Someone relay it over the walkie talkies to the STAPLES Centre attendants because the only way your seeing number 24 (or 8…or both) in this arena again is if you look up to the rafters where he helpt put up all those banners.
2016 has been an unbelievably bittersweet year. We’ve said goodbye to too many people we never wanted to see go. From the personal to the public. The greatest champ Muhammed Ali took his last bow out the ring this month. And the man we thought could never die took a tragic turn not long ago too as we lost musics Prince.
Now whilst not as tragic as those dearly departed who now rest pecaefully, L.A. also lost it’s king as we gave a fond farewell to maybe the greatest Laker to ever wear purple and gold.
But as Kobe Bryant walks away from this game and the Laker legacy of Mikan, Wilt, West, Elgin, Magic, Kareem and Shaq that he kept running we must give the floor to the next generation to bleed purple and live gold.
Because for every Kobe, there’s still Magic. Like for every Gail Goodrich there’s a Pau Gasol. And every James Worthy, a Lamar Odom. The Lakers have a future. A life A.M. (‘After Mamba’). They woke it up the year they drafted Julius Randle out of the winning pedigree of Kentucky. Even if a first game broken leg debut put his potential to sleep for a year. Just look at him now.
Or the ‘other’ rookie of that campaign, the sleeper pick Jordan Clarkson who is now alarm clocking his time within the 48 minutes on the floor. Or the rooks the Lakers drafted last year in response to another lost year. The new late round steal in the dunking son of Larry Nance Jr. Who at teammate rivalry inducing first looked to replace Randle but now is going forward with and working in terrific tandem alongside him.
And then there’s D’Angelo.
The man that Clarkson shares his backcourt with. The number 2 pick of last years draft who is the future of this franchise. Under Kobe’s curtain call wing, D’Angelo Russell is now ready to lead the charge for the shot clock in the wake of the buzzer of number 24. But if this kid who can pass as well as he can score (just like Bry…ah wait) doesn’t become a marquee player, the franchise that has boasted so many legends that one is the logo needs the next great of this league.
Another lottery win for the number 2 draft selection in this Summers pick of the new school litter could be it if the Lakers pick wisely. We all know who they want…the feelings more than mutual. But all bets are on the number one Philadelphia 76ers giving a draft cap to Ben Simmons for the next chapter in his book of basketball. But if they’re off then the young stud whose already been dubbed the “next LeBron” so much basketball bible SLAM magazine have already given this young prince a throwback tribute cover to the King could hit gold. It makes storybook end and new beginning sense. Not only is he next Laker leader D’Angelo Russell’s former high school teammate, from Montverde to LSU he’s also worn purple and gold his whole life. Why stop now? Forget M.J. You see him in the vintage Earvin Johnson Mitchell and Ness. Whether trick or trade…it’s time for some magic!
Still if they can’t pull a rabbit out the hat then maybe they should just throw some of that Hollywood money at free agency. Sure over these last few LeBron and Carmelo years the last time the Lake Show had any luck with this sales pitch season was when they got Dwight Howard to sign a contract in pencil…and we all know how that turned out! Still the big ticket this year is Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant and if L.A. want to shine their bright lights at the most explosive, versatile forward franchise face they’ve coveted since Kevin Garnett and take the first step towards bringing U.C.L.A grad Russell Westbrook back to his California alumnus next year then they need to beat the Celtics again and everyone else for this storied franchises script rewrite.
Whether the Lakers talk is about Kevin or another star power that fits the bill it’s time for the franchise known for the biggest players-from the Goliath Wilt to the fellow Stilt Shaq of massive dominance-to go small. It is after all a revolution. You see it televised in the league. Tune in tonight as the Curry cooked Golden State Warriors look to knock the King off his throne once and for all. And if they unleash their ‘Death Lineup’ of back from suspension Draymond Green, the ever underrated star Harrison Barnes, last years Final MVP Andre Igudola and the Splash Brothers of Klay Thompson and Steph Curry then its R.I.P. King heads will roll in this Game Of Thrones and someone else will have the crown firmly upon their Ceasar.
Time for the Lakers to run suicides too…and we aren’t just talking about for practice.
Backed by a bench full of swagger from Nick Young’s streak to Lou Williams clutch this first five is almost alive. Julius Randle has already garnered Dray Green comparsions-even from the money man himself-as early as last preseason. So he’s your meat in the middle of this forward and guard sandwhich. And you know whose running point and shooting the lightouts. And the dynamic duo of D’Angelo and Jordan has also ruled even the Dubs in one of the moral victories of a season of change were they lost more than Kobe. And flanking the forward slots Nance Jr.’s school kid making, contest worthy dunks will put everyone in their place and be the perfect compliment to the victory led by the man yet to fill the last spot on this fantastic four that are about to make a formidable five.
‘Death’ is about to become the Lakers…it almost sounds like a dynasty.
Lakers cut Cousins for Hollywood Morris vs Morris twin brothers story
Pelican and Wildcat pack connected with Laker superstar Anthony Davis and veteran legend point Rajon Rondo, when the Lakers copped Sacramento Kings great DeMarcus Cousins this off-season it was meant to be their strongest Summer signing. Reuniting D.C. with A.D. after their N.O. year this was just a campaign after Cousins related to a Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors superteam that only last season, after the arrival of the big-man — fans around the league were calling not playing fair.
Because Boogie down low was the best center in the league, reminded us of an explosive TNT hybrid of Shaq and Chuck. But his post power productions have been crippled by injury even if he ill-advised but all heart tried to redemption return for his former Warriors’ team in the losing finals against the Raptors.
Now out of California again, even though he is no longer a Warrior, like K.D. you can always dub DeMarcus as one.
Meanwhile, whilst Lakers fans were celebrating Cousins arrival with caution once they knew he still needed time to recover, the Lakers brought back to bewilderment the infamous name of Dwight Howard. It looked laughable and ludicrous to bring back the former Mickey Mouse superstar even on a non-guaranteed contract. Especially when there were other former All Stars and future Hall of Famers on the market (Carmelo Cough Anthony).
It looked like chemistry cancer. But it was as natural as biology. And then so many rebounds, blocks, dunks, one contest and guaranteed contract later and the redemption reunion was set for a season that took everyone by surprise. The epic, emphatic energy Hollywood needed way back when flipped the script, as changing his legacy number 39 dunked all over the legend of 12 with his signature smile.
Just when the Lakers thought their dynamic Wilt and West, Magic and Kareem, Shaq and Kobe following dynamic duo of the beard and the brow of LeBron James and Anthony Davis had a big-three like Miami in DeMarcus Cousins, it actually turned out that the Lakers had a big-three Ghidora like post blocking and dunking monster of Davis, Dwight and of course all-time fan favourite, JaVale McGee. But still fans thought that once D.C. came back to Cali’s capital, another head would grow. But now the Lakers have cut it off like a broken leg in the Wild West wilderness this Winter.
The Lakers have waived DeMarcus Cousins before he ever played a single game or before he got the chance to show that he’s still got it like that. But trust he still will as another team will pick him up (if only it was the Lakers next season as DeMarcus talked about how much he liked this brotherhood 1 through 15 before sharing on Instagram his “tough times don’t last. Tough people do” tattoo following the cut). Forget a Howard’s end in redemption, there’s about to be a revenge reunion. Especially if a rival picks him up in these mind games.
Because the Lakers have just played one whilst hopefully not playing themselves. Cousins could have been that Rasheed Wallace like Pistons’ signing after the trade deadline that could have guaranteed them a chip (and do we remember who that Detroit Bad Boys reboot team beat in the finals that season? I will give you a clue. Even adding the Mailman and Glove of Karl Malone and Gary Payton wasn’t enough). Although rumour has it with him rehabbing at the Lakers facility for the rest of the year (this isn’t the first time the Lakes have made a classy move like this. See, Xavier Henry), after this sacrifice he may re-sign with the Lakers this Summer anyway. But now however the Lakers’ have brought in another former Piston to hopefully fuel their assembly line.
After missing out on ‘Melo and Andre Iguodala the Lakers didn’t want to make the same mistake for one of the best on the buyout, even if they have just added the realest to the free agent pool to get him. The hustle and heart of Markieff Morris is exactly the true grit this Hollywood team needs for the playoffs that they have been missing since they didn’t re-up Tyson Chandler.
Bolstering the Caruso and cook-ed up bench and backing-up and giving more three space for Kyle Kuzma. But what’s more like the dreads and headband, Spider-Man pointing match-up of Harkless and Jae Crowder, the Lakers now have a Morris vs Morris brother Hollywood story perfect for their script ending that should see the Battle for Los Angeles Western Conference Finals closing chapter with the Clippers that much more compelling.
Now the L.A. King one-two punches of James and Davis versus Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have more in reserve for Markieff and Marcus matching-up with twin ambition. And it’s going to make for some epic entertainment come playoff time that we can preview at the start of April for the California clash rescheduled after the tragic death of Kobe and GiGi Bryant. And what’s more Marcus says the brothers after playing together for years are going to live in the same house in Los Angeles. That should make for some awkward dinners after we see who is eating come June.
The Lakers have just gained another brother. But in this Fast and Furious league when it’s all about family, don’t forget about your cousins.
Wade In The Rafters. The Heat Rises To 3
How’s this for a Flashpoint in NBA history?
Tonight the Miami Heat gave us ‘The Flashback’. DeLorean riding back to the future of last season. Were Dwyane Wade rocking a red Heat hot bomber jacket that was all “Great Scott” Marty McFly had his number three jersey under all that retired, as the Heat rose his 3 to the rafters in a flash.
After ‘One Last Dance’ for Dwyane last season were he swapped jerseys like trading cards, Wade and his former coach and President Pat Riley watched his last jersey go up past the nosebleeds to the ceilings he smashed, arm in arm like a proud father watching a home video of his sons wedding on the highlights of the jumbotron.
The relationship is exactly like that. Built on a fatherly foundation.
Miami has had a matrimony with Wade from the Chicago towns own All Star start, championship run on his own and then post Bulls and King reunion return to redemption.
Some may say Shaq. 90’s purists Zo Mourning and Timmy Hardaway. Others the greatest of all-time LeBron James forming like voltron with another Heatle that’s about to have his jersey retired, Chris Bosh. But let’s face it when it comes to Miami Heat players and franchise faces, D-Wade is the G.O.A.T.
Legacy. Legacy. L3gacy.
This is the way of Wade. How its been and how it will always been up in the air of those American Airlines. A father first and always part of the Miami family when the South Beach welcomed him like Will Smith, this guy is for life like Bad Boys and the number 3 that Martin Lawrence’s Marcus has framed in his own living room rafter raise for the latest sequel.
What you gonna do?
This was a Florida city union like pink or turquoise neon, or the ’till death do us part loyalty of ‘Bad Boys II’ and ‘LA Finest’ spin-off star Gabrielle Union. The port of Miami Rick Ross rocked the mic and even King James sent a video tribute from his Californian Lakerland as fellow retired club legends Chris Bosh and Ray Allen were in awe attendance.
“Life is good” Wade said like Nas for this two hour special that seemed ready made for an ESPN documentary. 30 for 30 or 3 for 3.
3 in ’03 to infinity for his sweet 16. The sun will never go down on the legendary legacy of Miami’s adopted son.
And in a tragic start to 2020, like Chi guy Wade embracing an emotional Allen Iverson in a Kobe number 8 tribute throwback this moment was the answer to the pain from our prayers.
Now all that is left is one last step to the Hall.