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Natural Professional Bodybuilder Athlete of the Year : Diana Hubbard

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Photos By Marty Gottlieb

When you see a person with an amazing physique your first reaction is always to drop your jaw in awe. Why so? Think of the first thing that comes to mind. Dedication. Will power. Discipline. Even obsession, in some cases.  These types of things don’t come over night. In fact, A lot of people who work out often still may not have the incredible physique that a bodybuilder has. The lifestyle simply takes more than an hour at the gym every day. It’s a complete lifestyle. Eating habits are different. Recreational activities are different. This type of life takes a firm choice. You can live a healthy life without being a bodybuilder. So why choose to be? It can be something as simple as seeing Schwarzenegger in a movie, being bullied as a child, or even a singular situation. Maybe you had a eureka moment. All I know is when I see it, I give my instant respect. Like a salute to a general in command.

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When I first saw Diana, the first thing I thought was intimidation. Not towards me but in general. I’ll tell you why. Women’s athletics is still a growing spectacle in all categories of sports. I’ll give you an example. The first bodybuilding competition was held around September, 1901. However, the first women’s bodybuilding competition wasn’t held until 1979. Nearly a century later.

The push away from the stereotypical house wife role, to “We can do it, too!”, came during and after World War II. Even though women had already started fighting for rights around the late 1800’s, the public campaign came around the 1940’s. Since most the men were at war, woman had to show that they had what it takes. Even when society tried to keep them boxed in. This push has elevated to the incredible stature that it is today. Watching women such as Serena & Venus Williams dominate tennis, or watching Amanda Nunes destroy the UFC women’s division has definitely been a treat.

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(Photo Cred : Marty Gottlieb)

I even asked Diana does she think she intimidates men at all. She responded, “No, in fact, I think it makes them approach me even more. I think they love the discipline aspect of it.”. This is that part that definitely intrigued me.

So what actually drove Diana to sculpt her body into this amazing physique? There may not be a definitive answer but she did tell me an interesting story about a scar she had on her arm.

As I gazed at every unique muscle on her body I noticed a scar on her left arm. You can almost miss it in pictures if you don’t look closely. Being a journalist I always want to hear the inside scoop, so I asked her about the scar. She responded,

“That’s where most of my insecurities really came from now that I think about it. I hated that scar and I would hide it all the time. It lowered with my self-esteem a lot. I broke it in a freak accident when I was around 9-10 years old. I was high up on a swing and fell off. My elbow hit a rock and broke it. My elbow that is. Now a days I embrace my scar. I’m not embarrassed about it anymore and I tell the story with confidence. It makes me unique and I like that.”.

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(Photo Cred : Marty Gottlieb)

This simple rock story may be the reason that she is rock solid today. Mentally and physically. Her life started off pretty normal, though. I mean, besides the fact that she was home schooled. In fact, she was home schooled from kindergarten to middle school, which she explained was a “huge culture shock”. Diana was into athletics early, as well. She played basketball throughout her school stint and was a stand out player. After graduating from Bloomfield Tech in 2009 she attended Iona College on a full scholarship.

Diana BBAL Stats

After a stand out rookie year, where she was the runner-up for rookie of the year, she slowly started to lose steam. She exclaimed that she has always been a shy person with low self-esteem. She believes this is the reason that she slowed down.

“So here I am, a D1 player who didn’t go pro or go overseas like “I’m supposed to”. I felt like a failure and had no choice but to look for work. A year later I decided to join a gym. I missed being active. I hadn’t realized that playing basketball year round was keeping me in shape and the sudden stop would make me lose it a little. I didn’t eat healthy, I drank, partied, and was overall unhappy. I was lost and beat myself up for years for not perusing a professional basketball career like most D1 players do.  For 3 years I went through tough hardships that included relationships, self-esteem issues, health issues, and more. I was tired of living with no purpose. I needed a change.”

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Around 2018 is when she regained her flame. She decided to challenge herself and compete in a bodybuilding show. She said she had it on her mind for 2 years before she actually took action. She didn’t feel like she was 100% focused and was nervous about doing something that would put her in the center of attention. Then she remembered the quote, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”. This led to Diana hiring a personal trainer and eventually a nutritionist.  After 4 weeks on their plan she picked a show to compete in. She told herself no more hesitation, it’s go time!

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She practiced posing in the mirror after she finished doing Lyft, which would be around midnight. She also followed her coach’s meal plan with precision. In July of 2018, merely 4 weeks after she began her training, she entered a Natural Organization called the INBA PNBA. There, she won first place in Figure Novice and Figure Open.  Crazy right? This woman was determined! This expedited success came from a determined work ethic. Diana says she wants people to push pass the thought that they are “too busy” to push towards things they want.

“My typical day, before my first show, would be to wake up at 5am to Lyft. Then I train. I go to work and after work go back to do Lyft. Afterwards, about midnight, I head to gym again to practice posing. This routine is almost everyday.”

Later that year, Diana became certified in personal training and holds two pro cards in Figure and Physique. She has since competed in 8 shows over the course of 2 years.

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Her most recent victory came Nov.16th at a big show In Las Vegas with the INBA PNBA, The Natural Olympia. She placed 3rd overall and was named the National Athlete of the Year by the same association. Seeing this amazing feat in such short time said a lot about her determination. When a person falls in love with athletics it requires a totally different kind of commitment. It’s a life style change. This brings some much fire out of people. It also makes you think more of your over-all health. A strange observation I made throughout the years is that the majority of people maintenance their cars better than they maintenance their bodies. Diana noticed herself slipping and not only bounced back but became something much better than before.

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League owner – Denny Kakos
( Above Coach Marc Tauriello & League President Denny Kakos)

“In the end, it all started with me just wanting to be active again. The gym became my happy place. It became an outlet for stress and distractions in the world. Never be afraid to fail, for failure is apart of success.” Diana expresses.

“Bodybuilding is an extremely tough sport, physically and emotionally. Despite it’s difficulty, I find myself loving every bit of it. There are a lot of highs and lows. Especially dealing with the strict diet. Can you imagine eating the same thing every day for months on end? The temptation to cheat is unbearable at times. You might as well forget about having a social life during the preparation. It slowly diminishes. Through all this, the workouts only get more intense. I love this mode, though. I can sense that’s it’s challenging me physically and emotionally. Anything that pushes me in this way, I feed off it. Just like in my basketball days. The fire I got when we played a tough team. When I missed a couple of shots but was determined to bounce back. Even when I made a bad play and had to sit on the bench and reflect on how to improve. I love all of that. What I love the most about this sport is that it taught me a lot about nutrition.  I will continue to eat healthy, have balanced meals, and diet naturally. I am a stronger woman today because I took a chance to go for something I wasn’t sure I was ready for, and made myself ready.” 

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(Photo Cred – Marty Gottlieb)

Here is a list of placings Diana has had throughout her career as a bodybuilder.

2018 East Coast Classic – 1st Figure Open , 1st Figure Novice

2018 The Philip Ricardo Legend’s – Pro Debut , 1st Place

2018 Natural Olympia – 9th place (world) (17 competitors)

2019 The Philip Ricardo Legend’s Classic – 3rd place

2019 Eastern USA Pro-AM – 1st Pro Figure , 1st Women’s Physique (Earned Pro Card in women’s physique)

2019 The Nationals – 1st place in Physique pro debut

2019 Muscle Beach International – 1st in Pro Women’s Physique

2019 Natural Olympia – 3rd Place , National Athlete of the Year

Diana would like to credit her Nutritionist, Mentor, and Coach Marc Tauriello (Extreme Gym, Nutley,NJ)  for her outstanding success thus far.

Today, Diana is still a full time bodybuilding and has plans to continue to have ground breaking success. She works and a personal trainer in between time. Congratulations on all of your success and keep striving for greatness!

Written : Bruce Walton Jr

A MEME or a Movement

By: Atika Aliyah

Since September 5, 2018, social media feeds and timelines have been filled with various black and white close-ups of our favorite entertainers, athletes, and politicians, illustrating quotes or sayings these individuals have said, or would say. All of which are parodies playing off of the ad Nike released featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

 

 

The Internet has been undefeated yet again, as they have taken the attitude and tone of the ad and ran with it. Though the MEMEs provide some comic relief to the more serious issues at hand as it pertains to Kaepernick’s activism and resistance. One may pose the question, is this a new trend? To go against the grain and entertain controversy, using it as a vehicle, in this case, to spread awareness and spark conversation on the racial tensions in this country. And if so, does social media have something to do with this new direction?

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It is clear and evident that Nike was taking a risk using Kaepernick as the face for their brand. The release of the ad initially called for a boycott by those who did not support Nike’s decision and the company’s stock took a hit. However, once the smoke cleared and the memes went viral it was later followed by record-setting highs for the Nike Company on Wall Street. Nike was criticized and then praised for their “bad publicity.” But it was publicity nonetheless, and the MEMEs, along with the retweeting and reposting had more to do with it than you think. According to Apex Marketing Group, Nike received more than $43 million worth of media exposure.

Needless to say, the support for Colin Kaepernick by Nike is a great look for the culture. People of color can wear and support the brand with pride and honor. Nike now fits in with the best of them, like rappers J. Cole and Meek Mill who are using their platforms to bring attention to police brutality, criminal justice reform, and many other issues that face black and brown communities in America. Bleacher Report revealed that Meek Mill who is not only a rapper but also an advocate and victim of a corrupt justice system will be releasing a song on his new album that will be about Colin Kaepernick’s story.

 

 

 

Daytona Beach theater “Ocean 10” to show Mayweather vs McGregor fight on the big screen!

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It’s no secret that we are about to witness what may be the biggest event in combat history! Undefeated Floyd Mayweather (49-0) will face UFC multi-title holder Conor McGregor in a boxing match.

For people who actually follow combat sports they should know that with this being a boxing match it’s almost a no brainer that Floyd should take this easily. But there are a lot of things to factor in before you can just count McGregor out. Yes, we do know that if this were a Mixed Martial Arts match McGregor would most likely dominate Floyd. This match only makes sense to be a boxing match though. It only makes sense because both sports train on striking. It wouldn’t make sense to do mixed martial arts when boxing doesn’t cover all the elements that fall under MMA. Now let’s to see the elements that could be pro’s & cons for the fighters

Let’s talk about age. Conor is 11 years younger and clearly has that edge. On the flip side, Floyd has beaten fighters who were 10 years younger and heavier. I don’t want to simply count him out because of age. For instance, we have fighters like George Foreman and Bernard Hopkins who were older but vicious. Floyd’s last fight didn’t show any slack off. I don’t see this being a huge problem for him.

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Now let’s get into fight length. Floyd has fought championship rounds that have gone the distance of 12 rounds. Conor has only gone 5 rounds. Although MMA rounds are 2 minutes longer than boxing rounds. This could become a factor when they get past round 5. Especially fighting a defensive fighter like Floyd. Making your opponent miss can drain them very quickly. Floyd may be the best defensive fighter the sport has ever seen. This fight could get very interesting if it goes past round 6. I’m not sure how well Conor is with adversity. Especially after seeing the 1st Diaz fight. Hopefully Conor has the cardio to take it the distance, if it goes there. My personal experience with fighting MMA and boxing, I think boxing takes more cardio. If all else fails in MMA you can resort to grappling or clinching to regain energy. In boxing they break things up immediately and you get right back to it. Boxers also throw punches more rapidly because that’s the only thing they can rely on.

Punching power. I know most people will try to give this to Conor automatically but let’s take a second to analyze this properly. Floyd has a knock out rate of almost 50% and yes those came in his early career.  Later, he became more of a defensive fighter. Now let’s say Conor is fortunate enough to have a 20 year career and is able to make it to 49 fights, will he still be knocking people out? Who knows. Secondly, you have to factor in the glove size. Not to take away from Conor but glove size does make a difference. I do give it to Conor though, his hands are beautiful. He’s had some amazing knockouts. He can make very adversary opponents look like novice competitors. It would definitely be interesting to see if Conor can land a clean shot on Floyd and hurt him. Floyd has been in 49 professional fights and has never been on the canvas, let alone 8 counted. That is a remarkable stat. Says a lot about his defense and maybe his chin. Has he fought anyone that hit as hard as Conor? Who knows.

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Defense. I’ll be honest, MMA isn’t a sport that is big on striking defense. They do have leg checking and they do block head kicks. Other than that it’s mostly brutal. Not saying that they don’t block because they definitely do. MMA is just more barbaric. There are MMA fans who actually think less of Floyd as a fighter because he is defensive. Conor has an open arm type of style. He is just very fortunate to be lightning fast and powerful so his defense doesn’t really matter. This can be damaging for him when it comes to getting points. All Floyd has to do is out score him and not get hit which he is the best at. Conor is a great counter puncher and so is Floyd. This may be the most interesting part of the fight. Seeing how they counter each other. I can see this fight being dry for the 1st and 2nd round. Floyd doesn’t want to get hit with a bomb and Conor doesn’t want to lose by the point system.

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All-in-all I think if Conor wants a chance to beat arguably the best boxing of our time in a boxing match he has to do serious damage in the first 4-5 rounds. If it gets past that I see him having a slim chance of winning. Socially I see people argue about this and there is this strange misconception that people don’t think Conor is a great fighter. That is completely false. People are simply surprised about the disrespect towards Floyd’s ability and legacy. You may not like him outside of the ring, you may think that he cherry picked his opponents, but let’s be realistic. Over a 20 year career and 49 fights couldn’t somebody have beaten him if he wasn’t as good as we thought? The craziest argument I saw about Floyd is that he fought Mannie after his prime. Which is kind of ridiculous seeing that thier debuts are only a year apart and Floyd is older than Mannie. That completely destroys that logic and actually proves that Floyd was more out of his prime than Mannie was.

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The tickets to watch this at the movie theater will hit you for $40. Considering the magnitude of the event and the fact that you get to sit in a reclineable leather chair, I don’t think it’s that bad. I don’t care what people say about this fight, I LOVE IT! I love the energy it brings, I love the competition. Floyd is putting his undefeated record on the line versus a younger MMA knockout artist. How can you not be impressed? Conor is taking a chance in another sport (technically) against the very best person. You have to honor them both. I can only seen you hating this fight if you are a die hard MMA fan but hate boxing or a die hard boxing fan but don’t care for MMA. I’ll definitely be watching.

 

Written by Bruce Walton

 

 

Successful Grand Opening Sparks Promising Future for Pete White Boxing & MMA

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After 6 years of hard work and dedication Pete White has finally expanded his organization to it’s own facility for his beloved team and the wait was long over due!

Pete got his start in training simply training his son self defense in boxing. His sons friends took notice and wanted to dip their hands in it as well. Before you know it Pete had himself a mini camp. Over the years, the sport of Boxing and MMA has grown so much that the amateur levels of the both sports has grown tremendously. Pete’s team kept expanding and pretty soon they got to a level where they wanted to start competing.

This is when Pete wanted to expand his knowledge with not only Boxing but also the other divisions inside of MMA (Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, Muay Thai, etc). He started to outsource to various gyms which in some ways made him self a traveling camp. Before long his camp simply grew to large and Pete had to put things together to put his fighters under their own personal roof.

At the time period where Pete was going from gym to gym he took on a role as a mentor. He pushed fighters to excel further in the sports while he also got deeper into the boxing training. Through this journey he was blessed to have the opportunity to meet guys who where highly advanced in different parts of the sport.

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Wanderley Camilo – Pro MMA Fighter / Black Belt BJJ
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David Nobrega – BJJ and MMA Instructor
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Jon Radford – MMA Fighter / Pad Work Instructor

Outside of the guys pictured above they also have Carlos Valentine as their Muay Thia instructor, and fighters such as Anderson Hutchinson, Michael Guillen and Michael Davis who all contribute to the up and coming fighters.

Some Fighters

Boxing – Kenmon Evans pro 2-0 . Michael Guillen pro 2-0 . Michael Davis pro 2-0 . Also, William Fauth. MMA – Anderson Hutchinson 5-1 pro , Michael Davis 2-0 pro , Wanderley Camilo 7-5 pro , Chris Jacobs pro debut , also Alex Nicholson boxing coach.

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Pete and Alex Nicholson recently shook up the local scene with their appearance in the UFC octagon. Nicholson will appear in the octagon again on July 13th. Pete has several fighters following in the same footsteps holding several ammy and pro championship belts in MMA and Boxing.

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2014 MMA Coach of the Year

All-in-all, the over all energy of the grand opening felt like complete love. Everyone was in great spirits and I see a bright future for Pete White Boxing & MMA. He said his goal is to have a World Champion in both MMA and Boxing. When I asked him what is the most rewarding thing he gets from training young fighters this was his response below

“The best thing is seeing the look on these kids faces when the succeed. When they feel good about themselves. When their parents give them a hug after they win and show them how proud they are of them. When team mates look out for each other like they are stronger bonded then blood relatives.”

He has definitely built a foundation that is built like a family and I was happy to see it in person. He also gives huge credit to his wife Deborah White for handling a lot of the business which gives him a lot more time to behands on with his fighters. We wish you great success in the future Pete and keep pushing these young men to the stars.

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Pete also wanted to say how proud he was of his daughter Taylor. She has been having great success in weightlifting and has also been putting in hard work in the MMA field as well. You girl Taylor!

Facebook Pete White also Pete White Boxing and MMA. / Instagram pwbmma /. Twitter @petewhiteboxing /. http://www.petewhiteboxing.com/ Address 601 Lemon St. Port Orange, FL

“Special thanks to Elmo Sutherland. Jeff and Nina Hayes, Jason Patrick as well as All my coaches and team. My wife and family. The tons of friends and all the great promoters out there. So many people play a part in this teams success. Watch what the future holds because we are only getting stronger everyday. Thanks the the big guy above for taking care of us all and thank you Bruce Walton/ Keedie’s Corner for covering our event.”

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Best NBA Teams to Never Win a Championship 2016

Well, in sparks of the 2016 NBA playoffs me and my brother divulged into a 3 hour debate that lead us to this conversation. We started off discussing how the Houston Rockets could stand a chance against the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs. I’m a huge Rockets fan. I will explain how a “Florida Boy” was led to being a fan of the Rockets. Vince Carter, from my home town of Daytona Beach, FL led me to the Toronto Raptors. Thus, helping me discover Tracy McGrady. Which led me to follow Tracy to the Orlando Magics (since I was a big fan a Penny, Shaq, Grant, Dennis Scott, etc). After following T-Mac to the Houston Rockets and seeing T-Mac lose his mojo to injury I decided to rest at the Rockets. Okay, back to business.

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So while discussing how the Rockets, a team that literally made the playoffs on their last game of the season, could beat a team who broke the infamous Chicago Bulls 72-10 record, we some how led to talking about the heart of  a teams and players. This is where I’m venerable because I love underdog teams. It’s something about the way I grew up that makes me love the underdog. It’s just the fire you see in their eyes and the adrenaline of whats on the line. It explains my mild resentment for a lot of teams that were built, like the Kobe-Shaq Laker squad, or the Big 3 in Boston or The Big 3 in Miami. There’s no amazement in these teams winning. Its almost like ” YOU BETTER WIN WITH THE DAMN TEAM! “. I feel like it’s so many great teams that never got the chance to win a ring because of these teams that were “super built” around a superstar. Some teams were just unfortunate and never got their time because of the reign of a great team in there conference. So I felt it in myself to acknowledge those teams. Here’s the catch though…I want people to tell me who was the BEST team to never win.

Disclaimer : I was born in 1988. I only chose teams that I could actually recollect. Feel free to message or comment stats and teams and I will gladly add them in. I started in 1993. I ended in 2013 because a lot of the top contenders were starting to be repetitive. I chose these teams by the year and their roster at the time. So lets get to it!

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1992-93 Pheonix Suns

I don’t know much about this team besides the fact that  Charles Barkely won MVP that year.With the help of Dan Marjorie the team went on to the the NBA finals where they lost to the Chicago Bulls.

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(Honorable Mention) 1992-93 Charlotte Hornets

This team lost in the second round of the Playoffs to the great Knicks and didn’t even have a winning record in the regular season (40-42). But Muggsy Bogues was 5’3 135 lbs….for that fact alone, I have to put them in the mix. That is simply incredible! Muggsy finished #4 in assists total that year, #10 in steals, while Alonzo Mourning finished #4 in total blocks. Larry Johnson and Mourning combined for over 1600 rebounds. Charlotte would get eliminated by the Knicks in the second round that year.

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1993-94 New York Knicks

John Starks ( led the league in totals 3-pointers with 217) Patrick Ewing (#6 def. rebounder, #5 Lead Scorer , #4 points per game, #5 in total blocks) Doc Rivers, Charles Oakley and Anthony Mason made a dominant front running team. Yet, they faced some tough East Coast rivalries with Detroit, Pacers and Bulls always on their tails. When they finally made it to the finals they were beaten by Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets in a close Finals series.

95-96 Magics

1994-95 & 1995-96 Orlando Magics

The reason why I chose this team for 2 years is because in the 1995 season Orlando made it to the Finals where they were defeated by the Houston Rockets (repeat) with Shaquille O’neal being the lead scorer of the season, #2 in total rebounds, and #6 and blocks. The following year Dennis Scott broke the record for single season 3-pointers with 267. Along their side was Anfernee HardawayNick Anderson, Horace Grant, Brian Shaw, and Darrell Armstrong. Great team, yet no ring.

1996 NBA Finals Game 6:  Seattle SuperSonics vs. Chicago Bulls

1995-96 Seattle Super Sonics

This is the year Gary Payton developed his alias “The Glove” leading the league in totals steals with 231. Shawn Kemp was #3 for total rebounds. Ervin Johnson & Kemp combined for a total of about 260 blocks. The team went on to lose in the Finals to Chicago Bulls 4-2.

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1996-97 Utah Jazz

Karl Malone was the #2 scorer under Michael Jordan that year. He also finished #5 in total defensive rebounds. John Stockton finished the season #2 in total assists and #6 in total steals. The team as a whole finished #2 in scoring under the Chicago Bulls by 4 points, #3 in total steal, #1 in total assists right above the Bulls, and #1 in total free throws made. SHEESH! The only way to explain how they didn’t capture that ring is the controversial push Jordan did against Bryon Russell….real fans know the push.

1997-98 Hawks

1997-98 Atlanta Hawks

This is the year Dikembe Mutombo made a name for himself winning Defensive Player of the Year ( #1 in totals blocks, #3 total rebounds) and Mookie Blaylock landed himself at #4 in total steals that season. The farthest the team made it was the second round of the playoffs.

1998-99 trail blazers

1998-99 Portland Trail Blazers

No outstanding numbers from this team besides Rasheed Wallace‘s total number of fouls. The big 3 for this team Wallace, Arvydas Sabonis, Damon Stoudamire made a great front line. They would go on to get swept in the Western Conference Finals by San Antonio who went on to win the Finals.

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1999-00 Indian Pacers

Reggie Miller, Mark Jackson, Rick Smits, Jalen Rose, Dale Davis, and Sam Perkins just to name a few on this roster. The only team that could stop them were the L.A. Lakers with their greatly stacked team. They lost the Finals 2-4.

2000-01 76'ers

2000-01 Philadelphia 76er’s

Allen Iverson, Dikembe Mutombo, Eric Snow, Raja Bell, Tyrone Hill, Toni Kukoc just to name a few on the roster. It really hurt to see them lose in the Finals to the L.A. Lakers. I think everyone wanted to see A.I. Iverson won MVP that year while Mutombo won Defensive player. Aaron McKie won 6th Man of the Year.

01-02 Kings

2001-02 Sacramento Kings

I really just want to show you the line up for this team. Mike Bibby, Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, Doug Christie, Peja Stojakovic, Hedo Turkoglu, Bobby Jackson,  Gerald Wallce. This team was nothing less than amazing. There was a lot of controversy talk around the Western Conference Finals loss to the L.A. Lakers but the past is the past. This team will not be forgotten, though.

(Honorable Mention) 2001-02 Boston Celtics w/ Paul Pierce & Antoine Walker 

01-02 Nets

2002-03 New Jersey Nets

Jason Kidd had a outstanding year leading the lead in assists and also placing #5 in total steal. Unfortunately, Kenyon Martin and Jason Collins both made the top 20 for fouls that season and Jason Kidd was #2 in total turnovers. That would eventually cause there demise  in the Finals against the well synced and experienced San Antonio Spurs.

03-04 Timberwolves

2003-04 Minnesota Timberwolves

 Kevin Garnett led the league in both points and rebounds that season and also was #9 in total blocks which led to his MVP vote. Sam Cassell placed #4 in total assists. With the help of Latrell Spreewell the led the team to the Western Conference Finals where they eventually were knocked off by the L.A. Lakers.

04-05 Pacers

2004-05 Indian Pacers

Revisiting this team this time with a new roster. Reggie Miller, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O’Neal, Metta World Peace, Fred Jones, Jamaal Tinsley just to name a few. As we all know, this was the year of the crazy “brawl” in the stands between the Pacers and The Fans that led to a lot of suspensions. Detroit went on to beat the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals and eventually went on to win it all.

05-06 mavs

2005-06 Dallas Mavericks

Even though the Mavs went on to win a Championship in 2011 it wasn’t this particular roster. Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Jerry Stackhouse, Erick Dampier, Josh Howard, Doug Christie, Keith Van Horn, DeSagana Diop, and Darrell Armstrong just to name a few. This team would go on to lose in the Finals to the Miami Heat led by Dwayne Wade & Shaq.

06-07 Suns

2006-07 Phoenix Suns

Coming off a MVP season the year before and #2 in votes this year behind Dirk, Steve Nash finished the season #1 in total assist. Shawn Marion finished #1 in totals steals. Raja Bell finished #1 in total 3-pointers. Amar’e Stoudemire finished #11 in total points and with the help of Leandro Barbosa and Boris Diaw the Suns blew out every team in total points, finished #1 total team assist, finished #1 in FT & FG% and finished #1 in total team 3-pointers. I can’t even tell how they didn’t win a ring that year. The were defeated by the Spurs in the second round. The Spurs went on to sweep Lebron and Cavaliers in the Finals.

06-07 Utah Jazz

2006-07 Utah Jazz

As you can see I’m still in the 2006-07 season because I simply had to name both of these teams. Carlos Boozer, Deron Williams, Derek Fisher, Andrei Kirilenko, Mehmet Okur, Matt Harpring, and Paul Millsap led this team to the Western Conference Finals where they were knocked off by the Spurs.

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2007-08 & 2008-09 Orlando Magics

In the 2008 season Dwight Howard led the league in total rebound and placed #4 in blocks this season. Howard finished with about 1700 points, followed by Hedo Turkoglu with 1600, and Rashard Lewis with close to 1500. Lewis also placed #3 in total 3-pointers that season. Along with Jameer Nelson, Kieth Bogans, Keyon Dooling, J.J. Redick, the team was an offensive nightmare. The never made it past the second round.

In the 2009 season Dwight Howard went on to win Defensive Player of the Year leading the NBA in rebounds and in blocks. Rasher Lewis led the league in total 3-pointers that season. The went to the Finals to lose 4-1 to the L.A. Lakers.

08-09 Rockets

2008-09 Houston Rockets

Tracy McGrady played 35 games this season…pretty much sums up what went wrong for them. Yao Ming was #6 in total blocks and #8 in total rebounds that season. With the help of Metta World Peace, Lius Scola, Aaron Brooks, and Rafer Alston the team went on to lose a close series in the second round to L.A. Lakers. Mutombo, also plagued with injury, only played 9 games.

 

09-10 hawks

2009-10 Atlanta Hawks

Joe Johnson (1600 points that season), Jamal Crawford (1400), Josh Smith (1300), and Al Horford (1100) killed offensively. Its rare to see 4 players on one team score over 1000 points in one season. Add that with Josh Smith being #3 in total blocks the team was very diverse. Another great addition was Mike Bibby.  As good as it sounds the team got swept by Orlando in the second round of the Playoffs. Jamal Crawford won 6th Man of the year while Josh was runner up to Dwight Howard for Defensive Player of the Year.

09-10 thunder2

2010-11 & 2011-12 Oklahoma City Thunder

I picked this team for 2011 because Kevin Durant won the scoring title and Serge Ibaka led the league in blocking. Russell Westbrook landed #4 in total assists. This year the fell short to Dallas in the Western Conference Finals in which the Mavs went on to win it all.

I also picked them for 2012 season because again K.D. led the league in points and Ibaka led the league in blocks (also came second to Tyson Chandler for Defensive player of the year), while James Harden won 6th man of the year. They went on to lose to Miami Heat 4-1 in the finals

11-12 Clippers

(Honorable Mention) 2011-12 season – Los Angeles Clippers – Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, Caron Butler, Randy Foy, Mo Williams, Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin, Nick Young. Swept by Spurs in 2nd round

11-12 Knicks

(Honorable Mention) #2 for 2011-12 season – New York Knicks – Carmelo Anthony , Tyson Chandler (Defensive Player of the Year), J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Amar’e Stoudemire, Jeremy Lin, Baron Davis, Mike Bibby. Lost to Miami in the first round 4-1

2012-13 pacers

2012-13 Indian Pacers

Paul George won Most Improved Player of the year this season. Roy Hibbert was #2 for total blocks this season. As a team they were #1 in total rebounds and #5 in total blocks. Add in David West, George Hill, Lance Stephenson, and Danny Granger you had a squad who will not go out without a fight. In a tough Eastern Conference Finals they lost a 7 game series to Miami Heat who went on to win it all in the Finals. This is the 3rd time the Indian Pacers landed on the list…very unfortunate.

Like I said I did’t go past 2013 because the teams were repeating between the Spurs, Miami, and OCK. Now…what team was the best. Which team was just really unfortunate but have the total number and stats to back it up. I’m curious to see some of the answers.

  • Bruce Walton

So people are upset that they chose Serena Williams over the horse American Pharaoh?

Now, before I dig into what bothers me about this situation lets give credit where credit is due. American Pharaoh credentials…

American Pharoah (foaled February 2, 2012) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the American Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2015. In winning all four races, he became the first horse to win the “Grand Slam” of American horse racing. He won 7 of his 8 total races this year. Kudos to his jockey (Victor Espinoza) training staff and owner (Ahmed Zayat of Zayat Stables, trained by Bob Baffert).

Now for Serena’s year. Williams won 53 of the 56 matches she played this year, including three of the four Grand Slam events, and held the No. 1 spot in the WTA rankings every week.

Now the fact that the award is called “Sportsperson“should tell you were I’m headed with this. On top of that, humans have been the only ones to win this award since its birth. Below are a couple of quotes from Sports Illustrated about the issue.

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I don’t even want to declare who is more deserving of the award. I really want to speak on another issue that was brought back to my attention. Before I do I want touch on another matter at hand and it is the regard for human lives and its new perception in society.

We have being dealing with a uncanny year when it comes to national tragedy. One is, what seems to be a epidemic to me,  the mass murders/brutality of citizens from the hands of the police. Also, we have had another bad year of terrorist attacks. From the white supremacist Dylann Roof shooting and killing nine black people during a Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in an attempt to spark a race war, to the Colorado Springs shooting that stemmed from an anti-abortion movement, to the San Bernardino, CA shooting which was ruled terrorism, to the ISIS attacks in Italy. Also, the hundreds of attacks that occurred in other countries that never made top news in America. These situations have really shed light on the true colors of how certain people value certain lives over others. Especially when it comes to race. One case being the most recent backlash the Muslim Americans have been getting do to the rise of terror to the hands of ISIS. Some feel that the banishing of all Muslims is the only way to solve the act on terror whens it comes to ISIS. This method is highly absurd to me but we can touch on this issue at a later time. My focus is a tad bit different.

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Today I want to speak on Human lives vs (wild/domestic) Animal lives. One situation in particularly started this thought process of mine. The call to boycott Micheal Vick from signing to the Pittsburg Steelers. As you know Micheal Vick did close to 2 years in prison on charges of felony dog fighting conspiracy. 20,000 animal activist and Steelers fans signed a petition in hopes that the deal to sign Vick would dissipate. Unfortunately, for them, the deal went through and Vick joined the team. Since Vick’s situation with dog fighting he has bounced back remarkably. He paid his depth to society, took all blame, and even joined forces with HSUS to help stop the underground activity of dog fighting. The confusing part about this situation is that Ben Roethlisberger was accused of rape back in 2008. And it’s not like he won the case or got acquitted, they simply dropped the case and settled out of court. The same exact situation happened again this time in 2010. Ben was hit with a 6 game suspension that time.

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Yet, no one seems to care about these women’s lives. It seems Pittsburgh fans just brushed this under the rug and welcomed there beloved Ben back with open arms. Now can I blame Pittsburgh fans for not boycotting Big Ben like they did Vick, technically no, seeing that they all my not be women rights activist. In the same note I’m pretty sure not all those who signed the petition weren’t only animal activist.

It continues. This time with the fall of Cecil the Lion and Jimmy Kimmels reaction to it. See the clip below.

Jimmy Kimmel – Killing of Cecil Lion (Video)

Before I over reacted I searched for the big stories of African Americans being killed by police officers/neighborhood watchmen (Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Micheal Brown) seeing that they would most likely be covered, and couldn’t find one reaction video from Kimmel. I’m not saying there wasn’t a reaction but I was just really hoping he had the same kind of reaction for these lives, as well. He did bring Obama to his show to speak about Ferguson, but its wasn’t as intense. Kimmel even had time to squeeze in a joke. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know his personal connection with Cecil and I’m not attacking his empathy towards human life. I’m simply making a case about public perception towards human life.  It seems as though the fight in the media is to prove wether or not people deserved to die verses stopping them from dying in the first place. Now just imagine how that may be perceived in the public eyes to constantly see the media trying to justify some one dying by police because they may have been a “criminal”  or “thug”?

Now going back to this Serena vs Pharaoh situation. I don’t follow horse racing so when I first Google’d him my initial reaction was “a horse?”. After I took the time to think about it I said to myself “Well, they do have to keep up with the horse, train the horse, etc. so you can’t take that away from them.” Yet, I can’t help but think that, well, why would they want them to race if they are known for getting killed if they endure an injury? I mean, for those who put animal lives so high why would they even want this sport to have light shed on it, right? They don’t feel this is exploitation of animals just as well as dog fighting? I’m pretty sure a horse would’t race on it’s own. This is extreme but I feel it is necessary to put into the light. I don’t feel people can be half way activist. Like those who boycotted Vick, I wonder if they eat meat or costume products that come from the death of animals.

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Right now what I’m seeking is understanding. I had an incident happen that hit home for me and my community. A local woman went viral after posting a picture of her dog with his mouth tapped shut with the caption “this is what happens when you don’t shut up.” I have to be completely honest, from the things I have posted about the “Black Lives Matter” movement I have created a lot of tension with my fellow comrads on my Facebook account. Mainly, if not only, from white people. Amazingly, some of the same people who argued that “those thugs shouldn’t have broken the law” when speaking of the lives that were lost to the hands of police, came together unitedly and with vengeance to catch this woman. The woman was found I believe a week later. My thoughts were “Hmmm, now just imagine if they cared about human lives in the same manner”.

The understanding I want is what am I missing? What would make a person value animal life over human life? I rebuttal myself by saying maybe these people feel this way because animals can’t defend themselves. Which is very true. My thing is if we can’t value human life first, being that we are humans, how can we value anything for that matter? If the point of saving animals lives is for the sake of the Earth then aren’t human lives the most important seeing that we are the dominant species of the planet Earth? We, as humans, have the ability the restore this hell on Earth. To me this is a sign that people have given up on humanity. Maybe they feel that humans are a lost cause and that some people just won’t change. Maybe all we have left is the natural instinct that animals have to just nurture the planet. I hope this isn’t true and I’m am sorry if animals lovers feel they are being attacked. That is definitely not the case. I’m purely just a man who feels that saving the humans should be the leading agenda of saving the Earth. I also apologize for going off subject with the Serena and Pharaoh situation, as well. I think this was just my breaking point.

The reason why I’m comparing this situation is because I feel that why publicly take away Serena’s win for a horse that doesn’t even have feelings to be upset about not winning? Why can’t people just be happy that an animal was even considered in a an award race the caters to humans? Thats just my thoughts. My opinion isn’t law.

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P.S., Caitlyn Jenner won Woman of the Year and she has a Penis….but I’m sure no one will outrage that one. Hmmmmm…..

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Bruce Walton

Keedie’s Corner 2015

 

Jeanette Demarigny – Post Fight Interview – Breakthrough 18

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Jeanett trained 4 1/2 years at The Jungle MMA under Mauy Thia and BJJ. She became a purple belt in BJJ during the process. She says that she constantly trains but started her weight cut about 2-3 months prior to this particular fight. She has also earned two grappling tournaments in the past where she was honored with 2 NAGA gold medals.

She was particularly proud of being able to participate in the “Fight for the Cure” event with Breakthrough MMA which gave donations towards breast cancer. Thanks to all the woman whom participated. Click the video below to hear more in depth on what she had to say about her fight.

Keediescorner@gmail.com