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 in 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.
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…
The 8th Wonder Of The Celtics
Shimmy shimmy ya, shimmy yam, shimmy yay. Give Kemba Walker, Antoine Walker’s number and he’ll take it away.
Why you shaking that shimmy like that? Sometime between the big three of Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird’s shot and the big-three of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen formed by Paul Pierce (sucks…just kidding), his former dynamic duo partner in the age of Shaq and Kobe, Antoine Walker had a decent one on him from downtown. Which he’d shake and bake before breaking out that signature dance. Stepping out after cutting a rug against his opponent like leaving broken nail patches in that old splintered parquet floor in the garden. As the one/two punch of ‘toine and P-Double really were the truth. I’ll always remember the time these two and the rest of the Celtics led by Horry like (I love Waltah) super microwave sub off the bench Walt McCarty took the Sixers to the statistics with a box score barrage of threes. Even Mark Bryant was getting them (old Mamba). Everyone was shaking the shimmy, like Walker this way. A certified classic Celtics legend.
“And just then, the highway opened up-right at the junction, right at that spot on the highway where you see the skyline of Boston, and you go, “What!?” Because it suddenly goes from trees, woods, and crickets to cars flashing by and skyscrapers and apartment buildings…Just at that moment, I went “Oh, s***, the city!” That’s what Boston boy, Aerosmith legendary lead singer Steven Tyler says about entering (ha, ha) his New England home. And from a guy whose got there from New York on more Peter Pan and Greyhound’s than Tinkerbell and Santa’s Little Helper, trust me the ‘Dude Looks Like A Lady’ singer is right about this moment of sweet emotion. Try and catch a shot on your smartphones all you like (believe me…I’ve tried and failed), but you won’t want to miss a thing. Now I’m sure Kemba Walker’s journey to the city will be a lot more glamorous than crying whilst binge watch episodes of the latest ‘Stranger Things’ series on a coach trip. But he’ll get plenty of chances to see this skyline envelope him in all its epic, awe and scribe inspiring feats when he rides the team bus.
Because now after Kyrie Irving left the opposite way for no sleep on the drive to Brooklyn with Kevin Durant, the city is Kemba’s after he said goodbye to Charlotte and the Hornets nest.
A little disrespectful of a heartfelt Nike commercial, but then again so is Kyrie ghosting the Celtics like Peter Parker’s Spider-Man did Nick Fury ‘Far From Home’.
In the words of Samuel L. Jackson, “that’s some bull####!”
Kanter’s banter is the off-season Iverson step over of the Summer. And him playing a bunch of Boston kids on the playground full court in his full uniform is the hallmark, heartfelt moment of the year. But keeping the uniform on and sticking with numbers, the new star of the show Kemba Walker hopes to be the new eighth wonder of Boston’s world.
Now although he got legend Antoine Walker’s blessing, I originally believed that Boston should have already raised this to the rafters with a shimmy for their original employee number 8. The biggest wonder of that digit since the Black Mamba in the same ’96 draft class of its own. Even if Kemba hilariously tells us that there wasn’t any other numbers left with the amount of legends that have retired with the NBA’s most storied franchise (Walker’s old 15 obviously being retired for Tom Heinsohn). Up in the banner ceiling with all that dust and Red cigar billowing smoke. But then this writer realized that it was probably just jet-lag after his Beantown trip last week, or the Laker fan in me trying to pick fault with a Boston I love more than most purple and gold (in this garden every Batman need his Joker who he really, truly loves madly, deeply (savage)) talking.
I’m actuality it’s really a beautiful homage. They both have the same last name Martha. Now if Kemba unlike Kyrie makes sure that no one else ever wears this number in a fitting moment they could retire both players together, like their Laker rivals may do with LeBron and AD once the 23 is passed next year, as the King looks to have more jerseys retired in Hollywood than Kobe.
Antoine and Kemba together forever.
Walker this way.
MVP Brandon Clarke dominates, leads Grizzlies to 2019 NBA Summer League Title
Canadian Brandon Clarke, the 21st pick of the 2019 Draft dominated the NBA’s annual summer showcase — becoming the first player to take home both tournament and championship game most valuable player honors with a dominant 15 points, 16 rebounds double-double. The No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies the Minnesota Timberwolves 95-92 to win the 2019 NBA Summer League championship.
The former Gonzaga standout added 4 assists, 3 blocks and a steal in 25 minutes.
In six games of summer league action, Clark averaged 14.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.8 blocks per game. The Vancouver native shot 55% from the field and becomes the first ever Canadian to win MVP at the NBA Summer League.
Clarke was also named to the first-team all-NBA Summer League team. Other standouts included fellow Canadians Nickeil Alexander-Walker who joined Clarke on the first-team. Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher was named to the second-team.
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