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.
Is It Time For The Lakers To Make A Move On Another Anthony?
Nelly back in the day (2004) on the ‘Sweat’ part of his that and ‘Suit’ dual album release rapped, “I’m a Nugget type of fellow, I push the Carmelo” on the ‘Na-Nana-Na’ track that came after the ‘Heart Of Champion’ opening tip that sampled the Sportscenter iconic ESPN theme. Why are we mentioning this? Well, not only because it’s a hot line that made a hot song. But because it’s seemed this long ago since ‘Melo made waves in the L.
Even if his last stint last season with the Houston Rockets lasted so long it may as well have been a 10 day contract for the veterans minimum for the former Mile High City legend and New York Knick King.
But with all the talk on the problems in Houston between James Harden and Chris Paul, focussing on whether the Lakers will finally get their man in CP3. No nixing this time (too late) like they have Anthony Davis. Maybe it time the Lakers finally got an Anthony that they’ve been courting longer than this whole Davis debacle.
Conveniently just days after the Lakers landed Davis for seemingly half of Los Angeles (minus the Hollywood sign and cast of LeBron James’ ‘Space Jam 2’ (Klay Thompson people)) and all of their future (except the man, the myth, the Kyle Kuzma), the Overtime Twitter account added something extra with Anthony (not AD) hoisting up practice jumpers with the tag-line, “Carmelo just doesn’t miss” (word?!) in all caps. But in a timeline trend for tampering there’s no harm or foul here in a little seed planting in a subtweet of ‘Melo making some charity stripe shots peacocking.
It’s no charity attempt either if the Lake Show make an offer Carmelo can’t refuse either for the Godfather’s team this time unlike this trade deadline gone. The meme team of JaVale McGee, Michael Beasley, Lance Stephenson and Rajon Rondo has dealt with former All Stars as veteran contributers before for one year deals which we wouldn’t be mad at a re-up. So how about one for a certified legend that is one championship away from a Hall of Fame induction down the corridor of his career?
Then aside from the last dance of Dwyane Wade the banana boat will be complete.
Wine tasting with the King, ‘Melo is one of ‘Bron’s best friends forever. Hash-tag B.F.F’s. So it’s almost destined that the two rookie rivals that entered the league head-to-head will one day leave it as teammates. But it makes more sense that the Lakers finally make the move for Anthony after the other Anthony. The trade for Davis may have given the Lakers their best dynamic duo since Shaq and Kobe and the next big man great in the legendary Lakers lineage after Mikan, Wilt, O’Neal and Pau Gasol. But it also decimated their team. And we aren’t just talking about the star power potential of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and whom this weekends number four and future draft picks will concern. But the actual team over superteam aspect of glue guys they’ve lost like the defensive Josh Hart, who holds court as the best role player the Lakers have had and held since the Shaq and Kobe days of Robert Horry, Rick Fox and Sparks Head Coach, Derek Fisher.
So if the Lakers want to top the ‘Stranger Things’ team of vets this player power generation Independence Day next month, then they could produce on paper fireworks for the dry erase with big names like ‘Melo and CP3, for second unit scoring and point production off an even bigger bench. Sure the focus this free agency is on the K’s of Kawhi, Kevin and Kyrie…if they can even afford them with Anthony’s bonus. But they should also look to small ball build a team with the available assets of bigs like Al Horford and guys like former ‘Bron team buddy Kyle Korver from downtown if you want to talk about 2K’s.
Besides at this point apart from the new big-three of James, Davis and Kuzma and a couple of rookie contracts (Bonga and Wagner) the Lakers want to shop by the draft for mo, the Lakers barely have enough players under contract now to put out on the floor, let alone in reserve.
And with 40% of the association about to enter free agency and with previous young core Laker losses like Russell and Randle about to be unrestricted among them, it’s time for the Lakers to stop playing fantasy Basketball like LeBron hates and play smart Basketball like we all love like Kevin.
One Anthony deserves another. Time to make ‘Melo yellow.
It’s Time For The Lake Show To Seek Redemption With Randle And Russell
Raised eyebrows, the Lakers have finally got Anthony Davis.
This you know as clear as the fact that the young core is gone and done.
I mean are y’all finished or are y’all done?
Lonzo Ball. Brandon Ingram. Josh Hart and all those draft picks starting with the one the Lake Show were going to go fourth with this weekend. Joining the likes of Zubac, Bryant (Thomas), Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson.
Everyone expect Kyle Kuzma…and my boy Moe Wagner.
And now with the new dynamic duo of Davis and James set there are at least two more players the Lakers should realistically pursue in free agency this Summer of smash.
And we aren’t talking about any of the special K’s for the King.
Kawhi, Kevin, Kemba or Kyrie. Finish your breakfast.
That might just be too much for the Lakers plate. Y’all remember what it was like when Chris Paul got nixed and became a Los Angeles Clipper instead. Well funny thing that might come full circle and redemption may happen as CP3 may finally get his chance to team up with another purple and gold legend of our generation on the Lakers. Even if it is too little, too father time late.
But the ultimate redemption that should be sought with the Lakers isn’t with a former Houston Rocket.
And we aren’t talking about Carmelo either. Or one Anthony finally coming around deserves another to join that McGee, Stephenson and Rondo meme team of former All-Star big name bench.
We’re talking about two former young, future Lakers who could hopefully be that again.
Yeah in our wildest memes.
How the Lakers didn’t ask for Julius Randle back when they gave up the whole house and coast for A.D. is beyond me. Maybe because he’s about to be free (but they didn’t learn that with Ant Davis). Maybe because never in a million years. Either way perhaps it’s time for the Lakers to offer Julius the millions they should have this time last year.
We all make mistakes what matters is that we learn from them and make that change.
And if that wasn’t enough. The Lakers may not need another big but they for sure need a clutch closer. And although with word of him wanting to join Davis and still being in play for a LeBron reunion. If Kyrie Irving does end up signing in Brooklyn like rumors have it, then it is said that there will likely be no room in the Nets for D’Angelo Russell. No matter how many he netted last season. Swish, swish. He’s a three point shooter. Now the Lakers could go after D-Lo instead. Despite the fact that the Lakers (Magic) gave up on him when they ended up going after the Ball…but as of this morning we all know how that turned out.
Russell doesn’t deserved to be let down by another team. Especially with the home be found and all be did for the city as a first time All Star in the B.K. But if all isn’t O.K. there then no one quite understands what it’s like to be scorned like the ones who spurned you. The Nets would be wrong to give up on D’Angelo like the Lakers were and will make clear with their pitch for the guy whose been hanging out in soccer stadiums like Barcelona’s Nou Camp recently, before both team and former player maybe face off in Shanghai and Shenzhen this October.
Will once Laker D’Angelo Russell be remade in purple and gold by China?
Crazier things look to still happen this off-season in Hollywood now we need something to replace the LaVar Ball reality show. I mean this is a team that even wants to bring Brook back downtown.
The only Lopez in L.A. can’t just be George. And we don’t mean his twin. Although like if they kept both Gasol’s it would be so much better.
Still with the draft blowing in, if the Lakers officially sign Anthony Davis after Independence Day on July 6th then they will be able to save more money. Especially if A.D. waives his trade bonus (which would be a good sign to tell if he’s sticking around next year when he becomes a free agent that could just walk away after all this and all the Lakers lost for nothing). Around 30 mill they get to spend with the cap space to bring in any Kemba, Kyrie or Kawhi they want…K?
But even so if they at least make an offer for Randle or Russell then it will be a pitch that at least says, we we’re wrong.
It’s the least they and the likes of Lonzo, Brandon Ingram and Hart (hey Josh I’ll give you a high-five if you stay) deserve.
And at the most it could lead to so much more.
No story in Basketball is quite as beautiful or real as redemption.
The Laker like Marley should make it sing.
They just got rid of their entire young core. It’s time to get it back, piece by piece.