What You Didn’t Know about Carmelo Anthony

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Carmelo Anthony was born in Brooklyn, New York to an African American mother, Mary and Puerto Rican father who he is named after. He is the youngest of four and before his third birthday his father passed away , leaving Mary a struggling single mother.

While his mother worked as a housekeeper, his much older siblings helped to raise him as they lived in the projects of Red Hook. To pass the time, Anthony would watch hours of March Madness and NBA Playoff games.

After the passing of his father, his life would go on to change more once his siblings went on their own paths and left home. This time around, Mary had to take care of Anthony on her own and she moved her son to Baltimore when he was eight. What she didn’t know was that the area called the “The Pharmacy,” was plagued by drugs, prostitution and crime.

To keep her son away from trouble she threatened to keep him off the basketball court if he didn’t behave. This incentive would later help him in his high school, college and NBA career as a basketball player. By 1999, the high school sophomore from Towson Catholic High School was becoming one of the best ball players in the Baltimore area.

Although he was 6’5″, Anthony and his mother knew he wasn’t ready for the big leagues of basketball yet.  To keep from slipping with grades in school, Anthony later attended the strict Oak Hill Academy, and worked out more so that he would go from a skinny high school basketball player to become a possible division one college prospect. By the time he graduated he went to Syracuse University where he shined by helping the team out of a slump to become a winning streak that led to the Big East Tournament semifinals.

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From this point, the freshman and his teammates knew he had what it would take to join the NBA. He left college, with his coach’s support, and he became part of the top three picks in the NBA for 2003. He was selected by the much beleaguered Denver Nuggets. Once again, this time he went even further than his college team and brought the Nuggets to the playoffs, and later that year helped the U.S. win a bronze medal in the Olympics.

More change would come in Anthony’s life. His behavior on and off the court started leading to his reputation as being “thug like,” and he knew that he quickly had to change his ways.

In 2008, the U.S. Olympic team would win a gold medal at the Beijing games redeeming themselves from the previous Olympics. When it came to playing in the U.S., the Nuggets went through turnover after turnover with coaches. After eight years with the Nuggets, Anthony was traded for the Knicks.

If there was anyone to help mellow Anthony out during that transition to the Knicks, it was Alani “La La” Vasquez, his girlfriend since 2004. In 2007, the couple welcomed their only child, son Kiyan and by 2010 the couple had married shortly before the trade announcement. In 2011, the Knicks made it to the playoffs and Anthony tied his postseason personal high of 42 points. Now, Anthony is playing for the team that he grew up watching during his childhood.

 

More Carmelo Fun Facts…

He owns a Soccer Team in Puerto Rico
♠He holds the record for the most points ever scored in the Madison Square Garden by any player in history. This game was in 2014 and he managed to get a whopping 62 points!

♣Carmelo and his Puerto Rican dad share the same first name. His dad also sadly passed away when Melo was only 2 years old, and the passing was due to cancer

♥He was cut from his high school team as a freshman.

♦He bought a pet camel.

♣He’s afraid of cats.

♠He listens to Willie Colon every day.

♥His father, Carmelo Iriarte, was a member of the Young Lords.

♦He won the Big East Rookie of the Year Award 10 times surpassing Allen Iverson even though he was in college for one

♠He became the sixth youngest and the 40th player to score 20,000 points in his career this year

♦He was on the cover of LatinTRENDS Magazine

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ROBIN LOPEZ PROVING HE IS NOT HIS BROTHERS SIDEKICK

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The New York Knicks going into the 2015-16 season was stripped bare with only one star, Carmelo Anthony. But GM Phil Jackson started replenishing the cubbard and found names that were not famous, but familiar to NBA knowledgeables.

Robin Lopez, of Cuban descent, has turned out to be such an example. The 27 year old twin brother of the more known Brook Lopez, of the Brooklyn Nets, is playing a stellar center for the Knicks, his fourth team.

He is a terror for NBA mascots and a comic book enthusiast who also did Theater productions in his college days at Stanford University. But its the hardwood where his best work can be seen.

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Robin, whose wild hair and height is hard to miss, is putting in the production. He is averaging eleven points and nearly six rebounds per game for a Knick team who has surprised the league thus far at 4-4 and are on pace to smash their mere seventeen win total last season, the worst in franchise history. Robin has had a significant impact as his no nonsense attitude has forged a toughness to balance the style of Anthony.

In one contest he lost his shoe after a rebound but continued playing for a minute without requesting any timeouts. He is contributing a mindset that confirms Robin is not the second best Lopez and no mere sidekick.

LEANDRO BARBOSA IS GOLDEN-CROWNED

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The shooting guard from the Golden State Warriors was able to do last night what his native Brazil failed to accomplish last year, win a World Championship. Leandro Barbosa, known as the “Brazilian Blur” is also a prophet, predicting that the Warriors, who finished a league best 67-15 would win the NBA Championship.

“Six months ago, I called it.”

Barbosa proclaimed in the winning locker room after a game six victory over Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, which netted Golden State their first NBA championship since 1975.

“The impact he’s made on this team is dramatic.”

Head Coach Steve Kerr explained,

“Such a big part of the game is chemistry and unity and that stuff factors in.”

Two years ago, Leandro was damaged goods, an ACL injury and family issues two years ago in Boston. Phoenix took a chance and he showed he could still do it until a hand fracture ended his season. But Golden State saw something valuable in him when he impressed at the 2014 FIBA World Cup Championship, particularly against the Philadelphia 76ers, when he torched them for 17 points and 7 boards.

In Game five of the 2015 NBA Finals, Leandro had his biggest point explosion hitting for 13 points and 2 rebounds, putting more pressure on a Cleveland team missing Kyrie Irving as LeBron James felt the pressure of carrying his team throughout until even he wore down.

In the clinching 105-97 win on the Cleveland home court, Barbosa contributed five points, three rebounds, and an assist off the bench. Barbosa joins Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs, 2014) as the only Brazilians to win a NBA Championship.

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Mexican Basketball Star Signs A Multi-Year Contract in the NBA

Jorge Gutierrez

All those short jokes can be put to rest now that Mexico will see another player in the National Basketball Association. Jorge Gutierrez just signed a multiyear contract with the Milwaukee Bucks.

The team along with Coach Jason Kidd, one of the best point guards of all time, must like what they see in Gutierrez to sign him before other teams meet with him at the end of the season. In 2015 Gutierrez averaged 3.6 points, 2.1 rebounds in 13.1 minutes.

Gutierrez is the fourth Mexican to play professional basketball in the NBA. Horacio Llamas is the first Mexican to play in the professional level. At 6’ 11’ Llamas played for the Phoenix Suns in 1996. In 2000 the 6’ 8” Eduardo Najera (that’s a tall Mexican) was drafted by the Houston Rockets and played for 12-years for six teams. The other tall glass of chile is Gustavo Ayon. The 6’ 10” center was undrafted but played for four NBA teams and continues to play professionally in Spain, where the competition is not easy.

Gutierrez, 26, born in Chihuahua, Mexico, was Pacific-12 Conference Player of the Year and also Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the Golden Bears of California University in 2011-12.

Even with all those collegiate basketball accolades and awards, the gringos didn’t draft Gutierrez. But that’s ok because he still got in. Gutierrez entered the NBD-League, which is like the junior varsity of the NBA. The Brooklyn Nets signed him to a 10-day contract allowing then Nets coach Kidd to witness Gutierrez’s basketball talents.

Dominican NBA All Star Al Horford Campaigns for #LeaninTogether

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All Star Al Horford, along with LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and the National Basketball Association, has teamed up with the non-profit organization, Lean In, to campaign for women’s equality.

The pride of Dominican Republic, Al Horford, 28, lends his voice to the website LeanIn.org, who created the public service campaign while partnering with the NBA and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).

The campaign encourages men to “show the world they’re for equality” and women to “celebrate men leaning in for equality” by “posting… the hashtag #LeanInTogether,” states the NBA.

LeanIn.org gives men tips on how to be a more supportive husband, father, coworker and manager at home and work to their wife, daughters and generally all women.

“Help women aim high,” says Horford on the promotional video for the #LeanInTogether campaign.

Horford, born in Puerto Plata, DR, was a first round draft pick (3rd overall) by Atlanta. His team, the Hawks, are now the surprise of the NBA with the best winning record to date. The team’s success has a lot to do with Horford’s ability to defend and play as a center and a power forward. Plus, Horford’s ability to score and pass encouraged coaches to elect him to play on this year’s 2015 All Star game at Brooklyn’s Barclay Center.

The pride of Dominican Republic left his native land as a teen and then played for the University of Florida, where Horford led his team to two NCAA national championships (yes, he’s that good). But Horford’s love of Dominican Republic is always displayed. He recently tweeted his pride in Spanish for the Dominican Independence day.

Now the three-time NBA All Star is married to the beautiful Amelia Vega – the youngest Miss Universe since 1994. Vega, representing Dominican Republic, won her crown in 2003 when she was 18-years-old. That’s why Horford knows about treating women right… Vega doesn’t play that!

Active NBA player comes out

Veteran NBA center Jason Collins.

Veteran NBA center Jason Collins.

In a piece that will be featured in the May 6, 2013 edition of Sports Illustrated, 34-year-old National Basketball Association center Jason Collins reveals he is gay.

Collins, a 7-footer from Northridge, Calif. whose identical twin, Jarron, also played in the NBA, is the first active player in any of the major American professional sports leagues—the NBA, National Hockey League, National Football League and Major League Baseball—to make such a revelation.

Here’s an excerpt from Collins’ announcement:

"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay.

I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, ‘I’m different.’ If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.

My journey of self-discovery and self-acknowledgement began in my hometown of Los Angeles and has taken me through two state high school championships, the NCAA Final Four and the Elite Eight, and nine playoffs in 12 NBA seasons.

I’ve played for six pro teams and have appeared in two NBA Finals. Ever heard of a parlor game called Three Degrees of Jason Collins? If you’re in the league, and I haven’t been your teammate, I surely have been one of your teammates’ teammates. Or one of your teammates’ teammates’ teammates.

Now I’m a free agent, literally and figuratively. I’ve reached that enviable state in life in which I can do pretty much what I want. And what I want is to continue to play basketball. I still love the game, and I still have something to offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that. At the same time, I want to be genuine and authentic and truthful.”

To read more, click here.

Michael Jordan slapped with paternity suit

Michael Jordan, owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats, allegedly has a secret son.

There’s an extra heir to six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan’s empire should a paternity suit filed in Fulton County, Ga. check out. Pamela Smith, mother of Grant Pierce Jay Jordan Reynolds, 16, claims her teenage son was conceived during a hookup she and the NBA great had in 1995.

Reynolds, an amateur rapper who goes by the nickname “Taj,” actually announced that he is Jordan’s son in a YouTube video which surfaced in December.

“I have some exclusive, exclusive information I feel like everybody should know,” Reynolds said. “If you’ve been hearing any rumors on Twitter, Instagram, MediaTakeout, any of that—it’s true.

“I feel like ya’ll should know and I feel like he (Jordan) should be more in my life about it, too,” he added. “Because if I was somebody’s dad, I would want to be in my kid’s life.”

According to Reynolds, the former Chicago Bulls guard knows that he is Reynolds’ father.

“The reason I’m making this video is for everybody to know, for him to come out the dark and stop being … secretive about it,” he said. “[Because] he knows I’m his son. I met him, all that stuff. We talked, had a conversation. I just want him to be more in my life about that situation.”

While the legal process has to play out, see for yourself if there’s any resemblance between Reynolds and Jordan in the aforementioned video.

Jordan has three children (two sons, one daughter) with his ex-wife, Juanita Vanoy, who received a $168 million settlement after their 2006 divorce.