Celtics’ Ainge: Prepared to stand pat this summer (maybe)

first_imgBoston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, left, catches the ball in front of Cleveland Cavaliers guard George Hill, right, during the first half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Sunday, May 27, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)WALTHAM, Mass. — Danny Ainge tore apart the team that made the Eastern Conference finals last year, and then put together a new roster that came one victory from playing for an NBA title.This summer may present him with an even bigger challenge: standing pat.ADVERTISEMENT China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil MOST READ Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial With Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving coming back from injuries to join fellow All-Star Al Horford and young stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, the Boston Celtics general manager doesn’t really need to do much to give the NBA’s most-decorated franchise a chance at its 18th title.And that’s not really in Ainge’s nature.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“I like this group of guys,” he said Monday, a day after the Celtics lost Game 7 of the conference finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers. “We’re not looking to make changes, other than a handful of tweaks.”But he also said: “You never know what opportunities will present themselves.” Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film The Celtics finished with the No. 1 seed in the East in 2017, but the five-game loss to the Cavaliers in the conference finals reinforced what Ainge already suspected: that that team was not going to take the next step.He went after Hayward (and, unsuccessfully, Kevin Durant), then won the draft lottery.It still wasn’t enough.When Irving asked the Cavaliers to trade him, Ainge pounced, giving up fan favorite Isaiah Thomas in a package that left Boston with 11 new players. (He also wheeled the No. 1 overall pick to Philadelphia for a future No. 1 and the right to draft Tatum — the player he says he really wanted.)Despite losing Hayward in the first quarter of the season opener, and Irving in March, the Celtics had home-court advantage for Game 7 and led the Cavaliers with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. But with the Celtics shooters turning ice cold, LeBron James proved to be too much, amassing 35 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists while playing every second of the game.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Unlike Djokovic, past French Open champ Wawrinka loses early “The farther you go in the playoffs, the more difficult it is to lose,” Ainge said. “It was one of those games we lost that we should have won. That’s going to eat at all of us for a while.”But the team’s performance in the playoffs also gave the Celtics reason to believe that this team may be good enough to contend for the title. And with the two injured All-Stars returning, this summer doesn’t have to be like last summer.“Last year, we didn’t know all that stuff was going to happen, but we do feel we have a bright future with this team,” Horford said. “It’s something we’re all looking forward to. We can’t think about ‘what could have been.’ But when Kyrie is on our team, we’re at another level.”The biggest issue for the Celtics this year is holding onto guard Marcus Smart, who is a restricted free agent and expected to draw offers of $12 million to $14 million. Ainge said the team is willing to pay the luxury tax if that’s what it takes to build a contender.And Smart said he wants to stay.“They’re already planning for me to be here,” he said at the team’s practice facility after exit interviews. “I want to be in Boston. I’ve been here for four years. My heart’s here.”Center Aron Baynes is an unrestricted free agent, as are Greg Monroe and Shane Larkin.“I hope we have something special with this group,” said Brown, who in his second year averaged 14.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. “But in this league, you never know.”And with Ainge calling the shots, it’s almost impossible to predict the future.“We’re not going to do something unless it makes us better. And there’s no guarantee that those deals are there,” Ainge said. “At this time last year, I didn’t think we would have 11 new players.” Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES View comments Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’last_img read more

Handball Association Clarifies Pressing Issues

first_imgStarted at the campus of University of Liberia, the National Handball Association, NHA, has made a stride that many of his players, mostly students from the various schools are proud of. When Professor J. Mayson Saweler thought of the need to encourage the formation of the sport, he was aware of the challenges ahead.As a professor of physical education, Saweler realized that a healthy body is a happy person, and therefore he went ahead, with support from sports lovers to get the organization off the ground.“I proceeded nonetheless,” Saweler, who is also president of the Liberia National Handball Association, told the Daily Observer last Tuesday in Monrovia, “because I knew there was more that the sport can do for Liberian youths.”That was four years ago. Fast forward it to the year 2014 and after successful handling of the sport’s affairs, several schools in Monsterrado County, Grand Bassa, and Margibi County are part of it.“Liberia is not Monrovia,” Saweler said, “so we decided to take the sport to other counties.” And his administration is considering further expansion, after the successful defeat of the Ebola outbreak in the country. Regular leagues are organized and awareness about discipline has also been encouraged.In the organization’s first ever international assistance, Olympic Solidarity of the International Olympic Committee, through the Liberia National Olympic Committee, LNOC, provided sponsorship, along with a foreign expert that took participants through the sport’s fundamentals.“It was that support that moved our sport to another level,” Saweler said. He now pleads for more Liberian government’s support.He said, “We completed Ebola awareness for student athletes in Monrovia and we had hoped to extend it outside Montserrado County,” which could not continue due to lack of material support.Meanwhile, at the end of its successful leagues before the outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease, “We have six schools to award prizes at a convenient period,” he said.The schools, he said are Sarah Barclay in both male and female categories, (senior high); Melvin Sonnii (junior high) female division and Newport (male).“Slipway won both male and female versions in the elementary division,” he said.He said the six schools would receive a total amount of Ld30, 000.00, along with one set of jersey.One of the major setbacks for handball, he said, was the recent cancellation of both male and female teams to have participated in the Lome, Togo youth tournament.“Despite the disappointment,” Saweler said, “the grant of U$11,400.00 from the International Handball Federation is being spent for the development of handball, with the blessing of the International Handball Federation.”“It was good news for us,” he said. During the preparation for the abortive trip to Togo, the Ministry of Youth and Sports could not honor a budgeted U$16,000.00, since the ministry did not have money for the trip; a source told the Daily Observer.Among other activities, Saweler said his administration has purchased a vehicle for the organization to ease transportation difficulties. Needed support, he said was provided for three students, recently quarantined in West Point, and another is planned for three players in Dolo Town, in Margibi County who are also quarantined as a result of the fight of Ebola.Said head Coach Arthur N. Dormoh, “We are excited about the progress of handball so far because we can now travel to other counties and make deliveries of 100 handballs.”Coach Dormoh has been with handball from its formation. His colleague is (coach) Phillip Mansaray, who handles the male team.President Saweler meanwhile noted his appreciation to the LNOC for providing an office space for the association. “We have a contact point on By-Pass in Monrovia and we thank LNOC and its president Phillibert Browne for their support,” he said.He meanwhile expressed further appreciation to a foreign national who has been financially supportive to the development of handball in Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

India came to Queen Victoria in the form of Abdul Karim: Shrabani Basu

first_imgThe film adaption of Shrabani Basu’s book Victoria & Abdul comes at a time when Islamophobia seems to have brushed against even the most liberal minds. The film, which comes out in theatres this week, promises to be a breather from the rising intolerance fueled by religious prejudices.Starring Judi Dench and Indian actor Ali Fazal, and directed by Stephen Frears, the film highlights a century-old story about the relationship between Queen Victoria and one of her servants, Abdul, that is as relevant in today’s conflicted world.It all started when the London-based writer visited the Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, where she saw a portrait of the story’s main character, Abdul Karim. As someone who had an inclination towards history, Basu was always interested in telling the untold stories.“He had been painted to look like a Nawab (nobleman) and definitely did not look like a servant,” Basu told Little India. “I found his framed photograph on the wall of Victoria’s dressing room and I knew instinctively that he was someone special.”Buried FriendshipAs she read Queen Victoria’s Hindustani Journals at Windsor Castle, Basu felt the buried friendship between the Queen and Abdul came alive in front of her eyes. It was then that she knew it was a relationship that she needed to explore. It took her four years of research to put the pieces together from various sources.Letters, pictures and Karim’s “lost diary” which was held secretly by his family for more than a century surfaced after Basu wrote the book. She then travelled to Karachi to get the documents and updated her work.There is very little information available about the friendship. For most Indians, Abdul Karim is not a name that holds any significance. A poignant story between the Queen of England and a Muslim Indian had got lost in the pages of history. One of the main reasons for this was King Edward VII, who opposed the Queen’s closeness to her attendant.“Every possible attempt was made to delete him (Karim) from history after Queen Victoria’s death. Her son and heir Edward VII burnt all the letters written by the Queen to him,” Basu explains.Forming of the FriendshipKarim’s influence on Queen Victoria’s life was significant. He began to work for her at the age of 24, and moved from Agra to England. Describing him in her diary, she said, “The other, much younger, is much lighter, tall, and with a fine serious countenance. His father is a native doctor at Agra. They both kissed my feet.”It wasn’t long for the Queen to develop a liking towards Karim. Interestingly, he was also the one who introduced curry to the Royal menu. Soon, the Queen promoted him to the position of “Munshi”.“The fact that a young Muslim man held such a prominent place in Queen Victoria’s Court is incredible. It was the first time such a thing had happened and it has not happened since,” says Basu.The Queen took interest in Karim’s background, culture and his ways. He told her about Muslims in India, the Hindu-Muslim riots and religious conflicts.“She in turn wrote to the Viceroy and wanted to know what he was doing to control the riots. She also made suggestions. Of course, she was a symbolic head of state, so the administration did not really have to listen to her. Queen Victoria declared that Muslims were her most faithful subjects,” Basu added.Bonding over Urdu and the Royal FamilyWith Karim as her teacher, the Queen also learnt to read and write Urdu. She never missed a lesson, whether she was on board a ship or sitting in the garden in Balmoral in summer, and by the end of her reign, she could write half a page in Urdu.Karim was a confidante who listened to her when she complained about her children. He was there for her when she was lonely and missed her husband Albert.In return, he told her about India. Basu says, “He told her about his home city of Agra and the romance of the Taj Mahal. He brought India alive before her eyes. She could not travel to India, so India came to her in the form of Abdul Karim.”Royal Family’s Dislike for KarimBut their closeness was intensely disliked by the Royal family who didn’t understand how a Queen could get that close to a servant, something they feared would influence her political decisions. “She definitely became more involved with Indian politics after her time spent with Abdul Karim, but she was a titular head so unlikely that she would have had any influence on policy,” says Basu.Over the years, there have speculations that the relationship between Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim was more than friendship. Many have hinted at the possibility of romance between the two. But Basu thinks their relationship was platonic.“I don’t think it was romantic even though it worked on several layers. She was his closest friend, his confidant. She would sign her letters to him with little crosses for kisses. She was also like a mother to him. At the same time, the physical side was important. She liked a strong six-foot tall man standing by her side and caring for her.”An Extraordinary BondBasu’s book on the unlikely friendship between the Queen Victoria and her Indian-Muslim servant Abdul Karim weaves a tale that goes beyond religion, social status, and nationality.She says: “She was the Empress of India and he was a humble clerk from Agra Jail and yet they managed to find a common space and forged a friendship that lasted for 13 years until her death.” Related ItemsJudi Dench Ali Fazal movieLittle IndiaShrabani Basu UKShrabani Basu Victoria and AbdulShrabani Basu writerVictoria and Abdullast_img read more