Wearing a championship ring on the finger of his left hand but a stress fracture on his right foot, Derek Fisher has something to prove. The Laker legend he was drated alongside in the class of ’96, Kobe Bryant has started a new dynasty for the three-peat ages with Shaquille O’Neal and Coach Phil Jackson, beating the clutch of Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers for the first NBA champions of the new milleniuum in the brand, new STAPLES Centre. Still between critical injuries and minimal playing time behind the Harper’s of Derek or Ron, Fisher wants to show his storied L.A. Lakers and the Larry O’Brien round his finger that he can truly earn this elite, Hall Of Fame company. With everyone checking for Robert Horry and his clutch legendary greatness nobody saw the number 2. So taking off his ring like an adultering husband on the road and strapping his ankle, the ever loyal Derek wrapped a head band round his shaved dome and went to work. Swish, swish, shwish. That was all San Antonio and the rest of the swept Western Conference heard as Derek Fisher stepped up to every shot he knocked down in perfect twine, time. Robert Horry may have finished the games, but Derek Fisher’s hot microwave play started them like Vinnie Johnson in 60 seconds. Even in the Allen Iverson dominated finals-as L.A. beat the one man Boston Celtic, Laker killing show in Philadelphia-Fish’s headband even caught a dunk over those cornrows. Sure this was the Kobe or Shaq show as the trophies where rasied, but it was the Fisher dagger that truly went down and sank into the heart of the opposition and everyone who ever doubted him or wrote him off. Forgettable? Add an un-before that. With a finger to his lips it wasn’t just the Philly crowd that Derek Fisher told to be quiet. Everyone was silent.
It was all good just a second ago thought Tim Duncan until it became darker than two days in November. Today the Robot doesn’t just take over the Admiral as the greatest San Antonio Spur of all-time. One of the two towers is also one of the greatest Basketball players the National Basketball Association or the world has ever seen. He’s top ten and he’s your all-time Power Forward in your starting five. His legacy is just that legendary. He almost crushed the Lakers like he did with David Robinson, along with those “boring” criticisms with a clutch 18 feet fadeway over the mountain of meat that was the 7 foot 1, 330 pound Shaquille O’Neal. Jordan would have been proud, still Timmy was heartbroken by the Lakers and one particular player all over again. As they said ‘One great shot deserves another’ and life can change in a blink of a second. Even 0.4 tenths of one. That’s when Derek Fisher changed it all. Changed those ‘yet-again’ criticism that he was done, a one hit wonder or a band wagoner, riding on his draft-mates ‘fro-tails. That’s when Derek Fisher proved his Point over brought in Hall Of Fame legend Gary Payton. That’s when he proved down the line his glove clutched on to more lasting shots. That’s when he proved he was truly a winner. Truly one for the last seconds or front pages, Robert Horry or not. Like Vlade Divac you better “check a paper or something”. ‘The Fish That Saved L.A.’ In one of the greatest shots and moments in NBA history from one of its greatest players. You can for sure put him in the Hall Of Fame with Big Shot Bog no debate. L.A. had two of the greatest playoff legends in their Shaq and Kobe dynasty and we’re not talking about O’Neal and Bryant right now. We’re talking about Horry and Fisher. Miracles do happen and they usually come from working class everyman you didn’t realise where so special until their own movie moments. This was real however. You better check the history books or something. File it under ‘0.4’.
With a dynasty DEAD! O’Neal winning championships in Miami and Horry soon to be in San Antonio (of all places), the young prince Kobe was driving his little red corvette into brick walls with no one in the passenger seat. Not even his day one ally, who after some Warrior wars in Golden State made his way to Salt Lake City. The new Malone/Stockton era of Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer needed that big-game playoff experience for Jerry Sloan. Still, with his daughter ill with cancer in a critical game for the Jazz, Derek was where he should have been with the Fisher family in New York at his daughters bedside. Then after a miracle at the hospital, another one happened again as Derek was cleared for take-off in more ways than one. Flying to Utah and then escorted by the flashing blue and red lights of the police service, Fisher made it to his prom-night on time. He shall have the ball in his possession when it mattered. When Deron was down in foul trouble, and back-up Dee Brown was backed up with injury, the “Fish that saved” was there. Arriving to a standing ovation in the third quarter and against his former team Golden State Warriors and their lead by lead talent Baron Davis, marking up it was time to go deeper and reach for something higher. Pointing his fingers to heaven and thanking the Lord for this moment and all that happened before, he knew what was going to happen next. Defensive stops and all the electric spark-plug charges he took that are part and parcel of his legendary role playing game-even if you don’t see it wrapped up on the box-score-Fisher made the big plays for the big comeback. Then with another big shot, BOOM came the big win. Then the tears of all sorts of emotions and exhaustion. Joy rained through the Delta Centre from clutch shots to ticker tape and celebrations that made their way all the way to the television set in a New York Hospital where Tatum Fisher was watching proud of daddy like he unspeakably was of her. That was for you little one.
Tatum Fisher’s retinoblastoma, was a rare form of eye-cancer that was incredible enough to survive but also needed the help of specialists to truly recover. Specialists fittingly found in the City of Angels. With the Jazz’s blessing Derek Fisher returned to his home alongside Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, reunited with the great Zen master Phil Jackson too. There was a parade plan in process. It began with Kobe and Phil building bridges and then a true team with Sixth Man Legend Lamar Odom and next, great big-man Andrew Bynum. The blockbuster trade for European great and true second-option Pau Gasol and the clutching of valuable veteran and playoff punch legend Derek Fisher sealed the deal with the Basketball God’s for the Larry o’Brien engraving. Add some World Peace in Ron Artest later and we had a double dynasty. After some Celtic heartbreak that the storied, second-in-line Lakers are all too unfondly familair with, ballons would never fall on an empty floor again. After beating Dwight Howard and his Orlando Magic, Fishers clutch buckets in overtime and beyond helped give Kobe and the Lakers their one-more than Shaq championship of Kobe’s revolution. Still it was the Celtic redemption in Boston that brought the real clutch heart and tears. Big play after big bucket came pouring out of the soul of this role playing superstar as Derek Fisher did more than just hit his trademark threes. His barely six-feet stature overcame a triple-team of Hall Of Famers in that Garnett, Pierce, Allen era on the lay-up line. In true Fisher history he drew the foul and then turned that play into a three from the line. It was the driven character like his autobiography that took him that deep into the color of the Celtic paint. On the canvas of his Basketball career there was no more doubt or critics, just more unbelievable bulletts in the gun. Even though it was no surprise as a tearful embrace with Bynum in the visiting locker room showed like the unthinkable seven game triumph over the leaders of hoops, this was one of Derek’s personal and greatest moments.
Still much to Kobe Bryant and the Laker faithfuls disdain, Fisher wouldn’t close out his his career with the Lake Show. Still, you best believe they’ll put his number 2 jersey up their with the Worthy and Magic greats. Marshon Brooks may as well give it up now. Traded for the inside damaging dreads of Jordan Hill and replaced by the brief Sessions of Ramon playing Derek deserved better and then he found it via Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the West best, Laker beating and Miami Heat championship chasing Oklahoma City Thunder. A team he still plays to these last days of his career, albeit with a brief Dallas Mavericks interlude that saw the wrong sort of headlines with Mark Cuban who was left madder than a waitress working a double with no tips. He didn’t want him, but LeBron James and his Miami Heat dynasty did, knowing full well he could even shoot down Jesus Ray Allen in the clutch. You best believe Kobe still does too, as much as he wants to play himself. Still the clutuch king that is Fisher seems to have found a home in OKC as more than just a bench pick-up of experience that can take the charge and lead the coaching from the playbboks to the play huddles. You may aswell give the former President Of The Playing Association the dry-erase now because he’ll make the perfect coach when his sneakers are finally hung after what will either be him and his friend Kevin or LeBron’s parade. You can tell from the words of advice he gives to his teammates or on his officaal websites eloquent, signature farewell blog of basketball beauty that it’s all about the X’s and O’s for this guy that leaves the heart and soul of his bicep honed basketball frame on the hardwood every night. Still, with every new Thunder strike, proving it can happen more than once, Fisher shows there’s still some clutch to add to the legacy of his legend down the halls of Basketball history. With the playoffs primed and his experience weathered ready for the Thunder who knows how many more big shots we’ll see fished. The leader is far from finished there’s still many more precious seconds that last a lifetime in the lifeblood of his classic career and what a better way to finish it then with one more shot, ring and wink to the opposition? To the new Mr. Clucth we salute. Five, four, three, two, one. This is your time. Seconds out…
Kuzmania Starts A Forum For The Lakers To Play A Game In Inglewood Next Season
Holding the leather Spalding up in the air like it was the Larry O’Brien trophy, a game before the Los Angeles Lakers 2017/2018 season would officially end before the playoff campaign. Head coach Luke Walton, suit-jacket off and relaxed asks Andre Ingram how long he’s been playing in the D…excuse us, the G-League for. “10 years” the decade, 32 year old vet (who Brandon calls cuz, but isn’t actually a relation…although he’s now a Laker brother) replies after posting 19 exuberant points in his NBA debut. Just days before he would throw out the first, ceremonial baseball pitch at a L.A. Dodgers game. “Hell of an opening night man” coach says in kind as he shakes his hand, follows with an embrace and then hands him the game ball before ‘Dre’s day ends with a fingers to the sky team huddle of “together” on three.
That’s just the kind of season these young Lakers have had.
But how can yet another losing one bring so much joy, let alone hope?
Let’s write it out again…
That’s just the kind of season these young Lakers have had.
And if it leads to free agents like hometown hero Paul George signing. Or even the King, LeBron James in La La Land for his closing Hollywood career chapter on court. Then you couldn’t even script it better than Lavar wanting all the Ball boys on the floor at the same time.
And who knows who they’ll win in the lottery when the draft balls fall this Summer.
But even if all this becomes a bust the Lakers still have an incredible young core lead by Lonzo, Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and many more late round steals like Ivica Zubac and this years class class of Josh Hart and the new Bryant, Thomas. Kobe who? All this after even losing Six Man stud Jordan Clarkson and slam show stopper Larry Nance Jr to Cleveland. But they did get still all superstar shooter Isaiah Thomas in return and maybe more to join vets like downtown big Brook Lopez, K.C.P. and the milk carton of Luol Deng.
Even some of their young, South Bay Lakers affiliates have come up big like Ingram. From son of the glove, Gary Payton II, to Alex Caruso ending the season starting at the point with Ball at the baseline sidelines. Even Travis Wear has gone from 10 days to shooting the contract three like Mike Penberthy.
Yet one of the biggest and most pleasant surprises of the season has been the Kuzmania (time to get your t-shirt) of the Kuzmanian devil, Kyle Kuzma. From a Nick Young jersey zero to one of the top ten Rookie of the Year heroes. From Summer League to preseason and now his regular one exit interview, K has had just as good if not better rookie year than his number two running mate with the second pick in the NBA draft.
And from bringing the Kareem sky-hook back to rocking the number nine Nick ‘The Quick’ Van Exel Champion jersey pregame, the kid is a throwback like the Clarkson fashion taking over chinchilla coat he rocks as he walks into STAPLES. But now Kuz wants to take that old school trend setting to Inglewood, like when he drove a burgundy 70’s Cadillac DeVille to an iconic parking lot for a recent feature shoot for SLAM magazine.
Kyle thinks the Lakers should play a game in the hallowed halls of The Forum next season.
And as much as we like the lights out downtown future of STAPLES (or as much as T-Mac warned him about the vintage facilities on ESPN’s The Jump) we couldn’t agree more for a league that loves to pay homage to their hardwood classic history like Mitchell and Ness.
Joining the Forum club again like when Magic and Cap made the 80’s Lakers ‘Showtime’ and put the Hollywood in basketball would be a nostalgia trip, especially for the clubs President. It would make a nice 20 year plus comeback (save 2009) after new millennium rival San Antonio swept them right out the stadium in ’97. This is the Lakers Boston Garden. Their Spectrum. Their court coliseum. And those marble pillars over red still stand strong like the statues of the greats from Chick to Elgin outside STAPLES.
Besides ‘Bron and P.G. would love it.
Time to get those baby blue MPLS jerseys ready.
And don’t forget about ‘Dre.
Lakers Statue Preserves The Ice Of Elgin Baylor’s Legend
“Elgin should be here”!
That’s what the ever humble hero of the Los Angeles Lakers, Jerry West said when the famous franchise unveiled Mr. Clutch’s statue back in 2011. That’s what the actual, still to this day logo of the National Basketball Association said about his symbolic teammate in his signature moment. The ‘Ice’ to his dynamic duo nicknamed ‘Fire’.
And now seven years sealed later Mr. West joined recent bronze brothers and goliath giants Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal and President Magic, as the storied Lakers franchise finally gave the 82 year old Elgin the epic ending his Hollywood career deserved in engraved writing.
The number 11 in SLAM magazines recent ‘Top 100 Players of All-Time’ issue, whose 22 already belongs in the rafters with all the aformentioned, both of Oscar winner Kobe’s digits and all the other Worthy Laker legends now joins Shaq, Cap, Earvin and Chick in stone setting. So much so that the Lakers will soon run out of places outside STAPLES to put their legends (especially if they give Kobe two statues). At this rate if he does come over they may have to put LeBron over in the Nokia Theatre’s parking lot. That was just a joke King…please still exile from The Land.
Without Baylor we may have not had the Dr. J. like high-flying legends of M.J. or King James. As this guy revolutionized the dunk aswell as his sky-hook impossible to guard hanging jump shot that brought career averages of 27 and change, hung with around 10 boards. And this guy stood at a Chuck power move mound rebound like 6, 4. It was this kind of offensive arsenal that set the tone with a back in the day greatest one-game point total of 71. Before Laker great Wilt’s 100 stunted that in Philly, generations before Kobe tried to beat all that with 81 (the Mamba man via video tribute telling Elgin he stole so many of his moves, “it wasn’t even funny”).
Legendary Lakers Pulitzer beat writer Jim Murray-whose L.A. Times behind the desk deserve their own statue next to Chick-compared Elgin’s Empire scaling career to King Kong. Knocking away defenders like bi-planes, who roach scattered like bust up craps games. But Baylor was more to this game then just Hollywood Laker flash. One of the first African American sports superstars in Jackie Robinson’s time also lead a Players Union protest before the 1964 All-Star, which truly changed the game and gave these players the rights they have today. After he hung them up he also won an ‘Executive Of The Year’ award across the hall with the rival L.A. Clippers. R&B superstar Elgin Baylor Lumpkin, better known as Ginuwine was also named after the Hall of Famer and called a judge character off his coming of age album ‘The Senior’ after the NBA great who starred alongside both the Jackson 5 and Buck Rogers. Don’t believe us read all about it in Baylor’s new book named after the best damn Basketball drama, ‘Hang Time’ that will be put up on shelves to end this month.
Elgin Baylor was the blue and white/purple and gold, post-Mikan and pre-Wilt Laker bridge between Minneapolis and Los Angeles. So it was only right his multiple arm dunking statue was curtain called at the half between a Lakers game with Minnesota. It wasn’t fitting however that donned in Mamba snakeskin black L.A. lost 113-96 to the Timberwolves with the black tux service of Jimmy Butler’s draped 18. An Elgin epic like 20 and 10 from both Lakers future Julius Randle and rookie Josh Hart (actually 11 rebounds) weren’t enough after Kyle Kuzma left the game in the third with a sprained ankle. Neither was big from downtown seven footer Brook Lopez’s starting 15 that was so tight it tagged ‘Lop3z’ Twitter trends.
But by the end of this almost 82 game closing playoff push it wasn’t all for the win, but the 82 year old that changed the game.
When you think of the golden days in Lakers purple, Baylor made this franchise like he did their storied history.
All you need is the record books to read his story.
Will Three ‘LABron’ Billboards Outside Downtown L.A. Lead To A Hollywood Ending For The King?
Hollywood comes calling…
…but still no decision…
…how come King James?
‘Dear Basketball’ last month Laker legend Kobe Bryant won NBA’s first Oscar (yeah I know how can the Academy not award ‘Space Jam’?). Putting number 24 ahead of number 23 in gold statues (the Mamba still trails the G.O.A.T six to five in gold rings though). When the closest STAPLES normally gets to award showcases outside the hosted All-Star game during the February love in is when they take a break to host the Grammys.
But it looks like another 23 could make another Lake Show stopper move this Summer straight out of the script of tinsletowns biggest picture.
Despite a decision that took his talents from South Beach, back home and to the promised land years ago. Cleveland’s own LeBron James may be playing his last campaign as a Cavalier. And the final chapter of his storied career could have a Hollywood ending for the King with one of NBA histories most storied franchises.
It could be ‘La La LeBron’ in Lakerland’s city of stars.
Especially if some billboards outside downtown Los Angeles have anything to do with it.
Taking a cue from ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ Best Actress Oscar winner Frances McDormand’s movie (who the actress sent up herself with Jimmy Kimmel with her own trio of billboards after someone stole her Academy Award. Don’t worry she got it back like the Cavs want ‘Bron), a superfan in Los Angeles set up some real estate with some advertising hoardings like Paul Rudd in ‘I Love You Man’ (“License To Sell…that’s hilarious!”) hash-tagging the new free agent trend of ‘LABron’.
Three other towns have hung ‘Bron billboards with an outside chance of landing the King. From his Akron birthplace who refuse to witness throwing rocks at the King this summer, declaring “There’s No Place Like Home”. To even hilariously a New Zealand ballclub wanting to turn the King into a Kiwi. But Philly started the process first. Although L.A. doesn’t want James to trust this but believe instead in the banners that could hang in the royalty of their rafters. Along with they hope his number 23 one day for the one who is still in his prime at a Kareem jersey age.
And when the King was in town to witness all this last month he put on a show in President Magic’s city of Showtime. From the best damn no look pass of his career period. Which drew go fetch tennis ball, dog owner comparisons. To bounce passing the ball between Ball of all players legs.
And with a Lakers/Cavs deadline day trade that saw L.A. and Cleveland clean house and land for LeBron. Further fuel has been ignited to the ‘Casino’ like behind the jersey talk that has everyone betting on ‘LeBron Ball’ for the ‘Lonzo Angeles Lakers’.
The Lakers may have lost two of their sharpest shooting, youngest guns in ‘Sixth Man’ sure-thing Jordan Clarkson and all dunking Ohio son Larry Nance Jr. to Cleveland. But they now have All-Star I.T. support. However whether LeBron reunites with former Cav superstar Isaiah Thomas remains to be seen in more ways than one.
It’s all up in the smoggy air of the summer breeze atmosphere whether Christmas will come early for tinsletown. Like whether another hometown hero superstar Paul George will leave the Thunder and align with the King in the city that never rains (but reigns in purple like Prince), to help make the Lakers young core of Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Kyle Kuzma and Ball be all they can be right now.
Then that will be something worthy like James to hang on the three pillars of Hotel Figueroa outside STAPLES.
The City Of Angels will be praying these billboards bring banners.
Only in Hollywood.
USports2 months ago
Javon Masters: Sky’s Not The Limit
NBA2 months ago
Miami Heat Icon Dwyane Wade Dedicates Season To Parkland Victim Laid To Rest In His Jersey
NBLC2 months ago
Carl English amazing 58-point effort sets NBL Canada scoring record
USports1 month ago
Calgary Dinos Win First-Ever U Sports National Basketball Men’s Championship
NBA2 months ago
Gary Vee & Nik Stauskas: The Truth About Success, Grinding & “Eating Dirt”
FIBA2 months ago
Three-point barrage helps Canada route Bahamas 113-67 FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers
NCAA2 months ago
Canadian Lindell Wigginton Dunk of the Year over Oklahoma Sooners
NBA3 weeks ago
Will Three ‘LABron’ Billboards Outside Downtown L.A. Lead To A Hollywood Ending For The King?