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Odom Is Owed More Than This Odom Is Owed More Than This

NBA

Odom Is Owed More Than This

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Here’s the latest as of today-if some are still interested-another miracle has happened, Lamar Odom is off dialysis and will not need a kidney transplant according to sources. Thankfully he keeps getting better and better on his long road to recovery. What looked like touch and go, is now a turnaround of a survival story.

Yet, it’s all stronger and much more meaningful than that.

This is about making sure Lamar Odom gets better and recovers completely…physically and mentally. This is not about the gossip rags or social media trends…you can save all that tweeting for the birds. This is one step at a time…not one rumor after another.

Will the former NBA champion, ‘Sixth Man Of The Year’, Laker, Clipper and Miami Heat player that could stretch the court like no other player in history the way he could play all five positions on the floor ever play again? That’s the least important thing right now for a legend whose legacy will always live on on what he did during his time in the NBA. Will he get back with his ex-wife Khloe Kardashian? Are you kidding me right now? Although we wish them the best, that’s not even our business. Let alone something that should be brought up right now!

Come on!

This is about a troubled man who is much more of a person beyond his pain, finding health and happiness again no matter what people say.

To those bemoaning the amount of attention he’s getting in the media after his critical condition hospitalization after taking drugs in a brothel, he’s not welcoming this. Even if you are ignorant enough to think her brought it on himself. This is a man that has wanted the TMZ likes of refresh a second gossip columns in this digital newspaper age out of his life a long, damn time ago. And who could blame him? Or the people visiting and supporting him, famous name or not. This is not a reality show and he’s not a reality star. He’s a basketball one…and a man first. A man dealing with a depression and loneliness those looking to fuel the fire are too shallow to ever know. To ever know the shameful embarrassment of having your dirty laundry aired out in public…hourly. Now that is not our concern. And this is real life people. It’s not another exercise in cashing in on articles, (part of me, ashamed doesn’t even know why I’m writing this, although I feel it’s needed one way or another) shared posts, likes and retweets in a “me” generation age where some feign concern and sympathy over an addiction to celebrity tragedy just to gain readers, followers, or a digital only respect that comes with this selfish culture, ‘selfie’ style of showing off about how ‘good’ or ‘nice’ they are.

That does not deserve a thumbs up. Liking is not caring…or helping. Action over reaction is.

Real help…real care.

Real life.

Don’t be fooled. Don’t fall for anything else. This is not about needing to know what’s going on and needing to have the first word or last laugh. This is about needing to know a mans OK. Have you seen how many people and news sites have dropped off now he’s better and he’s no longer the latest social media, cycle trend? Last weeks news?! Really? This is not about the latest breaking news that people will search and scrape for once they find out what’s really happening with Khloe and Lamar. Yet again that has nothing to do with us.

And I’m one of number sevens biggest fans, but more than anything I just want him to be OK. There’s a lot I’ve wanted to write, but it didn’t seem appropriate. Perhaps this isn’t either. All I did was tweet this (and I’m including it for what the words mean about the man)…’My Lamar Odom jersey still hangs proud in my room. No player could play like he played! No one has overcome as much as he! I have faith.’ Yet my and other real fans and concerned parties have more character than just what 30 keystrokes can give us. It’s unedited…unfiltered. Others treating it like it’s a hash-tag trend or first developing story wins just don’t get it. This is a mans life and livelihood.

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But they aren’t even the worse ones.

Those that think this is all for the sport of a mocking meme or vile Vine may just want to stick to the skit of Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ video. For mocking a mans life hanging in the balance isn’t at all funny. It’s cruel and computer keyboard and screen cowardly. Those trying to make a point too that support shouldn’t be offered to a man who was addicted to drugs and spent time with prostitutes, whilst also using a shared post or whatever to ridicule are ridiculous and need to check themselves first before they throw stones from their transparent tenements. It’s pathetic and they owe him more than an apology.

From an early age Lamar lost his mother, than the grandmother that raised him, friends, hope and then his own baby infant. Then after overcoming all this mental torture and substance abuse he became one of the kindest men and unique ball players around. He found championship career success and love and then lost it all in front of television show cameras that didn’t even need all the blogs and b.s. to follow with their broke two cents…but oh did they. That’s just a summary guys! That’s enough to drive even the strongest of souls (which he is) to more than despair.

Now I don’t mean to speculate or make excuses but can you blame him? As we complain day-to-day about less or a life we don’t even know. If you don’t get that or him. If you don’t even respect it a little bit than you just don’t understand. Mental health or all the trouble and turmoil that causes it. If you see this man or this scenario as less than or not as worthwhile as others than you really, truly don’t get it. Or for that matter have any respect for those that suffer these type of problems or issues. These problems could effect any of us in any form and do. Disrespect and shamefully ridicule Lamar Odom for this and you disrespect and shamefully ridicule anyone and everyone that goes through personal problems that effect mental well-being. The person you just walked past in the street. A family member or friend you didn’t even know needed help. The guy writing this article. Maybe even yourself.

And we can both agree to those even worse that wish the worst for this kind, talented (not that that should be an issue) and troubled (that is the issue here) young man there’s words we can’t put down here that they deserve. But we don’t need to write that. Because Lamar’s about to rewrite it all. In the face of it all he’s going to get better and stronger and recover from this relapse. He’s going to live again and on. He’s not giving up…maybe it’s time those with a desire to disgrace or deface did when it comes to all they have to say.

Because just like the end of this…it’s nothing. And this man is more than all of that…much more!

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NBA

Shaun Livingston Lived For His Career

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Shaun Livingston Lived For His Career
The Greatest Comeback Ever Told...

“I wasn’t supposed to be here”.

Shaun Livingston wasn’t even supposed to be still playing.

But boy did he.

He almost lost his leg.

But man he didn’t.

When Shaun Livingston entered the league as the fourth pick and a wide eyed kid with youthful exuberance above the rim in Hollywood. Him and the youngest Roc L.A. Familia (remember the classic SLAM cover?) crew of Elton Brand, Lamar Odom, Darius Miles, Corey Maggette and Keyon Dooling even took some of the bright lights of downtown L.A. from Shaq and Kobe of all dynamic duos from the basements of STAPLES. Arguably the most exciting Clippers team this side of Buffalo…yeah I said it Blake, Jordan and CP3…you too Kawhi and PG-13. It was an Iverson age of cornrows and tattoos. It was the generations hood to the storied Lake Show’s Hollywood history.

But then with a death of a dynasty a bunch of young Roc’s with the rock ended up all over the place too like State Property. The future of these young guns looked bleak like Memphis. Miles went to LeBron’s Land before the King. Elton ended up setting up his Brand in Philly. Whilst Odom went cross-court and stadium with the Lakers after a brief stint of talent in Miami when he was traded back to the bright lights and Kardashian city for Shaq.

But what happened to Shaun Livingston was so much worse.

With Charlotte as a Bobcat Shaun suffered a gruesome injury so bad it almost made Gordon Hayward’s opening night one look like a sprain…almost. Lets not front for the funny that injury was so bad and his comeback story so good too ’till this playing day.

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But no comeback story in this league is greater than Livingston’s, living for his career.

He almost lost his leg. Instead doctors saved it and then through the hardest of work and the most powerful perseverance Shaun saved his career…and then made it even better. And he could even still catch a few above the rim.

Number 34 ended up back in California with the Golden State Warriors via a comeback in the B.K. with the Brooklyn Nets. Out in The City of Oak Town he ended up winning three championships and going to two more finals before calling it a career yesterday and feeling “sad, fortunate and grateful” in his retirement. He was microwave more than just a super sub alongside legendary Sixth Man Finals MVP Andre Igudola (also gone this off-season with some guy name Kevin). He was an integral player to the dynasty influence that showed the Dubs were more than just the Splash Brothers of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson or Draymond and Durant. His jersey belongs up there in the new state of the art arena in San Francisco across the Golden Gate although his legend and legacy will always tram remain in the Golden State of Oakland.

Now that’s what I call a true Warrior King.

Don’t call it a comeback unless it’s like this.

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NBA

Charles Barkley’s Round Bronze Of Rebound

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Charles Barkley's Round Bronze Of Rebound
Legends Walk Of Fame...

“I don’t think I’ve ever been that skinny!”

Trust Chuck to have the best soundbite of the night.

But after all it was his day.

Yesterday the Philadelphia 76ers unveiled a statue of Sir Charles Barkley outside their Camden practice facility. Joining the bronze likes of his legendary teammates at the time Dr. J, Julius Erving and the late great Moses Malone for one of the most storied teams in NBA history from The Answer to The Process.

“There is not a lot I can say this is just a humbling experience but it really means a great deal because I think people know what the 76ers mean to the NBA,” Barkley said of the honour to those in attendance.

Your move Houston Rockets and Phoenix Suns.

But after running a power statue on Chuck to join the Legends Walk of Wilt Chamberlain, Billy Cunningham, Mo Cheeks et al at the Training Complex in Camden, New Jersey there are still spots left for the likes of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons as Bark also remarked that he believes the new Sixers with Tobias Harris and this Summer’s free agent Al Horford will win the NBA Championship next year.

Isn’t he a TNT analyst?

You can forgive him it was an emotional day.

But stranger things have happened this Summer, Philly didn’t run out of bronze for the Round Mound of Rebound and one of the greatest players, especially Power Forwards the game has ever seen is finally getting his due in-between joking around with Shaq, Kenny Smith and E.J.

“You come here as a 21-year-old kid and now 40 years later – it has been pretty amazing – and it all started here so I just want to thank the 76ers Organization and the city of Philadelphia,” the great added. As Philadelphia Sixers head coach Brett Brown agreed, “We are privileged to have you a part of our past. You are referenced often.”

We all have our favourite stories about one of Basketball’s beloved, Top 50 players of all-time who averaged 23.3 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.7 steals during his time in Pennsylvania. And here’s mine…I don’t even think he was playing with Philly at the times but who cares? I tell this to people often-even non Bball fans-when they need some inspiration and I reach to my grab bag of top three stories that make me smile when I’m down. The other is an exchange between Wilt Chamberlain and playground legend Earl Manigault that Don Cheadle and Kevin Garnett as the Stilt recaptured at the Rucker for the G.O.A.T. movie (look it up), and the third being the time U2’s Bono made that “everytime I clap my hands someone dies” gaff.

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Anyway if you’re sitting comfortably I’ll begin…

Back in the golden era 90’s day there was a Nike commercial in a barbershop featuring then Golden State Warriors Chris Webber and Latrell Sprewell boasting about one of them dunking on Barkley (I think it was Spree…see how good I am at telling this story Philadelphia?). I don’t even think I saw a Basketball in the whole commercial…let alone so much of a sneaker. But anyway the next time Chuck came up against those two in Oakland be hit like 50 odd points or something completely dominating the duo and game. With C-Webb and Sprewell down and out, draped in towels on the bench, Barkley after being a silent assassin all game and saying nothing in reply, backpedaled back downcourt after his last shot, finally looked at the distraught two and said…

“Put that in a f###### commercial!”

BOOM!

I hope the Dubs athletic trainer had some Aloe Vera.

I like this Charles Barkley quote too from back in the ’92 Dream Team Olympics heyday were he defined the fun that what his life and career by saying, “we’re here for a good time. Not for a long time!”

Well now in bronze he’s going to be here forever.

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