I had a summit at an East Village bar last night with two members of the SportsAngle brain trust Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Frank Pepe of Trumbull Island and Mr. Han, the self-appointed U.S. ambassador to Iceland Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and our conversation of course veered toward the Summer of LeBron.
You can play it safe and be good, or you can take a chance and be great.
Unfortunately, the DolphinsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ then-coach said that to justify his pick of Daryl Gardener over some guy named Ray Lewis in the 1996 NFL Draft. But the words Ã¢â‚¬â€œ if not the defensive tackle Ã¢â‚¬â€œ stuck with me over the years.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve come to believe that when a shot at greatness presents itself, which doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t happen all that often, you owe it to yourself to go for it. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s clichÃƒÂ©d, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s almost always 100% true: ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s better to regret something you did than something you didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do.
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why for the first time in a long time, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m cautiously excited about the Knicks. Donnie Walsh is trying to shoot the moon, and I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be more in favor of it.
As Kevin Durant sat on stage on Friday gazing out at a group of kids who very much looked up to him, literally and figuratively, he could relate to how they felt. After all, just a few years ago, the 21-year-old phenom was in their position.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I’ve come a long way,Ã¢â‚¬Â Durant said when asked how it felt to see a roomful of kids hanging on his every word. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was in their shoes a couple of years back, wanting to see an NBA player. It just shows me that I want to set a good example and give back.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Note: We took a lot of photos at the 2010 Primetime Shootout, which turned out to be a terrific event with two indisputably classic games. Here are some of our favorites that werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t used in the articles I wrote about it:
Kyrie Irving, warming up for the second half against Oak Hill on Friday night.
(Note: I originally wrote this during the fall in conjunction with the release of Ã¢â‚¬Å“More than a Game,Ã¢â‚¬Â but while writing about the Primetime Shootout this weekend, I grew nostalgic for the greatest high school performance I had ever seen at the 2003 Shootout. I usually donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t re-up posts, but indulge me here. StuffÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s about to get crazy with LeBron as July 1, 2010 approaches, but I contend that this game in Trenton was a snapshot in time that will never be duplicated.)
ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a movie that came out in theaters this weekend that I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t wait to see. It has extra meaning to me and I find it particularly inspirational. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d go as far as to go on record and say itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the feel-good movie of the season.
Obviously, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m talking about Zombieland, with the great Woody Harrelson.
Okay, I admit, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m just kidding. Though I do plan to see Zombieland, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m referring more to More than a Game, the documentary chronicling St. Vincent-St. MaryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, the high school team that featured a young man named LeBron James. Considering my personal experience with that era of his life, the movie holds extra meaning to me.
As you may have noticed, this site has covered LeBron pretty closely Ã¢â‚¬â€œ from his impending cataclysmic free agency, to his relationship with rappers, to his complete dominance of the media. Well, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not new. Long before SportsAngleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hiatus, when LeBron was still technically in high school, we decided to follow him every step of the way.
After watching national prep school powerhouse Oak Hill edge star-studded St. Patrick on Friday night by one point, I figured I had seen the premier game of the Primetime Shootout.
As it turned out, I was in for a real surprise on Saturday Ã¢â‚¬â€œ as was Oak Hill, which learned two lessons: Never take anything for granted, and never draw blood from St. PeterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Prep star guard Myles Davis.
While watching Roscoe SmithÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s athleticism and talent help tilt the scales in favor of Oak Hill in their showdown against St. Patrick on Friday night, it was clear to me that what he brings to the table could definitely have helped DukeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s team next year.
And I recalled that at one point, Smith wanted very much to go to Duke, and that the feeling was somewhat mutual, though he wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t their first target Ã¢â‚¬â€œ that would be Harrison Barnes, the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top recruit who famously and publicly picked North Carolina.
So with Barnes rocking baby blue, why didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t Roscoe end up taking the spot earmarked for his contemporary at Duke, opting instead to commit to the University of Connecticut?
Talk about a lousy day. After St. PatrickÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s (No. 6, ESPN Rise) was banned from the New Jersey state tournament earlier in the day because coach Kevin Boyle attended practices before he was technically allowed to, they lost an absolute heartbreaker, 79-78, to No. 7 Oak Hill when gritty shooting guard Derrick Gordon missed a pair of foul shots with .4 seconds left.
I happen to like Peyton Manning, so I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t rooting for the Saints on Sunday. But watching them celebrate on the field, watching the fans celebrate back in New Orleans, it became apparent how much they mean to so many people. And I started to think about what their victory means to me.
I wanted to write something about the Super Bowl because, well, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the Super Bowl. I was thinking some predictions and whatnot, maybe a little analysis thrown in for good measure. But IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve immediately hit a brick wall.
The problem is that this can tend to sort of be a niche site, and football isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really a part of my niche. If this were the Super Bowl of horror movies, or the Super Bowl of high school basketball Ã¢â‚¬â€œ which, uh, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m actually going to next week Ã¢â‚¬â€œ then I wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a problem. But itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the Super Bowl of football.