Philippine Showbiz Today Vol 13 No 24 - Page 22

22 Philippine Showbiz Today December October 22, 22 2018 - November - January 7, 7, 2017 2019 King is Queen of tennis Legendary tennis player Billie Jean King was has been accord- ed with the Lifetime Achievement honor during BBC’s Sports Per- sonality of the Year awards night ceremony on Sunday in Birming- ham. The 75-year-old American, former No.1 and one of the great- est female tennis players of all time, had won 39 Grand Slam ti- tles, 12 in singles during her play- ing career in the 60s and 70s. King, an advocate for gender equality, not only in her sport, but in all sports  as well, who in 1973 won the Battle of the Sexes match against Bobby Riggs. She also founded the Wom- en’s Tennis Association (WTA). “We all stand on the shoul- ders of those who came before us and we all have an opportunity to share our lives, our experiences and our vision for the future,” King said in her acceptance speech. “Each of us is an influencer, and to all the athletes who truly have a platform, let’s continue to use the power of our voices and our actions to inspire others.” Other awardees are cyclist Geraint Thomas, Sports Person- ality of the Year for winning the Tour de France; England Netball Basketball team, Team of the Year, for winning the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games; Gareth Southgate, for guiding England to its firsts World Cup of Soccer semifinals round in 28 years; Francisco Molinari, World Sports Star of the Year, for being instrumental in Europe’s Ryder Cup glory in golf; Kirsty Ewe, Un- sung Hero, for  overcoming men- tal health issues to inspire others to do the same and find a better place through swimming. King turned professional in 1959 and gained global recogni- tion two years later when she and Karen Hantze Susman became the youngest pair to win the wom- en’s doubles title at Wimbledon. In 1966, she won her first major singles title, again at Wim- bledon, and was crowned world number one for the first time - a ranking she held for five further years (1967-1968, 1971-1972 and 1974). She retained her Wimble- don titles in both 1967 and 1968 - the years in which she also won her first US Open and Australian Open singles titles respectively. All in all, King won a record 20 Wimbledon titles as well as 13 US Open, four French Open and two Australian Open crowns between 1961 and 1979. She col- lected three Grand Slam titles in one year in 1972. She won 129 singles titles in all, 78 of which were WTA titles. In addition, she won seven Fed Cups as a player and four as the US team’s captain. King retired from profession- al tennis in 1983. Off the court, King was a pioneer in campaigning for equal prize money in tennis, and in 1971 became the first female player to earn more than $100,000 in prize money. However, when she won the US Open in 1972, she received $15,000 less than the men’s champion and vowed not to re- Tennis turn the following year unless the prize money was equal. In 1973, the US Open be- came the first major tournament to offer equal prize money for men and women. Her campaigning didn’t end there, though, and throughout the 1970s - the height of her competitive years - she led player efforts to support the formation of the first professional women’s tour and became the first presi- dent of the WTA. In 1974, along with then- husband Larry King, she started the Women’s Sports Foundation, which works to ensure all girls have access to sport.● Early NBA Rookie of the Year candidates As the NBA continues its evolution towards the perimeter, talented forwards who were without a po- sition in the previous back-to-the- basket era and seemingly without a role in the current pace-and- space era have emerged as the league’s newest super-subs. These forwards are the an- tithesis of the modern NBA big man: They post up fewer than five times a game, attempt fewer than two three-pointers a night and aren’t true rim protectors. Yet Julius Randle, Doman- tas Sabonis and Montrezl Harrell are all front-runners for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award. An- other forward playing a similar role, Marvin Bagley, will most- likely be a First Team All-Rookie performer, too.  In the past if a power forward didn’t have a traditional low-post game or size or couldn’t stretch the defense from the three-point line, then more often than not, that guy couldn’t stay on the court — no matter how talented and athletic he was. There were occasionally those who did carve out a role, such as Corliss Williamson and Thad Young, but for every one of them, there are probably twice as many guys, such as Ike Diogu, Derrick Williams, Earl Clark and Anthony Randolph, who were out of the league before turning 30. Meaning Randle, Sabonis, Harrell and Bagley are simply out- liers? Or are they pioneers for a new age, star sixth man — an al- ternate to the score-first, Lou Wil- liams-type guard off the bench? After examining these super- subs’ respective games, it appears that teams have gotten smarter about exploiting mismatches against other teams’ second units by bringing these talented for- wards off the bench and playing to their respective strengths. Each of these players has a unique game with certain high- level attributes. For Randle, they are his powerful drives to the bas- ket and his ability to finish through contact. For Sabonis, they are his screening and touch inside the paint. For Harrell, they are his smart cutting and relentless fin- ishing at the rim. And for Bagley, they are his speed in the open court and vertical athleticism on lobs and offensive rebounds. Did you know that only four non-guards have won Sixth Man of the Year this century? Or that the last non-guard to win was Lamar Odom in 2011? The sixth man du jour around the NBA is ripe for change, and these afore- mentioned niche forwards seem ready to take the mantle from the heat check combo guards. If this trend continues, look for the Lakers to ultimately test this role out with Kyle Kuzma, or better yet, Brandon Ingram. If Jabari Parker can recommit him- self to the game, he would seem like an ideal candidate for this role as well. Same goes for guys such as Dario Saric, Jonathan Isaac or even Michael Porter Jr. when he gets healthy. Any forward who has an obvious set of skills but doesn’t have a true position can potential- ly thrive in this role.● It pays to advertise… Call 604-588-6397 or email info@philippinenewstoday.com for all of your advertising