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Kevin Love: What, now?

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A year ago, the Cavaliers lost a hard-fought championship series to the Golden State Warriors. Many people believed that had Cleveland been healthy they would have captured that elusive title the city so desperately wanted, which sparked players in the organization to openly campaign for everyone’s return.

The biggest question loomed around Kevin Love, who had just gone through the hardest season of his career. During that season, many reports said that Love was looking for other options, he did not fit in with his teammates, and on the court he had no chemistry with them. But, still Love opted to stay because he was “All In.”

So owner Dan Gilbert, and General Manager David Griffin went to work with Jeff Schwartz, Kevin Love’s agent. The result was a five-years, 110 million dollars contract. A lofty contract for a player who saw his stat decrease the previous year, but it was for the greater good. It was all done for the championship.

However, as the grueling season wore on the players, and the fans, Love stood out due to his lackluster play. Time and time again, Kevin Love disappeared in big games.

His seven points, one rebound, and one assist in 16 minutes versus Miami on March 19 (L 101-122), or his 3 points, six rebounds in 21 minutes versus Golden State on January 18 (L 98-132), or his five points, eight rebounds versus Miami on January 12 (L 99-84), all rose eyebrows.

What’s worse is that on (too) many occasions Head Coach Tyronn Lue benched Love in the fourth quarters of tight contests in favor of Tristan Thompson, Timofey Mozgov, or Iman Shumpert due to their prowess on the defensive side of the ball.

While the critics quieted during the first two rounds of the playoffs when Cleveland swept both Detroit and Atlanta, people got a first-hand look at Love’s makeup when things got tight in the Conference Finals against Toronto (games 3 and 4). In those two games, Love scored 13 total points and grabbed 11 total rebounds.

But, in the other four games, for blowout wins for the Cavaliers, Love scored 14, 19, 25, and 20. This series echoed the negative critics about Kevin Love, which say that when the game is tight, and the pressure mounts, he disappears.

Then, came the NBA Finals. A fantasy, star-studded rematch with the Golden State Warriors that had fans salivating at the matchup. Although Cleveland lost the opener 104-89, Love had a big game (17 points, 13 rebounds), but that was the beginning of the end.

In game 2, Cleveland was demolished 110-77, and Love finished with a mere 5 points and 3 rebounds before going down with a concussion. He was not cleared to play in game 3, which ended in a 120-90 rout of Golden State.

It was in the aftermath of game 3 that Cavaliers fans everywhere began campaigns against Kevin Love. Giles Debenham created a campaign on GoFundMe.com to pay Love 10 million dollars for him to sit out both games 6 and 7.

During the championship parade, LeBron James basically thrashed Kevin Love while trying to praise him.

Which leaves us here: where will Kevin Love play next season, now that he has won a championship?

Teams with cap space and championship aspirations could sign him as a secondary option on the offensive side of the ball, and a big presence down low who can rebound with the best of them.

If Love’s time in Cleveland has taught us one thing about him, it is that he can’t be the third wheel, but his time in Minnesota taught us that if he were the primary option you would have a hard time.

As of right now, the hottest rumors have him in Boston. But, don’t discount a return to his native Los Angeles.

For a man who stands at an impressive 6’10, 251lbs, Love is athletic, a good passer (but he is no LeBron James), a great rebounder, but his shot makes him unique. Most power forwards play close to the basket, but Love falls in the Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan School of mid-range to long distance shooting.

He also fits in Golden State’s style of basketball, Houston, and Portland. He could also go to Miami, if Hassan Whiteside leaves. This will be a busy summer for the former all-star, but how much money did his poor season cost him?

It was just two years ago, that Kevin Love was universally recognized as the best power forward in the NBA, and now he is an afterthought. Will his ego demand a max contract, or will he understand that his value has greatly diminished?

NBA

New Toronto ‘City’ Jerseys Point North To The 6

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IMG 20180115 092655
Six Flag

Better late and sharp to the party than never looking fly.

Sometimes in the streets of Toronto you just have to wait for a good thing. Like that CN Tower forever in the distance drive from Pearson Airport to the downtown dot. Or waiting for a table and menu for something good to eat at Jack Astor’s on any given night. But Drake always delivers from serving up playlist picks to albums that offer ‘VIEWS’ that honour the great city of the six. So you know if you’re reading this it’s never really too late.

Now after Nike just gave us ‘Association’, ‘Icon’ and real ‘Statement’ jerseys for the new season where they are now the official uniform supplier of this National Basketball Association the ‘City’ line is complete like riding a Matt Bonner tram from King Street West to the Air Canada Center. As Toronto didn’t want to be left out like Kyrie Irving didn’t want to be the next Dwyane Wade. Now the only one rocking sleeves like Adidas is Lakers rook Lonzo again, looking to ball like his UCLA alumni days. Forget Christmas Day, unless you’re rocking Sixers script. As for the 6, the new Toronto Raptors jerseys that go back to black like the late, great Amy Winehouse with Octobers Very Own gold, couldn’t be more Drake or OVO if they had that Owl hooting from the shooting shorts. And you know these third blackouts will be a permanent fixture on ‘Drake Nights’ when the Raps court will be decked out in the black gold same lining.

But these new duds that All-Star ‘Step Brothers’ DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry will rock like Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly did ugly sweater vests are less ‘Hotline Bling’ and more for the town he calls his own for the citizens of Toronto. ‘They The North’ and have that in six court copying chevrons that in glittering gold, road point to this very Canadian NBA destination. Do you see. And if you don’t know, now you know…player.

This is B.I.G. for the notorious north OVO town of the six. We’ve had the ATL neon, Boston parquet, Lakers Black Mamba snakeskin, Cleveland Land, Detroit ‘Motor City’ industry, New York’s F.D.N.Y. department, the Suns not losing the ‘Los’ love and Chicago’s classic city edition. But nothing for the homestand looks as good as this to the T-Dot.

And with all six signs pointing north to Toronto, we only wish these Raptors threads could be put on for the city every night.

Now the only ‘Fallen Kingdom’ in this Jurassic World will be found in cinemas with Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Jeff Goldblum this summer season Blue.

It took a minute for the sap to meet the tree but the Raptors and the Toronto city they call home are far from extinct.

Nike finds a way.

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The ‘Human Highlight Film’ Dominique Wilkins Almost Made ‘Showtime’ Worthy

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Wilkins
How Unique Would The Lakers Have Been With 'Nique?
Hollywood’s show kept fast break rolling last night like a Golden Globe as the young Lakers finally snapped their losing trend by clipping the Atlanta Hawks, 132-113 at STAPLES. All behind 20 points from Brandon Ingram, 15 and 9 from Julius Randle and 13, 10 and 6 from rookie Lonzo Ball. J.C. with 18 and K.C.P. with 14 also had three three’s each as the Lakers made a sweet 16 season best from downtown, to go along with a franchise record 42 points off fast breaks on a momentous night for the storied franchises record books.
It kind of looks like Showtime’s go on all over again.
But straight from the Fox Sports hole pregame did you know that back in the 80’s day the NBA’s Hall of Fame, Human Highlight Film, Dominique Wilkins was almost drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers to be the centerpiece of Showtime? The Atlanta Hawk legend who has a statue outside the ATL arena like all the Magic, Kareem’s, big fellas and logos outside Lakerland told us himself play-by-play as part of the pregame panel.
“Jerry Buss didn’t want me but Jerry West did”, ‘Nique said with warm affection to what could have been. And we can’t help muse like Shea Serrano’s brilliant ‘Basketball And Other Stories’ book to what legacy and Laker legend would have been like if the Basketball God’s didn’t cast down a thunderbolt. You see apparantly it all came down to an injury to Lakers Celtic bruising forward Mitch Kupchak, which will no doubt leave some Laker fans thinking this may be the first time but not the only time their former G.M. Mitch has messed up things for the Lake Show.
Kupchak’s season crippling injury made Buss want to go bigger and taller. And the rest is Big Game history as the Lakers drafted Wilkins’ fellow North Carolina alumnus James Worthy who made his own H.O.F. career more than just his second name that resides in the forever rafters like 42. The second in goggle command behind Cap remains one of the Lakers and the league as a whole’s most underrated legend.
But we can’t help but think what it would be like if we just looked up at the STAPLES ceiling and saw Dominique’s name up there like Kobe’s too (or two) with his 21 in that acclaimed area. It would have certainly brought more hard-nosed hostility to those Larry Bird fights and more Hollywood to that iconic Slam Dunk Contest between the Human Highlight and the G.O.A.T., M.J. And could you have imagined the Magic between a player who finished his career with Orlando and actually the legendary Boston Celtics and the man with the top hat himself Earvin Johnson? Now you thought watching Lake Show greats A.C. Green and former coach Byron Scott was good.
In the end it was all scripted the right way. The Lakers had their own Big Game dunking James worthy of a King and Dominique Wilkins soared as a Hawk in the A. But if Magic’s all smiling Showtime had a few more Human Highlights for the film? Now that would be something straight out of Hollywood.
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LeBron’s Land Now Has I.T. Support

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Portland Trail Blazers V Cleveland Cavaliers
I.T. Follows All The Kings Men

Cleveland plainly dealed their point prince Kyrie Irving away from the King’s Cavalier land this Summer, to make the NBA’s historical Boston Celtics storied again behind their new superstar handle. And in return they got a glorious gunner with an 80’s iconic name, albeit one hip checked to the new year with injury.

But even if Christmas has come late this year like changing your calendar to 2018, Isaiah Thomas is back like you’ve never seen him before, like a Detroit Piston legend kissing and making up with an 80’s Showtime one in an emotional NBA TV reunion.

Now that’s Magic!

Like Pennywise the clown, injury tempted I.T.’s reign into the gutter for the opening chapter of his story with the King like he was wearing a yellow raincoat. But just wait for part two…it’s about to get slicker as forget arms, Thomas is about to take everyone’s legs off from the ankles up.

He’ll float too.

The land was in need of a hand. One that even the way of Wade couldn’t help after the thorn that went in probably retired, former franchise player Derrick Rose’s side. And now they have it all for one and one for all in I.T.’s support. The King now has a fellow crowning talent ready to hold the throne with. Isaiah Thomas’ return to the trail against Portland was blazing too. Normally a nice 17 points and 3 assists would seem modest for a pocket dynamo of this young Iverson’s stature, but when we answer that it came in just 19 minutes of burn than you know it’s something else altogether.

It’s the makings of something greater.

But all that failed to blend in Beantown as his reunion with the Celtics he was supposed to retire with and his renewed rivalry with the guard he was traded for was put on a DNP-CD hold (at least he too made up with 80’s great Danny Ainge). But the whole event game of the night turned out to be a wash-out as the Celtics 102-88 scrubbing of the Cavaliers on polished parquet only saw the real rivalry of James (19) and Kyrie (11) amass less than 20 points each when this explosive TNT match-up should have gone 30 for 30 for ESPN.

Still Ohio will rise again when the King and I.T. return to their land and maybe even the promised ones of the NBA Finals. As another Celts/Cavs conference finals match-up without Gordon Hayward and this time more Love could beat towards the heart of a lion. And the five foot something with a headband has plenty of that under his too.

And you best believe tooth and hip surgery nail he’s going to leave it blood, sweat and tears all on the parquet this playoff postseason.

But this time instead of against one, Isaiah won’t just be running alongside a King…he’ll be one.

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