USC guard DeAnthony Melton recently appeared on ESPN Radio 1700’s Ballerz World Live studio to discuss the 2017-18 basketball season.
USC Women of Troy guard Minyon Moore kept it 100 as a freshman by averaging 11 points, and a team high 4 assists with 1 steal.
She stayed TRUE to the game by playing in all 30, including four as a starter. On February 21, 2017, she etched herself in the pantheon of Trojan history, becoming the preeminent recipient of the USBWA National Freshman of the Week award.
Minyon Moore has a tough act to follow: HERSELF.
She enters her sophomore campaign already having scored the most of any Trojan since 2014 (32) and having dished out the second most assists since 1982 (15).
Ask the average 90’s Hip-Hop purist and they will tell you Jay-Z’s Magnus-Opus is his 1996 rookie debut Reasonable Doubt.
His follow-up album In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 featured industry heavyweights Babayface, Sean Puff Dadddy Combs, Black Street, and Foxy Brown, yet received lackluster reviews and support, thus being known as Hova’s “Sophomore Slump.”
Greatness comes natural and therefore can’t be manufactured. Greatness can also be misunderstood due to perception, most often, serving as reality.
Because many basketball intangibles that create team success are not reflected in the box-score, Moore’s progress can be overlooked if she only improves her help-defense, increased her hockey assists (the pass before the pass leading to a score), and became a greater veteran presence in the lockeroom.
Minyon can avoid the dreaded Sophomore Slump by doing Moore.
She needs to stay true to the battle-tested, the dedicated, and the history makers: HERSELF.
The plot to avoid a despicable sequel?
There simply needs to be more Minyon.
Paul Pierce represents the last of the hoopers who came from the under-appreciated 90’s era of Los Angeles County basketball.
Many stars emerged during that period, and Schea Cotton was one of the brightest. He was LeBron before LeBron, having the physicality to match his high baseball I.Q., and projected to make the NBA while still in junior high. Fans watched him dominate his contemporaries, and corporations gifted him products in hopes he’d one day endorse them as an NBA player.
Since his dream of making it to the NBA fell short, some of his peers in the basketball fraternity do not treat him with the respect of an originator.
RunTheTriangle.com spoke exclusively with Schea Cotton in the series Higher about his riveting story, and the one person that is too busy being Inglewood to be Hollywood, Cotton’s former K-Swiss Pacers teammate, Paul Pierce.
“That’s my dude, P-Squared,” said Cotton.
“They try to floss on me and be Hollywood when they see me in the city, I have a lot of respect and adoration for Paul because he’s kept it 100 all the way through with me.”
Similar to the hip-hop genre, the New York boroughs and parks are considered somewhat of a blacktop Mecca. But Los Angeles and its suburbs like Inglewood and Compton have birthed perennial all-stars, leading to the Venice Beach and Drew League’s tournaments increasing in notoriety and media attention. Nobody wants to miss the next big thing out of So-Cal.
Pierce and Cotton represent the legacies of the championship basketball pedigree in Los Angeles. Cotton ran pickup games with Magic Johnson at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion. He and Paul Pierce met along the basketball circuit, and they would go on to battle each other for years in amateur tournaments.
What few know is that the assembling
2007-2008 Boston Celtics by current Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers was not the first time Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were teammates. They joined forces in the 90’s during a Las Vegas tournament to successfully dethrone Cotton.
The 2016 Los Angels Clippers Media Day was the last of Pierce’s storied career. Watch as he uses the moment to reveal the truth about Schea Cotton and his appearance in the biographic documentary “Manchild” The Schea Cotton Story: A Dream Deferred.
Schea Cotton is still high.
Whether it’s equipping the youth through his Schea Cotton Basketball Academy, or architecting a championship AAU team, the “Manchild,” has exorcised the ghosts of disappointments past.
The Los Angeles native was at the forefront of the unholy union between corporations and youth sports during the Golden Era of 1990’s basketball.
From the brands he enriched by dawning their apparel in the crowded gyms his electrifying play filled to capacity, to the markets he help create for alternative news outlets and social-media, Schea Cotton was an innovator in basketball popular-culture.
His documentary Manchid: The Schea Cotton Story- A Dream Deferred details his unique story of being a Sports Illustrated featured high school phenom derailed from reaching the NBA.
The film includes commentary from NBA stars Paul Pierce, Baron Davis, Metta World-Peace, Stephen Jackson, Jason Hart and other witnesses of his dominance.
Schea Cotton spoke exclusively with RunTheTriangle.com about how influencing the current generation has led to his basketball redemption in our series Higher:
Schea testifies about his dominance of the legendary Kobe Bryant in their youth- the footage which has mysteriously vanished:
Schea Cotton reintroduces himself for the uninitiated by opening up about his life as told through the film Manchild: A Dream Deferred, the Schea Cotton Story- and why man shall not live by bread alone:
Schea testifies about his elevated state of mind that has developed from overcoming heartache from the past, his strategy to improve the life of the youth, and conquering his toughest opponent- Himself:
In conclusion, Schae talks about battling that likes of Grant Hill, Eddie Jones, and having the honor of being picked by Magic Johnson to run in pickup games:
Juwan Howard was a member of the famed 1991-92 University of Michigan Fab Five. He’s an NBA champion, all-star, and currently serves as assistant coach with the Miami Heat.
He briefly returned to the headlines recently when a Memphis newspaper misprinted his photo as David Fizdale, the head coach new hire for the Memphis Grizzlies.
Not only was Howard instrumental in ushering in a new generation of basketball fashion, popularizing cutoff t-shirts underneath jerseys and black shoes with ankle-socks, he is well known for his consistent haircuts which boasted the ever coveted defined waves.
To quote Pomona, CA Emcee Suga Free, Howard’s waves are deeper than Redondo Beach.
His edge-ups were so crispy they looked painted on. Young men across the country were inspired to scurry about for the right product/brush combination that would too, make their hair steadily dip.
In this 2010 exclusive interview with the California Crusader newspaper, Juwan Howard makes a startling revelation about his celebrated hair waves.
Before becoming a standout for the Kansas Jayhawks, a perineal NBA All-Star and champion with the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers veteran Paul Pierce grew up in Inglewood, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. He graduated from Inglewood High School, sharing that proud tradition with NBA Alumni like Jay Humphries and Reggie Theus.
RunTheTriangle.com, LLC Chief Editor Gregory, a fellow City of Inglewood product, talked to Pierce about their old stomping grounds.
10-Time NBA All-Star Forward Paul Pierce didn’t return to Los Angeles just to make the Western Conference Finals.
“I’ve done that already,” said the Inglewood native during an NBA Cares event at 109th Street Elementary School in historic Watts.
He explains to RunTheTriangle.com the only thing that would make this Clippers season a success.
Nick Van Exel spent 13 seasons in the NBA handling the rock and breaking ankles. The former All-Star is now calling plays from the sideline as head coach for the Texas Legends in the NBA Developmental League.
Van Exel spoke with RunTheTriangle.comb exclusively at the 2016 NBA D-League Showcase about his transition to coaching, the 1995 Lakers vs. Celtics playoffs series, and how he knew Kobe Bryant would be the next Michael Jordan from what he saw in practice.
In the 1992 movie White Men Can’t Jump, Billy Hoyle told Sidney Deane “A Black man wants to look good first and win second.” This season NBA MVP Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors has achieved both.
While California was experiencing a record drought, Curry was making it rain. There have been many things said and written about his jumper. It can be surmised in one word: Wet. But not only is Curry scientifically accurate from long-range, he does it nonchalantly.
Curry says he adapted his style from Steve Nash. But Nash never played with this type of flare. When he wasn’t sending players to the floor with his behind the back cross-overs, he was literally doing the moonwalk after made three-pointers.
Curry isn’t simply the flavor of the season. He is in the class of George Gervin and Dr. J. His game is cool. His moves appear to be in slow motion and in rhythm to a smooth jazz track. His on court prowess and body language are that of someone who knows they are fly.
The flashy aren’t often associated with being victorious. What’s made Curry’s spectacular play special is that it has elevated his team to victory.
It started with the Warriors capturing their first Pacific Division title in 39 years, then an NBA’s best 67 wins, earning the number one seed in the playoffs.
After relinquishing home-court advantage in a 97-90 Game 2 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in the Conference Semi-Finals on the night Steph accepted the MVP award, the questions began to circulate about his toughness. Those doubts were fortified after Memphis point guard Mike Conley returned from a fractured face to lead his team to a 2-1 advantage.
The stage was set for the moral of the story to be how once again, hard work and grit beats out style and grace. All that was needed was to knock the finesse Warriors upside their heads and they would fold amid the physicality.
But Curry bounced back with an 11-22 shooting, 33 point performance in Game 3, reclaiming the home-court for Oakland, and passing his first test since becoming MVP. Golden State closed out Memphis on the road in Game 6, and Steph Curry finished the series with more three-point field-goals (25) than the entire Grizzlies team.
So Curry has validated his NBA number one selling jersey, his top vote 2015 NBA All-Star selection, and his Most Valuable Player award. He’s made it look too easy most of the time, understanding that cooler heads always prevail.
NFL great Jim Brown excoriated Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers in a 2013 interview where he said Bryant was “confused about African-American culture,” and explicitly stated he would not be a part of a current roundtable discussion with Black athletes:
“In the days when we had a summit and we called the top black athletes together to talk to Muhammad Ali about his status with the armed forces, there were some athletes we didn’t call. If I had to call that summit all over, there would be some athletes I wouldn’t call. Kobe would be one of them.”
Ten years earlier, Kobe Bryant accepted a Teen Choice Award for Favorite Male Sports Figure. During the speech, Bryant said “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Fox television network omitted Bryant’s speech from its broadcast.
Kobe Bryant’s statement about injustice went ignored. Instead of earning credibility with the elders, his gleaning from Dr. King was viewed as an act of disrespect.
Following the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin, Kobe Bryant spoke at a peace walk in his honor at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles, California. The move caught the media off-guard because Bryant’s people did not inform them that he’d be in attendance.
“Players such as myself and others who have the platform, our responsibility is more than putting the ball in the basket but helping them have the platform to tell their story,” said Bryant, referring to Trayvon Martin’s parents.
When former Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist remarks were exposed, Bryant was one of the first NBA superstars to call for his ousting.
After a grand jury acquitted Darren Wilson for the murder of unarmed teenager Mike Brown, Kobe Bryant swiftly took to Twitter:
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) November 25, 2014
Bryant didn’t call for peace. He used his pulpit to shed much needed light on the current state of systematic lynching.
NBA All-Stars LeBron James, Derrick Rose, and Kyrie Irving have worn “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts over their uniforms before recent games in response to a grand jury not indicting officer Daniel Pantaleo for choking Eric Garner to death. Los Angeles Dodger owner Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson praised James taking a stand while risking business relationships with corporate sponsorships.
To Mr. Brown: Have Kobe Bryant’s actions earned him a seat at the summit? What makes his words about injustice any less valid than Muhammad Ali’s? Will the elders finally accept that the younger generation gets it?
Whether it be blacking out profile pictures on social-media, or voicing opinions that others may find controversial , today’s athletes are showing that they posses the consciousness and courage to bring about change.
Before mogul Shawn Corey ‘Jay-Z’ Carter ascended the throne, he was embroiled in a music battle that left an indelible impact on hip-hop.
It began the summer of 2001 when Jay-Z threw the first punch during Hot 97 Radio’s Summer Jam concert. Nas replied with a freestyle over “Paid In Full” by Eric B. & Rakim.
Coincidentally the first official diss track “Takeover” would be released on September 11th, 2001. Nas later replied with his song “Ether” which he cleverly dropped on December 4th that year, which happened to be Jay-Z’s birthday.
The beef had the hip-hop scene in New York captivated, including its radio stations which got involved in choosing sides.
New York natives Devin Ebanks, Lamar Odom, and Metta World-Peace gave their opinions on who they thought won the epic dual.
Many know him for his classic call of “Stockton to Malone,” as the 35-year play-by-play announcer for the Utah Jazz. But Rod ‘Hot Rod’ Hundley is the quintessential Laker. In this rare exclusive interview, the former Minneapolis Laker story-tells about playing against a freshman Jerry West at West Virginia, and calling games alongside the legendary Francis Dayle “Chick” Hearn.
The NBA’s all-time leading scorer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, gives a rare interview, and talks about the Harlem Renaissance, meeting John Wooden the year Malcolm X was assassinated, and whether or not Magic Johnson should have passed him the ball instead of shooting the baby sky-hook against the Boston Celtics.
The Clippers have kept their integrity and mystery for this up coming year; winning and losing an equal number of games during the pre-season. But what we can expect from them, simply put, is major support and camaraderie. As DeAndre Jordan was thrown off my question of Paul Pierce’s retirement at The Clippers Media Day, Chris Paul let it be known that they all are family who keep each other accountable and even though they wish for Pierce to go out on top, others are being well groomed in the process.
New forward recruit Brice Johnson from little Cordova, South Carolina, was said to have herniated a disk during a 104-98 pre-season victory over the Toronto Raptors. A hard win for a rookie. As Brice and I exchanged memories of our home state, we briefly discussed his adjustment to the life as a professional basketball player in Los Angeles. He immediately exclaimed that the traffic was enough alone for him to get used to.
While new recruits are just being broken in, legends are retiring. Paul Pierce, who has been playing the game since he was 9, is cherishing the last moments he has with his team.
“Hopefully, we can win a championship and I can pretty much go on top,” Pierce states during Media Day. “Once I’m done I’m done with it. I’ve been playing for 31 years. So it’s been an honor to play 19 years in the NBA.”
“We’re going to be one of the best teams in the league”, stated J.J. Redickas he welcomes the new players to the game, and naming Austin Rivers in particular as one of the “core players” of this years season. Happy to be called out by “The Core” as a leader and taking responsibility for his own group, Austin expressed his own excitement to be a better player than he was last year by adding to his game and helping the team win.
“There is a different feel,” proclaimed Austin. “I feel like we have a more mature group as a whole and we’re close and communicating better. We have a really good team this year and I honestly believe we have a really good shot this season despite what anybody thinks, and that’s all that really matters.”
No performance is too small. Even The Clippers’bench was fired up to support the team and with great respect, held high esteem for each other’s roles.
“I think this group is talented enough to win a championship,” said Paul Pierce.
I’m one to agree. With God and unity like the one THIS TEAM HAS, how could you fail? It’s all net from here on out!
As if Elden Campbell didn’t go 1-13 from the field while Karl Malone got 32 points and 20 rebounds, the Los Angeles Lakers being eliminated in 5 games by the Utah Jazz in 1997 NBA Plaoyffs will be remembered for two air-balls by an 18-year old rookie named Kobe Bryant.
As if he didn’t refer to himself as the general manager of the Lakers, publicly excoriated Nick Van Exel after being eliminated from the playoffs leading to his trade, or yelled “Pay me” to Dr. Jerry Buss during a preseason game, Kobe Bryant blamed for Shaquille O’Neal’s departure from L.A.
Phil Jackson went on highly paid speaking engagements while promoting his book in which he claimed Kobe Bryant was un-coachable, only to return to the Lakers to win two Bryant led championships.
There are tales of him sabotaging his Lower Merion High School games so he could be the hero at the end. The streets said he wasn’t real because he grew up in Europe. The analysts said he stunted team development by taking too many shots.
The afro he wore was out of style and too grimy. He married a video dancer. His line about injustice, a Dr. Martin Luther King quote, during his acceptance speech at the 2003 Nickelodeon Kids Choice awards was edited from the broadcast because it was deemed too controversial.
He’s been mercilessly booed during NBA All-Star events; once in 2002 after winning the MVP in his hometown, and in 2005 by the crowd in Denver for deeper seeded reasons than basketball.
Kermit Washington punching Rudy Tomjonivich remains a dark day in NBA history. But Chris Child’s two-piece and Raja Bell’s clothesline is capsulized through widely popular GIF’s and MEME’s.
From sponsors to rappers, cable news outlets to internet message boards, coaches to fans, lots of people have been salty towards Kobe Bryant.
Now he has resigned, and you won’t have Kobe Bryant to kick around anymore.
LaMarcus Aldridge will go down as the last marquee free agent to spurn joining the Lakers (according to anonymous sources) because they (allegedly) didn’t want to play with Kobe. The Lakers will have all the cap-room they need to solidify their roster now that Bryant’s hefty contract is gone.
But the hardest part will be finding a suitable replacement super villain. There has to be a back story, like skipping college to go straight to the pros. There has to be mini sub-plots, like having an R&B star watch you winning the dunk contest as Brandy Norwood did in Cleveland in 1997, or using the owner’s private jet to make it to a road playoff game in Houston in 2004 the day of a court hearing.
There has to be adversity like the 2005 season which he courteously finished on the All-NBA third team while missing the playoffs for the first time before there can be triumph, like when he got MVP chants on road games in Lakers’ rival territory like Boston, Chicago, and New York.
Those waiting to get lined up at the barbershops will still carry on the argument over who was better, Kobe or Mike, but there will be no more game-by-game scrutiny of his field-goal percentage.
Many teams around the NBA only sold out when he came to town. Fans around the country packed the arenas to express their hate.
But now they must find someone else whom to engage in a love-hate relationship.
You won’t have Kobe Bryant to kick around anymore.
NBA veteran Dahntay Jones is known for pushing the boundaries between playing tough physical defense and being a cheap-shot artist.
Jones was assigned to the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA Developmental League during the 2016 NBA D-League Showcase in Santa Cruz. Watch him send the Lakers’ Los Angeles D-Fenders assignee Ryan Kelly to the floor after pulling the chair.