Tokyo, Japan. It’s about a fortnight ago as this Buzz writer is burning the insomniac midnight oils in an APA chain hotel with a pizza delivery (man I love Japanese food) on the last night of his vacation in the Far East. Surfing the channels looking for some sport to play with there’s little between the honoured traditions of sumo wrestling and the pitch and swing of the candy red, white and blue of baseball. As national a sport to this country as pinstripes are uniform to the Yankees. But then whilst remote hopping I see a solitary figure hooping that looks taller than the Tokyo Tower and Skytree combined.
Meet Yuta Watanabe. The second Japanese player to enter the NBA after the same first named Yuta Tabuse after his 17 games with the Phoenix Suns. The most famous Watanabe since ‘The Last Samurai’ star Ken. Ready to inception write his next chapter in translation like Murakami, South of the border, West of the sun.
Saying this kid is big in Japan is a major understatement. Over in the land of the rising sun they call their rising son, “the chosen one” like a certain King out in Hollywood. Watanabe has such a legion of followers that one frustrated fan threw their newborn baby at him. Not as an insult, but anything for a selfie. Now that’s one hell of a picture. But mamas and papas, please, we beg you…don’t try this at home. “Aah I can’t get through this crowd…here take my baby. HEADS UP!”
Good job like this countries favourite outfield recreational pastime, Yuta knows how to catch with those mitts.
And what a catch he is like the right swipe on Tinder. Everyone was swiping left on draft day apparently as Yuta Watanabe went undrafted for basketball Gods know why. He should have hit the lotto, but after a scorching Summer League with Brooklyn in Las Vegas this rookies odds went up in the desert city of sin. But just when you thought the B.K.’s stock was rising with their ace in the hole, Y.W., the neon went out. But not whilst crossing the Times Square lights of Shibuya. Apparently averages of 9.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.60 blocks in 24.0 minutes at the tables of the MGM weren’t enough for a team that lives and dies with the ice in D’Angelo Russell’s veins. But it’s enough for a bear bigger than the one that served up Leonardo DiCaprio like a sliced and diced, filleted fish in ‘The Revenant’.
Told you he was a catch.
Now the Nets loss is the Grizzlies gain. As the former expansion Vancouver franchise expands the league further international by bringing this kid with slick Elvis hair to the blue suede, rock and roll town of Memphis, Tennessee. Presley would be proud thank you very much.
The Kagawa native who graduated from George Washington University after four fantastic years (including a 2017-18 Atlantic 10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year senior campaign, averaging 16.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.64 blocks in 36.6 minutes) now has a two way home on Beale Street with the Grizz’s G-League affiliate the Memphis Hustle. But don’t expect too many Gatorade breaks for a phenom potential player who is already a legend in the legacy making as a member of Japan’s international team getting ready for the 2020 Olympic Games in host city Tokyo. This 6,9, 240 pound forward thinking swingman with Bullet Train hustle could be Memphis’ next Pau Gasol foreign legend teaming with brother Marc, Mike Conley Jnr and the contract of the Chandler Parsons project.
It’s safe to say that even if the draft didn’t blow him our way, this wind of change from the Far East is now in season.
Yutamania like the ‘Norwegian Wood’ of Beatlemania rocking and rolling like the King (and this time we ain’t talkin’ about ‘Bron) over there is in full effect!
So what he didn’t get drafted this Summer! By March the one who brought Madness this third month of the year will blossom again like cherry. With all the X’s and O’s at the tools of his disposal, the 23 year young Yuta Watanabe’s basketball I.Q. and ceiling has a Fuji peak.
Time to make the climb. The rookie ladder is waiting.
Dame Time Forever. What Are Those New Adidas ‘Black Panther’s’?
Adidas are in the Endgame now.
Before we get started, Havlicek would have stole that ball. Just saying Paul George. Stop acting like Paul Pierce. It wasn’t a “bad shot”. And R.I.P. to a Boston Celtic and storied NBA great. Dear John will be stealing every ball in hoop heaven. Rest peacefully.
Like a cat toying with a mouse. That’s how we described Lillard’s Dame Time winning clutch three from Mt. Hood as Portland gave Oklahoma City roses in the first round this week. Damian had more clock than grandfather’s and still took his time. Because it is his after all.
And now as timely as ever in the same week as one of the greatest playoff game and series winning shots in basketball for all time and one of the biggest blockbusters in Hollywood history coming out with ‘Avengers: Endgame’, this cat is building a superhero legendary legacy.
You better check a comic-book or something.
T’Challa may have been Thanos snapped to cat litter in the Avengers ‘Infinity War’, but the King of Wakanda has a regal gift by royal appointment to Damian Lillard like he did Victor Oladipo in a victorious Slam Dunk Contest for testament tributes last season.
The cat has something out the bag.
Now you may be screaming “what are those” like Shuri at these royal sandals, but try these sneakers on. They embody everything about the next gen, nano tech Black Panther suit she developed for this emperor’s clothes. All the way down to the texture and trim which straps “Wakanda Forever” over the laces. The titan mad purple that runs like veins through Chadwick Boseman’s superhero suit absorbs all the blows he takes and turns it into a recharged deflecting energy pulse. Kind of like all the rock the baby and wrist tapping crap Damian Lillard was taking off Russell Westbrook before he absorbed it all and gave it back in a half century energy that exploded with a game winning fireball.
Never delete that footage.
Marvel have also gifted Dame with his own Black Panther mask like Oladipo, but this time canvas created from his super sneakers. Part of the ‘Heroes Among Us’ series from the three stripes, a comic-strip advertising campaign has been crafted. Featuring Lillard standing in front of the downtown RIP City, PDX skyline looking Wakandan in artwork akin to the ‘Nation Under Our Feet’ graphic novel redux series that rebooted this classic character before his feature film debut.
Damian may have played Killmonger villain to the Oklahoma Thunder, going G.O.A.T. like Michael Jordan B. But he’s a hero to us now blazing a trail like a human torch possessed with a fire and the heart of a lion inside all that panther power.
The Dame 5 will assemble with the arc of the bolted up ‘Iron Man’ Harden Vol. 3 for James and the patch of the ‘Nick Fury’ TMac 1 for Tracy McGrady. As well as the ‘Captain America’ Adidas N3XT L3V3L, and a ‘Captain Marvel’ Adidas Pro Vision for all those who could take the lead all day, with us ’till the end of the line. HIGHER. FURTHER. FASTER.
But we know which ones will be clawed off the stores shelf throne come it’s big blockbuster release with ‘Endgame’ right now.
It’s a drip fit for a King.
RIP OKC. Dame Time Clocks Thunder’s Reign From Way Downtown PDX
Even two games down the Thunder bolt boys joked like the last laugh that was yet to be delivered, like this what’s the 4-1 punchline. Zero to zero for the best series of these NBA Playoffs so far, Russell Westbrook rocked the baby at Damian Lillard, before mocking his wrist watch celebration like he did Laker meme Lance Stephenson’s air guitar strumming one with D’Angelo Russell ice in his veins. All before Paul George double pumped a dunk as time expired on a game that was already decided way before the horn blared.
“It is the unemotional, reserved, calm, detached warrior who wins, not the hothead seeking vengeance and not the ambitious seeker of fortune.”
But then last night before posting that Sun Tzu quote on Instagram in this art of war. In the face of P.G. the PDX P.G. beat the buzzer as Dame Time struck from way downtown RIP City. With an Austin 3:16 bottom line to give OKC the history engraved tombstone and the Portland Trail Blazers a legendary storied, legacy making championship belt for this classic series in hardwood history.
Reminding us of that time Charles Barkley responded to a Nike barbershop ad featuring former Golden State Warriors Chris Webber and Latrell Sprewell joking about dunking on him by putting all the points on them in the following game and running past them on the bench draped in dejected towels shouting, “put that in a f###### commercial!”
Colder than February. More ruthless than a convertible in Summer.
37 feet high and rising from deep. Deep as the halfcourt abyss. With the this time of season cherry blossoms blooming outside Portlandia’s Moda Center, the City of Roses was handing everyone from basketballs Oklahoma home funeral flowers. And leading the precession, hearse wrapping it up like his killer bars, Dame D.O.L.L.A was right on the money like exact change only please, waving goodbye. Even if Paul George walking off in defeat like LeBron James and getting his Vlade Divac on in a press conference more awkward than a blind date with an ex called it a “bad shot”. To which the great Dame simply replied with a tweeted “lol” (see also, laugh and last). He better Big Shot Bobby Horry check a newspaper or something. Dame Time didn’t just beat the buzzer. He took baby powder to it. As Dame had all the Louis Armstrong time in the world with ten on the clock and the last shot in this final frame to dribble drive or dish. But instead, toying with George like a cat does a mouse, as David beat Goliath like Jerry did Tom, Lillard had the sand to set up shop, his spot and his shot from what looked like a bunker. A hole in one, with the cocksure confidence of Tiger Woods putting for Masters glory in Augusta and embracing his kids, two decades after doing the same with his pops all for the green jacket.
From this master, like a tap in putt with no Mulligan to carry, this was always going in. Nothing but net. All water like those Thunder tears. O.K. now that was a 3.
And to think I swore I wouldn’t go back on social media until after the new Avengers movie came out, but DAMN Dame Time! Spoiler alert, this is the new ‘Endgame’ now.
Cousy. Pettit. Sam Jones. Wilt. Chuck Barkley. M.J. And now the Dame train as the legendary Lillard goes hard to join this lineage as the only players to hit 50 in a playoff clinching game. And what a way to do it, fading away to clock out of the game and series 118-115 for the greatest Portland playoff moment since the G.O.A.T’s shrug. As mobbed by teammates on the floor he sank into, telling Russ to ‘Get Out’ his house. Peeling off like Jordan, Damian all on his own like a devil, GIF turned into an instant meme, as he turned the Thunder into a memory (you know the one were everyone loses their mind around that smirking kid with glasses in the raincoat? Well now guess which superheroes face is super imposed?). Staring into the camera with that look you know was for Russell Westbrook.
What a whole mood.
Whose left holding the baby now?
Dame didn’t even have to check his watch. Why? Him, her, them. They all knew what time it was. His. As Dame Lillard just did it in the Oregon home of Nike. Shoe dog like Phil Knight, running off victory for the courtside crowd, including legendary comedian Cedric the Entertainer for this last laugh lap. As this Gladiator hit one of the best and biggest shot fired in NBA history. Subliminal and literal.
Are you not entertained?
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