The coronavirus pandemic has delayed yet another monumental event. The NBA has announced the late Kobe Bryant’s introduction to The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will not be taking place this year.
What We Know:
- Originally, the ceremony was set to be held earlier this year in Springfield, Massachusetts. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA announced on Saturday that they had set the date to celebrate its new Hall of Fame inductees on May 13th through the 15th of 2021.
- Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers star who passed in a tragic accident in January, will be inducted next year as part of the class of 2020. The 18-time NBA Allstar is set to be inducted along with players Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, WNBA star Tamika Catchings, coaches Kim Mulkey, Rudy Tomjanovich, Barbara Stevens, and Eddie Sutton.
- Bryant leaves behind a phenomenal athletic record, including playing for the 2008’s Gold Medal Game in Team U.S.A, 5 times NBA Champion, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 2 time NBA Finals MVP, and making over 35 game-winning shots in his career.
- John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, said earlier this year, “In 2020, the basketball community has suffered the unimaginable loss of iconic figures Commissioner David Stern and Kobe Bryant, as well as the game itself due to COVID-19. We have also banded together like never before in appreciation of the game and those who have made it the uniting force it is today. Today we thank the Class of 2020 for all they have done for the game of basketball, and we look forward to celebrating them at Enshrinement.”
Fans worldwide will be tuning in to the ceremony to celebrate all of the Black Mamba’s unforgettable achievements.
Jets Make History, Hiring Robert Saleh to Become NFL’s First Muslim Head Coach
The New York Jets have announced their new head coach and the first Muslim coach in NFL history.
What We Know:
- The Jets recently fired their previous coach, Adam Gase, after going 9-23 last season. Now, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has been hired by the Jets making him the first Muslim head coach in the league’s history.
- Before signing a 5-year contract with the Jets, the 41-year-old Dearborn, Michigan native spent the last four seasons in Santa Clara, California. Here, Saleh transformed the 49ers‘ poor defense into one of football’s most elite units.
- Prior to working with the 49ers, Saleh was a defensive assistant for the Jaguars, Seahawks, and Texans. He has had over 16 years of NFL coaching experience and was reportedly eyed by teams in Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, Jacksonville, and the Los Angeles Chargers before making a deal with the Jets.
- Saleh’s history-making deal was acknowledged by a Muslim civil rights advocacy group known as the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR.
CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said, “We welcome this development as another sign of the increasing inclusion and recognition of American Muslims in our diverse society.”
We’re interested to see if Saleh can continue to make history with the Jets.
New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick Says He Won’t Accept Presidential Medal of Freedom
Head coach of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick, declined to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Monday following Trump supporters’ violent ambush at the U.S. Capitol.
What We Know:
- In a statement, Belichick announced he would not go through with receiving the award after agreeing to accept it prior to last week’s riots in D.C. Belichick said he was flattered to be offered the medal, the country’s highest civilian honor, but the “tragic events of last week occurred, and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award.”
- Having been a noted supporter of the President’s, Belichick says, “above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation’s values, freedom, and democracy.” He also mentions to have had “conversations” and “actions” about “social justice, equality and human rights” earlier in the NFL season, which he claims were among the most rewarding in his career.
- “Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team, and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award,” he said. The award, established in 1963, is given to people who have “made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” according to the White House.
- The coach, who claims to stay out of politics, wrote a letter of support to the President in 2015, which Trump then read at a campaign rally in New Hampshire, on the night before the 2016 election. At the time, the candidate claims the letter offered “best wishes for great results” on election day and “the opportunity to make America great again.”
This decision is among the latest of political statements being made by various athletes and sports organizations. On Sunday, The Professional Golfers’ Association of America said that its 2022 championship would not be held at Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Chris Webber Developing ‘Fab Five’ Limited TV Series
A Fab Five TV series is in development with Chris Webber involved.
What We Know:
- The Fab Five was the 1991 University of Michigan Men’s basketball team. Often considered one of the best recruiting classes in college basketball history, the team consisted of Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson.
- Webber will be working with Russel Redeaux, head of development at Cashmere Originals, to develop the series. The series will be based on Webber’s autobiography By God’s Grace, says the Grio.
- Webber joined the Michigan Wolverines in 1991, eventually becoming NBA Rookie of the Year, a five-time NBA All-Star, and a five-time All-NBA team member. Currently, he works as an NBA analyst for TNT.
- Redeaux told The Hollywood Reporter, “There’s definitely an alignment with our vision at Cashmere Originals to tell multicultural stories of inclusion… with that alignment and me being a guy who grew up in the same era of the Fab Five, it was sort of a dream come true project to bring it into our company fold and work with Chris.”
- Webber did not participate in the 2011 ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the Fab Five, so this will be the first time his point of view will be shared on TV. During the documentary premiere, Webber was estranged from his former teammates and former best friend, Jalen Rose. The documentary was ESPN’s highest-rated documentary at the time, seen by 2.7 million.
“What I think is different about it is I’ve never spoken about my time with the Fab Five…There’s a lot of behind the scenes that not many people know about, and it’s about so many things. Hopefully, I’ll be able to express those things, whether it’s about Detroit or the work ethic of the city and the factories — all those things that made us.” said Webber
- The team fell short of an NCAA championship in 1993 due to Webber calling a time-out. Webber called a time-out when the team didn’t have one, leading to North Carolina converting two shots on the technical foul. North Carolina won the championship 77-71.
Webber’s perspective in the series is sure to bring new stories. The series has yet to release a premiere date.
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