LOS ANGELES – The Clippers would like to think the All-Star break gave them a chance to regroup and come back ready to turn around their disappointing season. Unfortunately for them, things aren’t quite that easy in this difficult season. The Suns made the fourth quarter irrelevant, going up 92-68 through three quarters. They led 17 at halftime, 14 in the first quarter, and Steve Nash returned from a four-game absence and often made the Clippers’ defense look silly. “They didn’t make it look worse than it was,” the Clippers’ Elton Brand said. “That’s how bad it was.” Nash didn’t play in the fourth quarter, but had 13 points and 12 assists. He had eight points and seven assists in the first quarter, when the Suns shot 77.8 percent from the field. Shawn Marion finished with 31 points and nine rebounds, and by the second half, the Clippers basically had no chance. Cuttino Mobley (strained groin) and Chris Kaman (flu) were out, and no one made up for their absence enough to make it competitive. In their first game back since the break, the Clippers’ slide continued as they lost a fourth consecutive game with a 115-90 defeat against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night at Staples Center. Nine months ago, the Clippers took the Suns to Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals. On Tuesday, the Suns took them to school. Sam Cassell, in particular, was nowhere to be found. In the second half, he did not play at all and finished with two points. Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said he had an abdominal strain, but if the game got close, he could have reinserted him. Corey Maggette had 19 points and seven rebounds, and Brand added 17 points. The only Clipper who had significantly more production than normal was second-year guard Daniel Ewing, who scored 16 points. With the Clippers struggling and the trading deadline Thursday, the team is not expected to make a move, even though Maggette’s name is a common part of rumors. “I don’t see us making any deals,” Dunleavy said. “Obviously, every team should be looking for anything with potential that could help you. But I don’t see anything on the horizon.” Dunleavy said teams are making lowball offers, nothing that would make the Clippers better. Maggette is likely to stay, even though he has called out Dunleavy on what he, and media members and heaps of fans, see as misuse of the small forward. “We’ve been talking about this since last year and now this year,” Maggette said. “It is what it is. The best thing I can do is go out there and play and play to the ability I can. Like I said, I’ll let (management) handle the business aspect, and I’ll play basketball.” Joe Stevens can be reached at email@example.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
South Africa’s Ambassador to Liberia, Mr. Masilo Mabeta, is calling on Africans, including Liberians, to join his country in building respect for the African Culture.Alerting Africans on the importance of their culture is an initiative undertaken by the South African Government, to make people of the continent show solidarity to one another and to reflect their significance to other peoples of the world. Ambassador Mabeta spoke to journalists recently at the South African Embassy near Congo Town, Monrovia.The South African diplomat underscored the importance to avoid the form and manner in which African cultural values are overlooked in most countries. He made specific references to dress code, food, songs, amongst others.According to Amb. Mabeta, belief that traditional ideas and industrial commodities from Africa are not beneficial to contemporary development, keeps Africans in bondage on their own continent.He said locally made products in most African countries do not have attractive values anymore, “because people do not give preference to them as to how they would be improved.”He noted that if Africans with knowledge in certain professional areas are allowed to teach in universities their knowledge, Africans will know the value of their locally produced commodities and culture.Ambassador Mabeta then frowned on the idea of investing in foreign materials when Africans are competent to produce same, stressing that the lack of empowerment for locals makes it hard for African products to be given value.He said that Africans who design and produce African cloth did not learn the art in school such a brilliant idea, but can produce materials using their local equipment; an act, which he commended.Ambassador Mabeta said using such people to teach their ideas in school will get students to specialize in textile and other areas and as well produce African materials that will make most countries on the continent industrious.In addition to problems affecting Africans, the South African diplomat noted that because cultural values are not respected, Africans are divided on tribal and sectional lines, thus making it difficult to be united.Prior to briefing journalists, Ambassador Mabeta said, he had travelled to some parts of Liberia including Maryland, Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Nimba Counties to have an insight of the country.“My travel to these counties entails that I did not only come to Liberia to reside in the capital Monrovia, but to reach other parts to make South Africa’s presence felt among all Liberians.According to him, the tour to the counties made him to learn about the people living there and their culture likewise.He described the visit as worthy, because it opened the corridor for the local people in those parts of Liberia to realize that South Africa was not only here for central government, but for all Liberians without discrimination.South Africa is expected to celebrate its national and freedom days the latest part of this month. The freedom day marks freedom from Apartheid rule with the first black African leader, Nelson Mandela, taking over as President of that country in 1994.The national day is in commemoration of the country’s independence that can be marked by many cultural activities, and words of inspiration for national and foreign leaders.The celebrations would have been held last April, but was postponed because of election currently underway in that part of Africa.A credible diplomatic source told this paper that parliamentarians are elected by the people of South Africa, and the parliamentarians subsequently elect the president.“The country will soon have a new president therefore, South Africans want to celebrate these days with the new president,” our source said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)