Going for the Gold: Reflecting on the top Olympic moments of my lifetime after its postponement

first_imgWho would’ve thought that the United States, let alone the entire world, would be where it is now? What was only a blip on many Americans’ radars a month ago is now the largest pandemic in recent history, halting school, work and the topic of my column, the Olympics.  Since North and South Korea split in 1948, the animosity between the two nations and horrific ramification of the split have been well documented. For 70 years, the North and South traded threats and assassination attempts while simultaneously trying to emerge from extreme poverty.  Rewatching both countries march into Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium together gave me a sense of hope this past week, and given the times we live in now, it was greatly needed.  However, for one fleeting moment, this changed when the North and South Korean teams marched together waving a Korean unification flag at the 2000 Summer Olympics. The two teams still competed separately, but the move represented a gesture for unity and peace that Koreans had not seen for over half a century.  In what would be the beginning of one of the most successful eras for any Olympic athlete, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt came into the Beijing 2008 Olympics with hopes of establishing himself as the fastest man in the world. And in fact, he did just that, winning three gold medals in the process and breaking the world record in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 4×100-meter relay. Take that all in for a second.   North and South Korea march together — several times Michael Phelps finishes his star-studded career at Rio 2016  Bolt ended his career with eight gold medals and swept through the competition again at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. His performance in 2008 introduced him to the world and brought track and field a level of attention it hadn’t seen in a long time.  There is never a dull moment when watching Michael Phelps. Phelps entered the 2016 Summer Olympics after having competed in every iteration of the games since 2000 — when he was only 15 — winning 22 Olympic medals and shattering dozens of world records in the process.  I, like many of you, felt considerably dejected when I heard the news that the 2020 Summer Olympics would be officially postponed. Though it was the right decision, I can’t help but feel a sense of longing for one of my favorite sporting events in the world. What sticks out to me even more about Bolt’s 100-meter run is that it was one of the first sporting events I ever watched. Before the 2008 Olympics, I didn’t care much about sports, but my dad insisted that I watch the race. I distinctly remember Bolt crossing the finish line and feeling a rush of excitement I had never felt before. I was too young to witness this moment, but I have seen its follow-up acts. At the 2018 Winter Olympics, the North and South marched together again, bringing tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program to a temporary simmer.  Usain Bolt dominates at Beijing 2008  Nathan Hyun is a sophomore writing about the 2020 Olympics. His column, “Going for Gold,” typically runs every other Wednesday. This is the only event on the list that isn’t a jaw-dropping athletic feat, but it’s here for good reason.  So, in the interest of providing some much needed nostalgic relief, here are my personal top three Olympic moments from my lifetime.  As someone of Korean descent, I found this moment especially moving. I finally could begin to relate to my great-grandmother, who used to tell me stories about escaping North Korea during the Korean War. I could finally see how powerful and meaningful the prospect of unification was.  Phelps qualified for six events and ended up with five gold medals as a 31-year-old in 2016. This surprised absolutely no one, but the near-superhuman performance Phelps put forth, showing zero sign of physical regression after nearly two decades of competition, was a feat that won’t likely be seen again for a long time. last_img read more


Lonzo Ball will make Lakers debut Oct. 19 vs. Clippers

first_imgThe Clippers also will have a new look after trading Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets for a package of players that included Patrick Beverley. The Clippers also re-signed Blake Griffin to a new five-year, $173-million contract and added guard Milos Teodosic and forward Danilo Gallinari over the summer.Paul and the Rockets open the season Oct. 17 when they visit the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors in the second game of an opening-night doubleheader on TNT. Houston also will play a Christmas game, facing Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder in one of five holiday contests.The remainder of the NBA’s 82-game regular-season schedule will be revealed Monday. Paul’s return to Staples Center to face the Clippers for the first time since the trade figures to draw a good deal of attention when the rest of the scheduled is announced, a date to be circled in red ink. Lonzo Ball will make his NBA debut when the Lakers and Clippers renew their Hallway Series rivalry in a season-opening matchup on Thursday, Oct. 19 at Staples Center, the league announced Thursday afternoon. The Lakers will be the designated home team.The Lakers also will play host to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a Christmas evening game.Both games will start at 7:30 p.m., and will be broadcast nationally on TNT.Ball, the No. 2 selection in the draft in June, has given the Lakers a new look and a new hope for 2017-18. The former UCLA point guard showed glimpses of his potential during the NBA Summer League last month in Las Vegas, where his every move, with and without the ball, was studied and discussed at length. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more


Isaiah Thomas’ final shot comes up short as Heat edge Lakers

first_img Lakers prioritize rest over practice as injuries mount Lakers’ Lonzo Ball finds himself in another shooting slump Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “That’s what he’s made his career off of, making big shots,” said Randle, who had a verbal dispute on the bench with Thomas two nights earlier in Oakland, “so I have no problem with it at all. Confident in him.”Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball finished with nine points, eight rebounds and eight assists, but was no match for Miami All-Star point guard Goran Dragic, whose 30-point outburst included the teardrop in the lane with 15 seconds left that proved to be the game-winner.The Lakers committed 20 turnovers leading to 20 points for the Heat.“We were telegraphing our passes and passing out of motion and they were getting (deflections),” Walton said. “We couldn’t even make a post pass tonight, which is basic fundamentals of passing. So that is frustrating.”Walton went on to say that the Heat were “tougher” than the Lakers.Before Dragic’s go-ahead bucket in the final minute, the Lakers appeared set to escape with the win. With 1:23 left, Brook Lopez passed out of a double team to Kyle Kuzma, who knocked down his first 3-pointer of the night from the top of the key.“(Lopez) was killing it all night,” Kuzma said. “He just made a great basketball play. I was wide open. Basketball’s simple. Find the open man, so I made the shot, but he made a great pass.”Kuzma was questionable to play Friday due to the sprained right ankle that kept him out of Wednesday’s loss at Golden State, but suited up and in 32 minutes scored 11 points to go with eight rebounds. Lopez added 18 points, including four 3-pointers on six attempts.Related Articles AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersShort.In a game that featured 16 lead changes, the Lakers could not come up with one more, falling to the Miami Heat 92-91.“Isaiah got a clean look, though, and we can’t complain about that,” Coach Luke Walton said. “He was probably a little cold, he had been on the bench for a while. But you get an open look for somebody like I.T., at the end, you live with that.”Thomas may have played his worst game since coming over in a trade from Cleveland last month. He scored five points while shooting just 1 for 9 from the field.One of the biggest moment’s of Randle’s career came nearly two years ago, March 30, 2016, when he scored a game-winning basket against the Heat at Staples Center. He too was comfortable with Thomas’ final shot. Kelly Olynyk was big off the bench for the Heat, making three 3-pointers and finishing with 17 points.Kuzma’s go-ahead 3-pointer capped a 10-2 run for the Lakers, who trailed 88-81 with 5:51 remaining. However, the Lakers forced misses on six of the Heat’s next seven possessions, and a turnover by Dragic on the eighth.It set up another dramatic finish at home for the Lakers and, for Randle, a missed opportunity to replicate his game-winner two years earlier.“I wish I would have had that same shot,” he said. PreviousBoxer Floyd Mayweather, center, attends in an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle, left, drives against Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma #0 and Miami Heat forawrd Josh Richardson #0 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsMiami Heat forward Justise Winslow, right, is fouled by Los Angeles Lakers forward Travis Wear during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, left, goes to the basket while defended by Heat forward James Johnson during the second half of Friday’s game at Staples Center. The Heat won 92-91. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez, left, goes to the basket against Miami Heat forward James Johnson during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Heat won 92-91. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk, left, blocks a shot by Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Heat won 92-91. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, left, and Miami Heat forawrd Josh Richardson try for possession of the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic, right, goes to the basket while defended by Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic, right, goes to the basket while defended by Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez, left. dribbles against Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, right, goes for a dunk against Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic, right, goes to the basket while defended by Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, left, goes to the basket while defended by Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Heat won 92-91. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat forward James Johnson, left, and Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle battle for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle, front, eyes on the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Heat won 92-91. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, right, goes up to the basket as Miami Heat forward James Johnson, left, watches during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Heat won 92-91. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers center Ivica Zubac #40 of Croatia and Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk #9 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball #2 and Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle #30 and Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk #9 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas #3 and Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk #9 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez #11 and Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo #13 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic #7 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic #7 and Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball #2 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball #2 and Miami Heat forward James Johnson #16 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball #2 and Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic #7 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez #11 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic #7 and Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez #11 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball #2 and Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic #7 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle #30 and Miami Heat forward James Johnson #16 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle #30 and Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo #13 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle #30 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic #7 and Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez #11 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball #2 and Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic #7 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #1 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)/m20/ and Los Angeles Lakers forward Travis Wear #21 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk #9 and Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle #30 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk #9 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez #11 and Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo #13 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas #3 and Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson #8 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball #2 and Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #1 and Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson #8 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle #30 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez #11 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez #11 and Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo #13 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #1 and Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson #8 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas #3 and Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson #8 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball #2 and Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson #8 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic #7 and Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle #30 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat forward James Johnson #16 and Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez #11 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma #0 and Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball #2 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas #3 and Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson #8 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball #2 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic #7 and Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez #11 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic #7 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic #7 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez #11 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle #30 and Miami Heat forawrd Josh Richardson #0 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez #11 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic #7 and Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball #2 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle #30 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas had one of his worst shooting nights as a Laker and missed the potential game-winner in the final seconds of Friday’s game against the Miami Heat at Staples Center. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas #3 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma #0 and Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk #9 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle #30 and Miami Heat forward James Johnson #16 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas #3 and Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk #9 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle #30 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas #3 and Miami Heat forawrd Josh Richardson #0 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk #9 and Los Angeles Lakers center Ivica Zubac #40 of Croatia in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas #3 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle #30 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma #0 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma #0 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle #30 and Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk #9 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas #3 and Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk #9 in actions during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, top, shoots as Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk falls to the court during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Heat won 92-91. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Boxer Floyd Mayweather, center, attends in an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle, left, drives against Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)NextShow Caption1 of 76Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle, left, drives against Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)ExpandLOS ANGELES — The directive out of the final timeout was simple: Get the ball to Julius Randle.The Lakers’ power forward had assembled a beefy line of 25 points and 12 rebounds, continuing his run of dominance. For the first time in his career he had scored 20 points or more in four straight games. With the Lakers trailing by one point with 7.5 seconds left, he was the logical choice to seal the team’s 13th win in its last 14 home games.“When I came off the screen they kind of doubled at the elbow and forced it away from me,” Randle said.The ball instead found its way to Isaiah Thomas, who jabbed then stepped back for an arcing 14-footer.last_img read more


Transformation Underway for The Red Store, Navesink’s Beloved Eatery

first_imgBut history wasn’t the only dish that drove customers in on a daily basis.“The old school ways, the communication and people coming in and (us) knowing what they wanted,” made The Red Store special, Verange said.It’s exactly what brought Barbara Criscito in regularly. Outside of being Verange’s real estate agent through the sale, she had been a longtime customer. Criscito brought her son and a handful of his friends in for lunch on Fridays after half-day dismissals from Rumson Country Day School.“Pat made everyone who was a customer in the store feel like they were the only customer,” she said. “I’ve been coming here for 15 years with my kids and they’ve always remembered everything that they liked.”General stores are a dying breed among the food service business due in part to larger corporations flooding the industry, Verange said. He only knows of two which are remotely close that have survived. In an effort to stand out, The Red Store had become its own brand. Bottles of soda and sarsaparilla-flavored seltzer water were specifically branded and brewed for the store. And a few years ago, Verange invested in customized sandwich wraps with The Red Store scripted logo accompanied by a “There’s only one!” proclamation.Verange ordered those sheets 100,000 at a time. He can only find one remaining sheet now and it’s stowed away in his apartment. He’s already planning to save it for his eight-year-old grandson.A Landmark’s FutureThe background sounds of a buzzing saw or a hammer’s clank illustrate the amount of construction left. Metzner, 33, the eatery’s new partner, said they’re focusing on reopening in either July or August. “We want to keep true to what has been a big part of the neighborhood there forever,” he told The Two River Times. “We want to be part of that town and keep the family feel to it.”Big Mike’s Little Red Store will still be a breakfast and lunch shop, still offering some of the usuals. They’ll also incorporate BLT and Cuban sandwiches, farm fresh salads and protein bowls for customers.Verange, though, is still figuring out his next step. He’ll soon move out of the upstairs apartment where he’s spent most of his life. He’s planning a “Red Store garage sale” later this summer for regulars to come and pick through old artifacts. But he’ll also have to say goodbye to a street corner that’s provided him with more than enough memories for a lifetime.“I haven’t had to (say goodbye) yet, so I don’t know,” said Verange. “But when I do I’m probably going to have a meltdown. I just don’t know when it’s going to hit me.”This article was first published in the May 24-31, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times. NAVESINK – Pat Verange’s life has gradually changed since he turned off the grills for the final time last month at The Red Store.Some routines remain the same. Verange, 58, still goes to bed late at night and his interior clock continues to wake him at 3 a.m., just like a normal day of work. But instead of walking down from his upstairs apartment to unlock the doors at 5:30 a.m., he’s instead greeted by construction crews renovating the recently sold general store into a pit stop for a new owner.“It’s been a roller coaster ride, a good ride,” Verange, the former owner, said candidly Monday morning. “I know I’m going to miss it and be sorry that I sold it. But I do know I have enough memories to put up on my walls.”The Red Store officially closed for good April 28 after 59 years in business owned by the Verange family. Verange started working in the general store when he was four years old, helping out behind the counter, handling tasks fit for a toddler. But as the years progressed and health issues began to affect the business, he knew it was time to begin considering a sale.That was nearly a year ago. He listed the building in October and the queries came flying in, he said. He eventually sold it to a team comprised of Restaurant Nicholas, an upscale restaurant in Middletown, and a former chef there, Mike Metzner. It will be called Big Mike’s Little Red Store. The closing was final about two weeks ago, and the price tag was $725,000.“It was just a matter of who am I going to pass the torch to and who is going to do what I want to maintain this,” said Verange.The landmark red façade, which was originally green with black shutters, has fed thousands of locals spanning over 130 years. In one of the oldest parts of Middletown, it’s been a vital mainstay for laborers and nearby homeowners yearning for a hot morning coffee or a turkey on rye.The Red Store, located at 101 Navesink Ave., will become Big Mike’s Little Red Store when itreopens under new ownership later this summer. Photo by Jay CookWhile the exterior still has its original charm, the interior now is nearly unrecognizable. The wooden sidings and personal knick-knacks are no longer there. It’s been stripped down to the studs, literally, even recently exposing two old barn doors used in the early 20th century for horses to carry and offload goods right in the store.“You get the chill right through you” when walking through the building now, said Verange. “When you see everything coming down, it’s a little surprising, but definitely more of a chill. It’s weird.”center_img By Jay Cook |  Serving Up History and HominessVerange doesn’t know a life without The Red Store in it. His parents purchased it on a whim in 1959, looking to fund a growing family. John, his father, was a World War II veteran turned plumber and milkman. His mother, Etta, ran vegetable and fruit stands in the greater Red Bank area.But the history goes much further back. It was discovered after talks with Middletown historians that the building dates back to 1867, although it officially became a general store in 1885. An 1898 ledger Verange recently recovered lists sales to surrounding homeowners for bales, buckets and sacks of goods.Verange said it’s believed the store shuttered for about a decade in the 1930s after those owners gave out too much credit during the Great Depression. Those debts understandably were never repaid.last_img read more