Sunday, November 3, 2013
"Now the boy is the man..." - Drake
The Philadelphia 76ers are getting national recognition...and the main ingredient to the team's early success is Michael Carter-Williams.
The Sixers have been playing well since the season began last week, and while it is tough to gauge how things will play out, it's evident that this group of young talent, is doing their best to win games, and establish a blue-collar identity.
Carter-Williams has quickly become a fan favorite, however as a point guard he understands that everything is about the team and what he can do to make everyone better.
His low-key demeanor and never quit attitude will take him far as a professional athlete, especially in a city like Philadelphia.
Photo: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sunday, March 31, 2013
"Make me remember you, like you remember me..." - The Weeknd
The 1996 NBA Draft was one of the best ever, and last night the 13th-pick from that year continued to prove the doubters wrong.
I Told You So
Kobe Bryant was the first guard to successfully make the jump from high school to the pro ranks. People didn't believe he could survive with the Lakers, and the experts said that he did not have what it takes to have a long career. They were wrong.
The Bryant family hails from Philadelphia, and it was Joe Bryant who introduced Wilt Chamberlain to his 8-year old son Kobe. 26-years later, the saga continues as Kobe passed Wilt Chamberlain to become the 4th all-time leading scorer in league history.
Hollywood couldn't write a better script. The things Bryant has done, and is currently accomplishing on the basketball court is surreal.
The lesson in this is to never give up on your dreams, because they can and will come true.
Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press
Saturday, January 5, 2013
"The same streets that raised you, can age you..." - Common - U, Black Maybe
Sports are a metaphor of our everyday lives. It's the reason why some people will defend their teams tooth and nail, or an athlete will push themselves to become the best they can be. My first love was and always will be basketball. Even now long after my playing days, I still find joy in the game that taught me a wealth of life lessons.
Live and Learn
A picture is worth 1,000-words, and while I'm not going to write that many things about the photo above, allow me if you will to shed some light on the subject. When Kobe Bryant declared for the NBA, he unexpectedly received a ton of backlash and hatred. Everyone felt that a 17-year old wasn't able to make such a bold decision, and that he should attend a major college or university like most high school graduates.
Bryant remained determined and on June 26, 1996, he was selected with the 13th-overall pick. Five-years later the Lakers defeated the 76ers in Philadelphia, and not only was Kobe right in following his heart, he emerged an NBA champion, to silence his critics.
As I look at the image, it reminds me to be totally honest with myself and everyone around me, stay the course, and remember that sports have and will continue to take me far.
I'm thankful for the game, the experiences, and the people it has bought my way.
Life is good.
Photo: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
"Now once upon a time, not too long ago..." - Jay-Z - 99 Problems
You always want what you can't have.
Once I learned the basic fundamentals, I never looked back. The sport has taken me far, as it continues to challenge and teach me about hard work, perseverance, and dedication.
Recently I was on Twitter congratulating the Lakers on a victory...when none other than Andre Iguodala wrote me back saying that I should learn to cheer for my hometown Philadelphia 76ers. I was surprised to say the least, and I defended myself by saying that I'm a Kobe fan...who is also a native of west Philly. Nevertheless, in the days following that exchange, I felt bad for not being a big advocate of the Sixers.
Iguodala had a valid point, and today as we texted one another a Merry Christmas I thanked him for speaking his mind.
I'm always going to cheer for Bryant, but it's about time I pay closer attention to the home team in the Wells Fargo Center.
Picture: Associated Press
Sunday, July 1, 2012
"Give him an old face..."
Jay-Z - Streets is Talking
By now most people have seen the new Pepsi Max campaign, starring current Rookie of the Year Kyrie Ivring. For those of you like my sister that live under a rock...allow me to tell you how entertaining it is. It is by far one of the best commercials that I've seen in quite sometime, and I used to work for an advertising agency...but you don't have to take my word for it.
Irving has an intriguing story of family unity, success, and sadness. In him, the Cavaliers franchise will have something to celebrate, and soon. Cleveland selected Dion Waiters last week in the draft, and I have a feeling that Waiters and Irving will complement one another's game very well.
Until the season begins, it would be nice to see if Kyrie's Uncle Drew shows up at some playgrounds and courts around the country to get buckets!
Stay tuned sports fans.
Words and picture: @axgilbert
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
"First they love me, then they hate me, then they love me again..."
Jay-Z - Meet the Parents
Last week the Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 to win their second championship in franchise history.
When the topic is LeBron James, people either hate or love him. This wasn't always the case...when he first entered the league in '03, he was praised as the boy who would be king, and now he has become a polarizing figure that has everyone choosing sides including members of the media.
Journalists are supposed to be biased...leaving their personal opinions at the press room door. James isn't the first athlete to have everyone turn against him, take Muhammad Ali for instance, he wasn't appreciated for who he was until he had been retired and away from the sport he helped to make great.
The facts are that LeBron R. James is the League and Finals MVP, and accolades aside, he has removed the albatross from around his neck. He has been on a path to acquire a championship, and now that he has tasted success at that level, he will only want more.
It's a cycle that goes unquenched, and for basketball fans the time is now to buckle up and enjoy the next few years.
He should only be measured on what he does in between the lines of a basketball court. He's a professional athlete, so fans and the media alike should stick to the script and not worry about his personal life. We all make mistakes, he just makes his in front of the world, while most people do things anonymously.
Unfortunately perception is reality, but it's not always the truth.
Photo: Webster Riddick