About Me

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

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 Reasons You Love Sports This Year...Ok Maybe Not...

Sports are here to interrupt our daily headaches of life right?  This year we were witness to some horrible travesties (Hurricane Sandy, the shooting at Sandy Hook, Connecticut and Aurora, Colorado) so I turned to sports to take my heartaches away from it all.  This year sports have brought us some exciting highs and some unexpected lows.  With a New Year just up the block I looked back at the year it was in sports...achievements and misfortunes.

National Basketball Association:
LeBron James can finally call himself “King” and have true meaning behind it. Winning the National Basketball Association title was all it took.  After all the Player Association and the NBA Owners labor negotiations, which carried on for 149-days, we finally had basketball.  James and (Dwyane) Wade along with the rest of the Miami Heat players made it a season to remember.  Not only did James win the NBA title but along the way he managed to grab the MVP Award, A Finals MVP Award and an Olympic Gold Medal.  Now he has just a few more NBA Titles to get...not just one, not two, not three...

Harvard graduates often go on to do noteworthy things in life. Athletics making a splash in professional sports hasn't been one of those things that often.  So when Jeremy Lin made a splash in the NBA it was a major story.  Not because he was solely from Harvard but, his performance spoke volumes.  Lin put up at least 20-points in eight straight games, including a 38-point outburst against Kobe and the Lakers.  Lin now playing for the Houston Rockets will forever be the guy who created insanity (“Linsanity” that is).

College Football:
The glory days of college football returned this year.  Remember when Notre Dame ruled the world of college football? Well the legendary program made a supreme comeback this year.  Going undefeated and now playing for their first National Title in over two decades.  The Fighting Irish haven’t won a National Title since 1988.  Win or Lose the Fighting Irish has fought their way back to being relevant in college football.

Penn State and the scandal, Need I say more.

National Football League:
This year the season kicked off with a lockout of a different fashion.  The NFL referees held out over labor dispute.  While the regular referees were in the boardrooms the “Replacement referees” couldn’t be replaced fast enough.  It appeared that the NFL and the Referees were nowhere near reaching a new labor agreement.  However, when the Monday Night game in Week 3 where the Packers vs. the Seahawks last second Hail Mary called was miscalled they reached a new collective bargaining agreement in a few days. 

I can’t forget about the “bounty program” where the New Orleans Saints players were awarded cash for taking certain opponent key players out.  Several suspensions were handed out.  Sean Payton, head coach, suspended for the entire season, Defensive coach Gregg Williams out indefinitely from professional football, and Saints General Manager, Mickey Loomis, suspended for half of the season.  A host of Saints players were give suspensions also.     

Gabby Douglas, Missy Franklin, and Michael Phelps enough said. GO USA!

Major League Baseball:
San Francisco Giants are giants once again after winning the World Series for the second time in three years.  Having superstar closer Brian Wilson gone for the season, and key slugger Melky Cabrera suspended for performance enhancing drugs no one had the Giants winning it all.

Some would say the greatest professional cyclist in the world, while others might call him the biggest lair in the universal.  Beating his only personal battle with Cancer while raising millions Lance Armstrong became the face of cycling. After winning a record seven Tour de France titles Armstrong was banned from the world of Cycling and stripped of those titles by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.  They found him guilty for using a banned substance which 12 witnesses provide evidence against Armstrong.  One of the most touching and inspirational sports stories reached the finish line when it broke back in August.

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

Dwyane Wade trying to play kick ball with Ramon Sessions

You mean to tell me that Dwyane Wade didn't intentional kick Ramon Sessions in his Man Muscle...you be the judge.

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

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gerald Henderson flies high

Dwight Howard on the wrong end of a posted…Gerald Henderson throws one down!!!

Until next time, live out your DREAMS with some Determination. Put forth Real Efforts. Given your Abilities Means you will have Success.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The 2nd coming of Jeremy Lin

When you’re first at anything, like graduating from college in your family, being the oldest sibling, or even carrying an entire country on your back for basketball, naturally the bar is set high.   Let me ask you this: how difficult is it to come second behind the greatness of that person or even third. In most cases being compared to those who came before you is inevitable. There is no place where this is more visible than in sports.  You can’t have Kobe without comparison to Jordan, Chris Paul to Isaiah Thomas, LeBron James to, well LeBron James, or Chris Tang to Jeremy Lin.

Oak Hill Academy, a little preparatory Baptist affiliated high school, in Mouth of Wilson, VA just might have another special player.  Never heard of this prep school before?  Allow me to assist you with a few names: Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, and Brandon Jennings, even Jerry Stackhouse.  All are products of this basketball powerhouse with a school principle:

Deep down inside, all children are good.  Regardless of academic ability, every child is capable of success.  All children would rather succeed than fail.  Once a child gets a taste of success, he or she will want more.

Now I’m sure you’ve heard of Oak Hill Academy, right?

Chris Tang. Have you heard of him? Well, his basketball “hoop dreams” was set in motion from the love he found in watching the great Yao Ming.  While growing up, Tang fell in love with the game and like most Asian kids he went to the playgrounds around his neighborhood to master Ming’s moves.  In a recent interview Tang had this to say about watching Yao playing for the Houston Rockets;

“When I got out of school, I’d go straight to watching the Rockets on the internet.  My dad used to get mad at me because I would skip meals sometimes to watch the fourth quarter of a game, but I couldn’t stop.  It was crazy just how much I loved to watch those guys play”.
In China, like most overseas countries, if a basketball player has the talent and skill-set he can turn pro at a very young age, and earn money for his family.  Unlike here in the States you must play at least one year of college basketball or be removed from high school at least one year after your graduating year.  I hear Tang was that good to have the option of entering the Chinese National basketball program or play for a local club team. 
Fast forward a few years and Chris Tang now plays for Oak Hill Academy.  The comparisons to Lin will only increase now that he’s at a more visible Prep School.  Currently, Tang has several colleges with strong interest in signing him from Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland, to Stanford, Oregon and even Jeremy Lin’s former college Harvard. 

Transitionally, Oak Hill Academy basketball program attracts local kids from around the country.  Most of them come with very high potential and the ability to play Division I college ball; they just need polishing.  However, with the increase of basketball being more globalize stories of international kids, like Chris Tang, coming to play for Prep Schools shouldn’t be a shocker.  What is shocking, to me perhaps, is that we are quick to find the next ‘whoever’ because it’s a great story.  Should I not be so surprised by sports comparison being made because, like the phrase goes, history often repeats its self, we all pattern our games after somebody, right?   So for the 2nd coming of...enter a name here I’m sure it won’t be hard...keep working to mimic your favorite player because your time will soon come.

Until next time, live out your DREAMS with some Determination. Put forth Real Efforts. Given your Abilities Means you will have Success.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The New Mr. 30,000

In sports ‘real’ milestones occur every so often.  And they are often made a big deal.  This recent milestone has only four NBA players who have reached the 30,000-point club.  Kobe Bryan is the newest.  Kobe Bryant’s legacy amongst the basketball greats will always be debated around the league, and in barbershops.  At the age of 34 years old, Bryant is the youngest to reach this mark.  However, it took him the longest to achieve such a mark.   

Making the jump from high school to the NBA, by far the best to ever do it, has allowed him the most opportunity to pursue this record.  Now, with him playing in his 17th season with the Lakers, he will truly go down as one of the greatest Lakers of all time.  I’m sure that too will be debated.  The other NBA greats that Bryant joins in the 30,000-point club are Chamberlain, “The Captain” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, “The Mail-Man” Karl Malone, and His Airiness Michael Jordan.  Those five I’ll match up against any five you can get any day!

What makes this more remarkable is that Bryant’s numbers are up even at this age.  Yes, the Lakers’ season hasn't gone as planned, thus far, but Kobe has seemed to be improving.  His free-throw attempts are higher, and the stat that stands out to me the most is he is assisting on a higher percentage of his teammates baskets.  That means he’s passing the ball more.  I’m sure Bryant would like to see more wins and championship rings to catch Jordan, and his six.

I notice Bryant’s skills are far from declining.  That’s great for Lakers fans, maybe not so great for other teams around the league.  The rumors of him retiring are no longer heard of.  I think those retiring rumors only had legs because Bryant seemed to struggle throughout last year.

Bryant had this to say on joining this elite group

“I really just love what I do. I just have a passion for it. I thoroughly enjoy it and this is my 17th year but for some reason that passion hasn't gone down.  It’s been quite the opposite and I really have no explanation for it; it’s actually increased.
I have so much love for the game and I just enjoy working hard and doing what I do best”    

It’s not surprising that Bryant spoke about working hard.  He has a work habit second to none of any current NBA player. He truly has no off season. 
Will Bryant win another ring or two, catch Kareem for the all-time scoring leader, and more importantly keep his sanity with this current Lakers roster? Only time will tell and if we know anything about Kobe Bryant he will down taking a shot. 

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