Jordan. The greatest name in NBA Basketball didn’t even win as many rings (6 to 11), as the greatest defender and Boston Celtic to ever take to the parquet, Bill Russell. Mike got an Olympic Gold though. As the undisputed leader of the 1992 Dream Team in Barcelona. So that balances the scales of hoop justice somewhat.
Now as the 2016 Rio Olympics Team USA look to take on Spain in Brazil tonight for the semi-finals of these games, another Jordan seems more keen to measure the weight of his court career in gold. Rather than engaging himself in talk about how many rings he will have on his fingers come the end.
Falling out of matrimony with Larry O’Brien. It now seems like DeAndre Jordan is more concerned about his place on the podium than the part of the NBA elite that winning a championship brings.
But then again he does play for the Los Angeles Clippers.
“I think they’re above NBA rings,” De told the ESPN press before man-handling Argentina in the quarter finals, hoping the rest of the United States will view medals in the same gold gleam. “I may get in trouble for saying that, but I believe that. I feel like this is more special. You’re not just playing teams in the U.S. You’re playing teams from all over the world. And this is even more special because there’s an NBA champion crowned every year, but this is every four years”.
No trouble from our end (and we’re Canadian), ‘Dre has a point. This is a global sport and these games are the great equalizer when it comes to that. And being crowned only once every four years is a special part of sports history and the legendary lore for your legacy. Just ask that guy that likes to jog, Usain Bolt. Or just look at how the NBA media turned it’s back on MVP Steph Curry and his reigning champion, 73 game, Jordan Bulls record beating Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals when LeBron James and the Cavaliers reversed a never before beaten 3-1 deficit and brought a championship home to Cleveland…until the Dubs added Free Agent Kevin Durant formerly of the Oklahoma City Thunder this Summer offseason.
Fickle minds change quickly over the calendars, but what’s done over decades is set in stone.
“You’ve got to really think about that, man, because it’s extremely special,” added D.J.
This came not long after Team U.S.A.’s all-time leading scorer and leader of the last three Olympics-beginning in the bronze Olympic birthplace of Athens-Carmelo Anthony issued the same kind of statement. As arguably the greatest international basketball player the U.S.A. has seen in it’s history stated that he wouldn’t mind if he never put a ring on it as important to many men as wedding ones are to some of Beyonce’s women after all this gold he’s mined from Beijing to London.
But then again, he does play for the New York Knicks.
But Jordan is still young. He has plenty of time to fill the trophy cabinet. That’s why he stuck it out with the Clips and didn’t leave for the Dallas Mavericks last minute when he was a big Free Agent last year. And ‘Melo on the calm side of his career may be well into his thirties, but judging from right now he can still play. And judging from the Summer of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah Chicago Bull signings joining top rookie, now sophomore star Kristaps Porzingis, these new New York Knicks no longer stink. The superteam may finally give the superstar a taste of the champagne he hasn’t sipped with the orange of N.Y. since his Syracuse days.
“Most athletes don’t have an opportunity to say that they won a gold medal, better yet three gold medals,” Anthony told press. “I can look back on it when my career is over — if I don’t have an NBA championship ring — and say I had a great career.”
The ringless couple and more Team USA members may be in no hurry to get a golden circle, but judging from the above picture their barging their way through this five for five as they jostle for a place on the podium.
Still, however when the Summer falls to a new NBA season their minds may change with the cooling weather.
As come November, it’s a whole new ball game.
Canada earns silver at 2019 FIBA U16 Americas Championships
Canada’s U16 Men’s national team captured a third straight silver medal at the 2019 FIBA Americas championships falling 94-77 to the United States of America in the Gold medal game in Belem, Brazil.
The highly anticipated bout featuring the two top U16 FIBA-ranked teams in the world didn’t disappoint — showcasing upwards of a combined 10 potential NBA draftees.
Team Canada kept the game tight for the first 10 minutes and took their only lead of the game at 17-15 with 2:02 in to play, before a late triple gave the USA a 18-17 lead to close the quarter.
The USA took the game to the Canadians in the second-quarter, outscoring Canada 27-15 for a 45-32 half-time lead.
Caleb Houstan (Mississauga, Ont.) scored 25 points and three rebounds and finished as the championship’s second leading scorer with 22.8 points per game. Houstan, a silky smooth forward had a tournament high 29 points to become Canada’s top scorer in U16 FIBA Americas competition — breaking Kevin Pangos 28 point record from 2009.
Canada showed some bark in the third-quarter with solid defensive stretches and back-to-back dunks, cutting the lead to single digits on multiple occasions and closing in at 57-51 of the Americans with 4:34 to play.
The Americans rallied with a 13-6 run to end third-quarter for a comfortable 72-57 lead and put it in cruise control in the fourth-quarter — stretching the lead to a game-high 21 points.
Despite the loss, the final 17-point deficit ties the lowest spread between the two squads in five championship or semi-finals games at the FIBA Americas tournament.
Team Canada has now lost all five games against the USA at the FIBA U16 Americas championships — dropping three-straight gold medal games — 111-60 in 2017 and 77-60 in 2015 and two semi-finals encounters, 113-70 in 2011 and 126-78 in 2009.
Ryan Nembhard (Aurora, Ont) wrapped the tournament with another outstanding effort with 21 points, 9 assists and 2 rebounds. Nembhard led the tournament with a total of 54 assists, good for 9 per game, and was Canada’s second leading scorer at 14.3 points per game.
Enoch Boakye (Brampton, Ont) 12 points and 13 rebounds concluded the tournament with his third straight game in double-figures rebounding and was the third top rebounder in the competition at 10.8 per game. Boakye had of two of the tournaments top 10 rebounding performances with 17 against Mexico and 16 against Dominican Republic.
Both Houstan and Ryan Nembhard were named to the tournaments all-star team alongside Dominican Republic’s Jean Montero — including the USA’s Jalen Durne and tournament MVP Christopher Livingston.
Canada finished the tournament 5-1 with group B victories over Uruguay 101-63, Brazil 90-67, Puerto Rico 96-76 and wins over Mexico 95-78 and 97-81 over the Dominican Republic in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.
The U16 Canadian squad has reached the podium five times since the inaugural, bi-annual American zone tournament kicked-off 10 years ago in 2009 — earning three silver and two bronze medals. Canada lost a heart-breaking 65-64 semi-finals loss to Argentina in 2013.
Canada has qualified for the 2020 U17 FIBA World Championships where they will look to improve from their 2018 4th-place finish.
Shaedon Sharpe posterizes Dominican defender at U16 FIBA Americas
Canadian 16-year old high-flyer Shaedon Sharpe took off and posterized a Dominican Republic defender at the 2019 FIBA U16 Americas championship in Brazil.
With 35 seconds to play the first-half Sharpe shook off a defender with a sweet pump fake and then took-off baseline and dropped a Jordanesque poster all-over the Dominican defender.
Canada broken a tightly contested semi-finals contest to beat the Dominican Republic 97-81 to reach the finals of the 2016 FIBA U16 Americas championships.
Sharpe finished with 17 points , four rebounds and three assists, shooting 8-for-10 from the field.
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