Steps to Heal through an Emotional Injury in Your Relationship

By Porsha Jones, MS, LMFT

Many of the couples I see in my office often appear hurt, angry and disconnected from unresolved emotional injuries suffered from their past.

Some emotional injuries are severe enough and experienced as relationship traumas by one partner. These severely impact the safety and security of a loving relationship.

The wounded partner or partners have typically found a strategy to cope with the underlying emotions associated with the emotional injury.

These strategies are usually unhealthy and continuously lead to a cycle of further hurt, anger and disconnection.

Examples of unhealthy coping strategies after an emotional injury:

  • Withdrawal or avoidance of closeness
  • Critical or contemptuous remarks
  • Needy or clingy behaviors
  • Anger and defensiveness
  • Numbing

Pick up a copy of the book, Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson. Her book outlines steps to forgiveness to help couples heal through emotional injuries and restore safety and security in their relationship.  Contact me to discuss your needs at Pjones@GROWCounseling.com

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About the Author:

Porsha Jones, MS, LMFT
Pjones@GROWcounseling.com

Porsha is on the Board of Advisers for the Professional Sports Wives Association, and specializes in working with pro athletes and their families.

Porsha specializes in working with individuals, couples and families experiencing anxiety, grief, depression, major conflict, infidelity, divorce, parenting, career counseling, interracial relationship and blended families.

 

Posted in adultery, Athlete, Depression, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Emotions, Family, Finance, Friends, Grief, Happiness, Happy, Healing, Heaven, Holidays, Immaturity, Infidelity, injury, Marriage/Relationships, Narcissism, Parenting, Porsha Jones, Pride, pro athlete, pro sports wives, Recovery, Stress, Therapists, Trauma, Uncategorized, wives | Leave a comment

Letter to Parents of an Injured Student-Athlete

By Porsha Jones, MS, LMFT

Did you know that according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control high school students account for an estimated 2 million injuries each year?

After an injury, your son or daughter you may feel very alone and alienated.  After the panic and relief that your child is “OK” wears off, the disbelief and disappointment starts to set in.

Does this sound familiar?

Depending on the injury, you may begin to wonder how your child’s ability to play will be impacted in the future. You may have feelings of helplessness because you can’t “fix” the situation.   

All of these feelings and frustrations are very normal but may cause significant emotional distress without proper care.

This difficult experience can be managed by a variety of the following coping skills.

  • PRACTICE SELF-CARE – During this time you will be exerting much more time and energy taking physical care of your student-athlete. Plan short moments away to get a massage, go for a walk, talk to friends or have a night out for dinner.
  • EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS – Although frustrating feelings are very normal, be careful what you express around your student-athlete. Your job right now should be his/her “cheerleader” and rooting them on through their recovery.  Expressing positive emotions and encouragement will be extremely important to your child’s emotional well-being.  Be open to expressing more difficult emotions to friends, family members or a therapist in a safe environment.
  • GATHER MEDICAL INFORMATION – Educate yourself on your student-athlete’s injury. Ask questions to the treating physicians, physical therapists and get a second opinion if needed.  This will help minimize the uncertainty of your child’s future ability to resume their sport.
  • LISTEN to your student-athlete’s concerns and feelings through their healing process. Don’t try to “fix” it, just listen without interruption and validate their changing emotions.  Monitor variations in your child’s mood that may indicate a psychological concern and contact a counselor if needed.
  • STAY ENGAGED with your student-athlete’s sports program. Continue to support the team by fundraising and attending games.  Allow team parents to support and care for you as well.

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About the Author

Porsha Jones, MS, LMFT
Pjones@GROWcounseling.com

Porsha is on the Board of Advisers for the Professional Sports Wives Association, and specializes in working with pro athletes and their families.

Porsha specializes in working with individuals, couples and families experiencing anxiety, grief, depression, major conflict, infidelity, divorce, parenting, career counseling, interracial relationship and blended families.

 

Posted in Athlete, Children, Depression, Divorce, Emotions, Family, Friends, Grief, Happiness, Happy, High School, injury, Marriage/Relationships, Parenting, Porsha Jones, pro athlete, pro sports wives, Recovery, School, Sports, Student, Therapists, Trauma, wives | Leave a comment

Letter to an Injured Student-Athlete

 

By Porsha Jones, MS, LMFT

Dear Student Athlete,

You are not alone.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control high school students account for an estimated 2 million injuries each year?

Although this statistic is a fact, I know you may “feel” alone.  Other feelings that may be surfacing for you are fear, sadness, anger, guilt and disappointment.

These feelings can be frowned upon often by coaches, classmates and even parents.

I want you to know that these feelings are absolutely normal and you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel them at times.  An injury can come with much uncertainty at times and you may have questions such as will I play again like I used to?

  • Will my team be ok without me?
  • Will my coaches and classmates be upset with me?
  • Will my parents think I’ve failed them somehow?

As a student-athlete you have unique stresses and expectations that you are “trained” to live up to and be the example.

You are expected to maintain a certain grade point average or else you don’t play, show up and give 110% to practice daily even when your exhausted, come home and complete your homework and chores, participate in volunteer and fundraising events and be a “model” citizen among your peers even when you don’t feel like it.

These unique stressors combined with an injury may trigger a psychological concern.  Some of these psychological concerns may include, extreme sadness, isolation, irritation, anxiety, lack of motivation, sleep disturbance, changes in appetite and even suicidal ideation.

In order to avoid these psychological concerns it’s important to follow these steps:

  • EXPRESS your honest feelings with someone who is supportive and that you can trust. Be open to talking to a counselor who can provide that support and safety.
  • DO WHAT YOU CAN DO! This may mean continue to show up for practice if your injury permits and work on the body parts that are not injured.  Attend the games and support your team.  Take this time to “study” your sport and learn more about the details of your position so you can come back better than ever!
  • STAY ENGAGED with school assignments, activities with your friends and time with your family.
  • ASK QUESTIONS and gather information about your injury from treating physicians and trainers to help minimize your uncertainty about your recovery.
  • COMMITT to the rehab process and use your mental toughness you use on the field to get through difficult or painful days.
  • MAKE HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES to help aid the body’s natural healing process and to maintain your fitness.
  • ASK FOR HELP. There’s no shame in that, but strength and courage to do so.

____________________________________________________

About the Author

Porsha Jones, MS, LMFT
Pjones@GROWcounseling.com

Porsha is on the Board of Advisers for the Professional Sports Wives Association, and specializes in working with pro athletes and their families.

Porsha specializes in working with individuals, couples and families experiencing anxiety, grief, depression, major conflict, infidelity, divorce, parenting, career counseling, interracial relationship and blended families.

 

Posted in Athlete, Children, Depression, Emotions, Family, Friends, Grief, Happiness, Happy, High School, injury, Marriage/Relationships, Parenting, Porsha Jones, pro athlete, pro sports wives, Recovery, School, Sports, Stress, Student, Students, Therapists, Trauma, wives | Leave a comment

How to Cope with Divorce During the Holidays

By Porsha Jones, MS, LMFT

Going through a divorce can be a traumatic experience for most but those overwhelming emotions may be intensified during the holidays.

The holidays are typically a time of joy and happiness, time spent with loved ones, celebrations and family traditions.

A divorce can disrupt every aspect of how you use to see, feel and spend the holiday season.  

It is tempting to feel like your divorce is the end of your life, happiness and holidays as you know it, but there is a way to cope and endure during this time.

Below is a list of ways to help you cope with divorce during the holidays.

Practice Patience – Be patient with yourself.  You are moving through the stages of grief and loss and may feel shocked, confused, sad, angry or relief within minutes of each other.  Educate yourself on these stages to increase your awareness of what is happening to you and that it is normal.  Overtime this process will pass and you will tolerate and cope through holidays easier.  Take one holiday at a time and, accept where you are each year.

Things will get better.

  • Simplify – Re-examine your priorities.  Take into account your smaller living space, smaller bank account and smaller set of friends.  Plan ahead by making schedules and setting goals to accomplish what’s most important to you during this time.  This will help you avoid getting overwhelmed with last minute obligations and will alleviate unnecessary tasks.
  • Create New Family Traditions – Yes, things will be different, change is the inevitable during this time.  Set realistic expectations for the holidays.  Talk with your children about the changes but most importantly what will remain the same.  Include your children in coming up with new rituals and family traditions that will be special to just you all moving forward.
  • Ask for Help –  Gather a supportive network consisting of friends, family, pastors and a mental health professional.  Share your difficult emotions with trusting individuals to assist with developing appropriate coping skills in a safe environment.
  • Focus on Others – Remember what your personal meaning of the holidays are, the ones that are everlasting no matter what.  Whether it’s helping others, volunteering your time to those less fortunate, gift giving or preparing recipes passed down through generations.  Focus on keeping these meaning of the holidays alive by focusing on others which will also be a helpful distraction of your own turmoil.
  • Practice Self-Care– Be intentional about getting the proper amount of sleep, exercise, food and rest in order to increase your ability to cope.   Nurture yourself by practicing self-compassion and gratitude.  Resist the temptation to medicate your pain or impulsively engage in destructive behavior, this will only create more problems overtime.
  • Allow Yourself to Feel Happiness – Your emotions will vacillate to say the least during this time.  Allow yourself to feel and process all of your emotions during the holidays including happiness.  Embrace those happy moments and be grateful for them.

___________________________________________

About the Author:

Porsha Jones, LMFT
Pjones@GROWcounseling.com 

Porsha is on the Board of Advisers for the Professional Sports Wives Association, and specializes in working with pro athletes and their families.

Porsha specializes in working with individuals, couples and families experiencing anxiety, grief, depression, major conflict, infidelity, divorce, parenting, career counseling, interracial relationship and blended families.

 

Posted in adultery, Children, Christmas, dating, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Family, Finance, Happiness, Happy, Holidays, Infidelity, Marriage/Relationships, Parenting, Porsha Jones, pro athlete, pro sports wives, Recovery, Sports, Trauma, wives | Leave a comment

Your Spouse is NOT your Problem

By Kim Moore, MSW LCCT with
Gena James Pitts, Publisher of Pro Sports Lives Magazine

The union of marriage is perfectly flawless.

But couples will agree, it’s marriage that exposes the imperfections, flaws and problems within us.

If you are experiencing problems in your marriage, more than likely, YOU are the problem!

More than likely, you are not convinced these problems are yours, according to Kim Moore, Co-Author of, Your Spouse Is Not Your Problem.

And even if you had some flaws or imperfections, especially in light of your spouse’s, they are only “minor”, right?

Wrong.

Everybody Has Problems.

Problems are indications that growth is needed, and only growth can come by problems or challenges and change.

A problem is anything that challenges you, or your way of thinking or doing something. And it’s a major problem when challenges come from your spouse.

Some times some of these challenges ultimately can’t be resolved, for many reasons including pride, narcissism, and immaturity, and these characteristics can ultimately lead to divorce.

God said that it was not good for man to be alone. And, in the book of Genesis 18:2, God said of Adam, “I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

So God makes man “a helper” appropriate to his need, so that man can become all that God intends for him (or her) to become successful.

In order to become successful, you have to “grow”.

Because God instilled the need to mature in us, humans will be confronted with problems to solve in order to grow.

We get married to experience the joy of love, and solve the problem of loneliness, and develop into the maturity of sharing and caring for another.

Dating compounds the problem of seeing “our self.”

When we date, we are attracted to each other’s strengths, and how well these strengths meet our needs. It feels “really good” when our deepest needs are met.

Our strengths are our “mind muscles”, developed in the gymnasium of adversity, and skills we have developed to use to negotiate relationships.

Similar to being a pro athlete or a coach, our skills are what we learn to do – they are not who we are.

Our strengths also effectively disguise who we really are and our needs. Marriage is more concerned with who we are, rather than what we do.

We date each other’s strengths, but we marry each other’s weaknesses.

Challenges, especially recurring ones, expose our weaknesses and our need to mature.

When we date, we touch each other’s wants. When we marry we touch each other’s wounds. Wounds indicate a need for healing and growth.

Dating is pleasurable.

Marriage can be painful – temporarily until we mature and learn how to love unselfishly, and then it’s a gift from heaven.

To read more read our digital issue on www.prosportswives.com and read the digital issue of Pro Sports Lives Magazine.

For more information contact us at info@prosportswives.com.

Posted in adultery, Athlete, Children, dating, Depression, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Emotions, Family, God, Grief, Happiness, Happy, Healing, Heaven, Immaturity, Infidelity, injury, Marriage/Relationships, Narcissism, Parenting, Pride, pro athlete, pro sports wives, Recovery, Sports, Stress, Therapists, Trauma, wives | Leave a comment

Couples in Crisis – Affair Recovery for Pro Athletes and Wives

 

By Porsha Jones, MS, LMFT

Pro athletes live a unique lifestyle most would consider a separate culture from the mainstream.

Within this culture of pro athletes, adultery and infidelity is considered common practice as reported by many pro athlete spouses and partners that I treat.

Many times these violations are illuminated through social media, as well as headline news which may further isolate a pro athlete couple when they need the most support.

Although this behavior may be common among pro athletes it does not undermine the devastating impact this violation has on their injured partner.

The injured partner may suffer from post-traumatic stress type symptoms which may significantly impair their ability to manage their emotions and restore trust without treatment.

Through proper counseling, a pro athlete couple can be guided through the critical first steps after the discovery of adultery or infidelity.

GROW Counseling has created an Affair Recovery Intensive that is best fit for pro athlete couples struggling with a recent or past discovery of infidelity or an affair.

The goals of the Affair Recovery Intensive is to provide a safe, supportive and structured environment for pro athlete couples navigating the painful and volatile time immediately following the discovery of an affair.

In addition, the pro athlete couple will learn de-escalation skills, how to restore safety and navigate what to tell the children during this time.

The pro athlete couple will spend 8 hours over the course of 2 days with a specially trained marriage intensive therapist to begin the process of moving past the pain, hurt and anger.

If you are a pro athlete or married or dating a pro athlete you can make the initial call.

If you have more questions about the process, you can call us.

Intensive therapists at GROW Counseling know the first step in asking for help is usually the hardest and we are very sensitive to the emotional process.

__________________________________________

Porsha Jones, LMFT
Pjones@ GROWcounseling.com

Porsha is on the Board of Advisers for the Professional Sports Wives Association, and specializes in working with pro athletes and their families.

Porsha specializes in working with individuals, couples and families experiencing anxiety, grief, depression, major conflict, infidelity, divorce, parenting, career counseling, interracial relationship and blended families.

 

Posted in adultery, dating, Domestic Violence, Infidelity, Marriage/Relationships, Parenting, Porsha Jones, pro athlete, pro sports wives, Sports, wives | Leave a comment

Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the 3 Things that Can Ruin Your Marriage

Money, Sex and Kids

Stop Fighting About the 3 Things that Can Ruin Your Marriage

By Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.

How often have you heard yourself and your spouse make these complaints about each other?

You don’t listen.
You spend too much money.
You never want to have sex.
You’re always at work; and you never come home to spend time with your family.
You’re too harsh with the kids.
You let the kids do whatever they want.

If you and your spouse are fighting about or struggling with these issues, you are not alone. In my counseling practice, I see many couples much like you, voicing these complaints over and over.

In every marriage, the main struggles are similar. Like you, other couples also fight about money, sex and kids, with fights about territory, power and other people following close behind.

If you’re feeling tense, worried, stressed, upset, at your wit’s end, and wanting to help because you and your partner are fighting about these issues you’ll find help my book, “Money, Sex and Kids,” featured here and on the Pro Sports Lives Radio Show.

Whether you’re newly married or have been married for a long time; in your first, second or even third marriage; with kids, planning on kids or with step-kids; and from any income level — from just getting by to wealthy — you’ll find the information and techniques you need.

The 3 Big Issues: Money, Sex and Kids

Certain kinds of problems are more emotion-charged than others. I often ask my clients to stop and think about what they’re doing in the middle of a fight, and ask them what they look like to themselves. Many times they realize they sound and look like children fighting, and they’re not making sense, even to themselves. The reason most people fight about money, sex, and kids is that these are the issues with the biggest emotional charge for most people, and they carry the most baggage from our early families.

MONEY
Money represents power and even attractiveness in our society. Furthermore, it may be charged with meaning doesn’t actually possess. I’ve discovered in working through these is­sues with clients that sometimes a client who grew up poor may unconsciously believe that rich people are mean or evil. Others believe that enough money will bring prestige, success and happiness.

Here are some more money issues you and your partner may fight about:
Who pays for what?
Who keeps the records, pays bills and controls the budget?
When, how and why do we spend money?
One of you wants to save; the other wants to spend.
How do you make big financial decisions?

Or, perhaps you can’t talk about money at all without arguing. If you and your partner tend to think the business end of a relationship is not a romantic topic for courtship, you may not discuss it until you can’t avoid it, and then you fight about it.

You may not think of your marriage as a business deal, but a huge part of it is just that. Just like a business, a marriage takes in income, pays expenses, and is suppose to have a little profit (savings) left over.

Couple arguing over bills

SEX
Fights about sex usually appear to be about:
How often you have it
Who initiates it?
The way your sexual needs change as your relationship grows
Fidelity and betrayal
Losing interest in each other

Sex often involves a lot of anxiety, because everyone fears rejection and is trying to live up to the impossible standards set by media images. You and your partner are most vulnerable when it comes to sex, which is why sex is difficult to keep going in a relationship, because when you get scared, you shut down and turn off. If you reject your partner just once, he or she may stop initialing or responding for fear of further rejection, until the problem is cleared up.

Sex is an extension of your couple communication, in physical rather than verbal form, and you can learn how to make it work.

PARENTING AND KIDS
Having children creates extra pressure in your relation­ship because parenting is a demanding, exacting and stressful enterprise.

Parenting requires consistency and experience, and because extended families are often living far apart, help that used to be available for previous generations from parents and siblings may not be here for you.

Parenting fights are most likely about how your parents raised you, as opposed to the way your parents’ parents raised him or her. You wind up having a power struggle about who’s right and who’s wrong, and no one can win because ifs your family history against your partner’s. In these days of divorce and remarriage, blended and step-families fight about stepchildren: who disciplines, fairness, and different parenting rules.

You and your partner may make accusations like:
You don’t help enough (or the right way) with our children.
You treat your children (or our children) better/worse than my children.
You don’t love my children the way you love your children.

You and your spouse can struggle about children before they even exist: Do we want a baby? Should we adopt? Fertility treatments can cause a lot of frustrations, sexual problems, and disappointment too.

Perhaps you had children before you had a chance to solidify your couple relationship, and the changes were confusing and you never re-established your teamwork. Or perhaps you already had children when you met and have had problems becoming an authoritative team in the kids’ eyes. Or perhaps your disagreement is about whether or not to have children. No matter what your struggle, you are not alone.

Couple Arguing

OTHER ISSUES
While money, sex and kids may be the three most prevalent issues that cause couple dissension, there are some other issues such as the following:

TERRITORY
You may not feel as if you’re competing for anything, but as a human you are a territorial animal — without realizing it. You can get just as protective of your personal space, physical and psychological, as the neighborhood cats do. You’re just not as obvious about it. You are fighting for territory when you argue about these questions:

How do you handle your living space (e.g., fights about “I’m neat and you’re sloppy” or styles of furnishing)? Who cleans house or does what chores, and who sets the standards for cleaning?

How do you use time (struggles over one of you being late. the other on time)?

How do you spend your recreational time? One of you may be more social and the other more physically active or one wants to watch TV and the other wants to go out, or what you can do together or separately?

How do you divide space? Your mess is invading my space; I need alone time, and you’re always here. Or do we move for my job or yours?

Privacy is another territorial issue. Can we open one another’s mail, listen in on phone calls, do we share everything, or keep secrets?

Whenever your arguments are about these issues, your territory instincts are getting in the way of your relationship. It is how you handle these situations that make the difference.

 

OTHER PEOPLE
A frequent source of trouble in today’s relationships can be other people. Couples fight over whether friends can come over and when. Jealously, interference, or problems caused by relatives and in-laws, and which family can you spend holidays with are all popular subjects for fights.

In-law fights may be about, “my family is better than yours,” which is another version of, “I’m right and you’re wrong.”

It’s a power struggle.

SYMBOLIC ARGUMENTS
Sometimes there’s no good reason why you’re fighting about money, sex or kids. It may be a symbolic argument. It definitely helps to let your partner know what the symbolic meaning is to you and for you to listen to your spouse’s feelings about it.

To discover what the fight is really about, you need to talk. You’ll learn techniques and discover guidelines designed to help you understand, and overcome old habits, and change the way you and your spouse relate to each other.

About the Author:

Dr Tina Tessina

Dr. Tina Tessina, Ph.D.

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in Southern. California since with over 30 years’ experience in counseling individuals and couples, and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including “It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction,” “The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again,” “Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage,” “The Commuter Marriage,” and her latest, “Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences.”

Dr. Tessina is known as “Dr. Romance” online for LoveForever.com, a website designed to strengthen relationships and guide couples through the various stages of their relationship with personalized tips, courses, and online couples counseling. Connect with Dr. Tessina online: http://www.tinatessina.com

 

 

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Pro Sports Wives: Signs of Domestic Abuse & Violence

Did you know domestic violence affects 1 out of 3 women worldwide? Domestic (also called spousal) abuse occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. When this domestic abuse includes physical violence OR violent threats it is referred to as domestic violence. As a [pro athlete’s] wife, it is extremely important for YOU to recognize the signs of domestic violence and abuse due to the alarming trend of offenses of male athletes.

The media has reported on countless male athletes who have perpetrated violent offenses against their wives or girlfriends. Research has not definitively proven domestic violence and abuse are higher in male athletes OR if they are highlighted because of their status. But to give you an idea of statistics, in 2010 Jeff Benedict, an English professor at Southern Virginia University released a thorough examination of arrests of professional and college athletes within a 6 month period. He found that out of 125 athletes arrested, domestic violence cases accounted for nearly 20%.

Domestic abuse often escalates from verbal abuse and threats to actual physical violence or domestic violence. Many women may not recognize abuse if it does not come in the form of physical violence. Sexual abuse is also a form of physical abuse. Emotional abuse can be just as damaging psychologically by destroying your self-worth, which leads to symptoms of depression and anxiety. Financial abuse is also a form of emotional abuse.

Below is a list of some common signs of domestic violence and abuse to raise YOUR awareness of this epidemic and how it may possibly be affecting YOU.

Signs of Domestic Violence:

Your spouse or partner:

  • Hurts you, or threatens to hurt or kill you
  • Has a bad and unpredictable tempter
  • Forces you to have sex
  • Destroys your belongings
  • Threatens to take your children away

Signs of Abuse:

You:

  • Feel afraid most of the time around your partner
  • Are regularly humiliated or yelled at by your partner
  • Are criticized and put down by your partner
  • Are blamed for your partner’s own abusive behavior
  • Are kept from seeing your friends or family
  • Have limited access to money, the phone, or the car
Porsha Williams, LAMFT Pwilliams@ GROWcounseling.com

Porsha Jones, LAMFT
Pwilliams@ GROWcounseling.com

*All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness of information or opinions expressed on this site or following links.

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A tribute to Reggie Miller

Shooting guard Reggie Miller was a force for the Indiana Pacers for 18 seasons. During that time he filled up highlight reels with his clutch shooting, his most notable moments coming against the New York Knicks.

Miller was a scoring machine who could get hot at almost any moment during a game but he always seemed to save his best for the game’s final minutes. Continue reading

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Hakeem Olajuwon’s ‘Dream Shake’ lives on

Hakeem Olajuwon terrorized NBA opponents for 18 years with his patented “Dream Shake,” but it seems that NBA defenders didn’t see the last of Olajuwon’s series of low post fakes and counter-moves when he retired from the league after the 2002 season. Continue reading

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