Remembering Kobe Bryant a year later

By January 24, 2021

On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they've seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these trending issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT the 2021 edition with Mariah

 

Kobe Bryant’s legacy is alive and well.

On Tuesday, it will be one year since the news broke that Laker legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, six other passengers and the pilot were passengers in a helicopter that crashed in the hills of Calabasas, California, killing everyone on board.  For so many, Bryant was an influential presence ripped away from his family and the world just as he was making a mark post-basketball career.

Bryant was an icon who won five NBA championships and two NBA Finals MVPs during his a 20-year career.  I was a child when I first saw Kobe play. I was utterly impressed. The other children I was around would launch paper balls at bins yelling “Kobe!”.  Everyone wanted to be him.

As a sports journalist his I was fascinated by his work ethic. The way he knew what he wanted and went about ensuring that he got it.  Even now, I find myself turning to old Kobe interviews and listening to him for self-motivation. I hope his family and loved ones continue to find the inner strength to deal with his tragic passing.

 

West Indies can take a page out of India’s book.

It is true that the West Indies’ poor form did not start with this Bangladesh tour. However, they can take a page out of India’s book following a second disastrous batting display losing to Bangladesh by seven wickets in the second ODI at the Mirpur Stadium in Dhaka on Friday.

A few days before this latest Windies defeat, India ended Australia’s record of being unbeaten at the Gabba since 1988 with a team that lacked key senior players.

Like India, coming into the Bangladesh series the Windies were not favourites. What worked for India was its ability to capitalize on their strengths. Much of their success can be attributed to the system that in place to allow new cricketers to emerge and thrive.

 Every successful team needs good structure and foundation. India’s “A” team programme has reaped its intended benefits. Take the case of Thangarasu Natarajan, who is the first Indian to make this international debut in all three formats on the same tour. He ended the Australia series as the highest wicket-taker.

There was also the case of 21-year-old Shubman Gill, who had been on the fringes of the Test side patiently awaiting his call and took his chance when it came

 He would go on to finish his maiden Test series with an average of 51.81. Rishabh Pant was another player that came through the Indian development system and is now reaping the rewards. The 23-year-old was left out of the first Test but in the series-decider was unbeaten on 89 and hit the winning runs that also won the series.

 

No Kohli, no problem.

Leadership is another area of India’s game where the Windies can look to India for inspiration. Like the Windies when Kieron Pollard opted not to tour due to Covid 19, India’s captain Virat Kohli returned home to witness the birth of his first daughter.

However, Ajinkya Rahane stepped up to the task at hand. Again, this reiterated the work being done behind the scenes to allow for ease of transition. I was impressed by how Rahane handled the resources at hand and worked with the team to unlock their full potential.

 

REDS-

 It is not too late for a Premier League turnaround. Liverpool has now gone four matches in a row in the Premier League without a goal. They are now six points away from league leaders Manchester United.  Despite struggling in the Premier League this season it is not too late for a turnaround.

Liverpool is a club that knows how to win and do so in style. Despite this, they have been lacking in confidence this season and it is evident in the errors that they are making on the field. There is a major lack of efficiency and energy. Once the club can find the rhythm that everyone admired last season they can get back to their winning ways.

It is evident that Jurgen Klopp is frustrated and not handling the pressure. Klopp’s frustration has been filtering to the players and emboldening the opposition. It is wise that the manager sticks to his principles and steers his players in the right direction. At this point, there is absolutely no need to make rash decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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    Aiden Markram was in no mood to celebrate despite helping South Africa secure their place in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup. 

    The Proteas earned a three-wicket victory over co-hosts West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method. 

    South Africa restricted their opponents to 135-8, but lost Reeza Hendricks (1) and Quinton de Kock (7) in the second over before Tristan Stubbs and Heinrich Klaasen steadied the ship. 

    Marco Jansen was the man to get them over the line, holding his his nerve and hitting a six to secure the triumph with five balls of the contest remaining.

    "A lot of relief to get through to the semi-final," captain Markram, who scored 18 runs from 22 balls, said after the encounter. 

    "But I'm not going to be brainwashed by that, we'd have liked to be a lot more convincing in getting the job done.

    "It's been the story of our competition to get ourselves into tricky situations then by hook or by crook, get over the line."

    For the West Indies, the defeat ended their hopes of claiming a third T20 World Cup title, having lost to England and overcoming fellow co-hosts the United States in their Super 8 fixtures. 

    "Credit to the boys, they fought to the very end. As a batting group, best to forget, the middle overs especially," Windies captain Rovman Powell said. 

    "When you look on a large scale, we haven't reached the semis. But the cricket we've played in the last 12 months is commendable. To move from number nine to number three in the world, there's a lot of buzz in West Indies cricket.

    "When we hear the anthem play we hear something, we're heading in the right direction."

  • Despite elimination, Windies captain Rovman Powell commends team's tremendous progress Despite elimination, Windies captain Rovman Powell commends team's tremendous progress

    West Indies’ ICC Men’s T20 World Cup campaign came to an end on June 23, when the co-hosts suffered a narrow defeat to South Africa in their final Super Eights fixture.

    After an exceptional start in the first round, having gathered all eight points from their four matches to top Group D, and making into the Super Eights as a serious title contender, West Indies witnessed a dip in form against England, and South Africa. This cost them their semi-final berth.

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    “I think the cricket we have played in the last 12 months or so is commendable," stated Powell in the post-match presentation ceremony.

    "Credit has to be given to the team. If you can take a year to move from number nine to number three in the world, that's tremendous work."

    West Indies put up quite a show during the tournament, with a number of home players firing up the crowd's imagination. There were brilliant wins over New Zealand and Afghanistan.

    The West Indies captain shared his joy in seeing a lot of buzz around the Caribbean again.

    “We haven't won the World Cup, but there was a lot of improvement. There's a lot of buzz around the Caribbean again about West Indies cricket. We have done some very good things over the last 12 months.”

    “Now is where the work starts. It's for us to continue to work as a group, still be tight, and hopefully, just hopefully, we can continue to climb the rankings and make the Caribbean people proud.”

    Powell acknowledged the support they received on and off the field during the home World Cup and identified it as a sign that the team was headed in the right direction.

    “That (the support) has been fantastic. For all the venues that we have played, for all the social media likes and stuff that people have given us, we as a team really appreciate it.”

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    The Windies succumbed to a disheartening loss against South Africa to step back from the tournament as they failed to defend a target of 123, in 17 overs (DLS).

    A poor batting display kept them restricted to 135 runs in 20 overs, with Roston Chase (52 runs in 42 balls) bagging himself a half century. With the ball, Alzarri Joseph, Andre Russell, and Chase did an excellent job picking up a total of seven wickets between them but thanks to a composed finish from Marco Jansen and Kagiso Rabada, the South Africans took home a three-wicket win with five balls to spare.

    Though dismayed at this outing, Powell credited his side for their spirit.

    “As a batting group, this is one batting performance we'll try our best to forget. I think we didn't bat well in the middle overs especially," Powell said.

    "You see both teams bat on the wicket. Obviously, it wasn't an easy wicket, especially to get started. I think it was a commendable bowling effort. 130 (135) at the halfway mark, we said we're just going to give it our all, whatever happens, happens.

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  • Windies eliminated as South Africa withstand nervy finish to confirm World Cup semi-final spot Windies eliminated as South Africa withstand nervy finish to confirm World Cup semi-final spot

    South Africa booked their place in the T20 World Cup semi-finals following a tense three-wicket victory over West Indies on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method. 

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    Data Debrief: De Kock breaks T20 record

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