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La La Lakerland Played Host To A City Of All-Stars At The Weekend



Verizon Slam Dunk Contest 2018
Like Father, Like Slam,

Los Angeles, it doesn’t get much more Hollywood than this. Even if Beyonce, Queen Latifah, Chris Tucker and even the other Michael (B) Jordan were taking in all the lights, camera action court-side.

After the 2017 Mardi Gras in New Orleans last year and two calendar’s after our native Toronto held the All Star Weekend in Canada, the sixth A.S.G. in the Clipper and Lakerland of the downtown STAPLES of L.A. was the first of it’s kind. As two of the best players in the association and reigning finalists decided to draft their own pool of players against the wall for the ultimate black and white pick-up game between ‘Team Stephen’ and ‘Team LeBron’, for all the marbles of which of the last two champions would be King.

Well it certainly helps if James picks his rivals reigning MVP teammate Kevin Durant and his own former partner in pine championship crime Kyrie Irving for the big shots first.

But before all that it was down to regular festivities to begin the weekend of All-Star. Basketball’s equivalent of music’s Grammy’s or movies Oscars in Superbowl February. Opening these ceremonials Team World beat down Team USA 155-124 in the Rising Stars game that should really tell you something. Despite home court advantage rookie steal, Kyle Kuzma notching 20, fellow Californian franchise face Buddy Hield was king as the Sacramento star hit 29 as the two sides wore Clipper and Laker interloped Buffalo and MPLS throwbacks for the Hollywood script. And after Quavo of hit duo Migos took home the Celebrity Game MVP as Team Clippers beat Team Lakers 79-66, Spencer Dinwiddie paid the bills in a superior skills comp. Before scorching Sun in California Devin Booker showed his career high 70 was no one-hit wonder as he burnt down all the nets and the money-ball rack. Winning the three-point contest showdown from reigning winner and sixth man Eric Gordon. Grounding the Rocket as this Phoenix rose. Book it!

But after the most therapeutic competition of All-Star weekend it was time for the most exciting one just as compelling. And in honoring his father Larry Nance, the 1984 winner of the inaugural Slam-Dunk contest, Larry Nance Jr. rocked the baby cradle, like father, like dunk. As he even rocked the old-school Phoenix Suns jersey, short shorts and high-socks for an inspired imitation. But under the magicians cloak, those Los Angeles natives in attendance draped in gold wish he had turned into someone turning back the clock and wearing a Lakers jersey (those Lonzo assists with the ball would have helped). As what would have been a long awaited, eagerly anticipated home-team representation turned into an Akron homecoming for the Ohio hometown hero like LeBron in the Kings land once the trade deadline passed.

Pops Nance loved it though after he himself played the lions share of his career in Cleveland as a Cavalier. Even assisting his boy on his second slam, before he blew the house down with a windmill that even rocked Chris Rock and then double tapped an Instagram worthy picture perfect dunk that if your phone blinked, you’d have had to instant replay it to not miss it and believe it. But all this court creativity wasn’t enough like Maverick rookie Dennis Smith Jr.’s 360 reverse, through the legs 50. Or All-Star Victor Oladipo getting an assist off King T’Challa himself Chadwick Boseman, suiting up in the Black Panther mask and clawing a tomahawk. And if you think that was special, if only you were a fly on the wall for the moment entertainment megastar Jamie Foxx told Vic he loved his album and started singing ‘A Song For You’ with him in the parking lot (as told by Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins). As Utah’s jazz man Donovan Mitchell won by jumping over Kevin Hart and his family (Come on! How hard is that? The comedian was even crouched down. Seriously?! He could have even been sat on his shoulders and Mitch would have been good), and then breaking out the classic Vince Carter Raptor jersey and doing you know what.

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The whole weekend turned out to be a testament to a throwback tribute despite Nike’s brand new Team LeBron and Steph duds. Last years All-Star representative, Pelican Anthony Davis paying tribute to his injury fallen teammate brother Cousins by wearing what would have been his numero zero jersey. Free agent suitors beware, DeMarcus is going nowhere now this summer after this. You see he saw on I.G. but look at the shot. How s### was his seat for a would be player?

But after Black Eyed Pea Fergie caught flack for her soulful and sultry rendition of the Star Spangled Banner national anthem (hey, you didn’t complain when Marvin did it) the game hit all the high-flying, dunking high-notes. So much so fans needed throat lozenges like Pink! Even if there wasn’t a single Clipper or Laker representative in the game itself. Despite the lobbying for 6 Man, Lou Will and new Laker Isaiah Thomas only recently being LeBron’s actual teammate.

The King took the MVP crown himself as his 29 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists helped turn a 15 point hole into a 148-145 victory. And from the look on his face as he leapt into Kevin Durant’s arms of all people, it looked like he just won the NBA Championship back. And from the look on Steph’s face on the receiving end reply it was hard to disagree.

You may be the champion, but I’m the best in the world those eyes said.

Well it’s up to you to decide when round 2 of the All Star draft is televised next year for all to see in M.J.’s land of the greatest.

Charlotte’s going to be good!


Xavier Rathan-Mayes inks 10-Day Contract with Memphis Grizzlies



Xavier Rathan Mayes Inks 10 Day Contract Memphis Grizzlies

Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Scarborough, ON) will be joining the Memphis Grizzlies on a 10-day contract. A well deserved opportunity for the 23-year-old, 6’4″, 208 lbs guard who has been tearing-up the NBA G-League. Mayes started 37-0f-39 games of the Westchester Knicks leading them to 27 W-14 L record while averaging 16.6 points per game, 7.2 assists and 6 rebounds. Including a career-high of 34 points versus the 87ers .

With the signing of Mayes, a former Florida State Seminoles standout will join fellow and current Memphis Grizzlies rookie Dillon Brooks forming yet another Canadian duo in the NBA. Currently, the Denver Nuggets have the best Canadian tag team duo with Jamal Murray and Trey Lyles both playing a key role in the Nuggets recent success.

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Miami Heat Icon Dwyane Wade Dedicates Season To Parkland Victim Laid To Rest In His Jersey



Wade Dwyane 640x360
For Joaquin...

Just weeks ago Joaquin Oliver was laughing and joking with his friends like any other teenager. A lover of music, sports, the Miami Heat and Dwyane Wade. The Florida franchises Flash legend and returning hero via a Cavalier trade from King James’ land. Making for an even bigger homecoming than the Chicago born D-Wade’s ride in the Bull-pen last season. And it wasn’t just the talents of South Beach that where nostalgically excited, but the entire Sunshine State as a whole. Especially one of Dwyane’s biggest fans, a handsome young man with so much heart known to his friends as ‘Joaq’.

But on Valentines Day, 17 year old Joaquin Oliver with his whole life to live and love ahead of him was one of the 17 victims who tragically lost their lives in the Parkland school shooting.

He was just a kid.

Oliver was buried in one of his most prized possessions, his number 3, Dwyane Wade Heat jersey. Upon learning this an emotional Dwyane Wade dedicated the rest of his returning season-which may even be the Hall of Fame ready legends retiring one-to Joaquin. And with a tribute testament to Oliver, Wade wrote his name on his sneakers took to the floor and hit 15 of the Heat’s last 17 (and his 27) and an epic, emotional game winner against the Sixers that was a classic, “this is my house” Flash-back.

The final score read 102-101 to the home team off Ocean Drive. But what truly mattered was what was wrote to see on the cleats of Dwyane’s feet. This tragic time is so much bigger than basketball. But whatever escape, solace and stand of solidarity sports and those who make it more can offer in comfort to families and friends in their time of mourning has real importance. Even albeit for a brief, but fleeting cathartic respite.

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“This is why we can’t just shut up and dribble”, Wade tweeted with a picture of Oliver, echoing the words of twice teammate and former Miami Heat leader LeBron James who responded to those critical of the athletes outspoken social stance. Wade has made big moves that matter with James before. And we aren’t talking about the big-three. Remember the ESPY’s? Echo those words. And sometimes even from the biggest stars in the world that seem a million miles away from our hurt it’s the little things that matter. Like in years past Chris Paul scoring 61 in honour of his grandpa who passed away at that age. Or a heartbroken Allen Iverson paying for the funeral of a young man shot over his jersey. Whatever we can do to help-no matter how small-is surely better than simply doing nothing.

Ignorance will get us all nowhere. Inspiration will though.

For Joaquin and everyone who lost their lives to the guns we must control and put down for good.

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Does The Lakers Future Belong To A Kid Named Bryant?



Who? Me?!

The future of the second most storied franchise in NBA history is right now.

And it has little to do with the Los Angeles Lakers deadline trading for former Boston boy Isaiah Thomas from the Cavs. Although that may be the first Magic chess move that checkmate takes future(?) Hollywood King LeBron James from Cleveland to Lakerland.

But it has everything to do with that slow grind the young Lake Show and future Showtime have been putting in for just under a half decade worked. Ever since the injured Kobe stoppers hit the lottery they’ve chose the right numbers. Top tens or second round knockouts. Outside of maybe Philly only open doors have had better drafts than the Lakers over the last few years. First came Draymond Green like big-man Julius Randle and then Sixth Man steal Jordan Clarkson late in the game. And then the trend just snowballed like millennials that totally use words like “stoked” on the slopes of Pyeongchang.

A year later came the ice from the veins of D’Angelo Russell and the scorching slams of Sun son Larry Nance Jr. Then last season the biggest Durant like chance of a franchise face in Brandon Ingram and an even more pleasant surprise in talented big Ivica Zubac. But this campaign the team that has drafted tremendous talent like Noah’s arc has gone forth from their two-by-two nature over the last big-three years. Even if fans of this young core are steaming that the Lakers just let integral parts like Nance and Clarkson walk like Russell. Glue guys of this smartphone generation that highlight worthy fans wanted to stick around like screen burn. Even if they did get I.T. in return and even the cleared cap that may make space for the real ‘IT’ to take them out the gutter this summer in number 23 and even a hometown hero P.G.

This season however the purple and gold have gone from the wine cellar to a potential eight seed haterade upset. And it isn’t just because of their Hollywood big baller drafting of Lavar’s son. Although if you’re really watching the new number two ball then you know you are watching the post-Mamba moment, Lonzo Angeles Lakers. Even if potential R.O.Y. Kyle Kuzma has shown he’s not only the Lakers biggest steal of recent drafts, but one of the biggest rookie sleepers in draft dud history.

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But it doesn’t stop there for a team that’s so deep in youth they’ve even signed former guard Gary Payton’s son too. We’ve already detailed the Lakers defensive Hart before Josh got a start or even a high five. But it’s not just once, twice, or even three times a draft Jeannie for the Buss two times at once, waiting Lakers.

There’s another big kid ready to have a big future for the purple and gold Lake Show and he wears Bryant on his back like a snakeskin black Nike ‘City’ jersey.

No this Hollywood Magic machine hasn’t gone back in time and nabbed young Fro’be from the clutches of the basketball God’s. This isn’t 1996 people. Even if the Smashing Pumpkins have reformed and there’s a new Mulder and Scully series of ‘The X-Files’ networking right now. No this kid wears a number in the thirties like the giant greats of Shaq and Kareem. And the worthy 42nd pick Thomas Bryant wants to be the best two-way big in the game. Don’t scoff! Have you seen him block? And he’s got a real shot too. From downtown Pico, which you know seven foot expert from Brooklyn, Brook Lopez will help hone. Just like when he, Randle and would be teammate Russell worked out with Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade this summer. Thomas has already along with fellow two-way South Bay Laker Alex Caruso made the mid-season all G-League team but wait until he takes a real Gatorade break and joins the big boy ranks of the big leagues. His Twitter name reads, ‘No Limit’. Can you handle it?

With guys like Bryant do the Lakers even need LeBron?

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