Trans. Jun 11 5:40 ET (Jun 11 5:40 ET ) This spring's NBA postseason has been without many notable star players, including Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose. For a certain type of fan inclined towards the eccentric, though, the most glaring absence was Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, a player who operates according to his own personal logic and who just happens to put forth most of his best games in the playoffs. While it is very unlikely that the Celtics would still be playing with a healthy Rondo, he was still missed.
Luckily, we can at least watch Rondo dominate ESPN's Sal Masekela and Brian Kamenetzky in Connect Four. Although his prowess at the game (ages 7 and up) has been well documented in the past , as far as I know this is the first time he has been taped playing. For Rondo, it's clearly something akin to chess — he explains how he thinks several moves ahead, employs counters, and knows the game is over several turns before its official end.
It's serious competition, pure and simple. When you play Connect Four, you live or you die. There is no middle ground.
(Video via EOB )
Way back in 1997, teenager Tracy McGrady was the best high school basketball player in America. A relatively late bloomer, McGrady stood out at the Adidas ABCD Camp the summer before his final year at Mt. Zion Christian Academy, won several Player of the Year awards, and upped his draft stock enough to become a viable preps-to-pros entrant into the NBA draft. With several teams uncertain about gambling on a largely unproven talent, McGrady slid to ninth to the Toronto Raptors. Along with Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant, T-Mac helped prove that a lack of preparation in NCAA basketball did not need to be a barrier to NBA stardom.
Sixteen years later, McGrady is a 34-year-old benchwarmer for the San Antonio Spurs. His best seasons are well behind him, but his career has been an qualified success: seven All-Star selections and All-NBA selections (two on the First Team), two scoring titles, and $162 million in salary. Yet high school basketball stars can no longer follow in his footsteps, because the NBA's age limit dictates they must spend at least one season elsewhere between their high school graduation and rookie season.
Despite his life experiences, McGrady does not think this is an injustice. In fact, he believes players should have to spend at least two seasons in college. From Alex Kennedy for USA Today :
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- Kobe Bryant reached a settlement with a New Jersey auction house that allows his mother sell a small amount of his memorabilia, while also getting an apology from his parents, who thanked him for his financial support.
Bryant settled a legal dispute with a New Jersey auction house over whether his mother was authorized to sell memorabilia, allowing six items from his high school days and early NBA career to be offered for sale beginning next week.
The Scoop:Kenneth Goldin, founder of southern New Jersey-based Goldin Auctions, said Monday that his company and Bryant recently reached the settlement. Citing a confidentiality agreement, Goldin wouldn't discuss details of the settlement beyond which items will be auctioned, including two uniforms worn by Bryant at Lower Merion High School outside Philadelphia and two 2000 NBA championship rings Bryant gave to his parents.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- Kobe Bryant settled a legal dispute with a New Jersey auction house over whether his mother was authorized to sell memorabilia, allowing six items from his high school days and early NBA career to be offered for sale beginning next week.