Category Archives: News/Op-Ed

News/OP-Ed: Califonia Reacts To Gavin Newsom’s Shut Down of Schools Across State

by Joshua Lucero

Due to the unexpected rise of COVID-19 (the CoronaVirus), the majority of schools all over California have made the preemptive decision to physically shut down for an indefinite amount of time. Students were given an alternate version of school from home, online education.

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The main reason behind this difficult decision is the number of cases that have steadily risen in California. “The number has surpassed 31,000 and is continually on the rise”, said the LA Times. To attempt to ‘reach the curve’ and decrease the spread of this pandemic, entire local areas are being shut down, including schools, restaurants, malls, and many other commonplace areas. The governmental response to COVID-19 has received a widespread amount of different reactions all over the state of California.

Many families all around the state and the nation are beginning to see the true nature of the effects of the virus, as most people have been overbuying products and supplies for their homes. An active request has been in effect for social distancing, but it seems to be easier said than done and it shows through the people’s response toward this request by the government. 

There has been a shut down of malls, bars, roller coaster parks, gyms, and anything else that the public actively uses that is considered “non-essential”. This is all because of the request by California Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration that advises people to stay indoors and out of public spaces.

As a result of many of these spaces shutting down, there has been an influx of people in public parks and around the neighborhoods. In addition to this “common fad”, many teens and young adults have looked towards social media as a way to cope with the concept of being cooped up in one’s house and looking at the same four walls every day. 

The increase of social media awareness to COVID-19 has created trends that bring life to these “locked up” teens. For example, there have been many challenges such as “see 10 do 10”, which means someone would post a video of themselves doing 10 push-ups and nominate several different people to do the same. This is what is keeping teens occupied with all their free time of being indoors during this extremely challenging time. Another challenge that was going on was “#LetTheKidsPlay”. This is a trend that evolved around the student-athletes who had to sacrifice their season because of this pandemic plaguing the US as a whole. 

Especially in high school and college students who are a part of the senior class of 2020, there is definitely a change in their mindsets over what school meant to them. Senioritis is seemingly no more, many seniors are at the point where they actually miss school.

The rising class reaction to this pandemic seems to be even more depressing every day that physical school is shut down. Social media has covered this anxiety by having a platform for people to publish photos and videos on how the class of 2020 will most likely not be able to participate in events such as grad night, prom and even potentially, graduation.

When Governor Newsom says, “Please stay indoors”, it is for the right reason, not to be selfish but to protect the entire population of 40 million or more Californians who are at risk. 

It is for good reason that California is on lockdown, it is to help achieve the curve in the growing numbers of people afflicted by COVID-19 and to end the spread. 

Citing a model that state planners have been using, Mr. Newsom said that the coronavirus could infect 56 percent of Californians, or more than 25 million people, over eight weeks.” said the New York Times. 

Personal feelings aside, and no matter what the reaction of the individual person is towards this pandemic, it is crucial for the livelihood of every human being living in America, to stay indoors as much as possible and listen to those who are trying their best to help stop the spread of this pandemic. 

News/Op-Ed: Doing Our Parts to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

by Emilio Ceja and Ma’A Gaoteote

The recent pandemic outbreak of the coronavirus, COVID-19, has spread across nations. Over 400,000 people worldwide have tested positive for the virus, which started in Wuhan, China and spread quickly since reaching Europe, namely Italy. The virus has reached the United States, which now has the 3rd most cases of any country with over 600 fatalities. 

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The Coronavirus although an easily spread virus can be slowed down through simple steps that can be done by everyone. If more people take these simple measures seriously during this time of California state as well as national “lockdown,” Californians and Americans at large can do their little part to help avoid a further spike in new cases, which has led to a death toll that just yesterday increased by more than 100, according to reporting from CNN.

Of course, the most important thing that one can do is avoid contact with those who have been infected with the virus or been around others who have. Beyond that though, it’s important at this stage that we follow the Governor’s and the Presidential Task Force’s recommendations to “stay at home” and practice at least six feet of social distancing.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth because the virus can easily spread through these sinual areas. Make sure to consistently clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched by you and others, such as desks and countertops, with disinfecting wipes. Do these things whether you’re symptomatic or not. In order to minimize the possibility of getting the virus, it is strongly recommended to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds multiple times a day.

The contagious virus can be spread through the air, along with being able to spread through touch. This has led to the statewide and nationwide “lockdown” period to help prevent the spread of the virus. This recommended quarantine has been established primarily to prevent large crowds of more than ten, and schools have been cancelled as well.

The spread of COVID-19 can become a more serious issue if the proper steps are not taken to prevent it. Be sure to practice social distancing to the best of your ability, wash your hands, don’t touch your face and clean surfaces that are often touched. Stay safe Braves!

News/OP-Ed: From NBA Players to Our Everyday Lives, “Coronavirus” Has Been Felt Throughout The World

by R.J. Johnson

How serious is the “Coronavirus” or “COVID-19”? With COVID-19 being a new disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are still in the works of finding out how severe the illness might be and what causes it. 

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So far, one of the most important things that we know about COVID-19 is how easily it spreads from person-to-person. The main way that the virus has spread is through close proximity with other people through respiratory issues like coughing or sneezing. Droplets admitted from the mouth or nose can make its way onto people nearby, possibly being inhaled into the lungs. 

According to the CDC, people are most contagious when they are most symptomatic. Although people mainly spread the virus through being visibly sick, the CDC believes that some spread might be possible before visible symptoms are shown. A recent example of this would be an NBA player from the Utah Jazz in Rudy Gobert. 

“I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis…mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment,” Gobert wrote.

Having recently been diagnosed in the past few days, Gobert appeared to be perfectly healthy before his diagnostics. Shortly after Gobert was diagnosed with Coronavirus, his teammate Donovan Mitchell was too.  In an interview, he jokingly had touched all off the microphones with his hands before concluding. This contamination of surfaces and objects has been found to spread Covid-19 according to the CDC.

“The first and most important thing is I would like to apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected,” wrote Gobert.

Since the Coronavirus outbreak has taken off, we have seen an obvious shift in everyday life that has not been quite welcoming. There have been travel bans, leaving people stranded in countries that are not their own all over the world. Professional leagues such as the NHL, MLS, and NBA have all shut down due to the Coronavirus. There have also been colleges across America that have shut down such as Georgetown University, University of Florida, Michigan State University, and University of California, Los Angeles. 

After seeing plenty of universities temporarily close down the school, each state’s respective elementary, middle, and high schools all began to shut down as well. For many schools, online instruction is being offered to students to keep everyone up to speed with their work. 

Should we be missing out on school, work, and sports? As of right now, America is the 8th leading country in total Covid-19 cases and wants to continue to keep that number as low as possible. There are 135,837 confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide. Even with 70,427 people recovered and 4,990 deaths, there are still 60,420 currently infected patients worldwide according to Worldometer which is keeping track of the virus spread in real-time. 

The goal for scientists across the world is to slow down the spread of the virus so that they could study it more in-depth and develop a cure for it. There is currently no vaccination for the Coronavirus, but researchers in the U.S. National Institutes of Health are in the early stages of development. The first phase of the clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine is set to come within the next couple of months. 

The world moves fast and is ever-changing, waiting months for a vaccination like this might take an even larger toll on certain countries’ trade economies than expected. There is always room for the world to recover from this virus, it is just a matter of how and when. 

Until we find a vaccination, the best ways to try and avoid obtaining the virus are by not sharing food items, keeping your hands away from your face, refraining from unnecessary physical contact with items or people, and washing your hands as frequently as possible for twenty seconds at a time with soap and water!

News/OP-ED: Biden Sweeps on Super Tuesday, Sanders Takes Home Biggest Prize of The Night

by Timothy Levine, Executive Editor

With the majority of Super Tuesday results being accounted for, Joe Biden had the biggest night with a dominant performance that saw him win ten of the 14 states, Bernie Sanders won the delegate prize of California and Bloomberg disappointed winning zero states and suspending his campaign.

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Following the suspension of both Buttigieg and Klobuchar’s campaigns and their endorsements of Joe Biden, it appeared that Biden would get a strong boost from moderate supporters who would rally behind him. This prediction turned out to be true, as Biden exceeded polling expectations and dominated in the states he won, winning big in the south and stealing Minnesota and Maine that went to Bernie in 2016.

Biden’s victories were not only significant in vote percentage but delegates as well. Many of the states he won, he swept in delegates and now has the delegate lead with 564 delegates. This comes from a huge surge of votes in the south and a big surprise victory in Texas, a state that polls had leaning towards Sanders before Super Tuesday. Following his rocky start, it appears that the party has found a new frontrunner in Biden and one that will have a lot of momentum heading into the final parts of this nomination race.

While Biden was the winner of the night, it was not the worst possible performance for Sanders. Coming into Super Tuesday, Sanders appeared to be unstoppable, looking to seal the nomination with dominant showings throughout the states except for the south. However, Sanders was left with just four wins in the states of Colorado, Utah, Vermont, and the biggest delegate state of California. California was still a big win for Sanders, but the race was closer than anticipated and one that Sanders needed an immense lead to garner a large majority of the delegates.

Elizabeth Warren had a very poor performance, winning zero states include Massachusets where she is a Senator for. Warren will have to reassess her campaign and suspension seems imminent as there is no clear path forward to a nomination. If Warren was to suspend her campaign, Bernie Sanders may get a boost in support, as they both share the progressive wing of the party. However, some of the older voters may rally behind Biden when considering electability and defeating Trump.

Bloomberg had the worst night of the candidates and suspended his campaign as well this morning. Spending over 200 million dollars on his campaign, Bloomberg is left in fourth place with only 53 delegates. His suspension will most likely give Biden another surge and lead to an insurmountable lead that pushes him to the nomination.

With the majority of the states still without their primary election, anything could happen, however with the momentum that Biden has and the rallying of the moderate lane behind him, it is now Biden’s race to loose heading to the convention.

News/Op-Ed: People the World Over Pay Tribute to Kobe and Gianna Bryant

by R.J. Johnson

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant’s death has slowly begun to set in for several people across the world that felt a special connection to Kobe whether they knew him personally or not. 

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Kobe set a standard for those who looked up to him, a drive that required consistency and work ethic. The “Mamba Mentality” is what Kobe gave to the world before he passed. His mentality was fierce, and many have decided to show recognition and give thanks for what he did for them.

Los Angeles is leading the charge in showing remembrance for Kobe. Not only with the memorial service they hosted for him, but with the constant love being shown around the city. There have been several sightings of vehicles sporting Los Angeles Laker colors, with designs relating to Kobe. Notable vehicles have been Joe Carbonara’s Lamborghini Huracan and an i8 BMW which both have designs of Kobe and Gianna Bryant along with their jersey numbers as well. Even the Los Angeles Metro busses have also given tribute, with “RIP KOBE” being placed at the head of all of them.

Plenty of Kobe Bryant murals have also gone up all over LA County, giving fans from everywhere a place to go and honor the legend. Kobe’s influence didn’t just stop in LA, it made its way across the world as well.

In Berlin, Germany on January 27th, there was a minute long moment of silence for Bryant before a game between Alba Berlin and HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim Bundesliga Basketball teams.

Not only basketball, but soccer also recognized the legend and his daughter.  AC Milan, one of the best teams in Italy, had fans hold a banner in honor of Kobe and Giana Bryant during the Coppa Italia Quarter Final match.

“Rest in peace. Kobe and Gianna forever together!”, the banner read.

Another sport that you wouldn’t expect Kobe’s impact to stretch into has been tennis. Nick Kyrgios from Australia warmed up wearing a number eight Kobe Bryant jersey prior to his Men’s Singles fourth round match on day eight of the 2020 Australian Open.

The NHL also had teams remember Kobe, especially the Nashville Predators, who held a moment of silence for Bryant and the 8 others who tragically lost their lives.

Kobe Bryant was definitely bigger than basketball, and there are some people that wanted a bigger reminder of that every day. From high school and college students, to professional athletes, many have been seen getting some new Mamba ink. Players such as Shareef O’Neal, Lebron James, Anthony Davis, and Odell Beckham Jr. have all gotten tattoos to honor Bryant.

People didn’t just look up to Kobe as an athlete but as a professional as well. By being at the pro level for so long, Bryant also learned to be a great father to all four of his children.

Kobe’s mentality was not something that just stopped and started on the hardwood, it exceeded all expectations with his mindset being a key contributing factor to everything off the court. A prime example of this mentality is when Kobe ruptured his Achilles tendon, then shooting and draining two free throws instead of being carried off the court. Bryant was a warrior. One that did not back down from anything.

The time and dedication that he put into every single thing he did made it seem like he was obsessed, but Kobe was just focused. The world misses Kobe and will continue to do so.

The biggest way that the world will continue to commemorate the legend of Kobe Bryant is by yelling “Kobe!” either while shooting a crumpled piece of paper into a trash can or a ball into a basket.

Kobe Bryant was born August 23rd, 1978, and was drafted into the NBA in 1996 at seventeen years old meaning that he spent half of his life as a professional basketball player. His legacy as a man is what was important to the spirit of Los Angeles alive. Kobe’s hunger to be great and second to none is what propelled him into stardom throughout his career. If there was ever a tough shot, Kobe Bryant was going to take and make it.

NEWS/OP-ED: Biden and Sanders in Two-Horse Race Ahead of Super Tuesday

by Timothy Levine, Executive Editor

With the results of both Nevada and South Carolina, the field has narrowed down and it appears to be all Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden heading into Super Tuesday.

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The Nevada Democratic caucus took place on February 22 and saw Senator Bernie Sanders surge to victory, amassing nearly 50 percent of the votes. This caucus was followed by South Carolina’s primary election that took place this past Saturday where Joe Biden had a similar performance that saw him gain 48 percent of the vote in a dominant showing. These are both vital in building momentum for the upcoming Super Tuesday.

The Nevada Caucus awarded 36 delegates, of which frontrunner Sanders was able to get 24 with his 46.8 percent of the votes. This was a huge win for Sanders and one he was hoping would build momentum for South Carolina, but more importantly Super Tuesday. Sanders was followed by Biden in Nevada who received nine delegates of the strength of his 20.2 percent of the votes. The only other candidate to receive delegates was Mayor Pete Buttigieg who got three delegates and 14.3 percent of the votes.

This was a very disappointing night for Senator Elizabeth Warren who failed to receive any delegates and only nine percent of the votes. She will need to strongly exceed expectations on Super Tuesday to have a viable path forward.

This Saturday featured another primary race in South Carolina, one that sees greater Super Tuesday implications in terms of momentum. Biden was able to dominate here, giving himself 39 delegates and 48.4 percent of the votes. The reverse of the Nevada results saw Sanders come in second with 20 percent of the vote and 15 delegates. These two were the only candidates to gain delegates with Tom Steyer coming in third with eleven percent of the vote.

This was a very poor performance for Steyer who was polling as high as twenty percent in the state earlier in the week and one that led him to suspend his campaign entirely. He was also not the only candidate to suspend their campaign, as both Buttigieg and Klobuchar have suspended their campaigns as well. This is a very surprising drop out for Buttigieg, as he had won Iowa earlier in the race and seemed to be a top tier candidate going forward. However, with poor polling in Super Tuesday states and his momentum being halted with Nevada and South Carolina results, it would be difficult to see a path forward to the nomination. Klobuchar’s suspension was a bit more predictable, as she has been polling even worse in Super Tuesday states and has little momentum left from her early results.

With all three of these candidates dropping out and Klobuchar and Buttigieg planning to endorse Biden, this gives Biden a strong wave of momentum heading into tomorrow’s primary elections. Klobuchar, Buttigieg, and Biden were all the more moderate of the remaining candidates, so it would be safe to assume the majority of their supporters would go to Biden now in a race that sees Sanders completely taking over.

Sanders has a double-digit lead in California in terms of polling, consistently above thirty percent. California is the single most important state in the Democratic primary race and Super Tuesday with 415 delegates up for grabs. He is followed by Biden, who is polling between 15 and 20 percent, but if Sanders can win big here, the race will be all but over.

Another candidate who is polling fairly well in Super Tuesday states is Mike Bloomberg, however, in the majority of these states including California and Texas, he is only polling in third place. Bloomberg will need to win at least one of these states to have a chance for the nomination, but if looking for a more moderate lane, he may want to put his resources in endorsing Biden.

At this point, it is Sander’s race to lose, but if moderate voters join together under Biden, he has a chance to win big on Super Tuesday and allow for a contested convention that could hurt Sanders if he does not outright win the nomination.

News/OP-ED: Sanders Emerges as Frontrunner, Buttigieg Leads Moderate Lane

by Timothy Levine, Executive Editor

With the results of both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary being released, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders stand apart from the field in a tier of their own with Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren having disappointing showings.  

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The Iowa Caucuses took place in Iowa on February 3, 2020. Normally, the night of the Caucus would be full of speeches going over each candidate’s results, however, the results were delayed and America had to wait six days until 100 percent of the results were reported.

The Iowa Caucus result delay stems from the integration of a new app The Iowa Democratic Party commissioned Shadow Inc., a for-profit technology company, to build according to The New York Times. This app was supposedly plagued with “coding” errors and many volunteers helping to run the caucus were unfamiliar with how to log in and use the app. The party stated that these issues caused “inconsistencies with the reports” and the investigation required time, which led to the delay according to Vox.

With the results now 100 percent reported, Pete Buttigieg can finally be declared the winner with 13 delegates and 26.2 percent of the votes. He holds the slimmest edge over Senator Bernie Sanders with twelve delegates and 26.1 percent of the votes. These two are in a tier of their own with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Former Vice President Joe Biden falling behind with eight and six delegates respectively. The only other delegate awarded went to Senator Amy Klobuchar who garnered 12.3 percent of the vote. Candidates Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer left Iowa empty-handed with zero delegates each.

The New Hampshire primary took place this Tuesday with results quickly following polls closing that evening, unlike the debacle that was Iowa. With the results currently at 98 percent reported, network projections have given Sanders the win with 25.7 percent of the votes and nine delegates. A strong showing from Buttigieg, following his momentum from Iowa, gave him a strong second-place showing with 24.4 percent of the vote and nine delegates as well, thanks to New Hampshire’s tier rules with delegate distribution. The only other candidate to gain delegates was Klobuchar with 19.8 percent of the votes and six delegates in a rather surprising showing for her, surging to third place.

Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden both failed to gain any delegates with less than ten percent of the votes and finishing in fourth and fifth respectively.  This is very disappointing to both campaigns, as they hoped to pick up momentum for later primary elections. Biden, who was once considered the heavy frontrunner, is now in fifth place in total delegates and will need to win big in upcoming primaries. 

In other primary news, Andrew Yang has officially suspended his campaign following poor showings in both Iowa and New Hampshire. A long-shot candidate, Yang was able to surpass many career politicians in terms of fundraising and polling, however, these frustrating results for the Yang campaign give him no clear path forward to win this primary election.

The next primary election will be held in Nevada in the form of a caucus on February 22. Nevada awards 48 delegates, 36 of which are pledged based on the results of the caucuses. This will be an important state to win to gain momentum going into Super Tuesday, where 1357 delegates will be up for grabs.

News/Op-Ed: CoronaVirus

by Ryan Tavera and Joshua Whitfield

The spread of a new disease, 2019-nCoV, widely referred to as the coronavirus has undoubtedly taken the world by storm. The coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China and is currently challenging scientists who are struggling to officially find the source of the virus, although they believe it to be the selling and eating of bats in Wuhan, China. 

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“When you look at the genetic sequence of the virus, and you match it up with every known coronavirus, the closest relatives are from bats,” said Dr. Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, an environmental health non-profit organization.

The virus has proven to be contagious affecting up to 17,000 people and already killing 362 people as of Monday according to Johns Hopkins CSSE live map. 

See the map here.

What does this all mean though for people living in the United States? Well if you are worried about the virus spreading it already has been confirmed in the U.S with 6 cases as of Thursday.  To prevent the further spreading of the virus the infected are being quarantined and treated. 

In recent news, a plane carrying 210 U.S. citizens was issued to evacuate from Wuhan, China after the sudden outbreak. The plane ended up taking the passengers to the March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, California where passengers are going to be quarantined two weeks.  

Considering a plane was evacuated from China holding 200 passengers what does this mean for other American flights to and from China?

US airlines have already begun to suspend flights to China, a different approach when compared to other major airlines which have banned flights completely to China. These include British Airways, Air India, Indonesia’s Lion Air, and South Korea’s Seoul Air and many more that have decided that the best course of action is to cut off travel for the meantime. 

In addition to countries already being on the verge of cutting travels to China, the W.H.O. (World Health Organization) has declared during an interview on Thursday that the coronavirus is a global emergency. 

“For all of these reasons, I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern over the global outbreak of the virus” says the director of the W.H.O, Tredos Adhanom. 

This declaration may sway many more countries towards the cutting off of all air travel to China. 

“Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems, and which are ill-prepared to deal with it” says director of the W.H.O, Tredos Adhanom. 

Dr. Tredos and the W.H.O. are afraid of what the virus can mean for other countries whose health systems aren’t as advanced as other countries. The world has already seen what can happen when a virus makes contact with a county that lacks the funds for a strong health system. Back in 2014 with the Ebola virus striking West Africa and affecting up to 30,000 people and 11,000 deaths.

2019-nCoV however, is no Ebola, it presents it’s own list of problems and precautions. As the coronavirus continues to take its course, America can only prepare and protect its citizens as we continue down this long journey in search of a cure. 

The coronavirus is no new enemy, on the contrary, the virus has some history behind it, but what exactly makes this virus so prominent and contagious? 

The virus infected those not through the air like bacteria, but can only be transmitted through bodily exchanges like blood and/or infected person’s saliva. The common trend was for people to wear face masks in China to prevent it from getting into their nose or mouth. Yet officials say it’s actually not as effective as it seems.

The resurgence in the coronavirus has shaken the western world due to the contagiousness of the disease in China. Among one of the most infamous diseases to resurge in the last ten plus years, the coronavirus has been spread to hundreds of Americans visiting its epicenter Wuhan, Hubei Province, China and contracting the coronavirus. 

In the early 2000s, the coronavirus was a notorious disease in China because of the severe symptoms and possible fatality of it. The coronavirus is classified as a SARS or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome because of its symptoms to cause difficulty breathing and severe coughing. 

“Routine surgical masks for the public are not effective protection against viruses or bacteria carried in the air”, which was how “most viruses” were transmitted, because they were too loose, had no air filter and left the eyes exposed. But they could help lower the risk of contracting a virus through the “splash” from a sneeze or a cough and provide some protection against hand-to-mouth transmissions.” Dr. David Carrington told BBC News

The CDC classifies it as a virus and according to the CDC, the best way to avoid getting sick is not to wear masks but to have better general health and hygiene.

“There are currently no vaccines available to protect you against human coronavirus infection. You may be able to reduce your risk of infection by doing the following; wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands, avoid close contact with people who are sick.” said the CDC

The virus’ potency is now being felt by the rest of the world because unfortunately, US citizens were in Wuhan when the outbreak happened. This now opens the rest of the world to the risk of the coronavirus and is affecting airlines, trade, and general relations with China. This virus now has spread and shows no sign of quickly slowing down.

News/Op-Ed: Legends Never Die

by Robert Johnson

An athlete, pianist, writer, rapper, businessman, husband, and most importantly a father. Kobe “Bean” Bryant was a beyond talented human being, accomplishing more in his lifetime than being an NBA Megastar. 

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Born August 23rd, 1978 in Philadelphia, PA to Joe Bryant and Pamela Cox Bryant. Kobe was born into a family of stardom with his father, Joe Bryant was a former NBA and overseas player. 

When Kobe Bryant was 6, his father Joe retired from the NBA to go play professional basketball in Italy where he played five seasons in a few different cities. 

In order for Kobe to adapt to his environment, he had to pick up the local language which was Italian in order to communicate with his teammates on the basketball court or soccer field. 

Later in life, Kobe learned Spanish, making him completely fluent in three languages. 

Kobe Bryant is extremely intelligent, graduating with a high school degree from Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania. In Kobe’s adult life, he was mostly self-taught, learning the most from his life experiences. 

Kobe was drafted straight out of Lower Merion High School, into the NBA with the 13th overall pick of the 1996 draft. The team that originally owned this pick was the Charlotte Hornets who on draft day would trade Bryant to the Los Angeles Lakers immediately for Vlade Divac, the 7’1 Serbian center. 

“Charlotte never wanted me,” stated Kobe in an interview in 2015. “They had a couple of guards already, a couple small forwards already. So it wasn’t like I would be off the bench much. “ 

This was the trade that would create a dynasty for the Lakers which would dominate most of the 2000s. 

Whether it was Shaq and Kobe or Pau and Kobe. Bryant proved himself to be a champion.  Kobe came into the league wanting to be his own man. 

“I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.” 

By the end of his career, Bryant cemented himself as one of the greatest of all times.

Having an NBA resume of accomplishments such as five NBA championships with two Finals MVPs, 3rd on the all-time scoring list (4th now, after recently being passed by Lebron James), 15 All-Star Game appearances, and 1 regular season MVP. 

With all of Kobe’s on-court accolades, some of his off-court accolades meant just as much if not even more. 

This list of off-court accomplishments, and the most important starts with his four daughters, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, Natalia Diamante Bryant,  Bianka Bella Bryant, and Capri Kobe Bryant. 

Many of Kobe’s fans were more concerned about him having sons that would carry on his torch, but Kobe was proud of being a “Girl dad”. 

“Without hesitation,” he said, “I would have five more girls if I could. I’m a girl dad,”  according to Elle Duncan. 

Bryant was heavily invested in being a family man. This is what made Kobe and Gianna ‘Gigi’ Bryant’s sudden death on January 26th, 2020 so impactful on the lives of people all over the world. Kobe was able to stretch himself out to several different age groups.

Everything that Bryant did was for his daughters. Which sadly would lead to his eventual death as he was taking his daughter to a Mamba Sports Academy game. 

After being a father, Kobe was an artist. 

Bryant enjoyed writing poetry, later taking his writing to the mic. Kobe has had several songs over the years. Songs such as “Kobe” with Tyra Banks, “Hold Me” with Brian McKnight, and “Say My Name” with Destiny’s Child. Bryant’s artistry didn’t stop here. He later found himself in the film industry. 

In 2018, Kobe Bryant was the first professional athlete to be nominated and win an Oscar. 

The Oscar that Kobe won was for “Best Animated Short Film” for his film “Dear Basketball”. 

Kobe Bryant’s artistry was second to none, setting the example of creative freedom that any athlete could possibly obtain in their lifetime. 

Bryant was also an advocate for youth sports, rebranding what was initially “The Sports Academy” that started in 2016 in the “Mamba Sports Academy” in 2018. A multisport training center for young athletes in Thousand Oaks and Redondo Beach, California.

Bryant’s daughter Gianna was often seen working, perfecting her craft at this academy. Enjoying the company of her teammates and the game. 

UCONN Women’s Basketball team recognized Gianna’s dedication to basketball from a young age, leaving a jersey with her number on a seat saved for “Mambacita”. 

UCONN has let it be known that Gianna is “forever a Husky”. 

The passing away of these two has left Los Angeles, along with Kobe and basketball fans across the world feeling lost. 

Bryant left behind his wife Vanessa and three other daughters Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. A family that he dedicated himself to day in and day out. 

Not only was Kobe dedicated to his family but also his league. Kobe played twenty years in the NBA, making on-court rivals as well as off-court friends. 

There were plenty of heartfelt interviews from plenty across the NBA. Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Jay Williams, and Doc Rivers have all sent their condolences to the Bryant family. 

On the court, these men have fiercely competed on the court or coached against Kobe. This was just another reason for them to respect Bryant even more so. 

Younger players across the league like Devin Booker, Trae Young, and Zach LaVine all look up to Bryant. Appreciating Kobe’s detail for the game of basketball. 

Many claim Kobe to be this generation’s Michael Jordan. This is false. 

Some people would say that Kobe Bryant is this generation’s Micheal Jordan. However, just like Kobe said himself, Kobe is this generation’s, Kobe Bryant. A champion in life and a legend whose legacy will never fade. 

 

 

 

News/Op-Ed: Top Four Cautious with Three Weeks ’til Iowa

by Timothy Levine, Executive Editor

This past Tuesday night featured six of the remaining Democratic presidential candidates on the debate stage and with the Iowa Caucuses less than a month away, each candidate tried to push their electability in this much more condensed field.

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Held in Iowa, the main topic of the night’s debate really came down to who can beat President Donald Trump. In this regard, senator Elizabeth Warren shined, she came equipped to challenge those who saw her as too far left to win a general election and delivered one of the best lines of the night. When discussing the electability of women candidates, she noted that the four men on stage lost ten elections, while she and senator Amy Klobuchar have never lost an election. Although she started off slow in the foreign policy portion of the debate, she pushed a strong message of universal healthcare that saw her separate herself from the more moderate mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden. Overall, she had a very strong performance that she will use to gain momentum heading into these first cycle of primaries.

Another strong performer was Buttigieg, who continued to show why he is the best debater in the Democratic race. He came out very strong on foreign policy, showing why he is the most level headed and best equipped to take on the challenges as the head of state. His veteran experience was used to separate himself from the other candidates and had very few rebuttals on the points he made. His attacks on Trump’s approach to Iran showed his understanding of this complicated issue and made it difficult to remember that he is only just a mayor. Inverse to Warren, while he did shine on foreign policy, his more moderate approach to healthcare could set him back in the Democratic race, as more and more of the party seems to shift farther left on this issue.

This debate also featured very few bad performances with Tom Steyer being the only candidate that I can say did a bad job presenting himself. Steyer did little to persuade anybody that he was better equipped than other candidates on any issue, he also lacked any enthusiasm to attack other candidates, which would have been the only way he could gain momentum. While I don’t think his polling will get worse, it is hard to picture a long term path forward in this race.

On the other hand, I felt that Biden, Sanders, and Klobuchar did not stand out, but did just enough to not hurt them going forward. Biden had a solid performance in the debate that shows that he still can compete on the stage and had no real slip-ups that could seriously hurt him. Klobuchar, while not making any lasting impressions, definitely did enough to show herself as another alternative to moderate voters who don’t like Biden and will hope to have a stronger showing in the coming debates. Bernie Sanders also did what he had to do in last night’s debate, showing himself as the most progressive candidate on issues like healthcare, but struggling in the debate with Warren in regards to comments he made about her electability.

Overall, this debate lacked the back and forth battles that previous debates seemed to have, with many candidates looking to have done just enough to keep themselves in their current positions. It will be interesting to see how the Iowa Caucuses plays out and its effects on the following debates.

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