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Neither Kobe. Nor LeBron. Who Is The Greatest Laker Ever?

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Cleveland Cavaliers V Los Angeles Lakers
"It's OK! You're Still Number One To Me!"

Showtime!

Your wish has been granted. Now the new Nike Lakers jerseys throwing it back to the traditional golden era 80’s with all the trimmings have finally been unveiled (thanks Modell’s Sporting Goods). And as this writer has ordered his Association Edition white number 23 to wardrobe go next to his purple and gold 24. It remains to be seen when it all heads up to the rafters with all those banners who will be the greatest NBA player in history to thump the storied Lakers across his chest?

In a twist of fate will number 23 be higher than 24?

Or will the man who wanted one more than Jordan and was the closest but no cigar to him, always be that Laker who bleeds purple and lives gold?

No!

Neither!

Not the Oscar winning superstar who resembled M.J.

Nor the Oscar numbers of a superstar who resembled another M.J.

Put it to rest like saying either of these guys are better than the real greatest of all-time. No matter how much like all of us tube sock dunking on our plastic baskets above the posters on our door as kids they wanted to be like Mike.

Not Kobe Bryant.

Not LeBron James.

Although they are top five, dead or alive in Laker lore or the NBA’s Mount Rushmore.

So who is the greatest Laker of all-time?

Lonzo Ball?

Lavar?

Please!

Nope!

Don’t make us Rondo, Beasley and Lance laugh like that Laker ‘Friends’ Twitter trending video.

Barbershops ready? Water-coolers ready?

Not even the self-proclaimed, “Most Dominant Ever”, Shaquille O’Neal. Who yesterday revealed to TMZ that his former foe Kobe was coming out of retirement to partner up with LeBron. Now here’s an exclusive for you people, relax…it’s just TMZ.

Not even arguably the actual most dominant seven foot center of attention and all-time, not wearing 11 rings on his fingers and toes, Wilt Chamberlain. The Big Dipper who scored 100 points in a single game…himself.

Not the actual NBA logo, Jerry West. Or the cold ice hang time to his fire Elgin Baylor.

Not the great Gail Goodrich. Don’t sleep on the real legends of the game for the second straight countdown decades later SLAM magazine.

Not the original Big Game James who is still Worthy. Or the smooth silk of Jaamal Wilkes.

Not even the real Sixth Man behind the mic, Chick Hearn. Or our writing inspiration, Jim Murray.

Jack Nicholson courtside?

Not even role playing legends like the big-three of Derek Fisher, Rick Fox, or Robert Horry. But without them a three-peat would have just been clutching at brooms.

Not the Glove of a chattering Gary Payton and the second coming potential of his son. Or the Mailman of Karl Malone who always delivers until his knee gives out.

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Coach Jax or Coach Walton.

Any member of the Buss family. From the late, great J.B. to the dream of Jeanie.

Not Ingram…give it time. Soon the kid will be known only by the name on the back of his jersey.

Not Jordan (Clarkson). Or Kwame Brown. Smush?

Not Kawhi Leonard. We learnt from hometown hero Paul George not to wait. But it’s O.K. P.G. Do your thing at OKC.

Not Pau Gasol. Now this is no joke. Respect that the greatest European player of all-time not named Dirk or Drazen is a Laker legend and one of the best ever. Not just in their legendary painted lair of big-men. Sorry Vlade (but you know your one of our best bigs ever in a lengthy long lineage). You better read a newspaper or something.

Not even the original Laker legend by way of Minneapolis like Prince before the purple, George Mikan.

Not even the original Captain. The other big spectacle of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who actually leads NBA history in points scored with that unstoppable sky-hook (we see you Kyle Kuzma). A giant figure of a man who in Time and the amazing, snug and tug autobiographies he pens (how many has he wrote over the last year?) may just be as good a writer as he was a ball player when it’s all said and done. And that’s really saying something!

Nope. The greatest Laker of all-time is Cap’s running mate. A Point Guard who could play front and center with that smile. The type of player that could unselfishly dominate the game without even taking a single shot. So don’t look the other way because isn’t that what teammwork and playing the game is all about? Architect John Wooden coaching a young Lew Alcindor would certainly agree. Wouldn’t you?!

“Never fear, Earvin’s here”!

Not only the best ever in purple and gold. But the greatest NBA player of all-time after M.J. And an M.J. himself. Number 23 held up in a mirror. Who else but a man who as President Johnson actually assisted in bringing ‘Bron to this La La Lakerland city of stars. Take that Mr. West. Only in Hollywood. A legend in two games, on the court and behind the desk. Obama would be proud. As a matter of fact he had to leave his phone call on hold. Now what do you call that? Like a behind the back rabbit out the hat…

…Magic.

Now as to whose better, Kobe or LeBron? Well…we’re just going to have to save that for another article…

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NBA

DO Call It A Carmelo Comeback. Anthony Is Guaranteed For Years

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carmelo anthony signs guarantee contract with portland trail blazers
Back From The Dead In RIP City...

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.

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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.

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After Expelling The Order Of The Phoenix, Wizards Exiled By L.A. King.

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after expelling the order of the phoenix wizards exiled by king
The City Game...

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.

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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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