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.
Blazing A Trail Back To The NBA. Portland Land Carmelo
Catching the ball out of bounds as a spectator courtside. Carmelo Anthony is no longer dribbling the ball to the baseline in street clothes. About to put up a shot before smiling and passing it to the referee like, “just kidding!”
‘Melo is back and Twitter just won’t calm down.
He deserves the character.
Way to reverse the trends Carmelo.
No New York state of reunion. Or things to do in Denver when your career is almost dead for the Nugget golden era icon. No chance to finally wear that Atlanta Hawk jersey they especially made for him. No banana boat ride with LeBron in Lakeland for the purple and gold to finally get another Anthony they seemed forever linked with like arms of the father of the bride. No matrimony to toast with wine friend Chris Paul back in Oklahoma (although the Thunder and roaring Rockets wish they could have him now) either. But the man who was wedded to rumour for this last year like he always will be the game has ended up blazing a trail back to the NBA with Portland. Back in bloom in Rose City as ‘Melo shows with Rip City it’s not R.I.P. to his career, but the criticism that came to whether he was still capable on court.
The hoodie and headband is back.
Just look at his t-shirt in the above picture. Soaked through with sweat in just another practice run were he just wouldn’t give up or in.
Now it’s time to really ball.
Sure it would have been great to see him basketball befriend the King rival he rookie entered the league with for a true Hollywood end. The Basketball God storybooks would have loved him to retake his Knick throne as the Ewing, Bernard, King of New York even more. But now he’s blazing with the PDX best backcourt duo of Dame Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Joining All Star, legend vets like Pau Gasol to help this Wild West team back to the contender saloon. Last time he left the league, ‘Melo had averages of 13.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 0.5 assists per game. With percentages of 40.5% from the field and 32.8% from three. And Houston thought they’d have no problem giving him up and keeping CP3 and James Harden like OKC losing an OK3 of him, Westbrook and PG3?
They said he wasn’t in the game like A.I. But he’s a ‘Champion’ like Young Jeezy on a Nicki Minaj song with Nas and Drake. “Big ballin’ like Jeremy Lin (doing so in Beijing), ‘Melo!”
What a difference a year makes.
It’s all A-O.K. now.
Now it’s Jamal Crawford’s turn to crossover back.
No ‘Melo yellow. Or Syracuse orange in N.Y.C. But none of that matters. The contract in Oregon is non guaranteed. But call it a comeback like Dwight Howard back in Lakeland. And you’ve seen what a couple of big dunks, blocks and games has done to his big man Laker legacy. After it looked like he was blackballed from the NBA, let alone Hollywood. But you can always flip the script and bring your big name back. And when it comes to the back of your jersey. Not many come bigger than number 15 or 7 with his new seal.
He’s one of the greats like is a N.Y.K. G.O.A.T. This generation, or the game all-time. It’s time to recognize what the name means. This is not redemption. But a revolution in reunion of a legend and the game he’s given everything to. That’s finally giving him what’s owed to him.
The respect he deserves.
The legacy continues.
You can’t keep a good man down.
Hoods up for this marathon. The hate is gone like a sprint through social media.
All for the love of the hardwood.
Summer run to season come.
Stay ‘Melo. Because your boy is back like he never left.
Don’t call it a comeback…he’s here to stay.
Marial Shayok 42 points helps Delaware Blue Coats get first win
Marial Shayok became the first Ottawa basketball player to get drafted into the NBA and now he’s quickly making a case for permanent NBA roster spot.
Two games into his G-league/NBA career the former Iowa State Cyclones is sizzling hot — averaging 38 points per game, 7.5 rebounds and 3 assists.
Shayok made a splash with a 34 point, 6 rebound, 3 assist debut and upped his numbers in his second game as the Delaware Blue Coats downed the Greensboro Swarm 141-135 to pick-up their first win.
The Philadelphia 76ers two-way player scored 42 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and added 3 assists in just 34 minutes. Shayok connected on 14-of-27 shots, 3-of-9 triples and a perfect 9-of-9 at the charity stripe.
Shayok, alongside a bevy of Canadians are currently strutting their games in the G-League — vying for a call-up for the bright lights.
Resilient, shorthanded Raptors hand Lakers 113-104 home loss
Talk about about being resilient. Talk about championship mentality. Talk about next man up!
The shorthanded Toronto Raptors — missing two of their main players walked into Staples Centre and walked out with an impressive 113-104 signature victory over the highly touted Los Angeles Lakers.
The Raptors improve to 7-2 on the young season and in the process and have now beaten the Los Angeles Lakers 10 straight times — dating back to the 2014-15 regular season when the Lakers won 129-122 in overtime in L.A.
Pascal Siakam continued his stellar season with 24 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks. Freddy VanVleet was also brilliant with 22 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals. Chris Boucher came off the bench to spark the Raptors on both ends of the court, including back-to-back key blocks on Lebron James and Anthony Davis. The Montreal native tied a career-high with 15 points, 3 blocks, 2 steals — including 9 points in the fourth quarter.
Norman Powell added 14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Rookie Terrence Davis filled-up the stat sheet with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, playing his first significant action of the season, rounded out six Raptors’ players in double-figures with 10 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
Anthony Davis paced the Lakers with 27 points and 8 rebounds. Lebron James added to his triple-double total with 13 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds. Danny Green was held scoreless in 27 minutes.
The Raptors currently on five game west coast swing improve to 4-0 against the tough western conference and will play former teammate Kawhi Leornard and the Los Angeles Clippers in their next game, before wrapping-up one their longest road trips with games against Portland and the Dallas Mavericks.
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