This week, I almost wrote about Lauren Conrad's new book coming out, but no one is talking about that except... well, me. And Lauren Conrad. So instead, let's discuss an 11-year-old's awesome National Anthem rendition, Kanye West's impeccable interview skills, and the return of HBO's "True Blood" for its season 6 premiere.
NBA Finals National Anthem
11-year-old Sebastien De La Cruz's performed the National Anthem at game 3 of the NBA Finals earlier this week. People immediately took to Twitter, angry that Cruz was the one selected to sing the National Anthem because apparently he didn't look "American" enough, whatever that means. Thankfully, those people were in the minority, and many rallied behind Sebastien not only because it's the right thing to do, but because his performance was awesome. Sebastien was invited back to sing at Game 4 of the finals — with an introduction by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and his wife. Kudos to Sebastien for taking it all in stride. Also, how cute is his mariachi outfit?
Here in Connecticut, we can tell it's almost June because we're practically melting. After all, the general rule of thumb for New England weather is that if you're not shoveling your way out of several feet of snow, then you're probably baking in the sun.
That said, summer is totally the best time for events! Summer tours, sporting events, musical festivals, touring theater shows... it's a mecca, really. Here are a few things to look forward to in June.
American Idol Live: Season 12 "American Idol" finalists hit the road June 29, with their first show in Saint Louis, MO.
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One Direction: 1D buzz in the U.S. calmed as the boys toured Europe and elsewhere. But they're back, kicking off their U.S. summer tour June 13 in Sunrise, FL.
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Bonnaroo: This year, Bonnaroo has more than 100 bands performing during the four-day event from June 13-16. The line-up includes Sir Paul McCartney, Mumford & Sons, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers! (For tips on surviving summer music fests, click here.)
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In one night, the Los Angeles Lakers went from teetering on the brink of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2005, to beating the Houston Rockets, leapfrogging them in the standings and clinching the seventh seed. NBA basketball as its best.
The Western Conference playoff teams are now set and, unlike the Eastern Conference where the Heat are far and away the favorites, the West has more teams that have a legitimate shot at going to the NBA Finals. Here is how I view the eight playoff teams out West:
Contenders: Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs
The Oklahoma City Thunder dominated their way through Western Conference in 2012 before losing to the Miami Heat in the Finals. This year could be more of the same. Kevin Durant is the best player in the NBA not named LeBron and he will not slow down in the postseason. If point guard Russell Westbrook can play up to his ability, the Thunder will be tough to take down again in 2013.
While the Thunder may be favorites, the Spurs also have a claim as contenders. Veteran leaders Tim Duncan and Tony Parker have been great all season, playing "Spurs" basketball that coach Gregg Popovich has built over the years. While San Antonio does not have the superstar players that OKC has, they may be the better team at playing as a collective unit.
Challengers: Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies
All season long, the Denver Nuggets have been one of the most exciting teams to watch in the NBA. The Nuggets are the forgotten team of the Andrew Bynum trade, but that trade landed them Andre Iguodala, who has been great for Denver all season. No team scored more points than the Nuggets and if they can carry their scoring ability into the postseason, they can beat anyone in the league.
It seemed like the NBA regular season just began yesterday, but it's now time to turn the page and look forward to the second season, the 2013 NBA Playoffs. With the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz still battling for the final spot in the Western Conference, today we will preview the LeBron James Conference... *cough*... I mean the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Contenders: Miami Heat
Like I said in the title of this post, and eluded to in the previous paragraph, the NBA's Eastern Conference has been dominated by LeBron James and the defending champion Miami Heat. The Heat finished atop the standings by a dominating 12 games, finishing 65-16, which included a 27-game winning streak. LeBron James has been by far the best basketball player on the planet and will undoubtedly win his fourth NBA Most Valuable Player Award. It's hard to imagine this Heat team, which many feel is better than last year's championship team, not going back to the NBA Finals to defend their crown.
Challengers: New York Knicks, Boston Celtics
I almost put the Knicks in the contender category due to their recent play, but I don't see how they could possibly beat the Heat. For even a glimmer of a shot, it would take a monster effort from Carmelo Anthony, who will be matched up with LeBron. The X-factor for the Knicks is their three-point shooting; during the regular season, the Knicks took and made more three pointers than any other team in the league. When they catch fire they are tough to beat.
This week we’re impressed with some superhuman basketball skills, moms dancing, and singing goats. Things keep getting weirder.
NBA player Stephen Curry, of the Golden State Warriors, scored a whopping 54 points against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden this week. According to Mercury News, Curry joined "an elite group" of players who have scored 50 or more points at Madison Square Garden. What's even more impressive is that the night before this performance he put up 38 points against the Indiana Pacers. I’m lucky if I can make one basket, and that’s at Chuck E. Cheese, so I’m majorly impressed.