After what seemed like months, or even years, but in the end what wasn’t even a week of speculation, the last big free agent name has come off the board as reigning NBA champion and Finals MVP for the Toronto Raptors (he may have only played a year but he made hoops history worthy of his jersey being retired in Toronto), Kawhi Leonard has left the cold of Canada for his cool California home.
Last night there was an earthquake in Nevada and it wasn’t Zion in his Las Vegas Summer league debut. But this one is off the Richter.
Kawhi Leonard has signed with…the Los Angeles…
Is it April? Even your funny feeling didn’t see this one coming. I guess all of us who make it our life’s work to talk about this sort of stuff really don’t know Jack like Nicholson.
Cue that laugh and a rib tickling roll of memes and GIFs.
Yep, you read it right and it is no bad dream you are waking up from. LeBron James may have made a grand gesture with the 6 by giving up his iconic number 23 for new Laker teammate Anthony Davis (who gets to have that number retired in STAPLES now? Both? Like Kobe has two?), who in turn waived his 4 mill trade kicker so the Lakers could sign another max player (perhaps it’s time to gift wrap give him that back), but all that came up with dust for the King who is bringing back the chalk toss this year for a Hollywood franchise that can never script free agency well.
Time to paint over that Kawhi mural with a Clippers jersey.
But that’s not it for the Lakers cross-court rival Clippers who still seek to make the STAPLES Center their staple and do for L.A. what Brooklyn have done for N.Y. taking the emphasis away from the more famous, storied franchise of the city and looking to run this town into the future.
New York will soon be known for as much the Nets as it is the Knicks and Los Angeles has already been seen just as much as a Clippers nation as it is a Lakers one, ever since they moved in their own direction with a new logo that doesn’t look the same as their downtown neighbors.
Although they may want to change their current look if they really wanted to be treated seriously.
Taking Paul George away from the Oklahoma City Thunder for loads of draft picks for the new dynamic duo is a good start.
Kawhi not Russell Westbrook?
Last season Laker fans thought hometown hero Paul George was going to come to the Lakers after years of teasing how he wanted to be there when free and any team that would trade for him would have him only serving as a rental (Okay OKC?), only for him to umbrella purple reign for the Thunder in the end. It sounded all too familiar for the Lake Show with what next year’s free agent Anthony Davis said last season. So to avoid being once burned, twice never learned they traded Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and a haul of draft choices to the Pelicans for AD (if you think that’s a waste think of it like this, when the Lakers got Kobe to join forces with Shaq they ended up losing over a season Vlade Divac, Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel. Gaining back Fisher, Fox and Horry. But would you have it any other way? This move for LeBron James will be like when Kobe Bryant got Pau Gasol to team up with). They all met last night courtside in sin city. Old and new teammates. Julius Randle in the Dipset tee too. It was all good. It was all love. Although we had the Anthony Mackie ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ when Scarlett met Bruce, “well this is awkward” meme ready.
Now they may not have got their chance to create their biggest and best big three since the days of Magic, Kareem and the so very underrated Big Game James Worthy (hold that clap), but they still have one of the best dynamic duos (best since Diesel and Mamba) in the NBA to rival the Nets gain and the Clips new Jordan and Pippen of, Kawhi and P.G. in a league where maybe now the classic, golden era one-two punch has replaced the superteam. They just need another Anthony finally, Kyle Korver downtown and Andre Igudola as their sixth. As now they are bolstering their bench resigning JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo and KCP and bringing in last season Warriors, Quinn Cook and what could be huge in DeMarcus Cousins’ Pelicans reunion with Davis and Leonard’s former Raptors and San Antonio running mate, Danny Green today. Not the Toronto Star they wanted first and foremost, but still a great pick-up in La La LeBron’s Lakerland.
What was he just saying about two superstars on the same team? As Kawhi and George join forces with former Lakers, defensive dog Pat Beverly and 6 God of all-time Lou Will (the celebration after they won in Vegas is real) to make this Los Angeles rivalry the best it’s ever been or been seen. And it’s all thanks to a Lakers legend taking the gold away from the purple. As Jerry West proves why he is the logo becoming a winner in the NBA more in his front office days than his playing ones. The icon that won a Finals MVP for the losing side has just added this year’s one and champion in Leonard for four years to all the free agents he’s managed to bring in to his ball-clubs. Whether it be Shaquille O’Neal in Los Angeles as a Laker, or new Net Kevin Durant for the Golden State Warriors. Now for this executive California King, THAT’S a big-three people.
Derby days like Liverpool and Everton or Manchester’s City or United in soccer. Whoever wins this heated rivalry in downtown’s battle for Los Angeles will be the King like LeBron hope he can be again after his crown slipped in this game of thrones. And let’s not sleep on the R.J., Randle, Payton and Smith Jr. Knicks who could really be something in the future fight for N.Y. But if you come at ‘Bron you best not miss as LAC look to put up their own banners now instead of covering all the ones the Lakers have won up there. The Clippers are the talk of the barbershop now and a long way from the DeAndre drama or the Blake and CP3 LAX soaring days that started with a Laker nixing. Now the sky beyond the ceiling of the rafters with this former Raptor is the limit.
But here’s the tip. It all starts on the hardwood. Let’s take it to the floor. Supreme court is about to be in session.
Far from a Ball reality show, Hollywood blockbuster drama like this just can’t be wrote with special effects. Now playing in a theatre near you, whose holding the popcorn?
Time to shake the world.
Fireworks after the fourth? Kawhi to the Clippers? Stranger things have happened. One Summer can change everything.
Miami Heat ink Canadian guard Mychal Mulder
The Miami Heat have signed Canadian guard Mychal Mulder (Windsor, Ont.) to a training camp deal.
Mulder averaged 8.8 points per game, 3.4 rebounds on 16-of-38 (42%) shooting in five games for the Chicago Bulls at the 2019 Las Vegas NBA Summer League. The Canadian guard had solid a 18-point, 4-rebound, 2 assists outing against Cleveland — knocking down 6-of-10 field goals and 3-of-6 triples.
The 6’4″ guard has spent the past two seasons sharpening his toolkit with the Windy City Bulls of the G-League. In 47 starts with Windy City — Mulder elevated his game from averaging 13.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists — knocking down 46.1 % of his (229/497) attempts.
Mulder went undrafted in 2017 after two seasons with the Kentucky Wildcats — appearing in 56 games and contributing 4.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 2016-17 — his final collegiate campaign under John Calipari.
The Miami training camp roster features three Canadian players. Six-year NBA veteran Kelly Olynyk, under-guaranteed contract returns for his third-season with the Heat. Recently undrafted 7-footer, Kyle Alexander (Milton, ON) also signed a training camp deal, and similar to Mulder are expected to join the Sioux Falls Skyforce — the Heat’s G-League affiliate team.
Mulder’s training camp deal brings a record total of 24 Canadian basketball players currently under contract with NBA teams — 16 guaranteed, with the remainder, a combination of non-guaranteed contracts ranging from two-way, exhibit 10 to training camp deals.
2019-2020 Canadians NBA
|First Name||Last Name||Team||POS||HT||WT||City||Province||College||Conference||Contract|
|Tristan||Thompson||CLE||F||6'10"||238||Brampton||ON||Texas||SEC||5 yr(s) / $82M|
|Cory||Joseph||SAC||PG||6'4"||193||Pickering||ON||Texas||SEC||3 yr(s) / $37.2M|
|Dwight||Powell||DAL||F||6'11"||240||Toronto||ON||Stanford||PAC-12||3 yr(s) / $33M|
|Trey||Lyles||DEN||F||6'10"||234||Saskatoon||SK||Kentucky||SEC||4 yr(s) / $33M|
|Kelly||Olynyk||MIA||F||7'0"||240||Kamploops||BC||Gonzaga||WCC||4 yr(s) / $50M|
|Andrew||Wiggins||MIN||F||6'8"||194||Vaughan||ON||Kansas||Big 12||5 yr(s) / $147.7M|
|Jamal||Murray||DEN||PG||6'4"||207||Kitchener||ON||Kentucky||SEC||4 yr(s) / $195.6M|
|Dillon||Brooks||MEM||F||6'6"||220||Mississauga||ON||Oregon||PAC-12||3 yr(s) / $3.8M|
|Shai||Gilgeous-Alexander||OKC||PG||6'6"||180||Hamilton||ON||Kentucky||SEC||2 yr(s) / $7.3M|
|Chris||Boucher||TOR||F||6'10"||201||Montreal||QC||Oregon||PAC-12||2 yr(s) / $2M|
|Khem||Birch||ORL||F||6'9"||233||Montreal||QC||UNLV||MWC||2 yr(s) / $6M|
|RJ||Barrett||NYK||F||6'7"||202||Mississauga||ON||Duke||ACC||2 yr(s) / $16M|
|Brandon||Clarke||MEM||F||6'8"||215||Vancouver||BC||Gonzaga||WCC||2 yr(s) / $5M|
|Ignas||Brazdeikis||NYK||F||6'7"||215||Mississauga||ON||Michigan||BIG Ten||2 yr(s) / $2.4M|
|Nickeil||Alexander-Walker||NOP||G||6'5"||205||Toronto||ON||Virginia Tech||ACC||2 yr(s) / $6M|
|Mfiondu||Kabengele||LAC||F||6'10"||250||Burlington||ON||Florida State||ACC||2 yr(s) / $4M|
|Marial||Shayok||PHI||G||6'6"||201||Ottawa||ON||Iowa State||Big 12||N/A|
|Naz||Mitrou-Long||IND||PG||6'4"||218||Mississauga||ON||Iowa State||Big 12||N/A|
|Lindell||Wigginton||MIN||G||6'2"||189||Dartmouth||NS||Iowa State||Big 12||N/A|
Shaun Livingston Lived For His Career
“I wasn’t supposed to be here”.
Shaun Livingston wasn’t even supposed to be still playing.
But boy did he.
He almost lost his leg.
But man he didn’t.
When Shaun Livingston entered the league as the fourth pick and a wide eyed kid with youthful exuberance above the rim in Hollywood. Him and the youngest Roc L.A. Familia (remember the classic SLAM cover?) crew of Elton Brand, Lamar Odom, Darius Miles, Corey Maggette and Keyon Dooling even took some of the bright lights of downtown L.A. from Shaq and Kobe of all dynamic duos from the basements of STAPLES. Arguably the most exciting Clippers team this side of Buffalo…yeah I said it Blake, Jordan and CP3…you too Kawhi and PG-13. It was an Iverson age of cornrows and tattoos. It was the generations hood to the storied Lake Show’s Hollywood history.
But then with a death of a dynasty a bunch of young Roc’s with the rock ended up all over the place too like State Property. The future of these young guns looked bleak like Memphis. Miles went to LeBron’s Land before the King. Elton ended up setting up his Brand in Philly. Whilst Odom went cross-court and stadium with the Lakers after a brief stint of talent in Miami when he was traded back to the bright lights and Kardashian city for Shaq.
But what happened to Shaun Livingston was so much worse.
With Charlotte as a Bobcat Shaun suffered a gruesome injury so bad it almost made Gordon Hayward’s opening night one look like a sprain…almost. Lets not front for the funny that injury was so bad and his comeback story so good too ’till this playing day.
But no comeback story in this league is greater than Livingston’s, living for his career.
He almost lost his leg. Instead doctors saved it and then through the hardest of work and the most powerful perseverance Shaun saved his career…and then made it even better. And he could even still catch a few above the rim.
Number 34 ended up back in California with the Golden State Warriors via a comeback in the B.K. with the Brooklyn Nets. Out in The City of Oak Town he ended up winning three championships and going to two more finals before calling it a career yesterday and feeling “sad, fortunate and grateful” in his retirement. He was microwave more than just a super sub alongside legendary Sixth Man Finals MVP Andre Igudola (also gone this off-season with some guy name Kevin). He was an integral player to the dynasty influence that showed the Dubs were more than just the Splash Brothers of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson or Draymond and Durant. His jersey belongs up there in the new state of the art arena in San Francisco across the Golden Gate although his legend and legacy will always tram remain in the Golden State of Oakland, as the Warriors look to maybe Six Man legend Jamal Crawford to replace in joining big signing D’Angelo Russell in backing up the backcourt.
Now that’s what I call a true Warrior King.
Don’t call it a comeback unless it’s like this.
Subscribe to our Newsletter!
Canadian Basketball Insider Newsletter
FIBA3 weeks ago
Canada announces final 12-man roster for 2019 FIBA World Cup
FIBA3 weeks ago
Australia hand USA first loss since 2006, ending 78 game winning streak
FIBA3 weeks ago
USA pounds Canada in final 2019 FIBA World Cup tune-up
FIBA2 weeks ago
Lithuania end Canada’s 2019 FIBA World Cup dream
FIBA2 weeks ago
Australia too much for Canada in 2019 FIBA World Cup opener
NBA4 days ago
After A Big Three In The BIG3, Triplet Joe Johnson Is Back
NBA2 weeks ago
Timberwolves sign Canadian rookie Lindell Wigginton
FIBA2 weeks ago
Canada beat Senegal scoop-up first World Cup win since 2002