Chemical Imbalance

Sometimes you want to change-
change yourself, your life
but sometimes that change fails.

You want to change your cliche
darkness, black, deep, sinking, melancholy, hole
that you’ve come to call home.

A depression, a lifestyle
of medication, self-medicating, and therapy.
And then someone you don’t know comes along.

Introducing
Zoloft and Lithium and Xanax,
to level out the imbalance in your head.

Another office, another doctor asking,
“When did this begin?”
And, “How does that make you feel?”

And somehow it feels freeing
to tell a stranger about your distress.
And, after six weeks the meds are kicking in.

You’re on the deans list, and you finally can hold a job.
And now your loved ones can rest,
knowing you’ll be okay.

But- not for long.
There is always something that brings you back,
back to the depths of your sad hazel eyes.

That’s when you give up again.
The meds, the doctors, they’re not helping.
You realize there is no cure.

No cure for the sad at heart.
Just a cycle of trying to change,
and failing to change,

and it brings you right back to the start

NBA Players Boycott Game 5

An NBA protest is right on par for the way 2020 has been going. From sports being cancelled amid COVID-19, to no sports happening for months, to sports being brought back in a bubble, to today the Milwaukee Bucks sitting out game 5 against the Orlando Magic in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin.

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In the midst of that unfolding, Russell Westbrook from the Houston Rockets was seen leaving a meeting with Chris Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder, who is also the president of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). Since then the Rockets vs Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers games are reportedly being postponed due to players sitting out in protest. That makes all three NBA playoff games postponed for the day.

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Questions linger, as the news of the boycott is updating by the minute, but time will tell whether this will be a one game boycott, multiple game boycott, or if the NBA bubble will disband completely at this time. Per Adrian Wojnarowski via Twitter, “Every NBA player is invited to join the meeting in The Bubble at 8 PM to discuss how they’ll proceed from today’s boycotts.”

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The Sixers Reserves Put Up a Fight

The NBA restart undefeated Phoenix Suns, stay undefeated with a 130-117 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday evening, which keeps their playoff hopes alive. With most of the Sixers starting lineup being riddled with injuries, the Sixers starters for tonight also known as “The Reserves,” were Shake Milton, Alec Burks, Matisse Thybulle, Mike Scott, and Kyle O’Quinn.

 
Ben Simmons had a successful surgery to remove a loose body from his knee and Joel Embiid was out with a left ankle injury but is expected to play again before the postseason. Tobias Harris and Al Horford were out with ankle and/or knee soreness but it is reported that this was pre-cautionary measures in order to keep the rest of the team healthy for the upcoming post season. Josh Richardson was listed unavailable for “rest.”

 
The reserves and the bench showed a lot of aggressiveness, team work, and hustle, but it was not enough for potential bubble MVP, Devin Booker. He is averaging 30 points since the restart and tonight finished with 35 points. Matisse Thybulle accumulated five personal fouls and one technical foul in guarding Booker, in which a couple were questionable.

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Five of the Sixers had points in the double digits, with three of them being off the bench. Alec Burks finished with 23 points and Mike Scott with 17. Off the bench; Raul Neto finished with 22 points, Greg Robinson III with 15, and Furkan Korkmaz with 12.
A theme that emerged early in the game was Kyle O’Quinn’s play and statistics. He was one point away from his first ever triple double and proved that he is ready to play whenever he may be called upon.

 
The Sixers have two regular season games left and will play the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday at 6:30 PM and the Houston Rockets on Friday at 9:00 PM.

Sixers Power Rankings- Bubble Edition

Since the NBA restart has been underway in the Orlando bubble, the Philadelphia 76ers have won two out of their three games. They will be halfway through their “regular game season” of 8 games after tonight’s matchup against Markelle Fultz and the Orlando Magic. About halfway through, seems a suitable time to think about power rankings for the Sixers rotation.

The Sixers writing team of Last Out Media (Myself, Rob Manoff, Rob Whitney, and Matt Maratea) have compiled a power ranking of the ten players who have played so far for the restart of the season.

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10) Raul Neto: If people are screaming for Burks to be taken off the bench, then they are screaming for Neto to be on the bench. He has a lot more playing time than anyone has anticipated in the past three games and people are definitely having trouble understanding Brett Brown’s logic here.

9) Alec Burks: People are screaming for Burks to acquire more playing time, or at least to be allotted the minutes the Neto is obtaining. He remains so low in the power rankings unfortunately due to that. Although Burks has not had much playing time and with only taking ten shots, his shooting percentage is at a 78%, while his 3-point percentage is 100% (6-6). Having his playing time be increased doesn’t sound like a far-fetched request right now.

8) Matisse Thybulle: As a fan favorite, Thybulle has not had much going on in the restart on the season. Averaging 3 points a game in 16 minutes of time off the bench. He has been known for his defense on the court, which has been okay, but more is expected of Matisse. With Simmonds out, this potentially could be a time for Thybulle to shine again.

7) Furkan Korkmaz: To the surprise of some, the sixth man off the bench in the Orlando bubble has been Korkmaz. He has been averaging 18 minutes of playing time off the bench. Korkmaz has seen better days, with his 3-point shooting being at 30% with not much else going on.

6) Ben Simmons: Simmons. So much hope for Simmons, with his eagerness to take a 3-point shot in the pre-season again, but failing to in regular season games. That is the least of his worries right now, with leaving the game early on Wednesday with a knee injury, which has been called a “subluxation of the left patella (knee cap).” He is day to day right now and there is no timeline on his return. A big blow for Simmons and the Sixers.

5) Josh Richardson: In the first two games Richardson had an average of a solid 17 points and a couple assists, but in the last game he only had 4 points and did not seem to do much else. Over the season, at times Richardson has seemed to hustle and show up while at other times seems to be trying to find his place on the court and so far, it seems like more of that will continue.

4) Shake Milton: Milton is still adjusting to his new spot as the starting point guard for the Sixers. In the first game back, he scored zero points while appearing lost on the court. In the two games since, he has seemed to bounce back, even scoring the near buzzer beater 3 point shot to win the game on Monday against the San Antonio Spurs.

3) Al Horford: Horford may be finding his place from being a starter to coming off the bench. He has been putting up an average of 7 points per game but where he is shining is with setting up some critical assists, rebounding, and playing solid defense.

2) Tobias Harris: For the people who overlook what Embiid does, just because they are so used to it and it is expected, they could make a case for Tobias Harris being number one. In our list he is a firm number two, with his leadership on and off the court and his consistent play on the court. Tobias has seemed to take a step forward and in these three games has been playing his best all-around basketball since being in a Sixer uniform.

1) Joel Embiid: Joel Embiid is easily number one, as he has come back into the restart seeming to be more in shape and focused on his game. He has been on average playing 32 and a half minutes per game, with a game high of 41 points on Wednesday. Embiid has accumulated two double-doubles in two out of three games. Joel is doing what Joel does, and it is carrying the team.

*Kyle O’Quinn, Norvel Pelle, Glenn Robinson III, Mike Scott, and Marial Shayok have not received playing time as of yet. Glenn Robinson III has been sidelined with a hip injury and Mike Scott with knee soreness. It has been reported that Mike Scott will be eligible to play in tonight’s Orlando Magic matchup.

NBC Philadelphia Parts Ways With Local Media Favorites

As if sports as we know it have not already changed enough, we also will be losing a couple of familiar faces from our broadcasts. Longtime Philadelphia Eagles insider Derrick Gunn and Phillies broadcaster Gregg Murphy were among a slew of staffers who were laid off from NBC Sports Philadelphia, when NBC Universal made massive layoffs across the country this week. One thing is for sure, the Philadelphia media landscape will not be the same.

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Fans, colleagues, former players, and current players made their displeasure with these decisions known on Twitter. One user, referring to the layoffs as “Red Wednesday,” a reference to the “Red Wedding” in Game of Thrones.

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It has been reported that NBC regional networks aim to remove sideline reporters altogether and that after their current seasons are over Sixers Serena Winters and Flyers Taryn Hatcher will either move on to new roles or new jobs. While other notable names include the senior director of communications Maureen Quilter, writer for The 700 Level Enrico Campitelli, Sixers writer Paul Hudrick, and Flyers analyst Al Morganti.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, it’s been reported that NBC Universal’s parent company Comcast Corp. has had a 25% decline in revenue with closures of theme parks, postponed movie releases, and diminishing sales in advertisements, especially from the cancelled 2020 Olympics.