Epic emotional decisions makes us want to dedicate another one to the Land. But either way LeBron James will still be King. But after the Cleveland Cavaliers made history last season will anyone come back from 3-1 down again? Sure there will be battles before the Warriors win the war and Dub Oakland as the Golden State once again. Even if their big free agent deciding factor of Kevin Durant looks to take them over more than one bridge. But put it this way aside from Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, if OKC kept Durant and traded Westbrook for Steph Curry wouldn’t you have the Thunder reigning as champs? With this fantastic four franchise instead you have a dynasty of Marvel proportions.
Most Valuable Player
Sorry Steph. Sorry Kev. You can have the championship, but not the individual accolades. Besides this is about a “team” right? You will have to settle for the ones you already have. The winners of the last three MVPs will have to clear the lane-just like everyone else-for the man who should have got his last year. Contracts aside Russell Westbrook deserves more and this is the year his storybook season takes it all.
Rookie Of The Year
Ben Simmons debut debunking injury doesn’t confirm it, Brandon Ingram’s play does. The Duke raised, post-Kobe takeover ready rookies future as the face of the associations most storied franchise not from New England sees him as this years rook most likely to become a superstar in the league. His time couldn’t be any more right now on the shot clock. They’re already comparing him to Kevin Durant. And you thought K.D. was the big lottery ticket of this offseason?
Defensive Player Of The Year.
Once, twice, three times a DPOY! You could call this selection lazy but it’s not another Steph vote. It’s a truly Most Valuable one. Just call him the new Small Forward Ben Wallace, if you’re not calling him the ‘Bron stopper. Sure our next choice below is pretty close to this award, but in all reality do you really see anyone getting past Kawhi Leonard? Literally.
Most Improved Player Of The Year
Poised for a breakout year bigger than his one last season now Durant has left him all alone on his frontcourt island, Steven Adams is going to take care of all of that garbage. Give this Kiwi a jumper (even though its Summer in New Zealand right now) and he could be an All-Star. He’s even our pick for Defensive runner up. Now that sounds like an improvement.
Sixth Man Of The Year
Out in L.A. Clipper Jamal Crawford is your ‘Sixth Man Of The Decade’ so he doesn’t need another year again. Whilst in Lakerland the purple and gold have two Sixth Men spark plugs in Nick Young and Lou Williams microwaving each other like corn until they pop. We move to Indiana where an underrated collated roster keeping pace with MVP predicting Paul George means we might just see the old Monta Ellis find his place off the pine.
Coach Of The Year
Steve Kerr’s understudy Luke Walton could be a favourite soon if he really makes all these post-Mamba lottery pick Lakers the best young team in the L, no matter how many times they see that letter. But in his interim isn’t it time former teammate and fellow Rookie coach last year Tyronn Lue finally gets his due? Don’t treat him like The Answer. No question!
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 courtside.
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?
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.
Sager Strong, broadcaster Robin Roberts took home that award named in honour after the suited courtside 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 honoured 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 offseason, 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.
But 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.
Philadelphia 76ers’ make Marial Shayok Ottawa’s first-ever NBA draft pick
Ottawa’s Marial Shayok has achieved his ultimate dream — becoming the city’s first-ever NBA draft pick. The Philadelphia 76ers selected Shayok with the 54th-pick overall in the second-round of the 2019 NBA Draft.
The former St.Patrick’s Irish high school standout celebrated his special and emotional moment at home with family and friends.
“You did it bro, you did bro…”
“Let’s go baby! You going to Philly…”
For Shayok and his family the historic moment is a culmination of life-long sacrifices that started in South Sudan with his 6’9″ father Makor Shayok moving his wife and three-daughters to America. The elder Makor set post at Alvin Texas Community College and earned a scholarship to the Dayton Flyers, playing from 1990-1992.
Makor’s eldest, Shayok Shayok (born in Miami) and his sister Yar Shayok also followed dad’s footsteps and played NCAA basketball – Shayok going to Bradley and transferring to UMKC and Yar playing with Detroit Mercy Titans women’s program.
The family migrated to Ottawa, Canada in the mid-90’s and on July 26th, 1995 the youngest Shayok was born.
Marial left Ottawa for New Jersey’s Blair Academy after three-years with the St.Pats Irish — he originally committed to the Marquette Golden Eagles but transferred to the Virginia Cavaliers after the coach (Buzz Williams) that originally recruited him bailed on the program in 2015.
Shayok had busy NBA draft process – showcasing his versatile skill-set to 14 NBA front offices. Here is footage of his 76ers’ work-out.