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.
DO Call It A Carmelo Comeback. Anthony Is Guaranteed For Years
Three fingers like “what’s your poison” and shots to the dome like LL Cool J’s comeback. I’m calling it…
La La said knock you out.
They say there are no guarantees in this life, or league. But now after almost crossing off an entire calender, Carmelo Anthony has one in this league of X and O’s.
You best believe every team that slept on him has woke up now.
O.K. Thunder? Like old New York. No ‘Melo in Lakers yellow, or Houston’s problem.
And let’s not talk about that ATL jersey Atlanta tried to hawk.
The Nugget type of fellow that Nelly rapped about like ‘Na-Nana-Na’, with the heart of a champion sweat until he was no longer in a suit and part of the Sportscenter theme again. After waiting longer to align with The King in Hollywood for this Game Of Thrones than another Anthony (Davis), Carmelo ended up coming up roses in the RIP City of Portland. And boy has he blazed a trail. Voltron forming arguably a big three with the best backcourt in the league not in this nation’s capital with C.J. McCollum and Dame ‘Time’ Lillard with the look like the OK3 of Russell Westbrook and PG3 and not the Beard and the Brow.
And now he’s exceeded everyone’s greatest expectations. As one of the G.O.A.T.’s has polished his path to the Hall with a comeback even better than the return of Superman Dwight Howard with the Lakers…which could have had a Hollywood sequel with Carmelo’s comeback.
But the Lakers loss is the PDX’s blazing gain.
What more would you expect from a guy who still put up competent averages in the soaring Rockets cosmos, despite being grounded by little court acclaim? The problems in Houston could have actually been attributed to another guy who ended up ousted and in an Oklahoma home too. Despite the trolls who are now trading in hot takes like they never simulated 2K videos of him building a Commodore house with his shot selection. Or the analysts who are changing their discussion like a report rewrite.
Carmelo ain’t calming down. Anthony is taking everyone back to school.
Class has been in session.
And how about the report card? Eight games. 16.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Big shots. Western Conference Player of the Week. All Star legend spot? He belongs like the Carushow in the Slam Dunk Contest. He’s unstoppable like LeBron James’ Eurostep, spin-cycle lay-up that is like a runaway freight…word to Denzel Washington. Or his Kareem sky-hook. Tokyo 2020 Team USA bid for the best in five rings Olympic legend in his golden age? Big shots from the double 0 like seven. From nothing twice?! This is no time to die Mr. Bond.
He’s gone toe-to-shot with the MVP. Showed he was more than a most imported or Sixth Man, but still a star. More than the name, but the actual game. And now he’s guaranteed to be around for a while longer like he never left, but is here to stay. As the Blazers changed the trail on the end of the signature of his contract before the ink even dried for this guy’s with the wet jumper like staying outside in the snow with your ugly NBA sweater this Christmas.
This tax is more than a luxury. It’s about to cap off a classic career with one compelling closing chapter.
Even when he bit career highs at the core of his career in the Big Apple, the ever humble hero Carmelo was a walking and dribbling, “I just take it one game (or day) at a time” postgame soundbite like he has been in his comeback off court to on it. Well now the Blazers can guarantee him 365…or at least 82 or however far he takes them.
From the headband to the hoodie, stay ‘Melo. Anthony is here to stay.
After Expelling The Order Of The Phoenix, Wizards Exiled By L.A. King.
Forgive the title…I’ve spent the week reading all seven of J.K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ books. Expelliarmus.
Hey if its good enough for Kobe cosplaying as “he who shall not be named” one Halloween, like the King as Prince, or a cut above the rest Edward Scissorhands this year. It’s good enough for us. And Basketball’s the closest thing to Quidditch right?
But forget the Wizenard series for a page, today the Wizards were in town and speaking of Bryant some former young core Lakers were gunning for revenge like the Ingram, Hart and Ball-less Pelicans last game. Thomas Bryant, Moe Wagner and Isaac Bogna to be exact. Along with dynamo Isaiah Thomas shooting the bright lights out to prove LeBron, the Lakers and the rest of the league that shouldn’t have wrote him off wrong. Proving that the Lakers leave more youngsters on other people’s porches than the stereotypical beginnings of old movies about coming of age, against the odds. See ‘The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button’ and anything else set around that time.
But this weekend Hollywood had the perfect picture for their 10th straight W against D.C. Whose capital Washington game was big here in Tokyo with this writer and his new town for Japanese born Rui Hachimura’s clash with the titan. L.A. King versus the young king of the rising sun (no half-blood prince) that was going to be more Rakuten tuned into than when Tokyo hosted the Houston Rockets versus champion Toronto Raptors double-header first NBA Japan Games in decades last month.
But for the city in Shaq sized edition Dr. Buss tribute jerseys that were left on every fan that wanted tacos this Thanksgiving like LeBron calling on Tuesday’s seat pregame, it was former champion with Canada Danny Green who rediscovered his winners touch from downtown Los Angeles. Washington may be in a shooting spell themselves after scorching the Sun’s 140-132 Thursday in an Arizona shoot-out, but it was the Lakers who stunned them 125-103 today.
Yer a King, LeBron!
LeBron on a poetic couplet quest for the Lakers 17th championship in his year 17 was Magic with 11 assists and the number across his City Edition Nike in points. The same jersey number he’s going to give to Anthony Davis, despite this writer Black Friday buying his gold statement 3 yesterday (let’s hope that doesn’t end up like my Lonzo Ball road one this time last year next). A.D. lead the way with another double/double of 26 and 13 rebounds although Rui wasn’t afraid of going toe-to-sneaker toe with him, or never scared the King too with 16 points and 8 rebounds. As the next star next to star Bradley Beal’s 18 points and 9 assists showed Hollywood his coming to America story was Giannis worthy.
Bryant, Bogna and Wagner (seven and eight and one dunk on his head from Dwight in response to a flagrant) like Thomas with ten all showed out too against their old Showtime. But the Lakers who were still without defensive stalwart Avery Bradley like all these familiar, former faces got new help from Quinn Cook’s 17 out to the kitchen and another double trouble from fan favourite JaVale McGee who had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Whilst one of the best Point Guards of all-time still in his game Rajon Rondo had 13 in just two minutes less than that of play.
Shaqtin’a-fool in another reunion Dwight Howard (8 points, 5 rebounds and 2 “oh no you don’t, Mutombo finger wags) continued his bolstered bench presence against his old Washington state. But off a beautiful bounce ‘Brookyln 99’ copped pass from everybody’s hero Caruso he was T’d up after taunting after his big jam. Still the STAPLES Center loved it like they loved number 39 again after the D-12 drama. Who would have thought this guy would be back and back like this? Let alone dunking in a Shaq designed uniform?
But going 14 and 1 in November and winning 17 of 18 for their 10th straight, the league best Lakers haven’t been on box score paper this victorious for the record since those O’Neal 2000 champion days with the Wizenard Kobe. The Wizards may have a lot of tricks up their sleeve at the moment…but they haven’t got enough in their bag for this in the first part of their Hollywood road trip (just the best in the league Kawhi and homeboy P.G. next). Being outscored 84-36 in a half worth 24 like a Kobe throwback by the Lake Show.
But just wait until their new Japanese son rises.
I solemnly swear he’s going to be so good.
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