Saturday, November 14, 2009

Kobe Bryant's killer instinct by Chad Ballard?

A great moment in humility it was not.

After scoring 25 of his 27 points in the second half of Game 1 of the Western Conference finals last week against the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant said of his strong finishing kick, "I can get off" -- that is, score at will -- "at any time. In the second half I did that."

Granted, Bryant was just being honest, but tact would dictate that he let others say such things about him. As you may have noticed, though, Bryant isn't big on tact. Time and again over the last decade he has announced the particulars of his awesomeness. As teammate Luke Walton dryly puts it, "Kobe does not lack for confidence."

Just as Bryant's bravado irks some -- O.K., many -- it also makes him riveting to watch when he does get off: Like the man himself, the manner in which he bears down is never subtle. Spurs forward Bruce Bowen, Bryant's foil these many years, says there's no indicator of an impending scoring binge, joking that you can't tell "by the way he chews his gum or something." But that's not true at all. Rather, his eruptions are almost comically predictable. Former teammate Devean George, now with the Dallas Mavericks, speaks of "that Kobe face where he starts looking around all pissed off." His coach at Lower Merion High in Ardmore, Pa., Gregg Downer, says he can recognize this expression even on TV. In these moments Bryant's youthful impudence, which flummoxed Del Harris when he was L.A.'s coach during Bryant's first two years in the league, resurfaces. "Kobe would put it on the floor and start going between his legs, back and forth, back and forth," says Harris, "and only then would he decide what to do."

So there was Kobe on May 21, with the Lakers down 20 in the third quarter and the L.A. crowd starting to boo, whipping the ball between his legs and shaking his noggin at Bowen like some enormous, ticked-off bobblehead. What followed seemed, in retrospect, inevitable: the deep jumpers, the twisting drives, the scowls and, finally, a cold-blooded Bryant pull-up in the lane with 23.9 seconds left to cap the 89-85 comeback win. Watching him manhandle the game, you could feel the series tilting westward, and indeed the Lakers were up two games to one after a 101-71 blowout last Friday and a 103-84 loss in Game 3 on Sunday.

Call it what you will: killer instinct, competitive fire, hatred of losing or, as Boston Celtics reserve guard Sam Cassell once said, "that Jordan thing." It's what has spurred Bryant all these years, what the Lakers will rely on if they are to win their first post-Shaq championship, what separates Kobe from the rest of the NBA. In 2002 Bryant said, "There's only two real killers in this league," meaning himself and Michael Jordan. Well, now there is only one. And it ain't Fabricio Oberto.

Because Kobe is Kobe, however, he cannot (or will not) soften his edge, the way Jordan did with his buddy-buddy NBA friendships, his who-would-have-thunk smirk or his endorsa-riffic smile. With Bryant, it manifests itself during practice, during games, during summer workouts, during conversation. Even in his dreams he is probably swatting a Connie Hawkins finger roll into the third row. "He can't turn it off, even if he tried," says George, one of a handful of NBA players relatively close to Bryant. And for that Kobe has often been pilloried. But is this really fair? "Kobe wants it so badly that he rubs an awful lot of people the wrong way," says Lakers consultant Tex Winter, the guru of the triangle offense, who has known Bryant since 1999. "But they're not willing to understand what's inside the guy."

O.K., then, let's try to understand. Starting at the beginning, moment by basketball moment.

It's 1989, and Bryant is 11 years old and living in Italy, where his father, Joe, is playing professional basketball. One day Kobe bugs Brian Shaw, a Boston Celtics first-round pick playing in Rome because of a contract dispute, to go one-on-one. Eventually Shaw agrees to a game of H-O-R-S-E. "To this day Kobe claims he beat me," says Shaw, now a Lakers assistant. "I'm like, Right, [I'm really trying to beat] an 11-year-old kid. But he's serious." Even back then Shaw noticed something different. "His dad was a good player, but he was the opposite of Kobe, real laid-back," says Shaw. "Kobe was out there challenging grown men to play one-on-one, and he really thought he could win."

It's early 1992, and Bryant is an eighth-grader in the suburbs of Philadelphia, skinny as an unfurled paper clip. He is playing against the Lower Merion varsity in an informal scrimmage. The older teens are taken aback. "Here's this kid, and he has no fear of us at all," says Doug Young, then a sophomore. "He's throwing elbows, setting hard screens." Bryant was not the best player on the floor that day -- not yet -- but he was close.

It's 1995, and Bryant is the senior leader of the Lower Merion team, obsessed with winning a state championship. He comes to the gym at 5 a.m. to work out before school, stays until 7 p.m. afterward. It's all part of the plan. When the Aces lost in the playoffs the previous spring, Bryant stood in the locker room, interrupting the seniors as they hugged each other, and all but guaranteed a title, adding, "The work starts now." (Bryant remains so amped about his alma mater that when he taped a video message for the team a few years ago, it contained few of the usual platitudes and instead had Bryant reeling off a bunch of expletives and exhorting the boys to "take care of f------ business!")

During the Kobe era at Lower Merion no moment was inconsequential, no drill unworthy of ultimate concentration. In one practice during his senior year, "just a random Tuesday," as coach Downer recalls, Bryant was engaged in a three-on-three drill in a game to 10. One of his teammates was Rob Schwartz, a 5' 7" junior benchwarmer. With the game tied at nine, Schwartz had an opening, drove to the basket and missed, allowing the other side to score and win. "Now, most kids go to the water fountain and move on," says Downer. Not Bryant. He chased Schwartz into the hallway and berated him. It didn't stop there, either. "Ever get the feeling someone is staring at you -- you don't have to look at them, but you know it?" says Schwartz. "I felt his eyes on me for the next 20 minutes. It was like, by losing that drill, I'd lost us the state championship."

Bryant had already begun to coax teammates into staying late or coming in at odd hours so he could hone his skills. "We'd play games of one-on-one to 100," says Schwartz. "Sometimes he'd score 80 points before I got one basket. I think the best I ever did was to lose 100-12." Imagine the focus required to score 80 freakin' baskets before your opponent scores one. And Bryant's probably still pissed that Schwartz broke double digits.

It's 1996, and the Lakers call in Bryant, fresh off his senior prom -- he took pop singer Brandy, you might recall -- for a predraft workout at the Inglewood High gym. In attendance are G.M. Jerry West and two members of L.A.'s media relations staff, John Black and Raymond Ridder. Bryant is to play one-on-one against Michael Cooper, the former Lakers guard and one of the premier defenders in NBA history. Cooper is 40 years old but still in great shape, wiry and long and stronger than the teenaged Bryant. The game is not even close. "It was like Cooper was mesmerized by him," says Ridder, now the Golden State Warriors' executive director of media relations. After 10 minutes West stands up. "That's it, I've seen enough," Ridder remembers West saying. "He's better than anyone we've got on the team right now. Let's go."

It would be a pattern: Bryant bearing down on players he once idolized. At Magic Johnson's summer charity game in 1998 he went after Orlando Magic star Penny Hardaway so hard -- in a charity game -- that Hardaway spent the fall telling people he couldn't wait to play the Lakers so he could go back at Bryant. And, more famously, Kobe attempted to go one-on-one against Jordan in the '98 All-Star Game, waving off a screen from Karl Malone. Take your pick-and-rolling butt out of here; I've got Jordan iso'd! That one didn't go over so well with the Mailman. "When young guys tell me to get out of the way," Malone said at the time, "that's a game I don't need to be in." In Bryant's mind, however, no one is unbeatable. As a rookie with the Lakers, despite his coming straight out of high school, he approached Harris. "He said, 'Coach, if you just give me the ball and clear out, I can beat anybody in this league,' " recalls Harris. When that pitch didn't work, the 6' 6" Bryant returned. "Then he'd say, 'Coach, I can post up anybody who's guarding me. If you just get me in there and clear it out, I can post up anybody.' " Harris chuckles. "I said, 'Kobe, I know you can, but right now you can't do it at a high enough rate for the team we have, and I'm not going to tell Shaquille O'Neal to get out of the way so you can do this.' Kobe didn't like it. He understood it, but in his heart he didn't accept it."

It is 2000, and Bryant is an All-Star and franchise player. Still, after guard Isaiah Rider signs as a free agent, Bryant repeatedly forces him to play one-on-one after practice -- Bryant wins, of course -- to reinforce his alpha alpha male status. When six-time All-Star guard Mitch Richmond arrives the next year, he gets the same. "He was the man, and he wanted us to know it," says Richmond. "He was never mean or personal about it, it's just how he was."

Not that Bryant never loses, but beat him at your own risk. Decline a rematch and . . . well, that's not an option. "If you scored on him in practice or did something to embarrass him, he would just keep on challenging you and challenging you until you stayed after and played him so he could put his will on you and dominate you," says Shaw, Bryant's teammate from 1999 to 2003. This included not allowing players to leave the court. Literally. "He'd stand in our way and say, 'Nah, nah, we're gonna play. I want you to do that [move] again,' " Shaw says. "And you might be tired and say, 'Nah, I did it in practice.' But he was just relentless and persistent until finally you'd go play, and he'd go at you."

And just as he once did with Rob Schwartz, Bryant keeps NBA teammates after practice as guinea pigs. He unveils a spin move or a crossover or something else he has picked up watching tape and does it over and over and over. "The crazy thing about it is, he has the ability to put new elements in his game overnight," says George, a Laker from 1999 to 2006 and a frequent target of Kobe's requests. "He might say, 'Stay after and guard this move. Let me try it on you,' and he'll do it the next day in the game." George pauses to let this sink in. "Most of us, we'll try it alone, then we'll try it in practice, then in a scrimmage, and only then will we bring it out for a game. He'd do it the next day -- and it would work."

It's 2003, and Bryant is getting worked up in an interview while talking about a variation on a move: a jab step-and-pause, where you sink deep, hesitate to let the defender relax and, instead of bringing the jab foot back, push off it. Soon enough, Bryant is out of his chair and using the reporter as a defender on the carpeted floor. Then he has the reporter trying the move. Some people are Star Wars nerds; Bryant is a basketball nerd. "I think Kobe's actually a little bit embarrassed by his love of basketball," says Downer. "People called him a loner, but it's just that basketball is all he wants to focus on. I think he's part of a dying breed that loves the game that way."

That's why Bryant gets so excited to meet kindred souls. Asked last week about Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, Bryant's face lit up as he remembered the time he played for Pop. "I was really hoping he'd run us through one of those rigorous practices he does," said Bryant, who got his wish. By the way, Kobe was talking about practice for the '05 All-Star Game.

Now it's 2008, the Western Conference finals. Bryant is finally where he wants to be: an MVP playing on his team, no behemoth Hall of Famer to get in the way of post-ups, within reach of a title. He is also, by almost all accounts, the best player in the league. "It's not even close," says one Western Conference scout. "The difference between him and LeBron [James] is like [the one between] a Maserati and a Volvo."

The scout has other things to say about Bryant. For example, on his weaknesses: "Um, let me think . . . [long pause] . . . No, I don't think he has any." On his athleticism: "There are probably 10 [with more] in the league" -- he names Andre Iguodala, Josh Smith, Dwight Howard and J.R. Smith as examples -- "but no one uses his as well as Kobe. Just watch his footwork sometime." And on his focus: "There's a difference between loving basketball and liking basketball. There are only about 30 guys in the league who love it, who play year-round. Allen Iverson loves to play when the lights come on. Kobe loves doing the s--- before the lights come on."

This thing, this freakish compulsion, may be the hardest element of the game to quantify. There are no plus-minus stats to measure a player's ruthlessness, his desire to beat his opponent so badly he'll need therapy to recover. One thing's for sure: You can't teach it. If so, Eddy Curry would be All-NBA and Derrick Coleman would be getting ready for his induction ceremony in Springfield, Mass. But people know it when they see it. G.M.'s, coaches and scouts cite only a few others who have a similar drive -- Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Manu GinĂ³bili, Steve Nash, Chris Paul and Deron Williams -- though they make clear that none of those stars are in Kobe's league. (In an SI poll earlier this season Bryant was a runaway winner as the opponent players feared most, at 35%.)

Even some of the great ones lacked it. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says that when he was young, rather than challenging everyone as Kobe does, he "just wanted peace." "I think it's a quirk of personality," says Abdul-Jabbar. "Some of us are like Napoleon, and some are Walter Mitty."

Idan Ravin, a personal trainer who works with Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Gilbert Arenas and Elton Brand and is known by some in the league as "the hoops whisperer" for his effect on players, has even broken killer instinct down into components: love of the game, ambition, obsessive-compulsive behavior, arrogance/ confidence, selfishness and nonculpability/ guiltlessness. He sees them all in Bryant.

"If he's a ruthless s.o.b., I kind of respect that," says Ravin. "Why should he be passing up opportunities? Why pass it to a guy who doesn't work as hard, who doesn't want it like you do?"

Even now, every little challenge matters to Bryant. Here he is at the end of a practice last week. Each Laker has to take a free throw. Everybody hits his except Bryant, who rims one out. The only shooter left is Derek Fisher, who shot 88.3% from the line this season. Bryant stands to the side of the basket, fidgeting. As Fisher's shot arcs toward the rim, Bryant suddenly takes two quick steps and leaps to goaltend the attempt. "Of course," forward Lamar Odom says later, "he couldn't be the only one to miss."

So, you see, this is Kobe, all of this. Sometimes childish, sometimes regal, sometimes stubborn, always relentless. This is a guy who, according to Nike spokesperson KeJuan Wilkins, had the company shave a couple of millimeters off the bottom of his signature shoe because "in his mind that gave him a hundredth of a second better reaction time." A guy who has played the last three months with a torn ligament in the pinkie of his shooting hand. A guy who, says teammate Coby Karl, considers himself "an expert at fouling without getting called for it." (Watch how Bryant uses the back of his hand, not the front, to push off on defenders and a closed-fist forearm to exert leverage.) A guy who says of being guarded by the physical Bowen, "It'll be fun" -- and actually means it. A guy who, no matter what he does, will never get the chance to play the one game he'd die for: Bryant versus Jordan, each in his prime. "There'd be blood on the floor by the end," says Winter, who has coached them both.

This is Kobe Bryant, age 29, in pursuit of his fourth NBA title. Even if it's hard for us to understand him, perhaps it's time that we appreciate him.

Kobe Bryant's killer instinct by Chad Ballard?
Reply:Haha. You expect me to read all of that. Especially a article about Kobe? Pshh.
Reply:Your diction is verbal masterbation!
Reply:You could have just aked if anyone read the article. I thought it was very interesting, but not really surprising to hear that Kobe has an insane killer instinct and competitveness like Jordan. I thought his motivational video for Lower Merion was funny.
Reply:Kobe is considered the best because he is a flashy player, he flaunts all of his skill when he plays by doing tricky moves and crossovers etc. There are at least a few players in the same league as him, you only gotta look at the league top scorers to find out who

Global Warming's Real Problem, Please Read?

Say the hippies got what they wanted, an entire green planet with everyone doing their part to protect the plant and all living together in peace.

At the time of posting there are 6.8 billion people on this planet. In 1979, 29 years ago, there were 4.4 billion people and in 2037, 29 years from now, there will be an estimated 10.3 billion people on this planet. If anyone has looked at a population graph of the world, and has an IQ number higher than my shoe size, 14, you will know it to be an exponential graph. Which means that the population is increasing at and rapidly increasing rate. Then you would also understand the idea of carrying capacity. A simple definition of carrying capacity is “Carrying capacity refers to the number of individuals who can be supported in a given area within natural resource limits, and without degrading the natural social, cultural and economic environment for present and future generations (gdrc)” So basically, if you have more food, you can have more rabbits. If you have less food, some of your rabbits die from starvation, population decreases.

Does anyone see a problem?The UN itself said that the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 than transport (fao). "The global livestock sector is growing faster than any other agricultural sub-sector (fao)" So agriculture is growing fast, population is growing fast, CO2 is going to shot through the roof weather we stop driving or not.

This is the main reason that I don’t care if my 1969 dodge doesn’t pass smog, or if I burn plastic, Styrofoam, or fart.

Never, in history of the planet, has the whole world come together as a whole to do anything but kill each other. Say you do get the world to ban together and help the planet. So you are going to convince the whole world not to eat meat?

So I said all of that to say two things. The first one is best said by one of my favorite antagonists

"I'd like to share a revelation during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. (Agent Smith)”

My opinion on fixing the problem, everyone is entitled to one, is mass genocide. Why, because it’s either that, or the world will fail, which really doesn’t bother me either, because I will not be around.


Global Warming's Real Problem, Please Read?
What's your question?
Reply:"Never, in history of the planet, has the whole world come together as a whole to do anything but kill each other."

And rather ironically, that seems to be the answer to the question you pose.
Reply:World genocide? You're talking about mother nature making her correction to the overpopulation problem.

People forget that we're living organisms. The only law we ultimately live under is natures law.
Reply:You're definitely correct, mass genocide would be a highly efficient way to end the crisis. But who do we kill off? Obviously no body wants to die, but some people need to. This poses a problem, and trying to figure out who to kill off would likely lead to our own destruction. Problem solved! Wait....


Nature takes it course and our "boom" in population liekly leads to a "bust", which will ost definitley happen very soon. Either way, we're screwed as a species.
Reply:Okay, let's assume your most reasonable assumption to be the case, that human growth will continue according to your estimates, that no huge plague or famine will come along, that no country besides China introduces a one-child policy, that the naturaly population decline in prosperous Western European nations neither spreads nor intensifies, which as I say is reasonable, there are still some issues.

For a start your argument for not doing your bit to help reduce global warming ammounts to "it's pointless unless everyone else does it too and I'll probably be dead by then anyway". Really, for all you research, all your reasoning and rationalising, your argument boils down to "I can't be bothered" and is effectively a product of selfishness and laziness. Also you seem to disdain environmentalists, your use of the term hippies seems derisive. I'm guessing you are politically rather than scientifically motivated,but intelligent enough to realise that the "it's not happeneing" and "humans are not a cause" lines you were given for years are not true, but continue to emotionally attach yourself to one side of an issue and set about searchingfor reasons to support a position as close as you could find to your previous one. In other words you have use circular logic, and you ought to realise that that will never lend itself to a coherent argument. Also your willingness to support mass genocide points towards sociopathy (also hinted at by your apparent selfishness and use of the term hippies to dismiss others).

Incidentally, the UN report you cite excludes that the leading contributor to CO2 emissions is industry.

You asked for an opinion,I prefer conclusions,and based on your answer I conclude you are an intelligent but culturally deluded individual with a potential for sociopathic behaviour. I hope am incorrect regarding the sociopathy.

What kinds of things are tax deductible and how do you keep track of them?

For my husband's new job as an insurance agent, people have been telling us that there are lots of things that at the end of next year we can deduct from our taxes. I'll go to a tax place to have them do the paperwork part, but how do I know what to tell them to deduct? What kinds of things should we keep track of and how do you do it? Do I keep every single receipt? Do I just throw them in a shoe box or do I need to total them up at the end of each month? Should we just write them down instead? Do I need to keep work related expenses apart from charity donations? Do we need to write on each receipt what it was for and why (like gas receipts that are for work travel vrs. fun travel)? Help! I have no clue!

What kinds of things are tax deductible and how do you keep track of them?
You asked WAY too many questions to be answered on this website. Visit the IRS website and/or go to a tax attorney or preparer. And DON'T listen to what "people" tell you, advice-wise; only you and your husband know your financial situation, and it is YOUR responsibility to maintain your tax records (I'm a little curious: how did both of you handle your taxes before this?).
Reply:It's too general a question to get an answer here. But it might be worth paying a CPA for an hour or so of their time to have them explain what records you should keep and what might be deductible. Basically any expenses that are necessary and customary for his job would most likely be deductible. If he's driving as part of his job he should be keeping a mileage log, showing ALL miles driven every day, and how many are person, how many are commuting (home to the office and back) and how many are business (e.g. out from the office to client sites).

Your charitable donations, and any other itemized expenses that aren't related to business, will show on a different place on your tax return (on schedule A - business stuff will be on schedule C) butyou can keep them in the same shoebox if you want to. It will make things a lot easier if you write on each receipt what it was for.

Gas and other car expense receipts might not be worth keeping, especially if he's using the same car for business and for personal or commuting miles. You have the option of deducting a straight mileage allowance, which generally works out financially and saves you a lot of recordkeeping.
Reply:Read IRS Publication 334 to learn about business deductions.

Also, buy some basic accounting software like Quicken.


You know you're Italian when?

You can bench press 325 pounds, shave twice a day and still cry when your mother yells at you.

You carry your lunch in a produce bag because you can't fit two cappicola sandwiches, 4 oranges, 2 bananas and pizzelles into a regular lunch bag.

Your mechanic, plumber, electrician, accountant, travel agent and lawyer are all your cousins.

You have at least 5 cousins living in the same town or street. All five of those cousins are named after your grandfather or grandmother.

You are on a first name basis with at least 8 banquet hall owners.

You only get one good shave from a disposable razor.

If someone in your family grows beyond 5'9", it is presumed his Mother had an affair.

There are more than 28 people in your bridal party.

You netted more than $50,000 on your first communion.

And you REALLY, REALLY know you're Italian when:

. Your grandfather had a fig tree.

. You eat Sunday dinner at 2:00.

. Christmas Eve . . . only fish.

. Your mom's meatballs are the best.

. You've been hit with a wooden spoon or had a shoe thrown at you.

. Plastic on the furniture is normal.

. You know how to pronounce "manicotti" and "mozzarella."

. You fight over whether it's called "sauce" or "gravy."

. You've called someone a "mamaluke."

. And you understand "bada bing"

You know you're Italian when?
XD nice one
Reply:you talk with your hands haha yell instead of talking...lets go eat is used all the time, you have red furniture covered in plastic, alot of your friends are "connected " and i can go on and on.. alotta my friends are italians and there great..espeically the grandmas what food!!!! wow
Reply:your flag has only 1 colour on it, and you have been led, mistakenly, to believe that white is actually a colour.

ONLY JOKING YOU PAIR OF BIG..............cellmates, oops!

I know, assume the position!!
Reply:Similar to the Greek one
Reply:.... you hang furry dice from your rearview mirror, LOL...!!
Reply:LOL ! Everything went well until the end of your "joke". The "bada bing" and "mamaluke" is an all American/Italian thing. Nobody in Italy even understands that expression sweetie ! Sorry, I am an Italian born and bred ! LOL !
Reply:Ha ha stereotyping people is funny.
Reply:im italian!!! and proud. i dont think i had to tell u that cause u could have looked at my nickname.

wow all of that is pretty true. although on christmas eve we have more than fish andin my family my mom-mom is the best cook.
Reply:yes i do
Reply:haha, I live not far from Italy, this is so true and funny!!
Reply:my grandmother is Italian, She never says bada bing, and all her family is overseas!
Reply:Ehhhh. My dad just told me that I'm Italian. Sorry!!

Im Italian
Reply:LOL ! You can't go wrong with "Clo is lovely!" she really is Italian and extremely proud of it !!
Reply:what's your question?
Reply:You've described some Italians who live in the U.S. Dovresti visitare me a Milano..............

Clo - hai ragione..non avevo mai sentito dire Bada Bing ecc.ecc. !
Reply:Haha!!! 100% Italian right here!!!!!
Reply:amd you grow a moustache to look like your mother
Reply:this would be easier if you actually asked a question lol but ur italian when you talk with your hands a got a bunch of italian friends
Reply:Wise Guy ehh..!? Forget about it..
Reply:You're Italian forget to ask a f***ing question...

Could someone please help edit my paper?

I am an applicant for the Borde Patrol, but I was found unsutable for the job. So I need to respond to a NOPA, and see what happends.

My name is xxxx xxxx. I am an applicant for the position of Border Patrol Agent. I am writing in response to a 01MAR08. According to the letter, there is one incident in my teenage history that raised suitability concerns, which is an example of immature misconduct in school. I intend to explain that during the time frame of 2005, I was, like many 17 year olds, a very immature and childish person. I take full responsibility for my lackluster performance during this time frame, and I hope to prove to you that I have long since grown up and become an upstanding asset to society.

While attending high school, I made some poor decisions regarding my choice of friends in my third year, which lead to my expulsion and arrest. As a juvenile, I never did realized that associating with the wrong type of crow could involved me in such a predicament in the future, especially to accomplish an ambition and aspiration of joining a law enforcement agency such as the United States Border Patrol. I was immature and unaware of the significant conflict a mediocre action and act of mine, could have, as I matured and took responsibility for my actions. Although I never did “jump-in” or formally entered the gang, I did associate with the members of the Sureno gang.

Please allow me the opportunity to address the following incident:

Issue 1:

On February 26, 2005, I was arrested by the Fresno Police Department, after a disturbance on campus between the Sureno and Bulldog Gangs. The incident initiated when members of the Bulldog gang began to verbally attack members from the Sureno gang from outside of campus. The group of Surenos and I were gather at a bench that was located in front of campus, when a security guard took notice of the verbal attacks the rival gang made. Carmen, a security guard at Roosevelt High School, approached the group of Surenos and I, and notified the group to calm down and ignored the verbal attacks. She stated that the Fresno Police Department had already been notified that an outside group of Bulldogs was verbally taunting students from the high school. After a couple of minutes, the number of security guards and police officers began to increase. Within the group of Surenos there was an ex-student that had been expelled from Roosevelt High School and was not supposed to be on or near campus. After the group took notice of that event, the ex-student gave me a gold color metal knuckle which I concealed in my left shoe. The ex-student then proceeded to exit the school campus through a back gate located at the southwest of campus. I and two other members of the Sureno Gang followed the ex-student to the back gate. As the group walked to the southwest gate, security guards took notice of the sudden departure and tried to stop the group. The group took notice of this, and sprinted to the gate. Near the gate, the group was approached by a security guard on a golf cart and told us to stop. I and the companions stopped, the ex-student continued and escaped without being capture. After being stopped, Vice Principal Vargas approached the group, questioned and searched the group. After searching the group, he discovered the hidden gold metal knuckle in my left shoe.

I do not blame anyone for my immature and lackluster performance that occurred in high school. I understand that I was not obligated to take possession and/or concealed the metal knuckle in my shoe. As I did, I took full responsibility for my actions and accepted the punishment as such.

After being arrested and expelled, the juvenile court gave me a misdemeanor and sentence me to a year of probation along with probation school. During year of probation, I had to meet with my Probation Officer Juan Flores each month, not associate or be near gang members, along with other conditions.

The year of probation and probation school made a significant difference in my life. Not only was I separated from the bad influences that surrounded me at school, but it also furnished the opportunity to exceed academically and in attendance. Probation school transformed my way of thinking. I was not surrounded by students who wish to exceed academically, but with students who did not careless for their futures. I saw the disrespect the students showed to the teachers, whose only ambition was to help the students exceed in life and academically. I realized that I was not a bad person; I was just heading in the wrong direction. Probation school changed my life.

After completing my year of probation and probation school, I enrolled at Reedley Community College. At this community college, I completed two years of education and obtained my Associates of Art degree. In addition, in the year 2006 I was in the Dean’s list for achieving a GPA of more that 3.50. Currently I am attending Fresno State University.

With this letter, I will enclose all the documents with which I will try to demonstrate that I have mature and taken action to pursue my dream of joining the United States Border Patrol. The documents that will be enclosed with this letter are:

• Grades from high school.

• Grades from probation school.

• Grades from college and university.

The above documents will illustrate a significant difference in maturity from the low academic achievements received in high school to the improvements that I have undergone through.

More than three years have past since my arrest. During those years I have continue to help my parents at our family business. And I have not been involve in any criminal activities or associated with any gang members since then. Presently, as stated before, I am currently attending Fresno State University, where I plan to obtain my Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology.

Could someone please help edit my paper?
Yeah, sorry. Way too long.

However, I do know that admitting a past affiliation to a criminal organization excludes you from law enforcement. Especially federal. This is probably in your criminal history and why you were rejected in the first place.

But considering how far you've come in life, I wouldn't let this one exclusion get you down. Good luck!
Reply:It may not exclude you from law enforcement in some states, counties, or cities, and probably won't from military service, which has its own law enforcement, so keep looking. I wish you the best.

Thanx for BA! :) Report It

Reply:sorry, too long.

If The Shoe Fits Wear It! "American Gangster"?

The New York DEA is complaining that their name is being dragged through the mud because of the way they were depicted in the movie “American Gangster”. They’re complaining about the credit at the end of the movie, which states three fourths of the DEA was convicted with the help of Frank Lucas, because of their own criminal activities.

I did see the movie and was under the impression that this was a fact based movie from real life experiences from both Frank Lucas and Richie Roberts (played by Crowe). I did believe the statement at the end of the movie too. Are they trying to say that there were “NO” corrupt DEA agents convicted? Just how many where convicted and how many went untouched. I think when you do those figures you will have your three-fourths if not more. Who really cares any way? One rotten apple can mess it up for the whole bunch; so why even bother to fight to have it removed from the credits. The damage is done. If you want to blame someone, blame those crooked DEA that left the stain in the first place. I think their missing the point. What’s your opinion?

If The Shoe Fits Wear It! "American Gangster"?
I agree. Weather the #'s are inflated or not is really beside the point. I DO have respect for "good" cops. But most of us at some point or another has most likely witnessed a cop using their authority to their own personal benefit. Face it, a badge doesn't make you a saint. And why should they be portrayed that way? If a BIG share of the DEA was crooked, why should that fact be hidden? I hate that so many things get swept under the rug....
Reply:Maybe you're right
Reply:Not only is the DEA crooked. The movie was set 40 years ago, so at the worst they are implying that the DEA was crooked back then. They shouldn't get so offended.
Reply:Hollywood can and will write about anything controveraial and blow things all out of proportion. At least in "Lord of War" much is taught about where immigrants REALLY settle so much for that "we have lots of room in the boondocks for immigrants"...we always will because 99% settle in big cities in Little Odessa, Little Nigeria. Little Siagon,etc.

But I digress, H'wood loves to take a story like DEA agent takes bribe 'cause his retirement stinks and this helps the Unions get higher pay but retirements can and do get pilferred and robbed by those supposedly guarding the money. I suppose the Federal Gov't steps in to reimburse embezzled pension money if only in the retired officers' dreams.

Not that anyone condones or approves of bribes. Look how much mileage that $50 bill on the back of drivers' license got toward defaming hundreds of police in major cities.

Police do a better job of policing and punishing their own than lawyers who disparege doctors a lot. Call a lawyer for your medical problem?
Reply:I agree with you. Ppl knew these facts about the DEA BEFORE seeing the movie!
Reply:The NYPD was corrupt then and its corrupt now.
Reply:i personally know a fellow service member who served in the

south american jungles wher large amounts of pot and coke are grown and produced for shipment to the united states. he was instructed to burn this field, but not that one. why? because you can recieve favors whith mone ,sex,and even the drugs themselves. dea aagents are not searched by customs coming back into the country. this goverment is more corrupt than the columbian drug lords!!!!!!!!!!!
Reply:I am old enough to remember when this happened in the late 70's. NYC had a bad reputation because of all the corrupt public officials and servants at that time. I believe right after this is when the campaign naming NYC the Big Apple started.

Of course shortly after that Miami grabbed the top spot as evil city with the cocaine trafficking and the headlines "paradise lost" in Newsweek.
Reply:i 100% agree with you!!! i am giving you a star for it!!!

Whats in a name....?

A young fellow walks into a talent agent's office and says he wants to break into show-biz, so the agent says "O.K. kid show me what you do". The kid tells some jokes, does a little soft shoe, sings a bit, does an acrobatic act with an ottoman, and is good enough to impress the agent.

"Great kid! Just great!" says the agent "I can do things for ya! I think I can get you a show on T.V." (This was the early sixties.) "By the way, what's your name?"

The young man, proud and excited, exclaims "Penis Van Lesbian".

"Excuse me?" questions the agent.

"My name is Penis Van Lesbian" again replies the young man.

"Hey I'm sorry kid, you're gonna have to change your name, nobody is gonna hire you with a name like Penis Van Lesbian."

Well the young man is crestfallen but steadfastly refuses to change his name, so he leaves to find another agent.

A few months later he returns to the same agent. "Hey kid! Good to see ya again!" says the agent, "Are ya still looking for work? Have ya changed your name?"

With his head hanging low the young man replies "Yes. Every agent in town turned me down because of my name, Penis Van Lesbian. So I've changed it".

"Great kid, great! What's your new name?"

"Dick Van Dyke."

Whats in a name....?
wow..please tell me that didn't come from YOU... :(
Reply:good one .lol
Reply:LOL and I've just finished watching Diagnosis Murder so good timing!!
Reply:hahaha, love it!
Reply:BBBBBBBBBBBooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo... you suck!!!!!!
Reply:lol gud but not as good as the rest