Giant parks are valued in the worldâ€™s top cities. Consider that Hyde Park was founded in 1536 and made public in 1637. For 380 years, it has remained a public space, despite its location in one of the most expensive areas in the world. Central Park was established in 1857 and for 160 years has remained that way. These people are not stupid, these are the most civilized and business savvy societies in the world. Central Park alone attracted 40 million visitors in 2013, while Hyde Park attracted 12.4m in 2014.In both parks sports and recreation are a staple. Hyde Park boasts several sporting facilities, including a number of football pitches and a Tennis centre. People go cycling and horse riding, while at the 2012 London Olympics the park hosted the triathlon, and the 10km open water swimming events. Central Park is heavily used by runners, joggers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and inline skaters. The New York City Marathon finishes in the park, while there are also numerous baseball fields as well as courts for volleyball, tennis, croquet and lawn bowling, among others.For years now I have dreamed of a huge Lagos Park, and the best I have managed to come up with in terms of a location is where the Nigerian Police College is currently sited in Ikeja GRA. The idea of the Police College in GRA seems to have long outlived its usefulness. The school itself appears a shadow of what it once was. We have all been witnesses to the news of how rundown it has become. Today it looks quite a sight with a mammy market on the one side and a clash of architectural styles on the other. However, the people that designed it originally ensured they got a huge piece of land and plenty of space. So how about the state government buying it from the police or federal government? I imagine it would cost a good few billions with which the police can then build a brand new world class college somewhere else where land is cheap and distractions are few.That space would be fantastic for a park. Close to the airport, surrounded by decent hotels, a teaching hospital, and a boundary connecting the well-heeled and the rest of society. I would wager that the impact of a park there would be huge enough to fractionally redistribute the population of Lagos and decongest the Ikoyi, V.I, Lekki axis, as some sports and health-conscious rich move its way. All the government needs to do is get celebrated international park designers, developers to come up with something truly world-class park.While not of the size of parks in the major cities of the world, it would still be a giant space. There can be several football fields and tennis courts, with lots of space for a few other sports as well as other forms of recreation and entertainment.Â You may even call it the Police Park for heritage reasons. The state can target two to five million visitors every year and that can translate to a lot in economic terms.I am under no illusions about the chances of this ever happening, but let me at least dream. One thing Lagos surely does not need however, is another housing estate in a congested area. That I imagine would be the preference for some politicians and â€œreal estateâ€ mercenaries who buy up every space, build up every space and use the proceeds to live in the US and UK where they and their children can enjoy the benefits of more livable cities.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Last week, I wrote about how establishing a sports culture in Lagos can help it attract better quality visitors from around the world, both in terms of frequency of visits and length of stay. I was reacting to the recent ranking of as the second least livable city on the planet by The Economist magazine. It was a ranking waved aside by the government, but one I felt provided an opportunity for us to learn through introspection. Of the many reasons Lagos fell short of global standards, I focused on one: that the city was not friendly to sports and health-conscious people who are a growing population around the world. For instance, there are hardly any public spaces designed for people to freely exercise or roads to protect runners and joggers, while there are only a few community sports centers. I suggested that since the problem predated the current administration, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and his team may now have to commit state funds to buying private properties and converting them to public sports centers. The most livable cities in the world are very generous in providing for sports and the health conscious.I also suggested that water was a platform for good sport and recreation, and that the lagoon was a goldmine that presented a significant opportunity for the government to capture the minds of the rich and adventurous. Thereâ€™s plenty to do in the lagoon if the government can invest in cleaning up the waters and the surrounding areas. From deep water swimming challenges to fishing, snorkeling, boat racing and other sports and entertainment events, Lagos could become West Africaâ€™s Monaco. I then ended by suggesting that I had a dangerous idea for a Lagos Central Park. I think a huge park would be great for the city, a bit like Hyde Park in London and Central Park in Manhattan.For some reason successive administrations in Lagos have seemed incapable of saving spaces for real parks and public recreation. Even spaces planned for this purpose have often been converted to homes and offices. We do have a culture of covering every available land space with some building or the other. Every piece of land becomes an opportunity to earn an extra naira for some insatiable men and women with no care for the greater good. The result is a mangled city and one pretty tough to live in especially for foreigners.
View Gallery (2 Photos)The 2006 Wisconsin volleyball team fell short of its goal to make it to the NCAA Final Four when it lost to Texas in the Sweet 16.Now with more than half the roster comprised of upperclassmen — including five seniors — the team is poised to make a run at the ultimate goals of reaching the Final Four and winning a Big Ten title.”This is something we planned on and have been excited for since this class came in as freshmen,” head coach Pete Waite said of his senior class.”And we had four or five starters at that time, so their experience level has risen each year, their focus has gotten better and now they have an urgency to finish with a great season.”Even with an experienced team, Waite will have to find a way to replace three seniors — Amy Bladow, Maria Carlini, and Katie Lorenzen — who graduated after last season. “You just kind of fill in the hole, and we have people waiting in the wings,” Waite said. “Kat Dykstra is looking really good in practice, as is Morgan Salow. … In the middle, with Bladow gone we got Audra Jeffers, who can be in there or Salow. So we got some nice options. We’re even a little bit bigger.”Also looking to contribute this year are two incoming freshmen: Allison Wack — the sister of senior libero and co-captain Jocelyn Wack — and Kim Kuzma.”The freshmen are awesome,” Wack said. “There are only two of them, which is a little bit different from the last couple of years, but they are very experienced and very mature as players. “They are definitely embracing everything the coaches are giving them, everything the players are giving them. They are doing awesome and the fans are going to see great things out of them this year.”In an effort to gain more experience, Waite took his squad to Europe this summer to play against teams in Italy, the Czech Republic and Slovenia. “We saw a lot of different styles of play out there and different levels of maturity,” Wack said. “They were a little bit older, and you could just tell how experienced and composed and just calm the other teams were. That was something we really wanted to take away from our European Tour, just staying calm while we are playing.”Since getting back from the European trip, the Badgers have been working on taking their game to the next level by becoming more consistent with their play. “Consistency on road matches [is big],” senior co-captain Taylor Reineke said. “In previous years, we have gone away to other gyms, and we didn’t play as well as we had hoped. I think we need to work on being more consistent on the road.”Wisconsin will also need to find a way to top four-time defending Big Ten champion Penn State if it is going to win its first conference title since 2001.”You pretty much are going to have to make it through Big Ten play with maybe at most one loss,” said Waite about what it will take to win the conference. “You’ve got to beat people not only on your own court, but on the road, which is very tough. We split with [Penn State] last year. Now we have to do the same with Minnesota and take care of them and then try and get that win at Penn State.”This team is totally capable of it. I think they have the ability this year more so than in the last four or five years.” Regardless of what this season ultimately becomes, the players and coaches are looking forward to what should be a fun ride.”I’m excited to just get back on the court and play in front of the fans here,” Reineke said. “I’m excited for every match.”Carroll leaves teamSenior middle blocker Maya Carroll decided to leave the team this summer. According to Waite, Carroll was offered an internship with the Big Ten Network where she will be a sideline reporter for football and volleyball games.”That is just a great thing as far as her résumé and the experience she can get for her future career,” Waite said. “We will miss her, but I couldn’t be happier for her for the opportunity.”In her three-year career with Wisconsin, Carroll appeared in 11 games notched 11 kills, with a .333 hitting percentage.
It likely has served as many people’s introduction to former Bulls general manager Jerry Krause, both the architect of Chicago’s dynasty and the cause of its destruction. “The Last Dance” pulls no punches with the two-time NBA Executive of the Year, who died in 2017, six months after being inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.He’s presented — not entirely unfairly — as someone whose inexplicable destruction of one of the sport’s great dynasties is credited at least in part to his need for validation and credit in building it. Jackson is even quoted as saying Krause told him he could win 82 games and still be gone after the season. MORE: Best Michael Jordan moments, quotes and more from ‘The Last Dance’Needless to say, Krause’s relationship with players was tenuous at best and outright hostile at worst, as evidenced by a verbal confrontation he had with Pippen on the team bus. The first two episodes show Jordan in particular making fun of Krause to his face:Michael Jordan clowning former Bulls GM Jerry Krause throughout #TheLastDance.”Jerry, you want to do some layups with us? They gotta lower the rim.” pic.twitter.com/K2ClTGm4me— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) April 20, 2020“Are those short pills or diet pills??”Jerry Krause definitely cried himself to sleep that night… 😂😂 #MichaelJordan #Bulls #TheLastDancepic.twitter.com/ttEgXpMfSw— A2D Radio (@a2dradio_com) April 20, 2020In that vein, the first two episodes did little to validate Krause or his intentions. And so Twitter joined Jordan in roasting the man Chicago not-so-lovingly called “Crumbs:”We’ve always known that Jerry Krause was the villain in the Bulls story and his philosophy on that particular team was highly questionable. But while we magnify his shortcomings and make jokes, let’s not forget that man is deceased and isn’t here to defend himself.— Julius Peppers (@juliuspeppers_) April 20, 2020Biggest Ls of #TheLastDance Night 1:1. Jerry Krause2. Scottie Pippen’s agent3. Rick Carlisle4. Every player on the 1984 Bulls protecting that secret5. French audio producer guy who tried to sneak an autograph from MJ in the tunnel6. Jerry Krause— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) April 20, 2020*Someone refers to Jerry Krause*Michael Jordan: pic.twitter.com/lBA9cZxFtr— Stephen A. Smith Burner (@SASBurnerAcct) April 20, 2020jerry krause after every bulls championship pic.twitter.com/xv6DlrGZjZ— alex (@steven_lebron) April 20, 2020Yo. Was Mr. Swackhammer — owner of Moron Mountain — based off of Jerry Krause? #TheLastDance pic.twitter.com/ljMBolN0gl— Dennis Chambers (@DennisChambers_) April 20, 2020Thank you, Jerry Krause. – Lakers fans pic.twitter.com/tJA7GwCxHh— ThrowbackHoops (@ThrowbackHoops) April 20, 2020“Idc if you win 82 games. This is your last year w the Bulls” – Jerry Krause pic.twitter.com/O4ulyL46Ji— 🏁TheHatersBallShow🇹🇹 (@_WordSmiff_) April 20, 2020Jerry Krause is about to quickly reach the Carole Baskin level of internet shenanigans. 😭— Chiney Ogwumike (@Chiney321) April 20, 2020Everything said about Jerry Krause on #TheLastDance was 💯accurate.Dude gave me my shot in the NBA but screwed me every chance he got. I remained professional until he lied about me to Coach Smith & I never forgave him for that because he never apologized to me.— Scott Williams NBA (@scottwill42) April 20, 2020Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr, Ron Harper, Toni Kukoč, & Phil Jackson on the same roster and winning five chips in seven years*No one:Absolutely no one:Literally no one ever:Jerry Krause: Welp, time to rebuild.🤷🏻♂️ 🤔 🤯 #TheLastDance 💃🏼— Erik T Jones (@Joan_Zee) April 20, 2020Jerry Krause is the Donald Trump of the NBA: jealous of superior men, and who, because of his narcissism, ego and bitterness, would rather destroy an institution rather than see it thrive despite his ugly behavior. #TheLastDance— Michael Eric Dyson (@MichaelEDyson) April 20, 2020MJ: “When you see the footage, you’re gonna think I’m a horrible guy”Jerry Krause: hold my beer #TheLastDance pic.twitter.com/cfjbanGFGu— Michael Rust (@MikeRust18) April 20, 2020Jerry Krause is the epitome of the uncle you try to avoid at thanksgiving— Joey (@JoeyMulinaro) April 20, 2020I’d watch a 10 part documentary of nothing but MJ teasing Jerry Krause about his height— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) April 20, 2020Jerry Krause=Dave Gettleman 🤷🏾♂️🤣🤣— Thomas Davis (@ThomasDavisSDTM) April 20, 2020 The Sunday premiere of “The Last Dance” has already proven to be both a cultural phenomenon and an illuminating experience for those too young to have firsthand experience of Michael Jordan’s dominance or the Bulls’ ’90s dynasty.The ESPN 30 for 30 documentary delves into the Bull’s final season of that dynasty, with Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman winning the team’s sixth and last championship under coach Phil Jackson. It provides never-before-seen footage of that team and commentary from those who were associated with it, already doing a fantastic job of contextualizing just how great those teams were.