On 25 August 2023, all eyes will be in Manila, Jakarta and Naha in Okinawa as the 3 cities co-host the biggest basketball extravaganza in the world, the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. This will be the first time the World Cup will be hosted by multiple countries, namely: Philippines, Indonesia and Japan. With the introduction of a multi-country hosting scheme, the Asian tripartite won the hosting rights over the South American duo of Argentina and Uruguay in the bid conducted way back in December 2017.
The Jazz were jellin’ and jammin’ under the radar. They held the best record in the NBA at 10-3 despite a difficult schedule. With a coveted 10-3 mark, the Jazz were no longer regarded as bottom-packers and likely ‘tankers’. The Jazz officially became classified as a dangerous and legit threat. And other teams have started to prepare for them more seriously now.
Then came the debacles.
Can the team sustain its winning ways? With barely 13 games out of a full 82-game season schedule, it is difficult to say if the team has what it takes to continue winning. They are certainly a refreshing team to watch. They love to run, space, pass, provide help defense and more. They have a good balance of youth and experience; speed and skill; they have the stamina, the inside and outside game; they have a dynamic coach and coaching staff. But there are other aspects to factor in in order to sustain this drive; and these include injuries, trades, and team schedules.
Kyrie is not an evil man. Kyrie has so much goodness in his heart. You see that in the number of social causes he has supported, such as the KAI Family Foundation. But the more he raises issues that he cannot support eloquently, the more he loses his credibility. He must learn to study his advocacies more closely, lest he embarrass himself and the people he claims he represents. He is a talented person. With a lot of followers in social media. He needs to understand that he has a responsibility to guide these people properly.
The game is constantly evolving. Among other things, it has now become the era of the 3-pt shooter. Gone are the days of the giants, when cage wars were won in the clash of titans down below. When we had the likes of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, and much later, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Shaq O’Neil used their height and heft to their advantage. Steph Curry’s indelible mark in the league has been the game-changing acceptance of the 3-pointer as the weapon of choice for every team. No longer is the 3-point shot a last option, should the inside game be derailed. Now, it is the first option, with the inside game viewed as an occasional foray to soften the perimeter defense.
Bill Russell’s indelible mark cannot be overemphasized. The No. 6 on Boston Garden’s parquet floor will forever remind the players and fans alike of the standards of excellence, the greatness, and the extreme sacrifices one has to take to achieve success, whether it be in the game of basketball or in life’s many mightier struggles.