With the 68th edition of the National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star game right around the corner, I decided to put my basketball knowledge to the test by answering the question, “Name all of the NBA All-Star Game MVP’s under 6 minutes.”
But this wasn’t just any ordinary online quiz as I stacked the proverbial playing field against me by answering it on my cellphone–which more or less eliminated the possibility of constantly scrolling down to see the progress of my answers–at the crack of dawn (6:24 am to be precise).
So here is how I did: 54.9%
Needless to say, I was quite disappointed as I could have scored a few more points with “Johnson” but my answer didn’t seem to register. Maybe I should have written “Magic” or maybe–I was still half asleep–and DIDN’T write down “Johnson” or “Magic.” But no excuses!
Here is my personal evaluation broken down into five blocks:
2013 Chris Paul! Really! He won it? I wouldn’t have gotten this under six minutes for sure.
Still smarting over not getting “Magic Johnson” on my score card.
Julius Erving? Maybe I would have also gotten George Gervin, Dave Cowens, and Willis Reed with more time. I remember going over the Celtics greats one-by-one before abandoning the list in favor of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team.
Big O, Rick Barry, and George Mikan….maybe if I had a little more time.
Mikan for sure but not Paul Arizin or Ed Macauley.
Oh, I almost forgot! Happy 56th birthday to the GOAT Michael Jefferey Jordan!
After a decorated high school career and a so-so one-and-done freshman year with the Washington Huskies, the Philadelphia 76ers (#3) swapped draft positions with the Boston Celtics (#1) prior to the 2017 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft in order to select heralded 6’3″ point guard Markelle N’Gai Fultz.
On paper, Bryan Colangelo–then the 76ers President of Basketball Operations–had assembled a young, talented, and exciting team[i] with Fultz being groomed as one of its pillars. But after only four games to start the 2017-2018 NBA regular season, it was reported that Markelle Fultz would be out indefinitely due to “shoulder soreness and scapular muscle imbalance.”
The injury was described to be so severe that ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was quoted as saying, “(Fultz) literally (could not) raise up his arms to shoot the basketball.” In mid-March 2018, after a great deal of speculation surrounding his health, Markelle Fultz rejoined the 76ers and even posted a triple-double (13 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in 25 minutes) on the last day of the regular season to become the youngest ever to accomplish the feat (19 years and 317 days).
Markelle Fultz opened his sophomore season as the 76ers starting shooting guard before losing his position to newly acquired Jimmy Butler. Shortly after, Fultz went on indefinite leave from the 76ers in order to care for his ailing right shooting shoulder–diagnosed a neck and shoulder injury called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS).
In addition to the two Takara Tomy Arts Super Figure Collection Grendizer UFO Gashapons that I lucked out in getting yesterday, I also picked up a couple of used discs: Hall & Oates’Rock n’ Soul Part 1[i] and Spyro Gyra’s first live album entitled, Access All Areas.
These albums were without their inserts but I knew what I was holding in my hands and scooped them up right away at a fraction of the cost.
To think, this was how everyone used to listen to music.[ii]
Short history lesson
Back in the early 90’s, Compact Discs (CD) were the thing! A literal upgrade in quality from the bulky Vinyl, 8-track, and cassette tapes. It was the only way to get music back then as digital downloads were still in its infancy. CD’s also had a long lifespan–unless you left them under direct sunlight–and were reported to be good for a couple of thousand plays before encountering any problems.
Certainly one that I didn’t expect having when I woke up this morning.
Here is how things went down.
The Early Bird makes the sketch list
With Sandy’s announcement that The Hellblazer[i] creative team of Philip Tan (artist) and Elmer Santos (colorist) would be taking several sketch commissions–for free!–during their Signing and Sketch Event today, it made a lot of sense for my good friend Mark and I to make our way to Fully Booked in Bonifacio High Street before they opened at 11:00 am.
San Antonio Spurs versus the Memphis Grizzlies–a game for the ages.
Mark and I got to High Street early so we decided to head to the nearby Italiannis to catch the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies game.
This was a rare treat for me as I usually don’t watch television anymore[ii]. Game 4 between these two teams also served as my first game in this year’s NBA Playoffs.
And what a game it was! As Mark and I settled into our seats, Memphis–down 2-1 in the series–had erected a formidable 10 point lead early in the fourth quarter lead by Grizzlies $153 dollar quarterback Mike Conley, Jr.
It was past two in the afternoon when Damian Lamonte Ollie Lillard, the Portland Trailblazers dynamic 6’3’’ point guard, made his way to the seating area of the Kerry Sports Arena in Shang-ri La The Fort, Bonifacio Global City for his Manila press conference. The two-time NBA all-star took several questions from the media and this was what I asked him:
Dr. Tedi Villasor: “Hi Dame. We have a lot of aspiring high school, collegiate, and professional (basketball) players. Could you give us in your opinion what are the five qualities that they should possess to be really good basketball players?
Damian Lillard: “Off the top of my head, I would say that number one would have to be character. If you have high character, you work hard, be a good teammate, coachable and…all of the intangibles that go along with it.
Having a good work ethic…wanting it more. Keep advancing in the levels of the game. Get your team to improve (towards) a championship.
Third is…being competitive. Some guys keep raising (their) level (of play).