Kolby KickingWoman
Indian Country Today

In the words of Jim Nantz, “Hello friends.”

It’s been a long time but I’m happy to be back and revamping #KickinWithKolby for all the sports crazed Natives out there.

A lot has happened in the sports world since my last column and the only thing I’d like to address is the Lakers winning the NBA Championship in the bubble last fall. Truly, that’s the only major thing that happened (insert winking emoji here).

Yes, I realize they just got bounced in the first round of this season’s playoffs but they are the champs until a new one is crowned here in a couple of weeks.

Lakers Nation waited years for the return to the mountaintop and we’re going to enjoy it until this season comes to an end.

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Thank you for letting me have that moment.

As we bring this column back to life, it might be a little different from the previous iteration. Some weeks I may discuss a single topic or event that recently happened. Other times it might be a collection of cool sports social media posts I’ve come across.

Eventually, I hope to have video interviews as well. Who knows, with sports betting popping up all over Indian Country and the nation at large, I may even give some my sports picks. However, you gamble at your own risk!

With all that being said, for this week’s column I thought I’d share some of the things in the sports world I’ve currently got my eye on.

(Previous: ‘The Last Dance’ Episodes III & IV: Phil Jackson’s Natives influences)

BASKETBALL

Obviously I’ve been locked in on the NBA playoffs and they have been spicy. It’s been a long, long time since the race for the championship has been this wide-open. Injuries have of course played a role but at this point of the year, no one is ever 100 percent healthy.

After Kyrie Irving, Standing Rock Sioux, sprained his ankle and James Harden still nursing a hamstring injury, will Kevin Durant be able to carry the Nets to the Finals?

Can Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks vanquish their playoff demons and finally make it to the final round?

Out west, things are even more up in the air with the news that Kawhi Leonard may miss the rest of the series vs. the Utah Jazz and the NBA just announced Chris Paul has entered its COVID-19 protocol (he tested positive) and is out indefinitely.

SOCCER

Euro2020 recently got underway after being delayed last year due to the pandemic. While it’s not the World Cup, it’s still cool to see how much it means to players to play for their respective countries.

It has also already had some noteworthy moments. First, there was the sudden collapse of Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen who went into a sudden cardiac arrest. There was this absolute beauty of a goal from Czech Republic forward Patrik Schick.

Then, whatever the heck this guy was trying to do. As far as I’ve found, there were no serious injuries, thankfully.

OLYMPICS

Speaking of how fun it is to watch athletes compete for their national teams, the U.S. Olympic trials are also taking place. The world games will be upon us before we know it even though Michael Phelps is no longer competing. Another Olympic G.O.A.T: Simone Biles.

If you don’t already, put some respect on her name because she is beyond the real deal. She’s got no less than FIVE gymnastics moves named after her because there is no one else in the world who can do them. Insane.

This is a vault that men rarely attempt.

Another thing I love about the Olympics is all the new stuff you learn about new sports or how things are judged and scored that you may have not previously known. The following is a long thread on what makes the above vault by Biles so impressive and really breaks things down for the amateurs in the room like me.

HOCKEY

All this without even mentioning the Stanley Cup playoffs, upcoming U.S. Open and so much more.

The pandemic was rough on us all, one silver lining may be it pushed back a number of sporting events so that baseball isn’t the only thing getting us through the summer months.

I look forward to watching it all and discussing it with you.

Before I wrap this up, I must give a Father’s Day shout out to my old man and all the great dads out there. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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