“With that in mind I have decided…”
Ladies and gentlemen…Oklahoma City Thunders and Washington Wizards, we need no longer talk about free agent Kevin’s final destination. Kevin Durant is now a Warrior…truth.
Believe/like it or not the Thunder star that almost struck down Golden State this playoffs gone will now reign in Southern California (if he almost beat you…let him join you). Giving Cavalier champion LeBron James nightmares and more grip on the trophy he now sleeps with on his side of the land now the Golden State Warriors have two kings and even more splash brother.
Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Igudola? You may aswell add Larry O’Brien to that five. Hows that for a line-up? ‘Death’ by free agency. Now how was the West won?! By the NBA logo of course. G.S.W’s G.M., Jerry West. Durant, leaving his Oklahoma home and forgoing his D.C. birthright, this is a downpour of despair for the Thunder worse than the weathering of the fall of Harden…and of course Ibaka. From three to four for the Warriors and just zero now for OKC. Now what will Russ do? Come along too? Because it looks like it’s going to be golden in the Warrior state of Oakland again unless this is finally the big market move that takes Golden State across the Golden Gate bridge to San Francisco.
Kevin Durant has been known to help move franchises before.
But now as he finally moves to one with an announcement via an article for The Players Tribune it’s time to Dub this what it is…dynasty!
Or maybe even destiny!
They told us we’d know in around 24 hours. Now on this fourth of July how’s that for some fireworks?
Meanwhile the last 48 hours in this open market has given us a weekend crazier than teaming up Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte. Like opening a jigsaw on your coffee table there are so many pieces to sort through.
Lets put it all together…
Names like Dirk and Dwyane are still on the table like Gasol or restricted guys like Harrison Barnes of the Golden State Warriors who could have any offer sheet matched. But still big names are being printed on the backs of new jerseys stitched from Boston to Atlanta. Former Hawk All-Star veteran Al Horford will join the storied on the redemptive rise again Boston Celtics…but alas not with rising star Evan Turner who joins a new big-three power out in Portland. Replacing Horford out in the A will be Dwight Howard who is welcome to Jermaine Dupri and Ludacris’ city after some problems with Houston.
Another man that used to make his green with the Celtics, Rajon Rondo now joins the new Chicago Bulls charge led by their Butler, filling the hole left by Rose. There’s an even bigger spot open now however as former Defensive Player Of The Year Joakim Noah takes his arc of talent to New York also, joining former and new teammate Derrick. It looks like the Knicks are getting great Chicago players two-by-two, looking to add the flash of Dwyane Wade along with Courtney Lee to their new squad led by Carmelo and Porzings that would surely spell championship if that word ever could contain an N.Y.C.
After drafting big with lottery pick Brandon Ingram, the Lakers are looking to surround the number 2 kid with even more big bodies with their second moves of the second season. Their first day was a success even if Durant ruled them out like he did their neighbouring Clippers. Key and Peele substitue teachers nationwide will be going crazy over the signing of Cav champion Timofey Mozgov. Whilst they re-upped their Jordan future with four more years for Clarkson. That was all in the first day. But yesterday they added the muscle milk of Tarik Black back in the show of what’s beginning to look like the youngest and best line-up that could run other teams to death. Or suicide. Still that all had nothing on Lakerland making a big Hollywood move, making a play for the best of British, Luol Deng. The former All-Star can still run and score. But the genius play is signing this fellow former Duke alumni up to mentor another Blue Devil now bleeding purple and living gold in rook Ingram. Looks like the post-Kobe age is set for a youthful revolt behind Brandon, Jordan, Julius Randle, Nance Jr and D’Angelo. And the shows not over yet…even if the Swag just may be like Iggy.
There were more show-stopping moves and highlights however in a big basketball weekend were a single ball didn’t even bounce in what seemed like a New York minute. Hornet Jeremy Lin must be buzzing with his second chance at 15 minutes of superstar fame in New York. But this time the Linsanity will be hitting Nets out in Brooklyn. Whereas former B.K. bomber Joe Johnson will now be making music with the Jazz. Whilst the former salt of Utah, Al Jefferson looks to get his career back on pace with Indiana. There’s more than six degrees of separation here. From Chandler Parsons rocking to Memphis and Jeff Green tricking to the Magic. You need a ven diagram to keep up with all these movers and shaking up. Forget a bracket. This July is madder than March. It’s like a New Years with all thats lighting up this July 4th in the post playoffs basketball resurgence on these players independence day.
Still it seems staying put has been the power move in this years open season for contract ink. Like the aformentioned and big players like Bradley Beal in Washington and Andre Drummond in Detroit, motoring on as a Piston. Or Batum to Bazemore. Whiteside to Williams (Deron). Marvin Williams and Charlotte. Jared Dudley and Phoenix. And of course Austin Rivers with his pop Doc in Clipperland, joining the remaining Jamal Crawford. Whilst our Canadian family will be pleased about the DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors news…’he still the north’. But the biggest contract seems to be have slid over the table to previously underrated, ever reliable Grizzlies Point Guard Mike Conley. Which proves 153 times over (over 5 years that is) to other franchises that if you have the foundations your face will keep its home.
Unless you’re the Oklahoma City Thunder…who will hope and pray star point Russell Westbrook won’t join Kevin Durant’s exodus to California next Summer.
This is something the people of Cleveland hope and expect with their King as James looks to hold down his Cavalier throne.
If you believe…
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.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Is The Real MVP
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.
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.