HoopsHype John Amaechi rumors

April 15, 2011 Updates

John Amaechi: Kobe Bryant isn’t some great, bigoted monster, as some have implied, but he isn’t the innocent victim of some overblown one-off incident about a word that’s “not even that bad,” either. This controversy is not a storm in a teacup turned into a vendetta by loony liberals, as many in the sports world seem to think. What our heroes say and do means something — and in an America where sports stars carry more influence and in some cases more credibility than senators, what they say matters more than ever. When someone with the status of Kobe Bryant, arguably the best basketball player in a generation, hurls that antigay slur at a referee or anyone else — let’s call it the F-word — he is telling boys, men and anyone watching that when you are frustrated, when you are as angry as can be, the best way to demean and denigrate a person, even one in a position of power, is to make it clear that you think he is not a real man, but something less. New York Times

John Amaechi: I am tired of people having this debate about the relative impact of pejorative words on their target minority group. If injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, then the relative power of an antigay gay slur is irrelevant, it is simply a threat to human dignity, and that should appall us all. I don’t think Kobe Bryant is some vicious homophobe, but I do think he made a mistake and has sounded more like a squirming politician than a national hero since the incident came to light. When you know that people hang on your every word, you should take more responsibility when the wrong words spill out in anger. When you understand that people treat you like a god, you should endeavor to be more benevolent when you exceed expectations and more contrite when you let people down. New York Times

John Amaechi: Kobe, stop fighting the fine. You spoke ill-advised words that shot out like bullets, and if the e-mails I received from straight and gay young people and sports fans in Los Angeles alone are anything to go by, you did serious damage with your outburst. New York Times

March 10, 2011 Updates

Outspoken former NBA star John Amaechi will be "shocked" if Great Britain are not granted an automatic place in the 2012 Olympics. Governing body FIBA meet in Lyon this weekend to decide whether Britain's men's and women's teams will be granted the place usually given to the host nation. FIBA has set Britain stringent targets on and off the court as the team was only formed in 2006, so there were concerns over their ability to compete and their plans to ensure the games leave a legacy for the sport. Sportinglife.com

March 4, 2011 Updates

Neal Meyer, a former NBA assistant coach who next month will oversee the league's operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the league has sponsored a variety of camps and coaching clinics in several British cities this week. But Amaechi would like to see a larger infrastructure investment in order to build on the visits by the NBA and the Olympics. His Amaechi Basketball Centre in Manchester is a working model for how the sport could grow. "We have 2,000 kids a week going through our doors in Manchester," said Amaechi. "If you don't live in Manchester, or in one or two parts of London, or in one part of Birmingham, there is no place to play that is of very high quality." SI.com

February 22, 2011 Updates

Manchester basketball legend John Amaechi has come under fire from Great Britain captain Drew Sullivan. He has hit back after former NBA star Amaechi criticised the British Basketball program just three weeks before FIBA make a decision on whether the team can play at the 2012 London Olympics. Amaechi, whose days as an England international predated the forming of the GB programme, spoke out last week, saying: “I think the organisers of Team GB are absurdly poor. We have a team that had an average age of something about 35 when most of the teams at the Olympics have an average age of 25. “The way we are developing basketball in this team is wrong ... but they deserve to be at the Olympics.” Manchester Evening News

Amaechi has reiterated he supports the Olympic bid, but his comments upset Sullivan, who has been part of the GB set-up from the start. “I am very surprised to hear these comments from a former player, especially because I’ve actually never seen this individual at any of our practices, road trips and for that matter any of our games,” he said. “The people that I do see are all the hard-working individuals from the GB programme that have improved it from year to year to the point that other top-ranked nations have been paying us respect. Manchester Evening News

September 13, 2010 Updates

Former NBA basketball player John Amaechi is considering legal action against a bar in Manchester's gay village that refused to let him in. The former star said that a doorman at Crunch on Canal Street described him as "big, black and could be trouble". Mr Amaechi, 39, who was out with friends on Friday evening has also complained to the council and has demanded an apology from the bar. Crunch's management was unavailable for comment. "I want an explanation of what happened - a real true explanation - and an apology, and they have not in any way been forthcoming with that," said Mr Amaechi, whose office has written to the club. BBC

August 31, 2010 Updates
July 27, 2010 Updates

With exactly two years to go until the London 2012 opening ceremony, Johnson will run down a specially-constructed track in the 80,000 Olympic Stadium in Stratford. Elsewhere, four-time Olympic gold medallist, Sir Chris Hoy, will cycle inside the velodrome for the first time while former NBA star John Amaechi will shoot the first hoop in the basketball arena. MoreThanTheGames.co.uk

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