A single, subtle spotlight shone on superstar Maverick Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas as he held a microphone at his centre court stage like the chairman of the board Frank Sinatra. The good German gunner retiring his way.
At the love in of mid-February in Charlotte, North Carolina for the Basketball mid-season classic of the NBA All-Star Weekend, Dirk was named as a special honorary legendary addition to ‘Team Giannis’ squad. A fellow seven foot unicorn and Greek Freak of nature (but if Antetokounmpo is the most versatile big man of all-time it’s because Nowitzki is the most revolutionary) this European legend helped inspire like teammates Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis (which in that order after Dirk may go down as the three best international basketball players of all-time). A best foreign big-three of all-time unfortunately now we will never see together play in the Texan triangle big-three, holy trinity. After Dirk has battled everyone from Tim Duncan’s in San Antonio to the Houston Rockets James Harden all alone for two decades plus. Alongside the rocking retiring tour chair of Dwyane Wade for his best friend, ‘Team LeBron’. And swapping jerseys in this gift of an exchanged season it’s been quite a show of in harmony, symbolic synchronicity of symmetry for these former final rivals with their own chips they brushed off their shoulders to come together for one photograph finish this year in uniform unity.
And even last night in a flash of lasts for this weeks grand finale of NBA history in this storied season, that has seen the San Fran Warriors to be play in the Golden State of Oakland for the very last time, Dirk scored 30 too (along with collecting 8 rebounds, 3 assists and a block) against a scorched Suns (though Sixth Man super sub legend worthy of his own parade Jamal Crawford had 51 to become the first player in NBA history to hit 50 for four different clubs) like Dwyane against the Sixers. All for a combined Kobe final 60 (although this 40 year old franchise lifer you once free agent cold called did it off 30 shots Bean as he checked your box score) for these Mamba era mentality legends as both called game and it a career for the record book memories of those who changed the association from big threes to bigs who could shoot the three. Superteams to seven foot unicorn stores like Captain Marvels.
And how fitting for the great downtown hope of Larry Bird with the shot to introduce him (along with heroes Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley and Seattle Supersonics legends Shawn Kemp and Detlef Schrempf) at the half for a full tribute that shed tears you simply couldn’t help to wipe away? As after the Wade’s world waltz of the One Last Dance season of number 3 really gave us the 82 game time to savour and celebrate all he’s done on court as we wished him on his way of Wade, after weighing up the love for the game pros and injury riddled cons all stunted season, Dirk put it plainly in a simple sentence as we might have expected, “this is my last home game”. As a big disbelief, disappointed “aww” erupted. Followed by a chorus of cheers that stood in auditorium decibel audible ovation.
One exit last night on a red carpet, the other out the back door. One more celebratory. The other more subtley so. But neither wrong. Both just done with class in their own, unique individual way. Just like the players and professionals they were and remain will always be. And if Dwyane is top three in all-time Shooting Guards, then Dirk is the greatest of all-time when it comes to players shooting from other shores. His lethal fadeaway from deep may as well have been as far back as his home country for your Euro-step, let alone the three point line. It belongs right next to Kareem’s hook or M.J.’s fade as one of the greatest, most unstoppable shots in L history. The most beautiful parquet perfect sight to behold from the elbow to the nosebleeds.
But how this man changed the game is in more than this blonde bombers shaggy shot and the one he had and now others do in this league, with that ingrained in the surface of the Spalding will to never give up as you fingertip spin the ball on your palms by the seams of beyond the arc.
All you have to do is look to the future to see what this monumental man has built like the statue that will one day reside outside a Dallas, Texas who once thought, “who the hell is this kid”?
A Hall of Famer people.
So whilst they clink Budweiser’s for Dwyane out in the talented Wade County of South Beach bringing and saying goodbye to the Heat, it’s time to light a Cuban for this stogies last cigar now his career is endgame ash.
The west will never be this wild again without this long range gun. But at least after this last home-stand one of our generations greats will have one last run at the Alamo in San Antonio for a Texas derby ride this Thursday.
After 21 seasons number 41 is done after one last game, for just one team, after all this time. And now it’s all on to the double 7.
Danke Dirk. Let’s look for Luka.
Long live the Maverick.
But please not you too Vince. Not just yet.
Is It Time For The Lakers To Make A Move On Another Anthony?
Nelly back in the day (2004) on the ‘Sweat’ part of his that and ‘Suit’ dual album release rapped, “I’m a Nugget type of fellow, I push the Carmelo” on the ‘Na-Nana-Na’ track that came after the ‘Heart Of Champion’ opening tip that sampled the Sportscenter iconic ESPN theme. Why are we mentioning this? Well, not only because it’s a hot line that made a hot song. But because it’s seemed this long ago since ‘Melo made waves in the L.
Even if his last stint last season with the Houston Rockets lasted so long it may as well have been a 10 day contract for the veterans minimum for the former Mile High City legend and New York Knick King.
But with all the talk on the problems in Houston between James Harden and Chris Paul, focussing on whether the Lakers will finally get their man in CP3. No nixing this time (too late) like they have Anthony Davis. Maybe it time the Lakers finally got an Anthony that they’ve been courting longer than this whole Davis debacle.
Conveniently just days after the Lakers landed Davis for seemingly half of Los Angeles (minus the Hollywood sign and cast of LeBron James’ ‘Space Jam 2’ (Klay Thompson people)) and all of their future (except the man, the myth, the Kyle Kuzma), the Overtime Twitter account added something extra with Anthony (not AD) hoisting up practice jumpers with the tag-line, “Carmelo just doesn’t miss” (word?!) in all caps. But in a timeline trend for tampering there’s no harm or foul here in a little seed planting in a subtweet of ‘Melo making some charity stripe shots peacocking.
It’s no charity attempt either if the Lake Show make an offer Carmelo can’t refuse either for the Godfather’s team this time unlike this trade deadline gone. The meme team of JaVale McGee, Michael Beasley, Lance Stephenson and Rajon Rondo has dealt with former All Stars as veteran contributers before for one year deals which we wouldn’t be mad at a re-up. So how about one for a certified legend that is one championship away from a Hall of Fame induction down the corridor of his career?
Then aside from the last dance of Dwyane Wade the banana boat will be complete.
Wine tasting with the King, ‘Melo is one of ‘Bron’s best friends forever. Hash-tag B.F.F’s. So it’s almost destined that the two rookie rivals that entered the league head-to-head will one day leave it as teammates. But it makes more sense that the Lakers finally make the move for Anthony after the other Anthony. The trade for Davis may have given the Lakers their best dynamic duo since Shaq and Kobe and the next big man great in the legendary Lakers lineage after Mikan, Wilt, O’Neal and Pau Gasol. But it also decimated their team. And we aren’t just talking about the star power potential of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and whom this weekends number four and future draft picks will concern. But the actual team over superteam aspect of glue guys they’ve lost like the defensive Josh Hart, who holds court as the best role player the Lakers have had and held since the Shaq and Kobe days of Robert Horry, Rick Fox and Sparks Head Coach, Derek Fisher.
So if the Lakers want to top the ‘Stranger Things’ team of vets this player power generation Independence Day next month, then they could produce on paper fireworks for the dry erase with big names like ‘Melo and CP3, for second unit scoring and point production off an even bigger bench. Sure the focus this free agency is on the K’s of Kawhi, Kevin and Kyrie…if they can even afford them with Anthony’s bonus. But they should also look to small ball build a team with the available assets of bigs like Al Horford and guys like former ‘Bron team buddy Kyle Korver from downtown if you want to talk about 2K’s.
Besides at this point apart from the new big-three of James, Davis and Kuzma and a couple of rookie contracts (Bonga and Wagner) the Lakers want to shop by the draft for mo, the Lakers barely have enough players under contract now to put out on the floor, let alone in reserve.
And with 40% of the association about to enter free agency and with previous young core Laker losses like Russell and Randle about to be unrestricted among them, it’s time for the Lakers to stop playing fantasy Basketball like LeBron hates and play smart Basketball like we all love like Kevin.
One Anthony deserves another. Time to make ‘Melo yellow.
It’s Time For The Lake Show To Seek Redemption With Randle And Russell
Raised eyebrows, the Lakers have finally got Anthony Davis.
This you know as clear as the fact that the young core is gone and done.
I mean are y’all finished or are y’all done?
Lonzo Ball. Brandon Ingram. Josh Hart and all those draft picks starting with the one the Lake Show were going to go fourth with this weekend. Joining the likes of Zubac, Bryant (Thomas), Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson.
Everyone expect Kyle Kuzma…and my boy Moe Wagner.
And now with the new dynamic duo of Davis and James set there are at least two more players the Lakers should realistically pursue in free agency this Summer of smash.
And we aren’t talking about any of the special K’s for the King.
Kawhi, Kevin, Kemba or Kyrie. Finish your breakfast.
That might just be too much for the Lakers plate. Y’all remember what it was like when Chris Paul got nixed and became a Los Angeles Clipper instead. Well funny thing that might come full circle and redemption may happen as CP3 may finally get his chance to team up with another purple and gold legend of our generation on the Lakers. Even if it is too little, too father time late.
But the ultimate redemption that should be sought with the Lakers isn’t with a former Houston Rocket.
And we aren’t talking about Carmelo either. Or one Anthony finally coming around deserves another to join that McGee, Stephenson and Rondo meme team of former All-Star big name bench.
We’re talking about two former young, future Lakers who could hopefully be that again.
Yeah in our wildest memes.
How the Lakers didn’t ask for Julius Randle back when they gave up the whole house and coast for A.D. is beyond me. Maybe because he’s about to be free (but they didn’t learn that with Ant Davis). Maybe because never in a million years. Either way perhaps it’s time for the Lakers to offer Julius the millions they should have this time last year.
We all make mistakes what matters is that we learn from them and make that change.
And if that wasn’t enough. The Lakers may not need another big but they for sure need a clutch closer. And although with word of him wanting to join Davis and still being in play for a LeBron reunion. If Kyrie Irving does end up signing in Brooklyn like rumors have it, then it is said that there will likely be no room in the Nets for D’Angelo Russell. No matter how many he netted last season. Swish, swish. He’s a three point shooter. Now the Lakers could go after D-Lo instead. Despite the fact that the Lakers (Magic) gave up on him when they ended up going after the Ball…but as of this morning we all know how that turned out.
Russell doesn’t deserved to be let down by another team. Especially with the home be found and all be did for the city as a first time All Star in the B.K. But if all isn’t O.K. there then no one quite understands what it’s like to be scorned like the ones who spurned you. The Nets would be wrong to give up on D’Angelo like the Lakers were and will make clear with their pitch for the guy whose been hanging out in soccer stadiums like Barcelona’s Nou Camp recently, before both team and former player maybe face off in Shanghai and Shenzhen this October.
Will once Laker D’Angelo Russell be remade in purple and gold by China?
Crazier things look to still happen this off-season in Hollywood now we need something to replace the LaVar Ball reality show. I mean this is a team that even wants to bring Brook back downtown.
The only Lopez in L.A. can’t just be George. And we don’t mean his twin. Although like if they kept both Gasol’s it would be so much better.
Still with the draft blowing in, if the Lakers officially sign Anthony Davis after Independence Day on July 6th then they will be able to save more money. Especially if A.D. waives his trade bonus (which would be a good sign to tell if he’s sticking around next year when he becomes a free agent that could just walk away after all this and all the Lakers lost for nothing). Around 30 mill they get to spend with the cap space to bring in any Kemba, Kyrie or Kawhi they want…K?
But even so if they at least make an offer for Randle or Russell then it will be a pitch that at least says, we we’re wrong.
It’s the least they and the likes of Lonzo, Brandon Ingram and Hart (hey Josh I’ll give you a high-five if you stay) deserve.
And at the most it could lead to so much more.
No story in Basketball is quite as beautiful or real as redemption.
The Laker like Marley should make it sing.
They just got rid of their entire young core. It’s time to get it back, piece by piece.