Tag: men’s basketball

Kevin Garnett Buys 1,000 Tickets to Give Away to Minnesota Fans

Kevin Garnett (Getty Images)
Kevin Garnett (Getty Images)

Kevin Garnett has purchased 1,000 tickets that will be given to Timberwolves fans to show his appreciation for their warm welcome to his return to Minnesota.

The team announced Sunday morning that Garnett bought the tickets for Monday night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers, reports NBA.com. Starting at 9AM Monday, the first 500 fans to claim tickets on http://www.nba.com/timberwolves/kg will receive a pair of tickets to the game.

“The response and support I’ve received from Wolves fans since my return to Minnesota has been nothing short of amazing. It’s been unbelievable,” Garnett said. “As a gesture of thanks, I would like to treat some fans to Monday night’s game against the Clippers. Love you all, and thanks for the love. Enjoy the game on me.”

article by Carrie Healey via thegrio.com

Positive Influence Basketball: A League Whose Success Isn’t Measured in Points

The Positive Influence Basketball league has more than 800 players on 68 teams. They play for eight weeks during the summer. (BRYAN THOMAS FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES)

Behind Lincoln Center, at the heart of a semicircle of tall brick buildings with a dome of leafy trees, on the dull playground of the Amsterdam Houses, the basketball league playoffs were underway.

Youth basketball has been a tradition in this public space on the Upper West Side since at least the 1960s, when Samuel N. Bennerson II, whose name is engraved on a sign along the iron gate, created the Betterment League. The leagues that followed continued to voice their mission in their names: the Brotherhood on Urban Survival in the 1970s; Amsterdam Action in the 1980s; and Positive Influence Basketball, which the league’s commissioner and game commentator, Andrew Blacks, founded nearly a decade ago. Summer is the only time the league gets to play; its teams are essentially shut out of playing a winter season. The indoor basketball courts of nearby schools, Mr. Blacks said, have been booked up by adult leagues.

Most of the playground’s swings are gone. So is the sandbox, and the chess and checkers tables. The small jungle gyms, layered in paint, are chipped and rusted. Programs for teenagers at the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center across the street dried up years ago.

But none of that mattered on a beautifully mild summer night as spectators hung by the fence. Others watched from cloth folding chairs on the sidewalk or courtside benches, including Rose Daise, a gray-haired woman known as Miss Rose. As legend has it, she has never missed a league game. “It’s my entertainment,” she said. “It’s good to see them doing something.”

Andrew Blacks, 38, grew up in the Amsterdam Houses. He founded the Positive Influence league nearly a decade ago. (BRYAN THOMAS FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES)

The Brooklyn-based Turbo Squadron, in blue, played Castle Athletics from Harlem, in red; both were 3-2. One team’s season would end that night.

“Oh, baby,” Mr. Blacks yelled as the ball sailed out of bounds. Four minutes 10 seconds remained in the two-point game. “Let’s get back at it,” he shouted, pacing the sideline.

Success for the league is measured outside of points. It is in the stacks of college acceptance letters; the teenagers who help keep the game books; the 14-and-under home team, the Amsterdam Sonics, who once brought back a Rucker Park championship, a high honor in playground basketball; peer mentoring; and the young men who show up from as far away as Albany with fresh confidence. The night before, with his team down by 15, a 19-year-old shooting guard from Harlem took over the game and scored 42 points to lead his teammates into the playoffs.

“I always tell them,” Mr. Blacks said of his players as he set up before the game last week, “ ‘It’s not about your last play. It’s about your next play.’ ”

The season ended last Friday with an awards ceremony on the court. Mr. Blacks handed out navy blue Nike sweatsuits and book bags adorned with the Positive Influence Basketball league logo to the top two teams.

The league will not return until next summer. During that time, some of the players will scatter, Mr. Blacks said, some of them for good. The league used to run winter games in the gyms of nearby Martin Luther King Jr. Education Campus and Public School 191, Mr. Blacks said. But in recent years, he said, those courts have continuously been booked by private adult leagues.

“The neighborhood was changing,” Mr. Blacks said, “but they were forgetting the youth here. They got more money than us, but we’re still here.”

Mr. Blacks, 38, is short and stocky, with an easy grin. He grew up in the Amsterdam Houses playing point guard in the Amsterdam Action Association and in the Public Schools Athletic League. Most people in the community know him as Peach, a nickname given to him as a boy by his aunt, he said, for the roundness of his head. He tours the world as a member of the production crew with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, a field, he noted, that he entered through a relationship he formed on the basketball court.

Edmon Archer, 68, founded a league at the Amsterdam Houses playground in the late 1970s. He coaches a team for the Positive Influence league. (BRYAN THOMAS FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES)

One summer, when Mr. Blacks returned home from college, he found that the league had ended and that the playground “was going to waste.”

He started the Positive Influence Basketball league with about 60 children from the Amsterdam Houses. The league has been funded through donations like backboards and rims from Spalding, coaches’ fees, fund-raisers, grants, offerings such as ice from a nearby grocery store and his own money.

The league now has more than 800 players on 68 teams. They play for eight weeks during the summer in six divisions that include elementary school students, high schoolers and college students. Most are teenagers from Manhattan, but they also come from the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island.

Mr. Blacks has watched many of them grow up. “They’re not my kids legally,” he said, “but these are my kids.” He added, “The main thing in this league is confidence and hope.”

This past season, the Positive Influence league had to cancel at least eight games because of rain. And in recent years, Mr. Blacks said, he has turned away hundreds of youths because he does not have enough court space.

At Martin Luther King Jr. Education Campus one recent evening, in an adult league, a team from a finance company in Manhattan played basketball against a pickup squad of solo players, organized by the Fastbreak NYC sports league.

Continue reading “Positive Influence Basketball: A League Whose Success Isn’t Measured in Points”

NBA Star Demarcus Cousins Pledges $1 Million to Help Sacramento Families

Demarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings
Demarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings

This week, Sacramento Kings center Demarcus Cousins pledged $1 million to help Sacramento families in need.

Cousins made a quick mention of his generous gift at the end of his press conferencing announcing his contract extension with the Kings. The 23-year-old averaged career-highs of 17 points and nearly 10 rebounds per game last season.

The team rewarded him with a 4-year, $62 million contract.  There aren’t too many details available on where specifically Cousins’ money will go. He said some of the money will go to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s foundation.

article by Todd Johnson via thegrio.com

Shaquille O’Neal Acquires Minority Ownership Stake in Sacramento Kings

NBA basketball player Shaquille O'Neal speaks onstage at the 27th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner to benefit the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis at The Waldorf=Astoria on September 24, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis)
NBA basketball player Shaquille O’Neal speaks onstage at the 27th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner on September 24, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis)

Shaquille O’Neal is joining the ownership group of the Sacramento Kings.  The Kings announced Monday that O’Neal has acquired a minority stake in the team under new owner Vivek Ranadive. The Kings will introduce the four-time NBA champion at a news conference Tuesday in Sacramento.

O’Neal tormented the Kings during the height of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and handed Sacramento its biggest blow by rallying the Lakers from a 3-2 deficit to win the 2002 Western Conference finals.  O’Neal retired after the 2010-11 season and has worked as an analyst for TNT the last two seasons.

article by Antonio Gonzalez, AP via thegrio.com

Chris Paul Elected President of NBA Players Union

NBA player Chris Paul attends Movie Premiere 'Let Me Explain' with Kevin Hart during the 2013 BET Experience at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on June 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for BET)
NBA player Chris Paul attends Movie Premiere ‘Let Me Explain’ with Kevin Hart during the 2013 BET Experience at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on June 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for BET)

The vote by NBA player representatives came six months after the union fired Billy Hunter as executive director, a position that remains vacant and follows about 18 months of in-fighting and drama that occurred during the negotiations for the latest collective bargaining agreement. Hunter countered with a wrongful-termination lawsuit in May, accusing Fisher of conspiring with NBA officials during the 2011 lockout.

“It’s not about me as president or the first vice president, it’s about the players as a whole,” Paul said in a conference call Wednesday night.  One of Paul’s greatest gifts on the court is an ability to get everyone involved and make his teammates better. Now he’ll try to do the same thing with the union. After the lockout ended and the lawsuits started to take hold, there was a feeling among many players and observers that putting a big name in the big chair would help galvanize the group and get star players interested in participating again.

Continue reading “Chris Paul Elected President of NBA Players Union”

Number-One NBA Draft Pick Anthony Bennett Signs with Cleveland Cavaliers

AP_Anthony_Bennett_NBA_Draft_Basketball_hagl_16x9t_384CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers have signed Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, to his guaranteed rookie contract.  Financial terms were not immediately known, but the deal can be worth up to $22.8 million over four years.  Bennett was somewhat of a surprising selection by the Cavaliers, who believe the 6-foot-8, 240-pounder from UNLV can play power forward. He’s recovering from shoulder surgery, but the Toronto native is expected to be ready for the start of training camp. He averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds as a freshman with the Runnin’ Rebels.

The Cavs also said they have finalized their deals with first-round pick Sergey Karasev, a guard from Russia, and second-round selection Carrick Felix from Arizona State.  Karasev helped lead Russia to the gold medal in the World University Game this summer.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press via espn.go.com

Kobe Bryant Memorabilia Earns $433,531 in New Jersey Auction, Raises Money for The Bully Project

Kobe BryantA pair of Kobe Bryant‘s 2000 NBA championship rings brought in a combined $282,337, in an auction that closed Saturday morning. The monthlong sale, held out of West Berlin, N.J., by Goldin Auctions, brought in a total of $433,531 from Bryant’s memorabilia. “Collectors surely recognized that these are historically significant pieces of memorabilia that are rarely made available for a player like Kobe Bryant,” said Ken Goldin, Founder of Goldin Auctions.

Goldin Auctions will donate $62,565 of the proceeds to the Bully Project, one of Bryant’s favored charities. “We’re delighted to have been chosen to benefit from the auction of these once-in-a-lifetime items from Kobe Bryant,” said Lee Hirsch, the director of “Bully.” “Athletes set a powerful example when they speak out against bullying and we deeply appreciate the efforts of everyone involved in this auction for helping us to amplify this message.”

Bryant’s memorabilia, including high school uniforms, rings and an All-Star medallion, was provided to Goldin Auctions by Bryant’s mother, Pamela, after a family dispute over ownership was settled out of court.

article by Eric Pincus via latimes.com

NBA Champ Dwayne Wade Releases Fitness App “Dwyane Wade Driven”

The Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade released a fitness app called “Dwyane Wade Driven” while his team was simultaneously celebrating its third NBA championship with a parade and rally. The app offers customized training programs and videos for basketball players and other athletes. 

“It shows people ways to work out, a lot of different ways to work out, whether it’s basketball drills or not,” Wade told The Associated Press. “A lot of people work out at home. A lot of people don’t have access to a gym. A lot of people don’t have trainers. So it’s kind of like I’m the personal trainer for basketball and fitness and I’ll show them a lot of things I do with my body and for my body.”

The app was available for download starting Monday. It includes basketball drills and a fitness routine, along with ways for users to track their progress. Driven Apps, the publisher, plans to release additional bundles for users to download once they have mastered or completed the initial Wade program.

Continue reading “NBA Champ Dwayne Wade Releases Fitness App “Dwyane Wade Driven””

Miami Heat top San Antonio Spurs in Game 7, Repeat as NBA Champs, LeBron James Named Finals MVP

MIAMI — The moment arrived. Players were spent, the emotional and physical toll zapping them of almost everything they had.

LeBron James had the ball at the top of the key. He drove right and with San Antonio Spurs guard Kawhi Leonard guarding him, James pulled up and drilled a 19-foot jump shot with 27.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter. He pumped his fists and the crowd went crazy.

With that shot of adrenalin, James stole the ball on the next possession, made the free throws and secured the victory. These are his kind of moments.

James finished with a game-high 37 points and led the Miami Heat to a 95-88 victory vs. the Spurs in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, giving Miami its second consecutive NBA championship.

James, the four-time MVP, was named Finals MVP for the second consecutive season.

BOX SCORE: Heat 95, Spurs 88

WATCH: Heat guard banks in a three at buzzer

DUNCAN: Watch his slow one-man fast break

The game was back and forth throughout. The Spurs’ biggest lead was seven at 11-4 and the Heat’s was six on a couple of occasions until the final seconds. This was the kind of game you expect in a Game 7, and the third competitive game of the series.

Continue reading “Miami Heat top San Antonio Spurs in Game 7, Repeat as NBA Champs, LeBron James Named Finals MVP”

Ray Allen Sets All-Time NBA Playoff Record for Three-Pointers

Ray Allen #34 of the Miami Heat drives during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks at American Airlines Arena on April 23, 2013 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Ray Allen #34 of the Miami Heat  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The ageless Ray Allen scored 23 points, and broke the NBA career playoff record for 3-pointers, as the Miami Heat used another of their patented runs to win 104-91 at the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday for a 3-0 lead in their first-round series.

In the day’s other playoff games, the Chicago Bulls held off Brooklyn to take a 2-1 lead, while Memphis got the win it needed, beating the Los Angeles Clippers to cut the series deficit to 2-1.  Miami can complete a sweep in Game 4 on Sunday at the Bradley Center. No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a series in the NBA playoffs.

Allen’s five 3-pointers against the Bucks gave him 322 for his career, two more than Reggie Miller. LeBron James added 22 points in his standard strong performance for the Heat, and Chris Bosh had 16 points and 14 rebounds.  “That’s been our calling card all year, the depth that we have,” said Allen. “As a team, you’ve got to find way to plug in the holes, and every night we find somebody different.”  Dwyane Wade scored only four points, but had 11 assists.

Continue reading “Ray Allen Sets All-Time NBA Playoff Record for Three-Pointers”

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
%d bloggers like this: