Monday, March 31, 2008

Ain't no party like my nanna's tea party!

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

To All You Jazz Fans

ok, so earlier this season my little brother gave me Jazz tickets for my birthday to see them play my Lakers.

I want to add here that prior to this game I was impartial towards the Jazz and if anything felt empathy towards them for their struggles during the Bulls dynasty.

As many of you know, my boy Derek Fisher played for the Jazz last year, not only did he play but i seem to remember him coming back from his baby girl's surgery in the 3rd quarter of a playoff game to hit the game winning three. He asked to be released from his contract because he needed better health care for this same daughter who has cancer. The Jazz were more than willing to accommodate Derek's request. So Derek came to the Los Angeles where that health care could be provided.

So back to the game i attended. What do the Jazz fans do when Derek Fisher is introduced as a starter?? They BOO him without remorse. Where's the class Utah? That's really all I have to say is where is the class? That display was an embarrassment to the sport. Hopefully the Lakers beatdown tonight sent a message to all the ignorant Jazz fans that night who showed bad sportsmanship at its worse.

Kobe for MVP!

Here's a follow-up to this post...

from the ESPN analysis of the game:

'Fisher spent last season with the Jazz before asking out of his contract for family reasons. He was booed loudly when the Lakers played here in November.

Bryant said the Lakers hadn't forgotten the way Fisher was received last time.

"Derek's the type of guy that's not going to say anything, but I'll say it for him. He took it personally tonight and we wanted to send a message," Bryant said.'

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Re-discovering Strength

Ok, so I'm not the biggest exercise enthusiast, in fact you will rarely see me outside of the house jogging for fun but, an experience I had this week made me think about the lethargic condition I am in as a college student and quite possibly a condition in which everyone living in developed countries resides. We have forgotten the benefit of work. Machines or other people do things for us that we ourselves are more than capable of doing; performing some of these tasks may even prove essential for our personal growth and development.

The other day, after finishing a days work in the chemistry lab, I was anxious to get home. My lab is on the top floor of the chemistry building and so as usual I used the elevator. As I stood in the elevator compartment watching the numbers slowly approach floor one, there was an interruption. A beep sounded, then a stop on floor two. The door opened and there waiting was a woman not much older than me and not in the best physical shape. She stepped into the elevator and joined me descending to a common destination. She got off and went her way and I went mine. I realized that I was a little upset for the short delay I had experienced because of this woman's choice to not walk DOWN one flight of stairs. Is it really that strenuous to take the stairs when only ambulating one floor!? Not only was I shocked at her indolence, but also the fact that a very short delay upset me. I wasn't even in a hurry.

I was the victim of a lifestyle that a lot of people live, that is I avoided any energy expenditure that wasn't absolutely necessary. I resolved never to use the elevator again when I'm at work. My lab is only on the fourth floor, yet to get there by stairs concludes with me struggling to catch my breathe. This week I have done that and feel not only empowered for not having play the waiting game after pressing the up/down button, but I also feel better physically and spiritually. I strongly encourage anyone and everyone reading this to come up with a way or two that you can rely less on technology and more on yourself to get simple tasks done. Something as simple as using the stairs can give you the physical nurture your body and spirit have been deprived. Re-discover the strength you gain from physical labor and liberate yourself from walking the path of least resistance.

-Aaron Butler March 18th 2008

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Why Kobe Bryant inspires me...

By John Celestand

Nov. 10, 2005

In the fall of 1996, my roommate at Villanova, Howard Brown, and I shared a laugh. A skinny bald-headed high school kid, who was a star at the school around the corner, sat in our locker room and told us he probably wouldn’t come to Villanova. The “cocky” kid told us he would probably just skip college altogether. Instead, he would just go straight to the NBA.

We laughed that night back in our dormitory. We took turns asking each other, “Who does this kid think he is? What is he smoking?” We even tuned in the television to laugh at the kid as he gave a lackluster performance in the McDonald’s All-American game later that winter.

That kid was Kobe Bryant and now I wonder what the hell were we laughing at.

Maybe we were laughing at the fact he would play his high school playoff games in our gym and sell it out -- when sometimes we couldn’t. Maybe we were laughing at the fact he would show up on our campus at the parties we threw -- and some people thought he was the host.

One thing is for sure: Kobe Bryant believed he was Superman. He believed he could accomplish anything. This is the basic belief of many successful professional athletes. The great ones, however, seem to have a deeper and profound belief in themselves. A belief that can propel them to higher elevations that other surrounding believers never reach.

I would join the “kid” on the Lakers in 1999 when I was drafted as the No. 30 overall pick by the organization. I had followed Kobe on television for three years prior to joining the team. But TV could not illustrate how Kobe made himself. Only viewing him in person, right there in the practice facility in El Segundo, could a person get an accurate gauge. There was a reason for his greatness. There was a reason for his cockiness. Kobe prepared, he worked, he prepared and he worked again.

The first time I began to understand why he was the best was in the pre-season. In a game against the Wizards, Kobe broke the wrist on his shooting hand. He was always the first person to practice every day, arriving at least an hour and a half early. This would infuriate me because I wanted to be the first person to practice, just as I had always been at Villanova and Piscataway High in New Jersey. To add insult to injury, I lived only 10 minutes from the practice facility -- while Kobe was at least 35 minutes away.

I am ashamed to say that I was excited the day after his injury because I knew that there was no way that No. 8 (as former Laker point guard Tyronn Lue called him) would be the first to practice, if he would even be there at all.

As I walked through the training room, I became stricken with fear when I heard a ball bouncing. No, no, it couldn’t be! Yes it could. Kobe was already in a full sweat with a cast on his right arm and dribbling and shooting with his left.

As the next couple of days of practice passed, I would glance over as Phil Jackson was talking and see Kobe on the side going full speed and pulling up with his left. He was a conducting an all-out practice with himself. Lakers trainer Gary Viti, had to come in and tell Kobe to take a rest. But when Viti left, Kobe was at it again.

One day I was shooting on a side basket -- on the court that Kobe had made his own practice spot. He challenged me.

“Cele, let’s shoot," he said. "Wanna play H-O-R-S-E?”

I laughed at him. I was actually insulted that he would challenge me, a pro, to a game of horse with his left hand. After he insisted, I figured I would just whip him and prove to him that he wasn’t Superman. He couldn’t do everything.

He made shot after shot after shot. I was beginning to feel more pressure as I got each letter. First H, then O, then R, then S. I couldn’t let this man beat me with a broken shooting hand. My gosh, he was shooting threes with his left. I finally made a deep three and the stars aligned and Kobe missed. I had escaped the most embarrassing moment of my basketball life. When he missed he was infuriated.

“Come on Cele, let’s play again,” Kobe insisted

He really thought he could win and he almost did. He really thought he was Superman. He really thought I would put myself in another situation to lose all of my dignity. I laughed at him again

“Maybe later,” I replied.

When Kobe's wrist healed and he came back during the regular season, he again proved to me that he believed he could do anything. During his first game back, Kobe drove left and pulled up for a jumper. It was an airball. He shot it with his left. The result didn’t matter. The fact he attempted the shot astounded me. In an NBA game in front of thousands, the man shot a left-handed jumper. He believed it would go in. He really believed.

Today, five years later, nothing I see from or about No. 8 surprises me. It didn’t surprise me that he thought he could win without Shaquille O'Neal. It didn’t surprise me that he didn’t succeed. It won’t surprise if he comes back and succeeds this year. It didn’t surprise me that he could go to Colorado, sit in court, fly to Denver and drop game-winning shot all on the same day. It doesn’t surprise me that Kobe is averaging 36.5 points per game. It won’t surprise me if he leads the league in scoring.

I called my old roommate, Howard Brown, long distance over in Spain where he is playing professionally. We talked about life, we talked about old times. We talked about Kobe leading the league in scoring.

We both agreed Kobe’s game is no joke and we ain’t laughing no more.

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