In Loving Memory.
‘Rest In Peace Dr. Jerry Buss. Your Laker legacy lives on’. That was my Twitter tribute to the legendary, late owner of the Los Angeles Lakers who sadly died this week aged 80 years old. The Twitter feeds have been running with tributes for days from everyone from ex-Lakers to sportswriters and celebrities and fans alike. Still, a man who built a team for the decades ages before hash tags, top trends and social media dominated every world, (even the sports one) deserves more than 160 characters in his honor. This is for Jerry.
Today it doesn’t matter that the Lakers are fighting a losing battle. It doesn’t matter that the dream Dwight Howard trade is turning into an uncertain nightmare. It doesn’t matter that Steve Nash is getting older before our eyes. Today it doesn’t matter that Pau Gasol is on crutches, weeks away from giving this team hope. It doesn’t matter about D’Antoni, or Phil Jackson. Today it doesn’t even matter that Kobe Bryant is still on the best form of his career, no matter how great that is. Today is in remembrance. Today is for a man as legendary in Laker legacy lore as the Magic’s, Kareem’s, Shaq’s, Wilt’s, Baylor’s, Worthy’s and first namesake West’s. Today is for Jerry Buss.
We’re sure he’s up there talking in purple and gold colors with the voice of the Lakers Chick Hearn and the word of Los Angeles basketball Jim Murray. Watching down as his proud daughter and Buss family continue his vision for the future of the Lakers. A future this man built time and time again. Bringing his mustache and long hair to Hollywood and buying the Lakers off the Lakers Red Auerbach (complete with cigar) of the time Jack Kent Cooke. A man who came into Los Angeles in a Mercedes, with a playboy lifestyle perfect for this city and a hard work dedication paramount for this style and substance franchise. A man who left this town and sport as one of the greatest owners in basketball or any professional sport…ever.
A man who brought the slick Pat Riley and Showtime to the movie city, making Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the big blockbuster everyone wanted to see. A man who convinced Jack Nicholson and all the stars of stars that this game and team was something they’d want to pay a lot over and over again to see every night. A man who brought Shaq and Kobe, Phil Jackson and three more championships in when everyone thought Riley, Magic and ‘Cap where as good as it would get. A man that swung a trade for Pau Gasol when everyone thought it was over and another one for Dwight Howard when they thought it was all done and dusted. A man who even ignited the Sparks and the WNBA with Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker. When it’s all said and done, in the history of this team you could never count them out thanks to Jerry. Sure it’s players and coaches that win championships thanks to general managers, but it’s men like like Jerry who owned all the success too. That’s why he richly deserved to hoist every gold trophy he held. A man who was always there to help and guide.
A man who was more than the money that brought him the Hollywood lifestyle. He earned everything he made. Coming from poverty to perfection and showing he had more heart and soul then the straight business world basketball is turning into now. This is the same Doctor who earned his doctorate before his 24th birthday…on the side. His 10 championships was his real estate but like Earvin Johnson he was a man of may hats, maybe that inspiration of Jerry’s trick of the trade rubbed off on Magic. A poker player that donated 7.5 million to USC, an all round guy. A man who took his $67.5 mill investment into an influence and inspiration that can’t be quantified.
A man who deserves his place in the Hall Of Fame without ever wearing a jersey. A man who needs his own dedicated banner raised to the STAPLES rafters with the retired jerseys. A man who even deserves his own bronze sculpture with the rest of the immortalized Lakers statues outside the back of STAPLES. Give him a street name, nearby, a banner on Hotel Figureou even. A man who from the Forum to downtown L.A., the white and purple Mitchell and Ness trim to the new era jerseys was still here. No throwback, even now in his tragic passing all he’s done will last generations like his famous family. This man is the Los Angeles Lakers. Let’s hear it for him. This is for you Gerald Hatten Buss. Thank you. Rest peacefully.
Zero To Zero. We Could Watch Russ Vs Dame Until There’s No Time Left
Phones have been checked in Philly as missing posters have been put on telephone poles for Ben Simmons’ jumper. Whilst he has started a beef with Jared Dudley of the Brooklyn Nets that even rivals the one between Kevin Durant staring down Patrick Beverley.
Welcome to the 2019 NBA playoffs.
But the real rivalry of this first round that is a real knockout is the one between Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook. Two noughts to add up to something over nothing that could take this wild West clash between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Oklahoma City Thunder the seven game distance.
Watching these two points make one in the changing of the guard has been where amazing hardwood history happens. And whether the Thunder will reign over Rip City, or whether the city of roses will bloom over OKC all depends on whether the fuse is lit for the stick of dynamite, or the ticking click rings out. Either way whatever adds up to more on the box score will come from nothing.
But these numbers don’t lie.
A Game 3 showdown saw Russell Westbrook explode with a Kareem 33 and the Thunder poured out a 120-108 victory back home as Paul George double pumped a dunk as time expired like old ham on Dame and his men. But up 2-1 it’s not like Portland could blaze a trail to put OKC on the ropes. Even though they want to even things up and take it down to the wire for the next game and week.
D-Lill had 32. But Westbrook taunted that he was “too small” as he rocked the baby with one more point. Denis Schröeder also added 17 and a mock wrist watch tap celebration to Dame like Russell mocking Lance Stephenson’s air guitar against the Lakers. But time and Dame time again, hip-hop star Dame Dolla will play on until this all wraps up.
Laugh now, cry later. Because this one rhymes greater than you’re average player hater. He’s notorious. He’s B.I.G. and he’s ready to die for one more chance to kick in the door, for the skys the limit.
Dame Time runs 24/7 like a 7Eleven and with the ‘Mission Impossible’ fuse of Russell Westbrook never looking like it’s going to fallout like these two, we may need another P.G. by George to settle this score as these two Point Guard number noughts look to cancel each other out until the final score and last buzzer beaten rings out.
Trash talking. Sweat soaking. Until the clock runs out on Dame Time and one of our zeroes becomes hero, we could watch these two men go the full magnificent seven.
I mean ‘Why Not’?
Ryerson Rams’ 7-footer Tanor Ngom declares for NBA Draft
Ryerson Rams’ 7-foot-2 center
Ngom, a native of Dakar, Senegal, enjoyed a breakthrough sophomore season with the emerging Ryerson Rams’ of Canada’s U Sports basketball program — in 21 Ontario University Association (OUA) conference games, he averaged 11.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 19 minutes — connecting on 63.8% of his 88-138 field goal attempts.
Rams’ head coach Roy Rana discovered the late-blooming Ngom back in 2017 when he and a few of his players travelled to Senegal to take place in a basketball exchange forum.
During his freshman
Appearing in 23 games the towering bigmen contributed 5.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 12 minutes as the Ryerson Rams advanced to their first national title game.
Ngom’s improvement has been clearly evident in his two campaigns under Rana and features impressive mobility and athleticism for his size. A natural defensive disruptor — Ngom has worked hard to build his thin frame and expand his improving shooting touch from the charity stripe to the three-point line.
Ngom posted a career-highs in points (24) once and grabbed 11 rebounds on multiple (3x) occasions as well as swatting away 8 shots once. Additionally, he reached double-figures scoring in 10 of his last 15 games.
The seven-footer posted 12 points, six assists and three blocks in 24 minutes of action against the Duke Blue Devils during their much anticipated Canadian Tour. Ngom also bec
Unlike the recent NCAA rules changes that allow a player to test the NBA Draft process and still return to the collegiate ranks — The U Sports eligibility model and NBA Draft process aren’t quite clear at this point.
Regardless, Ngom’s path to the NBA faces a steep uphill battle — becoming the first player since Ottawa Gee-Gee’s All-Canadian guard Warren Ward broke barriers by tossing his name in the 2013 NBA Draft process — gathering buzz with a respectable workout at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas.
Canadian William Njoku (Halifax, Nova Scotia), a 6’10”, 193-pounds forward from the Saint Mary’s Huskies holds the exclusive distinction of being the last player from a Canadian university to be drafted in the modern NBA era.
Brooklyn born, Brian Heaney, a Canadian Basketball Hall of Famer and a member of the 1965 Acadia University Axemen championship team
Carleton Ravens’ all-time great point guard Phillip Scrubb — arguably Canada’s best university basketball player of all-time — never declared for the 2015 NBA Draft — but managed to play in the 2015 NBA Summer League with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Toronto Raptors.
Although not a common stake yet, it is inevitable that Canadian players declaring from Canadian universities to the NBA draft will one day, in the not very distant future become commonplace.
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