by Perry GreenFor New Pittsburgh Courier Can the 2012 U.S. national men’s basketball team beat 1992’s original Dream Team?That question has been the hottest sports topic of discussion throughout the past week, and it all started when Kobe Bryant, a member of the 2012 Team USA squad told reporters that his team could take out the Dream Team. HALL OF FAMERS—USA’s Michael Jordan sails high above teammate Magic Johnson knocking away a shot during a preliminary round game with Croatia at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona on July 12, 1992. Jordan told The Associated Press July 12, that he laughed, “I absolutely laughed”, when hearing Kobe Bryant’s comments that the squad training in Las Vegas could take Jordan and company. (AP Photo/Susan Ragan, File) Since then, several pundits have labeled Bryant’s comments ridiculous. Nonsense, they say. Even Michael Jordan, easily the best player of the ‘92 team and arguably the greatest player ever, dismissed Bryant’s claims by laughing at them when a reporter brought them to his attention.But what’s even funnier is that if both teams actually did face off, Bryant would not only have the last laugh, but I believe that Jordan knows deep down inside that Kobe is right.Most sports columnists and National Basketball Association (NBA) experts that have debated this topic have all seemed to agree about the same thing: they all believe that it’s only natural for Kobe to say that any team that he plays for would win the game. They all believe that Kobe’s fierce competitive nature wouldn’t allow him to admit that he could lose to anyone.I agree. That same competitive spirit helped him win five NBA titles with 14 All-Star Game appearances.But I also think the same of six-time NBA champ Michael Jordan. I think Jordan’s competitive ego is worst than Kobe’s and he’d never admit to the possibility of losing either.So if both Kobe and MJ are both calling each other’s bluff, who would actually win?After careful deliberation, I’d have to go with Kobe’s 2012 squad.Bryant explained both the advantages and disadvantages the 2012 team would have against the Dream Team.“Well, just from a basketball standpoint, [the Dream Team] obviously have a lot more size than we do—you know, with (David) Robinson and (Patrick) Ewing and (Karl) Malone and those guys,” Bryant told reporters in Las Vegas during the Team USA’s practice. “But they were also —some of those wing players—were also a lot older, at kind of the end of their careers. We have just a bunch of young racehorses, guys that are eager to compete. So I don’t know. It’d be a tough one, but I think we’d pull it out.”The young “racehorses” Kobe mentioned includes reigning NBA Finals MVP LeBron James, three-time NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant, and five-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony. Each of these three forwards stands at least six feet eight inches tall, and can not only dominate from the wing but can also bang with the big boys down in the paint.Malone, Ewing and Robinson of the “Dream Team” each stand nearly seven feet tall so their size would give the 2012 squad problems, just as Kobe hinted. The only seven-footer on the 2012 team is New York Knicks starting center Tyson Chandler, who won Defensive Player of the Year last season and helped the Dallas Mavericks win the 2011 NBA title. I have no doubt that Chandler would hold his own against the Dream Team’s big boys. Chandler can’t guard them all by himself, but he could contain Robinson.Malone, Ewing and even Charles Barkley, one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history, would have an advantage over the 2012 team’s power forwards, consisting of former Kentucky University star forward/center Anthony Davis and Minnesota Timberwolves star forward/center Kevin Love.But let’s not act like Love and Davis are bums. Davis, the National College Player of the Year, was drafted with the No. 1 overall pick in this summer’s NBA draft and is expected to develop into a combination of Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan, arguably the two best power forwards to ever play basketball. Love didn’t receive the same hype Davis did when he was drafted into the NBA in 2008, but he has made a great impact within his first four years in the league, earning two trips to the NBA All-Star game while averaging 26 points with 15 rebounds last season.Love’s 26 points and 15 rebounds matches Barkley’s career-highs of 25 points and 12 rebounds averaged during the 1993 season when he won the NBA’s MVP award. Barkley stood six-feet six inches tall, weighing 250 pounds during his prime, while Love stands six-feet 10-inches tall at 260 pounds; with those measurements, it’s safe to assume Love could hold his own against Barkley.With all that being said, the 2012 team’s weakness in size doesn’t appear as much of a disadvantage as initially thought. Meanwhile, the Dream Team still has its weakness in old age, especially on the wing.Besides Jordan and his former Chicago Bulls running mate Scottie Pippen, every other wing player for the Dream Team was either too old or outmatched to stand a chance defending the 2012 team’s wing players.Larry Bird, a co-captain of ’92 team, is one of the all-time greats when it comes to pro basketball, but he would have been too old defending young stars like LeBron, Carmelo and Durant. The same thing can be said about Clyde “the Glide” Drexler; he was great player, but he would have been embarrassed trying to guard the young run-and-gunners of this summer’s Olympic team. And same goes for Dream Team reservist Chris Mullen.The Dream Team had who I believe is the greatest point guard to ever play basketball in Magic Johnson, but he was also too old at that point of his career to defend the star point guards of the 2012 team, which includes Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook. And Magic’s backup, John Stockton, would have been “cooked” trying to defend Paul, Williams and Westbrook, too.It’s hard for any basketball fan over the age of 30 to believe that the Dream Team would lose to anyone. That’s like telling me as a child that Superman would lose in a fight to the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers. I grew up watching Superman beat everyone so I don’t want to hear anything about anyone being able to take down the greatest super hero of all time.But contrary to their phenomenal abilities on the court, basketball players aren’t super heroes; they’re humans. And humans can’t escape Father Time. We all get old and we all get beaten.And the same would have happened to the team we remember as the Dream Team.(Perry Green is sports editor for the Afro American newspapers.)
Following Saturday night’s gala at which $95,000 was raised, the Save the Seraphs Fund now stands at $962,000. The goal is to raise $1 million.Elizabeth Wulfhorst, public relations chairwoman for the Save the Seraphs Fundraising committee, said that the money came from ticket sales, raffles, silent auction items and even sales of Mater Dei Prep Pandora bracelet charms at its gala at the Shore Casino in Atlantic Highlands, which drew a crowd of 455 people, including NBC News’ Brian Williams.With this momentum, hitting the $1 million goal seems within reach, said Wulfhorst.“We’re so excited. It means basically we can move forward,” she said in an interview Sunday evening. “The million dollars is what we need to get to be financially viable.”The fund has about $350,000 in cash donations, and the balance in pledges. It recently acquired 501(c)(3) status. “Now we’re going to start turning those pledges into donations,” she said.She declined to identify who the big donors are, saying that the school treasures all of the donations the campaign has received. “We’ve had a lot of generous donors,” she said.The school community is striving to raise $1 million to close a funding gap, or face closure in its 50th year as a regional parochial high school in Middletown, NJ.— By Muriel J. Smith and Christina Johnson
Huber is described as a very calm, positional goaltender who can win big games.“Brett is a quality goaltender who has been very consistent over the past few seasons,” says Saints head coach Alex Evin. “I have had my eye on him for quite some time and we are very lucky to have Brett join our program.”Huber is joined in the 2015-2016 recruiting class by Hurry, the younger brother of former Saints’ standout goaltender Chris Hurry.Standing at 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds, Hurry joins the Saints after playing 148 games on the blueline in the KIJHL. Hurry will bring a dedicated work ethic both in academics and athletics to the Saints program.“Nelson is a great teammate and hard worker,” says Evin. “He has many similar characteristics that his brother Chris had and I know he will fit right in with our team.”Both players arrive to the Saints with high regard from their former coach.“The Summerland Steam is very proud to that Brett and Nelson have committed to play for Selkirk College in the upcoming season,” says Steam head coach John Depourcq. “Both players have been a pleasure to coach and instrumental in the success of our team over the last three seasons. Their work ethic, ability, and leadership skills will be a real asset at the college level, not only on the ice, but in the classroom.”Huber plans to enroll in the University Arts and Sciences Program at Selkirk College with a concentration on Psychology, while Hurry plans to enrol in the two-year Associate of Science Degree Program and work towards a degree in Kinesiology in the future. Huber and Hurry join the 2015-2016 Saints recruiting class of forwards Dallas Calvin (Trail, BCHL), Troy Maclise (Osoyoos, KIJHL) and Marcel Fuchs (Creston, KIJHL). With a third straight British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) championship now part of the history books, the Selkirk College Saints continue to build towards continued success.The hockey program is pleased to announce the playing commitments of Brett Huber and Nelson Hurry to attend and compete for the Saints beginning in the 2015-2016 BCIHL season. Both players are fresh off successful junior careers with the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s (KIJHL) Summerland Steam.Huber is a 5-foot-10, 165-pound goaltender who recently led the Steam to the second round of the playoffs and helped the team set a franchise record for goals against average in a season with 2.71.The Calgary native was the backbone of the Steam, posting three shutouts, a 2.38 GAA and .916 save percentage in 31 appearances while posting a winning record of 17-11-2 during the regular season. Huber was among the league leaders in all goaltending categories.“I chose Selkirk College because it’s the right fit to keep developing my hockey skills while getting an education,” says Huber.“I can’t say enough about my time in Summerland, everyone there made my junior career unforgettable. Playing there helped me develop tremendously on and off the ice.”According to the team blog, Huber leaves the Steam as the franchise leader in games played (92), goals against average (2.90), save percentage (.910), minutes played (5,059) and shots faced (2,664) while being awarded team MVP the past two seasons.
Can evolutionary theory build a bottom-up explanation of higher cognitive functions? David Papineau (King’s College) doubts it. In his review of The Physiology of Truth: Neuroscience and Human Knowledge by Jean-Pierre Changeux (transl. Malcolm DeBevoise, Belknap Press: 2004), published in the June 3 issue of Nature,1 he gives the author high marks, but concedes that this neurophysiologist with outstanding credentials falls into the usual trap:Can neurophysiology cast any light on the human condition? Books that set themselves this ambition, and there are plenty, are invariably disappointing. The problem is not that we lack information at the neuronal level – a great deal is known about cell receptors, neurotransmitters, re-entrant connections and so on. Rather, the difficulty lies in relating this microscopic knowledge to higher human faculties such as thought, emotion and consciousness. To get round this, popular-science books by the likes of Francis Crick, Joseph LeDoux or Antonio Damasio typically have the following trajectory. We start with a few chapters on the neuronal nitty-gritty. But then the gears surreptitiously change, and we switch to speculation about the mind’s higher powers. However, any serious theorizing at this level tends to be ‘boxological’, rather than physiological — we are given flowcharts connecting posited brain modules, but there is no bottom-up, cell-level account of how these modules might work. Perhaps this is unsurprising, given the kind of evidence that is currently available about the large-scale operations of the mind. In recent years, functional-imaging data have been added to findings from studies of brain lesions. But even these new data are at too gross a scale: it is like trying to figure out how a computer works by noting when different bits get hot and what goes wrong when certain parts are broken. With luck, this might give us some idea of where certain operations are located, but it is not going to tell us about the mechanisms that make them possible.So is the mind Freud’s black box? Cognitive psychologists seem to be in the same boat as the evolutionists Michael Behe described in Darwin’s Black Box. They can watch the inputs and outputs, but have no idea how to get from one to the other; they end up with vague, handwaving, “boxological” explanations. That does not prevent Changeux from proposing a “neural darwinism,” a tentative mechanism based on “selective favouring of some spontaneously formed synaptic connections over others during development.” Papineau is unconvinced this makes any progress. Changeux has plenty to say about neural darwinism, and touches on functionalism [the belief no molecular mechanisms can explain higher cognitive functions] in passing, but he doesn’t quite spell out the connection between them. Still, his book presents a more satisfying picture of the brain than most of its competitors in this crowded market. On standard accounts, it can simply seem frustrating that we never get any bottom-up explanations of higher cognitive functions. If the structure of the brain is laid down by a definite genetic plan, then why can’t we find out about the underlying mechanisms? Changeux’s book fails to identify any such mechanisms too, but at least he gives us some insight into why the search for them may be doomed to permanent frustration.David Papineau, “Mind the gap,” Nature Nature 429, 505 – 506 (03 June 2004); doi:10.1038/429505a.If truth evolves, it isn’t the truth. As usual, Darwinists want to explain everything, even the intangibles, in terms of unguided materialistic processes. But in the area of the mind, have they even begun? Papineau says no, despite the crowded market of contenders; they all reveal it to be an exercise in “permanent frustration.” The result is simplistic just-so stories, as unsatisfying as “presto, Changeux.” We know the mind influences the body, and the body influences the mind, but neither can be reduced to the other. Consider what a conundrum it must be to a materialist to realize that though our individual brains are composed of quadrillions of neurons, which all join together in unique ways during development – making each of us one-of-a-kind in the universe – we still can hold conversations and understand quite a bit about each other. Scientists can peer review each other’s papers and judge the merits of their arguments. That indicates that the capacities for relationships and logical thinking were designed into us from the beginning. It also points to an intangible nature expressed through, but not reducible to, our bodies. We also have a sense of self, a conscience, and a hunger for ultimate meaning. None of these can be reduced to molecules. The Bible teaches that we are more than matter in motion. To a dichotomist, we have a body and soul. To a trichotomist, we have a body, soul and spirit. Either way, we are not just a body. According to the Bible, the spirit of Jesus Christ existed eternally from the beginning (John 1). He inhabited a physical body for a time, but His spirit remained alive while his body was dead (I Peter 3:18-22), and then returned into His body during His resurrection. This means our soul and/or spirit can endure apart from the atoms and molecules of our bodies. Even if the whole world melted in a nuclear holocaust, our natures would live on (II Peter 3:8-13). What a profound thought: we’re going to live somewhere forever. It makes good sense, therefore, to learn how to live. We will all be doing it, one place or the other, for a long time.Suggested reading: Ecclesiastes 12, I John 5.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Ghana’s new president John Atta Mills is confident about the country’s future. (Image:Attamills2008)Khanyi Magubane African leaders have praised the election of Ghana’s new president John Atta Mills as an example of a well functioning democracy in practice.The run off elections were described as orderly and credible, this in stark contrast to the year of political crisis in that country characterised by violent clashes. Atta Mills won eight out of 10 regions while the second contender Nana Akufo Addo won the remaining two regions.In the first round of polls on 7 December 2008, Akufo Addo won three regions but lost the Brong Ahafo Region to Mills in the run off.The 64-year old law professor was announced as the winner on 3 January 2009.South African president Kgalema Motlanthe congratulated Atta Mills, saying that his election has brought hope for millions of Ghanaians, the continent and the West African region.“South Africa reaffirms its commitment to work together with you for the political unity and integration of the African continent within the framework of the African Union and through our support for Nepad as well as the AU institutions.”Motlanthe also added that the elections, which started on 28 December, bore testimony to Ghana’s respect for democracy and good governance in Africa.“In this regard, our congratulations also go to the people of Ghana who have through the ballot paper, showed their appreciation for democracy.”Speaking of Atta Mills’ win, which was his third attempt at the presidency, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga voiced his satisfaction at the electoral process, “John Atta Mills’ victory and the conduct of the people of Ghana provides a rare example of democracy at work in Africa.”UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon also praised the peaceful manner in which Ghanaians went to the polls, “With their continuing show of commitment to the democratic process, Ghana and its leaders are setting an admirable example.”Despite a few sporadic clashes, international observers gave the elections thumbs up; saying that voting for the most part was peaceful.Atta Mills, head of the National Democratic Congress party, won 50.23% of ballots cast on 28 December 2008.The chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, confirmed Atta Mills’s victory on Saturday 3 January.Leader of the former ruling party the New Patriotic Party Nana Akufo-Addo only clinched 49.77% of the votes.Speaking to the local media in Ghana, Emmanuel Gyimah-Boardi, the executive director of the Accra-based Centre for Democratic Development said in an interview that the smooth elections were a milestone for Ghana, “It brings us our second peaceful alteration of power,” he said.“It’s a rare thing in Africa. It’s even more rare for it to happen twice in the same country.”The statistics indicate that national voter turnout was 72.9%. The Ashanti Region recorded the highest voters with 83.31%, while the Western Region recorded the lowest turnout of 66.48%.Third time luckyAfter loosing to his predecessor John Kufuor in 2000 and in 2004, his 2008 victory is the culmination of determination and tenacity for Atta Mills.Described by his family as soft-spoken, the politician and academic ran for presidency under the slogan “A better man for a better Ghana”.Similar to US president-elect Barack Obama’s call for change in America, Atta Mills stated to local media before the elections that he felt his chances of winning had significantly improved this time around, as the people of Ghana were ready for change.During his journey to the presidency, he also overcame health challenges after being diagnosed with cancer. At some point it was erroneously reported that he had died in a South African hospital.Atta Mills rose to prominence in 1997 when former leader Jerry Rawlings named him vice president.He held this position until the former coup leader-turned-elected president made way for Kufuor after the 2000 elections.During his election campaign, Atta Mills, popularly known as “The Prof”, encouraged would-be voters to believe in his ability to alleviate their social conditions, “I am the leader of a party that has welfare and a people-centred approach to managing the affairs of state as its core values.”A born leader Born at Tarkwa in western Ghana in 1944, Atta Mills studied law at the University of Ghana and later obtained his law doctorate from London’s School of Oriental and African Studies at the tender age of 27.After completing his law studies in Britain, he returned to Ghana where he taught law at Ghana University for 25 years. He has also been a visiting professor to various universities across the world.Atta Mills takes over the reigns as Ghana’s gross domestic product grew by 6.3% in 2007, up from 3.7% in 2000.The inflation, which fell to 10.7% in 2007 from 32.9% in 2000, rose up to 17.4% in November amid rising food prices.According to the International Monetary Fund, gold currently accounts for 41% of the countries export revenue and cocoa 27%.To further ensure the smooth changeover of administrations, Atta Mills has appointed a 12-member transitional team to assist in the shift from the Kufuor Administration to his government.The team consists of highly respected and prominent Ghanaian politicians Paul Victor Obeng as Chairman, Alex Segbefia as Secretary and Hannah Tetteh as Spokesperson.The other members of the team will be the chairpersons of nine sub-committees set up to provide the technical back up support to the transitional team.The team will work with the outgoing government to ensure the effective handing over of the national administration. It will also advise on the nomination of persons to hold office in the new government.Do you have any queries or comments about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at [email protected] articlesAfrica catches investor’s eyesGhana and SA: growing together Sweet deal for cocoa farmers Useful linksGovernment of GhanaNational Democratic CongressNew Patriotic Party
LATEST STORIES “I was happy with my performance on (the other) side of the ball, being locked in defensively. It didn’t matter who I was guarding, I was trying to make it tough on them just to get a good look.“If we have that same defensive effort collectively, we’ll be really tough to beat.”The Warriors forced 20 turnovers while committing only four, matching an NBA Finals record low, and kept the Cavaliers to 34.9 percent shooting (30-of-86).“We know Cleveland is going to play better on Sunday,” Thompson said. “They’re obviously not going to turn the ball over as much. They will probably shoot the ball at a higher clip. But I still think if we play defense like that, we can come away with the win.”Acting Warriors coach Mike Brown has not worried about inconsistent playoff outings from Thompson.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds “That’s not a big deal at all,” Thompson said. “If I score six points a game and it gets us four wins and an NBA championship, I can do that every year.“I’m not about getting numbers. I’m not about getting these gaudy stats. If you win the last game, you had a great season. And that’s our goal. That’s what we come to expect every year now.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutWhile Thompson went 3-of-16 from the floor, his defensive work was impressive. Rivals shot only 1-for-12 against him, allowing Durant to strike for 38 points and guard Stephen Curry to score 28.“Obviously I could have shot the ball much better. Hope to make a few more of those on Sunday and instead of win by 20, win by 30, I guess,” Thompson said with a laugh. Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ After a dunkfest in Game 1, Cavs must slow Warriors at rim Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast View comments Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson dribbles during an NBA basketball practice, Wednesday, May 31, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. The Golden State Warriors face the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday in Oakland. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Golden State guard Klay Thompson has been happy to adjust to star forward Kevin Durant joining the Warriors, surrendering scoring chances to help turn the squad into an NBA juggernaut.Thompson averaged a career-high 22.3 points a game this season, his scoring numbers rising all six seasons in the league, but his playoff scoring is off 10 points a game and he had only six points in Thursday’s 113-91 Warriors win over Cleveland to open the best-of-seven NBA Finals.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ “To be a great shooter, you can’t have a conscience, and when it comes to shooting the basketball, I don’t think he does,” Brown said. “He knows he’s a great shooter, if not the greatest in the world, and so he’s not even thinking twice about it, he’s going to let it go.“That gives me the confidence that it’s always going to go in. He’s been doing so many other things for us that we need him for on the floor. He has defended well, dribble, drove and (passed) very well. And at the end of the day, he needs to be guarded. So that creates space for others to be able make plays.”Toasting the streakThe Warriors, off to a record 13-0 playoff start to match an NBA post-season win streak record, could become the first NBA champion to run through four playoff rounds undefeated.But Golden State approaches history with caution. The Warriors won a record 73 regular-season games last season only to fall one game short in losing the NBA Finals to Cleveland.“Last year’s playoffs felt like a war every game,” Thompson said. “This year we’re 13-0 and playing at a very high level. But we’ve still got a long way to go. Our goal is a championship. But up to this point, you couldn’t ask for a better start.”Or it could be magic. Thompson autographed a toaster for a Warriors fan on March 13 and Golden State is 27-1 since, the only loss coming when several starters sat out for rest.“That toaster is still living,” Thompson said. “I hope that streak will continue because it’s a beautiful streak.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next
DONE DEAL: Watford defender Andrew Eleftheriou joins Braintree Townby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford defender Andrew Eleftheriou has moved to Braintree Town on-loan to the end of the season.The 21-year-old defender follows goalkeeper Sam Howes, who moved to Eastbourne Borough, and has made the temporary move to the fellow National League side until the end of this season.The full-back made his first-team debut against Manchester City at the end of the 2016/17 season.He gained experience overseas earlier this year during a loan stint with Norwegian side Sandefjord. TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Chelsea winger Hudson-Odoi: This is where I belongby Freddie Taylor18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveCallum Hudson-Odoi says he made the right decision staying with Chelsea.The 18-year-old penned a five-year contract recently after previously trying to force through a move to Bayern Munich.”The club have done so much for me and I’m so thankful for that,” he told BBC Sport.”The decision that I made was a very good one for me and my family. We all thought that it was the right club to be at.”I’ve been here all my life, so there’s no need to change yet. My mum and dad are happy where they are and I’m happy where I am.”