"Any way the wind blows" - Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody
One of the big joys in this world, for me, is basketball. The NBA is the pinnacle of the basketball world. For someone looking from outside the United States, it is clear that the NBA does have its issues. These are mainly the extreme commercialization of the game, which drives an extremely liberal interpretation of the rules to ensure entertainment (one example is the NBA’s interpretation of travelling violations, which in practice is even more open to taking steps then the already highly liberal text of the law).
This year the Toronto Raptors became NBA champions, beating the all-powerful Golden State Warriors (some injuries helped…). Interesting has been the “African” contribution to this win. Serge Ibaka (Spanish, but originally from Congo) and Pascal Siakam (from Cameroon). African players are not a new phenomenon, not even as key players in NBA championship teams – I remember watching Hakeem Olajuwon from Nigeria win two championships when I was younger.
But particularly interesting this time is the role of Masai Ujiri as the central executive of the Raptors. He essentially constructed this team, including making several high-risk and gutsy trades. To see an African make it to be the top executive of an NBA team – and win – is impressive and a good positive story. Others have said it better, so if interested to know more, please follow this link.
18.6.2019, Niamey, Niger.
Online encampment of A. S. Barry. Disparate and not-so-disparate thoughts on international relations, development, writing, and life.