded as one of the brightest minds in the sport. He also helped develop top-15 picks in the last two drafts with Zhaire Smith and now Jarrett Culver. While there’s a lot to like about Texas Tech, the team is losing a ton from last season. Beard is an especially demanding coach on the defensive end and has never had a prospect of Hampton’s caliber. Texas Tech might have been a great place to develop, but the roster turnover along with questions about how Beard would handle a top-five recruit also made it a dicey situation.

Being a “mystery man” only helps draft stock

Detractors of Hampton’s decision have pointed to Mudiay, Jennings, and Ferguson’s relative lack of NBA success as a reason going overseas isn’t worth it. The truth is Jennings made more than $40 million in his career, Mudiay has already made close to $10 million before he signs his second contract, and Ferguson already has starter experience for the Thunder on his rookie deal.

How would those same critics respond to the struggles had by former top recruits Romeo Langford, Nassir Little, and Grimes at the college level this season? College basketball can still be wonderful for marketing opportunities, which Hampton will miss out on. It’s also not a clearly better place to develop than the route Hampton ultimately chose.

In fact, being a “mystery man” in the draft usually only helps a player’s stock. While his peers are under a microscope at the college level, Hampton can play with less attention on every mistake and carry more intrigue into private workouts. Look at the rise of Darius Garland this season, who shot up draft boards after missing almost all of the season at Vanderbilt with a knee injury. Thon Maker was the No. 10 overall pick without playing college ball. Mudiay went No. 7 and Ferguson still went in the first round.

College basketball can do a lot for someone’s personal brand — just ask Zion Williamson or Lonzo Ball. There’s something to be said for avoiding the microscope that comes with that spotlight, though. Sometimes in the NBA draft, the less tape, the better.

He gets paid right now

Hampton’s contract hasn’t been disclosed, but you can bet he’ll be making six figures playing in New Zealand. He’s also negotiating a shoe deal. Go get that money, young man.

Skipping college isn’t right for everyone. It is right for R.J. Hampton.

This feels like the correct move for Hampton. He gets to train and play against grown men next year in a country that speaks English while making a lot of money. He’s likely to be a top-10 NBA draft pick in 2020, and he’ll have an outside chance to go No. 1 overall if he plays well and shines in workouts.

Hampton was a perfect position to make this jump because of his development curve, because of the support from his family, and because the NBL has been waiting for someone just like him. Turning pro out of high school isn’t going to be the best move for most players. It was for Hampton.


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Father teaches trans son to shave in moving ad for Gillette

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Gliding like a dual-blade razor through sensitive areas, Gillette introduces its second social media ad to take on social topics, this time with a father sweetly guiding his trans son during a first shave.

Sitting on the couch with his dad beside him, real trans activist Samson Brown of Toronto, Ontario, says, “I always knew I was different, I didn’t know there was a term for the type of person that I was. I went into my transition just wanting to be happy. I’m glad that I’m at the point where I’m able to shave.”

Then the video, which runs on Facebook, gets to the moment of truth and Samson puts blade to face during his rite of passage. He ends with, “I’m at the point in my manhood where I’m actually happy. It’s not just myself transitioning, it’s everybody around me transitioning,”

He shares a hug with dad and the ad concludes with Gillette’s classic tagline, “The best a man can get.”

First Shave, the story of Samson | #MyBestSelf

Whenever, wherever, however it happens – your first shave is special.

Posted by Gillette on Thursday, May 23, 2019

The ad is tracking well on Facebook. With over 8,800 responses, over 5000 love it, 2,500 like it and 132 are angry.

Earlier this year, on the heels of the #MeToo movement, Gillette also tackled toxic masculinity with a controversial YouTube ad called “We Believe” that put a twist on its tagline and asked, “Is this the best a man can get?”

Social media backlash was strong. Out of over 30 million views, it carries 1.4 million thumbs down compared to 792 thousand thumbs up.

But the 117-year-old razor brand seems to be working hard to attract a younger audience. Social media tracker Converseon found “We Believe” nonetheless did well with Generation Z and those into their 40s.

Gillette is the latest of a number of advertisers in the last few years to tell real trans stories in their commercials, including Baby Dove, L’Oreal, Microsoft, Mondelez/Honey Maid, Google Business, and others.

Related: Baby Dove and 11 other advertisers starting to get trans serious

Meanwhile, Comcast Corp.’s Xfinity Mobile brand is putting a new spin on an old trope of the uncertainty of sexual orientations in a spot running on ESPN and elsewhere.

A handsome young man looks at his phone at a bus stop while a woman standing next to him has an animated jean pocket that starts singing the well-known Doris Troy tune, “Meant to be Together” to the man. Then, a male voice chimes in, as the back pocket of the man next to her competes for attention. (We never see his face.)

The object of their affection is oblivious, happily editing a photo of his Boston terrier.

Finally, an androgynous person walks by, as the front of their overalls cuts in to the song as well.

Advertising is starting to become more gender savvy.

Michael Wilke has covered LGBT issues in advertising for since 1992, is the founder of Commercial Closet/AdRespect.org, and Senior US Consultant for LGBT marketing and diversity firm Out Now.


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Lauren Jackson ripping Lisa Leslie’s hair out heated up a decade-long beef. Was it intentional?

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For a while, Lisa Leslie was arguably the best women’s basketball player on the planet. She put up jaw-dropping high school numbers, dominated in college, and became a foundational star not only of the WNBA, but of the powerhouse United States Olympic team.

But a few years into her professional career, a new contender emerged: Lauren Jackson, who first battled Leslie as the teenaged star of perennial Olympic runner-up Australia, and then as her WNBA counterpart with the Seattle Storm, rival of Leslie’s Los Angeles Sparks.

Leslie and Jackson’s rivalry included dirty play, open feuding, and some good, old-fashioned gritty basketball … but it also included one extremely weird incident. In the 2000 Olympic gold medal game, Jackson swung her arm in a strange way that removed Leslie’s ponytail extension from the back of her head. While the beef had more important moments, that bizarre one generated the most conversation and controversy. So … was it intentional? Jackson and Leslie have never agreed on this topic, so we’ve gotta investigate.


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MacKenzie Bezos, Nina West, Devin Nunes, International Mr. Leather, Mark Feehily, David Whitley, Gaming Disorder: HOT LINKS

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MACKENZIE BEZOS: Ex-wife of Amazon CEO signs Giving Pledge, commits half of $35 billion in assets to charity: “There are lots of resources each of us can pull from our safes to share with others – time, attention, knowledge, patience, creativity, talent, effort, humor, compassion. In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share. My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won’t wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty.”

NATIONAL DISGRACE. Trump can’t put down his phone and stop attacking political opponents even when he’s halfway around the world.

CALIFORNIA. Devin Nunes challenged by young Republican with deep ties to his Fresno district. “Nunes drew his first challenger when Amir Daryoush Rezvani Sarabi, who simply goes by Dary Rezvani, filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission on Friday.”

NATIONAL ENQUIRER LIVE. Theme park opens Princess Diana fatal crash-themed ride. Um: “It’s definitely not in poor taste. It’s just showing the route of what happened. For people who’ve never been to Paris, it’s just showing the topography, and the distance, and the tunnel, and that kind of stuff…”

JACK THOMPSON. Trans POC contestant becomes International Mr. Leather: “Jack Thompson, Leatherman of Color from Baltimore, Maryland, was chosen out of a field of 68 contestants to be named International Mr. Leather ( IML ) 2019, May 26 at the Auditorium Theater. Thompson’s win made history as he is the first out trans POC to hold the title in the contest’s 41 years.”

NYC. Subway rider made up anti-gay attack, was actually the aggressor.

PEDRO ALMOVODAR: Sexuality doesn’t exist for superheroes.

DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL. Book details Harry Reid’s interaction with Obama on the military gay ban: Reid put the screws on him. … Reid in so many words made it clear to the president that he wouldn’t get his START treaty ratified if he didn’t get on board with repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’”

MARK FEEHILY. Westlife singer and fiance Cailean to become a dad.

DAVID WHITLEY. Texas Secretary of State resigns after failed attempt to purge voter rolls. “Whitley referred the list of names to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for possible prosecution of election law violations. It soon became apparent, however, that many of the suspect registered voters were naturalized U.S. citizens who were eligible to vote, and Whitley later acknowledged that his office was aware that naturalized citizens could have been included in the list.”

DYLAN GEICK. And more man candy rounded-up HERE.

GAMING DISORDER. World Health Organization officially puts video game addiction on list of illnesses: “After a year and a half of deliberation, the organization’s 194 members unanimously agreed to adopt the new revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11), including gaming disorder. The revision goes into effect on January 1, 2022.”

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE DAY. Nina West “Drag Is Magic”.

TRAILER OF THE DAY. Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth in Men in Black: International.

TWO FOR TUESDAY. Carlos Maro.

The post MacKenzie Bezos, Nina West, Devin Nunes, International Mr. Leather, Mark Feehily, David Whitley, Gaming Disorder: HOT LINKS appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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WATCH: 15-year-old transgender boy wows on ‘The Voice’

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A 15-year-old transgender boy has already become a breakout sensation on the Australian version of The Voice, courtesy of a cover of “Firestone” by Kygo.

Oliver Cuthbert attracted the attention of both judges Boy George and Delta Goodrem, both of whom punched their approval buttons during the blind singing portion of the competition. He also opted to join Boy George’s team.

Following his performance, Cuthbert revealed that he’d begun taking testosterone last year and that it had affected his singing voice. In essence, he had to retrain his vocals from scratch.

Related: Boy George opens up about that rumored feud with George Michael

“I knew going on hormones would change my voice forever,” he told Honey9. “And I’ve heard stories and had friends who just couldn’t sing after hormones because it’s such a major difference.”

Cuthbert’s parents also sat in the audience to give their son encouragement, cheering the judges to give their approval. He will now go on to compete, first as a member of Boy George’s team, and–should he succeed–as a solo artist for a contract with Universal Music.


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Seth Rogen is really sorry for his homophobic humor

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In a new interview with GQ Magazine, actor Seth Rogen has expressed remorse over homophobic jokes in his early films.

Rogen, known for films like Knocked Up and This is the End, acknowledged that he and his sense of humor have evolved since his breakout more than ten years ago. He also admits to latent homophobia in his early work, and how that will not help his movies age well over time.

Related: Fans Settle For Naked Drawings Of Seth Rogen Until His Inevitable Sex Tape

“We do not want people to feel bad when they’re watching our movies,” Rogen confessed. “I’ve had people come up to me and be like, ‘That made me feel like shit when I was in the movie theater and everyone was laughing about that.’ Like the ‘How I know you’re gay’ thing [from The 40-Year-Old Virgin], it’s something people have been like, ‘It’s not fun to be in the theater when people are laughing at that, knowing what they’re probably actually laughing at.’ And I don’t want anyone to have that experience watching our movies.”

Rogen had expressed similar sentiments in 2016 in an interview with The Guardian. Rogen’s humor has long come under fire for insensitivity. Even co-star Katherine Heigel criticized the pair’s breakout hit Knocked Up for its attitudes about women.


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Giannis’ greatness can’t exist by itself

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Antetokounmpo’s struggles during the Eastern Conference Finals highlight how much pressure we place on superstars, and how we too frequently ignore everything else.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s play against the Toronto Raptors during the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals felt like absurdist art. Whenever he tried to drive to the rim, he was often surrounded by three or more defenders. Yet he couldn’t shoot, and because no other Bucks player could consistently create chances or demand attention like he can, he had to keep plunging himself into a desperate and futile situation. His failures became the lasting image of a series the Bucks eventually lost in six.


But to characterize the Bucks’ failings as Antetokounmpo’s burden would be unfair.

That image of Antetokounmpo surrounded by a horde of Raptors defenders fits into a series of pictures I call, “the gravity of greatness.” These are pictures that show the respect and fear great players generate in opponents, when a lone individual can command the entire focus of a defense.

These images show just how conditional greatness for athletes really is. Implicit in the images is the importance of teammates, and how certain conditions are necessary for someone like Antetokounmpo to be at his best. While converging on Antetokounmpo was a sign of respect from the Raptors, it was also a sign of disrespect for the ability of his teammates.

Over and over, Antetokounmpo got the ball beyond the three-point line and was met by a defender who wanted to prevent him from gaining steam on his drive. He would perform his routine of a hard dribble and Euro step, only to hit a wall of bodies. When Kawhi Leonard became his primary defender after Game 2, that absurd task was made even more difficult, in a way it hadn’t been throughout the year. Yet he kept going at the defense as if he wanted to test his resolve against theirs.

Antetokounmpo is the Bucks’ battering ram. The team capitalizes on the near-impossible task of stopping him at the rim with one or two defenders. When he gets the ball above the three-point line, his teammates spread out to give him as much space as possible, and to take advantage of the attention he demands whenever he decides to kick out the ball.

The Raptors made a bold gamble after losing the first two games when they decided to use the best perimeter defender in the game to keep Antetokounmpo from getting to the rim. It was a dare for the other players on the Bucks to beat them. And if the Bucks had a consistently elite shooter or creator who could have drawn enough attention away from Antetokounmpo, that tactic could have proven fatal.

Instead, the Bucks often went through cold shooting streaks and failed to maintain big leads when Antetokounmpo couldn’t score in traffic. With their defensive plan, the Raptors not only exposed his weaknesses, but also the limitations of the Bucks as a team.

Antetokounmpo was rightfully criticized after the series, with suggestions he needs to expand and refine his game in order to reach the next level of stardom. But while the criticism is fair, it’s also hyper-focused on an individual as the source of the team’s failure.

We tend to think of superstars as players who can transcend the systems they play in, and those who perform well within an identity are denigrated as “system players.” Players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant can supposedly succeed anywhere, while someone like Draymond Green can only thrive in a particular environment. It wasn’t long ago Leonard was also considered a system player, though that notion has been shattered this season. Antetokounmpo is in danger of falling into the same category.

But these categories ignore how greatness comes into being. LeBron is incredible, but inside a team like the Lakers that doesn’t surround him with shooters, he can look like much less than he is. Surround him with a team that confuses defenders about whether to clog the paint or defend the perimeter, and he is unstoppable.

Even making it to the NBA requires a group effort. Antetokounmpo is proof. His story of being a poor immigrant in Greece is well-known at this point. He had no basketball experience when he was discovered. His first coach had a religious revelation when he saw him while searching the streets for African immigrants.

Antetokounmpo’s story is now written in the same heroic mode of many sports stories. He is someone whose talents helped him transcend his environment and bring him to a final stage of victory. But from the way he was discovered, to his NBA coaches prioritizing his development and creating systems in which his strengths could be maximized and his weaknesses hidden, his story is also about those who surround him doing everything possible to make him succeed. He has clear talent, but so do many players who never find themselves in the perfect conditions to let them fulfill their potential.

Had Antetokounmpo even been discovered in another era of basketball, he would have never had this level of success. The style he’s allowed to play is a condition of this time of big men who play like guards and the three-point revolution that has facilitated a set of teammates who are comfortable spreading out as much as possible when he has the ball.


There’s a connection between American and Western society and the myth of individual brilliance is difficult to avoid. It’s an idea that, in a positive light, lets people believe their station in life is not fixed or determined by birth, but by their own capabilities. It’s also the perfect idea for a world that often profits from limiting the potential of individuals through social conditions while suggesting the individual’s failure is inherent.

Sports is the perfect place for these stories of exceptionalism. Every athlete is exceptional by nature of making it to the top level, so their stories are written in the heroic arc of beginning, crisis, climax, and denouement. That arc grossly underplays the conditions behind the individual. When that hero fails, a lot of focus is spent on what the individual has to improve to overcome the obstacles in their way, and not on his conditions.

This isn’t a defense of Antetokounmpo’s failures, or a suggestion he doesn’t need to expand his game. He clearly does. But when I look at his gravity of greatness, I see how an individual’s brilliance is premised by a system and how that person’s failure is also one of those surrounding conditions.

Antetokounmpo driving and attracting the attention of three to four defenders was a desirable effect for the Bucks. It became a frustration when everyone else couldn’t capitalize on the freedom he provided. When his teammates failed, the Raptors felt comfortable limiting him directly. His individual failure to beat the wall led directly to the failure of the team, and their failure to threaten the Raptors enough to force them to deviate from their game plan.

I don’t think it should diminish the brilliance of Antetokounmpo to think his successes and failures are about so much more than him. He is a marvel, if perhaps a limited one right now. Yet, as with anyone else in the world, the conditions around him often determine his level of achievement. He can be unstoppable when the system works, and Sisyphean when it doesn’t.


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mikenov on Twitter: #TrumpThePoodleDog #Serves the #NewAbwehr and the #GermanIntelligence for his #FourBillionDollarsTrumpBrandValueLoan from the #DeutscheBank. trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/2019/05/mugger… #FBI #CIA #TrumpInvestigations #InvestigateTheInvestigators #Counterintelligence #CI #ODNI #NIC #TheJusticeDept pic.twitter.com/MPj4uVNXQJ

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#TrumpThePoodleDog #Serves the #NewAbwehr and the #GermanIntelligence for his #FourBillionDollarsTrumpBrandValueLoan from the #DeutscheBank.

trumpinvestigations.blogspot.com/2019/05/mugger…

#FBI #CIA #TrumpInvestigations #InvestigateTheInvestigators #Counterintelligence #CI #ODNI #NIC #TheJusticeDept pic.twitter.com/MPj4uVNXQJ



Posted by

mikenov
on Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 5:05pm

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