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Lakers Must Live With A ‘Death Lineup’ For Life Without Kobe

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Mamba Out!

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!

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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.

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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