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Lakers Change Their Pace As Roy Hibbert Joins The Show

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Much talk during this Summers hot NBA free agency has surrounded the Los Angeles Lakers. Yet it has been much ado about nothing for one of the most storied NBA franchises.

After years of saying no, the Lakers finally have had to get over the fact that Kevin Love will not be returning to California, as the former UCLA grad has re-signed his declaration to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Whilst two meetings with top free agent LaMarcus Aldridge couldn’t “woo” the “unimpressed” star, who has now signed with Tim Duncan’s San Antonio Spurs like it was all meant to be in the next chapter of his career legacy that could be even more legendary for the former Trailblazer. An “underwhelmed” DeAndre Jordan left the Los Angeles too, but not across the STAPLES corridor from the Clippers to the Lakers, but across state to the Dallas Mavericks of Texas. Leaving the Lakers-who where so confident that they’d land a big man this Summer second season, that they drafted young, small-ball guard D’Angelo Russell over Duke 7-footer Jahil Okafor-missing out on even the likes of Greg Monroe or the Lopez twins.

And let’s not even get started on the Gasol brothers.

The Lakers even missed out on other player positions in this years open market, including an interested but restricted Jimmy Butler who re-upped and refilled his Buckets with the Bulls. Whilst Kobe’s breakfast buddy Rajon Rondo ended up signing up with the Sacramento Kings and probably won’t swap purple for purple even if the Lakers end up looking to trade for Californian King DeMarcus Cousins. The Lakers have enough problems with their own free agents, losing talented, young big-man Ed Davis to the Portland Trail Blazers they thought they’d be able to poach Aldridge from. While veteran former All-Star Carlos Boozer’s (who got into it with who’s about to come, fighting last season for what we hope is water under the hardwood) future is as up in the air as talented, hustling big Jordan Hill’s. Leaving the Lakers with only the raw Tarik Black and enthusiastic Robert Sacre on their post playing, paint books next to multi-faceted forwards Wesley Johnson and Ryan Kelly. The Lakers may need to bolster their splinter-thin bench by retaining guys like Jeremy Lin, Wayne Ellington and Ronnie Price with their remaining cap costs to join swag Sixth Man, hot scorer Nick Young too.

Still the lost-Lakers who have had an even worse free agency period than last Summer’s LeBron and Carmelo stakes and are surely looking forward to next years lottery and Kevin Durant sweeps-had a great draft and future as their pick Russell and last years rookies Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson make for a scorching Summer league team with rough-housing Jabari Brown. Whilst the franchises young big-three of the future will make for a great starting five with the legend Kobe and the Lakers new pick-up. As they couldn’t pick up anything for free on the open market, L.A. where quick to trade up with the Indiana Pacers for talented shot-blocking center Roy Hibbert. Who at 7 foot 2 is definitely one of the biggest men you can get in the league…literally (hows that for responding to getting no F.A.’s?), albeit one coming off a poor performing season. Kind of an acquisition that would have been more amazing two calender’s back. Still, the former All-Star and Georgetown Hoya, following in the painted sneaker steps of the likes of Ewing, Mourning and Mutombo, who along with All-Stars Paul George, George Hill, David West and Lane Stephenson gave the Indiana Pacers one hell of a starting five in their 2013 Cinderella run, now completes the Lakers first-unit. And the Lakers only had to give up a few second round draft picks and the rights to an overseas player (lets hope it’s not the next Marc Gasol) to get the new anchor of their starting five who was once backed up by former Laker bust Andrew Bynum (lets hope Hibbert doesn’t follow former booming suit for what on dry erase once looked like a great center rotation). The 28 year old has plenty of years left in the tank and on D you couldn’t go fish for much better in player pools. Yet before this guy turns 30 he needs to improve his erratic offensive game and poor rebounding for a player of his size. Especially if he looks to take the future and his young post partner Julius Randle under his inside-game wing.

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Going from a Hoya to a Pacer and now a Laker, coming off last seasons averages of 10.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks and swapping Pacer yellow for Lakers yellow will Dr. Hibbert be the post prescription the Lakers ordered? Or will he leave everyone laughing?

With Roy and a potential R.O.Y. the Lakers have as much to think as they have to look forward to. But this won’t end with next Summer and another Kevin that needs to be talked about. If the soon to be Kobe-less Lakers want to get better, they need to do this right now! And with the first big deal of many more, the Lakers can’t trade this notion. Time for them to make more big plays to paint their future in purple and a gold that gleams instead of glitters.

NBA

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

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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!

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Is Isaiah Thomas IT For The Lakers?

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Usa Today 10601289.0
IT Came On A Hollywood Night

It’s All-Star break this weekend in Los Angeles, but the Lakers already have a new one since the trade deadline to lead their young core in the heart of the city. Even if Team LeBron didn’t pick him for Sundays pick up.

But how long will IT last?

Right now in the NBA the amount of movers is really putting the shakers on teams. So much so that in regards to loyalty in this league it’s even colder than the Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea right now. But then again it is the Winter after all. Recently Cleveland cleaned house and LeBron’s land for some Cavalier moves. Jettisoning several All-Star points for their changing of the guard. Including former MVP Derrick Rose, ‘Bron brodie Dwyane Wade back to the Heat of Miami, South Beach and even the guy they traded Kyrie for.

Yep that’s right after summer swapping Irving for Isaiah, the Cavs sent Thomas along with versatile big-man vet Channing Frye to Lakerland. In return they got the buckets of ‘Sixth Man’ sure thing Jordan Clarkson and another Akron hometown hero in the form of Larry Nance Jr.

And although the Lakers picked-up a certified All-Star with Iverson kill at will, little man syndrome scoring a lot of fans where left tweeting negative emojis and gifs following the deadline deal. And not because their new number seven seal was a former Boston Celtic great only a season ago. Or that the former tooth chipper is now a befallen superstar by way of injury. More that the Lake Show loved the young Ball, Ingram, Kuzma, Randle and Zubac core that has lost it’s first big time players of the future since the de-loading trade of D’Angelo Russell last summer.

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Clarkson was a class act and there from the luck of the late round steal start. Whereas when Nance Jr. ran the floor like his pops all the bleachers snapped shut, tilted up. Lakerland finally thought they would see their own slamming son represent them in the Slam Dunk Contest he should surely win now like father, like dunk today. But now he’ll be doing it all for one and one for all.

But with the fast tracked pace of the Lakers new speedy dynamite dynamo it could still be Showtime again for Magic’s men like when Earvin Johnson was kissing another Isiah Thomas hello in the golden era 80’s. But this Isaiah Thomas-so long as he can ball in the same backcourt as Ball once injury time gives way to the Lavar…excuse me the Lonzo Angeles Lakers-could attract even more free agents like the expected homecoming of Paul George from the Thunder to the purple reign this offseason. Even if rumour has a Black Panther/Killmonger like relationship between this point prince and the King of the Ohio land.

But if it’s between LeBron as a Laker or another one of James’ sidekicks than who do you think will hold the headlines for tomorrows Los Angeles Times? Especially as Isaiah could aim higher than coming off the bench this summer as a free agent without restriction himself. His big contract coming off the books with Channing’s (Frye not Hollywood’s Tatum), another big three big in Brook Lopez and another former All-Star in Luol Deng (yep…he’s still here).

All these multiples of millions would surely make for a kings ransom.

This could be it, so lets enjoy I.T. whilst he lasts.

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Nuggets Jamal Murray breaks Steven Adams Ankles with Filthy Handles

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Nuggets Jamal Murray Breaks Steven Adams Ankles Filthy Handles

Denver Nuggets Guard Jamal Murray breaks OKC Thunder center Steven Adams ankles with his filthy and deadly combination of handles and three-point shooting. Murray was sensational finishing with 33 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds in a thrilling 127-124 victory. The Canadian guard (Kitchener, ON) is having the best year of his NBA career and has arguably become best Canadian basketball player in the NBA. The 6’4″, 207 lbs guard is flourishing under Head  Coach Mike Malone’s system and is averaging a respectable 16 points per game, 3.6 rebounds and 3 assists per game through 50 regular season games including a career-high 38-point outburst against the Portland Trail Blazers.

BTW. I can watch this all day!

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