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.
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.
Lakers Finally Get Anthony Davis. But At What Cost?
Like a rat crawling over some controls and releasing Scott Lang from the Quantum Realm in this Endgame, just like that the Lakers have their Ant-Man. And it’s an avenging, giant, levelling up move.
Anthony Davis is finally a Los Angeles Laker.
Still I hate to piss on this parade and sound like Morgan Freeman in ‘The Dark Knight’, but at what cost?
Well to be specific here’s the receipt.
Lonzo Ball (bad move).
Brandon Ingram (okay we expected that, but still).
Josh Hart (what?!).
The fourth pick in this weekends draft (or should we say Cam Reddish).
And a load of other picks over the next few seasons. Or should we say a couple of Jordan Clarkson’s and Larry Nance Jr.’s.
Well at least they got to keep Kyle Kuzma for a formidable frontcourt that might be the new, next big three.
But the young core and that keep the hash-tag campaign is officially the casualty of this trade bait like the jobs of Magic and Dell Demps, that’s been fish on the line dangling for longer than that Kawhi Leonard rim rattling shot against the Sixers.
Rob Pelinka’s a beast…and not in a good way.
We will say it again. That clip of Rob Pelinka claiming he set up a meet between Kobe Bryant ans Heath Ledger after Mamba watched ‘The Dark Knight’ is beyond messed up. We all know Heath passed away before the film even came out. Don’t disrespect the dead. Can’t buy character. But can sell your integrity.
That’s who you are dealing with Lake Show.
Hollywood’s Rob Lowe would have been better.
Let’s see who you’re not dealing with anymore.
D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Ivica Zubac, Thomas Bryant, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart.
Is that everyone?
What you wanted more?
All the years all the young guns with plenty more calenders left in their clips. All gone.
And they didn’t even ask for Julius Randle back as part of the trade kicker.
But look to him staying in New Orleans now with Ball, Ingram, Hart and whoever else would have ended up in Los Angeles with that luck of the lottery fourth ball. And the Pelicans about to fly with the road to Zion looking like the closest thing to what would have been the young Lake Show for the future Mardi Gras in Crescent City.
Don’t write off NOLA it’s all about to go down smooth in the Big Easy.
But after months of speculation, social media tweets and articles I rest my case, I’ll say no more. But you know how it is.
On the bright side in sunny California…Anthony f##### Davis.
The Lakers finally have their man. And next to LeBron the most dynamic duo since Shaq and Kobe…sorry Pau. It could be Finals…it’s at least playoffs.
Now it’s time to put another great core together.
Kemba? Three Kings?
Kyrie? Kevin? Kawhi?
Cue that laugh…hey we all have dreams in Hollywood.
Free agents will be more likely to join the ‘Space Jam’ show now too, but whoever LeBronland casts like throwing up movies off your phone on to your T.V. it’s a whole new world in L.A. now the Genie (or Jeanie) has finally granted their wish.
But how about two more Aladdin? On the spirit of Robin Williams help us Will Smith!
Then that will make up for all the young princes they’ve lost for one King.
As of right now like Swiss, this team has more holes than “fashionable” hipster t-shirts on Rodeo. There’s no starting point for one. And not having Lonzo ball out on the tutoring of both legendary super sub Rajon Rondo and the fellow pure point Basketball I.Q. of new assistant coach Jason Kidd is a real shame. Like losing a pure scorer like Ingram (or *clears throat* D-Lo). Or the best role player the Lakers have ever had since the days of Horry, Fox and Fisher in Josh Hart. Not to mention whoever would have come next starting this weekend.
All for a guy who was going to come to us next Summer anyway and in these changing player power times could still walk away next season anyway.
All for nothing?
I guess the Lakers looked at Leonard winning it all with Toronto and thought it was all worth it.
But at least it’s all done. It’s over now. And for now Anthony Davis in that Glen Rice 41 is the next big man great in the legendary Laker lineage of Mikan, Wilt, Kareem, Shaq and Pau.
Just don’t Andrew Bynum or Dwight Howard this up.
Rich Paul for MVP.
That’s all folks!
The Six In 6. Toronto Become First Canadian NBA Champions
They the North did it.
Last night in the Bay the 6 got turned upside down with no need for a seven right now. As Drake’s really big team got some really big rings.
And with a 114-110 win in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors for Game 6 of the NBA Finals. After almost a quarter century the Toronto Raptors became the first franchise outside of the United States to win the National Basketball Association finals to make history and become Canadian champions.
And in their Canuck colours pointing to the North from California with the gold, these red and whites flying the flag in the U.S. did it for all of us as they truly changed the game.
It started with an expansion 24 years ago in Toronto. Alongside the Vancouver Grizzlies. It ended with them being the sole franchise outside of America in the NBA as former Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol joined another former gritted Grizz in the form of his big brother Pau Gasol to be the first siblings in hoops history to be NBA champions.
It started with throwback cousins Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady in Dino unis, throwing it up and putting it down. Bringing the Air to the Air Canada Center. It ended like Vinsanity in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest for a new millennium. Looking at the camera after honey dipping and putting it through the legs, telling us emphatically with cutting hand gestures, “it’s over”.
This is for him. Mac. Mighty Mouse. The Camby Man. The Junkyard Dog. Iron Man, Mo Pete. Chris Bosh.
You know it’s for DeMar DeRozan too especially.
Kyle Lowry (what more can you say with 26, 7 and 10 leading the way?). Gasol. Siakam (G-League to big league champ). VanVleet. Ibaka. Lin. And of course quite possibly now the greatest player in the world right now and Finals MVP (joining Kareem and the King as the only Most Valuable Finals Player with multiple teams), sinking that last free throw as epic as his around the world and a day buzzer beater against the Sixers in the six, Kawhi Leonard.
Nick Nurse the architect. And of course another one, James Naismith. This game was invented by Canadians, played by Canadians and like the first ever game in NBA history, this victory belongs to Canadians.
Drake. Real superfan Nav Bhatia and the Canadian coffee house company Tim Hortons raising a cup to him commercial tribute. Everyone in Jurassic Park roaring like T-Rexes for these Raptors and of course all of you. Truly bringing the buzz to basketball.
This if for the real Warriors too. Five straight finals for the first time in a half century, 50 years (love Commish Adam Silver’s lining tribute). The dynasty that is nowhere near dead as they fought to the end for their last look in the Oracle in those Town across the chest jerseys before moving from Golden State across the Golden Gate to a new era of dominance in the hilly streets of San Francisco (the next time we’ll see Toronto is in Tokyo, October for our very own NBA Japan), where that digitally developing skyline from those tram peak points is the limit. No matter who stays or goes in this Curry, Durant, Draymond and Klay juggernaut with guys like Igudola and Cousins relating too. This is for Kevin Durant (who we apologize to for every Canadian fan who cheered his injury in Game 5. Although Warrior fans cheered for an injured Kawhi back in the day too) who played to the pain as all heart he proved everyone wrong and did it all for his team. And true Warrior mode Klay Thompson who went down with a crippling injury too in this final game and came right back to the right kind of cheers. This superteam and one of the greatest in history is far from extinct.
But right now for the Toronto Raptors it’s Jurassic World and the Golden State Warriors for the last time, fallen kingdom.
And as the final horn called for the last game of the season all hands were kept high for the North who overcame all the cold to break the ice for the first championship. And the champagne no longer on ice tasted as good as these underdogs proving everyone wrong as they bit back.
I’m not crying…we’re all crying.
We the champions my friends and Canadian countrymen.
NBA2 months ago
Two-time U Sports MVP Kadre Gray declares for NBA Draft
NCAA2 months ago
James Naismith Classic NCAA triple-header to feature big names
NBA2 months ago
Ryerson Rams’ 7-footer Tanor Ngom declares for NBA Draft
NBA2 months ago
RIP OKC. Dame Time Clocks Thunder’s Reign From Way Downtown PDX