NewBlackMan: Taking Their Talents to the Rucker, Watts and Manila: What Lockout?

Taking Their Talents to the Rucker, Watts and Manila: What Lockout?

Taking Their Talents to the Rucker, Watts and Manila: What Lockout?

by David J. Leonard | NewBlackMan

In recent weeks, LeBron James decided to take his talents to a high school gym in Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul and a number of other NBA players decided to take their talents to the Philippines and Kevin Durant took his talents to Rucker Park. On, August 2, Kevin Durant dropped 66 during a Rucker Park game. For the footage I was able to watch, it wasn’t an average 66 but a performance that included several thrilling dunks, smooth drives to the basket, and a sick number of three pointers over at times three “defenders.” His performance wowed an excited crowd and has mesmerized fans on YouTube (almost 600,000 views for one video of his performance). Marc Berman describes the scene as a reminder of how “how much the hardcore fans still love this game, why it matters, why an NBA season can not be lost so billionaires can get a sweetheart deal.” Emphasizing the context of the lockout, Berman illustrates how this was not just another July game at the Rucker.

It was quite a basketball doubleheader on Monday – covering the lockout labor talks at a ritzy midtown hotel on 52nd Street and Park Avenue, then cabbing it 100 blocks uptown to Harlem for Kevin Durant.

More than 2,500 fans jammed into Rucker Park – standing room only on 155th street and 8th Avenue. The 6-11 OKC superstar played for free and the fans of the EBC Rucker League watched for free, but what they saw was priceless.

Going from the disillusioning labor talks and the dour David Stern bashing the Players Association to Monday night’s basketball bedlam in Harlem was a shot in the arm for this basketball scribe.

The game was living and breathing and still pure, with fans screaming their lungs out, jumping up and down in their metal bleacher seats, almost every time Durant brought the ball up court. Durant, wearing the orange of DC Power, dumped a near EBC Rucker record 66 points on the Sean Bell All-Stars . . ..

Durant was not done. For his encore, he scored a mere 41 in a pro-Am game at Baruch College once again reminding fans around the globe of the amazing talents of NBA stars. Yet, this performance was overshadowed by the efforts of John Lucas III, who netted 60 in that game.

Durant has not been the only one ballin’ this summer. LeBron James played at in the Drew Summer League dropping 33 points at the Leon H. Washington Park gym, which is located in the heart of Watts, California. Casper Ware described the situation as “a great experience.” Challenging the media demonization of LeBron, the senior guard from Long Beach State was immensely complementary of James: “He was still passing even though he was LeBron. He just wanted me to play my game. He told me, ‘Don’t stand around and just throw me the ball. Play your game. I can get mine. Play your game and don’t change for me.’ He was very cool and down to earth. You could talk to him like any other player.” From coast to coast, NBA basketball fans have been treated to the greatness of the league.

Continue reading at NewBlackMan: Taking Their Talents to the Rucker, Watts and Manila: What Lockout?.