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Eddie Jones Feature – A Basketball Jones

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The Sixth Sense.

Listen like thieves! Before Kobe and after Jordan there was an in excess, laundry list of swinging Shooting Guard and Small Forwards who where running the new era show of golden time basketball to become the next heir apparent in wing waiting. Sure Michael Jordan is the greatest of all-time and Kobe Bryant has been the best since and before King LeBron James NBA reign, but a former Heat and Laker was a star in South Beach’s Miami and California’s Los Angeles. When Jordan was swinging between baseball bats and bunnies named Bugs you couldn’t even find Space Jam on your NBA Live 96 video game (you could find a certain someone on ‘Shootout ’97’ though) and a young Bean named Bryant was months away from being drafted by the Hollywood Lakers via a Charlotte Hornets trade that saw L.A. centre Vlade Divac make way for the kid, the Big Fella, Shaquille O’Neal and the next dynasty of domination in the post-Jordan league of epic eras. Between all of the strike outs and air balls however there was a guy stealing basketballs like Mike wanted to do bases. A Bball babe like Ruth, taking the rock and rolling with the attention so much that even this young English writer saw his number 6 purple and white trimmed gold jersey everywhere whilst travelling in Paris on a childhood Summer vacation…and this was before Tony Parker was even old enough to draft graduate. Hey…maybe it was him!?

There went those old Showtime Laker jerseys that E.J wore, but we’re not talking about Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson here but the tricks of the trade of Eddie Jones. A player that represents more than tradition of transition but can be found in the NBA vault and Lakers history books between the times the M.J’s of Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan and then the 8 and 24’s of Kobe Bryant’s NBA rule. Whether wearing 25 (given up for great Gail Goodrich’s rafter retirement) or 6 (after who else but in honour of the good dunk Doctor Julius Erving?) Eddie had the Basketball sixth sense to steal and dunk his way to a new Showtime on the sacred ground of the fabulous Forum before it was hollowed out to be a new arena STAPLE along with a new jersey look led by the ‘fro of Kobe all the way to three-peating a dynasty over everyone including Brooklyn Jason Kidd’s old Net team. Before role playing big-three Robert Horry, Rick Fox and Derek Fisher came into town and backed a crowed all star unit of Shaq, Kobe, Eddie and Nick Van Exel that all made the West team that year (congrats on the All-Star most valuable E), fastbreak Eddie and Nick ‘The Quick’ made a best and beautiful backcourt for the mid-nineties Lakers team that featured guys like Divac, Cedric Ceballos, Elden Campbell, George Lynch, Corie Blount and much more talent in the late, great Bill Sharman era (around the time this then 11 year old kid from the land of Football became a fan). The stealing and scoring star Jones could have been an even bigger name in the city of angels if he was handed ther Kobe keys.

Even die-hard Laker fans where looking at Kobe’s drafted in scouting report and thinking ‘hey he’s 6 foot 6 like number 6 Eddie, similar weight too! Still, he’s a rookie and a high schooler at that I guess he’ll be backing up our man, but he sure looks talented’. Talented enough to make quite a twin wing tandem as dominant as those ‘twin tower’ duos, like Ryan Giggs and David Beckham in soccer for Basketball’s Manchester United. Still in the Hollywoodland of rock and movie stars this town was only big enough for one big picture highlight reel and Kobe stole the show in his warm-ups like he did on the lay-up line of his rookie Slam Dunk Contest. Then and now Eddie Jones represents the first of a lay-up get in line of talent that left the Lakers too underrated and too soon. These days you can add the likes of Caron Butler, Trevor Ariza, Devin Ebanks, Earl Clark and the Lamar Odom we knew plus many more to the Mitch Richmond, Aaron McKie and Jimmy Jackson like playtime time cut. Sure it would have been great to have Jons back up Kobe…and even Divac back-up Shaq for the ultimate inside and out, starting and bench, all-court domination but this wasn’t the big business age that we see before trade deadlines today. This was a time when the big contract of Shaq and the huge risk on a young rookie was big news for this big league about to go truly great and giant.

The Laker legend people forgot in a time where C.D.’s didn’t know iPods and your DVD’s stopped halfway through the film abruptly because you had to flip it over to the other side like a cassette. We’re making you feel old right? Can you believe this kids now 42? Still, thanks for the memories but the Lakers fall out meant Eddie ended up in the same place as Vlade as he headed to Charlotte to become a Hornet and sting opponents with his Bobcat out of the bag ferocious fire on both ends of the floor. Make no mistake though, Kobe didn’t kill Eddie’s career, just like Shaq didn’t Vlade’s despite the Shaqramento dethroning. Soon Eddie left Charlotte like the New Orleans ballclub before they became the Pelicans. The Florida native from Pompano Beach took his talents South to join a Miami Heat team of Alonzo Mourning, Brian Grant, Caron Butler (these last two future Lakers) and Tim Hardaway team that looked as hot as his one in Los Angeles, circa California ’95. Just like Kob’, there was a pretty nice team in place before the ‘Bron birth with Eddie’s house. The Temple college star brought his defensive body of work and second-option scoring skill to his veteran years of elite experience to another hot town team that was going to burn even brighter in a half decade, half light before anyone even knew or thought about it. This 10th draft pick was a top ten, no nonsense, do it all guy in a time where the new NBA entertainment age was dominated by Magic personalities or the Jordan/Kobe alpha male characteristics.

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Still the three-time All-Star led the league in steals in his first season with the Heat in his Laker/Miami matched years that make him just as much of a Heat and L.A. legend like Shaquille. After a roll in the rock city of Memphis which saw him trade off talents like James Posey and Jason Williams back to the Heat, Jones returned to Miami before closing out his classic career as a Maverick. All-time averages of around 15 points, 4 rebounds and a shade under 2 steals made this guy an all-round talent. The type that get unamiosuly underrated but are still unquestionably unique. Mr. Jerry West, Laker legend and then General Manager knew though as he clutched this “pure athlete” from the ’94 draft to a log-jammed wing of backcourt players including names like Sedale Threatt, Anthony Peeler and Doug Christie before Kobe even came to town…and you thought he stole peoples jobs. Critics soon turned their ink to inspiration and even the dean of Los Angeles Times sportswriting Jim Murray got his hands on as many robbery references as the late, great legend could for this thick as thieves talent. Chick Hearn also took notice to a guy who could slam as well as he could steal, no contest. He flew high like his rap second-namesake Jim, a true dunking diplomat with defensive immunity. Power electric, spark-plug tandem tool guys like Josh Smith take note, like you Eddie Jones finished as many fast-breaks as he started, often doing it all himself. Those fleeting Forum days with Kobe are well worth a rarefied air out and dust off of the V.T.

Today Laker fans may be screaming “what have you done for me lately”?! In a raw and delirious frenzy of Mamba mentality, but they where shouting “EDDIE, EDDIE” like comedian Murphy’s girlfriend at a Forum of home games for seasons later. Nothing was funny though, as even a starting Kobe missed his mentor before Jordan’s Chicago Bulls running-mate Ron Harper took over that mantle a he came into LAX from United with the Zen of Coach Jackson. Even if Glen Rice’s sharp three-point shooting was brought in from Charlotte, Lakers fans still miss Mr. Jones today like he’s still playing. From Shaq’s ‘taco-neck’ Bell commercials today you can still see this guys legacy is part of Laker lore like his versatile, various legendary Jordan XI endorsed sneakers (his career was iconic no matter the colourway or shade of brilliance) that may have heated up along with the hurt Californian feelings once he decided to play for Miami. You’ll find no burnt Jones jerseys like James’ wine and gold however as all the Lakers fan family wish for was more champagne during his purple tape. He deserved the celebration at least. All he did was steal our hearts. A Basketball Jones for you to get a hoop high on, soaring higher than his flyest, falcon dunk of marvel at a Barry White drawled slow motion of instant, inspired replay. Just wind it back like your old tape decks with the heartfelt wrote on label…it’ll never really fade, like his hair or shot. It’s time to keep up with the Jones, a Laker legend amongst legends. You may not see it up in the rafters everyday, but you would have saw it on the Forum floor every game. That’s what Eddie did for the Lakers lately.

#NBANostalgia

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Gary Vee & Nik Stauskas: The Truth About Success, Grinding & “Eating Dirt”

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Gary Vee & Nik Stauskas: The Truth About Success, Grinding & “Eating Dirt”

There is no doubt Nik Stauskas knows a thing or two about “eating dirt” and grinding your way to reaching your dream. An accomplished Canadian NBA Basketball player Stauskas, currently in his fourth season sits down for a great one-on-one chat with Gary Vaynerchuk aka GaryVee to discuss his craft and the rare opportunity to pick the brain of one of the fastest rising internet media personalities and business minds in the industry. Like Stauskas, Vaynerchuk grinded is way to where is at today focusing on outworking the competition and staying patience.

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La La Lakerland Played Host To A City Of All-Stars At The Weekend

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Verizon Slam Dunk Contest 2018
Like Father, Like Slam,

Los Angeles, it doesn’t get much more Hollywood than this. Even if Beyonce, Queen Latifah, Chris Tucker and even the other Michael (B) Jordan were taking in all the lights, camera action court-side.

After the 2017 Mardi Gras in New Orleans last year and two calendar’s after our native Toronto held the All Star Weekend in Canada, the sixth A.S.G. in the Clipper and Lakerland of the downtown STAPLES of L.A. was the first of it’s kind. As two of the best players in the association and reigning finalists decided to draft their own pool of players against the wall for the ultimate black and white pick-up game between ‘Team Stephen’ and ‘Team LeBron’, for all the marbles of which of the last two champions would be King.

Well it certainly helps if James picks his rivals reigning MVP teammate Kevin Durant and his own former partner in pine championship crime Kyrie Irving for the big shots first.

But before all that it was down to regular festivities to begin the weekend of All-Star. Basketball’s equivalent of music’s Grammy’s or movies Oscars in Superbowl February. Opening these ceremonials Team World beat down Team USA 155-124 in the Rising Stars game that should really tell you something. Despite home court advantage rookie steal, Kyle Kuzma notching 20, fellow Californian franchise face Buddy Hield was king as the Sacramento star hit 29 as the two sides wore Clipper and Laker interloped Buffalo and MPLS throwbacks for the Hollywood script. And after Quavo of hit duo Migos took home the Celebrity Game MVP as Team Clippers beat Team Lakers 79-66, Spencer Dinwiddie paid the bills in a superior skills comp. Before scorching Sun in California Devin Booker showed his career high 70 was no one-hit wonder as he burnt down all the nets and the money-ball rack. Winning the three-point contest showdown from reigning winner and sixth man Eric Gordon. Grounding the Rocket as this Phoenix rose. Book it!

But after the most therapeutic competition of All-Star weekend it was time for the most exciting one just as compelling. And in honoring his father Larry Nance, the 1984 winner of the inaugural Slam-Dunk contest, Larry Nance Jr. rocked the baby cradle, like father, like dunk. As he even rocked the old-school Phoenix Suns jersey, short shorts and high-socks for an inspired imitation. But under the magicians cloak, those Los Angeles natives in attendance draped in gold wish he had turned into someone turning back the clock and wearing a Lakers jersey (those Lonzo assists with the ball would have helped). As what would have been a long awaited, eagerly anticipated home-team representation turned into an Akron homecoming for the Ohio hometown hero like LeBron in the Kings land once the trade deadline passed.

Pops Nance loved it though after he himself played the lions share of his career in Cleveland as a Cavalier. Even assisting his boy on his second slam, before he blew the house down with a windmill that even rocked Chris Rock and then double tapped an Instagram worthy picture perfect dunk that if your phone blinked, you’d have had to instant replay it to not miss it and believe it. But all this court creativity wasn’t enough like Maverick rookie Dennis Smith Jr.’s 360 reverse, through the legs 50. Or All-Star Victor Oladipo getting an assist off King T’Challa himself Chadwick Boseman, suiting up in the Black Panther mask and clawing a tomahawk. And if you think that was special, if only you were a fly on the wall for the moment entertainment megastar Jamie Foxx told Vic he loved his album and started singing ‘A Song For You’ with him in the parking lot (as told by Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins). As Utah’s jazz man Donovan Mitchell won by jumping over Kevin Hart and his family (Come on! How hard is that? The comedian was even crouched down. Seriously?! He could have even been sat on his shoulders and Mitch would have been good), and then breaking out the classic Vince Carter Raptor jersey and doing you know what.

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The whole weekend turned out to be a testament to a throwback tribute despite Nike’s brand new Team LeBron and Steph duds. Last years All-Star representative, Pelican Anthony Davis paying tribute to his injury fallen teammate brother Cousins by wearing what would have been his numero zero jersey. Free agent suitors beware, DeMarcus is going nowhere now this summer after this. You see he saw on I.G. but look at the shot. How s### was his seat for a would be player?

But after Black Eyed Pea Fergie caught flack for her soulful and sultry rendition of the Star Spangled Banner national anthem (hey, you didn’t complain when Marvin did it) the game hit all the high-flying, dunking high-notes. So much so fans needed throat lozenges like Pink! Even if there wasn’t a single Clipper or Laker representative in the game itself. Despite the lobbying for 6 Man, Lou Will and new Laker Isaiah Thomas only recently being LeBron’s actual teammate.

The King took the MVP crown himself as his 29 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists helped turn a 15 point hole into a 148-145 victory. And from the look on his face as he leapt into Kevin Durant’s arms of all people, it looked like he just won the NBA Championship back. And from the look on Steph’s face on the receiving end reply it was hard to disagree.

You may be the champion, but I’m the best in the world those eyes said.

Well it’s up to you to decide when round 2 of the All Star draft is televised next year for all to see in M.J.’s land of the greatest.

Charlotte’s going to be good!

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Is Isaiah Thomas IT For The Lakers?

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Usa Today 10601289.0
IT Came On A Hollywood Night

It’s All-Star break this weekend in Los Angeles, but the Lakers already have a new one since the trade deadline to lead their young core in the heart of the city. Even if Team LeBron didn’t pick him for Sundays pick up.

But how long will IT last?

Right now in the NBA the amount of movers is really putting the shakers on teams. So much so that in regards to loyalty in this league it’s even colder than the Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea right now. But then again it is the Winter after all. Recently Cleveland cleaned house and LeBron’s land for some Cavalier moves. Jettisoning several All-Star points for their changing of the guard. Including former MVP Derrick Rose, ‘Bron brodie Dwyane Wade back to the Heat of Miami, South Beach and even the guy they traded Kyrie for.

Yep that’s right after summer swapping Irving for Isaiah, the Cavs sent Thomas along with versatile big-man vet Channing Frye to Lakerland. In return they got the buckets of ‘Sixth Man’ sure thing Jordan Clarkson and another Akron hometown hero in the form of Larry Nance Jr.

And although the Lakers picked-up a certified All-Star with Iverson kill at will, little man syndrome scoring a lot of fans where left tweeting negative emojis and gifs following the deadline deal. And not because their new number seven seal was a former Boston Celtic great only a season ago. Or that the former tooth chipper is now a befallen superstar by way of injury. More that the Lake Show loved the young Ball, Ingram, Kuzma, Randle and Zubac core that has lost it’s first big time players of the future since the de-loading trade of D’Angelo Russell last summer.

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Clarkson was a class act and there from the luck of the late round steal start. Whereas when Nance Jr. ran the floor like his pops all the bleachers snapped shut, tilted up. Lakerland finally thought they would see their own slamming son represent them in the Slam Dunk Contest he should surely win now like father, like dunk today. But now he’ll be doing it all for one and one for all.

But with the fast tracked pace of the Lakers new speedy dynamite dynamo it could still be Showtime again for Magic’s men like when Earvin Johnson was kissing another Isiah Thomas hello in the golden era 80’s. But this Isaiah Thomas-so long as he can ball in the same backcourt as Ball once injury time gives way to the Lavar…excuse me the Lonzo Angeles Lakers-could attract even more free agents like the expected homecoming of Paul George from the Thunder to the purple reign this offseason. Even if rumour has a Black Panther/Killmonger like relationship between this point prince and the King of the Ohio land.

But if it’s between LeBron as a Laker or another one of James’ sidekicks than who do you think will hold the headlines for tomorrows Los Angeles Times? Especially as Isaiah could aim higher than coming off the bench this summer as a free agent without restriction himself. His big contract coming off the books with Channing’s (Frye not Hollywood’s Tatum), another big three big in Brook Lopez and another former All-Star in Luol Deng (yep…he’s still here).

All these multiples of millions would surely make for a kings ransom.

This could be it, so lets enjoy I.T. whilst he lasts.

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