Kobe Bryant tributes abound at NBA All-Star Game in Chicago

News Network
February 14, 2020

Los Angeles, Feb 14: Tributes to the late Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers legend who died last month in a helicopter crash, will play a major role in Sunday's 69th NBA All-Star Game.

This year's annual showcase of league talent will be played in Chicago and feature numerous nods to Bryant, a five-time NBA champion who also matched a league record with four NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player awards.

Bryant, an 18-time NBA All-Star, died at age 41 on January 26 in a crash near Los Angeles that also took the life of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.

All-Star teams guided by LeBron James of the Lakers and Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks will compete to win each of the first three quarters, which will all start 0-0 and last 12 minutes.

At the start of the fourth quarter, the clock will be turned off and a final target score will be established by taking the leading club's cumulative score through the first three quarters and adding 24 points -- the number representing the jersey number worn by Bryant for the final 10 seasons of his NBA career.

The first team to reach the cumulative target score will win the NBA All-Star Game.

All-Star Game jerseys will also honor Bryant and his daughter.

Team Giannis players will wear jersey number 24 in tribute to Kobe while Team LeBron players will wear jersey number two, the number his daughter wore when playing youth basketball.

Both teams will wear jersey patches displaying nine stars, representing the nine people who were killed in the crash.

Academy Award-winning actress and Grammy Award-winning singer Jennifer Hudson, a Chicago native, will perform a special tribute to Bryant, his daughter and the others who were killed in the crash. Her performance will begin the night ahead of the player introductions.

James and Antetokounmpo each chose their squads from available starters and reserves voted and selected to the All-Star contest.

Team LeBron starters will include James, his Lakers teammate Anthony Davis, NBA scoring leader James Harden of Houston, Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers and Slovenian guard Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.

Team Giannis starters include the Greek big man, Cameroon stars Joel Embiid of Philadelphia and Pascal Siakam of Toronto and guards Kemba Walker of Boston and Trae Young of Atlanta.

A record eight All-Star Game players from outside the United States also include Frenchman Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz on Team Giannis and Team LeBron reserves Ben Simmons of Australia and the Philadelphia 76ers, Lithuanian Domantas Sabonis of Indiana and Serbian Nikola Jokic of Denver.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
Agencies
September 14,2020

thieme.jpg

New York, Sept 14: A U.S. Open unlike any other finished unlike any other with an unprecedented fifth-set tiebreaker as Dominic Thiem became the first man in 71 years to win the final after dropping the opening two sets.

So close to defeat in a nearly empty Arthur Ashe Stadium fans were banned because of the coronavirus pandemic Thiem slowly but surely turned things around against a faltering Alexander Zverev and pulled out a 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (6) victory at Flushing Meadows for his first Grand Slam title.

The match ended with both men fighting leg cramps and, clearly, nerves.

Somehow, said Thiem, a 27-year-old from Austria, the belief today was stronger than the body, and I'm super happy about that.

When a backhand from Zverev landed wide on the third championship point, a weary Thiem dropped to his back way behind the baseline and covered his face with his hands.

When he arose, he was met by Zverev, who walked around the net to clasp hands, then embrace his friend and foe, two sights rarely seen in this era of social distancing.

Thiem then rested his head on the shoulder of the taller Zverev, who himself came within two points of what would have been his first major triumph.

I wish we could have two winners today, Thiem said. I think we both deserved it.

He is the first man to win the American Grand Slam tournament after trailing 2-0 in sets in the final since Pancho Gonzalez did it against Ted Schroeder in 1949 at an event then known as the U.S. Championships and held in Forest Hills.

The event never had been settled by a fifth-set tiebreaker; no major tournament ever had until Novak Djokovic edged Roger Federer that way at Wimbledon in 2019.

I was a few games away, a few points away," said Zverev, who was trying to give Germany its first male Grand Slam champion since Boris Becker in the 1990s.

I'm 23 years old. I don't think it's my last chance. Zverev choked up when he mentioned that his parents hadn't been able to travel to New York because they tested positive for COVID-19, although he said they are now healthy.

As Thiem stepped forward to pose for pictures with his shiny new bit of hardware, Zverev remained a few feet behind, one hand clutching his less-impressive silver tray, the other hand on a hip.

The proceedings took 4 hours, 2 minutes. And to think: After just 1 1/2 hours, Zverev was up by two sets and a break in the third at 2-1.

The match turned when he broke me for the first time in the third set, Zverev said.

He started playing much better, and I started playing much worse. Zverev, of all people, should have known what might have seemed like an impossible hill to climb for Thiem was, indeed, achievable. After all, in Thursday's semifinals, it was Zverev who trailed 2-0 in sets against Pablo Carre o Busta before coming back to win.

Thiem began the day 0-3 in Grand Slam finals, but always faced a member of the Big Three of men's tennis in those others. This time, he was the favorite and came out jittery, but eventually worked his way out of that, while Zverev went from cool and confident to passive and pushed around.

The fifth set was just as back-and-forth as the other four, the mistakes rising with the tension and the history in the offing.

Thiem broke in the opening game when Zverev shanked a pair of forehands. Zverev broke right back and pierced the silence with a rare cry of Come on! when Thiem double-faulted.

Then it was Zverev's turn to nose ahead, breaking for a 5-3 lead when Thiem sent a down-the-line backhand wide and leaned over, gasping for air.

But with a chance to serve out the biggest win of his nascent career, Zverev faltered, getting broken right back when he pushed a volley into the net.

That began a three-game run for Thiem, who broke to lead 6-5, earning his own chance to serve for it when Zverev netted a backhand, followed by a long forehand.

After having a trainer check on his right leg during the ensuing changeover, Thiem couldn't seal the deal, either, and on they went to the tiebreaker. Zverev double-faulted twice and offered up one second serve at 68 mph, about half the speed he's capable of.

While this was the No. 7-ranked Zverev's first Slam final, this was the first one the No. 3-ranked Thiem was supposed to win, following losses to 12-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros in 2018 and 2019, then to eight-time Australian Open champion Djokovic at Melbourne Park this February back before the pandemic upended the world and put tennis on a five-month hiatus.

Instead of wild applause and loud shouts greeting great exchanges, the soundtrack Sunday mainly came from outside the largest court in tennis, courtesy of roaring airplanes, rumbling trains, revving car engines, honking horns and wailing sirens.

There was the occasional polite applause from the dozens of tournament workers allowed in the stands and, deep into the match, yells from the players' entourages.

But the louder crowd noise heard by TV viewers was fake, added by the broadcaster.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
September 13,2020

UAE.jpg

Dubai, Sept 13: International Cricket Council (ICC) on Sunday charged two United Arab Emirates (UAE) players Amir Hayat and Ashfaq Ahmed with five counts of breaching cricket's anti-corruption rules and provisionally suspended them with immediate effect.

The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) had suspended Ashfaq during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier in October last year but no formal charges had been laid so far.

Both Amir and Ashfaq have been charged with the following breaches of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code under Article 2.1.3 (Seeking, accepting, offering or agreeing to accept any bribe or other reward), Article 2.4.2 (failing to disclose to the ACU (without unnecessary delay) the receipt of any gift, payment, hospitality or other benefit), Article 2.4.3 (non-contractual benefits offered to a participant that have a value of USD 750 or more), Article 2.4.4 (failing to report any approaches or invitations received by the participant to engage in Corrupt Conduct under the Anti-Corruption Code) and Article 2.4.5 (failing to disclose to the ACU full details of any facts or matters that came to his attention that may evidence Corrupt Conduct under the Code by another participant).

The players have 14 days from September 13 to respond to the charges. The ICC will not make any further comment in respect of these charges at this stage.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
Agencies
September 11,2020

ipls.png

Mumbai, Sept 11: A Delhi-based rapper has alleged that this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) anthem 'Aayenge Hum Wapas' has been copied from his track, an allegation that has been dismissed by the composer of the recently released song.

Rapper Krishna Kaul aka KRSNA claims the track has been lifted from his song "Dekh Kaun Aaya Waapas" but composer Pranav Ajayrao Malpe said it is his original work and he even has a certificate from Music Composers Association of India (MCAI).

KRSNA told PTI that his team, including the independent hip-hop label Kalamkaar, will take the legal route and approach Disney+Hotstar, which commissioned the song.

"Disney+Hotstar have left no option for us but to seek legal recourse and our label is going to fight this unfair and scandalous plagiarisation," KRSNA said.

Malpe said four MCAI panelists, including musician Leslee Lewis, independently assessed both the songs and did not find any similarity.

"MCAI is an institution of repute and the experts on the panel have a lot of experience. I feel we should respect the experts' views and put this debate to rest," Malpe told media persons.

The composer said the thought behind the track, released on September 6, was to express the struggle everyone was going through during the pandemic "and to give them hope of a comeback."

"Nagpur has a small but budding hip-hop and rap scene which I'm a part of. I'm proud that this track has been liked and that I've been able to put a spotlight on the Nagpur hip-hop scene," he added.

IPL 2020 will be held in the UAE from September 19 to November 10.

In its assessment, the MCAI said other than being of the same genre, the two songs have no similarity melodically, harmonically or rhythmically.

"A genre or rap style however is not copyrightable and doesn't constitute plagiarisation. Hence the panel is of the opinion that there exists substantial difference between the compositions of both the tracks," the statement from MCAI read.

KRSNA, however, said MCAI has no legal standing in the matter and has shown a "shocking lack of understanding" of the genre.

"The MCAI statement is a serious attack on musicians and composers everywhere because their claim that a genre like hip hop cannot be differentiated means everyone is free to copy everybody else - hook, line and sinker," he claimed.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.