If you believe that age is all in your mind and the trick is keeping it from creeping down into your body, Kobe Bryant had a much better run than most athletes ever enjoy. But it's not how old you are, rather how you are old.
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They came to paradise, as much for anything, to learn about themselves. What they do well. What they need to improve. What they are today. What they might become tomorrow. UNLV's basketball team headed home late Wednesday having answered some of those questions a 3-0 start against inferior opponents presented
UNLV forward Ben Carter is the lunch pail and hard hat kid. He's that guy. He's the one who doesn't question orders, a coach's son who not only can play, but more importantly, knows how to play. There is a big difference.
Perhaps the best reaction about the latest College Football Playoff rankings came from a friend Tuesday when asked why there was a major shuffling of teams this week: "Because," he said, "It's a television show. They need something to talk about."
Part of the message from the time practice began for UNLV this college basketball season was about reaction. How would the Rebels respond to success? How would they deal with adversity?
When the talent continued to sign on the dotted line and the depth became more than UNLV's basketball team has enjoyed under fifth-year head coach Dave Rice, it wasn't guaranteed the Rebels would immediately turn a corner back towards the NCAA Tournament.
He knew the matchup before it was announced and not because Dave Rice had some inside source feeding him information. It just made too much sense, is all.
This wasn't like the fable. The old lion might have given up a good 15 pounds to his opponent, and his limbs might not have been as they once were, but he wasn't gasping on the ground about to expire. He fought in a most beautiful manner.
You can begin and end your research with the latest pound-for-pound boxing rankings, the ones that include just one fighter among the Top 10 representing Golden Boy Promotions.
Greatness has been attached to Bryce Harper since he first hacked at a fastball from the left side, the expectation that one day he would be considered the game's best. He is now.
The schedule for UNLV's basketball team to begin this season allowed the Rebels a cushion for success if they didn't fall into the trap of playing down to opponents, if they didn't suffer the sort of lapse in focus that has already caught several heavily favored teams across the country.
It is conceivable, perhaps more than not, that the fourth and final spot in the College Football Playoff this season will point directly to a team that is 4-6 today, has been outscored 299-249 and has little to no chance of qualifying for a bowl.
He signs autographs, poses for pictures, is considered about as unassuming a young major league baseball star as one might hope for but never really believes exists. Kris Bryant is also this today: National League Rookie of the Year.
Ronda Rousey has the same sort of domination and preposterous level of intimidation that Mike Tyson enjoyed for years as he rose to a feared undisputed champion, and you can make the argument the world's most recognizable mixed martial arts fighter is more of a sure bet today.
For the first time since the College Football Playoff rankings became a weekly occurrence to be debated and dissected, a concept that dates decades has shown its face among the top four teams: The power of Notre Dame, and how strong it could ultimately prove.
By now, you have heard about the day in October when protesters blocked the car of Tim Wolfe during a homecoming parade. You have come to know that 10 days later, a group named Concerned Student 1950 — named for the year African-American students were first admitted to the University of Missouri — issued a list of demands to Wolfe.
It's skewed in a way. The total through nine games includes a 517-yard effort against awful Idaho State, which I am fairly certain the lunatic wearing a red hat and acting as lead cheerleader on UNLV's football sideline each week could run for over 100 against.
UNLV has concluded both preseason contests and the reviews are more positive than not, a team with definite depth and skill and an ability to put on the floor the sort of combinations that will make preparing for the Rebels a challenge.
Peni Vea wasn't alone in his desire to get off the rock, one of many born and raised in Hawaii who covet a chance to experience another place, another sense of culture and tradition. No, really.
They should put a monk on the College Football Playoff committee. Or a monkey.
This is not meant to burst any bubbles, but prepare for a pretty massive bazooka-like blast: The move by college basketball to a 30-second shot clock this season has every chance to deliver the opposite of intended results.
Tony Sanchez wouldn't answer the question, which usually means if you give him a few minutes and attack the point in a different manner, he will have something to say.
It's not the sort of arms race those in Power 5 conferences engage in annually. We're not comparing a Dassault Falcon to a Gulfstream. More like a Beechcraft to a glider.
We have heard a lot about the D word when it comes to UNLV basketball this season, about how the Rebels have more depth than at any time under fifth-year coach Dave Rice. That's because Oregon transfer Ben Carter is now eligible and freshman Stephen Zimmerman chose to stay home; size and talent in the front court haven't been this extensive in some time. There are others, of course.
UNLV baseball forges ahead in the wake of coach Tim Chambers being arrested earlier this month in connection with driving under the influence and being put on administrative leave by the university.