It has been a surprisingly active weekend for basketball news, though not in the traditional sense. This is supposed to have been when the NBA Playoffs started, with eight games happening between Saturday and Sunday. Adam Silver and the other league officials are continuing to work to figure it all out, in the meantime.
Some big news came through in the Big Apple on Friday night. The most versatile college hooper of all-time (by the numbers) was taken No. 1 by the New York Liberty. And very rarely does a team trade a player of Tina Charles’ capacity to clear space for somebody that is yet to play a professional game. You’d be hard-pressed to find this in any league outside of football at the QB spot.
That’s right. Sabrina Ionescu, the legend from Oregon, was selected number one and signed a huge endorsement deal with Nike the same day. She set the NCAA record with 26 triple-doubles in her career and is the only player to score 2,000 points, grab 1,000 rebounds and also dish out 1,000 assists.
She is a do-it-all player with a ceiling so high that we cannot even make any comparisons. It certainly helps now that she will be playing in the mecca when the league resumes. One can argue that she is the best professional basketball player in all of NY now.
She often worked with Kobe, who was a huge inspiration to her. The two had maintained a close relationship, as we learned more of when she spoke about him and Gianna at the memorial service at Staples. Oh, and that same night, she lit up Stanford on the court. A legend is in the making.
And tonight is going to be special. The long-anticipated Michael Jordan documentary is set to air its first two parts. A 10-part documentary titled The Last Dance, the production began 23 years ago, and centers around MJ and Phil Jackson’s final season with the Bulls in 1997-98.
The quality of the footage is supposedly far above its time and cost a fortune. This has been a long time coming and offers to make it were constantly rebuffed. But now, April 19, 2020, we finally have lift off.
Michael himself said that people may “hate him” after seeing this, which tells you what you need to do. The real, intense, greatest hooper of all-time is going to portrayed as extremely authentic. He never backed down from anybody and wasn’t afraid to let you know when he beat you to the spot or outplayed you.
This was supposed to initially air in June, but after a little push from Richard Jefferson and LeBron James on social media, ESPN pushed it up two months. It is not often that a documentary gets as much publicity as this one has before its launch. But man, this is truly going to be special. ESPN will air the unedited version, with ESPN2 airing a version with clean language.
The documentary will continue for the next five Sundays, with 10 glorious hours of MJ uncut.
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