Just when you thought duos couldn’t get any more dynamic in the death of the big-three and superteam dynasties, Batman. Here comes another Robin.
And we thought Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving aligning in Brooklyn for the new Nets and New York hotbed of hoops was a major move on the July 1st opening of free agency.
We hadn’t seen anything yet.
And this writer flying to NYC for a vacation that day saw so much change before he landed. Only to almost wait his whole trip in purple and gold to see where former Toronto Raptor champion Kawhi Leonard would end up. But whilst flying home last night so much more was up in the air whilst I was chasing Nike Jordan Jumpman clouds.
It all off-season of change took a new direction with the wind of what happy before the draft. The Los Angeles Lakers finally traded all their Ball, Ingram and Hart future for right now in Anthony Davis teaming up with former number 23, LeBron James. And then their cross-court rivals the L.A. Clippers said to their STAPLES neighbors, “you think thats trading draft picks and your future? You think you’re getting the Klaw?” As they gave up almost an entite draft board in a history pick axing to stonecut Kawhi Leonard and his new partner in court crime away from Canada and back to his home of California. Bringing fellow hometown Los Angeles hero Paul George onboard to the Clippers, for a duo the Lake Show have dreamed of for scripted seasons.
Only in Hollywood.
Leaving Oklahoma, George did a Durant on Westbrook who was finally sick of being left and decided to do the leaving himself too, asking for a trade. And despite all the big avenging blockbusters this summer like this Endgame and heated rumours of numero zero bringing his talents to South Beach to join the Butler in Miami, Houston told everyone to hold their beer as they made sure Russell Westbrook would end up back together with one player that left his reign in the Thunder. And the first one to do it too.
James Harden and Russell Westbrook reunited on the Rockets. How does that sound? Like a contender? How about Kevin Durant one day too?
Don’t hold your breath. Or your new Nets number seven jersey.
Harden and Westbrook will form the most dynamite, one-two punch of an offensive duo. Volatile in its tenacity. But erratic in its championship nature compared to a King and Brow, Kawhi and P.G., Kevin and Kyrie or even the original Splash Brothers over that bridge in San Francisco. But like Borg vs McEnroe, Agassi vs Sampras, Williams vs Williams, or Federer vs Nadal in the wonderful war of wills that is Wimbledon, they are still one of the four horsemen of contention. And no duo carries as much epic excitement as the entertaining MVP and triple-double machine.
Which way round? Who’s who? We could be talking about either or when it comes to the new devastating duo of the Beard and the Brodie.
But will these two in demand ball boys who love to turn the rock into that fireball off NBA Jam really be able to coexist?
Well they’ve done it before haven’t they?
And after 11 amazing seasons as the man in O.K.C. he’s going to be more than an O.K. sidekick. Next to Kevin and Kawhi as one of the big-three best players in the league Harden can go hard against anyone. And now with Westbrook in this wild west who will certainly draw your next NBA champion (until we can talk about former Thunder partner Kevin again in the 2020/2021 season), the new Big Game, King James has a worthy ally who can go sneaker-to-sneaker with all the Kyrie’s and George’s he knows better than most.
Its going to be one hell of a season of change on court.
But its not like Houston had no problem in getting him. They had to give up a lot of assets like their own draft picks to do so. They didn’t get the zero hero for nothing. To get him they traded away the purest point in Chris Paul. Who seemingly looked already out the door anyway due to father time and rumours having a rift beyond repair with the beard. Now as the hairs on Harden’s chinny, chin, chin reunites and teams up with ‘Why Not’, CP3 is expected to be moved almost immediately by OKC and potentailly end up as a consolation prize on the same Miami Heat who thought they would get Westbrook. But this Florida franchise has a great record with flash guards in father primetime. Meanwhile the Rockets have just picked up another valuable veteran to back up Clint Capela in last years big Lakers man Tyson Chandler.
These Rockets are looking large and ready to launch.
Now this new reunion partnership, one-two punch of Harden and Westbrook gets to step out and make their professional, preseason debut in the neon light of Tokyo against reigning champions Toronto. Set to be a big, double-header exhibition in Japan, Russ can take his futuristic fashion to the hallmark district of Harajuku where he can show off his on-court style and his off-court drip to cyberpunk streets which may aswell be catwalks.
Houston, what a way to make a project runway entrance. Rocketing to the Far East like his rising sun soaring dunks.
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.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 20 Pts, 20 Rebs, 10 Asts first Canadian NBA triple-double since 2006
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Hamilton, ON) became only the second Canadian basketball player in NBA history to record a triple-double — and the first in nearly 14 years, since Steve Nash in 2006.
Gilgeous-Alexander racked-up 20 points, career-high 20 rebounds and 10 assists in the 117-104 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The former one-and-done Kentucky Wildcat continued his efficient campaign shooting 8-of-12 field goals, connecting 2-of-3 triples and 2-of-2 from the foul-line.
Steve Nash recorded three triple-doubles in his illustrious 18-year career, the last one on April 19, 2006 — Nash finished with 16 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
The 20 rebounds is also a record-high by a Canadian guard and only the second 20/20 double-double by a Canadian — Jamaal Magloire notched a 22 point, 21 rebound game against the Toronto Raptors’ on March 21, 2004.
Most rebounds by a Canadian in the NBA
Samuel Dalembert (Montreal, QC) holds the record for the most rebounds in a NBA game with 23 against the Golden State Warriors on March 20, 2009. Followed by Magloire 22 and Tristan Thompson with 21.
Gilgeous-Alexander becomes the youngest guard to record 20-20-10 stat-line and joins Russell Westbrook as the only guards with a 20-point, 20-rebound triple-double over the last 30 seasons. He is also the youngest player in NBA history with a 20-rebound triple-double, passing Shaquille O’Neal.
RJ Barrett became the first Canadian basketball player to record a triple-double at the NCAA level in nearly 35 years during his lone freshman season with the Duke Blue Devils.
The OKC Thunder continue their playoff push with their 18 victory in the last 25 games and currently sit in 7th place in the western conference.
The Canadian guard is currently averaging 20 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists — shooting 46.4% from the floor, 33.6% from three-pointers and 81.6% from the foul-line while turning the ball over just 1.9 per game.
Canada NBA All-Star Drought
The 2020 NBA All-star game in Chicago is less than month away and as it currently stands, Gilgeous-Alexander doesn’t currently rank as one the top fan vote earners in a guard heavy western conference. Nevertheless, the Canadian stud could end Canada’s eight year NBA all-star game drought by earning a coach’s selection.
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