Entertainment

The Charlotte Hornets Will Be The First Team In The NBA To Have A Full Time Latino Coach

In another first for the NBA, a Latino has been named a full-time head coach for the first time in league history. The Charlotte Hornets gave James Borrego the reins as head coach. This is a first for the league in the 72-year history. The 40-year-old coach was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His coaching career started in 2001 as an assistant for University of San Diego and then made the leap to the NBA as an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs in 2003.

James Borrego joins a select group of Latinos to ever be named head coach in the NBA but the first to ever be an external full-time hire.

Dick Versace, head coach of the Indiana Pacers from 1988 to 1990, and Earl Watson, who coached the Phoenix Suns from 2015 to 2017, were both of Latino descent but were only given interim coach titles. Borrego’s resume speaks for itself as he has amassed 15 years of experience in the NBA as well as an interim head coach run in 2015 for the Orlando Magic.

“He has been a part of teams that have ascended to the highest levels of success in our league and understands what it takes to win in the NBA,” Mitch Kupchak, General Manager of the Charlotte Hornets told the official team website. “James is considered one of the NBA’s most well-regarded assistant coaches and it’s great to have him as part of our team.”

Borrego’s hiring is positive news for the NBA as the number of Latino players have decreased.

The number of Latino players in the NBA decreased from 6.3 percent in 2015-16 to 4.9 percent during the 2016-17 season according to the 2017 Racial and Gender Report Card: National Basketball Association. The NBA has paved the way for coaches before as Bill Russell in 1966 became the first non-white and African-American head coach in the NBA after the Boston Cetics hired him. Erik Spoelstra became the NBA’s first Asian-American head coach when the Miami Heat promoted him in 2008.

Many are cheering for this landmark moment for Latinos in the NBA.

For the NBA, this isn’t just another hiring but a moment to acknowledge the growth and expansion of the league and how far Latinos have gone to make an impact in the sport. Good luck to James this season and I’m sure all Latinos will be cheering for his continued success in the NBA.


READ: Everyone Should Know About These Latino MLB Legends

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What The Lakers’ Championship Win On Father-Daughter Day Means For Vanessa Bryant And Fans Of Kobe

Entertainment

What The Lakers’ Championship Win On Father-Daughter Day Means For Vanessa Bryant And Fans Of Kobe

Harry How / Getty

The Lakers took home a massive win this past Sunday and scored a victory that spurred heartfelt reflection from longtime fans and family of the Los Angeles- based team After a year of devastating heartache and uncertainty, the feat was a reminder of the absence of a great presence that had long dominated basketball courts: Kobe Bryant.

In a post shared to her Instagram over the weekend, Vanessa Bryant congratulated the Lakers’ victory while paying tribute to her late husband and daughter.

Bryant congratulated the Lakers for their win in a heartfelt Instagram post that featured an image of Kobe alongside the Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka. “Congratulations Uncle P!” Bryant wrote. “Congratulations @lakers Kobe was right, RP! ‘Stay the course-block out the noise. Wish Kobe and Gigi were here to see this.”

Fans were quick to point out that the team’s win coincided with Father-Daughter Day.

“Kobe and GG were taken so.suddenly and so cruelly because they were needed for a fight…they are not gone forever they are with you now. They await your reunion…but do not want you to be sad ….they miss you but will be happy if their departure means a greater change for humanity,” one user commented. ” God bless you Vanessa. Although I havent seen your skin with my eyes…I can feel your pain with my mind. Please Father comfort this beautiful woman and her beautiful children. Shine your light of love wrap her in your warmth. Your husband loves and adores you. And he’s proud of how you are so strong.”

“Job Finished. For you, Kobe,” another user wrote about the win. “What a season it’s been. No. 17 carries a different meaning because of the loss of you and Gigi. You mean so damn much to us. You gave us 20 years of your blood, sweat, and tears. You brought not one, but FIVE championships to this franchise. You’re the reason we’re proud to be Lakers fans. Not only did you win at all costs, but you embodied the man we all strive for & hope to be one day. I hope we made you proud this season. This one’s for you, Bean… for all the memories you’ve given us throughout your lifetime. As always, we love & miss you, Mamba.”

Bryant also paid tribute to her husband-daughter duo on Instagram with an image of Kobe holding Gianna in his arms after the Lakers won the 2009 NBA Championship.

Since their passing, fans have often pointed out that Kobe and Gianna shared a special bond and love for basketball. Later in his career, Kobe was open about his love for his daughters and desire to see Giana take on his legacy as a basketball player. At the time of his death, Bryant was a coach for Gianna’s team at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California.

During a memorial for her husband and daughter, Bryant eulogized their bond noting how inseparable they were.

In Bryant’s eulogy of her husband and daughter, she reminded the world of their inseparable bond. “God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other,” Bryant remarked at the time. “He had to bring them home to heaven together.”

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Vanessa Bryant Penned A Heartbreaking Message To Kobe On What Would Have Been His 42nd Birthday

Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant Penned A Heartbreaking Message To Kobe On What Would Have Been His 42nd Birthday

Tommaso Boddi / Stringer

Over seven months have passed since basketball great Kobe Bryant lost his life alongside his daughter Gigi and seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. In the months since his death fans have paid tribute to the former shooting guard who left behind three other daughters and his wife Vanessa and watched as his family has slowly attempted to pick up the pieces of their lives without them. Since then, they’ve celebrated holidays and their own birthdays.

For the first time, over the weekend, the Bryants celebrated Kobe’s birthday.

On Sunday, Vanessa Bryant shared a heart-wrenching message to her late husband and daughter on what would have been Kobe’s 42nd birthday.

“To my baby~ Happy birthday. I love you and miss you more than I can ever explain. I wish you and Gigi were here to celebrate YOU! I wish I could make you your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi. I miss your big hugs, your kisses, your smile, your loud ass deep laugh,” she wrote in a post on Instagram.”I miss teasing you, making you laugh and bursting your bubble. I miss you sitting on my lap like my big baby that you are. I think about your tenderness and patience all the time. I think about everything you would do in situations to help me deal with everything thrown my way.”

Bryant went on to open up about her struggles to move on since her husband and daughter’s deaths which occurred this past year on January 26.

“Our lives feel so empty without you and Gigi. I’ve been completely broken inside. As much as I want to cry, I put a smile on my face to make our daughters days shine a little brighter. I’m not the strong one, they are. They’re strong and resilient. I’m sure you’re proud of them. They put a smile on my face everyday,” Vanessa wrote.”I wish I could wake up from this horrible nightmare. I wish I could surprise our girls and welcome you and Gigi home to us. I’m mad I didn’t go first. I always wanted to go first so that I selfishly didn’t have to feel this heartache. You were supposed to miss me. Gigi was supposed to be here with her sisters. It should’ve been me.”

Vanessa ended her post by thanking her late husband for showing her true love and for loving her “enough to last several lifetimes.”

“I know my Gigi is celebrating you like she always has on our special days. I miss my thoughtful princess so much! Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, Capri and I wish you a happy birthday my love. I love you for now, forever and for always,” Bryant finished the post.

Fans of the Bryants were quick to commemorate him all throughout Sunday.

To celebrate Kobe, the Lakers celebrated Kobe’s birthday by sharing a reel of his game highlights. Nike also took part by debuting a commercial titled “Better | Mamba Forever.” The ad was narrated by rapper Kendrick Lamar and was launched for what the shoe company is calling “Mamba Week.”

“Kobe taught us to be better,” Lamar recalled in the ad which features video and audio of Kobe, scenes from the Black Lives Matter protests, and clips of Nike-sponsored athletes and fans he inspired with his talent.

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