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Yuta Watanabe’s Japanese ‘Liking Yields Power’ Autobiography Message Not Lost In Translation

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yuta watanabes liking yields power autobiography not lost in translation
Land Of The Reading Son...

Big outside of Japan, top ten Washington Wizard rookie Rui Hachimura may have become the first Japanese player in history to be taken in the first round of the NBA draft, but look at the guy he also made history with, swapping jerseys like a Dwayne Wade last dance postgame. The one Hachimura held up read Watanabe, like Rui being the second rookie out of Japan to be drafted since Yasutaka Okayama (although the Sumitomo Metal Spark never signed or logged a minute with the Golden State Warriors), the 25 year old Yuta Watanabe became the second Japanese player to play in the National Basketball Association since Toyota Alvark and Phoenix Suns guard Yuta Tabuse.

So even though Rui is on the run to be one of the rookies of the year, the two-way Memphis Grizzlies/Hustle tweening sophomore sensation second coming of Yuta helped pave the hardwood way.

And after this season in what will be their collective year you will see how much this all means in their home host nations Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where they will suit up together for their host Japanese nation trying to bring home the gold like 1964.

Before Rui there was Yuta and now you read all about Hachimura and Watanabe together. Although he deserves a call up and way more playing time than a couple of minutes and maybe a made or missed shot, the Memphis Grizzlies next generation after the grit and grind era like Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. has already achieved so much with all his hustle. Just wait until they give him the ball.

It’s little wonder than that this Japanese sensation has already penned a memoir, releasing his ‘Liking Yields Power’ autobiography in his land of the rising sun in the Far East. Don’t worry the name doesn’t come from some vacuous social media, Facebook or Tinder swipe vacuum (like a Port of Kobe, Japan mural, “Less Likes, More Love”). The title could also be read as ‘Loves Driving Force’ thanks to the wise words that even wrote in kanji aren’t lost in translation for a young man who has achieved so much, coming to America and learning a new language.

Run this through the Google translate like this writer living and working abroad for a year in Japan, penning for his own Tokyo 2020 Olympic dream (writing…I mean do I look like an athlete to you? Maybe a javelin? ) and you’ll get more than the gist.

“At night, the area is enveloped in the dark, and every time you fall in the tranquility, the strength of your shoulders will be lost.” Describing his Tokyo neighbouring Yokohama birthplace (a place coincidentally this writer is now calling home for a calender), that’s just part of how this beautiful basketball book begins. You may not get all of the words…some actually being Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, but the ones you do will resonate. Besides what does it matter even in nuance when you will get absolutely all the spirit. And if you live the game like this man who is so love with it he won’t even play video games, then you’ll feel his every heartbeat on the hardwood and his soul for the game. Truly showing that like his banner jersey moment last weekend before the torch he’s about to carry with Rui to the first five rings since Rio, Basketball has no border.

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Or if it does than it just got a whole lot bigger than 30 for 30 teams, 48 minutes and 82 games like the changes proposed over this last shot clock day of 24 little hours.

America and Japan share a lot. 7-Elevens on every corner like Starbucks, a deep bond in baseball. But now rounding more than the bases check out the potential they share in this game and these men.

Yuta talks about growing up and idolizing Kobe and the Los Angeles Lakers, which I think we can all relate to. He talks about the psychology and philosophy behind bettering himself as a player in body, soul and mind and making that coast to coast journey from one country to another as he became the first Japanese born player in basketball history to hold down a NCAA Division 1 scholarship.

Talk about going by the book, despite being undrafted and sharing stints in the G-League this man has made his mark.

Although now with Hachimura in the house of hoops, Yuta doesn’t have the biggest selling NBA jersey in Japan like he did last season (even more than Steph Curry and even King Laker LeBron James), but this season he is now a published author. How about this kid? Here’s still looking at him.

“I don’t usually enjoy writing”, Yuta told the press as he released this book to begin the season. But you can hardly tell from this perfect prose. You can tell he “really enjoyed this project”. And you’ll really enjoy reading it to, so long as you can get it translated like the ‘Norwegian Wood’ of a fellow Japanese author you may know, Haruki Murakami (someone get Jay Rubin on the phone). But hey that’s just how global the game is as the world turns like a spinning Spalding on the finger (remember fellow Memphis Grizzlies international and Laker legend and Olympian Pau Gasol has an autobiography out exclusively in Spanish).

Wanting to use “like” as a weapon and “aim for the top”, as he advises to put your energy into something you like and you will “always get something”. Closing with a quote that needs no translation, “My love of basketball has definitely moved my life.”

Told you this was more than a liking matter.

Like all Japanese books and the opposite side of the road this ‘Liking Yields Power’ driving force reads backwards.

The game is truly changing.

Read all about it.

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CEBL

Ottawa BlackJacks select Osvaldo Jeanty as first-ever Head Coach

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ottawa blackjacks select osvaldo jeanty as first ever head coach
Ottawa BlackJacks introduce Head Coach Osvaldo Jeanty

The pieces of the puzzle are coming together for the Ottawa BlackJacks basketball team.

The start-up Ottawa basketball professional club named former five-time Canadian University champion Osvaldo Jeanty as the franchise first-ever head coach. General Manager Dave Smart made the announcement on Friday morning following a brief search that always included Jeanty’s name at the top of the list.

“Obviously, Osvaldo and I have had a long history together since he was probably 15 or 14, playing club basketball on the Ottawa Guardsmen to his time at Carleton (as player) and then he was my assistant coach at Carleton”, discussed Smart during the press conference.

“Os and I have worked together from a coach, assistant coach perspective, so I know what he’s about in terms of what his exceptions are, and we’re very much inline in terms of what our expectations are, and he knows how I operate and is comfortable working with me. So I think it’s an obvious fit, it’s and easy fit and we are really excited to start working together and put a team on the floor”, further elaborated the former Carleton Ravens on his selection process.

ottawa blackjacks hire osvaldo jeanty as first ever head coach
Ottawa BlackJacks hire Osvaldo Jeanty as first-ever Head Coach

“It’s the first time he’s called me Osvaldo so many times since I was 15, I’m not really used to it.” a smiling Jeanty opened-up about his longtime head coach and mentor during his introductory speech.

Jeanty + Smart winning combination since the late 1990’s

The duo go back to late 1990’s with Jeanty playing for Smart at the Midget and Ontario Basketball U-19 Provincial teams. Under Smart’s guidance, Jeanty flourished as player helping turn the Carleton Ravens’ basketball program into the powerhouse that it is today.

The Ravens’ won five (2002-2007) straight U Sports men’s basketball championships during their time together as a coach-player combo — with Jeanty earning the Final 8 Jack Donohue championship MVP trophy twice, during his freshman and junior campaigns. A proven winner at all levels, Jeanty turned an outstanding collegiate career into a six year pro career, earning a championship with the Giants Nördlingen of Germany’s ProA league.

Inducted into Carleton Ravens Hall of Fame in 2015 — Jeanty earned an additional two titles as a coaching duo during their three-year (2016-19) stretch.

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Both Jeanty and Smart were featured on the cover of the first-ever Canadian Basketball Magazine on March of 2005.

“I just wanted to say how thankful I am to Dave to Mike (Morreale) to the league for giving me this opportunity, also just for the Ottawa community. I’ve been here since I was six-years old and I appreciate what the community has given to me and the opportunity to be able give back to the community that has been so good to me is something that I’m very thankful for. So thank you and I look forward to really bringing a good product out there for the city, for the team and really representing the league the right way.”

osvaldo jeanty carleton ravens win first ever u sports mens basketball championship in 2003
Mike Smart, Jafeth Maseruka, Josh Porier, Osvaldo Jeanty, Rob Smart and Carleton Ravens win first-ever CIS/U Sports Men’s Basketball Championship In 2003

As for the type of style and brand of the basketball the BlackJacks expect to play — Jeanty offered a glimpse of the same championship formula that has led to many successful moments between the now general manager and head coach tandem.

“He’s put into my head since I was 15, in terms of the keys to winning championships and I tend to follow the same of idea. You defend, you rebound, you don’t turnover the ball over — but at the same time you have 24 seconds on the shot clock so you want to play as fast a possible while not turning over the basketball.”

The attention now turns to rounding out the remaining coaching staff positions and the complex process of putting together a championship calibre team — that will undoubtedly have it’s sights on establishing an early grip on the proudly Canadian made Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) championship trophy.

With the addition of Jeanty to the head coaching ranks the CEBL now features two former Carleton Ravens’ players turned bench bosses. Niagara River Lions head coach Victor Raso also won two national championships as a member of the Ravens.

Coincidentally, Jeanty’s head coaching debut will be against Raso as the Ottawa BlackJacks will kick-off the inaugural 2020 season on the road on May 7th against the Niagara River Lions. The BlackJacks home opener is scheduled for May 14th against the Hamilton Honey Badgers.

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NBA

A Rose For Kuz?

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a rose for kuz
Rose Reunion?

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.

That’s inspiration.

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”.

Awks.

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!”

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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.

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