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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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CEBL

Ottawa BlackJacks select Osvaldo Jeanty as first-ever Head Coach

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ottawa blackjacks select osvaldo jeanty as first ever head coach
Ottawa BlackJacks introduce Head Coach Osvaldo Jeanty

The pieces of the puzzle are coming together for the Ottawa BlackJacks basketball team.

The start-up Ottawa basketball professional club named former five-time Canadian University champion Osvaldo Jeanty as the franchise first-ever head coach. General Manager Dave Smart made the announcement on Friday morning following a brief search that always included Jeanty’s name at the top of the list.

“Obviously, Osvaldo and I have had a long history together since he was probably 15 or 14, playing club basketball on the Ottawa Guardsmen to his time at Carleton (as player) and then he was my assistant coach at Carleton”, discussed Smart during the press conference.

“Os and I have worked together from a coach, assistant coach perspective, so I know what he’s about in terms of what his exceptions are, and we’re very much inline in terms of what our expectations are, and he knows how I operate and is comfortable working with me. So I think it’s an obvious fit, it’s and easy fit and we are really excited to start working together and put a team on the floor”, further elaborated the former Carleton Ravens on his selection process.

ottawa blackjacks hire osvaldo jeanty as first ever head coach
Ottawa BlackJacks hire Osvaldo Jeanty as first-ever Head Coach

“It’s the first time he’s called me Osvaldo so many times since I was 15, I’m not really used to it.” a smiling Jeanty opened-up about his longtime head coach and mentor during his introductory speech.

Jeanty + Smart winning combination since the late 1990’s

The duo go back to late 1990’s with Jeanty playing for Smart at the Midget and Ontario Basketball U-19 Provincial teams. Under Smart’s guidance, Jeanty flourished as player helping turn the Carleton Ravens’ basketball program into the powerhouse that it is today.

The Ravens’ won five (2002-2007) straight U Sports men’s basketball championships during their time together as a coach-player combo — with Jeanty earning the Final 8 Jack Donohue championship MVP trophy twice, during his freshman and junior campaigns. A proven winner at all levels, Jeanty turned an outstanding collegiate career into a six year pro career, earning a championship with the Giants Nördlingen of Germany’s ProA league.

Inducted into Carleton Ravens Hall of Fame in 2015 — Jeanty earned an additional two titles as a coaching duo during their three-year (2016-19) stretch.

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Both Jeanty and Smart were featured on the cover of the first-ever Canadian Basketball Magazine on March of 2005.

“I just wanted to say how thankful I am to Dave to Mike (Morreale) to the league for giving me this opportunity, also just for the Ottawa community. I’ve been here since I was six-years old and I appreciate what the community has given to me and the opportunity to be able give back to the community that has been so good to me is something that I’m very thankful for. So thank you and I look forward to really bringing a good product out there for the city, for the team and really representing the league the right way.”

osvaldo jeanty carleton ravens win first ever u sports mens basketball championship in 2003
Mike Smart, Jafeth Maseruka, Josh Porier, Osvaldo Jeanty, Rob Smart and Carleton Ravens win first-ever CIS/U Sports Men’s Basketball Championship In 2003

As for the type of style and brand of the basketball the BlackJacks expect to play — Jeanty offered a glimpse of the same championship formula that has led to many successful moments between the now general manager and head coach tandem.

“He’s put into my head since I was 15, in terms of the keys to winning championships and I tend to follow the same of idea. You defend, you rebound, you don’t turnover the ball over — but at the same time you have 24 seconds on the shot clock so you want to play as fast a possible while not turning over the basketball.”

The attention now turns to rounding out the remaining coaching staff positions and the complex process of putting together a championship calibre team — that will undoubtedly have it’s sights on establishing an early grip on the proudly Canadian made Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) championship trophy.

With the addition of Jeanty to the head coaching ranks the CEBL now features two former Carleton Ravens’ players turned bench bosses. Niagara River Lions head coach Victor Raso also won two national championships as a member of the Ravens.

Coincidentally, Jeanty’s head coaching debut will be against Raso as the Ottawa BlackJacks will kick-off the inaugural 2020 season on the road on May 7th against the Niagara River Lions. The BlackJacks home opener is scheduled for May 14th against the Hamilton Honey Badgers.

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NBA

A Rose For Kuz?

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a rose for kuz
Rose Reunion?

The Rose that grew from the career incasing concrete of a plaster cast, potential legacy ending injury is still in bloom.

Now that’s legendary.

That’s inspiration.

As a matter of fact with the trade deadline nearer than your office one, right now nothing smells better than Pooh.

Currently more than motoring on with the Detroit Pistons in Motown, the rejuvenation of Derrick Rose has already had his redemption season. Howling back with the Minnesota Timberwolves the last 82. But in this one mirroring his prime time stats as a Bull and the next era after M.J. for the Chicago way, it’s still a story as good as a Dwight Howard Hollywood reunion or blazing Carmelo comeback out in Oregon.

And now like the former D12, D. Rose could be heading to the wild west like the one Anthony the Lakers didn’t get in the end (but should of). But like the young core, Ingram, Ball and Hart trade for A.D. is the prize worth the price?

Although Derrick is linked with the 76ers like every superstar over the past few seasons and a reunion with Chicagoland (which Basketball God’s would be the perfect closing chapter to this story that is albeit still being wrote by his own penmanship), the Benjamin Franklin’s are on Rose reuniting with King James although he called his Cleveland time with the classic Cavalier “super awkward”.

Awks.

The former number one, that draft pick and NBA MVP is still most valuable and at 31 is almost a half decade younger than the King. Plus with awesome averages of 18.3 points on 50.3 percent from the field in 25.8 minutes and 5.9 assists per contest this campaign, the guy wants more time and to get out of the elimination standings.

Clockwork and contention could certainly be on the cards for Rose who let’s face it at his age and stage and with the numbers he’s putting up is still a superstar, hate it or love it. He’s been put through the ringer for his career like Bill Simmons or Shea Serrano, but now he’s being called on like Phil Collins to be one of the games greats like the genesis of his association with National Basketball.

So he may just be worth a package deal like your next vacation. Even if the Lakers are offering Kyle Kuzma and Quinn Cook for his services. Can I make a counter offer of Cook, Troy Daniels (great…but underused) and DeMarcus Cousins (although I do want to see how big he can literally get coming back and grunting with former post Pelican powerhouse Anthony Davis)? Throw in Drummond and it’s a go. Like Jerry Seinfeld superimposed into ‘Deal Or No Deal’ by NBC’s ’30 Rock’, “I gotta take that deal!”

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Pair Rose with LeBron and the frontcourt force of Howard and of course Davis then these London Olympic teammates would make for what a couple of five ring contests ago on dry erase would look like a dream team. And it still wakes up notions of one to this date in the 2020 year of Tokyo thanks to Vogels vision. But would the show be giving up too much this time?

“This time”…yeah right!

Quinn Cook has California championship pedigree, splashing with the brothers in Golden State like shopping on Rodeo Drive. And this Warrior has been integral this season. His number 2 from downtown reminding me of the should be retired clutch king Fisher (we can always raise 0.4 to the STAPLES rafters) and making me feel happier about buying a Lonzo Ball statement jersey last year…hey if I wear it under a jacket it looks like I’m cooking up love and representation for Quinn.

And then there’s Kuz.

If the Lakers trade away Kyle Kuzma then they will be giving up the last piece of their incredibly curated young core that is flying with the Pelicans right now. Although how could I forgot about the untouchable, All Star Alex Carushow and the fact that Anthony Davis isn’t calendar far from Larry Nance Jr. and new Jazz 6 man Jordan Clarkson?

Although Rose solves the Lakers perimeter problems and feels in the same prime time as what could be his All Star teammates (how legendary would a Rose/Rondo backcourt be although it’s hard not to know whether to deal him or Cook?), Kuz seems too good to let cruise like Tom. This top gun may have struggled early this season, but he was coming back from injury Lakers Twitter. And recently he’s been that Worthy third option behind the Big Game Magic of James and his Kareem or Shaq to his Kobe number 3 partner, waiting on those Jordan digits next season when the King carries the 6.

30 for 30 putting up “trade this” exclamatory numbers in the dynamic duos absence, even Batman and Robin needed a Nightwing. And as much as Rose could help the new Lake Showtime bloom and grow like fine wine for all of LeBron’s merlot men, you could imagine Kyle making the Lakers pay play after play like a D’Angelo Russell or Julius Randle off the team that draft clever, but trade stupid.

Keep the player. Trade the barber.

Zero to 1. The legend or the future superstar? The choice for this deal is the Kings.

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