19 years is enough time for someone to become a full-grown adult. Let alone a full-time basketball player for one formidable franchise. But after Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour with the one team he’s always played with, the Los Angeles Lakers, his court contemporary and great rival Tim Duncan is quietly calling it quite a career after almost a jersey number in seasons with his San Antonio Spurs.
Blessing basketball with almost two decades in the game, after 19 years Tim Duncan will go down as the greatest Power Forward that ever delivered the ball in the post (sorry Karl Malone…you’ll always be the Mailman). And for sure the greatest San Antonio Spur to ever suit up in silver and black-even colder than The Iceman, George Gervin-as he meets his mentor David Robinson, the Admiral at the port of retirement with a glass of champagne and band of brothers salute. The man that brought him into this game and years of championships and contention conviction as he hands everything off to player prototype LaMarcus Aldridge, brought in to play with…and eventually replace him (just like Duncan was David). Not to mention dominant defensive wing (now Kevin Durant has chosen to sign somewhere else out West) Kawhi Leonard and his former big-three contemporaries Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili who have one sneaker in retirements door and the other still quick stepping on the floor.
Trademark cradling the ball to his mouth, maybe kissing it or whispering to it like a precious son, you could always bank on Timmy, especially his off the glass shot that left his mark for 19 seasons straight. To basketball purists he made consistency sexy, and heartbreak to other arm chair fans sleeping on him misery. Want to know whose fault it was that those three-peating new milleniuum Lakers didn’t dynasty win more? Shaq’s? Kobe’s? No…neither. It was Tim’s! But he deserved more than to be told by the media he had the right to win those trophies. He owned them and his part of Larry legend. Like Boston defensive big man Bill Russell before Bird’s to O’Brien. Check the engraving. Like a new generation post-2000 Celtics, before Paul Pierce doubled up with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen this guy made the San Antonio Spurs franchise as storied as a Sixers, Bulls or Knicks back in the day. Forget the Lakers (yeah I know…that’s me saying this).
A lot may have been made of the Mamba’s last stand, but this lone state star will Spur on some mesmerizing memories now his sneakers are no longer clicking in San An. From the Alamo to the S.B.C. as this Texan titan takes his last trip up the riverwalk you know this path will lead him to the corridors of the Hall of Fame where the Naismith basketball world will finally make some noise for the unsung hero who silently plugged away at an NBA career like no other.
As the T-Bot shuts down 19 years off the assembly line that were anything but regular, the 20 and 10, fundamental machine leaves behind a legacy of legend as old testament and tried as the Wild West. A top draw to the end, the five time MVP (between the 15 time All-Stars regular season and Finals) who put that many banners up in San Antonio’s attic, deserved his number to be put in those very same rafters whilst he was still putting it down as a player. Let alone San Antonio erecting two towers of bronze right outside the Spurs arena. Timmy we thank you for making basketball exactly what is and what it should always be.
The Warriors Came Out To Play This Series
Even without the fantasy Basketball of Kevin Durant in this series, the Golden State Warriors still brought out the brooms like ‘Fantasia’.
And swept out of Game 4 like Thanos click finger dust, the Portland Trailblazers may have only lost by a bucket (119-117)…and in overtime at that. But with all the Splash they had to contend with this series from brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, they were left dealing with more leaks and holes in all of their own ones like Mickey Mouse in said Disney epic.
This was meant to be the showdown between Dell Curry’s boys Steph and Seth which divided a household. And although the youngest gun stepped up to the plate, swung big in this carnival and knocked them down, big brother was always watching.
Steph Curry averaged over 36 points a game this series. Just read that again. 36 points. Right now we don’t need to talk about Kevin.
The Warriors are a dynasty for the ages even without their best player (although this writer thinks he wasn’t missing this entire series). The first team to make it to five straight finals since the Boston Celtics. The 1960’s Bill Russell Celtics. That’s King James crowning legendary. And Steph Curry with the shot and that facet of the game is just as iconic and dominant as a Bill block.
Give some credit to a blazing Portland side who never gave up despite the box score. They can hold their heads in the PDX. Even in their Moda Center home-stand City Of Roses end in RIP City. Their season eulogy should read as a celebration and commiseration, not a trolling condescension from critically entitled fans who have done nothing to determine the outcome of these games and could never make it this far in their wildest memes. They call themselves “influencers”? Well no one’s going to remember them in 50 years.
The NBA will remember one of their Top 100 greatest of all-time in a half century though. As after hitting the biggest buzzer beater in playoff history against Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, Damian Lillard played through the pain of separated ribs this series and still made the Basketball God’s look down from the hoop heavens with praise. Like New York singer St. Vincent tweeted, “Damian Lillard is my hero”. Even his backcourt brother of splash CJ McCollum in the only small man set up to rival Curry and Klay came out to play against the Warriors after midrange mining the Nuggets into submission in Denver just over a week ago.
But Curry’s red hot triple double, starter, mains and dessert dish of 37, 13 and 11, to go along with a playing not crying, Draymond Green’s day of 18, 14 and 11 assists also was just too much in the clutch. As Stephen and Dray became the first teammates in NBA history to have a triple double in the same playoff game. Forget how much this team can unbelievably keep winning, how does this ball manage to get shared this much?
Well that just may be the secret of success?
The real test is dubbed next however in the Warriors last season in Golden State before they move across that Golden bridge to the Silicon Valley of a digital age in San Francisco. They will play the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks (probably…Giannis…MVP. Sorry Toronto but come on!) and Raptors series. But by then they should have some guy called Kevin back.
I mean come on. This has been getting crazy. This is just out of hand like said ball in Splash City.
Now Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics’ record of eight straight finals and wins doesn’t look far out of reach for Steph Curry and the player and team with the biggest range in the association over the gate of the Pacific.
Welcome to the Toronto Raptors’ Jurassic Park
“In Jurassic Park, Raptor fans wait until after dark. Even if the cold might eat them!”
Fans find a way.
An ace serve or two away from being as legendary as Wimbledon’s ‘Murray Mound’ or ‘Henman Hill’ outside the Scotiabank Arena, the Toronto Raptors Maple Leaf Square’s “Jurassic Park” may just be the ticket for this sold out crowd.
Raptor Klaw, Kawhi Leonard ruled the earth last night. He and the T-Dot at the final tick beat the Sixers in The Six, as his shot bobbled like a beach ball on the surface of a swimming pool before making the biggest splash of these postseason playoffs. Taking longer to fall than Leonardo DiCaprio’s spinning top in ‘Inception’. But this was no dream.
And if you thought the Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto erupted last night, then outside in Maple Leaf Square it was like the volcanoes that killed the dinosaurs after that big ball dropped. An Armageddon even Bruce Willis couldn’t save like he wish he could his career.
Welcome to Jurassic World.
With all due respect to the Linsanity of Jeremy Lin, or pick your poison whoever is your flash card pick of the bench mob pack, but the Jurassic Park crowd fenced in outside of Scotia is the
Forget rain or shine. You see the slickers. These faithful fans will pitch a spot waiting for game time like the ball to drop in Times Square for New Year in New York, sleeping bag lining up all day in their hordes huddled for warmth. These beautiful fans will brave the harshest, most frigid temperatures to be the coldest fans in the game in more ways than one. Part of the ‘We The North’ community in the 6 that the Basketball God’s look down on with pride, whilst other armchair fans watch this game for the throne from home. Or leave early like those suit and tie corporate seats trying to catch that last red eye Matt Bonner home.
Can you imagine of they called game early before Kawhi last night?
I could imagine Drake taking in the CN Tower looking up views of the Jurassic
Well those in the park for recreation stayed until the beautiful end to a game Butler almost delivered bitter. And you could could phantom cam see every emotion in slow motion last night as Leonard’s buzzer beating ball toyed with the rim like three dots on messenger, or Damien Lillard even further downtown in Oklahoma City.
This is the spirit of the stadium and the soul of the squad, expanding the capacity arena and the Canadian ballclubs worldwide fanbase watching on their own Jumbotrons.
And the Toronto Raptors are going to need all the north they can get if they’re going to stop the Bucks in Milwaukee.
But this club has the claws to do it. And if you don’t think they can win in Wisconsin on their own road to being the first franchise outside of the United States to be NBA finalists and who knows what next against the Warriors(?), then just watch this Canadian cornerstone from the Jurassic era.
Extinct in six? Nah! Get ready to hear the North roar.