Thursday, June 30, 2011

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Loves Chicago

Summertime Chi, Part 3~

We are continuing our series of hot spots in Chicago--from restaurants, to bars, and nail salons.  We're covering the whole city over and stopping in the South Loop, Chinatown, and Pilsen this week.

Thanks again to Anne Szkatulski, Emily DeYoe, and Cathy Yu--fellow legislative attorneys and Chicago-enthusiasts for contributing! 




Mercat a la Planxa. 638 S. Michigan.
Over the top everything – in the best possible way (Spanish).


M Lounge. 1520 S. Wabash Ave.
Live music during the week.  Intimate space, but fun even on crowded nights.  The BEST mojitos anywhere!



Happy Chef. 1215 B South Harlem Ave.
Very good dim sum and very reasonable wait, so generally the one I go to.

          Phoenix. 2131 S Archer Ave.
        My favorite dim sum, but the longest wait. Practically have to get there at 8 am to wait less than 45 minutes and that defeats the purpose of lazy Sundays.

Lao Shanghai. 2163 S China Pl.
Other best place in Chinatown for dinner.

Lao Beijing. 2138 S Archer Ave.



Nightwood. 2119 S. Halsted.
ED: I’ve only been for dinner, which was wonderful – but have heard much better things about brunch.  Get there early since they’re usually out of your first choice
CY: Amazing brunch. Lula’s grown-up fancier cousin. I think my favorite currently.

Mundial Cocina Mestiza 1640 W 18th St.
Nicer Pilsen restaurant – really good, fancier than standard Mexican. Good date place.

Nuevo Leon 1515 W 18th St.
Down home-y authentic (as far as I can tell anyway) Mexican.

Jumping Bean Café 1439 W 18th St.
Adorable café, amazing Mexican hot/cold chocolate. My favorite café to just hang out in and talk.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top 5 'Hot' Legal Cases~

We love law here at B.A.F.F.L.E.D., and there's nothing like a good court case.  America has seen some pretty significant cases over the years, and some of those on the docket right now are no different.  Here's what's hot in the court of law:

1. Rod Blagojevich
Just yesterday former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was found guilty of 17/20 counts of corruption, including wiretapping and extortion.  Removed from office in 2009, Blagojevich has spent the last 2 years on trial, and on the entertainment circuit.  He's written a book, had a radio show, and was replaced by his wife on "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here".  Gotta replace the governor income somehow!

Sentencing for his convictions is coming soon.  

2. Casey Anthony
After being charged with the murder of her young daughter, Casey Anthony has done everything from claiming incompetence to crying in court to cover up story after story.  Her parents, mainly her father, have appeared to be connected to the incident, and round the clock court proceedings are keeping the jurors quite busy.  The legal community, as well as mothers across the country are anxiously awaiting the outcome of this case.  We are sure it will be a landmark verdict as well.  No one will ever think of chloroform quite the same.  

3. Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray
Leave it to the Jackson family, and Dr. Murray will end up under a jail.  According to some members of the family, there is strong suspicion Murray was part of a plan to murder Michael.  Obviously we hope this is not true, but based on the drugs he administered against the rules regulating them, he doesn't have the best chance at a clean case.  Propofol, the drug found in MJ's system when he passed, is only to be administered in hospitals, never at home.  Additionally, the King of Pop cleared a physical done by Murray to perform 50 amazing shows in London--40 more than he allegedly signed on for. Many people close to him say he wasn't physically ready for so many.

This will definitely be an interesting case.  Death trials capture our attention anyway, but uncovering the plight of an entertainment legend is sure to keep us glued to the news.  RIP Mike.

4. Lindsay Lohan
She just doesn't seem to learn.  It's hard to figure out what she's in court for this time.  The one-time child star has taken on a life of drugs and drinking, without regard for consequences.  Lindsay violates court orders, skimps on rehab, and makes producers and photographers angry as she plays diva when she gets work between court appearances.  We have to wonder if any judge ahead will just put her in her place and show her star status only goes so far.

Let's stay tuned to see what happens with her recent house party fiasco.

5. Women v. Wal-Mart
Last week, the SCOTUS ruled in favor of the retail giant in a class action suit filed by female employees.  The case alleges sex discrimination against women, halting them from advancing as far or in the same ways as men.  The Court denied further process of the class action suit, which now allows women to file individually, but not as a class.

This case seems to be setting a precedent for class action suits seeking major payoffs from large businesses.  Being forced to file individually is sure to reduce the damages, if any, the women would receive for their claims.  Wal-Mart said, "The court today unanimously rejected class certification and, as the majority made clear, the plaintiffs' claims were worlds away from showing a companywide discriminatory pay and promotion policy."

We'll keep watching these to see how the gavel falls.

Friday, June 24, 2011

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Sports

Were the NBA Finals Enough to Last a While?

They might have to be.  The 6-game series between the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat keep hoops fans on their toes.  Close games, questionable calls, theatrics-- everything a fan could ask for in basketball and entertainment.  Well, with the draft now over, this may have to hold us off for a while.

As reported earlier this year, if the NBA Players Association and league owners don't come to a new collective bargaining agreement sometime soon, a 2011-2012 season could be shortened, or even cancelled.  The problem here is, of course, money and how it is to be distributed through teams, players, staff, and stakeholders.  If no agreement is reached by June 30, when the current deal expires, we'll be in a lockout as of July 1.  

Here's the scoop:

Owners are finding themselves in similar situations as many companies in our current economic climate.  Revenues are down, and despite working in the million to billion dollar range, losses are losses.  As a matter of fact, 22 NBA teams are operating in the red, with a combined league loss of about $300 million!  Sounds worse now, huh?  If a lockout ensues, a number of things will begin to go before the season itself is compromised, hopefully while negotiations are continuing.  Summer league play and rookie development would go first, followed by teams' inability to sign free agents and make trades to create more dream teams for next season.  Next, would come abbreviated or cancelled training camp, and then yes, the season.  

Of course we are all hoping it does not get to this point, and negotiations are in high gear to avoid this happening.  After all, there will be new head coaches looking to get acclimated to their teams, implement their systems and coaching styles, and have a hand in preparing their teams for an 82-game season.  Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Golden State, Indiana, and Toronto are all facing this situation. 

Players want their cut of revenue shares, as they rightfully feel they are the ones filling the seats.  Owners need to cut shares because of the losses teams are experiencing, like every other segment of the economy.  Who's right, here?  How can they make up deficits with a shortened season or none at all?  

Stay tuned for updates on the fate of the NBA as we await more news.  

Were the finals enough for you?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Loves Chicago

We're now in week 2 of our Summertime Chi Series.  As we move through the neighborhoods of the City, we'll highlight restaurants, bars, and other fun locales to make the hours away from work all worth the wait.

Last week it was Downtown, this week... Greek Town, and my personal favorite- the West Loop.

Thanks again to Anne Szkatulski, Emily DeYoe, and Cathy Yu--fellow legislative attorneys and Chicago-enthusiasts! 




Greek Islands. 200 S Halsted St.
Favorite Greektown restaurant.


                   Province. 161 N Jefferson St (between Monroe St & Randolph St).
I have never been here but my sisters have and love it. They said because the food is a little pricey, it’s good for a cocktail and appetizer after work. I think it’s on the nicer side but not too fancy.

          N9NE Steakhouse. 440 W Randolph St (between Canal St & Riverside Plz).
Cheesy, I know. Don’t care. Best steak and best dessert of my life (cotton candy on an ice cream sundae). Feels like you’re in Vegas because the décor is so over the top, but in a really fun ridiculous way.
Carnivale. 702 W Fulton St.
Best guac in the city.

De Cero. 814 W Randolph St.
Excellent Mexican, reasonably priced, chic yet accessible. Consistently good every time. Good for lighter fare if you don’t want greasy Mexican.

Publican. 837 W Fulton Market.
Delicious pork fest. Lived up to the hype for me.

         Veerasway. 844 W Randolph.
I do not regularly eat Indian food so I don’t have much to compare it to, but I have had two delicious meals from this place. Very cool design and atmosphere, pretty good-looking crowd.

Butterfly Sushi. 1131 W Madison St (between Aberdeen St & May St).
It’s BYOB, but the sushi is good, and the atmosphere is nice. New location on Madison Ave, other locations at 1156 W Grand and 1421 W Chicago.

Sawtooth. 1350 W Randolph St (between Ada St & Elizabeth St).
Vietnamese cuisine. Never been here but walked by it a lot while they were constructing it. Looks like a sleek design, but don’t know how good the food is. Supposedly has an amazing back patio.


Beer Bistro. 1061 West Madison St.
Great happy hour specials all week long!

The Tasting Room. 1415 W Randolph St.
2 levels of lounging, great wine and food.  Nice views of the skyline

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Top 6 Beauty Tips for the Summer~
Today is the first day of summer.  The weather is warm, and everyone is glad to be past the brutal winter temperatures.  Here's 6 great tips for looking and feeling your best in the summer!

1. Drink Lots of Water
Water is the very best thing we can give our bodies.  It not only refreshes us and quenches thirst, but helps cut calories if we feel the need to shed a pound or 2.  Water is actually more filling than most drinks, and by substituting water for some of our more calorie-filled favorites, we can help kick some of the winter weight we found to keep warm.  Beat the heat; drink water.
2. Put Your Face First
Often we put more money into other areas of beauty, whether it be shoes, clothes, or hair.  But, we can never neglect our face, and should have it as a priority on the personal care spending list.  Facial products are not only critical in the summer, when we face more sun damage and heat, but at all times.  Your face is your crown and glory, and it's what really tops off any look you put together.  If you have oily skin, you'll want to use oil-free products, purifying gel cleansers which appear to dry your face right after washing, and medium/dew-like moisturizers to balance the skin.  Sulfur masks are a must, too!  For normal to dry skin, you'll want to focus on lathering cleansers, strong moisturizers, and exfoliators to remove dry dead skin cells.  Be sure to wash your face twice, daily.

Skin care is increasingly important and can be done successfully at any price point.  For more info or questions, ask us!

3. Watch Your Feet!
The feet come out at night...and during the day in the summer.  Good 'pedicare' is important in the summer when, like the face, you encounter more heat and possibly dryer skin.  If you can't make it to the nail salon regularly, a good foot scrub from Target, and bright colorful polishes will give you a good start at home and be long lasting.  *One of our favorite foot care tips is putting Vaseline/petroleum jelly on the feet after washing them.  Put socks on to lock in the moisture, and watch the skin turn from rough to soft!  This is best to do overnight.  
*To avoid stinkers, sprinkle a little baby powder in your shoes before wearing them.  It'll go a long way :)

4. Compromise with the Sun
No matter your skin tone or how much you want to tan, we all need to use sunscreen when facing the sun for extended periods of time.  These days, many lotions and even facial moisturizers have SPF already in them, which is a good start for your day-to-day encounters with sunshine.  At times when your exposure will be extended, reach for a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15, and if at all possible, limit your time in direct sunlight without movement.  It gives us energy, but too much of anything is never good.  Enjoy in moderation.  For more tips on the right sunscreen, click here.  

5. Embrace Color
Colors really should be worn at all times of year, to keep the wardrobe from monotony.  However, the summer is the best time to shine-- bringing in yellows, greens, and all our favorite pastels.  Although fashion mistakes can be made in any season, we all can rock the bright colors in the warm temps.  They look good, and keep us cool when the sun gets to be too much. Let's put the blacks and grays on hold for a while.  Go bold!

6. Grab a Bag
This one might be a bit more for the ladies, but gents may carry bags for work or other reasons as well.  Having the right bag in the summer is especially important, as you'll have key things to keep track of.  You'll need a place for your sunscreen, facial blotting wipes, water, and of course, keys and cell phone.  Now we absolutely don't endorse an over-sized bag which would burden your back and shoulders, but fashion designers are putting out some amazing pieces for summertime use.  There's pockets, zippers, everything you need to keep your summer essentials in one place.  Need help?  Ask Coach!

We hope these tips will have you ready-set-go for the summer days ahead.  Let us know if you have more to share!

Monday, June 20, 2011

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Spotlights

The Real Star Esynaj*

We would be remiss if we didn't acknowledge June being Black Music Month.  Black music has an invariable presence in American culture, and is an enjoyable way to tell stories, celebrate, and self express.

Today we are highlighting one of our favorite musical artists: Esynaj.  This woman is not only an amazing songstress, but writer, mother and educator.  Check out her vitals, and enjoy!!

The Rebirth: Esynaj

Energy, edge, and passion shines through Chicago native “Esynaj…” With this being her 2nd chance to influence the world, she realizes it’s even better than before. Esynaj’s powerful and sassy reintroduction to the world speaks wonders about the stories she has to share…her ability to be transparent with her fans; sharing her struggles with herself and things she’s dealt with in her life, will allow her audience to feel that much closer to her. With developed talent, and an understanding for the industry game, Esynaj stays true to what she loves…her music…her voice…and most definitely her beautiful daughter Janyse…a star in the making.

Being brought up on Roberta Flack, Chaka Khan, and of course Donnie Hathoway, she praises them for the drive to her passion and soul…remembering the greats, their longevity, and the rawness they gave. Admiring their ability to perform, their control, and passion, has helped mold Esynaj to the performer that she is…

A true mixture of R&B and hip-hop, she wowed the Chicago audience in her first performance in years. Providing lyrics from “Miss Me” (the remix to Drake’s original hit), “Yall know I missed yall why I was gone…but now it’s on” then demanding you recognize that “Since 16 been a beast, don’t believe wait and see…” in the “Fuzion Ent Anthem”, Esynaj sang with the confidence and swagger of an artist that has already been there. Discussing love, pain, highs, lows, and of course demanding women acknowledge their worth… Esynaj show’s out in her first single “Mean Walk” where she and the ladies show off their walk, their strength, and their confidence. 

Esynaj aspires to inspire all women…to love themselves for who they are; “love yourself more than you love him,” she says, “so many times we allow men to get the best of us…but we are where the power lies…trust.” You all will definitely feel her through her blog, “The Real Star Esynaj” and most definitely her music…as she says, “Shawty is Bad!”

Find Esynaj online-
Esynaj on Reverbnation
Esynaj on Facebook
It's E Flare – Blog

Direct link to #LiberationDay Zip File

Sunday, June 19, 2011

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Honors

Happy Father's Day!

Today we celebrate the wonderful men in our lives many call "daddy".  Because of somethings we face in our world, fathers often don't get the recognition they deserve.  We're here to say we appreciate the real men out there who serve as role models, work hard, and stand as true fixtures in the lives of their children. 

Father's Day was first celebrated in Washington state 101 years ago today, just 2 years after the first Mother's Day.  Arkansas native Sanora Smart Dodd sparked the celebration of Father's Day to honor her single father of 6-- being inspired by Anna Jarvis' idea for Mother's Day.  After having unofficial support from Presidents Wilson and Coolidge, it was President Lyndon B. Johnson who established the 3rd Sunday in June as a national holiday honoring the dads.  National recognition began in 1972.   

Both little boys and girls need fathers in their lives, and for those answering the call, we say "thank you".  You're making a difference in our future and are appreciated.

Friday, June 17, 2011

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Talent

Must-See Play!

One of our favorite actresses, Nehanda Loiseau, has turned her labor of love into a screenplay, and we couldn't me more proud.  Check out her production this weekend if you're in NYC.  It is not one to miss!


Caribbean Association for Females in Entertainment (CAFÉ) presents a reading of Across the Fault Line, written by Nehanda Loiseau. Starring Carla Bonilla (AMDA graduate), Magaly Colimon-Christopher ("Guiding Light"), Sasha Compère ("Coming of Age"), Juliette Jeffers (Batman & Robin in the Boogie Down- Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance), Guyviaud Joseph (Fences- PSU Theater), Sofia Rodriguez (Platanos and Collard Greens- Audelco Award), and Spelman (Shango- Nuyorican Cafe).

This will certainly be a classic.

Click here for more details and enjoy this amazing production!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Loves Chicago

Are You Ready for "Summertime Chi"?  

You've come to the right place.  Each Thursday until our list runs out, we'll be highlighting some of the best spots in Chicago (by neighborhood) for dining, lounging, and just hanging out in the summer.  Of course many of these places can be enjoyed any time of year!  

Special thanks to a few faves of ours, Anne Szkatulski, Emily DeYoe, and Cathy Yu--fellow legislative attorneys and Chicago-enthusiasts! 

*If you have places you'd like to highlight in your area, just let us know and we'll post them.

Here we go!
Chicago's bread and butter is its wonderful downtown area, so we'll start there and keep working our way around this amazing city.  Enjoy!



Pastoral. 53 E Lake St.
Favorite lunch place in the Loop. Amazing cured meats.

Bin 36. 339 N Dearborn St.
Favorite happy hour place.

The Purple Pig. 500 N. Michigan.
Great wine, very cozy, delicious tapas – another excellent place to spend a winter afternoon.

Grand Lux Café. 600 N Michigan.
Yummy fresh made desserts, nice entrée portions for reasonable prices, tasty brunch dishes, perfect drinks and city views at the window booths.

Quartino. 626 N State St.
I have never been disappointed here. Good ambiance, excellent Italian food, something for everyone. Fun to just sit at the bar for a cocktail, too.


                        The Wit Hotel. 201 N State St.
ED: Feels like you’re in Miami.
VW: Swanky downtown hotel with great rooftop lounge in the winter and open air in the summer. 

J Bar. 610 N Rush St.
Lounge on the first floor of the James Hotel.  Just around the corner from Grand Lux.  Great music; small space, but fun.


Selected Works Used Books & Sheet Music. 410 S. Michigan, Ste 210.
Very hot and the owner has a cat, but they have an amazing selection of old books and the owner is super friendly.

POSH. 613 N. State St.
Vintage and new hotel/restaurant dishes and other apartment/kitchen doodads.  A really great place to pick up a gift or a unique mug, towel, dish, map, etc.

Fantasy Nails. 46 E. Chicago Ave.
Cheap, dirty, but they have the best color selection and they do an amazing job – the manicures can last almost 2 weeks, and I haven’t gotten a staph infection yet!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top 9 Smart Phone Apps - 

Today's Tops is a contribution from GuyverV, editor of one of our favorite blogs-- "i wish i could fly".  Take a look at these selections and let us know what you think!

these are a few of my favorite apps

having been asked several times what apps i use on a daily basis, i've decided to write down my favorites. what can i say? i'm a man of the people, for the people. the android applications listed are the majority of my favorite apps. they're also all free. enjoy.

google voice: probably my favorite app. you can get a phone number from google and it will be directed to your phone or up to 5 other numbers. but that's not the power of the app. even using my stock cell number, the app can transcribe my voicemails, tell me when i've missed calls even when the phone is off and allow me to text over wifi. it also stores voicemails on the google voice site for viewing/management.  one thing that disappoints me is the fact that it can't do VOIP natively. hopefully that's coming soon.

dolphin browser HD: a smartphone without a browser is a pretty useless thing. the  preinstalled browser app on android is functional, but for those who are looking for a fast powerful browser, this is it. the user interface is very good, the home page is a customizable speed dial for your favorite pages. one criticism i have, that should probably be leveled at google and not the dolphin team, is the inability to sync your bookmarks from chrome in an effective way. 

 tweetdeck: while i'm still annoyed that twitter has now purchased the once independent app, i still hold this app as the king of social media. twitter, facebook, foursquare, buzz (meh), this app handles them all with incredible ease and a slick UI. 

feedly: i rarely watch the news anymore. i get my information from RSS feeds. most people recommend google reader for those who love rss feeds, however, i prefer feedly because it makes the feeds look attractive to read. it sounds like a small thing, but once you see it, it's hard to go back to jumping to site to site to get your information or looking at rss feeds as google reader presents them (which is where it'll sync from if you want).

gosms: i've never liked the stock sms application. i'm a rather superficial person and stock sms is just "bleh" looking. not only is gosms a better looking alternative, it allows you to back up your text messages and schedule messages to be sent later. it supports plugins for facebook chat & emoji, has a file system and a bevy of other hidden features.
google listen: as simple as it gets. if you listen to podcasts, this podcast catcher is simple and easy. an interesting twist is that it syncs to your google reader account where you can listen to and manage them. from your phone you can listen to them on the fly or download them beforehand if you know where you're going has a spotty data connection. 

words with friends: there isn't much more to say here except that this is scrabble & it's pretty damn fun. it also has cross platform support so android users and throttle iOS users and visa versa. one knock i have to give it is that the notifications for when the other player has moved are spotty. other than that, it's a fun distraction

movies: only ebert watches more movies than i, it doesn't matter if you think i'm wrong, but thanks for suggesting it. it's a sad fact of my life that i've spent many countless hours in front of a movie screen. that said, this app makes my addiction much easier to plan. it tells you about upcoming movies, currently playing movies, upcoming/recently available dvds. it also allows you to manage your netflix Q

Saturday, June 11, 2011

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Fashion Fix

Need Your Fashion Fix More Often??  Check out our Fashion Files Page!

All the news, updates, and info you want on the fabulous fashion industry.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Socially

Are You Socially Responsible?

Recently, the legislature in Florida has introduced the idea of implementing drug testing for public aid applicants.  Some say it's unconstitutional, some say it's stupid --some think it's a great idea.  

Although the legal implications here are up for discussion, unconstitutional this is not.  The equal protection argument has little weight, seeing as drug tests are used for jobs with no problem, and public aid is not a right of anyone.  Public aid is meant to be a temporary supplement to an individual or family having a tough time in life, resulting from economic constraints or maybe even a bad decision or 2. The emphasis here is on temporary.  No one is entitled to public aid, and applicants must qualify, just as they must for employment.

Opponents to this idea see it as unfair, and not the position of the government to deny aid when an applicant appears to use drugs.  Contrary to this stance, any entity, government or otherwise has the right to deny whatever they may be giving out based on what they choose within constitutional reason.  Requiring drug testing may seem like racial profiling, or an undue burden for aid, but why should hardworking taxpayers support drug habits?  Earmarking the applicants potential funds to rehab and other programming is actually a better avenue.  Clearly a drug abuser is not really in need of public aid money, but public aid care, helping them regain their independence.  

What do you think about the idea?  Do you see it as a form of profiling?  Should taxpayers be responsible for supporting drug habits of those on public aid?  What about requiring treatment if a test is failed?  Share your thoughts with us!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top 5 Sources for News Today-

10 years ago, we had nowhere near as many avenues for getting news.  Whether it be global news, national updates, or local events, we can get news from more outlets these days than we can keep up with. 

1. Newspapers
This one is a given, and has been a staple for longer than most of us can remember.  In years past, the delay was much longer, but with most newspapers having sites online, the news is always up to the very minute.

2. Television
Another obvious news source, but in greater capacity these days.  With designated channels for every sport and even for entertainment, getting news from the television has increased over the years.  We even have 24-hour news channels, so information is available around the clock!  Telecasts are also available online.  

3. Twitter
What an amazing creation?!   We can not only get news all day, everyday, but can discuss it instantly with people across the world.  Sharing news via Twitter is one of, if not the most bountiful way to share what's going on at any given moment.

4. Facebook
Just as quickly as we can get news from Twitter, we can get the same, along with opinions and even pictures from Facebook --mainly statuses.  Facebook has not only allowed us to reconnect with people from our past, share pictures in the present, and plan for the future, but also generate commentary on what's going on in the world.  This social network is an amazing news source.  You'll surely find people reaching for their computer or smart device to find out "what I've missed".

5. RSS Feeds
These customizable Rich Site Summaries are great news sources as well.  They allow you to subscribe to your favorite news outlets and receive live updates in a portal like Google Reader, iGoogle, My Yahoo, or others.    You can subscribe to your favorite daily paper, blogs, and other sites offering their news for easy access.  RSS Feeds are a great way to stay in the know.

Know of any other great news sources of this age?  We always talk about how fast technology is moving, so surely there'll be more where these came from.

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Sports

NBA Free Agency Popcorn Watcher By: Tonisha Hood,  BMMO Consulting NBA free agency started with a few bangs.  First, everyone was am...