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NBA

Knicks, Rockets Make A Stand Together During National Anthem

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NFL star Colin Kaepernick stirred inspiration and courted controversy as he took a knee and hand on heart decided to not stand for the singing of the United States of America’s National Anthem this season.

Whilst some followed suit, not standing in solidarity, many were all too quick to point fingers of hate at a stand similair to the 1968 Olympic podium black power salute. Without asking why Kaepernick was still respectfully taking a knee but making a stand by not doing so.

He was doing it for the Black Lives Matter movement and all the African-American men who lost theirs to the senseless killings from some U.S. police officers. Like late, great boxing legend Muhammed Ali not declaring for the draft of the Vietnam war he was doing it for peace.

And during this Summer stand that the San Fransisco 49er still takes to the field every game many wondered how the stars and players of the NBA would respond or follow suit. In a league where the majority of the players are African-American and those who are not would also be impassioned and moved into showing a solidarity stand of unity.

And this preseason that’s exactly what we’ve seen happen.

Following stars from Derrick Rose to Kobe Bryant wearing ‘I Can’t Breathe’ t-shirts last season, NBA whole teams, not just individual players have made their stand during the National Anthem…together.

Recently the Boston Celtics and nations capital Washington Wiards franchises stood for the National Anthem heads bowed and arms linked in a brotherhood bond together. But last night before an exhibition game between the New York Knicks and the Houston Rockets it got real special and meaningful. As Knicks franchise player Carmelo Anthony and new free agent signing teammate Joakim Noah inspired the Knicks and James Harden’s Rockets to all stand together and link arms during the singing of the national anthem and the raising of the flag.

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It was a beautiful moment orchestrated by Anthony and Noah as a choir of conducted children proudly sang “the land of the free” and “the home of the brave” perfectly. Carmelo has been instrumental in speaking out and standing up for social issue. Most recently standing with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul in all black suits for a soulful speech about coming together at the ESPY awards. Tears of inspiration haven’t been shed like that since the late, great broadcaster Stuart Scott stood proudly in the face of cancer and took his lifetime achievment.

The Knicks and Rockets stood together much like the womens U.S. national basketball team and Japan’s one for that postgame group photo during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil. But respectfully this during the anthem meant so much more. It was a peaceful protest with all due respect that still stood for and meant something. The Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. will be smiling proudly from above. Come the NBA’s tribute to him in January on MLK day expect more hand on heart, head bowed to show respect.

But in this moment last night that surely will inspire every team to follow suit every game, this stand was for everybody. Those who have lost their lives, whether to law enforcement or for the flag itself. The veterans who have served and gone to war so we can live in peace. And also the police officers that do protect and serve the great nation of the United States.

Without taking anything away from what Kaepernick has started last nights stand together recognized and respected everyone and left all removing their hats with just one feeling that we all need…

…unity!

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NBA

DO Call It A Carmelo Comeback. Anthony Is Guaranteed For Years

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carmelo anthony signs guarantee contract with portland trail blazers
Back From The Dead In RIP City...

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.

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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.

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NBA

After Expelling The Order Of The Phoenix, Wizards Exiled By L.A. King.

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after expelling the order of the phoenix wizards exiled by king
The City Game...

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.

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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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