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What's The 411 Episode 96: Beyonce's Lemonade Now a College Level Course

Alicia Keys' "No Makeup" gets push back, Mary J. Blige goes off on Twitter, Janet Jackson Pregnancy Update and more

In this episode of What's The 411 recorded on October 4, 2016, the panel of Kizzy Cox, Onika McLean, and Sydney Wayman talked about:

Students at The University of Texas at San Antonio can sign up for a class called Black Women, Beyoncé & Popular Culture.

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem is celebrating a year-long exhibit and events to commemorate the Black Power movement. The Black Power 50 exhibit and programs run through June 2017.

Maven, a car sharing service offered by General Motors, has begun rolling out one-way car sharing for its members in Ann Arbor and Detroit, letting users pick up vehicles and use them to get between Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan, and between Detroit and the Detroit Metro airport.

So, for all you naysayers out there, pop star Janet Jackson really looks pregnant. Janet Jackson is 50-years-old and is expecting her first child with husband Wissam Al Mana.

WHAT'S POPPIN

Kim Kardashian was robbed in Paris. She "was held up at gunpoint...by two armed masked men dressed as police officers," as she stayed in the apartment Kanye owns in Paris, her rep told E! News.

Singer Alicia Keys who is a coach on NBC's The Voice, is getting some pushback from viewers about her stand on no make-up?

Snapchat changed its name to Snap, Inc. and it is calling itself a camera company. Snap just introduced Spectacles, $130 eyeglasses designed to let you record 10 seconds of video at a time and sync it to your phone to post on Snapchat.

Singer Mary J. Blige recorded a commercial to promote her interview with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for a new Apple Music segment "The 411". The promo showed the Grammy-winner awkwardly serenading Hillary Clinton with a song about police violence. The Twitterverse went berserk with all kinds of jokes and memes.

The 411 Social Media Team of Nicole Okeke and Jasmine Blake talked about the comments acknowledging the birthdays of LisaRaye, Will Smith, and Kevin Durant. They also congratulated comedian Kevin Hart on his status as the highest paid comedian.

Interviews:

What's The 411 Art and Culture editor, Luvon Roberson, interviewed actors Sean C. Turner and Douglas Wade, who will be performing in the Black Spectrum Theatre's production of August Wilson's play, Two Trains Running on November 4 - 20, 2016.

Kizzy Cox interviewed apparel and jewelry designer, Lisette Ffolkes, regarding her first Jam and Rico jewelry collection.

 

 

NBA House: NBA All-Star Weekend’s Best Kept Secret

NBA House treats fans to an experience of interactive activities, video highlights, prizes, and half-court basketball

As much as the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend, this year in New York City, revolves around a collection of the elite basketball talents the NBA has to offer, NBA House, which began on Tuesday February 10th and runs through Saturday, February 15, takes a different approach.

NBA House is pretty much the NBA's answer to what a Dave & Buster's would look like if the NBA remixed its format for a day.

And that's what it was: a basketball party.

Held at the Skylight at Moynihan Station across from Madison Square Garden in Manhattan and LIU Brooklyn's Paramount Theatre, there was NBA basketball everywhere.

In the two available rooms of fun, the second and largest room featured half-court basketball courts where fans could shoot-around and receive basketball tips from instructors.

Flat-screen televisions were positioned on the walls and pillars around the room, displaying NBA content from this season and past highlights of NBA All-Star Weekend.

PlayStation offered several video game demo kiosks, where fans could compete against one-another in the latest installment of the bestselling NBA basketball simulation in NBA 2K15, on the next gen system, PlayStation 4.

Panini America Inc., specializes in exclusive memorabilia of all the major sports leagues including the NBA, featured its best signed NBA products, such as Jerseys and shoes autographed by Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant.

State Farm, another NBA partner, took fan photos and offered a basketball skills station. PlayStation, provided fans with the NBA 2K15 demos, in which they judged all participants in their total assists.

Samsung displayed its technological prowess with some of its latest gadgets. The technology and electronics giant gave visitors an opportunity to test drive its Samsung's Gear VR virtual reality headset.

And if that wasn't enough, NBA legends Horace Grant and Muggsy Bogues interacted with the game's youngest fans, by helping kids find the answers to many of the games they played in front of an audience.

NBA-legend-Horace-Grant-interacting-with-fans-at-NBA-HouseNBA legend Horace Grant interacting with fans at NBA House. Photo Credit: Gregory Alcala/ What's The 411 Networks

Muggsy-Bogues NBA House-Moynihan-Station 265x514Former NBA player Muggsy Bogues. Photo Credit: Gregory Alcala/What's The 411 Networks

The entry space featured Kia, the NBA's official car. KIA Motors exhibited some of its finest automobiles alongside, another NBA partner Sprite, which gave fans the opportunity to enter a music recording booth and freestyle over pre-selected instrumentals. I must admit it was very tempting once I heard the beat.

Although the NBA House is not the primary reason why fans love the annual NBA All-Star weekend, it prevailed in treating basketball fans to a great hands-on and sensory NBA experience.

"This event showcases a little of everything of the NBA" said Sheri Simonson, a marketing Manager at Panini America inc. to WhatsThe411TV.

"It gives everyone a hands-on experience, and it also educates everyone on the NBA, the league and its players, and its All-Stars," Simonson added.

But wait, there's more.

"This event is awesome," said David Porter also a representative of Panini America Inc. "It brings people out to showcase the NBA's best talent once a year, there's lots of events and energetic participation but it also shows all of the people behind the scenes and what they do."

So basically, what she said.

Brooklyn Nets Quiet Oklahoma City Thunder

Nets Beat Back Thunder 116-85

Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are out for the Oklahoma City Thunder which means the Brooklyn Nets will catch a break in their home opener right?

Wrong.

"It's another NBA game and a game that counts," rookie forward Cory Jefferson said to What's The 411TV prior to the tip-off. "They are missing some of their key players but we still have to go out there and handle business."

He's absolutely right.

The Nets can't take anybody for granted. It doesn't matter what the current roster of their opponents reflect. In their regular season home opener, the Nets did the right thing. They took care of the hobbled Thunder 116-85 in front of a sellout crowd of 17,732 at the Barclays Center.

That's what they were supposed to do.

It was also a star-studded home opener which included Grammy award-winning R&B recording artist Ashanti, who sang the national anthem and hip hop artist Fabolous was also present announcing the starting lineups for the Brooklyn Nets.

Regarding the contest tonight, this wasn't a break for the Nets, it was a vacation, target practice, whatever "easy street" activity you would like to call it.

What's significant for the Nets and their personnel was the fact that this was the regular season debut for Nets center Brook Lopez, who sat out the first two games of the season with a sprain in his right mid-foot. Lopez contributed 18 points and six rebounds, an encouraging performance.

The Nets scored early and often and reminded the Thunder what the presence of stars like Deron Williams and Joe Johnson are capable of producing, when healthy.

In the first half, Williams and Johnson combined for 20 points.

Lopez in his first action of the season added seven points and four rebounds while rookie guard Bojan Bogdanovic provided some marksmanship from deep, connecting on two three-pointers scoring 8.

Eight of the ten available players for the Nets all scored as the Nets entered the intermission period up by a comfortable 19 points, 59-40.

Yes, almost 60 in 24 minutes of play.

When it's not your night, it shows and the Thunder made it very obvious that Durant and Westbrook are desperately needed if this team is to have any shot of competing in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.

"We did a lot of good things in the first three games, and we didn't do that tonight," said Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks following tonight's game.

In the last two deciding quarters, more of the same continued.

The Nets were the favorites in this match-up and they played like it.

In the third quarter alone, the Nets enjoyed leads of +14, +18 and +23.

With 42.8 remaining in the third quarter, Deron WIlliams participated in a defense to offense sequence that just displayed the dominance the Nets enjoyed on both ends of the floor.

Off of a Williams missed three-point shot attempt, the Thunder's Kendrick Perkins collected the rebound and one bad pass later was intercepted by Williams who converted an uncontested layup which put the Nets up 85-62.

It was that kind of night, and with the offensive success the Nets enjoyed, the starters were able to rest for the majority of the 4th quarter as the bench finished off the remains of what was left of the Thunder.

Williams finished with 17 points and nine assists while Joe Johnson supplied 13 points and six rebounds.

Reggie Jackson was the lone high scorer for the Thunder recording 23 points.

Look, the Thunder are a shell of themselves right now and although this outcome was expected there are some legitimate positives that the Nets can take from this performance and apply it to the future games they will confront.

Positives like Brook Lopez exiting this game among the top two overall scorers for the Nets tonight along with reserve guard Alan Anderson, who also chipped in with an efficient 7-8 shooting from the field for 18 points.

"It was great seeing him out there," Nets forward Joe Johnson said about Lopez to the media following the game. "I think his presence alone opens up the floor a lot more for guys like myself and Deron, and he looked great tonight."

Joe-Johnson

Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets Shooting guard/Small Forward

Positives like the bench scoring 50 points to compliment the starting five in a rout.

"Our bench was amazing for us tonight," Williams said in the post-game media sessions. "To come out of the game and get a lift from our bench, that's what we need."

Deron-Williams Media-Day-Photo

Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets Point Guard

Positives like shooting 52.4% from the floor, 47.8% from behind the arc and connecting for 89.5% from the charity strike.

"We shot the ball extremely well," said Head Coach Lionel Hollins during his post-game press conference. "We moved the ball, we attacked and they just couldn't stay up with us."

Lionel-Hollins 07072014 resized 700x586

Brooklyn Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins

And, one more positive was the exploits of rookie starting guard Bojan Bogdanovic, hailing from Croatia.

"He played well and he was much more aggressive tonight" said Head Coach Lionel Hollins about Bogdanovic. "I have confidence in him and I want him to play his game."

The Thunder coming to town also meant the return of Brooklyn's own, Sebastian Telfair now starting for the Thunder due to injuries of Durant and Westbrook.

"It felt good before the game started," Telfair told the media during the post-game sessions. "It is always good to come back to my roots, playing in front of my family and for some of my fans."

The biggest takeaway the Nets can use from this game and apply to their future opponents is confidence.

The offense flourished.

The defense denied any offensive consistency.

Tonight was evidence of what the Nets are capable of when they are clicking on all cylinders.

The challenge is to do their due diligence when playing a team that shares the same aspirations in team goals that they promote.

The Nets will host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, November 5, the New York Knicks on Friday November 7th and the Orlando Magic on Sunday, November 9th. Following this home stand is a west-coast road-trip featuring the Phoenix Suns, the Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers.

How will the Nets respond to the teams on its West Coast swing?

That will be an important stretch to see how these Nets measure up against some of the best teams the NBA has to offer.

The Nets won this game because it was what they were supposed to do. However, the games scheduled in the coming weeks will be telling.

Only then will we see what the Nets are really made of.

The Russ Show: Cancelled......for now

In my last post, I dedicated my publication to one of the stars that the NBA boasts presently: Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook.

The injury bug targeted Thunder superstar forward Kevin Durant, who suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot.

Due to the injury, Durant will be out of commission until late November, possibly December-missing a month's worth of NBA action.

My last post was about what I expect Westbrook to display because of the opportunity that revealed itself with Durant's current predicament.

I talked about how Westbrook would have the responsibility of sustaining success with the Thunder until Durant was cleared to return to the floor.

Now, Westbrook will not have that opportunity.

Westbrook suffered a small split in the second metacarpal of his right hand when he collided with his teammate, Kendrick Perkins, going for a rebound in Thursday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Now he's hurt.

Westbrook will be sidelined for the next four weeks and has had successful surgery to repair the broken bone in his right hand which took place on Saturday.

You just couldn't take it easy could you?

You were so excited to do it all by yourself.

That's why we were excited to tune in because we knew we would be provided with watching the entirety of Westbrook's game.

What led to his injury is what makes him great.

It would've been exciting to see the 1-on-1 point guard match-ups that would test Westbrook's decision making without having the best security blanket of Durant's presence to lean on to when he makes mistakes.

What's left of the Thunder is a young group of players who have no-one else but themselves to look to with each win and expected losses in the Western Conference.

This will give Thunder GM Sam Presti the chance to re-evaluate everybody, including head coach Scott Brooks.

With both Durant and Westbrook injured, if Brooks can pull off a Tom Thibodeau (Chicago Bulls Head Coach), and keep the Thunder stable until the cavalry arrives then his job should be safe.

With Durant and Westbrook out, it gives us viewers the opportunity to observe forward Perry Jones. He was the 28th pick of the 2012 draft, projected as a lottery pick that I was high on coming out of Baylor because of his ability to put the ball on the floor at 6'11.

Serge Ibaka's touches will increase which should allow him to continue the upward trend of his offensive game.

And, then there is Brooklyn's own Sebastian Telfair. He should receive the minutes required to prove that he is here to stay. Telfair is back after a year in China and no longer the phenom, now 29 years-old and hopefully wiser.

What's intriguing is that the remaining players on the Thunder's roster seem to be eager to show the world that Westbrook and Durant aren't the only players on the Thunder that can play.

Hopefully, they will get that chance, meanwhile, stars sell and Westbrook's injury diminishes the Thunder's stock.

The Oklahoma City fans are wonderful and will stick by this group.

Westbrook's injury highlights the biggest threat to the NBA and something they have no autonomy over: the health of its stars.

Kevin Durant is Injured; Now It's The Russ Show

The most recent news surrounding one of the NBA's greatest players is disappointing.

Sunday, October 12, The Oklahoma City Thunder announced that their most prized asset, superstar forward Kevin Durant, the reigning MVP of the league has suffered what is known to be a Jones fracture in his right foot.

Ouch!

According to CBSsports.com, the injury usually requires surgery which could alter the plans of Durant and Co. and puts the hopes and dreams of a title chase on reserve until he returns to the hardwood.

This injury will sideline Durant for 6-8 weeks, definitely missing the start of the 2014-15 NBA season.

On October 21, Durant held a press conference and said all the right things because rarely does he not. "..It was unexpected, but going through so much in my life, it's another bump in the road that I knew I had to get pass," Durant said during his press conference.

He also expressed that he wanted to take the best route with this injury because he has never been injured before and elected to have surgery influenced by his doctors who have his best interest.

It is understood that Durant will miss time on court right?

Agreed.

What does that mean for the Thunder and the remaining roster? It obviously provides more shots for the players who aren't accustomed to scoring on a consistent basis while adding more shot attempts for the players that Durant plays alongside of in the starting lineup.

It also means that a particular someone on this Thunder roster will have an enhanced role once the ball tips-off on this NBA season.

It means that the Thunder will have to keep the ship afloat in Durant's absence. Without a doubt, it means being fortunate to witness the Russell Westbrook show.

Now of course Westbrook would like to begin the year with his partner in crime; it's the only life he knows. For the majority of his career he hasn't spent much time playing without Durant opposed to Durant and his individual career experiences thus far.

In the first round of the 2012-13 NBA Playoffs against the no. 8 seed - the Houston Rockets, the then no.1 seeded Thunder witnessed Westbrook injure his knee courtesy of Rockets guard Patrick Beverley, who collided with Westbrook on a steal attempt.

That injury, a day later revealed itself as a slight tear in his right meniscus, which required surgery eliminating his participation for the remainder of the 2012-13 playoffs.

Fast-forward to last season.

Prior to the beginning of the 2013-14 NBA season, Westbrook underwent a second surgery on his right knee.

Reports surfaced that Westbrook would miss the first two weeks of the season and in reality only missed the first two games.

Following the Christmas holiday, Westbrook elected to undergo arthroscopic surgery on the same right knee, delaying his return to the court until after the All-Star break.

In Westbrook's absence, the Thunder ascended behind the remarkable production of Durant who did more than hold down the fort, he won the MVP award.

The "Durantula" endured 2/3 of a playoffs series, a playoff series and a portion of a season without Westbrook's assistance.

Now it's Westbrook's turn.

It's going to be interesting to see if the Thunder and it's coaching staff improve the offensive flow in applying more creativity in the offense, involving more players than the playing off the "Durant-Westbrook Isolation" strategy.

That means you Scott Brooks, the Thunder's Head Coach.

It is going to be interesting to observe how Westbrook manages without his best pal. How will he own the responsibility of the franchises direction in Durant's medical leave.

It's interesting because Westbrook is the type of player with the mentality who welcomes this challenge. He wants this task.

He will not run from it, he embraces it.

This is the same player who although acknowledges that this is Durant's team, views himself as the no.1 primary option.

That's why we love Westbrook.

The 2010-14 "Big Three" of the Miami Heat featuring Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all knew their roles.

Wade and Bosh sacrificed their individual production because they were aware of who they were playing alongside.

It was LeBron's team and we all knew that.

When I watch Westbrook play, I do not see someone who is interested in deferring to the greatness of Durant, even though certain situations arise in which he should do so.

I see someone who goes after it to a fault. Someone who wants it so bad that you cannot blame him when he makes a mistake; you have to accept it.

You can't question Westbrook's heart, desire or motive, which is why it will be interesting to see how Westbrook, a 3-time All-star fares in the time Durant will miss.

In addition to the All-Star appearances, Westbrook has been selected to three All-NBA second teams, years 2011-13.

At the age of 25, Westbrook holds career averages of 20.1 points per game, 6.9 assists and 4.9 rebounds. Westbrook is a top-ten NBA talent because he won't settle for anything less.

He would probably say he is the best player in the league to which you can obviously present an argument despite the fact that you would understand where he is coming from.

So the main and primary question for the Thunder is: can Westbrook provide stability for the Thunder in the ultra-competitive Western Conference while Durant recovers?

This is why we, NBA journalists and enthusiasts love the NBA.

Its not just about the players, but the story-lines and obstacles that some of the greatest players in this league will have to confront in their careers from time to time.

Translation: Must-see TV.

As soon as Wednesday October 29, at the Portland Trailblazers, the Thunder will be must-see TV.

Is Anthony Davis the Next LeBron James?

WATCH VIDEO: Is New Orleans Pelicans Anthony Davis MVP caliber?

Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant certainly thinks Anthony Davis is MVP caliber.

Do you agree?

Could Anthony Davis beat out New York Knicks forward, Carmelo Anthony for the title of MVP?

Or, perhaps, could LeBron James make another run at NBA MVP?

  • Published in Videos

Teddy Bridgewater Exudes with Confidence at NFL Draft 2014

"You are setting the bar high," What's The 411Sports host, Glenn Gilliam, said upon greeting NFL Minnesota Vikings Draftee, Teddy Bridgewater.

Was there a team you felt more of a connection with going into the pro (NFL) workouts?

"I felt the same about every team," Teddy Bridgewater, an NFL Draftee, said about his NFL pro workouts. "That's amazing. You hear stories about guys feeling uncomfortable in one environment, at one organization, but with me, every team I visited, every team that I worked out for, I left there feeling the same."

So how does Bridgewater feel about which type of offense would suit him best?

"I can play in any offense," Bridgewater said with confidence. "I'm coachable, so I will be able to adjust to great coaching; tough coaching; soft coaching; an I formation offense; a shotgun spread offense; option offense, anything. I am just that multiple and that gifted.

All of the NFL draftees were looking rather dapper; so which designer was Bridgewater wearing?

"I can't even tell you, but I know it's from Saks Fifth Ave," he responded.

Inspired by Kevin Durant? 

Since everyone was talking about Oklahoma City Thunder guard Kevin Durant's NBA MVP acceptance speech, Glenn Gilliam asked Teddy Bridgewater if he received any inspiration from Kevin Durant's speech.

"Kevin Durant is my favorite athlete," Bridgewater responded. "I feel like he and I are somewhat similar; how special his mom is in his life and how special my mom is. He is down to earth and very humble. He is one of the greatest athletes in the NBA and he doesn't get the credit for it. I feel that he and I relate in those ways that I admire him and everything he said about his mom and his teammates stands out."

Check out video with Teddy Bridgewater 

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