November 28, 2022


Good at basketball and making my brother laugh!

My name is Isaiah and I’m Puerto Rican, l was born in Brooklyn.  I’m a student at Park Slope Collegiate, and I live in Sunset Park with my grandmother and my dad.  A turning point in my life was when my baby brother came home from the hospital last year.  My mom and brother come and visit me from the Bronx.

What I like to do in school is playing in the gym. Something that I’m good at is playing basketball. I play basketball in school and out of school.  I often play at Sunset Park. Something I’m particularly good at is playing basketball. I’m good at basketball because l practice a lot. My greatest struggle in life is wearing a mask every day and going up and down the stairs. 

My family members are Ecuadorian and Puerto Rican. Something that I’m lucky within my life is my brother. His name is Kyle, and he has blue eyes.  He already has teeth and is talking Spanish a little bit.  I love to play with him and make him laugh.  Family is special to me.

I remember

I remember picking up my first basketball
I remember playing with my cousin’s outside
I remember playing my first pick up basketball game at the knickerbocker park
I remember my first pair of Jordan 5’s “Fire red”
I remember when I was a kid dunking on the mini hoop
I remember going to Sky Zone with my friends and seeing who could do the best dunk on the hoops
I remember meeting my friend on PlayStation.
I remember my poor vocabulary as a kid
I remember going to six flags for the first time and going on the steep roller coaster.
I remember listening to J. Cole for the first time
I remember the first sneaker that got me into the sneaker world.
I remember going to Santiago in the Dominican Republic for the first time as a kid.
I remember watching Dragon Ball Z  for the first time and how I thought the anime was so entertaining and cool.
I remember playing Call of Duty Black Ops as my first call of duty ever on PS3
I remember playing my first NBA 2K which was NBA 2K11 on the PS3

The Golden State Warriors Move To San Francisco

Oakland Warriors

Is the Golden State Warriors dynasty over? The Golden State Warriors first home was in Philadelphia (1946-1962) then moved to San Francisco (1962-1971). Next they moved to the place all Warriors fans know and love, Oakland (1971-2019). Exceeding all expectations, The Golden State Warriors have, won 3 NBA championships in the last 4-5 years. The Warriors dynasty is the reign of the Warriors coming into the league and conquering multiple different NBA records while having the first ever unanimous MVP (most valuable player) as the leader (Stephen Curry). Also while winning the most games in an NBA regular season in NBA history. However, this year the Warriors moved back to San Francisco. Executive Chairman Peter Guber says, “it will be easily accessible, state of the art, digitally fit, and second to none.” (The Motley Fool). Many people believe that this move is affecting the strength of the Warriors; the Warriors current win-loss record is 5-21 (2019-2020). Or is the main cause of the Warriors decline in wins something else? The Warriors leaving Oakland has not had a massive effect on the Warriors success, instead injuries have because the GSW (Golden State Warriors) went from the best team in the entire NBA (Win – Loss) to the worst team in the NBA. In the 2019-2020 season the Warriors are on track to be illegible to even play in the playoffs. Based on the research the injuries that the Golden State Warriors have suffered from is the main cause of the GSW decline in wins.

Injuries are the true culprit of the GSW loss. This is true because GSW win percentage 2018-2019 season was .707. Now the GSW win percentage is a staggering .208 (BasketBall Reference) . This is undeniably because Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are injured. Daniel Gomez, Basketball Enthusiast, commented on the matter, “I agree because the style of play that the Warriors run is a system that is only playable with Curry and Kay and they are one of a kind players” (Gomez). Last season 2018-2019 the GSW were first in the Western Conference. This season they are last in the Western Conference. Last season they had all of their stars healthy, this season it is only rookies running the show. Some people may express that it’s not only the rookies, they have Steve Kerr as well, he is a veterian. But it is really difficult to compare a vet from the old basketball era. The old basketball era would be, in other words, the era of Kobe and Shak, Micheal Jordan and Scottie Pippen.  Basketball has altered tremendously especially one of the main influencers, Stephen Curry, is out. Therefore leaving the rookies to only improve with it being their first season in the league. 

The other side of the argument might argue that the Warriors are losing because they do not have the oracle arena and its fans to back them up. Ramona Shelburne, senior writer, from ESPN, “The Warriors overhauled their roster, moved into their new forever home in San Francisco and hit the reset button on the team that has lorded over the NBA” (Shelburne). Moving to another stadium is a really huge deal to the players and the fans. But comparing the move to a “reset” is just very illogical. Just because a team is not in their home stadium doesn’t mean that they will perform bad. It’s like saying that Curry will perform dismal just because he is on the road and not in his home stadium. The GSW are still playing basketball right? So a location should not show much of a difference that GSW go from “unbeatable” to “easy win”.

In conclusion Injuries are the true culprit of the GSW major decline in wins not the stadium. Just because GSW is in a different location doesn’t mean GSW’s overall performance as a team should drastically change for the worse. So know you tell me, is the GSW dynasty over?

Annotated bibliography

Gomez, Isaiah, and Daniel Gomez. “Warriors Interview.” 13 Dec. 2019.

The topic of the interview with Daniel Gomez was about the GSW’s loss in wins and what was the main cause of the Golden State Warriors decline in loss. Throughout the interview Daniel made key points about how the Warriors gameplay is really a system and not every player can fit the main roles that Steph and Klay play on the squad. 

Rags to Riches

My independent reading book, The Inspiring Story of One of Basketball’s Greatest Players by Clayton Geoffreys, talks about LeBron James story about going from rags to riches. He grew up in rather unfavorable conditions. He and his mother moved from couch to couch and never had anywhere stable to live. Lebron faced all types of adversity growing up. He was an incredible athlete at a young age and once he got to high school, he was offered to come to play basketball at a private Catholic school. He accepted the invitation under one condition, that his friends could with him and attend the same school and play basketball with him. This was a rather impressive action on Lebron’s part because his town was rather segregated and so all the black kids went to one school and all the white kids went to a different school. Lebron James’ story is a great example of the American Dream and making it from unfavorable conditions. He now is worth upwards of $440 million(Anderson). Now that Lebron has made it he has gone back into his community and donated millions of dollars and he even started his own school which supplies at-risk children with free outfits, shoes, bikes, books, backpacks, multiple meals during the day, and transportation to and from school if needed.

Throughout my research, I learned that many celebrities don’t actually come from well to do families and one person who stood out to me was John Paul Dejoria, he is now an entrepreneur worth billions. His net worth is around $3.1 billion dollars (Ioannou). Early on in his life, he grew up in Los Angeles and never had much. He says that he remembers giving a dime to the Salvation Army when he was a kid, even though he and his mom didn’t have a lot of financial stability, she told him that there are always people who have it worse than you do. He started an extremely successful hair-care company that generates billions of dollars each year but at one point he was going door to door around Los Angeles selling his product. He is a great example in the business world when it comes to changing your circumstances from unfavorable to highly favorable.

Another athlete I read about was Jimmy Butler, he probably had the most astounding story out of all the people I researched. He was homeless at thirteen and ending moving in with a friend(Friedell). He was guided by his coach at the University of Marquette. The heartbreaking reason that he was kicked out of the house was that his mother didn’t like how he looked. Needless to say, Jimmy had a very rough childhood but made it out of a small town in Texas. He is now playing basketball in the NBA and makes upwards of $15 million per year. He is a living American dream who has made it in life through American creed. He probably wouldn’t be where he is today if he hadn’t worked hard and had a goal.

My friend Armen’s family was featured in an exhibit in the library at our school. His family fled Azerbaijan and now they own a bulk food store in Lansing. They fled because being Armenian was dangerous in the 90s and they were a target of violence. He has told me that it wasn’t always easy for his parents when they first arrived in the United States and that they had to overcome many different obstacles. I am still friends with Armen to this day and his family is now making a good living. They had a dream when they came to America and they worked hard for it, and now they are doing well and giving back to their community.

All of these people have something in common, they came from the bottom and worked hard to change their circumstances. Lebron James and Jimmy Butler would not be in the NBA if it wasn’t for endless hours in the gym. John Paul Dejoria and my friends family would not be where they are if it wasn’t for working hard in the business work and starting a company or store. All of these people wanted something and went out and got it. Some people might argue that they might have made it from hard work and luck. There is some truth to that because some people work very hard their life and never move up in the ranks. The argument to that is that the meaning of success varies from person to person. To some, being successful means going to a good college and getting a good, high-paying job. To others, being successful means being happy and mentally and physically happy. These people have shown that through hard work you can be successful in America.


Works Cited

Anderson, Joel. “LeBron James’ Net Worth as He Joins the Lakers.” GOBankingRates, Toggle Navigation Back, 1 Aug. 2018,


Friedell, Nick. “Butler’s Unlikely Path to NBA Stardom.” ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, 25 Nov. 2014,


Geoffreys, Clayton. Lebron James: the Inspiring Story of One of Basketball’s Greatest Players, an Unauthorized Biography. CreateSpace, 2015.

Ioannou, Lori. “John Paul DeJoria Went from Homeless to Billionaire by Following 3 Simple Rules.” CNBC, CNBC, 22 Dec. 2017,

Final Response: Research Analysis for Independent Reading “Hoops”

Matthew McAlvey


1st Hour American Lit

Mrs. Reed



This book Hoops offers a lot of good content from referring to common American struggles for inner-city teens. I believe inner-city kids have a more difficult chance, but can be successful if they have the help and stay safe. The book follows a normal teenager named Lonnie throughout his life in the Harlem. As he looks to catch a big break by way of basketball scholarship, he faces typical inner-city adversity such as racism, financial problems, relationship problems, trust issues and violence. I can relate this book to the article about Colin Kaepernick because many of their stories are similar. Kaepernick’s big message is about fighting racism while Lonnie is living with racism and bigotry from powerful white men that don’t want him to succeed (Wolken). This book also relates to my article about whether sports betting will ruin sports. Lonnie’s coach Cal had his professional basketball career ruined by betting, and Lonnie’s championship game was almost ruined by betting, and ultimately ended in a tragic way. This article tells how dangerous betting is and how hard it can be on players and their careers (Tackle). Another context this book relates to is the famous song God Bless America. The song represents our vast opportunities in this country of how you can do whatever you want to do, and be whoever you want to be, but you need help with the notion in the song of needed to be guided to be successful (Berlin). Everyone can be successful in this country if they have the right support and effort. 

Works Cited

Berlin, Irving. “God Bless America.” Scout Songs, 1938.

Myers, Walter Dean. Hoops. Laurel-Leaf Books, 2008.

“Tackle the Rush to Sports Gambling.” Christian Science Monitor, 30 Aug. 2018. SIRS Issues Researcher,

Wolken, Dan. “Just watch it: Nike’s Colin Kaepernick TV ad is inspirational, not controversial.” USA Today, 7 Sept. 2018,

Photo by Håkan Dahlström

Are professional athletes overpaid?

The average professional basketball player in the NBA makes around $5.15 million a year while the average professional baseball player in the MLB makes about $3.2 million a year. Is this an excessive amount for anyone to make, no matter their profession?

The highest paid doctor will average a little over $500,000 a year, and the median household only makes an average of $54,000. A Major League Baseball player will make more swinging a bat in one game than an average family will see in one decade. How is it that a grown man can get paid so much for doing something that toddlers do for fun?

When professional sports first started, players needed a side job to make ends meet. Players were not being paid nearly as much as they are today. Salaries have only gone up from there however. This is only possible because of the fans and the supporters of teams. When people are paying the big bucks to see live games, buy official merchandise, and stand in line for overpriced food, they are only upping the salaries for player the next year.

But, consider the flip side. An insurance company is not going to cover a professional athlete, but pro athletes get injured more than someone working a 9-5 job. So, professional athletes have to pay out of pocket for knee surgery, rehabilitation, medications, etc. Another reason for the extreme salaries is their short career. Athletes make money for a much shorter time than any other profession, so they need to make as much money as they can in that short time.

Even though professional athletes are being paid an outrageous amount of money, they is some rhyme and reason for it, although maybe not to the extent to which it is.  

Should College Basketball Players be Paid?

The NCAA should pay their players

NCAA players have to practice tirelessly to try and become the best at what they do. In addition to practicing for ridiculous amounts of time, they’re expected to pass their classes and often work a job. Only a few people can do this well, with many choosing to do simple classes or just barely pass. A few might end up in the pros where they’ll probably waste all their money in 10 years.  This should be fixed by paying the players a portion of the money that they bring in for their school, but this doesn’t happen because of a few poorly thought out rules.

The maximum number of hours a player is required to practice in a week is 20 hours according to NCAA rules. This would seem reasonable if that’s what most players did, but the vast majority practice much more. According to an NCAA survey, players practice around 40 hours a week on average. One excuse people often use to justify not paying athletes is to say that players get paid through scholarships. Then they would just have to worry about school and practice, but it’s unrealistic to think that scholarships are enough. The small check that they get with their scholarship is only $2000-$5000, which is a difficult salary to live by (Walch 4). Even if the scholarship is covering around $40000 a year in paying for college, it would still be severely underpaying the student. The average D1 basketball player is worth around triple that much(Walch 10). An increase to around $15000 would at least let them quit their full-time jobs and focus on school. Many of these players will need a real degree in the future and can’t afford to just take fake classes in hope of getting an easy A. Since the reality is that only a few of these students will make the NBA, the rest will need that degree.

Many people join the draft after playing just one or two years of college basketball because the money is just too tempting. Compensation for playing in college could make this money seem a lot less tempting. According to journalist Malcolm Lemmons, a large percentage of these college players come from impoverished areas and have families that could use the player’s help(Lemmons 7). Joining the NBA would solve these financial problems almost instantaneously, so it’s not too surprising that athletes dismiss the educational part of college. But this often comes to hurt them in the long term as many have no idea how to manage money or make investments. Numerous athletes don’t stay in the NBA for too long due to unexpected injuries or a simple lack of growth. These players who end up buying there mom and dad a $600000 house out of their first paycheck or spend thousands on cars and jewelry end up broke very quickly.

Professional athletes make insane amounts of money, but their careers on average only last about 5 years(Gaines 1). The small amount of money left after many expenditures is often invested in businesses that they hardly know anything about. Sometimes this might work out, but other times it ends with them in bankruptcy. A solid education could help them run a business better or at least invest better. Even if they waste away their money, they could still get a quality job of their degree. A common argument against paying college athletes is that they would spend their paychecks irresponsibly, but I think it would be best for them to start learning about money management in college. Then they could at least be prepared for real life, where you might not get a second chance.

Not all colleges play by the rules, some disobey the rules that say they can’t pay athletes. Charles Barkley is one of the greatest power forwards to ever live and is also a major advocate for paying college athletes. He once openly admitted that agents from Auburn University paid him about $20000, so he could stay in the college for longer(Sinor 6). These kind of acts were common at the time and have gotten increasingly rare, but it still most certainly happens. Some players are put in advantageous positions over their peers who deserve the money just as much as they do. This could also greatly impact which college the player may go to. Even if one college is better and is what the athlete is looking for, a worse college that’s offering to pay would all of a sudden look much better. If a payment was included for all the athletes, this outside influence would be taken away and all players would be on even ground. The only thing stopping this is the NCAA and their ignorance.

The NCAA has numerous athletes when compared to the NBA and it’s 30 teams. So the  wages between the two should be nowhere close, but both deserve to get wages. They practice countless hours to try and achieve their dreams of making the big leagues. It’s a personal choice and a difficult one, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve a second chance. If the NBA doesn’t work out, their degree should always be there as a backup. To give them a realistic chance of getting a degree or surviving life after the NBA, they need some education and experience. These wages would give them this chance.



Work Cited

Sinor, Wesley. “Charles Barkley: ‘I got some cash from agents’ at Auburn.” AL, 5 September.   


Accessed 1 Nov. 2017.


Walch, Jared. “Should athletes be paid to play?” USA TODAY COLLEGE, 20 October. 2016. Accessed 1 Nov. 2017.  


Lemmons, Malcolm. “ College Athletes Getting Paid? Here Are Some Pros And Cons.” HUFFPOST,  29 March. 2017.

ons_us_58cfcee0e4b07112b6472f9a. Accessed 1 Nov. 2017.


Gaines, Corck. “The Average NBA Player Will Make A Lot More In His Career Than The Other Major Sports.” BUSINESS INSIDER, 10 October. 2013.

career-than-the-other-major-sports-2013-10. Accessed 1 Nov. 2017.


Trouble In The WNBA

There is a lot of controversy in the WNBA Finals this year. According to USA Today, the Los Angeles Sparks women’s basketball team refused to take part in the National Anthem as part of their protest. Before the game, the team would come out and warm up as any ordinary game then when it was time for the National Anthem the team went back into their locker room. Nothing was wrong with what they did, they were just showing how they felt about this whole little situation. Their opponents, the Minnesota Lynx stayed on the court and stood while the National Anthem was played. The way I feel about it is like it’s not even that serious people just want something to talk about. The Sparks had even received a letter from a Minnesota fan who thanked them for taking a stand and just not participate in it.

Photo by slgckgc

Research Paper Progress Update

I will write about the push back against the new analytic revolution in basketball. In particular the mid range shot and if it has become more open but less shot in response to the numbers movement. This is different than most papers on this subject as they focus on converting others to this analytical thinking and not the results of a more number based era. Has there been any backlash to the analytical revolution in basketball? Reading more I have discovered that this takeover has been almost completely adopted by the league. As I have read more the basic idea behind this new way of thinking is to take more threes and minimize the number of mid range jumpers. However right now Demar Derozan is leading the league in scoring and shoots the highest percentage of his shoots from the mid range area. I believe that as more teams adopt the offense pioneered by the Golden State Warriors defensive schemes will adjust and leave holes in between the perceived more efficient threes and layups. There is no real research being done on this right now and I plan on looking at raw data to try and draw my own conclusions.

My Goal

I found a website, , that explains how each General manager for the nba started out. My goal to become a GM will include getting my law degree like the GM for the oklahoma city thunder Sam Presti who earned a degree in law, communications, and politics.  After college my goal is to try and get an internship with a nba organization like Golden state warriors GM Bob myers who started as an intern and worked his way to the top.  There are multiple ways to become a GM the whole thing is becoming noticed and going out of your way to get the opportunity. In most cases you will need to start as an intern doing the little things but as you move up you will reach your final goal. This is how I believe I will become a GM but maybe a little quicker because I will try to earn my law degree which should give me an easier path to get noticed and to get the opportunity I am looking for.

This website also tells of how each of the GMs had some sort of connection to basketball and had an act for seeing talent and enjoy watching and learning about the game of basketball no matter how old they get. In my personal opinion I love learning about the game and I feel like I have a good eye for noticing upcoming talent and even if I don’t I believe that with watching the game and observing new players and the styles they play with I feel like I can have a good future being a general manager. I am willing to start from the bottom and work my way up and hopefully the bottom i start at would be an nba scout. But in the end I just hope I have a future revolving around basketball and being a GM is how I feel like I can reach that goal.

Photo by theglobalpanorama