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.
Philadelphia 76ers’ make Marial Shayok Ottawa’s first-ever NBA draft pick
Ottawa’s Marial Shayok has achieved his ultimate dream — becoming the city’s first-ever NBA draft pick. The Philadelphia 76ers selected Shayok with the 54th-pick overall in the second-round of the 2019 NBA Draft.
The former St.Patrick’s Irish high school standout celebrated his special and emotional moment at home with family and friends.
“You did it bro, you did bro…”
“Let’s go baby! You going to Philly…”
For Shayok and his family the historic moment is a culmination of life-long sacrifices that started in South Sudan with his 6’9″ father Makor Shayok moving his wife and three-daughters to America. The elder Makor set post at Alvin Texas Community College and earned a scholarship to the Dayton Flyers, playing from 1990-1992.
Makor’s eldest, Shayok Shayok (born in Miami) and his sister Yar Shayok also followed dad’s footsteps and played NCAA basketball – Shayok going to Bradley and transferring to UMKC and Yar playing with Detroit Mercy Titans women’s program.
The family migrated to Ottawa, Canada in the mid-90’s and on July 26th, 1995 the youngest Shayok was born.
Marial left Ottawa for New Jersey’s Blair Academy after three-years with the St.Pats Irish — he originally committed to the Marquette Golden Eagles but transferred to the Virginia Cavaliers after the coach (Buzz Williams) that originally recruited him bailed on the program in 2015.
Shayok had busy NBA draft process – showcasing his versatile skill-set to 14 NBA front offices. Here is footage of his 76ers’ work-out.
Mardi Gras For New Orleans On Pelicans Road To Zion
Zion. Zion. Zion.
Cause for celebration, or at least a premature parade in a conclusion as foregone as the Anthony Davis trade with the Lakers. The Duke KABOOM of all the all dunking Zion Lion is a YES for N.O. As with the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft live from New York City a few days before Saturday Night, Williamson is a New Orleans Pelican.
The most exciting league prospect since LeBron James may not get to play with the King’s new man after the Davis trade. But he has all the toys in the form of all the boys that would have been the future of the Lake Show (out of a lucky 13 over the last half-decade of drafts only Kyle Kuzma remains) in the young princes of soaring, scoring Brandon Ingram, true teammate Josh Hart and the alley-oops to be thrown by point man and former number 2 pick like B.I., Lonzo Ball (have you noticed that since this trade there has been little word of Zion dropping out the draft and heading back to college like Yeezus in reverse?). Not to mention Julius Randle if they can convince the big to stay and bolster their Davis-less frontcourt with the top picks of guys like Okafor. And not to forget like Jrue Holiday all the draft choices over the next few years the Pels will get. Just like the one they’ve just traded on draft night. As with the fourth pick in the 2019 Draft the Los Ange…sorry the New Orle…excuse me, the Atlanta Hawks select DeAndre Hunter.
Good will hunting. See what you could have won Lake Show?
I guess the Duke isn’t going back to college anymore.
What a way to replace Davis in a matter of days with the Thanos game changing, season of wind in a draft snap.
But like the year the King took his throne with the likes of Carmelo and the Flash of Dwyane for his first dance, the NBA Draft isn’t just about one man, Sam Bowie.
And as the Just Do It Nike campaign “from underated to undeniable” don’t write off Murray State’s Ja Morant like people did and for some reason still do (Hello Brooklyn?!) D’Angelo Russell. Replacing veteran the Grizz grit legend of Mike Conley Jr. traded to Utah, Morant will bring that grind. Rolling, expect Ja to rule Memphis like another King with the rock.
Now the New York Knicks may have wanted to make Zion their new King, but the lottery that New York didn’t win weeks ago already said balls to all that. But judging from the reaction of ‘BlackKklansman’ director Spike Lee with the big three pick, the Mecca made the right choice with the franchises new face of Madison Square Garden and Big Apple in another Duke standout in R.J. Barrett, for their post Porzingis and ‘Melo era. It almost looked on the cards, or in the bag like his shot on the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show. Where he bucketed a Knicks mannequin head (don’t ask) after trying the cap it wore on first to which Jimmy replied after he nailed it, “it must be the Knicks”!
Darius Garland completed the top five for the Cleveland Cavaliers still searching for that new Land owner after the King took his talents to Hollywood. The Timberwolves got the sixth of Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver after a trade with the Suns that will soon be as official as the AD one. Whilst coming in seventh and eighth, the Bulls got Coby White and the Pelicans after a trade with Atlanta further their Lake Showtime future with two top tens and Texas’ blocking and dunking with a Texan name straight out of ‘A Star Is Born’, Jaxson Hayes.
Big in Japan. History was made last night in a draft that was already one for the record books as straight out of Gonzaga and now a Wizard like Harry in Washington D.C., Rui Hachimura became the first ever Japanese player to be drafted in the first round with the ninth. But don’t sleep on last year’s rookie out of Memphis, Yuta Watanabe who still has all the tools to be the future next to Morant.
But in one of the best drafts in recent years in a class of its own, there was so much talent to choose from in this pool that there was always bound to be players that missed the top ten cut, way below their deserved position. But just making it to the first block, Duke’s Cam Reddish taken at ten by the Hawks (who also have their talons in two top tens for their Trae Young lead future) still seems like a sleeper. This Laker fan who when we originally held the fourth wanted us to go with Cam or Manute’s son Bol Bol (second round slide? Really? This guy with the spiders’ web suit has the length and versatility to be a game changer). But just wait until this fire under him proves everyone (or at least nine or so other teams) wrong this killa season.
This draft is so Method Man abyss deep that it won’t just be the Pelicans who fly this season in Crescent City. With so much uncertainty this free agency at least some teams that hit the lottery have just the ticket punched for the future of their franchises with what the draft blew in.
But reaching the mount with Zion at number one is a gift from the Basketball God’s.