"I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. No matter what the injury, unless it’s completely debilitating, I’m going to be the same player I’ve always been. I’ll figure it out. I’ll make some tweaks, some changes, but I’m still coming." - Kobe Bryant

Here to stay!

"The one thing that always bothered me when I played in the NBA was I really got irritated when they put a white guy on me." - Larry Bird

FYI

#MJMondays

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Who gon’ stop me, huh?

Michael Jordan takes on the Detroit Pistons (Buck Wiliams, Isiah Thomas and Bill Lambeer).

"Being healthy is a complete lifestyle for me. It allows my brain to function at a very high degree so I can comprehend all the new things that are thrown at me. It also allows me to sleep well so that I am rested when I need to perform. Finally, being healthy will hopefully allow me to live a long and fun-filled life." - Derrick Rose

Make healthy living your lifestyle.

July 12, 1996 - Jordan signed a one-year $30 million contract with the Chicago Bulls

This was the biggest single-season contract ever in American team sports. The one year contract suggested Michael Jordan may leave the Chicago Bulls after the 1996-97 season, or retire. Jordan rewarded the franchise by delivering its fifth league championship.

The following season, Jordan became the only NBA player to sign a contract worth over thirty million dollars in a season. During the 1997-98 season, Jordan earned $33,000,000. He also proved his worth by winning a sixth NBA title for the Chicago Bulls.

"Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.” - LeBron James

"You don’t have to worry ‘cause I’m coming
Back to where I should have always stayed”
- The Jackson 5 - “I Wanna Be Where You Are

July 10, 1989 - The Chicago Bulls named Phil Jackson as head coach to replace Doug Collins

Phil Jackson was hired as assistant coach, under Doug Collins, for the Chicago Bulls in 1987, and was promoted to head coach in 1989. It was around this time that he met Tex Winter and became a devotee of Winter’s triangle offense. Over nine seasons, Jackson coached the Bulls to six championships, winning three straight championships over separate three-year periods. The “three-peat” was the first since the Boston Celtics won eight titles in a row from 1959 through 1966.

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"The competitor to be feared the most is the one who never worries about others at all, and goes on making himself better all the time." - Blake Griffin

Self improvement.

July 9, 1968 - 76ers trade Wilt ‘the Stilt’ Chamberlain to the Los Angeles Lakers

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First season with the Lakers (1968-69)
avg: 20.5 ppg, 21.1 rpg, lost NBA Finals

Rest of stay with the Lakers (four years)
avg: 16.7 ppg, 18.7 rpg, won 1 NBA title

Wilt Chamberlain was the centerpiece of a major trade between the 76ers and the Lakers, making it the first time a reigning NBA Most Valuable Player was traded the next season. Lakers owner Jack Kent Cooke gave Chamberlain an unprecedented contract, paying him $250,000 after taxes; in comparison, previous Laker top earner Jerry West was paid $100,000 before taxes. Chamberlain spent his final five campaigns in Los Angeles and helped the Lakers to the NBA Finals four times in those five seasons. The most notable season was 1971-72, in which he scored only 14.8 points per game. But his contributions came in other forms. At age 35, he managed to grab 19.2 rebounds per contest and was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team.

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"I’m not slowing down. I don’t care who’s in the hole. If they’re going to foul me, I’m going to get up and keep going hard at them." - Derrick Rose

"…Goin’ straight through the hole
You ain’t got no game
I’m breakin’ ya out the frame
Coming through like a train”
- B Real - Hit ‘em High (The Monstar’s anthem)

"When you face a crisis, you know who your true friends are." - Magic Johnson

Real talk.

#ThrowbackThursdays
A look back at some of the top #1 NBA Draft picks of all time.
Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Thompson, Shaquille O’Neal, Blake Griffin, LeBron James, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Elvin Hayes, Allen Iverson, Elgin Baylor, David Robinson, Tim Duncan.

#ThrowbackThursdays

A look back at some of the top #1 NBA Draft picks of all time.

Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David ThompsonShaquille O’Neal, Blake Griffin, LeBron James, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Elvin Hayes, Allen Iverson, Elgin Baylor, David Robinson, Tim Duncan.

Jerry West’s scouting report on Kobe Bryant:

"Best workout I’ve ever seen. He’s better than anybody we have on the team right now. Let’s go."

From West’s memoir: “When I said I had seen enough, I meant it. I knew who he was, and just from looking at his eyes, I knew what he wanted.” - West, after watching Kobe Bryant workout.

June 26, 1991 - The Hornets selected Larry Johnson with the first overall pick of the NBA Draft

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The 1991 NBA Draft took place in in New York City, New York. Dikembe Mutombo is regarded as the best overall pick in this draft, becoming one of the greatest defensive centers in the history of the league. He was a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year award winner and an eight-time All-Star, and played in the league for 18 seasons.

Larry Johnson won the 1992 NBA Rookie of the Year award and was a two-time All-Star, the first player to represent the Charlotte Hornets franchise at an All Star game. However, a trade to the New York Knicks caused his numbers to decline dramatically and ongoing back problems further decreased his effectiveness. Due to his chronic back problems, he retired in 2001.

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