The King’s greatest move this year wasn’t when he headed to Hollywood to become the latest in a line of legendary Los Angeles Lakers like Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant to look to the rafters he one day hopes to put a banner. Up there with his jersey that belongs in NBA storied purple and gold lineage.
It wasn’t one of number 23’s countless signature moves. Were built like a linebacker he runs the entire hardwood like a classic quarterback, through the defence like butter left out the fridge overnight. Before Run DMC ‘You Be Illin’ touching down with a Statue Of Liberty, hammer of “BRING ME THANOS” dunk.
It’s not even when the league’s former villifed monarch turned hero for life changed the game again by the royal decree of the click of his fingers.
And no we aren’t talking about when the greatest player of all-time not named Mike signed on the Tinseltown dotted line for the ‘Space Jam’ sequel too.
No the monster move of LeBron James this year and because everything moves through him the best moment of hoops history this calendar didn’t even belong on court. Although you can bet this place has a fair few. The last time LeBron left his Cleveland, Ohio franchise with televised decisions for South Beach he really felt the heat and not even in Miami. He left in a fire and brimstone of scorched Cavalier jerseys and rocks being thrown at his billboard throne.
But not this time.
This time after making good on his promise to return home and win a ring for The Land, the lord of the Kings stood quiet as he left for the bright lights of a Hollywood Lakerland kingdom that had turned into a Lonzo Angeles Lakers, big balling reality show thanks to LaVar. Worse than when Lamar married a Kardashian (stay up legend. No one did it like the magic of playing every spot before positionless basketball like Odom). LeBron was mum for a few days like visiting his folks for the holidays. This was because he was still in Ohio leaving his home with a parting gift much more touching then a full page spread in the Cleveland Plain Dealer which is still a big deal.
Truly pledging to the place he called his own and showing us that basketball is more than a game. James didn’t shut up and dribble. LeBron kept quiet and built a school. Flexing that mental muscle. When fellow Laker legends like Kobe were winning NBA first Oscars and starting production companies from the Granity up. Or adding to their storied history books, chapter and verse by writing Sherlock Holmes novels like Kareem. LeBron James was ensuring the future of underprivileged children from an elementary level.
A passion project not a “look at me” vanity one the King’s vision took a ‘Mamba Mentality’ to the classroom (we’re sure that essential text will rightfully end up part of the curriculum). Ensuring kids without that chance previously got one. Giving the school more activities, opportunities, ways to deal with stress and poverty, food banks and job placements for parents struggling.
What school does that?
Touch hardwood. I don’t want to tempt fate. But I can’t remember the last time LeBron James missed one game of the 82 season. But as a kid because his parents didn’t have a car, young LeBron missed a critical 83 days of school. It’s almost prophetic. But that all ended when the King loved his bicycle like Queen. And now number 23 is giving out two wheels like Oprah to every kid in attendance.
And you though the viral video of him coaching his son on the sidelines positively after a losing game that’s been making the timeline rounds this week was heart warming.
And of course the only one that had something negative to say about this was (no not Chuck) Donald Trump. We won’t even give his twit tweets the light of day here like everyone else who should turn their back to this child demanding our attention. But we will say this how many schools has the Donald opened? Or if he wants to get petty how many young lives has LeBron James destroyed?
Even the First Lady Melania Trump backed up the King, saying she likes LeBron James and all he does (can you imagine the Trump family dinner that night?). Which really says it all.
So in the best Basketball moment of the year, Christmas came early this summer for the kids of Akron, Ohio.
And by the end of his term you know the King is just getting started.
MVP Brandon Clarke dominates, leads Grizzlies to 2019 NBA Summer League Title
Canadian Brandon Clarke, the 21st pick of the 2019 Draft dominated the NBA’s annual summer showcase — becoming the first player to take home both tournament and championship game most valuable player honors with a dominant 15 points, 16 rebounds double-double. The No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies the Minnesota Timberwolves 95-92 to win the 2019 NBA Summer League championship.
The former Gonzaga standout added 4 assists, 3 blocks and a steal in 25 minutes.
In six games of summer league action, Clark averaged 14.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.8 blocks per game. The Vancouver native shot 55% from the field and becomes the first ever Canadian to win MVP at the NBA Summer League.
Clarke was also named to the first-team all-NBA Summer League team. Other standouts included fellow Canadians Nickeil Alexander-Walker who joined Clarke on the first-team. Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher was named to the second-team.
New Knick RJ Barrett Treated Las Vegas Summer League Like A New York Playground
Magnitudes off the Richter. An earthquake hit Sin City like jackpot in the NBA’s Summer League in Las Vegas, Nevada out in the desert last week.
And as the Jumbo-tron still shook like the music it was pumping, many people in awe inspired attendance would have been forgiven for thinking it was Zion. As the Duke standout and the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft Williamson made us feel more tremors than Kevin Bacon. As the new New Orleans Pelican burst out the hardwood and flew, man-handling a steal off an opponent who’s just a poster now’s inbounds pass and put back a viscous, signature slam that felt like they still tested atomic bombs out in the Nevada desert overlooking the electric, neon skyline. All whilst new and former teammates respectively, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Anthony Davis looked on with “here comes the big airplane” mouths.
But after the road to Mount Zion’s knee injury lead to more Patrick Ewing ice than up there in Japan’s Mount Fuji, it was better the Blue Devil you know. As the Knicks third pick RJ Barrett ended up moving the needle more over this scorching, seasonal tourney of the youthful future of this association. Looking as good as those beautiful blue Knicks Summer League jerseys that are so clean we want to see them fresh off the press in the the NBA Store in NYC. So much so that even if RJ handed you one of his autographed signatures post game you’d still be like, “you got this in a medium?”
Sounding better than all those thirsty announcers singing “Summer Leeeeague” like The Isley Brothers this time of year classic, ‘Summer Breeze’. Making everything feel fine as he blew through defenders like the Jasmine in my mind. RJ initialed his dynamic debut and mainstream moment. Making Knicks’ fans almost forget that they just lost out on their number one goal, Zion Williamson. Or their free agent duo desire of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who ended up on the other side of New York, across that bridge from Manhattan in Brooklyn with the Nets…almost. Following the sweated out, hard nosed 90’s were only Jordan and Starks shots got in the way of golden era glory, the Knicks’ now have their first real leader in the post Porzingis era since Syracuse star ‘Melo for the Orangemen.
And he’s not alone. Barrett who was choosing Knicks’ mannequin heads to bucket on New York’s Late Night show with Jimmy Fallon nights before the draft cap has plenty to pass to in a Pelican rivaling young core of young guns, Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier, new free agent signing Julius Randle (this Pel is still a big ‘cat out of Kentucky like Anthony Davis or DeMarcus Cousins reunited on the Lake Show like purple and gold fans hoped he would be too), Elfrid Payton and of course the soaring Dennis Smith Jr. Not to mention a bolstered bench of Taj Gibson and Reggie Bullock from more than midtown. Call it Chelsea, the Tribeca or even Battery Park after the High-Line of the Meatpacking District. The future of this franchise to the naked eye of ignorance is about to look better than the view from that new Vessel structure in Hudson Yards.
Barrett began in Vegas with some early snake eyes trouble. But rolling the dice again he turned into a killer like Brandon Flowers. The man. Come round. Nothing can break. Nothing can break him down. First he scorched California’s new look King sized Lakers for 21 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. But it was his spell in his last Summer forecast against the Wizards were RJ showed Washington that just like NYC, DC may be America’s capital, but there’s nothing like New York, New York. He was so good you had to check the instant replay twice, with another 21 and 10, two perfect precision passes off cashing in a triple-double chip like he was a team that had both James Harden and Russell Westbrook on their roster roll call. Houston, do you read me?
Averages of 15.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists in a televised tournament that is basically a glorified practice scrimmage (tell me, do you even know who won the thing?) show he will be above so. The Canadian Maple Mamba has that syrup for your bacon. Even without free agent big names like Kevin and Kyrie who are one more decision away from being journeymen, forget super-teams, the Knicks may have a lifer in RJ from Coach K’s Duke fraternity administration in the association now. Can you relate? Barrett could be brilliant and New York no longer a rotten apple. But a couple of big names away from having their title again in the Mecca of Madison Square Garden’s, World’s Most Famous Arena in bright Times Square lights.
It’s almost a New Year for New York, time for the ball to drop.
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