Category Archives: Chronicles

Basketball Saga

Run The Triangle, RTT, RunTheTriangle.com, Paul Pierce, CP3

Los Angeles Clippers: Deeper Than Hoops

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!

Higher: Testimonies By Schea Cotton

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:

Ending The Hate Affair With Kobe Bryant

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.

Paul Pierce Talks Inglewood

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.

Paul Pierce: Clippers Have One Goal

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.

Dahntay Jones Pulls The Chair on Ryan Kelly

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.

Nick Van Exel Interview

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.

For Kobe 31 Is The New 81

Kobe Bryant can get hot still. He scored 31 points in a vintage performance to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 108-104 victory over the Washington Wizards.

The rumors of his demise have been greatly circulated. The declaration that he his playing in his final season lit social-media on fire, and before it ends he’ll probably start another trend.

After shooting 1-14 against the Golden State Warriors from the field, there were lamentations for Bryant to immediately call it quits. He was embarrassing himself. It was over.

But dead men don’t make go-ahead buckets to get road wins on the second night of a back-to-back. For one night Bryant was resurrected.

If it were as bad as the experts claimed, then his 31 point outburst is right up there with the game in which he scored 50 more than that against the Toronto Raptors. Five years before that he scored 61 in three quarters against the Dallas Mavericks. Everyone knew that Kobe was capable of the unbelievable. But this Kobe, the wounded warrior with nothing left to give basketball, nobody is expecting the spectacular.

Like Wilt Chaimberlin’s 100, Kobe should have drawn 31 on sheet of paper and taken a photograph. No player at 37-years old has returned from achilles surgery to score 31 and make a game-winning shot. Bryant’s heroics are that of legend, I guess you can say a new one just begun.

Lakers’ Trip On The Magic Buss

The Los Angeles Lakers have set precedent when it comes to paying top-dollar. Kobe Bryant received a lucrative $48 million contract making him the NBA’s highest paid player after suffering a torn achilles.

Current Lakers owner Jim Buss continues to draw criticism for paying Bryant so richly during the twilight of his career. The reason why Buss took such a gamble on Bryant may have more to do with genetics than loyalty.

It was his late father and former Lakers owner, Dr. Jerry Buss, who made headlines in 1979 by lavishing rookie Earvin Magic Johnson with a 25-year, $25-million contract. It seemed ridiculous in the moment, most notably the the length of the agreement . But the NBA’s increased revenue and television ratings that followed confirmed Buss’s foresight.

The latter Buss has has proven he’s a gambler like his father. Selecting little known Andrew Bynum in the 2005 NBA Draft, and passing on Jahlil Okafor for D’Angelo Russell in the 2015 installment proved he’s more than willing to risk his chips.

Despite missing the playoffs the past two seasons, and being eliminated in the first-round twice before that, the Lakers continue to rake in the dough. Forbes estimates the Lakers are worth over $2.6 billion, most in the NBA. This is in large part due to their rich local TV deal with Time Warner ($4 billion over the next 20-years.)

Needless to say the team is striving monetarily. What’s forgotten in the midst of the newfound losing ways of the purple-and-gold is that the franchise ultimately exists to make money. Although hanging banners while entertaining the fans with a quality basketball product is a top priority, what really matters is the bottom line.

By that measure, Jim Buss has become more successful than his father.

His ability to generate capital has not freed him from being viewed by a large assortment as the chief culprit behind the demise of Lakers exceptionalism.

Their belief is that Dr. Buss would have convinced both Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol to remain Lakers, and been able to lure Carmelo Anthony or LaMarcus Aldridge as he did with Shaquille O’Neal.

So as the Lakes go on to miss the playoffs for a third straight year during Bryant’s farewell tour, Magic Johnson believes it’s time for Buss to seek assistance.

“I love Jim Buss. He should just be the owner, like his dad was just the owner,” the Dodgers owner said. “Let’s go back with facts, so I can back this up with facts: 27 wins a couple years ago, 21 wins last year.”

ESPN Analyst Stephen A. Smith asserted that Johnson himself assume full control of the Lakers’ affairs. This season James Worthy joined the staff as a consultant. Others believe the Lakers have made a mistake by not having more of their hall-of-farmers in the mix. But then again, some of those same people are calling for the ousting of Byron Scott.

It was the Magic-Buss connection that sparked the beginning of the Showtime era. It remains to be seen what next Jim Buss will conjure up for Lakers fans.

The End Of Kobe Bryant: The Beginning

“Posthumously.”

It was an SAT word we learned but never used. That is until the 1996 release of Tupac Shakur’s album The Don Killuminati under the pseudonym ‘Makaveli’ following his unsolved murder.

A few months before, Magic Johnson had officially called it a career. His retirement in the summer of ’96 coincided with the beginning of the new Los Angeles Lakers’ dynasty.

Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant arrived in Los Angeles during a tumultuous period of transformation. The city was going through a major police scandal, and homicides spiked amid gang violence. The infamous Death Row record label began to crumble, losing foundation members Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg. The Los Angeles music and sports entertainment industry would forever be changed.

Shaq and Kobe became intertwined with hip-hop. They would both drop records before winning their first championship.

In the fall of ’96 a rapper named Jay-Z released his debut album titled Reasonable Doubt. Although sales were mediocre, Bryant says the album is his favorite. Despite both rookies having slow starts, Kobe and Jay-Z would ultimately go in the pantheon of greats in their respective professions. It was O’Neal and Bryant’s hug after winning the 2000 NBA Finals which inspired the line “Jigga man is diesel, when I lift the eight up,” in his song Breathe Easy off his 2001 album, The Blueprint.

In October of ’96, Shaq released You Can’t Stop The Reign with rapper Notorious B.I.G. only a few months before the Brooklyn native was slain. After entering training camp out of shape, critics began accusing Shaq with being more concerned about being an emcee than a basketball player.

Meanwhile Bill Clinton was re-elected in the 1996 Presidential Election, the first Democrat to win a second-term since Franklin Rosevelt.

1996 brought the retirement of Magic Johnson, the arrival of Shaq & Kobe, the exit of Tupac (rather Makaveli), and the entrance of Jay-Z. All are still very much relevant 20 years later, but only one still holds the same job with the same company.

Bill Clinton’s wife is now running for president, Jay-Z ditched the Roc and became a mogul who raps part-time, while Shaq is still watching Kobe play as a TNT commentator.

Now Bryant announced he is walking away from something he has done for more than half of his life. To put it in perspective, Kobe has been a Laker longer than he has been an adult.

All eyes or on him now that he’s decided it’s check out time.