By: TONY MANFRED
Milwaukee Bucks forward Larry Sanders has walked away from basketball after five years in the league, agreeing to a buyout with the team after the trade deadline.
Sanders had three years remaining on a $44 million contract. He left around $21 million on the table in the buyout.
Sanders, age 26, has had a host of issues on and off the court since signing that contract in 2013. In a video on the Players’ Tribune, Sanders said that he got treatment for depression, anxiety, and a mood disorder at Rogers Memorial Hospital after leaving the team in December.
He explained that the job didn’t make him happy, despite the money that goes along with it:
“I think this is seen to be a desirable, lucrative job or position. People say, ‘How could you be unhappy there? How could that be a place you don’t want to be?’ The values and the relationships of the people I love around me are my real riches. That’s my lasting wealth.”
According to a profile by Lori Nickel in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sanders didn’t start playing basketball until 10th grade. He was more into skateboarding growing up. He told the paper that he wanted to study art in college, but he couldn’t because of basketball.
He opens his Players’ Tribune video with the statement, “I’m Larry Sanders. I’m a person. I’m a father. I’m an artist. I’m a writer. I’m a painter. I’m a musician. And sometimes I play basketball.”
He also alluded to the problems sudden fortune have made for him:
“Coming into the league, you get dropped this large amount of money out of nowhere. People automatically change around you. That just happens. You become an ATM to some people. You have to be correct in your statements. You have to state things in a certain way. You give up your freedom of speech. You can’t really say how you feel. There’s no one really trying to teach you what you should do and what you shouldn’t do. You get lost, get your money stolen. You come from not having anything to money having to add up to possession.”
Sanders ultimately made around $31 million in NBA salary when you include the buyout.
Here’s the full video:
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Caron Butler is a 12-year veteran of the NBA, but an ATF drug bust nearly ended his basketball career. He was 15 at the time. In this VICE Sports exclusive, Butler takes us on a tour of his childhood hometown and recounts the harrowing stories and random moments that somehow led him to a life no one could have ever predicted.
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Positive Black Male News
by Todd Johnson |
The Heat honored their commitment and then some — tapping Nettles-Bey to lead the Heat onto the BMO Bradley Harris Center before the Heat squared off against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Nettles-Bey continued to play on her high school basketball team despite a cancer diagnosis back in October. The junior forward for the Verona Area High School lost weight, her hair and underwent several chemotherapy treatments throughout the season.
She played on.
Supporters and friends started a #LeBronMeetEbony Twitter campaign back in February. It went viral quickly and soon LeBron and company took notice.
James told FOX Sports Wisconsin’s Andrew Gruman:
I didn’t need to meet her to understand how strong she was. But it’s great to be around her and see her enthusiasm even with what she’s dealing with. It’s like she doesn’t even have [cancer]. It’s not going to stop her. That’s a very unique trait.
Nettles-Bey and her family posed for several photographs with members of the Heat team, including All-Star forward Chris Bosh. She took in the Heat’s 88-67 victory from courtside.
Her idol LeBron James scored 13 points.
Follow theGrio.com’s Todd Johnson on Twitter @rantoddj
Source: The Grio
Celebrate Black History Month with a spoken word poetry tribute to the athletes who broke barriers and inspired us.
“Champions” by Raliq Bashard
We weren’t suppose to champions, but we made it
Didn’t have a full deck, but we played it
Displays greatness in the game and changed it,
became famous, through all the slander,
Through all the snake-ish
Black backbiting grammar
that slayed us
in the papers, they called us Bammas
And it was that hate that made us,
They gave us ghettoes and chained us,
But we won metals and came up, fate raised us and
Fists like rifles
Heart tight as vice grips, fighting vices,
Lifeless but living
loud hounds singing
pound for pounds swinging, sifting
Weight shifting, putting shifts in
We had narrow
roads but stayed driven
We made good-crowns outta put downs
Golden thrones outta broken homes,
Loaded domes, made men bow
Jim brown with a field goal, Pin down,
like a gentiles, praying
laying sins down
On the right court.
With a nice Spalding ball
We Mike Jordan weaving
white Nikes balling
great white knight, bald head
You can doubt mine,
But just always remember that jump man logo outline…
…that was from the foul line!
fire in our chest, diamonds in our eyes: cow sized,
‘Bout time they saw we were destined
Just some ol’ bare back, dirt ball,
half-homed black boys
We’re Hank Aaron at the 7th
Bat dropping at the base dashing
Robinson joltin’ in the gadget
of his own fire, no holes in his game,
Slashing, blood on his gym towel,
We been fouled,
been here, got wins here, lost wind here,
But we ain’t give up!
We don’t forfeit,
‘Cause we are fit,
they stole our dignity
We stole bases
First down, first inning
Foul line, free throw
Jim Crow, 3rd ward,
Crack house, basement
This game’s ancient
Game came with real struggle,
They can’t say boxing without Ali
They can’t say basketball without a Bill Russell
We instilled hustle
We never sold out, we sold out
with our souls out
Stole crowds, whole crowds
Two knees, both down
We ain’t come from medals,
but we aint losing so fate choosing,
Call us champions
They had plans and we cancelled it!
Wrote new manuscripts
Hate rang out in the stands and we answered it
We’re Doug Williams with doves, building
We broke walls, cut ceilings
Touched children, plus million
Gorgeous arms, flawless shot
And stockings, shmuck grins
For the woman had two against them and still shined
If we speak Althea Gibson
1965 with a drive like Malcolm while shifting
This is history!
This is Gabby Douglas
athletes with tough skin, in a world that gave
and made us something,
and look who we get to be!
Honorable and brave as the man who is Michael Sam,
Who says “I am who I am, and I play as I am”
We can all be as great as Tiger woods
But stereotypes us, hype us
treat us like we hood and we play twice as good
life is good,
We stole gold, we Flo Jo
We Jesse Owens
We steady hoping
sprinting in our boycott genes
We New Orleans when the levees
and Tommy Smith with a win
metals for ghettos, and the legacy that echo
With a chance to rise with two fists when it ends,
from football fields to
We shook up the world!
Showed them how to dance, it was the rhythm in
Our swing, our dribble,
our feet, our stance
We weren’t made like this
We weren’t made to be champions
But we played like it,
Made away like it,
These just black boys dreams,
We’ Alabama blooded,
We gold studded halos on folks
that owned nothing
Nothing but a right
to be remembered in history
…now, just imagine…
Imagine what our kids can be
Video by Relevant24 - http://relevant24.com/
FOX Sports Producer: Justin Ching
Positive Black Male News
I am honored to participate in a project that is trying to help single mothers who are struggling to make a living and raise their kids, because that perfectly describes my mother when I was growing up. You think LeBron James is a champion? Gloria James is a champion too. She’s my champion.
My mother really struggled. She had me, her only child, when she was just 16 years old. She was on her own, so we lived in her mom’s great big house in Akron, Ohio. But on Christmas Day when I was 3 years old, my grandmother suddenly died of a heart attack, and everything changed. With my mom being so young and lacking any support and the skills and education necessary to get ahead, it was really hard for us.
We lost the house. We moved around from place to place—a dozen times in three years. It was scary. It was catch as catch can, scraping to get by. My mom worked anywhere and everywhere, trying to make ends meet. But through all of that, I knew one thing for sure: I had my mother to blanket me and to give me security. She was my mother, my father, my everything. She put me first. I knew that no matter what happened, nothing and nobody was more important to her than I was. I went without a lot of things, but never for one second did I feel unimportant or unloved.
Finally, when I was 9 years old, my mother made a supreme sacrifice. She decided that while she was figuring out how to get on her feet, I needed some stability in my life. I needed to stay in one place and experience the support and security that she had felt growing up in a big family. So she sent me to live with my pee-wee football team coach, “Big Frankie” Walker, and his family. She later said to me, “It was hard, but I knew it was not about me. It was about you. I had to put you first.”
I stayed with the Walkers for a year, and what a gift that was! I was in the same school all year, slept in the same bed all year, played on the same football team all year, and Big Frankie put me on my first basketball team. I saw my mom every weekend.
When my mother was able to rent a two-bedroom apartment with the help of a government-assistance program, I moved back in with her. We stayed together until I finished high school. The rest is history.
People always say I am devoted to my mother. That’s true, but only because for every minute of my life, she has been devoted to me. My mother taught me what devotion truly means. I have tried to pass along her example by helping kids who are growing up in single-parent homes through the LeBron James Family Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
After the Heat won the 2012 NBA Championship, the team was invited to the White House. Speaking about me, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, President Barack Obama said, “For all the young men out there who are looking up to them all the time, for them to see somebody who cares about their kids and is there for them day in and day out, that’s a good message to send. It’s a positive message to send, and we’re very proud of them for that.1”
The truth is that everything I’ve learned about being a parent to my boys—9-year-old LeBron Jr. and 6-year-old Bryce—I learned from my mother. Everything I know about being loving and caring, and sacrificing and showing up and being present in my children’s lives—I learned all of that from her example.
Gloria James was a working single mother who struggled and got the job done.
And for that, I say, “I love you, Mom. Thank you.”
This is an excerpt from The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink, in partnership with the Center for American Progress. Download the full report here for FREE from January 12th – January 15th.
Source: Black Celebrity Giving
Positive Black Male News
Charvis Brewer, an 8-year-old super-fan of the Memphis Grizzlies, has bragging rights that most children can only dream about.
On Sunday, the basketball team drafted Charvis as its newest and youngest member. The ceremony, complete with a mock press conference, team photograph and visit to the locker room, was orchestrated by Make-A-Wish, a non-profit wish-granting organization for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Charvis has cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that confines him to a wheelchair. His mother, Colissa Brewer, and a home health aide tend to his every need.
“It brought tears to my eyes,” Brewer said of the Grizzlies’ welcoming gesture. “I never imagined he would get a chance to do something like that.”
Despite his illness, Charvis attends school and is the kind of basketball fan who can rattle off facts about his favorite team and their opponents. About a year ago, he was referred to Make-A-Wish Mid-South, the Memphis-based chapter of the national organization.
When volunteers asked what Charvis would like to wish for more than anything in the world, he shared his fantasy of being drafted by the Grizzlies. Since then, his mother told TODAY.com, Charvis kept wondering: Would his dream come true?
He got his answer on Sunday when the Brewer family, including Charvis’ sister, brother and stepfather, went to brunch in Memphis, about an hour’s drive from their home in Somerville, Tenn.
At the end of the meal, Memphis Grizzlies announcer Pete Pranica charged into the dining room and called out Charvis’ name. Pranica had great news —the Grizzlies had a supplemental draft and they chose Charvis.
Mike Conley, a guard for the Grizzlies and a favorite player of Charvis’, joined the festivities with a jersey made for the team’s newest member. A limousine then ferried the Brewers to the basketball arena where the players awaited Charvis’ arrival.
The whirlwind included eating lunch with the team, watching practice, visiting the weight room and quizzing the players about basketball. Miranda Harbor, director of community outreach for Make-A-Wish Mid-South, said Charvis was thrilled and quickly took his place on the team, even offering suggestions on player positions and strategies.
The team just as quickly embraced Charvis. “He’s a great kid that comes from a great family and is so full of life,” Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien said in a statement to TODAY.com. “We are a bigger fan of his than he is of ours.”
Each year Make-A-Wish grants 14,000 requests, more than 1,000 of which are celebrity- and sports-related. While the organization has previously “drafted” children to their favorite sports teams, Harbor said Charvis is the first in the area to join the Grizzlies.
The fun will continue for Charvis on Monday night as he and his family watch the Grizzlies battle the Chicago Bulls from box seats. It will be only the second Grizzlies game that Charvis has attended. This time, though, he will give the players high-fives as they run onto court.
His mother said Charvis has been preparing all day for his new role on the team: “He said he’s ready to tell them to beat those Bulls.”
Though Charvis will watch from the sidelines, he is exploring the possibility of one day competing in Special Olympics basketball.
For now, Charvis and his family are enjoying the special attention. “It made me feel like somebody else cared,” Colissa Brewer said. “Somebody took out time to do something my baby really wanted to do.”
Positive Black Male News
Sacramento Kings star Demarcus Cousins has had his share of troubles since joining the team since 2010. But that hasn’t stopped them from compensating him and he, in turn, is giving back to the community.
The Kings organization and point guard recently agreed to a four year contract extension and reportedly, the deal is worth about $62 million.
But what was even more impressive was what Cousins said he’d be doing for the city of Sacramento. At the end of the press conference announcing the deal, a seemingly nervous Cousins announced he’d be donating $1 million to families and communities in the city. He wasn’t exactly clear what families he was talking about, but one can only assume he meant families who were experiencing some serious financial troubles.
He also announced he would be donating to St. HOPE, a non-profit organization founded by former basketball player and current mayor of Sacramento, Kevin Johnson. St. HOPE (Helping Others Pursue Excellence) is broken down into three divisions: St. Hope Academy (a charter school in Harlem), St. HOPE Public Schools (a charter school system that educates 2,000 students in seven school) and St. HOPE Development (which restores historic Sacramento buildings and homes).
Cousins said regarding resigning with the Kings when he could have gone with a more competitive team that he values loyalty. It looks like the same could be said about his loyalty to the city in the way he’s giving back. Oh and yes, he is pretty easy on the eyes.
Book Of The Week
From Jackie Robinson to Muhammad Ali and Arthur Ashe, African American athletes have been at the center of modern culture, their on-the-field heroics admired and stratospheric earnings envied. But for all their money, fame, and achievement, saysNew York Times columnist William C. Rhoden, black athletes still find themselves on the periphery of true power in the multibillion-dollar industry their talent built.
Provocative and controversial, Rhoden’s $40 Million Slaves weaves a compelling narrative of black athletes in the United States, from the plantation to their beginnings in nineteenth-century boxing rings and at the first Kentucky Derby to the history-making accomplishments of notable figures such as Jesse Owens, Althea Gibson, and Willie Mays. Rhoden makes the cogent argument that black athletes’ “evolution” has merely been a journey from literal plantations—where sports were introduced as diversions to quell revolutionary stirrings—to today’s figurative ones, in the form of collegiate and professional sports programs. Weaving in his own experiences growing up on Chicago’s South Side, playing college football for an all-black university, and his decades as a sportswriter, Rhoden contends that black athletes’ exercise of true power is as limited today as when masters forced their slaves to race and fight. The primary difference is, today’s shackles are often of their own making.
Every advance made by black athletes, Rhoden explains, has been met with a knee-jerk backlash—one example being Major League Baseball’s integration of the sport, which stripped the black-controlled Negro League of its talent and left it to founder. He details the “conveyor belt” that brings kids from inner cities and small towns to big-time programs, where they’re cut off from their roots and exploited by team owners, sports agents, and the media. He also sets his sights on athletes like Michael Jordan, who he says have abdicated their responsibility to the community with an apathy that borders on treason.
Sweeping and meticulously detailed, $40 Million Slaves is an eye-opening exploration of a metaphor we only thought we knew.
Purchase Now Click here
Positive Black Male News
by Beth Harris, Associated Press
LeBron James padded his trophy collection, receiving three at the ESPY Awards, including male athlete of the year for helping the Miami Heat win a second straight NBA championship.
James also won in the championship performance and NBA player categories, completing a sweep of the three awards he won last year. He shared in the best team award Wednesday night.
“We went through so much adversity,” teammate Ray Allen said. “We did everything we could to fight, scratch and claw to put ourselves in that moment.”
James beat out Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps for male athlete honors.
James mentioned his fellow nominees, then told them, “This is for all four of us, man, but I’m just keeping it at my house.”
Serena Williams won two awards, including female athlete of the year. She defeated a pair of Olympians, gymnast Gabby Douglas and swimmer Missy Franklin, and former Baylor basketball star Brittney Griner. Williams didn’t attend because she’s playing a tournament in Sweden.
Peterson and Phelps also won two awards each.
Jon Hamm, the star of AMC’s “Mad Men” and a noted St. Louis Cardinals fan, hosted the 21st annual show from the Nokia Theatre.
He joked it was “the world’s largest gathering of people wearing sunglasses indoors” as the cameras caught James and NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick behind shades.
Hamm got in some digs about former Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard.
“We thought it would be nice to honor Dwight Howard with his greatest moments with the Lakers,” Hamm said as no film clips appeared on the screen behind him while the crowd laughed.
Hamm noted the talk about possible suspensions resulting from baseball’s latest drug investigation has included Alex Rodriguez.
“That’s OK, Yankee fans are used to him not showing up for the second half of the season,”he joked.
Quarterback Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M won male college athlete honors after flying in earlier from Hoover, Ala., where he attended SEC media day. Griner, who now plays for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, won female college athlete.
Peterson won trophies for NFL player and best comeback, while Cabrera won as best MLB player.
Williams won female tennis player, giving her eight career ESPYs.
Phelps also claimed best male Olympian, while teenage swimming sensation Missy Franklin won best female Olympian.
Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers won as breakthrough athlete. Rick Pitino won as coach-manager for guiding the Louisville Cardinals to a national basketball championship.
The best game was Game 6 of the NBA finals between the Heat and San Antonio Spurs.
The award for best upset went to Florida Gulf Coast’s men’s basketball team, a No. 15 seed that upset No. 2 seed Georgetown in the NCAA tournament.
The best moment award singled out 7-year-old Jack Hoffman’s 69-yard touchdown run at Nebraska’s spring game in April, which was replayed on national TV and viewed more than 2 million times on YouTube. The boy from Atkinson, Neb., has brain cancer.
As his father spoke, Jack held the big trophy that blocked part of his face.
Sidney Crosby won NHL player, while Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls won MLS player.
South Carolina football player Jadeveon Clowney won best play for his hit on Michigan’s Vincent Smith in which he knocked the runner on his back with a helmet-toppling smack, then reached out with one hand to snare the ball.
Helping out Hamm with comedy bits were Jack McBrayer of “30 Rock” as a befuddled NFL replacement referee and Jay Pharoah of “Saturday Night Live” as Jay-Z explaining how in his new gig as a sports agent he only represents winners.
Former “SNL” star Bill Hader spoofed Russian president Vladimir Putin, who was accused by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft of stealing his 2005 Super Bowl ring.
In the bit, Hader showed off his other sports collectibles, including the Stanley Cup, some of Phelps’ Olympic gold medals and “the ring Kobe gave his wife that one time for no reason.”
The Arthur Ashe Courage award went to “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts, who underwent a bone marrow transplant last fall to treat a life-threatening blood and bone marrow disease. She was off work for five months before returning to her TV job. James presented Roberts with the award, and first lady Michelle Obama saluted her via video.
Roberts received a standing ovation and noted her friendship with the late Ashe.
“At this moment I’m filled with such gratitude,” she said.
The Jimmy V Award for Perseverance was given to father-and-son duo Dick and Rick Hoyt by actor-director Ben Affleck. The younger Hoyt was born with cerebral palsy and is unable to use his hands and legs. His 73-year-old father Dick pushes him in a custom-made running chair, and together they have participated in more than 1,000 endurance events, including 31 Boston Marathons.
“I don’t think you could find two guys more proud to represent the city of Boston,” Dick Hoyt said.
His son spoke through computer-generated voice technology, saying, “I can’t hardly believe we are here. Thirty-seven years ago nobody would even talk to us … It only proves the wisdom of Jimmy v’s words, ‘Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.’”
The winners in most categories were determined by fan voting.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.
Source: The Grio