You can see it in the tread of his wing-tipped sneakers above your eyes as he soars above the rim. Connie Hawkins, you know the name better than the NBA thinks you do. And to even those who don’t, the real ‘Hawk’ outside of Atlanta takes flight away from it all.
The legendary playgrounds of New York. From Brooklyn to the Rucker where he made his legacy making name as iconic as those of Pee Wee Kirkland and Earl Manigault wrote in the Big Apple concrete of forever.
The beautiful borough of Harlem. Neighbour to his Bedstuy home that birthed basketball’s most famous club around the world, the Harlem Globetrotters. A team he saw the whole planet with, from the Far East to Down Under as he span the ball on the tip of his finger like the red, white and blue was on a string.
The ABA, where in exile he still merged his talents with the best of them. Even Julius Erving. As the Pittsburgh Pipers league MVP even rose above the lay-up line dunks of the good Dr. J. himself. No contest.
The NBA that suspended him for a point shaving scandal he couldn’t fight his innocence for in the courts. That kept him off the hardwood ones with a lock on the gym until he was 27 years old and on the cusp of the twilight of his high flying talent. Yet still he rised. All above it all. From being a predicted flameout, to rising from the cruel conflicted ashes with the Phoenix Suns. All the way to averages that were anything but and a place in the Arizona ballclubs firey ‘Ring of Honour’ right beside the likes of Charles Barkley, Dan Majerle and Steve Nash after turning the franchise who for him lost the rights to draft U.C.L.A.’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then the Milwaukee Bucks Lew Alcindor) on it’s head.
Hollywood and the hardwoods hallowed Hall of Fame. As after a Showtime stint in the movie capital with Magic and them, Hawkins headed to Naismith as he took flight towards retirement with one of the best careers on the court. But one that came with a ‘what could have been’ if he wasn’t kept from the then unjust league where he could have really showed the watching world what he was truly made of.
And finally the cruel colon cancer that took his life tragically all too soon and all too young this week at 75 years of age. Rest in Peace Hawk, you’re free now. And we’ll always remember you Connie.
How could you forget a playground, Harlem Globetrotter, ABA, NBA, Hall Of Fame and New York City legend? There’s no one out there in Converse quite like Con.
Don’t forget the real point is this. Without the scandal and resulting suspension which he served without reasonable guilt proved, Connie Hawkins may have just been one of the best NBA players of all-time. With it however, from the blacktop to the hardtop and the whole globe he trotted from Brooklyn to Harlem…and then Hollywood, Connie Hawkins is one of the best all round basketball players the world has ever seen. Last night in an over sharing social media world of the NBA media and the franchises in it with the new season not even begun (not that that would matter anyway) the on and off court icon Connie Hawkins damn well deserved a better tribute.
So let’s leave it to Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love’s heartfelt piece on Instagram of all places…
“Connie Hawkins was the reason I chose to wear “42” as a young kid in Portland, Oregon. My father would tell me stories of this living legend and put me on the phone with him from when I was in grade school. I studied his game and was mesmerized at the athleticism he displayed on the court. I remember him running at full speed, grabbing the ball out of the air with one hand and rising for a powerful finish. What he was able to do with the ball at his size paved the way for some of the all time greats. He was one of the first people I loved watching film of early on and someone that inspired me to play the game. Truly an iconic player. Rest In Peace to “The Hawk”.”
Or Phoenix Suns G.M. Jerry Colangelo, “we lost a legend”.
A Rose For Kuz?
The Rose that grew from the career incasing concrete of a plaster cast, potential legacy ending injury is still in bloom.
Now that’s legendary.
As a matter of fact with the trade deadline nearer than your office one, right now nothing smells better than Pooh.
Currently more than motoring on with the Detroit Pistons in Motown, the rejuvenation of Derrick Rose has already had his redemption season. Howling back with the Minnesota Timberwolves the last 82. But in this one mirroring his prime time stats as a Bull and the next era after M.J. for the Chicago way, it’s still a story as good as a Dwight Howard Hollywood reunion or blazing Carmelo comeback out in Oregon.
And now like the former D12, D. Rose could be heading to the wild west like the one Anthony the Lakers didn’t get in the end (but should of). But like the young core, Ingram, Ball and Hart trade for A.D. is the prize worth the price?
Although Derrick is linked with the 76ers like every superstar over the past few seasons and a reunion with Chicagoland (which Basketball God’s would be the perfect closing chapter to this story that is albeit still being wrote by his own penmanship), the Benjamin Franklin’s are on Rose reuniting with King James although he called his Cleveland time with the classic Cavalier “super awkward”.
The former number one, that draft pick and NBA MVP is still most valuable and at 31 is almost a half decade younger than the King. Plus with awesome averages of 18.3 points on 50.3 percent from the field in 25.8 minutes and 5.9 assists per contest this campaign, the guy wants more time and to get out of the elimination standings.
Clockwork and contention could certainly be on the cards for Rose who let’s face it at his age and stage and with the numbers he’s putting up is still a superstar, hate it or love it. He’s been put through the ringer for his career like Bill Simmons or Shea Serrano, but now he’s being called on like Phil Collins to be one of the games greats like the genesis of his association with National Basketball.
So he may just be worth a package deal like your next vacation. Even if the Lakers are offering Kyle Kuzma and Quinn Cook for his services. Can I make a counter offer of Cook, Troy Daniels (great…but underused) and DeMarcus Cousins (although I do want to see how big he can literally get coming back and grunting with former post Pelican powerhouse Anthony Davis)? Throw in Drummond and it’s a go. Like Jerry Seinfeld superimposed into ‘Deal Or No Deal’ by NBC’s ’30 Rock’, “I gotta take that deal!”
Pair Rose with LeBron and the frontcourt force of Howard and of course Davis then these London Olympic teammates would make for what a couple of five ring contests ago on dry erase would look like a dream team. And it still wakes up notions of one to this date in the 2020 year of Tokyo thanks to Vogels vision. But would the show be giving up too much this time?
“This time”…yeah right!
Quinn Cook has California championship pedigree, splashing with the brothers in Golden State like shopping on Rodeo Drive. And this Warrior has been integral this season. His number 2 from downtown reminding me of the should be retired clutch king Fisher (we can always raise 0.4 to the STAPLES rafters) and making me feel happier about buying a Lonzo Ball statement jersey last year…hey if I wear it under a jacket it looks like I’m cooking up love and representation for Quinn.
And then there’s Kuz.
If the Lakers trade away Kyle Kuzma then they will be giving up the last piece of their incredibly curated young core that is flying with the Pelicans right now. Although how could I forgot about the untouchable, All Star Alex Carushow and the fact that Anthony Davis isn’t calendar far from Larry Nance Jr. and new Jazz 6 man Jordan Clarkson?
Although Rose solves the Lakers perimeter problems and feels in the same prime time as what could be his All Star teammates (how legendary would a Rose/Rondo backcourt be although it’s hard not to know whether to deal him or Cook?), Kuz seems too good to let cruise like Tom. This top gun may have struggled early this season, but he was coming back from injury Lakers Twitter. And recently he’s been that Worthy third option behind the Big Game Magic of James and his Kareem or Shaq to his Kobe number 3 partner, waiting on those Jordan digits next season when the King carries the 6.
30 for 30 putting up “trade this” exclamatory numbers in the dynamic duos absence, even Batman and Robin needed a Nightwing. And as much as Rose could help the new Lake Showtime bloom and grow like fine wine for all of LeBron’s merlot men, you could imagine Kyle making the Lakers pay play after play like a D’Angelo Russell or Julius Randle off the team that draft clever, but trade stupid.
Keep the player. Trade the barber.
Zero to 1. The legend or the future superstar? The choice for this deal is the Kings.
Watch THIS Work! The WNBA Bets On Women
Ten years ago the motto of the Women’s National Basketball Association was to, ‘Expect Great’. Now a decade later and into the roaring 20’s of a whole new one and world, the league that tells you to watch them work truly has for all it’s worth.
The WNBA and CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) has reached a monumental moment in the leagues history and its time to read all about it on Los Angeles Sparks twin superstar Chiney Ogwumike’s Twitter thread.
It tells us the CBA means…
When it comes to players salary and compensation there will be a 30% increase to the salary cap as the higher max pay player salary jumps like Lisa Leslie’s first dunk from $117,500 to $215,000. Whilst there will be an additional compensation for those top tier Candace Parker players around $300,000. Moving millions this is thee first time the league has moved units like this in six figures. And like Russell Westbrook why not? Because for every player like him there’s an Ogwumike. For every Candace a LeBron. Every Luka Doncic a Breanna Stewart. Every Larry Bird a Sue. Kobe Bryant, Diana Taurasi. For every Michael Jordan a Lisa Leslie.
Every insufferable, couch potato chip, sexist fans who unlike a Suffragette doesn’t believe women deserves equal pay needs to check their pockets…yep like Rakim said that’s nothing but lint. Now paid in full these women deserve this and more like diversity at the Oscars. Just as good as the men like Michelle Wie (she’s not the logos sons wife people) golfing with the guys of you claim you’re “woke” on social media but can’t wake up to this then you’re about as woke as still in bed gone half 12 in the afternoon. It feels like all those trumped up people who had a problem with a female ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot. Or those old men who would rather bully a 17 year old girl with Aspergers online than believe in the actual happenings of climate change.
Sure there’s an argument that sportspeople shouldn’t be paid these ridiculous amounts of money. But the point is if the men get paid this much then why shouldn’t the women?
This should have happened a long time ago. But at least it’s happening now.
It’s about time.
Working mothers are also finally getting their due in a groundbreaking deal on this date. Players will receive a salary whilst on maternity leave with an additional new childcare stipend. Whilst up to $60,000 of progressive family planning benefits for veteran players for costs for adoption, surrogacy, oocyte cryopreservation, fertility and more. No longer will go hard greats like Skylar Diggins-Smith have to play whilst pregnant and hide it to protect herself whilst the CBA lists it as a “condition”.
Perks of the game that the men have had for years and the world class women deserve just as such also include individual hotel rooms for players, more mandatory leg room on flights (how important is this for basketball players? The NBA would cry personal foul if the King and them would be forced to fly economy), and further for the finances, off-season job opportunities with league partners that along with the salary rise will mean that WNBA players won’t, overplayed and underpaid have to go overseas in the off-season to earn more money to make ends meet in foreign leagues. Something which has been a conditioning condition and pay for play issue since the leagues inaugural inception.
And let’s not forget about the players mental health too in major improvements across the board and world to an issue still surrounded with stigma despite the lengths taken and measures made. More resources will be offered in addition to the adoption of a Nutrition Council that will aid peak performance by offering players a commitment to this optimization.
But it’s probably the stand made by the WNBA and the CBA against violence to women which is the most important. Ending domestic and all sorts of violence to women which has happened to players around the league and still happens everyday, effecting everyone needs to end NOW like it should have never happened. It seems like such a ridiculously obvious thing to say…but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said.
Again and again until we don’t have to.
The wide world has finally met the standards of the women’s game and league on the way to leveling the playing field. More of the same…do we really need to add the please now?
Betting on sporting events is a losers game. But betting on women-like the ones in this league-is a sure thing.
The game changed for real today.
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