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The Rings No Longer The Thing For Some Olympians Going For Gold

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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.

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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.

FIBA

Young Canadian squad shapes FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers

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Xavier Rathan Mayes Canada Vs Argentina

For the past twenty-plus (20) years starving Canadian basketball fans across the country have asked for more International sanctioned games on home soil.

Finally, it looks like those requests are materializing.

With the upcoming kick-off to the newly formatted road to the FIBA Basketball World Cup, the 2019 Americas Qualifiers taking place in Halifax, Nova Scotia will satisfy and quench the thirst of long-time East coast supporters of the National game.

A young, 25th-ranked Canadian squad will take on 59th ranked Bahamas, in a important Group D qualify game at the Scotiabank Centre.

Led by former number one pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, Anthony Bennett (Northern Arizona, G-League), the roster features a strong young crop of former Usports All-Canadians and NCAA Division I standouts. Additionally, a further testimony to the growth of Canadian University Basketball, Ryerson Rams head coach Roy Rana, headlines the coaching staff alongside Carleton Ravens coach Dave Smart.

Point guard duties will be handled by Olivier Hanlan, Phil Scrubb and Kaza Kajami-Keane. The latter two having won multiple Usports basketball championships under the tutelage of Smart. Three-point specialist Brady Heslip and along side confident Xavier Rathan-Mayes will look to fill it up for the outside. The front court will anchored by 6’8″ Anthony Bennett, Thomas Scrubb, (another Ravens All-Canadian) and former Acadia Axemen 6’10” Owen Klassen (Kingston, ON).

Overall the roster looks solid, given the lack of availability of Canada’s top talent due to changes in the qualifying format, and the NBA’s willingness to move aside and grant FIBA the release of its players, regardless of nationality for the World Cup qualifying periods.

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Placed in Group D alongside Virgin Islands, Bahamas and Dominican Republic. The young Canadians will play a home and away series against each team. After the Bahamas game, Canada will fly out to the Dominican Republic for a stern road test on November 28, 2017 to wrap up the opening qualifying window.  The second qualifier will take in late February with Canada once again hitting the road for games against the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. The third qualifying window will see Canada host two more games on home soil on June 29 and July 2, 2018.

Canada is coming off a mediocre performance at the FIBA Americup dropping games to Virgin Islands 83-71, Argentina 92-86 with its only win against a tough Venezuela 75-66 team that denied the Canadians an Olympics appearance in Rio 2016.

Joel Anthony

Centre

6’9″

Montreal, QCFree Agent
Anthony Bennett

Forward

6’8″

Toronto, ONNorthern Arizona Suns (G-League)
Grandy Glaze

Centre

6’7″

Toronto, ONSt. John’s Edge (NBL Canada)
Olivier Hanlan

Guard

6’4″

Aylmer, QCAustin Spurs (G-League)
Brady Heslip

Guard

6’2″

Burlington, ONTrabzonspor (Turkey)
Kaza Kajami-Keane

Guard

6’1″

Ajax, ONRaptors 905 (G-League)
Owen Klassen

Centre

6’10”

Kingston, ONPAOK (Greece)
Dyshawn Pierre

Forward

6’6″

Whitby, ONBanco di Srd (Italy)
Xavier Rathan-Mayes

Guard

6’4″

Scarborough, ONWestchester Knicks (G-League)
Phil Scrubb

Guard

6’3″

Richmond, B.C.Fraport SKY (Germany)
Thomas Scrubb

Forward

6’6″

Richmond, B.C.Scandone AV (Italy)
Marc Trasolini

Centre

6’9″

Vancouver, B.C.Hokkaido L. (Japan)
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FIBA

Canadian Rowan Barrett Jr. Insane 38 points versus USA

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Canadian Rowan Barrett Jr. 38 Points Versus USA

Canadian Guard Rowan Barrett Jr. goes off for an insane 38 points versus USA at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup in Cairo Egypt. Canada stunned the USA 99-87 to advance to Gold Medal game.

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FIBA

Angola’s Silvio de Sousa beastly 27 points, 21 rebounds against Korea

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Angola Silvio Sousa Dominates Korea 2017 FIBA U 19 World Cup
Photo: FIBA

Angola’s 18-year old Silvio de Sousa (6’9″, 240lbs) power forward is one of the rising stars of Angolan and African Basketball.

In his last FIBA U19 game in Cairo, De Sousa beasted Korea with 27 points and 21 rebounds as Angola closed-out the 2017 World Cup with a 55-53 win.

De Sousa, a bruising forward is the best polished Angolan Basketball player ever at this age and averaged a double-double at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup in Egypt, Cairo with 17.3 points per game (3rd), 13.1 rebounds (1st), 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals.

The 2018 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida) four star recruit holds NCAA Basketball Division I offers from Florida, Louisville, Maryland, LSU and many others and currently represents Angola’s best chance at a future first round and potential NBA pick.

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