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Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Determination, Real, Efforts, and Abilities, Means Success! D.R.E.A.M.S

Sunday, November 25, 2012

NBA Fathers' New Favorite Sons

I believe it’s only appropriate that since the holiday seasons is upon us that I take this time to write about a feel good sports family story.

Let me start off by saying I was sold on this University when Rumeal Robinson hit those two free-throws to clinch their first National Championship. That sharp shooting of Glen Rice only made it better. If you haven’t guessed it, I’m talking about University of Michigan. Not only do they have a growing basketball program but their football program isn’t too shabby.  I can remember like it was yesterday Heisman trophy winner, Desmond Howard posed after a punt return against rival Ohio St. in 1991.

The next generation revolutionized the game of basketball by creation of the “Fab 5” Webber, Rose, Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson played at a level that no other group of freshman had ever played.  During their time at Michigan basketball was buzzing from their style of play, confidence, and swagger.  Although the “Fab 5” had swagger before Kanye West made it a popular phrase there was another guy creating his own buzz at Purdue University. Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson the All-America well-built 6’8” forward, who had scoring ability anywhere on the court, lead all college players in scoring with 30.3 points per game.

While in the National Basketball Association (NBA) there was a point guard with a ‘mean’ cross-over dribble that dub the name UTEP Two-Step, after attending the University of Texas – El Paso, Tim Hardaway had Golden State Warriors fans coming out in droves to see him play.

Having a son myself its nothing more rewarding to have you son (or daughter) playing the game you love.  This is what both “Big Dog” and Hardaway Sr. are experiencing with their sons Robinson III and Hardaway Jr.

The connection to Michigan is that they both are restoring the glory days of Wolverine basketball.  They have Michigan rank #4, in the AP Polls, and once again Michigan is viewed as more than a power house football program.

Michigan basketball program is finally recovering from minor setbacks from the “Fab 5” era (scandals) these two sons are putting up numbers that drawing positive news coverage. Hardaway Jr. leads the teams in scoring 18.2 points per game and Robinson leads the team with 7.6 boards per game.

Not having a famous father, I can only imagine its pressures and difficulty to live up to a famous father’s reputation, ask Marcus Jordan son of Michael Jordan. However, Hardaway Jr. had this to say when ask about being compare to his father “I realized I don’t have to do it for my dad, I can do it for myself”           

These two Wolverines are from very different environments but share a very unique bond.  Heck they are similar in built both 6’6’’ and only 5lbs separating them.  It’s no wonder that when Robinson III took his official visit to Michigan Hardaway Jr. was his tour guide.  Having their fathers’ athleticism maybe the ingredients needed to get the team to the Final Four; as a Michigan fan my fingers are crossed.  Robinson III and Hardaway Jr. are more than just sons of famous NBA players. They are young kids enjoying life as a collegiate athlete, trash talking each other, and supporting each other on and off the court with the goal of making it to the NBA.

Until next time live out your DREAMS with some Determination, put forth Real Efforts and given your Abilities; Means you will have Success.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

D'Antoni You Are Next...

It’s appropriate that the latest news in the NBA is coming out of Los Angeles home of Hollywood, right?  With the recent dismissal of Mike Brown after only five games, where he went 1-4, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak felt it was time for someone new to breathe life in this rich franchise.  So next in line is offensive guru Mike D’Antoni.  I know you thought I was going to say Phil Jackson.  Well I didn’t.  Jackson isn’t walking through those doors anytime soon.  D’Antoni, 61, who is coming off knee surgery will take over the rein after the negotiations with Phil Jackson, broke down.  

Not only did Mike Brown get shown the door but, so did the Princeton offensive which was suppose to restore the glory days of the Lakers offensive power.  Even with arguable one of the top three players and high scoring Kobe Bryant, last year the Lakers were the 10th highest scoring team in the NBA (106 per game). 

I like the hiring of D’Antoni as the coach for this Lakers roster and here’s why:

D’Antoni is known for the pick-and-roll and up-tempo offensive.  As the coach of the Phoenix Suns; Steve Nash won back to back MVP awards. Now Nash will run point guard for the Lakers, when he returns from his injury. 

This pick-and-roll system is also more effective when having a big guy who is very athletic the Lakers have two of them in Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard.  Nash with those two big guys will have more dribble handoffs, back-cuts and most importantly flood space for Kobe to go to work.

Kobe, more so then ever will be able to freelance and have more isolation in this system where as before in the triangle offensive, Phil Jackson’s system, it was more pattern oriented.  Another key element to why I love D’Antoni as the Lakers coach is his reputation is regarded as a player’s coach.  He allows his players to just play and don’t pull back on their offensive freedom. Dependability is with Nash which stems from him coaching Nash in Phoenix.  Coaching Kobe won’t be completely foreign.  As an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic in 2008 and ’12 D’Antoni and Kobe relationship became stronger as player and coach.     

So for all you Lakers fans who wanted Phil Jackson on the bench, sorry!  Look at it this way if they don’t defend better, and play harder night in and night out there isn’t a coach who can save them.  And Phil won’t be criticized for having a loaded team like he’s always had and not win a NBA title. 

Until next time live out your DREAMS with some Determination, put forth Real Efforts and given your Abilities; Means you will have Success.