Manute Bol fighting for his life with kidney failure

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M_Bol.jpgPopular former NBA player Manute Bol is currently in a northern Virginia hospital fighting for his life.

Dan Steinberg at The Sports Bog (part of the Washington Post) reports that Bol had been hospitalized after a return from his native Sudan with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome — a life-threatening skin condition — as well as kidney failure.

Tom Prichard, who has worked with Bol on building a school in Sudan through the group Sudan Sunrise, said that Bol was returning from several months in Sudan, where his health had deteriorated. Prichard said Bol flew into Dulles and had to stay overnight near the airport before a flight back to his family in Kansas; after friends asked the hotel manager to check on Bol, he was rushed to a local hospital.

Prichard said that Bol has undergone three rounds of dialysis, and that the Stevens-Johnson Syndrome might necessitate a move to a burn unit.

“He’s at great risk,” Prichard said. “He’s in a bad way.”

Bol at 7’6″ was a bit of a sideshow at times, but he lasted for a decade in the NBA starting in 1985. He played for what was then the Washington Bullets as well as Golden State and the Sixers. He was a fan favorite everywhere.

In recent years he has focused a lot of work on reforming the politics in southern Sudan and helping people there — a Herculean task. He has done a lot and stayed on in the Sudan recently when he started to get ill. By the time he returned to the United States and was taken to a hospital, it was almost too late.

There is a Facebook page set up for those that want to wish Bol well with his recovery.

Remembering Notre Dame, Laker legend Tommy “the hawk” Hawkins

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Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.

The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.

The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.