Warriors, Cavaliers face-off in historic NBA Finals matchup, who will win?

LeBron James (c) will lead the Cavaliers to Oakland to face the Golden State Warriors. Game 1 is Thursday, June 4.

LeBron James (c) will lead the Cavaliers to Oakland to face league MVP Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors for an exciting NBA Finals series. Game 1 is Thursday, June 4.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

The NBA Finals are set to begin Thursday June 4, with league MVP Stephen Curry and his Golden State Warriors (67 – 15) hosting LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers (53 – 29). While the Warriors had the best record in the NBA this regular season, the Cavaliers have had the best record so far in this postseason, losing only twice. The Warriors are looking to end a 40-year NBA championship drought, while the Cavaliers are looking for the organization’s first title.

Steph Curry's (l) 3-year old daughter Riley, his wife Ayesha (c), and his mother Sonya (r) have received as much attention as the team this postseason.

Steph Curry’s (l) 3-year old daughter Riley, his wife Ayesha (c), and his mother Sonya (r) have received as much attention as the team this postseason.

The Warriors enter the NBA Finals as the favorites due to their strong regular season performance, an MVP season from their best player, and a strong postseason run of their own. Curry receives the bulk of the attention as his star power continues to rise this season, but the Warriors are a balanced team with veteran players who hope to cash in on this championship opportunity. There is no doubt that the Cavaliers game plan will center around slowing down Curry and Klay Thompson. The Warriors and first- year head coach Steve Kerr will spend the upcoming week preparing to counter defensive strategies against their stars.

LeBron James celebrated his 6th trip to the NBA Finals by taking a selfie with his wife Savannah, and his sons Lebron Jr. (center) and Bryce (bottom).

LeBron James celebrated his 6th trip to the NBA Finals by taking a selfie with his wife Savannah, and his sons Lebron Jr. (center) and Bryce (bottom).

The Cavaliers will be the underdogs in the NBA Finals but LeBron James is expected to be the difference maker if the team is to overcome the challenge. James is making his 6th NBA Finals appearance, 5th consecutive, and is anxious to bring a championship to Cleveland. NBA rookie head coach David Blatt has had to make numerous adjustments due to a myriad of injuries to key contributors this postseason. Blatt admits, “It’s a lot easier having James on your team.”

The Golden State Warriors celebrate their trip to the NBA Finals.

The Golden State Warriors celebrate their trip to the NBA Finals.

The Cavaliers aren’t the only ones dealing with injury concerns. Curry suffered a nasty fall in game 4, landing on his head, which required testing for a concussion. In game 5, Klay Thompson received an accidental knee to the face and suffered a concussion as the team closed out the Houston Rockets. The Warriors will take full advantage of the week off to let their stars recuperate. The Warriors will have to continue being an efficient shooting team, showing intensity on defense if they are to be victorious in the Finals.

Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving (2) and LeBron James (23) celebrate the team's victory.

Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving (2) and LeBron James (23) celebrate the team’s victory.

Kyrie Irving will also benefit from the week-long break, as he had to miss games this postseason due to knee and ankle injuries. The Cavaliers have seen mid-season acquisitions J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Timothy Mosgov contribute to the team’s success this playoff season. Tristan Thompson and Matthew Delavadova have also been key in the Cavaliers’ victories so far. James will have to continue playing at an exceptionally high level since most of his teammates are making their first NBA Finals appearance.

If the Warriors win the championship, Curry will likely be the Finals MVP as well.

If the Warriors win the championship, Curry will likely be the Finals MVP as well.

The NBA Finals looks to be exciting as both teams play at a fast pace and have players with the ability to have huge performances. OnPointPress.net’s  editorial director is picking the Warriors to win the NBA Finals with Curry being the Finals MVP, calling the Warriors “the team of destiny.”

James is looking to add his 3rd NBA Finals trophy to his collection.

James is looking to add his 3rd NBA Finals trophy to his collection.

This writer is picking the Cleveland Cavaliers to win their first NBA championship and LeBron James to win his third NBA Finals trophy. Either way, the NBA Finals should be compelling.

Share your NBA Finals pick on our social media sites with re-tweets to support the Warriors and favorites in support of the Cavaliers.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a licensed insurance agent with HealthMarkets. Follow me @GloverIsGood on Twitter.com.

Walt Disney’s Carole Munroe receives NABJ’s Patricia L. Tobin Media Professional Award

Carole Monroe

Carole Munroe, director of public relations for Walt Disney World Resort is the recipient of the 2015 National Association of Black Journalists’ (NABJ’s) Patricia L. Tobin Media Professional Award.

WASHINGTON (May 22, 2015) − The Board of Directors of The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has selected Carole Munroe, director of public relations for the Walt Disney World Resort, as the recipient of the 2015 Patricia L. Tobin Media Professional Award. Recipients of the Pat Tobin Award must be entrepreneurs, public relations, advertising, or marketing professionals, or media owners who serve as trailblazers and bridge builders for other media professionals thus improving the media profession at large.

“Carole Munroe is a skilled public relations practitioner. She has a strategic mind, business savvy, combined with a clear and confident style of communication,” said NABJ President Bob Butler. “As the public relations lead for Disney theme parks she helps a global audience understand how special Disney’s parks are and the amazing experiences they offer to visitors from around the world.”

NABJ logo

Munroe’s career with Disney spans 25 years. As director of public relations for the Walt Disney World Resort, she is the site leader for all domestic, international and multi-cultural public relations opportunities impacting the entire destination, which includes four Walt Disney World theme parks, 25 owned and operated resort hotels, two water parks, two full-service spas, the ESPN Wide World of Sports facilities and Downtown Disney (Disney Springs) entertainment, dining and retail complex. Munroe and her team also support other Disney Destinations businesses such as Disney Cruise Line, Adventures By Disney, Disney Vacation Club and Disney’s Fairytale Weddings.

“Carole Munroe is an extraordinary representative for Disney and she works hard on behalf of Disney theme parks, the company’s initiatives, and the brand at large” said Dawn A. Roberts, associate member representative. “An active member of the association she has leveraged her relationships to ensure that Disney is a committed partner to NABJ.”

Munroe is respected as a public relations, brand and marketing strategist. She frequently speaks before public relations and marketing professionals. EBONY Magazine has recognized her as an Outstanding Woman in Marketing and Communications. Her work with Disney Parks has also been honored with a Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Bronze Anvil Award, A New York Public Relations Society Big Apple Award, Promax Award for national promotion and a Purpose Award for Disney’s Dreamers Academy. Munroe is a devoted mentor and considers the success of those she has influenced among her greatest professional rewards.

A graduate of the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Munroe currently serves on the alumni board of the college. Munroe was a journalist earlier in her career, working as a reporter, producer and news director. She says that she uses her storytelling abilities every day to relate powerful stories about her company, one of the world’s most recognizable entertainment and media brands.

The Pat Tobin Media Professional Award is named for NABJ member Pat Tobin. Tobin passed away in 2008, and was president and CEO of Tobin and Associates, a prominent minority, woman-owned public relations firm based in Los Angeles. She was a dedicated activist for causes that impacted minorities, women and youth. Ms. Munroe’s honor will be presented to her at the association’s Salute to Excellence Gala on August 8th during NABJ’s Annual Convention and Career Fair in Minneapolis.

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For additional information visit www.nabj.org.–OnPointPress.net.

Timberwolves win NBA draft lottery, Lakers take second place, Knicks fourth

Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor poses for photos after the Timberwolves won the No. 1 pick in the NBA basketball draft lottery Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor poses for photos after the Timberwolves won the No. 1 pick in the NBA basketball draft lottery Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

By Charles Glover, Jr.

The Minnesota Timberwolves entered the NBA draft lottery with the best odds to win the first pick and successfully landed the first choice. The Timberwolves will now have the last three number one overall draft picks on their roster next season due to their trade last season in which they acquired NBA rookie of the year Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett in exchange for Kevin Love.

Andrew Wiggins, last season's number one draft pick, was named Rookie of the Year this season.

Andrew Wiggins, last season’s number one draft pick, was named Rookie of the Year this season.

The rest of the top five draft picks are the Los Angeles Lakers with the second pick, the Philadelphia 76ers will have the third pick, the New York Knicks will pick fourth and the Orlando Magic will pick fifth.

The 2015 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 25 which gives teams a little more than a month to put together their draft strategy. The Timberwolves are hopeful this draft helps turns things around for good or else they will be in position to add the fourth consecutive number one draft pick next year.–OnPointPress.net

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and licensed insurance agent with Health Markets. Follow me @GloverIsGood on Twitter.com.

NBA Conference Finals feature compelling matchups

Stephen Curry and the top seeded Golden State Warriors now know their opponent in the Western Conference Finals. Now the MVP must play at a high level to get his team to the NBA Finals.

Stephen Curry and the top seeded Golden State Warriors now know their opponent in the Western Conference Finals. Now the MVP must play at a high level to get his team to the NBA Finals.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

The Western Conference finals are now set as the Golden State Warriors will host the Houston Rockets after a convincing game 7 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers Sunday afternoon. The Eastern Conference championship will also feature the top 2 seeds in the conference as the Atlanta Hawks will host the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Curry received his MVP reward a couple weeks ago, now he hopes to add a ring to his trophy.

Curry received his MVP reward a few weeks ago, now he hopes to add a ring to his trophy.

This postseason could conclude with history being made as 2 of the remaining teams have never won an NBA title. The Warriors only NBA championship came in 1974-75 with a team featuring Hall of Fame players Rick Barry and a rookie at the time Jamaal Wilkes. This Warriors team hopes to continue the momentum they created in defeating a tough Memphis Grizzlies team. Stephen Curry, fresh off of winning NBA MVP this year, will go head-to-head with the runner-up to the MVP award in James Harden.

Dwight Howard (l) and James Harden (r) are hoping to return to the NBA Finals together after having suffered separate defeats on the biggest stage.

Dwight Howard (l) and James Harden (r) are hoping to return to the NBA Finals together after having suffered separate defeats on the biggest stage.

The Rockets are hoping to build on their own momentum after becoming just the 9th team to overcome a 3 – 1 deficit and win the series. Harden and Dwight Howard are hoping to return to the NBA Finals stage together where they were both on the losing side in their own separate championship appearances. The Rockets won back-to-back championships in 1994 and 1995 with Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon leading the way.

If the Hawks are to advance, they must continue to receive good production from their starters, (l - r) Paul Milsap, Al Horford, Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll, and Jeff Teague (not pictured).

If the Hawks are to advance, they must continue to receive good production from their starters, (l – r) Paul Milsap, Al Horford, Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll, and Jeff Teague (not pictured).

The Atlanta Hawks are also looking to achieve an historic end to their season as the franchise searches for its first NBA title. The Hawks have had several close games so far this playoffs, but have found ways to have different players step up at key moments. Though the Hawks are the higher seed, many consider the Cavaliers the favorites to win the series, largely because of the brilliance of LeBron James in recent years in the playoffs.

LeBron James (l) and his teammates Tristan Thompson (m) and Kyrie Irving (r) are looking to continue moving through the playoffs despite injuries to key players this postseason.

LeBron James (l) and his teammates Tristan Thompson (m) and Kyrie Irving (r) are looking to continue moving through the playoffs despite injuries to key players this postseason.

If the Cavaliers are able to get past the Hawks, it will make the 5th consecutive NBA Finals appearance for LeBron James, a feat reminiscent of the 1960’s and those Bill Russell led Boston Celtics. The Cavaliers will have an uphill battle considering they are without starting forward Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving has been battling injuries throughout the playoffs as well. So far injuries have not impacted the playoffs significantly yet as the 2 top seeds in each conference are playing for a chance to go to the NBA Finals.

Earlier this year on OnPointPress.net, this writer said offense, not defense wins championships in this NBA. Time will tell if that theory continues to hold true this year in the NBA Finals.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr is a sports aficionado and a licensed insurance agent with Health Markets. Follow me @GloverIsGood Twitter.com.

NABJ honors late sports columnist Bryan Burwell with 2015 Legacy Award

Late sports columnist Bryan Burwell will be honored with the NABJ 2015 Legacy Award.

Late sports columnist Bryan Burwell is honored with the NABJ 2015 Legacy Award.

WASHINGTON (May 15, 2015) − The Board of Directors of The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has selected the late Bryan Burwell as the recipient of the 2015 Legacy Award. Mr. Burwell was a nationally recognized sports columnist, and at the time of his death he wrote for The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Recipients of the Legacy Award are recognized for having had a career of extraordinary achievement, which broke barriers and blazed trails.

“Bryan Burwell was a sports journalist who covered historic moments and milestones on the court and on the field. His performance as a journalist set a high bar for others to follow,” said NABJ President Bob Butler. “Few reporters can say they covered some of the most important moments in sports across platforms, but Bryan could and he did it extremely well.”

In addition to his work as a columnist for The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, he had been an on-air host for CBS Sports 920 in St. Louis and 101 ESPN Radio, also in St. Louis. On television viewers saw him on ESPN’s Jim Rome is Burning and The Sports Reporters.

“Bryan Burwell was an exceptional journalist and an exceptional mentor and friend. He had a confidence and charisma which made his written work critical and perceptive, and his television commentary biting and forceful,” said Gregory Lee, past NABJ President and Director, Editorial Content at NBA.com. “A descendant of the first generation of black sportswriters, his exceptional work has ensured that more black sports reporters will have the types of opportunities he had to have impactful careers.”

Earlier in his career, Mr. Burwell had been a columnist for USA Today, The Sporting News, The Detroit News, and The New York Daily News. He had also written for Newsday and The Baltimore Sun, and been an on-air contributor to HBO Sports. Mr. Burwell’s honor will be presented to his family at the association’s Salute to Excellence Gala on August 8th during NABJ’s Annual Convention and Career Fair in Minneapolis.

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For additional information visit www.nabj.org.–OnPointPress.net.

Reggae artist Maxi Priest leads SummerStage lineup, set for June 27

maxi

By Tiffany Mea

Reggae stars Maxi Priest and Gyptian as well as soca royalty Bunji Garlin and Fay Ann Lyons will take the stage in NYC’s Central Park to celebrate VP Records’ 35th year in business as well as its partnership with SummerStage. DJs Bobby Konders and Jabba of Massive B will also provide sounds throughout the day. The free concert kicks off at 2 p.m. and ends at 7pm on June 27, 2015.

35 years ago, VP Records’ founders Vincent and his wife Patricia Chin moved their headquarters from Kingston, Jamaica, to Jamaica, New York, transforming their operations into the largest Caribbean music company worldwide. At the concert there will also be a special VP Records 35th anniversary pop-up exhibit entitled A Reggae Music Journey, which designed by acclaimed artist Michael Thompson. The display will be located outside of the event for all the patrons to enjoy.

“VP Records is proud to bring this all-star lineup into the heart of Manhattan. We’re all looking forward to celebrating the 35th anniversary with an enjoyable day of reggae and soca music in the park,” said VP Records Senior Director of Marketing Brian Greenspoon. SummerStage is also celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. SummerStage is a program of City Parks Foundation that presents performances of outstanding artistic quality, free of charge, to serve the diverse communities of New York City. To celebrate their 30th anniversary, they have extended the season from May to October, and added more than 20 free shows in Central Park and 15 neighborhood parks across the city.

Bunji Garlin has been making waves with his new album.

Bunji Garlin has been making waves with his new album.

VP Records co-founder Patricia Chin said: “SummerStage’s 30th Anniversary and VP Records’ 35th Anniversary are significant milestones that we are honored to acknowledge together at the prestigious Central Park venue.” After 35 years, Miss Pat, as her staff affectionately refers to her, is still very much involved with the day-to-day operations of VP Records.

With over 15 million albums sold worldwide, multiple Grammy nominations and Top 10 Billboard hits, including the No. 1 smash “Close To You,” the most successful solo act in British reggae history, Maxi Priest, continues to hit the road throughout 2015 in support of his first studio album in almost a decade, Easy To Love on the VP Records label. Jamaican reggae singer Gyptian broke into the reggae scene in 2005 with his string of hits like “Serious Times” “Beautiful Lady” and “Mama, Don’t Cry.” He hit international stardom in 2010 with his critically-acclaimed album Hold You and its RIAA certified Gold title rack, which featured a Nicki Minaj remix, and earned him a 2010 MOBO and Soul Train award.

Born Ian Alvarez, the Trinidadian ragga soca star Bunji Garlin is known for his blending of soca with dancehall. Hailed recently by Rolling Stone as “America’s first soca star,” Garlin has clearly taken his native country’s genre to new heights. His single “Differentology (Ready For The Road),” which was remixed by Major Lazer & Busta Rhymes, was a massive hit in North America more than a year after its release in the Caribbean. Fay Ann Lyons is already a superstar in her native country of Trinidad and across the Caribbean. During Trinidad & Tobago’s Carnival season’s annual competitions, Fay Ann has set the record as the only female artist to score the Carnival Road March title three times, taking the crown in 2003, 2008 and 2009.

Massive B was formed over 10 years ago with DJ Bobby Konders’ vision of starting his own sound system. At its start, the voice behind Massive B was none other than Jabba. There have been many additions to Massive B as it continues to grow. New members include Big Dawg, Chudney Shotta, D-Life and X-Man, among others. Massive B has toured all over the globe, playing major festivals and dances, and representing NYC along the way. Locally, Massive B is a Brooklyn staple, performing annually at the borough’s West Indian Day Parade and weekly at the Buzz Nightclub for ‘Fire Sundays,’ where they spin the hottest reggae, dancehall, hip hop, R&B, and soca music. Bobby and Jabba can also be heard on-air every weekend on Hot 97 FM.–OnPointPress.net.

Michel du Cille wins NABJ 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award

Late photojournalist Michael du Cille is the recipient of the NABJ Lifetime Achievement Award.

Late Jamaica-born photojournalist Michel du Cille is the recipient of the NABJ Lifetime Achievement Award.

WASHINGTON (May 11, 2015) − The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ),has selected the late Michel du Cille as the recipient of the association’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. A respected photojournalist, who over the course of a lengthy career earned some of the industry’s highest honors, he was a longtime member of NABJ. Mr. du Cille, who had been a journalist at The Washington Post since 1988, died in December 2014 while on assignment in Liberia. du Cille was born in Kingston, Jamaica.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed upon a journalist with at least 15 years of experience in the journalism industry and who is regarded for making an extraordinary contribution to the enrichment, understanding or advancement of black life and culture.

“Michel du Cille was a talented photojournalist whose images were compelling, thought-provoking and immensely powerful,” said NABJ President Bob Butler. “While some see the visual image as enhancements to a story, he composed images which were limitless in their ability to themselves tell honest stories.”

Mr. du Cille was a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner. The most recent award was given in 2008 to du Cille and two of his colleagues at The Post for their work, which revealed the shocking mistreatment of veterans at Walter Reed Hospital. Two earlier Pulitzers came for his work at The Miami Herald.

“Michel du Cille is one of the greatest photojournalists of his generation, and how fortunate for the National Association of Black Journalists that he is one of ours,” said Vanessa Williams, a former president of NABJ and a reporter and editor at The Washington Post. “du Cille used his talent to explore the human condition – both its beauty and its awfulness – with compassion and intelligence. And we are grateful that he was especially interested in telling the stories of the people of the African diaspora, insisting that the world see people who are often marginalized or ignored.”

At The Post he was the director of photography and an assistant managing editor before returning full-time to work in the field. An industry leader, his contributions to the profession are noteworthy as he was a founding member of NABJ’s Visual Task Force, created as a venue for visual journalists in all mediums, which also raised thousands of dollars for scholarships, and steered the mentoring of aspiring and rising photojournalists. He had served on the board of the National Press Photographers Association and the National Press Photographers Foundation.

Prior to The Washington Post, du Cille worked at The Miami Herald and The Louisville Courier-Journal. He earned an undergraduate degree from the Indiana University School of Journalism and a graduate degree from Ohio University. Mr. du Cille’s honor will be presented to his family at the association’s Salute to Excellence Gala on August 8th during NABJ’s Annual Convention and Career Fair in Minneapolis.

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For additional information visit www.nabj.org.–OnPointPress.net.