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10 iconic sports photographs that made us fall in love with the game

From heartbreak to joy or just plain awe, iconic sports photographs can bring any fan back to the historic moment where they viscerally felt that emotion.

Sports photographers have captured moments that we still look back on with admiration. These transcendent images capture much more than just what lies on the surface.

These are some of the most iconic sports photographs in recent years: 

Jake Paul knocks out Nate Robinson via Joe Scarcini

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 28: Jake Paul reacts to his knockout victory against Nate Robinson in the second round during Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. presented by Triller at Staples Center on November 28, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Triller)

Few people expected Jake Paul to beat Nate Robinson in a boxing match, much less knock him out. Paul shocked the world when he laid out Robinson in the middle of the ring.

We all can remember the moment and that feeling of disbelief. Truly, this will go down as one of the most iconic sports photographs of the ’20s.

U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team wins World Cup via Anne-Marie Sorvin

uswnst wins world cup
USA lift the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup (Picture: Anne-Marie Sorvin)

Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, and Carli Lloyd are some of the most recognizable names in the sport of soccer. They cemented their legacies when they won the World Cup in 2019. 

And Anne-Marie Sorvin’s iconic photograph of their historic sports accomplishment cements them further.

LeBron James Blocks Andre Igoudala via Joe Murphy

the block lebron james
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

The 2016 NBA Finals gave us so many moments to look back on, but none more amazing than LeBron’s chasedown block on Andre Igoudala.

LeBron and the Cavs were eventually able to bring Cleveland the team’s first-ever NBA championship, in large part due to the play, the iconic sports photograph is now known as “The Block.”

Usain Bolt 2016 Rio Olympics via Cameron Spencer

usain bolt smile
Winners are grinners. The photo of Usain Bolt shared around the world. (Cameron Spencer for Getty Images)

Usain Bolt is one of the most accomplished athletes ever. Whenever Bolt was set to race, the only question that remained was who was going to come in second.

This is evident in this wild photograph that captures Bolt smiling back at the camera as he wins a race at the 2016 Olympics. Given that if you asked most people what photo they know of Usain Bolt and they would say this, this picture is one of the most iconic sports photographs of this early century.

LeBron James and Dwayne Wade alley-oop via Morry Gash

sports iconic moments
Miami Heats’ Dwayne Wade reacts as teammate LeBron James goes up for a dunk during the first half of a game against the Milwaukee Bucks

This iconic sports photo encapsulates just how special this iconic duo was in their primes. The Wade and James connection was special, and this photograph shows that they did it with grace, power and flare.

The sports photographer spoke on the iconic picture to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“This particular one has a life of its own… Dwyane Wade’s agent wanted a copy of the picture to get it signed for LeBron, and now they’re all getting copies of it.”

“I’ve never had a picture signed for me in my career, but they’re both going to sign it for me.”

– Morry Gash, Photographer

Colin Kaepernick takes a knee via Michael Zagaris

kapernick kneels iconic sports photograph
Colin Kaepernick’s gesture of kneeling during the national anthem was followed by other players but angered the president MICHAEL ZAGARIS/SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS/GETTY IMAGES

When Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel for the National Anthem, he helped bring attention to a movement that is still underway in America today. Kaepernick sacrificed his career when he kneeled, and that action has had an immeasurable effect on the country. 

Kaep himself is an icon, and thus this picture is one of the most iconic sports photographs ever taken.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Fights Conor McGregor via Christian Peterson

historic sports moment flloyd mayweather
Floyd Mayweather Jr. throws a punch at Conor McGregor during their super welterweight boxing match on August 26, 2017. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

MMA and Boxing collided when Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Connor McGregor decided to box one another. It was one of the most anticipated fights ever, and also one of the biggest pay-per-view events in recent memory. 

Michael Jordan “The Shot” via Fernando Medina

michael jordan iconic sports photograph
The most famous shot in NBA history. Photo by Fernando Medina, Getty Images

Michael Jordan’s shot to win his sixth NBA championship is one of the most iconic moments in NBA history. It also happened to be his last shot ever with the Chicago Bulls.

Even if you were too young to watch it live, you can still picture Jordan raising up at the free throw line, drilling the shot and holding up his follow-through. 

Zion breaks shoe via Streeter Lecka

zion williamson breaks shoe
Duke University star Zion Williamson, right, grimaces after falling as his shoe breaks during a game against the University of North Carolina on Wednesday in Durham, N.C. Williamson suffered a mild knee strain. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Zion Williamson was one of the most hyped college athletes ever. His ability to jump out the gym captured everyone’s attention, but no one ever expected Williamson to literally explode out of his shoes.

The iconic sports photo of his shoe breaking in half in the middle of a game is something we won’t soon forget. 

NBA social justice protests in the Bubble via Kevin Cox

iconic sports photograph
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, center, said on Thursday that he “could care less” if President Trump does not watch the N.B.A. because players kneel during the national anthem. Credit…Pool photo by Kevin C. Cox

When the NBA returned to play in the Bubble, one of their biggest concerns was to make sure they brought attention to the social justice movement going on in America.

They did just that when they boycotted playoff games and kneeled for the National Anthem. The iconic sports photograph of NBA athletes wearing Black Lives Matter shirts while kneeling is something that will stick with us for a long time. 

Sports photographers capture some of the most iconic sports moments and photographs of all time.

Not only do these pictures give us images teeming with intrigue, but they also give us historic sports moments that take on so much more than what appears on sight.

Where were you when Jake Paul knocked out Nate Robinson and stood over him? What were you doing when you saw the U.S. women’s national soccer team win the last World Cup? What part did you play in calling for social justice when the NBA players in the bubble were doing the same thing?

See there is so much more to these iconic sports photographs than what initially meets the eye. To be iconic, something needs to not only be prestigious, but also take on more meaning than its strict design.

These iconic sports photographs do that in abundance, and because of these immensely talented sports photographers, we will always remember the moments they captured.

NBA athletes are giving back for the holidays and it makes us feel great

NBA athletes are giving back to their communities this holiday season.

The players often hand out some of their best assists of the season to charities and people in need. Whether they are donating toys, money or food, NBA athletes are constantly looking out for those in need.

Here are some NBA athletes who are giving back during these holidays.

Duncan Robinson

Duncan Robinson is coming off an NBA finals appearance with the Miami Heat. Being that it was the biggest point in his young NBA career, no one would have faulted the man if he took a long rest this offseason.

But, Robinson is the latest NBA athlete helping his community during the holidays.

Robinson just gave back to the community by donating 10,000 meals to those in need by teaming up with A-Sha Foods. Robinson then ended up personally handing out the meals to families in South Florida. 

Say what you will about NBA athletes, but no one can doubt their love for the holidays, and their altruistic efforts to boot.

Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell and his family just pledged to give $12 million to his former middle school. His sister also went to the school in Connecticut, and his mother used to teach there.

The money will be used to build a brand new gym, provide scholarships to kids and help pay the teachers. It’s the largest donation in the school’s history. 

LeBron James

LeBron James is known for being a big fan of the holidays. And if there’s something else he’s known for, besides being a locomotive transcendent superstar on the court, it’s that he gives back to his communities and charities in surplus.

LeBron James is using his family’s foundation to fund and create a 60,000 foot venue called House Three Thirty. The hub will provide financial-literacy advice, job training and recreational activities for youth in the area.

This hub is just another example of James’ philanthropy. James has donated countless money and opened his I Promise School in 2018. 

Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart just donated shoes and gear to the entire Fort Worth Boswell Basketball team. The entire team is now equipped with Puma gear, from their warm up gear to their sneakers.

The team was 0-3 before the gear arrived, but has gone 4-1 since. Proof that NBA athletes aren’t the only ones who love the holidays? And Smart’s altruistic efforts are making a difference.

John Wall

Just before John Wall was traded to the Houston Rockets, he handed out 1,000 free meals to people in Washington D.C. He also gave 150 families a $25 gift card for groceries.

Wall was a huge staple in the D.C area and was known for frequently giving back to the community. He will be missed in the area, but his altruistic tendencies show the NBA community is deep and robust.

Robert Covington

Robert Covington recently donated $1 million to his alma mater and HBCU, Tennessee State University. The money will go towards the creation of a new practice facility for the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

A black-owned firm will also be used to build the facility. 

Josh Jackson

Josh Jackson just donated a huge amount of toys for kids in his hometown of San Diego.

The Detroit Piston donated the toys to The New Way Christian Center. 

Judging by his tweet here, it is clear Jackson also feels a responsibility and a fulfillment giving back to the community during the holidays.

NBA athletes are giving back and inspiring hope during the holidays

NBA athletes are always giving back throughout the year but especially during the holidays. Is it the time off from work, the time around family, or the cool winter air that causes their altruistic tendencies?

We don’t know for sure, but what is clear is that NBA athletes care. The NBA community is strong and robust, and it is no clearer than during the winter holidays.

As we continue to move through December, expect more and more philanthropy from the NBA and its players. 

Dame D.O.L.L.A. is more than just the NBA’s best rapper

Dame D.O.L.L.A. may be someone you have not heard about before. But that is only because Damian Lillard, the superstar basketball player, has an alter ego as a musical artist.

Damian Lillard is unquestionably one of the NBA’s best players. He also happens to be the best rapper in the league, but Dame has made himself into more than just a rapper for clout. Dame D.O.L.L.A has become a legitimate artist. 

As a side hustle, there is perhaps no current NBA player who excels in anything outside of the sport like Dame Dolla does in music. His rap brilliance certainly comes second-fiddle to ball, but he does not cut corners and play lazy at the rap game. Or lie about what he preaches.

Damian Lillard as an artist is a star.

Dame Dolla is just getting started as an artist

Dame Dolla has released three albums since 2016. He has songs with rap legends like Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz, giving Lillard a stamp of approval from some of the biggest names in rap. His albums have even charted on Billboard. 

“He don’t talk about nothing fake, that’s what’s awesome,” said Lil Wayne in an ESPN article.

“When you cut on a song and you hear someone talking about something that’s true … Not fabricated, not this and that, not that and this, it’s truthful.” 

Lil Wayne

Dame originally began rapping in order to hang out with his older cousin in his car. He would have to rap from the backseat and it turns out he had a talent for it. He also started posting for 4BarFridays. What started off as a hobby became an outlet for Lillard to speak his mind. 

Oakland-born and as real as it gets

Lillard makes it a point to rep his city Oakland every chance he gets. The zero he wears on the back of his jersey is actually the letter “O” and is his way of shouting out his city. His bars are often focused on his upbringing in Oakland. Even the title of his first album is in reference to Oakland.

Lillard has also made it a point not to curse in his raps, which is unusual for most rappers. He does so in an effort to protect his endorsement deals. Another huge part of it is that Lillard wants to have a positive impact on kids and is concerned about the impact profanity can have on them.

Lillard has found himself in recent NBA rap beefs. He’s gone back and forth with Marvin Bagley over who the better NBA rapper is. He then got into it with one the NBA’s original rappers, Shaquille O’Neal. Both rap beefs were done in good fun, but Lillard says he’s retired from them.

Dame D.O.L.L.A. stands for Different On Levels the Lord Allows.

It’s clear that he views his platform as an athlete and a rapper as one that can influence people. Whether Lillard is rapping or hooping, his talent and impact shine through.

Barry Jenkins proves a career as a Black director is more than possible

Barry Jenkins’ career as a director has taken him all across the map. Working side jobs, to directing some of the most poignant films of all time like Moonlight, Jenkins is a reminder that we all take different paths to get to where we want to be. He is one of the most well-known directors in Hollywood, an especially impressive feat being that he is a Black director.

With Academy Award-winning Moonlight under his belt, followed up by If Beale Street Could Talk, Jenkins has shown himself to be one of the most prestigious directors working, capable of capturing and inspiring a level of emotion that is felt few and far between in the cinematic world.

But Jenkins’ success was not foretold in the stars. Especially as a Black director, his path was not clear, nor was his position promised. Rather it is the result of hard work and perseverance. To get to the point where he is now, Jenkins’ journey took him across many different hills and valleys.

The beginnings of Barry Jenkins, as we know him

Jenkins’ film career began at Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts in 2003, where he was awarded a scholarship for disadvantaged kids.

As Jenkins tells the story, he initially planned on being a teacher. But after the course folded, he noticed a sign that promoted a film course. Jenkins figured that he should check it out since he loved movies. 

Here Jenkins shared courses with other talented directors like Wes Ball and David Robert Mitchell. He quickly saw that his classmates were inspired by the same filmmakers, so Jenkins began to look at foreign films and realized that he could make similar work. 

This led to his first short film, My Josephine. This short was about a real Arab-American laundromat that cleaned American flags after 9/11. When he finished film school, Jenkins went on to work in Oprah’s production company. 

A break from film

Barry Jenkins then went to LA where he says he checked out of filmmaking for a while. He began a job unloading boxes for Banana Republic, which he calls the best job he ever had. He dropped his film Medicine For Melancholy in 2008, which won awards. 

The next eight years went on without any films being created by Jenkins. That time saw him work various different jobs. He worked as a writer for HBO’s Leftovers and co-founded an advertising company. He even worked as a carpenter at one point. 

Barry Jenkins’ time away from film is a reminder that this life is a marathon, not a sprint. Success and worth is not judged in the moment, but by the legacy left.

Barry Jenkins’ return to film with a bang

In 2016 Jenkins dropped his Oscar award-winning film, Moonlight.

2017’s Best Picture winner is one of the most powerful films to release in recent memory. The film is a coming-of-age story about a Black boy who explores his sexuality among other things. In a white world, Jenkins’ prowess as a Black director helped shine the light on the beauty of Moonlight‘s world.

Jenkins followed up Moonlight with If Beale Street Could Talk in 2018. The film also won several awards. It has helped to solidify Jenkins as one of the best directors in the film industry right now. His most recent work is the Amazon series The Underground Railroad

Jenkins’ story is one of struggle and persistence. His filmmaking journey as a Black director is one that took many different twists and turns, but his talent for showing audiences the importance of underrepresented stories is what makes him special. 

Check out these 10 Black filmmakers who set the bar high for the next generation

Basketball moguls: 10 NBA players with side hustles off the court

NBA players are the very best in the world at what they do, and now more than ever they are some of the savviest businessmen too.

Gone are the days of athletes going broke after their playing careers. They are now investing in tech, getting into media, and buildings brands that will help prepare them for life after ball.

The scary part is that same mindset and work ethic that made them so successful on the court is starting to translate off of it. According to JackpotCity online casino, who know a thing or two about building a strong brand and hitting jackpots, these players have already done it and are expected to keep on doing so in the future.

Here’s a look at some NBA stars and their side hustles.

Jimmy Butler – Big Face Coffee 

Jimmy Butler made the most out of his time in the NBA Bubble. Not only did he help lead the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals, but he also created his coffee shop, Big Face Coffee.

Butler charged a steep price, making everyone pay $20 for various different items. He has even begun filing paperwork and seeking trademarks for Big Face Coffee merchandise. 

LeBron James – TV & Film Producer/Mogul

LeBron James has already cemented his legacy in Los Angeles after winning a championship with the Lakers. However, James has been working on a separate legacy as a producer in Hollywood.

He is the founder of the production company SpringHill Entertainment. Shows like Survivor’s Remorse, The Wall, The Shop, Space Jam 2 and countless others have all had an assist from James. 

LeBron also recently partnered with Anthony Davis, amongst many other celebrity figures, to launch Lobos 1707 Tequila.

Chris Paul – Bowling Team Owner

Chris Paul is unquestionably one of the best point guards to play the game and one of the smartest players ever. He also happens to make smart decisions off the court as well.

Paul founded L.A.X, a Los Angeles bowling team in the PBA. He is known for having a passion for bowling, setting up his own bowling tournaments for his foundation. 

Damian Lillard – Rapper

Damian Lillard skills go beyond just the basketball court. Dame Dolla is the league’s best rapper and has even released three albums.

He’s gotten himself into several rap beefs including one with Shaquille O’Neal and Marvin Bagley. There’s no doubt Lillard’s talent isn’t just limited to basketball. 

Russell Westbrook – Fashion Line

Russell Westbrook is known for his for being one of the league’s best players but also for being one of the most fashionable.

Westbrook’s unique style led him to opening his own fashion line, Honor The Gift. This led to the National Basketball Players Association giving him the “Best Side Hustle” award in 2018. 

J.J. Redick – Podcasting

J.J. Redick went from one of the most hated college basketball players of all-time to now beloved by his NBA peers.

This is evidenced by the variety of NBA guests he brings on to his podcast, The Old Man and the Three. There are always hilarious stories that come from Redick’s podcast. 

Kevin Durant – Venture Capitalist

Kevin Durant has one of the NBA’s best resumes when it comes to on the court accomplishments. It turns out his off the court portfolio isn’t too bad either. Durant has invested in various different businesses.

These include Acorn, Postmates, and his own media property, The Boardroom. His business pursuits can be found under his umbrella company, Thirty-Five Ventures. 

Stephen Curry – Golfer

Stephen Curry is the best shooter to ever walk the face of the earth. He also happens to have a pretty good shot on the golf course as well.

Having played golf since he was a kid, Curry has now had experience playing on the professional level appearing in various different tournaments in the past few years. He’s one of the world’s best two-sport athletes. 

Carmelo Anthony – Venture Capitalist

Carmelo Anthony is one of the best scorers to ever touch a basketball. As it turns out, he is also one of the smartest businessmen in the league.

On top of launching a venture capital firm, Anthony is also the primary owner of a soccer team in Puerto Rico. He is of Puerto Rican descent and also a huge soccer fan. 

James Harden – MLS Soccer Club Owner 

James Harden has spent the past 8 seasons in Houston.

Not only has he become the face of the Rockets, but he has also taken ownership stakes in the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash. The two soccer teams show the impact Harden has had in his time in Houston. 

Personal sports photographers capturing athletes in their true element

From amazing plays to powerful moments, the best pictures in sports are carved into our brains and etched into our memories forever. And it is often from personal sports photographers that we get a glimpse into the beauty of the game.

So who’s behind the camera? Some of the best photos of our favorite athletes are being captured by these talented personal sports photographers.

Cassy Athena

Cassy Athena is one of the best at what she does. Her work is known in and around NBA circles to the point where she’s more than a photographer to some players.

You’ve more than likely seen some of her work. Athena is also responsible for the infamous Nick Young Meme. 

Darrell Ann

Darrell Ann is one of the official photographers for Klutch Sports Group.

His work includes shots of Klutch clients that include LeBron James, Lonzo Ball, and Ben Simmons. Ann has a special talent for getting the perfect snapshot. 

Cameron Look

Cameron Look, aka KoolMac, is a freelance photographer whose photos are able to tell a story better than most words can.

He’s photographed some of the best in the NBA, including Jayson Tatum and Bradley Beal, while also shooting future star Bronny James. His work was featured on SLAM and you can see why.

Salvador Johnson

Salvador Johnson has photographed some of the NFL’s biggest names.

From Odell Beckham Jr., to Cam Newton, to Antonio Brown, this personal sports photographer is able to get candid photos from any athlete he shoots.

Johnson truly shows the dedication and diligence it takes to capture the perfect shot of athletes that will be seen for posterity.

David Sosna 

Sosna is an Emmy Award winner who is currently a content producer for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the NFL.

It is easy to see why the personal sports photographer is as accomplished as he is. His shots capture some of the best athletes playing right now, with a vigor that is necessary to capture an athlete in their truest form.

Noah Graham

Graham is currently a sports photographer for the Golden State Warriors.

He captures his photos from unique angles which results in some of the best sports photography out right now. And as exciting as the Warriors are and will continue to be with Steph Curry on the squad, we are gracious for what Graham brings to the table as a dedicated and crafty photographer.

Shahbaz Khan

Speaking of sports photographers, Khan is currently the director of digital content for the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Minnesota Lynx. He previously worked for the Sacramento Kings.

A quick scroll through his Instagram feed will show anyone that he has a talent for capturing athletes in their element.

These personal photographers and content creators excel at what they do because of their authenticity, innovation, and vision. Look out for them as sports rage on in December and into 2021 as trendsetters for the culture.

While you’re here get inspired by Emmy award-winning director ‘MF’ Thomas

NBA season preview: 10 reasons to be hyped for in the 2020/2021 season

As NBA training camps are set to begin on December 1st, it is officially time for a NBA season preview. With the draft and free agency in the rear-view mirror, most rosters are practically set. 

Here are ten things we are so excited to see this upcoming NBA season.

The NBA champions retool 

The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off of a rather dominant playoff performance last year. The scary part is that they may have actually gotten even better. While on paper that may seem like they lost some key guys, they were able to greatly upgrade their talent.. 

The addition of Wesley Matthews gives them a solid Danny Green replacement for a fraction of his price. They snagged last season’s Sixth Man of the Year in Montrezl Harell from the rival Clippers and added the runner up in Dennis Schroder.

They re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and to top it off, added NBA champion and former Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol. 

The Lakers retooled around LeBron James and Anthony Davis by forming possibly the best roster in the league. It’s hard to pick any other team as the favorite heading into the season. This team won the offseason, and thus stand firmly first in our NBA season preview.

The Nets are finally healthy

The Brooklyn Nets won last year’s offseason by signing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. The only issue was that Kevin Durant was coming off a torn achilles and missed the entire season while Irving only played 20 games.

The Nets supporting cast led by Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie were still able to get them into the playoffs.

With both superstars expected to be fully healthy at the start of the season, the Nets pose a threat to any team in the league.

Any team with two superstars like Irving and Durant deserves to have their name as a contender. The only question that stands is whether or not they can stay healthy. 

Steph Curry is back

Stephen Curry is unquestionably one of the league’s best and most exciting players. His return should have vaulted the Warriors back into the title conversation, but Klay Thompson’s torn achilles tendon greatly hurts those odds. 

We may get the chance to see a fully unleashed Curry this season. He is the only proven consistent scoring threat on the roster and with Curry only playing in five games last season, there’s no doubt he will be hungry to get back on the court. 

Will the Rockets implode or improve? 

The Rockets seemed to be on the verge of completely breaking up. James Harden and Russell Westbrook both reportedly want out. Mike D’Antoni is now an assistant coach in Brooklyn and longtime GM Daryl Morey is in Philly.

They also traded away one of the most useful defenders in the league in Robert Covington. 

However it may be possible that the Rockets actually improved this offseason and thus in our NBA season preview. The signing of underrated big man Christian Wood and new head coach Stephen Silas should bring about more balance to their iso-heavy offense. And new, younger energy to a team that desperately needs it.

If the Rockets are able to get anything from former all-star DeMarcus Cousins, they will consider that signing a success. At this point it seems more likely than not that Harden and Westbrook will be in Houston this season. If they are able to buy-in, the Rockets could be a problem for other teams.

Is this Giannis’ last season in Milwaukee?

One of the biggest storylines of the NBA season’s preview and upcoming season will be whether or not the Bucks will be able to convince the back-to-back MVP to re-sign long-term. The team made a huge trade to bring in Jrue Holiday.

They almost signed sharpshooter Bogdan Bogdanovic, but the deal fell through. Still, a big three of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday is one that can easily be seen holding up a championship at the end of the season. If Giannis takes his game to another level in the ‘offs that is.

Did the Clippers take a step back or a step forward?

The Clippers were able to solve two of their biggest issues this offseason by trading for the versatile Luke Kennard and signing big man Serge Ibaka.

Kennard adds a much needed playmaker and Ibaka gives them a big who can protect the rim and spread the floor. While they lost Montrezl Harrell, Ibaka is a much better fit for this team around Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Many fans may be down on the Clippers after last season’s playoffs, the talent level they can put on the court keeps them in the title conversation.  

A fun and exciting rookie class 

There are a bunch of rookies this season that will be in prime position to perform. LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards, Obi Toppin, and Killian Hayes are all expected to have large roles almost immediately.

This year’s draft may lack a clear-cut superstar, but it makes up for it in how deep it was. Expect a few surprises to come from those drafted in the late first round and second round. 

Which stars will get traded this season?

James Harden? Russell Westbrook? Bradley Beal? Victor Oladipo? Blake Griffin? These are all names that have been linked in trade rumors.

In today’s NBA, if a player wants out, they usually get their way. It’s easy to envision a scenario where any of these players get shipped to a new team. The only question is who and to where? 

Are the Sixers legit? 

There’s no question last season’s Sixers were one of the biggest disappointments of the league. 

They signed questionable fits Tobias Harris and Al Horford to massive contracts. They changed that around this offseason by acquiring the number one thing they were missing: shooting.

Al Horford is now gone and the Sixers brought in proven shooters in Seth Curry and Danny Green and veteran big man Dwight Howard. These pieces fit their franchise cornerstones Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons much better. However the question remains, are the Sixers for real? 

Teams that can surpass expectations

There are several teams that will be looking to take the next step. The Phoenix Suns added Chris Paul after their undefeated run in the bubble came up short. They are poised to make the playoffs next season.

The Atlanta Hawks added some proven talent around all-star point guard Trae Young. Danilo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Rajon Rondo and their strong frontcourt should push the Hawks back into the playoffs. 

The Blazers had one of the best offseasons. They added Robert Covington, Enes Kanter and Derrick Jones Jr. They re-signed Carmelo Anthony and Rodney Hood. Health permitting, expect the Blazers to have a strong season.

Ultimately, there is a bevy of things to be excited for this upcoming season. That is why our NBA season preview comes dripping with intrigue, salivating with excitement, and exploding with questions. 

How Morgan Cooper brought ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ reboot to life

Ever wondered what The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air would look like if it took place in today’s world? Well, thanks to Morgan Cooper, we will get to see it, as there is already a Fresh Prince reboot in the works.

The new show is based on Morgan Cooper‘s fan-made trailer that was released last year and now has over 6 million views on YouTube. 

How Morgan Cooper helped inspire the Fresh Prince reboot

The show will not be structured like a sitcom as it was originally. Instead, the series will be reimagined as a drama set in modern-day America.

Morgan Cooper himself will be a part of the project and will be co-writing, directing, and serving as a co-executive producer. 

Cooper is an independent filmmaker who says he gained experience by filming drug dealers who wanted to be rappers in Kansas City. He is a two-time Tribeca Film Festival award winner. Cooper is also working on a Quibi show titled Black Coffee that is produced by Gabrielle Union. 

Cooper self-funded the trailer that has led to the show becoming a reality. One of his goals is to put his hometown Kansas City on the map. Cooper bought his first camera at age 18 and taught himself how to use it. 

Will Smith will also be an executive producer after being the star of the original show. Westbrook Studios, which was founded by him and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, will produce the show along with Universal Studios.

Morgan Cooper’s trailer caught the attention of Will Smith when it first dropped and led to Smith helping Cooper secure the two-season deal. Smith says that something like this coming to fruition basically never happens.

The structure of the Fresh Prince reboot

The reboot is still in its infant stages. There is currently no release date. It was picked up by NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock, who has already committed to filming two seasons.

Due to the legacy that The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air has, a bunch of different streaming services had been in the hunt to host the reboot. This includes Netflix, Amazon, HBO Max and Apple. 

Cooper says the idea for the show hit him while driving. He refers to the moment as a “weird astrological event.” 

Original series creators Andy and Susan Borowitz will have a role on the reboot. Chris Collins will also be on set serving as an executive producer and co-writing the script. Collins is known for his part in The Man in The High Castle and The Wire

Exploring being Black in America

We know that the Fresh Prince reboot will focus a lot more on Will’s backstory and delve much deeper into the social issues that the original series touched on but could not fully explore, like being Black in America. The episodes will be an hour long.

From Cooper’s trailer we see the same storylines that made the original special, but with a much more dramatic twist. 

There’s no doubt that The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was one of the best and most important sitcoms to ever release. What made the show special was its ability to use comedy to layer in serious messages that resonated with the show’s audience.

Cooper’s talent and vision has gotten him this far, and we can’t wait to see how the show turns out.

From Chino Hills to Charlotte: Is 2020 the year of the LaMelo Ball draft?

After a night full of a range of emotions and intrigue, today begs the question, will 2020 go down as the year of the LaMelo Ball draft?

LaMelo is finally in the NBA after taking one of the most unique paths to the league we’ve ever seen. And to many, he has the most upside of any player chosen last night.

From starring at Chino Hills in high school to now being selected by the Charlotte Hornets as the third overall pick in this year’s draft, LaMelo has grown as a person and player before our eyes. 

A star since he was a kid

LaMelo has been a local star since he was a child. Playing with his older brother LiAngelo and Lonzo, his confidence grew and so did his popularity.

He consistently played against older and tougher competition than his age group. By the time LaMelo became a freshman at Chino Hills High School, he was a household name. 

In his sophomore year, his popularity only grew further with clips of his game going viral just about every time he played.

He had a bunch of memorable moments including hitting a half-court shot two seconds into a game, scoring 92 points in a game, and a highly-anticipated matchup against Zion Williamson

A unique journey

LaMelo then became the first high school player ever with his own signature shoe, the “Melo Ball 1’s.” His father, LaVar, pulled him out of Chino Hills and planned to train him at home.

However, LaVar eventually sent LaMelo and LiAngelo to play professionally in Lithuania. That lasted for about four months. 

LaMelo’s unique journey brought him back stateside to play in the JBA, a league created by his father that fell apart after just one season. He then tried to get his college eligibility reinstated, but that was denied.

LaMelo instead went to play at Spire Institute in Ohio but faced a lot of difficulties since he was considered a professional after playing overseas. He was not eligible to be a McDonald’s All-American. 

After his senior year, he took his talents to Australia to play with the Illawarra Hawks. His play saw him rise to the top of mock drafts all season long. Many argue that he is the most talented player in the 2020 draft class.

The LaMelo Ball draft

He suffered an injury that ended his season in Australia early, but his play was still enough to get him selected third overall by the Hornets. 

LaMelo’s journey to the NBA is unprecedented and noteworthy. It signals to other top prospects in the coming years that there are other options outside of the NCAA.

He faced a lot of scrutiny as a teen who never did much to warrant it, and has never failed to live up to the hype his last name brought on him. But the NBA is a new test.

There’s no doubt that LaMelo’s game still has question marks that will be tested in his rookie season, but he will be prepared for it. He has been in the spotlight for basically his entire life and the pressure he’s faced is on a level that very few have ever had to deal with.

LaMelo will get the chance to prove his doubters wrong in Charlotte. And ultimately, if he is as transcendent as many experts believe he will be, 2020 will go down as the year of the LaMelo Ball draft.

How NBA voting arenas combated voter suppression, upheld democracy

NBA voting arenas being opened and accessible to marginalized communities may have been the reason Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 presidential election.

Specifically in large cities in key battleground states such as Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, and Phoenix, NBA voting arenas served as a safe haven for people (largely BIPOC) to vote, and combated voter suppression that permeates throughout much of America.

The NBA bubble’s stoppage

When the Milwaukee Bucks decided to protest an NBA playoff game against the Orlando Magic over the shooting of Jacob Blake, questions surfaced even among players as to what could be done to make real change.

A phone call between Former President Barack Obama, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony not only saved the season, but also set in place a concrete plan of action. 

President Obama advised players to use their platform to impact real change. The season continued, but only because the league and its players committed to increase access to voting and advocating for social change. Players were concerned that playing games was taking attention away from larger social issues. 

Together, the NBA formed a plan to get people to vote. Players wore shirts and masks that said vote on them. Players used social media and press conferences to bring attention to election day. They tried to get as many people registered to vote as possible, and made sure NBA voting arenas were ready for the large influx of voters.  They spoke out louder than they ever have this past season on the topic of voting. 

NBA voting arenas

The NBA also did its part with 23 out of the 30 teams turning their arenas into polling centers. There were some complications as some arenas are not privately owned, but overall having arenas open as voting sites when they otherwise would have just been empty, helped to fight voter suppression

NBA voting centers were in the middle of crucial cities in battleground states. Atlanta’s State Farm Arena was used as a place people could vote and where poll workers counted votes. The Detroit Pistons used their training facility as a poll site. Atlanta and Detroit were two cities that saw huge voter turnout and were key in helping Joe Biden win the election. 

Grassroots organizations playing a part

More Than A Vote, an organization founded by LeBron James, helped to coordinate a lot of the work done by the NBA. The organization helped recruit poll workers while also helping to fight misinformation. More Than A Vote signed up over 40,000 poll workers and also offered free rides to polling centers. 

Rally The Vote, the first team-led, nonpartisan voter registration coalition made up of 20 NBA, NFL, MLB, MLS, WNBA, and NWSL franchises, also made large strides in getting people to the polls.

NBA players also stepped up in terms of registering themselves to vote. Only 22% of players reportedly voted in 2016. In 2020, 96% of all players were registered to vote. Chris Paul, for example, got the entire Thunder team registered to vote. 

It’s impossible to know the exact numbers the NBA affected with the election this year, but there’s no doubt that the NBA did its part in getting people to vote. And making it accessible to thousands of people who otherwise may not have voted. The NBA has a powerful platform and it used its voice to make real change.