Come fly with me. Let’s fly, let’s fly away. On Air Canada’s last stopover welcomed in Atlanta. This will be the last season we see Toronto Raptors dunking legend Vince Carter soar above the rim. Enjoy this ‘One Last Dunk’ whilst he’s still up there. And although the 42 year old seems forever young, this Hawks team is a young one of the future lead by Steph Curry like star Trae Young with the ice tray. If San Francisco Warrior D’Angelo Russell has ice in his veins, then this guy has it in his whole nervous system. Pair him with Duke Rookie Cam Reddish and the big, big man Lakers draft pick of DeAndre Hunter and you have a potential big-three of the future. And they still have big names and contracts like Jabari Parker, Evan Turner and Chandler Parsons in reserve. Chopped and screwed Atlanta basketball right now sounds as good as the ATL music scene in the early 2000’s. Hawk that!
The Hornets just lost their hive with Kemba Walker buzzing off to Boston. They ended up getting Terry Rozier back in return from the Celtics. But just how far can this city buzz with him Nicolas Batum and Miles Bridges? Charlotte will still be good, but right now their most exciting player is still in the front office like the Jumpman on their lapels. Marvin Williams is still here. He seems to have been around longer than those iconic uniforms. But like an Emeka Okafor he never did quite turn out into the player they thought he would be. Let’s hope the same doesn’t happen for a franchise that looked set for the stars hosting last year’s A.S.G. with their once franchise face leading the way.
I hope you ticket stub save your last dance card. Because Dwyane Wade is gone. And he isn’t going to come back like ‘Bad Boys’ too. Even if he is Heat for life. Whiteside has left the white hot franchise too. So what talents are left in South Beach? Oh yeah some guy called Jimmy Butler. Look at him…look at him. It’s his team now. But look at Philly and Minny. And do you remember Chicago? Dwyane Wade does? Butler doesn’t exactly have the reputation of staying in house for long. But having this Florida franchise all to himself might make him and his Mark Wahlberg entourage the star he’s always wanted to be. And at least the dragon Dragic, young man Justice, Canadian Kelly and Waiters are still here with Butler. And Udonis Haslem too one more time. The Heat lifer and legend destined for the rafters is set for one last season like his brother in sleeveless arms Wade. Will you have this dance?
It’s a kind of Magic. With Dwight Howard back in Hollywood. It seems even longer ago that he was a Mickey Mouse superstar in the Magic Kingdom. Seemingly even longer than when Shaq and Penny were that dynamic duo before Shaq and Kobe. Now this Disney roster looking for a plus reads like a list of could be’s and could have been’s. Aaron Gordon, Markelle Fultz, Nikola Vucevic, Mo Bamba, Evan Fournier, Jonathan Isaac, Terrence Ross, D.J. Augustin and Michael Carter-Williams. Sleep on them now and this Magic spell could trick you. But they’re going to have to pull more out the hat if they want to shock the Wizards in their division.
The best, blazing beating back-court in the league of John Wall and Bradley Beal have finally got some help. And we’re not just talking about slept on spark plug, Six Man Isaiah Thomas. Or they’ll need him and everything else they’ve got more than ever now with Wall still banged up with injury. But their new top ten drafted Power Forward Rui Hachimura has the ability to be a star right now and a super one once the 2020 Tokyo Olympics happens in his native Japan. I’m Bogna and Wagner they also have a few former young Lakers like Bryant (Thomas not Kobe) to solidify their own young core. That’s enough to do more than get over the wall. Whether it be the injury to their leading man or the one their President is threatening to put up.
Boston lost Kyrie Irving…yeah we all knew that was going to happen about halfway through his first season. But they gained Kemba Walker. So you lose some, you win some. Like losing Al Horford too. They still kept their future of Tatum and Brown however, minus Rozier. And Hayward is way on the mend. Add Enes Kanter and the huge Tacko Fall too and who knows how big Boston can be. You can just see it now Fall blocking the Celtics Laker rival LeBron whilst everyone in the Garden screams, “TACKO TUESDAAAAAAY!” Even this Laker fan would love to see that if it shut up his timeline on any given Tuesday. Celtic pride still has a green day.
New York Knicks
They didn’t get Kevin. They didn’t get Kyrie. Brooklyn did. New York didn’t even get Zion. New Orleans did. It seems the N.Y. Knicks are as cursed as biting that bog red apple, but the garden could still be Eden again. The one big they did get instead of the Pelicans was the slept on star Julius Randle. And the one Duke star they did draft was the Maple Mamba of what could be the greatest Canadian since Steve Nash in R.J. Barrett. They lead a talented team that features Dennis Smith Jr, Kevin Knox, Allonzo Trier, Elfrid Payton, Frank Ntilikina, Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock, Wayne Ellington and Taj Gibson. Make all the rotten apple jokes you want but we may finally have a New York team more concise than the one across that bridge.
No championship in Brooklyn until Kevin comes back. But oh how good is a Durant and Kyrie Irving one/two punch going to be? No matter how long it lasts. And they added DeAndre Jordan to a Jarrett Allen, Joe Harris and Spencer Dinwiddie supporting cast too. The fight for N.Y. looks as classic as the vendetta of that Def Jam beat ’em up game. New York basketball like the battle for Los Angeles on the West Coast looks big market classic again. But like the Lakers we hate how the Nets did D’Angelo Russell. Especially after his coming out/revenge season last year made him the King of the B.K. like a SLAM Notorious B.I.G. cover. That was juicy. But things done changed and let’s just see how bad these boys can be against teams ready to die.
Can you still trust the process with Jimmy and J.J. gone? Well the Sixers still have a big three of Simmons, Embiid and Tobias Harris. And they added the Celtics big man Al Horford too. It seems like a more focussed unit, but it’s about as deep as modern rap these days. Philly need a new creed after being Rocky knocked out by Kawhi Leonard’s Raptor series winning shot that went all around the world before destroying Philly’s one. The process is still ongoing trust, but this superteam in Apollo shorts just had it’s cape trod on.
How can you go from championship to commiseration in one Summer? Losing Leonard that’s how. But this Raptor reigning champion and first in Canadian history is more than just Kawhi. Like they were more than Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Chris Bosh and DeMar DeRozan. No matter how much these guys will always be Dino legends. So don’t worry Drake you don’t need to suit up. We’ve already seen on a Kentucky practice run how “Steph Curry” with the shot you really are. The Raps still have Lowry, Gasol, Siakam, Ibaka, VanVleet and enough teeth to make a meal out of their title defence. Protect this Jurassic Park. The 6 still has numbers.
Lauri Markkanen is better than you think. Zach LaVine is better than you think. As is Denzel Valentine. Pity the Chicago Bulls aren’t though. Give it a few seasons of change in the Windy City and Coby White could change all that Bull####. But until then the Bulls will be propping up the Eastern Conference standings like the Jordan statue outside the United Center does their legacy. Chicago has taken enough hits. It’s a beautiful city that deserves better than to be ignored now. But like a Common album the let’s love rule and have the last word, Chi-city will rise out the storm to gold glory of legend once again.
Remember when LeBron was in The Land again? Yeah it seems like a lifetime ago doesn’t it? Still Cleveland still has Love. And Kevin making his name talking about the need to start the conversation on mental health is so underrated in all areas. Canadian Tristan Thompson is still with the Cavs too like Delly and the young core of glue guys like microwave scorer Jordan Clarkson and all dunking Larry Nance Jr. But as of right now ‘All You Need Is Love’ is just a Beatles song, because this team needs to get by with a little help from their friends in what’s set to be a helter skelter season as it was last once the King’s story became once upon a time in Hollywood.
Just when you thought the Pistons had died like the automotive industry refuses to, Motor City rides again down 8 Mile road. Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson formed a nice one, two punch and then it got even more heavy handed in the paint with Andre Drummond. Now the force of a frontline is built like a pickup truck. You don’t want to play pickup basketball with these two GMC’s. You may end up as a DNP like DMC on an off-season run. And now there’s a Rose blooming in Motown as Derrick grew from the concrete again for the legend of his classic, redemption song career. He was built for this city like Detroit rock. Put your hands up. We love this city.
Indiana lost pace when they lost Victor Oladipo to injury last season. But once he’s back expect the Pacers to speedway race away like the Indy 500, especially with Sabonis and Turner in tow. Running the picket fence like those classic Hickory Hoosier jerseys. But we may need a few more glue guys to fill them before this team gets to really live like white pickets. Last season they were in the red like those classic vests. But this year it could be all about the glittering shorts. It hasn’t been this exciting in the Fieldhouse since Coach Bird like Gene Hackman watched Reggie nail three’s like he used to in the Garden. And this time, nobodies going to choke.
Milwaukee were the team to beat last year. And then the Raptors did exactly that on their way to becoming champions and the Buck stopped right there. But postseason Giannis Antetokounmpo still beat James Harden for the MVP and now he has one of his brothers on his ‘Most Improved’ Khris Middleton, ‘Splash Mountain’ Brook Lopez side. And don’t forget the slept on but never stepped on Eric Bledsoe. Still in this league right now who else would you really want to start a franchise with other than the Greek Freak? Still so young, but old enough to contend party. As tall as they come, but still runs like a guard. Still gives it all for club and country, check a FIBA feed. Truly the most valuable player in the association. And the reason next season Milwaukee are stopping everybody. Buck it!
Jared Dudley Is The Lakers Unsung Hero
There’s a hero that could save us in Hollywood right now.
And I ain’t talking about The King.
Or the Brow to ‘Bron in A.D. and his best since Shaq and Kobe dynamic duo combining for 70 like one off Elgin Baylor’s career high.
I ain’t talking about Kuz. Canada’s champ Danny Green from downtown purple and gold. Or the redemption reunion of Superman returns Dwight Howard in the hash-tag “Washed King’s” revenge season.
I ain’t even talking about the bald identity of my hero the Alex Caruso show this time.
I’m talking about Jared Dudley people.
Yeah I said it!
Not the same Jared that got replaced by Joaquin as The Joker. Not the same Dudley that got nut checked by Shaquille O’Neal on the Knicks before lamely quarterback pitch throwing the ball after him on the inbound technical (we didn’t think centers apart from Shaq could pass like that). Or the same J.D. that like going with Coke welcomed us to Atlanta with Ludacris. But just Jared.
You may think the former Brooklyn boy fan favourite owns the last roster spot that should have gone to a blazing Carmelo. Or still a free agent Jamal Crawford (even a J.R. Smith?!). A spot reserved for Andre Igudola once he gets out of contract hell. Or even a South Bay call-up for legendary names in young Lakers like Antetokounmpo, Stockton and Payton II. And let’s not forget the one Ingram they didn’t trade in the Grey Mamba ‘dre.
And with that headband over his shaved dome you may think the guy who Balenciaga bigger than Basketball looks the part in the players only catwalk runway to the stadium for his fashion fit drip looks like he’ll definitely be in ‘Bron’s ‘Space Jam’ sequel too. That’s all for your insults folks (“baldy?!”). But with that number ten to go with the head check he kind of looks like a less ripped version of a former King that used to kill the Lakers…and that’s no insult to J.D. Have you see Mike Bibby these days? He really is a unit.
But to me he looks like one of those bench energy guys who lifts the whole team in the mould of a Rony Turiaf or ‘Mad Dog’ Mark Madsen. Even if his time on the pine is more than on the hardwood. He still has his Laker legend like that photoshopped number 10 next to James and Davis for the new big three, tongue in cheek.
And speaking of that number ten you just may see that jersey in the seats of STAPLES almost as much as the King’s 23. Why you ask. Are fans waiting until A.D. adds a King’s 2 to his 3 as LeBron carries the 6? Was there a sale? An in-game giveaway like that Shaq City Edition being on everyones seats pregame for its debut in L.A.?
It’s because Dudley has literally been gifting his number ten signature to almost everyone (hello!) whose asked this season on Twitter and it isn’t even Christmas yet. What a statement. And if you thought that was a grand gesture then half of these people in the stands in tens are there because Jared has personally left comp tickets waiting for them for games at will call (the other half probably just in thanks). Not just at STAPLES…but on the road too. Now how’s that for player power? Reaching out to fans in precarious positions, with problems when it comes to getting to games, or even those whose lifelong dream was just to see Hollywood’s Lakers live and in living colour one time.
He’s done it countless. More times than the 23 and 2 team to start their best season since the year 2000 have won.
Now how about that? You love to see it. Right now no one does more for the fans than the people’s champ Jared Dudley.
When he gets his ring it won’t be from riding coattails, but giving his all, everything.
And let’s not forget the heart and hustle he puts down on the floor every night his box score doesn’t read DNP-CD for a second, or minute of time.
Let’s see more from Dudley.
The Lake Show are the Hollywood story of the season. But we all know when it comes to the script from the Basketball God’s you need your character actors as much as the academy of award winners. And if Jared Dudley really is the Lakers unsung hero in L.A. like Denis Irwin was for Manchester United (know your history) it’s time to hit the high notes and shoot our shot like he does his.
Now is this enough for me to get a jersey Jared?
DO Call It A Carmelo Comeback. Anthony Is Guaranteed For Years
Three fingers like “what’s your poison” and shots to the dome like LL Cool J’s comeback. I’m calling it…
La La said knock you out.
They say there are no guarantees in this life, or league. But now after almost crossing off an entire calender, Carmelo Anthony has one in this league of X and O’s.
You best believe every team that slept on him has woke up now.
O.K. Thunder? Like old New York. No ‘Melo in Lakers yellow, or Houston’s problem.
And let’s not talk about that ATL jersey Atlanta tried to hawk.
The Nugget type of fellow that Nelly rapped about like ‘Na-Nana-Na’, with the heart of a champion sweat until he was no longer in a suit and part of the Sportscenter theme again. After waiting longer to align with The King in Hollywood for this Game Of Thrones than another Anthony (Davis), Carmelo ended up coming up roses in the RIP City of Portland. And boy has he blazed a trail. Voltron forming arguably a big three with the best backcourt in the league not in this nation’s capital with C.J. McCollum and Dame ‘Time’ Lillard with the look like the OK3 of Russell Westbrook and PG3 and not the Beard and the Brow.
And now he’s exceeded everyone’s greatest expectations. As one of the G.O.A.T.’s has polished his path to the Hall with a comeback even better than the return of Superman Dwight Howard with the Lakers…which could have had a Hollywood sequel with Carmelo’s comeback.
But the Lakers loss is the PDX’s blazing gain.
What more would you expect from a guy who still put up competent averages in the soaring Rockets cosmos, despite being grounded by little court acclaim? The problems in Houston could have actually been attributed to another guy who ended up ousted and in an Oklahoma home too. Despite the trolls who are now trading in hot takes like they never simulated 2K videos of him building a Commodore house with his shot selection. Or the analysts who are changing their discussion like a report rewrite.
Carmelo ain’t calming down. Anthony is taking everyone back to school.
Class has been in session.
And how about the report card? Eight games. 16.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Big shots. Western Conference Player of the Week. All Star legend spot? He belongs like the Carushow in the Slam Dunk Contest. He’s unstoppable like LeBron James’ Eurostep, spin-cycle lay-up that is like a runaway freight…word to Denzel Washington. Or his Kareem sky-hook. Tokyo 2020 Team USA bid for the best in five rings Olympic legend in his golden age? Big shots from the double 0 like seven. From nothing twice?! This is no time to die Mr. Bond.
He’s gone toe-to-shot with the MVP. Showed he was more than a most imported or Sixth Man, but still a star. More than the name, but the actual game. And now he’s guaranteed to be around for a while longer like he never left, but is here to stay. As the Blazers changed the trail on the end of the signature of his contract before the ink even dried for this guy’s with the wet jumper like staying outside in the snow with your ugly NBA sweater this Christmas.
This tax is more than a luxury. It’s about to cap off a classic career with one compelling closing chapter.
Even when he bit career highs at the core of his career in the Big Apple, the ever humble hero Carmelo was a walking and dribbling, “I just take it one game (or day) at a time” postgame soundbite like he has been in his comeback off court to on it. Well now the Blazers can guarantee him 365…or at least 82 or however far he takes them.
From the headband to the hoodie, stay ‘Melo. Anthony is here to stay.
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