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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

Millsap Mishap Could Keep Forward Behind 3 Months

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Poor Paul Millsap.

This campaign after becoming one of the biggest free agent pick ups of the offseason, one of the leagues leading Power Forwards has been put down on the medical report with an injury that could call him off sick for a quarter of a year.

The most reliable player over four periods has spent the bird share of his career helping his former Atlanta Hawks make it to the first round knockout stakes of the playoffs each year. But following the season where they didn’t make the cut of the second one, it was time for a change for the 32 year old number 4 who once looked to be the Utah Jazz, Karl Malone replacement Carlos Boozer didn’t turn out to be early in his career alongside former leading Point Guard Deron Williams.

And in the mile high city of Denver with a would be big-three of sophomore sensation Emmanuel Mudiay, dreaded defender Kenneth Faried and of course The Joker with the last laugh Nikola Jokic, these Nuggets in their new Nikes looked golden and finally past that baby blue Carmelo era (they may as well be as Anthony, now with the blue, white and orange of the Thunder isn’t even a Knick anymore (it’s ‘Old York’ now Knickerbockers)). But now like Ben Affleck looking at the ‘Justice League’ box office returns it’s time to ask the Nugs “why so serious” Batman as an injury to their versatile veteran forward of seasoned upon seasons of experience doesn’t exactly put a smile on their face.

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The All-Star was averaging a helpful handful of exactly 16 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists before tearing the ligaments in his left wrist in a 127-109 loss to the Lakers who themselves recently lost all dunking son Larry Nance Jr. to a broken wrist, but are thankful to be having him return after they cut the turkey this thanksgiving. Millsap and the Nuggets are looking at second opinions from docs offering the same sort of speedy recovery that doesn’t sap their frontline. But if they concur with the original diagnosis, it’s three months in a suit and tie and not to mention cast for Paul who will return in late February after the All Star break he normally never takes off.

The man with the three year, 90 mill deal helped make this outside eight seed threat Denver the new gritty, grinding Memphis of the West. Now without him the older than Richard Jefferson roster is thinner than the air up there in Colorado.

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Somebody Stop The Mask Of Kyrie Irving

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USP NBA: BOSTON CELTICS AT BROOKLYN NETS S BKN BKN BOS USA NY

Smokin’!

Even that phrase delivered at a perfect Jim Carrey pitch can’t quite put into perspective just how hot Celtic Kyrie Irving is right now. Especially in the Boston green, Rip Hamilton face-mask.

Maybe those three little letters would do more justice for this league leader?

You know Menacing, Versatile, Phantom?

No?

How about M-V-P?

Kyrie joins Kobe, former Cleveland Cavalier teammate LeBron James and the man whose about to pass him the Maurice Poldoff torch, Russell Westbrook to be an absolute menace in the Phantom of the Opera face-mask, leaving other teams dead on basketballs biggest stage. He may have fractured and broken some bones in his face, but that won’t stop him as he fractures and breaks the backs and hearts of the faces of all the other franchises he faces off with night after excruciating night.

Those who used to say it must be the shoes (and have you seen his best in show sneaker designs complete with shamrocks like Starbucks on St Patrick’s Day this season heads? Those halloween pumpkin ones were the spice), are now saying it must be the mask.

Sure the plastic profile guard makes for some meme worthy Pinterest fan art appreciation but this guard has made a point at hating it…the sweat inducing mask that is, not the love. These kind of covers can blind you, but like the concussed legend of Celtic great Larry, letting it fly like a Bird above the baskets in the Boston Garden all the way to the rafters (as he saw too hoops like 80’s girls earrings and just aimed for the top one), Kyrie plays through all the pain and frustration. Taking it out on the ball (like opponents on Lakers rookie Lonzo) and the other teams hoops that to him seem bigger than those ones Bruno Mars sang about.

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Take Dallas for example. Irving just masked all his pain by taking the Mavericks for 47 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists in the last contest that took the Celtics to a sweet sixteen straight. After dropping two games following Gordon Hayward dropping out of the new season before the second quarter of his opening game one even played out, everyone was calling time on these new Celtics as soon as Gordon turned his ankle counter-clockwise. But now one of the best in the association Kyrie is showing LeBron and them he’s just as good as them or anyone alone like this man from down under always wanted to prove. This definition of clutch, who leaves everyone else in the fourth with straws has already shown on a championship scale against Curry of all hot guards that he can take the last shot that really matters. Now forget the Most Valuable Player award for a waning second or even the time his dynamic duo partner in pine Hayward comes back, Irving has the power to dribble drive all the way to the crown on his own.

And it’s going to take more than a mask to stop him.

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The Wind Brings The 2020 All-Star Game To Chicago

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1973. And the first NBA All-Star Game to play in the Windy City of Chicago, Illinois features the last All-Star game in the last season of two lasting Los Angeles Lakers legends. One man who scored 100 points in just one game, Wilt Chamberlain. And one man who was and still remains the one and only logo of this National Basketball Association, Jerry West.

1988. And arguably the greatest All-Star Game of all-time and an even better, best ever All-Star weekend sees Michael Jordan become Michael Jordan. M.J. scored 40 in an 138-133 O.T. A.S.G. win for the East meeting the West. But a day before all that he and the Slam Dunk Contest became even more legendary. As mere moments after storied Boston Celtic great Larry Bird asked “whose coming in second place” before raising his finger in victory before the ABA coloured moneyball ripped through the twine (no Nick Young swag), Money took off from the free throw line like a good doctor for his above the rim J and jumped over everybody including Atlanta Hawk wing spreading, sky-soarer Dominique Wilkins.

Now more than 30 years later after next years All-Star Game in the purple and gold city of Los Angeles and the 2019 one in the redeemed city of Charlotte, the 2020 and 69th All Star Game will be played in Michael’s old town of Chi-city. In the same year as Tokyo, Japan will hold the next Olympic Games, the game of basketball will go back to it’s 90’s roots and an inspired iconic landmark of hoop heaven that didn’t really have the same spirit in the seventies, but really Jumpman took off in the golden era eighties. So much so that the old ’88 All Star Weekend t-shirt is a historical thrift store must find for more than it’s 80’s Tron like, cool, retro logo.

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And with mid-February lovers big blockbuster basketball coming back to the city of wind like the river that runs through it, Chi-town needs this like out of towners need deep dish pizza. You only have to listen to the news or the Common album ‘Nobody’s Smiling’ (you know the legendary M.C. who used to wipe up Jordan’s sweat off the old Chicago Stadium hardwood has to perform at the mid-season classics halftime show) to know this classic city is marred by violence that burns through this second city like fire. The beloved Bulls have even become a “garbage team” to root for too, losing the big-three likes of last seasons Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade (who may even be on a farewell All Star tour once his hometown All Star weekend comes crossed off the calendar and everyone is united in the airlines center).

Now this team who relies on sophomore stud Denzel like Oscar hopeful movies will hopefully be back by the next few valentines. As the heart of the city in twenty twenty will want to see something as visionary as Sinatra’s kind of towns history.

That’s just the Chicago way.

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