Here at #TTO we will be trying to merge our words with videos in order to reach the broadest audience possible!!!!! So please enjoy this weeks inspirational video of the week!!!
Today is Kobe Bryant’s 35th birthday. The black mamba has been electrifying patrons in Staples Center for exactly half of his life, and even after suffering an achilles tear on April 12th, Kobe is determined to be back in purple and gold this coming season. Kobe has always been a winner, and that derives from his unmatched work ethic and drive. That has been tested this summer as Kobe has been in the toughest battle of his life, against his ailing body. Kobe’s rehab has gone very well to this point, and barring any setback, he expects to be ready when the Lakers open the season. Below is a birthday homage to one of the all time greats.
The 2013 summer boo draft is upon us, with 20 lucky males and females who will be looking to add a vital piece to the puzzle, in the hopes of turning their franchise into a title contender. Last week we witnessed a riveting draft lottery and the field is set for what promises to be a memorable and jaw dropping summer boo draft. With an abundance of gorgeous females and fly fellas roaming various social media platforms here in the Ocean State, the draft is filled with numerous prospects that can come in and contribute from day one. Here at The Triangle Offense, we on the edge of our seats wondering what the underlying themes of this draft will be.
Will those who tend to rock the way overpriced (but really cheap), and undeniably fake Louis belts, and pink foams rule the draft? Or will those men who always seem to be there to pick up the damsel in distress on Twitter, or make that cliché but really yearning Instagram comments go early in round one? On the ladies side, will we see an early run in round one of the wholesome follower next door, whose tweets consist of uplifting horoscopes and half glass full notions? Or will 5 star twerk tape and glowing letters of recommendation be the driving force behind some of the men’s picks.
Whether you’re looking for a can’t miss prospect who can bring you to the mountain top in season one, or a building block who can be a catalyst on a respected franchise for years to come, the 2013 summer boo draft is sure to bolster your roster and make you happy with the direction you are headed in. And ladies do remember that Instagram filters cannot help you on draft day, also take not that Twitter AVI’s can be enlarged and will be thoroughly dissected. Let’s now take a look at some of the men and women with selections in this year’s draft, and what direction we see them heading with their pick.
- @KingTash_ has the first overall pick on the ladies side and she is looking to add a quality man to her roster. She said that she is willing to use her discount at footlocker to help lure a quality summer boo to her franchise.
- @Maxloic possesses the first pick on the guys side and is looking for a chick to massage his back while they listen to Drake on repeat. He said he might go with an unexpected selection, which could start a domino effect in the draft.
- @cucaf , whom is selecting 4th is looking for a boo to help here secure her tripod while she vividly allures with her photography. If you are looking to secure a spot in her heart you must be adventurous and photogenic, or you might find yourself on the bench.
- @BigRud is the Los Angeles Lakers of summer boo franchises, and it is no secret that Rudy will be looking to add a “highly skilled” Dominican to his roster. The RI “Twitterverse” will be anticipating his selection with bated breath, and severely ladies will be jockeying for the opportunity to stroke his beard.
- @AmbitousGirlKJ , whos drafting 5th on the ladies side is on record as saying she will be looking for the most athletic boo to add to her franchise. If you don’t have an outstanding vertical leap or a quick first step, you might find yourself outside of her triangle offense.
- @partywithLe , who owns the 6th pick has told us on record that he is looking for a summer boo with style and “Winter” boo potential. He’s been on assignment in Houston, which should tell us all we need to know about what he’s looking for in a potential selection.
- @wreverdes owns the 7th selection and is thought by many to be in pole position to win MVP. She’s is prototypical franchise cornerstone, who is looking to add some depth to her roster. She has a MEAN low-post game fellas, if you know what we mean.
- @SukBuk has been a media darling since the draft lottery and has let it be known in no uncertain terms that he is looking for a summer boo with star potential, a great deal of experience, and who is also “battle tested”. A large posterior can get you into the starting rotation from day 1.
- With the first selection in the 2nd round @AyeeeFal usually likes to “import” players to fill out her roster, but will try to make sure she can find the best summer boo available in the Ocean State.
- With the 12th overall selection on the guys side @DwayneDale has let it be known that he is looking for a summer boo that knows how to keep things private and doesn’t mind “keeping it all in the family.”
- @KiraTheGOD has established that she won’t draft any “soft” summer boo’s and if you don’t bring physicality to the table you might get cut before the season is over.
- @vicbam & @frisbyla are both looking for sexy summer boo’s that aren’t afraid to be a workhorse, a force “down low” or carry the load in crunch time.
- @WheresCarmenn has been active in the free agent market this summer, but is still looking to add a solid player to her franchise.
- @RIP4Nuri & @RayyyL close out the draft and will be going in completely opposite directions. Nuri is looking for a girl who knows how to perform in “Late Game” situations. While Ray will be looking for a glamorous boo, who can be a solid contributor to his franchise for a long time.
Don’t forget to tune into the 2013 Summer Boo Draft on Sunday, July 14th(check your local twitter listings for time). Be sure to follow @iTalk2slick, @YeahFlanny & @ProfessorCorria to get commentary on all of the selections on draft day. We will be posting our draft winners and losers, the steal of the draft, the surprises of the draft, who might have selected the prospect with the most mileage, and our 2013 summer boo draft “MVP.”
“To encourage every child/adolescent to not only dream; but be able to chase those dreams, and have an equal opportunity for those dreams to be a reality.” That is the motto of Team Providence Athletics, an AAU Basketball Program located in Rhode Island’s scenic capital. The team’s motto is a very fitting one, as Team Providence (often referred to as TP) is one of the more respected and storied AAU programs not only in Rhode Island but throughout New England, and not only for their on court prowess but for the unlimited amount of teaching that goes on behind the scenes. Shaping and molding well rounded individuals is, and has always been the main goal of this program, but do not be mistaken, these boys and girls can play!
TP is currently led by President Walter “Bunky” Gonzalez, director of the boy’s program Dan Corria, and director of the girl’s program Edwin Gilbert. All three of these men have an impressive wealth of knowledge as it pertains to the game of basketball, and all three have garnered personal success in their respective fields. These men all grew up in and around the capital city, in the same neighborhoods as many of the young boy’s and girl’s they now coach, and teach. This bond between player and coach is strengthened do to the level of understanding and the similarities they share with one another.
Along with these three men, Team Providence has assembled a stable of coaches from all walks of life, who are united by their passion for the game of basketball, and their ability to better these kids on and off the court. The Team Providence coaching staff, which includes The Triangle Offense’s own Josh Corria, takes pride in developing the players that walk through the door, and refuse to turn away any kids regardless of their basketball prowess. The coaches preach fundamentals, and instruct their team members to play within themselves, always keeping the team success as the highest priority. These men coach hard, and expect maximum effort from their kids at all times. Their encouragement and teaching motivates these kids and helps mold them into leaders, on and off the court.
I’ve had the opportunity to take in multiple practice sessions at St. Matt’s Catholic School, the home of Team Providence and you’d be hard pressed not to feel the family atmosphere upon walking through the doors. Whether it’s interactions between coaches and parents, coaches and their players, or amongst the coaches, there is an obvious level of comfort, respect, and acceptance that resonates throughout the building. The players understand that there is a time to let loose, laugh, and enjoy themselves, but they also understand that once they lace them up, it’s time to get after it and get better. That is a testament to the coaches and the approach they take with the kids.
Not only does the TP coaching staff teach these boy’s and girl’s core values that they will forever lean on, but they also have turned many into great ball players. Team Providence is invited too, and competes in the best AAU tournaments across New England and throughout the east coast. Walter “Bunky” Gonzalez’s 1oth grade girls team is showing dominance early on, earning 4th place in the NEAAU power rankings, and the 7th, 9th and 11th grade girls teams have all snagged tournament championships so far this season. While this AAU season is only weeks old, TTO’s own Josh Corria has already led his 6th grade boy’s team to multiple tournament victories, against some of New England’s finest teams. The 10th grade boys team led by “veteran” coach Dan Corria have snared a tournament crown early in the season and appeared in another tournament final. Josh, along with the other TP coaches have an uncanny ability to get through to these boy’s and girl’s. The chemistry amongst the players and coaches is built through tough coaching and accountability, mixed with trust, hard work, and just the right amount (plenty!) of fun.
Team Providence has a rich history of developing some great basketball players and helping them get into some of Rhode Island’s finest schools. Alumni of TP have gone onto play high school basketball at school’s such as Bishop Hendricken, La Salle Acedemy, St. Ray’s Academy, Moses Brown, PCD, Bay View, Classical, and many others. Many TP alums have also gone on and played basketball at multiple four year universities, and even those that didn’t were equipped with the necessary values to be a contributing member of society.
After my time around Team Providence, I can offer nothing but a ringing endorsement for this program. From top to bottom, there is a clear objective of molding talented young men and women on and seemingly more importantly, off of the court. If you want your child or loved one to learn the game of basketball in a well structured, nurturing, fun environment, Team Providence is the answer, as they are the leading scorer in all of those statistical categories.
On the heels of my colleague Josh’s tremendous piece on the unappreciated hero that is Allen Iverson, I got to thinking about the overall impact AI had on the league. As Josh alluded to, Iverson took the NBA by storm using his brash, “me against the world” mentality to create one of the most polarizing figures in NBA history. Iverson delivered each and every night on the court, with a swagger all his own, endearing him to inner city kids everywhere; who wanted nothing more than to be the next Allen Iverson. AI also took this same approach off the court. He would show up to games rocking his best Mitchell and Ness throwback jersey over a tall white tee, a pair a jeans that were a good 2 sizes too big, his signature Reebok sneakers and a du-rag draped over his patented corn rows. He would conduct interviews this way, he would attend charity events this way, this was him, this was the culture. On October 17th, 2005 with a swift and abrupt ruling, this all changed.
The NBA was reeling. Just months prior the league suffered it’s biggest black eye to date with “the malice in the palace”. The all out brawl in Detroit, that pitted fans against players, is one of the craziest and raucous scenes ever witnessed. This coupled with the fact that the leagues leading man was the gritty, tattoo ridden, uncensored Iverson, did not sit well with commissioner David Stern and he felt a big change was needed.
It is no secret that sports and music are synonymous. Often times those that become musicians had childhood dreams of being the next Michael Jordan or Barry Sanders, while sports stars dreamt of selling out MSG, as a musician, or shooting music videos while being surrounded by beautiful women. The off the court culture in the NBA was almost solely influenced by he hip hop culture, and it’s a no brainer as to why. The league is dominated by African American men, many of whom come from poverty stricken childhoods, with dreams of one day being able to drive the fancy cars and wear the flyest clothes. Many of the hip hop artists’ grew up in the same neighborhoods and shared the same hopes and dreams.
In the early 2000’s hip hop artists could be spotted wearing throwback jersey’s, baggy jeans, flashy sneakers, tons of gaudy jewelry, all types of head-wear, that was the trend and it was prevalent in every video and at every award show. It didn’t take long for the ballers to follow suit and bring that culture to the NBA locker rooms and benches. The players became so entrenched with the culture, that they took the time to step away from the court and actually record music. Ron Artest, Chris Webber, Shaq, Allen Iverson, and Kobe Bryant are just a few of the NBA stars that have stepped away from the court, and into the recording studio. By the mid 2000’s the hip hop culture was fully infused into the NBA and everyone seemed to be enjoying and embracing it, accept for the one man that had the power to put a end to it.
It is no secret that David Stern has a track record that reflects him getting his own way. He’s far from a player friendly commish, and often makes the move that will benefit the NBA from a financial standpoint. You can’t necessarily fault Stern for this line of thinking, as many commissioners have acted the same way, and ultimately the league’s best interest is atop the totem pole. The NBA brass was not on board with the direction the league was headed in, and felt a change was needed. That change came in the form of a league wide dress code. Some NBA teams implemented their own dress code for the players, both on the bench and off the court, but overall the players seemed to police themselves in terms of their attire. Players traveled, did media sessions, and sat on the bench in nearly anything they wanted and the big wigs of he NBA felt it was dealing a huge blow to the leagues image, and ultimately the money the league was grossing.
Stern put the dress code in place November 1st, 2005 and it was greeted by many players with anger and even notions of racism. Led by Allen Iverson, the NBA players voiced their displeasure with both Stern and the dress code, stating that he was trying to isolate the black players, and take away their individuality. At the time, those with tunnel vision felt this was what Stern was doing and ran with the racism angle. Looking back at it players such as Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, and Tim Duncan dressed in jeans and t-shirts while on the bench or at the podium. While they may not have had the jewelry or chinchilla’s like Iverson or Sheed, it was still not the ideal look Stern and his colleagues envisioned for their stars.
What went unnoticed by many was the amount of players unfazed by the dress code. Guys such as Grant Hill, Chauncey Billups, and Shawn Marion already donned the attire that the league wanted and felt as professionals they needed to dress accordingly, at all times. Coach Nate McMillan mandated a dress code for his own players long before the league put their foot down, and many fellow coaches and organizations already had these rules and regulations in place.
As time passed, the dress code became less and less of an issue. The players began to conform to the dress code and even embrace it. In the end, was the dress code a good thing for the NBA? Absolutely, without question. While commissioner Stern has made some head scratching decisions in the past, him implementing the dress code should be applauded. The NBA is a global product, and a business opposed to a basketball league. While the fans watch the NBA for the excitement, superior athleticism and ability, and mainly for the fact that it’s the best product on the planet, don’t ever forget that this is a business, and every major decision will come down to money and image. In recent years, the dress code has eased up a bit; the league and the players have seemed to find a good balance (Russell Westbrook aside). While both NBA and the hip hop cultures has changed in the past 8 years, there is no doubt that they are still synonymous, just in a different way.
The hip hop culture is now more entrenched in the business end of the league, and even throughout all professional sports (NFL, MLB, etc). Rappers, execs, and companies as a whole are now teaming up with teams and the NBA executives to reap the ultimate reward of, creating revenue and maximizing profit. These things, along with an unbelievably talented crop of young stars have put the NBA in the best place it’s been since his airness stepped away from the game. On February 1st, 2014 David Stern will step down after 3o years of service, and deputy commissioner Adam Silver will grasp the reigns of the NBA. Silver, a Duke grad is a tremendous business man, and seems to be a bit more player friendly. Let’s just hope Stern can keep things status quo until then, though I wouldn’t count on it.