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Hawks Shoot Pistol Pete’s Jersey To The Stars

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The King?

Anything for a picture of LeBron right? Even if this is a Hawks article. No! Even if this is a great shot of a great jam. Even if the Cavs actually beat the ATL in this Eastern Conference powerhouse clash thriller 135-130. It’s not about that. Look where all those in shot are looking. The rim?! No! No that. Higher than that. To the ceilings like that confused Michael Jordan quote that’s making the internet rounds of ridicule and may even replace those sad memes. The G.O.A.T, John Wick or Batman. We’re not talking about the roof. We’re talking about the rafters. And look what all those surrounding Atlanta players are wearing…excuse me rocking. Lead by this years New Orleans All Star Paul Millsap at the four. Those toothpaste, blue, green and white tube striped aqua joints. You know who that’s for?

It’s their 15 man salute to the Pistol. The one and only Pete Maravich.

You didn’t think Pistol Pete was just the nickname of one of your buddies did you? You too Jobin?! Pistol Pete is the name that belongs to one man and one man only. Just like the phrase Slam Dunk will always be coined and owned by legendary Lakers announcer Chick Hearn. The floppy haired maverick Mavarich did things with the basketball that even the man who put games in refridgerators couldn’t even put into words…no matter how much his was worth. This White Chocolate before Jason Williams hit everyone with the behind the back pass and always met his mark. With a face that belonged in the prom high school diaries, most likely to succeed with Hollywood locks just waiting on a casting call from a stylist, but a game that could rule both the streets playgrounds and the clowns and hardwood circus of the same ABA his striped jerseys belonged in. This boy who schooled everyone graduated to the big leagues and now in his ceremony he is raised to the rafters. As his green and blue number 44 as symbolic to this Georgia state as Jerry West to this whole United States National Basketball Association of America took it’s pride of place years after the Jazz took note in Utah’s Salt Lake with his number 7 to hoop heaven. Surrounded by all the red and white legends of Dominique and Dikembe legend. Showing you just how much the Pistol started before all the other Hawks that flew. And what ended as one of the associations 50 greatest players and as legend has it the most creative offensive force the NBA has seen. Or as the man who caught it Havlicek puts it, “the best ballhandler in history”. Or one that anyone has ever seen…or not as the case may be. As the ball was flicked behind and before your eyes like true tophat Magic before Earv.

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But if only he could have seen it.

As Pete Maravich, the man who could put the ball behind his head, through all your teams legs, right behind everyone’s backs collapsed and died tragically on the same court he used to own and make his own in turn every single time he took the ball and ran the floor. Heart failure. Tragically at the tender age of just 40, back in 1988. Eight years after he finished his storied career with the legendary 80’s Bird Boston Celtics like another trailblazer Bill Walton. One thing that never failed that day on his court was his legacy that still loves to this day. And never will fail like one of his clean, crisp passes slicing the defence to his cutting offensive teammate. And this heritage night this weekend gone belonged to the late, great Pete as everyone who took their seats in the A rocked their free Pistol tees from row A to the visiting fans nosebleeds. Even if former Hawk Kyle Korver (another Atlanta great who knows how to make the peach soar towards the basket) coming back with Cleveland, had a Cavalier night rewriting NBA history. His tradmark three-pointer with just over a minute to go helped The Land break the regular season record for made shots from downtown with 25, some behind Kyrie (43) and the King (38) who combined for a Kobe-best 81 as the Cavs sunk their talons in the Hawks, clipping their wings.

But none spread theirs as much as Pete. Basketball’s angel watching down from hoop heaven, our gift from the basketball Gods. As the Hawks at halftime honoured the great Pistol Pete Maravich with a stunning, nostalgic neon light, video tribute on court that changed the red rebrand floor to those old aqua colorways as a sea of rich Mavarich memories washed over the ATL faithful.

Pistols up.

This shots for you Peter.

NBA

Millsap Mishap Could Keep Forward Behind 3 Months

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Poor Paul Millsap.

This campaign after becoming one of the biggest free agent pick ups of the offseason, one of the leagues leading Power Forwards has been put down on the medical report with an injury that could call him off sick for a quarter of a year.

The most reliable player over four periods has spent the bird share of his career helping his former Atlanta Hawks make it to the first round knockout stakes of the playoffs each year. But following the season where they didn’t make the cut of the second one, it was time for a change for the 32 year old number 4 who once looked to be the Utah Jazz, Karl Malone replacement Carlos Boozer didn’t turn out to be early in his career alongside former leading Point Guard Deron Williams.

And in the mile high city of Denver with a would be big-three of sophomore sensation Emmanuel Mudiay, dreaded defender Kenneth Faried and of course The Joker with the last laugh Nikola Jokic, these Nuggets in their new Nikes looked golden and finally past that baby blue Carmelo era (they may as well be as Anthony, now with the blue, white and orange of the Thunder isn’t even a Knick anymore (it’s ‘Old York’ now Knickerbockers)). But now like Ben Affleck looking at the ‘Justice League’ box office returns it’s time to ask the Nugs “why so serious” Batman as an injury to their versatile veteran forward of seasoned upon seasons of experience doesn’t exactly put a smile on their face.

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The All-Star was averaging a helpful handful of exactly 16 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists before tearing the ligaments in his left wrist in a 127-109 loss to the Lakers who themselves recently lost all dunking son Larry Nance Jr. to a broken wrist, but are thankful to be having him return after they cut the turkey this thanksgiving. Millsap and the Nuggets are looking at second opinions from docs offering the same sort of speedy recovery that doesn’t sap their frontline. But if they concur with the original diagnosis, it’s three months in a suit and tie and not to mention cast for Paul who will return in late February after the All Star break he normally never takes off.

The man with the three year, 90 mill deal helped make this outside eight seed threat Denver the new gritty, grinding Memphis of the West. Now without him the older than Richard Jefferson roster is thinner than the air up there in Colorado.

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NBA

Somebody Stop The Mask Of Kyrie Irving

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Smokin’!

Even that phrase delivered at a perfect Jim Carrey pitch can’t quite put into perspective just how hot Celtic Kyrie Irving is right now. Especially in the Boston green, Rip Hamilton face-mask.

Maybe those three little letters would do more justice for this league leader?

You know Menacing, Versatile, Phantom?

No?

How about M-V-P?

Kyrie joins Kobe, former Cleveland Cavalier teammate LeBron James and the man whose about to pass him the Maurice Poldoff torch, Russell Westbrook to be an absolute menace in the Phantom of the Opera face-mask, leaving other teams dead on basketballs biggest stage. He may have fractured and broken some bones in his face, but that won’t stop him as he fractures and breaks the backs and hearts of the faces of all the other franchises he faces off with night after excruciating night.

Those who used to say it must be the shoes (and have you seen his best in show sneaker designs complete with shamrocks like Starbucks on St Patrick’s Day this season heads? Those halloween pumpkin ones were the spice), are now saying it must be the mask.

Sure the plastic profile guard makes for some meme worthy Pinterest fan art appreciation but this guard has made a point at hating it…the sweat inducing mask that is, not the love. These kind of covers can blind you, but like the concussed legend of Celtic great Larry, letting it fly like a Bird above the baskets in the Boston Garden all the way to the rafters (as he saw too hoops like 80’s girls earrings and just aimed for the top one), Kyrie plays through all the pain and frustration. Taking it out on the ball (like opponents on Lakers rookie Lonzo) and the other teams hoops that to him seem bigger than those ones Bruno Mars sang about.

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Take Dallas for example. Irving just masked all his pain by taking the Mavericks for 47 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists in the last contest that took the Celtics to a sweet sixteen straight. After dropping two games following Gordon Hayward dropping out of the new season before the second quarter of his opening game one even played out, everyone was calling time on these new Celtics as soon as Gordon turned his ankle counter-clockwise. But now one of the best in the association Kyrie is showing LeBron and them he’s just as good as them or anyone alone like this man from down under always wanted to prove. This definition of clutch, who leaves everyone else in the fourth with straws has already shown on a championship scale against Curry of all hot guards that he can take the last shot that really matters. Now forget the Most Valuable Player award for a waning second or even the time his dynamic duo partner in pine Hayward comes back, Irving has the power to dribble drive all the way to the crown on his own.

And it’s going to take more than a mask to stop him.

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NBA

The Wind Brings The 2020 All-Star Game To Chicago

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1973. And the first NBA All-Star Game to play in the Windy City of Chicago, Illinois features the last All-Star game in the last season of two lasting Los Angeles Lakers legends. One man who scored 100 points in just one game, Wilt Chamberlain. And one man who was and still remains the one and only logo of this National Basketball Association, Jerry West.

1988. And arguably the greatest All-Star Game of all-time and an even better, best ever All-Star weekend sees Michael Jordan become Michael Jordan. M.J. scored 40 in an 138-133 O.T. A.S.G. win for the East meeting the West. But a day before all that he and the Slam Dunk Contest became even more legendary. As mere moments after storied Boston Celtic great Larry Bird asked “whose coming in second place” before raising his finger in victory before the ABA coloured moneyball ripped through the twine (no Nick Young swag), Money took off from the free throw line like a good doctor for his above the rim J and jumped over everybody including Atlanta Hawk wing spreading, sky-soarer Dominique Wilkins.

Now more than 30 years later after next years All-Star Game in the purple and gold city of Los Angeles and the 2019 one in the redeemed city of Charlotte, the 2020 and 69th All Star Game will be played in Michael’s old town of Chi-city. In the same year as Tokyo, Japan will hold the next Olympic Games, the game of basketball will go back to it’s 90’s roots and an inspired iconic landmark of hoop heaven that didn’t really have the same spirit in the seventies, but really Jumpman took off in the golden era eighties. So much so that the old ’88 All Star Weekend t-shirt is a historical thrift store must find for more than it’s 80’s Tron like, cool, retro logo.

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And with mid-February lovers big blockbuster basketball coming back to the city of wind like the river that runs through it, Chi-town needs this like out of towners need deep dish pizza. You only have to listen to the news or the Common album ‘Nobody’s Smiling’ (you know the legendary M.C. who used to wipe up Jordan’s sweat off the old Chicago Stadium hardwood has to perform at the mid-season classics halftime show) to know this classic city is marred by violence that burns through this second city like fire. The beloved Bulls have even become a “garbage team” to root for too, losing the big-three likes of last seasons Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade (who may even be on a farewell All Star tour once his hometown All Star weekend comes crossed off the calendar and everyone is united in the airlines center).

Now this team who relies on sophomore stud Denzel like Oscar hopeful movies will hopefully be back by the next few valentines. As the heart of the city in twenty twenty will want to see something as visionary as Sinatra’s kind of towns history.

That’s just the Chicago way.

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