General James Harden salutes you. The Thunder and Team USA men’s basketball player posted this photo on his Instagram feed Friday afternoon.
His feed is filled with awesomeness caught in the form of photographs. You can take a gander at what Thunder hoop star Kevin Durant wore yesterday here.
A week of shooting Women’s College World Series softball all led up to the championship game between OU and Alabama.
My favorite part about shooting sports is the whirlpool of emotions happening all around me.
Wednesday’s game was the the one the brought out the most powerful moments after OU lost to Alabama 5-4. Staff photographer Nate Billings and I tried our best to capture those moments.
Click here to view the rest of the championship game photos between OU and Alabama.
The NCAA Women’s College World Series of softball is held in Oklahoma City.
Most might think that 11 hours of softball in one day can be grueling work, but I actually really enjoy it.
I have spent the past three days in the sun, getting a bit of color, eating free food, and hanging out with photographers from every organization from the NCAA to the Associated Press.
Last night was the first of three games in the championship series between OU and Alabama.
Thankfully, OU won, so I got a big centerpiece on the front page of Sports this morning.
OU is currently 1-0 with Alabama. If they don’t win tonight, they will play again on Wednesday night.
Here are some WCWS galleries from the past week:
Finals Game 1 (OU vs Alabama) Photos by Garett Fisbeck
Day 1 Photos by Bryan Terry
Day 2 Photos by Bryan Terry
Day 3 Photos by Garett Fisbeck
Day 4 Photos by Garett Fisbeck
For the last few weeks, I have spent some quality time with an extraordinary group of gentlemen.
The Oklahoma City Royals are a group of 75+ senior softball players that get together every Tuesday night to fellowship and play the sport they love.
Sports intern Tariq Lee and I worked on this story together. I produced a slideshow separate from his story and we somehow came out at the end of it with a great package that is featured in the sports section of the Oklahoman and on its very own nDepth page on NewsOK.com.
One of the most profound moments I witnessed while doing this project was when one of the guys pulled out a piece of paper with the name of a condition he had been diagnosed with. He had to write it down so he could remember what it was called and tell the other guys about it.
The condition was polymyalgia rheumatica, a syndrome with pain or stiffness, usually in the neck, shoulders, and hips.
I was inspired by the positive outlook of the players. I won’t ruin any more of the story for you, I’ll just say that I hope I’m this cool when and if I turn 80-years-old.
Free agency is looming and team execs are now packing their bags to court the best players on the planet. Well really they are just trying to get Lebron James and others shall follow. My mom told me growing up to be a leader and Lebron is doing that while Chris Bosh is basically waiting on Lebron’s move and is going to follow him wherever he goes. Here’s my predictions on what is going to transpire in the upcoming weeks:
Bulls: Lebron James takes the same path as his childhood idol and brings a new dynasty to Chicago. Chris Bosh follows and they win 3-5 championships but the great six that Michael Jordan won eludes him. O and one more thing. He will never pass Kobe, so who finishes as the best player in their generation?
Heat: Pat Riley keeps the king of Miami, Dwyane Wade and brings in Dirk to give him some help. Riley is a hell of a coach and is definitely a great sellsman in the NBA. Don’t get me wrong Dirk loves Dallas and Cuban but he knows if he teams with the guy that beat him out of a championship in 2006, he could get that NBA ring to go along with that 2007 MVP trophy. I see them winning one championship because Pat Riley will bring in some good role players to back them.
Knicks: The Greater Mecca of basketball is in need of some excitement and a championship as soon as possible. The Knicks don’t get Lebron but they still make out like thieves. David Lee will re-sign and Mike D’antoni will bring two of his former players together to make the Knicks a playoff contender, Joe Johnson and Amare Stoudemire. And if T-Mac can put together one more godly season this team can go some places.
Nets: Although they have the billionaire owner and Jay-Z on their side those 12 wins aren’t very appealing but they do pick up Carlos Boozer for a gazillion dollars giving Brook Lopez some much needed help on the frontline. Hello Brooklyn.
And Rudy Gay will become a Clipper and Paul Pierce will stay in Boston and try to make one more run at it.
I’m not going to get cute.
The U.S. national soccer team beat Spain 2-0 today in the semi-finals of the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa.
Spain came into the game with a 15-game winning streak, a world record, and a 35-game unbeaten streak.
Goals from 19-year-old Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey, 26, shook the undisputed No.1 team in the world to its core.
Spain has arguably the most talented midfield in the world. David Villa and Fernando Torres are the two most sought after strikers in the world. The Catalan defensive duo of Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique are supposedly unshakeable.
But it happened. Spain pressed and unleashed shot after shot, but Tim Howard, the U.S. goalkeeper, kept each of them out. The U.S. defenders, led by Oguchi Onyewu and captain Carlos Bocanegra, put in a valiant effort.
It’s the biggest soccer upset in years.
The U.S. faces the winner of Brazil-South Africa on Sunday.
A lot is said about Iran and the recent controversy about the country’s elections.
Pictures of security officers and protesters fly across our screens day and night. Though it’s a world away, a small understanding of the experience is at our fingertips thanks to the Internet and the instant news cycle.
Several public figures opposed to the current regime have reportedly been detained.
That might be the fate of six Iranian soccer players.
The government took issue with the players wearing green wristbands during a World Cup qualifying match against South Korea on June 17 in Seoul. The captain, Mehdi Mahdavikia, also wore a green captain’s armband.
Green is the color protesters adopted in response to their belief that the government interfered with the election, particularly skewing the results to make sure Mir Hossein Mousavi did not win.
Ali Karimi, Hosein Ka’abi, Vahid Hashemian and Mahdavikia were banned, while none of the team members were given back their passports after returning to Tehran.
Without their passports, the Iranian government can effectively hinder the players from working or traveling should they leave the country.
As of the now, the players have not been detained, but lacking a passport makes it basically impossible to travel and provides a way to enforce the ban on Hashemian and Mahdavikia, both of whom make their living playing for top-flight clubs in Germany.
FIFA, the sport’s ruling body, discourages political expression on the pitch and encourages national federations to impose punishments. The Spanish federation fined French-Malian striker Freddy Kanoute of Sevilla €3,000 in January for revealing a black shirt with the word “Palestine” printed in multiple languages after scoring a goal against Deportivo La Coruña in a Spanish league match..
However, FIFA also has taken action against governments interfering with the sport. Iran was banned from official competition for a little less than a month in 2006 for excessive government interference in the running of the Iranian soccer federation. A similar ban could be imposed should FIFA find the government’s interference in violation of FIFA’s statutes.
Iran played in the 2006 World Cup but failed to qualify in 2010 after finishing fourth in its
World Cup qualifying group.
It was only a little more than three years ago I was in the crowd at the State Fair Arena.
I was painted gold, head to toes. My friends were appropriately adorned in the same way.
It was the 2006 Class 2A Boys Oklahoma High School Basketball Championship game, and Blake Griffin was putting on a show.
Our school, Oklahoma Christian School, beat Washington 57-40 to win its third-straight state championship and fourth in five years. Blake would lead the team to its fourth-straight in 2007, but I was gone.
I graduated that May, a year before Blake and a year after his brother, Taylor.
Since then, my exposure to Blake has been limited to games on TV and a couple run-ins in various situations (outside the 2008 Bedlam women’s soccer game at OU being the most recent).
I never really understood he was famous. OCS is a small school where everybody pretty much knows everybody.
To me, it was still Blake, the kid I knew in high school who asked me how the soccer team was doing and with whom I shared a number (I wore 15 in soccer, he wore 15 in basketball).
Even as Blake destroyed teams in college and won the 2009 John Wooden Award, given annually to the nation’s best player, it never really registered.
Now it has.
Blake, I’ll give you a high five next time I see you.
That is, if you’re not too famous for me.
I haven’t missed a USA national soccer team game in four years.
It’s a streak more important than Kobayashi’s six-year hot dog eating run.
Although people might be afraid that modern technology might eventually take over the world, I’ll happily accept our new robot masters, for that modern technology is going to keep my streak alive.
My digital video recorder will be humming away as the USA faces Italy at 1:30 p.m. today (ESPN, Galavision) in Pretoria, South Africa on the second day of the 2009 Confederations Cup, held the year before each World Cup as a dry-run of sorts.
Eight teams compete, including the six regional champions: Brazil, Egypt, Iraq, New Zealand, Spain and the USA. The hosts, South Africa, and the reigning World Cup champions, Italy, make up the rest of the field.
Thank you digital video recorder. While I’m trying to track down that last piece of information for a story, Landon Donovan and the boys will be facing Italy in a rematch of their 1-1 draw during the 2006 World Cup, a game that saw three red cards and is still fresh in the minds of American soccer fans.
It might be a little Big Brother-esque, but all their actions will be recorded and saved on a cute, inconspicuous black box next to my TV.
I’ll see you tonight, Landon and company. Until then, I work.
I’m loving it more than McDonald’s.
Wow. Did I grab your attention?
Yesterday The Oklahoman’s top sports writers told who they like in this year’s NBA Finals. Watch and read content here. But I think they are all wrong.
All five writers chose the Lakers in either five or six games, meaning they think the Magic will win only one–two at most–game in the series. And I don’t think that will happen.
If I’m not mistaken, wasn’t Boston supposed to deal with Orlando in five? Or Cleveland. “The Chosen One.” Wasn’t Lebron supposed to easily hurdle over the minor roadblock that was the Magic?
The entire postseason people have been second-guessing the Magic. Even when they took a series lead against Boston, analysts and experts said the Celtics had their wake-up call and would respond by winning the series. Remember all the talk after Game 2 of the series with Cleveland? That RIDICULOUS 3-pointer Lebron hit to put the Magic away (on my birthday)? People said King James would take control of the series and Orlando’s magic run in the playoffs was over.
But here we are. Magic and Lakers. NBA Finals. Guess who is the underdog for the third straight series in the postseason?
But I think it’s OK. I’m glad the sports writers chose the Lakers. I don’t think the Magic would win it otherwise.
The thing about the Magic is that they play best when few believe in them. They’re the NBA’s “Cinderella” team. But anyone who’s seen them play cannot discount the fact that Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu, Rafer Alston, Mickael Pietrus and the rest have played ridiculously incredible basketball the last few weeks, even without Jameer Nelson.
They took the Boston series and won the conference title against Lebron and the Cavs while the Lakers limped through the playoffs, a meltdown game coming every two or three contests.
The whole time, as no one has believed in them, the Magic have been playing better and better and better. The Lakers, as everyone believes them destined to win, have been playing sloppy and lackadaisical basketball.
My point is that no one believes the Magic have a chance. That’s why MY prediction is Magic in six.