Posts like this at times can seem preachy or powered by an ulterior motive…but this piece deserves your attention. Not for what is wrote down, but the subject we are writing about.
Last year NBA legend Earl Lloyd died at the age of 86 and again sadly for many it had to come to the passing of a great man to remind them just of the good he had done in his grand life.
Earl Lloyd was the first black player to lace them up and take to the court in the history of the National Basketball Association.
But he did and means even more than that to every player and person in the world, from here to beyond the continents of Africa and Asia.
Earl Lloyd overcame it all so we wouldn’t have to. As the first black player in league history he suffered verbal abuse, so we would have a voice. He endured taunts, so we could teach. He faced being spit at, so we could hold our heads high. From Boston to St.Louis he had the same hotel room entrances as his teammates shut in his face…so he could open doors for us.
He stood up to all the hatred. So we could one day walk with love.
And now after being even more than Basketballs Hall of Fame and even receiving letter from the President of the United States, Barack Obama himself, Earl Lloyd’s son is looking to send a tribute to his father and the one of basketball to show us just what this man meant to his family and us.
But it’s on us all to ensure it is signed, sealed and delivered and not returned to sender.
The family of the sport and civil rights pioneer would like to commemorate the Washington Capitals star who made his history making debut in 1950 on a stamp. As important to basketball and American sport as the great number 42, Jackie Robinson is to baseball it’s time we all learnt why.
Perhaps the old school way of receiving a letter in the mail with an image affixed of a man holding the basketball like he did the future of this sport and culture will help us understand with more insight and reading.
Without Earl Lloyd there would be no Michael Jordan or Steph Curry. Time to change the popular consensus of who really paved the way. You can head to change.org and put your name down and your words in support. With 2,589 signatures and counting lets deliver Lloyd a real love letter on the next thing marked with our postal address.
It’s the least we can do.
What Earl Lloyd did for not only this game, but people everywhere as a whole is beyond measure. And still he remains so underrated and overlooked. This is a grand gesture which will honor him beautifully and inspire more interest and research into history and what good he has actually done for us!
Make your stamp!
After Expelling The Order Of The Phoenix, Wizards Exiled By L.A. King.
Forgive the title…I’ve spent the week reading all seven of J.K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ books. Expelliarmus.
Hey if its good enough for Kobe cosplaying as “he who shall not be named” one Halloween, like the King as Prince, or a cut above the rest Edward Scissorhands this year. It’s good enough for us. And Basketball’s the closest thing to Quidditch right?
But forget the Wizenard series for a page, today the Wizards were in town and speaking of Bryant some former young core Lakers were gunning for revenge like the Ingram, Hart and Ball-less Pelicans last game. Thomas Bryant, Moe Wagner and Isaac Bogna to be exact. Along with dynamo Isaiah Thomas shooting the bright lights out to prove LeBron, the Lakers and the rest of the league that shouldn’t have wrote him off wrong. Proving that the Lakers leave more youngsters on other people’s porches than the stereotypical beginnings of old movies about coming of age, against the odds. See ‘The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button’ and anything else set around that time.
But this weekend Hollywood had the perfect picture for their 10th straight W against D.C. Whose capital Washington game was big here in Tokyo with this writer and his new town for Japanese born Rui Hachimura’s clash with the titan. L.A. King versus the young king of the rising sun (no half-blood prince) that was going to be more Rakuten tuned into than when Tokyo hosted the Houston Rockets versus champion Toronto Raptors double-header first NBA Japan Games in decades last month.
But for the city in Shaq sized edition Dr. Buss tribute jerseys that were left on every fan that wanted tacos this Thanksgiving like LeBron calling on Tuesday’s seat pregame, it was former champion with Canada Danny Green who rediscovered his winners touch from downtown Los Angeles. Washington may be in a shooting spell themselves after scorching the Sun’s 140-132 Thursday in an Arizona shoot-out, but it was the Lakers who stunned them 125-103 today.
Yer a King, LeBron!
LeBron on a poetic couplet quest for the Lakers 17th championship in his year 17 was Magic with 11 assists and the number across his City Edition Nike in points. The same jersey number he’s going to give to Anthony Davis, despite this writer Black Friday buying his gold statement 3 yesterday (let’s hope that doesn’t end up like my Lonzo Ball road one this time last year next). A.D. lead the way with another double/double of 26 and 13 rebounds although Rui wasn’t afraid of going toe-to-sneaker toe with him, or never scared the King too with 16 points and 8 rebounds. As the next star next to star Bradley Beal’s 18 points and 9 assists showed Hollywood his coming to America story was Giannis worthy.
Bryant, Bogna and Wagner (seven and eight and one dunk on his head from Dwight in response to a flagrant) like Thomas with ten all showed out too against their old Showtime. But the Lakers who were still without defensive stalwart Avery Bradley like all these familiar, former faces got new help from Quinn Cook’s 17 out to the kitchen and another double trouble from fan favourite JaVale McGee who had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Whilst one of the best Point Guards of all-time still in his game Rajon Rondo had 13 in just two minutes less than that of play.
Shaqtin’a-fool in another reunion Dwight Howard (8 points, 5 rebounds and 2 “oh no you don’t, Mutombo finger wags) continued his bolstered bench presence against his old Washington state. But off a beautiful bounce ‘Brookyln 99’ copped pass from everybody’s hero Caruso he was T’d up after taunting after his big jam. Still the STAPLES Center loved it like they loved number 39 again after the D-12 drama. Who would have thought this guy would be back and back like this? Let alone dunking in a Shaq designed uniform?
But going 14 and 1 in November and winning 17 of 18 for their 10th straight, the league best Lakers haven’t been on box score paper this victorious for the record since those O’Neal 2000 champion days with the Wizenard Kobe. The Wizards may have a lot of tricks up their sleeve at the moment…but they haven’t got enough in their bag for this in the first part of their Hollywood road trip (just the best in the league Kawhi and homeboy P.G. next). Being outscored 84-36 in a half worth 24 like a Kobe throwback by the Lake Show.
But just wait until their new Japanese son rises.
I solemnly swear he’s going to be so good.
NOLA Clap. Anthony Davis Wins Hard Fought Return To The Big Easy
That’s how Boston banners air-quotes, greeted Irving on his return to Beantown with the New Jersey Nets along with chants of, “where’s Kyrie”, as the injured superstar watched his new Nets team fall 121-110 to the Celtics in the TD Garden.
Revenge served like the best dish.
“BOO! HISS!” in a devilishly delightful double-header the NBA cooked up this Thanksgiving feast, parading like the floats of Macy’s so this day wouldn’t turn out a turkey, the Lakers also had a Mardi Gras in New Orleans…and if you don’t know that story where have you been over the last year? 365 days ago Anthony Davis let the Big Easy know it was an N.O. that he was going to re-sign with them once he became a free agent this Summer (the Chicago born legend may not even re-up with the Lakers). So it was better to trade him before they lost everything.
But negotiations with the Lakers lasted longer than a hostage one and finally today with the best record and the two best players in the league, the Lakers and A.D. were greeted with so much buzzing from the stands you would have thought the Pelicans were still their old Hornets namesake (now back in Charlotte), or at least trying to promote this very website.
Thanks guys…we appreciate it!
“I don’t want no smoke”, Davis told his old Pelicans locker room, before going out and giving them exactly that with a fired up a Glen Rice (remember when Shaq and Kobe tried him, J.R. Rider and Mitch Richmond as their dynamic duo big-three finisher before playing fantasy Basketball with the glove and mailman of Gary Payton and Karl Malone? Well finally the one, two of ‘Bron and the Brow have one in the late flurry of threes from Kyle Kuzma…the one part of the young core the Lake Show refused to trade to the Pels), 41 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals. Smoking them out.
Another big game for the big man, still nursing that big shoulder injury (you want to talk about “Load Management” now…this guy deserves a rest), leaving the game after colliding with a guy he was traded for Josh Hart, for longer than most fans at halftime who won’t return to their seats because there’s a queue of all the other empty ones waiting for hot dogs and nachos. But today A.D. had the extra dip.
But this revenge reunion for both sides wasn’t just about one of two players. The Pelicans had a haul of folks going against the Lakers like the disgruntled young core of D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr, Jordan Clarkson, Ivica Zubac and more proving Magic Johnson (who gave up his job over all this) and Rob Pelinka. They have that in their own big-three of Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball…and even though Ball is out with Williamson. One day and one day sooner than we all think the Pelicans have a young team who could fly past even this new Showtime of the best in show and league leading Lakers looking for their ninth straight 16 and 2. A Lakers team that also has more former Pelicans than Davis in the point of Rondo (alleying so many oops to Ant’s hoops)and injured big DeMarcus Cousins (who once formed a twin tower future in New Orleans with Davis…now just wait until he comes back).
Despite all the boo’s that wouldn’t set in Crescent City, this is a big man who was big enough to tell New Orleans he wasn’t coming back way in free agency advance so they could get something for him in return (and get something, oh they did). That’s something he won’t even have the time to do with the Lakers if the Windy City changes his Hollywood direction next season. Jrue Holiday who had 29 points and 12 assists knows this. Passing his jersey in respect to his old friend for a Wade swap postgame in this one after their last dance as a band of brothers. The King, James had 29 points and 11 assists himself (making milestone after milestone this season, this game becoming the fourth player in NBA history (and Kobe, Kareem and Karl Malone it’s all former Lakers) to surpass 33,000 career points) as Big Game Kuzbis without the goggles (but getting one in the the eye again) added a sweet 16 like that iconic birthday. Whilst former Laker Brandon Ingram saying there was nothing but love for his organization pregame, showed his old team what they were missing with his day, coming out and of age with a double/double of 23 and 10.
Hart’s hustle. The ingrained game of Ingram. J.R. shooting with the clutch chronicles of Redick. Holiday not taking a single play off on a career night where he looked like the Raptors Kyle Lowry wrapping it up in the finals. Even without Zion and Lonzo the Lakers former lead guard the Pelicans made their point.
That was until Davis gunning for Defensive Player of the Year again with every buzzer beating block after dunking and free throwing his way to the lead, amongst all the jeers picked the pockets of the Pelicans with a key steal at the horn which blared a 114-110 win for the Lake Show. One that goes on beating teams they are as many as 14-zip down to (4-0) like they are wearing them down and playing chess with all these checkers.
Checkmate. Game. Set. And rematch.
That’s all folks!
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