Los Angeles Lakers vs Brooklyn Nets: The battle between two superteams
(Basketball news) As the new NBA season draws closer and the majority of the free agents found respective homes, the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets emerged as the strongest teams without a shadow of a doubt. Even though last year's NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks and finalist Phoenix Suns remain relatively unchanged from last season, both teams don’t possess the historical talent that the Lakers and Nets have.
The Lakers last season got eliminated in the 1st round of the playoff series by the Phoenix Suns but this season Rob Pelinka (General Manager) made sure that the same thing isn't repeated. At the end of last season, Lakers managed to pull off a blockbuster trade where they managed to get 9 times NBA all star and 2016-17 MVP Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards. With Lebron James and Anthony Davis already in the team, adding Westbrook makes them the team to beat in the Western Conference. With the Lakers adding former NBA all stars Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo in free agency their roster looks more dangerous than before.
The Brooklyn Nets last season pulled off the trade of the decade by getting James Harden from Houston Rockets, adding to a roster which already contained Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Last season, according to all experts, the Nets should have the NBA Championship but were beaten by the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference final, although injuries hampered the squad which eventually led to their downfall last season. This season Steve Nash (Coach of Nets) will be hoping that his stars remain fit as they have already added former all stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul Milsap to an already staked roster.
With both teams' ambition of winning a NBA championship last year not being fulfilled, the teams will be even more hungry to reach the NBA final this season. The Los Angeles Lakers have got back the championship core which won the NBA 2 years ago but the key advantage that the Lakers have over the Nets is the championship experience they have in their roster. On the other hand, the Nets have arguably the best trio in American sports history as on any given day James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Iriving can beat any team just based on their talent. As the fans eagerly wait for the start of the new season the NBA finals looks destined to be between these two teams unless and until injuries hamper them both. This is a site that not only the basketball fans want to watch but the sports fans in general will also tune in.
Also read: Virtual development program launched by NBA Academy for top female prospects from outside the US
The Los Angeles Roster:
Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Marc Gasol, Trevor Ariza, Rajon Rondo,Dwight Howard, Wayne Ellington, DeAndre Jordan, Russell Westbrook, Kent Bazemore, Anthony Davis, Kendrick Nunn, Malik Monk, Talen Horton-Tucker.
The Brooklyn Nets Roster:
Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris, Patty Mills, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap, Nic Claxton , Bruce Brown, Cam Thomas, James Johnson, DeAndre Bembry, Jevon Carter, Day’Ron Sharpe.
‘The stars aligned’: Ash Barty’s Wimbledon win is an historic moment for Indigenous people and women in sport
Queensland (Australia), Jul 13 (The Conversation) Over the weekend in London, the stars aligned in the most remarkable way. On the 50th anniversary of Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s first Wimbledon win, Ashleigh Barty claimed her first Wimbledon title.
The 25-year old becomes just the second Indigenous women to win Wimbledon and breaks a long drought for Australia at what is widely regarded as the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world.
To put it in context, Australia hasn’t won a singles title at the All England Club since 2002, when Lleyton Hewitt became the men’s champion. The last time an Australian woman took out the title was over 40 years ago, when Goolagong Cawley won her second title in 1980 (this time also becoming the first mother to win Wimbledon in 66 years).
But the win is also an historic moment for First Nations people and for Australian women in sport. It presents an opportunity to both celebrate and learn from this achievement.
Barty breaks the mould Barty’s success is a particularly significant one for First Nations Australians. She is one of only a handful of Indigenous women who are both sporting champions and household names — such as Goolagong Cawley, Cathy Freeman and fellow Olympic medallists Nova Peris and Sam Riley.
Australia has always seemed to struggle with celebrating Indigenous sporting success, particularly when it happens overseas. Achievements like Patty Mills’ magic 17 points to help secure the 2014 NBA championship for the San Antonio Spurs, Chad Reed’s legendary status in motocross and Jesse Williams’ 2014 Super Bowl ring have largely flown under the radar.
Also read: Indian-origin tennis players Samir Banerjee lifts Wimbledon boys' singles title
But Barty breaks this mould. She has long cited her Indigenous heritage and relationship with Goolagong Cawley as an inspiration. Yes, it is Barty’s tennis success that has made her famous. But it is her grace negotiating Australia’s uneasiness with its past and present relationship with our Indigenous peoples that makes her a true champion.
Her victory also followed by a significant hip injury in June. Although seeded number one for the tournament, even those in Barty’s camp were nervous about her chances.
As First Nations people would say “the Old People” — her Ancestors — had intervened.
A NAIDOC week victory Apart from the parallels with Goolagong Cawley’s win, the timing is also special as it comes at the end of NAIDOC week. This year’s theme has been “Heal Country”. As Indigenous people continue to be marginalised in so many areas of Australian life, Barty’s success is all the more a powerful testament to her strength and talent.
We know there are high barriers to Indigenous women participating in sport and exercise, at both grassroots and elite levels. These include racism and the high costs of participating. A frequently cited statistic (based on 2012 data) is about 23% of Indigenous women were physically active or played sport in the past 12 months, compared to 67% of non-Indigenous women.
Even in sports with high Indigenous participation, such as netball (where about 4% of participants are Indigenous), this still hasn’t flowed through to the professional level. There have only ever been two Indigenous players to represent the national team — and none since 2000.
Last year, Queensland Firebirds midcourter Jemma Mi Mi, a proud Wakka Wakka woman, sat on the bench during Super Netball’s Indigenous round. Netball Australia says it is working to improve the culture but change is slow.
Sexism and Australian sport Sport is a significant part of our national identity, and we have a deep love for our sporting heroes. Yet for women in sport, we know the road is harder than for men. It wasn’t that long ago that champion race horse Black Caviar was named Australian sportswoman of the year by the Daily Telegraph.
In my recent research with female AFL players, women talked of their gratitude for being included in the sport at a professional level. This is despite low pay and the high pressures and workloads. As I argued, this attitude is a double-edged sword for professional sportswomen, as it can make them vulnerable to exploitation.
Looking at professional elite athletes in Australia, the top earners are predominantly men. For example, in the 2019 AFR sports rich list, Barty ranked eight and was the only woman in the top 20. A top seven rich list compiled by Fox Sports in June 2021 only featured men.
We also know that women in sport also cop abuse, sexism and harassment — as well as discrimination in terms of how seriously their involvement is taken.
Uneven playing field So while we celebrate #YesAsh and enjoy the #BartyParty, we must also be honest about the realities for women in sport, and in particular for Indigenous women in sport.
For those of us who have enjoyed the pride and excitement of Barty’s win, let’s pledge to work harder on removing structural barriers to participation at grassroots and elite levels. It is time to acknowledge how uneven Australian sporting fields can be. (The Conversation) News source: PTI
Top five sports documentaries you must watch on Netflix
Have you ever wondered why sports documentaries are so engaging? It’s because sports is more than the result, it’s more than winners or losers, it’s more than politics, drama and fans. Sports documentaries encompass all these aspects and more. It captures emotions, untold stories, interpersonal relationships, overcoming adversity and everything that’s on stake. It’s all about the journey, it brings fans closer to their idols and portrays a humane figure behind all the glitz, glamour and money. It scratches beneath the image of iconic sports stars to showcase that even the best of the best suffer from self doubt and fear of failure.
If the game itself is the tip of the iceberg, a sports documentary is all the ice hidden from view that is finally showcased to the wider world. Here are our top five picks of sports documentaries that you should stream on Netflix.
The Last Dance
A 10 part documentary about the 1990’s Chicago Bulls, The Last Dance gives rare insight to the life of arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan. The documentary explores his journey from Jordan’s rookie years to the height of superstardom, his ultra competitiveness and the complex relationship between the man himself, his sidekick Scottie Pipin, general manager Jerry Krause and team owner Jerry Reinsdorf. ‘The Last Dance’ is a name given by former coach Phil Jackson when the Chicago Bulls attempted to win their sixth NBA Championship in 1997-1998. This sports documentary is a must watch for not just basketball fans but for anyone who enjoys sports.
Directed by Asif Kapadia, Ayrton Senna was a three time Formula One racing champion before his untimely death at the age of 34 in an accident at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. Senna’s documentary was released in 2010 and captures his career right from his debut at the 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix to a decade later and sheds some light on his rivalry with Alain Prost. It features a ton of emotional footage provided by Senna’s family, especially when Senna speaks about the sport’s safety when fellow Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger loses his life a day before Senna tragically suffers the same fate. The documentary has won numerous awards, winning a BAFTA for the best documentary and editing and the Best Documentary Screenplay by the Writers Guild of America among many others.
Diego Maradona (2019)
Diego Maradona is widely considered to be one of the greatest footballers to have ever played the sport. The talented Argentinian’s life was far from straightforward, with allegations of cheating, drug use and infidelity that surrounded Maradona throughout his career. This 2019 British documentary gives a rare insight of Maradona’s life and achievements with carefully compiled archival footage from various sources. Asif Kapadia’s handiwork has shone through this documentary which was first featured in the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
Icarus is an insightful documentary that delves into the world of illegal doping in sports. Directed by Bryan Fogel, Icarus starts off with Fogel exploring the option of using performance enhancing drugs to win an amateur cycling competition, leading to developing a connection with Russian scientist Grigory Rodchenkov which opens the door to an even bigger scandal, Russia’s state sponsored Olympic doping program.
The documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 90th Academy Awards.
The Dawn Wall (2017)
History was made in 2015 when daredevil climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson free climbed the legendary Dawn Wall section of El Capitan, a 3000 foot granite rock formation in Yosemite National Park. What makes this documentary so special is that it gives the viewer a feeling of being right there, amidst all the action, drama and sheer athleticism. Josh Lowell and Peter Mortimer, the co-directors of the documentary are climbers themselves and have done a fantastic job to capture their 19 days climb on an unforgiving piece of rock.
It perfectly encapsulates some essential human qualities such as patience, perseverance, resilience and the bravery to follow your dreams. It’s a beautiful representation of defying all odds to achieve the impossible and the documentary does a great job capturing all these emotions.