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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

A Rose For Kuz?

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a rose for kuz
Rose Reunion?

The Rose that grew from the career incasing concrete of a plaster cast, potential legacy ending injury is still in bloom.

Now that’s legendary.

That’s inspiration.

As a matter of fact with the trade deadline nearer than your office one, right now nothing smells better than Pooh.

Currently more than motoring on with the Detroit Pistons in Motown, the rejuvenation of Derrick Rose has already had his redemption season. Howling back with the Minnesota Timberwolves the last 82. But in this one mirroring his prime time stats as a Bull and the next era after M.J. for the Chicago way, it’s still a story as good as a Dwight Howard Hollywood reunion or blazing Carmelo comeback out in Oregon.

And now like the former D12, D. Rose could be heading to the wild west like the one Anthony the Lakers didn’t get in the end (but should of). But like the young core, Ingram, Ball and Hart trade for A.D. is the prize worth the price?

Although Derrick is linked with the 76ers like every superstar over the past few seasons and a reunion with Chicagoland (which Basketball God’s would be the perfect closing chapter to this story that is albeit still being wrote by his own penmanship), the Benjamin Franklin’s are on Rose reuniting with King James although he called his Cleveland time with the classic Cavalier “super awkward”.

Awks.

The former number one, that draft pick and NBA MVP is still most valuable and at 31 is almost a half decade younger than the King. Plus with awesome averages of 18.3 points on 50.3 percent from the field in 25.8 minutes and 5.9 assists per contest this campaign, the guy wants more time and to get out of the elimination standings.

Clockwork and contention could certainly be on the cards for Rose who let’s face it at his age and stage and with the numbers he’s putting up is still a superstar, hate it or love it. He’s been put through the ringer for his career like Bill Simmons or Shea Serrano, but now he’s being called on like Phil Collins to be one of the games greats like the genesis of his association with National Basketball.

So he may just be worth a package deal like your next vacation. Even if the Lakers are offering Kyle Kuzma and Quinn Cook for his services. Can I make a counter offer of Cook, Troy Daniels (great…but underused) and DeMarcus Cousins (although I do want to see how big he can literally get coming back and grunting with former post Pelican powerhouse Anthony Davis)? Throw in Drummond and it’s a go. Like Jerry Seinfeld superimposed into ‘Deal Or No Deal’ by NBC’s ’30 Rock’, “I gotta take that deal!”

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Pair Rose with LeBron and the frontcourt force of Howard and of course Davis then these London Olympic teammates would make for what a couple of five ring contests ago on dry erase would look like a dream team. And it still wakes up notions of one to this date in the 2020 year of Tokyo thanks to Vogels vision. But would the show be giving up too much this time?

“This time”…yeah right!

Quinn Cook has California championship pedigree, splashing with the brothers in Golden State like shopping on Rodeo Drive. And this Warrior has been integral this season. His number 2 from downtown reminding me of the should be retired clutch king Fisher (we can always raise 0.4 to the STAPLES rafters) and making me feel happier about buying a Lonzo Ball statement jersey last year…hey if I wear it under a jacket it looks like I’m cooking up love and representation for Quinn.

And then there’s Kuz.

If the Lakers trade away Kyle Kuzma then they will be giving up the last piece of their incredibly curated young core that is flying with the Pelicans right now. Although how could I forgot about the untouchable, All Star Alex Carushow and the fact that Anthony Davis isn’t calendar far from Larry Nance Jr. and new Jazz 6 man Jordan Clarkson?

Although Rose solves the Lakers perimeter problems and feels in the same prime time as what could be his All Star teammates (how legendary would a Rose/Rondo backcourt be although it’s hard not to know whether to deal him or Cook?), Kuz seems too good to let cruise like Tom. This top gun may have struggled early this season, but he was coming back from injury Lakers Twitter. And recently he’s been that Worthy third option behind the Big Game Magic of James and his Kareem or Shaq to his Kobe number 3 partner, waiting on those Jordan digits next season when the King carries the 6.

30 for 30 putting up “trade this” exclamatory numbers in the dynamic duos absence, even Batman and Robin needed a Nightwing. And as much as Rose could help the new Lake Showtime bloom and grow like fine wine for all of LeBron’s merlot men, you could imagine Kyle making the Lakers pay play after play like a D’Angelo Russell or Julius Randle off the team that draft clever, but trade stupid.

Keep the player. Trade the barber.

Zero to 1. The legend or the future superstar? The choice for this deal is the Kings.

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NBA

Watch THIS Work! The WNBA Bets On Women

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watch this work the wnba bets on women
Fight and win like a girl...

Great expectations.

Ten years ago the motto of the Women’s National Basketball Association was to, ‘Expect Great’. Now a decade later and into the roaring 20’s of a whole new one and world, the league that tells you to watch them work truly has for all it’s worth.

The WNBA and CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) has reached a monumental moment in the leagues history and its time to read all about it on Los Angeles Sparks twin superstar Chiney Ogwumike’s Twitter thread.

It tells us the CBA means…

When it comes to players salary and compensation there will be a 30% increase to the salary cap as the higher max pay player salary jumps like Lisa Leslie’s first dunk from $117,500 to $215,000. Whilst there will be an additional compensation for those top tier Candace Parker players around $300,000. Moving millions this is thee first time the league has moved units like this in six figures. And like Russell Westbrook why not? Because for every player like him there’s an Ogwumike. For every Candace a LeBron. Every Luka Doncic a Breanna Stewart. Every Larry Bird a Sue. Kobe Bryant, Diana Taurasi. For every Michael Jordan a Lisa Leslie.

Every insufferable, couch potato chip, sexist fans who unlike a Suffragette doesn’t believe women deserves equal pay needs to check their pockets…yep like Rakim said that’s nothing but lint. Now paid in full these women deserve this and more like diversity at the Oscars. Just as good as the men like Michelle Wie (she’s not the logos sons wife people) golfing with the guys of you claim you’re “woke” on social media but can’t wake up to this then you’re about as woke as still in bed gone half 12 in the afternoon. It feels like all those trumped up people who had a problem with a female ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot. Or those old men who would rather bully a 17 year old girl with Aspergers online than believe in the actual happenings of climate change.

Sure there’s an argument that sportspeople shouldn’t be paid these ridiculous amounts of money. But the point is if the men get paid this much then why shouldn’t the women?

This should have happened a long time ago. But at least it’s happening now.

It’s about time.

Working mothers are also finally getting their due in a groundbreaking deal on this date. Players will receive a salary whilst on maternity leave with an additional new childcare stipend. Whilst up to $60,000 of progressive family planning benefits for veteran players for costs for adoption, surrogacy, oocyte cryopreservation, fertility and more. No longer will go hard greats like Skylar Diggins-Smith have to play whilst pregnant and hide it to protect herself whilst the CBA lists it as a “condition”.

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Perks of the game that the men have had for years and the world class women deserve just as such also include individual hotel rooms for players, more mandatory leg room on flights (how important is this for basketball players? The NBA would cry personal foul if the King and them would be forced to fly economy), and further for the finances, off-season job opportunities with league partners that along with the salary rise will mean that WNBA players won’t, overplayed and underpaid have to go overseas in the off-season to earn more money to make ends meet in foreign leagues. Something which has been a conditioning condition and pay for play issue since the leagues inaugural inception.

And let’s not forget about the players mental health too in major improvements across the board and world to an issue still surrounded with stigma despite the lengths taken and measures made. More resources will be offered in addition to the adoption of a Nutrition Council that will aid peak performance by offering players a commitment to this optimization.

But it’s probably the stand made by the WNBA and the CBA against violence to women which is the most important. Ending domestic and all sorts of violence to women which has happened to players around the league and still happens everyday, effecting everyone needs to end NOW like it should have never happened. It seems like such a ridiculously obvious thing to say…but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said.

Again and again until we don’t have to.

The wide world has finally met the standards of the women’s game and league on the way to leveling the playing field. More of the same…do we really need to add the please now?

Betting on sporting events is a losers game. But betting on women-like the ones in this league-is a sure thing.

The game changed for real today.

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