Danny Granger

Q&A: Indiana Pacers Forward Danny Granger Talks Diabetes Awareness, Jay Z And Lamar Odom

Indiana Pacers' own Danny Granger stays active even off the court. The forward and NBA partnered with the American Association of Diabetes for the Dribble To Stop Diabetes campaign this year to raise awareness on a topic that hits especially close to home. The eight-year veteran has several family members, including his father and grandfather, who suffer from type 2 diabetes. "Having firsthand experience about the disease and being familiar with it, I wanted to join to help others become aware of it," he told VIBE. "I really think it goes under the radar."

The partnership encourages basketball fans to live a healthy lifestyle and become more familiar about diabetes prevention and management. Granger's personal connection with the illness made him an ideal candidate for ambassador of the initiative. Although he only participated in five games during the 2012-2013 season, the 6'8'' swingman is anxious to help his team reach the NBA Finals this year. Here, Granger talks about his connection to the Dribble To Stop Diabetes campaign, his favorite basketball players who happen to rap and the current woes of his former USA Olympics' teammate Lamar Odom.—Christopher Harris

VIBE: You sat out most of last year due to patellar tendinosis. How have you spent your offseason?
Danny Granger: Pretty much working out. I teamed up with the NBA to do a national month media campaign. It's called Dribble To Stop Diabetes, in association with the American association of Diabetes. It’s an initiative to encourage basketball fans to live an active, healthy lifestyle and raise awareness on diabetes risk management. A lot of people aren't aware of how high of a risk they are for type 2 diabetes. This is an initiative to kinda nudge them on the butt to go out and get tested.

How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle?
As an athlete, I’m always on the move. I have the active part covered. I haven’t always been the best eater being raised in New Orleans. I tried to switch up my diets to include more foods that are healthier for my goals, which includes cutting out a lot of the fats, sugars and eating more vegetables.

The upcoming season is right around the corner. How will the team adjust to you being back in the lineup this year?
The adjustment will be really simple honestly. We’ve played the same way the last three years, regardless of the personnel we've had. We lost to the Heat 3 years ago, we took them to 7 games last year. it’s just a matter of us getting over that hump. For the most part, we’re trying to capitalize on what we did last year. We really think the sky is the limit. Anything less than a championship would be an unsuccessful season for us.

How do you think your chances are this year?
I think they’re good. We’ve added depth, we’ve added Luis Scola, who will help us tremendously. We added C.J. Watson, a veteran backup point guard. We also added Chris Copeland from New York, who’s kinda a sharp shooting four man - we've gotten a lot. With me being healthy, that’s another player, so I think we’re on the right path.

What are your thoughts on athletes signing with Jay Z?
I think it’s a very unique opportunity to get in with someone like Jay Z with his stature and what not. It has a lot of pros and cons. He’s set a lot of marks and broken records in the hip-hop industry but that doesn't make him a good basketball agent. I think his influence transcends so many different areas of entertainment, whether it be professional sports, movies or music. It’s going to be interesting to see how much influence he’ll have on the NBA.

A lot of players are also rapping now.
I think it’s funny. I like it because they always say rappers want to be athletes and athletes want to be rappers. We have some guys who really have some talent. Stephen Jackson, a former teammate of mine, is actually a good rapper. Ron Artest, another former teammate of mine, has done some good things as well. It’s exciting to see them branching out to other opportunities. Hip-hop culture is really so inclusive now. So many races and different generations are involved. I have an older uncle who’s listening to Jay Z's song. He’s probably 50 and listening to a Jay Z song. It’s really transcended everything. To see athletes turning to music, it's fun to watch.

Who are your favorite ballers-turned-rappers?
I love Stephen Jackson. I remember when I played with him here and some of the stuff that he put out. I remember Shaq had a few albums. They were okay. I think A.I. (Allen Iverson) put out something that I had listened to. Actually, one of my teammates Paul George isn't a bad rapper, he has a friend that he raps with and he does some good stuff too.

Lamar Odom seems to be going through a lot of trouble off the court these days. What do you believe is going on?
I know Lamar. I played with Lamar on USA Basketball. How much of it’s true and how much isn't, I don’t know. I’m not going to be foolish enough to give my opinion on it. I wish him the best. He’s one heck of a basketball player, I know that firsthand. I’m just waiting on the day he’s back in the NBA because I still think he has a lot to offer a team.

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Issa Rae And Kumail Nanjiani Talk Their Black And Brown Dynamic In 'The Lovebirds'

As our latest op-ed points out, black romance films are having a moment, and The Lovebirds is adding a comedic twist to the matter. Ahead of the MRC/Paramount Pictures' premiere on streaming platform Netflix, VIBE correspondent Jazzie Belle sat down with the film's lead actors Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani to discuss the refreshing black and brown dynamic between their characters.

"I think it was just more exciting to me [to take part in a different romantic dynamic]. It was just that, and I didn't realize until later," said Rae. "Obviously with working with Kumail, it just like 'Oh, I haven't seen an on-screen pairing like this' and [I] was excited to play with him cosmetically. But yes, it's exciting to see a new and fresh dynamic in movies like this."

"When you see a portrayal of Pakistanis in American pop culture, generally, you're seeing certain lanes. You don't see us being light or funny or fun that often," said Nanjiani. "My family is very, very funny. My friends are very funny, so it wasn't even an attempt to try and show that [brown characters can be portrayed differently]. I just wanted to show how the people I know are. My mom and my dad are some of the funniest people I've ever met."

Watch the full interview above. The Lovebirds is streaming on Netflix now.

Interview's music bed provided by Gus.

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Man Who Recorded Murder Of Ahmaud Arbery Arrested

A third man has been arrested in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., who recorded Arbery’s murder, was taken into custody on Thursday (May 21), the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced.

“The family is extremely relieved,” attorney S. Lee Merritt, who represents Arbery’s mother, said in response to Bryan’s arrest. “We didn’t know if this was going to happen, but we all knew that it should happen.”

Arbery was killed on Feb. 23, while out for a jog. It wasn't until two months later that his story went viral prompting an investigation by the GBI after the local D.A., who was previously over the case, declined to make any arrests.

According to jail records, 50-year-old Bryan was booked into the Glynn County Jail on charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. Bryan made his first court appearance on Friday (May 22) where his lawyer filed a motion for a speedy trial.

Bryan accompanied father and son, Gregory McMichael, 64 and Travis McMichael, 34, as they followed and cornered 25-year-old Arbery before the younger McMichael shot him to death. The McMichaels claim the shooting was self-defense.

Father and son were arrested for aggravated assault and felony murder earlier in the month. All three men are being held at the same jail.

The mugshots of Gregory and Travis McMichael, who have been charged with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. pic.twitter.com/O0M6vPMs1Q

— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) May 8, 2020

Merrit noted that Arbery's family hopes the men will be convicted. “Well obviously we want to see the arrests lead to a formal indictment then a vigorous prosecution and conviction. But there are other people we believe were involved. We spoke with the DOJ earlier today about their investigation into the corruption that delayed these arrests in the first place.”

An attorney for the elder McMichael claimed that the pair are victims of a  “narrative driven by an incomplete set of facts.”

“While the death of Ahmaud Arbery is a tragedy, causing deep grief to his family -- a tragedy that at first appears to many to fit into a terrible pattern in American life -- this case does not fit that pattern,” attorney Frank Hogue said. “The full story, to be revealed in time, will tell the truth about this case.”

The murder remains under investigation by GBI in partnership with the District Attorney Joyette Holmes of the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office.

See more on Bryan's arrest in the video below.

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Quavo Talks Earning His High School Diploma At 29

Quavo officially belongs to the class of 2020. The 29-year-old Migos rapper announced that he graduated from high school on Friday (May 22).

“Finally can say I graduated high school class of 2020,” Quavo captioned an Instagram post of himself sporting a blue cap and gown.

 

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Finally Can Say I Graduated High School Class Of 2020 We Lit 🔥 Now What College Should I Go To? 🧐 And To Celebrate We Gonna Drop SMASH TONIGHT 🔥🌊 BERKMAR HIGH NAWFSIDE BABY

A post shared by QuavoHuncho (@quavohuncho) on May 21, 2020 at 4:26pm PDT

Now that he's a high school graduate, the Georgia native is considering attending college, as he shared in an interview with Lil Wayne’s Young Money Radio alongside Migos members, Takeoff and Offset. During the talk with Tunechi, Quavo expounded on his decision to get his diploma.

“I was doing stuff for the community and schools… always involved and just me being considered like a dropout you’re not really like an alumni,” he said before explaining that one of his former high school teachers is now a principal and encouraged him to get a diploma. “He hit me up like 'you should go back and get it.' I went back and got it.”

Quavo added that Weezy was, “definitely one of my inspirations for going back to school.”

The rapper, whose birth name is, Quavious Keyate Marshall, attended Lilburn’s Berkmar High School, where he was the starting quarterback for the 2009 season. Quavo dropped out of high school in his senior year.

Peep the Migos’ Young Money interview below.

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