Julius Randle. Jordan Clarkson. D’Angelo Russell. Larry Nance Jr. Brandon Ingram.
How do you want it?
“Wait! What?” We hear you say! You’ve seen the Zubac Shakur t-shirts. The Zudacris album cover memes. Even the official Lakers Instagram post mere minutes ago stating that they’ve just landed in “Zuston”, Texas. Yeah they’ve got a problem in downtown Los Angeles…for everyone else that is.
Because 7-footer Ivica Zubac is the next big thing for the young Lakers and their central 21 or younger core.
And all eyes are on he. Even if the skinny on Zubac is a long way and career from the rafter heights of giants like Mikan, Wilt, Kareem and Shaq. The Goliath Gods of storied Laker legend history.
Yet still the Lakers rise, searching for better days…we’re surprised they even know who 2Pac is.
But soon the whole league is going to know who Zubac is…even if L.A. have to rename themselves the ‘Los Angeles Lakerz’.
Those ‘Thug Life’ youtube videos are about to take on a whole new meaning.
Ivica has been inspiring for a live and die in L.A. minute now. Ever since graduating from the D-League D-Fender affiliate assignments to a starting position in the middle of these new young guns of Hollywood that even sees reigning NBA champion with Cleveland, former Cavalier Timofey Mozgov shut down for the remainder of the season. Sitting with that contract almost as big as he is for what may be his last purple and gold campaign. And we thought a talent like All-Star Luol Deng sitting on the bench was crazy. But have you seen fellow Dukie, rookie Brandon Ingram really play to his Durant potential? Never mind that have you seen the Lakers “other” rookie play lately? From holding his own against former Laker future big man of a legendary lineage Dwight Howard, whose script was rejected in La La Land, to the records he broke just last night. And you thought the purple Lakers struck second round gold in the last two drafts with Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance’s boy. Man is it third time just as lucky. And with three top ten picks that are anything but busts the Lakers are a six shooting team with the California golden future and State Warriors in their sights and scope. Rounding out as a complete team right now, from the backcourt brodies to the versatile swingmen and bigs there are no holes in this chamber…not even the middle.
And this came before all the tricks from Magic Johnson’s trade as the elected President of the Los Angeles Lakers next to first lady Jeanie Buss and G.M. and former Hollywood agent of Kobe, Rob (Lowe) Pelinka. Now this youth in revolution led by barely out of his player days and still in his playing years head coach Luke Walton is so young and strong, the brass led by Buss doesn’t mind trading old for young. From letting go of talent like probable Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams and foreign points Marcelo Huertas and Jose Calderon for the impressing likes of Corey Brewer, Tyler Ennis and another D-League L.A. D-Fender call up, dunking David Nwaba.
But last night it was another former development league stud that was putting the D on Denver last night. Swatting shots off the glass as per his new trademark style and getting the crowd out their seats with his two handers on the other end he usually starts or ends with a rebound. Even if Ivica Zubac called out that the Lakers should have been “ashamed” of themselves following their tank like 129-101 loss in the mile-high city. Despite Denver’s new international star Nikola Jokic, AKA ‘The Joker’ holding all the cards and Nuggets stating that this Croatian is going to be “really great” in the NBA. The Lakers may have lost a lot lately but they have really won with Zubac, who has followed all his breakout games for L.A lately with a big, record 25 point and 10 rebound outing off a field goal percentage of 80 last night.
Becoming at just 19 (remember this kid is still a kid…imagine how Gasol good he will be by the age of his jersey number. Let’s hope Pau’s former team has learnt from their Marc mistakes), the first teenager in Lakers history to record a double, double off 25 points or more. Before all these kids (and Andrew Bynum (sic)) do you know who the last Lakers teenager was?
Are you still down?
Ottawa BlackJacks select Osvaldo Jeanty as first-ever Head Coach
The pieces of the puzzle are coming together for the Ottawa BlackJacks basketball team.
The start-up Ottawa basketball professional club named former five-time Canadian University champion Osvaldo Jeanty as the franchise first-ever head coach. General Manager Dave Smart made the announcement on Friday morning following a brief search that always included Jeanty’s name at the top of the list.
“Obviously, Osvaldo and I have had a long history together since he was probably 15 or 14, playing club basketball on the Ottawa Guardsmen to his time at Carleton (as player) and then he was my assistant coach at Carleton”, discussed Smart during the press conference.
“Os and I have worked together from a coach, assistant coach perspective, so I know what he’s about in terms of what his exceptions are, and we’re very much inline in terms of what our expectations are, and he knows how I operate and is comfortable working with me. So I think it’s an obvious fit, it’s and easy fit and we are really excited to start working together and put a team on the floor”, further elaborated the former Carleton Ravens on his selection process.
“It’s the first time he’s called me Osvaldo so many times since I was 15, I’m not really used to it.” a smiling Jeanty opened-up about his longtime head coach and mentor during his introductory speech.
Jeanty + Smart winning combination since the late 1990’s
The duo go back to late 1990’s with Jeanty playing for Smart at the Midget and Ontario Basketball U-19 Provincial teams. Under Smart’s guidance, Jeanty flourished as player helping turn the Carleton Ravens’ basketball program into the powerhouse that it is today.
The Ravens’ won five (2002-2007) straight U Sports men’s basketball championships during their time together as a coach-player combo — with Jeanty earning the Final 8 Jack Donohue championship MVP trophy twice, during his freshman and junior campaigns. A proven winner at all levels, Jeanty turned an outstanding collegiate career into a six year pro career, earning a championship with the Giants Nördlingen of Germany’s ProA league.
Inducted into Carleton Ravens Hall of Fame in 2015 — Jeanty earned an additional two titles as a coaching duo during their three-year (2016-19) stretch.
Both Jeanty and Smart were featured on the cover of the first-ever Canadian Basketball Magazine on March of 2005.
“I just wanted to say how thankful I am to Dave to Mike (Morreale) to the league for giving me this opportunity, also just for the Ottawa community. I’ve been here since I was six-years old and I appreciate what the community has given to me and the opportunity to be able give back to the community that has been so good to me is something that I’m very thankful for. So thank you and I look forward to really bringing a good product out there for the city, for the team and really representing the league the right way.”
As for the type of style and brand of the basketball the BlackJacks expect to play — Jeanty offered a glimpse of the same championship formula that has led to many successful moments between the now general manager and head coach tandem.
“He’s put into my head since I was 15, in terms of the keys to winning championships and I tend to follow the same of idea. You defend, you rebound, you don’t turnover the ball over — but at the same time you have 24 seconds on the shot clock so you want to play as fast a possible while not turning over the basketball.”
The attention now turns to rounding out the remaining coaching staff positions and the complex process of putting together a championship calibre team — that will undoubtedly have it’s sights on establishing an early grip on the proudly Canadian made Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) championship trophy.
With the addition of Jeanty to the head coaching ranks the CEBL now features two former Carleton Ravens’ players turned bench bosses. Niagara River Lions head coach Victor Raso also won two national championships as a member of the Ravens.
Coincidentally, Jeanty’s head coaching debut will be against Raso as the Ottawa BlackJacks will kick-off the inaugural 2020 season on the road on May 7th against the Niagara River Lions. The BlackJacks home opener is scheduled for May 14th against the Hamilton Honey Badgers.
A Rose For Kuz?
The Rose that grew from the career incasing concrete of a plaster cast, potential legacy ending injury is still in bloom.
Now that’s legendary.
As a matter of fact with the trade deadline nearer than your office one, right now nothing smells better than Pooh.
Currently more than motoring on with the Detroit Pistons in Motown, the rejuvenation of Derrick Rose has already had his redemption season. Howling back with the Minnesota Timberwolves the last 82. But in this one mirroring his prime time stats as a Bull and the next era after M.J. for the Chicago way, it’s still a story as good as a Dwight Howard Hollywood reunion or blazing Carmelo comeback out in Oregon.
And now like the former D12, D. Rose could be heading to the wild west like the one Anthony the Lakers didn’t get in the end (but should of). But like the young core, Ingram, Ball and Hart trade for A.D. is the prize worth the price?
Although Derrick is linked with the 76ers like every superstar over the past few seasons and a reunion with Chicagoland (which Basketball God’s would be the perfect closing chapter to this story that is albeit still being wrote by his own penmanship), the Benjamin Franklin’s are on Rose reuniting with King James although he called his Cleveland time with the classic Cavalier “super awkward”.
The former number one, that draft pick and NBA MVP is still most valuable and at 31 is almost a half decade younger than the King. Plus with awesome averages of 18.3 points on 50.3 percent from the field in 25.8 minutes and 5.9 assists per contest this campaign, the guy wants more time and to get out of the elimination standings.
Clockwork and contention could certainly be on the cards for Rose who let’s face it at his age and stage and with the numbers he’s putting up is still a superstar, hate it or love it. He’s been put through the ringer for his career like Bill Simmons or Shea Serrano, but now he’s being called on like Phil Collins to be one of the games greats like the genesis of his association with National Basketball.
So he may just be worth a package deal like your next vacation. Even if the Lakers are offering Kyle Kuzma and Quinn Cook for his services. Can I make a counter offer of Cook, Troy Daniels (great…but underused) and DeMarcus Cousins (although I do want to see how big he can literally get coming back and grunting with former post Pelican powerhouse Anthony Davis)? Throw in Drummond and it’s a go. Like Jerry Seinfeld superimposed into ‘Deal Or No Deal’ by NBC’s ’30 Rock’, “I gotta take that deal!”
Pair Rose with LeBron and the frontcourt force of Howard and of course Davis then these London Olympic teammates would make for what a couple of five ring contests ago on dry erase would look like a dream team. And it still wakes up notions of one to this date in the 2020 year of Tokyo thanks to Vogels vision. But would the show be giving up too much this time?
“This time”…yeah right!
Quinn Cook has California championship pedigree, splashing with the brothers in Golden State like shopping on Rodeo Drive. And this Warrior has been integral this season. His number 2 from downtown reminding me of the should be retired clutch king Fisher (we can always raise 0.4 to the STAPLES rafters) and making me feel happier about buying a Lonzo Ball statement jersey last year…hey if I wear it under a jacket it looks like I’m cooking up love and representation for Quinn.
And then there’s Kuz.
If the Lakers trade away Kyle Kuzma then they will be giving up the last piece of their incredibly curated young core that is flying with the Pelicans right now. Although how could I forgot about the untouchable, All Star Alex Carushow and the fact that Anthony Davis isn’t calendar far from Larry Nance Jr. and new Jazz 6 man Jordan Clarkson?
Although Rose solves the Lakers perimeter problems and feels in the same prime time as what could be his All Star teammates (how legendary would a Rose/Rondo backcourt be although it’s hard not to know whether to deal him or Cook?), Kuz seems too good to let cruise like Tom. This top gun may have struggled early this season, but he was coming back from injury Lakers Twitter. And recently he’s been that Worthy third option behind the Big Game Magic of James and his Kareem or Shaq to his Kobe number 3 partner, waiting on those Jordan digits next season when the King carries the 6.
30 for 30 putting up “trade this” exclamatory numbers in the dynamic duos absence, even Batman and Robin needed a Nightwing. And as much as Rose could help the new Lake Showtime bloom and grow like fine wine for all of LeBron’s merlot men, you could imagine Kyle making the Lakers pay play after play like a D’Angelo Russell or Julius Randle off the team that draft clever, but trade stupid.
Keep the player. Trade the barber.
Zero to 1. The legend or the future superstar? The choice for this deal is the Kings.
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