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”.
Philadelphia 76ers’ make Marial Shayok Ottawa’s first-ever NBA draft pick
Ottawa’s Marial Shayok has achieved his ultimate dream — becoming the city’s first-ever NBA draft pick. The Philadelphia 76ers selected Shayok with the 54th-pick overall in the second-round of the 2019 NBA Draft.
The former St.Patrick’s Irish high school standout celebrated his special and emotional moment at home with family and friends.
“You did it bro, you did bro…”
“Let’s go baby! You going to Philly…”
For Shayok and his family the historic moment is a culmination of life-long sacrifices that started in South Sudan with his 6’9″ father Makor Shayok moving his wife and three-daughters to America. The elder Makor set post at Alvin Texas Community College and earned a scholarship to the Dayton Flyers, playing from 1990-1992.
Makor’s eldest, Shayok Shayok (born in Miami) and his sister Yar Shayok also followed dad’s footsteps and played NCAA basketball – Shayok going to Bradley and transferring to UMKC and Yar playing with Detroit Mercy Titans women’s program.
The family migrated to Ottawa, Canada in the mid-90’s and on July 26th, 1995 the youngest Shayok was born.
Marial left Ottawa for New Jersey’s Blair Academy after three-years with the St.Pats Irish — he originally committed to the Marquette Golden Eagles but transferred to the Virginia Cavaliers after the coach (Buzz Williams) that originally recruited him bailed on the program in 2015.
Shayok had busy NBA draft process – showcasing his versatile skill-set to 14 NBA front offices. Here is footage of his 76ers’ work-out.
Mardi Gras For New Orleans On Pelicans Road To Zion
Zion. Zion. Zion.
Cause for celebration, or at least a premature parade in a conclusion as foregone as the Anthony Davis trade with the Lakers. The Duke KABOOM of all the all dunking Zion Lion is a YES for N.O. As with the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft live from New York City a few days before Saturday Night, Williamson is a New Orleans Pelican.
The most exciting league prospect since LeBron James may not get to play with the King’s new man after the Davis trade. But he has all the toys in the form of all the boys that would have been the future of the Lake Show (out of a lucky 13 over the last half-decade of drafts only Kyle Kuzma remains) in the young princes of soaring, scoring Brandon Ingram, true teammate Josh Hart and the alley-oops to be thrown by point man and former number 2 pick like B.I., Lonzo Ball (have you noticed that since this trade there has been little word of Zion dropping out the draft and heading back to college like Yeezus in reverse?). Not to mention Julius Randle if they can convince the big to stay and bolster their Davis-less frontcourt with the top picks of guys like Okafor. And not to forget like Jrue Holiday all the draft choices over the next few years the Pels will get. Just like the one they’ve just traded on draft night. As with the fourth pick in the 2019 Draft the Los Ange…sorry the New Orle…excuse me, the Atlanta Hawks select DeAndre Hunter.
Good will hunting. See what you could have won Lake Show?
I guess the Duke isn’t going back to college anymore.
What a way to replace Davis in a matter of days with the Thanos game changing, season of wind in a draft snap.
But like the year the King took his throne with the likes of Carmelo and the Flash of Dwyane for his first dance, the NBA Draft isn’t just about one man, Sam Bowie.
And as the Just Do It Nike campaign “from underated to undeniable” don’t write off Murray State’s Ja Morant like people did and for some reason still do (Hello Brooklyn?!) D’Angelo Russell. Replacing veteran the Grizz grit legend of Mike Conley Jr. traded to Utah, Morant will bring that grind. Rolling, expect Ja to rule Memphis like another King with the rock.
Now the New York Knicks may have wanted to make Zion their new King, but the lottery that New York didn’t win weeks ago already said balls to all that. But judging from the reaction of ‘BlackKklansman’ director Spike Lee with the big three pick, the Mecca made the right choice with the franchises new face of Madison Square Garden and Big Apple in another Duke standout in R.J. Barrett, for their post Porzingis and ‘Melo era. It almost looked on the cards, or in the bag like his shot on the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show. Where he bucketed a Knicks mannequin head (don’t ask) after trying the cap it wore on first to which Jimmy replied after he nailed it, “it must be the Knicks”!
Darius Garland completed the top five for the Cleveland Cavaliers still searching for that new Land owner after the King took his talents to Hollywood. The Timberwolves got the sixth of Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver after a trade with the Suns that will soon be as official as the AD one. Whilst coming in seventh and eighth, the Bulls got Coby White and the Pelicans after a trade with Atlanta further their Lake Showtime future with two top tens and Texas’ blocking and dunking with a Texan name straight out of ‘A Star Is Born’, Jaxson Hayes.
Big in Japan. History was made last night in a draft that was already one for the record books as straight out of Gonzaga and now a Wizard like Harry in Washington D.C., Rui Hachimura became the first ever Japanese player to be drafted in the first round with the ninth. But don’t sleep on last year’s rookie out of Memphis, Yuta Watanabe who still has all the tools to be the future next to Morant.
But in one of the best drafts in recent years in a class of its own, there was so much talent to choose from in this pool that there was always bound to be players that missed the top ten cut, way below their deserved position. But just making it to the first block, Duke’s Cam Reddish taken at ten by the Hawks (who also have their talons in two top tens for their Trae Young lead future) still seems like a sleeper. This Laker fan who when we originally held the fourth wanted us to go with Cam or Manute’s son Bol Bol (second round slide? Really? This guy with the spiders’ web suit has the length and versatility to be a game changer). But just wait until this fire under him proves everyone (or at least nine or so other teams) wrong this killa season.
This draft is so Method Man abyss deep that it won’t just be the Pelicans who fly this season in Crescent City. With so much uncertainty this free agency at least some teams that hit the lottery have just the ticket punched for the future of their franchises with what the draft blew in.
But reaching the mount with Zion at number one is a gift from the Basketball God’s.