What Had Happened Was Trending stories on the intersections of race, sports & culture

We’re one game away from a Subban sibling rivalry match in Western Conference finals

Malcolm’s Golden Knights have advanced, while P.K.’s Predators must win a Game 7

5:42 PMIt’s not as if the Las Vegas Golden Knights don’t already have the best story in hockey, if not all of sports.

The 31st team in the National Hockey League, an expansion unit playing in its first season, has advanced to the Western Conference finals. The Knights are the third team in league history to win multiple series in its inaugural season, joining the 1918 Toronto Arenas and 1968 St. Louis Blues.

Similar to the Houston Astros in Major League Baseball, the Knights are playing for a city that is recovering from a tragic ordeal. Before the team’s first game, a domestic terrorist killed 59 people (including himself) and injured 851 in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

The Knights being one of the last four teams in the Stanley Cup chase may be an even better feel-good story than Loyola’s men’s basketball team making it to the NCAA tournament’s Final Four.

But there could be another feel-good element should the Nashville Predators win their series against the Winnipeg Jets. The Predators beat the Jets, 4-0, on Monday night to force a decisive Game 7 on Thursday.

That would mean another Subban-Subban meeting for hockey fans. Malcolm Subban, the backup goalie for the Knights, talked to The Players’ Tribune about how close he and his brother are and how the two of them make each other better.

P.K. Subban, Malcolm’s older brother, is one of the most popular and fashionable players in the NHL. He has made more of a name for himself on the ice and off it since the Montreal Canadiens traded him to Nashville in 2016. P.K. certainly got the better end of that stick, as he helped the Predators make last season’s Stanley Cup Final.

Little brother has gotten the best of big brother on both occasions the two have squared off. The brothers’ first meeting was in a preseason game on Sept. 16, 2013, when P.K.’s Canadiens welcomed Malcolm’s Boston Bruins.

Malcolm came on in the second period and blocked every shot on goal, including one from his brother, in the Bruins’ 6-3 victory. P.K. conveniently forgot that he even had a shot on goal, while Malcolm was quick to say in jest that it was the slowest shot he saw all night.

When the duo faced each other in their first regular-season matchup this season on Dec. 8, 2017, they became the 10th set of brothers to play against each another with one a skater and another a goaltender. At one point, Malcolm and P.K. made eye contact and sized the other one up as the game moved to overtime and shootouts.

Unlike the preseason game, P.K. and Malcolm wouldn’t go head to head, but the Knights would prevail, 4-3, on a night when Malcolm made a career-high 41 saves.

Karl Subban, P.K.’s and Malcolm’s father, has typically tried to stay neutral in these contests, but he said after the game the family was rooting for the little brother, who has yet to establish himself in the league.

“I think we all see it as Malcolm’s moment, and we don’t even want P.K. to ruin it for him,” Karl Subban told NHL.com. “Please, P.K. and the Preds, don’t ruin it for Malcolm tonight and his teammates.”

If that’s how the family felt for a regular-season game, how exactly is that going to work if the two brothers find themselves fighting for a chance to make the Stanley Cup Final? Will they root for P.K. to get there so the Predators can redeem themselves? Or maybe the Subban family would like to see Malcolm make his first trip to the championship series.

One thing is for certain: Nobody wins when the family feuds, so it doesn’t matter how they do it, but the Subban family has to figure out a way to keep the peace in its household should the two brothers meet.

Philadelphia 76ers crash and burn at home with Meek Mill front and center

Now the Sixers sit on the edge of elimination

11:18 PM

WHO: Meek Mill

VENUE: Game 3, Eastern Conference semifinals; Wells Fargo Center.

WHHW: Not exactly the best birthday gift for Meek Mill — he turns 31 on Sunday. Mill’s hometown 76ers dropped the most pivotal game of the series, falling 101-98 in overtime to the Boston Celtics. Instead of trimming the series to 2-1, with what would have been a critical Game 4 on Monday, the Sixers are on the brink of elimination. Director M. Night Shyamalan as well as Questlove were also in the building. It’s not all bad for Meek, though. His in-depth Dateline NBC interview airs Sunday at 7 p.m. EDT.

Southern University band director fired days after internal investigation

Band director Nathan Haymer allegedly violated state ethics laws with some of his actions

3:54 PMSouthern University is ending an era of marching band excellence after making the decision to fire band director Nathan Haymer earlier this week.

Haymer’s fate was decided days after reports surfaced alleging that the band director had violated state ethics laws by demanding personal payments from organizations after band performances, according to ABC affiliate WBRZ 2. An internal investigation followed a lawsuit in which Haymer was accused of violating a contract by requesting a “kickback” for the band to perform at an event.

Haymer confirmed the termination and maintained his innocence through a statement sent the day of his firing.

“It was my goal to uphold the prestigious legacy of the Human Jukebox by taking the band to greater heights of unprecedented success,” Haymer said in his statement. “I always took pride in being an ambassador for Southern University and at no time did I ever act in a nefarious manner by accepting ‘kickbacks’ as falsely reported by the media.

“Being the Director of Bands at Southern has indeed been the honor of my life and I will always treasure the experience. I leave our Human Jukebox in a better place today in terms of funding, equipment and popularity than ever before. Lastly, I would like to thank the students, alumni and the Jaguar Nation for their unwavering support of me and the Human Jukebox over my last twelve years as assistant director and Director of Bands.”

According to The Advocate, members of the band advocated on Haymer’s behalf, attending Southern’s board of supervisors meeting Friday morning and pleading for Haymer to keep his job.

“I know these kids and I know the love they have for him and this staff,” band supporter Jonathan Dearbone told The Advocate. “I don’t condone a wrong, but there’s so many ways to look at a situation.”

The news is sending shock waves throughout the historically black college and university band community. A 2001 graduate of Southern, Haymer earned his respect from colleagues as assistant band director before taking over as band director in 2014. The band gained even more acclaim under his leadership and finished No. 1 overall in the inaugural ESPN/The Undefeated HBCU band rankings last season.

Uh, is this Drake’s very last home game until next fall?

It’s rough out here for Raptors fans

9:06 PM

WHO: Drake and friend/head of security Nessel “Chubbs” Beezer

VENUE: Game 2, Eastern Conference semis; Air Canada Centre.

WHHW: Depending on what happens in Cleveland, this could very well be Drake’s last home game until next fall. Drake, much like every Raptors fan in the entire country of Canada, could only watch as LeBron James, Kevin Love and the Cavaliers cut the lights off in the house Vince Carter built, 128-110. All in all, just an unfortunate sequence of events for the Scorpion superstar, as earlier in the day Vogue released its wide-ranging and in-depth Rihanna cover story — where the singer admitted she and Drake aren’t enemies, but “we don’t have a friendship now.” Proof that “the curve” takes mercy on no man, regardless of celebrity. At least Drake and Kendrick Perkins didn’t nearly square up this time, though.

2018 Celebration Bowl is back on ABC, featuring MEAC and SWAC champs

Game will kick off football bowl season

2:07 PMThe Celebration Bowl, featuring football champions from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), will kick off the 2018 bowl season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Dec. 15.

“We are proud that once again the Celebration Bowl will kick off the college football bowl season on ABC in Atlanta, Georgia,” said Celebration Bowl executive director John Grant. “Each of the past three years we have presented exciting games that went down to the wire in determining who would claim the coveted Celebration Bowl trophy.”

It’s the fourth consecutive year that the conference champions will play. The MEAC leads the series 2-1, with both wins coming from North Carolina A&T, whose last-minute 21-14 win over Grambling State in 2017 capped the first unbeaten season in MEAC history. Grambling won the SWAC’s first title in 2016 with a 10-9 victory over North Carolina Central.

“I would like to thank ESPN for their vision and dedication to establishing the Celebration Bowl as one of the top collegiate bowl games,” said interim SWAC commissioner Edgar Gantt. “We are excited and look forward to participating in this year’s bowl. Our student-athletes, coaches and fans have enjoyed this first-class event.”

“The exposure for our conference and institutions on a national level is tremendous for our branding,” said MEAC commissioner Dennis E. Thomas. To start the 2018 bowl season is an excellent opportunity for our student-athletes, coaches and institutions as they play on a national platform.”

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, also manages the season-opening MEAC/SWAC Challenge on Labor Day weekend, another game that showcases these two conferences. The 2018 Challenge will be in Atlanta for the first time, featuring Prairie View A&M University from the SWAC and North Carolina Central University from the MEAC. The game is Sept. 2, at Georgia State Stadium, and will be televised on ESPN2 at noon Eastern.

ESPN will televise 35 bowl games, including all 14 of ESPN Events’ owned and operated contests, over 17 days, beginning Dec. 15 and concluding on New Year’s Day. The games will set the table for the college football national championship, which will conclude the season on Jan. 7, 2019, from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.