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Lance Stephenson Makin’ ‘Em Dance In China

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lance stephenson makes em dance in china
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Remade in China.

From playing with LeBron and the Lakers last season. To getting an early start in the Far East for this one. Getting in opponents faces like he used to do when he went up against the King. Blow in his face all you want…but its just hot air.

Lance Stephenson is back baby!

Like you’ve never seen him before. Running his town in China for the Liaoning Flying Leopards.

To quote Charlie Murphy talking about Prince in an infamous Hollywood stories episode of Dave’s ‘Chappelle Show’, “this cat can (still) ball man”!

GOOD!

To those who think a couple of strings have popped off Stephenson’s guitar then just watch him play and strum along. Lance is still makin’ ’em dance with the NBA’s most famous celebration…except the league just lost it and one of their premier performers and fondly favourite, cult celebrities in the amazing association of epic entertainment.

Turns out the Lakers should have held on to their veteran big name meme team a little longer. Although they did re-up with pure point Rondo running the show and the centre who should start in JaVale McGee. But in not keeping one of their biggest bench presence spark plugs of camaraderie and chemistry since the days of Rony Turiaf or even Mad Dog, Mark Madsen, this is almost as heart-breaking as losing all the kids in the Hollywood divorce for Anthony Davis. But we love reunions almost as much as we love redemption in this league and with BIG3 MVP Joe Johnson inking a deal with Detroit that is going to see the Motor City Pistons assembly line cut former Laker Michael Beasley. We may just see this fellow wild card, big contributing star head back to the Chinese league he finished out the season with like he hasn’t just flown home already. We know one Leopard who would welcome him with back open paws and any other player with a name beyond a meme, not caring if he never changes his spots.

Just when you thought Ice Cube’s inspired BIG3 was the only prescribed route for former NBA players to EA get back in the game like museum exits via the gift shop then check out this exhibit. You only have to check a FIBA feed and see how France French kissed the United States out said tournament a year before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan to see that this game is truly global. It’s far more than just the United States. It’s the whole wide, watching and welcoming world. And one of the biggest hubs like everything in this world from business, to commerce and innovation is in China. Now that’s some development even the G-League can’t give you old man.

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Coney Island’s own legend Stephon Marbury became an icon here, remaining after he retired…and this guy was a superstar under the Times Square, World’s Most Famous Arena lights of being a New York Knick in the Madison Square Garden of hallowed hoops Eden.

Are you listening Carmelo?

You too Dwight…give it a couple of months.

With 35 and 10, double decadence in the playoffs, Lance just put an end to San Miguel like last orders at the bar and now next rounds on him as he mime guitars until the fat lady falsettos in her stilettos to everyone raising a glass in toast.

Cheers!

The all dunking and big shot scoring player looks like he’s stepped into a rejuvenation machine…until you see just how much he afforded with his spare chance minutes last year on the biggest stage in Hollywood. He looks like he’s having a Swayze. And Chinese Basketball in turn the time of its life.

All Stephenson needed was another chance. And boy is he taking it right now. At this point Lance will be back in the league before you can say “it’s opening night at the STAPLES Center.” But at this point would he even want back, causing big trouble in a not so little China?

(As a matter of fact after press Lance Stephenson lead his Leopards over Seoul to win both the Terrific 12 and the tournament MVP…like Jay what more can we say?)

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FIBA

España FIBA Campeon Del Mundo

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España FIBA Campeon Del Mundo
Scream if you want to go for Gold in Tokyo...

When Spain won the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa almost a decade ago this writer was in London seeing a friend from Seoul, South Korea. From Oxford Circus to the fountain tops of Piccadilly Circus there looked like a million Spanish people lining the streets that all lived here in the Big Smoke (F### Brexit! Multicultural is beautiful). And despite the honking horns and raised glasses it was the most peaceful, beautiful sports celebration I have ever seen. No hostility, just community. A Spanish man fell to his knees in front of me like he’d just scored and grabbed my hand with both of his in prayer. The most beautiful Spanish woman I’ve ever seen in her nations strip and scarf walked past me whilst trailing her fingertips across my arm and asked me flirtatiously whilst giggling, “who won the World Cup!”

YOU!

Just an old memory to reminisce as we begin.

No Muleta could ever stop this raging red Spanish bull.

Ever since way before Kobe and Pau went from teammates to rivals every Summer, Spain have been one of the biggest nations in Basketball and certainly the most complete team. And now even without the older Spanish G.O.A.T. Gasol watching at home in his uniform and with Team USA given freedom by the bronze placed France, Spain proved once again that they aren’t only the most consistent and best team in Europe…but the greatest in the whole wide world.

Right now and forever more on the way to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

This FIBA tournament has been something else in its self. And if this writer wasn’t about to start his own road to Japan he would have been able to enjoy it even more. But shout out to editor Edilson Silva’s wrists for keeping us in touch with the tournament on Twitter.

Even without the power of Pau, or many big names in the legendary legacy of the last decade of the Spanish side (no Sergio Rodríguez, Juan Carlos Navarro, Nikola Mirotic, or Serge Ibaka), the Spanish team still ruled like soccer or their basketball brother team Barcelona. As legends like Rudy Fernandez, Ricky Rubio and of course Marc Gasol cut South America’s Argentina down to 20 point blowout, 95-75 size like Luis Scola’s trademark hair (but what a run of play for a member of the team of the tournament).

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Spain 2019 Fiba World Cup Champions
Spain Basketball 2019 FIBA World Cup Champions – Photo: FIBA

Marc made his mark as the second player in history to be an NBA Champion and a FIBA World Cup one in the same year, although unfortunately fellow Toronto Raptor Ibaka couldn’t join him. But what a Summer for the first player to do this since the Lakers Lamar Odom almost a decade back in 2010. Only a year after Marc Gasol’s draft rights were traded by the purple and gold for brother Pau.

“The rest of the world have been caught up for quite some time”, like Kobe Bryant said. “The days of the ’92 Barcelona Dream Team are gone”.

Now that’s as true as the U.S. coming in fourth place like half the States had a dance recital.

Congratulations to the real Dream Team…yeah I said it.

Ricky Rubio had 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists and no one deserves it more.

Marc Gasol had 14 and 7 in both rebounds and assists.

Sergio Llull had 15.

Rudy Fernandez 11, 10 and 3.

And both Juancho and Willy Hernangomez both had 11 too.

Now what more can you possibly say like reacting to that practice pregame half court heave underarm…from behind the back like a Globetrotter?

What the?

Gabriel Deck led the way for Argentina with 24 whilst the likes of old rivals and friends Kobe Bryant and Tony Parker watched from courtside in a sold out arena in Beijing. Whilst Scola scored 8. Argentina were valiant in the final like they were the whole terrific tourney until they were slain by Spain.

Now expect Spain to control the Japanese Olympics in Tokyo next year like a matador.

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FIBA

France Say Au Revoir To United States In FIBA World Cup

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France Say Au Revoir To United States In Fiba World Cup

Bonjour.

From ‘Dream’ to ‘Redeem’, call it what you will but last night in Dongguan, China was a nightmare for Team USA as the United States were sent packing from the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

And it was France who gave Greg Popovich team it’s last kiss last night…and Tony Parker was nowhere in sight, apart from some applause emojis on Twitter in celebration.

A year before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and many teams (including the U.S. and Canada baby!) clinching their berths for the Japan games in this tournament, this tourney was more than just a precursor or appetizer for the main event to come in a calendars time. It was a competitive game of brackets for all or nothing in its own right. Not to mention a showcase of just how talented the world’s game is, their teams and the individual talents of players themselves. If you haven’t been tuning in like the media networks with no coverage you’re really missing out and the point like TP9. From Giannis Antetokounmpo showing just how much he gives his body up for club and country. And the Hustle of Memphis Grizzlies Japanese G-League regular Yuta Watanabe showing that when it comes to the Olympics next year it’s not just a Washington Wizards top pick who will be big for Japan. Call him up!

And then of course there’s former Parker backup and Spurs man Patty Mills clicking and lowing the boom with his ruling Aussies as his New Zealand neighbours do the Haka that could even put The Rock’s ‘Hobbs and Shaw’ fast and furious movie Samoan war dance in a hard place. But when it came to Popovich’s countrymen they just couldn’t pop against France as red white and blue beat the stars and stripes 89-79. Ending a 58 non exhibition game winning streak that Dream Teams have kept awake for longer than the wonderful women’s U.S. soccer team.

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If you ignorantly thought that Basketball had no borders outside America (and really? It’s 2019! Who does apart from Trump? Besides this is a Canadian site), then you really won’t now. France made a statement and those (Laker fans) who social media say that the Walker, Tatum, Brown and Smart Celtics couldn’t even beat France and Kyle Kuzma wouldn’t let this happen shouldn’t take this away from the nation who beat them, fair and block to dunk square.

And besides young to veteran superstars with exuberance and (Rio 2016) experience like Donovan Mitchell and Harrison Barnes respectively and respectfully couldn’t get it done either.

The U.S. played well and will be back to their best next year (but need to bring more big guns and names to the Olympic Games), but France just played better. Much better. From the stifling Eiffel Tower of Rudy Gobert with 21 points, 16 rebounds and 3 beautiful looking blocks from the view up there. Beautiful but brutal as Mitchell and Kemba Walker in the clutch can attest.

“We came here to win Gold,” Gobert told press postgame for a team who wants to lift more World Cups than their soccer counterpart. Between four point plays from Nicolas Batum and a team leading 22 from Evan Fournier on a 50 percent 4 for 8 from three from way back in Paris, this side didn’t even need Spurs like Parker or Boris Diaw. Especially when they had MVP and Knick, Frank Ntilikina. All that side needed was heart and they had it in abundance as France looked better than those Jumpman Paris St Germain black hoodies with Jordan in the A.

And anyone who wants to make this more about the U.S. needs to listen to Brooklyn Net and three point contest winner from downtown China Joe Harris, “We certainly didn’t deserve to win that game.”

Amen.

Let that or Au Revoir be the last word.

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FIBA

France upset USA end FIBA World Cup grip

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France Upset Usa End Fiba World Cup Grip
France's Rudy Gobert double-double causes trouble for the USA

There will be a new FIBA World Cup champion for the first-time in 9 years.

France ended the United States of America’s firm grip of FIBA World Cup championships with a huge 89-79 win over the two-time defending champions and five-time winners to advance to the semi-finals of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

The USA’s last defeat came in the semi-finals of the 2006 World Cup in Japan — dropping a 101-95 decision to Greece to claim third-place. The USA was attempting to become the first country to win the title three editions in a row dating back to 2010. Only Brazil and former European powerhouse Yugoslavia have double-dipped at the World Cup.

The victory is Les Blues first in four tries over the USA at a World Cup since the tournament began in 1950. France also earned a Silver medal at the 2000 Olympic games — narrowly losing to the USA, 85-75 — in their first championship game since the second Olympics games — also losing to the USA 65-21 at the 1948 Olympic games in London, England.

Both teams were unable to separate themselves in the much anticipated quarter-final match-up with the first-quarter finishing all knotted-up at 18-18.

France used a 7-0 run in the middle of the second-quarter to take a 36-29 lead with 3:13 to play in the opening half. Les Blues continued to make shots — keeping the USA at bay with 45-39 advantage at the break.

France Evan Fournier Jumper Versus Usa 2019 Fiba World Cup China
Evan Fournier jumper versus USA 2019 FIBA World Cup in China – Photo: FIBA

France stretched the lead to double-digits at 53-43 midway through the middle frame but Utah Jazz rising star Donovan Mitchell kept the USA within striking distance by scoring 14 of the defending champions 27 third-quarter points. Team USA limited France to just 18 points in 10 minutes retaking a slim 66-63 advantage.

The Americans continued to knock-down shots, pulling ahead 72-65 on a made field-goal from Kemba Walker – his first of the game with 8:11 remaining — forcing a french timeout.

France pounded the USA on the glass, winning the rebounding edge 44-28 with 13 offensive rebounds. Free-throws went to France with a calm 21-for-25 (84%) display. USA connected on 14-of-21 (66.7%) — missing all seven in the fourth-quarter on 4-of-11 shooting in the crucial last 10 minutes.

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From there it was all France as they held the USA to just seven points in last seven minutes to pull-off the massive upset.

France Rudy Gobert Slams Home Two Hander Against Usa 2019 Fiba World Cup Of Basketball In China
Rudy Gobert slams home two hander against USA at 2019 FIBA World Cup Of Basketball In China – Photo: FIBA

Rudy Gobert had monster double-double with 21 points, 16 rebounds, 3 blocks. The Utah Jazz center was aggressive throughout shooting 6-of-12 from the field and forced the USA front-line into foul problems with 9-of-10 free-throws. Orlando Magic combo guard Evan Fournier torched the Americans with 22 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds.

Euro-League stud Nando de Colo added 18 points, 2 rebounds and Frank Ntilikina 11 points, 3 assists was also instrumental in the historic french victory. Long time veteran Nicolas Batum joined in with 6 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.

Mitchell played well and was the lone bright spot for a young and inexperienced USA team with 29 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists. Marcus Smart had a strong opening-half and finished with 11 points, 2 assists. Kemba Walker was held in check and limited to 10 points, 3 rebounds.

France (5-1) will play undefeated Argentina (6-0) in the first of two first-semi-finals in Beijing.

Australia (6-0) will face Spain (6-0) in the battle of undefeated teams for a spot in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Finals.

The USA (5-1) moves to the 5-8 classification round and will take on Serbia (5-1).

The USA also dropped a Pre-World Cup exhibition game to the Australia Boomers and required a complete collapse from Turkey in the group stages of the World Cup.

Usa Leave The Floor After 89 79 Upset Loss Tofrance 2019 Fiba World Cup
USA leaves the floor after their loss to France at the 2019 FIBA World Cup – Photo: FIBA

Both France and Spain have qualified for the 12-team 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games as the best two remaining European teams. They will be joined by the USA and Argentina as the two best FIBA Americas regional zone teams.

The rest of the field includes Australia, Nigeria, Iran and hosts Japan.

The final four remaining spots will be filled via four, last-minute six team Olympic qualifying tournaments set for June 2020.

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