Look! He is coming with the clouds;
every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
and on his account all the tribes
of the earth will wail.
We knew this was coming. It was written, and now it shall be done. The general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers, Mitch Kupchak, predicted this a year ago. With a quasi-poem in the Players’ Tribune, Kobe Bean Bryant, arguably the most intense and focused human being ever to walk this planet, let alone play this sport, announced his retirement from the NBA, effective at the conclusion of this season. In light of his throwback, 31-point performance, including a game-sealing shot, let’s take a moment to celebrate one of the greatest, and most divisive, players ever.
Update One (12:54pm): We made it to the semifinals of The Basketball Tournament. Four teams remain in contention for the grand prize of $500,000. Also at stake today, the potential for home court advantage in the championship game, as a fan vote will decide the location of the final. Can Team Barstool bring the title game north to Bean Town? Or will the Big Apple Ballers take it to the Bronx or Brooklyn? A win by the Fighting Alumni could mean a trip to South Bend. And PeacePlayers International could take us anywhere around the world.
So all of that is on the line. Also, half a million.
We are five minutes away from tip of the game between Team Barstool and Big Apple Ballers. The arena speakers just started playing “Timber” by Kesha (feat. Pitbull) so the mood for high stakes basketball is officially set. Get ready.
More updates to come.
Update One (12:30pm): The second day of the inaugural Basketball Tournament. After today, only four teams will remain in contention for the $500,000 grand prize. One of the day’s first games was also the biggest nail-biter thus far, as the Big Apple Ballers eeked out a win over HITTAS. The Ballers held the lead for the most of the game and took an eight point cusion into halftime, but a fierce rally from the HITTAS tied it up late. Smush Parker played hero for the Ballers though, nailing a free throw with under ten seconds remaining that would prove the difference in the game. Other contributors to the Ballers winning effort included Russell Robinson, who added 26 points and went 7-13 from beyond the arc, as well as Luke Bonner, who put up 18 points and 6 boards. Read More
Update One (1:55pm): The Basketball Tournament is upon us. Live in the Gallagher Athletic Center at Philadelphia University, 32 teams of non-professionals have come together to compete for a $500,000 grand prize. Everyone who isn’t currently someone in the NBA seems to be here, from ghosts of NCAA tournaments past, to career pick up ball players, to the man/myth/legend Smush Parker of Kobe bothering fame.
I emailed into those running The Basketball Tournament (#TBTOpen) and acquired press passes for the first time in my life. I’ll be doing my best to live blog the day, but I have no idea how that will turn out. In the mean time, here is the bracket: Read More