Categories
Sports Strength

Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland Might Be the Most Slept On Player in the 2021 NBA Draft

Let’s start with the viral video. It’s a late September night in 2017 at the CheckRock streetball league in Wilmington, Delaware and a crowd has gathered to watch Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland (the-then 17 year-old streetball legend and now-20 year-old Denver Nuggets first round draft pick) play one-on-one against two guys who don’t seem to know what they’ve gotten themselves into. Game to seven, scored by ones, make it take it.

Up first, Green Shirt. After 30 seconds, Green Shirt is down 3-0, his lineless oval face progressively scrunches with frustration as he’s beaten 7-3. White Tank Top fares much worse, losing 7-0 and only ever touching the ball when he embarrassingly tosses it at Hyland’s head to try to save face. None of this is remarkable on its own; in fact, Hyland can’t even recall exactly who those guys were or why they deserved such ignominy. But the message—the cascade of double stepback jumpers on unforgiving double-rims—is clear.

“I’m a killer, straight up,” Hyland said as he prepared for the NBA Draft. “When we’re on the court, I need you to know that you can’t guard me.”

To a degree, this video (appropriately named Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland Destroys Two Philly Trash Talkers) is really a public service announcement, introducing its 3.3 million viewers to not just Nah’Shon Hyland, but Bizzy Bones, Hyland’s on-court alter-ego. Whereas Nah’Shon is polite and affable, Bizzy Bones (Bizzy because he gets busy with the ball; Bones because he’s so skinny and long-limbed) is ruthless. Nah’Shon is a basketball player; Bizzy Bones is a hooper. Nah’Shon wants to laugh with you; Bizzy Bones wants to make people laugh at you. 

“Off the court, he’s energetic, he’s joking around, he’s lampin’,” said Thomas Jackson, a quasi-big brother figure for Hyland and the CEO of the Wilmington-based streetwear brand Carry My Own Weight. “But when it’s game time, there are no more jokes and no more friends: he’s going at you.” 

When Hyland was ten years old, he made the neighborhood YMCA his personal exhibition space, transforming a children’s’ rec-league into a showcase where he would unveil the crossovers and dribble moves that he learned from watching AND1 YouTube mixtapes of Hot Sauce and spent the last seven days practicing in the mirror. More, this was where Bizzy Bones was born. 

“I was, like, 10 years-old, dropping 50 points just about every weekend,” Hyland remembered. “I was making ten threes in a half. The other kids were just looking at me like, ‘Damn, there’s nothing I can do about that.’” 

For four years at St. Georges Technical High School, Hyland continued his reign of terror over the Wilmington youth basketball circuit. As such, he quickly became a celebrity—or at least the Delaware high school equivalent of one—as people swarmed to watch him exhibit the depth of his scoring bag. 

“Our gym was always full,” said Rodney Griffin, Hyland’s high school coach. “From his Junior year on, no matter where we went—New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland—the games were sold out. People would show up to root for Bones and watch him play.” 

With good reason.

“There was one scrimmage where Bones got super hot—he was shooting from everywhere, he could shoot it from the ocean,” Griffin said with a laugh. “During a timeout, he comes up to me and tells me he’s going to shoot from behind halfcourt. So, on the next play, he does and he splashes it; the net doesn’t even move and the crowd is going nuts. And right away, the other coach calls the game—he ends the scrimmage because he said he’d seen enough.” 

Although Hyland held scholarship offers from basketball powerhouses like Michigan and UConn, he ultimately committed to Virginia Commonwealth University because they were committed to him—not only were they one of the first notable teams to offer him a scholarship, but they never wavered in recruiting him, even after he tore his patella tendon so severely by jumping from the window of a burning building that doctors feared he’d never play basketball again.  

After a relatively muted freshman season at VCU, Hyland fully emerged as Bizzy Bones during his sophomore year. Despite only being named to the Atlantic 10’s preseason third-team by the conference’s coaches, he became the conference’s clear star and best NBA prospect. By season’s end, he was named the conference player of the year. He proved to be unguardable—although A10 is perennially one of the best mid-major conferences in college basketball, no team was equipped to handle Hyland’s combination of game-breaking shooting and speed. Over the course of 12 conference games, Hyland averaged 20 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists, shooting 37.6 percent on nearly eight three point attempts per game and hitting an array of shots so difficult and mind-bending that at one game, his defender couldn’t help but congratulate him.

As Hyland stands at the precipice of a professional basketball career looking back at his amateur basketball days, he has only one regret: he wishes that positive COVID-19 tests on his VCU team hadn’t abbreviated their 2021 NCAA Tournament run before it began. 

“I broke down when I heard the news [that we had been disqualified], because I thought that I lost my shot to show the world who I am,” Hyland said. “Before the game, I swear to God, I had a feeling I was going to go crazy [against Oregon in the first round]. I was gonna get 40. I knew it.” 

Next, Hyland imagines, his Rams would’ve continued their run to the Sweet Sixteen by notching an upset against a second-seeded Iowa team that spent the bulk of the year ranked in the top ten. “They were too slow for us,” Hyland declared. “We would’ve run them off the court. We were going to put [Luka] Garza in the pick-and-roll and I would’ve made him fall.” 

Now, looking forward to the NBA, the first league that he won’t be able to dominate on talent alone, Hyland is unfazed. As predicted by mock drafters and media pundits, Hyland was selected towards the end of the first round, picked 26th by the Denver Nuggets as the 16th guard off the board. If there are 15 better guards than him in the draft, that’s news to him. 

On the competitive dynamics of the pre-draft process: “During all this pre-draft stuff, I haven’t run from anything—I’ve played in any workout, I scrimmaged at the combine. Other guys get caught up in all this ranking stuff and have been ducking me [in workouts for teams] because they know it’s not gonna end well for them.”

On his status compared to his peers: “I’m the best scorer in the draft. I’m way shiftier with the ball than any other guard. I shoot it better and I shoot it with more range and I can create space with my stepback to get it off.”  

Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland

I’m the best scorer in the draft.

On his worries about Patrick Beverly and the elite defenders that await him: “I’ve played against defenders better than Pat Bev. He’s just aggressive and I’ve faced aggressive defenders before—I use that against them and they get themselves in foul trouble.” 

Cocky? Maybe, but self-doubt is incompatible with the way that Hyland plays: hoisting jump shots from 30 feet away with your momentum carrying you away from the hoop requires a certain fortitude and strength-of-will. It’s this kind of confidence—a physical charisma that radiates outward from him like a heat shimmer—that allows Nah’Shon to become Bizzy Bones. 

The important thing about Bizzy Bones is that just about everybody likes to watch him play basketball; the important thing about Nah’Shon Hyland is that just about everybody likes him. Talk to enough people in his orbit and a common theme quickly emerges: he sparks joy.

“Coaching him was so much fun,” said Griffin. “He plays with a lot of joy. More than scoring, I think the source of his joy is setting up his teammates—making passes and getting everybody involved. Whenever Bones would pass to one of our good shooters, he’d be running back on defense with three fingers in the air before the shot even left the guy’s hand.” 

Similarly, “I met him in 2017 or 2018,” said Jackson, “and I could tell that he’s different almost right away. There’s just something about his dedication and his leadership that draws people in.”

Beyond his immediate inner circle, Hyland shares a special bond with the city of Wilmington. In 2018, the city rallied around him in the aftermath of an unimaginable family tragedy (Hyland’s grandmother and little cousin died in a house fire that he managed to survive by jumping out of a window). “Nobody else can know what he’s been through,” said Jackson, “but it’s our responsibility to give him a space where he can feel understood.” In addition, a family friend set up a GoFundMe that raised over $23,000 from people all over the state who wanted to help Hyland’s family recover.

“The city has supported me and my family,” Hyland said. “Since it happened, I’ve felt like everybody really welcomed us with open arms and that people care about me and my family. Sometimes it feels like all of Wilmington is embracing us and giving us a hug. It’s really opened up the world for me and helped me realize the ways I can make a difference outside of basketball.”

Accordingly, Hyland puts on for Wilmington and Delaware, in ways both big and small. His left arm is a billboard for his hometown. Across the outside of his forearm, “WILMINGTON” is tattooed in unmissable block letters; keep looking along that same latitudinal place and TG4L—a tribute to Tressi Gang, the collective that he formed in high school—is visible on the side of his hand, a touch below the pinkie.

A portmanteau of tres (three) and si (yes), Tressi Gang is a testament to the snowball-effect of Hyland’s good vibes. What began as his friend group’s inside joke morphed into a larger collective of talented young players and then into a minor regional movement with a de facto theme song—the music video for “Tressi Bop” by local rapper Shizz Nitty has nearly 60,000 views on YouTube and features a dancing Bones Hyland. 

“With Tressi Gang, we’re basically kinda putting our own style on three-pointers,” Hyland explained. “But bigger than that, we’re a bunch of kids from the inner city and we want to show people that there’s a road out of the streets and that you can go down it together.”

In a league full of players who have had any public-facing personality smoothed away by media-training and PR-speak, Hyland is refreshingly unpolished. He speaks eagerly and engagingly, punctuating most sentences with a laugh. Even when he dips into standard pro-athlete fare, he sounds genuine and thoughtful.

On his travel itinerary during the pre-draft process: “It’s actually been great, honestly. I’ve been flying all around—East Coast, Midwest, West Coast—and it’s fun to see all these cities I’ve never been to before.”

On his work-ethic: “When I take stepbacks and deep threes in a game, those aren’t out of the blue. At St. Georges and VCU, I’d get to practice early and stay late working on those moves and the coaches would see the effort I’m putting in and feel confident even when I’m taking tough shots.”

On his larger purpose: “I just want to put smiles on people’s faces and help them out in the best way because I know that the blessings will come around tenfold.”

Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland

We’re a bunch of kids from the inner city and we want to show people that there’s a road out of the streets and that you can go down it together.

Even during the stale, empty ritual of a post-draft press conference, Hyland brought energy. Whereas most prospects unconvincingly stumble through how they definitely grew up a lifelong Sacramento Kings fan, Hyland spoke with real enthusiasm. He talked about rapping for the Nuggets’ braintrust during his pre-draft interview; he discussed his fit with the roster and what he’ll add to their offense. He confessed: “I feel like I’m the real Bones though—all due respect to Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. I’m the real Bones.” 

Just as the Bizzy Bones/Nah’Shon dialectic has defined Hyland thus far, his ultimate NBA success will hinge on his ability to maintain his signature flair while scaling his usage to fit within the framework of his team. Viewed pessimistically, Hyland is stuck between traditional basketball archetypes: his frame (6’3” and only 170ish pounds) renders him too small to defend shooting guards, but his negative assist-to-turnover ratio at VCU makes it untenable for him to conduct an NBA offense. His shot-making and accuracy in a variety of contexts (pull-ups, stationary catch-and-shoots, off-ball movement shooting, etc.) may guarantee that he commands minutes, but it could be tricky to construct lineups to fit those minutes within. 

“The shot-making is there,” said a member of a Power Five team’s coaching staff, “but the combination of his limitations as a passer and slight frame leave him without a natural position.” 

Optimistically, Hyland defies myopic basketball conventions because he fits within a more modern conception of the sport. Players have become skilled in such diverse and sundry ways that basketball in 2021 has transcended the game’s original positional template. The idea of point guard-iness and how it’s in conflict with shooting guard-dom has largely faded into obsolescence, replaced by a broader understanding of how players can fit together on the court. 

“To me, Bones is a combo guard, meaning that he’s equally capable playing on or off the ball,” said Rashad Phillips, a former pro player turned NBA Draft analyst and player development trainer. “The best situation for him is one where he’s given the freedom to play his game and be creative, but in ways that don’t pile too much responsibility on him right away.” 

Appropriately, the Nuggets play with a peerless weirdness, led by Nikola Jokic, the reigning MVP and the goofiest great player in recent memory. Every NBA team’s offensive philosophy is built to some degree upon the concept of gravity, using their personnel to alternately force defenders to cling to shooters along the three-point or collapse to the paint; the Nuggets, alone, incorporate centripetal force. With Jokic as the slick-passing axle, the other four Nuggets orbit him, creating passing opportunities and disorienting defenses through this regulated chaos. This at once alleviates some of Hyland’s most glaring offensive weaknesses while presenting a new host of challenges: Jokic’s playmaking will scale down Hyland’s creation load and allow him to focus primarily on different ways to weaponize his jumper, but it will also require Hyland to adapt to a novel role without the ball.

“I think in a lot of ways this fit can be mutually beneficial,” said PD Web, the anonymous mayor of Draft Twitter and the director of research and development at Cerebro Sports. “The Nuggets get a shooter while he gets an easier volume of shots. It’s going to be really interesting to see how a guy can handle going from being a mega-on-ball, do-it-yourself creator to being a very good shooter who can leverage his gravity, while also maintaining those other skills.” 

In this sense, the Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland Experience requires a kind of enlightened ambivalence, an ability to hold two separate, potentially conflicting ideas, simultaneously and without friction. To PD Web, Hyland’s success with the Nuggets could hinge on how easily he can adjust to subsisting on easier looks. To Rashad Phillips, he needs a structure where he can play free of structure. To Rod Griffin, Hyland is a conscious-free scorer who launches such outrageous shots that opposing coaches rage-quit scrimmages, yet who somehow finds greater delight in simple passes. To Thomas Jackson, it’s impossible for anybody to truly know Hyland and it’s his duty to try to understand him. But what image does Hyland want to project to the world?

“I want people to think I’m an enthusiastic, kind person,” said Nah’Shon Hyland, adding with a Bizzy Bones laugh, “but also that I’ll destroy them if I need to.” 

Categories
Culture News

This Week in Comic Collecting: The National and the Best Sports-Comic Crossovers

It’s that time of year again. Finally, conventions are back! While there are several comic cons going on around the country this weekend,  there is one convention that has the attention of the masses like no other. The NSCC, aka The National Sports Collectors Convention (or “The National” as it’s often referred to as) is moving the needle and even sees some crossover into the world of comics. All of the grading companies are present and a simple walk around the show floor will see an ever growing comic book presence. 

With that said, this isn’t the only time comics and sports have crossed over. In fact, the relationship between the two markets has always been strong. So many athletes have rich comic book fandoms and many comic book professionals and fans also have a favorite team or sport they are heavily invested in. 

In honor of The National, this week we’ll look at 5 of the best sports and comic world crossovers:

5. Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

4. CM Punk Enters the Marvel Universe

3. LeBron James’ Rookie Comic

2. Upper Deck Fanimation (1992-93)

1. Marvel x NY Giants

5. Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Titan Comics

Mycroft Holmes and The Apocalypse Handbook is a story that continues the lineage of Sherlock Holmes, but with his son as the focus. Kareem is of course the all time leading NBA scorer and multi-time champion. In addition to being one of the greatest players to ever step on the court, he is a well respected civil rights activist and author. The guy has become a liberal Renaissance man since his retirement, having dabbled in so many things both basketball and non-basketball related.

I imagine even some of those on the show floor buying slabbed Lew Alcindor (the former name of Jabbar) rookie cards for top dollar aren’t aware of the existence of this book. 

4. CM Punk Enters The Marvel Universe
Marvel Comics

CM Punk has been dominating the news cycle of late with rumors running rampant of his possible appearance on AEW Rampage and the subsequent All Out pay per view right here in the Windy City. Punk is a long known comic book die hard who even pulled his signature “It’s Clobberin’ Time” entrance from Marvel’s The Thing. His wife, AJ Mendez (the former AJ Lee in WWE), has turned to comic book writing in her post wrestling career and Punk would dabble in the same field as he was announced to be the writer of Marvel’s Drax in 2016. 

The popular Guardians of The Galaxy character finds himself stuck on a planet where wrestling style gladiator matches are held featuring some of Marvel’s most popular cosmic characters. The story was honestly fun and really elevated a supporting character like Drax. While Drax may be a smaller character in the grand scheme of The Marvel Universe, he is iconic due to Dave Bautista’s performances as the character in the MCU. For that reason, most were stunned by Punk being tapped for the writing job. If Punk’s UFC career taught us anything, it’s that he is fearless when it comes to trying new careers in the public eye. I personally hope he makes his return to writing again, this time hopefully with a Punisher story that he teased would be his dream to write. 

3. LeBron Rookie Comic – King James
DC Comics (Image from MyComicShop.com)

This promo comic was a giveaway one shot from Powerade and DC Comics during LeBron’s rookie season in 2004. This book features several variant covers (some with downright atrocious cover art) with the epic Jock (DC cover artist) cover leading the way. 

This comic was historically overlooked, but in the last year—largely due to Lebron’s Topps Chrome rookie seeing major spikes and investments—the book seen a rise to prominence, becoming a secondary market darling. I think this book has room to grow as well, as most die hard LeBron fans aren’t aware of the book’s existence and its rookie year tie-in.

2. Upper Deck Fanimation (1992-93)
Upper Deck

Now to hammer home my point about the long history of the sports and comics worlds co-existing: I bring you one of the oldest comic-themed insert sets (looking at you Kaboom) with Upper Decks’ Fanimation. 

This insert set was featured in both football and basketball releases and depicts some of the game’s greats of the time as superheroes in fantastic comic art insert cards. With Bird, Magic, Jordan, Dan Marino, Deion Sanders and so many more, the set really captures some of today’s most recognizable GOATS in the world of sports. What sports fan may miss, however, is who did the art for the cards. 

These inserts debuted right during the heart of the Image Revolution (an amazing documentary of the same name is on Amazon Prime) and featured art by the likes of Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, and Marc Silvestri. Not only are those three wildly popular creators famous for the founding of Image Comics, but they also set some enormous sales records at Marvel. This is an insert set with massive potential. I think both comic and card buyers should be on the lookout for these inserts. 

1. Marvel x New York Giants

This week saw a major crossover announcement as Marvel and The Giants will team up this year to produce a 30k print run promo comic featuring the team’s stars like Danny Dimes, Saquon Barkley and Blake Martinez. 

The comic will be distributed ahead of a Giants vs. Panthers game this season and it will be interesting to see how many mint copies actually make it out of the arena in one piece. 

This type of largely visible collaboration is one that will no doubt resonate with a cross section of fans. We have seen Marvel do promo comics for movies/sports and mock up art for social posts, but a physical comic featuring an NFL team is pretty cool. It will be interesting to see if other teams take a cue from The Giants. 

What comics and sports have in common is that they give us a break from our daily lives and allow us to lose ourselves in our fandoms. It’s only natural that these two worlds collide as today’s sports heroes are truly our real life superheroes, performing feats and heroics most of us could only dream of. Many of the same collectors and fans who go to a Marvel film on a Friday are glued in front of a television watching football on a Sunday. So don’t sleep on these crossover collectibles as both markets explode simultaneously; it’s only a matter of time before this cross section gets its just due. And hey, if you’re a fan of both, what could be cooler? 

Categories
Style What To Buy

The 25 Best Men’s Denim Jackets to Cop Right Now

Denim is a classic fashion staple that will never go out of style, and in case you haven’t heard, Y2K (the era of all things denim) is making a comeback. Needless to say, now is the perfect time to start getting into your early 2000s bag, and everybody needs to have at least one denim jacket in their closets. Now you don’t need to go crazy (we don’t need you pairing your jacket with a denim hat, jeans, and shoes a la Justin Timberlake circa 2001), but we will suggest several that you can purchase just to spruce up your wardrobe. Ready? So are we. Here’s 25 of our recommendations in no particular order.

1. Ted Baker Light Wash Denim Jacket
Ted Baker
Ted Baker Denim Jacket

Ted Baker has a couple of options depending upon what you are looking for and the occasion in question. The Light Wash Denim Jacket has a vintage old school 1990s vibe with a nice cut and texture. Simple, yet it stands out.

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2. Banana Republic Mens Denim Jacket
Banana Republic
Banana Republic Denim Jacket

Banana Republic hardly ever gets it wrong, putting an emphasis on good quality tailored jackets that are comfortable and fit well. Not bad if you ask us.

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3. True Religion Denim Jacket
True Religion
True Religion Denim Jacket

All hail True Religion! The light blue denim combined with the gold stitching makes this an automatic must buy.

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4. ASOS DESIGN Skinny Western Denim Jacket
ASOS
ASOS Skinny Western Denim Jacket

You’ve probably heard us mention ASOS before, and we’re about to do it again. Now this is a skinny jacket, meaning that it’s going to be a tight fit around the arm and shoulder area. If that’s not your style, you may want to opt for another jacket on this list, but if it is, then this is a great choice.

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5. Levi’s Denim Jacket
Levi’s
Levi’s Trucker Denim Jacket

You can find tons of denim jackets via Levi’s website, and which one you select is dependent on your personal style. For this article, we’ll go with the Trucker Jacket. You could choose the black variation, or even the dark blue. Again, it’s up to you.

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6. H&M Denim Jacket
H&M
H&M Denim Jacket

H&M presents a handful of cost-efficient and stylish denim jackets. Since we’ve done mostly spring/summer jackets, we’ll pick the hooded denim option as fall season is right around the corner. Perfect for campus too.

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7. Icon Denim Gapflex Jacket
Gap
Icon Denim Gapflex Jacket

Another nice denim jacket that isn’t pricey. Made with 1969 denim, the fit is nice and form fitting, but not too tight either, which is courtesy of the GapFlex technology built into the jacket. You could definitely create a lot of looks with this one.

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8. Zara Printed Denim Jacket
Zara
Zara Printed Denim Jacket

You can almost always find what you are looking for fashion wise on Zara, and from our personal experience, the quality is durable as usual. You’ll definitely get the bang for your bucket with this one.

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9. 34 Heritage Travis Jacket
Nordstrom
Travis Denim Jacket

Nordstrom is known to carry great pieces, and their denim jackets are a standout. While a good percentage of their options are for women, you can find a few jackets for men as well if you scour the website, and the 34 Heritage Travis Jacket remains one of the best.

BUY NOW, $59.98
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10. Wrangler Denim Jacket
Wrangler
Wrangler Denim Jacket

Wrangler is also another suitable place for finding denim jackets on the low. Prices tend to average around $50, and can be purchased through Wrangler’s official website, or other outlets such as Amazon and Tractor Supply.

BUY NOW, $49
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11. Denim Madewell Jacket
Madewell
Denim Madewell Jacket

Designed to layer over a hoodie, the Denim Madewell jacket features a laid back trucker style complete with deep interior pockets and cotton denim. While the upper part of the jacket has a more tailored fit, the sleeves are loose, which is a good bonus for those hot summer months when you want a nice denim look, but not necessarily an outfit that is going to “stick” to you.

BUY NOW, $148
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12. AllSaints Denim Shirt Jacket
AllSainsts
AllSaints Denim Shirt Jacket

Sometimes you want a jacket that looks and feels like a shirt, but is still technically a jacket, and AllSaints has you covered with their button down denim shirt jacket. Reasonably priced with great quality, you could rock this to work, an event, or even a date night.

BUY NOW, $86.40
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13. Gucci Denim Eco-Washed Jacket
Gucci
Gucci Denim Eco-Washed Jacket

Time to go luxury for a little bit. The eco-washed organic denim jacket features the embellished Gucci sartorial label “quelle qu’en soit la saison” which translates to “Gucci whatever the season” (which is super appropriate when it comes to Gucci as a whole).The Jacket also has a pair of pants designed with the same pattern that you can purchase to create a full look.

BUY NOW, $2600
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gucci.com%2Fus%2Fen%2Fpr%2Fmen%2Fready-to-wear-for-men%2Fdenim-for-men%2Fdenim-jackets-for-men%2Feco-washed-organic-denim-jacket-p-649110XDBIP4266%3Fgclid%3DCjwKCAjwxo6IBhBKEiwAXSYBsx_IMT-NRb0Wn1t9ETTZgEIC6xJzpoJm47NppkWxiaWtluQOT6IqkhoCNTwQAvD_BwE
14. Prada Denim Blouson Jacket
Prada
Prada Denim Blouson Jacket

Let’s hop over to Prada for a second. The Denim Blouson Jacket is a luxury shirt jacket similar to the AllSaints variation we mentioned above, but with a slightly different cut. This particular jacket has a pointed collar, front button fastening, front flap pockets, front pockets and long sleeves to complete the casual yet cutting edge look.

BUY NOW, $1700
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15. Tommy Hilfiger Denim Jacket
Hibbett Sports
Tommy Hilfiger Denim Jacket

Come on. It’s Tommy Hilfiger! The semi-originator of all things denim. Tommy Hilfiger has had different variations of denim jackets through the decades, but if you are looking for a relatively inexpensive piece to pick up now, you should definitely consider their Trucker “Indigo” Jacket for sure.

BUY NOW, $56.97
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.hibbett.com%2Ftommy-hilfiger-mens-flag-trucker-indigo-jacket%2F39810841.html%3Fgclid%3DCjwKCAjwxo6IBhBKEiwAXSYBsxktqwPKSFJpxGi_fnSG1GGUWOj4JmIJ4-Wi_dlFhO-2Ltw9pTdrEhoCCRYQAvD_BwE
16. Off-White Denim Jacket
FarFetch
Off-White Denim Jacket

You can’t talk about luxury without mentioning Off-White, and since we’re talking about Off-White, how about their Logo Printed Jacket? Decked out with standard Off-White branding, the jacket is a light blue streetwear statement that blends together sidewalk fashion and couture nicely.

BUY NOW, $925
17. Louis Vuitton x Nigo Giant Damier Waves Denim Jacket Indigo
StockX
Louis Vuitton x Nigo Giant Damier Waves Denim Jacket Indigo

Louis V linked up with Japanese designer Nigo to put out a fire denim jacket that is still available through different retailers such as StockX. This is a unique piece if you are looking to spend big, and would definitely be worth the investment in our opinion.

BUY NOW, $2200
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18. Uniqlo Denim Jacket
Uniqlo
Uniqlo Denim Jacket

Want a denim jacket for under $20? Well Uniqlo has plenty of them available ranging from light blue to dark. Check them out if you haven’t already as they are currently having a back to school/fall sale.

BUY NOW, $19.90
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19. G-Star Denim Jacket 3301
G-Star
G-Star Denim Jacket 3301

The Slim Denim 3301 Jacket is a constructed denim jacket that features a flat collar, long sleeves, panel design, and Western chest pockets. This is a clean look and fit that can be dressed up or down depending on where you are going.

BUY NOW, $60.00
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20. Ralph Lauren Denim Jacket
Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren Denim Jacket

You can’t forget Ralph Lauren either. We’ve done quite a few black/blue jackets already, so perhaps their cream colored Garment-Dyed Denim Trucker Jacket? The point collar gives this jacket a sophisticated look, whereas the neutral color gives the jacket a versatility to create different looks. A win-win.

BUY NOW, $359
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21. Tom Ford Denim Jacket
Tom Ford
Tom Ford Denim Jacket

Back to the luxury. At some point you have to snag a Tom Ford piece, and you pretty much can’t go wrong with a denim jacket. It’s an investment (as is all things luxury), but could be a valuable piece that can last for years.

BUY NOW, $940
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20. Acne Men’s Denim Jacket
Saks Fifth Avenue
Acne Men’s Denim Jacket

We aren’t kidding when we say denim has durability. If taken care of properly, a denim jacket can last for decades, and since fashion recycles itself in a way, then it’s not a bad idea at all to invest a few hundred if you have the funds. Acne products are in high demand, and you’ll have to wait about two months if you want to cop a jacket (earliest ship date is October), but considering the rave reviews, it’s well worth the wait.

23. Tecovas Denim Trucker Jacket
Tecovas
Tecovas Denim Trucker Jacket

Tecovas is good brand with great quality leather jackets. The Trucker Jacket has a rugged look definitely from the others mentioned so far on this last, but that is what gives it the coveted “trucker” appearance. The brass buttons are a standout feature, along with ranch denim and a corduroy collar.

BUY NOW, $125
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24. Todd Snyder Men Stretch Denim
Todd Synder
Todd Synder Denim Jacket

A vintage classic that gives you that 1990s feel. The jacket sports a retro faded look, but still manages to appear modern. Other features include: two snap button patch pockets, two lower slant pockets, and genuine shank buttons, and there are matching jeans to go along with the jacket if desired.

BUY NOW, $228
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25. Old Navy Distressed Built-In Flex Gender-Neutral Jean Jacket
Old Navy
Distressed Built-In Flex Gender-Neutral Jean Jacket for Adults

You can always rely on Old Navy. A distressed jacket is extra style points, and this jacket has a tough built-in fabric with two times the strength of regular denim. We talked a lot about investments earlier, and double denim sounds like a good buy for the price and quality.

BUY NOW, $69.99
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Foldnavy.gap.com%2Fbrowse%2Fproduct.do%3Fpid%3D553197002%26vid%3D1%23pdp-page-content
Categories
Culture News

Hannah Berner Chops It Up Over Burgers On the First Episode of ‘Eatables’

ONE37pm’s latest series is debuting today, featuring stand-up comedian Hannah Berner and host Nema Vand chopping it up over three of their favorite burgers in the city. Eatables is part food show, part talk show; over the course of 10 minutes and change, the duo dives into the taste and design of a couple of burgers, all while tackling elements of Berner’s exploding career. Traditional talk shows are stale, so adding a flair of taste-testing in there just keeps the viewers coming back.

Hannah Berner wears many hats. Although she’s recently risen to prominence as one of the most beloved comedians on the NYC circuit (with social followings to match), she’s a former nationally ranked tennis player and star of Bravo’s Summer House, in addition to hosting her own podcast. In short, they’ve got a lot to talk about.


Nema and Hannah try three burgers throughout the episode: The MrBeast Burger, Shake Shack’s sandwich and P. J. Clarke’s legendary iteration. The format is simple. Nema and Hannah talk about, essentially, everything, all while diving into a few signature burgers. However, there are also a few mystery sauces on the table, so the threat of an overheating tongue is ever present. “It’s going to be a trust-building exercise,” Nema jokes to calm Berner’s nerves regarding the insidious sauces.

They spend a bit of the episode discussing the similarities between tennis and stand-up (there are more than you’d think), pickle-back shots (if you know, you kn0w) and even some Kendall Jenner gossip. Ultimately, Nema and Hannah could talk about anything all day and it would make pretty good content. Add in the burger reviews, mystery sauces and flame-riddled set design and you’ve got yourself a slam dunk.

Eatables Episode 1 is live now. Watch the whole thing for all the tasty bits of info (and burgers) and make sure to keep up with ONE37pm’s social channels as there is much, much more to come.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

The Biggest Games Releasing in August 2021

Gamers have come to realize that the summer months are usually the weakest when it comes to new releases that are worth a cop. But in the last couple of years, the warmer season has given way to bigger than expected game releases. August 2021 keeps that new trend alive by providing a nice array of titles that run the gamut from indie to AA to AAA. For the final month of the summer, here are the games you most definitely want to add to your playlist.

Humankind – August 17 (PC – Steam, Google Stadia)

The strategy genre is still a major player in the PC space. Sega has done well in that regard thanks to its Total War series. Now the Japanese publisher/developer is playing around in the 4X space (Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate) space with its new IP, Humankind. Just like the Civilization series, this game lets you lead your own underdeveloped society starting from the nomadic age. Over time, you’ll help it ascend through your political and militaristic efforts. Within each era, you’ll get to select from one of 10 civilizations based on actual historical societies and do your best to strive for greatness.

Madden NFL 22 – August 20 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Google Stadia)

When August comes around, that means another round of digital gridiron action is set to drop. Madden NFL 22 is adorned by Tom Brady and Patric Mahomes, which makes it very clear that this new series installment is attempting to reach GOAT-tier status just like its cover stars. The Dynamic Gameday mechanic makes the onscreen football action look and feel more realistic, Franchise Mode has been redeveloped to offer a better experience, and the superstar players’ game-changing abilities make their return.

Aliens: Fireteam Elite – August 24 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam)

2021 sure feels like the year of horde games, doesn’t it? The development studio that gave us Left 4 Dead is putting out a spiritual successor in Back 4 Blood, while Saber Interactive is offering an updated zombie killer simulator in World War Z: Aftermath. Cold Iron Studio is adopting the Aliens franchise for its co-op survival struggles. So the name of the game is this – you and two other A.I. bots or human allies must stay alive while an army of bloodthirsty xenomorphs try to rip you all apart. You can select your soldier from one of five classes during each campaign (which takes place after the entire Alien trilogy). This one looks and sounds like a great time – shooting down those oh-so-familiar xenomorphs with your friends in close proximity sounds like the perfect Saturday night chill session.

King’s Bounty II – August 24 (PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam)

Get this – the original King’s Bounty launched all the way back in 1990. And now in 2021, an official sequel is finally in our midst. King’s Bounty II places you within the vast Kingdom of Nostria, where plenty of political strife and turmoil has erupted. Turn-based battles, smart usage of the environment during each intense enemy skirmish, and open-world exploration are elements you’ll be treated to here. It may have taken far too long to get a King’s Bounty sequel, but it’s better late than never.

Psychonauts 2 – August 25 (Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam, Microsoft Store)

Before development studio Double Fine inked a deal with the Xbox brand, Psychonauts 2 was already shaping up to be an extraordinary sequel. But with the extra financial support put forth by Xbox Game Studios, this trippy platformer got even more time in the oven to realize its full potential. Raz makes a comeback in this long-in-development sequel as a full-fledged Psychonaut with improved “Psi-Powers,” which will have to be relied on during the exploration segments tied to the mental realms of several characters.

No More Heroes III – August 27 (Nintendo Switch)

Travis Touchdown has returned! And it’s been a long time coming (11 years actually!). His grand return to the town of Santa Destroy goes down since he’s headed into battle against an alien invasion. Travis brings his Beam Katana with him as he attempts to wipe out 10 vicious assassins and their extraterrestrial overseer. When Travis isn’t trying to save the world, he’s moving around his town picking up odd jobs and zipping around in his sweet motorcycle known as the “Demzamtiger.” No More Heroes III features all the outlandish hacking & slashing fans have come to adore since the series’ debut.

Console Ports

Ever Forward – August 10 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)

Godfall – August 10 (PS4)

Hades – August 13 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One)

Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut – August 20 (PS5, PS4)

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 – August 24 (PS5)

Categories
Culture Movies/TV

16 Shows Like ‘Black Mirror’ to Watch Right Now

Fans were expecting the next season of Netflix’s original show Black Mirror to premiere last month, which would have been two years from the previous season premiere in June of 2019. However, it was not to be.

If you’re sick of watching the show on repeat but want something in the same vein, we’re here to help you out. Below is a list of 16 shows like Black Mirror. Some of them are similar because of the way technology is utilized, some of them because of the less specific storylines about government conspiracies. Either way, there should be something for you on here.

1. ‘Altered Carbon’

Created by Laeta Kalogridis, Altered Carbon is a cyberpunk series that debuted in 2018. It’s based on the 2002 novel by Richard K. Morgan. The series starts out in 2384 in a world where consciousness can be transferred from body to body. It essentially explores the complications of this and does so well with a murder plot through it all. Both critics and fans felt like the second season benefitted from the setup of the first, so stick with it.

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Altered-Carbon-Season-1/dp/B08BVW26Z8
2. ‘Black Summer’

If you’re a fan of Z Nation, this one feels like a mix of that and Black Mirror. Black Summer is actually made by The Asylum, the same people who made Z Nation. What this show does is take the cliché zombie apocalypse that has been done to death and give viewers a look into aspects that have never been considered in the genre. Karl Schaefer, one of the creators, has stated that the first season’s 8 episodes are less so episodes and more so an 8-hour “chunk” to work through. While that might sound unappealing, it was done so the show would be perfect to binge.

Watch now on Netflix
https://www.netflix.com/title/80198988
3. ‘Dead Set’

Black Mirror is created by Charlie Brooker, as is Dead Set. Dead Set was actually his first scripted show, so it’s must-see television for Black Mirror fans. Big Brother is a worldwide show, but it’s a big deal in the UK. Dead Set is actually set on the set of Big Brother, but a zombie apocalypse breaks out, which should make the name make more sense for you. Just like Black Summer, the cliché is revamped in a refreshing way here. The show originally aired in 2008, right after a series of Big Brother ended.

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Set/dp/B00498VS9G
4. ‘Electric Dreams’

Like Black Mirror, Electric Dreams is a series that consists of multiple standalone episodes. They’re based on some of the short stories of Philip K. Dick, the legendary late sci-fi writer. If you’re familiar with any of his work, you already have a good understanding of what you’re in for here. The themes explored include artificial intelligence, relationships, and discrimination many of them are dystopian like what you find with Black Mirror, with a hint of optimism about things.

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Philip-K-Dicks-Electric-Dreams/dp/B089VKJKJR
5. ‘Humans’

Humans is a British series written by Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley. Based on the Swedish show Real Humans, the sci-fi series explores the pros and cons of living in a world full of life-like, anthropomorphic robots, some of which even have ‘consciousness’. The consequences of such a world that are depicted in the show only become scarier when you realize that these kinds of robots, called Synths in the show, look like they’re going to be a part of our future whether we like it or not.

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Humans-Series-1/dp/B010O44BSS
6. ‘Inside No. 9’

Most of the shows on this list are here because they depict dystopias, explore scenarios in which the use of technology gets pushed to its limits or contain themes like relationships. Inside No. 9 doesn’t necessarily boast any of those, but it is arguably perfect for fans of Black Mirror. That’s because it’s British, it contains a lot of the same dark humor as in Black Mirror and it has a similar gloomy vibe to it that will feel homely if you’re British. It is an anthology series and the link between all stories is the number 9.

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Inside-No-9-Season-1/dp/B00KDO1WTQ
7. ‘LOVE, DEATH + ROBOTS’

The title of this series alone should tell you all need to know about why fans of Black Mirror might be attracted to it. Another similarity is that it’s anthological, meaning that all episodes are standalone. If you loved that about Black Mirror because it meant that you could watch for an hour and be done, this might suit you even more because all of the episodes are 6-18 minutes. The key difference is that this show is animated, but it’s adult animation and doesn’t take away from the seriousness of the show.

Watch now on Netflix
https://www.netflix.com/title/80174608
8. ‘Mr. Robot’

This show has both a cult following and widespread critical acclaim. Its first season especially is one of the best seasons of any show ever. Starring Rami Malek and Christian Slater, the show is about a group called fsociety whose goal is to destroy all debt records of E Corp, a fictional company that is as big as Google or Apple. If any of Black Mirror’s famous episodes about the exploitation of technology appealed to you, this one is perfect for you.

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Robot-Season-1/dp/B00YBX664Q
9. ‘Room 104’

Just like the link between the episodes on the aforementioned Inside No. 9 is the number 9, Room 104 is an anthological series with one link between them – the same motel room. It is a look at the different kinds of guests that stay there. The HBO series boasts episodes that all offer something different, just like Black Mirror. The concept of standalone episodes shines bright here, with each short and sweet episode truly feeling like its own adventure that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Watch now on HBO
https://www.hbo.com/room-104
10. ‘Stranger Things’

Easily one of the biggest names on this list, if you’ve seen both Black Mirror and Stranger Things, perhaps you’re struggling to understand why the two are similar and why fans of the former would like the latter. If so, you’re probably forgetting the government conspiracy plot that lies underneath the main storylines the entire time. It’s not that it’s ambiguous and intentionally hidden the entire time, but other aspects of the show are so great that they can get overlooked. It looks like we could get more of that plot in the fourth season, which we’re impatiently waiting for.

Watch now on Netflix
https://www.netflix.com/title/80057281
11. ‘Tales From The Loop’

Based on the art book by Swedish artist Simon Sålenhag, Tales From The Loop is a sci-fi drama TV series that debuted last year at the top of the pandemic. A fictional town in the state of Ohio called Mercer is home to an underground lab which is named The Loop. It practices experimental physics, which explains the themes of time displacement and the exchanging of bodies in the series. It’s not anthological, but each episode is directed by someone different, including the finale by Jodie Foster.

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Loop-Season-1/dp/B08BYYS1MD
12. ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

If dystopia is what you’re looking for in your post-Black Mirror TV viewing, look no further than The Handmaid’s Tale. Based on the 1985 novel written by Margaret Atwood, it is created by Bruce Miller and set after a U.S. Civil War. In charge is a totalitarian regime that forces all fertile women into slavery and having babies with their wealthy owners. Elizabeth Moss plays the main role as June and she has been told that despite the incredibly negative premise around the show, she gets approached by fans saying it gives them strength and bravery.

Watch now on Hulu
https://www.hulu.com/series/the-handmaids-tale-565d8976-9d26-4e63-866c-40f8a137ce5f
13. ‘The Outer Limits’

Originally airing in the early 1960s, it’s undebatable that this show was ahead of its time, not just for its predictions about technology, but its format. Just like Black Mirror, episodes here are self-contained. Not only will the overall feel of the show be familiar to fans of Charlie Brooker’s series, but specific episodes of The Outer Limits will remind you of specific episodes of Black Mirror, largely as a result of its direct or indirect influence. The great news about this is if you’re a fan, it got rebooted in the 90s and another reboot is supposedly in the works.

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/Outer-Limits/dp/B07Q3SSWJF
14. ‘The Twilight Zone’

Your parents might remember the original version of this show, but for this list, in particular, it’s best to go for the 2019 reboot which was directed by Jordan Peele. It does a great job of bringing the show to the 21stcentury and putting the spotlight on social commentary and plot twists, which is what suits it better for this list than Rod Sterling’s original series. If you’re as big of a fan as I am of Peele’s recent work in Get Out and Us, you know that this is must-watch stuff.

Watch now on Amazon Prime
https://www.amazon.com/The-Twilight-Zone-Season-1/dp/B085N42R47
15. ‘Westworld’

One of the more obvious choices on this list, Westworld deals explicitly with technology and the control it can have over us. The show is set at a theme park whose theme is the Old West, but it is helped along by android hosts. When humans realize they don’t have to hide anything from the robots who are programmed to not harm them, things get interesting. 

Watch now on HBO
https://www.hbo.com/westworld
16. ‘You’

You hardly feels like a Black Mirror clone or successor in terms of its content or ideas, but there are some great similarities and the overall tone of it will give viewers the same feel. It follows Joe Goldberg, a man who would seem like a charming man to the average stranger. His history tells a different tale, though. When he falls in love with a woman, he stalks her social media, plays on her interests to get with her, and will do just about anything to make her fall for him. A few episodes will have you rethinking how social media plays a role in your life, but there’s much more to it than that. We can’t wait for season 3.

Watch now on Netflix
https://www.netflix.com/title/80211991
Categories
Sports Strength

10 Notable Soccer Free Agents

Soccer is a sport with a lot of turnover at the club level, and each summer we see significant movement during the transfer window.

While 2021 has been relatively quiet thus far for a number of reasons, most notably the financial effects of COVID-19 and various major competitions this summer, we’re beginning to see the transfer rumors come in heavy.

But what about the players that are out of contract? As players get older and sometimes less desirable because of wage demands and overall cost, teams will allow them to sit the free agency block for long.

Other times there are unique cases like Lionel Messi, who remains a free agent because of Barcelona’s financial troubles. 

The club is still unable to settle up with La Liga because of the massive wages the club is paying other players, which in turn is affecting Barcelona’s ability to bring back its most-coveted player.

Here’s a look at 10 of the most notable soccer free agents still available heading into the 2021/22 season.

10. Carlos Tevez

The Argentina legend is out at famed South American side Boca Juniors, but Tevez is still itching to play moving forward. Tevez feels like the type of player that could finish his career in Major League Soccer, and given the interest in Argentinian talent over the years it’s easy to imagine another star player coming to the U.S. 

9. Andy Carroll

The former Newcastle striker struggled during his time with the Magpies but Carroll could still be a strong option for a Championship side at only 32 years old. His track record as a goal scorer is admirable and given his leadership qualities he’d make a great signing.

8. Franck Ribery

Ribery’s track record for club and country is almost unmatched and although the Frenchman finds himself out of contract he could surely find a home if he chooses to continue playing. After enjoying himself in Italy recently, it could be possible that he lands with another Serie A club to finish his career.

7. Nicolas Nkoulou

The Cameroonian spent significant time at Torino and developed a strong reputation in Serie A, but Nkoulou will have a chance to sign elsewhere and looks set to move back to Ligue 1 next season. 

6. David Luiz

Luiz will be looking for an opportunity outside of England most likely, but given his versatility and free-flowing style, why not come to Major League Soccer? Luiz has been an avid visitor of the United States throughout his career and the Brazilian would be extremely marketable for the league as a player that can play various positions and enjoys the spotlight.

5. Jack Wilshere

The former Arsenal man has had his share of injuries throughout this career, but Wilshere is still only 29 years old and as a midfielder should have plenty more to give to a Premier League side. He spent last season at Bournemouth and it’s hard to imagine another mid-tier English side wouldn’t take a chance on the veteran.

4. Jerome Boateng

The former Bayern Munich defender is a savvy veteran that absolutely can offer teams throughout Europe the stability and experience necessary to compete for several more seasons. Boateng feels like a Premier League defender at this stage of his career, similar to how Thiago Silva joined Chelsea late in the summer in 2020 after leaving PSG.

3. Diego Costa

The Spanish goalscorer has had his share of controversy throughout his career, but there’s no question that Costa offers something significant up top. Costa struggled recently at Atletico Madrid, but for a mid-tier Spanish or English side it feels like a no brainer signing.

2. Giorgio Chiellini

The Euro 2020 winner will surely find a team before the new season starts, right? At 36, Chiellini is certainly nearing the end of his career, but after the stellar performances he put together for the Italians this summer it shouldn’t be questioned whether or not he can still compete at the highest of levels.

1. Lionel Messi

Barcelona’s financial struggles are well documented and that’s been the primary discussion this summer for the La Liga giants. Although a deal between Messi and the club appears imminent, if Barcelona isn’t able to register the Argentina superstar it could allow another team to swope in and acquire the attacker.

Categories
Sports Strength

Introducing Cade Cunningham and the Future of Basketball

When people talk about the future of basketball, they’re talking about Cade Cunningham. As the NBA approaches its post-Lebron era, positions—and the responsibilities they entail—have become increasingly decoupled from size. The idea of a ball-dominant offensive initiator still exists, but now, the role is as likely to be filled by somebody who looks like Jimmy Butler as it is by somebody who looks like Trae Young. In this sense, Lebron’s ultimate legacy is the way that he’s broadened the horizons of primary ball-handler-dom, emboldening a generation of would-be power forwards in the process.  Last season, seven of the top 15 assisters were taller than 6’6; 20 years ago, zero of the top 15 were.

Cunningham, the 6’8 19 year-old who went number one overall in last night’s NBA draft, fits snugly within today’s lineage of big playmakers. It’s probably reductive to call him the American Luka Doncic, but it’s not wholly unfounded. Through college and high school, he spent the bulk of his basketball education discovering how to manipulate the arrangement of the court. His moves are calculated—he plays with a learned prescience, an understanding of how his actions force equal and opposite defensive reactions. Although he posted a negative assist-to-turnover ratio last season, that was more of an indictment of his circumstance than his ability. Opposing defenses, unworried by the future I.T. guys and accountants who were his Oklahoma State teammates, focused solely on harassing Cunningham; he could’ve easily doubled his average of 3.5 assists per game if his teammates simply missed fewer shots.  

Whereas most young primary ball handlers play with an overflow of turnover-prone bravura as their imagination writes a check that their body can’t cash, Cunningham’s defining trait is his steadiness. Rather than stubbornly trying to manifest the spectacular, he’s simply a conduit for good outcomes. To a degree, Cunningham’s approach can resemble that of a jumbo Chris Paul, ably directing the offense with unflagging competence. 

Still, Cunningham is no game-managing checkdown merchant. He’s not a passive or cowardly decision-maker—he’s a realistic one, capitalizing on the opportunities that present themselves on the court rather than the ones that only exist in his own head. Thanks to the ways that offenses have weaponized shooting and spacing, it’s nearly impossible for defenses to remain structurally sound for an entire possession; every defense will show cracks, but the great ones can seal them faster. Subsequently, his playmaking aptitude stems from his ability to identify quickly when and where an advantage is available. With the ball in his hands, he’s not so much playing basketball as he is playing Duck Hunter, instantly spotting targets as they pop up and rifling them the ball. 

During his lone season at Oklahoma State, Cunningham developed into an elite isolation scorer and he was the Big 12’s leading scorer with 20.2 points per game.  Lacking the propulsive first-step of a Russell Westbrook or the elastic ball-handling of a Kyrie Irving, Cunningham’s scoring arsenal is built around his jumper as he draws from a menu of side-steps and step-backs. Once considered a mediocre shooter, Cunningham turned this aspect of his game into a major strength, ranking in the 62nd percentile on shots off the dribble and in the 90th percentile on shots off the catch, per Synergy Sports. Even without his excellent passing, Cunningham would qualify as an elite prospect thanks to his scoring alone; his combination of size, shot-making and self-creation is reminiscent of Devin Booker or Khris Middleton, two Olympians who combined to average over 50 points per game in this year’s Finals. 

Defensively, Cunningham is more solid than spectacular; the same awareness that enables him to be such a perceptive passer also manifests itself on defense. While he doesn’t quite have the waterbug quickness to mirror agile guards or the vertical pop to pin shots against the backboard, he wins with size and smarts, ranking in the 85th percentile guarding isolations. Operating within his team’s scheme as a help defender, he speedily processes the action and rotates to quell any threat by clogging passing and driving lanes with his seven-foot wingspan. As such, his defense is prophylactic rather than reactive—he doesn’t erase offensive chances as they occur; he discourages them from happening in the first place. 

In a draft full of should-be stars, Cunningham is unique because he’s an amalgam of his contemporaries; there are better scorers, defenders, athletes and passers in the draft than Cunningham, but nobody else can even come close to approximating his all-around goodness. More, he’s perfectly synchronous with the direction in which the NBA is moving. For the NBA’s first 50 years, the key to success was finding a transcendent big man; in the wake of Michael Jordan, teams pursued guys who could most effectively ape the aesthetics of MJ. Now, is the age of the Big Guard, supersized ball-handlers whose alloy of skill and physicality makes them a permanent mismatch—quick enough on the perimeter to elude anyone bigger, strong enough in the paint to mash anyone smaller. The NBA’s newest space race is the hunt for players like Cunningham who can thrive in every space.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 24 Best Super Nintendo Games on Switch

The Nintendo Switch is practically a blessing for gamers that love to get enraptured in their games while they’re making moves in the outside world. A bunch of new Nintendo exclusives, feature-rich Wii U ports, unique indie games, and so much more are available on Nintendo’s home/portable console. There are two libraries of games that you can also tap into if you’re a Switch owner, by the way – a slew of NES and SNES titles can be played to your heart’s desire. Sign up for the Nintendo Switch Online service, make sure you download the SNES games player, get yourself one of those compatible SNES controllers, and dive right into this list of the best SNES games on your Switch.

1. ‘Super Mario World’

One of the greatest 2D platformers of all time is undoubtedly this SNES classic. You can never go wrong with an hours-long session hopping, bopping, and finding secret warp pipes in Super Mario World. Playing as everyone’s favorite plumber Mario means you’ll get to venture throughout the varied biomes within the Mushroom Kingdom while your cute dinosaur companion Yoshi helps you along the way.

2. ‘Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island’

The second Super Mario World takes Mario all the way back to his baby years for his next colorful adventure. But this time, you don’t get to play as the lil’ plumber hat-wearing hero – you take on the role of Yoshi, who’s set up as Baby Mario’s protector. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island features the same quality platforming featured in the predecessor while introducing a children’s storybook art style that perfectly matches its themes.

3. ‘Super Mario Kart’

This is the game that started it all. Every kart racing game that came after this one followed its formula since it practically mastered it on its very first try. Super Mario Kart has it all – well-tuned racing mechanics, smart track layouts, a lovable roster of Mushroom Kingdom denizens, and a super catchy soundtrack. Make sure you get the homies together for a good old four-player romp through this kart racing game originator.

4. ‘The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past’

If you haven’t played The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past already, then you’re simply doing yourself a disservice. This amazing SNES dungeon explorer has inspired countless games to varying degrees of success. You just can never go wrong with this fun-filled trek through the 2D Kingdom of Hyrule. Exploring the Light and Dark Worlds within this classic Zelda game still holds up when it comes to fun factor. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past personifies the very best in the action/adventure genre.

5. ‘Super Metroid’

Once you’ve completed Link’s top-down dungeon-crawling trek, you need to do yourself a favor and check out Samus Aran’s side-scrolling crusade through the planet Zebes. Super Metroid is considered a bonafide masterpiece to everyone that’s played it – the term “Metroidvania” was birthed by this game and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night due to how they both offer the very best in its genre. Progressing through every nook and cranny within Super Metroid is a joy as you unlock the tools needed to wade deeper into Zebes’ alien-filled cave systems.

6. ‘Star Fox’

Fox McCloud deserves so much better from modern-day Nintendo, doesn’t he? With games such as the very first Star Fox and the exemplary Star Fox 64, you’d think Nintendo would provide him with more new titles to prosper in. Speaking of the first Star Fox, it still holds up as one of the best on-rails flight shooters of all time. Yeah, Slippy Toad will drive you nuts with his constant pleas for help. But other than that, Star Fox features entertaining shooting segments, likable heroes, and a bevy of unforgettable boss fights. DO A BARREL ROLL!

7. ‘Donkey Kong Country’

When this platformer dropped back in the day, everyone’s jaws hit the floor at the sight of its 3D visuals and ability to run on a SNES. And to this day, Donkey Kong Country remains one of the most celebrated games within the vast SNES library. Pure platforming bliss is in place here as you switch between Donkey & Diddy Kong and explore a nice array of stages in search of King K. Rool. When the video game developer Rare gets mentioned, Donkey Kong Country quickly gets mentioned as one of its finest works.

8. ‘Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong-Quest’

King K. Rool’s revenge plays out here as he and his reptilian minions kidnap good old Donkey. And this time around, Diddy and his buddy Dixie Kong step up to save their big guy. The new collection of stages you’ll run, jump, and fly through here match up with the pirate theme perfectly. You’ll have a ton of fun carefully maneuvering through the 52 levels available in this classic platformer. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong-Quest is certainly one of the best.

9. ‘Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble!’

THIS ONE’S A THREE-PEAT! Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble! is just as incredible as its two predecessors. Dixie and her cousin Kiddy Kong take the main protagonist spots this time around for another battle against King K. Rool. The biomes you’ll come across in this third Donkey Kong Country game feature more snowy terrain and the familiar stage layouts fans have come to hold in high regard.

10. ‘F-Zero’

Nintendo futuristic racing game that fans still request a sequel for is none other than F-Zero. Captain Falcon and the rest of the game’s outlandish cast of characters battle for first place while speeding along the track in cool hovercars. The original F-Zero has a banging OST, plenty of hazards to overcome on your way to the finish line, and two fun methods that’ll help you go even faster.

11. ‘Kirby Super Star’

Nintendo’s cute & cuddly (and deceptively deadly!) pink puffball has been featured in several great games. One of those great games is Kirby Super Star, an all-in-one experience that lives on two satisfying gimmicks – having the power to suck up your foes & copy their abilities and complete numerous platforming challenges with a second player in tow. Kirby Super Star comes with traditional platforming stages, a boss rush mode, a racing game, and so much more to enjoy.

12. ‘Kirby’s Dream Land 3’

The next Kirby SNES adventure you can access through your Switch is Kirby’s Dream Land 3. The basics apply here – you control Kirby and go on a rampage across several stages by relying on his copycat moveset and some trusty Animal Friends. The difficulty factor for most Kirby games isn’t all high, but the fun factor that comes with saving the world as the fierce pink puffer is amazingly high.

13. ‘Demon’s Crest’

Remember that dreaded red demon that tore into you during Ghosts ‘n Goblins’ playthroughs? You know the dreaded lil’ guy has his own game, right? Make sure you seek it out because it’s a quality side scroller with light RPG elements. Demon’s Crest lets you play as Firebrand to burn everything in your path and utilize the abilities gained by various Crests to defeat Phalanx.

14. ‘Breath Of Fire’

There was once a palace in time where Capcom actually produced RPGs. The main series that stuck to the genre was Breath of Fire, which always featured a different rendition of Ryu and Nina as the game’s main protagonists. This first entry in the series pits you against the Dark Dragon Clan, who’ve managed to capture Ryu’s sister. If throwback turn-based RPGs are your jam, then hop into this Capcom gem ASAP.

15. ‘Breath of Fire II’

For the second entry in the Breath of Fire series, new versions of Ryu and Nina step onto the scene for an all-new epic adventure. The turn-based battle system gets a nice change-up here thanks to the Formation feature that lets you place your warriors into different positions on the battlefield. Breath of Fire II pits you against a supernatural being known as Deathevn, who’s created from the death of a past foe from the first Breath of Fire.

16. ‘Super Tennis’

Super Tennis offers a simple concept – go out on the court and get embroiled in some back and forth tennis matches. This is before the days of Mario and the gang hopping into the tennis arena, which means you’ll mainly get to play as miniature versions of famous tennis players. Do yourself a favor and try out Doubles Mode, which is where much of the fun in Super Tennis resides.

17. ‘Super Punch-Out!!’

The first-person boxing simulator that tested everyone’s patience and mettle got one of its strongest entries on the SNES. Super Punch-Out!! sports some great-looking cartoony visuals, simple-to-understand controls, and a hilarious batch of rival boxers to put down. Step up the ring and try to fight your way to the top in this SNES classic.

18. ‘Pop’n TwinBee’

This former Japan SNES exclusive finally got ported over to the States and is worth spending some time with on your Switch. It’s one of those throwback “cute ‘em up” shooters that features a nice mix of cutesy animated visuals and an onslaught of midair foes to shoot down. Pop’n TwinBee is a pretty worthwhile experience for two players that just want to turn their brain off a bit and clear out some random airborne baddies.

19. ‘Wild Guns’

You can hop into the remake of this savage shooter (Wild Guns: Reloaded) on the Switch. But if you’d like to revert back to the original version of that game, you can also do that as well. There’s still a lot of fun to be had within the OG rendition – running through the explosive Wild West/Steampunk realm this game houses is a bundle of fun. Find some co-op buddies and ready yourself for a whole lotta shooting and lassoing. 

20. ‘Stunt Race FX’

The 3D-centric Super FX-powered GSU-1 did a lot for the SNES so late in its lifecycle. One of the games birthed from that visual evolution was Stunt Race FX, which does things a lot differently than Mario Kart and F-Zero. With three car classes to choose from (F-Type, COUPE, and 4WD), you’ll race across a bevy of tracks. Those tracks are split across racing, obstacle courses, test-driving, and so much more to enjoy.

21. ‘Super Ghouls’n Ghosts’

The gallant knight known as Arthur always has his work cut out for him. Demons have taken the princess and it’s up to him to right that wrong. If you’re prepared to die a whole bunch, then you’re clearly one of those masochist gamers that gets plenty of enjoyment out of the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series. Super Ghouls’n Ghosts is one of the best versions of Capcom’s side-scrolling, monster vanquishing romp.

22. ‘Panel de Pon’

Panel de Pon is pretty much the Japanese version of Tetris Attack, which is one of the most addictive puzzlers of all time. The simple act of matching multicolored blocks horizontally or vertically will soak up so much of your time. Competing against CPU opponents and enjoying a “match ‘till you can’t anymore” run in Panel de Pon are the two main modes of play that’ll keep you engaged for a good while.

23. ‘Super Puyo Puyo 2’

Nintendo has its fair share of iconic puzzlers. And so does its 1990s rival Sega. Super Puyo Puyo 2 is proof of that statement and it’s still an amazing time waster. Instead of mixing and matching blocks, this retro puzzler gives you cute and bubbly Puyos to handle those fun activities with. Single Puyo Puyo, Double Puyo Puyo, and Endless Puyo Puyo are the main modes of play here that you’ll surely enjoy.

24. ‘Mario’s Super Picross’

You may not have known about this game but yeah, there’s actually a Picross game out there that features Mario’s instantly recognizable likeness. Mario’s Super Picross is a special case since it wasn’t even released in the States until it appeared on the Switch as a playable SNES title. Now that it’s here, be sure to hop in and play to your heart’s content as you unearth all sorts of images based on numerical cues within puzzle grids.

Categories
Sports Strength

2021/22 Premier League Kit Roundup

Kit culture is a huge part of football, and with the Premier League arguably the most-consumed league in the world the anticipation always builds ahead of a new season.

The Premier League, and football in general, are vastly different than American sports leagues when it comes to apparel. In England, clubs have control over which outfitters they align with as opposed to having the same company represent every club in the U.S.

Although many big sides in the Premier League have Nike and adidas as kit providers, smaller clubs align with Hummel, Umbro and other fringe brands to create awesome designs.

Here’s a closer look at each Premier League team’s new kits for the 2021/22 season.

ARSENAL

Home & Away

Third

ASTON VILLA

BRENTFORD

Home

Away

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION

Home

Away

BURNLEY

Home

CHELSEA

Home

Away

Third

CRYSTAL PALACE

Third

EVERTON

Home

Third

LEEDS UNITED

Home

LEICESTER CITY

Home

Away

LIVERPOOL

Home

Third

MANCHESTER CITY

Home

Away

MANCHESTER UNITED

Home

Away

NEWCASTLE UNITED

NORWICH CITY

SOUTHAMPTON

TOTTENHAM

WATFORD

Home

Away

WEST HAM UNITED

Away

Third

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS