Connect with us

Two weeks ago, after the Las Vegas Aces had clinched consecutive WNBA titles, forward A’ja Wilson sat at the Game 4 postgame news conference as a conquering heroine. She was the face of both revelry and rivalry, with a gold bottle in one hand and the mic in another.

Her swagger was never in doubt, even before she donned a shirt to complement her Finals MVP status that read “MV’Periodt.” But there was a gravity to Wilson not seen during her previous championship postgame Q&A session, a legendary performance.

And then the Aces guard Kelsey Plum, in true team fashion, repeated history with an impression of Radio Raheem from Do the Right Thing.

“Wait, y’all! I’m being serious! I’m being serious!” Wilson declared before she momentarily conceded to her teammates’ rendition of rap group Crime Mob’s “Knuck If You Buck.” The championship vibes and the petty competitiveness continued over the next few days. Wilson wore a shirt at the team’s victory parade with the number of first, second and third place regular-season MVP votes she received printed on the back, a celebration that preceded the Aces being the superstar guests of another celebrity Vegas resident – R&B singer Usher.

The last two weeks have been outlandish and over the top, including Wilson calling out the music icon – and it has been absolutely beautiful and free. This is women’s basketball and it deserves these moments.

GettyImages 1754235690 1 scaled

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

GettyImages 1754695156 edited scaled
Top photo, from left to right: Las Vegas Aces coach Becky Hammon, forwards Alysha Clark, A’ja Wilson and center Kiah Stokes react as Stokes rises to speak during the team’s WNBA championship victory parade and rally at Toshiba Plaza on Oct. 23 in Las Vegas. Bottom photo: Las Vegas Aces center A’ja Wilson, wearing a shirt that displays her WNBA Finals MVP voting numbers, dances onstage as rapper 2 Chainz performs on Oct. 23.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Last year was tough on the WNBA and the sport in general because of the trials and detention of Brittney Griner in Russia, who was released in December 2022. A record-setting NCAA Women’s Final Four also displayed the growth of women’s basketball before separate incidents of taunting between Iowa guard Caitlin Clark and LSU forward Angel Reese displayed a race-based double standard.

Near the end of LSU’s 102-85 title game win, Reese pointed at her ring finger and made the “you can’t see me” gesture near Clark, an unspoken dialogue that both players said didn’t warrant the criticism leveled at Reese. Throughout the season and in the NCAA tournament, Clark, who is white, had made the same gesture but was celebrated instead of being vilified like Reese.

“The world is always going to have a good girl and a bad girl,” Reese said at LSU’s media day. “I’ll take that I’m going to be the bad guy because I know I’ve grown women’s basketball and inspired people.”

A similar dynamic occurred during the WNBA Finals, when New York guard Sabrina Ionescu made the “night night” gesture after a fourth-quarter three in Game 3, which led to a response from Las Vegas guard Sydney Colson after the Aces clinched Game 4.

Personally, I love trash talk in sports. What I don’t like is the energy Finesse2Tymes described on his hit record “Back End”: “It’s cool when they do it, it’s a problem when I do it.”

Some people can’t deal with Black women being confident – or better yet, brash. There are folks who bristle at Reese’s unrelenting cockiness, or Colson’s twerking on stage in Vegas. Who cares? You do what you want when you win.

I love the sport’s commitment to authenticity, bots and trolls be damned. Sports has largely transcended on-court competition and has become more of an entertainment property, as evidenced by partnerships with celebrities like media personality Kim Kardashian. Folks can say one thing in the comment section, but media returns and overall clicks suggest something else entirely – people love drama and messiness.

I know Clark is in the lab right now plotting her revenge, and people want to see that. She was already celebrated by Iowa fans after their championship game loss – 9,000 people showed up when the Hawkeyes returned to Iowa City.
Iowa coach Lisa Bruder parlayed that into breaking the women’s college basketball single-game attendance record.

GettyImages 1250648632 scaled
LSU forward Angel Reese (left) points to her ring finger as Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (right) walks off the court during the 2023 NCAA championship game at American Airlines Center on April 2 in Dallas.

Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Women’s college hoops is full of questions that will follow with compelling live-action answers. Can LSU repeat? Can guard Paige Bueckers return UConn to its former glory? How will coach Dawn Staley and South Carolina rebound from last season’s heartbreaking loss, with a relatively new team?

I couldn’t help but see the glum face of New York forward Breanna Stewart after a subpar postseason performance and wonder how she might respond next season. It was only a year ago when Stewart, then a member of the Seattle Storm, scored 42 points as her team was eliminated by these same Aces, every game going tit-for-tat. How might she respond next year, twice thwarted by the Aces, with new motivation and another year of chemistry with her Liberty teammates?

This is the rivalry people want to see. I’m always hesitant to compare men’s and women’s sports, but I can’t help but mention how the rivalry between Magic Johnson of the Los Angeles Lakers and Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics not only captivated college basketball, but profoundly translated to the pros as well. Of course, Johnson and Bird were otherworldly talented, but there was no denying the pettiness – and racial angst – between the Lakers and Celtics of those times. We were rewarded with championship battles for the next decade, and that duel represents the league’s gold standard.

I want to see the Aces and Liberty again next year. I hope both teams are at full strength, that Plum’s comments about the Liberty’s cohesiveness resonate, that the kings and queens of sport still see fit to sit courtside. I hope the Lady Tigers of LSU and Iowa’s women’s basketball team meet again when it matters most, at the Final Four.

More than that, I want sports fans to take a page from women’s basketball. Be consistent. Be authentic. And be petty. In the world of sports, it brings the best out of everyone.


By: Ken Makin
Title: The Las Vegas Aces, LSU and how sports fans can learn from women’s basketball
Sourced From:
Published Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2023 12:52:48 +0000

Read More
Did you miss our previous article…

Baller Awards

Mo Gilligan to “step down and hand over the baton” as BRIT Awards host

Mo Gilligan posing jpg

Mo Gilligan attends The BRIT Awards 2023 at The O2 Arena on February 11, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Mo Gilligan has announced he will be “stepping down” as a BRIT Awards host due to his first world tour.

  • READ MORE: Soundtrack Of My Life – Mo Gilligan

The comedian took to his official social media account to share that due to scheduling conflicts with his first-ever world tour, he will “hand over the baton” and give his usual hosting duties to someone else.

“I’ve had the most incredible time working on The BRITS but unfortunately as I’ll be in the US for my first world tour next spring. I’m sorry to say that I’ll be stepping down from hosting duties for 2024 and handing over the baton,” began his statement on his Instagram stories.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Mo Gilligan (@mothecomedian)

He continued: “It’s been phenomenal to work on this iconic event. I’ve loved getting to know all the remarkable people who run The BRIT Trust and the outstanding BRIT school. The tireless work you do to improve lives through the power of music and the creative arts is sensational and I promise to continue supporting wherever I can.

“Thank you to ITV for making a young man’s dream come true and to all the brilliant performers, guests, production team and most importantly, the viewers at home for all your amazing support. It’s been an honor. See you on tour!”

Gillian also shared one of his tweets from 2011 in which he wrote: “In 2013 I need to host the #MOBO’s or #TheBritAwards *Fingers Crossed*”.

The comedian has served as the awards show presenter for the past two years. Speaking to The Sun, a BRITs spokesperson said: “The BRITs are incredibly proud of Mo hosting the awards for the last two years, he is an exceptional entertainer who is going from strength to strength in his career, and we thank him for delivering two brilliant shows for us.”

They continued: “The live awards show is always evolving, and we are excited to welcome someone new to the helm for 2024, with more details to be announced at a later date.”

Back in September, the date for the BRIT Awards 2024 was revealed. Next year’s ceremony is due to take place on March 2 at The O2 in London. It’ll mark the second consecutive year that the show has aired in a primetime Saturday night slot on ITV1 and ITVX.

Last week, the  BRIT Awards organisers announced that they will be tweaking their rules for the 2024 instalment, following a row over diversity.

According to a new report by BBC News, it has been announced that the organisers of the BRITS will now increase the number of shortlisted artists for the Best Artist award. This sees an expansion from five to 10 nominees for the 2024 edition, in the hopes of creating a more balanced field.

The expanded shortlist will also apply to the Best International Artist category as of next year. As well as broadening the number of nominees, the organisers have also confirmed that they will be introducing a new award category, dedicated solely to the R&B genre.

The post Mo Gilligan to “step down and hand over the baton” as BRIT Awards host appeared first on NME.


By: Anagricel Duran
Title: Mo Gilligan to “step down and hand over the baton” as BRIT Awards host
Sourced From:
Published Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2023 16:52:29 +0000

Read More

Continue Reading

Baller Awards

Here’s The Full List Of 2023 Soul Train Awards Winners

1 sza jpg
SZA Grammys 2023
Getty Image

The year is coming to an end, but there are still so many flowers still to be given out to the year’s biggest musical acts. Last week, the Billboard Music Awards celebrated the chart metric. Today (November 26), the 2023 Soul Train Awards, presented by BET, honored R&B acts moving the genre forward.

Keke Palmer did the honors of hosting the event. While acts like Muni Long, Coco Jones, and BJ The Chicago Kid appeared to perform for the attendees. However, the evening is all about walking away with a trophy.

Both Janelle Monáe and T-Pain were bestowed special honors during the ceremony. Janelle Monáe was granted the Spirit Of Soul Award. “[Janelle Monáe] have shown us the true meaning of freedom of expression through all facets of entertainment,” said organizers in a statement.

T-Pain was given the Legend Award for his impact on R&B, Soul, and hip-hop’s forever-intervened mix.

Continue below for the complete winner list for the 2023 Soul Train Awards.

Album Of The Year

Janelle Monáe — The Age of Pleasure
Ari Lennox — Age/Sex/Location
Summer Walker — Clear 2: Soft Life EP
Babyface — Girls Night Out (Extended)
Burna Boy — I Told Them…
Victoria Monét — Jaguar II
Coco Jones — What I Didn’t Tell You (Deluxe)

Song Of The Year

October London – “Back to Your Place”
Toosii – “Favorite Song”
Usher Feat. Summer Walker & 21 Savage – “Good Good”
Coco Jones – “ICU”
SZA – “Kill Bill”
Janelle Monáe – “Lipstick Lover”
Victoria Monét – “On My Mama”
SZA – “Snooze”

Video Of The Year

October London – “Back to Your Place”
PinkPantheress & Ice Spice – “Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2”
Usher – “Boyfriend”
Usher Feat. Summer Walker & 21 Savage – “Good Good”
Coco Jones – “ICU”
SZA – “Kill Bill”
Janelle Monáe – “Lipstick Lover”
Victoria Monét – “On My Mama”
Lizzo – “Special”

Best R&B/Soul Female Artist

Ari Lennox
Coco Jones
Janelle Monáe
Summer Walker
Victoria Monét

Best R&B/Soul Male Artist

Brent Faiyaz
Burna Boy
Chris Brown
Eric Bellinger
October London

Best Group

Jagged Edge
Kool & The Gang
Maverick City Music
Phony Ppl
Ronald Isley & The Isley Brothers
Tank and The Bangas

Best Collaboration

Beyoncé Feat. Kendrick Lamar – “America Has a Problem” (Remix),
PinkPantheress & Ice Spice – “Boy’s a Liar, Pt. 2”
Metro Boomin, The Weeknd, Diddy Feat. 21 Savage – “Creepin’ (Remix)”
Flo feat. Missy Elliott – “Fly Girl”
Usher Feat. Summer Walker & 21 Savage – “Good Good”
Burna Boy Feat. 21 Savage – “Sittin’ on Top of the World”
Lizzo Feat. SZA – “Special”
Summer Walker Feat. J. Cole – “To Summer, From Cole (Audio Hug)”

Best New Artist

Ayra Starr
Coco Jones

Certified Soul Award

Anthony Hamilton
Eric Bellinger
PJ Morton
Ronald Isley & The Isley Brothers

The Ashford And Simpson Songwriter’s Award

October London – “Back to Your Place”
Toosii – “Favorite Song”
Usher Feat. Summer Walker & 21 Savage – “Good Good”
Coco Jones – “ICU”
SZA – “Kill Bill”
Victoria Monét – “On My Mama”
Burna Boy Feat. 21 Savage – “Sittin’ on Top of the World”
SZA – “Snooze”

Best Dance Performance

Ciara Feat. Summer Walker – “Better Thangs”
Usher – “Boyfriend”
Usher Feat. Summer Walker, 21 Savage – “Good Good”
Ciara & Chris Brown – “How We Roll”
Victoria Monét – “On My Mama”
SZA – “Snooze”
Chris Brown – “Summer Too Hot”
Chris Brown – “Under the Influence”

Best Gospel/Inspirational Award

Shirley Caesar – “All Of The Glory”
Kirk Franklin – “All Things”
Fridayy Feat. Maverick City Music & My Mom – “Came Too Far”
Koryn Hawthorne – “Cry”
Erica Campbell – “Feel Alright (Blessed)”
Maverick City Music featuring Chandler Moore & Naomi Raine – “God Problems”
H.E.R. – “The Journey”
Kirk Franklin – “Try Love”

Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.


By: Flisadam
Title: Here’s The Full List Of 2023 Soul Train Awards Winners
Sourced From:
Published Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2023 01:26:53 +0000

Read More

Continue Reading

Baller Awards

JY Park goes viral for polarising 44th Blue Dragon Film Awards performance

jy park getty jpg

jy park

South Korean singer and businessman JY Park, best known as the founder and namesake of JYP Entertainment, has gone viral for a recent live performance at the 44th Blue Dragon Film Awards.

  • READ MORE: KISS OF LIFE – ‘Born to Be XX’: a diamond in the rough

JY Park recently made an appearance at the 44th Blue Dragon Film Awards, where he performed a medley of original songs (‘When We Disco’ and ‘Changed Man’) and popular hits (Eurythmics classic ‘Sweet Dreams’ and a-ha’s ‘Take On Me’).

The singer’s elaborate performance, including a costume change from a dramatic white coat dress to a purple bodysuit, elicited a range of reactions from the audience, which consisted of popular actors and K-pop idols alike.

A number of these reactions have since gone viral, including Concrete Utopia actress Kim Sun-young’s shocked face, Reborn Rich star Song Joong-ki’s apparent look of concern, and EXO‘s D.O. and Krystal Jung‘s looks of confusion.

The audience’s reactions to JY Park’s performance at the 44th Blue Dragon Film Awards have also since been compared those for NewJeans, who had taken to the stage to sing their hit singles ‘ETA’ and ‘Super Shy’ earlier in the night.

During NewJeans’ performance, the audience at the 44th Blue Dragon Film Awards can be seen smiling and clapping along to the girl group. Some also pointed out how singer-actress BIBI looked like she was about to cry watching the quintet perform.


#kbs #newjeans #jyp #ryujunyeol #songjoongki #jeonyeobeen #bibi #dokyungsoo #parkboyoung #krystal #bluedragonseriesawards2023

♬ som original – tea_kpop

In other K-pop news, KISS OF LIFE member Belle recently covered Ariana Grande‘s 2013 ballad with Nathan Sykes, ‘Almost Is Never Enough’. Meanwhile, BABYMONSTER have made their long-anticipated debut with ‘Batter Up’.

The post JY Park goes viral for polarising 44th Blue Dragon Film Awards performance appeared first on NME.


By: Puah Ziwei
Title: JY Park goes viral for polarising 44th Blue Dragon Film Awards performance
Sourced From:
Published Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2023 07:26:52 +0000

Read More

Continue Reading