Winds of change have come to basketball again as the 2016 Draft sweeps through the NBA’s new era.
This is the next generation. This is the future. What a time to be drafted.
Here’s how they all fell.
With the first pick in the 2016 NBA Draft the Philadelphia 76ers select Ben Simmons out of LSU. Potentially the biggest player from that university alumni since the Magic smile of Shaq! But the SLAM book of basketball, throwback cover star and most hyped player since King LeBron James won’t be draped in the royalty of purple and gold anymore. Instead in joining two of the biggest rookies over the past few seasons in Jahil Okafor and Joel Embiid, Simmons may just be Philly’s answer to the post Allen Iverson, future franchise face legacy and legend now they can let number 3 go to the rafters.
As for number two that spot was reserved for a player who could have gone first and foremost too. And in handing the cap to Brandon Ingram the choice is the Lakers. The Duke Blue Devil has the spirit and ethic of Coach K in him heading to the city of angels and the skinny on this rail-thin kid is he could the next Durant. So maybe the Lakers don’t have to go after Kevin in free agency after all. Now Kobe is retired get your Instagrams ready for Ingram because Brandon could just be the future chapter of this storied franchise of Mikan, Wilt, West, Baylor, Kareem, Magic and Shaq. The last forward the Lake Show took this big was the Worthy game of James. You see where number 42 lies. Now in this small ball revolution Brandon Ingram could join the fellow youthful revolution of last years number 2 D’Angelo Russell, previous lottery pick Julius Randle and surprise rookie and sophomore’s Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. in running a new life line-up to death. Showtime!
A franchise steeped in even more history than the Lakers looked to their own future that they hope flies like a Bird as the Boston Celtics selected forward Jaylen Brown with the 3rd pick. Whilst Phoenix made a Porzingis like gamble on international big Dragan Bender. Rounding out the top five, Kris Dunn seems the perfect fit for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Forming a one-two punch with Kentucky’s reigning Rookie of The Year Karl Anthony-Townes that could be the second coming of Da Kid and Starbury…or like Dunn’s alma mater…Providence.
Our sixth man could be this years Emmanuel Mudiay as Bahamas born Buddy Hield like Canadian great Rick Fox is calling New Orleans friend now. Whilst the latest cat from Coach Cap’s Kentucky to run wild in the big leagues is Denver’s Jamal Murray, a real nugget find. But the sleeper pick of this draft doesn’t lie in the top ten with the Suns Marquese Chriss (expect a rising year). Or Toronto’s Jakob Poeltl (get ready for the Drake references) and the Bucks Milwaukee will throw at Thon Maker finishing this final countdown. But instead somewhere between February and a Washington movie as the Chicago Bulls steal Denzel Valentine with the almost criminal 14th pick. Cupid may have missed an unlucky 13 times but you got to love it! This draft choice will leave the Windy City asking “Derrick who”? Rising above this kid has more than just game. Just like Gary Payton II has more than a name…no matter how great it is. As the Rockets hand the gloves of their franchise future to this undrafted rookie there’s more than one way to get to basketballs biggest stage than draft day.
But for those looking to win the lottery…this is just the ticket!
Lets run roll call…
1) Philadelphia: Ben Simmons, F (LSU)
2) LA Lakers: Brandon Ingram, F (Duke)
3) Boston: Jaylen Brown, F (California)
4) Phoenix: Dragan Bender, F (Croatia)
5) Minnesota: Kris Dunn, PG (Providence)
6) New Orleans: Buddy Hield, SG (Oklahoma)
7) Denver: Jamal Murray, G (Kentucky)
8) Phoenix: Marquese Chriss, F (Washington)
9) Toronto: Jakob Poeltl, C (Utah)
10) Milwaukee: Thon Maker, PF (Canada)
11) Oklahoma City: Domantas Sabonis, C (Gonzaga)
12) Atlanta: Taurean Prince, SF (Baylor)
13) Sacramento: Georgios Papagiannis, C (Greece)
14) Chicago: Denzel Valentine, SG (Michigan State)
15) Denver: Juan Hernangomez, F (Spain)
16) Boston: Guerschon Yabusele, PF (France)
17) Memphis: Wade Baldwin, G (Vanderbilt)
18) Detroit: Henry Ellenson, PF (Marquette)
19) Denver: Malik Beasley, SG (Florida State)
20) Brooklyn: Caris LeVert, G (Michigan)
21) Atlanta: DeAndre Bembry, F (St. Joseph’s)
22) Sacramento: Malachi Richardson, SG (Syracuse)
23) Boston: Ante Zizic, C (Croatia)
24) Philadelphia: Timothé Luwawu, SG (France)
25) LA Clippers: Brice Johnson, F (North Carolina)
26) Philadelphia: Furkan Korkmaz, F (Turkey)
27) Toronto: Pascal Siakam, PF (New Mexico State)
28) Sacramento: Skal Labissiere, PF (Kentucky)
29) San Antonio: Dejounte Murray, PG (Washington)
30) Golden State: Damian Jones, C (Vanderbilt)
31) Memphis: Deyonta Davis, C (Michigan State)
32) LA Lakers: Ivica Zubac, C (Croatia)
33) New Orleans: Cheick Diallo, PF (Kansas)
34) Phoenix: Tyler Ulis, PG (Kentucky)
35) Memphis: Rade Zagorac, (Serbia)
36) Milwaukee: Malcolm Brogdon, SG (Virginia)
37) Houston: Chinanu Onuaku, C (Louisville)
38) Golden State: Patrick McCaw, SG (UNLV)
39) LA Clippers: David Michineau, PG (France)
40) LA Clippers: Diamond Stone, C (Maryland)
41) Orlando: Stephen Zimmerman, PF (UNLV)
42) Brooklyn: Isaiah Whitehead, SG (Seton Hall)
43) Houston: Zhou Qi, C (China)
44) Atlanta: Isaia Cordinier, SG (France)
45) Boston: Demetrius Jackson, PG (Notre Dame)
46) Dallas: A.J. Hammons, C (Purdue)
47) Portland: Jake Layman, SF (Maryland)
48) Chicago: Paul Zipser, SF (Germany)
49) Detroit: Michael Gbinije, SF (Syracuse)
50) Indiana: Georges Niang, PF (Iowa State)
51) Boston: Ben Bentil, PF (Providence)
52) Utah: Joel Bolomboy, PF (Weber State)
53) Denver: Petr Cornelie, PF (France)
54) Atlanta: Kay Felder, PG (Oakland)
55) Utah: Marcus Paige, PG (North Carolina)
56) Denver: Daniel Hamilton, SF (Connecticut)
57) Memphis: Wang Shelin, C (China)
58) Boston: Abdel Nader, PF (Iowa State)
59) Sacramento: Isaiah Cousins, SG (Oklahoma)
60) Utah: Tyrone Wallace, PG (California)
Class of 2016 your time is now!
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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