Look up to the hoop heavens and amongst all the Basketball God’s in the clouds you’ll see visions of a young afro donning Kobe cross dribbling and tossing up an alley to the dominant Goliath of Shaquille O’Neal in purple and gold. Dunking it all over Portland like a true Trailblazer and the rest of greater Oregon as a whole with one outreached, falling back hand. Before lifting up both his arms like the Superman he is. Running back down court like he’s about to take off with a look of excitement on his wide eyes and mouth we’ve never ever even seen look like this from the ‘Most Entertaining Ever’. Something that looks like the wonder of children on Christmas morning for what’s all left under that tree by the big guy who finished off the milk and cookies. Or someone who has seen something take flight that is neither a bird or a plane. And we aren’t talking about no sleigh.
You’ll also see the King reach for the highest throne and bring the whole castle down in a flash. As one of the greatest duos next to the most dynamic ever was the dynamite explosion of Voltron down in the talents of South Beach. One where Miami Heat lifer and the greatest franchise face…sorry we mean Flash of the Florida foundation, Dwyane Wade pitched penny passes to the decision game changer of number 6 LeBron James. Like kids throwing snowballs until the slam spat that started everyone throwing them up like Will Ferrell’s hell of a windmill right arm in ‘Elf’.
That Anchorman was probably in attendance last night amongst the Hollywood elite for the perfect scripted ending to the last dance in La La Land between number 23 and the iconic Heat third of the big-three, D-Wade. For all the jerseys Wade’s world and wardrobe have collected off his competitors so far this season, none had as special meaning as this soccer swap with his former teammate and best friend for life. As he signed that back of his and traded for a signature Lakers, new era Showtime classic, the photo they posed for was big game James worthy of the same history book frames those game worn jerseys will end up residing in. Like the forever rafters they will one day join. Wade even gave the shoes off his feet to Laker captain Josh Hart. The soaring sophomore who wears number 3 because of Dwyane. Who told Hart in kind that he reminded him of himself and to keep going because he likes what he sees. How’s that for a high-five Josh?
The perfect partnership of James and Wade (along with the big man and big reason they won, Chris Bosh) rung up championships together at Sonic speed like cash registers during the holidays. And they even reunited in Cleveland last year for LeBron’s last run back home after Wade went to his in Chicago. Just like many thought they would do this season in Hollywood as Dwyane has been linked with the Lakers many times even before the King came to town. But as much as it is a shame for Lake Show fans to never see the Flash in purple and gold (there is always Carmelo Anthony and raising Ariza again). Seeing one last duel between one of the top three Shooting Guards ever and possibly the greatest ballplayer of all-time was more fitting like switching those shirts.
And what a duel it was. After LeBron torched the Miami Vice city for 51 weeks ago last month in his Heat homecoming, Wade’s stepped up show made this final meet one that was so much more Hollywood you couldn’t have blockbuster scripted it better.
Wade had 15 points to hand out with a team high 10 assists. Whereas the King had 28 as the two traded baskets and brotherhood slaps. James again flexing from way downtown he may as well have been Showtime showing off from back in South Beach. But the high-man in the City Of Angels was Kyle Kuzma who wants to be known for more than his offence, but still had an outstanding Kareem (33). But before the buzzer with the game on a 108-105, advantage Lakers line, Wade had a chance to at least take it to overtime and then some with a wild, off-balanced but still somewhat controlled clutch three that rimmed out.
Even this Lakers fan wanted it to go in for the perfect curtain call (kind of), but when the two former teammates ran for the loose ball as the backboard went neon like STAPLES outside and spilled into the crowd hugging and laughing the score in the end didn’t really matter.
This is why they play and this is why we watch.
What really meant something was the names flipped on the back of the jerseys for a flashbulb moment we will never forget. In the rocking chair tour of the league this was one last dance that didn’t miss a step.
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.
New Knick RJ Barrett Treated Las Vegas Summer League Like A New York Playground
Magnitudes off the Richter. An earthquake hit Sin City like jackpot in the NBA’s Summer League in Las Vegas, Nevada out in the desert last week.
And as the Jumbo-tron still shook like the music it was pumping, many people in awe inspired attendance would have been forgiven for thinking it was Zion. As the Duke standout and the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft Williamson made us feel more tremors than Kevin Bacon. As the new New Orleans Pelican burst out the hardwood and flew, man-handling a steal off an opponent who’s just a poster now’s inbounds pass and put back a viscous, signature slam that felt like they still tested atomic bombs out in the Nevada desert overlooking the electric, neon skyline. All whilst new and former teammates respectively, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Anthony Davis looked on with “here comes the big airplane” mouths.
But after the road to Mount Zion’s knee injury lead to more Patrick Ewing ice than up there in Japan’s Mount Fuji, it was better the Blue Devil you know. As the Knicks third pick RJ Barrett ended up moving the needle more over this scorching, seasonal tourney of the youthful future of this association. Looking as good as those beautiful blue Knicks Summer League jerseys that are so clean we want to see them fresh off the press in the the NBA Store in NYC. So much so that even if RJ handed you one of his autographed signatures post game you’d still be like, “you got this in a medium?”
Sounding better than all those thirsty announcers singing “Summer Leeeeague” like The Isley Brothers this time of year classic, ‘Summer Breeze’. Making everything feel fine as he blew through defenders like the Jasmine in my mind. RJ initialed his dynamic debut and mainstream moment. Making Knicks’ fans almost forget that they just lost out on their number one goal, Zion Williamson. Or their free agent duo desire of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who ended up on the other side of New York, across that bridge from Manhattan in Brooklyn with the Nets…almost. Following the sweated out, hard nosed 90’s were only Jordan and Starks shots got in the way of golden era glory, the Knicks’ now have their first real leader in the post Porzingis era since Syracuse star ‘Melo for the Orangemen.
And he’s not alone. Barrett who was choosing Knicks’ mannequin heads to bucket on New York’s Late Night show with Jimmy Fallon nights before the draft cap has plenty to pass to in a Pelican rivaling young core of young guns, Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier, new free agent signing Julius Randle (this Pel is still a big ‘cat out of Kentucky like Anthony Davis or DeMarcus Cousins reunited on the Lake Show like purple and gold fans hoped he would be too), Elfrid Payton and of course the soaring Dennis Smith Jr. Not to mention a bolstered bench of Taj Gibson and Reggie Bullock from more than midtown. Call it Chelsea, the Tribeca or even Battery Park after the High-Line of the Meatpacking District. The future of this franchise to the naked eye of ignorance is about to look better than the view from that new Vessel structure in Hudson Yards.
Barrett began in Vegas with some early snake eyes trouble. But rolling the dice again he turned into a killer like Brandon Flowers. The man. Come round. Nothing can break. Nothing can break him down. First he scorched California’s new look King sized Lakers for 21 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. But it was his spell in his last Summer forecast against the Wizards were RJ showed Washington that just like NYC, DC may be America’s capital, but there’s nothing like New York, New York. He was so good you had to check the instant replay twice, with another 21 and 10, two perfect precision passes off cashing in a triple-double chip like he was a team that had both James Harden and Russell Westbrook on their roster roll call. Houston, do you read me?
Averages of 15.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists in a televised tournament that is basically a glorified practice scrimmage (tell me, do you even know who won the thing?) show he will be above so. The Canadian Maple Mamba has that syrup for your bacon. Even without free agent big names like Kevin and Kyrie who are one more decision away from being journeymen, forget super-teams, the Knicks may have a lifer in RJ from Coach K’s Duke fraternity administration in the association now. Can you relate? Barrett could be brilliant and New York no longer a rotten apple. But a couple of big names away from having their title again in the Mecca of Madison Square Garden’s, World’s Most Famous Arena in bright Times Square lights.
It’s almost a New Year for New York, time for the ball to drop.
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