I guess for the Thunder, when it rains it really does pour.
Oklahoma City have weathered a lot of storms in this turbulent season. Many of their top flight players have been grounded with injury, missing games and thus potential playoff frames. As a matter of fact, with everyone from Kobe Bryant to Derrick Rose swapping the sweats for the suits, it seems like every team in the league has taken and L when it comes to DNP’s. But more than a coaches decision, it seems like the ones of the fickle fingers of fate of the basketball God’s.
After missing more time than employees who sleep through the snooze button, Kevin Durant has now officially punched out for the season. But it has been by a forced hand…or should we say foot!? As Kevin’s right kicker requires graft surgery that won’t see him resume “basketball activities” for at least another 4-6 calender months.
Goodbye season…goodbye playoffs!
So what does this mean for the Thunder and the rest of the league as a whole? It was all good just a year ago! Durant had one upped LeBron James as league MVP and his OKC side looked favourite to take home even bigger trophies. But then those old dog and bones the San Antonio Spurs showed them and the King where the real throne belonged. Now without KD both LBJ and the S.A.S. have a better chance of fighting for victory again. As do the Chef Curry with the hot pot Golden State Warriors or the Harden Rockets (speaking of Thunder strikes shining in Durant’s absence)…or any outsider for that matter. Like the still in the stampede Chicago Bulls, who will see even more red and maybe gold if heartbreaking Derrick Rose really does return and bloom before the playoffs.
That is unless Russ has something to say about it.
If the video game cover cursed Durant (who has been a mainstay for this franchise ever since they where slung from Seattle like some Pikes Place Market cod) had stayed healthy for the course, we’d surely be talking about who was Most Valuable again and maybe finally the champion they deserve. Despite the cruelty of injury that can rob even the most competitive of their time in the sun (we see you Californian Kobe). With that being said, between K’s burn and bench and battling through his own, potential season ending injury, Russell Westbrook has shown the city of Thunder and the league of association that he is no Robin sidekick to Durant’s Batman. More like a War Machine next to what was the Iron Man of number 35. Now ready to suit up with avengance now his teammate is down. Desperate times call for stark measures.
Between the baby face of Curry and the beard of Harden-not to mention the four time King and what could have been with KD-Westbrook deserves to be MVP. He’s not just picked up the slack from a missing teammate, he’s also carrying the weight of his own injury time. Refusing to go down again after a facial fracture and strapping on the phantom mask like Rip Hamilton and going all Kobe and LeBron opera menace, destroying the league in a symphony of no sympathy and his signature strong arm dunks, only this time with more epic engravings. His all round play has looked video game like in its graphic content. Movie making with more cannon fodder victims, taking names like John Wick. His numbers going to Pythagoras lengths. What’s the theory? Running the floor battle to battle, longer than the Bayeux tapestry. Weaving between the defenders and keeping his team embroided in this playoff race, despite the stiches.
He deserves Maurice enough for this, but maybe a Finals one would be in order if this unstoppable juggernaut could take his team all the way. It would be quite the trilogy and league story for this years most valuable All-Star. Either way, injury or not, OKC or not, Russell Westbrook has confirmed himself as one of the runaway, best superstars this league has offered in recent decades. You don’t need an Allen Iverson co-sign to answer that.
Unquestionably without Kevin, the Thunder are still forecasted for the next few months, but boy oh boy if only they had him too, next to their dynamite dynamo for the most devastating dynamic duo.
Then you’d be guaranteed to see reign.
Philadelphia 76ers’ make Marial Shayok Ottawa’s first-ever NBA draft pick
Ottawa’s Marial Shayok has achieved his ultimate dream — becoming the city’s first-ever NBA draft pick. The Philadelphia 76ers selected Shayok with the 54th-pick overall in the second-round of the 2019 NBA Draft.
The former St.Patrick’s Irish high school standout celebrated his special and emotional moment at home with family and friends.
“You did it bro, you did bro…”
“Let’s go baby! You going to Philly…”
For Shayok and his family the historic moment is a culmination of life-long sacrifices that started in South Sudan with his 6’9″ father Makor Shayok moving his wife and three-daughters to America. The elder Makor set post at Alvin Texas Community College and earned a scholarship to the Dayton Flyers, playing from 1990-1992.
Makor’s eldest, Shayok Shayok (born in Miami) and his sister Yar Shayok also followed dad’s footsteps and played NCAA basketball – Shayok going to Bradley and transferring to UMKC and Yar playing with Detroit Mercy Titans women’s program.
The family migrated to Ottawa, Canada in the mid-90’s and on July 26th, 1995 the youngest Shayok was born.
Marial left Ottawa for New Jersey’s Blair Academy after three-years with the St.Pats Irish — he originally committed to the Marquette Golden Eagles but transferred to the Virginia Cavaliers after the coach (Buzz Williams) that originally recruited him bailed on the program in 2015.
Shayok had busy NBA draft process – showcasing his versatile skill-set to 14 NBA front offices. Here is footage of his 76ers’ work-out.
Mardi Gras For New Orleans On Pelicans Road To Zion
Zion. Zion. Zion.
Cause for celebration, or at least a premature parade in a conclusion as foregone as the Anthony Davis trade with the Lakers. The Duke KABOOM of all the all dunking Zion Lion is a YES for N.O. As with the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft live from New York City a few days before Saturday Night, Williamson is a New Orleans Pelican.
The most exciting league prospect since LeBron James may not get to play with the King’s new man after the Davis trade. But he has all the toys in the form of all the boys that would have been the future of the Lake Show (out of a lucky 13 over the last half-decade of drafts only Kyle Kuzma remains) in the young princes of soaring, scoring Brandon Ingram, true teammate Josh Hart and the alley-oops to be thrown by point man and former number 2 pick like B.I., Lonzo Ball (have you noticed that since this trade there has been little word of Zion dropping out the draft and heading back to college like Yeezus in reverse?). Not to mention Julius Randle if they can convince the big to stay and bolster their Davis-less frontcourt with the top picks of guys like Okafor. And not to forget like Jrue Holiday all the draft choices over the next few years the Pels will get. Just like the one they’ve just traded on draft night. As with the fourth pick in the 2019 Draft the Los Ange…sorry the New Orle…excuse me, the Atlanta Hawks select DeAndre Hunter.
Good will hunting. See what you could have won Lake Show?
I guess the Duke isn’t going back to college anymore.
What a way to replace Davis in a matter of days with the Thanos game changing, season of wind in a draft snap.
But like the year the King took his throne with the likes of Carmelo and the Flash of Dwyane for his first dance, the NBA Draft isn’t just about one man, Sam Bowie.
And as the Just Do It Nike campaign “from underated to undeniable” don’t write off Murray State’s Ja Morant like people did and for some reason still do (Hello Brooklyn?!) D’Angelo Russell. Replacing veteran the Grizz grit legend of Mike Conley Jr. traded to Utah, Morant will bring that grind. Rolling, expect Ja to rule Memphis like another King with the rock.
Now the New York Knicks may have wanted to make Zion their new King, but the lottery that New York didn’t win weeks ago already said balls to all that. But judging from the reaction of ‘BlackKklansman’ director Spike Lee with the big three pick, the Mecca made the right choice with the franchises new face of Madison Square Garden and Big Apple in another Duke standout in R.J. Barrett, for their post Porzingis and ‘Melo era. It almost looked on the cards, or in the bag like his shot on the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show. Where he bucketed a Knicks mannequin head (don’t ask) after trying the cap it wore on first to which Jimmy replied after he nailed it, “it must be the Knicks”!
Darius Garland completed the top five for the Cleveland Cavaliers still searching for that new Land owner after the King took his talents to Hollywood. The Timberwolves got the sixth of Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver after a trade with the Suns that will soon be as official as the AD one. Whilst coming in seventh and eighth, the Bulls got Coby White and the Pelicans after a trade with Atlanta further their Lake Showtime future with two top tens and Texas’ blocking and dunking with a Texan name straight out of ‘A Star Is Born’, Jaxson Hayes.
Big in Japan. History was made last night in a draft that was already one for the record books as straight out of Gonzaga and now a Wizard like Harry in Washington D.C., Rui Hachimura became the first ever Japanese player to be drafted in the first round with the ninth. But don’t sleep on last year’s rookie out of Memphis, Yuta Watanabe who still has all the tools to be the future next to Morant.
But in one of the best drafts in recent years in a class of its own, there was so much talent to choose from in this pool that there was always bound to be players that missed the top ten cut, way below their deserved position. But just making it to the first block, Duke’s Cam Reddish taken at ten by the Hawks (who also have their talons in two top tens for their Trae Young lead future) still seems like a sleeper. This Laker fan who when we originally held the fourth wanted us to go with Cam or Manute’s son Bol Bol (second round slide? Really? This guy with the spiders’ web suit has the length and versatility to be a game changer). But just wait until this fire under him proves everyone (or at least nine or so other teams) wrong this killa season.
This draft is so Method Man abyss deep that it won’t just be the Pelicans who fly this season in Crescent City. With so much uncertainty this free agency at least some teams that hit the lottery have just the ticket punched for the future of their franchises with what the draft blew in.
But reaching the mount with Zion at number one is a gift from the Basketball God’s.