There a first for everything

Written by Sabine Démosthènes

While I’m enjoying a big cup of tea on my train ride into the city of a thousand bells, the sun is shining brightly and it feels like a new season of hope and change is coming.

Speaking of change, or should I say of brand new beginnings, Becky Hammon is being considered for the new head coach of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks. This is fantastic news! She was the first woman ever to be appointed assistant coach in the history of the NBA with The Spurs.

But, like in everything unconventional, there is some controversy about this consideration. Again, we are moving forward, but why is there is still stigma around a woman being the head coach of a national sports team?

For example, it would be great to see more men having positions like school teachers, nurses, or receptionists that are professions known for being filled more often by women. So, when a man gets this job or this career, it shouldn’t be a surprise. For me, it goes both ways. Right?!

Becky Hammon didn’t get into talks for this position straight out of college. First of all, she was a professional basketball player (yeah!) for the WNBA.

I can hear some people saying “that doesn’t mean she is qualified.” On top of that, she was the righthand woman to probably the best coach in the league for four years! She had the opportunity to learn from Gregg Popovich and that is to be taken into consideration.

For both this argument, my opinion is that when you have the best mentor and you are a born leader, why not take the plunge?

Like every head coach in the whole world, she is well equipped and she will still learn and improve.

But let’s ask the real question – I would like to get back to my example: if a male nurse was appointed to be the head nurse at one of the best hospitals in the country, and he had graduated from a graduate-level nursing program 7 years earlier, was an assistant head nurse for 4 years and the people around him saw him as a good nurse and leader, would we be having the same conversation about whether or not he is the right person for the job?

Mrs. Hammon should be considered for the top job such as the nurse regarding their gender.

Oh, I can hear voices saying “we’ve seen so many former NBA players fail as coaches.” But, why don’t we talk about the ones that have succeeded even when they were not ballers to began with…

I do believe that everyone has a chance to succeed at their ambitions.

Can’t we just help them achieve instead of throwing stones and saying, if they do fail, we told you so?

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Things that make you go hmm Part II

By Sabine Démosthènes

During last night’s game between the Cavs and the Knicks, you may have heard noises that were not exactly cheers for a particular player.

Instead, the fans were booing Travis Thompson. It was pretty obvious.

For some that may not know, Mr. Thompson is dating one of the Ms. Kardashians.

To make the situation a little more awkward, Khloé Kardashian is pregnant and Travis Thompson was being a little bit too touchy-feely with a woman that is not the mother of his child.

You can guess that his philandering nature and his indiscretions were plastered all over the web.

First thing is first. Everything that has a connection to the Kardashian’s brand will get major coverage.

Whether we like it or not, it is fact.

I’m not a fan of this Kardashian culture at all, but I do feel bad for Khloé and her having to deal with this issue before giving birth to their baby girl (Congrats!).

Oh wait, this family has the reputation of being fame-hungry… Maybe they aren’t very upset about it since they are being mentioned everywhere.

I take back what I just said, I don’t feel bad.

Mister Whisky doesn’t feel bad either

My question is should we boo players for the life they are living as civilians when they are playing?

My opinion on this matter would be no.

When you come to see a game, you come to actually see the game. You don’t go to see a game for some player’s personal life, but we were programmed (myself included) to admire and glorify these athletes. They should be good role models.

In fact, I do adhere to that thinking.

Alright, you probably think that I’m contradicting myself. You might be right, but I will explain my point.

If I don’t respect an athlete or someone else, I won’t boo them, but I will stay silent. I think being silent and indifferent has more weight than being noisy and trashy.

Throwing some garbage in a court, a ring, a soccer field is an act of disrespect. Disrespect to the other players and to the game.

Let’s be more like the Japanese in this matter: calm, collected, cheerful and respectful.

But I got a brain freeze when I realized wait a minute, they are booing because he is cheating on a Kardashian! Morally though, this family is not as white as the big snow we will be receiving this weekend in Montreal…

It’s like a double-standard type situation.

People are complaining about this family and their values and then, booing and slamming the boyfriend because of his dishonesty and fraternizing actions. But still, this family got famous because of a sex tape!

I need a drink!

I mean this kind of drink…

The Story of 100 Aisles … Kobe Bryant

I awoke Monday morning with my typical Monday attitude : grumpy. The first thing I do in the morning, before even realizing which day it is, is read the news. 

Morning ritual

The posting on the ESPN website really woke me up. Kobe won an Oscar?! Suddenly, I was awake!! Like the smell of bacon cooking in the kitchen; my brain cells were all alive and firing on all cylinders. 

To make a story very short, I was never, not ever a Kobe Bryant Fan. Not even during my teenage years (1996 until 2000). Why wasn’t I a Kobe fan, despite finding him cute and sexy? 

One word… 

Arrogance! 

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He was cocky! He wanted to emulate Michael Jordan, but even if Jordan could occaisonally be an asshole while playing, the next thing you knew, he would be a gentleman with his teammates after a game, playing poker with them. 

With Kobe, it’s a different scenario. I understand so much, Kobe being a loner as some say. And that’s okay. I’m a loner myself. But, don’t be an asshole and don’t be selfish until your last game.  

So waking up with one of the athletes that I do respect because damn the guy is one of the greatest but will he put into our face a I’m was many time a MVP player in the NBA and now, I’m a Oscar winner and his cockiness will be again in display? 

So my morning wasn’t as sunny and bright as it could have been with this news. I told myself – “Please Sab be objective on this one, maybe he does deserve this recognition. Maybe his short animated film is good. “ 

Kobe Bryant Oscar 2018

Then, I read that his film, “Dear Basketball”, is actually a short autobiography. Quickly, I wondered if he would recognize that he wasn’t always a gentleman and class act. Will his film depict that he is a man with flaws and will he acknowledge some of the awful things he did as a human being and as a man to his peers, his adversaries and to some women?  

Kobe Bryant Dear Basketball

All those questions were in my head and I couldn’t wait to watch it, but I was a little bit scared of watching it. 

Scared? Me?! How come? 

I was scared that I would like it and become more objective toward Kobe. 

Guess what?  

I truly watched his movie from an artistic point of view and not as a feminist, or with an anti-Kobe basketball fan attitude. At the end, I was happy to be more objective. 

I do have faith that we can all change for the better. 

For me, Kobe always seemed very self-conscious about his image (like one of my exes) and he wanted to be portrayed as the perfect guy. 

I always put Kobe in my ‘phony people’ box. His attitude toward the incident in July 2003, his relationship with Shaquille O’Neal (Now, they have made peace. Yeah! for the Lakers fans) but even, his last game as a NBA player was all about him and I’m sorry, but LeBron is and will always be the team player of the two of them.

LeBron James, Kobe Bryant

All of those examples made me wonder if Kobe truly would be different as a writer. 

Will he always be all about him and this perfect guy persona, with the perfect family, the perfect career and now, the perfect Oscar? 

Maybe I got a glimpse of my answer while watching his Oscar acceptance speech. I was pleasantly surprised that he was surprised and that he wanted to break this athletic dogma that says a basketball player, for example, can just dribble and shut up.  

No! 

An athlete can be as artistic, as smart and articulate as an artist, a scientist or a journalist. For that, I do applaud Kobe for pointing it out during his acceptance speech .

Now, maybe Kobe can show his vulnerability and his true self through writing and being a storyteller. I watched “Dear Basketball” and I love the narrative, the drawing and seeing this little 6 year old boy dreaming and being mesmerized by this beautiful game.

Young Kobe dreaming

You could see, even in such a short movie, the fact that he was a very dedicated student. But, I wish the short film would have shown a little bit more vulnerability. Again, it is a short animated film, but, I want to see the real Kobe. Not the perfect Kobe image. I want to read, for once, an essay about how he truly sees himself, with all the glory and with all the imperfections and mistakes he made along the way. Or, he could do it in the same pattern he did “Dear Basketball” with an animated concept. He is a very smart man and I discovered an artist inside him.  

I could write a Ph.D thesis on how complex Kobe’s character is and slowly, we would see a different Kobe. Easily, I could have gone into talking about what happened in 2003. At the height of his career, there were allegations against this young man about being stupid and not being a gentleman toward a woman. He seemed to have been remorseful, and the allegations were settled but still, I cannot forget about it and how disappointed I was, even though he wasn’t my favorite player. 

But I am slowly discovering a different Kobe Bryant. 

We are discovering a man that lived his dreams to the fullest and with passion, but he may have discovered other passions that will unleash his true self. Maybe now, he will share his vulnerability, his disappointment and his mistakes, not by making a press conference, not by doing a one-on-one interview, but by writing a story. 

I’m ready to see this artist emerge with an open heart. I will watch as he crafts his new platform for showing us himself through a movie or a story. 

Yes, I’m willing to see it and be amazed by the story. 

How did a young introverted, black man grow up in Italy to became one of the greatest athletes of all time? 

Will Kobe let us discover the real Kobe Bryant? 

 Young Kobe

 https://dearbasketball.com

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

 

Habitual line stepping

As I watched The Thunders versus the Golden State Warriors this past Saturday night, Carmelo Anthony threw down his headband violently in anger after getting hit by Draymond Green, who acted like nothing happened, like usual.

At that moment, I was thinking that at some point, someone will have to set Draymond Green straight with physical force.

The same way CHARLIE MURPHY (may he rest in peace), the brother of the great Eddie Murphy, had to beat the hell out of Rick James repeatedly for messing with Eddie Murphy’s couch on purpose, for tattooing the word “Unity” on Charlie’s forehead at Club 54 and for slapping Charlie in the face at the China Club.

To be fair, Rick James had a legitimate excuse for his constant line crossing habits: heavy cocaine use.

Draymond Green has a valid excuse to some extent too. His competitiveness, combined with his high IQ for the game of Basketball and let’s be honest – his ability to get under his opponent’s skin with his trash talk, make him an indispensable player for the Golden State Warriors.

But too many times, like Rick James, Draymond will go too far and do something nonsensical like kicking opponents in the groin. His multiple flagrant fouls during the 2016 playoffs got him suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

That’s when the Cavs began their comeback, upsetting the Warriors after trailing the series 3 games to 1.

I am surprised that Draymond has not caused a major brawl yet. But another habitual line-crosser, who happens to be a well known hockey player in Montreal and the province of Quebec, certainly did.

For those who don’t know, Dale Hunter was one heck of a hockey player. He was also the personification of a habitual line-crosser.

He played for the Quebec Nordiques from 1980 to 1987.

Then, he spent the next 12 years with the Washington Capitals. He then came back to the organization that had originally drafted him, the Colorado Avalanches, who were the Quebec Nordiques.

He is currently the co-owner, president and head coach of the London Knights of the Ontario Junior League. Let me say this: this fool was unreal!

He was a crazier, old school, white version of Draymond Green (I love cross-racial comparisons by the way). As a young Habs fan, I loved to hate this man. If you have any time to waste, I suggest to you all to go on Youtube and type in the search space: Dale Hunter, cheap shots. If you like chaos as I do, Dale Hunter won’t disappoint. Enjoy!

He was the instigator of the brawl of all brawls between the Montreal Canadiens and the Quebec Nordiques, the famous Good Friday Massacre (La Bataille du Vendredi Saint, in French) on April 20, 1984. He kept taking runs at the goalie, Steve Penney, after the whistle was blown. At the end of the second period, he even fought his own brother, Mark Hunter who played for the Habs.

Imagine that!

Who can forget, in 1993, Game 6 of the first round series between the Capitals and the New York Islanders when Dale Hunter went absolutely insane.

He hit an unsuspecting Pierre Turgeon to the board after Turgeon had scored a goal and was celebrating.

You can see afterward, several Islanders going after Dale Hunter and pummelling him.

Charlie Murphy would have been proud of those guys.

Look, I do not condone the use of violence, but like Charlie Murphy educated us in the Charlie Murphy – True Hollywood Story segment from the Chappelle Show, a habitual line-crosser needs to be checked so that the line-crossing can stop.

I used those two athletes, in a way, to relive one of the greatest Dave Chappelle sketches ever: Charlie Murphy – True Hollywood Stories featuring Rick James, 14 years ago.

But, we need Draymond Green in our lives. He makes the game of basketball fun, the same way Dale Hunter made the game of hockey fun in the past, with their unique, habitual line-crossing way.

Again, Rest in Peace to you, Charlie Murphy and Rick James.

For some comic relief:

ETrue Hollywood Story Rick James and Charlie Murphy

Written by Donald Demosthenes (aka The Educated Fool and The Other Donald)

March madness

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For the basketball lovers all around the world, March madness is the most wonderful time of the year.

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It’s crazy! The final four is dominating our weekends (in my case if I don’t fight with the hubby yeahh I know … It should be the other way around) and the start of the NBA playoffs.

I’m a Raptors fan all the way (Canucks for life). But I do enjoy the drama regarding the GS, Miami Heat and The Cavs.

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But what is happening with the Lakers. But I do believe next year, they will be a stronger team. I just hope they won’t bring Kobey back as an adviser ( I am not a Kobey fan). Enjoy your retirement man Mamba.

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The Final Four as entertaining to watch as the NBA during the playoffs. I’m hook big time like it was cocaine (I do not use any drugs except my hot chocolate every morning) . Tell it Ric James!

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Baylor vs USC was such an entertaining game.

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Guess what I will watch on TV next weekend during the evening. It will be the battle of the control of the Tv. Will I win this one? Plan B, watching it on my computer.

Let’s continue our madness. Oh yeahhhhh.

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The magic is still around

As I was chilling last night and I was catching up with my ESPN podcasts and my sports news moment of the day, I nearly fall over my bed with my computer when I heard Magic Johnson is back to his home!

But not as an adviser for the team or the coach. He came back as father superior meaning in my Chronicle language as the big boss of the Lakers. He keep surprising us this Mister Johnson.

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Holy macaroni! That what I said with a big smile.

I never been a big Lakers fan especially in the Kobe Bryant era. Yes, I have big issues with Mr. Bryant. Never been a fan but I do respect that he is one of the greatest. See I can be nice and polite.

But Magic, my oh my, I’m a 80’s kid growing up with a big brother with my brothers best friends (Chabot park kids for life) that they know who you are were avid basketball fan. I do remember the numerous debate between Pascal, Roots, Alain, Steph, Jean-Marc about who’s the greatest basketball player of all time. And our favorite baseball player Pat was probably saying oh boy again guys. Rick and me listening our big brothers debating with fire in their eyes. Wow.

The Bird and The Magic rivalry was a real soap opera . Until now, we are still talking about, we are still reminiscing about it and we are still in awe about those two giants.

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I won’t talk about Magic tweets and the fact that some journalists are questioning if Magic is the right guy to run this team. But I will say that I think it is and we must give him a chance. All we are saying is give Magic a chance. And I’m singing in my best John Lennon voice.

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It seem I am not the only one having this opinion. Rob Tornoe of Forbes magazine is basically saying the same thing.

Magic Johnson article on Forbes

Magic want to fix the Lakers. That is his main goal. And like every big leader, people will like for your decision and people will hate for your decision.

Earvin Magic Johnson.

But you have to accept it and still going forward. I have no doubt about Magic strength of character and yes, he will make mistakes but he is the best guy for this team.

The Magic is still around.

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Peace