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Restaurant Brawl, Starring Tim Thomas? [Tim Thomas too lazy to throw a punch... throws chair instead]

December 9th, 2009

Tim Thomas has been (rightly) accused of dogging it his whole career. One thing that doesn’t lack intensity, though, are his fights (allegedly): ‘Thomas, another man and three women entered the Denny’s. Damien Pettie, 29, recognized Thomas and told police that he stated, ‘What’s up?’ Thomas told him not to talk to him, using curse words and racial and anti-gay epithets. Pettie responded with profanity. The man with Thomas then struck Pettie twice in the face, splitting his lip. ‘Then all parties within both groups began to throw chairs, knock over tables, and fight each other’ until the store manager told them he was going call police. A suspect, identified as Thomas, threw a chair that struck Moya Kissick in her left side. Thomas and his group then left the restaurant before police arrived. Colleen Kissick, 29, said she and her mother had been out celebrating her mother’s 65th birthday, which was Tuesday. They had just gotten their food when the fight suddenly erupted without warning and her mother got hit with a chair.’

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Michael Heisley on “divorcing” Allen Iverson

December 3rd, 2009

By Henry Abbott



The owner of the Grizzlies, Michael Heisley, tells Chip Crain of 3 Shades of Blue his version of how Allen Iverson came to have just a three-game stay in a Memphis Grizzlies uniform.



Heisley says he surprised by Iverson’s complaints about playing time. He says Iverson had come into training camp not in very good shape, and then injured his hamstring. The team then played him slightly more than the trainers recommended — nevertheless Iverson was upset. Heisley explains:

The trainer said I don’t want him playing in the first two or three games but when he starts to play we should play him about 15 minutes. We’re going to watch him very closely and bring him along slowly otherwise he’s going to injure this leg again. So that’s the directions Lionel got. He played him 18 minutes in the first game when we told him 15 minutes. Which was fine and Allen did well. He scored 11 points in 18 minutes I think.

So in the 2nd game, if I remember correctly, he played 25 minutes and he scored like 17 points. Now he went to the press and started bitching about not being the starter. I think he was being a little ridiculous to think he could be put out there after he’s coming off that leg injury and be the starter and that he had earned it like he said he wanted to do.

Lionel then had a meeting with him and the team; with all of the stuff that was going on around the team and Allen was very upset. I was in the Middle East when this took place and I flew for 29 hours and when I got home I heard there was a problem and I flew out to the West Coast. I met with Lionel and I met with Allen and I thought things were going to be straightened out.

Allen came to me that night and said he had a problem at home that he had to take care of, which I believed to be true and I still do believe, and I told him to take as much time as he needed to take care of his personal problem and so he left.




Heisley then says that when he heard Iverson wanted to retire, he decided to ‘divorce’ (or, release) him, so that Iverson could pursue other NBA opportunities because ‘I want Allen to play in this league.’”

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Ron Artest admits he used to drink Hennessy at halftime

December 2nd, 2009

Leave it to Ron Artest(notes) to try and steal a little of Tiger Woods and Allen Iverson’s(notes) headline thunder.

In a lengthy and candid interview for the upcoming issue of Sporting News magazine, Artest — best known as the central figure in the infamous Malice at the Palace in Detroit — bares all, including a startling admission that he drank alcohol during games as a member of the Chicago Bulls.

‘I used to drink Hennessy … at halftime,’ said Artest, who played with the Bulls from 1999-2002 and now is with the Los Angeles Lakers. ‘I (kept it) in my locker. I’d just walk to the liquor store (near the stadium) and get it.’

And David Stern is worried about halftime tweets

For those unfamiliar with the’prestigious alcohol landscape, Hennessy is a brand of cognac, which is a French variety of brandy. It contains 40% alcohol, and is reportedly North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s drink of choice. (Of course it is.)

And that’s not all.

Artest speaks openly in the interview on many other sensitive topics, including his life as a St. John’s college basketball star (‘I was a single pimp!’); his feeling towards The Brawl’s’instigator Ben Wallace(notes) (‘I’m always in the mood to fight him’); and his plans to become a professional boxer (‘In four years, I’m going to try to have my first fight’).

Andrew Sharp is right: Ron-Ron should be obligated to give a feature-length interview at least once a month.

What a character.

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Brandon Jennings’ 55 Points Sets NBA Record

November 14th, 2009

Brandon Jennings dominated tonight’s game against Golden State, scoring 55 points — including 29 in the third quarter. Jennings’ amazing performance set an NBA record, passing LeBron James as the youngest player ever to score 50 points.

Jennings was drafted 10th overall in the 2009 NBA Draft after playing in Europe for one year instead of attending college in the U.S. Stay tuned for video — we will be adding it to this entry as it comes in.

The AP has more:

(AP) MILWAUKEE — Brandon Jennings scored 55 points, breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s franchise rookie record, to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a come-from-behind 129-125 victory Saturday over the Golden State Warriors.

Jennings poured in 29 points in the third quarter, then scored 10 in the final 2:15 to hold off the Warriors and become only the third Bucks player to score more than 50. The last player to do it was Michael Redd, who set the franchise record with 57 points against Utah on Nov. 11, 2006.

Jennings scored 15 straight points during the third period to help the Bucks overcome a nine-point deficit and win four straight for the first time in more than two years. The Bucks (5-2) are off to their best start since 2005, the last season the team made the playoffs.

The 29 points by Jennings were the most ever scored in a quarter against the Warriors. During the period, Jennings hit four 3-pointers and an assortment of jumpers and driving layups as he took over the game. At several points after scoring, he waved his arms in the air to get the crowd to cheer louder. In all, he hit 12 of 13 shots in the quarter, his only miss a 3-point attempt with 5.9 seconds remaining.

Abdul-Jabbar scored 51 points on Feb. 21, 1970. The NBA rookie record was set by Wilt Chamberlain with 58 points for Philadelphia against Detroit in a January 1960 game in Bethlehem, Pa.

Andrew Bogut added 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Bucks.

Monta Ellis led the Warriors (3-6) with 26 points and Corey Maggette added 25.
Story continues below

Jennings hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:15 to give the Bucks a 117-115 lead. Luke Ridnour then hit a driving layup with 1:40 remaining to increase the Bucks’ lead to 119-115.

After an offensive foul on Maggette, Jennings hit another jumper to make it 121-115.

Maggette made a layup, was fouled and hit the free throw to cut the lead to 121-118, but Jennings came back and hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 34 seconds remaining and the Bucks held on to win.

The Warriors lost starting guard Kelenna Azubuike in the first quarter. Azubuike drove across the lane with 9:12 remaining in the quarter and slipped on the floor. He immediately grabbed his left leg and screamed in pain. After a five-minute delay, Azubuike left the court on a stretcher cart and went to the Warriors’ locker room.

NOTES: Redd, sidelined with strained left patella tendon for the last four games, will try to return next week as the Bucks play Dallas on Monday and New Jersey on Wednesday. Bucks forward Kurt Thomas played in the 900th game of his career.

More on NBA



(Via The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com.)

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Timberwolves GM Wants Fans To Know He Is Aware Of How Much Team Sucks [Nba]

November 14th, 2009

Mired in a nine-game slide, the Timberwolves are struggling to get acclimated to Kurt Rambis’ triangle offense. Further, the team stinks. So, GM David Kahn did the only sensible thing – he wrote a letter to the team’s 10 fans.

Kahn provided the letter to the Timberwolves blog, On the Wolves, for dissemination. The new general manager for the T-Wolves wants the fans to know he is not happy about the way the season has started and he will not accept it, nor will he give up. In fact, he’s just going to dedicate himself even more to attempting to correct the team’s shortcomings.

At times like these, I am motivated to work harder. I want to scout more, watch more film, crunch more numbers, ask more questions. I know Kurt and the coaching staff feel the same. The coaches are the strength of our ballclub right now – I am proud to be working with them. We all recognized when we signed up for this mission that it takes a Herculean effort, from all corners, to turn around a franchise and make it championship-caliber.

I understand that it should be considered refreshing that a general manager would choose to be up front and honest with a team’s fans, and that a proactive approach such as this should be applauded. On other other hand, it has all the appearances of an act of desperation by an already beleaguered GM only 10 games into the season.

But who knows? Maybe Kahn can turn the crappy franchise around – as former Timberwolves star KG once said, ‘ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!’

But seriously, it aint going to happen.

From David Kahn [On the Wolves]



(Via Deadspin.)

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L.A.S.C.

November 5th, 2009

by Joey Whelan

This story isn’t about Stephen Curry.

Not entirely.

This story is about moving forward, appreciating what once was and finding inspiration to continue the tradition.

It had been nearly 40 years since Davidson College had truly been relevant to basketball fans before Stephen Curry came along. The glory days of back-to-back Elite Eight appearances in 1968 and 1969 under Left Driesell and Terry Holland had long since faded. The team was something of a prehistoric Gonzaga back then, the little team from the Southern Conference making all that noise with the bigger programs. The 1960’s were the best of times for the Wildcats: five regular season conference championships, three NCAA Tournament berths, three All-American selections and six consecutive seasons ranked in the AP Poll, including four times in the top ten.Davidson Duke Basketball

Then the school slipped from memory. Sure, there were a handful of first round exits from the NCAA Tournament over the next several decades, but Davidson was nothing more than that double-digit mid-major seed that gets eliminated in brackets before the game is even played. That all changed the day that a rail thin, boyish looking assassin from North Carolina put on a red and white uniform for the first time and put an entire program, an entire community on his narrow shoulders.

Maybe we should have seen it coming because his father was NBA gunner Dell Curry. Maybe we should have seen it coming when he demolished Michigan for 32 points in only his second collegiate game. The glimpses were there, but the meteoric rise of the tiny liberal arts school led by a modern day Pistol Pete could never have been anticipated. Curry may not have been an innovator or a dominant physical presence in the game, but his nightly displays of shredding opposing defenses captured a nation’s imagination. Suddenly the media was descending on this little school of 1,700 students tucked away just north of Charlotte, wanting to know more about the team and capture this budding star in action.

Then, seemingly as quickly as it all happened, the ride ended. Curry is beginning his career in California with the Golden State Warriors and the quiet campus of Davidson has returned to its traditional state – and that is where this story begins.

When Davidson takes the floor for its season opener at Butler next Saturday there will be little fanfare for the visiting team. There will be no swarm of reporters, there will be no ESPN cameras and the five-second attention span of this country’s interest in the latest media darling will have moved elsewhere. All that means for 21st-year head coach Bob McKillop is earning praise and attention the old fashioned way – the end result.

‘You had a player that was so wonderful to watch, so talented, so engaging and so charismatic,’ McKillop says of Curry. ‘That player has left, so what is there that is going to attract people – we have to win, that’s the bottom line.’

Most aren’t expecting the victories to come as free flowing as they have in each of the last two seasons when the Wildcats won a combined 56 games. Davidson was projected to finish third in the Southern Conference’s South Division, receiving just one first place vote after having won the division each of the last three years.

No one around the program is surprised by the lowered expectations after losing Curry who led the nation in scoring as a junior. Rather than focusing on the tremendous void that will have to be collectively filled by the returning members of the roster, many of Davidson’s players are looking at this season as a chance to once again prove their doubters wrong.

‘Obviously with Steph here the last couple of years there have been a tremendous amount of expectations,’ says senior guard Bryant Barr. ‘When he declared for the draft those expectations for this season went right out the window. We have no pressure on us, we’re not supposed to be any good in conference, we’re supposed to be a lot worse of a team now that he’s gone. In one sense that’s nice to not have any weight on our shoulders, but we feel like we’re going to surprise a lot of people.’

Butler Davidson BasketballBarr states that the strength of this team which used to be the explosive scoring of their star guard, will now lie with the tremendous cohesiveness the team developed in the off-season. Davidson took a two week trip to Italy this summer where the team had an opportunity to get a jump on practice time while also competing against professional teams from several different countries. The experience helped to solidify a unit that had already been exceedingly close as a result of the improbable run of the previous two years.

Still, the challenge for this Davidson team will be quickly adapting to life after Curry and learning how to redefine the roles of each player. While many of the returning upperclassmen were often relegated to the supporting cast over each of the previous two seasons, there was never a sense of division on the team. Senior swingman Will Archambault says that it was the desire to put the team and the program first before personal gains that led to the storybook run for the Wildcats.

‘We knew we were a team and we all had our roles, there was never any resentment of Steph,’ Archambault says. ‘Whether your job was to be a practice player or anything else, we knew that you helped the team reach where we did.’

‘Steph is going to be irreplaceable. He’s a great guy, a great teammate and a great player. But the fact that he brought leadership to the team and he always knew how to act on and off the court benefitted us a lot.’

And the reverberations of that presence are something that will be felt for quite a while according to those around the program. Recruiting has benefitted greatly, with a solid freshman core joining the team this year, including top-50 shooting guard JP Kuhlman. As a whole the school has benefitted from Curry’s star power as well, reporting a record number of student applicants for entrance into the school following the 2008 Elite Eight run.

The immediate success of the basketball program in the Stephen Curry-era are a great source of pride for all involved, but Bob McKillop knows from his more than two decades of coaching that the true mark of greatness will be the ability to extend the accomplishments in a post-Curry world. No easy task.

‘That’s the hardest thing for a program at the mid-major level to do, stay consistent and endure year after year,’ McKillop says. ‘That’s what makes those BCS programs as great as they are. They have the advantage of the BCS tag, the exposure and the recruiting that we don’t have. We’re constantly in a fight to keep our head above water.’

McKillop is quick to praise Curry for his dynamic – albeit short lived – presence at Davidson. While he points out that the balanced offensive attack the team will feature this season will ensure that players aren’t left watching the action (much as they did when Curry was at work), he knows that the current NBA rookie has forever written his name in college basketball lore while giving his school everything he had.

‘He’s given himself and there’s no greater gift – he gave himself completely to Davidson,’ McKillop says. ‘He wore it on his heart, he still carries with him out in California and he keeps in touch with our players. His presence will hang over this program for my lifetime and lifetimes beyond. He left an indelible mark that will be with us and he gave hope to guys who are in our program now. He is a burning torch that will stay forever burning bright in our program, with our players, our fans and our college.’

Those closest to the program will continue to support with a diehard passion the team that took them on a miraculous two-year journey. Whether or not it will be another 40 years before Davidson makes its mark again and whether or not they fade back into obscurity is still unanswered. But that isn’t what this story is about. It is about what one player gave to a team, to a school and the legend that will continue to grow the further removed from it we become.

No this wasn’t a story about Stephen Curry – not entirely. It was about life after the man who put Davidson back on the map and keeping that dream alive.

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(Via SLAM Online.)

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Another season, another Cavaliers rap song

October 23rd, 2009

Another season, another Cavaliers rap song: “

From the same group that brought you the hit ‘Notorious Cavs’ comes this new club banger set to the tune of Cleveland’s own Bone Thugs-n-Harmony’s ‘Ghetto Cowboy’ — ‘A Ring For The King.’ Enjoy.’

As Waiting For Next Year said last season, fan videos are a dangerous thing. ‘Sometimes, they’re very creative and humorous. Other times, they can be downright awful and then stuck on the Internet forever for all to dig up when needed.’ We’ll let you decide where this one falls on the ol’ fan rap scale.

Cheers, Stepien Rules.

(Via Ball Don’t Lie – NBA – Yahoo! Sports.)

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6’10 Perry Jones Sickest Player In Vegas; Crazy Potential.

September 1st, 2009

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Long Live the Legend of Ray-Lew

March 13th, 2009

I Am Legend: Raymond Lewis

The LA Basketball Legend Lives On Through One Man’s Passion for the Game
Long Live the Legend of Ray-Lew
This is a story about a player and another man’s passion for the game. This discussion is hardly about just any ordinary player.

This is the legend of Raymond Lewis.

There have been many articles written about Raymond Lewis in recent years. This time, TheHighPosts.com chose to speak with the man whose admiration for one player’s game changed his life. Meet Dean Prator, the man largely responsible with bringing the story of Ray-Lew to the masses.

Dean Prator grew up in Los Angeles and has been in awe of Lewis’ hardwood dominance since Prator was in high school at Dominguez High School in Compton. Lewis, meanwhile, was holding court crosstown at Verbum Dei, where he lead the Eagles to a 84-4 record while in high school, winning three consecutive California Interscholastic Federation titles from 1969-1971.

But it wasn’t just in high school where Lewis dominated. In fact, the prep years were just the beginning of the mythical presence Lewis would play in the Southern California basketball scene for years to come. It is this storied reputation that lead Prator to build www.raymondlewis.com, a place where Raymond Lewis’ story and achievements in hoops could draw inspiration for the next generation of ballers.

What is it about Raymond Lewis that lead you to follow his life and career so closely?
Raymond was just ahead of his time. He was local to the LA-area so people here knew about him, but back then we didn’t have ESPN. You really didn’t get the chance to see and hear about these other talents from other places. You hear people say all the time that someone was the best player to never have played in the NBA. Most of them, though, don’t have the backing for those claims. We have newspaper clippings that show just how great Ray’s game was.

I never saw him play a basketball game. We were in high school around the same time, he was a year ahead of me. The thing about Ray is that most of the things that you hear about him are all well-documented. That is the thing about his story–it’s all right there and very real. You don’t see numbers like those. I just felt that Raymond Lewis was too good not to be known. When I Googled his name, a few articles would come up. There was no place that was dedicated to his whole body of work.

When did you start the website and what has been the response that you have received from people, particularly players?
I actually began the website in October 2005.  The response that I have received has been tremendous. I have done hundreds of hours in research and interviews. People tried to put movie deals together on him, but it never worked out. Players like Paul Pierce and Baron Davis were interested in doing documentaries on him, but that’s the thing. There is no video footage of him. So I really decided to create this website because I wanted his story to be told, especially to younger players. They need to know this man. Magic Johnson said to me that he was glad that Raymond’s story was finally being told. I have talked with people like Jerry Tarkanian, Michael Cooper, and Marques Johnson who all had different stories to tell about the greatness of Raymond Lewis. Jerry Tarkanian, who tried to recruit Raymond to play for him when he was coaching at Long Beach State, called Ray the best player he had ever seen. Keep in mind, at that time, Tarkanian was a top-dog coach then. His team at Long Beach State was ranked like number three in the country. Raymond initially committed to play at Long Beach State. Tark was his boy and he probably would have played there if Cal State LA and Bob Miller had not bought Lewis a brand new red Corvette. Once that happened, Lewis ended up playing for Cal State LA.

I have received emails from family members or people who played against him who are now dentists, doctors, and lawyers–all of them attest to just how great of a player and what an impact that he had on the game for that time. Freeman Williams, who played in the NBA for 10 seasons, said that he is the greatest player he had ever seen, even better than Michael Jordan.

So what do you feel was Raymond’s biggest challenge? If he had all of that talent, why didn’t he make it?

I think that it all came down to that contract he had with the 76ers. He got drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers near the end of the first round of the 1973 NBA draft.  He signed what he thought was a guaranteed three-year contract for $450,000. Actually, it was for $190,000. A $25,000 signing bonus, $50,000 for the first season, $55,000 for the second and $60,000 for the third. There were things in the deal that he signed that he wasn’t aware of, like the fact that he wasn’t going to get all of the money his contract was worth immediately. So he gets to camp and is going up against Doug Collins, who was the number one pick for Philadelphia that year. He was just torching Collins, and it became such a big deal because the Philadelphia media started writing that Lewis was killing Collins, the number one guy.

The Philly and New York sportswriters watching the game discovered that Lewis looked better than Collins, the star of the Olympic Games and the club’s and NBA’s number one draft choice who had signed a $200,000 per year contract. In one full-court scrimmage, Lewis reportedly scored 60 points by halftime and coach Gene Shue called off the second half so that the number one draft choice and million-dollar rookie Collins would not be further embarrassed by Lewis. Here is Collins, who was getting $200,000, looking weak against Lewis. After all the publicity, Shue refused to let Doug Collins guard Lewis, and that’s when Raymond decided he wanted to renegotiate his contract. He was like he was insulted because he was killing Collins. It was like he had that Watts mentality of ‘You gotta pay me.’

There are contrasting stories on what really happened. When Philadelphia refused to redo the contract, Lewis reportedly walked out. Lewis, however, had said that Shue told him to sit out a year and mature. Nevertheless, after the alleged walkout, Lewis wasn’t able to get his professional career on track. Most people say he got blackballed. In my opinion, if he would have just played the contract out, his career would have been much different. He didn’t play one minute in the NBA. He then tried to go to and play in the ABA with the Utah Stars, but 76ers officials showed up and threatedned to sue if Lewis went into the game because he was still under contract with them. He tried to get on with other teams, but no one would touch him. At that is about the time when he just started taking out his frustrations on players in pick-up games on playgrounds and in Pro-Am leagues throughout LA. I mean, he was 29 years old an averaged 54 points per game in summer leagues. He went to the Spurs camp and scored 63 and 81 points. Why wouldn’t you want a scorer like that on your team?

I talked to Gene Shue, the coach of the 76ers at that time. He said that as gifted a player as Ray was, there was just something missing with him personality-wise. I think that became evident over the years and hindered him in the long run. But that could never take away from the player that Raymond Lewis was. And that is why I wanted to do the website. I wanted people to learn about this great player and to he was the greatest player, and outside of those circumstances, I felt that people, especially young players, needed to know about his relevance to the game. He was the greatest player and a lot of people would never even know his name.

Dean Prator and Raymond Lewis’ daughter, Kamilah

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TownBiz is co-founder of www.TheHighPosts.com. Follow our twitter @thehighposts

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PAC-10 in Review

March 5th, 2009

TheHighPosts.com recently visited the University of California’s Haas Pavilion, where the Cal Golden Bears hosted the UCLA Bruins in a nationally televised game that held many implications as the PAC-10 quickly approaches. Cal came into the game 16-1 at home and the Bruins needed a win to stay in contention for their fourth-straight PAC-10 title.

Cal controlled the tempo for most of the first half, but behind Darren Collison’s 16 second-half points, the Bruins were able to hold off the Bears late, winning 72-68. More importantly, the Bruins were able to secure sole possession of second place in the PAC-10 and are still in the hunt for a share of the conference title. In order to do that, UCLA must knock off Oregon and Oregon State at Pauley Pavilion next weekend while hoping Washington State knocks off the Huskies. Even still, the Bruins recognize the real: the PAC-10 title is nice, but really, it’s all about the Big Dance in late March.

With that in mind, TheHighPosts has formed a PAC-10 breakdown that gives a quick analysis of where the teams stand as the PAC-10 conference quickly approaches March 11-14.

1. Washington
There is no doubt that the Washington Huskies (23-7, 13-4 conf) have been taking care of business on the hardwood this season. The Huskies did drop two games to Cal this season, as well as to UCLA, but they remain the PAC-10 front runners with a sweep of the Arizona schools this past weekend. It should be an interesting ride for Coach Lorenzo Romar as Selection Sunday nears.

2. UCLA
The Almighty Bruins (22-7, 11-5 conf.)  have played consistent UCLA basketball most of the season, but some key conference losses in February to the Arizona schools as well as the bizarre ending to the Washington State game made it more challenging for the Bruins to claim their fourth-straight conference title. A strong finish in the regular season is all the Bruins need. Their experience should propel them ahead of the rest of the pack moving into the conference tournament.

3. Arizona State
The Sun Devils (21-7, 10-6 conf) have fared well against conference schools, with the exception of key losses Washington and Washington State both times they played the two teams. They have been able to walk away with wins in games against UCLA and Cal, but if ASU hopes to make some noise down the stretch, they are going to have to be able to close games late.

4. Cal
The Cal Bears (21-8, 10-6 conf) on paper are a strong matchup but it seems that something gets lost in translation too often with this team. They have played brilliantly in stretches, but key losses to USC, Oregon State, and Stanford this season have exposed this team’s vulnerabilities. The Bears need a great showing in the PAC-10 conference if they hope of getting a whiff of the Big Dance.

5. Arizona
This year, the Arizona Wildcats (18-11, 8-8 conf) have undergone a complete identity crisis. The Lute Olsen era is clearly over, but where do the Wildcats go from here? That is a question that is still begging to be answered. And with an NCAA investigation now looking overhead, it seems like Arizona’s focus is on making it out of this season without further incident.

6. Washington State
Washington State Cougars (16-13, 8-9 conf) have been an enigma to say the least, particulary in conference play. At times they have looked in need of direction (i.e. losses to USC, Stanford) while lately they have been able to turn the tide, capturing key victories against UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State. Look for the Cougars to be the x-factor in the PAC-10, a team very capable of knocking off top-seeded opponents.

7. USC
Oh what a difference a year makes. USC (16-12, 7-9 conf) started off conference play rather strong, stringing together early wins against Arizona State, Arizona, Cal and Washington. But then, it seems like the bottom fell out, exposing Coach Tim Floyd. The Trojans have been 1-6 with two games remaining on the schedule. They need to piece something together, and quickly, less suffer a quick exit in the counference tournament.

8. Oregon State
The numbers don’t lie. The Oregeon State Beavers  (13-14, 7-9 conf) have made an improvement under Coach Craig Robinson. They strung together some key victories early on, not to mention that they knocked off Cal last week. They have to finish the regular season on the road at USC and UCLA, so it remains to be seen if they will have anything left in the tank to make any noise in the conference tournament. Key recruits should improve this program in 2009-2010 season.

9. Stanford
It has been a tough debut for first-year coach Johnny Dawkins and the Stanford Cardinals (16-11, 5-11 conf). The team was certainly in rebuilding mode this year after losing the Lopez twins. They earned key victories against Cal and Washington State early in PAC-10 play, but clearly they are aiming for just to stand ground in the conference tourney, in hopes of building momentum for next year.

10. Oregon
All the Nike money in the world is not helping the Oregon Ducks (8-20, 2-14 conf.) win basketball games. After consecutive losses in PAC-10 play this season, the Ducks were able to piece something resembling an effective game plan and won their last two games against Stanford and Oregon State. They finish their season against USC and UCLA, and it is very likely they will be one-and-done when the conference tournament starts next week.

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Elgin Baylor: His Legacy and Why We Should Care

February 25th, 2009

Recent developments regarding the legacy of Elgin Baylor have not helped to illustrate what Mr. Elgin Baylor has meant to the game AND to the United States of America as a whole. Elgin’s cause has not come to much national attention, but I/we feel that what he has contributed to the NBA, and to our present culture is not something that should be overlooked. It is our responsibility to bring notice to causes that mean something- and Elgin means something.

What is the legacy that is being left by Elgin Baylor?

It is the human condition to wonder, "what does my life mean and what does my life contribute to the world?" In short, "why am I alive?" There are those who choose to spend their lives in hiding, living a life of un-actualized possibilities… then there are those who surpass those expectations and in this respect Elgin was spectacular.

To put his contributions to the game of basketball in perspective, we have to take a step back.

Simply put, Elgin came into the league in a time of extreme racism. He played under the auspice of an ‘understood’ league rule limiting the number of African-American players per squad, had to work on the weekends because of his commitment to the US military, and still had to fight the latent and overt racism of the time. [My favorite writer Bill Simmons chronicles the Elgin Baylor history here .]

In sum, from the Simmons article, Elgin was awesome. Someone, he argues, deserving of being chronicled in this list of notables: Jesse Owens. Jackie Robinson. Bill Russell. Jim Brown. Elgin Baylor. Oscar Robertson. Muhammad Ali. Why?

- Amazing talent. Check out his stats (from the Simmons article):

It’s impossible to fully capture Elgin’s greatness five decades after the fact, but let’s try. He averaged 25 points and 15 rebounds and carried the Lakers to the Finals as a rookie. He scored 71 points against Wilt’s Warriors in his second season. He averaged 34.8 points and 19.8 rebounds in his third season — as a 6-foot-5 forward, no less — and topped himself the following year with the most amazing accomplishment in NBA history. During the 1961-62 season, Elgin played only 48 games — all on weekends, all without practicing — and somehow averaged 38 points, 19 rebounds and five assists a game.

- Trendsetting set of skills:

Along with Russell, Elgin turned a horizontal game into a vertical one. The jump shot. The cross over. Athleticism. These are the hallmarks of the game today and Elgin had all the abilities needed to play in today’s game.

- Incredible work ethic (from the Simmons article):

A U.S. Army Reservist at the time, Elgin lived in a barracks in the state of Washington, leaving only whenever they gave him a weekend pass … and even with that pass, he could only fly coach on flights with multiple connections to meet the Lakers wherever they happened to be playing. Once he arrived, he would throw on a uniform and battle the best NBA players alive on back-to-back nights — fortunately for the Lakers, most games were scheduled on the weekends back then — and make the same complicated trip back to Washington on Sunday night or Monday morning. That was his life for five months.

It is the hardships he endured, it is the understanding and compassion he manifested while playing the game, and the monumental effects he had on the way basketball is played today that he should be remembered…

Elgin Baylor – Greatest College Basketball Players

The Clippers Years: What happened?

There is a story of crabs in a bucket- that crabs in a bucket will pull down crabs that wish to escape the pail. It is not good enough to have one escape, rather, they get dragged down back into the pail, never to gain freedom… this has been at the core of the Clippers organization. They just never seem to be able to support one another in order to get to greater heights.

His legacy as a Clipper GM is extensive as his was one of the longest tenured GMs at the time of his ‘departure’ (more on this later):

Being a lifelong Clipper fan these legislative actions do not come as unexpected nor a shock. That Elgin Baylor has decided to sue his former employer is something I have come to expect from the Clipper organization especially with Donald Sterling at the helm. Donald Sterling is someone who [from the Google search of 'Donald Sterling scandal'] requires a special investigation:

- Just what the NBA needs, another sex scandal: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0812041sterling1.html

AUGUST 12–Just what the NBA needs, another sex scandal: Donald Sterling, the miserly tycoon who owns the Los Angeles Clippers, testified last year that he regularly paid a Beverly Hills woman for sex, describing her as a $500-a-trick "freak" with whom he coupled "all over my building, in my bathroom, upstairs, in the corner, in the elevator." Sterling’s graphic testimony–which came during a two-day pretrial deposition in connection with a lawsuit he filed against the woman, Alexandra Castro–will surely nettle basketball commissioner David Stern, who normally has to explain away the behavior of 20-something athletes, not married 70-year-old club owners worth nearly a billion. During a sworn January 2003 deposition, Sterling denied having a relationship with Castro, though he changed his testimony when questioned again last August. In often explicit detail, Sterling recounted three years of transactions with Castro, whom he met in mid-1999 (below you’ll find excerpts from Sterling’s deposition). While acknowledging that, "maybe I morally did something wrong," the Clippers owner was not shy when it came to describing hour-long sessions with Castro, whom Sterling credited with "sucking me all night long" and whose "best sex was better than words could express." Testifying that he was "quietly concealing it from the world," Sterling had a blunt appraisal of his "exciting" relationship with Castro: "It was purely sex for money, money for sex, sex for money, money for sex." Sterling, a Los Angeles real estate mogul, bought the Clippers in 1981 for $12.5 million and the franchise–one of the most profitable in the NBA–is now worth more than $200 million. Since Sterling’s purchase, the team has amassed the NBA’s worst combined record and gained a reputation as a stingy operation that will trade an exceptional player before paying him a superstar’s salary.

From a Google search of ‘Donald Sterling Racism’:

- Sterling was sued by the Department of Justice on Monday for housing discrimination: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=jones/060810&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab5pos2

Sterling was sued by the Department of Justice on Monday for housing discrimination. Though Sterling has no problem paying black people millions of dollars to play basketball, the feds allege that he refused to rent apartments in Beverly Hills and Koreatown to black people and people with children…

What’s even more disturbing? Sterling was sued for housing discrimination by 19 plaintiffs in 2003, according to The Associated Press. In this case, Sterling was accused of trying to drive blacks and Latinos out of buildings he owned in Koreatown. In November, Sterling was ordered to pay a massive settlement in that case. Terms were not disclosed, but the presiding judge said this was "one of the largest" settlements ever in this sort of matter. The tip of the iceberg: Sterling had to play $5 million just for the plaintiffs’ attorney fees.

- From a Google search of ‘Donald Sterling’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Sterling

He rebuffed numerous offers from other cities (including near-by Anaheim and their Honda Center arena) to relocate the Clippers, but he has been steadfast in his refusal to move the team out of Los Angeles proper. Sterling has always been of belief that he wants to eventually win a championship in the city of Los Angeles, even despite the status of sharing Staples Center with the always-popular Lakers and previously playing in an outdated Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.

Until 2003, Sterling has been widely criticized for his unwillingness to invest in the Clippers, due in part to the losing seasons. In 2003, Sterling signed Elton Brand to the biggest contract in franchise history; a six-year, $82 million deal. He matched the Corey Maggette contract from what the Utah Jazz offered; a deal worth $45 million over six years. He and the Clippers have also since brought in higher-priced veterans free agents, such as Cuttino Mobley in 2005 and Tim Thomas in 2006. Also, another first in the Sterling tenure of Clippers ownership, the team gave a four-year contract extension to head coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr., as well as a five-year extension to center Chris Kaman. Both extensions take effect starting in the 2007-08 NBA season. Under Sterling’s ownership, no Clipper head coach has lasted beyond four seasons, outside of Dunleavy and Bill Fitch (1994 to 1998).

This most recent footnote is an interesting concluding note to the story, which is not really concluding… as long as Sterling and Dunleavy run the team, it will continue to be a terrible organization.

Coach Mike Dunleavy, now in his sixth season in Los Angeles, added Baylor’s GM duties after the Hall of Famer’s departure three weeks before the season began, while Neil Olshey was promoted to assistant general manager. At the time, Dunleavy said Baylor had resigned.

Right. He ‘resigned’. Allegedly.

Post Clippers Years:

Baylor’s attorney, Carl Douglas, said the lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Baylor plans to hold a news conference Thursday to discuss the lawsuit, which also names club president Andy Roeser, Douglas said in a fax sent Wednesday.

The lawsuit maintains that Baylor was "discriminated against and unceremoniously released from his position with the team on account of his age and his race" and that he was "grossly underpaid during his tenure with the Clippers, never earning more than $350,000 per year, when compared with the compensation scheme for general managers employed by every other team in the NBA."

The NBA is named in the lawsuit, according to Douglas’ fax, as "a joint venturer/partner of condoning, adopting and ratifying this discriminatory practice since the league is fully aware of salaries paid to all of the general managers."

Clippers attorney Robert H. Platt said in a statement Wednesday night that he had not seen the lawsuit and couldn’t comment on Baylor’s specific allegations.

"However, I can categorically state that the Clippers always treated Elgin fairly throughout his long tenure with the team. Prior to his decision to leave the team last October, Elgin never raised any claims of unfair treatment," Platt said.

"It’s hard to believe that he would now make these ridiculous claims after the organization stood by him during 22 years and only three playoff appearances. It would be hard to find any sports team that has demonstrated greater loyalty to its general manager."

Sterling attended Wednesday night’s game against the New York Knicks, but a team spokesman said the owner would not be made available for comment.

Baylor became vice president of basketball operations with the Clippers in 1986 after an outstanding 14-year playing career with the Lakers and a brief stint as coach of the New Orleans Jazz.

He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1976, chosen as one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players during the league’s 50th anniversary celebration in 1997, and named the NBA executive of the year following the 2005-06 season.

The Clippers have been one of the NBA’s least successful franchises over the years and last made the playoffs in 2005-06, when they lost in the second round.

Coach Mike Dunleavy, now in his sixth season in Los Angeles, added Baylor’s GM duties after the Hall of Famer’s departure three weeks before the season began, while Neil Olshey was promoted to assistant general manager. At the time, Dunleavy said Baylor had resigned.

Baylor claims that although coach Mike Dunleav was rewarded with a lucrative contract following the Clippers run to the playoffs in 2006, Sterling did not provide any economic reward to Baylor for his efforts as GM.

"The team I pushed Donald Sterling to assemble made it to the second round of the playoffs exceeding everyone’s expectations," said Baylor, who was named NBA executive of the year that season.
"The team’s coach was acknowledged and rewarded with a long-term contract worth over $20 million. When I asked [Sterling] if he was going to take care of me, he said nothing, he offered me nothing, he did nothing, no salary increase, no bonus, nothing."

"The way I was treated by the NBA and the Clippers was unfair and in many ways discriminatory. It was wrong," said Baylor, reading from a prepared statement at a news conference at the office of his lawyer Carl Douglas.

"We are forced to take this action because our effort to resolve this dispute quietly were ignored. So I look forward to having my day in court."
"I worked with the Clipper organization on a contract for only my first six years, until 1993, after that it was if I had passed the smell test," said Baylor, the team’s GM until last October. "For the remainder of the time I was told I did not need a formal written agreement. Donald Sterling always informed me whenever I asked about my contract situation and my salary, that I was a ‘lifer’, that I would remain with the Clipper family until I decided to retire."

The lawsuit maintains that Baylor was "discriminated against and unceremoniously released from his position with the team on account of his age and his race" and that he was "grossly underpaid during his tenure with the Clippers, never earning more than $350,000 per year, when compared with the compensation scheme for general managers employed by every other team in the NBA.""This past August I was handed an agreement and told to ‘take it or leave it.’ Given that I had invested so much to the Clippers and the NBA I was traumatized by this situation and today I remain mentally and emotionally devastated," Baylor said. "I did not retire. I have so much more to give."

The NBA is named in the lawsuit, according to Douglas’ fax, as "a joint venturer/partner of condoning, adopting and ratifying this discriminatory practice since the league is fully aware of salaries paid to all of the general managers.

One of the NBA’s undisputed greatest of all time, the latest news headlines can do nothing but tarnish his legend. It is very unfortunate as Elgin has always been one of great honor and acumen. Suspect, periodic drafting aside [any Clipper fan would quickly state the Koralev pick over Granger set the team back 3 years], Elgin should be remembered for all that he gave to the game, not the latest, shameful disrepute which have lately been posted. I met the man. I shook his hand and looked him straight in the eye. He is a good man and his legacy is being tarnished by his association with an organization which has continually set new standards of ineptitude.

Mr. Elgin Baylor deserved better. I/we at www.TheHighPosts.com support his cause and want to raise awareness of his contributions to the sport. We hope that he does have that chance to come back and work again, as we feel that he does “have something more to give.”

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Boycott the BCS! (Reasons Why Im a Fan of Sports)

February 12th, 2009

Boycott the BCS! (Reason #1 of Why Iʼm a Fan of Sports)

Posted by: P.O.E.

January 2009

Stats have always been just that for me, stats. They are there, and like physics, whether I study and really understand them or not, they exist. I was always pretty good in math and like fantasy sports because of the numbers, but for me, some guys just are too steeped in the numbers.

But Bill James is the “Numbers Guy”. THE Numbers Guy, really. He was the first to really implement statistical data to gain an edge or advantage in sport.

So, when I talk about his article, I understand that it has some weight. The basics of his argument can be summarized here:

It is,” wrote Stern, “generally a bad idea for quantitative analysts to remove themselves from the decision-making process,” but there are also times that, to preserve your self-respect, you pick up the briefcase and walk out of the room. This, in my view, is one of those times. The problems with the BCS are:

1. That there is a profound lack of conceptual clarity about the goals of the method;

2. That there is no genuine interest here in using statistical analysis to figure out how the teams compare with one another. The real purpose is to create some gobbledygook math to endorse the coachesʼ and sportswritersʼ vote;

3. That the ground rules of the calculations are irrational and prevent the statisticians from making any meaningful contribution; and

4. That the existence of this system has the purpose of justifying a few rich conferences in hijacking the search for a national title, avoiding a postseason tournament that would be preferred by the overwhelming majority of fans. The argument about whether there should be a NCAA College playoff system has been debated for the past two decades… or perhaps longer. How long ago was it that University of Washington and Georgia Tech shared the championship? How can either or one of those teams claim to be national champions? What is the point of playing the games, including the bowl games, if there is not a clear eventual number 1 team?

Of course James has a statistical argument, which is his hallmark. He backs up his arguments with the numbers.

Fine.

Often when in arguments about sports, or who is better than who, or, better, whom is better than whom, I have to rely on numbers to bolster my argument. But I think it gets away from the essence of the game.

I watch competitive sports for a few reasons:

Reason #1 of why I’m a fan:

Because it shows the triumph of the human spirit. A noted Supreme Court Judge said it better than I could, and to paraphrase: “If you want to look at the problems in the world, you look to the front page of the newspaper [this was back when newspapers were relevant]. But, if you want to look at the triumph of the human spirit, you look to the sports pages.” I think it was Byron ʻWhizzerʼ White, a former collegiate athlete who said this, but Iʼm not completely certain.

And, I chose to believe it. There are, of course, those cases of supreme sadness in sports; Rae Carruthʼs plotted double murder of his wife and unborn child, the tragic details surrounding pro wrestler Chris Benoit (which is surrounded by seemingly tertiary elements of drugs, madness and money from the central fact that he killed his son and wife), and humourous and sad stories like Plaxico Burress who shot himself in the leg with a gun he carried into a club in the waistband of his sweatsuit.

But there are many, many more stories about the triumph of the human spirit. One of my favorites, and on that strikes me every time I watch it is this one:

Autisitc High Schooler Jason McElwain Scores 20

Or this one:

Derek Redmond and Father. Olympics 1992 Barcelona.

It doesnʼt matter that the later video is in Spanish. The imagery says enough.

Why Iʼm a fan – Reason #2

Well, when I started writing about Bill James and his statistic analysis of why the BCS should be boycotted, I did not imagine that it would lead to the diatribe that Iʼm now on. To be honest though, I have been thinking about writing this for some time, and this was just the impetus to get it done.

The point of what I want to get at, is Why Be A Fan?

Really. Why be a fan of sports? Especially one particular, or many particular teams. To the point of buying season tickets and jerseys and whatever other chatzkies are out there.

In fact, letʼs play the antithesis here and dig deeper. The first law of sport marketing is that sports is a business. You hear it all the time. From athletes who get traded and say, “Its just a business.” To agents who defend the amounts being paid to their clients, “Its what the market will bear”. To the owners who are ʻforcedʼ to raise ticket prices, “we have to keep up with the economy.” Everyone in the business knows it is a business, and if they donʼt, they quickly learn.

So where are the revenues for the machine. Ads. Right. Marketing of companies. They pay a ton to get their names on Super Bowl ads and that revenue comes back to the teams and to the league. And their ads are targeted. Yup. Targeted. To the sports fan.

The sports industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and it makes its money on the sweat of people who love sports like you and I. Knowing this, why are we fans?

One more step here. On a personal note, I have an Elton Brand jersey. I am an admitted Clippers fan. I was there for their magical playoff run. I had season tickets that year and bought playoff tickets. I was there for the Reggie Evans nut grab incident with Chris Caveman. I was there. I bought in with tickets and jerseys and food and parking and time and… whatever. What did that year cost me in terms of dollars and opportunity cost? Many, many thousands of dollars.

I donʼt bring this up to boast. Quite the contrary, I bring it up because Elton brand is no longer a Clipper.

I think Elton is a great individual. He is a complete professional on, and off the court. Gentleman by all accounts. Accomplished filmmaker (he has producers credit for the Christian Bale movie, Rescue Dawn). I love the way Elton plays the game. He plays it hard. I like to say that he brings his hard hat to the game- every game! He doesnʼt take plays off. He hustles. Does the little things. Does the big things. Has a post game. Hits the 15 footer with regularity. Hits his free throws. Blocks shots.

And he DUNKS.

KG.Elton

One of my favorite photos is this one of him dunking over KG toward the beginning of the 2005 playoff run. Elton is a generous 6′ 9″ (if that) but he has long arms and a great understanding of the game. KG is closer to 7 feet and was in his prime at this moment. This dunk signaled the beginning of the run. Set a statement for the team. I remember seeing this photo the day after the game, clipping it out, posting it on my office cube wall and dialing my ticket representative to up my order.

I knew we were on to something special. Especially when I saw the connection that Elton and Sam ʻBall Danceʼ Cassell had on the court. I thought, if they can stay healthy. We have something here.

big-balls

And now, Elton is a Clipper no more. I mean, what do I do with my Clipper Brand jersey now?

I went through months of on again, off again, love of the Clippers. But the truth is, it is too hard to shake. I am compelled like a Vampire for blood to follow this team, for better or worse.

It does mean though, that I donʼt spend a portion of the money that I once did on a team, and I would certainly not purchase another jersey, unless it was of a player who had retired with the team and was one of the team or league all time greats. But, to be honest, I did just plunk down $200 on UCLA gear. The long and the short of this part of my diatribe, is that I watch and participate in sports because it is in my blood. That is the best I can describe it, but it is the result of a lifetime of experiences in both playing and watching the games. Reason number 1 that I am a fan is that it shows the triumph of the human soul. Reason 2; its in my blood. Reason 3… coming up.

Why Iʼm a fan… reason 3

On my previous two posts/pages I had been going on a discourse of why Iʼm a fan of sports. In face of it all- the money it costs to go to the game, the obvious exploitation of the fan by companies and sport franchises alike, and the disturbing actions taken by many of the players- why are we fans?

My thoughts on this had been ʻbubblingʼ beneath the surface for some time, but the Bill James article really spurred me to put my thoughts down on the page. His rationalism against the BCS system backed by stats was jarring because it seemed to me to come down to a simple question; why watch the games if a true champion is not going to be crowned? Indeed, why watch the BCS games if it ultimately is rather meaningless?

Here is reason number 3 of why I am a fan, why I watch sports. Because I want to share it with my future family, the way I shared in the sports experience growing up with my family.

I have four brothers and with each of them I have a memorable sports experience that I can remember which binds us together. For my brother Matt, it would be the late nights at our first home on Lombardy in Pasadena, CA practicing basketball plays. He the point guard, diminutive and smart. Me, the power forward setting some screens on the pick-and-pop. Not sure that we knew what we were doing at the time, but I remember playing and practicing until the lights turned on outside… and then continuing into playing in the dark.

My father was also instrumental with my love of sports. Growing up he would throw pitches to me against the garage as we competed mano-a-mano. I still remember him hitting a moon shot against me that went into the neighborsʼ yard- across the street neighbors, with a tennis ball and a wood bat. Crushed it.

Or, that my father used PVC to set up goal posts in the front yard. His motto regarding football was, “kick the ball and get out”. I guess that way you donʼt get hurt, right pop? Even to this day, and my dad is pushing 80 now, we can still talk about these memories. Even to talk about The Natural- probably my favorite sports movie ever- as he always thought that I had the kind of potential that Roy Hobbs (Robert Redfordʼs character) had. He believed in me and we had a special connection through sports.

I consider myself fortunate to have been an above average athlete growing up. Competing in sports was fun for me. And I was rather good at it. And, should my offspring (God willing) want to explore sports (God willing) then I will be there to support them. Honestly, it would not have to be sports, but as I have it in my blood I would hope to pass on some of the love to them.

Reason number 3 that Iʼm a fan- it is generational.

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Articles

February 9th, 2009

Oakland Soldiers Get Gooden Love

thehighposts Articles

By Risse AKA ‘Town Biz

Hot Prospects 2008

Young Soldiers run drills at Hot Prospects 2007 Drew Gooden grew up playing for the Oakland Soldiers/Slam N Jam youth basketball program.

Now it will bear his name.

The 26-year-old Cleveland Cavaliers forward has made a commitment of money and time to a program that will be known as the Drew Gooden Soldiers. The organization recently hosted the Hot Prospects Invitational camp for select 7th-11th graders in September. This weekend they will host the annual Super 100 Camp at St. Maryʼs College in Moraga, CA. The event is designed for 9th-12th graders who are rated as the best high school players in their respective classes throughout Northern California. (For more information, visit www.slamnjam.org)

Hot Prospects Body Up

thehighposts Articles

Players body up as Slam N Jamʼs Carl Foster plays Drill Sergeant

“When I started playing with the Soldiers, I did not know much about basketball. I knew I just loved playing,” Gooden said in a statement to the Bay Area News Group. “The Soldiers showed me a whole new world of basketball and life skills. They exposed me to the opportunities that basketball had to offer.

“You could say that the Slam N Jam/Soldiers program provided me with a map and tour guides to the road of success.” Meanwhile, Goodenʼs teammate, superstar LeBron James, has named his Nike LeBron Air Zoom Soldier in honor of the program for which he played during two summers in high school.

“Well, the soldier is kinda what I am on the court,” James told the Bay Area News Group through his publicist. “And then playing for them as a youngster really made it easy to make it that name.” The Soldiers will get sponsorship help from Nike, and its players will receive Jamesʼ Air Zoom Soldier shoes along with other gear.

The Slam N Jam program, in its 18th year, has served more than 1,000 youngsters throughout the Bay Area, helping to prepare dozens of them for college. Seven current NBA players — including Leon Powe, Chauncey Billups and Eddie House — played on the summer league circuit for the Soldiers.

thehighposts Articles

The ʻTown reps worldwide with Gametime Gear.

A funny thing happened to me when I walked in the Northern California Super 100 Boys Basketball Camp last week, a gathering of the top NorCal high school ballers sponsored by the Slam N Jam Organization in the Bay Area. (www.slamnjam.org)

So I stroll in the gym with loads of Bounce magazines wearing an old pair of EBC shorts. Itʼs no big deal until two feet inside, this man suddenly says, “Those are my shorts.” Huh? At first, I donʼt even trip off ole boy. Then he points to the logo on my baby blue Lady Mustang joints (what up Tone & Rocky!!) and says, “I made those. Those are my shorts.” It is very likely that if this stranger had said that to me back Uptown, I would have thought nothing of it really. But this is over 2,000 miles away and the Bay Area. I decide to investigate.

thehighposts Articles

Gametime samples

So I surprisingly found another reason to give the hometown some love. Many people donʼt know this, but most of the ill uniform designs out in the past few years have come from the mind of Mark Olivier. His company, Gametime Gear, has done all the heavyweight designs for major players including Entertainerʼs Basketball Classic, adidas, Nike and Reebok. He has designed exclusive joints for tournaments and teams sponsored Jay-Z, Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony, Antoine Walker, and Baron Davis. The company has serviced everyone from high schools to the Harlem Globetrotters. BXʼs Fat Joe even wore a Gametime design on a cover of Dime this year.

thehighposts Articles

55th knows that Oakland keeps the game so icy

If nothing else, we should give Olivier dap for this alone: Lebron James. It is Olivier & crew who really should get credit for introducing the world to King James. Mark can tell endless stories of basically breaking elite players in the AAU ranks nationwide through the reputed Oakland Soldiers program. If you know AAU basketball, you are familiar with the Soldiers. They are the ones with camouflage on their uniforms!

thehighposts Articles

A look at the Soldiers Wall of Fame

LeBron James–who played with the Soldiers while in high school–is by far the most highly recognized talent from their roster to date, while Oakland native and Cavs eammate Drew Gooden is the local Soldiers product turned big-minute big man in the League. In fact, they recently named the team the Drew Gooden Soldiers. Check the butters at: www.gametimegear.net

Read the rest of this entry »

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