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No Love, Gasol, Aldridge, Butler Or Jordan For Lakers

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No Love Gasol Aldridge Butler Or Jordan For Lakers

What’s wrong with the Los Angeles Lakers?

Even this Lakers fan can’t blame the nixing of that infamous Chris Paul trade back in 2011 anymore (I still got it in there again though, didn’t I?), but I’ve got issues.

‘WoW’!

If you thought the last couple of years free agency were bad-were the Lakers lost both big-men Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol and failed to attain either superstar LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony-then until yesterdays first July day in free agency you hadn’t seen anything yet.

After all the months and days of speculation that started last season, most of the big deals in free agency-in a league that is the business when it comes to this second season in Summer-were wrapped up in the first 24 hours with the majority of big-names sticking with the teams they opted out of in a days trade (or lack of) that speaks volumes for squad solidarity and loyalty if not for the modern-day legacy of history’s legendary Los Angeles Lakers.

With one of the biggest names in basketball all-time on the last season or two of his All-Star career, Kobe Bryant had to get his recruiting on for the future without him. Sitting next to fellow legend James Worthy and the Laker brass of Mitch Kupchak and Jeanie Buss who he’ll join in purple and gold royalty want his sneakers meet the hook and his jersey meets the rafters. After passing up on elite Duke big-man Jahil Okafor with the second pick in this years draft the Lakers selected small-ball changing of the guard D’Angelo Russell (to form a new big-three of the future with sophomore studs Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle (at least that’s one would-be prolific big-man)), the Lakers where confident they could pick up one…hell even two in free agency, as well as some other big players and positions. The only problem looked to be where everyone would fit in in this new contention ready roster. But what a difference a day makes. It was all good a week ago and all that. After winning the lottery it seems like the Lake Show have now run out of luck.

First there was Pau’s big brother Marc Gasol (originally a Laker draft pick back in the day that was shipped to Memphis in a package for Pau) refusing to sign. Then after whispers of the Chicago Bulls ‘Most Improved Player’ Jimmy Butler wanting to serve a year in Lakerland, he ended up re-upping in the Windy City. Just like amazingly and somewhat unbelievably Kevin Love in Cleveland for a multi-million and year deal after years of the Lakers courting the Beach Boy kid. What a difference a pool-side conversation with the King and a open first-person article to The Players Tribune makes. Love and Butler join other big-names who have signed epic extensions with their franchises, including, Damian Lillard, Goran Dragic, Draymond Green, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Lenoard and Paul Millsap and Brook of the Lopez twins (another Portland big Robin is still on the table). So you can cross all those guys off the list too.

Then to make matters worse yesterday we learnt from the L.A. Times that LaMarcus Aldridge wrote the Lakers off his after reportedly not “gelling” with Kobe and being unimpressed following his meeting with the Lakers. A team that had first dibs for the many franchises forming presentations for the leaving Portland Trail Blazers star. Now you can stop that ‘L.A. to L.A.’ hash-tag trend twitters. It’s for the birds. The only L.A. King in STAPLES looks to be hockey players as this move is put on ice. We wonder what Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine is going to do with that jersey now. It’s not so sugar sweet now, this love has taken it’s toll and got old. To make matters worse the Los Angeles Times have also reported the Los Angeles CLippers’ DeAndre Jordan was left “unimpressed” with his cross-locker meeting with the Lakers, even though Kobe called him up on the phone personally. Have the Lakers not learnt how to put a Power Point together after failing to entice Carmelo Anthony from New York of all places last year? With a highlights package narrated by Tobey Maguire of all Hollywood stars you could choose from. ‘Jerry Maguire’ would have been better. Are the Lakers getting as dated as the old ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy? There’s been two reboots since then. But no Lakers one.

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Do they need a lesson in how to treat a player? Have they not learned from losing Pau? A guy that they dangled as trade bait for years even after all the championships he brought in with his own big arrival. Without the power of Pau the Lakers would have been like they are now for all those victorious years in the post-Shaq age (oh, yeah remember how they treated arguably the greatest big-men of all time too back in the day?). Still they only realized this when it was too late and Gasol signed with the Bulls last year for less money (maybe he had a quiet word with Jimmy). Now because of how the Lakers treated Pau, younger brother Marc will never sign with the Lakers. They call that karma.! Were we not just talking about loyalty? The Lakers need to learn what makes each player tick, not just the lashing tongue of their Mamba man. Sure “friends come and go but banners hang forever”! But what happens when there’s no one to look at those banners? Aldridge didn’t like the Lakers lack of basketball focus on their pitch to him as the Hollywood team where talking too much about outside opportunities for LaMarcus. Do they not know this player is a no-nonsense, all-ball sort of guy? Kind of like Tim Duncan. The guy he’ll end up joining and replacing for his own legendary legacy in San Antonio. He’s 30. Not Dwight Howard. Now there’s more chance of him joining the other number 12 in Houston.

Now the Lakers must turn their attention to promising, young Detroit Piston Greg Monroe, but after a meeting that was a non-report will this guy even consider a team were he was their fifth choice for just one position?

We can relate to that Cousins trade now! But still not for all our chips. We may not have any hands left to deal or cards to play!

Don’t even think about LeBron James decision either. Oh well, there’s always Kevin Durant next year…but come on!

At least Washington Wizard Paul Pierce has returned home to Los Angeles. But that too is for the Clippers. You didn’t think the Cali’ born, Boston basketball raised Celtic legend would really come to the Lakers did you? Now the Clippers look to continue to clean out their STAPLES neighbors locker rooms like they have for years, as they are attempting to lure young, versatile big-wing Wesley Johnson. He could follow the Jodie Meeks and Xavier Henry likes of young talent the Lakers have wasted and lost as they tried to focus on bigger ones and not the bigger picture. The Lakers look to even lose Lin as the Linsanity of what has been Jeremy’s up and down career looks to return to the New York minute of worldwide wonder and superstar success he had with the Knicks. And we thought Madison Square Garden was where the rotten apple was at. The Lakers now don’t have much of a ticket for right now after the lottery. Their future may be bright, but as of right now it’s all bet on the bruised and beaten body of Bean and the wild card of Nick Young…if they can still deal for Mr. Iggy.

At least they kept Robert Sacre for all the Canadians out there.

Still, it’s sure looking cold in California right now too!

NBA

La La Lakerland Played Host To A City Of All-Stars At The Weekend

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Verizon Slam Dunk Contest 2018
Like Father, Like Slam,

Los Angeles, it doesn’t get much more Hollywood than this. Even if Beyonce, Queen Latifah, Chris Tucker and even the other Michael (B) Jordan were taking in all the lights, camera action court-side.

After the 2017 Mardi Gras in New Orleans last year and two calendar’s after our native Toronto held the All Star Weekend in Canada, the sixth A.S.G. in the Clipper and Lakerland of the downtown STAPLES of L.A. was the first of it’s kind. As two of the best players in the association and reigning finalists decided to draft their own pool of players against the wall for the ultimate black and white pick-up game between ‘Team Stephen’ and ‘Team LeBron’, for all the marbles of which of the last two champions would be King.

Well it certainly helps if James picks his rivals reigning MVP teammate Kevin Durant and his own former partner in pine championship crime Kyrie Irving for the big shots first.

But before all that it was down to regular festivities to begin the weekend of All-Star. Basketball’s equivalent of music’s Grammy’s or movies Oscars in Superbowl February. Opening these ceremonials Team World beat down Team USA 155-124 in the Rising Stars game that should really tell you something. Despite home court advantage rookie steal, Kyle Kuzma notching 20, fellow Californian franchise face Buddy Hield was king as the Sacramento star hit 29 as the two sides wore Clipper and Laker interloped Buffalo and MPLS throwbacks for the Hollywood script. And after Quavo of hit duo Migos took home the Celebrity Game MVP as Team Clippers beat Team Lakers 79-66, Spencer Dinwiddie paid the bills in a superior skills comp. Before scorching Sun in California Devin Booker showed his career high 70 was no one-hit wonder as he burnt down all the nets and the money-ball rack. Winning the three-point contest showdown from reigning winner and sixth man Eric Gordon. Grounding the Rocket as this Phoenix rose. Book it!

But after the most therapeutic competition of All-Star weekend it was time for the most exciting one just as compelling. And in honoring his father Larry Nance, the 1984 winner of the inaugural Slam-Dunk contest, Larry Nance Jr. rocked the baby cradle, like father, like dunk. As he even rocked the old-school Phoenix Suns jersey, short shorts and high-socks for an inspired imitation. But under the magicians cloak, those Los Angeles natives in attendance draped in gold wish he had turned into someone turning back the clock and wearing a Lakers jersey (those Lonzo assists with the ball would have helped). As what would have been a long awaited, eagerly anticipated home-team representation turned into an Akron homecoming for the Ohio hometown hero like LeBron in the Kings land once the trade deadline passed.

Pops Nance loved it though after he himself played the lions share of his career in Cleveland as a Cavalier. Even assisting his boy on his second slam, before he blew the house down with a windmill that even rocked Chris Rock and then double tapped an Instagram worthy picture perfect dunk that if your phone blinked, you’d have had to instant replay it to not miss it and believe it. But all this court creativity wasn’t enough like Maverick rookie Dennis Smith Jr.’s 360 reverse, through the legs 50. Or All-Star Victor Oladipo getting an assist off King T’Challa himself Chadwick Boseman, suiting up in the Black Panther mask and clawing a tomahawk. And if you think that was special, if only you were a fly on the wall for the moment entertainment megastar Jamie Foxx told Vic he loved his album and started singing ‘A Song For You’ with him in the parking lot (as told by Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins). As Utah’s jazz man Donovan Mitchell won by jumping over Kevin Hart and his family (Come on! How hard is that? The comedian was even crouched down. Seriously?! He could have even been sat on his shoulders and Mitch would have been good), and then breaking out the classic Vince Carter Raptor jersey and doing you know what.

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The whole weekend turned out to be a testament to a throwback tribute despite Nike’s brand new Team LeBron and Steph duds. Last years All-Star representative, Pelican Anthony Davis paying tribute to his injury fallen teammate brother Cousins by wearing what would have been his numero zero jersey. Free agent suitors beware, DeMarcus is going nowhere now this summer after this. You see he saw on I.G. but look at the shot. How s### was his seat for a would be player?

But after Black Eyed Pea Fergie caught flack for her soulful and sultry rendition of the Star Spangled Banner national anthem (hey, you didn’t complain when Marvin did it) the game hit all the high-flying, dunking high-notes. So much so fans needed throat lozenges like Pink! Even if there wasn’t a single Clipper or Laker representative in the game itself. Despite the lobbying for 6 Man, Lou Will and new Laker Isaiah Thomas only recently being LeBron’s actual teammate.

The King took the MVP crown himself as his 29 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists helped turn a 15 point hole into a 148-145 victory. And from the look on his face as he leapt into Kevin Durant’s arms of all people, it looked like he just won the NBA Championship back. And from the look on Steph’s face on the receiving end reply it was hard to disagree.

You may be the champion, but I’m the best in the world those eyes said.

Well it’s up to you to decide when round 2 of the All Star draft is televised next year for all to see in M.J.’s land of the greatest.

Charlotte’s going to be good!

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NBA

Is Isaiah Thomas IT For The Lakers?

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Usa Today 10601289.0
IT Came On A Hollywood Night

It’s All-Star break this weekend in Los Angeles, but the Lakers already have a new one since the trade deadline to lead their young core in the heart of the city. Even if Team LeBron didn’t pick him for Sundays pick up.

But how long will IT last?

Right now in the NBA the amount of movers is really putting the shakers on teams. So much so that in regards to loyalty in this league it’s even colder than the Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea right now. But then again it is the Winter after all. Recently Cleveland cleaned house and LeBron’s land for some Cavalier moves. Jettisoning several All-Star points for their changing of the guard. Including former MVP Derrick Rose, ‘Bron brodie Dwyane Wade back to the Heat of Miami, South Beach and even the guy they traded Kyrie for.

Yep that’s right after summer swapping Irving for Isaiah, the Cavs sent Thomas along with versatile big-man vet Channing Frye to Lakerland. In return they got the buckets of ‘Sixth Man’ sure thing Jordan Clarkson and another Akron hometown hero in the form of Larry Nance Jr.

And although the Lakers picked-up a certified All-Star with Iverson kill at will, little man syndrome scoring a lot of fans where left tweeting negative emojis and gifs following the deadline deal. And not because their new number seven seal was a former Boston Celtic great only a season ago. Or that the former tooth chipper is now a befallen superstar by way of injury. More that the Lake Show loved the young Ball, Ingram, Kuzma, Randle and Zubac core that has lost it’s first big time players of the future since the de-loading trade of D’Angelo Russell last summer.

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Clarkson was a class act and there from the luck of the late round steal start. Whereas when Nance Jr. ran the floor like his pops all the bleachers snapped shut, tilted up. Lakerland finally thought they would see their own slamming son represent them in the Slam Dunk Contest he should surely win now like father, like dunk today. But now he’ll be doing it all for one and one for all.

But with the fast tracked pace of the Lakers new speedy dynamite dynamo it could still be Showtime again for Magic’s men like when Earvin Johnson was kissing another Isiah Thomas hello in the golden era 80’s. But this Isaiah Thomas-so long as he can ball in the same backcourt as Ball once injury time gives way to the Lavar…excuse me the Lonzo Angeles Lakers-could attract even more free agents like the expected homecoming of Paul George from the Thunder to the purple reign this offseason. Even if rumour has a Black Panther/Killmonger like relationship between this point prince and the King of the Ohio land.

But if it’s between LeBron as a Laker or another one of James’ sidekicks than who do you think will hold the headlines for tomorrows Los Angeles Times? Especially as Isaiah could aim higher than coming off the bench this summer as a free agent without restriction himself. His big contract coming off the books with Channing’s (Frye not Hollywood’s Tatum), another big three big in Brook Lopez and another former All-Star in Luol Deng (yep…he’s still here).

All these multiples of millions would surely make for a kings ransom.

This could be it, so lets enjoy I.T. whilst he lasts.

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Nuggets Jamal Murray breaks Steven Adams Ankles with Filthy Handles

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Nuggets Jamal Murray Breaks Steven Adams Ankles Filthy Handles

Denver Nuggets Guard Jamal Murray breaks OKC Thunder center Steven Adams ankles with his filthy and deadly combination of handles and three-point shooting. Murray was sensational finishing with 33 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds in a thrilling 127-124 victory. The Canadian guard (Kitchener, ON) is having the best year of his NBA career and has arguably become best Canadian basketball player in the NBA. The 6’4″, 207 lbs guard is flourishing under Head  Coach Mike Malone’s system and is averaging a respectable 16 points per game, 3.6 rebounds and 3 assists per game through 50 regular season games including a career-high 38-point outburst against the Portland Trail Blazers.

BTW. I can watch this all day!

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