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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!

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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

Canadian’s rise to the occasion at 2020 NBA Rising Stars game

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brandon clarke registers a layup for team world 2020 nba rising stars game
Canadian Brandon Clarke rises for a lay-up at 2020 NBA Rising Stars game

Without a doubt, one of the brightest spots of the NBA All-Star Weekend, is the Rising Stars game.

Since it’s inclusion in the 1994 All-Star game in Minneapolis, it has seen multiple formats and renditions — becoming a fertile playground for “phenoms” and “sensations” to showcase their gifted basketball talents to a global audience.

Orlando Magic point guard Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway won MVP of the inaugural edition of the rookie challenge game which at the time featured a true all-rookie affair with the likes on Chris Webber, Sam Cassell, Isaiah Rider taking on Jamal Mashburn and Nick Van Exel.

Toni Kukoc + Dino Rađa first International Players

The original 8-player team rosters comprised of only two international players – both Croatian/ Yugoslavian greats Toni Kukoc and Dino Rađa made the phenom cut.

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In addition to Kukoc and Rada, and up until 2000, when the NBA made it’s first format change, from a all-rookie game to a rookie versus sophomores soiree — the game had only featured a grand total of nine (9) non-American players. Arvydas Sabonis (Lithuania/1996), George Zidek (Czechoslovakia/1996), Vitaly Potapenko (Ukraine/1997), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (Lithuania/1998), Michael Olowokandi (UK/Nigeria/2000) and Dirk Nowitzki (Germany/2000) providing a blueprint for international expansion.

Steve Nash first Canadian selected in 1997

Steve Nash broke the Canadian trend and became the country’s first representation at the event, playing alongside Lakers’ great Kobe Bryant in the 1997 rendition. Winnipeg, Manitoba’s own Todd MacCulloch added his name to list in first year of the new millennium, and twelve (12) years later Tristan Thompson (2012-2013) started what is now an eight-year streak of Canadians in the NBA’s Rising Stars’ Game.

Andrew Wiggins cock-back dunk NBA Rising Stars Game
Andrew Wiggins throws down big dunk at 2015 NBA Rising Stars Game in Brooklyn

Andrew Wiggins opened the flood-gates winning the MVP trophy in 2015 with an electric 22-point performance. Jamal Murray topped his scoring efforts with one of the best games in the events’ history with a 36-point MVP outburst in 2017.

History of Canadian’s NBA Rising Stars Game

Back then it was hard to imagine the impact that the NBA would have internationally, and across Canada. Despite multiple formats and various renditions, there’s little to no doubt that the idea of what has now become the World versus USA game has been a large contributing factor to the multiplier effect.

Record four Canadians in 2020 World vs. USA game

Now in its 26th year and in the sixth edition of the it’s latest format, the 2020 game showcased a record four (4) Canadian’s. Rookies RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks, Brandon Clarke (Memphis Grizzlies), Nickeil Alexander-Walker joined sophomore Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the NBA’s Tupac themed me against the world game.

rj barrett and shai gilgeous alexander 2020 nba rising stars game
Canadian’s RJ Barrett and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at 2020 NBA Rising Stars Game – Photo: NBA Canada

Barrett poured in a game-high 27 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Clarke, arguably the steal of the 2019 NBA Draft was equally impressive with 22 points and game-high 8 rebounds on a 11-of-15 shot attempts. Gilgeous-Alexander razzled and dazzled his way to 16 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists while his cousin Alexander-Walker added 6 points, 4 assists and 2 steals.

The Canadian’s contributions helped Team World race out to a 39-30 first-quarter lead over Team USA. A big second-half surge saw the all-American squad turn a 81-71, 10-point half-time deficit into 151-131, 20-point victory.

Outcome aside, the game featured a bevy of highlights including an impromptu dunk contest in the last minute that included some big time dunks by Brandon Clarke and RJ Barrett.

With such an impact internationally and responsible for giving many rising Canadian basketball players their first true taste of NBA All-Star weekend — it will only be a matter of time before one or two of them makes the leap from Saturday to Sunday like Nash did, becoming an official NBA All-star — five years after his appearance in the Rookie Challenge.

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NBA

How’s This For An All-Star People? Common Takes Home Celebrity Game MVP In Chicago

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hows this for an all star people common takes home celebrity game mvp in chicago 2020 all star game
Common Court Sense...

“You love to hear the story again and again, about these young brothers from the city of wind”.

How’s this for the food? Jesus is King, but Yeezus was nowhere to be found this All Star weekend before Sunday service in Chicago. No matter. The eyebrow Ruffles of Anthony Davis is for all the chips. Like the Bulls will want for the Lakers forthcoming free agent this Summer. Expect a lot of him out the bag tomorrow putting on for his city in the same weekend his frontcourt teammate and back-to-back returning Slam Dunk Champion Dwight Howard looks to honour Kobe with that Mamba Mentality. You just know he’s going to rock the eighth wonder as he rocks the cradle. Give him the trophy now, unless Bull boy Zach Lavine can land that viral practice 360 from the Jordan bar raising free throw line.

But today he opened up the NBA All Star Celebrity Game in Chicago this weekend with a weird bag toss deciding challenge that along with a one handed tissue grab (What?!) for possession (guess celebrities like people who go to the bathroom before the cheque can’t tip) and some rock, paper, scissors (just playing ball beats all) between two of Chi-towns hottest M.C.’s made for some wheel spinning gimmicks the epic events could do without before tomorrow’s 24 second tribute to Kobe that really makes a fitting point.

Because Team Giannis and Team LeBron wearing 24 and 2 respectively and beautifully for Kobe and GiGi come tomorrow. Today saw Team Common and Team Chance The Rapper battle off wax for something straight out a court cipher. Okay so it was actually Team (Michael) Wilbon vs Team Smith (who else but Stephen A? But how about a face off with his brother (Jamie Foxx) Cleveland A. Smith on the ‘Saw’ trike…”he’s a close personal friend of mine”). But that like the 62-47 final score to Wilbon changing Chicago clothes under his suit barely mattered. This was all about fun, the love of the game and having a good time. And the city of Chicago that could sure use a break like the All Star one surely got that today.

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After 24.2 seconds of silence for the late Bryant’s and the fellow victims of last months horrific helicoptor crash the game got underway in the same day as the Team USA vs World Rising Star preview to this year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan (Konichiwa Rui!). And apart from some WNBA greats and NBA legends, despite the lack of professionals this was all a showcase of a mixed bag of talent that was all professionalism and some sweet skill. Despite ‘Get Out’ and ‘Uncle Drew’ star Lil Rel Howrey breaking the bandana headband rule (beautiful) and taking a turnover mid-court tumble (graceful). Somebody get him in ‘Space Jam 2’ too because that’s the only way like Wayne Knight he’ll play (I’m just kidding this guy is motherf###### NBA like he is TSA). And what would it take to get ‘Garfield’ star Bill Murray in one of these games? Probably the same chance as it would to get him in LeBron’s Monstar hoops solar system sequel out in Hollywood’s Lakerland.

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Even without the balling Bieber there was still plenty of celebs who could ball like halftime show performer Quavo of Migos (who right now is forming a dynamic radio duo with good ‘Intentions’ alongside Justin). But it was WNBA leaders like the purple and gold of Spark Chelsea Grey who kept this game going like the green of Chance’s jerseys against Common’s ‘Electric Circus’ pink. Alongside former Clippers and podcast stars Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson going bam, bam, sneaker head-to-head, toe-to-toe. Miles being mic’d up to hilarious “I’m tired as hell” and swearing soundbites (“it’s a family show I apologize” Miles mused).

hows this for an all star people common takes home celebrity game mvp in chicago
Common at 2020 NBA All-Star Game in Chicago

And then Chicagoland brought out the big dogs. Or the legends. As Chicago Bulls own Krypto-Nate dunk champ Nate Robinson put some heavy D on the boys and comedian Famous Los. I may be too old to know what a social media influencer is, but I know this kid can play (a like Mike 23 in the town M.J. put on the Jumpman map) like digital, video game 2K sports own marketing director Ronny 2K with his own custom jersey. And three-peating Bull-pen legend Horace Grant strapping the 54 and goggles back on like former NFL player, comedian and actor Anthony ‘Spice’ Adams (who was drawing “Zion in two years” social media comments. Well look at the man today) as he showed midrange vision off the glass, that was clear to see that even deep in the living well age of retirement he still had polish to his plays.

The homecrowd loved to see it.

But in a game that featured all sort of lists and rosters of owners (the Bucks money of Marc Lasry) and gymnasts (how about Katelyn Ohashi’s flipping introduction entrance?) it was Common that would ‘Be’ the Celebrity MVP with his Windy City skyline wood ingrained on the parquet. The before he was ‘Can I Borrow A Dollar’ famous the former Bull ball boy who used to mop up sweat off Jordan’s court wiped the floor with everybody. The ‘Just Wright’ Basketball movie star, ‘Let Love’ album and ‘Let Love Have The Last Word’ author artist coming off one of his ‘Finding Forever’ best years in the game ‘Like Water For Chocolate’ had the last word with a nice line of 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals like his raps. Even if Smith’s mouth gave him lip service to the first Celebrity Game tech.

Only Stephen A.

What better way to start the All Star weekend with some real famous stars?

Basketball’s Hollywood takes stage tomorrow in Chi-city.

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