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CP3 done with LAC, next move?

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Despite their inglorious history, this may have been the worst week in Clippers’ history. Actually, you can include the entire regular season. It began when Blake Griffin got injured on Christmas Day against the woeful Lakers, and will end in the coming days when Portland eliminates the Clippers from the post-season.

On Christmas Day, Blake Griffin partially tore a tendon in his quadriceps. Originally, he was supposed to miss approximately two weeks but he ended up missing close to four months. It should be noted that while recovering from his quad injury, Blake broke his hand by punching, not once but twice, an equipment manager of the Clippers.

Shockingly the Los Angeles Clippers thrived without Griffin (28-14) en route to a 45-27 regular record, which coincided with his highly anticipated return just before the 2016 NBA Playoffs began. It seemed that for once destiny would be on the Clippers’ side.

Blake-Griffi-Chris-Paul-Clippers-NBA

But it all fell apart when both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin got injured during Game 4 of their first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers. What makes this news even more heartbreaking for the players and their fans is that it came shortly after learning that reigning league MVP Stephen Curry, of the arch-rival Golden State Warriors, was out with an injury and the two teams seemed on a collision path to meet each other.

But fate had other plans. But where does this leave us with the Chris Paul-Blake Griffin experiment in Los Angeles?

Blake Griffin was drafted 1st overall in 2009, and while his contribution to the Clippers is warrant of his draft selection, he has began experiencing life in the shadows of one of his draft mates, Stephen Curry who went 9th overall to the Warriors.

Griffin missed his rookie season (2009) due to injuries, but as soon as stepped up on the court he became an instant sensation. He was famous for dunking. And still is. But the Clippers were not winners, yet.

So, during the 2011 NBA season the other basketball team in Los Angeles made a deal with New Orleans to acquire their All-Star point guard.

Five years later, let’s evaluate this blockbuster deal that has drastically changed the fortunes of NBA franchises.

Since that trade, the Clippers have vaulted from a laughingstock to a perennial contender. Sounds perfect, right? Except that its not.

Teams with a history of losing tend to have weak psyches. Their fan base tends to have weaker psyches. This is a sad story of a “cursed” franchise that can never catch a break, similar to the Cubs in baseball or the Bills in the NFL.

What can go wrong will go wrong.

For all the glorious talk and pizzazz surrounding the Clippers throughout the regular season, the talk of “chocking”, “big moments”, “Lakers-town” come back to haunt them in the playoffs.

The Clippers qualified for the post-season every year in the Chris Paul-era except for 2011, however, their shortcomings in that span is what has people jazzing about them.

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The franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1984-85, from that year to 2011, the Clippers had two winning seasons (1991-92 and 2005-06), while since signing Paul they’ve had five, including four-consecutive 50-wins seasons. But right or wrong, nobody remembers regular season success. Greatness is measured in the post season.

In those five years, they have four trips to the playoffs and twice they have gone past the first round.

It is not even a case of the owner’s personal feelings towards a player or coach is getting in the way of basketball operations. The Clippers’ front office has made every move possible to put the team in the best situation possible as they compete for an NBA championship.

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They have had two very good coaches in Vinny Del Negro (2011-12, 2012-13) and Doc Rivers, a former NBA champion with the Boston Celtics, for the last three seasons. They listened to Griffin’s demands to sign DeAndre Jordan to a long-term deal. They signed veteran players such as Chauncey Billups, Mo Williams, Caron Butler, Josh Smith and Paul Pierce to provide leadership, secondary roles and playoff experience but nothing has worked.

So, after five great years of regular season success but lousy playoff performances, is it time to breakup the Clippers? Yes, it is.

They need to give Chris Paul a chance to win a title he has desperately chased throughout his legendary career.

The most talk about solution is a blockbuster trade that would send Chris Paul to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Kyrie Irving. Can you imagine lineups featuring Chris Paul-LeBron James-(and possibly) Kevin Love in Cleveland, and Kyrie Irving-Blake Griffin-DeAndre Jordan in Los Angeles…. This just sounds amazing.

But, I must say, speaking as a Dallas Mavericks fan I would love to see Chris Paul orchestrating the show in Big D.

For years, the point guard spot has plagued the Mavericks and been the biggest reason behind their struggles, especially in the playoffs. When you consider who the other point guards are in the Western Conference – Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Tony Parker, Patty Mills, Russell Westbrook, Ricky Rubio, and Mike Conley among others, Chris Paul would instantly vault the Mavericks from maybe the worst starting point guard in the conference to the best? At the very least, top two or three.

Also, he would not have to do as much because Dirk is one of the best closers in basketball. He is also a hall of famer and does not shy away in the big moments, hence his ring. With talented players like Chandler Parsons and Wesley Matthews, the Mavericks would be instant contenders and if they were to win a ring, Chris Paul would not be seen as somebody who needed the best player of this generation to help him win it. This move would also show Dirk that the team is behind him to capture a second ring.

NBA

New Toronto ‘City’ Jerseys Point North To The 6

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IMG 20180115 092655
Six Flag

Better late and sharp to the party than never looking fly.

Sometimes in the streets of Toronto you just have to wait for a good thing. Like that CN Tower forever in the distance drive from Pearson Airport to the downtown dot. Or waiting for a table and menu for something good to eat at Jack Astor’s on any given night. But Drake always delivers from serving up playlist picks to albums that offer ‘VIEWS’ that honour the great city of the six. So you know if you’re reading this it’s never really too late.

Now after Nike just gave us ‘Association’, ‘Icon’ and real ‘Statement’ jerseys for the new season where they are now the official uniform supplier of this National Basketball Association the ‘City’ line is complete like riding a Matt Bonner tram from King Street West to the Air Canada Center. As Toronto didn’t want to be left out like Kyrie Irving didn’t want to be the next Dwyane Wade. Now the only one rocking sleeves like Adidas is Lakers rook Lonzo again, looking to ball like his UCLA alumni days. Forget Christmas Day, unless you’re rocking Sixers script. As for the 6, the new Toronto Raptors jerseys that go back to black like the late, great Amy Winehouse with Octobers Very Own gold, couldn’t be more Drake or OVO if they had that Owl hooting from the shooting shorts. And you know these third blackouts will be a permanent fixture on ‘Drake Nights’ when the Raps court will be decked out in the black gold same lining.

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But these new duds that All-Star ‘Step Brothers’ DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry will rock like Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly did ugly sweater vests are less ‘Hotline Bling’ and more for the town he calls his own for the citizens of Toronto. ‘They The North’ and have that in six court copying chevrons that in glittering gold, road point to this very Canadian NBA destination. Do you see. And if you don’t know, now you know…player.

This is B.I.G. for the notorious north OVO town of the six. We’ve had the ATL neon, Boston parquet, Lakers Black Mamba snakeskin, Cleveland Land, Detroit ‘Motor City’ industry, New York’s F.D.N.Y. department, the Suns not losing the ‘Los’ love and Chicago’s classic city edition. But nothing for the homestand looks as good as this to the T-Dot.

And with all six signs pointing north to Toronto, we only wish these Raptors threads could be put on for the city every night.

Now the only ‘Fallen Kingdom’ in this Jurassic World will be found in cinemas with Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Jeff Goldblum this summer season Blue.

It took a minute for the sap to meet the tree but the Raptors and the Toronto city they call home are far from extinct.

Nike finds a way.

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The ‘Human Highlight Film’ Dominique Wilkins Almost Made ‘Showtime’ Worthy

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Wilkins
How Unique Would The Lakers Have Been With 'Nique?
Hollywood’s show kept fast break rolling last night like a Golden Globe as the young Lakers finally snapped their losing trend by clipping the Atlanta Hawks, 132-113 at STAPLES. All behind 20 points from Brandon Ingram, 15 and 9 from Julius Randle and 13, 10 and 6 from rookie Lonzo Ball. J.C. with 18 and K.C.P. with 14 also had three three’s each as the Lakers made a sweet 16 season best from downtown, to go along with a franchise record 42 points off fast breaks on a momentous night for the storied franchises record books.
It kind of looks like Showtime’s go on all over again.
But straight from the Fox Sports hole pregame did you know that back in the 80’s day the NBA’s Hall of Fame, Human Highlight Film, Dominique Wilkins was almost drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers to be the centerpiece of Showtime? The Atlanta Hawk legend who has a statue outside the ATL arena like all the Magic, Kareem’s, big fellas and logos outside Lakerland told us himself play-by-play as part of the pregame panel.
“Jerry Buss didn’t want me but Jerry West did”, ‘Nique said with warm affection to what could have been. And we can’t help muse like Shea Serrano’s brilliant ‘Basketball And Other Stories’ book to what legacy and Laker legend would have been like if the Basketball God’s didn’t cast down a thunderbolt. You see apparantly it all came down to an injury to Lakers Celtic bruising forward Mitch Kupchak, which will no doubt leave some Laker fans thinking this may be the first time but not the only time their former G.M. Mitch has messed up things for the Lake Show.
Kupchak’s season crippling injury made Buss want to go bigger and taller. And the rest is Big Game history as the Lakers drafted Wilkins’ fellow North Carolina alumnus James Worthy who made his own H.O.F. career more than just his second name that resides in the forever rafters like 42. The second in goggle command behind Cap remains one of the Lakers and the league as a whole’s most underrated legend.
But we can’t help but think what it would be like if we just looked up at the STAPLES ceiling and saw Dominique’s name up there like Kobe’s too (or two) with his 21 in that acclaimed area. It would have certainly brought more hard-nosed hostility to those Larry Bird fights and more Hollywood to that iconic Slam Dunk Contest between the Human Highlight and the G.O.A.T., M.J. And could you have imagined the Magic between a player who finished his career with Orlando and actually the legendary Boston Celtics and the man with the top hat himself Earvin Johnson? Now you thought watching Lake Show greats A.C. Green and former coach Byron Scott was good.
In the end it was all scripted the right way. The Lakers had their own Big Game dunking James worthy of a King and Dominique Wilkins soared as a Hawk in the A. But if Magic’s all smiling Showtime had a few more Human Highlights for the film? Now that would be something straight out of Hollywood.
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LeBron’s Land Now Has I.T. Support

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Portland Trail Blazers V Cleveland Cavaliers
I.T. Follows All The Kings Men

Cleveland plainly dealed their point prince Kyrie Irving away from the King’s Cavalier land this Summer, to make the NBA’s historical Boston Celtics storied again behind their new superstar handle. And in return they got a glorious gunner with an 80’s iconic name, albeit one hip checked to the new year with injury.

But even if Christmas has come late this year like changing your calendar to 2018, Isaiah Thomas is back like you’ve never seen him before, like a Detroit Piston legend kissing and making up with an 80’s Showtime one in an emotional NBA TV reunion.

Now that’s Magic!

Like Pennywise the clown, injury tempted I.T.’s reign into the gutter for the opening chapter of his story with the King like he was wearing a yellow raincoat. But just wait for part two…it’s about to get slicker as forget arms, Thomas is about to take everyone’s legs off from the ankles up.

He’ll float too.

The land was in need of a hand. One that even the way of Wade couldn’t help after the thorn that went in probably retired, former franchise player Derrick Rose’s side. And now they have it all for one and one for all in I.T.’s support. The King now has a fellow crowning talent ready to hold the throne with. Isaiah Thomas’ return to the trail against Portland was blazing too. Normally a nice 17 points and 3 assists would seem modest for a pocket dynamo of this young Iverson’s stature, but when we answer that it came in just 19 minutes of burn than you know it’s something else altogether.

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It’s the makings of something greater.

But all that failed to blend in Beantown as his reunion with the Celtics he was supposed to retire with and his renewed rivalry with the guard he was traded for was put on a DNP-CD hold (at least he too made up with 80’s great Danny Ainge). But the whole event game of the night turned out to be a wash-out as the Celtics 102-88 scrubbing of the Cavaliers on polished parquet only saw the real rivalry of James (19) and Kyrie (11) amass less than 20 points each when this explosive TNT match-up should have gone 30 for 30 for ESPN.

Still Ohio will rise again when the King and I.T. return to their land and maybe even the promised ones of the NBA Finals. As another Celts/Cavs conference finals match-up without Gordon Hayward and this time more Love could beat towards the heart of a lion. And the five foot something with a headband has plenty of that under his too.

And you best believe tooth and hip surgery nail he’s going to leave it blood, sweat and tears all on the parquet this playoff postseason.

But this time instead of against one, Isaiah won’t just be running alongside a King…he’ll be one.

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