Big Apple basketball may bite, but spit out the rotten pips and get down to the core and you can see there’s so much more.
The Garden could be Eden again…it could be Mecca.
And it could all happen this Summer in a New York minute.
Could the Knicks be good again? Don’t make me laugh! They were never good right? Right?
Although in NBA lore never as storied as the history of the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. The ‘Rocky’ to ‘Creed’, Philadelphia 76ers and Bad Boy Pistons. Or even the modern legendary, legacy making dynasties in San Antonio and Golden State. And of course the one and only, Chicago Bulls…or should we say Michael Jordan? Like King James a storied franchise in himself.
These Knickerbockers however in the World’s Most Famous Arena in the Empire State of the world’s most recognisable city from New Year’s to when the ball drops again like Sinatra, New York, New York, have their own orange, blue and white legend as historic as the cage, or cracked concrete of the blacktop of the Rucker. An iconic arena in itself holding some of the most legendary games and events, from the cement to the trees and flagpoles climbed to watch from above. And this legacy has nothing to do with losing…or not being as bad as the Nets (which they no longer get to claim in the Fight for N.Y. now those Jersey Boys are loading in the beast of Brooklyn like no sheep sleep).
From the seventies jazz age, to the golden era of the 90’s. The ‘bockerd have had superstars who have played through career crippling injuries and ones who have sweated through world series’ with Jordan before baseball. Even dunking all over that. Guys like Willis Reed. Earl ‘The Pearl’ Monroe. Walt Frazier. Bernard King. Bill Bradley. Patrick Ewing. John Starks. Latrell Sprewell spinning.
And those jerseys…damn those iconic jerseys are traditional, Lakers or Celtics classic.
But the Knicks have never had the luck of the Irish. Or the gold of Showtime. Their hard work, bruising (shout out to money Anthony Mason…Draymond Green before his day. Rest Peacefully) brand of blue collar basketball was often overlooked when it came without the W result. But it was still there. Through the injuries to big-men like the dice rolled, cursed fate of Antonio McDyess or the extinguishing of Am’are Stoudemire. Or the hometown, homecoming heroes Stephon Marbury or Carmelo Anthony who couldn’t do it all, or take all the usual Garden, memories short jeers on their own. But who could? LeBron?
Well he won’t be King of New York now. But the Knicks faithful thought they had one in the unicorn from Europe, Kristaps Porzingis. Until about last week were he said he wasn’t sure of his future or place (code for I’m gone by next free agency to paranoid G.M.’s), to which he was traded to Dallas in less than a New York minute. The best Euro big-three he will form with legend Dirk Nowitzki and Rookie of the Year for sure Luka Doncic at least for a season is a Maverick move. But what about the state of N.Y.? They get some big talent in the form of DeAndre Jordan, Wes Matthews and Dennis Smith Jr. who could be a star. But it’s hardly a big-three that you need at least in todays league. They have a young one. Stocked with don’t trade like the Lakers potential in Emmanuel Mudiay, Allonzo Trier and Kevin Knox, but that’s not going to cut it come the brackets. Looks like more lottery balls for these apples.
But how do you like these? Like Lauryn Hill the joy of the New York Knicks world could belong in Zion with the Duke college star who could be the big future of New York basketball that could kill everyone softly. But these dreams may be the things of pipes and so may the ones I’m about to say. But this is the big city of those Z’s after all right? And there’s no bigger dreams in this league than the clouds teams have their heads in come free agency. When they all look to appeal to the player power of the agents of change they hope will become their new franchise face.
Sure it seems like New York as a Basketball city don’t have a whole lot to offer, except being King Kong bigger than the Empire State Building in this kind of town. But after giving up one special K, they could gain two in this video game age if the LeBron like pull to be the sole star in the big city lures the type of Kevin Durant’s and Kyrie Irving’s set to be asked about their F.A. decision July 1st.
Or both for New York, New York. So confident about free agency in clearing out the Kristaps house that they could make a big signing twice. That would have for sure blown Big Smoke up this year’s NBA London game with the Wizards January gone. It’s already not such a secret, public knowledge that Durant is not happy (Draymond) and may want out of the Golden State before they cross that bridge to San Francisco. With confidence he’s said he can “play anywhere in the world”. So how about this planets biggest stage with all the players? He could have an epic Eden game at the Garden like Jordan and Kobe every night. And the Madison massive chanted, “we want Ky-rie” even as Irving torched them this weekend, before taking off his flamethrower hot jersey and gifting it to his father one more time like that beloved Nike commercial. The Knicks hopes soon he takes off his Celtics jersey for good and never wears it again in search of retiring another eleven before ‘Stranger Things’ happen this season on the fireworks of July 4th’s Independence Day.
The two ones would look good up in that iconic M.S.G hardwood roof if he ever takes to the floor here too. With a few more banners of their own that is. If two stars like this are planted in the Garden ready to bloom then the ceiling won’t even exist anymore.
Then everyone will want a hem piece of the timeless threads of those signature jerseys. For forever New York famous stars of the city.
Yet alas this type of thing doesn’t happen under the big city and bright lights, off Broadway in New York though right? Not when it comes to these Knicks.
But it’s a Times Square New Year and things can change in a minute.
Time for the ball to drop.
Miami Heat ink Canadian guard Mychal Mulder
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.
2019-2020 Canadians NBA
|First Name||Last Name||Team||POS||HT||WT||City||Province||College||Conference||Contract|
|Tristan||Thompson||CLE||F||6'10"||238||Brampton||ON||Texas||SEC||5 yr(s) / $82M|
|Cory||Joseph||SAC||PG||6'4"||193||Pickering||ON||Texas||SEC||3 yr(s) / $37.2M|
|Dwight||Powell||DAL||F||6'11"||240||Toronto||ON||Stanford||PAC-12||3 yr(s) / $33M|
|Trey||Lyles||DEN||F||6'10"||234||Saskatoon||SK||Kentucky||SEC||4 yr(s) / $33M|
|Kelly||Olynyk||MIA||F||7'0"||240||Kamploops||BC||Gonzaga||WCC||4 yr(s) / $50M|
|Andrew||Wiggins||MIN||F||6'8"||194||Vaughan||ON||Kansas||Big 12||5 yr(s) / $147.7M|
|Jamal||Murray||DEN||PG||6'4"||207||Kitchener||ON||Kentucky||SEC||4 yr(s) / $195.6M|
|Dillon||Brooks||MEM||F||6'6"||220||Mississauga||ON||Oregon||PAC-12||3 yr(s) / $3.8M|
|Shai||Gilgeous-Alexander||OKC||PG||6'6"||180||Hamilton||ON||Kentucky||SEC||2 yr(s) / $7.3M|
|Chris||Boucher||TOR||F||6'10"||201||Montreal||QC||Oregon||PAC-12||2 yr(s) / $2M|
|Khem||Birch||ORL||F||6'9"||233||Montreal||QC||UNLV||MWC||2 yr(s) / $6M|
|RJ||Barrett||NYK||F||6'7"||202||Mississauga||ON||Duke||ACC||2 yr(s) / $16M|
|Brandon||Clarke||MEM||F||6'8"||215||Vancouver||BC||Gonzaga||WCC||2 yr(s) / $5M|
|Ignas||Brazdeikis||NYK||F||6'7"||215||Mississauga||ON||Michigan||BIG Ten||2 yr(s) / $2.4M|
|Nickeil||Alexander-Walker||NOP||G||6'5"||205||Toronto||ON||Virginia Tech||ACC||2 yr(s) / $6M|
|Mfiondu||Kabengele||LAC||F||6'10"||250||Burlington||ON||Florida State||ACC||2 yr(s) / $4M|
|Marial||Shayok||PHI||G||6'6"||201||Ottawa||ON||Iowa State||Big 12||N/A|
|Naz||Mitrou-Long||IND||PG||6'4"||218||Mississauga||ON||Iowa State||Big 12||N/A|
|Lindell||Wigginton||MIN||G||6'2"||189||Dartmouth||NS||Iowa State||Big 12||N/A|
Shaun Livingston Lived For His Career
“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.
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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