April 13, 2020

Volume 93, Issue 22

 

News

April 13, 2020
Volume 93, Issue 22

 
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Money mayhem

Abigail Nilsson, Editor in Chief

    It has been just over a month since Gov. Gina Raimondo declared a state of emergency in RI,  nonessential businesses began to close and RI residents were encouraged to apply for unemployment. Nearly 130,000 Rhode Islanders filed for unemployment and most people are still awaiting their unemployment benefits, and it looks like some may get paid this week.

    “We are totally overwhelmed,” Gov. Raimondo said Friday during her daily press conference, in response to concerns among RI residents who have been out of work and waiting on their Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits. 

    Gov. Raimondo pointed out that before the COVID-19 pandemic hit RI, it took the Department of Labor and Training around two weeks for unemployment claims to be processed. Now, there have been thousands of people claiming unemployment in RI, on some days there have been over 10,000 claims. 

    “I’ll be the first to acknowledge that our system is not perfect, and you are going to have to wait longer than you want or should have to wait to get your check,” Said Gov. Raimondo.

On Friday, on the DLT website a red banner at the top of the screen read, “The CARES Act $600 weekly unemployment boost will be made available in coming days and will be retroactive to theek ending 4/4/20. No need to reapply for benefits.” Gov. Raimondo is hopeful that many people will receive their first of their $600 boost this week.

    The new notification on the DLT website addresses the extreme amount of people calling in regards to their claim. “Due to overwhelming volume, people calling into the TeleServe payment system today will likely get busy signals. You can certify your weekly payment online. Please refresh your browser if the site says, “Service Unavailable.”

    The amount of people filing claims, waiting for their claims to be processed and who have questions are backing up the phone and causing more delays. The DLT and unemployment system has never undergone something like this and is working to accommodate everyone. 

Gov. Raimondo feels that everyone who is out of work at the moment due to COVID-19 is eligible for unemployment. However, she cautioned those against taking advantage of unemployment, and does not want people quitting their jobs because the unemployment benefits seem easier and less scary than working.

   For those who are working, and who have not experienced being quarantined and sitting in limbo waiting for a portion of their pay that may come next week or the following week, the grass might not be greener on the other side.

 
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Consolidation and isolation in Penfield Hall

Jake Elmslie, Sports Editor

   The situation for the 46 student residents remaining on Rhode Island College campus has continued to evolve in the wake of the college’s near complete shut down due to COVID-19. 

   The remaining residents were consolidated to Penfield Hall over the course of the last week. This consolidation was originally set to take place on March 23, but was rescheduled due to a variety of issues.

   This past Monday the remaining residents received a message from college administration through both email and having a physical copy pinned to their suites’ doors. This message outlined RIC’s new expectations for how those still on campus should conduct themselves to be in accordance with Governor Raimondo’s stay at home order. As is directed in Raimondo’s executive order the remaining residents are now required to isolate in their rooms at all times, unless leaving to get essentials such as food or medicine or to do laundry. All remaining students have also been prohibited from gathering in any fashion and all guests have been banned from campus. Students were also informed that the Department of Resident Life will be conducting daily checks on student ID access usage to determine if residents are following the new protocol. The remaining residents were sent an email on April 6 by the Director of Residential Life and Housing Darcy Dubois that required them to divulge any off campus commitments, work or otherwise. 

   This message to those still on campus did not outline any specific penalties for violating these new terms. When asked if students who disobeyed these new orders were at risk to potentially be removed from on campus housing Assistant Director of College Communications and Marketing John Taraborelli responded “Due to the heightened state of the coronavirus, continued residence on campus is now considered a privilege. If Residential Life finds there is a blatant disregard of the Governor's stay-at-home orders, they will speak with the student before making any final decision. Students on campus have been very respectful of the policies, and we do not anticipate that anyone will need to be removed from housing at this time.” The college had no answer when asked how Raimondo’s Thursday afternoon announcement of fines for those who break quarantine would affect those still living on campus.

 

Easter joy amidst chaos

Grace Kimmell, Photo Editor

a…. firetruck?

     While the globe has been on lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have all been advised to stay inside our homes, away from anyone who doesn’t live with you, and social distance if you absolutely have to go out in public. But what does that mean for family holidays?

    Gov. Gina Raimando said in her address to Rhode Islanders on April 11 that residents should not gather with their family for Easter, or go and visit their family in hospitals or nursing homes. 

    Since families could not gather for the holiday, many towns took on the task of bringing Easter spirit to their neighbors.  In East Providence, an Easter Bunny parade was organized where people were invited to meet (in their cars) at Crescent Park and join the parade through town. In the nearby town of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, the fire and police forces drove around town honking as a fire truck was carrying the Easter bunny. People were welcome to stand outside and watch the bunny from their driveways or homes. We see that neither of the parades around Rehoboth or East Providence were able to allow interaction with the Easter Bunny, and practiced along the lines of social distancing families from the bunny while still spreading some Easter joy.

    People also attended church services via online, given churches throughout RI have been closed due to Coronavirus concerns and gatherings of 10 or more are strongly discouraged..

    Before the Easter holiday,  there were seven more reported deaths on April 11, which brings the total death toll in RI to 56, with confirmed cases now at 2,349 people. The coronavirus pandemic has ruined birthdays, holidays, events, weddings, and left many people jobless across RI. But as New Englanders always do: we come together in times of crisis, even when we can’t physically be together. 

 

Opinions

 

Why your xenophobic propaganda is not okay

Alexis Rapoza, Opinions Editor

    On a normal day scrolling through Facebook is painful to say the least. However, although the constant influx of photos of people’s children and direct messages from people I have not spoken to in five years can be exhausting, they are relatively harmless. Nevertheless, if there is one thing that I have learned from my extensive years of social media experience, it is that there are two things that bring out the worst in people -- elections and global pandemics. 

   Back in January, when we first got word of the novel coronavirus currently wreaking havoc across the world my social media feeds were mostly consumed by blissful ignorance. Very few people including myself were sharing any news of the virus and chose to instead ignore the fact that it was killing thousands of people just across the pond. It was not until Italy started to be hit hard by COVID-19 did my fellow Facebook posters decide to acknowledge the impending doom. This is the first problem. 

    It wasn't until the virus started affecting Europeans that most Americans started noticing the damage COVID-19 was doing. And one of the things that seemed to stand out in particular was the origin of the virus. The xenophobic Facebook posts started to overtake the innocent posts about people’s children and social media became an outlet for people to freely express their racism through status updates. And do not get me wrong it's not like this was not happening before, it was, but it was not this explicit. At least it was not on my timeline.  

    Clickbait headlines and racist propaganda were spread from user to user claiming that China is completely at fault for the spread of the virus. Clips of elected officials calling COVID-19 the “Chinese Virus” or the “Kung-flu” spread like wildfire as Americans searched for someone to blame. When the president of the United States goes on television and spews racist propaganda people feel emboldened in their own racism. Because if the president of the free world can blame an entire nation for the coronavirus, why can't a middle-class citizen from Rhode Island? 

    The fact of the matter is that while this novel coronavirus did originate in China, the Chinese people alone were not responsible for the spread. Yes, the Chinese government mishandled the pandemic but Europeans were largely responsible for the continued spread of the virus. Italy in particular slacked closing its borders and was hit the hardest. So why are we only blaming the Chinese? Because in times of crisis people search for a scapegoat. 

    Almost all of the world's greatest atrocities have been committed because white supremacists wanted someone to blame. The Nazis normalized their hatred of Jewish people by claiming they were to blame for all the countries tragedies and although I’m not necessarily claiming we’re en route to another Holocaust it puts a lot of things in perspective. 

    Also, there is something to be said about the fact that the United States has a sitting president who continually emboldens white supremacy. He’s blamed immigrants for all acts of terrorism, claimed memembers of the KKK were “very fine people” and now blames the Chinese population for the the coronavirus. 

     Every single day I scroll through the news and see new reports of racist assaults against Asian people in the United States. The FBI has reported increased amounts of hate crimes committed against Asian Americans solely due to the coronavirus outbreak. People have been stabbed, spit on and assaulted. There have been reports of people going as far as to cough on those who look to be of Asian descent and people who have been told that they are the cause of the coronavirus. 

    As a white American, I have never had to experience any of those things. I can go about my day without being harassed or assaulted due to my ethnicity or race and that is a privilege. As Americans we need to protect our most vulnerable and that includes the Asian population. 

   Stop spreading misinformation and stop the accusatory language. It is not doing anything except putting an already marginalized group into danger. Racism towards people of Asian descent is not new nor is it unique to the United States but it is a symptom of the United States’s deeply entrenched white supremacy. As a country built by immigrants we need to do better to cure this centuries old Xenophobic epidemic. 

 

From Abroad (well not anymore)

Alison Macbeth, Staff Writer

   The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. But I don’t need to tell you that. We all have experienced a strange reshifting of our lives during the global outbreak of COVID-19. The two words “not anymore” has become a household phrase and for me the end of my study abroad experience.

   Over the past couple of issues I have written about my study abroad experience in Costa Rica -- Well, I am not there anymore. My time was cut short by two months when the US government issued a level 4 advisory requiring me to leave within a week of the study abroad program announcing its closure.

   Things in Costa Rica were beginning to shut down as well. Restaurants, parks and schools were locking their doors as I packed up my suitcase. It felt surreal. The bustling streets outlining my home stay with children and noisy cars became silent. Hushed whispers of concern began to fill my house. My host sisters began working from home and the news constantly discussed the coronavirus. At this point Costa Rica had only 69 confirmed cases.

   The reality of a global pandemic was starting to sink in for me -- especially when I began to realize the reality of what I was returning to in the United States. At first it felt like I was the only one experiencing the frustration of their dreams being taken away. I have worked three jobs for the past several years, written countless scholarship essays and had endless meetings to be able to study abroad -- and all of that came to a crashing halt in days. But then I realized it was my friends here in the U.S. and at RIC who were not having a commencement ceremony after years of hard work for their bachelors degrees, friends unsure of their wedding plans and finally, friends battling the virus. 

   So as I say goodbye to surfing trips, Spanish lessons, my dear host mom and endless bowls of beans and rice I am deciding to say not anymore... right now. We are all facing the disappointment of our lives on pause, but who knows what the future will hold! With open hearts, collaborative minds and strong spirits we can make it through and look forward with hope.

 

Arts & Entertainment

 

Lounging in style

Sophia Guerrier, A&E Editor

Let’s face it. You are most likely not going to have substantial human contact for the better part of spring. And for people with a good sense of threads, this fact is rather pitiful. With no more bars and clubs, or even the stroll across the quad to get to class, you may ask yourself where in the world will you pull out your Reese Cooper sweater now? Why not your living room? One of the world’s most frequented places (and overlooked runaway), the living room doesn’t have to be the room where you only sport your best on Christmas. Now is the best time to show off those legs, or not, and flex the best cottons and polyesters stuffed in your drawer; including those half calf socks you may have been saving for summer. Here’s some suggestions on gear you can be rocking on the couch or making Tik-Toks in.


Underwear - I mean hey, some people like to just strut around in their underwear and if that’s you, at least do it in designer. If you’re going to be fresh at home it always starts with what you put on first, which doesn’t have to be pricey, but if it shall then at least sport some Calvin Klein.


Classic T-Shirt - Don’t just settle for a pack of Hanes or Fruit of the Loom T’s, we’re big kids now. Get yourself some plain and premium 100% cotton T-Shirts that’ll really expose those biceps and triceps. Ralph Lauren has three packs of all white or black, grey, and white but if you’re looking for more exotic colors try Kith for some high quality basic T-shirts that can go with anything.


Graphic Socks - It doesn’t have to be the Huf Plantlife socks, we all know that ship has sailed … for now; but a few pairs of some stylish socks can always up your lounging look. Stance has extra cushioned, embroidered socks with an abundance of colorways and designs but if you’re feeling silly and fun definitely check out 40s and shorties. Don’t just settle for Nike half calves!

Quarter-Zip Pullover -  A quarter zip is the way to go for either reading a book on the porch with a beer in your hand or having a candlelit, quarantined dinner in your kitchen A lightweight but warm addition to your wardrobe that you can look forward to wearing while roaming the cool summer nights as well when (if) the time comes. Patagonia undoubtedly makes them the best, at a costly price, and Burton has a more cost efficient selection as well.

Adidas Joggers - Adidas arguably has the best joggers on the market. The thin bust and tapered leg with the sleek three stripe design is a very clean look any day of the week. Not to mention how nicely the polyester feels gliding on your skin with every step is a plus for lounging luxury.


Slides - These are the essential, if not the poster boy sandals of relaxing. Slides come in different material beddings, but whichever you pick make sure it is the most plush, because once you start wearing them you don’t want to stop. G-Star has great pairs and check out Sandalboyz for a little bit more flashy look.

 

Strange Days: A Compilation of Oddities from 2019

Gregory Williams, Asst. A&E Editor

Back in Volume93/Issue III of The Anchor “Our Inception & the Ghost,” a promise was made: strange days were upon us and they would only get stranger. Premonition? Natural order? Whatever the case may be it appears we were right. Forgoing the mention of the obvious culprit responsible for the strange times we now live in, I will put your minds at ease for a short spell and provide some bizarre anecdotes that flew under the radar last year.  Before getting started, I feel I would be remiss for not commenting on something I found even stranger than the current predicament we are all now facing. Our president, referred to in some circles as King Midas incarnate, recently issued an executive order to allow commercial mining of the moon for its resources. What resources there are to “mine” eludes me (as does the feasibility of such an enterprise) but I suppose someday in the future - once we‘re done plundering our current planet for its natural resources - can always move on to the next… er’ rock? The list below contains some of the more noteworthy and yes, comic stories. 

          

                    The Power of Music

  • Researchers at Bern University of the Arts conducted an experiment last September involving various music genres and Emmental Swiss cheese. Spanning six months, this study sought to see if exposing cheese to certain kinds of music for an extended period of time would alter or improve the flavor and aroma.  In taste tests, the hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest’s “Jazz (We’ve Got)” came up on top. Other songs used were Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.”


Rescued by Strays

  • CCTV footage caught a woman throwing a newborn baby wrapped in plastic into a sewage drain in Haryana, India. A pack of stray dogs nearby heard the distressed cries of the infant and pulled her out of the drain. The barking of the dogs alerted passersby who informed the police. The infant was taken to a hospital in critical condition. 


         Inanimate Affection  

  • Trevor Smith, 48, of St. Helens, Mersesyide, was arrested after trying to have sex with a traffic cone inside a railway station elevator. The British man was observed by two employees of Wilgan North Western station “thrusting his hips” with his pants and underwear pulled down while on the elevator floor. The suspect was reported to be under the influence of alcohol and cocaine. According to police, he has eight previous convictions, two of which involve public sex acts.  


          Queen of Sweden 

  • A 1,500 year old sword was pulled out of a lake by an eight-year old girl in Tanno, Sweden. The girl, aptly named Saga Vanecek, was playing in Vidostern lake when she discovered the sword. Saga reported crawling around the lake - which was especially shallow that day given the record heat levels at the time - looking for skipping stones when she felt something long and hard buried in the sand. Her discovery opened the door for further excavation of the site. The sword, remarkably preserved, is now kept at the local museum in Jonkoping county.  


         A Pesky Cucumber 

  • A 51 year-old Thai woman from Bangkok was admitted to the hospital over vaginal pains. She told hospital personnel she had a cucumber lodged in her “lady parts.” She continued, saying she fell down in her house and the cucumber just happened to be there as it “simply slipped inside her.” It is believed she made a full recovery but no further information concerning the condition of the cucumber has been provided. 


                   Oh, Deer! 

  • The silver-backed chevrotain (Tragulus versicolor), also known as the Vietnamese mouse-deer, has been rediscovered after almost three decades. Previously considered a “lost species,” the discovery was described in a paper published on November 11 in ‘Nature Ecology & Evolution.’ The silver-backed chevrotain has a set of fangs, making it the world’s smallest hoofed animal, which is about the size of a large rabbit. It is distinguished from another chevrotain species because of its silver colored rump. Illegal hunting and poaching is what brought this species and others in the area to the brink of extinction.  Because of this, the exact location of the finding has been kept secret. 

                  

       Wonder Dog                                      

  • A Border collie that was trained to recognize 1,022 words, died last July. Chaser, dubbed “the world’s smartest dog,” was cared for by John W. Pilley, a professor emeritus of psychology at Wofford College. Since 2004, Dr. Pilley worked with Chaser four to five hours a day at their home in Spartanburg, South Carolina. A bronze statue dedicated to Chaser was commissioned to be built outside the Children’s Museum in Spartanburg. A portion of street near the museum will also be renamed after her.  

 

Untitled Goose Game Review

Sh-Ron Almeida, Anchor Staff

 Long ago, the citizens of an English village lived together in harmony. That all changed when the goose attacked. Welcome to the Untitled Goose Game! “What is Untitled Goose Game...” any reasonable person may be asking. Well it is what it sounds like-- a goose simulator with stealth mechanics. 

    You play as the mischievous goose with one purpose: annoy the hell out of people. As ridiculous as it sounds, the puzzles and tasks are surprisingly fun, empowering and satisfying. There are no multi-layered, complex characters, or debates on morality or even a high score to keep track of. It is just a shameless, unapologetic goose turning a town upside down. 

    When you watch cartoons like Tom and Jerry, Loony Toons and Animaniacs, what do you remember? They were widely known for their slapstick comedy. That is Untitled Goose Game for me. I can create a slapstick moment simply by making a gardener accidentally hammer his thumb or take a woman’s undergarments and throw it to her neighbor. The feeling is nostalgic, which made my experience playing the game even more fun. 

    Not only that, the music plays a very big part in the game, almost as if it was a silent film. The tunes always kick in at the right moments. From soft piano to chaotically hilarious bursts when the goose is caught red handed. 

    But really, we must address the best character in the whole game… the goose itself. This goose roams around the British village like it owns the place.  This creature has more confidence and ego than any video game character known. You are not being judged or punished for annoying the villager’s day-to-day routines. The developers clearly wanted the player to enjoy themselves and that is surely what I did. 

    Overall, the game was a unique play that brought a smile on my face many times. Goose game is available on the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and the Nintendo Switch.

 

Brought to you by frosting and tacos

Abigail Nilsson, Editor in Chief

    Sometime over the past week, I think, Gov. Raimondo urged Rhode Islanders to make a list of everyone they came in contact with. Like a good little college student, I totally pushed my school work aside, turned on Netflix, and thought about where I have been and who I came in contact with over the past week.

    While my days are relatively uneventful, I feel as though I am ALWAYS busy but not getting anything done. My school work is piling up, my last class is less than three weeks away and what have I done?

On most days I wake up around 8:30 a.m., I take my foster dog, Jasmine, for a walk and then I make breakfast. I make sure that even though I am not going anywhere I still get ready as if I am. I then put on my lipgloss and check my emails. I know that I have to check the Department of Labor and Training website to make sure that I am filing my unemployment on the TeleServe website, so maybe eventually I will get paid. Of course the website shuts down my claim and tells me to call because my claim can’t be filed online--- great. Every time I call the DLT it is busy, or I make it through all the prompts (dial 2, say English, dial 2 again and then wait) and there are too many calls and I need to call back later. It took me until Friday when the call center answered with an automated reply that the DLT does not take calls most days after 3 p.m.

    Everytime I sit down to try and do school work something comes up, my sims want to upgrade their city (I am now building a SimCity), Netflix is asking me if I am there (of course I am, stop asking), or I need a sugar pick me up and I whip out a container of frosting and opt for a spoonful, or two.

 At this point, it is close to 4 p.m. and I have a Zoom meeting scheduled until 5:30 everyday. I make a coffee and I hit the frosting again for a quick caffeine and sugar rush to make it through my meeting. While in my meeting I am multitasking, reading the latest COVID-19 updates from Gov. Raimondo’s daily press briefing, attending to my Sim citizens and their needs, or playing fetch with Jasmine. My meeting ends and I generally feel like I need social interaction, so I find my parents in the house and start small talk with them. Darn, they haven’t done anything exciting either. 

I then make something fancy for dinner, usually taco’s, and I make the decision that it is just too late to get school work done. So, I tell Netflix, “yes I am still here,” again, and catch up on a new show. I take Jasmine for her evening walk and I try to talk myself into working on my final papers, open a new document, have some frosting and then fall asleep. I wake up at 4 a.m. every morning, contemplate getting up, and then fall asleep around 6 a.m. and then repeat. 

    What I have learned through this so far is fostering a dog is a great way for me to keep my sanity, get some exercise and have fun. I am really good at procrastinating my school work. Taco Tuesday is everyday. Running a city is difficult. I eat too much frosting. And, I will start eating healthier and working out on Monday.

 

Sports

 

Spring, footballs cold winter: the death of the XFL

Jake Elmslie, Sports Editor

  Why is spring football so hard? That’s the question we as a people again have to ask ourselves as we almost certainly stare down the death of yet another professional spring football league. On Friday afternoon the XFL announced it had laid off nearly all of it’s staff leaving only a handful of executives left to handle whatever business may remain, effectively rendering the league defunt. This was not the message the league was projecting when it released a message saying, "The XFL is committed to playing a full season in 2021 and future years," after league leadership made the decision to cancel the remainder of it’s inaugural season a mere five weeks in due to COVID-19 early last month.

   The XFL was the second attempt by WWE majority owner and CEO Vince McMahon to launch his own professional football league. His first attempt, also called the XFL, played a lone season in 2001. His initial league embraced many of the traits that make professional wrestling so popular, an emphasis on violence, extreme showmanship and The Rock, it did not work. This time around McMahon had seemingly learned from his mistakes, he invested five times more money in the league, he took a back seat in the leagues management opting to bring in competent executives to handle the majority of the leagues affairs and he gave the league over two years to put itself together following his 2018 announcement of it’s return. As opposed to trying to build a flashy product full of flamethrowers and large men screaming into microphones the new XFL emphasised building a quality onfield product that featured more than a few nifty innovations to the rules. Apparently none of this worked either.

   McMahon and the XFL seemingly avoided the pitfalls that have destroyed other earnest attempts at creating spring football leagues. They did not brazenly follow Donald Trump into attempting to compete with the NFL in both TV ratings and the courtroom like the USFL. They did not ominously crash a blimp bearing the league's logo before it’s opening night like the first iteration of the XFL. They were not gutted by a venture capitalist who was supposedly their savior in his pursuit of their proprietary gambling software like the Alliance of American Football was just under a year ago. Instead, they were simply blindsided by a global pandemic unexpectedly running out of the tunnel and hitting the world on the head with the hardest folding chair money can buy. 

   It is incredibly difficult to wrap one’s head around why spring football refuses to work. The demand is seemingly there, diehard football fans love their sport and spend the offseason salivating over any taste of it, otherwise the NFL draft would not be a legitimate television event that draws in tens of millions of viewers annually. A talent disparity from the NFL should not be the issue when college football, a game played entirely by amateurs, is an absolute behemoth and a money making machine. Trump could be the common denominator in at least the XFL and USFL’s demise but McMahon’s wife Linda McMahon had resigned from the presidential cabinet nearly a year before the XFL kicked off.

   Regardless of the why, viable spring football remains one of the great white whales of the sports world. No matter what though it is a near certainty that once humans are allowed to gather in groups larger than five someone, somewhere, maybe a streaming platform will again attempt to try and bring football to full bloom in the spring. However, until that happens the concept  remains like a cherry blossom, uniquely beautiful but short lived, an emblem of a fleeting spring.

 

The trophy case: the 2008 NBA Finals and it’s hall of fame ties

David Blais, Anchor Staff

   Earlier this month, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced it’s inductees for the class of 2020. The three headliners for this class are not just all former NBA champions but are also arguably three of the best to ever play the game. The three headliners are Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, and the late great Kobe Bryant. All three of these men have faced off against each other one point or another throughout their respective careers. Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant however faced off in one of the greatest NBA Finals to ever be played. 

   In the summer of 2007, the Boston Celtics were looking to surround guard Rajan Rondo and forward Paul Pierce with supporting pieces to make a championship push. They did not just acquire two reliable players, but acquired two allstars. They acquired forward Kevin Garnett and guard Ray Allen making them the odd ons favorite to win the east and go to the finals. The Lakers had Bryant and Derek FIsher with a solid bench making them a solid choice to get to the finals from the western conference. They did make a mid season trade however for center Pau Gasol which then made them the team to beat in the west. By the end of the season, the Celtics finished as the two seed in the east. The Lakers fared better entering the postseason as the number one seed in the west. Bryant was also named the “Most Valuable Player” for the NBA that season. With Kobe being in his prime and at the top of his game, it was obvious he was aiming to make it all the way in the playoffs and win another championship.

  The Celtics and Lakers had tough enduring series in the playoffs but were able to each get through them on the road to meeting in the Finals. Kobe Bryant had to even go through fellow 2020 Hall of Fame inductee Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs to make it to the Finals.The greatest rivalry in basketball history would come to a head in the finals with each team performing at the highest possible levels. This would be the two teams 12th matchup in the NBA Finals against each other, adding another chapter in this storied rivalry which dates back to 1959.

   Game one took place at TD Garden with a ruckus crowd. Bryant would end up scoring 24 points in this game while Garnett and Pierce each dropped 20 plus points which allowed the Celtics to take  a 1-0 lead in the series. Game two in the garden saw Bryant continue to carry Los Angeles with 30 points but 28 points from Piece alongside a surprise 21 points from reserve Leon Powe Jr. had Boston looking unstoppable. In the Lakers first home game of the series Bryant had an impressive 36 point performance and finally received help on the offensive end from teammate Aleksander Vujacic who contributed 20 points. They held the Celtics to only 81 points, a series low for the team.. The Lakers then looked to even the series in Game four before returning to Boston but things didn't go as they had planned. The Celtics would end up playing impeccable defense against the Lakers holding Bryant under 20 points and producing on the offensive end with Pierce and Allen combining for 39 points. 

   For game five the series was back in TD Garden with the Celtics looking to put away the Lakers in front of the Boston crowd. The Lakers would end up avengine their home loss playing much needed defense and offense with Bryant scoring 25 points. The Celtics meanwhile wasted a 38 point performance from Pierce. Down 3-2 The Lakers were looking to win it in Boston and then head back to Los Angeles to have the advantage for game seven. Boston rallied however, only letting Bryant score 22 points. Allen and Garnett would each score 26 proving the Celtics needed them to win the championship. Pierce was named Finals MVP for his great all around play in the series. This would be the 17 NBA Championship for the Celtics. Boston would also set the NBA record for most playoff games played by a team in a season, with the finals being the only series they played that postseason not to go seven games. 

   The 2008 NBA Finals had five future hall of famers all playing in their primes. With that and the Celtics Lakers rivalry being reignited made this one of the best NBA Finals ever. The suspense and pressure was real with people’s legacies on the line. This series did take away an opportunity for Bryant to win another ring,  which if he did, would end up having the same amount of rings as Michael Jordan by the end of his career.. This series also shaped modern basketball and helped to fuel the super team era in the NBA. People always look back at this series to look at all of the physicality, passion, and greatness that was displayed between these competitive teams.

   Fast forward to 2020, Garnett and Bryant were chosen to be inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame together. Bryant’s tragic and untimely death earlier this year has casted a shadow over this enrichment with him not being able to accept the honor in person. Bryant and Garnett were two of the most competitive basketball players to ever play. Their competitive nature always brought out the best in each other when facing off. The 2008 NBA Finals showcased two Hall of Famers in their primes playing to their fullest potential which is why it is still mesmerizing when viewing it. This series proved “Anything Is Possible.”

 

On the line: What is at stake in ESPN’s NBA 2k Players Tournament

Ray Oliver, Anchor Staff

   Sports have always been a source of entertainment for fans, whether they attend a live sporting event or watch from the comfort of their home. Now that we live in a world of streaming and online gaming, sports fans are able to go onto websites like Twitch and watch other gamers, or they can even stream themselves playing their favorite video game. Currently the world is at a stand still due to COVID-19 but that has not changed the love fans have for their favorite sports. Since almost every sports association has either postponed or cancelled their season, athletes, mainly NBA players, have taken to Twitch to stream their gameplay for anyone who is interested in watching. 

   With Twitch being a popular streaming service and the NBA currently in a hiatus, ESPN partnered with Twitch and sixteen NBA players and put on an NBA 2k20 tournament. A tournament where sixteen players were put into a single elimination bracket and seeded based off their own rating from the 2k20 game. From Kevin Durant being the one seed, to Devin Booker the five seed and Patrick Beverley ranked the fourteenth seed, the tournament was filled with exciting matchups and interesting trash talk. After two rounds of one game elimination the final four battled it out in a best of 3 format until there was two gamers left standing. After many games of 2k the finals came down to real life teammates Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, with the winner being Booker. As the winner Booker received the prize of $100,000 to donate to any charity of his choosing which helps with COVID-19 relief. 

   It is interesting to see the response this tournament has gotten and how successful it has been. With online gaming becoming more prominent in today’s culture this tournament was a fantastic way for NBA fans to see how NBA players are off the court. It is hard to forget that professional athletes are regular people too and this event showed fans how relatable these players are. Whether it is Devin Booker’s trash talk directed at Montrezl Harrell, “Don’t you be in practice with him?” as he continuously used Harrell’s teammate Kawhi Leonard to make defensive stops. Or if it’s just the commentary these guys were making about fellow NBA members and the 2k game itself, there was pletny of entertainment for fans. The NBA has always been great at marketing their athletes and this is just another example of why the NBA is rising in popularity compared to the other professional sports. Allowing fans to peek into the personal life of these players was a great idea to not only market them but also raise awareness for the coronavirus.  

   As well as hosting this 2k players tournament ESPN is currently in the middle of hosting a “HORSE” competition which started yesterday April 12 and will be ending this Thursday. This competition is made up of current and former NBA and WNBA players. Players like Chauncey Billups, Tamika Catchings and Trae Young will take part in yet another event put on for the fans which will benefit COVID-19 relief. State Farm declared that they would donate $200,000 on behalf of the players no matter who wins. We are in unprecedented times and it is important that the NBA, ESPN and Twitch use their platforms to raise social awareness.  

 

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