Legends never die.
Kobe Bryant is a legend, and even though he is not here, he is continuing to live on through the impact he had on others.
One of those most impacted by Bryant was Allen Iverson. Sure, they had their battles on the court, but they are forever linked after being drafted in 1996 and being two of the best scorers during the 2000s.
Iverson penned a letter for The Players’ Tribune detailing his feelings about Bryant.
“Me and you, every single time we stepped on that floor, we were going to war,” Iverson said in his letter. “But it wasn’t an animosity thing. There was never any beef. It was like heavyweight fighters beating the hell out of one another. And then at the bell, it’s nothing but love and respect. Greatness needs company, and we needed each other.”
Iverson talked about his battles with Bryant, which included losing a scoring title despite averaging a career-high 33 points per game and their 2001 NBA Finals showdown.
One of Iverson’s favorite moments was when he visited Los Angeles his rookie year. He wanted to experience the notorious club scene in L.A. Then, he saw that what people had said about Bryant was true when the Lakers rookie said he was going back to the gym.
“You’re probably the only dude in the history of the game where the mystique wasn’t exaggerated,” Iverson said. “The Mamba was no myth, man. It didn’t even do you justice. One, two, three in the morning, we knew where you were.”
Sunday was Bryant’s birthday and many across sports showed their support. Diana Taurasi wore a No. 8 jersey with Bryant on the back, and scored 34 points in a 88-87 win. Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers also recorded his eighth home run on his 24th hit of the season after the Dodgers’ tribute. The Dodgers also won their game 11-3 ... by eight runs.
Earl Thomas is a good football player. Like, really good. Like seven Pro Bowls, three All-Pros, and a Super Bowl ring good. So when a player of his caliber is released after one incident involving a teammate, you wonder if there was more to the situation.
According to NBC Sports, Thomas was reportedly “not well-liked by his teammates” and also had a pattern of being late. In addition to that, the reports also said Thomas’ teammates confronted him about his preparation after he missed multiple assignments in practice.
If these reports are true, Thomas gave the Ravens no choice. No matter how good a player, once teammates and coaches are questioning preparation, that becomes a problem. That’s unacceptable for a veteran like Thomas, who has played 10 NFL seasons.
The Ravens released Thomas after he made the Pro Bowl last season, so there’s a good chance there was more to it than an altercation with a teammate. A disagreement can be fixed with a conversation, but a pattern of irresponsible behavior is like a cancer in a locker room, and the Ravens can’t let that spread and ruin their Super Bowl aspirations.
Thomas is simply too good to sit at home for too long. Adam Schefter reported that the Cowboys are interested.
Ladies and gentlemen, what we’re seeing right now in the NBA playoffs is confirmation. The NBA’s future is in great hands.
LeBron James is his usual dominant self, but father time is undefeated, and it’ll soon come calling for James. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are also in their 30s. It’s good to know that the NBA will have players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic and Donovan Mitchell.
Doncic and Mitchell had two of the best playoff performances we have seen in recent memory on Sunday.
Mitchell and Jamal Murray put on a show and became the first playoff opponents to score 50 points in the same game. Both players are just 23. More impressively, it was Mitchell’s second 50-point playoff game of the series. He joined Iverson, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players with multiple 50-point games in a postseason.
Shortly before the Mavericks game against the Clippers, it was announced that Kristaps Porzingis wouldn’t play. Doncic was already a gametime decision with an ankle injury. Things were not looking good.
The game started and Doncic put on one of the greatest playoff performances by a 21-year old in NBA history. He had 43 points, 17 rebounds and 13 assists. (NBA 2K type numbers against a team that’s arguably best equipped to guard him.)
And he hit this shot.
This doesn’t even count Jayson Tatum, who shined in a sweep against the Sixers, first-team All-Bubble player Devin Booker, and the valuable Ben Simmons. The NBA’s talent level is shining in the bubble.