Posted in Lakers, Tribute, Video by minoroots on 08/05/2010

Chick Hearn passed away on August 5th, 2002. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been 8 years.

Do yourself a favor and go check out the tribute to Chick from TNLP blog.

I never had a chance to meet the man himself but it seemed like I knew him forever because I grew up listening to him and because we shared that one common ground of basketball. Chick Hearn brought people together with his infectious enthusiasm of the game… and his enthusiasm of life itself.

With Spero Dedes gone, I’ll miss Chick even more during the upcoming season…

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Coach, Say It Ain’t So…

Posted in Life, Tribute, Video by minoroots on 06/03/2010

Update 6/4/10: From UCLA:

UCLA’s legendary former basketball coach John Wooden, who in 27 years led his teams to stunning triumphs and was just as well known for mentoring his players off the court and for his motivational “Pyramid of Success,” died at 6:45 p.m. of natural causes. He was 99. His 100th birthday would have been Oct. 14.

The world lost one of its best today. May you rest in peace, Coach Wooden…

I’ll never forget your surprisingly firm handshake at age 96. I’ll always remember the eloquent speech you gave for student athletes at the Wooden Academy kickoff. I’ll forever cherish the basketball you signed for me, along with your “Best wishes.”

You’ll be missed by many, but never forgotten. “Best wishes” to you and Nellie.

CBS News:

Legendary Bruins basketball coach John Wooden is reportedly in grave condition at UCLA Medical Center.

It’s understood that he hasn’t eaten in the last couple days and is very ill.

Can’t stomach this…

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RIP Nujabes

Posted in Music, Tribute by minoroots on 03/18/2010

For quite some time, Nujabes’ tracks have been the ringtone on my phone. So the news of his death came as an absolute shock.

From Shing02’s website:

It has been announced that Jun Seba, aka Nujabes, Japanese hip hop producer extraordinaire, passed away late February. Official statement from the label (in Japanese) here:

We deeply regret the loss of a unique talent and a close friend. Through his soulful music, Nujabes has touched so many people around the world, even beyond his dreams. He was a mysterious character to most as he avoided the public limelight, rarely conducted interviews, so only a few got to know the man behind the signature production. Yet it continued to amaze me how young listeners of all backgrounds learned of his enigmatic name, and expressed support for his music.


While we continue to respect the privacy of his family, we will work to preserve his legacy, and pay tribute to the body of work, some unreleased, that he has left for us to enjoy. Jun Seba will be dearly missed by his family, friends, colleagues, and fans worldwide.

I never thought that I would be so shocked and saddened over the death of someone I’ve never even met. I knew nothing about who Jun Seba, the person, was. But Nujabes, the artist, connected. Definitely a huge influence on me as well as many of my peers.

May his soul continue to lay down sick tracks in peace.

…Whenever you are feeling blue / Keep walking and we can get far / Wherever you are

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RIP Howard Zinn

Posted in Thoughts, Tribute by minoroots on 01/27/2010

“It doesn’t take much thought about terrorism to realize that when somebody talks about a war on terrorism, they’re dealing with a contradiction in terms. How can you make war on terrorism, if war itself is terrorism?”

Howard Zinn, 8/24/1922 – 1/27/2010

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The Holy Grail

Posted in Photography, Tribute by minoroots on 01/07/2010

I won’t call myself a collector (I hardly have a collection), but I’m definitely a shoe head when it comes to basketball kicks… This is my first (and possibly last) purely indulgent purchase of shoes, and I’m happy to say that I’m 100% satisfied.

For those of you not familiar with the history & status of these shoes as the Holy Grail of all Air Jordans, allow yourself to be educated over at Nicekicks.com.

Took some pictures below to share in my unboxing excitement (fellow shoe heads and tech geeks: you know what I’m talking about!)…

Air Jordan XI Retro “Space Jam”

Ahhhh I love the smell of new shoes!

Coach Wooden – 99 Years Young

Posted in Hoops, Tribute, Video by minoroots on 10/14/2009

He has got to be the sharpest 99-year old on earth.

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Vodpod videos no longer available.

Happy Birthday Coach Wooden!

Some of my favorite famous Coach Wooden quotes:

Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

Learn as if you were to live forever; live as if you were to die tomorrow.

Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you.

And also a pair of my favorite not-quite-as-famous quotes from coach:

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.

You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.

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The Journey

Posted in Lakers, Tribute by minoroots on 06/18/2009

Game 1: Kobe Drops 40, Laker blowout

Andrew D. Bernstein NBAE/Getty Images

Andrew D. Bernstein NBAE/Getty Images

Game 2: Sunday Whites

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

Courtney Lee – close, but no cigar

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Game 3: Orlando shoots lights out, earns big win

Elsa/Getty Images

Elsa/Getty Images

Finals in Orlando

Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Game 4: Deep Fishin’

Chris Graythen/NBAE/Getty Images

Chris Graythen/NBAE/Getty Images

Sends it to OT

Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images

Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images

Game 5: Close-out

NBAE Photos

NBAE Photos

LO w/ the beautiful up-&-under

NBAE Photos

NBAE Photos

2 guys, 8 rings

Ronald Martinez/NBAE/Getty Images

Ronald Martinez/NBAE/Getty Images

Journey complete

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

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Lakers Haven’t Won Since Chick Left

Posted in Lakers, Tribute by minoroots on 05/15/2009

My last post brought back some nostalgia from the Chick Hearn-era of Laker basketball. The Lakers haven’t won the title since Chick Hearn passed away in late 2002. Hopefully this year changes things… but boy, would it be great to have him right now to point this team in the right direction. I realized that on the current team, only Kobe and Fish were around to get to know Chick during their time with the Lakers.

Here’s one excerpt that really reminded me of how great Chick really was:

It was a thing to behold, Chick Hearn doing play-by-play. Nobody ever tries to imitate him. Other basketball announcers are content to merely call the name of each player who touches the ball, then review the play in its aftermath. Hearn kept you right up to date. If a player made a stutterstep move, then dribbled to his left and around a screen to the corner of the key, then pulled up for a jumper, you’d get the hesitation, an assessment of its effect on the defender, the dribble, the name of the screener and the spot on the floor where the shooter popped up, expressed in terms of direction and distance from the basket, and if another defender stepped up you’d get his name too, all with enough time to spare for Hearn to say the ball was “on the way” — while it still was. And if the shooter was fouled and the shot missed: “Counts-if-it-GOES-it-doesn’t-go!”

Try it sometime, just for fun, to see if you can do it. Nobody else ever does. Not with a microphone turned on anyway.

I just imagined it, and I can hear Chick making that call (really, just try to call the scene out loud as if you were Chick—it’s impossible). And that part about other announcers merely calling the names of players who touch the ball, then review the play afterward? So true. It’s so slow & easy today, since they’re calling the action retroactively over a slow-motion instant replay. Turn on ESPN or TNT and take a listen to Mike Breen or Kevin Harlan… they’re good, but nowhere near Chick good.

…and about my previous rant on how the Lakers would’ve responded to Chick—I’ll let this anecdote speak for itself:

CNNSI.com: Do you have a favorite Chick memory?

Taylor: A few years ago, when Kobe Bryant was in maybe his second year and Del Harris was the Lakers’ head coach, Chick came down to the court and wanted to talk to a few players before the game. He called to Kobe at exactly the same time that Harris did, and you could see that Kobe had a decision to make about who he was going to respond to.

Kobe started toward Chick, and Chick gave him a quick, little shake of the head that said, “No, no. Go to Del.” And that’s what Kobe did. That really told me the kind of respect he got, that players kind of ranked him above their coach.

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