See this picture above Lake Show? The picture of Pau embracing Pop like he was Kobe…or better yet his own pop?
Learn from it.
New Buck Pau Gasol may have only registered 15 minutes of on court fame in a road game against his old hand the San Antonio Spurs last night. Recording the equivalent of a three pointer or bucket and one, whichever way you want to call it. And his Milwaukee Bucks team, sitting as pretty as the game of All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo uptop the Eastern Conference may have left Texas with the L. But the reception the Spanish legend got back in the Spurs saloon was that of a heroes homecoming.
Emotional embraces with his former band of brothers dressed in their military tribute fatigues. Jumbotron tributes of his entire, illustrious career. Standing ovations to not an unclapped hand in the house. You would have thought it was his last year in the association and not Nowitzki’s. Although the third best European player of all time behind big Dirk and the legend of what could have been the best player ever (word to M.J. G.O.A.T.) in the late, great Drazen Petrovic (Rest Peacefully King), until Luka Doncic or his Porzingis Mavericks teammate has something to say about it has still got plenty left in the Gasoline tank. After his former Spanish Bull teammate in Chicago Nikola Mirotic after his deadline deal told a bought out free agent in Pau to come to Wisconsin because and I quote, “you’ll love it here”.
And I’m sure he does riding the Harley Davidson’s with the bench he bolsters behind the best, not to mention the most versatile superstar in the league in the Greek Freak alphabet turning opponents into yogurt. A more complete team that could even splash the super one of the reigning dynasty Golden State Warrior kings. The G-League to All Star Khris Middleton and the somehow slept on ‘Bron built point superstar of Eric Bledsoe who has bled teams of late. Not to mention this writers Lakers.
And that’s the point. When it’s all said and done Pau Gasol will go down as one of the greatest players of all-time. Regardless of continent or stature. His time at the big-three in Chicago, San Antonio and now Milwaukee will go down as more than just a former All Star heading out to pasture, but a big time veteran contributor whose more than just a big name or locker room presence in this game. But when it comes to who will retire his jersey like his national team who from European Championship dominance to Olympic Gold will see the big Gasol brother as their unanimous greatest of all-time (here’s hoping for one last dance in Tokyo this coming 2020), we know who should even though we don’t know who would…yet.
The Vancouver ‘Rookie Of The Year’ to Memphis Grizzlies for sure will raise it up for their greatest Grizz after his younger pup Marc. But what of the Lakers? They dangled this guy disrespectfully as trade bait many moons before everyone was up in arms about Lonzo, Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and the rest of the team without a crown being offered up on a polished plate for the crawfish of New Orleans to give them a French Quarter in return in big-man Anthony Davis. And they did it again and again, an immeasurable amount of times before enough was enough and Pau signed on the dotted line for the Windy City. That’s why former Memphis man Marc is up north in Toronto now and not with the team that actually drafted him and traded his selection along with other pieces for Pau. He refused to sign for these Lakers before re-upping in Tennessee like Timberlake because of how they treated his brother. Karma’s a bitch Hollywood and just because you live in the Tinseltown hills doesn’t mean you avoid seeing it up there on your high horse. And did they learn from it with their post Gasol international talent in now Clipper rival (?) Center Ivica Zubac? The opposite of Dre for this Zupac, “hell naw”! Even Snoop may be selling his seat. And apparently the news just in word is that the Lakers staff pleaded for Magic to resign Julius Randle and Brook Lopez, before he opted for one year deals for McGee, Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley. What?! Is this a meme?! I’m shouting like John McEnroe as I write this.
And if it wasn’t for the brotherhood Gasol had with Kobe I’m sure this professional would have a lot more to say than the held high grace he keeps. Playing well is the best revenge. Although real purple and gold bleeders know that this champions number 16 (no way Kobe wins those other two rings without his in sync brother) belongs up there with all the towering greats in this seven foot plus legacy of Laker bigs. Wilt, Shaq, Kareem, Big Game, Mikan, what could have been with Bynum or Howard, Pau Gasol belongs there with every one of them as not only one of the greatest Lakers, but one of the greatest seven footers this game has ever seen. And like his European brother Dirk, with the added extra of having even more skill and range in this post paint age than all of these other greats of the game.
To finish this point let’s go back to the picture above that starts this whole article off. Is there a greater coach in history and longevity than Greg Popovich (aside form maybe Phil)? Look at his face. Really take in how they hold each other close. Real recognises real and the way Pau Gasol was honoured last night is looking familiar in this year of one last dances and a few more go rounds for those fine wine vets, pushing 40 and their legacies even further with each step they take on court.
And we’d bet our bottom dollar on this Buck until the day he stops lacing them up.
Let’s hear it for the new deer.
The Warriors Came Out To Play This Series
Even without the fantasy Basketball of Kevin Durant in this series, the Golden State Warriors still brought out the brooms like ‘Fantasia’.
And swept out of Game 4 like Thanos click finger dust, the Portland Trailblazers may have only lost by a bucket (119-117)…and in overtime at that. But with all the Splash they had to contend with this series from brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, they were left dealing with more leaks and holes in all of their own ones like Mickey Mouse in said Disney epic.
This was meant to be the showdown between Dell Curry’s boys Steph and Seth which divided a household. And although the youngest gun stepped up to the plate, swung big in this carnival and knocked them down, big brother was always watching.
Steph Curry averaged over 36 points a game this series. Just read that again. 36 points. Right now we don’t need to talk about Kevin.
The Warriors are a dynasty for the ages even without their best player (although this writer thinks he wasn’t missing this entire series). The first team to make it to five straight finals since the Boston Celtics. The 1960’s Bill Russell Celtics. That’s King James crowning legendary. And Steph Curry with the shot and that facet of the game is just as iconic and dominant as a Bill block.
Give some credit to a blazing Portland side who never gave up despite the box score. They can hold their heads in the PDX. Even in their Moda Center home-stand City Of Roses end in RIP City. Their season eulogy should read as a celebration and commiseration, not a trolling condescension from critically entitled fans who have done nothing to determine the outcome of these games and could never make it this far in their wildest memes. They call themselves “influencers”? Well no one’s going to remember them in 50 years.
The NBA will remember one of their Top 100 greatest of all-time in a half century though. As after hitting the biggest buzzer beater in playoff history against Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, Damian Lillard played through the pain of separated ribs this series and still made the Basketball God’s look down from the hoop heavens with praise. Like New York singer St. Vincent tweeted, “Damian Lillard is my hero”. Even his backcourt brother of splash CJ McCollum in the only small man set up to rival Curry and Klay came out to play against the Warriors after midrange mining the Nuggets into submission in Denver just over a week ago.
But Curry’s red hot triple double, starter, mains and dessert dish of 37, 13 and 11, to go along with a playing not crying, Draymond Green’s day of 18, 14 and 11 assists also was just too much in the clutch. As Stephen and Dray became the first teammates in NBA history to have a triple double in the same playoff game. Forget how much this team can unbelievably keep winning, how does this ball manage to get shared this much?
Well that just may be the secret of success?
The real test is dubbed next however in the Warriors last season in Golden State before they move across that Golden bridge to the Silicon Valley of a digital age in San Francisco. They will play the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks (probably…Giannis…MVP. Sorry Toronto but come on!) and Raptors series. But by then they should have some guy called Kevin back.
I mean come on. This has been getting crazy. This is just out of hand like said ball in Splash City.
Now Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics’ record of eight straight finals and wins doesn’t look far out of reach for Steph Curry and the player and team with the biggest range in the association over the gate of the Pacific.
Welcome to the Toronto Raptors’ Jurassic Park
“In Jurassic Park, Raptor fans wait until after dark. Even if the cold might eat them!”
Fans find a way.
An ace serve or two away from being as legendary as Wimbledon’s ‘Murray Mound’ or ‘Henman Hill’ outside the Scotiabank Arena, the Toronto Raptors Maple Leaf Square’s “Jurassic Park” may just be the ticket for this sold out crowd.
Raptor Klaw, Kawhi Leonard ruled the earth last night. He and the T-Dot at the final tick beat the Sixers in The Six, as his shot bobbled like a beach ball on the surface of a swimming pool before making the biggest splash of these postseason playoffs. Taking longer to fall than Leonardo DiCaprio’s spinning top in ‘Inception’. But this was no dream.
And if you thought the Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto erupted last night, then outside in Maple Leaf Square it was like the volcanoes that killed the dinosaurs after that big ball dropped. An Armageddon even Bruce Willis couldn’t save like he wish he could his career.
Welcome to Jurassic World.
With all due respect to the Linsanity of Jeremy Lin, or pick your poison whoever is your flash card pick of the bench mob pack, but the Jurassic Park crowd fenced in outside of Scotia is the
Forget rain or shine. You see the slickers. These faithful fans will pitch a spot waiting for game time like the ball to drop in Times Square for New Year in New York, sleeping bag lining up all day in their hordes huddled for warmth. These beautiful fans will brave the harshest, most frigid temperatures to be the coldest fans in the game in more ways than one. Part of the ‘We The North’ community in the 6 that the Basketball God’s look down on with pride, whilst other armchair fans watch this game for the throne from home. Or leave early like those suit and tie corporate seats trying to catch that last red eye Matt Bonner home.
Can you imagine of they called game early before Kawhi last night?
I could imagine Drake taking in the CN Tower looking up views of the Jurassic
Well those in the park for recreation stayed until the beautiful end to a game Butler almost delivered bitter. And you could could phantom cam see every emotion in slow motion last night as Leonard’s buzzer beating ball toyed with the rim like three dots on messenger, or Damien Lillard even further downtown in Oklahoma City.
This is the spirit of the stadium and the soul of the squad, expanding the capacity arena and the Canadian ballclubs worldwide fanbase watching on their own Jumbotrons.
And the Toronto Raptors are going to need all the north they can get if they’re going to stop the Bucks in Milwaukee.
But this club has the claws to do it. And if you don’t think they can win in Wisconsin on their own road to being the first franchise outside of the United States to be NBA finalists and who knows what next against the Warriors(?), then just watch this Canadian cornerstone from the Jurassic era.
Extinct in six? Nah! Get ready to hear the North roar.