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Flash Gordon Hayward Is The Saviour Of Utah

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Pick a time when the Jazz never sounded quite so sweet and roll with it like you were spinning a classic Thelonious Monk record.

Maybe go behind the back and shoot with ‘Pistol Pete’ Pete Mavarich. Or the most underrated star of the golden era 80’s, Adrian Dantley. And then of course there’s the M.J. years of the 90’s when and were basketball forgot its borders and truly got big…global big. When before Shaq and Kobe or even the big couple break-up of Durant and Westbrook, the pick and rolling John Stockton and Karl Malone were the dynamic duos of dynamic duos. Even outlasting the Seattle Supersonics’ Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton and only coming apart when the Mailman and aforementioned glove suited up alongside each other to try and bring Shaq and Kobe back together in L.A.

Under legend Jerry Sloan, Stockton and Malone became the two co-biggest Utah Jazz players of all-time. Almost winning it all until Michael Jordan got in the way again and Byron Russell didn’t quite get in his despite his dogged defence one of the 90’s best key role players will always be remembered like a Nick Anderson for this poster moment. Since then despite poor man Stock and Malone clones in the nice one, two punch of Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams, things have been so salty in Lake City the Utah faithful have wanted to cut their own arms off like James Franco in ‘127 Hours’, just so they have something to throw at the team from the Delta Center nosebleeds. As a matter of fact do you remember that scene in the Danny Boyle movie where Franco’s girlfriend leaves him in the middle of a Jazz game? Well…his face said it all.

But now the Jazz are really a team of note.

First came the green, white and blue rebrand that looked as classy and vintage as a Mitchell and Ness throwback from the days Jazz players called Malone had first names like Jeff. Then future faces like Dante Exum and Derrick Favours. And big names like Joe Johnson and George Hill. Now this team are Rodney Hood and Boris Diaw deep. And lets not forget fellow Frenchman Rudy Gobert. The ‘Stiffel Tower’. But take a look at the city from that landmark and you’ll see the guy that really runs it. Flash Gordon.

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Flash…ah ah!

O.K. so that’s Dwyane Wade’s nickname in Chicago. But it’s time we gave Gordon Hayward one. Because whilst people are talking about whether this guys an All-Star, we’re wondering if this superstar is in the MVP race. He’s chasing down LeBron numbers…across the board. He damn near looks like the Jerry West logo when he drives. Speaking of Laker greats, he’s training with Kobe Bryant. Remember when once rising star O.J. Mayo wanted to practice with Bean? And Kobe said I’ll see you at three. And then hours later there was no Mamba. Not even a sip of Vino. So O.J. called up Bryant and asked him where he was at. He’d been waiting ages. And Kobe said he was there. He was waiting on him…at 3am.

You know Hayward knows what time it is.

Gordon is more than a benefit for Utah. He is the Jazz leader like a court conductor. Ever since he got that Brad Pitt ‘Fury’ haircut that’s the style right now he’s been a cut above the rest, going to war. Now he’s all the talk of barbershops. As a matter of fact when this writer rocked a Jazz tee taking a flight out of the T-Dot the attendee checking my passport was more interested in talking to me about the team on my chest and its franchise player, rather than where I was going or whether this bearded, long-haired traveller looked like the clean-shaven baby face on my passport. Now we’re not just thinking playoffs we’re looking at a run as deep this team is. With Hayward and Gobert going at it as the most underrated dynamic duo in the L, with the veteran one of Johnson and Hill and the youth movement of Favors and Exum showing this squad really is a complete team. Their goals? The Golden State of Warrior basketball. Sure the dubs have Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson…but Gordon Hayward could go one-on-one with any of them.

This may be the hip-hop generation like Drake the north in Toronto for the 6 Raptors, but they say basketball is like jazz. And nothing sounds more like Jazz basketball than the name Gordon Hayward right now.

He’s our pick…roll with it.

NBA

Is Isaiah Thomas IT For The Lakers?

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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 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 he has been hobbled by 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.

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.

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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 with the King of the 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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Nuggets Jamal Murray breaks Steven Adams Ankles with Filthy Handles

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Nuggets Jamal Murray Breaks Steven Adams Ankles Filthy Handles

Denver Nuggets Guard Jamal Murray breaks OKC Thunder center Steven Adams ankles with his filthy and deadly combination of handles and three-point shooting. Murray was sensational finishing with 33 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds in a thrilling 127-124 victory. The Canadian guard (Kitchener, ON) is having the best year of his NBA career and has arguably become best Canadian basketball player in the NBA. The 6’4″, 207 lbs guard is flourishing under Head  Coach Mike Malone’s system and is averaging a respectable 16 points per game, 3.6 rebounds and 3 assists per game through 50 regular season games including a career-high 38-point outburst against the Portland Trail Blazers.

BTW. I can watch this all day!

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Like Father, Like Glove…Gary Payton II Makes Family Franchise History

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Like Father, Like Glove…Gary Payton II Makes Family Franchise History
The Gloves Are On For The Lakers.

From L.A. to South Bay the storied Lakers franchise has growing family ties rooted in their ever evolving modern history.

There’s the Walton. Son of Bill, former player and now coach Luuuuke. The Slam Dunk king he runs lay-up line plays for Larry Nance Jr. like his 80’s dunk champ dad. And even former player and D-League, South Bay coach Coby Karl, son of the legendary George Karl.

And then there’s the Glove story.

All trash talking, stop you from scoring, Seattle Supersonics NBA legend Gary Payton joined the Lakers with fellow golden era 90’s great post mailman, Karl Malone to try to get one more ring at the end of the Shaq and Kobe era. Payton ended up getting one with Shaq in the talented South Beach pool of Miami before the G retired. But now the gloves son and fellow Beaver, Gary Payton II (there’s a Tim Hardaway Jr. trend for NBA legend fathers to name their sons after themselves) is putting on the gold for the future of this franchises youth revolution.

After starting his unbelievably undrafted career with the young Milwaukee Bucks led by the alphabet Giannis Antetokounmpo, it wasn’t all A-B-C. But now he’s looking to put up numbers with the purple Lake Show off alphabet street like 1-2-3. Now number 23 (three more than his dad…but that isn’t the reason that number should p### the retire No. 20 off) is looking at a fresh start with Luke and Lonzo’s (not to mention Lavar’s) Lakers like no other.

The two-way guard has signed a two-way contract with both the Los Angeles Lakers and their NBDL team the South Bay Lakers (now more official than their former Los Angeles D-Fenders affiliate name, even if not in city). So now G.P. II will play for both Coach Walton and Coach Karl. How’s that for some family ties!?

Young Gary Payton the second had some impressive debuts off the bench for L.A. But now Payton mark II is assigned to South Bay like fellow two-way dunking Alex Caruso (he really does have a detective grade surname and a game that does not go with his frame) he’s ready to ball. Messing around in his debut and getting a triple double of 14, 11 and 12.

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Payton II could be a big part of the Lakers youth movement too like many of his current teammates going from South Bay to L.A. like Hollywood fans and script-writers can only hope LeBron will decide to this free agent offseason like he did South Beach all those last summers ago. Just like another rookie with a familiar surname in Thomas Bryant (no…Kobe isn’t THAT old) and of course Zupac.

Lead by the Ball family, the even better rookie and in no way number two Kyle Kuzma (who even goes one better in the Twitter troll back and forth with Ball brother LiMelo. “Fire your stylist”?! Oh yeah? “Fire your dentist”! Damn…can we smell a Shaq and Kobe beef cooking?!), three times a great rookie selection in the defensive Hart, big Brandon Ingram, of course Nance junior and the original future Julius Randle and his late round draft genius Jordan Clarkson (who’s not only balling like he’s the Sixth Man of the Year but like he should start too) this young Showtime, purp Laker legacy are making their own, unique legend in Mamba moment black.

This season it looked like the chance for an outside eight seed was thinner than the backlight on a retro Casio, but now the future is brighter than the South Bay sun from downtown L.A.

And with the Payton patent making Lakers history by becoming the first father and son duo to suit up for the franchise, it might just take a glove to hold this young core together.

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