If you don’t think this year’s Naismith Hall of Fame was full of legends, then you don’t know Basketball?
Sidney Moncrief, Paul Westphal, Jack Sickma, Bobby Jones, Al Attles, Teresa Weatherspoon, Chuck Cooper, Carl Braun and Bill Fitch can all call themselves the class of 2019 when the H.O.F. has a reunion. And they were all lead down the corridors of the Hall by the biggest in the class, Vlade Divac.
Those made to measure orange jackets always come in big and tall plus sizes-its the game-but how about the jacket on Vlade? He was part of the legendary Yugoslavian side that won silver in the Olympics and was friends with the late, great Drazen Petrovic. He won another silver with Serbia when civil war tore apart his country and unfortunately friendship with Drazen. Altough if you watch the heartbreaking ESPN 30 For 30 documentary ‘Once Were Brothers’ you will see that it’s still all love for big Vlade like the theme of his beautiful speech this weekend.
“To me basketball was always about love.”
Younger fans you may remember Divac from being the guy that went up against Shaq and was big enough a body and just as good a passer during the King’s California clashes with the Lakers in their state rivalry that ran deep into the playoffs and game seven’s. Anyone that thought the Lakers three-peat was a cake walk need to think again. The San Antonio Spurs. The Portland Trailblazers. It was no milk run. And the Sacramento Kings were arguably just as competitive and tough to beat than any of those teams…if not more so. And arguably it was as much, if not mostly to do with Vlade as he formed a formidable frontline with Chris Webber. As one of the first Euro players to change the game before Dirk or Pau was flanked by Sacramento Kings foreign shooters like Peja and Hedo and whichever Bibby or J-Will Point Guard they were riding with at the time before Bobby Jackson came off the pine. And if it wasn’t for what Vlade called a “lucky shot” from Big Shot Robert Horry then the Kings could have gone all the way to the crown.
But did you forget that not only was Vlade Divac one of the Lakers biggest rivals, he was also one of their biggest players? You better check a newspaper or something. Divac not only began his career being drafted by the Lakers (the reason why Laker legend and executive decision maker Jerry West sat next to him to be the official one like the logo he is to welcome him into the Hall), he also ended his career with the Lakers playing alongside the guy he was traded for in another poetic move to his career like one of his precision perfect, pitched passes. Vlade Divac wasn’t just one of the best international players of all-time, but one of the greatest players in this worldwide game, NBA or internationally regardless. Also this young big played perfectly with Magic and backed up the sky hooks of Kareem before taking over cap’s mantle himself as Showtime faded, but still showed out during his time. All to become not only one of the most famous faces of Laker history, but one of their legacy making best big men in a legendary lineage. His name belongs right there with Mikan, Wilt, Kareem, Shaq, Pau, Anthony Davis and whatever Dwight Howard decides to do with his redemption reunion.
Besides this number 21 like fellow big peer of that time legends Garnett and Duncan played six years with the King’s, but eight years with the Lakers. His first stint coming before being traded to the Charlotte Hornets for the draft rights of some high school kid.
Some kid called Kobe.
So remember Lakers fans…without Vlade, there’s no Kobe.
And the King of Sacramento right now does seem more cowbell than Hollywood. As the General Manager out in Sacramento has built quite the team of young King’s of the future. Kids like DeAaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III. So his Basketball legend continues off the court too. As this Serbian global ambassador who made his name in the state of California remains one of the most underrated and unique greats the game has ever seen.
The 6 foot 10, 26th pick in the 1989 draft had quite the career and he did it all for the love. So it’s only fitting like his speech that we let him and love have the last word, “I believe the love gives you the freedom and power to share your best self and to inspire others. Love liberates you and gives you the power to make the impossible possible. Just like in life, when you play basketball, you have to give in order to receive.”
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.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 20 Pts, 20 Rebs, 10 Asts first Canadian NBA triple-double since 2006
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Hamilton, ON) became only the second Canadian basketball player in NBA history to record a triple-double — and the first in nearly 14 years, since Steve Nash in 2006.
Gilgeous-Alexander racked-up 20 points, career-high 20 rebounds and 10 assists in the 117-104 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The former one-and-done Kentucky Wildcat continued his efficient campaign shooting 8-of-12 field goals, connecting 2-of-3 triples and 2-of-2 from the foul-line.
Steve Nash recorded three triple-doubles in his illustrious 18-year career, the last one on April 19, 2006 — Nash finished with 16 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
The 20 rebounds is also a record-high by a Canadian guard and only the second 20/20 double-double by a Canadian — Jamaal Magloire notched a 22 point, 21 rebound game against the Toronto Raptors’ on March 21, 2004.
Most rebounds by a Canadian in the NBA
Samuel Dalembert (Montreal, QC) holds the record for the most rebounds in a NBA game with 23 against the Golden State Warriors on March 20, 2009. Followed by Magloire 22 and Tristan Thompson with 21.
Gilgeous-Alexander becomes the youngest guard to record 20-20-10 stat-line and joins Russell Westbrook as the only guards with a 20-point, 20-rebound triple-double over the last 30 seasons. He is also the youngest player in NBA history with a 20-rebound triple-double, passing Shaquille O’Neal.
RJ Barrett became the first Canadian basketball player to record a triple-double at the NCAA level in nearly 35 years during his lone freshman season with the Duke Blue Devils.
The OKC Thunder continue their playoff push with their 18 victory in the last 25 games and currently sit in 7th place in the western conference.
The Canadian guard is currently averaging 20 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists — shooting 46.4% from the floor, 33.6% from three-pointers and 81.6% from the foul-line while turning the ball over just 1.9 per game.
Canada NBA All-Star Drought
The 2020 NBA All-star game in Chicago is less than month away and as it currently stands, Gilgeous-Alexander doesn’t currently rank as one the top fan vote earners in a guard heavy western conference. Nevertheless, the Canadian stud could end Canada’s eight year NBA all-star game drought by earning a coach’s selection.
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