June 15, 2015 |
I didn't leave my heart in San Francisco. The Philadelphia Warriors, without my consent, took it there. For me, the Warriors' sudden and unexpected departure for California in 1962 was a sting as sharp as death's. And while healing came with time, wisdom did not. I didn't understand the move then, and, 53 years later, I still don't. This week, seeing and hearing the Warriors' name so often during these 2015 NBA Finals, I had to wonder again why my beloved basketball franchise abandoned me. If, as we like to believe, Philadelphia is a basketball town, then the Warriors should have been a bedrock civic institution, like TastyKake or the Museum of Art. Instead, despite an unusually successful history, a hometown superstar who happened to be the world's greatest player, a supporting cast teeming with Philadelphia talent, and attendance that was average at worst, they left.
June 5, 2015 |
THE NBA FINALS begin tonight, in case you've been in the deep jungles of the Amazon the past 10 weeks. And for the fifth straight time, LeBron James will be there. But this time, unlike his previous four trips with the Miami Heat, he is the underdog, once again bringing with him an army outmanned by its opponent, the Golden State Warriors. While LeBron is built like Goliath, he's arguably the David here. And league MVP Steph Curry, the impish assassin, looks more like a David but carries enough weight to be the Goliath.
June 4, 2015 |
OAKLAND, Calif. - Andre Iguodala is wary talking about Philadelphia. Being honest has bitten him in the past. "That's why I get booed all the time when I go there," Iguodala said, referring to interviews he has given over the years. His initial reaction to Philly-specific questions is to joke about lying. "I'll lie in every answer I give you," he said through laughter. But Iguodala isn't a liar. He is carefully honest, a perfectionist who displays great humility, and like many others who have come and gone through the 76ers locker room, he is enjoying success elsewhere.
May 14, 2015 |
GO. If you love your country, go. If you believe children should be happy, then go. The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team plays at Patriots Park in Allentown at 5 p.m. Saturday. Proceeds benefit the WWAST kids camp, which hosts 20 amputee kids between 8-12 years old from all around the country. This year the camp is in California. Simply put, the camp brings these kids joy. It makes some of them really happy for the first time in their short lives. The camp costs about $5,000 per kid. Each kid gets to bring one parent.
May 14, 2015 |
A FULL 30 YEARS after "Thunderdome," George Miller returns with a new "Mad Max" and shames any recent movie that claimed to be either fast or furious. "Mad Max: Fury Road" crushes most recent action films under its monster truck wheels, and reminds us what eyeball-scorching marvels his movies were when first we saw them in 1979 and '80. First there was "Mad Max" and its leather-and-mohawk punk energy, which, even in the form of dubbed VHS, made all other biker movies look like commercials for Can-Am trikes.
April 14, 2015 |
It has been the same for Amanda Kulp since she was 5 years old and first learning to play the game. When she exits a softball field, she's going to be the dirtiest of any of the players. "It's just who I am," the Methacton senior shortstop said. Her teammates wouldn't want it any other way: They used to jokingly call her Pig Pen. The joke has evolved, though. Now instead of telling someone she has dirt on her shirt, they've replaced it with "Kulp on your dirt. " As in: "You've got some Kulp on your dirt.
April 2, 2015 |
There's a contrast in Lily Argyle, as there is in many great athletes, that can be jarring at first. When she plays lacrosse, Argyle breathes fire. She's tenacious and aggressive. She's imposing despite standing just 5-foot-3. She is one of the best, and, one could say, one of the most feared girls' lacrosse goalies in the state. In essence, her on-field persona is the polar opposite of what she's like off the field. Shawnee coach Aimee Seward described Argyle as soft-spoken, exceedingly polite, sometimes even a bit reserved.
April 2, 2015 |
MANY BOXERS ARE born with nothing and die with little more than a record and a reputation. Philadelphia's Matthew Saad Muhammad fought past his prime, as boxers often do, and when the last bell rang, he had tallied up an admirable record of 49-16-3 with 35 knockouts. Muhammad's reputation as a warrior, though, was written in his own blood long before he retired or took most of those losses. "Miracle Matthew" was a boxer willing to make that painful trade-off, take a punch to land one, and he was a sure bet for an entertaining night, the epitome of everything Philadelphia wants from its athletes.
March 28, 2015 |
Kuf Knotz is the Philadelphia hip-hop universe's peaceable guy, a righteous dude whose lyrics are loving, whose rhythms are supple, and whose every move is all about the bass and the brotherhood. Considering how tense things are in America, Knotz is a model citizen of bliss, an art form in and of himself, as heard on albums such as Boombox Logic and his brand-new A Positive Light . "A musical outlet helps me stay propitious by letting me express - put my feelings and energy into - new music," says Knotz, a Bryn Mawr native who moved to Philadelphia nine years ago. "I also don't watch the news much, instead focusing on my direct interactions with people.
February 11, 2015 |
Before the game Monday with Golden State, 76ers coach Brett Brown suggested that the feared Warriors were actually a good measuring stick for his team. He didn't mean that the Sixers could measure up to the Western Conference's top team; Brown was comparing his squad now to the last time it played Golden State. That would be Dec. 30, a 126-86 Warriors whitewash in Oakland. There was another Sixers loss this time around, but they were much more competitive. Even with the all-star backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson having an off-night, the Warriors earned an 89-84 win over the Sixers at the Wells Fargo Center.