When the Lakers drafted big Draymond Green/Zach Randolph hybrid bruiser Julius Randle from the University of Kentucky in the top ten of the 2014 draft, they also picked up Jordan Clarkson. A late round sleeper who this year could be one of the leading candidates for the NBA’s Sixth Man Of The Year award with the Eddie Jones number 6.
The following year when they took D’Angelo Russell with the second pick in the 2015 class years before he’d be a leading star for the Brooklyn Nets this summer, they also nabbed Larry Nance Jr. later in the draft. The son of one of the most prolific rim-wreckers of all-time and now like father like dunk has shown us that the son inherits the slams of his father.
Last year when the Lakers where lottery lucky enough to get another number 2 choice in the NBA draft they took the next Kevin Durant in lanky but legendary to be Brandon Ingram. Half a season later the international big man they took with their “other” draft pick Ivica Zubac (or Zupac as Nance Junior calls him) turned out to be yet another steal off the block too.
And now this year with the third straight second pick in the NBA draft the luck be a losers club second only to the Philadelphia 76ers had their choice of the cream of the future crop of NBA stars to be. And with all eyes on Ball like the opening night tip two days from now it was all about number 2 and the Lonzo Angeles Lakers and the Lavar (side) show. Surely lightning couldn’t strike four times in a row (let alone three or twice) in Southern California?
But it looks like the angels are watching over the city of Los Angeles yet again as the Lakers have made yet another late round steal in yet another draft to add to their post-Kobe, Noah like two-by-two arc of youthful team talent. Now only missing the problem child of D’Angelo Russell all grown up as the one in the B.K.
Now the young core of Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac and of course Lonzo Ball (backed up by vets like Pop, Brewer, Bogut and the center from Brooklyn who can go downtown, Brook Lopez) has another key piece and his name is Kyle Kuzma. Or 2K as we are calling firsts on a new nickname as this really is like a video game dream scripted for Hollywood’s new ball boys Brat Pack.
If Lonzo Ball doesn’t become Rookie Of The Year then it might be because of the second part of his dubbed “lightskin connection” in an even bigger, new Lakers class in a league of their own. Featuring defensive Hart and even a rookie named Bryant. Following his Summer League Finals MVP and trophy in the casino clutches of Vegas, Kuzma has shown out so much in this preseason he and his nightly highlights might see him start out the gates for the new Lakers on the hardwood instead of off the pine.
They say this guy could take time off his teammates (Ingram) and even alley-oop dunks (Nance). Kuzma looks and plays like Jordan Clarkson with the 2K18 sliders on full and if J.C. is going to be Sixth Man and L.B. R.O.Y., than K.K. could be the first rookie to win the Most Improved Player. The steal that everyone wishes (like the Lakers new Nike jersey sponser) they had and never passed up like the Spurs and Sixers respectively takes former sixth man spark-plug Nick Young’s zero (perhaps a Westbrook from nothing reminder and motivator on his jersey that is already being called for in high demand that the Lakers Team Store needs to supply) and keeps it as 100 as the red emoji tattooed close to his heart and underlined three times over in blood red. Now just you wait until he puts up real numbers.
Number 27 in the draft?! Please!
Lottery luck be a Laker right now.
Green & Gold. I.T. Was A Special Moment With Isaiah Thomas Back In Boston
Bill Russell, Larry Bird.
Antoine Walker, Paul Pierce.
Rajon Rondo. Kevin Garnett. Say what you will but Ray Allen too from three.
Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum. IF they can get it together and turn what looks good on paper into what’s engraved wrote read in history books for the most storied franchise in NBA history.
Boston Celtic legends. The pride of New England.
From the last cigar to the golden era, Isaiah Thomas belongs there like his spelt differently namesake Detroit Piston being a Bad Boy to all that Magic and Bird in the Showtime of the 80’s.
And last night in the Garden perfect parquet court was held for the return of the fourth quarter king. Since Beantown, the microwave juggernaut, spark plug off the bench has bounced around the league like drinking too much coffee. From LeBron’s Cavalier land to the Los Angeles Lakers. Always providing that brief spark off the pine of what could be and what he had here, despite being Nygma green riddled by injury and franchise business disloyalty. But last night decked out in green and gold like Lianne La Havas, special edition Kobe’s for the night that even a Laker would love (forget that never wear green meme), as he took to the floor none of that mattered.
Sat back on the scorers table as cool as Celtic green cucumber in his warm-ups, I.T. took in a fitting tribute on the jumbotron for a team that knows too that they shouldn’t have traded him (he postgame not so quipped that if they never dealt him they could be dealing with another championship in those league leading rafters right now where surely his number 4 jersey held up by fans behind him will one day reside in pride of place). Beaming with that same Celtic pride through all the pain, you’ve never seen the slow grind smile like his since he was putting in work here in Massachusetts. The big screen video took us through his fourth quarter heroics, big shots and the moment he’s overcame it all to play in the wake of his sister’s tragic death and lead his team to epic, emotional glory.
And once the ovation stood up for a call game, more than a minute of time and moment of Paul Pierce like truth tribute, there wasn’t a butt on a bleacher or dry eye in the house.
Especially Isaiah, who couldn’t contain his pride and joy. Wiping away tears and wordlessly mouthing thank yous to everyone in attendance who clapped until their hands were red and cheered until hoarse. Celtic fans are real NBA fans who recognize that green collar hard work and know a Boston boy when they see one, no matter the uniform.
Thomas on limited minutes as the golden Nuggets make that postseason push to conference contention behind the state of those dynasty reigning Warriors, only sealed seven minutes in the actual game and he didn’t make a basket for more Boston bravado cheers. But that didn’t matter in this instance. Neither did the W his new team took away on the road with a 114-105 pruning in the Garden, as the Joker and all the Mile-High basketball cards clinched a playoff berth outside Colorado.
What mattered was this beautiful reunion between team and one of its favourite players. Sure this current Celtics outfitted for the banners and Hall looks so much better on dry erase like their storied LeBron Laker rivals with the King in throne tow. But look at the Magic of Hollywood right now. With a guy like Isaiah, Boston basketball was that little bit more inspired with the iconic little man. There was a little more hoop dream hope there too. And for both city and son it hasn’t been as sweet the same since.
Like I.T. says with the last word from last night.
“This feels like home”.
The King’s Garden Bites Forbidden Fruit In The Big Apple
Super Mario smashed ‘Bron.
On a Sunday afternoon in New York’s Madison Square Garden this St Patrick’s Day (side note: Nike need to bring back those great green Paddy’s Day NBA uniforms), the Lakers where in their East Coast equivalent big city to pay a visit to the Knickerbockers Mecca.
M.S.G. usually plays host to the greatest games from the G.O.A.T.’s over the generations out the service elevator. M.J. Kobe. And now L.A.L. legend to be L.B.J. against the N.Y.K. And LeBron James didn’t disappoint with a Kareem 33 points off devastating dunks off rampaging runs down the floor of the World’s Most Famous Arena like a raging bull. Shouting “AND ONE” on foul calls that even people with bleeding noses sitting up in the Gods could hear (and how about a couple plays before an equally as loud Caruso yelping for the lay-up as hilariously as his “what’s up man, I’m Alex” Ringer soundbite spoof? But 5 steals and 3 blocks to go with that many rebounds plus add that up “AND ONE” for 12 points in the game? Never send him down to the G again). That was until he took the final shot at the horn that blared in his face.
It’s been that kind of season for the King by royal appointment. Anthony Davis and potentially missing the playoffs and all that.
Heavy is the head in this Game of Thrones.
Like Jordan vs Kobe, the Knicks came away with the 124-123 win. And in the clutch, the King going for the game’s crown slipped as he ended up looking as good as one of his free throws. Driving the lane and taking it to the rack before being denied by the Knicks Mario Hezonja. Whose interlocking defence left the dip of ‘Bron in a honeycomb like the new amazing Vessel art sculpture structure in NY’s Hudson Yards. Mario plumbing the big block became the Knicks new right-hand man.
Off Broadway the King tried to Kong his way up the Empire State. But this time the Bi-Planes normally swatted away shot him down.
‘Bron isn’t the only one who makes clutch blocks as big as a buzzer-beating basket. Sometimes others hold it against him.
The Lakers 31-39 record is staring down elimination on the wrong side of .500. And with the game down the barrel L.B.J. went for the fadeaway like M.J. but couldn’t come up with ‘Space Jam’ too. As a matter of fact after a big game against the rotten 14-56 Knicks (on the free-falling off the Chrysler wrong side of .500) where he also collected 8 rebounds almost on his way to a double/double, LeBron went fourth and colder in the final quarter than a text back from your significant other that just says “fine” when you ask if they’re ok and how their day was. With just four made baskets in the fourth period and the Lake Show missing their last six attempts it was all fat lady in Manhattan come the early evening afternoons end.
Right about now with most teams claiming their playoff berth, last year’s finalist and all the King’s men are just getting worse.
Even with a Garden state of mind in New York, New York, the King couldn’t keep his Empire going like Jussie Smollett.
Now there are only a few more notes before she sings again, but this time for the last time.
And that will be all she writes.
Time for Hollywood to hit the road and flip the script.
Every good movie ends with a twist.
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