Written & Media by Mikey Ward.
Matt Bonner’s Left-Handed Drive: I turned on the TV Saturday afternoon, and was greeted by this sight of the Red Mamba. I was baffled. The level of awkwardness exuding from this left-handed drive is incredible. Matt Bonner usually looks like a fish out of water on court, but on this drive he outdoes himself. He begins by pump faking and getting a step on one of the few people he can in the NBA, Pau Gasol. From there, he simultaneously dribbles the ball like a 9-year old at camp; his eyes are on the ball, his right hand is acting like a force field between the ball and Gasol, and he goes up for the shot like he is expecting to get blocked. However, due to the Lakers lack-luster help defense, the Mamba finishes the play with a half-hearted skyhook that is clearly bound to go in. But, as the most awkward player in the NBA, Bonner sits starring at the basket after his shot went in (I think he was in disbelief that a play he hadn’t successfully orchestrated since high school just worked against the Lakers). Needless to say, I had a feeling the Spurs would win this contest after I watched the Lakers allow the Red Mamba to embarrass them so emphatically in the 2nd quarter.
Paul George: The budding star for the Indiana Pacers came to play Saturday against the Atlanta Hawks. He completed his first triple double in the Playoffs and provided an emphatic block over Shelvin Mack early into the fourth quarter. This dunk was very Lebron-esk. George came from behind on a fast-break driving Mack. Mack put up a lackluster floater that resembled a volleyball set more than a shot. The hustling George (not an anomaly) appropriately attacked the ball like Misty May would and sent the ball flying off the backboard. At the highest point, George was easily at 12 feet in the air. George’s athletic ability and tenacity carried the Pacers past a barely above average Hawks team in game one. I would not be surprised if the Pacers sweep the Hawks and give the Knicks a great run for their money in the second round of the Playoffs. Furthermore, Paul George is a rising star and is going to continue to provide plays that make us react like this: Kid President Laugh Party.
Brittney Garner: Shortly before being selected the first pick of the WNBA 2013 Draft, Griner announced that she was gay. Although many were not surprised by this announcement, they were by her nonchalant nature when she publicly announced her sexual orientation. This hopefully will begin to be the norm in professional sports. Homosexuality is a prevalent part of American life, and I hope that more and more in professional sports follow Griner’s lead. It is rumored that at least four homosexual men are living in secret in the NFL. There are many more whom live in fear of how they will be perceived if they would reveal their sexual orientation. However, if any of us have spent more than one season in a locker room, it is highly likely that we have had a homosexual roommate. Like Griner, we ought to approach homosexuality as what it is, a sexual orientation. Although it is an intricate part of someone’s life, it ought not define the way we interact with someone. Due to her 6-8” stature, Griner is not a stranger to scrutiny. Thus, she was and is prepared to combat the scrutiny that is sure to follow her announcement in a predominately heterosexual society. However, in the next 30-40 years, I believe Griner will come to be remembered as the Jackie Robinson of homosexual rights in sports. With one of the most nonchalant announcements, Griner has made an emphatic statement for all homosexual individuals in sports today and years to come. Well done.
Boston Strong: In response to the Boston Marathon Bombing, the fans and players of the Bruins, Celtics, and Red Sox have demonstrated the unifying powers sports can have within a community. Similar to the games of post 9/11 New York, Boston demonstrated why it is such a special city, and specifically a special city for professional sports. The passion the Bostonian fans usually dedicate to celebrating the Basketball Jesus (Larry Bird) or Carlton Fisk, was dedicated this past week to the larger community and how they will continue on as a great and spirited city. Regardless of how eerily similar the events within the city this past week have been to a Batman movie, the city of Boston will continue to be a great academic spot and sports town. However, this event will further how security will be conducted in Boston and across the country.