NBA:BUCKS VS SPURS

A happy Giannis spells doom for the rest of the NBA. The Greek colossus has reached the same level of form that led Milwaukee to the world title two seasons ago. The rest of the roster has caught the winning mentality , shown by the best defensive stats in the League. The 10-1 Bucks faced San Antonio who are 5-7 who mostly focus on up and coming talent rather than go full throttle for the PLAYOFFS and going deep into the post season. So how will the Bucks fare without their main guy(Giannis cannot play everyday sorry)? Not that great, slow start for the young Bucks. See 4-0 Spurs, some lethargic ball handling Jevon Carter(he would pick himself up in the second half).Milwaukee always good scoring from the paint , check out 13-13 as the Bucks started to settle in the game. Jordan Nwora outfoxing three defenders to get the foul and the bucket. Close first Q edged out by Spurs settled by Bassey with strong play from the paint at 30-26( out Milwaukying Milwaukee).

Spurs generally outplayed Bucks on the transition , Bucks weren’t great from the field at all , scoring just 32%. Watch 37-32 Spurs, Lopez losing the plot going for the three putting his side on the back foot couldn’t get back on time. Better and more options in the arch for Lopez not utilized. The signing of Serge Ibaka gave the Bucks defensive options. Check out the rebound on 52-42 Spurs off another missed three pointer giving Jevon Carter a chance to sink the downtowner. Ibaka could be the difference between success and failure for Milwaukee this season. Art to the hook shot. Check out Carter’s at 60-48 Spurs. Impressive considering he has short arms and started outside the paint against a clearly taller number 25 Jakob Poeltl. Thumbs up for the Bucks’ defense for being so poor so as to allow Sochan and the Spurs to floss their alley-hoop at 60-50 San Antonio. Spurs full value for their win over a red hot Bucks who at least fielded an Antetokounmpo(Thanasis) who only warmed the bench and scored none in his six minutes.

JUNIOR TENNIS PLAYER BEATING DISSECTED

A video has circulated online recently showing a junior player’s coach/father assaulting his student/daughter which sent the tennis world into irate mode. Not only did former players speak out and claim the practice is common, they actually said it has become routine in junior tennis. The incident happened in Serbia(which is kind of ironic as it has emerged as a tennis powerhouse in recent years). Croatian born Aussie former tennis star Jelena Dokic saw the video and said it brought back experiences of her own having an abuse father/coach. Today I want to discuss about physical and emotional abuse by coaches, whether this still has a place in modern sport. I know what you thinking you saying, duh, of course it has no place. But the fact that it’s still happening means there are some who truly believe the violence achieves results. Let’s look at it this way. It reminds me of beauty pageant moms. Pageant moms try to live their childhood through their kids, pushing them to enter beauty pageants buying clothes and forcing heavy makeup on them. Same can be said of our dad in the video, probably couldn’t cut it as a player, sees himself lifting Wimbledon silver plate trophy wants his daughter to do it for him.

That being said, I must emphasize there is nothing wrong with pushing your kid to success. It is the manner in which you do it. Proponents of the “spare the rod and spoil the child” proverb (corporal punishment) say that the sheer number of gun violence incidence, violence in schools and truancy is actually caused by not beating your kid. Too much rights are being given to children before they reach 18, so they say. I can say this, each child responds differently to different forms of discipline so a one size fits all approach to coaching or child rearing isn’t the way to go. Which brings me back to our coach in the video. The coach is apparently Chinese and he was arrested after the video went viral. In the Chinese culture, discipline in the form of physical assault(called dama jiaoyu) is universally accepted and is normal. It wouldn’t surprise me if the kid doesn’t even see anything wrong with that her dad did. So different cultures different forms of discipline. Finally, it so happens that abuse can also be verbal and emotional. Dokic spoke about nearly taking her life from the mental strain from her father Damir’s verbal abuse. Jose Mourinho, Roma coach, has been called out for player verbal abuse too(well some say it’s his management style), calling out players in public for not performing well like he did on Wednesday night(although he didn’t publicly name the Roma player. He did that with Luke Shaw, Juan Mata the list is endless. I believe in POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT . Saying something good about your player can achieve more results than saying bad things about them. Proven fact.

YET MORE KYRIE IRVING CONTROVERSY

Kyrie Irving is a very interesting guy. Interesting but talented. That should be the focus of everyone right there, his talent on the court. It is a pity in the last two years other stuff have taken the spotlight. I previously defended him on his vaccination stance( and still will) and I am glad that storm has been ridden. Now here comes another storm. This time racism. Look, there is no race that I can say has had it worse between the BLACK community and JEWISH. Both have been brutalized and had rights infringed upon a lot in history. So what makes me sad about this is that this Kyrie issue is pitting them against each other. If you didn’t know here is the story. Kyrie Irving posted on twitter a film called “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” which contains some anti-Semitic views.

This didn’t go down well with the NBA who suspended him 5 games. The NBA’s gripe with him is not him uploading the film , it is actually because he didn’t denounce the anti-Semitic views in it. So that leads to my first problem with the suspension, does not denouncing something mean you like that action or would actually participate in it? For me it’s no. I think Kyrie would rather not be put on the spot to answer a question like that. Kind of like being asked if you like the portrayal of Jesus in the film, “Passion of the Christ”. Each one of us has a different take on some parts of the movie but it doesn’t mean I am anti Christian. So Kyrie is well within his rights not to answer , that’s my opinion.

Speaking of the “Passion of the Christ”, Mel Gibson was in trouble for an anti Semitic rant some years back(this one was more vocal and obvious than Kyrie’s alleged) and so was Nick Cannon(The resident Superdad lol). So celebrities don’t really learn to keep their mouths shut when it comes to the Jewish religion or any kind of religion for that matter. Wars have started for a whole lot less. Why? Because no one wants to have their beliefs(that have been taught down from our ancestors) dissed or looked down on. It is tantamount to dissing ones forefathers. The Jewish community in the US is large and can be found in control all levers of finance, industry, politics, entertainment and sports so any denigrative view is bound to have a serious backlash. Thus Kyrie lost a big Nike deal. So finally what should Kyrie do? Well a public apology fixes a lot of things(not necessarily revealing your feelings toward it) for uploading the video just like Mel did after his drunken rant at police. Nick also saved his career with a similar apology. When you are a black man(celebrity) you are a marked man so always be mindful what you say on social and public spaces.

BKJ CUP:GREAT BRITAIN VS KAZAKHSTAN

Yes, the tennis powers that be are Eastern Europe, with Russian Federation holding both the BJK Cup and the Davis Cup. The Russian invasion of Ukraine means that they won’t be in both competitions but no mistaking the power of world tennis lies in that part of the world. Kazakhstan may be small IN SPORTING TERMS but they boast this year’s Wimbledon champ Elena Rybakina in their squad. Great Britain on the other hand are missing the injured Emma Raducanu so Harriet Dart takes over as number one. Home court advantage means nothing if you can’t do the basics in tennis. Dart did it early on check out 1-0 Kazakhstan 30-30. Strong defensive play from the baseline from Dart, she was more or less second favorite in this point from the start. The cross court scoop forehand catching Elena by surprise expecting it to go down the line. From there , Harriet I am afraid abandoned the basics. Nothing will ever put you under pressure as a low first serve percentage. when you watch the clip on 2-1 Kazakhstan 30-30 the serve is neither down the line or angled cross court and gives Elena an easy target to aim at, deep near the baseline. Kazakhstan running away with the set, Elena looked unstoppable on her racquet.

GB and Kazakhstan are in Group C along with heavy favorite Spain with the winner advancing to the semis. All in all 12 nations are in Glasgow for the Finals but in all honesty GB look light weight in this tie. The second set proved more competitive than the first though. The change over didn’t change much in Harriet’s play. Check out first point of the second set first point. Same type of serve on the deuce court as 2-1(30-30 first set) easy target for the Wimbledon Champ. Best point of the match, 2-0 Kazakhstan 0-30. This was GB’s point all day long but Dart did herself a disservice with the lob, could have gotten more height on it. Harriet still had a chance at the net at the end trying to catch out Elena like in set one but hey once bitten twice shy , right? Much improved GB performance mid set with some impressive ground strokes from Dart. The Rybakina quality eventually shone through. Professionally done as well, one might expect a highly ranked player to take the foot off the pedal with the season coming to a close but not Elena. Watch how she closed the match 5-4(40-30). Katie Boulter lost her second seeds rubber to Yulia Putintseva rendering the doubles academic.GB need a favor from the Spanish while hoping they beat them themselves if they are to have a chance of progressing.

PLAY OF THE WEEK

The Washington Commanders have a feel of a new franchise trying to establish themselves in the NFL. Nope, not because of the name change but it’s more of structural team issues such as defense and discipline. Off field distractions haven’t helped one tiny bit. The franchise is being investigated for unfair business practices regarding their ticketing system. Regardless, they are far from the worst team in the League even though they prop up the NFC East. Today they take my play of the week after this WTF moment from the QB Taylor Heinicke and Curtis Samuel against the Minnesota Vikings. Partly to blame for the Commanders’ struggle has been that disconnect between Heinicke and his wide receivers, communication breakdown but boy did they make a fool of that notion.

Picking up the play at 7-3 Vikings 2nd down and 7(plenty of downs on hand) Heinicke went for it going long. Let’s face this this was a nothing pass trying to find Samuel, Vikings read the memo with one Linebacker dropping deep to snuff out the danger. The irony is that Linebacker ended up costing the Minnesota here, there is a reason why the ref has a different color short(black and white strips) from any other team so how the hell number 24 Bynum didn’t see him I have no clue. You can see the three looking sheepishly at each other but the ball was gone no inquest can take the shame away. This doesn’t take anything away from Samuel’s good hands and alertness to seize the opportunity. Drinks go out to Heinicke for buying the lottery ticket by having the guts to try the long shot pass(YOU GOT TO ADMIRE THE GUTS). Big highlight for Washington despite the loss here.