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When three-time WNBA MVP Sheryl Swoopes wrapped her arms around Chicago Sky rookie forward Angel Reese seconds after Reese’s powerful performance against the Indiana Fever Sunday afternoon, I felt their energy travel through the TV and stir my spirit. Their embrace was about more than star power: It was soulful, and motherly for Swoopes, and sisterly for them both in their shared struggles.

“She been there for me. She been there through my highs and lows,” Reese said of Swoopes to ESPN reporter Holly Rowe after the Chicago Sky’s 88-87 win over the Indiana Fever. “She said she’s proud of me. … Just being able to talk to her and have someone like that in my life. I’m just happy I came over there.”

I’ve written about hugs and hoops before after NBA Hall of Famer Allen Iverson’s embrace of three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade and how it affirmed the humanity of Black men. Certainly, the touching gesture between Reese and Swoopes flew in the face of the nasty narratives Black women have faced over the past few months. Sistas have been largely accused of cattiness and pettiness, rhetoric that has largely been used to juxtapose them with Fever rookie guard Caitlin Clark. In some ways, that hug was a reminder that the league is bigger than one person. The WNBA has always been a league of giants, with surnames such as Swoopes, South Carolina coach Dawn Staley and two-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie.

In some ways, the ugly side of Clark’s success can be traced back to commentary Swoopes made in January on an episode of former NBA guard Gilbert Arenas’ daily sports podcast Gil’s Arena. Swoopes erroneously said Clark was in her fifth year of eligibility as she was poised to set a Division I scoring record. Swoopes acknowledged that she “made a mistake,” and that Clark was actually in her fourth year of eligibility, but Iowa fans came up with the most nonsensical hashtag and campaign: #DontBeASheryl.

It was as asinine a statement as it was unoriginal – it was an attempt to copy the slang term “Karen,” which mocks middle-class white American women who are perceived as entitled. “Sheryl as in Sheryl Swoopes? Oh y’all trippin,” A’ja Wilson tweeted in response.

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WNBA legend Sheryl Swoopes (right) embraces Chicago Sky forward Angel Reese (left) after the game against the Indiana Fever on June 23 at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago.

Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images

Before Reese made her name as “Bayou Barbie,” Swoopes was already basketball royalty. In 1995, she became the first female athlete with her own signature shoe. She was often compared to NBA legend Michael Jordan, and the pair’s competitive streak was on full display after a brief one-on-one battle at Jordan’s basketball camp in 1994. In the midst of Jordan’s second three-peat from 1996 to 1998, Swoopes and the Houston Comets began a streak from 1997 to 2000 in which they won the first four championships in WNBA history.

If I might paraphrase the start of “Thuggish Ruggish Bone,” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, we’re not against Clark, we’re not against her impact on the game. But we are against fans who make it seem like she’s all that women’s basketball has ever offered. It’s a clear and deliberate erasure of Black and progressive women who have made this game special.

Reese, for her part, knew how important Swoopes’ presence was in Chicago on Sunday. “She told me she was coming to the game,” Reese said, “So I said, ‘I’m [gonna] put on a show for you.”

Down 15 points in the third quarter, Reese took her game to another level, with her skill and indomitable will on full display. After two free throws by guard Diamond DeShields, Reese ran off five points to trim the deficit nearly in half. That set up for a tremendous fourth quarter by Reese, or as a friend of mine put it, the rise of “BBQ Chicken Barbie.” The most notable play, perhaps, came with the Sky down three, and Reese just had her layup blocked by longtime tormentor, Fever forward Aliyah Boston, who successfully guarded Reese dating back to their matchups in college. Reese got an offensive rebound, and after a missed shot, a second offensive rebound and putback while being fouled. I think all of us yelled “and one” in unison with Reese.

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Chicago Sky forward Angel Reese (left) hugs guard Chennedy Carter (right) with 5 seconds left in the game against the Indiana Fever at Wintrust Arena on June 23 in Chicago.

Eileen T. Meslar/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

After the dust settled, and after a lengthy few seconds left in the game, sure enough Reese had put on a show. Twenty-five points and 16 rebounds for the double-double machine, whose efforts placed her in a league with superstar Wilson. She and Wilson are now the only two players in the WNBA this season with multiple games with at least 15 points and 15 rebounds, and Reese was the first rookie since Wilson with 25-plus points and 15-plus rebounds in a single game.

Reese, who posted a double-double in eight consecutive games, extending her WNBA rookie record, also embraced Sky guard Chennedy Carter, who scored 23 points. Almost as a preview of Swoopes’ hug, Reese wrapped both arms around Carter, who had also endured the wrath of Clark fans after a flagrant foul during an earlier matchup.

All in all, it was a day that put the women’s game and its superstar names on full display for their competitiveness and their companionship. Swoopes met with the Sky and their coach, Teresa Weatherspoon, who playfully noted that Swoopes had “won three freaking championships against me.”

“I still don’t like her for that, but I love this woman,” Weatherspoon said.

“Just stay the course,” Swoopes told the team. “I’m proud of you. I love you to pieces. And I’m so happy that I got to come here and see a win.”

It was a win for the Sky. It was a win for Black women. Where Iverson’s hugs celebrated humanity, the love between Reese and Swoopes celebrated Black women in all their diversity and complexity.

I hope that’s something we can all embrace.

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By: Ken Makin
Title: Angel Reese-Sheryl Swoopes hug a win for Black women
Sourced From: andscape.com/features/angel-reese-sheryl-swoopes-hug-a-win-for-black-women/
Published Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2024 12:46:28 +0000

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Baller Awards

‘Shogun’ and ‘Hacks’ Win Big at the 2024 TCA Awards

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The Television Critics Association has announced the winners of its landmark 40th TCA Awards, with two shows standing head and shoulders above the rest during the 2023-2024 television season. Each year, the organization celebrates the exemplary programs that debut within a season, as its membership of over 230 professional television journalists from across the United States and Canada vote for the defining series and stars in several categories. For this iteration, the big winner of the evening was FX’s period piece adaptation Shgun, which scored four wins from the five categories it was nominated in, while Max’s standout comedy Hacks took second place with two wins.

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By: Ryan O’Rourke
Title: ‘Shogun’ and ‘Hacks’ Win Big at the 2024 TCA Awards
Sourced From: collider.com/tca-awards-winners-2024/
Published Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2024 02:00:12 GMT

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle forced to grin and bear it as Serena Williams makes brutal joke about them for daring to breathe

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When it comes to the Windsor Royal family, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have always been outsiders. Since their wedding, the famous couple have made a point to stand apart from their more controversial family members. A decision that is not doing them a whole lot of good.

Harry and Meghan are acutely aware of the ugly history behind the English monarchy. Its violent past of colonialism added rumors of racism against Meghan when she officially joined the family. It has been years since the couple separated themselves from the family and have been building their roots in America. But so far, their tiniest decision and smallest step has been blown out of proportion by the British media as a calculated plan to defy the Royals or malign their reputation — a trend that has not gone unnoticed, especially by those who remain close to Harry and Meghan.

And it did become a point of discourse on July 11, 2024, at the ESPY Awards where famed athlete Serena Williams and Meghan’s close friend took the stage and poked fun at the dilemma of the couple is forced to live every day.

The controversy the Duke of Sussex riled up by not refusing to accept the renowned Pat Tillman award for the Invictus Games is well known. Harry was bashed by many, including Pat Tilman’s mother, for his Royal lineage, the many troubles he is currently embroiled in, and according to many, for not meeting the demands of the award that is given to those that make “remarkable civic contributions” and exhibit “extraordinary fortitude and spirit of service.” Along with these criticisms, Harry has also been accused of trying to hog the limelight while Prince William and Kate Middleton attempt to navigate life after her cancer diagnosis.

Whew! In short, the couple can’t do anything right as per the naysayers, something which Williams hilariously drew attention to in her speech.

“Please, Harry and Meghan, try not to breathe too much tonight. Because this is my night and I don’t want to be overshadowed by accusations you guys are taking up too much oxygen.”

On the surface, as Williams is a friend of the couple, her comments should have been in good fun. But all it did was put a spotlight on Harry’s tricky relationship with his family where he and his wife are often absent from Royal events as the Crown deems their presence “distracting.” During the joke, both Harry and Meghan smiled politely, but on the inside, they were probably wondering about the next storm Williams’ comment would bring for them. Anyway, unfortunately, they are used to this — politely accepting blame and criticism despite their charitable works and attempts to use their privilege for a good cause.

And they would be right to fear the repercussions of Williams’ little joke. After all, Meghan’s products getting promotion from friends on the very day Kate broke her oath of isolation to mark her presence at the Trooping Colors also cursed the Duchess of Sussex with the blame for trying to upstage her sister-in-law. The fact that Kate only made the announcement of her impending arrival mere hours ago — or how, allegedly, Harry and Meghan were not updated about this development in advance — did nothing to diffuse the renewed Meghan-bashing.

While the savage joke at their expense did earn Williams’ a few rounds of laughter, there is no guarantee that the quip won’t give trigger the ire of the British Royal Family once again.

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By: Apeksha Bagchi
Title: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle forced to grin and bear it as Serena Williams makes brutal joke about them for daring to breathe
Sourced From: wegotthiscovered.com/celebrities/prince-harry-and-meghan-markle-forced-to-grin-and-bear-it-as-serena-williams-makes-brutal-joke-about-them-for-daring-to-breathe/
Published Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2024 11:49:46 +0000

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Team USA Basketball Has Plenty Of Options For Their Starting Lineup

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Team USA Basketball Has Plenty Of Options For Their Starting Lineup – originally posted on Sportslens.com

Team USA will enter the 2024 Summer Olympics as the heavy favorites to take home the gold medal in Men’s Basketball. The team is stacked with some of the best talent that the NBA has to offer, from budding superstars to some of the league’s older and most accomplished players.

Steve Kerr “Can’t Go Wrong” With Picking Team USA Starting Lineup

But with all of the premier talent to choose from, who will head coach Steve Kerr elect to be in the starting lineup once the tournament starts later this month?

There are a few shoo-ins based on talent and accomplishments. LeBron James will be making his fourth Olympic appearance for Team USA, and is coming off of a season in which he averaged over 25 points and 8 rebounds as the oldest player in the league at age 39.

James’ spot as a starter is solidified, but he isn’t the only one. Stephen Curry is finally making his Olympics debut after missing out for various reasons in year’s past, and will bring his shooting talents to the world stage in what could be a final stamp on his illustrious career.

Another player that appears to have a starting spot locked in is Kevin Durant, who along with James and Curry form something of a “Big 3” for Team USA.

Embiid, Booker, And Others Vying For Final Spots

The final two spots won’t be quite as simple. The centers that will be going up against the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo and other big men around the world will be Anthony Davis and Joel Embiid, both of whom will have legit arguments from being in the starting 5.

The 2-guard spot will need to be decided as well, and there are plenty of viable options. Devin Booker and Anthony Edwards appear to be the two that would lead the race for being starters, but newly-crowned NBA champion Jayson Tatum is on the roster as well. With some positional shuffling, he too could have a case for being one of the top-5. Jrue Holiday could even make a starting appearance based on matchups given his defensive prowess.

Bam Adebayo, Tyrese Haliburton, and Derrick White round out the roster for Team USA.

From Sportslens.com – NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB News, Rumors & Betting Picks

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By: Anthony R. Cardenas
Title: Team USA Basketball Has Plenty Of Options For Their Starting Lineup
Sourced From: sportslens.com/news/team-usa-basketball-has-plenty-of-options-for-their-starting-lineup/
Published Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2024 18:54:20 +0000

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