Excellent news. The only way you would not know that I am British is if you: a) have never been to this website before today, b) have been here before but understandably don’t read any of the words I write, or c) know so little about vexillology that you didn’t even realise that the site’s logo had a flag in it. Because of my nationality – English rather than British, but we’ll worry about that later – it is inevitable and sensible that the state of British basketball will get some coverage here. And with the news of Ben Gordon’s commitment to the national team still moist astride our lips, today is no different. There follows a lengthy breakdown. Basketball in Britain is still so fledgling that even the term ‘fledgling’ sells it short. The standard of the British Basketball League is so far below its European peers that almost any Division I NCAA starter could get a starting spot there. Worse still, the league damn nearly went bankrupt at the turn of the century, which isn’t something top tier leagues should be doing (although it has happened elsewhere on the lower rungs). Beyond the professional game, basketball itself is not fairing much better. While the sport is played in many schools these days, it’s not played in all of them; we didn’t play it in mine, for example, and as a result I’ve never played a game of basketball. To say that basketball trails behind many other sports in this country is an understatement on a par with calling the Vietnam conflict ‘feisty;’ it just doesn’t do it justice. (The local council did eventually install a hoop in my childhood village after much petitioning, but when I say they “installed a hoop,” I actually mean that they put a […]
Former Bull Jay Williams plays again, for the first time in two and a half years. Former NBA point guard Jay Williams is aiming to relaunch his career through the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). Williams, the second overall pick by the Chicago Bulls in the 2002 NBA draft – behind Yao Ming, almost lost his life in a motorcycle accident a year later and his promising career appeared to be over. (more at the link) Since his accident in June 2003, Jay’s basketball journey has taken many forms. Williams spent three and a half months in hospital, recovering from the multiple torn ligaments, broken pelvis and nerve damage that almost saw him lose his leg (but not his life, contrary to the article’s verbiage). His rehab had only begun in earnest; it would be three more years before he returned to the court. During the early stages of his rehab, Williams kept a blog on NBA.com, which still survives to this day (as long as you can tolerate five and a half years of dust). The optimistic tone of the blog made it sound like a comeback would be possible, if a long way off. And this proved to be kind of true, as Williams did eventually sign another NBA contract. But he never played another regular season NBA game. In October 2006, more than three years after the accident, Williams signed a training camp contract with the New Jersey Nets. The contract was not guaranteed, and both Williams and the Nets signed it knowing that his chances of making the team were about as small as a tadpole’s corset. Nevertheless, however unlikely of a gesture it may have been, the signing was symbolic; Jay had made it back from the brink. Unfortunately, he struggled mightily. And that ruined the […]
Upset as we are about the news of Rodney Rogers’s accident and paralysis, there’s only one way to tribute the man, and that’s with a Rodney Rogers Highlight Montage. Unfortunately, I don’t have one. But I do have this awesome clip, of Rodney Rogers scoring 9 points in 9 seconds back in his days with the Denver Nuggets. This clip has been kind of forgotten over the years, as Reggie Miller’s 8 in 18 seconds and Tracy McGrady’s 13 points in 35 seconds have instead taken the plaudits as the best examples of lots of points in little time at all. However, both are inferior to Rodney Rogers’s explosion, which boasts a points-per-time-allowed ratio far superior to either of theirs, or indeed to any other instance that I know of. Well, except for Trent Tucker. I am told that the Nuggets were down eight at the start of the clip, with 30-something seconds left in the game. Rodney Rogers’s outburst put them up by one. Rodney Rogers was indeed a game changer. (As was Robert Pack, I guess.) God bless you, Rodney Rogers. EDIT Apparently a Rodney Rogers mix DOES exist, upped with the last few hours. God bless both YouTube and Rodney Rogers.