One of the best books that I have read: Pacific Rims
Two days ago I finished reading a great book about Basketball. I have read several basketball-related books for the past seven years and for this book tops my list. All books that I have read have two common denominators, the Candor for the Game and most of all, the Love of the Game. This has best shown the Love of the Game of Basketball..Of how Filipinos have embraced and wholly love the game of Basketball and it took one special individual to best compile it in fifteen beefed up chapters, his name is Rafe Bartholomew.
I first saw Rafe’s work on my favorite sportsblog site Grantland, a site dedicated to gifted bloggers as revolutionized by my idol Bill Simmons. It was a special article about the recent exhibition games by select NBA stars led by Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose to name a few wreaked havoc against our own local pro ballers and was given a run for their money by our fabled National Team. From there I knew with the amount of knowledge that he had for Philippine Basketball, he is one of those internationally based writers who is the real deal. Funny thing was I first thought of Rafe as a Fiipino-American guy who was raised in the U.S. and is trying to find his roots here in Manila. Turns out to be he is a pure American which left me overwhelmed and awestruck with his knowledge on how much we love the sport that is Basketball.
My friends then told me i need to get hold of his book: Pacific Rims: Beermen Ballin in Flip-Flops and the Philippines’ Unlikely Love Affair with Basketball and experience of getting myself hooked with his unique experience here in Manila. Rafe’s detailed take on his experience here in Manila wasn’t just about Basketball as a dominant sport here in our country but was also an eye opener of how Filipinos in all walks of life each having a different take in showing their love for Basketball. Learning things if I may say the hard way, the language barrier being a factor and learning to live here independently opting not to serve himself with a silver spoon had him work his way up to embrace the same sport that he loves, Filipino Style. In a matter of two years mingling with his neighbors and after a few rounds of Red Horse Extra Strong Beer, he developed a special relationship with the masses of Loyola Heights and had developed a command of our native tongue; a skill that is very impeccable in learning it that cannot be easily developed not even by first time balikbayans. His experience of joining a PBA Team and learn its rigors and inside businesses of the League was someone every Pinoy Basketball Junkie would die for doing it even for free; maybe except for being sometimes the brunt of the jokes mostly orchestrated by then Alaska Ace (Now Barako Bull’s) Willie Miller. Seeing how Pro Basketball works here as different in the NBA let him gave a realization that from the streets where he played with the local kids that their dream was to step on that hardwood at Araneta Coliseum and play in front of millions and millions of fans and get the much deserved adulation in bringing your Team to the promised land, the Championship.
By the looks of it, you can really say that Rafe Bartholomew was in search of his heritage during his stay here in Manila, the only thing was he was looking for Basketball roots and he found it here in the Philippines. Having the book published with great reviews makes me proud of being a Filipino and appreciating the sport that we love that is Basketball. For Rafe, Manila could be Basketball Epiphany and him embracing our love of the game can make you say that he is also Filipino by Heart…..Mabuhay ka Paeng Bartolome!!!
My Collection of Basketball Books (L-R): I May be Wrong but I Doubt It, Pacific Rims, The Punch (Not Pictured: Maverick and Driven)
You would promise someone the Moon before you would see a highlight play like this in L.A.
I was and always will be a Rasheed Wallace fan. After seeing him play in the collegiate ranks for the North Carolina Tarheels, I was completely sold that he will have a solid career in the NBA. Despite his erratic and volatile behavior on the court, his blue collar ethic was something that was really worth appreciating as a spectator. He possessed a reckless abandon on both ends of the floor and made bully basketball his trademark out muscling his opponents and outplaying them with a bit of mind games as well.
Portland Sheed was on the rise. The turnaround J from the post was a textbook form of how slender big men should take the unblockable J; a form that was famously shown as his trademark logo in his high cut AF1s. Piston Sheed was at his peak he was just the secondary anchor Big Ben needed on D and the scoring big man that the Pistons needed to secure an amazing upset against the heavily favored Lakers of Shaq, Kobe, GP and Mailman. He rode off into the sunset as an up and down roleplayer in Boston where he was last seen struggling bigtime and as the final buzzer sounded after a 7 game battle with the Lakers he decided to call it quits…
…Fast forward to two seasons later and here we are starting the NBA season with Sheed looking for a comeback. The Celtics cannot get him and his age will make them live up as the Relics as my friend Carl would say. The Lakers on the other hand who are supposed to be in search of a Point Guard to complement Mike Brown’s new system is suddenly interested in the getting Sheed for their Team. What started as a rumor is now a reality as he will be signing a contract with the 16-time champs and bolster their frontcourt off the bench.
Now with Sheed in tow for the Lakeshow are we seeing the end of the trail for Andrew Bynum or possibly the “trade rumor morale stricken” Pau Gasol? Was Jim Buss on crack when he was thinking about this? I think the dressing down he’s been receiving from key players like Kobe and Drew is nothing to him and not to mention Magic Johnson openly criticizing him on TV as well the other day. Rasheed Wallace at 38 is not the usual player that they once faced in the 2000 WCF nor the 2004 Championship. With a bad back, a penchant for throwing ill-advised three balls and a volatie temper that is more combustible than a ticking time bomb, you really can’t tell what are you getting from him. Funny thing is, with Metta World Peace and Matt Barnes in tow to bully you down the floor, playing at Staples will make you live and die in L.A. for sure
One of the must-cop shoes for 2012...But is it worth your life in getting one as well?
Back in the day, this shoe was one of the most expensive shoes ever sold by Nike ($180.00/10,000 PhP) and was worn by my former Idol, Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway. I knew all along that with a very hefty price tag it would take a long shot for me to cop one of those bad boys as buying it was like spending another semester in School during that time. But still, these Foamposites were still one of the best basketball kicks Nike has ever produced along with the Jordans (they have their own Pantheon of greatness), Air Force Ones and the Air Max’s to name a few. This year is a “turn back the clock” special for sneakerheads worldwide as the Foamposites are making another encore run with the “Galaxy” colorway.
Still prefer these bad boys..O.G.s still rule!
The re-issue can be sort of a paid homage to Hardaway who was a cornerstone during the early success of the Orlando Magic; the same city that is hosting the annual All Star Weekend. Penny copped great PEs during his career but this could be the best shoe that he has worn alongside the Penny 1s. The Galaxy bears the same Foamposite technology by Nike and has a unique galactic look with the “stars in the galaxy” look with glow-in-the-dark soles. The hype was building up tremendously that can be compared to the launch of the Air Jordan XI “Concordes” and the Air Jordan III “Black Cement” re-issues. On the first day of release, the shoe reached up to $70,000 (roughly 3 million PhP) in eBay. Shoe stores, on the other hand have learned a lot in controlling these shoe campers who are dying for these kicks as Tyreek Amir Jacobs died last December who was murdered after purchasing his own “Concordes”. The crowd was more chaotic this time as several Foot Locker stores in the US were shut down during the midnight launch thus leaving some sneakerheads unhappy that the long hours at the line did not pay off and prolonging the agony of waiting.
I think it is a good move that the stores chose to close down the launch and prioritize safety above everything. It may be a rude awakening that these events be more supervised with heavy security and avoid untoward incident as what happened with Tyreek Jacobs. The sneakerhead culture is running at an all time high and hopefully these turn of events can be learning experiences on how they would handle these product launches moving forward…..Heck they’re even rowdier than those anticipating for new iPhones or Black Friday!
Ouch! That musta hurt!!!! Welcome to thy Kodak Moment Perk!
I just posted a blog earlier about LeBron’s dunk on John Lucas III and upon checking Twitter apparently an NBA player was trending worldwide, Kendrick Perkins. Kendrick Perkins is a legitimate defensive anchor whom he learned partly from Kevin Garnett and under the supervision of a Defensive Guru in Tom Thibodeau during his time with the Boston Celtics. Being the man in the middle it is most probable that you will get dunked on but at this magnitude, this was a true Kodak Moment….
The Los Angeles Clippers are making this a good statement game when they were soundly demolishing the Oklahoma City Thunder (Including a 12-0 run from downtown to widen a 6-point lead to an 18-point lead after 24 minutes). A very nip and tuck barnburner that did not disappoint the rarely sold out Staples Center crowd and the physical game was at an all-time high. The moment: Third Quarter 8:52 LAC 70 OKC 51, Blake rolled off drawing the defense to Court General Chris Paul and after a crisp bounce pass he elevated higher than the Mozgov dunk last year and left Kendrick Perkins man-hugging Blake in the air for the and one play. The direct comparison was given to the Mozgov dunk thus baptizing the word…….MOZGOVIZED!!!!!!
Many say this is the best dunk of the season so far...
We have known LeBron James as a freak of nature with his very athletic frame; quick, agile and virtually unguardable off the break. Last Sunday he made such buzz and hoopla when he jumped over Chicago Bulls backup guard John Lucas which left most of the Basketball junkies declaring it as the best dunk of the year so far. The buzz left twitterverse trending about the said dunk and will make John Lucas ask for royalty pay on the poster sales by the end of the season. I myself saw the dunk and pardon my bias but i am not fully convinced of the dunk and its degree of difficulty. John Lucas III is listed at 5’11” and off the dime he established his position to be posterized by a LeBron running off the block for the alley-oop. But still the plus on the degree of difficulty would be added for the fact that the done was done in-game out of nowhere but you do that in the streets for sure you will still get heat that you pick someone your own size.
Here in the Philippines (Too bad there were no images archived nor any YouTube clips for these
Weis was so traumatized he never played a single game in the NBA.
plays), over the top dunks were a staple in exhibition contests. In 2001, undersized high leaper Joey Mente dunked over his taller Teammate Olsen Racela to bag the season’s Slam Dunk title and 5 years before achieving the feat, Ginebra import Alexander Coles did two OTT dunks over a Teammate (if i’m not mistaken it was over Vince Hizon) and a line of four pom-pom ruffling cheerleaders which by far for me is the best dunk displayed by an import in the 37 years of the PBA. Coles clearly pushed the envelope that led to Mente’s incredible dunk in 2001. Dunking in the NBA changed its landscape when Vince Carter joined the league in 1999 and made the NBA Hardwood his showcase of highlight moves as many would say “Half Human, Half Amazing”. He may have made several posterizers during his storied career but the dunk he made over Frenchman Fredric Weis that will not only cement his career in USA Basketball folklore but also in French Basketball as it was dubbed as “Le Dunk De La Mort” or “The Dunk of Death”. This dunk my friends is the best in-game dunk in my book as the 6’6″ Carter literally jumped (with the help of some ‘ol Nike Shox BB4s) over the 7’2″ Weis that could’ve made him a late addition for Team USA’s high jump roster. I remember going to school the following day and the dunk was the talk of the town with Vince Carter’s amazing elevation in display to the world.
Years may have progressed and the athletic abilities of today’s players are getting impeccable one year after the
Dwight was all good in letting Nate steal his thunder from him.
other and are worth giving an honorable mention as well. We would remember 5’9″ Nate Robinson being the new Spud Webb winning with superior elevation and showmanship. It was during the 2009 All Star Weekend when he pitted against the defending champion Dwight Howard and in the final, Robinson revealed himself as KryptoNATE as he jumped over the 6’11” Howard (with a bit of coaching from Dwight that Nate should plant his arm to his shoulders for added leverage) and bagging his second dunk title. The best honorable mention would go to the LA Clippers’ star forward Blake Griffin. Doug Collins gave the best description for Griffin as a “6’9″ forward who can jump high and can run like a deer”. His dunk on Timofey Mozgov would have OTT material should Blake did not have surgery on his knees but indeed was last season’s best posterizer.
Today’s players are a specimen of how high can you reach for the cup and it’s a downright answer to the expression of “Can you jump and i say how high?”. Superior athletic ability makes today’s players almost literally can reach to the skies and grab the moon for you and say that’s one giant leap for mankind.
In the famous words of Billy Corgan.."The Halen" is Back! With a Crazy Diamond!
When I was in College I found an appreciation for the music of Van Halen. Yes its the riff tapping, Jack Daniels swiggin’, brown sound beat and high pitch harmonics of Van Halen that got my attention most notably from the Lee Roth and Hagar era. And seeing them transition from three different vocalists (David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar and yes, Gary Cherone sang for them though i was in denial about it hehe!), it’s like seeing a band who is struggling to permanently find their identity despite having cemented their legacy in Rock and Roll. It’s the same dilemma that haunted my all time favorite band Metallica (Three different bassists in Cliff Burton, Jason Newsted and Rob Trujillo..Throw in Bob Rock if you want to make it four) but still it has impacted the face of the music and its fanbase for the past few generations and has sold millions of albums worldwide.
It was a few months back that I heard about rumors of a possible Van Halen reunion with Diamond Dave at the helm. They held reunion tours and the spunk of the original Van Halen was almost back in the running as Wolfgang Van Halen is now filling in the void left by Michael Anthony (which for me is the best back up vocalist in the history of rock and roll) who in turn joined forces with the Red Rocker Sammy Hagar to form Chickenfoot. The last time David Lee Roth made an album with Van Halen (Aside from his singles from the first best of compilation) was their most successful album 1984 featuring their first Number 1 hit “Jump”. It was the immaturity of the band members that led to their untimely breakup however several chances were made to reunite with brash showman but the time wasn’t right.
Barely two weeks ago, they showcased their new single “Tattoo” which will be included in their forthcoming album “A Different Kind of Truth” out in stores February 7th. Old Timer Rockers were jazzed up for their new album as Van Halen hasn’t released a studio album since Van Halen III (Which for me that did not exist and the last Halen Album was “Balance” hehe!) which did not bring much success to the previous albums that they have released. “A Different Kind of Truth” will definitely meet the expectations Van Halen fans have waited with bated breath: loud riffs, Alex Van Halen’s snare drum, Eddie’s genetic wonder in Wolfgang Van Halen and of course the showmanship and swagger that one David Lee Roth that can bring to the table.
As a fan I must really say that I am completely overwhelmed by the progress Van Halen has made to get back to the scene. We have seen bands come and go; some attaining success and some who failed as well. As it stood the test of time and trials, it has finally come into full circle once again with Van Halen. Only time will tell how long will these boys stay together…Hopefully it will be the last time…
KG was all heart when he took the task of defending the League's most dominant Big Man
In the Celtics’ emphatic win over the Orlando Magic yesterday, Dwight Howard lashed out his frustrations on his poor performance most especially during the second half where the C’s suffocated the Magic with their Defense. After the game, D12 was his usual self of putting tomfoolery on most situations and most notably the defensive pressure his childhood Idol gave him. “There’s no way KG should be beating me up and down the floor,” Howard said, “There was a couple plays where he beat me up and down the floor. There’s no way. He’s 40 and I’m 25. I just can’t allow that to happen. I have to step up and be the leader for this team”.
It may be an indirect pot shot to the Big Ticket but with someone who is known as a veteran defensive stopper with lots of miles registered on his odometer and play single coverage in such herculean fashion, for me Kevin Garnett should get all the credit for the great effort. The joke may be funny to everyone but it is also something that Dwight Howard is known for, a lesser serious player who puts a joke in everything he does in his professional career. Don’t get me wrong i’m not hating on D12; I am still hoping he changes his outlook on the Boston Celtics and hopefully if he goes through free agency he can consider playing the Green and White and win more rings (and as per Shaq, seeing Dwight ending his career in a ringless fashion would be a big disappointment). He hands down one of the most athletic guys in the game but with his demeanor on and off the court, he needs to do a reality check. He is a whiner on the court who keeps on complaining about the whistles not going in his favor and being easily outplayed in “Bully Basketball” approach by the opposition (which is generally employed to him by the Celtics in single coverage situations). That’s how you outplay Howard in the defensive end, Kevin Garnett totally outplayed him both physically and mentally, it’s the only thing that he has to work on since he is the genetic blueprint how big men in basketball should be built.
Upon seeing the highlights yesterday Dwight Howard, it wouldn’t matter if KG was 60 and was beating you in D. He had the mental toughness and the tools to be a prolific defender to anyone and in basketball, as long as they owned you in Defense, your age won’t matter!