Last night defensive show stopper vet Luc Mbah a Moute inked a contract with James Harden’s Chris Paul refuelled Houston Rockets for the upcoming year. In the same weekend were Kentucky great guard Rajon Rondo reunited with the Big Blue of former King DeMarcus Cousins and another ‘cat Anthony Davis for the new flying Pelicans nation in New Orleans. Signing on in N.O. for 12 months after spending the last season in Chicago as a Bull.
This isn’t an article about how the Kobe Bryant dubbed “a##hole” has gone from a rafter bound Boston Celtic great to an All Star journeyman of sorts (the “sorts” being the question of his A.S. status) but that issue deserves some ink in itself. This is more about the new NBA trend in the market of free agency for one calender deals for big players that seem to be the star equivalent of 10 day contracts for retiring veterans or D-League pushers.
Even the Lakers-who nearly got Rondo this Summer after wanting him since him and Kobe went for breakfast in Boston-have been offering out 1 year contracts like Oprah does free stuff on her show. “You get a year in L.A.”! “You get a year in L.A.”! Eventually adding former Detroit Piston Kentavious Cadwell-Pope to their young cores assembly line for a year spell. Or should we say revolving door? As in this league of player power that really plays out towards each Summer teams are going from cleaning house to setting up rentals to keep that LeBron and Westbrook cap space free.
But maybe guys like Paul George end up sticking around longer than just a season. Have you ever thought about that?
Out in L.A. Or should we say “out of L.A.” like Chris Paul? J.J. Redick didn’t follow Blake Griffin’s half decade (how rare now) in Hollywood plan as he joined former Raptor Amir Johnson at the Sixers for a one year process in Philly. Even the champs are getting in on the act as after re-upping big-man David West, the Dubs stole the swag of Sixth Man spark-plug Nick Young from the Lakers as the Warriors showed Young the side of the state of California that carries more gold right now.
But that’s not all. T-Dot exclamating, dunking Raptor legend Vince Carter (Sacrmento Kings), young prospect Aron Baynes (Boston Celtics) and international talent Ersan Ilyasolva (Atlanta Hawks) all packed light bags for what in reality are long (ish) road trips next year.
One and done deals offer both the player as a person and who they play for as a personel plenty of flexibility in this year-by-year game that changes as much as the new jerseys. Especially in an association were the offseason of drafts and free agency plays as just important as the one were the ball is on the floor. But there’s actually something very wrong with that notion. Screaming of a lack of something sorely missing and in dire need of in the L.
And that something is as simple as loyalty.
Knicks RJ Barrett Basketball + Business
Canadian RJ Barrett sits down for a very candid interview with agent Bill Duffy and “The Boardroom” host and former no. 1 overall pick Jay Williams to discuss basketball and his business ambitions and aspirations.
Barrett is expected to be amongst the highest global sponsorship earners of his generation and is represented by agent Bill Duffy — who has done over 3.5 billion dollars in contract negotiations and also represented Canada’s greatest basketball player to date and RJ’s very own Godfather Steve Nash.
Under Duffy’s direction, Barrett is expected to capitalize on the immediate rise of Canadian Basketball and the national corporate entities looking for an immediate association with the sport.
Globally, with Barrett’s ability to speak french, Duffy also sees a market in china but as well as Africa.
When its all said and done, Barrett stands a chance at being Canada’s top earning athlete, both in salary earnings and corporate dollars.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Is The Real MVP
Santa Monica, California was on an award tour like A Tribe Called Quest for the NBA’s end of season grand prize spectacle last night. Hanging out in the coolest performing arts theatre in all of Los Angeles (my apologies to the Hollywood Bowl), the converted airplane Barker Hangar played host to the 2019 NBA Awards. The Emmy’s, Oscar’s and Grammy’s of hoops Tony.
The best of the Basketball best and the cream of the future hops crop descended on this hangar, suited and booted like they were flossing injured court-side.
Shaq sized in the perfect setting in a place that houses feats of brilliance that take flight like Mike, this event could only be hosted by the one and only, Big Aristotle of the Diesel, Shaquille O’Neal (sorry Drake. Although you troll NBA players better than Kevin Hart telling Kenny Smith he’s so ashy if he smiles his lips will bleed as he goes to take a sip of his water). And the most entertaining NBA player ever (give him his award) laughed, joked, sang, rapped and danced his way to an enjoyable evening in the place he racked up three rings on repeat.
But how about the prize giving? Well your real Most Valuable Player this year is Giannis Antetokounmpo. Say what you will about last year’s MVP and this year’s runner up in the closest of recent races as tight as the Rookie of the Year voting, James Harden racking up triple-doubles like Charles Barkley says Lonzo Ball does triple-singles, but it’s the Alphabet’s time now after slaughtering this season gone. Sure he didn’t come away with the ‘chip like worthy candidate Kawhi Leonard and his (we still hope) Toronto Raptors, but that is his next challenge for the Mamba Mentality tweeted in congratulation by Kobe Bryant who predicted this MVP years back. And in a beautiful and emotional speech, Giannis dedicated all this to his dearly departed dad and his brothers and mom in attendance as every eye not dry in the house got out their seats in unanimous ovation.
And in a truly global game flying the flag outside the United States for each category winner, Antetokounmpo almost doubled up, finishing in second place for Defensive Player Of The Year, under the stifling Eiffel of French fly swatter, Rudy Gobert. As Paul George after an incredible season-no lucky shot-came in third place like he did for the MVP voting. Toronto not only got the ‘chip in the Six however as their X-factor Pascal Siakam came up with the Most Improved Player award ahead of Sacramento sophomore De’Aaron Fox and Brooklyn’s own (if they play their free agent cards right), D’Angelo Russell.
Coach of the Year was bucked by Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer dry-erasing for the MVP. And Bradley Beal was passed the Community Assist Award for all the good this All Star has done. Give him a hand for all the ones he has. Whilst the Sportsmanship award went to new Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley Jr., who also racked up the Teammate Of The Year award for his grit n grind time with the Memphis Grizzlies. But who else for the Sixth Man of the Year award then the ‘6 Man’ of all-time, Lou Williams? Joining Clippers teammate Jamal Crawford as the only player to win the Sixth award three times over.
And the House Of Highlights Moment of the Year of course went to Derrick Rose. Can you guess for what game?
We have a ball rattling around the rim forever in Toronto that shoots for even more stars though.
But how about that Rookie of the Year award? Who you got? Because in narrowly beating out Atlanta Hawk Trae Young it’s clear the award belongs to superstar right now Luka Dončić after a Maverick season in Dallas. Where the Texan gunslinger from Slovenia is about to draw on them all next season. Look out for the kid like Pat Garrett, Billy.
Sager Strong, broadcaster Robin Roberts took home that award named in honor after the suited court-side with a microphone presenter. And her “make your mess your message” speech was the most inspiring of the night after her fight against breast cancer and bone marrow disease, raising awareness.
Executive of the Year went to Jon Horst of the Milwaukee Bucks (sorry Rob Pelinka…jokes) but the Lifetime Achievement? Well that went to a former President who has just left office. No not Obama (although POTUS does have game…WAP!). But the Magic man, Earvin Johnson. The Laker legend honored in California for all he’s done since starting the fast-break of Showtime, to changing the game behind the back without taking a single shot. All the way to walking away from it bravely when he was diagnosed with HIV and then making a comeback so beautifully for the man who will always be purple and gold with all this entrepreneur pulls out the empire of his top hat. Say what you will about his presidency residency but as we look to free agency this crazy off-season, remember who started all this off by bringing the King to Hollywood last Summer, waiting outside his house in his car at one in the morning.
Now that can’t be tampered with.
But all in all last nights NBA Awards show of All-Stars showed us one thing like the NBA Finals. No matter who took home the gold, we all came away winners.