The Second Coming.
Kevin Durant is tired of being in second place. MVP’s, championships, the whole, damn thing. Do you hear that LeBron? I know he’s been talking tweet trash with your buddy Wade recently but his assassins eye is on the creed of your Miami jerseys blood red? Do you hear that Kobe? He’s obviously believes he’s that much better. Right now, yes, but we all know how it stacks up in the G.O.A.T rankings. Do you hear that fans? Do you believe in David and Goliath stories and legends? You know the kind where a big, strong force is moved by something much smaller? Where a skinny man, shows what’s buried deeper inside? The ability to develop and stand next to the big boys of the nation a-la Captain America? Sure in the league of the NBA there are two perennial stars of stars to marvel at; Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Still, however as the debate between who is better rages on, these two corners of the association have had to make room for one more like ‘Bron’s teammates in South Beach in this avenging season.
Over the years not much touches the NBA’s puppets, except the man who’ll be pulling the strings in years time as the next Godfather of the association; Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant is the future. Now, just like rap’s greatest Jay-Z and the late, great Notorious B.I.G. we ‘aint saying Durant’s better then the leagues big, but he’s the closest one. LeBron may be the MVP with a valuable team, weighed in championship gold two times for the scales, but Kevin can outscore the King and he and the Thunder may just be able to get to his throne quicker with his lightening, fast play. Kobe may have the rings and the legend, but Kevin’s next in line for a championship as he lays the path of his own, unique legacy. Durant and his Oklahoma City Thunder caught the Lakers multiple playoffs ago now and Kobe can’t keep up with Durant’s youth much longer. It’s all about to get fine like wine as Vino’s prime keeps pouring away and this storm rider keeps soaring.
They are arguably the best team outside of the new beast east, even with a clicking championship contender in the Spurs of San Antonio. As they age and sage, the west will be Durant’s like his athletic teammate Russell. Just wait until he returns from injury, with franchise partner and one of the strongest points in the league; Russell Westbrook and a great team of players, from former Celtic Perkins to Africa’s Ibaka, Lakers and clutch legend Derek Fisher and a host of names stepping it up to the household. In addition to the silver linings of a playbook of coaches and fans behind him behind him there really is a storm coming, with a forecast of ‘reign’ and we aren’t talking about Seattle’s Storm. This is Oklahoma’s team and time now. Kevin has taken this former Seattle team from the bargain basements of sale to the top of peoples ‘League Pass’ expense accounts at super Sonic speed. Motoring this Oklahoma, ‘Ford Centre’ inhabitants forward with his keys in the ignition. Affecting change like he had shares in Starbucks (they still did the Sonics and the city of Seattle wrong by the way).
Waking up a city that missed it’s one-year rental Hornets like strong coffee, stinging the notion of a one and done year. This amazing ‘Durantula’ has climbed up the leagues web, keeping his smooth as silk team right with him as his spindly arms string together all sorts of powerful, hammer-of-Thor dunks for his Thunder team when he runs the break like a gazelle and no one else in the NBA kingdom. The points, wins and newspaper headlines keep on pouring out for Oklahoma City. Special K is more then a basketball serial killer, or scoring machine. He’s the complete, franchise player and leader like fellow, former scoring champ Allen Iverson before him. Unquestionably this guy is answering the critics and showing fellow top scorers that 30 points per game is the new 20. Once, twice Commodore times a scoring leader and champion. Put that in your box-score as he smokes the opposition.
Durant shares more with Kevin Love then a first name. He’s part of an exciting breed of next generation players who are going to take the worldwide league to more Magic/Bird, Kobe/LeBron popular heights. He’s already proven his global worth, leading the charge in the World Championships, before carrying the flag for Team USA in the golden Olympic Games in London in 2012. The globe is listening to more then just his brand of headphones. We don’t even know this guys ceiling yet, but right now it’s looking as beautiful as the Sistine Chapel. The sum of Kevin’s part add up to something huge. With some Kob’ and ‘Bron in him, and the scoring and competitive killer instinct of Mike, this guy really is an heir apparent. Still, however with the addition of a cool, calm, but fire-inside, Tim Duncan demeanour in him and a body and versatility type of a young Kevin Garnett this guys multiplying talents can he’ll divide double teams and subtract the opposition.
On the whole however-despite the influences-Durant is his own man and a one-of-a-kind player. He is an establishing legend, who is already being the benchmark that younger, drafted players are being compared to and this guys only 24. He could even be so much more. This do it all, all-star guy is the kind of player that on his best day could win the ‘Slam Dunk’, three-point and skills contest at the All-Star weekend. He’s already won the quickly defunct game of ‘H.O.R.S.E.’ showing this top scorer can do more then just outscore everybody, he can shoot from anywhere too. Just check his top ten plays and add some miracle, made to look easy shots to the memory bank off the glass. Still Kevin Durant’s not concerned with February like jilted lovers and broken hearts. He’s already married a WNBA player now he wants the ring. This lone man wants to still be in the heart of NBA partners come late Spring and right now him and his Thunder are in matrimony with the best of the leagues best.
Really all that will be left is the king and his men and although LeBron James really is the best, Durant will have no problem taking his talents to South Beach and seeing what he can leave with. Blood? Sweat? Champagne burnt championship tears? It may take a few more years for this man to show the league that the real heat belongs in Oklahoma, but right now one thing is clear, Kevin Durant is here and his legend is here too. To stay as his legacy continues to the legend of banners and rafter jerseys making their way to the hall of hoops immortality. We are witnessing someone before his time, take the league by storm. The opposition better stay in doors, K.D.’s got more then a foot in, he’s kicking it in like the Notorious one and everyone knows his name. The Thunder’s top man has hit the league with a lightening bolt and he’s about to strike once again. He’s tired of being in second place, so you better keep up pace in this race. If your eyes are shaded by the Miami heat you better look outside…there’s a storm coming.
Kuzmania Starts A Forum For The Lakers To Play A Game In Inglewood Next Season
Holding the leather Spalding up in the air like it was the Larry O’Brien trophy, a game before the Los Angeles Lakers 2017/2018 season would officially end before the playoff campaign. Head coach Luke Walton, suit-jacket off and relaxed asks Andre Ingram how long he’s been playing in the D…excuse us, the G-League for. “10 years” the decade, 32 year old vet (who Brandon calls cuz, but isn’t actually a relation…although he’s now a Laker brother) replies after posting 19 exuberant points in his NBA debut. Just days before he would throw out the first, ceremonial baseball pitch at a L.A. Dodgers game. “Hell of an opening night man” coach says in kind as he shakes his hand, follows with an embrace and then hands him the game ball before ‘Dre’s day ends with a fingers to the sky team huddle of “together” on three.
That’s just the kind of season these young Lakers have had.
But how can yet another losing one bring so much joy, let alone hope?
Let’s write it out again…
That’s just the kind of season these young Lakers have had.
And if it leads to free agents like hometown hero Paul George signing. Or even the King, LeBron James in La La Land for his closing Hollywood career chapter on court. Then you couldn’t even script it better than Lavar wanting all the Ball boys on the floor at the same time.
And who knows who they’ll win in the lottery when the draft balls fall this Summer.
But even if all this becomes a bust the Lakers still have an incredible young core lead by Lonzo, Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and many more late round steals like Ivica Zubac and this years class class of Josh Hart and the new Bryant, Thomas. Kobe who? All this after even losing Six Man stud Jordan Clarkson and slam show stopper Larry Nance Jr to Cleveland. But they did get still all superstar shooter Isaiah Thomas in return and maybe more to join vets like downtown big Brook Lopez, K.C.P. and the milk carton of Luol Deng.
Even some of their young, South Bay Lakers affiliates have come up big like Ingram. From son of the glove, Gary Payton II, to Alex Caruso ending the season starting at the point with Ball at the baseline sidelines. Even Travis Wear has gone from 10 days to shooting the contract three like Mike Penberthy.
Yet one of the biggest and most pleasant surprises of the season has been the Kuzmania (time to get your t-shirt) of the Kuzmanian devil, Kyle Kuzma. From a Nick Young jersey zero to one of the top ten Rookie of the Year heroes. From Summer League to preseason and now his regular one exit interview, K has had just as good if not better rookie year than his number two running mate with the second pick in the NBA draft.
And from bringing the Kareem sky-hook back to rocking the number nine Nick ‘The Quick’ Van Exel Champion jersey pregame, the kid is a throwback like the Clarkson fashion taking over chinchilla coat he rocks as he walks into STAPLES. But now Kuz wants to take that old school trend setting to Inglewood, like when he drove a burgundy 70’s Cadillac DeVille to an iconic parking lot for a recent feature shoot for SLAM magazine.
Kyle thinks the Lakers should play a game in the hallowed halls of The Forum next season.
And as much as we like the lights out downtown future of STAPLES (or as much as T-Mac warned him about the vintage facilities on ESPN’s The Jump) we couldn’t agree more for a league that loves to pay homage to their hardwood classic history like Mitchell and Ness.
Joining the Forum club again like when Magic and Cap made the 80’s Lakers ‘Showtime’ and put the Hollywood in basketball would be a nostalgia trip, especially for the clubs President. It would make a nice 20 year plus comeback (save 2009) after new millennium rival San Antonio swept them right out the stadium in ’97. This is the Lakers Boston Garden. Their Spectrum. Their court coliseum. And those marble pillars over red still stand strong like the statues of the greats from Chick to Elgin outside STAPLES.
Besides ‘Bron and P.G. would love it.
Time to get those baby blue MPLS jerseys ready.
And don’t forget about ‘Dre.
Lakers Statue Preserves The Ice Of Elgin Baylor’s Legend
“Elgin should be here”!
That’s what the ever humble hero of the Los Angeles Lakers, Jerry West said when the famous franchise unveiled Mr. Clutch’s statue back in 2011. That’s what the actual, still to this day logo of the National Basketball Association said about his symbolic teammate in his signature moment. The ‘Ice’ to his dynamic duo nicknamed ‘Fire’.
And now seven years sealed later Mr. West joined recent bronze brothers and goliath giants Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal and President Magic, as the storied Lakers franchise finally gave the 82 year old Elgin the epic ending his Hollywood career deserved in engraved writing.
The number 11 in SLAM magazines recent ‘Top 100 Players of All-Time’ issue, whose 22 already belongs in the rafters with all the aformentioned, both of Oscar winner Kobe’s digits and all the other Worthy Laker legends now joins Shaq, Cap, Earvin and Chick in stone setting. So much so that the Lakers will soon run out of places outside STAPLES to put their legends (especially if they give Kobe two statues). At this rate if he does come over they may have to put LeBron over in the Nokia Theatre’s parking lot. That was just a joke King…please still exile from The Land.
Without Baylor we may have not had the Dr. J. like high-flying legends of M.J. or King James. As this guy revolutionized the dunk aswell as his sky-hook impossible to guard hanging jump shot that brought career averages of 27 and change, hung with around 10 boards. And this guy stood at a Chuck power move mound rebound like 6, 4. It was this kind of offensive arsenal that set the tone with a back in the day greatest one-game point total of 71. Before Laker great Wilt’s 100 stunted that in Philly, generations before Kobe tried to beat all that with 81 (the Mamba man via video tribute telling Elgin he stole so many of his moves, “it wasn’t even funny”).
Legendary Lakers Pulitzer beat writer Jim Murray-whose L.A. Times behind the desk deserve their own statue next to Chick-compared Elgin’s Empire scaling career to King Kong. Knocking away defenders like bi-planes, who roach scattered like bust up craps games. But Baylor was more to this game then just Hollywood Laker flash. One of the first African American sports superstars in Jackie Robinson’s time also lead a Players Union protest before the 1964 All-Star, which truly changed the game and gave these players the rights they have today. After he hung them up he also won an ‘Executive Of The Year’ award across the hall with the rival L.A. Clippers. R&B superstar Elgin Baylor Lumpkin, better known as Ginuwine was also named after the Hall of Famer and called a judge character off his coming of age album ‘The Senior’ after the NBA great who starred alongside both the Jackson 5 and Buck Rogers. Don’t believe us read all about it in Baylor’s new book named after the best damn Basketball drama, ‘Hang Time’ that will be put up on shelves to end this month.
Elgin Baylor was the blue and white/purple and gold, post-Mikan and pre-Wilt Laker bridge between Minneapolis and Los Angeles. So it was only right his multiple arm dunking statue was curtain called at the half between a Lakers game with Minnesota. It wasn’t fitting however that donned in Mamba snakeskin black L.A. lost 113-96 to the Timberwolves with the black tux service of Jimmy Butler’s draped 18. An Elgin epic like 20 and 10 from both Lakers future Julius Randle and rookie Josh Hart (actually 11 rebounds) weren’t enough after Kyle Kuzma left the game in the third with a sprained ankle. Neither was big from downtown seven footer Brook Lopez’s starting 15 that was so tight it tagged ‘Lop3z’ Twitter trends.
But by the end of this almost 82 game closing playoff push it wasn’t all for the win, but the 82 year old that changed the game.
When you think of the golden days in Lakers purple, Baylor made this franchise like he did their storied history.
All you need is the record books to read his story.
Will Three ‘LABron’ Billboards Outside Downtown L.A. Lead To A Hollywood Ending For The King?
Hollywood comes calling…
…but still no decision…
…how come King James?
‘Dear Basketball’ last month Laker legend Kobe Bryant won NBA’s first Oscar (yeah I know how can the Academy not award ‘Space Jam’?). Putting number 24 ahead of number 23 in gold statues (the Mamba still trails the G.O.A.T six to five in gold rings though). When the closest STAPLES normally gets to award showcases outside the hosted All-Star game during the February love in is when they take a break to host the Grammys.
But it looks like another 23 could make another Lake Show stopper move this Summer straight out of the script of tinsletowns biggest picture.
Despite a decision that took his talents from South Beach, back home and to the promised land years ago. Cleveland’s own LeBron James may be playing his last campaign as a Cavalier. And the final chapter of his storied career could have a Hollywood ending for the King with one of NBA histories most storied franchises.
It could be ‘La La LeBron’ in Lakerland’s city of stars.
Especially if some billboards outside downtown Los Angeles have anything to do with it.
Taking a cue from ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ Best Actress Oscar winner Frances McDormand’s movie (who the actress sent up herself with Jimmy Kimmel with her own trio of billboards after someone stole her Academy Award. Don’t worry she got it back like the Cavs want ‘Bron), a superfan in Los Angeles set up some real estate with some advertising hoardings like Paul Rudd in ‘I Love You Man’ (“License To Sell…that’s hilarious!”) hash-tagging the new free agent trend of ‘LABron’.
Three other towns have hung ‘Bron billboards with an outside chance of landing the King. From his Akron birthplace who refuse to witness throwing rocks at the King this summer, declaring “There’s No Place Like Home”. To even hilariously a New Zealand ballclub wanting to turn the King into a Kiwi. But Philly started the process first. Although L.A. doesn’t want James to trust this but believe instead in the banners that could hang in the royalty of their rafters. Along with they hope his number 23 one day for the one who is still in his prime at a Kareem jersey age.
And when the King was in town to witness all this last month he put on a show in President Magic’s city of Showtime. From the best damn no look pass of his career period. Which drew go fetch tennis ball, dog owner comparisons. To bounce passing the ball between Ball of all players legs.
And with a Lakers/Cavs deadline day trade that saw L.A. and Cleveland clean house and land for LeBron. Further fuel has been ignited to the ‘Casino’ like behind the jersey talk that has everyone betting on ‘LeBron Ball’ for the ‘Lonzo Angeles Lakers’.
The Lakers may have lost two of their sharpest shooting, youngest guns in ‘Sixth Man’ sure-thing Jordan Clarkson and all dunking Ohio son Larry Nance Jr. to Cleveland. But they now have All-Star I.T. support. However whether LeBron reunites with former Cav superstar Isaiah Thomas remains to be seen in more ways than one.
It’s all up in the smoggy air of the summer breeze atmosphere whether Christmas will come early for tinsletown. Like whether another hometown hero superstar Paul George will leave the Thunder and align with the King in the city that never rains (but reigns in purple like Prince), to help make the Lakers young core of Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Kyle Kuzma and Ball be all they can be right now.
Then that will be something worthy like James to hang on the three pillars of Hotel Figueroa outside STAPLES.
The City Of Angels will be praying these billboards bring banners.
Only in Hollywood.
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