Giants of this game! You uses to find them in purple and gold. The same colour as the ticker tape falling in Los Angeles Lakerland as they looked up to the rafters that wasn’t that out of reach to them. The rafters that would one day hold all their names and achievements.
George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal…
…and then along came Kobe Bryant!
Gail Goodrich, Elgin Baylor, the logo Jerry West and of course THE Magic of Earvin Johnson can guard the fact that the Lakers weren’t just a “Centre” of attention franchise, but still this was a town in the state of California that was known for having the only thing taller than the Hollywood sign being the big basketball stars that all the movie makers and musicians came to watch play with all their millions and minions in Laker yellow.
“If you f### this up, you’ll be a big idiot”! Nope! This isn’t a recap of Kobe’s greatest hits. Instead its actually a comment he made to Lakers rookie Julius Randle this week, who has taken his literal, positioned place on the latest SLAM reissue rookie wall cover originally seen in Kobe’s debut year in ’96. This is only a nice 19 year old kid that just graduated from the humble and hard working Kentucky too. Although these actual words of encouragement where actually taken in all team building fun it reminds us of something. A little like when Michael Jordan on his last legs took apart then Washington Wizards number one draft bust Kwame Brown…coincidentally a former teammate of Kobe’s.
It just seems like ESPN’s 40th best player (COME ON!) knows how to get to people too. For better or worse.
This comes with the sourced news this week that some people believe there’s more than a few big names that don’t want to play with the Mamba! Intimidated? I guess it all depends on how you look at it, but to some it all adds up to why thus Summer the Lakers couldn’t land LeBron, Carmelo or even Chris Bosh. Then there’s that report that ‘do everything except but play this year’ franchise face Paul George is turned off ever playing for the Lakers because of Bean. Then there’s that rumour that the Steve Nash trade almost didn’t happen because of him. What else? How many negative news stories have to come out?! And I promise this really isn’t one. Even some kid from the Jazz crossed Kob’ up and almost sent him back to the year long injured list, laced with broken ankles. The same Utah franchise he air-balled at when he was a rookie.
Thank the basketball God’s for those comeback 26 points.
You think Kobe doesn’t play well with others? The Alpha doberman dog in need of something beta. Maybe it’s a “big” problem. Maybe its smaller than that. When Kobe played with Shaq it was magic like Johnson and Jabbar but after a while O’Neal’s talents where run out of town to South Beach. How about a sequel? Superman 2? Dwight Howard?! We all know how that turned out! Just like we all remember that caught on camera Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd vid. “Ship his a## out”! Heck even the man his draft rights where traded for was big, promising big-man Vlade Divac (speaking of Kobe telling Andrew Wiggins former Cleveland Cavaliers that they are the new Charlotte Hornets), who actually in his younger days was a lot like a future Laker 7 footer.
Pau Gasol! Another post player who like Howard, Bynum and Divac deserves a special place in Lakers lore when it comes to big-men, just like the Mikan, Wilt, Kareem and Shaq best, could have been even so much more if he stayed. Still after years of being unfair trade bait, this man drew his own line and the winds of change now finds him with the stampeding, Rose blooming Bulls in Chicago. Still Bryant loved him, like a best friend. A lot like another champion, big man who could spread the floor like Magic in the one of a kind Lamar Odom, before reality went crazy like a Kardashian. Maybe it’s just Kobe prefers to run with more mobile big men. Which is great for Julius Randle! Or maybe this guy just HAS to be the biggest man on his team regardless. Which, well kind of sucks for everyone else. Still if this team with this former MVP and champion, second only to Mike, with a competitive edge like no other wants to win they have to except everything that comes with this killer instinct of one of the best players in the NBA, all-time and still now today.
Besides even if he played with his idol Jordan he’d even want to best him and show him who’s the man. 24! One over 23! Jersey about to be raised…maybe with another banner.
Now what’s bigger than that?
Boogie’s Productions Down Again
Cousins injured again…we can’t relate to that.
When former Sacramento star and New Orleans Pelican DeMarcus Cousins joined the Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green Golden State Warriors to begin last season critics dubbed this superteam unfair.
What was unfair however was the ACL injury that kept Boogie sidelined for most of the season and then the quad injury on top of that in the playoffs that made sure the Warriors wouldn’t be dancing in their final chapter in Golden State.
But as D.C. made a Cali move too like the Dubs across the Golden Gate to San Francisco, heading to LeBron’s Lakerland with former frontcourt friend Anthony Davis, what was really unfair is what’s just come out of a practice run this week.
Cousins has tore his ACL again in a horrible twist of fate.
This games God’s people.
When DeMarcus reunited with the same former New Orleans big man that rocked his jersey in beautiful All Star tribute a couple of seasons back when they briefly flew together as Pelicans this Summer, the Lakers furthered their favourite status like tapping that heart on Twitter. Even if the Clippers ended up being the ones that got Kawhi Leonard…and Paul George too for the new battle of Los Angeles, raging against the Lakers Hollywood machine, the Lake Show have the ‘Space Jam 2’ of the King and the ‘brow. Not to mention the difference maker like rising star Kyle Kuzma in the veteran one of Cousins.
Either one of them will blow, or both, as the other will show he’s still got it. Giving the West’s best the biggest force of an interchangeable frontcourt. As the Lakers could either go with the more muscle version of a Tim Duncan and David Robinson twin towers in the Pelican reunited Kentucky Wildcats of Davis and Cousins and ‘Bron. Or the most dynamic duo since Shaq and Kobe of James and A.D. and the one young core star who didn’t get switched for this franchise player in Kuz, who could form a big three if the injured Cousins isn’t already still a part of one. Despite the writing off medical report.
And we haven’t even got to his Kentucky alumni Rajon Rondo led backcourt, or last year’s all dunking and blocking big headband and hair spark JaVale McGee. A gym rat who re-upped after almost going for both the Defensive Player Of The Year and Most Improved Player award in the first month of last seasons 82 campaign.
The Lakers are going to need him and that first wind of last year now more than ever.
Or the California club have some decisions to make for who to put in purple and gold for their almost meant to be final roster spot (DON’T AMNESTY!). Do they still wait for another former Warrior in Sixth Man, defensive legend Andre Igudola? Or do they leave him and the long rumoured other Anthony in Carmelo and pick up another big? Guys like Nené, Amir Johnson, Joakim Noah, Kenneth Faried, Zaza Pachulia and Marcin Gortat are still on the market like fresh fruit stalls. And even Dwight Howard of all people have expressed (more like blatantly begged for publicity) for a return to Lakerland after his Hollywood divorce.
Because we have no idea when Boogie will be back. Or if he will even be the same player when he returns. Or if he even was before this injury happened. But despite history rewriting so many careers crippled by injury we still believe. We still believe he has superstar status and could be the X-factor difference maker when he returns late in the game to this Hollywood scripted rivalry like he almost was last season in the Finals against Toronto as he flips it. You saw him almost become a Splash Brother with that three, so just you wait until you see him downtown in STAPLES this season when it’s all said and buzzer beater done.
The bridge is far from over.
New Nike Philadelphia Seventies Sixers Jerseys Are A Classic Edition
Philadelphia soul on ice.
Ever since Nike partnered up with the NBA like ‘Hobbs and Shaw’ there has been a fast and furious release of rock solid jerseys for the hardwood over the last couple of seasons. From the Association, to the Icon’s and Statement’s made. Last year the ‘Just Do It’ swoosh even helped Basketball’s best put on a vest for the City. Adding even more to the closet collection when it came to some alternates for the teams that made the postseason push to the playoffs.
But now if you thought fo, fo, four jerseys that have at least one changing by the year was enough for your locker room or throwback budget, then just you wait. Because all these fits and drips may be iconic, but Nike are about to release an addition that really is Classic for the five man team. Over the next calendar the Classic Edition jerseys will belong to only 12 franchises in this 30 strong league. Less than half for the next year that we hope includes some storied Lakers and Celtics duds.
But what better team to introduce this new tradition than the one with more classic throwbacks than Mitchell and Ness in the Philadelphia 76ers? The City of Brotherly Love may have lost Jimmy Butler and J.J. Reddick this offseason, but they’ve gained even more threads for new team player Al Horford and mainstays Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris to rock with the rock as they push it down court next season.
Open your arms to that.
The classic PHILA Philadelphia jerseys have already been brought back with a next generation twist. Whilst the 76ers seem to be the only team who could still put up those Christmas script jerseys long after other teams have gone in the New Year sales. But with the only court apparel competition being what looks in the mirror as they try these on, the Sixers have out done and stitched themselves yet again. Bringing back like 1971, Hal Greer and ‘The Kangaroo Kid’, Billy Cunningham, the iconic and creative “Seventies Sixers” jerseys. A jumping, forgotten retro relic and slept on classic until now.
Waking up the league, back to the future in a Ford Mustang the Motown era of a classic Bad Boy, Detroit Pistons would be proud…or jealous of (inch or mile, you should have got there sooner Motor City men), Embiid and Simmons in a slick photoshoot sharing an ‘S’ on the chest popped the hood and revealed all the intricate workings underneath, bringing this classic back on the road like Hall & Oates.
Hold on we’re going home.
Before the process. Before the answer. Even before “fo, fo, fo”, Cunningham and the Sixers represented Philly like steak and cheese. The 1970’s where a defining era for the city. Philadelphia soul made its mark from stereos to nightspots and some young fighter named ‘Rocky’ went the distance with some kid called Creed as some man going by the name Sly Stallone wrote a classic movie. Oh and Questlove of the legendary Roots crew was born. Along with another Philly legend you might also be familiar with.
With this thrift shop like find that celebrates the spirit and legacy of a city that reinvents itself more times than it does it’s wardrobe, this is the perfect “new” look for a team that could take inspiration from their past when it comes to their latest reinvention on court. Playing on without the services of their Butler, or top downtown gunner J.J.
And after all they’ve loved and lost over the years, even if you don’t trust it you can always try on the process now.
And its a look that could fit over seventy games this season.
Now that has the makings of a classic.
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