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Kawhi returning to Canada as Clippers, Mavs clash in Vancouver

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Kawhi Leonard Returning To Canada As Clippers Mavs Clash Vancouver

Kawhi Leonard is coming back to Canada a little earlier than expected. Only this time it won’t be as a member of the Toronto Raptors.

As part of the 2019 NBA Canada Series, the Los Angeles Clippers will face-off against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, October 17, 2019 in Vancouver at the Rogers Arena.

This will mark the second consecutive year that Kawhi will showcase his all-star skills to the starving Vancouver basketball market. The Raptors’ kicked off their 2018-19 championship season in Vancouver, beating Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday September 29th, 2018.

2019 Nba Canada Series Clippers Mavericks Vancouver Nba
2019 NBA Canada Series – Clippers vs. Mavericks in Vancouver.

With Leonard, a two-time champion and two-time NBA Finals MVP back to his usual west coast surroundings — Raptors, Canadians fans were expected to only get one chance to once again get up close and personal with the man who brought so many memorable memories to the country and fan-base.

The Clippers’ will undoubtedly be one of the hottest tickets in town and are favorite to win the championship as Kawhi and Paul George look to bring respectability to a NBA franchise in dire need of change. The preseason clash is a great opportunity to get a sneak peak of what they could look like come June 2020.

The Clippers also drafted promising Canadian rookie Mfiondu Kabengele (Burlington, Ont.) who has has been outstanding in the 2019 NBA Summer League.

Luka Doncic Dwight Powell Dallas Maverics
2019 NBA Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic and Canadian Dwight Powell – Photo: Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks roster features highly skilled Canadian player Dwight Powell, a Toronto native that has asserted himself in the Mavericks rotation and agreed to resign with the team with a 4-year deal worth $10.2 million per year.

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The Mavs are once again expected to compete for a NBA playoffs spot in the Western Conference, and have a bevy of talent with 2019 rookie of the year Luka Dončić and Kristaps Porziņģis.

The NBA Canada Series have done a tremendous job bringing live NBA basketball across local Canadian communities and has been an integral part of the growth of the game.

The uprising of the 50-plus Jurassic Parks’ during the Raptors’ first championship run can be highly attributed to previous NBA Canada Series and training camps that have taken place in Halifax, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Montreal and Vancouver.

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NBA

Miami Heat ink Canadian guard Mychal Mulder

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Miami Heat Ink Canadian Guard Mychal Mulder
Shoot your shot. Canadian Mychal Mulder inks with Miami Heat

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.

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NBA

Shaun Livingston Lived For His Career

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Shaun Livingston Lived For His Career
The Greatest Comeback Ever Told...

“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.

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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.

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