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Jordan Clarkson & Jabari Brown…Two Tigers Giving The Lakers More Teeth

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Jordan Clarkson & Jabari Brown...Two Tigers Giving The Lakers More Teeth

Endangered species! That’s what the losing Los Angeles Lakers have looked like this season.

Right now it looks like the only team they can possibly beat is the even more lowly and tanking Philadelphia 76ers…and who knows who will be number one in this Summers draft stakes.

What a season it has been. In the twilight of his classic career, Kobe Bryant has been out for another season with injury. Joining one of the greatest Point Guards of all-time Steve Nash, who had to call his career even earlier due to extensive, excruciating joint and nerve damage. Add Wayne Ellington’s season ending injury to what is probably Nick Young’s one and legendary trainer Gary Vitti’s table couldn’t make it up. The Lakers have lost their swag in more ways than one.

It all started on the opening day of the season when top rookie and future franchise face, big-man Julius Randle went down with an injury, breaking his leg and season. On the mend and speaking with fans via social-media in good spirits, thankfully this guy will be joined by another future star, top rookie next year.

‘Suiting Up Together’ is the hash tag trend and tide for this raw but ready Lakers squad of young and old, that features great guns like Wesley Johnson and valuable vets like Carlos Boozer. Still it’s all being brought together and led from the unlikeliest of places. A sleeper in the second round, after a stellar Summer league, Laker fans where calling the name and time of their new Point Guard. When your futures headed by the name Jordan you know things are going to be special…and Clarkson is exactly that.

Still it took injuries from fellow rookie Randle and Point Guard Nash and everybody else for Clarkson to finally get his shot from Scott, much like his old friend (more on that in a minute). But now he has former Showtime star and coach Byron Scott believes this kid could be an All-Star one day. A diamond in the rough, the Lakers had to go through hell for this slice of hoops heaven. A guy putting up big numbers in the Eddie Jones vest that belie his averages. Nearing career highs and triple doubles like its going to happen in the next game. All whilst setting up the table for his teammates with a fantastic feast that even saw him hold his own against Chef Curry of the new California king, Golden State Warriors.

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Clarkson is a top rookie this year, who may not be at the standard of Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins or Philly Sixer Nerlens Noel, but may have been if set off from the start of the season, making all sorts of points. Now after giving him a hand, it’s time the Lakers gave him some help and they did that in re-signing another one of their rooks. One who at the end of last Summer was released into the free agent wild…and didn’t look like he would find his way out of the jungle until everyone else was poached. Yep fellow Missouri Tiger, Jabari Brown may not be Jabari Parker, but joining his fellow, former college alumnus once again has been a “blessing” for Clarkson, a man who has blessed the Lakers.

From the backcourt to the frontrunners these running mates are leading the break once again as the Lakers new, young, dynamic duo of the future. After a spate of those old 10 dayers and some time with the affiliate Los Angeles D-Fenders, leading the D-League in scoring, Brown is now inking his rep back with the Lakers like his strong armed dunks. Bringing the whole of hometown Cali’ back to Staples, Oakland is definitely in the house.

For J.C. and J.B. those old glory days of yesterday are back with this youth in exuberant revolt. From Mizzou to Lakerland and black and yellow to purple and gold like Wiz Khalifia, these two ‘Show Me State’ stars are bringing Showtime back to Hollywood.

Tiger style!

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Giannis Antetokounmpo Is The Real MVP

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Giannis Antetokounmpo, Veronica Antetokounmpo
You're The MVP Too Mom...

Santa Monica, California was on an award tour like A Tribe Called Quest for the NBA’s end of season grand prize spectacle last night. Hanging out in the coolest performing arts theatre in all of Los Angeles (my apologies to the Hollywood Bowl), the converted airplane Barker Hangar played host to the 2019 NBA Awards. The Emmy’s, Oscar’s and Grammy’s of hoops Tony.

The best of the Basketball best and the cream of the future hops crop descended on this hangar, suited and booted like they were flossing injured courtside.

Shaq sized in the perfect setting in a place that houses feats of brilliance that take flight like Mike, this event could only be hosted by the one and only, Big Aristotle of the Diesel, Shaquille O’Neal (sorry Drake. Although you troll NBA players better than Kevin Hart telling Kenny Smith he’s so ashy if he smiles his lips will bleed as he goes to take a sip of his water). And the most entertaining NBA player ever (give him his award) laughed, joked, sang, rapped and danced his way to an enjoyable evening in the place he racked up three rings on repeat.

But how about the prize giving? Well your real Most Valuable Player this year is Giannis Antetokounmpo. Say what you will about last year’s MVP and this year’s runner up in the closest of recent races as tight as the Rookie of the Year voting, James Harden racking up triple-doubles like Charles Barkley says Lonzo Ball does triple-singles, but it’s the Alphabet’s time now after slaughtering this season gone. Sure he didn’t come away with the ‘chip like worthy candidate Kawhi Leonard and his (we still hope) Toronto Raptors, but that is his next challenge for the Mamba Mentality tweeted in congratulation by Kobe Bryant who predicted this MVP years back. And in a beautiful and emotional speech, Giannis dedicated all this to his dearly departed dad and his brothers and mom in attendance as every eye not dry in the house got out their seats in unanimous ovation.

And in a truly global game flying the flag outside the United States for each category winner, Antetokounmpo almost doubled up, finishing in second place for Defensive Player Of The Year, under the stifling Eiffel of French fly swatter, Rudy Gobert. As Paul George after an incredible season-no lucky shot-came in third place like he did for the MVP voting. Toronto not only got the ‘chip in the Six however as their X-factor Pascal Siakam came up with the Most Improved Player award ahead of Sacramento sophomore De’Aaron Fox and Brooklyn’s own (if they play their free agent cards right), D’Angelo Russell.

Must Read:  Brandon Ingram Is Beginning To Ingrain His Laker Legacy

Coach of the Year was bucked by Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer dry-erasing for the MVP. And Bradley Beal was passed the Community Assist Award for all the good this All Star has done. Give him a hand for all the ones he has. Whilst the Sportsmanship award went to new Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley Jr., who also racked up the Teammate Of The Year award for his grit n grind time with the Memphis Grizzlies. But who else for the Sixth Man of the Year award then the ‘6 Man’ of all-time, Lou Williams?

And the House Of Highlights Moment of the Year of course went to Derrick Rose. Can you guess for what game?

We have a ball rattling around the rim forever in Toronto that shoots for even more stars though.

But how about that Rookie of the Year award? Who you got? Because in narrowly beating out Atlanta Hawk Trae Young it’s clear the award belongs to superstar right now Luka Dončić after a Maverick season in Dallas. Where the Texan gunslinger from Slovenia is about to draw on them all next season. Look out for the kid like Pat Garrett.

Sager Strong, broadcaster Robin Roberts took home that award named in honour after the suited courtside with a microphone presenter. And her “make your mess your message” speech was the most inspiring of the night after her fight against breast cancer and bone marrow disease, raising awareness. Executive of the Year went to Jon Horst of the Milwaukee Bucks (sorry Rob Pelinka…jokes) but the Lifetime Achievement? Well that went to a former President who has just left office. No not Obama (although POTUS does have game…WAP!). But the Magic man, Earvin Johnson. The Laker legend honoured in California for all he’s done since starting the fast-break of Showtime, to changing the game behind the back without taking a single shot. All the way to walking away from it bravely when he was diagnosed with HIV and then making a comeback so beautifully for the man who will always be purple and gold with all this entrepreneur pulls out the empire of his top hat. Say what you will about his presidency residency but as we look to free agency this crazy offseason, remember who started all this off by bringing the King to Hollywood last Summer, waiting outside his house in his car at one in the morning.

Now that can’t be tampered with.

But all in all last nights NBA Awards show of All-Stars showed us one thing like the NBA Finals. No matter who took home the gold, we all came away winners.

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Philadelphia 76ers’ make Marial Shayok Ottawa’s first-ever NBA draft pick

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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.

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Shayok had busy NBA draft process – showcasing his versatile skill-set to 14 NBA front offices. Here is footage of his 76ers’ work-out.

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