Magic took his top hat off last night, bowing his his head as he bowed out. Stepping down from the Lakers as President Johnson’s administration lasted for less time than the White House one in Hollywood. So let’s leave it there. Let’s remember him for the greatest Laker legend there ever was as a player. Getting the King as President and just like his head coaching career knowing when to step down when the time calls for it. And with that in mind let’s keep the kids, save the Walton’s job and realize that this scrappy young, injured team didn’t tank like cowards, but instead probably showed to would be free agents just how much the sun can keep rising in California when you don’t give up.
We see you Kevin, Kawhi and Kyrie.
But that wasn’t the only magic to end last night.
It’s been a week of one last times to end this one of a kind NBA season. Like the to be San Francisco Warriors playing their last regular season game in the “Believe” again tribute of the Golden State of Oakland. Or what could be for legends like Dallas Maverick Dirk Nowitzki (for sure and we already miss you), or Miami’s own lifer Udonis Haslem (how about your own retirement tour next season?). But last night in South Beach there was a Heat homecoming, one last dance for Florida’s favourite son. Alonzo Mourning to Shaquille O’Neal. Tim Hardaway to LeBron James.
Last night saw the last step in the greatest Miami Heat player of all-time introduced by a tribute from fellow Chicago born and raised President Obama and his own son. The Flash franchise face of Dwyane Wade’s swan song.
One more FlashDance.
And what a last waltz it was.
We can’t wait for the 30 For 30 documentary. But right now ESPN can wait. As 30 points were enough for Wade’s last home-stand as his Heat cooled off the Sixers 122-99 like blowing on your Philadelphia cheese steaks. As was a “whose cutting onions” courtside close commercial at halftime. Miami missed the playoffs last night and one last chance for Wade to make the postseason his world. But what a season it was anyway. They close out their campaign in Motown tomorrow night against Detroit where their piston of passion and power will lace them up for the last. But nothing was quite like seeing throw his arms up to a crowd that cheered all the way to the rafters his Hall of Fame jersey will one day belong with all those banners the top three Shooting Guard of all-time helped raise.
This one was for 3.
Like this Budweiser, raised like rafters in a pregame tribute and surprise that saw a starting five special shirt swap to conclude a season that has seen him exchange his legendary Heat jersey with uniforms of the best of the best of this golden age of the NBA he helped bring and birth. But none were quite as special as these before he Oprah swapped his jersey with everyone at the buzzer of his last dance. A woman who Dwyane took on a shopping spree after a fire took her home and possessions. A young man bearing a blazer from his first job interview whose Wade’s words changed. A young woman whose college tutiton was paid for by this NBA legend offering her cap and gown. The sister of Joaquin Oliver, the Parkland victim Dwyane Wade paid tribute to raising the last jersey this young, talented kid ever wore. And the best for last, his mom Jolinda, presenting him with the purple royalty robes after her son literally took her to church following her recovery from turning herself in from drug addiction (a sobering but strength redeeming story if you’ve ever read it in Dwyane’s definitive and moving memoir ‘A Father First’) . A church she now runs like the faith he always kept in family, from the court to off the floor. We’ll admit it we’re crying, just like you are.
“Wade County. I love you”, Dwyane shouted in his most iconic, white-hot signature swingman Heat number which will always be synonymous with his name, no matter who rocks it. As he jumped atop the scorers’ table to close out his curtain call game before falling off and onto Chrissy Teigen and her husband courtside.
This may be the last dance as he and 76er Jimmy Butler went out for a white suit affair postgame, but the music number 3 made here will sing for generations of bigger than Basketball inspiration to come.
He will always be a part of Heat culture. Dwyane Wade will always be welcome in Miami.
A Rose For Kuz?
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.
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”.
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!”
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.
Watch THIS Work! The WNBA Bets On Women
Ten years ago the motto of the Women’s National Basketball Association was to, ‘Expect Great’. Now a decade later and into the roaring 20’s of a whole new one and world, the league that tells you to watch them work truly has for all it’s worth.
The WNBA and CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) has reached a monumental moment in the leagues history and its time to read all about it on Los Angeles Sparks twin superstar Chiney Ogwumike’s Twitter thread.
It tells us the CBA means…
When it comes to players salary and compensation there will be a 30% increase to the salary cap as the higher max pay player salary jumps like Lisa Leslie’s first dunk from $117,500 to $215,000. Whilst there will be an additional compensation for those top tier Candace Parker players around $300,000. Moving millions this is thee first time the league has moved units like this in six figures. And like Russell Westbrook why not? Because for every player like him there’s an Ogwumike. For every Candace a LeBron. Every Luka Doncic a Breanna Stewart. Every Larry Bird a Sue. Kobe Bryant, Diana Taurasi. For every Michael Jordan a Lisa Leslie.
Every insufferable, couch potato chip, sexist fans who unlike a Suffragette doesn’t believe women deserves equal pay needs to check their pockets…yep like Rakim said that’s nothing but lint. Now paid in full these women deserve this and more like diversity at the Oscars. Just as good as the men like Michelle Wie (she’s not the logos sons wife people) golfing with the guys of you claim you’re “woke” on social media but can’t wake up to this then you’re about as woke as still in bed gone half 12 in the afternoon. It feels like all those trumped up people who had a problem with a female ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot. Or those old men who would rather bully a 17 year old girl with Aspergers online than believe in the actual happenings of climate change.
Sure there’s an argument that sportspeople shouldn’t be paid these ridiculous amounts of money. But the point is if the men get paid this much then why shouldn’t the women?
This should have happened a long time ago. But at least it’s happening now.
It’s about time.
Working mothers are also finally getting their due in a groundbreaking deal on this date. Players will receive a salary whilst on maternity leave with an additional new childcare stipend. Whilst up to $60,000 of progressive family planning benefits for veteran players for costs for adoption, surrogacy, oocyte cryopreservation, fertility and more. No longer will go hard greats like Skylar Diggins-Smith have to play whilst pregnant and hide it to protect herself whilst the CBA lists it as a “condition”.
Perks of the game that the men have had for years and the world class women deserve just as such also include individual hotel rooms for players, more mandatory leg room on flights (how important is this for basketball players? The NBA would cry personal foul if the King and them would be forced to fly economy), and further for the finances, off-season job opportunities with league partners that along with the salary rise will mean that WNBA players won’t, overplayed and underpaid have to go overseas in the off-season to earn more money to make ends meet in foreign leagues. Something which has been a conditioning condition and pay for play issue since the leagues inaugural inception.
And let’s not forget about the players mental health too in major improvements across the board and world to an issue still surrounded with stigma despite the lengths taken and measures made. More resources will be offered in addition to the adoption of a Nutrition Council that will aid peak performance by offering players a commitment to this optimization.
But it’s probably the stand made by the WNBA and the CBA against violence to women which is the most important. Ending domestic and all sorts of violence to women which has happened to players around the league and still happens everyday, effecting everyone needs to end NOW like it should have never happened. It seems like such a ridiculously obvious thing to say…but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said.
Again and again until we don’t have to.
The wide world has finally met the standards of the women’s game and league on the way to leveling the playing field. More of the same…do we really need to add the please now?
Betting on sporting events is a losers game. But betting on women-like the ones in this league-is a sure thing.
The game changed for real today.
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