Future impact the perfect legacy for Bryant

admin   •   December 22, 2015   •   2477

Dec 7, 201 Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) salutes the crowd reaction as he exits the game for the last time in Canada against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Lakers 102-93. Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 7, 201 Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) salutes the crowd reaction as he exits the game for the last time in Canada against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Lakers 102-93. Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

For all the NBA titles and All-Star selections he has piled up during an illustrious career, Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant wants his legacy to be judged on how he has impacted the sport’s future not the past.

The 37-year-old shooting guard has already established himself as one of the greatest players ever in the National Basketball Association and will be retiring from competition after the 2015-16 season, his 20th in the league.

“I try to look at my legacy and how it impacts the future of the game,” Bryant said on a conference call with international media on Monday. “I’m not looking at my legacy from the standpoint of where I fit in with the greatest of all time.

“For me, it’s a moot point and a shallow argument. I think the most important thing and the most beautiful thing is how does your legacy impact the generation of players to come?

“If what I’ve done and what I’ve stood for these 20 years has impacted the players today and the players tomorrow in a positive way, in a way they can then carry that legacy on themselves and impact the generation to follow, that’s much more significant than where I stand in history.”

A five-times NBA champion who has appeared in 17 All-Star games, Bryant has done it all on the court yet even as he prepares to take his final bow there are goals to be achieved.

Though slowed by age and a slew of injuries, Bryant has set his sights on making his competitive farewell at next year’s Rio Olympics.

“That’s something I am actually pressing for,” said Bryant, who won gold medals with the U.S. Olympic team in 2008 and 2012. “Being part of the Olympics is such a beautiful experience.

“I grew up overseas, I grew up in Italy, so to be able to see how basketball became such an international sport first-hand, it would be a beautiful thing personally to finish my career on an international stage.”

Bryant was sidelined for nearly eight months in 2013 with a torn Achilles’ tendon, then played just six games during the 2013-14 season because of a severe knee injury.

Last season, he played 35 games but increasingly suffered soreness in his knees, feet and back, yet he feels that overall he has enjoyed “a really good relationship” with the basketball gods.

“I think we understand each other really well,” laughed Bryant, who began his Lakers career as an 18-year-old in 1996.

“Our responsibility as athletes is to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves … good, bad or indifferent.

“I am absolutely able to pivot and handle those situations. The injuries that I’ve had, I’ve always been able to look at those in a positive light and learn from those things, and also take advantage of opportunities that come as a direct result.”

Bryant is also looking forward to expanding his role as a mentor for emerging talent in the league while helping to grow the game among youth worldwide.

“I will always be around, not just from a Lakers standpoint but also for players around the league, just to be a mentor,” he said. “I’ve done that for a while now and I will continue to do that.

“I definitely plan on helping the game spread and helping kids all around the world understand kind of the metaphors that come along with the game … everything that surrounds the game of basketball.”

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Steve Keating)

Vince Carter retires after NBA record 22-season career

UNTV News   •   June 26, 2020

Atlanta Hawks guard Vince Carter officially announced his retirement from professional basketball on Thursday (June 25) after an NBA record 22-season career during which his high-flying dunks made him one of the game’s top players in his prime.

Carter, widely regarded as one of the greatest dunkers of all time, had previously said the 2019-20 NBA campaign would be his last but had not addressed his playing status since the NBA suspended its season in mid-March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I am officially done playing basketball professionally,” Carter, 43, told the “Winging It” podcast.

Carter, the first NBA player to feature in four different decades, signed a one-year deal with the Hawks last August.

However, their season is over as they did not qualify for the NBA’s 22-team format for restarting action in late July at Disney World amid the novel coronavirus.

Carter played for eight teams during his career but will be most remembered for his time with the Toronto Raptors, where he put the Canadian city on the basketball map and earned the nickname “Air Canada” for his feats above the rim.

After his first season in Toronto, Carter was named the NBA’s rookie of the year in 1999. He was then named an All-Star for each of the following eight seasons.

In his second season, Carter won the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend with a dazzling display that further increased his stardom and helped ignite basketball’s popularity in what had otherwise been an ice hockey-mad country.

Carter, who ranks 22nd on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, averaged 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game during a career that also included stops in New Jersey, Orlando, Phoenix, Dallas, Memphis, Sacramento and Atlanta.

He also helped USA Basketball win gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2003 FIBA Americas tournament. (Reuters)

(Production; David Grip)

Pilot in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash may have become disoriented in heavy fog – NTSB

UNTV News   •   June 18, 2020

The pilot of a helicopter that crashed in foothills near Los Angeles, killing basketball great Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and all seven others on board, likely became disoriented in the fog, federal investigators said on Wednesday (June 17).

The National Transportation Safety Board report said pilot Ara Zobayan told air traffic controllers that his helicopter was climbing, when in fact it was descending shortly before slamming into a hillside outside the community of Calabasas on Jan. 26.

The NTSB said that pilots can become confused over an aircraft’s attitude and acceleration when they cannot see the sky or landscape around them, causing “spacial disorientation.”

“Without outside references or attention to the helicopter’s attitude display, the actual pitch and bank angles have the potential to be misperceived,” the NTSB said.

The findings came in a “public docket” released by the NTSB as it investigates the crash. The agency has not yet released its final report. (Reuters)

(Production: Omar Younis)

League approves plan to resume NBA season in July at Disney World

UNTV News   •   June 5, 2020

REUTERS – The National Basketball Association (NBA) Board of Governors have approved a plan to restart the suspended season with a tentative July 31 start at Disney World, Florida amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the league said on Thursday (June 4).

The plan would see 22 of the NBA’s 30 teams play eight games to determine a 16-team playoff field that would follow the traditional post-season format with four best-of-seven series that would crown a champion no later than October 12.

The league said approval from its Board of Governors, which came on the day originally scheduled for the start of the NBA Finals, is the first formal step among the many required to resume the season.

According to ESPN, the vote on the format was 29-1, with the Portland Trail Blazes voting against the proposal.

All games, practices and housing would be at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex which is inside the Orlando resort and has multiple hotels and arenas, and would allow the league to limit outside exposure.

The NBA was the first North American sports league to suspend its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic after one of its players tested positive for the new coronavirus in mid-March.

The 22 returning teams would be comprised of the eight teams from each of the two conferences currently in playoff positions plus the six clubs that are six games or fewer behind the eighth seed in their respective conferences.

If everything goes according to plan, the NBA said the 2020-21 season would begin on Dec. 1.

The league also said it plans to hold its 2020 NBA Draft Lottery to determine the order of the first 14 selections on Aug. 25. Lottery teams would be comprised of the eight clubs that do not participate in the restart and the six that go to Florida but do not qualify for the playoffs.

The actual NBA Draft, typically held in June, is now scheduled for Oct. 15.

(Production: Kurt Michael Hall)

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