NBA – Suspended

Coronavirus live updates: NBA suspends season after Utah Jazz player tests positive for COVID-19

The coronavirus is causing sports cancellations and postponements all across the world

The rapid spread of the coronavirus is causing cancellations and postponements of sporting events around the globe. As of Tuesday afternoon, there have been at least 116,000 coronavirus cases worldwide, according to CBS News. While 64,000 people have recovered, more than 4,000 have died. In America, multiple states are under a state of emergency and some politicians and public health officials are recommending large gatherings of people — including sporting events — in coronavirus hotspots be canceled or closed to the public.

As college basketball’s postseason, MLB Opening Day and the NBA and NHL stretch runs approach, the coronavirus is set to have a serious effect on American sports. Abroad, soccer games in Europe are already being played in empty arenas without fans in certain countries.

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The NBA has suspended the 2019-20 season after a Utah Jazz player, reportedly Rudy Gobert, tested positive for COVID-19. Games in progress on the night of March 11 will be completed.

The league postpone Wednesday’s game between the Thunder and the Jazz. Players and officials were told to walk off the floor while awaiting a decision from the league, and then the announcement was made to a jeering Oklahoma City crowd. Prior to the game on Wednesday, the team announced that Gobert and Emmanuel Mudiay were both out for the game due to an illness.

The Warriors announced the team would play home games without fans in attendance, in accordance with the San Francisco Health Office’s order prohibiting groups of 1,000 people at events.

The league has advised the players on how to avoid the potential spread of the coronavirus while playing a contact-friendly sport. Among the suggestions was for players to avoid the postgame handshake and instead stick with fist bumps.

The NBA announced on Monday it was limiting locker room access over coronavirus concerns.

Source: cbssports.com

So it appears that here in Australia, many sporting codes will be forced to follow suit and modify local competitions to slow the spread of the Coronavirus.

Let’s hope that the pandemic passes quickly without causing too much angst and damage. Nellakir encourages all participants in Basketball, Netball and other indoor sports activities to take precautions and maintain hygiene.

Nellakir are the leading experts in Timber Sports Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania. They are the exclusive agents for ASF/Horner Sports Flooring systems. As well as installation, Nellakir are expert providers of annual and cyclical maintenance such as resurfacing, re-lining and as required re-sanding. Nellakir provide a fully scheduled Court Cleaning Service to keep your Timber Sports Flooring in premium condition, week in week out, over the entire year.

Call 03 9467 6126 for a free, no-obligation consultation on your Timber Flooring requirements or leave your details here for a prompt reply

Nellakir – Premium Timber Sports Flooring for present and future Champions.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

Is this really the end for Andrew Bogut? Or just a ‘bad day at the office’? Sydney Kings destroyed by Melbourne United.

At 7ft tall in the old imperial measure, Andrew Bogut has been the consummate player. Performing at the highest level in the NBA, the world’s premium basketball competition. Bogut is currently listed with Golden State Warriors and is part of the Sydney kings NBL team here in Australia. Approaching 36 years of age, has time caught up with him? We doubt it but his opponents had no caution in dissing him!

From the Sydney Kings v Melbourne United game on Monday night the 2nd of March.

Corey Williams defends tweet about Andrew Bogut after Melbourne United massacres Sydney Kings

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NBL analyst Corey Williams must have had some backlash to his tweets about Andrew Bogut after the Sydney Kings were thrashed by Melbourne United on Monday night.

If you missed them, Williams placed the blame for Sydney’s 125-80 defeat squarely at the feet of the Aussie centre, who he believed was “murdered” by Melbourne Opponent Shawn Long.

Aussie basketball great Shane Heal replied to Williams’ post reminding him he’d predicted the Kings would sweep the series, which drew an even spicier response.

“I was wrong,” he wrote. “Keep it 100 Hammer. Yes you are an ex-King, but Bogut gettin’ bodied and ain’t doin’ s***. Say it and don’t sit on the fence protecting your Boomer.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Williams posted a video to Twitter explaining his language.

“I’m from New York City and in basketball culture in New York — in America (but) mainly New York — if a player is getting outplayed, badly, and it’s completely one-sided, we don’t say ‘he’s severely outplaying him, the guy didn’t show up to work today’. We don’t say that, we say ‘he killed him, he murdered him, he destroyed him, he bodied him’,” Williams said.

“That’s the level of impact. It is catastrophic, the way this player is outplaying the other player.

“My nickname is Homicide, because of the fact that in my day I committed basketball homicide on the opposition. I didn’t make this up, this is what was said. My name was based on a style of play.

“That’s all it is. Nothing more, nothing less. You don’t have to try to spin this or think it’s something else. Because it is isn’t.”

Melbourne United wrote themselves into the NBL record books after pumping the Kings to draw level in their best-of-three semi-final series.

Coming off a stunning late collapse in game one, United shrugged off the disappointment by crushing the Kings on Monday night in a performance that had the Melbourne Arena crowd in raptures.

The 45-point margin was the largest in any NBL game since matches dropped from 48 minutes to 40 in 2010.

Sydney trailed 38-31 when United dropped 38 consecutive points through the second and third quarters to leave the minor premiers shell-shocked, setting up a blockbuster series decider in Sydney on Thursday.

United outscored Sydney 32-7 in the second period to lead by 27 at halftime but were not content with their opening salvo, piling on the first 18 points of the third quarter with the margin blowing out to 58 points at one stage.

They passed the century mark before three-quarter time, entering the final stanza with 103 — the highest score by any team with 10 minutes remaining in NBL history.

Shawn Long (26 points, 11 rebounds) and Melo Trimble (21 points) were the catalysts for Melbourne’s triumph with the import duo combining for 24 points in the decisive second-quarter charge.

Bogut failed to score and grabbed just two rebounds as he struggled to solve the Long puzzle. “Bogut’s in no-mans land at the moment, he doesn’t know whether to come up or not,” former NBL coach Brendan Joyce said in commentary for SEN. “Sydney need to make an adjustment.”

Coach Dean Vickerman praised his players on the way they bounced back from conceding a 16-point lead in Saturday’s 86-80 defeat in Sydney.

“We were pissed off from the other night,” Vickerman said. “I thought we played well enough up there and I thought these guys responded really well.”

Stanton Kidd added 18 after starting in place of 300-gamer David Barlow, nailing three triples to lay the platform as United racked up 45 points in the third quarter.

Jae’Sean Tate (18 points) was the lone bright spot in a horror night for Sydney, leaving coach Will Weaver to pick up the pieces ahead of game three.

“I clearly felt they were the more aggressive team,” Weaver said after the loss. “That’s the fun of the finals I guess, is that everyone’s trying to manage the seesaw of emotions and compose themselves.”

 

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Shawn Long celebrates after being fouled by Andrew Bogut

 

United made a confident start with a dominant stretch through the middle part of the first quarter, making the most of Sydney’s four first-quarter turnovers including Tate’s unsportsmanlike foul on Mitch McCarron with the Kings in possession of the ball.

The Kings rallied near the end of the opening period to cut Melbourne’s lead to 26-24 but that was their last meaningful period of the game as Long and Trimble powered United’s matchwinning offensive burst.

Up 58-31 at halftime, Kidd opened the second half with a three-pointer and the points kept coming for the home side, Sydney unable to stem the flow as United closed the third quarter with an unassailable 103-55 advantage.

Source: news.com.au

The Sydney Kings maintain that their star ‘just had an off night’, and he can bounce back in Game Three to lock in an NBL Grand Final berth for the Kings.

Champions often rise to the occasion and it’s very possible Andrew will do the same. It should make for an exciting contest.

In Australia today, thousands of young kids look to Andrew Bogut and Ben Simmons, Australian champions of the sport for inspiration. Playing in regional centres, state schools (Primary and Secondary) and in a wide range of junior competitions, there is always the chance that out there, the next Andrew Bogut or Ben Simmons is ‘treading the boards’ and creating a pathway to a professional career.

Nellakir are the premium Construction and Installation experts in Victoria and Tasmania for Sprung Timber Sports Flooring. The company utilises ASF/Horner Sports Flooring Systems exclusively. Nellakir also provide a professional annual maintenance service that includes re-surfacing and re-lining. Re-sanding is also provided as required (usually in 7 year intervals).

To ensure your stadium or court is always the perfect playing surface, Nellakir also offer a fully scheduled professional court cleaning service.

Don’t delay, call now on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply. Book a consultation with one of our Timber Sports Flooring Technicians and ensure your court is always presented in premium condition.

Nellakir – Premium Timber Sports Flooring for Champions – and Future Champions.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

Young Aussie Boomers fall to NZ Tall Blacks

With the Olympic Games scheduled in the not too distant future, the full preparation period for National teams is now looming large.

In the latest of these games, Australia’s Boomers have been soundly beaten by the NZ Tall Blacks. It was actually a qualifying game for the FIBA Asia Cup of 2021.

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Read about it here…

NZ Stars Turn Missing Finals Pain into Win Over Boomers

Motivated by Brisbane Bullets and New Zealand Breakers players who just missed NBL Finals spots and then by two guards gearing up for the post-season, the Tall Blacks delivered an impressive showing to beat the Australian Boomers 108-98 on Thursday.

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The game was the first match in the qualifying stages for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup and the Tall Blacks made a winning start to Group C competition in an impressive display after the Boomers started on fire hitting the game’s first nine points at Brisbane’s Nissan Arena.

New Zealand overcame the slow start to turn on the impressive performance in Pero Cameron’s first game in charge as coach. It was the Tall Blacks’ first win over the Boomers since 2009 breaking a run of nine straight defeats, and doubling as their third ever victory on Australian soil.

It’s a very much a youthful Boomers team that was under the coach of Will Weaver for the first time but they still kept fighting right to the end only to be knocked back by New Zealand.

Less than a week after being part of Brisbane’s massive 36-point win on the same court against the Cairns Taipans that gave the Bullets a finals sniff in the NBL, Reuben Te Rangi made up for a frustrating campaign at club land with a brilliant performance for the Tall Blacks.

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Even though that huge win wasn’t quite enough for a finals spot for the Bullets, Te Rangi put that behind him and delivered 21 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Having been the NBL’s Most Improved Player and Best Sixth Man 12 months ago, it was a 2019/20 campaign to forget for Te Rangi, but he didn’t let that bother him on Thursday night going on to shoot 8/14 from the field and 4/7 from deep in 31 minutes.

Another player who would have been frustrated to not be preparing for an NBL finals campaign right now was Rob Loe. The Breakers finished the season on fire but narrowly missed the post-season.

But Loe finished the season in career-best form and carried that into the Asian Cup qualifier with 19 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals for his country including a late dagger three to seal the deal.

Then there was Loe’s Breakers teammate Jordan Ngatai who also shook off the disappointment of missing NBL finals to produce 19 points including three triples.

Shea Ili (21 points, six rebounds, five assists) and Jarrod Kenny (10 points, two assists) are two players with NBL finals to look forward to at Melbourne and Cairns respectively, and both shared the point guard duties impressively for New Zealand.

Dion Prewster was impressive as well with 10 points and four rebounds.

Tall Blacks coach Pero Cameron was proud of the efforts of his team and the way the game was played in his first time officially in charge of New Zealand.

“Firstly there’s nothing like being in the hot seat and having these last three days, and some of the things our players have dealt with have been phenomenal. I just have to congratulate and acknowledge their commitment and support to the Tall Blacks singlet,” Cameron said.

“I’m just so happy to have this job and I think for anyone to coach their own country, it’s an amazing feeling. As far as this game goes, for what it was it was good to see all the players out there just giving their all.

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“I felt the energy levels were high and that type of basketball is entertaining. I don’t mind if it’s not entertaining as long as I win, but I thought both sides went at it hammer and tongs, and my boys played really well.

There were a host of Boomers debutants and Angus Glover (eight points, five rebounds), Sunday Dech (eight points), Sam Froling, Kyle Adnam (12 points) and Dane Pineau (two points) all had their moments in their first appearances in the senior national team.

Illawarra Hawks 283-game veteran Todd Blanchfield top-scored for the Boomers with 17 points and six rebounds with Nathan Sobey adding 13 points, four boards three assists and three steals, Matt Hodgson 11 points and nine rebounds, and Jason Cadee 11 points, eight boards and five assists.

First-time Boomers coach Will Weaver ultimately just felt the Tall Blacks shooting the ball better and Australia missing 13 free-throws were significant factors in the result.

“We shot it decent from three but the free-throw line was probably the space you’d say we would regret some of those opportunities,” Weaver said.

“But that also comes down to some of the fatigue with these guys coming off the season and it was a physical game. It was fast and both teams were running after makes, but 50 per cent from the free-throw line rarely gets it done in a close game.”

But moving forward, Weaver is excited to be blooding so many fresh faces into the Boomers setup.

“We are trying to sew the seeds that will be reaped down the line. This is a four-year cycle that we’re preparing to endeavour to perform well at the end of,” Weaver said.

“A big part in that is investing in the younger players and even though we only had two practices, those guys have gotten a lot better and they will be better still against Hong Kong and along down the line. It just develops the base of talent we have to select from in these situations.”

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Both teams back up to play another game on Sunday with the Tall Blacks away to Tai Wesley and Guam while the Boomers host Hong Kong back at Nissan Arena.

Source: nbl.com.au

Nellakir support the advancement of Basketball in Australia and are the leading experts in the installation of all sprung Timber Sports Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania.

With new Multipurpose Sports Flooring being installed this month at Sirius College Keysborough as well as Twin Rivers Primary in Echuca (another State Government PPP Project), the team is very busy.

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Then in March, the Victorian Netball and Hockey Centre project commences with 11 new professional Sprung Timber Courts being constructed using full stumped ASF/Horner Sports Flooring Systems.

For all your Timber Sports Flooring requirements – Installation, maintenance and scheduled court cleaning, call Nellakir on 03 9467 6126 for a prompt response. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your particular needs. Or simply leave your details here for a prompt response.

Nellakir – Sports Flooring for Champions.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

Ben Simmons – All Star 2020 – From Melbourne to Chicago.

From Box Hill Secondary College to the NBA. Born in Fitzroy, now playing for the Philadelphia 76’s. He could have been a sharp on-baller for the bombers in the AFL after playing A-Grade for Whitefriars College as a youth, but instead he chose Basketball. Now from humble beginnings at the Knox Raiders he’s lining up with LeBron’s All Stars in Chicago this coming weekend.

Here’s the lowdown on his career development and progress this year…

By The Numbers: Ben Simmons

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Ben Simmons is set to compete in his second All-Star Game in Chicago as he’ll take the floor as part of Team LeBron.

In his first All-Star appearance last season, the Aussie finished with 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting in just under 17 minutes of action.

Despite the relative turmoil in Philadelphia for a 76ers team that has thus far underachieved, it’s impossible to deny that Simmons has once again performed at an All-Star level and is deserving of the All-Star honour.

Let’s go by the numbers to help articulate just how good Simmons has been so far this season.

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216 – Deflections

The biggest leap that Simmons has made this season has come on the defensive end, where he’s emerged as a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

Not only does he lead the league in steals, he’s also first in deflections, which further illustrates his ability to disrupt anything and everything. The fact that at 6’10” he has the ability to cause so much chaos shouldn’t go understated.

Only three other players in NBA history 6’10” or taller have ever averaged over two steals per game. Simmons could become the first player that tall to lead the entire league in steals.

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His development into a versatile stopper capable of legitimately guarding all five positions could further elevate the ceiling for a player still just scratching the surface of his potential.

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Toronto Raptors center Serge Ibaka (9) charges Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) during the second half of an NBA Eastern Conference semifinal basketball game in Toronto on Sunday, May 12, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

+7.0 – Scoring increase

In Philadelphia’s first game after the calendar flipped to 2020, Simmons poured in 29 points on what at the time was a season-high 20 shots. Although the 76ers lost that game to the Houston Rockets, it proved to be a turning point of sorts for Simmons, who has looked like a completely different player since.

Over his first 34 games, Simmons averaged just 14.5 points per game, which was over two fewer than last season when he earned his first trip to the All-Star Game. Over that span, he had just one 25-point game, which ranked fifth on the team and was fewer than the likes of Nemanja Bjelica, Ish Smith, Jordan McRae and Garrett Temple to name a few.

Scoring isn’t everything, particularly in the case of Simmons, but that’s not great.

Then came that game against Houston which ignited a torrid stretch. In 19 games since, he’s averaging 21.5 points per game, an increase of 7.0 PPG from before the calendar flipped to 2020. While 10 of those games came without Joel Embiid in the lineup, he also has three 25-point games over that span alongside his fellow All-Star teammate.

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He’s actively playing a larger role in the offense, shooting more often and getting to the line more frequently.

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60 – Secondary assists

He’s long been one of the best passers in the league and this year is no exception.

While Simmons ranks fifth in the NBA in assists per game, he actually ranks third in potential assists per game as the 76ers take over 16 shots per game directly off his passes, a figure which trails only LeBron James and Trae Young.

One of the beautiful aspects of Ben’s passing is that he sees the pass before the pass like few others.

The secondary assist – or hockey assist – is a pass that leads to a pass which leads to a made shot. They don’t show up in the box score, but they’re indicative of a player knowing how to move the ball quickly and find teammates in positions where they can then exploit the D.

So far this season, he has 60 of them, which leads the entire league and is nearly twice as many as anyone else on the 76ers.

The unselfish playmaking is a major reason why Simmons should be a desirable teammate this upcoming weekend in Chicago as he’s a threat to wrack up the dimes.

Source: sportingnews.com

It’s not surprising Australia is now producing such prodigious stars of the NBA competition. Australia-wide since 2007 there has been an explosion of high quality FIBA approved Sprung Timber Sports Flooring, enabling real professional progress for players and the game.

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Nellakir are proud to be associated with the sport and its expansion. Nellakir are Victoria and Tasmania’s premier Timber Sports Flooring experts, installing and maintaining ASF/Horner FIBA approved Timber Sports Flooring systems exclusively.

Whether you play at the VBA headquarters in Wantirna, Eagle Stadium in Werribee, the Bendigo Stadium or the Casey Stadium in Cranbourne (plus a host of others) you will be enjoying a quality Nellakir installation.

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In fact, even if your competition is using a school facility constructed under the State Government’s PPP (Public Private Partnership) program, there is a 9/10 chance you are competing a quality Timber Sports Floor from Nellakir.

Nellakir provide expert annual maintenance programs for all Timber Sports Flooring, including Re-coating, Linemarking and when required Re-sanding and Re-surfacing.

Nellakir now also offer professional scheduled cleaning of all Timber Sports Flooring as part of an overall care program for your valuable Sports Flooring.

Don’t delay, call now on 03 9467 6126 and book a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our professional technicians to ensure premium performance and longevity for your stadium’s Sprung Timber Sports Flooring. Or it may be that it’s time to completely replace your current stadium flooring – Nellakir can provide a detailed quotation for all such works upon request.

Alternatively leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Always select Nellakir for expert professional service and advice.

Nellakir – Championship flooring for present and future Champions.

Vale Kobe Bryant.

Simply a champion of the highest level in the sport of Basketball. It would be remiss of us not to acknowledge what a giant of the NBA and the US Basketball team Kobe was.

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From CNN, we reprint this acknowledgement of his status from Jill Martin’s article of Jan 27th 2020.

Kobe Bryant, NBA superstar and future Hall of Famer, is dead at 41

It’s hard to believe NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, whose prodigious talent and win-at-all-costs spirit made him one of the most famous and decorated athletes in history, is gone.

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He was the rare celebrity who didn’t need a last name. Oprah. LeBron. Beyonce. Kobe. Everyone knew who you were talking about.

Still youthful at 41, Bryant — who died in a helicopter crash Sunday in California — looked like he could suit up and drop 30 points on a rival NBA team. It doesn’t seem that long ago that he was scoring 60 points in his final NBA game, soaking up the cheers of Los Angeles Lakers fans who worshiped him for two decades as one of the city’s favorite sons.

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After his 20-year NBA career — all with the Lakers — Bryant is all but assured of being a first-ballot inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame later this year.

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“He was a fierce competitor, one of the greats of the game and a creative force,” said fellow NBA icon Michael Jordan.

An 18-time All-Star, Bryant was known for his remarkable scoring ability — his turnaround jumper was nearly unstoppable — and his championship pedigree. He teamed with fellow All-Star Shaquille O’Neal to win three consecutive NBA titles from 2000 to 2002 and later won two more rings, in 2009 and 2010.

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Known as the Black Mamba — a nickname he gave himself — Bryant twice led the NBA in scoring and won the league’s Most Valuable Player award in 2008.

Bryant’s daughter Gianna, 13, was with her father on the helicopter and was also killed in the crash, a source with knowledge of the situation told CNN.

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“Kobe was so much more than an athlete, he was a family man. That was what we had most in common,” O’Neal wrote on Twitter Sunday. “We love our families. Whenever we got together I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his.”

“The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a statement.

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary … But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.”

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He entered the NBA at age 17

Bryant was born on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents, Joe and Pam Bryant, gave him the namesake after seeing a type of steak on a restaurant menu. Kobe beef is from a species of cattle, Wagyu, raised in the Kobe region of Japan.

He lived in Italy from the age of six to 13 while his father played professional basketball, and he spoke Italian fluently. In one of his final interviews before he died, Bryant told CNN how he developed a love of soccer in Italy but also witnessed racism before moving back to the United States.

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“When I was growing up in Italy, I’ve obviously witnessed it firsthand going to certain soccer matches and things of that nature,” Bryant told CNN’s Andy Scholes. “My parents have taught me and educated me on how to deal with those sorts of things.”

Bryant played high school basketball at Lower Merion in Pennsylvania.

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“This is a difficult day for everyone in our school community,” said Amy Buckman, a spokeswoman for Lower Merion School District.

“Mr. Bryant’s connection to Lower Merion High School, where he played basketball prior to joining the NBA, has raised the profile of our high school and our district throughout the world. Our school community will always be grateful for his ongoing generosity to his alma mater, including his dedication of our Kobe Bryant gymnasium and his support of our girls and boys basketball teams.”

Bryant went straight from high school to the NBA, drafted by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick of the 1996 draft, making him the youngest NBA player in history at age 17. Bryant was then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for veteran center Vlade Divac.

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He soon became one of the most decorated players in NBA history and also won two Olympic gold medals for USA men’s basketball, in 2008 and 2012.

Off the court his dazzling smile sold everything from Nike shoes to McDonald’s hamburgers.

There was controversy, however, when Bryant was accused of sexual assaulting a 19-year-old Colorado hotel worker in 2003. Bryant insisted the encounter was consensual. The criminal sexual assault charge was dropped in 2004, and the accuser agreed to settle her civil lawsuit against Bryant in 2005.

LeBron James: ‘Kobe is a legend, that’s for damn sure’

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At 6 feet, 6 inches, Bryant could run the point or play shooting guard, even though his position was small forward.

One of the most memorable games in NBA history came on January 22, 2006, when Bryant scored 81 points in a Lakers’ 122-104 win over Toronto. Only Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in 1962 tops this performance.

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And in his final game of his career in 2016, the Black Mamba did it his way, dropping 60 points — on 50 shots — in a Lakers win against the Utah Jazz at a frenzied Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Bryant finished his NBA career with 33,643 points. A day before he died, he was passed by another Laker and superstar, LeBron James, on the league’s all-time scoring list. James accomplished the feat in — of all places — Philadelphia, against the 76ers.

Bryant took to Twitter after James passed him, writing, “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother.”

James, who had “Mamba 4 Life” and “8/24 KB” in gold marker on his sneakers before Saturday’s game, talked after the game about Bryant’s influence on him.

“The story is just too much,” James said Saturday night. “It doesn’t make sense. … Now I’m here in a Lakers uniform, in Philadelphia, where he’s from… it’s surreal.”

James — who, like Bryant entered the NBA straight out of high school — said Bryant was someone he looked up to when he was in grade school and high school.

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“Seeing him come straight out of high school, he is someone that I used as inspiration,” James said. “It was like, wow. Seeing a kid, 17 years old, come into the NBA and trying to make an impact on a franchise, I used it as motivation.

“He helped me before he even knew of me because of what he was able to do. So, just to be able to, at this point of my career, to share the same jersey that he wore, be with this historical franchise and just represent the purple and gold, it’s very humbling and it’s dope.

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“Kobe’s a legend, that’s for damn sure.”

Another Lakers legend, Magic Johnson, posted a series of tweets on the loss of Bryant, including one showing a picture of Bryant with his two different jersey numbers — 8 and 24 — being retired.

“Kobe and I shared so many special conversations about life and basketball,” Johnson wrote in one tweet. “We had so much in common off the court. I used to love talking to him about Lakers basketball, being fathers and husbands and how much we loved Italy. I will miss those conversations and him so much.”

He coached his daughter, Gianna

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Bryant married wife Vanessa in 2001. They had four daughters: Natalia (born in 2003), Gianna (2006), Bianka (2016) and Capri (2019).

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He and his daughter Gianna were expected at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Bryant was to coach his daughter’s team in the game.

Bryant said that he had watched little basketball after retiring — in 2018, he won an Oscar for best animated short for “Dear Basketball,” which was based on a poem he wrote — but Gianna’s love of the game sparked his interest in coaching her team.

The two were seen together at numerous NBA games recently, and videos of Gianna’s basketball skills went viral despite her just being 13.

Bryant described Gianna — who had WNBA aspirations — as “hellbent” on going to the University of Connecticut, the alma mater of Diana Taurasi and Maya Moore, two players Bryant recently told CNN “could play in the NBA right now.”

“The best thing that happens is when we go out and fans will come up to me — and she’ll be standing next to me — and be like, ‘Hey you’ve got to have a boy. You and V gotta have a boy and then have somebody carry on the tradition, the legacy,'” Bryant once said in an interview with ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel.

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But, Bryant added, Gianna would then pipe up, saying, “I got this.”

Source: edition.cnn.com

A true champion, an icon of the game. Nellakir note with great sadness his passing.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

Australia Day – Green vs Gold

Well it’s the Australia Day public holiday on Monday 27th but right now here’s a bit of a treat for our viewers, followers and friends. It’s the Green (Boston Celtics) vs the Gold (LA Lakers) and for some it’s a surprise result with the Lakers going down to the Celtics 107 to 139. (Green and Gold, so Aussie!)

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Here are the full game highlights. Kick back and enjoy. The Celtics – with party tricks.

When it comes to the highest levels of competition here in Australia, chances are you are playing on Nellakir Timber Sports Flooring if you’re in Victoria.

Today, with an increasing number of listed Australians playing on NBA extended lists, with the number growing each year, the opportunities for fresh talent to make their way to the premium competition of the NBA are increasing.

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Playing on the very best possible surfaces continues to make this opportunity realistic. All Nellakir surfaces are FIBA approved, utilising ASF/Horner patented timber flooring systems.

Ensure your stadium’s playing surface is always maintained professionally for premium performance. Call Nellakir now to book a free, no-obligation consultation on regular annual maintenance and scheduled professional court cleaning.

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Call 03 9467 6126 and arrange a time suitable for your requirements to meet with our experienced court technicians. Or simply leave your details here for a prompt reply.

And remember, Nellakir install and maintain Netball Timber Flooring, Multi-use Gymnasium Flooring, Dance Flooring and even Church Flooring.

For expert service and reliable, professional installation of all Sports Flooring, call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126.

Nellakir – The Premium Sports Flooring choice for Champions.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

Nellakir – The Players Professional Choice – Timber Sports Flooring.

With many people back to work this Monday, we thought it may be a good time to show the highlights (2nd half) of the LA Lakers vs Oklahoma City Thunder.

With so many young Australians qualifying for and being drafted to the NBA, it is obvious that Australia provides the right type of sporting environment for young basketballers – male and female.

It’s no small part of this that over the last 20 years, the competitive playing surfaces for local competition basketball, netball, volleyball and other indoor sports has improved immensely.

The Sprung Timber Sports Flooring supplied by ASF/Horner and installed by Nellakir here in Victoria and Tasmania is world standard and FIBA approved.

From local schools doubling as Community sports facilities, to State and Regional stadiums such as the VBA Stadium in Wantirna, the Bendigo Stadium, Eagle Stadium in Werribee and the Victorian Netball Stadium in Royal Park – Nellakir have supplied and installed the very best in premium sports flooring.

Now stadium and facility managers can call upon the Nellakir team to provide absolutely premium service in annual maintenance, scheduled court cleaning and full refurbishment of all Timber Sports Flooring.

Call now on 03 9467 6126 and book a free consultation with our expert staff and technicians for your facility, or leave your details here. It’s quite possible that Australia’s next NBA rookie of the year may well be ‘padding the boards’ at your stadium.

Ensure truly professional playing surfaces and facilities. Always choose Nellakir – the sports flooring for champions.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.