Waking up the city that never sleeps, last week Basketball uzz was in the Big Apple, taking a bite out of the core of NBA New York hoops.
Last Tuesday saw a hometown derby day between the struggling, but star studded Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. But the Sunday before all that saw a weekend worth of games starting at around 3 in the afternoon as the B.K. and N.Y.C. took on the East beasts Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat respectively.
Believe me with an epic double header and a subway system that saw enough minutes remaining to make it from one game to a half 7 tip-off other, the buzz on this scene was one forecasting a formidable day and date on the hardwood. It was more than just a preview of potentially half the Eastern Conference playoff, match-up scene. It was also a showtime showcase of some of the best players this great NBA league has to offer.
It was also a look at some of the associations most amazing arenas. This writer as a vacation veteran of N.Y. was used to following the Nets around the Meadowlands of New Jersey, but finally saying hello to Brooklyn saw where all that Russian and rap money went. In possibly the leagues strongest stadium, this place-or should I respell and add an ‘a’ to this anagram-palace has all the modern tools, from snack stops to bar tops. There’s even an awesome GQ barbershop where you can get your haircut like cover stars like Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey. The perfect place to have a postgame trash, talk. This place is so ahead of its time even the mannequins are Kim Cattrell real. If only the actual Brooklyn Nets weren’t standing still in those sleeved, cut above the rest, blue Brooklyn Knights jerseys. Big names like Deron, Kevin and Joe couldn’t get going. So it was up to Jack In The Box (that has to be his new nickname), Jarret Jack to make his 12 point, 4 rebound and 4 assist ‘Sixth Man Of The Year’ case. As Pau Gasol’s 25 and 13 made the former Laker’s championship changer certified, a new star continues to evolve under Rose’s Bulls in Jimmy Butler who was at Chicago’s service, scoring 26 as the Bulls stampeded the new Nets and showed them their own 102-84 door.
Still in this NBA there’s no arena like the Mecca, , especially with its lick of platinum white paint. There’s also no team in New York like the Knickerbockers. Especially with former championship player and Bulls and Lakers coach Phil Jackson up in the front office, running the triangle with his old Laker guard Derek Fisher as coach. Still even with a skillful and speedy point in Jose Calderon the triangle look like the Bermuda to a Knicks tape that is unraveling like old cassettes in your boombox deck. This is why even 31 from a spasm suffering Carmelo and a 19/12 double STAT from Stoudemire couldn’t sustain the Heat from an old rival Miami team. Without LeBron, Bosh shone to the box-score tune of 20, while Luol Deng went for 10 twice in points and boards. Still after missing 7 games, Dwyane Wade showed it was his world like 2007 as he scored 27 points, a lucky 13 of which came in the fourth that ended the game 86-79, in the Heats Knick cooled off favour.
From Brooklyn to Manhattan, New York basketball may not have won that night but every fan did in a city so hoops famous they had to play twice. Even if they’re playing like the New York lottery right now the ball fell the way for the best day in basketball this side of the Rucker. Heaven may be a playground, but in this day in the city it was blessed on the wood and grain.
Lets hear it for the concrete jungle!
Dame Time Forever. What Are Those New Adidas ‘Black Panther’s’?
Adidas are in the Endgame now.
Before we get started, Havlicek would have stole that ball. Just saying Paul George. Stop acting like Paul Pierce. It wasn’t a “bad shot”. And R.I.P. to a Boston Celtic and storied NBA great. Dear John will be stealing every ball in hoop heaven. Rest peacefully.
Like a cat toying with a mouse. That’s how we described Lillard’s Dame Time winning clutch three from Mt. Hood as Portland gave Oklahoma City roses in the first round this week. Damian had more clock than grandfather’s and still took his time. Because it is his after all.
And now as timely as ever in the same week as one of the greatest playoff game and series winning shots in basketball for all time and one of the biggest blockbusters in Hollywood history coming out with ‘Avengers: Endgame’, this cat is building a superhero legendary legacy.
You better check a comic-book or something.
T’Challa may have been Thanos snapped to cat litter in the Avengers ‘Infinity War’, but the King of Wakanda has a regal gift by royal appointment to Damian Lillard like he did Victor Oladipo in a victorious Slam Dunk Contest for testament tributes last season.
The cat has something out the bag.
Now you may be screaming “what are those” like Shuri at these royal sandals, but try these sneakers on. They embody everything about the next gen, nano tech Black Panther suit she developed for this emperor’s clothes. All the way down to the texture and trim which straps “Wakanda Forever” over the laces. The titan mad purple that runs like veins through Chadwick Boseman’s superhero suit absorbs all the blows he takes and turns it into a recharged deflecting energy pulse. Kind of like all the rock the baby and wrist tapping crap Damian Lillard was taking off Russell Westbrook before he absorbed it all and gave it back in a half century energy that exploded with a game winning fireball.
Never delete that footage.
Marvel have also gifted Dame with his own Black Panther mask like Oladipo, but this time canvas created from his super sneakers. Part of the ‘Heroes Among Us’ series from the three stripes, a comic-strip advertising campaign has been crafted. Featuring Lillard standing in front of the downtown RIP City, PDX skyline looking Wakandan in artwork akin to the ‘Nation Under Our Feet’ graphic novel redux series that rebooted this classic character before his feature film debut.
Damian may have played Killmonger villain to the Oklahoma Thunder, going G.O.A.T. like Michael Jordan B. But he’s a hero to us now blazing a trail like a human torch possessed with a fire and the heart of a lion inside all that panther power.
The Dame 5 will assemble with the arc of the bolted up ‘Iron Man’ Harden Vol. 3 for James and the patch of the ‘Nick Fury’ TMac 1 for Tracy McGrady. As well as the ‘Captain America’ Adidas N3XT L3V3L, and a ‘Captain Marvel’ Adidas Pro Vision for all those who could take the lead all day, with us ’till the end of the line. HIGHER. FURTHER. FASTER.
But we know which ones will be clawed off the stores shelf throne come it’s big blockbuster release with ‘Endgame’ right now.
It’s a drip fit for a King.
RIP OKC. Dame Time Clocks Thunder’s Reign From Way Downtown PDX
Even two games down the Thunder bolt boys joked like the last laugh that was yet to be delivered, like this what’s the 4-1 punchline. Zero to zero for the best series of these NBA Playoffs so far, Russell Westbrook rocked the baby at Damian Lillard, before mocking his wrist watch celebration like he did Laker meme Lance Stephenson’s air guitar strumming one with D’Angelo Russell ice in his veins. All before Paul George double pumped a dunk as time expired on a game that was already decided way before the horn blared.
“It is the unemotional, reserved, calm, detached warrior who wins, not the hothead seeking vengeance and not the ambitious seeker of fortune.”
But then last night before posting that Sun Tzu quote on Instagram in this art of war. In the face of P.G. the PDX P.G. beat the buzzer as Dame Time struck from way downtown RIP City. With an Austin 3:16 bottom line to give OKC the history engraved tombstone and the Portland Trail Blazers a legendary storied, legacy making championship belt for this classic series in hardwood history.
Reminding us of that time Charles Barkley responded to a Nike barbershop ad featuring former Golden State Warriors Chris Webber and Latrell Sprewell joking about dunking on him by putting all the points on them in the following game and running past them on the bench draped in dejected towels shouting, “put that in a f###### commercial!”
Colder than February. More ruthless than a convertible in Summer.
37 feet high and rising from deep. Deep as the halfcourt abyss. With the this time of season cherry blossoms blooming outside Portlandia’s Moda Center, the City of Roses was handing everyone from basketballs Oklahoma home funeral flowers. And leading the precession, hearse wrapping it up like his killer bars, Dame D.O.L.L.A was right on the money like exact change only please, waving goodbye. Even if Paul George walking off in defeat like LeBron James and getting his Vlade Divac on in a press conference more awkward than a blind date with an ex called it a “bad shot”. To which the great Dame simply replied with a tweeted “lol” (see also, laugh and last). He better Big Shot Bobby Horry check a newspaper or something. Dame Time didn’t just beat the buzzer. He took baby powder to it. As Dame had all the Louis Armstrong time in the world with ten on the clock and the last shot in this final frame to dribble drive or dish. But instead, toying with George like a cat does a mouse, as David beat Goliath like Jerry did Tom, Lillard had the sand to set up shop, his spot and his shot from what looked like a bunker. A hole in one, with the cocksure confidence of Tiger Woods putting for Masters glory in Augusta and embracing his kids, two decades after doing the same with his pops all for the green jacket.
From this master, like a tap in putt with no Mulligan to carry, this was always going in. Nothing but net. All water like those Thunder tears. O.K. now that was a 3.
And to think I swore I wouldn’t go back on social media until after the new Avengers movie came out, but DAMN Dame Time! Spoiler alert, this is the new ‘Endgame’ now.
Cousy. Pettit. Sam Jones. Wilt. Chuck Barkley. M.J. And now the Dame train as the legendary Lillard goes hard to join this lineage as the only players to hit 50 in a playoff clinching game. And what a way to do it, fading away to clock out of the game and series 118-115 for the greatest Portland playoff moment since the G.O.A.T’s shrug. As mobbed by teammates on the floor he sank into, telling Russ to ‘Get Out’ his house. Peeling off like Jordan, Damian all on his own like a devil, GIF turned into an instant meme, as he turned the Thunder into a memory (you know the one were everyone loses their mind around that smirking kid with glasses in the raincoat? Well now guess which superheroes face is super imposed?). Staring into the camera with that look you know was for Russell Westbrook.
What a whole mood.
Whose left holding the baby now?
Dame didn’t even have to check his watch. Why? Him, her, them. They all knew what time it was. His. As Dame Lillard just did it in the Oregon home of Nike. Shoe dog like Phil Knight, running off victory for the courtside crowd, including legendary comedian Cedric the Entertainer for this last laugh lap. As this Gladiator hit one of the best and biggest shot fired in NBA history. Subliminal and literal.
Are you not entertained?
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