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.
DO Call It A Carmelo Comeback. Anthony Is Guaranteed For Years
Three fingers like “what’s your poison” and shots to the dome like LL Cool J’s comeback. I’m calling it…
La La said knock you out.
They say there are no guarantees in this life, or league. But now after almost crossing off an entire calender, Carmelo Anthony has one in this league of X and O’s.
You best believe every team that slept on him has woke up now.
O.K. Thunder? Like old New York. No ‘Melo in Lakers yellow, or Houston’s problem.
And let’s not talk about that ATL jersey Atlanta tried to hawk.
The Nugget type of fellow that Nelly rapped about like ‘Na-Nana-Na’, with the heart of a champion sweat until he was no longer in a suit and part of the Sportscenter theme again. After waiting longer to align with The King in Hollywood for this Game Of Thrones than another Anthony (Davis), Carmelo ended up coming up roses in the RIP City of Portland. And boy has he blazed a trail. Voltron forming arguably a big three with the best backcourt in the league not in this nation’s capital with C.J. McCollum and Dame ‘Time’ Lillard with the look like the OK3 of Russell Westbrook and PG3 and not the Beard and the Brow.
And now he’s exceeded everyone’s greatest expectations. As one of the G.O.A.T.’s has polished his path to the Hall with a comeback even better than the return of Superman Dwight Howard with the Lakers…which could have had a Hollywood sequel with Carmelo’s comeback.
But the Lakers loss is the PDX’s blazing gain.
What more would you expect from a guy who still put up competent averages in the soaring Rockets cosmos, despite being grounded by little court acclaim? The problems in Houston could have actually been attributed to another guy who ended up ousted and in an Oklahoma home too. Despite the trolls who are now trading in hot takes like they never simulated 2K videos of him building a Commodore house with his shot selection. Or the analysts who are changing their discussion like a report rewrite.
Carmelo ain’t calming down. Anthony is taking everyone back to school.
Class has been in session.
And how about the report card? Eight games. 16.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Big shots. Western Conference Player of the Week. All Star legend spot? He belongs like the Carushow in the Slam Dunk Contest. He’s unstoppable like LeBron James’ Eurostep, spin-cycle lay-up that is like a runaway freight…word to Denzel Washington. Or his Kareem sky-hook. Tokyo 2020 Team USA bid for the best in five rings Olympic legend in his golden age? Big shots from the double 0 like seven. From nothing twice?! This is no time to die Mr. Bond.
He’s gone toe-to-shot with the MVP. Showed he was more than a most imported or Sixth Man, but still a star. More than the name, but the actual game. And now he’s guaranteed to be around for a while longer like he never left, but is here to stay. As the Blazers changed the trail on the end of the signature of his contract before the ink even dried for this guy’s with the wet jumper like staying outside in the snow with your ugly NBA sweater this Christmas.
This tax is more than a luxury. It’s about to cap off a classic career with one compelling closing chapter.
Even when he bit career highs at the core of his career in the Big Apple, the ever humble hero Carmelo was a walking and dribbling, “I just take it one game (or day) at a time” postgame soundbite like he has been in his comeback off court to on it. Well now the Blazers can guarantee him 365…or at least 82 or however far he takes them.
From the headband to the hoodie, stay ‘Melo. Anthony is here to stay.
After Expelling The Order Of The Phoenix, Wizards Exiled By L.A. King.
Forgive the title…I’ve spent the week reading all seven of J.K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ books. Expelliarmus.
Hey if its good enough for Kobe cosplaying as “he who shall not be named” one Halloween, like the King as Prince, or a cut above the rest Edward Scissorhands this year. It’s good enough for us. And Basketball’s the closest thing to Quidditch right?
But forget the Wizenard series for a page, today the Wizards were in town and speaking of Bryant some former young core Lakers were gunning for revenge like the Ingram, Hart and Ball-less Pelicans last game. Thomas Bryant, Moe Wagner and Isaac Bogna to be exact. Along with dynamo Isaiah Thomas shooting the bright lights out to prove LeBron, the Lakers and the rest of the league that shouldn’t have wrote him off wrong. Proving that the Lakers leave more youngsters on other people’s porches than the stereotypical beginnings of old movies about coming of age, against the odds. See ‘The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button’ and anything else set around that time.
But this weekend Hollywood had the perfect picture for their 10th straight W against D.C. Whose capital Washington game was big here in Tokyo with this writer and his new town for Japanese born Rui Hachimura’s clash with the titan. L.A. King versus the young king of the rising sun (no half-blood prince) that was going to be more Rakuten tuned into than when Tokyo hosted the Houston Rockets versus champion Toronto Raptors double-header first NBA Japan Games in decades last month.
But for the city in Shaq sized edition Dr. Buss tribute jerseys that were left on every fan that wanted tacos this Thanksgiving like LeBron calling on Tuesday’s seat pregame, it was former champion with Canada Danny Green who rediscovered his winners touch from downtown Los Angeles. Washington may be in a shooting spell themselves after scorching the Sun’s 140-132 Thursday in an Arizona shoot-out, but it was the Lakers who stunned them 125-103 today.
Yer a King, LeBron!
LeBron on a poetic couplet quest for the Lakers 17th championship in his year 17 was Magic with 11 assists and the number across his City Edition Nike in points. The same jersey number he’s going to give to Anthony Davis, despite this writer Black Friday buying his gold statement 3 yesterday (let’s hope that doesn’t end up like my Lonzo Ball road one this time last year next). A.D. lead the way with another double/double of 26 and 13 rebounds although Rui wasn’t afraid of going toe-to-sneaker toe with him, or never scared the King too with 16 points and 8 rebounds. As the next star next to star Bradley Beal’s 18 points and 9 assists showed Hollywood his coming to America story was Giannis worthy.
Bryant, Bogna and Wagner (seven and eight and one dunk on his head from Dwight in response to a flagrant) like Thomas with ten all showed out too against their old Showtime. But the Lakers who were still without defensive stalwart Avery Bradley like all these familiar, former faces got new help from Quinn Cook’s 17 out to the kitchen and another double trouble from fan favourite JaVale McGee who had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Whilst one of the best Point Guards of all-time still in his game Rajon Rondo had 13 in just two minutes less than that of play.
Shaqtin’a-fool in another reunion Dwight Howard (8 points, 5 rebounds and 2 “oh no you don’t, Mutombo finger wags) continued his bolstered bench presence against his old Washington state. But off a beautiful bounce ‘Brookyln 99’ copped pass from everybody’s hero Caruso he was T’d up after taunting after his big jam. Still the STAPLES Center loved it like they loved number 39 again after the D-12 drama. Who would have thought this guy would be back and back like this? Let alone dunking in a Shaq designed uniform?
But going 14 and 1 in November and winning 17 of 18 for their 10th straight, the league best Lakers haven’t been on box score paper this victorious for the record since those O’Neal 2000 champion days with the Wizenard Kobe. The Wizards may have a lot of tricks up their sleeve at the moment…but they haven’t got enough in their bag for this in the first part of their Hollywood road trip (just the best in the league Kawhi and homeboy P.G. next). Being outscored 84-36 in a half worth 24 like a Kobe throwback by the Lake Show.
But just wait until their new Japanese son rises.
I solemnly swear he’s going to be so good.
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