Three-peat like the Phil Jackson Bulls and Lakers?
Maybe…but then unlike Chicago and LA that will be it.
Last month for a great day in Oakland, Steph Curry had the shot with Warriors legend Al Attles, Oak-town rap God E40 and what looked like the whole Bay Area for maybe the best SLAM story and pullout cover of all-time. Yep this ‘Soul On Ice’ rivalling piece made instant vintage history and Oakland gold in a year for the record books, let alone the magazine pages.
Because this is the last year Golden State will win in the NBA. Larry O’Brien or nah!
Believe that…because we don’t even have to say that for it to be preordained true.
It’s written in stone.
It’s a real shame but get used to it. It’s happening. All good things and that.
And it isn’t what you think.
It has nothing to do with the bust up between Draymond Green and Kevin Durant that many in the press and below that box in the hurling insult stands think (roughly translated; hope) will be the Shaq and Kobe like catalyst for the death of a dynasty. Nor does it have to do with the carrot and the stick opting contract of the number 35 that even Sacramento announcers are making venomous jibes about (like the King’s have anything to joke about right now) hanging over their collective heads in this player power decision age that can put a franchises face in the dirt, throwing everyone under the team bus.
And before you (we (me)) start it really has nothing either to do with King James trying to win the wild west out in Hollywood with the Ball and Lonzo Angeles Lake Show young core ready to reality show rock as Lance makes ’em dance with his guitar. And whether Klay will have his day in LA and join them as a human torches free agent beacon this Summer (he won’t…although I hope). Losing to them on Christmas Day was just a gift from the Santa’s of the Basketball God’s that will hopefully lead to a Magic New Year resolution out in the La La Land city of angels and stars.
But it has something to do with those cool City Edition charcoal Nike joints and the roots of the tree of The Town thumped into submission across the barking chest.
It has something to with that 10 years in The Town, SC Under Armour grey vest Steph wears on the SLAM cover above his throwback orange Warrior shorts that take it back to the time Baron David dunked all over Dirk and Dallas. As tears of joy from the eyes of Oakland and the defeated titans back home in a Maverick Texas gave the now legendary Oracle its first look of legendary, visionary hardwood history moments of legacy made before everything Stephen and his big three gave. The thunderbolt dubs as enthused exciting as a J-Rich Slam Dunk contest windmill win through the legs.
It has something to do with why that knockout Basketball Bible cover featuring Bay boxing legend Andre Ward (who put Michael Jordan on the floor and took his ride in ‘Creed’. But by quarter II M.J. seconds out got his Mustang back) is so iconic and important. Why despite the cash chasing, Chase Centre innovative incentive of Silicon Valley on the other side. Making a splash on the other side of the brotherhood Bay, Golden State going across the Golden Gate may not head in the clouds lead to a hoop heaven despite the numbers. Or Rick Barry tram lined jersey throwback legacy of legend. They said Oakland didn’t make for a safe playground. But by parade day each year and passing season we could give you two reasons and ring finger counting to why that isn’t as too true as they think. How even when this writer took a train to the Oracle from San Fran and passed through Fruitvale Station (remembering how before ‘Black Panther’ and even the first ‘Rocky’ spin-off. Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler brought that tragic story back to life and our collective social consciousness) that the cruel crime that happened here taking life on New Year’s night has everything to do with the police and not the people. The down to earth roots of Oakland are planted with beautiful seeds and over the last half decade of mainstream NBA dominance we’ve only seen these grow. So no matter what flowers these Warriors put in their hair next year across the Bay, Oak-town like Pac said will always “definitely be in the house”. Throwback tribute testament, or the ball pushing, moving forward downcourt and downtown.
For next year these dubs hearts will be in San Francisco.
But you know where the California soul of this Golden State will always be left.
Checkmate. D’Angelo Russell Eliminates The King’s Lakers
“I’m glad it’s you”, Hollywood icon Paul Newman told acting legend Tom Hanks in San Mendes’ gangster epic ‘Road To Perdition’ before Tom, Tommy Gun shot him down in the rain.
And here in Hollywood as Laker fans who are just glad it’s over, we’re glad it was by his hand. We’re glad it was D-Lo who delivered the final blow.
If you didn’t know that with the ‘Luke Cage’ like Notorious B.I.G. red portrait, new SLAM magazine classic cover with the crown that in Brooklyn, D’Angelo Russell was the new King of New York, now you know. And last night his crown with a gauntlet gem of infinity stones took the L.A. King, checkmate, endgame. Showing this games chess not checkers.
You passed your ‘Training Day’ kid.
You want to talk about karma Lake Show? Because this is more than a lesson learned, this is a fitting end to this courts chapter wrote by the Basketball Gods under the heading line, “what goes around, comes around”!
Revenge is a dime dish best served ice in his veins cold.
And now you’re season is done as the jello is jiggling in the refrigerator Chick.
But as D’Angelo had 21 points to go along with 13 double/double dishes as he set the table for what we thought would be his West logo 44 career-high smash, everyone ate as the Nets had a balanced diet and attack of the twine as they coasted the Lake Show 111-106 in a close game, albeit one that always looked like theirs. Another former Laker in big man Ed Davis got his with 14 and 15. Whilst sparky Spencer Dinwiddie got 19 and 3, DeMarregards Carroll 15 and 6 and big Jarrett Allen 13 and 11 as all the Nets went harder than his ‘fro. But the high man was Joey Buckets with 26 points. Including 6 for 8 from downtown New York as for some reason L.A. thought leaving Joe Harris-this year’s three point shootout winner at the All Star in Charlotte-as open as stores on the Dolly Parton, 9 to 5 shift wasn’t going to leave them crying like ‘Jolene’.
But now the Nets have taken their man it’s nothing but tears. With all due respect to George Gervin, D’Angelo Russell is the next generation iceman. As finger to lips he silenced STAPLES. The most passionately driven guard since Iverson. And he just stepped over the Lakers again, eliminating from the playoffs as Luke Walton watched his job go to Lue from the sidelines. Magic said this kid couldn’t lead as he gave the Ball to Lonzo. But now everyone is getting played by this big baller, as this number one leads his cutting Nets to the playoffs as an All-Star and Team LeBron end up being all for show. As number 23 will not be raised to the brackets for the first time since 2005. Let alone the finals for the last decade gone.
With all the jumbotron tributes from teams to past players right now (Isaiah *cough* Thomas, LeBron), the Lakers should play one of D’Angelo’s ice clutch shot the day after his grandmother’s death that won the game for the Lakers (unlike the castles bricks here tonight) as he fell into his family’s arms uptop the stands. And just end it with one word that says more than thank you…
I feel like Brad Pitt’s war wounded character with my ‘Fury’ for the team I love here. But like he says, “I’m trying to teach you something”. LeBron and the Lakers needed this. A season that started in bloom in the sunshine of California has turned to the Autumn leaves that have fallen to a crisp. Injuries were the problem, but then the reason came with the added insult of the Davis drama. And now this reality show is in disarray and it all came from Magic, not LaVar Ball. Imagine seeing that one in a crystal ball last Summer. The Zubac, Bryant (Thomas), Nance Jr, Clarkson, Russell and Randle-less Lakers need to learn from this and realize their formidable future of Lonzo, Kuz, Hart, Brandon Ingram (who is still two years younger than Lo) and maybe even Moe is not worth one man. Whether that’s Anthony or LeBron. Even a team-less Carmelo was out off joining this assembly line that has meme-d its way through good guys like Mike Beasley. This team could still be something (I mean this season like last nights City Edition threads has been ugly but somehow still appealing), ‘Stranger Things’ have happened, but right now it’s in the upside down with no sign of Winona Ryder’s Christmas lights. Not even a decoration for a declaration.
Kobe in a ‘Get Up’ interview for ESPN promoting his new ‘Wizenard’ book series said that this game was about more than stats and about feeling, energy. For decades they’ve said this game is like jazz. And just like that form of music, the notes are all there, but it’s what you do with improvising them that counts. And the only number and note from the Lake Show you need to know last night (apart from our energy high guy of the season McGee’s Kareem like 33 with the hook. A career best along with one in rebounds with 20 off the shot rim and glass) is that with his 8th turnover the King toppled to the ground as his crown slipped on a crucial possession. It’s kind of symbolic of how his Hollywood season has aged and played out. But one of the best players in the league, if not the best will be back on his throne in the hills and he’ll have plenty more Kawhi or Kyrie knights with him and these young princes.
But last night the one that hey exiled showed he could make a king bleed from the borough to the big city. D Loading just needed President Johnson to please wait. But with his own Magic cast last night, Russell showed he was fully charged now and ready to go like the Lakers never should have told him to. Because the only place in this postseason they’re going now is home.
Ice. In. His. Postseason.
Green & Gold. I.T. Was A Special Moment With Isaiah Thomas Back In Boston
Bill Russell, Larry Bird.
Antoine Walker, Paul Pierce.
Rajon Rondo. Kevin Garnett. Say what you will but Ray Allen too from three.
Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum. IF they can get it together and turn what looks good on paper into what’s engraved wrote read in history books for the most storied franchise in NBA history.
Boston Celtic legends. The pride of New England.
From the last cigar to the golden era, Isaiah Thomas belongs there like his spelt differently namesake Detroit Piston being a Bad Boy to all that Magic and Bird in the Showtime of the 80’s.
And last night in the Garden perfect parquet court was held for the return of the fourth quarter king. Since Beantown, the microwave juggernaut, spark plug off the bench has bounced around the league like drinking too much coffee. From LeBron’s Cavalier land to the Los Angeles Lakers. Always providing that brief spark off the pine of what could be and what he had here, despite being Nygma green riddled by injury and franchise business disloyalty. But last night decked out in green and gold like Lianne La Havas, special edition Kobe’s for the night that even a Laker would love (forget that never wear green meme), as he took to the floor none of that mattered.
Sat back on the scorers table as cool as Celtic green cucumber in his warm-ups, I.T. took in a fitting tribute on the jumbotron for a team that knows too that they shouldn’t have traded him (he postgame not so quipped that if they never dealt him they could be dealing with another championship in those league leading rafters right now where surely his number 4 jersey held up by fans behind him will one day reside in pride of place). Beaming with that same Celtic pride through all the pain, you’ve never seen the slow grind smile like his since he was putting in work here in Massachusetts. The big screen video took us through his fourth quarter heroics, big shots and the moment he’s overcame it all to play in the wake of his sister’s tragic death and lead his team to epic, emotional glory.
And once the ovation stood up for a call game, more than a minute of time and moment of Paul Pierce like truth tribute, there wasn’t a butt on a bleacher or dry eye in the house.
Especially Isaiah, who couldn’t contain his pride and joy. Wiping away tears and wordlessly mouthing thank yous to everyone in attendance who clapped until their hands were red and cheered until hoarse. Celtic fans are real NBA fans who recognize that green collar hard work and know a Boston boy when they see one, no matter the uniform.
Thomas on limited minutes as the golden Nuggets make that postseason push to conference contention behind the state of those dynasty reigning Warriors, only sealed seven minutes in the actual game and he didn’t make a basket for more Boston bravado cheers. But that didn’t matter in this instance. Neither did the W his new team took away on the road with a 114-105 pruning in the Garden, as the Joker and all the Mile-High basketball cards clinched a playoff berth outside Colorado.
What mattered was this beautiful reunion between team and one of its favourite players. Sure this current Celtics outfitted for the banners and Hall looks so much better on dry erase like their storied LeBron Laker rivals with the King in throne tow. But look at the Magic of Hollywood right now. With a guy like Isaiah, Boston basketball was that little bit more inspired with the iconic little man. There was a little more hoop dream hope there too. And for both city and son it hasn’t been as sweet the same since.
Like I.T. says with the last word from last night.
“This feels like home”.
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