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Anthony Davis: The Next Best Player on the Planet

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Anthony Davis Nba New Orleans Pelicans

For the better part of the past decade LeBron James has been the best player in the world. However, all good things must come to an end, so who will replace King James once he falls off his throne atop the NBA?

There is an abounding amount of players such as Stephen Curry, James Harden, Karl-Anthony Towns, or Giannis Antetokounmpo also known as the Greek Freak. But, I am going in another direction. The next best player in the world plays in the Big Easy sporting the number 23 for the Pelicans.

Anthony Davis.

This young man is virtually unstoppable. He is too big for a guard, and most small forwards, but too fast and quick for most power forwards and centers. He can hurt you inside and outside the paint. He has handles comparable to most guards because he didn’t grow until his junior year in high school.

He has a lethal mid range game, and he is one of the best finisher at the rim. To make matters worse, he has talked about adding the three point shot to his repertoire. His teammate Ryan Anderson told the New York Times, “I mean, it’s already pretty much impossible to guard him. If he were to add that 3-pointer?”

You get the point. He would be unstoppable. Bar none.

And the craziest part about him is that he was not an offensively gifted player like Carmelo Anthony. Davis was drafted for his excellent defense, and surefire rebounding ability.

Offensively, he was a raw talent. He could score almost at will at Kentucky because of his size-speed combination that made him a match-up nightmare for every team they faced. He blazed his way to a national championship title in 2012, and left college basketball after one year.

He was the clear consensus best player in the nation, and yet he had not mastered half of the game of basketball. Davis was one of those prospects that make you fantasize about what he could be?

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However, most of those prospects tend not to pan out because the organization that drafts them fails at recognizing how much resources they have to invest in order to develop the prospect.

But New Orleans did not fail. They hired Kevin Hanson as the development coach, a man who had worked in San Antonio as a development coach. Hanson and Davis started on the wrong foot, but since then Hanson has worked wonders on Davis, especially his shooting stroke.

Davis spends countless hours in the gym working to improve his game as detailed by Kirk Goldsberry for Grantland.com, and according to Zach Schonbrun of the New York Times, “he has improved season by season in nearly every major statistical category: points, assists, rebounds, blocks, field-goal percentage, free-throw percentage.”

New Orleans has been incapable of putting together a decent team around Davis, which explains why the Pelicans have only one trip to the post season during Davis’ career, thus far.

To be fair, the Pelicans have brought in some good veteran players, but they have all been injured at some point during their time in Louisiana, but it does not eradicate them from their failures at drafting, or signing another star player.

Once the Pelicans start drafting competent players to help the unibrow, New Orleans will contend. But, make no mistake; Anthony Davis is the primary reason for New Orleans’ success.

Since drafting Davis, New Orleans has yet to draft another quality player. During the 2016 NBA Draft, they selected Oklahoma’ Buddy Hield, the Bahamian sensation who won four best player in college awards.

The arrival of Hield could help New Orleans, but the success of the Pelicans fall squarely on the broad shoulders of the man known as the Unibrow.

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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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