Vino like a fine wine has been taking it back to a good year this week.
How do you spoil a Mardi Gras party in New Orleans? You throw a snake into the middle of it!
Kobe Bryant showed you could still draw venom from the Black Mamba last night. And it was a sweet Vino off Bourbon Street as Bean stopped the parade in Louisiana last night with his own retirement tour stop.
His decadent double, double of 27 points and 12 rebounds turned back the clock all the way to the end of regulation where the Lakers left the French Quarter and the fourth with a 99-96 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Kobe Bryant “exorcised those demons” last night like someone drinking their break up pain away at a local bar downtown. Those demons being a seperated shoulder injury here that lost him another of his closing chapter years almost a full calendar ago.
The Smoothie King Arena was made Irish last night by an aged Celtic rival that seems to be getting better with time during this seasoned 82 he’s fathering. The Mamba had the throne dressed in gold on the road as the home Bayou team where wearing their purple Mardi Gras sleeved specials, meaning there would be no Killgrave alternatives for the Lakers Show. But Kobe had a purple heart, saying N.O. to any on court celebration in Crescent City.
He didn’t take it easy on the Big one, on a tear a year after the torn shoulder. Averaging 29.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists over the last three per on a 50% rate from downtown with the Steph Curry.
This was all highlighted by his Youtube worthy shot selection rotation from the Lakers previous win against Minnesota where back in L.A., he and his Lakers showed the Timberwolves that Minneapolis was their original home too. His 38 special made him the oldest player in L history with at least 35 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists since Utah Jazz legend Karl Malone played with him as a late career Laker. His high ending a lowly, terrible ten game losing streak and starting their own two plus winning one that is even a puzzling mystery to the not confidence shy number 24 himself.
“I don’t know what to tell you”, the leading Toronto All-Star game vote getter told press postgame. Complete with an M.J. shrug.
Nawlins didn’t stand a chance in Gumbo. Even with new superstar Anthony Davis’ MVP caliber 39 points. The Lakers just had so much more in the chamber, especially the retiring legend. Even rebounding from being dunked and funked on by Ryan Anderson. His minute to go dagger three cut all that away.
The new Lakers Show added more grapes to Vino’s wine as Jordan Clarkson’s 18 led the future of D’Angelo Russell’s 13 and Julius Randle’s 11. But the main thing was Kobe wasn’t shooting any airballs in the town that once hosted the Jazz. The only air he took was out of that Smooth Arena. And that was music to the ears of any one wearing purple and gold without the ‘N.O.’ in front of L.A.
Across the coast in California the City of Lost Angels had a little parade party of their own. Can you guess what they toasted with?
The Warriors Came Out To Play This Series
Even without the fantasy Basketball of Kevin Durant in this series, the Golden State Warriors still brought out the brooms like ‘Fantasia’.
And swept out of Game 4 like Thanos click finger dust, the Portland Trailblazers may have only lost by a bucket (119-117)…and in overtime at that. But with all the Splash they had to contend with this series from brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, they were left dealing with more leaks and holes in all of their own ones like Mickey Mouse in said Disney epic.
This was meant to be the showdown between Dell Curry’s boys Steph and Seth which divided a household. And although the youngest gun stepped up to the plate, swung big in this carnival and knocked them down, big brother was always watching.
Steph Curry averaged over 36 points a game this series. Just read that again. 36 points. Right now we don’t need to talk about Kevin.
The Warriors are a dynasty for the ages even without their best player (although this writer thinks he wasn’t missing this entire series). The first team to make it to five straight finals since the Boston Celtics. The 1960’s Bill Russell Celtics. That’s King James crowning legendary. And Steph Curry with the shot and that facet of the game is just as iconic and dominant as a Bill block.
Give some credit to a blazing Portland side who never gave up despite the box score. They can hold their heads in the PDX. Even in their Moda Center home-stand City Of Roses end in RIP City. Their season eulogy should read as a celebration and commiseration, not a trolling condescension from critically entitled fans who have done nothing to determine the outcome of these games and could never make it this far in their wildest memes. They call themselves “influencers”? Well no one’s going to remember them in 50 years.
The NBA will remember one of their Top 100 greatest of all-time in a half century though. As after hitting the biggest buzzer beater in playoff history against Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, Damian Lillard played through the pain of separated ribs this series and still made the Basketball God’s look down from the hoop heavens with praise. Like New York singer St. Vincent tweeted, “Damian Lillard is my hero”. Even his backcourt brother of splash CJ McCollum in the only small man set up to rival Curry and Klay came out to play against the Warriors after midrange mining the Nuggets into submission in Denver just over a week ago.
But Curry’s red hot triple double, starter, mains and dessert dish of 37, 13 and 11, to go along with a playing not crying, Draymond Green’s day of 18, 14 and 11 assists also was just too much in the clutch. As Stephen and Dray became the first teammates in NBA history to have a triple double in the same playoff game. Forget how much this team can unbelievably keep winning, how does this ball manage to get shared this much?
Well that just may be the secret of success?
The real test is dubbed next however in the Warriors last season in Golden State before they move across that Golden bridge to the Silicon Valley of a digital age in San Francisco. They will play the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks (probably…Giannis…MVP. Sorry Toronto but come on!) and Raptors series. But by then they should have some guy called Kevin back.
I mean come on. This has been getting crazy. This is just out of hand like said ball in Splash City.
Now Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics’ record of eight straight finals and wins doesn’t look far out of reach for Steph Curry and the player and team with the biggest range in the association over the gate of the Pacific.
Welcome to the Toronto Raptors’ Jurassic Park
“In Jurassic Park, Raptor fans wait until after dark. Even if the cold might eat them!”
Fans find a way.
An ace serve or two away from being as legendary as Wimbledon’s ‘Murray Mound’ or ‘Henman Hill’ outside the Scotiabank Arena, the Toronto Raptors Maple Leaf Square’s “Jurassic Park” may just be the ticket for this sold out crowd.
Raptor Klaw, Kawhi Leonard ruled the earth last night. He and the T-Dot at the final tick beat the Sixers in The Six, as his shot bobbled like a beach ball on the surface of a swimming pool before making the biggest splash of these postseason playoffs. Taking longer to fall than Leonardo DiCaprio’s spinning top in ‘Inception’. But this was no dream.
And if you thought the Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto erupted last night, then outside in Maple Leaf Square it was like the volcanoes that killed the dinosaurs after that big ball dropped. An Armageddon even Bruce Willis couldn’t save like he wish he could his career.
Welcome to Jurassic World.
With all due respect to the Linsanity of Jeremy Lin, or pick your poison whoever is your flash card pick of the bench mob pack, but the Jurassic Park crowd fenced in outside of Scotia is the
Forget rain or shine. You see the slickers. These faithful fans will pitch a spot waiting for game time like the ball to drop in Times Square for New Year in New York, sleeping bag lining up all day in their hordes huddled for warmth. These beautiful fans will brave the harshest, most frigid temperatures to be the coldest fans in the game in more ways than one. Part of the ‘We The North’ community in the 6 that the Basketball God’s look down on with pride, whilst other armchair fans watch this game for the throne from home. Or leave early like those suit and tie corporate seats trying to catch that last red eye Matt Bonner home.
Can you imagine of they called game early before Kawhi last night?
I could imagine Drake taking in the CN Tower looking up views of the Jurassic
Well those in the park for recreation stayed until the beautiful end to a game Butler almost delivered bitter. And you could could phantom cam see every emotion in slow motion last night as Leonard’s buzzer beating ball toyed with the rim like three dots on messenger, or Damien Lillard even further downtown in Oklahoma City.
This is the spirit of the stadium and the soul of the squad, expanding the capacity arena and the Canadian ballclubs worldwide fanbase watching on their own Jumbotrons.
And the Toronto Raptors are going to need all the north they can get if they’re going to stop the Bucks in Milwaukee.
But this club has the claws to do it. And if you don’t think they can win in Wisconsin on their own road to being the first franchise outside of the United States to be NBA finalists and who knows what next against the Warriors(?), then just watch this Canadian cornerstone from the Jurassic era.
Extinct in six? Nah! Get ready to hear the North roar.