Memorial Day Edition

I’d like to extend my gratitude towards every single military veteran and active duty member for their sacrifices that allow us to live the life of freedom. The military sometimes gets some heat in today’s news, especially with the fronts we’re facing today, but without their bravery we would not be able to do the everyday things we enjoy, like wasting time reading things like this on the internet, or even freely walking down the street without fearing your life. So thank you to all of those willing to fight for our freedom. Remember our fallen heros, for they are the reason we are here today. God Bless America!

In honor of today’s events, I wanted to see what players in the NBA were ever in the services. I found a very inspiring story of one man,  once was a star on the court, who has hung up the sneakers and put on his war boots.

Not too shabby of a basketball player, James throws down a dunk

Tim James, a former high school standout from south Florida, played his college ball at Miami, he was drafted by the Heat in the first round in 1999. His career was not an exciting one however, only averaging a little over a point per game in the 43 games he appeared in with the Heat, Charlotte, and Philly.

After struggling to make a name for himself in the states, he headed overseas to compete in Turkey and Japan. Now he’s in Iraq. Not fighting for wins on the court, but fighting for freedom in the desert. Struggling to find his true calling, James joined the U.S. Army, leaving behind the lavish life of an star basketball player, to the grit and grind of war overseas.

“I think of myself as a patriot, I wanted to give back to a country that gave so much to me,” explains James.

Not everyone will serve their country in their lifetime, but today we can remember and show our appreciation to those that do. Not only is this a wonderful story, it shows that the NBA today is not just full of a bunch of thugs, and young men making everything be about money and fame. Although his story is rare, James should be a role model to young people today.

Former star on the court, now a star in our hearts, truly a great man

Tim James, U.S. Army serviceman may not be the James we’re used to hearing in today’s news, but even today LeBron can take the backseat in the news as we observe this Memorial Day holiday.

Basketball was first in James’ life journey, but it was a little different for one of the most decorated big man in the history of the NBA. David Robinson, the Admiral, spent his college career playing for the Naval Academy, where he was awarded numerous prestigious honors including the Naismith and Wooden Awards for college basketball’s most outstanding player.

Drafted by the Spurs 1989, Robinson did not immediately report to the team, after finishing his obligation to the Naval service. Leading one the best turnarounds in NBA history, Robinson earned Rookie of the Year honors in his first campaign with the San Antonio. In 1992, he was part of the U.S. men’s basketball gold medal team, famously dubbed as the Dream Team, featured by Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, and other greats. Three seasons later, the Admiral was voted the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, but it was until 1999 that he obtained his greatest basketball goal.

After drafting future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan the season before, the Spurs won the NBA title, beating the Knicks in five games. In 2003, they battled the Nets in six games to win their second title in four years. After the second championship banner was hung, Robinson also hung it up, announcing his retirement from the league.

Despite averaging over 20 points per game, 10 rebounds per game, being one of only four players to ever record a quadruple-double, being named one of 50 Greatest Players in Basketball History, being a college and NBA MVP, a two-time NBA champion, and a gold medal winner, the 10 time all-star stays humble. Although he never served in active duty, Robinson stays close to his roots, aiding the Navy in recruitment as well as serving in a reserve role in the service.

Two rings, and many other awards, his greatest life accomplishment is serving his country

Robinson has always been known as one of the most well respected players in league history, and it is well deserved. Proof again that there are great people that play the game of basketball, albeit few. The NBA has benefitted greatly from having great men such as Robinson and James, bringing good publicity as well as good feelings across the league.

The NFL has also had a history of  military men choosing to pursue football after serving their country. Many of us have heard Pat Tillman’s story, as well as the tradition of the service academies college football programs providing entertainment in friendly on field battles. A rich pipeline of servicemen coming from these academies have made it in the NFL, which does nothing but help promote the greatness of these men.

As you can see, there is more to life than sports, and that is why we celebrate the lives of those individuals that allow us to have the opportunities to enjoy the sports we love. Once again, thank you to all of those sacrificing your lives for mine. I have an immensely great sense of gratitude to those brave enough to fight for our freedom. Today is the day that we celebrate them, but we should remind ourselves everyday of the courage and strength they display.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. For all of you that have family members who serve or have served for our country, remember them, thank them, cherish them, and love them. Never take life for granted, as many of our loved ones have had theirs taken in pursuit of happiness for others.

NBA finals preview coming soon….

Happy Memorial Day!

-KP

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