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Brooklyn To New York…2015 NBA All-Star Weekend Wrap Up

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Brooklyn To New York...2015 NBA All-Star Weekend Wrap Up

russell-westbrook-stretch-mvpStars flocked to the Mecca this weekend, as NBA Basketball woke up the city that never sleeps for the sports annual Superbowl of the All-Star Game.

The whole weekend illuminated Brooklyn and New York City like Times Square as Madison Square Garden finally saw quality basketball this year led by Carmelo Anthony. The whole weekend was where amazing happened. From the three-point to dunk contest. Rising stars, celebrities and the game itself. As B.K’s Barclays Centre shared the mortgage of housing honours with M.S.G.

From funny Subway stop photo ops and collectible passes, to the hotbed of hoops talent being burnt into the bright lights of neon, N.Y.C. gave Basketball it’s deserved household fame back at its true home. First off in the Rising Stars game, Canadian rookie and Minnesota adopted Andrew Wiggins continued his Kobe-like start to his career with an MVP, 22 points as the World beat the U.S. 121-112.

Then after former Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh’s Miami team won their third straight Shooting Stars competition, leading comedian Kevin Hart went one better winning his fourth straight MVP in the celebrity game, for New York Knick Carmelo Anthony’s team. A game that featured everyone from rapper Common to comedienne Sarah Silverman. Still Hart handed his award to the real Most Valuable Player, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who had the last laugh schooling everyone with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists. Then the ‘Wedding Ringer’ star and four time, bball dominating MVP announced his retirement from the game, stating “I cant do no more”. The basketball world hasn’t lost a great this good since Mike.

Then in the downtown deep, three point contest, Steph Curry with 27 shots like a Bird only had one question when winning. Who was coming inzach-lavine-dunk-contest -new-york second place? That would be hot shooting Kyrie Irving, then paced in third place by Splash Brother, Curry, human torch hot teammate Klay Thompson. Zach Lavine made the Slam Dunk Contest that much more exciting though, taking it to the hole with a variety of through the legs, eyes over the rim rockers. Winning in a weekend devoted to a new Wolf pack of Minnesota talent! The 19 year old kid was even breaking out the Michael Jordan, ‘Space Jam’ Toon Squad uniform as he said “that’s all folks” and beat singing Victor Oladipo, who still hit some 360 degree high notes. We just wish Milwaukee’s Greek Freak could have put down some of those long limbed, stretch armstrongs.

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The 64th All Star Game was no sideshow either as the West(Brook) beat the East 163-158 behind MVP, Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook’s almost Chamberlain record wilting 41 points. His big play made for a big night where snubs turned to subs and an All Star fashion parade-from the warm ups to the uniforms-talked the talk more than the debut of a court-walk of a new NBA Fashion show. One designed by league entertainment C.E.O. LeBron James who described the ultimate king of hoops Garden as a place that cant be beat. Maybe suggesting that there’s some Knickerbocker, free agent regret (well wine bathing Amar’e Stoudemire has just left a spot free) along with that dunk contest hindsight. Come on ‘Bron you know you want to! As the last dunk of the All Star, all air affair brought the paper bag crowd of Madison Square off their seats, on their feet and out of their grocery shells, the NBA and N.Y.C, put on a great Valentines show for all-Basketball lovers. Even with stars like Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin and Anthony Davis out amongst the who’s who of spectators.

Now the Big Apples had its bite of big Basketball, here’s to 2016.

Next stop, Toronto…

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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 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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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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