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2014-2015 NBA Preview – Western Conference

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2014-2015 NBA Preview - Western Conference

Northwest

Oklahoma City Thunder
Don’t let the San Antonio Spurs or Kevin Durant’s injury let you rule out O.K.C. O.K.? The Miami Heat and the MVP have now left a seat for this team and Russell Westbrook to flourish, but it’s all on the best player in the league not named LeBron to see where this team finishes.

Portland Trail Blazers
No longer Jail Blazers this new generation Portland team really is blazing a trail with the NBA standard one, two punch of the new Tim Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge and the quicksilver speed of Damian Lilliard. Watch the City of Roses in the new garden bloom like Chicago’s Derrick. Even Jordan’s not shrugging.

Minnesota Timberwolves
As good and great as he is we don’t need to talk about Kevin. There’s no love lost here in the latest cold city to have a top forward jacked by LeBron’s talent taking. We see you Toronto. You’re still the north without the Bosh. Don’t freeze over Minneapolis. The twin city home of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Prince have some new twin peaks in former number one Cleveland Cavaliers, Canadian draft picks Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins. Don’t worry they are used to the cold and Kobe knows Cleveland dumping Wiggins was as bad as when the Charlotte Hornets traded him and did we forget about one of the most sought after international draft picks in years, Ricky Rubio running the show? This team could be greater than Gatsby. It’s the new power generation.

Denver Nuggets
Ty Lawson has a few Nuggets to chip to now that Andre Iguodala is gone. Still at least the Mile High City has those air conditions on their side. That should help them breathe.

Utah Jazz
Remember when Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams where the new Stockton and Malone? Well between Exum and Favors take your pick and roll because this team is as raw as Salt Lake. They did show greatness in signing a young kid suffering from leukaemia called J.P. Gibson however. For him the Jazz will play strong.

Pacific

Golden State Warriors
The Warriors don’t just live and die by the threes of Splash Brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. They thrive by it. Now the rest of the league will be left wetter then what’s under the Golden Gate.

Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the new dunking Jordan will keep this city lobbing and taking off like L.A.X. STAPLES doesn’t look like the Lakers home anymore but its time to cover up those ‘selfies’ in the rafters with some real banners.

Phoenix Suns
Now the Eric Bledsoe drama is put aside…for now, it’s time for this star built like LeBron to show why his future is Sun burning bright like his most entertaining ballclub. Time to rise from those ashes Phoenix.

Los Angeles Lakers
Now former Showtime dunk legend Byron Scott is running the show in L.A. things look much better. He says this team would be a playoff one in the East. No excuses its time to return to the West’s best. Kentucky draft pick Julius Randle and his new mentor Carlos Boozer are a nice replacement for Gasol but the future is on the shaky ground of super but streaky guards Jeremy Lin and Nick Young. At least Steve Nash is back…oh wait! No pun intended. We will all miss the father of Canadian basketball legend. He the north! Still despite all the negatives I wouldn’t bet against one of the all-time and still current best Kobe Bryant! Would you?

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Sacramento Kings
I have a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell. This team shouldn’t be this low and DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay can attest to that. Where they end up in more ways than one remains to be seen. These Kings are still a long way from their throne.

Southwest

San Antonio Spurs
Reigning NBA Champions. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginoboli and now Kawhi Leonard and lets not forget Pop! Need we say anymore? Age only seems to be making these Texans like fine wine. More champagne?

Memphis Grizzlies
In the leagues toughest division the team that once surprised the Spurs will be right behind their back. This time they aren’t surprising anyone even if they still remain as underrated as their point Mike Conley and big Marc Gasol amongst the league best. Lets not get started on the rest of the starters too like the always big Z-Bo. Now, they may have missed a trick on not signing Marc’s brother and former franchise face Pau Gasol. I guess they didn’t watch Spain this Summer. Still just like the old blue suede adage, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Thank you very much.

Dallas Mavericks
These Mavs are more than Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban three balling their way to another championship cigar. Now with a matured Monta Ellis bringing stability as a sidekick don’t be surprised if these gunners make a run. He may be getting old but Dirk is still a premier player and the best of his type since Larry’s legend. Bird to O’Brien.

Houston Rockets
In the Texas Triangle losing Jeremy Lin takes away the big three, but Dwight Howard and James Harden are in their comfort zone now. All smiles and beards. Welcoming back the new Bruce Bowen veteran of the league Trevor Ariza helps to. Houston if these Rockets take off then the rest of the league has the problem.

New Orleans Pelicans
The next great big man and star of this league Anthony Davis deserves more respect. Still sometimes stupid eyebrow jokes and tough divisions full of conference and championship contenders get in the way. Still Ant and the rest of the Hornets will still sting, especially with Doc’s son Austin Rivers. Fly Pelican FLY!

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Business

Knicks RJ Barrett: Basketball + Business

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Knicks Rj Barrett Basketball Business

Canadian RJ Barrett sits down for a very candid interview with agent Bill Duffy and “The Boardroom” host — former no. 1 overall pick Jay Williams to discuss basketball and his business ambitions and aspirations.

Barrett is expected to be amongst the highest global sponsorship earners of his generation and is represented by agent Duffy — who has done over 3.5 billion dollars in contract negotiations and also represented Canada’s greatest basketball player to date and RJ’s very own Godfather Steve Nash.

Under Duffy’s direction, Barrett is expected to capitalize on the immediate rise of Canadian Basketball and the national corporate entities looking for an immediate association with the rapidly growing sport.

Barrett has already inked deals with financial powerhouse Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and global leader in made to measure apparel company INDOCHINO — Which costumed designed his Draft night suit.

Globally, with Barrett’s ability to speak French, Duffy also sees a market in China but as well as untapped African market. After all, Duffy is somewhat responsible for Yao Ming’s massive success in the Asian-Pacific markets.

When it’s all said and done, Barrett stands a chance at being Canada’s top-earning athlete, both in salary earnings and corporate dollars.

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NBA

Giannis Antetokounmpo Is The Real MVP

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Giannis Antetokounmpo, Veronica Antetokounmpo
You're The MVP Too Mom...

Santa Monica, California was on an award tour like A Tribe Called Quest for the NBA’s end of season grand prize spectacle last night. Hanging out in the coolest performing arts theatre in all of Los Angeles (my apologies to the Hollywood Bowl), the converted airplane Barker Hangar played host to the 2019 NBA Awards. The Emmy’s, Oscar’s and Grammy’s of hoops Tony.

The best of the Basketball best and the cream of the future hops crop descended on this hangar, suited and booted like they were flossing injured court-side.

Shaq sized in the perfect setting in a place that houses feats of brilliance that take flight like Mike, this event could only be hosted by the one and only, Big Aristotle of the Diesel, Shaquille O’Neal (sorry Drake. Although you troll NBA players better than Kevin Hart telling Kenny Smith he’s so ashy if he smiles his lips will bleed as he goes to take a sip of his water). And the most entertaining NBA player ever (give him his award) laughed, joked, sang, rapped and danced his way to an enjoyable evening in the place he racked up three rings on repeat.

But how about the prize giving? Well your real Most Valuable Player this year is Giannis Antetokounmpo. Say what you will about last year’s MVP and this year’s runner up in the closest of recent races as tight as the Rookie of the Year voting, James Harden racking up triple-doubles like Charles Barkley says Lonzo Ball does triple-singles, but it’s the Alphabet’s time now after slaughtering this season gone. Sure he didn’t come away with the ‘chip like worthy candidate Kawhi Leonard and his (we still hope) Toronto Raptors, but that is his next challenge for the Mamba Mentality tweeted in congratulation by Kobe Bryant who predicted this MVP years back. And in a beautiful and emotional speech, Giannis dedicated all this to his dearly departed dad and his brothers and mom in attendance as every eye not dry in the house got out their seats in unanimous ovation.

And in a truly global game flying the flag outside the United States for each category winner, Antetokounmpo almost doubled up, finishing in second place for Defensive Player Of The Year, under the stifling Eiffel of French fly swatter, Rudy Gobert. As Paul George after an incredible season-no lucky shot-came in third place like he did for the MVP voting. Toronto not only got the ‘chip in the Six however as their X-factor Pascal Siakam came up with the Most Improved Player award ahead of Sacramento sophomore De’Aaron Fox and Brooklyn’s own (if they play their free agent cards right), D’Angelo Russell.

Coach of the Year was bucked by Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer dry-erasing for the MVP. And Bradley Beal was passed the Community Assist Award for all the good this All Star has done. Give him a hand for all the ones he has. Whilst the Sportsmanship award went to new Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley Jr., who also racked up the Teammate Of The Year award for his grit n grind time with the Memphis Grizzlies. But who else for the Sixth Man of the Year award then the ‘6 Man’ of all-time, Lou Williams? Joining Clippers teammate Jamal Crawford as the only player to win the Sixth award three times over.

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And the House Of Highlights Moment of the Year of course went to Derrick Rose. Can you guess for what game?

We have a ball rattling around the rim forever in Toronto that shoots for even more stars though.

But how about that Rookie of the Year award? Who you got? Because in narrowly beating out Atlanta Hawk Trae Young it’s clear the award belongs to superstar right now Luka Dončić after a Maverick season in Dallas. Where the Texan gunslinger from Slovenia is about to draw on them all next season. Look out for the kid like Pat Garrett, Billy.

Sager Strong, broadcaster Robin Roberts took home that award named in honor after the suited court-side with a microphone presenter. And her “make your mess your message” speech was the most inspiring of the night after her fight against breast cancer and bone marrow disease, raising awareness.

Executive of the Year went to Jon Horst of the Milwaukee Bucks (sorry Rob Pelinka…jokes) but the Lifetime Achievement? Well that went to a former President who has just left office. No not Obama (although POTUS does have game…WAP!). But the Magic man, Earvin Johnson. The Laker legend honored in California for all he’s done since starting the fast-break of Showtime, to changing the game behind the back without taking a single shot. All the way to walking away from it bravely when he was diagnosed with HIV and then making a comeback so beautifully for the man who will always be purple and gold with all this entrepreneur pulls out the empire of his top hat. Say what you will about his presidency residency but as we look to free agency this crazy off-season, remember who started all this off by bringing the King to Hollywood last Summer, waiting outside his house in his car at one in the morning.

Now that can’t be tampered with.

Apart from with this. How about one better? In a courtship of rivals and a year of what could have well just been shared MVP and ROY honours, Magic Johnson shared this award of a lifetime with his former, rival and friend Larry Bird. The college to big league opponent who was a Celtic classic legend from downtown Boston. All the way to the parquet green pride of more smoked Red cigars. Two lifetimes for the price of one. Now who cares whose coming in second place?

Because all in all last nights NBA Awards show of All-Stars showed us one thing like the NBA Finals. No matter who took home the gold, we all came away winners.

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