Big East Hoops 24/7 Q&A with Tarik Turner

Big East Hoops 24/7 (@bigeasttourney) recently caught up with former St. John’s standout & current FS1 analyst Tarik Turner on a variety of topics.  With some bonus comments from Tim Brando.  Check it out:

tarik turner

BEH 24/7:  Other than your Mom & Dad who’s been the most influential person in your career path?

Tarik: “Outside of my parents, STJ faculty/alumni had biggest impact on career, gave me my first shot at broadcasting as bball radio analyst, helped me grow and learn the business of media thru the vast alumni network.”

 

BEH 24/7:  Looking back after all of these years can you appreciate all of the pressure Felipe Lopez had to handle at such a young age?

Tarik: “Felipe was Lebron before Lebron in high school and did it in the mecca of bball NYC. We were all amazed by how he handled the pressure of being the #1 player out of HS, dealing with media at a young age and living up to expectations. Always stayed humble and treated people with respect. First class dude all the way.”

 

BEH 24/7: You committed to St John’s back in October of ’93 after visiting California & Syracuse. What did you like about St John’s so much?

Tarik: “The chance to play in the mecca of bball, MSG and attend a great university with great tradition, along with living in NYC. Looked at it as a great opportunity for me to learn about myself, grow up and further my career goals after graduation.”

 

BEH 24/7: Do you have any good Malik Sealy stories?

Tarik: “Malik was like a big brother to us. He took a lot of pride in giving back to the younger guys in the STJ program, came back every summer and played pick up ball with us. Every summer he threw a legendary party in Manhattan and always made sure to look out for me and my teammates to get in and get VIP treatment. He was the first person to take me under his wing and show me the ropes of living in NYC. We all looked up to him and miss him deeply. RIP.”

malik sealy

 

BEH 24/7: Between basketball & broadcasting which do you feel you’ve had to work harder at?

Tarik: “Theres nothing like competing as a player in terms of the work I put in to be on top of my game. It’s been a fun transition into broadcasting, where I can study and analyze the game. I’m passionate about it so it doesn’t feel like work.”

 

BEH 24/7: Who were the top 5 guys you had to guard in your Big East days?

Tarik: “Top 5 guys I guarded: Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Kerry Kittles, Vonteego Cummings, Alvin Williams.”

 

BEH 24/7: What’s the one Big East game you’d pay to go see this year?

Tarik: “Nova vs Providence…big-time guard play, best group of guards (Nova) vs best overall guard/player (Kris Dunn Providence)….exciting match up.”

 

BEH 24/7: What did you think of the Gavitt games?

Tarik: “Gavitt games were a great way to kick off the season while paying tribute to the founding father, Dave Gavitt. A lot of people, including myself, learned more about Dave’s vision and how passionate he was about the Big East Conference.”

 

BEH 24/7: Why should a high school basketball recruit consider playing in the Big East?

Tarik: “The chance to play in an elite conference with great competition, coaches, tradition..a bball only league where you’re the only show in town, on the biggest stage, mecca of hoops, Madison Square Garden for the Big East tourney.”

 

BEH 24/7: Do you ever get tired of Donny Marshall reminding everyone how good those UCONN teams were?

Tarik: “Donny can’t help himself when it comes to reminding us about his UCONN days…its in his DNA. We went from not liking each other as opponents to becoming good friends through our broadcasting careers…great guy, great career. Honor to work with.”

BONUS: Tim Brando comments on Tarik

BEH 24/7: We asked Tim for a comment or two regarding working with Tarik

Tim: “Tarik’s intensity as a player is equaled in his approach breaking down a game. His  understanding of BIG EAST BB history and blending that into his analysis is also a strength of his.”

Thanks to Tarik & Tim for taking the time to answer a few questions.  Class guys all the way!  You can follow them @tarik4turner and @TimBrando

Commentary: NBA players rapping almost never works, so why do so many keep trying?

Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Kevin Durant, Gary Payton, Brian Shaw, Dana Barros, Dennis Scott, Malik Sealy, Elton Brand, Steve Francis, Isaiah Rider, Tony Parker, Iman Shumpert, Damian Lillard and, of course…Shaq have made rap singles and in some cases, entire albums.

Here, we aim to explore the finer points of 5 additional NBA rappers & their songs that warrant commentary.

#5:  Cedric Ceballos, Flow On from the 1994 album “BBall’s Best Kept Secret” (featuring Warren G)

Surprisingly good.  Yes, he takes the rather obvious approach of weaving basketball into the song and video but he pulls it off.  A graduate of Cal St. Fullerton, Ced spent 10 yrs in the NBA as a player but after retirement was hired by the Phoenix Suns as their in-arena emcee.  CC prob could have had a full career in music if that whole basketball thing didn’t happen.

#4: Joe Smith, Heart of a Lion from the 2009 album “The Beginning”

Surprisingly not awful.  Although not flawlessly executed, Joe scores bonus points for degree of difficulty by choosing such a rapid pace.  This could have gone horribly wrong for him…instead it was just good enough to avoid national ridicule which, frankly, should be the goal of all these guys.

#3:  Chris Webber, Gangsta Gangsta from the 1999 album “2 much drama” (featuring Kurupt)

Not surprisingly, it’s bad. Somewhere between calling a phantom time-out and calling games on TNT, this happened.  Not horrific…but just not for him.  Those flailing arms fail to keep the proper rhythm and he’s talking about babysitters and lettuce and whatnot.  Nice try but thank you for stopping.

#2: Jason Kidd, What the Kidd Did from the 1994 album “BBall’s Best Kept Secret” (featuring Money B)

Predictably awful. The breathy-whisper approach may have worked w/ a few ladies over the years but it’s creeps me out in a rap song.  Secondly, using his last name as a play on words in the song and the title is the most unimaginative move in the history of sound.  We’d all be better off if What the Kidd Did was not rap.

#1: Delonte West, Livin Life Fast from the 2011 album “The Lockout”

Oh boy.  This would be an example of that whole ‘national ridicule’ thing if he were a bit more famous but most casual bball fans only know him as the guy with neck-tats who has OCD and banged LeBron’s mom.  Easily the scariest thing about this…it was just 4 yrs ago. Many of these other mis-guided rap songs/vids can be laughed off as “back in the day” kind of stuff.  Not this one. While high and playing video games at Fuddruckers they thought…hey let’s shoot a rap video.  Really Livin the Fast Life at the arcade bruh.

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In-depth Analysis: Chris Obekpa’s shorts. Questions in need of answers.

Baby tigers, blocked shots and short shorts.  That’s how teammate D’angelo Harrison describes Chris Obekpa.  As “C.O.” becomes known around the NCAA for being the shot blocker with the short shorts, we felt the need to answer the burning question, “just how short are C.O.’s shorts?”

According to his teammates, sometimes he takes regular shorts and rolls them up, other times he wears a legitimately undersized pair.  Either way there’s a lot of man-thigh showing so let’s compare his naked quads to some legendary nut-hugger wearing players from the 80’s.

* side note: Obekpa is listed at 6’9″ so for fairness, we chose 2 comparative players also listed at 6’9″.  this matters b/c in adults, the femur (thighbone) is the largest bone in the body and accounts for 26.7% of a person’s height, on average.

obekpa with bird and magic take 2

So clearly in this pic, Magic & Bird are wearing legit tighties while C.O. has on the more blousy, rolled-up version.  In this case, with all 3 players standing relatively still, the best look goes to Obekpa mainly b/c of the extra space in the crotch-area.  A little extra thigh is ok as long as it’s not accompanied by and outline of your onions.

obekpa and birdobekpa and magic

In a jumping motion, C.O. fares well again.  Bird has a little bulge happening there which nobody needs to see.  And we’re dangerously close to seeing Magic’s family jewels on the far right.

The scientific rigor of this analysis may be skewed by 2 uncontrollable variables:

1. Magic’s kneepads cover some lower-thigh giving a possible illusion of less exposure.

2. Chris & Larry have thinner legs and “hind-quarters” than Earvin therefore taking up less real-estate inside those trunks.

The verdict:  Obekpa must stick with the rolled-up, blousy version of his daisy-dukes. This will help him play his best, still market himself as the short-shorts guy but avoids the bananna-hammock issue.

And if Chris gets carried away with this, and needs an intervention, the content below should fix it.

obekpa with richard simmons

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Best Tweet–Worst Tweet: Cheick Diallo NOT going to St. John’s

This was crappy news for the Big East since Diallo chose Kansas so there are no “best tweets” this time…chose the 2 worst tweets.

#2  Obnoxious overuse of a descriptive noun

diallo 4 motors

For the love of Christ, enough.  He has a lot of energy…fantastic.  How about flexing your journalistic thesaurus with descriptors like ‘work ethic’, ‘drive’, ‘persistence’ etc. rather than repeating buzz words.  Ugh.  Annoying just writing about it.

#1 Oh, Fran…don’t.

Diallo worst tweet

Thought Fran was ok dude…til this.  When you crowbar “just got back from a run” into a tweet you’ve entered hardo land.  You have a mere 140 characters to comment on Diallo’s new home and you spend the first 24 of them pumping up your own schmenzer while concurrently attempting to make us feel like slobs?  ZERO reason for that info.  100% irrelevant to the topic. This is bad.  His PR guy should go nuclear and pull the “Fran’s account got hacked” defense to try and save a little face.  Brutal…gives me douche-chills just thinking about it.

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UPDATED: 12 best (worst) of Joey Crawford. #11 is new.

Watching Joey Crawford putter up/down the floor during 2015 NBA playoffs inspired me to re-visit his work.  Now attempting the impossible; determining which moments are douchier than others for this angry little troll.  New set of batteries in the douche-meter so here goes:

#12  Down Goes Crawford (Pt 1)

One of the funniest but only scores 5 on the douche-meter.  If he didn’t run like such a douche he would have scored a 0.  He owns some of this.

#11 Down goes Crawford (pt 2)

From 2015 playoffs. This is becoming a bit too common, no?  At what point do we get this guy a walker?  Very funny but only slightly douchey.  Another 5 on the scale.

#10 Joey impersonates Ed Grimley

Also, funny but not overly douchey.  Just a little excessive enthusiasm.  Douche-meter reads 6.

#9 Joey gets in the way…Part I

First rule of officiating is to stay out of the way.  If you’re too old, fat & slow to run your “ref lane assignments” then realize it & jog down while out of bounds.  Douchometer 6.5

#8 Twinkletoes Crawford

Way to make yourself the focal point Jo-Craw.  Your excessive enthusiasm mixed with your douchiness and the result was both funny and cringe-worthy.  Douche score 7.

#7 Joey woke up with a thick hair stretched firmly across his ass

Not sure exactly what Bargnani said, but I’ll bet I’ve said much worse to the checkout lady at the supermarket & she takes it in stride like a champ.  Significantly impacting the game b/c your in a bad mood. Your random irritability earned you 7.3 douche-points on this one, Joe.

#6 Hardo move of the month

This was on pace to be an all time douche move…until he said ‘thank you’ then grabbed his nuts.  That helped keep this one down to a 7.5

#5 Joey gets in the way…Part II

In the Redick one…Joey was just to fat & slow to get out of the way, here he still has enough juice to move but chooses to pirouette off Curry’s hip rather than slow-up.  Big difference leading to an 8 on the douche scores.

#4 Joey ignores video evidence, ejects Taj Gibson w/ flagrant-2

Nothing Joey loves more than determining outcome of NBA games.  Another ref was right on top of this but noooo…Joey has to come puttering in to take over from 40 ft away.  Anyone thinking video replay of Dellavedova’s initial leg-lock causing Gibson’s kick would change Joey’s megalomaniacal mind was mistaken.  Ejecting Taj with a flagrant-2 for a relatively mild response to Dellavedova’s actions is the most Joey Crawford move in the history of Joey Crawford moves. Douche-factor 8.5

#3 Joey piques

Little tense today Joe?  The rod up his ass has a rod up it’s ass.  Ejecting a future HOF’er for laughing on the bench has the douche-o-meter pegging  9.

#2 Hardo move of the year

Just a straight up hardo, asshole, douchebag move berating a mop guy in public.  9.5

#1 The worst

So…if you’re too top-heavy to stop and bump a player out of bounds, just call a foul on the guy nearest you?  Honestly why not just call Billups for a flagrant 1 while you’re at it…he (you) weren’t making a play on the ball.  He literally shoves Jones out of bounds and immediately points to Billups and says ‘you did that’. The pinnacle of incompetent douchiness.  A perfect 10.

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5 minutes of funk. VCU buzzer beater. 1984 NCAA tourney. Whodini vs. Peppas ?

Five minutes of funk.  1984, the 6th seeded VCU Rams squared off vs. Reggie Lewis and the Northeastern Huskies in the 1st round of the NCAA tournament.  VCU wins on a Rolando Lamb jumper at the buzzer but the final 5 minutes features Lamb v Lewis in a great back & forth:

Meanwhile in 1984, the Peppas weren’t yet the Peppas we’ve come to know & love but a few hundred miles up rt 95 in Brooklyn, Whodini was releasing their “Escape” album with the classic track “5 minutes of funk”.  Players riding to these games w/ headphones, heads bobbing…yeah, pretty sure this was on repeat mode for most of em:

All of this made us wonder.  The VCU athletic band (Peppas) and bandleader Ryan are known for being unconventional…and they already have a DJ.  Might we hear them play some Whodini at the 2016 Atlantic 10 bball tourney? Imagine the Gold Rush Dancers moving to this?  OMG.

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