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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.

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Lakers Finally Get Anthony Davis. But At What Cost?

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Lakers Finally Get Anthony Davis But At What Cost
Hold On, We're Making Hollywood Your Home...

Ambivalence.

Like a rat crawling over some controls and releasing Scott Lang from the Quantum Realm in this Endgame, just like that the Lakers have their Ant-Man. And it’s an avenging, giant, levelling up move.

Anthony Davis is finally a Los Angeles Laker.

Still I hate to piss on this parade and sound like Morgan Freeman in ‘The Dark Knight’, but at what cost?

Well to be specific here’s the receipt.

Lonzo Ball (bad move).

LaVar Ball.

Brandon Ingram (okay we expected that, but still).

Josh Hart (what?!).

The fourth pick in this weekends draft (or should we say Cam Reddish).

And a load of other picks over the next few seasons. Or should we say a couple of Jordan Clarkson’s and Larry Nance Jr.’s.

Well at least they got to keep Kyle Kuzma for a formidable frontcourt that might be the new, next big three.

But the young core and that keep the hash-tag campaign is officially the casualty of this trade bait like the jobs of Magic and Dell Demps, that’s been fish on the line dangling for longer than that Kawhi Leonard rim rattling shot against the Sixers.

Rob Pelinka’s a beast…and not in a good way.

We will say it again. That clip of Rob Pelinka claiming he set up a meet between Kobe Bryant ans Heath Ledger after Mamba watched ‘The Dark Knight’ is beyond messed up. We all know Heath passed away before the film even came out. Don’t disrespect the dead. Can’t buy character. But can sell your integrity.

That’s who you are dealing with Lake Show.

Hollywood’s Rob Lowe would have been better.

Let’s see who you’re not dealing with anymore.

D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Ivica Zubac, Thomas Bryant, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart.

Is that everyone?

What you wanted more?

All the years all the young guns with plenty more calenders left in their clips. All gone.

And they didn’t even ask for Julius Randle back as part of the trade kicker.

Come on.

But look to him staying in New Orleans now with Ball, Ingram, Hart and whoever else would have ended up in Los Angeles with that luck of the lottery fourth ball. And the Pelicans about to fly with the road to Zion looking like the closest thing to what would have been the young Lake Show for the future Mardi Gras in Crescent City.

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Don’t write off NOLA it’s all about to go down smooth in the Big Easy.

But after months of speculation, social media tweets and articles I rest my case, I’ll say no more. But you know how it is.

On the bright side in sunny California…Anthony f##### Davis.

The Lakers finally have their man. And next to LeBron the most dynamic duo since Shaq and Kobe…sorry Pau. It could be Finals…it’s at least playoffs.

Now it’s time to put another great core together.

Kemba? Three Kings?

Kyrie? Kevin? Kawhi?

Cue that laugh…hey we all have dreams in Hollywood.

Free agents will be more likely to join the ‘Space Jam’ show now too, but whoever LeBronland casts like throwing up movies off your phone on to your T.V. it’s a whole new world in L.A. now the Genie (or Jeanie) has finally granted their wish.

But how about two more Aladdin? On the spirit of Robin Williams help us Will Smith!

Then that will make up for all the young princes they’ve lost for one King.

As of right now like Swiss, this team has more holes than “fashionable” hipster t-shirts on Rodeo. There’s no starting point for one. And not having Lonzo ball out on the tutoring of both legendary super sub Rajon Rondo and the fellow pure point Basketball I.Q. of new assistant coach Jason Kidd is a real shame. Like losing a pure scorer like Ingram (or *clears throat* D-Lo). Or the best role player the Lakers have ever had since the days of Horry, Fox and Fisher in Josh Hart. Not to mention whoever would have come next starting this weekend.

All for a guy who was going to come to us next Summer anyway and in these changing player power times could still walk away next season anyway.

All for nothing?

I guess the Lakers looked at Leonard winning it all with Toronto and thought it was all worth it.

But at least it’s all done. It’s over now. And for now Anthony Davis in that Glen Rice 41 is the next big man great in the legendary Laker lineage of Mikan, Wilt, Kareem, Shaq and Pau.

Just don’t Andrew Bynum or Dwight Howard this up.

Rich Paul for MVP.

That’s all folks!

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The Six In 6. Toronto Become First Canadian NBA Champions

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The Six In 6 Toronto Become First Canadian NBA Champions
Kawhi Not?

They the North did it.

Last night in the Bay the 6 got turned upside down with no need for a seven right now. As Drake’s really big team got some really big rings.

And with a 114-110 win in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors for Game 6 of the NBA Finals. After almost a quarter century the Toronto Raptors became the first franchise outside of the United States to win the National Basketball Association finals to make history and become Canadian champions.

And in their Canuck colours pointing to the North from California with the gold, these red and whites flying the flag in the U.S. did it for all of us as they truly changed the game.

It started with an expansion 24 years ago in Toronto. Alongside the Vancouver Grizzlies. It ended with them being the sole franchise outside of America in the NBA as former Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol joined another former gritted Grizz in the form of his big brother Pau Gasol to be the first siblings in hoops history to be NBA champions.

It started with throwback cousins Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady in Dino unis, throwing it up and putting it down. Bringing the Air to the Air Canada Center. It ended like Vinsanity in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest for a new millennium. Looking at the camera after honey dipping and putting it through the legs, telling us emphatically with cutting hand gestures, “it’s over”.

This is for him. Mac. Mighty Mouse. The Camby Man. The Junkyard Dog. Iron Man, Mo Pete. Chris Bosh.

You know it’s for DeMar DeRozan too especially.

Kyle Lowry (what more can you say with 26, 7 and 10 leading the way?). Gasol. Siakam (G-League to big league champ). VanVleet. Ibaka. Lin. And of course quite possibly now the greatest player in the world right now and Finals MVP (joining Kareem and the King as the only Most Valuable Finals Player with multiple teams), sinking that last free throw as epic as his around the world and a day buzzer beater against the Sixers in the six, Kawhi Leonard.

Nick Nurse the architect. And of course another one, James Naismith. This game was invented by Canadians, played by Canadians and like the first ever game in NBA history, this victory belongs to Canadians.

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Drake. Real superfan Nav Bhatia and the Canadian coffee house company Tim Hortons raising a cup to him commercial tribute. Everyone in Jurassic Park roaring like T-Rexes for these Raptors and of course all of you. Truly bringing the buzz to basketball.

This if for the real Warriors too. Five straight finals for the first time in a half century, 50 years (love Commish Adam Silver’s lining tribute). The dynasty that is nowhere near dead as they fought to the end for their last look in the Oracle in those Town across the chest jerseys before moving from Golden State across the Golden Gate to a new era of dominance in the hilly streets of San Francisco (the next time we’ll see Toronto is in Tokyo, October for our very own NBA Japan), where that digitally developing skyline from those tram peak points is the limit. No matter who stays or goes in this Curry, Durant, Draymond and Klay juggernaut with guys like Igudola and Cousins relating too. This is for Kevin Durant (who we apologize to for every Canadian fan who cheered his injury in Game 5. Although Warrior fans cheered for an injured Kawhi back in the day too) who played to the pain as all heart he proved everyone wrong and did it all for his team. And true Warrior mode Klay Thompson who went down with a crippling injury too in this final game and came right back to the right kind of cheers. This superteam and one of the greatest in history is far from extinct.

But right now for the Toronto Raptors it’s Jurassic World and the Golden State Warriors for the last time, fallen kingdom.

And as the final horn called for the last game of the season all hands were kept high for the North who overcame all the cold to break the ice for the first championship. And the champagne no longer on ice tasted as good as these underdogs proving everyone wrong as they bit back.

I’m not crying…we’re all crying.

We the champions my friends and Canadian countrymen.

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