Magic Johnson talks about his son coming out, homophobia in a mature way many can’t

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I wish every child who wants to come out as gay/lesbian could have a father as understanding as Magic Johnson.

In case you missed it because you don’t watch/read TMZ  and other celebrity sites, Magic Johnson’s 20-year-old son E.J. was filmed walking down the street holding hands with his boyfriend in a public coming out. TMZ quickly went to Magic for a reaction and it was simply that he and his wife Cookie loved him very much and were very proud of him.

Then he sat down with and talked about how the family approached the issue — in a mature, respectful, thoughtful manner. The way you would hope a parent who really loved their child would react.

Again, because Magic is awesome, here is the money quote:

“I told him, ‘Hey, we are here to support you, and we’re going to love you no matter who you are and what you do. We just want you to love yourself and just make sure that you have all the information.’ And that’s what I wanted to give him — just provide him with advice and guidance.”

Magic is also someone who can speak first hand to what it is like to be out in front of a national issue and be a focal point — and in that role have people slam you behind your back (or to your face) and on the Internet. E.J. got some of that online but again Magic talked about it to E.J. and TMZ in a mature, thoughtful way (with more patience than I would have if someone said those things about one of my daughters).

E.J. appreciates what he’s got in a father.

He’s fortunate. There is a lot of passion and a frightening amount of hatred around this issue — some people who claim to be Christians do not act very Christ like toward gays and lesbians. I’ve seen enough of it with people close to me. To me hate is hate, wherever it is directed. If more people, more parents could share the concern, maturity and love that Magic showed in this situation the world would simply be a better place.

Thanks to Dan Devine at Ball Don’t Lie for the videos.

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.