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Hakeem the Dream never ceases to amaze

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– JULY 29: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) NBA Legend Hakeem Olajuwon speaks to the media during the Basketball Without Borders Africa Press Conference at American International School on July 29, 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

 

By Travis Duncan

Suiting up in a retro orange and red Houston Rockets jersey at the age of 52 this weekend, Hakeem Olajuwon gave the hearts of hoops fans a vintage flashback moment with a signature dreamshake (see video below) at the NBA Africa game in Johannesburg this weekend.

Meanwhile, NBA.com’s Shaun Powell has written a nice in-depth article “Olajuwon: Godfather of Basketball in Africa”. Powell spoke with basketball instructor Oliver B. Johnson  to recount the rise of Hakeem from Nigeria to one of the greatest centers ever to play the sport.

Once in Lagos, with his bag of basketballs, he searched for a diamond in the rough and one day saw a boy who glistened, walking down the street.

The teenager was giraffe-like and his name was Akeem, and imagine how deflated Johnson felt when the youngster explained he was too busy playing soccer and team handball — team handball! — to deal with basketball, and kept walking.

 

And Powell’s beautiful explanation of the magnitude of Hakeem’s impact by imagining basketball without Hakeem.

Now imagine the state of African basketball today if that same boy hadn’t shown up at the gym later and decided, yes, to give basketball a try. Or if the man who discovered him had punched the plane ticket home rather than used the visa to Nigeria. Just think of what basketball almost missed. We would’ve never bowed at the fraternal feet of Phi Slamma Jamma, or witnessed the poetry of the Dream Shake, or heard Rudy T lecture the naysayers about the heart of a champion. Hell, had this Akeem stuck with team handball, maybe Patrick Ewing would’ve won that elusive NBA title in 1994. Life is funny that way, no?

 

New information shows Pete Rose bet on baseball as a player-a serious knock to his already tarnished credibility

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1986 Betting Log via ESPN
Copy of 1986 Betting Log alleged to record bets placed on behalf of Pete Rose, via ESPN

As new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred reviews his lifetime ban from baseball, ESPN’s Outside the Lines, has now uncovered a new record that Pete Rose bet on baseball as a player through a mob connected book maker in 1986. Up until today Major League Baseball was not aware of the record which is contained in a notebook.

As soon as two weeks ago, speaking on the Michael Kay radio show in New York, Rose denies that he ever bet on the game as a player.

In a 2004 interview with Charles Gibson on ABC’s Primetime Rose only admitted to betting on baseball as a manager not a player.

This may all but seal his fate as to have his lifetime ban lifted. ESPN reports that according to sources within Major League Baseball they would be shocked if Rose is reinstated.

Read more at ESPN.com 

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