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Sports

To the Top of the Mountain with Ivan Greene

With the skills to scale skyscrapers like a superstar Spiderman, Ivan Green has seized summits within the cement cityscape and the wide world over. He sees the city less as a grid restricted to two dimensions of regimented locomotion and more as a canyonland theme park of verticality and sheer stone cliffs. He’s built a business of bouldering, a commerce of his climbing, and a lifestyle of living on the edge — often literally. He reaches for the top, and usually gets there. City Circus had the opportunity to interview the man, the brand, and the icon Ivan Greene. The interview follows.

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Amar’e’s Aplomb, Toughness, and Calm

 

We knew about his footwork, finesse, and phantom hardcore dunks.

We’ve found out about his toughness, poise, and leadership.

In Phoenix, we grew accustomed to Stoudamire’s highlight-reel repertoire of spins, cuts, and dazzling dunks.  His keen sense of spacing and nose for the basket made for season after season of stellar, standout stat-work.  His play for the Suns drew heavily on the pace and tone set by point guard Steve Nash, who’s passion for passing complemented perfectly Amar’e’s right-place right-time equipoise.

With Nash and Stoudamire, the Suns ran a two-man-game akin to college football’s option play. The uncertainty inherent in this tactic created space for each star to operate offensively with the initiative and element of surprise squarely in his favor.

In New York, and without Nash, Amar’e finds himself in an offensive scheme far less spontaneous. Opposing defenses know his post game is what’s coming.  More often, these defenses have the initiative as they can surprise Amar’e and the Knicks with double-teams, stunts, and switches.

In this new paradigm, where everyone knows what’s coming, Amar’e has summoned his toughness, nerve, and leadership ability.   Absent the creative, deceptive, often deferential dealings of his longtime running-mate, Amar’e finds himself here in an offense more static, less fluid, and much more demanding on him personally.

In New York, Amar’e gets the ball more often within the framework of set-piece post-play such that opposing defenses and entire arenas often know what’s coming beforehand.  Amar’e has barely blinked.  His game has evolved to embrace more physical, hard-nosed, dead-ahead offensive play and scrappy, hustle-till-you-die defense.

Stoudamire signed to the Knicks amidst a media circus that swarmed around ringmaster LeBron and his apparent love for the limelight.  Under the radar, or at least outside the spotlight, Amar’e calmly took initiative, dared to tread where many thought hoops dead, and signed on to play for a franchise on the brink.

Amar’e didn’t blink.

 

For The Knicks’ Affliction?  The Paul Prescription

The Knicks need Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony to complement Amar’e Stoudemire. Chris Paul is a near-necessity if the Knicks seek to compete in the amped-up East, supercharged recently by Lebron‘s move to Miami.

‘Mello will certainly add some proven panache and serve as a stalwart scoring option.  The Stoudemire-ChrisPaul connection, though, will flourish as the foundation of offensive flow. With Paul at the point, Amar’e in the paint, and ‘Melo and Danilo on the wings, the Knicks will field a genuine contender for the first time in forever.

Blogging Boxing . . .

Mansfield’s most accomplished boxer before World War II was the little known “Honey Boy� Jones, Mansfield’s first professional black boxer who was discovered by “Slim� Gossom in 1932. After signing with Gus Greenlee sometime around 1935 . . . [click to continue]

http://mansfieldpugilist.tumblr.com/#387983722

TMac to BringBack the Knicks?

Will Mr. McGrady usher in a new era of Knicks excellence? Or is this deal the latest in a series of band-aid solutions engineered to boost ticket sales at the expense of true team-building? Has Knicks, Inc. got its hands on a sturdy straw to stir its drink? Or is it still just grasping for straws? ESPN Analyzes . .

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