NBA All-Star Weekend with Dan Gilbert and @cockpunch

by Cleveland Frowns on February 19, 2013

A bunch of sports-and-music-industry-types descended on Houston, Texas last weekend for the NBA All-Star game, and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, Cleveland’s favorite oligarch, used his twitter account to let his people know that they were well represented at the festivities. Specifically, Gilbert retweeted a link to a photo of himself sitting courtside along with his son Nick, and world-famous Cleveland-based rapper Machine Gun Kelly, aka MGK, fka Richard Colson Baker from Shaker Heights.

The link Gilbert tweeted goes to MGK’s instagram account, where the rapper goes by the handle @cockpunch, and explains an important distinction on his profile page:

“My blackberry takes pictures of me and naked girls so i can jack off in airplane bathrooms,” MGK says. “My iPhone takes pictures of me and things for instagram.”




Since Gilbert tweeted MGK’s photo, there’s been no word from him or the rapper about whether the courtside crew also posed for one of the blackberry shots, but those who want to read anything into what Gilbert’s MGK endorsement says about his views on gender roles, the importance of sanitary public restrooms or whatever should just relax. Because the truth is that there’s three kinds of people in this world: The people who’ve “made it,” like MGK and Gilbert; the people who accept that there’s a different set of rules for the Gilberts and MGKs of the world; and then the rest, who are naturally all just “bitter.”




MGK knows bitter too

So don’t worry. If Dan Gilbert or MGK wants to do whatever in a public bathroom that’s one thing, and actually pretty awesome (#Clevelandinthebuilding #LaceUp), but rest assured that no bus-riding-types will be getting away with the same thing at any of Gilbert’s casinos. At least not if they’re bold enough to brag about it on Instagram.


In other Gilbert-related news, here’s an op-ed in the New York Times discussing Detroit-area controversy about what to do with Belle Isle, a public island property near downtown (h/t crossword wizard @datageneral). Of special note here is the reference to a group of “weathy libertarians” led by real estate developer and aspiring author Rodney Lockwood Jr., who have:

[S]uggested that private investors buy the island from the city for the nice, round, Dr. Evil-ish sum of $1 billion and transform it into an independent, self-governing territory. With the price for citizenship set at $300,000, the Commonwealth of Belle Isle would exist as a sort of free-market paradise; within 30 years, the group’s Web site predicted, the island would be known as the “ ‘Midwest Tiger,’ rivaling Singapore as an economic miracle.” One can order from that Web site a novella about this future Belle Isle, which describes the commonwealth’s low taxes, minimal government, even its own currency (called — seriously — “the Rand”).

Go to Lockwood’s “Commonwealth of Belle Isle” website to see for yourself.

And also note that Gilbert has a new development idea of his own, for a “world-class Epcot-like car attraction” in downtown Detroit, despite that the $80 million “Auto World” amusement park was an historic flop in nearby Flint back in the 1980′s when automobiles played a much more prominent role in humanity’s collection of ideas about a sustainable planet. In a projection of his justified confidence in his ability to keep people distracted, Gilbert has swiftly rejected the Auto World analogy by way of a comparison to a fast food chain, so stay tuned.


And Go Cavs. Go Kyrie. #getbuckets

  • Defenestration

    Does anyone else see a rap battle between Trevor Bauer and cockpu… uh, I mean MGK as inevitable at this point?

    You want a break like kitkat?
    A cock punch is tit-for-tat.

    • Cleveland Frowns

      I still refuse to accept that the Trevor Bauer rap is a real thing, but yes.

  • nj0

    “wealthy libertarians”

    any other kind?

    libertarians have a rich history of “make our own nation” plans, usually in the form of seasteading. libertarians have also taught me that if you call yourself an institute, people find your crazy ideas more sensible.

    • NeedsFoodBadly

      I do know poor/middle class libertarians. They do exist.

  • humboldt

    @cockpunchkelly has an interesting ring to it. If I didn’t know better I would’ve thought that was the Instragram account Haslam and Banner created after their failed trip to Arizona last month.

    • NeedsFoodBadly

      I am 80% more likely to listen to a rapper called Cock Punch Kelly than Machine Gun Kelly.

      • humboldt

        It almost sounds like a reject Mike Tyson Punchout character from the Republic of Ireland

  • Bryan

    Completely unrelated, but I had an amazing Grossi revelation I wanted to share. Today, Grossi posted the following on Twitter:

    “”Tony Grossi ‏@TonyGrossi
    @EvanDigsGraves trying to stay awake in class. What was your least favorite college course? // Philosophy.”

    Philosophy is defined as:
    “the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.”

    Combining these two pieces of information, we have our most concrete evidence that Grossi dislikes “critical… systematic approach[es] and… reliance on rational argument.”

    My work here is done.

    • GrandRapidsRustlers

      Good work.


    • Cleveland Frowns


  • bupalos

    There is nothing in this post that is not perplexing, but most especially I don’t get what the hell is supposed to happen on Belle Island that will transform greater Detroit into Singapore. I guess the scam is supposed to be that this guy gets to massively overbuild residential but fill it up with Downton Abbey style job creators based on the lure of 0 tax living and an army of happy retrained construction poors to wait on them.

    I pretty sure you can already get a billion year tax abatement for locating your home, business, or rat collection in or near Detroit. And since the police force is being cut to the bone the rule of law already hit the road for Galt’s Gulch years ago. Is a 50 yard moat really the only ingredient that is missing in the Detroit-to-paradise equation?

  • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

    Well, he tried to get @donkeypunch, but that was already taken. Probably by Dan Gilbert or Robert Irsay, either/or.

    • Defenestration
      • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

        Alternative Universe Trabek: Holy Frackin’ Jehosaphat, are you a crackhead, or just functionally retarded?? If the answer was: “a sharp blow to the back of the neck while reaming your hooker’s brownstar, right as you Machine Gun Kelly…is named after this animal”, then yes, by all means, “donkey” away…dork.

        Alternative Universe Contestant: (Shame Face)

        Actual Alex Trabek: “No”

        Actual Contestant: (Shame Face + fear/certainty that his mom is Googling “donkey punch” right now)

      • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

        Also, +3467 likes! Had no idea that was out there, I enjoyed a hearty laugh over that video. Hail, well met, Mr. Throw Someone/Something Out the Window!

        • Defenestration

          Glad you enjoyed, Mr… um, well… I think yours doesn’t need much elaboration. I wish everyone could have experienced it like I did – while watching an episode of jeopardy on my couch. The lady thought my hysterical laughing was some sort of horrible medical problem. I swear Alex is sniffling a chuckle as he says “rabbit, yes.”

  • GrandRapidsRustlers

    There is just so much material in that picture.

    Dan: (Glaring) Get your arm off my kid.
    Nick: Eyes closed…make me a bird…

    Kind of surprised that Stern has not chimed in…Gilbert sent something out on Twitter involving a cockpunch?

    How I would love to read that sentence to David Stern and just wait for the reaction.

    • Petefranklin

      Guess we wont be winning the lottery this year.

  • bupalos

    Does MGK clarify whether “cockpunch” refers to the act of striking a gentleman’s troublemaker, or to a hiddeously lewd beverage? Because it’s troubling me.

    • Defenestration

      A double cockpunch on the rocks has a high probability of being the official drink of all Cleveland Browns draft parties.

    • CleveLandThatILove

      When your life is so full that it requires both a blackberry and an iPhone as MGK’s does, you’ll probably know the answer to that one. You might get there if you really apply yourself, Bup.

      • bupalos

        I believe Samsung touts it’s new offering mainly for it’s ability to do two things at once, so I’m wondering how they overlooked the marketing opportunity presented by this “Cockpunch” gentleman, this fellow that does the hippity hopping the kids all talk about. He apparently needs one phone that can do two things. Natural fit.

  • alexb

    his distinction between what the blackberry is for and what the iphone is for……you couldn’t make that up if you tried.

  • ChuckKoz

    in fairness, Jerry Buss is being worshipped this week here in Los Angeles, despite his similar lack of “family values” (he lived like hefner with teenagers always on his hip….and among the funny stories i heard on the radio this week, my favorite was him partying with the common folks and throwing up dubs at West Side Connection show at the House of Blues…..the less funny but indicative that all owners (even the “greatest ever”) have major impairments, he was popped for DUI the a few years ago while driving down the wrong side of the road.

    so owners suck. just like the Heat owner that keeps killing and/or abandoning passengers of his cruise business that he inherited. they basically all suck, but for the packers. and maybe gordon gund.

    all that matters with Gilbert is if he permanently drove away Lebron or if he can do enough to get him back in 2014.

  • DonCleaveland

    While analyzing “Gilbert’s MGK endorsement” and what it says about his views on parenting, photography, sexual relations,
    manhood, or sanitary public restrooms please also analyze the NBA or any of its players for what a Jay-Z endorsement (as an owner) says about their views on violent crime, use of racial epithets, drug dealing, and the like. Seems a tad hypocritical to be holding Gilbert to a different standard here, no?

    • Cleveland Frowns

      Not at all, and it would do you a lot of good to consider the tremendous difference.

      Jay-Z is rich and famous because he survived and thrived in pursuing one of the very few rational courses of action a kid from an inner city project could take in response to the U.S.’s increasingly failing and outrageous War on Drugs, which has turned the world upside down in places like where Jay came from by ensuring that the criminal elements were the most powerful (and really the only “power”) in the neighborhood. He made some money playing the dangerous game, survived, and got out by rapping the truth about it.

      If you can’t see that that’s worlds different than MGK bragging about whacking off to pictures of sluts in public restrooms, I’m not sure what else I could tell you. Though there’s a Cato Institute handbook on the War on Drugs that might help that should be easy to locate with a quick google search.

      • DonCleaveland

        I’m well aware that he was a product of his environment and understand that he succeeded despite it. I would argue that he continues to “succeed” by glamorizing the drug dealing lifestyle, violent crime (stabbing a record producer), not “snitching”, sexist treatment of women (99 Problems) and the egregious use of the N word to turn a handsome profit. That appears way more toxic than someone using crass frat boy humor to brag about sluts or whatever. I’m pretty sure the average youth listening to rap music isn’t well versed on the Cato Institute handbook on the War on Drugs, so looking at it plainly, MGK’s gutter humor pales in comparison to Jay-Z’s rap lyrics. Taking Gilbert to task for hanging out with MGK while his fellow NBA owner makes a fortune rapping about the above lifestyle (while being idolized by NBA players) is the definition of hypocritical.

        • Cleveland Frowns

          I don’t have time to break down the profound ignorance embodied in each one of your specific statements, and I can’t let them fester here (I’ve got 99 problems myself, and anonymous crypto-racists ain’t one), but this really isn’t hard.

          All of these things that you find (or at least want people to believe are) “toxic” about Jay-Z’s public persona are by any measured view of reality a byproduct of an outrageously backwards public policy that’s ravaged America’s inner cities for almost 50 years now. Jay’s ability to use his wits to get where he’s gotten despite that is something for everyone to look up to, and especially those who are born stuck in the pit that Jay made it out of. MGK, at least with respect to his public epigraph on public masturbation, is quite plainly a stooge in comparison.

          It’s also quite plainly understood that a certain kind of person will have a really hard time ever seeing it that way. Good luck.

          • DonCleaveland

            Agree with author or be labeled an anonymous crypto-racist, Got it. I’d be happy to meet in any public forum you wish to discuss what was merely my opinion that you seem to be holding Gilbert to an awfully high standard here. There appears to be a fine line between rapping about one’s rough upbringing and glorifying the horrors of said upbringing in a way that would make other youths continue to strive to perpetuate the horrors of said upbringing. The fact is America’s youth look up to rappers as role models and glorifying a culture of drugs, womanizing, and racial epithets, even if this was the culture that said rapper was able to overcome to achieve great wealth, appears on its face to be something that could be harmful. As a result I questioned if it was more harmful for a guy like Gilbert to be hanging out with someone rapping about sophomoric college humor than someone rapping about far more serious matters. I’m sorry if you do not think there is anything worth merit in discussing here. That is your opinion and you are entitled to it, but me having a different opinion should not label me a racist. Finally there are plenty of people that have questioned the impact of Jay-Z’s art and have asked that he be held to a higher standard. Feel free to label them a racist as well.

      • Cleveland Frowns

        I deleted “Don’s” reply to this, mainly because I don’t have time to break down the profound ignorance embodied in each one of his specific statements, and I can’t let them fester here (I’ve got 99 problems myself, and anonymous crypto-racists ain’t one), but this really isn’t hard.

        All of these things that Don finds (or at least want people to believe are) “toxic” about Jay-Z’s public persona are by any measured view of reality a byproduct of an outrageously backwards public policy that’s ravaged America’s inner cities for almost 50 years now. Jay’s ability to use his wits to get where he’s gotten despite that is something for everyone to look up to, and especially those who are born stuck in the pit that Jay made it out of. MGK, at least with respect to his public epigraph on public masturbation, is quite plainly a stooge in comparison.

        It’s also quite plainly understood that a certain kind of person will have a really hard time ever seeing it that way.

        • Cleveland Frowns

          You got it, Don. I am holding Gilbert to a high standard and I really don’t have any compunction about denying you a platform to defend Dan Gilbert by making a nonsensical surface attack on Jay-Z. It’s complete nonsense, and it absolutely does invite inferences about where you’re coming from. And yes, deleted again, congrats.

          But this is especially dense:

          “There appears to be a fine line between rapping about one’s rough upbringing and glorifying the horrors of said upbringing in a way that would make other youths continue to strive to perpetuate the horrors of said upbringing.”

          As if Jay-Z could cause a ripple in the devastation caused by the drug war by changing the subject of his art. What you call “glorifying horror” is actually just an artist singing about the way he found out of the horror that’s caused by forces much bigger than him or any one man. For you to expect him to do anything else is just insane, as is your assumption that he’s not a powerful positive role model for people that you obviously have no ability at all to relate to.

          • DonCleaveland

            The only person attacking anyone is you when someone disagrees with your opinion, obviously. I’m not attacking Jay-Z, but I am questioning if it is damaging to turn a enormous profit rapping about what he raps about. Specifically I’m contrasting the impact of fraternizing with someone who brags about public displays of indecency vs. fraternizing with someone whose art can be interpreted as glorifying issues much more damaging to society. The fact that this issue has been well debated by individuals of all walks of life indicates its far from “complete nonsense”. You have no idea what my background is, so please don’t judge what I can or can not relate to. I’m not sure why anything I’m saying here offends you to the point of deletion but that is not my intention. I just thought your criticism was offbase and I voiced my opinion, which I assumed was the nature of this space. I will refrain from doing so in the future.

          • Cleveland Frowns

            LOL re: “the nature of this space.” The defining principles are conspicuously posted:


            If bringing a wholesale criticism of Jay-Z’s character into this post about Gilbert and MGK mugging and tweeting courtside isn’t the dictionary definition of “diminishing clutter,” then we have officially entered the vacuum. As if there’s any question that Gilbert would pull the same act with Jay if Jay would so much as look at him sideways, let alone sit courtside at the All Star game and pose for pictures with him. My god.

            And yes, “diminishing clutter” is precisely what we are on the attack for here. Maybe you’re starting to get it. Better luck next time, really.

          • DonCleaveland

            Rest assured there will be no “next time” as it is clear that anyone that disagrees with your opinion is broadly painted as a troll or worse a racist. I quite simply asked if it was more damaging for a guy like Gilbert to “endorse” a guy that raps about jerking off in a public bathroom then it would be for guy in Gilbert’s position to “endorse” someone who raps about drugs, prostitution, violent crime, womanizing, and racial slurs. You stated that Gilbert’s MGK “endorsement” says something about his views on “parenting, photography, sexual relations, manhood…”, so it appears rational that a guy like Gilbert’s endorsement of any other rap star would say something about his views on whatever far more serious matters other rappers may rap about. It’s really quite simple.

            No one is questioning the fact that these rappers had no control over the horrible environments that they were born into and escaped from. However, one should certainly question whether profiting off music that talks about the negative forces inherent in these types of environments does anything to perpetuate their continued existence.

          • Cleveland Frowns

            Somewhere between anonymous crypto-racist and anonymous propagator of remarkably ignorant and nonsensical diminishing clutter, yes. That will always be called what it is here. Wish I could say I’ll miss you, but you can always come back with another anonymous handle. GL and thanks for reading.

          • DonCleaveland

            What’s nonsensical? And since my personal e-mail was long blocked, should I include another with my social security number and cell phone # to make it less anonymous?

          • Cleveland Frowns

            LOL well if you’ve been blocked before, you’ve obviously made at least some progress, however small, so congrats. I hope you understand, though, that having posted under your “personal email” doesn’t make you any less anonymous, and that if you posted under your real identity you’d be significantly less likely to post things that make you come off like such an ignorant asshole and/or a Gilbert PR flack. So one last time, since we’ve already come this far:

            1) Accusing the author of being a hypocrite for not engaging in a wholesale criticism of Jay-Z’s moral worth to balance out the above criticism of Dan Gilbert’s association with MGK is outrageously stupid (or, if you prefer, a ridiculous non-sequitur but I would say, both, and more).

            2) Completely apart from #1, putting MGK’s name in the same conversation as Jay’s in evaluating the worth of men and art is outrageously ignorant (JUST LISTEN TO THE ALBUMS, REALLY).

            3) To then try to defend #1 and #2 by attempting to blame the devastation of the drug war on the artist Jay-Z is an outrageous double-down on stupid that not only distracts from the above post, but also serves as a lookaway from the politicians and other civic leaders who are actually responsible (as well as completely ignores the role that drug culture plays in MGK’s art, as much as that’s mostly beside the point, but HINT: THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT MGK WISHES HE WAS JAY).

            4) And then to bitch about my not letting you use this forum to air your insanely regressive views (“wah wah, I guess everyone who disagrees with the author gets deleted”). Good god.

            If your intent is to defend Gilbert, not only have you failed miserably, but you’ve also driven open the inference that Gilbert relies on outrageously dimwitted PR advice (not that this inference didn’t exist before).
            Anyway, of course and as always, if you really feel that strongly that you’re still in the right, you can start your own website. Used to be that only like six people read this one. GL.

          • DonCleaveland

            Sigh. Pretty sure the only question posed was wouldn’t it be more harmful for an NBA owner to “endorse” what Rapper B was rapping about vs. what Rapper A was rapping about, since you indicated that mugging for pictures with a rapper made a broader statement about someone’s belief system. That’s really about it. No one is blaming Jay-Z for the devastation of the drug war nor debating the merits of MGK’s music vs. Jay-Z’s music. Questioning the impact of these so called endorsements seems actually quite reasonable, especially since it can be assumed that the average person listening to someone’s art doesn’t do a deep dive on the history behind the art before potentially being influenced by it. One doesn’t have to go any farther than Google to see the vast number of research studies done on this type of thing. Clearly you are well within your rights to block whatever comments you choose, but no intent was made to engage in trollery nor anonymous crypto-racism.

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