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23 Passes 23 To Go Fourth

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Tears Of Gold...

King takes G.O.A.T.

Crown that.

Lakerland has thrown the script out of late. And Angelinos are throwing rocks at the LeBronland throne. Even the ‘Just A Small Town Kid With Big City Dreams’ billboard near STAPLES in downtown L.A. has been taken down. Or at least paint at the mural. But this time with no social media outrage to that, but the man on the wall with his back against it instead. After the rise of purple reign last fall following the Lake Show’s new Prince in the King, they had the best Christmas ever. Even beating the champion Warriors under the tree without him.

But with the New Year came new problems. And after a groin injury to LeBron and time cut for a hurt Lonzo the Lakers well and truly took it in the balls. And then to kick them when they were down there was some guy called Anthony Davis. Almost free and more than willing, but one the Lakers were also willing to give up their whole young core and half their squad and lottery tickets for. And the New Orleans Pelicans said “nah”! Now tell me Magic what does that do to someone’s collective confidence? It parts benches like that hilarious Larry David inserted Photoshop that has us tripping like Shaq courtside in that ‘Curb’ episode. Although if you want to know the truth check Rajon Rondo’s real teammate Instagram post. Well now starring down the barrell of missing the playoffs, let alone the finals for the first time in a decade, having even a team-less Carmelo now passing up and looking at back-to-back series of limited minutes to close out the campaign, some Laker fans want to take LeBron out of the land like the Hollywood sign and send him back to Cleveland.

That’s a hell of a lot of pressure for one man to take. Even the King. And you could see it on the bench again. This time taken on his quarterback broad shoulders as he emotionally reached another milestone like Michael. In a bittersweet celebratory moment of emotive reflection, akin to brother Kobe sitting in the Sixers showers with a championship jacket and cap on. Starring into the distance, cradling Larry O’Brien thoughtfully with all the cares in the world’s shoulders. As ‘Bron took it all in with a towel in his face like when he ‘Casino’ talks to agents or his players postgame behind his jersey, all draped in purple and gold.

One that still read Lakers.

Say what you will but the King and all his men have still been serving up numbers (hello Brandon Ingram, future of the franchise. Kyle Kuzma, heart of the city and the Lonzo Angeles Lakers) this season. Its just the King needs help and the kids need more respect. And when that happens this raw but ready roster can find it’s identity like a logo. Time for President Johnson to clutch at Jerry West’s G.M. playbook. Still his spell cast for a crown was a master move like the one L.B.J. has been making all year whether ball rolls or deep threes, make or miss. And those signature dunks and chest thumps. He’s still one of the greatest and best right now. And forget the Twitter troll timelines that become white type noise in a refresh. The history books read different.

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They are engraved in champion concrete. Like being the only player in history himself to be both top ten in both points and assists after passing point god Andre Miller last time he broke records. And after spending this season wilting numbers of Goliath Laker legends like the 100 strong Chamberlain, the King passed the greatest of all-time last game. 23 took over another 23 to stare down 24, as L.B.J. had a lucky 13 over M.J. wearing “thank you” Air Jordan III sneakers as he cemented this moment and milestone. That’s as many points as LeBron James needed to pass Michael Jordan for fourth place on the all-time leading scorers list. But he reversed and reflected all that with 31 to now stand at a grand total of 32,311. As now the only ones that stand in this Laker legends way on the historical numbers run is other former purple and gold greats. One over 23 in number 24, Kobe Bryant. The special deliveries of iconic Utah Jazz Mailman, Karl Malone. And of course the sky-hook heights of the number one top of them all, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

But the Lakers still caught an L that night against the Denver Nuggets. Not to mention a hilarious Alex Caruso voice over jibe on Twitter from The Ringer. So the King looking to be the lord of the rings again knows that even with playoff mode activated this all doesn’t mean as much as the ultimate W. There’s going to be another long list for James to climb to achieve. But he’s a seasoned vet when it comes to league ladders like that. He’s not got far to go. But it’s still a long road.

“Come on with it”!

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NBA

Miami Heat ink Canadian guard Mychal Mulder

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Miami Heat Ink Canadian Guard Mychal Mulder
Shoot your shot. Canadian Mychal Mulder inks with Miami Heat

The Miami Heat have signed Canadian guard Mychal Mulder (Windsor, Ont.) to a training camp deal.

Mulder averaged 8.8 points per game, 3.4 rebounds on 16-of-38 (42%) shooting in five games for the Chicago Bulls at the 2019 Las Vegas NBA Summer League. The Canadian guard had solid a 18-point, 4-rebound, 2 assists outing against Cleveland — knocking down 6-of-10 field goals and 3-of-6 triples.

The 6’4″ guard has spent the past two seasons sharpening his toolkit with the Windy City Bulls of the G-League. In 47 starts with Windy City — Mulder elevated his game from averaging 13.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists — knocking down 46.1 % of his (229/497) attempts.

Mulder went undrafted in 2017 after two seasons with the Kentucky Wildcats — appearing in 56 games and contributing 4.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 2016-17 — his final collegiate campaign under John Calipari.

The Miami training camp roster features three Canadian players. Six-year NBA veteran Kelly Olynyk, under-guaranteed contract returns for his third-season with the Heat. Recently undrafted 7-footer, Kyle Alexander (Milton, ON) also signed a training camp deal, and similar to Mulder are expected to join the Sioux Falls Skyforce — the Heat’s G-League affiliate team.

Mulder’s training camp deal brings a record total of 24 Canadian basketball players currently under contract with NBA teams — 16 guaranteed, with the remainder, a combination of non-guaranteed contracts ranging from two-way, exhibit 10 to training camp deals.

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NBA

Shaun Livingston Lived For His Career

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Shaun Livingston Lived For His Career
The Greatest Comeback Ever Told...

“I wasn’t supposed to be here”.

Shaun Livingston wasn’t even supposed to be still playing.

But boy did he.

He almost lost his leg.

But man he didn’t.

When Shaun Livingston entered the league as the fourth pick and a wide eyed kid with youthful exuberance above the rim in Hollywood. Him and the youngest Roc L.A. Familia (remember the classic SLAM cover?) crew of Elton Brand, Lamar Odom, Darius Miles, Corey Maggette and Keyon Dooling even took some of the bright lights of downtown L.A. from Shaq and Kobe of all dynamic duos from the basements of STAPLES. Arguably the most exciting Clippers team this side of Buffalo…yeah I said it Blake, Jordan and CP3…you too Kawhi and PG-13. It was an Iverson age of cornrows and tattoos. It was the generations hood to the storied Lake Show’s Hollywood history.

But then with a death of a dynasty a bunch of young Roc’s with the rock ended up all over the place too like State Property. The future of these young guns looked bleak like Memphis. Miles went to LeBron’s Land before the King. Elton ended up setting up his Brand in Philly. Whilst Odom went cross-court and stadium with the Lakers after a brief stint of talent in Miami when he was traded back to the bright lights and Kardashian city for Shaq.

But what happened to Shaun Livingston was so much worse.

With Charlotte as a Bobcat Shaun suffered a gruesome injury so bad it almost made Gordon Hayward’s opening night one look like a sprain…almost. Lets not front for the funny that injury was so bad and his comeback story so good too ’till this playing day.

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But no comeback story in this league is greater than Livingston’s, living for his career.

He almost lost his leg. Instead doctors saved it and then through the hardest of work and the most powerful perseverance Shaun saved his career…and then made it even better. And he could even still catch a few above the rim.

Number 34 ended up back in California with the Golden State Warriors via a comeback in the B.K. with the Brooklyn Nets. Out in The City of Oak Town he ended up winning three championships and going to two more finals before calling it a career yesterday and feeling “sad, fortunate and grateful” in his retirement. He was microwave more than just a super sub alongside legendary Sixth Man Finals MVP Andre Igudola (also gone this off-season with some guy name Kevin). He was an integral player to the dynasty influence that showed the Dubs were more than just the Splash Brothers of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson or Draymond and Durant. His jersey belongs up there in the new state of the art arena in San Francisco across the Golden Gate although his legend and legacy will always tram remain in the Golden State of Oakland, as the Warriors look to maybe Six Man legend Jamal Crawford to replace in joining big signing D’Angelo Russell in backing up the backcourt.

Now that’s what I call a true Warrior King.

Don’t call it a comeback unless it’s like this.

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