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Ballin': LeBron Steps Up, Heat Tie Bulls

With intrigue and mystery hanging in the dim, distant Chicago air, LeBron James moved to redefine himself Wednesday night during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals before a perplexed and agitated United Center crowd.

With the score knotted at 73-73 and baskets as hard to come by as jumpstarting the global economy, James, who for all his wonder and aplomb arguably has yet to solidify his reputation as a clutch performer, scored nine of the game’s final 14 points to propel the Heat to a series tying 85-75 win over the top seeded Bulls and league MVP Derrick Rose.

“Someone had to do something and I knew the ball was going to be in my hands” said James, still basking in the fortunes of a similar takedown of the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics during which his late game heroics again proved the difference. “I work on this everyday.”

If James, who finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds, was The Closer for the Heat, gritty, veteran forward Udonis Haslem, out most of the season with a foot injury, has to reign as The Enabler. Without Haslem’s 13 points, five rebounds and over all determined play Miami may have not been in the position to benefit so much from the exploits of James.

“He’s the player of this game,” Dwyane Wade said of the eight-year veteran who toiled 23 minutes after courting just seven overall in the Heat’s first nine playoff games. “We don’t win this game without him. That’s our warrior, our heartbeat of the team. And he showed it today.”

Also playing a key part was the Miami defense. Besides limiting the Chicago offense to a playoff low in points, the Heat harassed Rose into just 7 of 23 shooting, completely shutting off the lane on many of those acrobatic, high-flying layups he’s become revered for.

“They closed down the lane, but I missed a lot of shots I normally hit,” said Rose. “They just weren’t falling tonight. It was just one of those nights.”

Game 3 is Sunday night in Miami.--- Glenn Minnis

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Schoolboy Q Drops New Album 'CrasH Talk'

Schoolboy Q's new album, CrasH Talk is here. The rapper's fifth studio album arrived on Friday (April 26).

The album is comprised of 14 tracks and features special appearances from Travis Scott, Ty Dolla $ign, 21 Savage, YG, Kid Cudi, Lil Baby, and 6lack. It includes the pre-released track, "CrasH."

According to Q, this wasn't the first version of his album. He actually canned two albums because "they were trash." At the time, he said he was going through a lot of lows in his life. "I'd be in the house smoking weed, just waiting to go to the studio every day," Q told GQ. "That's not a good life. That brings on depression."

It was his fellow TDE members Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock that inspired him to keep working on the album. And the rest is history. CrasH Talk follows 2016's Blank Face. Stream the new project below.

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Wendy Williams Reportedly Hires New Manager After Firing Estranged Husband

Wendy Williams hired a new team members after splitting from her estranged husband, Kevin Hunter, earlier in the month and firing him as her manager.

Veteran producer Bernie Young has signed on as Williams’ manager and executive producer of The Wendy Williams Show, Page Six reports. Young replaces Williams’ estranged husband who was reportedly booted as executive producer of the show after she served him with divorce papers.

Young worked as co-executive producer of the Rosie O’Donnell Show from 1996 until 2002, and Martha Stewarts’s talk show, Martha, from 2005 until 2012.

Williams split from Hunter amid rumors that he had been cheating on her for several years with a woman named, Sharina Hudson. Hunter and Hudson allegedly welcomed a child together late last month. Williams supposedly gave Hunter only 48 hours to move out, and cut off his funds.

Following news of the split, Hunter released a statement apologizing to Williams. “I am not proud of my recent actions and take full accountability and apologize to my wife, my family and her amazing fans,” he said. “I am going through a time of self-reflection and am trying to right some wrongs.”

Aside from a few jokes and flirty comments, Williams hasn’t said much about the split from Hunter. The 54-year-old daytime talk show host, who has battled drug addiction, announced that she was moving out of the sober house that she had been living in following a reported relapse.

 

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California Approves Bill Banning Racial Discrimination Based On Hairstyles

California is set to become the latest state to ban racial discrimination based on hairstyles. Senate Bill 188, also known as The Crown Act, was introduced by state Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) in January and unanimously approved in a 37-0 vote Monday (April 22).

The bill outlines the proximity between race and hair and how the history of the U.S. has been “riddled with laws and societal norms” that equate  “blackness’” which includes physical traits such as “dark skin, kinky and curly hair” with inferiority, and therefore subjecting black people to “separate and unequal treatment.”

“This idea also permeated societal understanding of professionalism,” Morgan states in the bill. “Professionalism was, and still is, closely linked to European features and mannerisms, which entails that those who do not naturally fall into Eurocentric norms must alter their appearances, sometimes drastically and permanently, in order to be deemed professional.

“Despite the great strides American society and laws have made to reverse the racist ideology that Black traits are inferior, hair remains a rampant source of racial discrimination with serious economic and health consequences, especially for Black individuals,” Morgan continues.

Furthermore, dress codes and grooming policies prohibiting “natural hair” have a “disparate impact on Black individuals as these policies are more likely to deter Black applicants and burden or punish Black employees than any other group.”

The 1964 Civil Rights Act banning racial discrimination extends to afros as well, but doesn’t include other hairstyles. As pointed out in SB 188, “courts do not understand that afros are not the only natural presentation of Black hair. Black hair can also be naturally presented in braids, twists, and locks.”

Although the bill has yet to be signed into law, the state isn't alone in making moves to end the racist bias against natural hair. In February, New York City passed a similar bill in February imposing a $250,000 penalty for hair discrimination.

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