Archive for July, 2015

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What a week it’s been.

If you’re a fan of team sports here in America, then you’ll agree that this time of year (mid-late July) can be quite…uneventful to say the least. In baseball, you have the so-called “Dog Days” in which the MLB season can tend to hit a lull in its long schedule. Football on all levels (high school, college, professional) has not quite kicked off their seasons. Last but not least, my beloved sport of basketball doesn’t really get underway until November.

Leave it to one of the NBA’s most legendary–and colorful–personalities to ignite a spark of interest among fans via social media. Shaquille O’Neal, aka Shaq Diesel, aka “Most Dominant Ever”, aka “The Big Aristotle”, decided to take jabs at six-time NBA champion Scottie Pippen. Shaq’s attack on Pippen comes from a place of mockery of Pippen’s status on the Chicago Bulls as 2nd fiddle to Michael Jordan. The Instagram beef took place for a number of days, which included everything from Pippen’s showing off his championship ring collection to Shaq, to Shaq imposing images of Pippen’s face on photos in a comedic, yet facetious way.

This is where the feud began.

We would beat em by fifty "what you think". Let me know and don't hold back

A post shared by DR. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on

Here’s Pippen’s response.

As you can see, the IG beef drug on for awhile. The following posts are listed in the order the two legends responded to each other.

Easy big fella… if only you were as good at free throws as you are talking smack! @shaq

A post shared by Scottie Pippen (@scottiepippen) on

Anybody need a T MOBILE SIDEKICK. I GOTTa PRETTY GOOD ONE #BESTSIDEKICKEVER

A post shared by DR. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on

Speaking of being a sidekick… if I recall correctly you know a thing or two about that as well. @shaq

A post shared by Scottie Pippen (@scottiepippen) on

Go oust and get them sidekick edition Scottie pippens exclusively on he's a bum.com

A post shared by DR. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on

Game over, @shaq. All that's ever mattered to me is winning and we did plenty of that in Chicago…

A post shared by Scottie Pippen (@scottiepippen) on

Just when you thought it was over after seeing Pip show off his six rings, Shaq wasn’t finished. Check out his responses below:

Although we usually don’t indulge in creating material that might seem remotely salicious for this site, the burning question that applies to the Shaq/Pippen feud is this: Is their beef with each other good or bad for the sport in terms of trash talk and giving us basketball entertainment during the offseason?

Meanwhile, on Shaq’s old stomping grounds in the L.A. Lakers’ practice facility, New Lakers Roy Hibbert, Lou Williams, and Brandon Bass were introduced to a Lakers team that has been less-than-stellar since winning their last NBA title in 2010. Their veteran presence and leadership are being counted upon to provide the team with a much-needed spark of life.

On a lighter note, Ray Allen, the NBA’s all-time leader in three-point field goals made, turned 40 last Monday. Nicknamed “Jesus Shuttlesworth” due to the character he portrayed in the film He Got Game, there has been much speculation on whether he will officially retire or come out of free agency as a hired marksman for some lucky NBA franchise (Cavaliers perhaps?)

What’s YOUR take on everything that transpired this past week around the NBA? Let us know what you think.

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More than any other professional team sport in America, the NBA has maintained a symbiotic relationship with its stars. The NBA–or “The League”, as it’s known by many–has been widely recognized as a star-driven league.

Whether you’re a fan of the NBA, or just a casual observer, you can’t help but to identify the National Basketball Association with some of the greatest and entertaining players to ever have earned an NBA paycheck.  Just in case you’re wondering about how long this star-driven system has been in place, we have to re-visit the early days of the pro basketball league.

I’m sure you’ve heard of an NBA franchise by the name of the Los Angeles Lakersright? Well, they haven’t always resided in Southern California, nor was their first championship won there either. Before the Lakers relocated to L.A. in 1960, they won an impressive five championships in their former home, Minneapolis. As expected, most great sports teams have that “anchor” on their team; that one person who is the heart and soul of their campaign to become champions in their respective league/sport. The then-Minneapolis Lakers had that type of player, and his name was George Mikan.

Mikan made a brief comback as a Minneapolis Laker in this 1995 ESPN Sportscenter commercial.

After an illustrious college career at DePaul University in Chicago, the 6’10” Mikan was known for his dominance as a Laker, yet he first signed with the Chicago American Gears of the NBL (National Basketball League), which eventually became the NBA. It was two years after his signing with the Gears in 1946, that he would join the Lakers for the 1947-48 season. When it came to dominant players at that time, no one in the league was on Mikan’s level of play. Like players such as Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in latter years, it was Mikan’s dominance that forced the NBA to change some of its rules to even the playing field for other players to have the opportunity to compete.

Long before the regularity of the NBA’s marketing of a celebrated few players handpicked every year to be the faces of the league, George Mikan was that guy to do so by himself.  If Mikan’s star power were ever in question, then any doubts would be refuted in the following story: On December 14, 1949, his teammates arrived at New York’s Madison Square Garden, and were met with a surprise.

On the marquee (sign outside of the building) they had ‘George Mikan vs. the Knicks,” recalled the NBA legend, whose teammates ribbed him by refusing to dress for the game. “They were all just sitting around. They said, ‘Alright big guy, if you’re going to play them, go play them.

With the NBA still crawling through its years of infancy at the time, such a sight was unheard of, yet it appeared that the marketing team of Madison Square Garden understood what a larger-than-life figure George Mikan had become back then. Needless to say, Mikan went on to play until 1956, ending a career that saw him become a hall-of-famer, one of the NBA’s “50 Greatest” players (as of 1996), and the reputation of being the “that dude” on his team. If Mikan were a star today, let’s just say that his jersey would be on sale, and he’d possibly even have his own sneaker.

Now that’s star power.

childrens book

I want everyone to be on the lookout for something that I consider a labor of love from Yours Truly, BC.

Because of my love of the game of basketball, in addition to society’s obligation to educate and empower young children to properly equip them with the tools they’ll need to survive in life, I’ve decided to do my part by creating a project that not only will the kids love, but you as parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors will appreciate as well.

In the upcoming weeks, I will be featuring updates on the progress of the project, so I want everyone to be on the lookout for this awesome treat. Yes, the project will heavily involve the game of basketball, and it will be used as a way to empower our youth.

In the meantime, I need everyone to subscribe to this awesome page so that you’ll be kept in the loop on this great surprise that I have in store for the kids.

Stay tuned!!

summertime_basketball

We’re smack dab in the middle of July, which means we’re still months removed from the official start of basketball season. However, summertime doesn’t stop many from getting their hoopin’ fix. Just for the mere sake of the seasonal climate during this time of year, the outdoor courts are frequented more, and the local gyms see an increase in people looking to test their skills against other players. See a few examples of people, places, and movements which highlight just how big summertime basketball has been–and is becoming

1. Sonny Hill, and the Baker League

Few individuals have been able to use the game of basketball to make such a remarkable impact upon their local communities like Sonny Hill. Mr. Hill, who is known as “The Mayor of Basketball” in Philadelphia, co-founded the Charles Baker League in 1960. Because of his tremendous contributions to the game of basketball in Philadelphia and beyond, he was inducted in the Philadelphia Sports Hall of FameThe league has witnessed a countless flow of ballers from Philly who have cut their teeth in this legendary bastion of basketball.

2. Rucker Park

Perhaps the most well-known and most popular locale for summertime hoops, the EBC Rucker Park–or “Rucker Park” as many call it–has been graced by the presence of basketball legends on every level, from Richard “Pee Wee” Kirkland, to Kevin “Easy Money Sniper” Durant.

3. The Goodman League

Located in the nation’s capital, The Goodman League has been around for 40 years as of this year, and doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

4. The Drew League

While most of the country relishes in the opportunity to enjoy the summer season, Los Angeles is spoiled by warm and abundant sunshine throughout the year, which is probably one of the reasons why there’s no real need for the top-flight players of the Drew League to want to play outside. The league that boasts itself to be “The Most Elite Summer League In The World” has opened its doors to L.A. natives and legends alike, such as rapper The Game, and NBA hoopers such as Nick Young, James Harden, and DeMar DeRozan

5. Quai 54

Now this is where summertime basketball goes global! Held in the City of Lights, this tournament hosts 16 international teams, and 200+ amateur and pro players, according to its website.

6. NBA Summer League

The true to its reputation and business model, the NBA has taken its own summer league to a whole ‘nother level. With this year’s newest draftees and young players aspiring to prove their place in “The League”, be on the lookout for future legends to be made in this annual midsummer basketball proving ground in Las Vegas.

As you can see from the examples above, people, events, and leagues have shattered the notion that basketball is a winter sport. In fact, summertime is when many serious players get better at their craft. Legends are made in the summer. Now, let’s hoop.

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#BrotherHood.

This was the caption that was featured on Dwyane Wade’s Instagram post which showed his recent vacation on a gigantic banana boat with fellow NBA superstars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and LeBron James.

Perhaps one caption says it all, as D-Wade shows the world that his alliance with the three other men in the photo is “bigger than basketball”, as he (and James) often talk about. I found this particular topic to be an interesting one, especially after hearing the latest episode of the Jalen & Jacoby podcast. Jacoby makes mention of the fact that some of the NBA’s “purist” old school fans who take issue with what they perceive to be a new school phenomenon of the players becoming too friendly on & off court (you can hear what Jacoby said at the 46:00 mark of this clip). That guys like Magic, Bird, and Jordan hated each other, and would never forge a friendship of any kind on–or off–the court.

Of course, the notion held by the old school fans of the “real NBA” might have forgotten that Magic and Bird’s friendship extended beyond the court; that MJ & Charles Oakley have been sidekicks for nearly thirty years (despite what you see in those early 90’s Bulls/Knicks games). It is also a well-known fact that Magic, Isiah Thomas, and Mark Aguirre always rolled together when they weren’t at each other’s throats during those late 80’s Lakers/Pistons rivalries.

MJ & Oak have been good friends for years.

MJ & Oak have been good friends for years.

So have Magic, Isiah, and Aguirre

So have Magic, Isiah, and Aguirre

The belief that competitors can’t be friends is ridiculous. As long as players’ friendships don’t water down their tenacity on the court, then who cares? Let ’em do battle on the court, and be family off the court.

The curse of Kobe?

Posted: July 3, 2015 by duragdeweese in Uncategorized

With free agency heating up, majority of the rumors of players moving to new places has died down and most players from Draymond Green to Kevin Love have taken new deals with their teams and while there is some movement with players moving to new teams, most of these players are role players for teams who need depth. One name that is the #1 target for a few squads is unrestricted free agent Lamarcus Aldridge, going into his 9th season for the 2015-16 season he still has plenty left in the tank and he is the #1 free agent on the market.

The teams involved in the Aldridge sweepstakes has been the usual suspects, the San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers. While some had Aldridge headed to the Spurs the Lakers have become the front runner for his service. Over the last few days after visiting L.A. it was reported by multiple media sources that contract talks had broken down and Aldridge was on his way to another team to talk about a contract. One name that was mentioned as to why talks broke down was Kobe Bryant. Rumors have spread like wildfire that Kobe and Aldridge had some sort of conversation and it did not go over too well with Aldridge. What really happened we do not know but the venom and complaints came at Bryant immediately. From twitter to ESPN everyone had an opinion to what Kobe should do as a player, many think that Kobe is to blame for screwing up the deal. Nobody is blaming ownership or general manager Mitch Kupchak who has not as of late had a good record as far as bringing in talent. The Lakers have taken a rather odd approach in building the future. With future front court stars coming into the league the Lakers, who were drafting second in the lottery chose Ohio State guard Deangelo Russell instead of Duke All American Jahlil Okafor. While they could have drafted a front court presence they chose to gamble in free agency for their front court needs. In doing that they have taken on the task of wining and dining players and it seems the players are not enjoying the date. Is it Kobe’s fault? What we do know is Kobe Bean Bryant is going into his 19th season and coming off of rotator cuff surgery, that being said Kobe is still good enough to score and make plays. Before his injury he was averaging 22 ppg, 5 rebs and 5 assts. If those averages mean Kobe cannot play anymore I’m sure 90% of the teams in the NBA would take those numbers and his leadership in a heartbeat.

It seems that there is a concentrated effort to get Kobe out of the league, I mean let’s face it, he’s the last of a dying breed, the Jordan era. Players today do not have the drive or will to do half of the things Kobe can still do 19 years in, the league is looking for new fresh faces to promote and marketing a new Lakers star would be great for the league, but Kobe is stubborn, he won’t let the young kids take him out to pasture he still has one last ride left. After former commissioner David Stern nixed the Chris Paul trade the writing was on the wall. The league was telling Kobe his turn was up and it was time for someone else to shoot the ball, but like all great shooters, when the shots are not falling, you keep shooting and Kobe is still getting into rhythm. If Aldridge does sign with the Lakers that will set a new standard for the Lakers free agency woes that they’ve faced the last few years. The “nobody wants to play with Kobe” rumors would die immediately and we might see the Mamba go for another title run. Let’s face it! The NBA Is better when the Lakers are good! Just like major league baseball is better when the Yankees are winning and NFL football is better when the Dallas Cowboys are competitive, someone has to be hated. 2013-10-kobe-bryant-lakers-wallpaper-hd

ballup

Summer. That one lady who shows up for at least three months out of every year (4-5 depending on what part of the country you live in. Global warming, anyone?). For those of us who consider ourselves basketball heads, Ms. Summer’s arrival marks the official end of “The League“, and the beginning of cookouts, abundant sunshine, and…baseball.

Just from reading the paragraph above, one would be lead to believe that waiting until late October/early November to get their hoops fix will suffice. However, this is where we have been proven wrong, fortunately. There’s a hoops movement sweeping the nation during the summer months around the world. The name of the movement, you ask? BALLUP. Just ask Demetrius Spencer, the Founder & CEO of the world’s largest streetball circuit. “Our tour takes us all across the country, where we open the door for anybody with great basketball talent to have the opportunity to come and try out.”, he says in a recent interview with Omaha.com. Opened in 2009, this tour has seen players such as Grayson “The Professor” Boucher and Taurian “Mr. 720” Fontenette join the BALLUP tour as it hits cities all over the world.

This year, the tour features an opportunity that ballers (and non-ballers alike) would both jump at. Such contests as the Million Dollar Summer Champion are guaranteed to bring the best out of would-be members of the Ballup tour. The contest itself gives players the chance to battle it out to not only become hoops kings of their cities, but also to receive national recognition and the chance to play in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 30 to claim the crown as national champion of the challenge.

If you are like many in basketball land, and you are missing your hoops fix this summer, there’s no longer a need to wait until next year’s basketball season to start. BALLUP will be sure to not only fill that void, but it will also make you a fan…if you aren’t a fan already, that is.