Tech Tuesdays | Hoop Maps

Photo credit: Matthew Nobert {image source.}
Earlier this month, Slam Magazine editors, Peter Walsh and Abe Schwadrohad, had the honor of speaking with basketball legend, Julius "Dr. J." Erving, on their Respect the Game podcast. Among the many topics that were covered in the interview was his days playing at Harlem's Rucker Park with Virginia Squire teammate, Charlie Scott. Pick-up basketball hasn't changed much since then as far as retired vets coming to play with the neighborhood hype beast and a crowd of local spectators coming to see the free show, except now, there's all sorts of technology used to capture those rare footage moments that were once upon a time so exclusive.

Apparently, the love of the game hasn't changed much either and now there's a mobile app that compliments the popular ball is life mantra. Donte and Dominic Morris, the twin collaborators, both alumni of Sacramento State University, knew that there was a piece of the game missing, whereas before, the crew would ride around town in search of an open court or gym to play on, trying to find a game to join, which was always a hit or miss. The duo then came up with a genius solution to create Hoop Maps, an app that would-essentially-assist hoopers in building local teams to ball with, further alleviating the challenge in finding nearby courts for pick-up games. It's a new level of street ball that the world hasn't quite experienced yet, simply because the technology wasn't available previously.

As a former athlete who is getting back into basketball just for fun, I do have the Hoop apps application downloaded on my personal device. Although I have yet to create or join a squad, I've created a profile and crossed my fingers, hoping that soon enough I can locate some cool individuals for a Saturday hoop session.

Hoop Maps is currently only available in the Apple app store, as it is still a relatively new app, but at the rate its going with a radar of 1,000 + users, over 15K downloads, and national attention from shows, such as #SC6 in just the first few months of existence, the app is already explosive, so we're confident that it will expand beyond being an underground hidden gem in the coming months. 

Follow me on Twitter: @TheSkyBoxSuite | @ChymereA

Return to Greatness: Why Magic Johnson's New Front Office Position is a Good Look for the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe and Magic pose for April 1998 Sports Illustrated cover. Photo cred: Walter Iooss Jr. SI
In the midst of NBA trade fiascos and multiple GM negotiations across the board, 26 year NBA veteran and easily one of the G.O.A.T.'s of the game itself, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, has recently replaced Jim Buss as the President of Basketball Operations. For a few weeks now, it's been known from multiple news sources that there was a potential front office position in the works for Magic and now the new title is officially in and I'm here for it. 

There are a few different reasons why I think this is a major move for the Lakers. For starters, he knows what it takes to win multiple championships and with 5 championship rings under his belt, there is no doubt in my mind that he has what it takes to get the team back to that place. It's no secret that Johnson has always loudly advocated for the Lakers and has been wanting to play a key role in their current evolution. He naturally  has a winner's mindset from both a player and coach's perspective, which is extremely valuable, especially so when it's time to call the shots and lead the Laker boys on the right track. 

In addition to that, I don't think the new boys truly understand what they are now directly a part of and hopefully they do. Finalizing the deal to hire Rob Pelinka as GM, there's no telling what Lakers are about to achieve from here on out. Just as we've witnessed an entirely new squad emerge and fail to live up to certain expectations. Even if it's a roller coaster trying to get there-because I certainly don't expect an overnight success at this point-I'm predicting that we're about to watch the franchise rise to greatness once again. 

I don't exactly know where, when, or how Kobe Bryant will come into play, but from the looks of it, it's only a matter of time, because he said so himself on Stephen A. Smith's radio show on ESPN: 
"I'm always around behind the scenes for Jeanie, Jimmy, and the entire Buss family if they need assistance or if it be to reach out or call for advice and things of that nature."

Until then, let's just bask in the radiance of the Magic that's about to take place. From the perspective of a longtime Lakers fan, I do believe  this move will re-route the Lakers in a brand new direction. 

2008 NBA Playoffs L.A. Lakers vs S.A. Spurs, game 2. Photo cred: Andrew D. Bernstein
Needless to say, it's LakeShow time!

Follow me on Twitter: @ChymereA | @TheSkyBoxSuite

Chargers Head Back to the City of Angels

Having only played one season in Los Angeles back in 1960, the Chargers leave San Diego and head to the city once again, Dean Spanos announced earlier this week. 

The Chargers have been fighting for Los Angeles for a couple of years, at least, because there were rumors and speculations early 2014. Although I'm not really sure what the motive is, I know it will be a seemingly major adjustment for everyone involved. According to sources, Spanos essentially didn't get his way when it came to building a new and improve stadium in San Diego and this seemed like a more viable solution to the problem. Of course, Chargers will now be sharing a close vicinity with the Rams, as they enter the StubHub Center in Carson, CA and Rams will be move to a larger arena at the L.A. Coliseum, both temporary locations until Inglewood Stadium is up and running.

As for the home team fans, there's a lot of emotions rising high regarding the move and the fact that there is no longer a NFL franchise in San Diego. It's very likely that loyal fans will remain loyal, however it does constitute an entirely different issue for season ticket holders, who will now have to travel a pretty lofty distance-give or take heavy commuting traffic-to attend "home" games. In addition to the varying reactions of the fans, Chargers now owe $650 million to the NFL in relocation fees and approximately $13 million to the city of San Diego. Hopefully that doesn't create a larger problem over the 10 years they have to pay it off and configure their finances properly. 

It's safe to say that the Chargers will have an interesting time trying to stand out in the entertainment capital of the world. There are so many different over-saturated markets in just that city alone that is going to make the Chargers' placement in that world all the more difficult. Seems like they've already figured this out, considering they've named the new website #fightforla. No clue what the formula is for this new move or what will turn out to be the better city comparatively, so I guess we'll have to let time tell.

Follow me on Twitter: @TheSkyBoxSuite | @ChymereA

source: Schrotenboer, Brent. "What we know about Chargers' move to Los Angeles." USA Today12 January 2017 : Page(s). Web. 14 January 2017.