Just weeks ago Joaquin Oliver was laughing and joking with his friends like any other teenager. A lover of music, sports, the Miami Heat and Dwyane Wade. The Florida franchises Flash legend and returning hero via a Cavalier trade from King James’ land. Making for an even bigger homecoming than the Chicago born D-Wade’s ride in the Bull-pen last season. And it wasn’t just the talents of South Beach that where nostalgically excited, but the entire Sunshine State as a whole. Especially one of Dwyane’s biggest fans, a handsome young man with so much heart known to his friends as ‘Joaq’.
But on Valentines Day, 17 year old Joaquin Oliver with his whole life to live and love ahead of him was one of the 17 victims who tragically lost their lives in the Parkland school shooting.
He was just a kid.
Oliver was buried in one of his most prized possessions, his number 3, Dwyane Wade Heat jersey. Upon learning this an emotional Dwyane Wade dedicated the rest of his returning season-which may even be the Hall of Fame ready legends retiring one-to Joaquin. And with a tribute testament to Oliver, Wade wrote his name on his sneakers took to the floor and hit 15 of the Heat’s last 17 (and his 27) and an epic, emotional game winner against the Sixers that was a classic, “this is my house” Flash-back.
The final score read 102-101 to the home team off Ocean Drive. But what truly mattered was what was wrote to see on the cleats of Dwyane’s feet. This tragic time is so much bigger than basketball. But whatever escape, solace and stand of solidarity sports and those who make it more can offer in comfort to families and friends in their time of mourning has real importance. Even albeit for a brief, but fleeting cathartic respite.
“This is why we can’t just shut up and dribble”, Wade tweeted with a picture of Oliver, echoing the words of twice teammate and former Miami Heat leader LeBron James who responded to those critical of the athletes outspoken social stance. Wade has made big moves that matter with James before. And we aren’t talking about the big-three. Remember the ESPY’s? Echo those words. And sometimes even from the biggest stars in the world that seem a million miles away from our hurt it’s the little things that matter. Like in years past Chris Paul scoring 61 in honour of his grandpa who passed away at that age. Or a heartbroken Allen Iverson paying for the funeral of a young man shot over his jersey. Whatever we can do to help-no matter how small-is surely better than simply doing nothing.
Ignorance will get us all nowhere. Inspiration will though.
For Joaquin and everyone who lost their lives to the guns we must control and put down for good.
Blazing A Trail Back To The NBA. Portland Land Carmelo
Catching the ball out of bounds as a spectator courtside. Carmelo Anthony is no longer dribbling the ball to the baseline in street clothes. About to put up a shot before smiling and passing it to the referee like, “just kidding!”
‘Melo is back and Twitter just won’t calm down.
He deserves the character.
Way to reverse the trends Carmelo.
No New York state of reunion. Or things to do in Denver when your career is almost dead for the Nugget golden era icon. No chance to finally wear that Atlanta Hawk jersey they especially made for him. No banana boat ride with LeBron in Lakeland for the purple and gold to finally get another Anthony they seemed forever linked with like arms of the father of the bride. No matrimony to toast with wine friend Chris Paul back in Oklahoma (although the Thunder and roaring Rockets wish they could have him now) either. But the man who was wedded to rumour for this last year like he always will be the game has ended up blazing a trail back to the NBA with Portland. Back in bloom in Rose City as ‘Melo shows with Rip City it’s not R.I.P. to his career, but the criticism that came to whether he was still capable on court.
The hoodie and headband is back.
Just look at his t-shirt in the above picture. Soaked through with sweat in just another practice run were he just wouldn’t give up or in.
Now it’s time to really ball.
Sure it would have been great to see him basketball befriend the King rival he rookie entered the league with for a true Hollywood end. The Basketball God storybooks would have loved him to retake his Knick throne as the Ewing, Bernard, King of New York even more. But now he’s blazing with the PDX best backcourt duo of Dame Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Joining All Star, legend vets like Pau Gasol to help this Wild West team back to the contender saloon. Last time he left the league, ‘Melo had averages of 13.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 0.5 assists per game. With percentages of 40.5% from the field and 32.8% from three. And Houston thought they’d have no problem giving him up and keeping CP3 and James Harden like OKC losing an OK3 of him, Westbrook and PG3?
They said he wasn’t in the game like A.I. But he’s a ‘Champion’ like Young Jeezy on a Nicki Minaj song with Nas and Drake. “Big ballin’ like Jeremy Lin (doing so in Beijing), ‘Melo!”
What a difference a year makes.
It’s all A-O.K. now.
Now it’s Jamal Crawford’s turn to crossover back.
No ‘Melo yellow. Or Syracuse orange in N.Y.C. But none of that matters. The contract in Oregon is non guaranteed. But call it a comeback like Dwight Howard back in Lakeland. And you’ve seen what a couple of big dunks, blocks and games has done to his big man Laker legacy. After it looked like he was blackballed from the NBA, let alone Hollywood. But you can always flip the script and bring your big name back. And when it comes to the back of your jersey. Not many come bigger than number 15 or 7 with his new seal.
He’s one of the greats like is a N.Y.K. G.O.A.T. This generation, or the game all-time. It’s time to recognize what the name means. This is not redemption. But a revolution in reunion of a legend and the game he’s given everything to. That’s finally giving him what’s owed to him.
The respect he deserves.
The legacy continues.
You can’t keep a good man down.
Hoods up for this marathon. The hate is gone like a sprint through social media.
All for the love of the hardwood.
Summer run to season come.
Stay ‘Melo. Because your boy is back like he never left.
Don’t call it a comeback…he’s here to stay.
Marial Shayok 42 points helps Delaware Blue Coats get first win
Marial Shayok became the first Ottawa basketball player to get drafted into the NBA and now he’s quickly making a case for permanent NBA roster spot.
Two games into his G-league/NBA career the former Iowa State Cyclones is sizzling hot — averaging 38 points per game, 7.5 rebounds and 3 assists.
Shayok made a splash with a 34 point, 6 rebound, 3 assist debut and upped his numbers in his second game as the Delaware Blue Coats downed the Greensboro Swarm 141-135 to pick-up their first win.
The Philadelphia 76ers two-way player scored 42 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and added 3 assists in just 34 minutes. Shayok connected on 14-of-27 shots, 3-of-9 triples and a perfect 9-of-9 at the charity stripe.
Shayok, alongside a bevy of Canadians are currently strutting their games in the G-League — vying for a call-up for the bright lights.
Resilient, shorthanded Raptors hand Lakers 113-104 home loss
Talk about about being resilient. Talk about championship mentality. Talk about next man up!
The shorthanded Toronto Raptors — missing two of their main players walked into Staples Centre and walked out with an impressive 113-104 signature victory over the highly touted Los Angeles Lakers.
The Raptors improve to 7-2 on the young season and in the process and have now beaten the Los Angeles Lakers 10 straight times — dating back to the 2014-15 regular season when the Lakers won 129-122 in overtime in L.A.
Pascal Siakam continued his stellar season with 24 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks. Freddy VanVleet was also brilliant with 22 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals. Chris Boucher came off the bench to spark the Raptors on both ends of the court, including back-to-back key blocks on Lebron James and Anthony Davis. The Montreal native tied a career-high with 15 points, 3 blocks, 2 steals — including 9 points in the fourth quarter.
Norman Powell added 14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Rookie Terrence Davis filled-up the stat sheet with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, playing his first significant action of the season, rounded out six Raptors’ players in double-figures with 10 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
Anthony Davis paced the Lakers with 27 points and 8 rebounds. Lebron James added to his triple-double total with 13 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds. Danny Green was held scoreless in 27 minutes.
The Raptors currently on five game west coast swing improve to 4-0 against the tough western conference and will play former teammate Kawhi Leornard and the Los Angeles Clippers in their next game, before wrapping-up one their longest road trips with games against Portland and the Dallas Mavericks.