All posts by Angela Koussian

The Panda’s Friend Greeted in Italy; Signs with Cantu

We all remember the song, “anything you can do, I can do better,” when challenged to be capable of doing something. Well, Metta World Peace has recently redone this musical as he takes on a new catch phrase. “Anything you can do, I Cantu better.”

What does the Cantu stand for? World Peace has joined the running to bring an Italian team to the Euroleague playoffs. The Panda’s Friend can add another overseas location to his basketball resume after coming back home from playing in China. He has signed with Pallacanestro Cantu, a team in the city of Cantu, Italy and it looks like he will be selling out stadium seats in no time.  Something he surely can do.

Here’s some footage from his arrival on Wednesday as he meets and greets his new home court, Malpooro Arena, and embraces the Italian fans chanting in his honor. He has already adopted the “Cantu attitude.” 

Pac 12 Hosts take on Cal Berkeley Workout

The co-hosts of the “Pac-12 Sports Report” take on the Cal Berkeley workout with coach Cuonzo Martin. JB Long and Ashley Adamson know what’s in the mind of the Pac-12 players, but do they know what exactly goes into the physical component? Can they live and breathe the game from the treadmill? 

LOTS OF CARDIO

LOTS OF SWEAT 

and….

LOTS OF STAMINA 

Frosted Flakes for breakfast didn’t prepare them enough for this morning workout but A for Effort! They did a great job with the Cuonzo Martin challenge. How well would you do?

 

Lebron James JR has MAJOR game!

They say “like father like son” and it seems like history is repeating itself on this one.

We love seeing generations of greats in the making and this one might be unbelievable to deny. A 10 Year old that is already on his way to following in his father’s footsteps.

The apple in this video being LeBron James, Jr. and the tree is LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Little LeBron is zigzagging through his opponents dressed in green. This apple doesn’t fall far from the James family tree.

Take a look at LBJ Jr’s skills, HE IS KILLING IT! I would imagine this is what LeBron looked like when he was his son’s age…..

***Video footage owned by TakeMyTalent.com.

Metta World Peace 38 + 16 in Sichuan team win

Metta World Peace 38 + 16 in Sichuan team win

Photo from Sohu.com, taken Nov 21st. Sichuan vs Zheijiang team

Photo by Sohu.com 

Metta World Peace continues to dominate the CBA by contributing 30+ points.

In this highlights video from the first half of the November 21st game, we can see the Sichuan Blue Whales putting in great effort. Metta is the all star providing 38 points and 13 rebounds.

WATCH HERE 

Sichuan takes the win with a final score of 126-112 against Zhejiang Chouzou Bank team. This win ends a three game losing streak for the team.

Jason Collins’ Retirement in a Still Semi-Homophobic (Sports) World

Sexuality in Sports: Jason Collins’ Retirement in a Still Semi-Homophobic (Sports) World

1017px-Jason_Collins_Brooklyn_Nets_2014

Photo by Keith Allison

Jason Collins of the Brooklyn Nets, the first openly gay player in one of the four professional sports, has announced his retirement Wednesday from the National Basketball Association.

The seven-foot center’s career didn’t stop short from his announcement, but instead he used it as a platform for discussing the world of sexuality and sports.

The nation has become more accepting of gay rights, but there is still much homophobia that exists in the sports world. Especially among men’s leagues more so than women’s leagues. But, why is that? Why is Michael Sam struggling in the NFL. Why do women have to dress feminine during games when gravity tells us that it would be better to pin everything down so nothing moves or gets in the way.

As a basketball player in my teens, I grew up playing alongside girls who were both gay and straight. It didn’t make a difference to me if my teammate was a lesbian or not, I was more concerned with how well they would communicate with me on the court. I once was questioned about my sexuality because I “played ball like a man”, and I would even go as far as dressing overtly feminine during class to try to prove myself. I later realized that this was one of the pressures we deal with in society’s role on sports. Although this was a decade ago, I am still not at ease with the professional athletes who feel they have to act a certain way because of society’s concern of their image. But I understand that they did it and continue to do it to protect themselves from stigmas that put their careers at risk. If Jason Collins felt like he had to wait until his mid 30s to be open about it, then we as fans, teammates, coaches and sports contributors should be the ones to feel uncomfortable with his fear of being himself without consequence.

Being gay or straight doesn’t affect your shooting percentage or your shot blocking abilities. It is about not living in fear of judgment or being stereotyped every time you enter a locker room.

As Collins puts it, in this statement from CBS News:

When we get to the point where a gay pro athlete is no longer forced to live in fear that he’ll be shunned by teammates or outed by tabloids, when we get to the point where he plays while his significant other waits in the family room, when we get to the point where he’s not compelled to hide his true self and is able to live an authentic life, then coming out won’t be such a big deal. But we’re not there yet.

We may not be there in a still semi-homophobic world, but we must support gay athletes and respect their decision to be open about society’s issue with sexuality in sports.

 

 

Metta World Peace’s 30 while wearing #37, plus 7 single-game personal record in CBA

Metta World Peace’s 30 while wearing #37, plus 7 single-game personal record in CBA

 

Metta World Peace scores 30
Photo from Metta World Peace’s Official Instagram 

The game of basketball is a universal language. And a record of 30 points on November 14th translates to a personal career high for Metta World Peace’s performance in the Chinese Basketball Association.

In this highlights video with over 8,500 views, Metta, who just celebrated his 35th birthday, is playing with great vitality. Yes, it’s not an NBA game but seeing an offensive side to the defense dominate small forward is refreshing to watch. I like that he is taking the open lane and going for the jump shots with an average of 23.3 points a game. 

He is even wearing a #37 jersey, the same number he wore in his first year with the Los Angeles Lakers. But, one thing is for sure, if he keeps playing like this then he has many more years ahead of him. Not just two more, because I predict that he won’t be stopping at 37. 

The Good, the Ugly and the Badminton of Corruption

If someone were to ask me what sport I found the most corrupt I would choose one with a lot of physical contact. Maybe football, hockey, boxing or even soccer. But, according to a post released by Vice Sports and Le Express the answer is badminton. 

Yes, you read correctly badminton. A sport that I used to play as a kid on the beach, the ball with the funny net on it, called a “birdie,” that flies using a racket. Basically, it’s tennis on red bull with birthed wings.

Photo by J.L. via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/68129869@N00/16172505/

Photo by J.L. via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/68129869@N00/16172505/

Now, my second question was what do they mean by corrupt? Was it because of something like drugs or dangerous items that could be placed in the birdie to hurt one’s opponent.

Okay, maybe I’m getting too creative with this.

Or is it the instances of fraud through manipulating game outcomes in sports betting and/or the athletes who use sports enhancing drugs. Lance Armstrong anyone?

Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner.

The speculations started with a rise of faulty actions: 1) failed drug tests and 2) the rise of match fixing.

Replace Lance Armstrong and insert Olympian and top badminton player Lee Chong Wei who failed a drug test. Although Wei represents the rising popularity of badminton in China, it looks like the sport is also being tampered with amongst European athletes.

Vice Sports reports on the issue of match fixing:

In June, during the Japan Open, two Danish players were approached and offered north of 2,500 Euros to fix matches. The alleged fixer was Malaysian. The two players, Kim Astrup Sorenson and Hans Kristian Vittinghus, both reported the incident to authorities. 2,500 Euros might not be a lot of money, but the implications are huge. Vittinghus is the world’s 10th ranked singles player.

The good news is that France has started blocking sports betting sites and the ethics committee of Badminton has been trying to control it.

But, let us see how this will solve match fixing and the use of performance enhancing drugs. Can we really take out the bad in badminton?

To read the full study in French, go to L’Express or Vice Sports for the story in English.

 

 

Clippers can’t have a MVP without strong defense

What do the Lakers and Clippers both have in common? They aren’t focused on their defense. Yes, these two teams have some similarities on this end.

What the Clippers have is that they excel in their showcase presentation. Are they performers? Yes, definitely. The demonstration of dunks and fancy footwork is there but what is lacking from their team is an offense that pushes beyond surface level.

Many wouldn’t place players like Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill in the same category as Griffin, and they aren’t exactly. In fact, keeping a few point deficient is more difficult than coming back from a 20 points deficient because it requires consistency.

This is why defense is important, it is not emphasized as much. Lakers have been an offense dominated team, mainly due to the influence of Kobe’s work ethic but also because we haven’t had a defensive lineup since a few years back.

Without 3, there would be no MVP

Paul, Griffin and Jordan working together as the strongest offensive team is still no match against teams that are successful in defense like Golden State or the reigning champs, the Spurs.

When Blake can’t size up his opponent, Chris Paul is there to shoot the 3 or DeAndre Jordan to take over the key. Why is this? Blake Griffin doesn’t do well against players that are the same size as him. Not because he isn’t qualified, but because he uses up his other options first.

So, even if the Clippers end up taking the West and the championship, who would be named MVP?

 

Knicks First Game May Predict Entire Season

How is it that the Knicks are the same exact team but at the same time different? Yes, they have a new coach, new president of operations and even a newly adapted offensive strategy. All of these elements should transform them into the winning prototype. 

But, no one knew what the outcome of their first game of the season would be. Which is expected because Derrick Rose didn’t play too much and Pau Gasol had an outstanding 21 points in his debut as a Bull. 

For the Knicks, it could have been great or it could have been horrible. Instead it was ok, and I think this is the direction that coach Derek Fisher was hoping for. Because ok can turn into great. Ok means that the team is trying to transition into something better.

We decided to ask a former Knicks what he had to say about the opening game.

Metta World Peace tells Courtside Access: 

“First game for the Knicks was pretty much what I was expecting. When I looked at the shot attempts, it was a team effort that resulted in a loss. Anytime you get a team effort loss, you will get many team effort wins.”

What MWP has to say about team effort wins is true, and I think this is the reason why a triangle offense was implemented. Their shooting percentage might be lower under this new offense, but Carmelo Anthony still was able to put up 14 points.  

So, two things can happen here. The players might revert back to the old method of playing or they will continue to work through this new structure. But, the question remains: Will their new dynamic translate into a winning team?

Metta World Peace Ranks 12th Grader as Favorite PG

This player is not a pro….yet. Hasn’t played college…yet. But, Colt Yawn has become the Top Point Guard amongst high schools nationwide and everyone is paying attention. 

Colt’s highlights videos, posted by Matt Yawn, contain his best plays, statistics and even have their own soundtrack/mixtape.  

Since the intro song is “Champions” by Ron Artest, we decided to catch up with the former Laker to see what he has to say about Colt’s performance. 

Metta World Peace tells Courtside Access: 

“Colt looks like a young Steve Nash/John Stockton combo. If I was in high school, we would be best friends. He is my favorite 12th grade pg right now. All this with a 4.0 GPA, what a champion.” 

Colt Yawn was a sophomore on the Varsity team when the first highlights video was posted and watching these two videos back to back shows how much his stats and skills keep getting better: 

Sophomore Year

Junior Year

Colt is a starter for the Brantley County High School Herons in Nahunta, Georgia and he will be in the graduating class of 2015. No news has been confirmed yet on where he will be attending college. 

*All the videos and photos represented in this post belong to the Youtube user Matt Yawn