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Protect This Curry House

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Protect This Curry House
Warrior Song...

Hands up who celebrated Stephen Curry’s injury to his left?

Sit yourself down!

Think you’re stand up? Keep your a## right there. You lose like the Toronto Raptors rightfully so for that game in the NBA Finals after they cheered for former Golden State Warrior Kevin Durant being taken out the game. Despite his unheralded heroics of actually even suiting up to play in a truly lose, lose situation. Limping to what’s further reason why he hasn’t returned yet this season as a Brooklyn Net with Kyrie…but just you wait.

Following losing Durant both to injury and free agency, not to mention Klay Thompson with a torn ACL for possibly the season too (but at least he re-upped), it really does come in threes now with Steph Curry out indeterminately as of press time but indefinitely with a broken hand.

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But before all this the trolls declared open season on the Dubs after Golden State dropped more numbers than those girls in the club you thought your obnoxious behaviour like this went down well with. Calling it a death of a dynasty in Silicon Valley like they did the fellow California Kings out in L.A. after LeBron’s Lakers dropped their first game in their STAPLES home to the Los Angeles Kawhi neighbouring Clippers, as people jump off the Warriors bandwagon and on to the laughing Leonard one like that Tyrese ‘Fast and Furious’ 6′ scene meme. But hey, hey, hey look at them and Ant Davis 40 and 20 for three quarters now. Spare some change? Those type of wrote off comments are for bums. And it’s a bad note.

Never underestimate the heart of a champion or a true warrior, especially one like Curry and this is a LeBron/Laker fan writing this. Don’t you know it’s no Showtime without a Thompson (Mychal or his son) and now the Lakers failed to sign back D’Angelo Russell too as G.S.W. made a master move with the B.K. in letting go of K.D. there’s so much more that goes into being dubbed a dynasty. This was supposed to be the Warriors big year moving across the Golden Gate Bridge to a new golden state in the big market of San Francisco (although now it all looks like how ‘Godzilla’ and the ‘Planet Of The Apes’ left that iconic landmark), but still keeping the name unlike the Rick Barry tramline days of S.F. for The Town of Oakland. Putting on for the city like a Bay Area E-40, Al Attles and whole community behind Curry SLAM cover. This city never forgets like Fruitvale Station and neither does this franchise.

Most Lakers fans are still talking about being without Kuzma, Rondo and Cousins (who the Dubs were also without last season until his famous five appearance. Shooting the lights out in the Finals like it now looks like he’s taught former Pelican twin tower teammate A.D. reunited in Los Angeles as Lakers), even though they are winning. Imagine losing Boogie’s down low productions, Durant, Klay and now his Splash Brother too. No wonder they’re losing. But for all those talking s###, there’s still Draymond Green and just wait until D starts Loading. Remember what the third adopted splash sibling did in Brooklyn last year as a B.I.G. King of New York with a Coogie sweeter rainbow wet jumper that still shines, all notoriously on his own? You’re about to be in trouble as there’s still ice in his game. Check your veins.

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So talk is cheap, especially this early in the 82 when Steve Kerr’s shooters still can afford more like when he had M.J.’s back in the golden era. And now signing Russell really does seem like even more of a master move with his stroke of genius. He’s already stepping up and so will his brothers Steph and Klay once it’s there day like Green’s once again. And these Warriors soldiers are deeper than you’d like to thing like this toddler of a young season, still learning how to walk, let alone dribble.

But that’s not the point right now. The point is prayers up for one of the God’s greatest and man of the lord, Stephen Curry who has never shown you NBA fans anything but love,l. So why all the hate? Like the video and GIF genius of Twitter rolling King Josiah as undefeated as the internet says, “We clown around on here but the one thing we don’t do is celebrate or wish injury on anyone… but ESPECIALLY GOAT level hoopers”, declaring all Warriors slander on hold until number 30 returns…and he’s a Laker LeBron fan too. One who probably saw Steph Curry’s wedding dance with Kyrie mocking the King’s workout playlist regime…now that was some funny ish.

But seriously here’s my two cents as a fan, why would you not want to see the G.O.A.T.’s of this game play or have the opportunity to see your team beat a champion at full strength? Otherwise it’s really just a W with an asterix, even more than a locked out Spurs…which really did count (and again that’s a Laker fan saying this). The small ball revolution originator, Steph Curry with a shot even better than Reggie Miller in the clutch or even basketball blasphemy aside Larry Bird (Laker fan people) is another Point Guard who changed the game like Magic or The Answer and like Kevin or Kawhi is even about to have them rewriting the top five with the history he’s making.

Without him. Without Klay, like Kevin you ‘aint beating the Golden State Warriors, you’re beating the San Francisco Footsoldiers.That’s not how you win. It’s not the same team and show respect without him it won’t be the same game. Without those hatin’ and celebratin’ tweets, it’ll just be another scroll through the social ether.

That’s just another timeline, his is history.

And it’s still being made.

Curry up.

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NBA

Chicago, All-Star 2020 blows in the Windy City for Kobe

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lebron james throws down two hand dunk 2020 nba all star game
Finding 24 Forever...

Untouchable.

Like Eliot Ness, that’s what Common’s city of Chicago is when it comes to this court. All greatest of all-time thanks to the statue outside the United Center that they have to bring in from the cold when ice gets in it’s cracks like the veins of new Minnesota Timberwolves cold front player, D’Angelo Russell (he should be here. These lost Lakers are just glad Brandon Ingram is). Forming a duo with Karl-Anthony Towns as dynamic as that one of Star Marbury and the uncut gem of Chi-towns own Kevin Garnett heading for the Hall.

And just like the Big Ticket, the Rose that grew from concrete and the way of Wade who was moved to tears, the rapper slash actor, author and Microsoft poet Common (who fittingly won MVP of the Celebrity Game in his city. Even after Kenny ‘The Jet’ Smith said “c’mon Common you can’t even dunk donuts in coffee” after giving Dwight Howard’s athletically graceful, camera flash freeze, cheese smile, spin dunk an 8 (Kobe?)) put on for his city like Barack Obama and of course the statue of the G.O.A.T. M.J. with a poetic rap that waxed lyrical on hoops history and it’s nuanced nostalgia.

Shouting out the real King MLK and Kobe before Magic made a moving speech, all players behind him dressed in warm-up white and Jennifer Huston brought the not a dry eye in the arena, house down with her tribute that beat the hardwood like the commercial Dr. Dre one for this California love in Chicago, like the National Anthem of treasure Chaka Khan in a 23 jersey.

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Common also had rhymes for each player introduction for all those who would take to the floor dribbling across the Chicago skyline, as he rocked the mic like fellow Chicagoland legend Chance The Rapper halftime and injured All-Star Dame Lillard, who still got to play this weekend as Dame D.O.L.L.A. The first player to perform on this stage of Basketball’s Grammy’s, bringing out ‘Tha Carter’ himself Lil’ Wayne and a Mamba Forever leather that we all want to cop for this year’s Winter jacket.

From saying “Sixteen-time all-star, three-time NBA champion/ We continue to witness his reign / One of the greatest to play the game/ From the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James”, to “A four-time all-star / He handles the rock like Gibraltar / From the Boston Celtics / Give it up for Kemba Walker”.

But hey, I’ve got one for you all, “like the Beard and the Brow he runs the show/so where the f### is Alex Caruso”.

But to the beat of his own raps and his milk carton brother Kanye, even if every event was set off by the “GO” vocal of guitar hero John Mayer on his Common collaboration with ‘Jesus Is King’ walking God, Mr. West (from the bam, bam Bam Adebayo BAM Skills Challenge bucket win. To the Buddy Hield buzzer beating on the last ball of the last rack, Devin booking, beating and winning the Three-Point Shootout (still one of the best and most underrated events of the weekend)), this night of all the All-Stars was all about the one who should have been in the crowd cheering with his daughter courtside.

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From Superman, Dwight Howard returning and bringing back the red cape out of the phone booth, with 24 on the chest, to Man Of Steel and former Lex Luthor like enemy Shaq filming on that old camcorder again. In one of the best but most controversial dunk contests that saw an all 50 and 7-foot-5 Tacko leaping Aaron Gordon robbed again like when he cleared the mascot (seriously I don’t mean to leap to conclusions, but these guys need to get over jumping over things…literally. Only Leonardo DiCaprio gets over this many people).

This time by the South Beach, bringing the Heat in the Windy City, tornado storm of Derrick Jones Jr. Air Gordon won’t be back (thanks for that judges. Dwayne Wade said in the Skills Challenge his mind can be changed…ain’t that the truth), but let’s hope the backboard ball touching, Woody Harrelson Venice Beach wear honoring Pat Connaughton will be. Because white men can jump too in an epic exciting weekend of Chicago, 2020 that in the Olympic year of Tokyo, 2020 showed all the world’s a Basketball stage like the Rising Stars game (Konichiwa Hachimura).

lebron james throws down two hand dunk 2020 nba all star game
Lebron James throws down two hand dunk during 2020 NBA All-Star Game in Chicago

For the main event of the biggest weekend on the schedule itself Team LeBron all wore number 2 on their blue jerseys for GiGi and Team Giannis 24 forever for Kobe (a bald Khris Middleton even sometimes from the nose bleeds making it look like Mamba was there…which spiritually he was like his mentality), to another LeBron like Kobe dunk running the floor like Bean and the 24 second shot clock that decided the fourth quarter of an entertaining All-Star Game that was more than the legendary lay-up line and was actually a competitive affair.

kawhi leonard 2020 nba all star game mvp
Kawhi Leonard 2020 NBA All-Star Game MVP

That’s just what happens when you win the game on a free throw (157-155, King over Freak) as Laker and hometown Chicago hero Anthony Davis did the honors after filling the stat sheet with the game on the line. But, the All-Star MVP now beautifully renamed the Kobe Bryant award went to another Los Angeles King in Clipper Kawhi and his 30 points. Who dedicated his award to the late legend it’s named after, as fans had their fill of their favourite weekend of the mid-season they love like the hearts of a mid-Feb Valentine.

Just don’t ask him what he had for dinner.

Answer…Team Giannis.

For Team LeBron. For Kobe. For GiGi.

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NBA

Canadian’s rise to the occasion at 2020 NBA Rising Stars game

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brandon clarke registers a layup for team world 2020 nba rising stars game
Canadian Brandon Clarke rises for a lay-up at 2020 NBA Rising Stars game

Without a doubt, one of the brightest spots of the NBA All-Star Weekend, is the Rising Stars game.

Since it’s inclusion in the 1994 All-Star game in Minneapolis, it has seen multiple formats and renditions — becoming a fertile playground for “phenoms” and “sensations” to showcase their gifted basketball talents to a global audience.

Orlando Magic point guard Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway won MVP of the inaugural edition of the rookie challenge game which at the time featured a true all-rookie affair with the likes of Chris Webber, Sam Cassell, Isaiah Rider taking on Jamal Mashburn and Nick Van Exel.

Toni Kukoc + Dino Rađa first International Players

The original 8-player team rosters comprised of only two international players – both Croatian/ Yugoslavian greats Toni Kukoc and Dino Rađa made the phenom cut.

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In addition to Kukoc and Rada, and up until 2000, when the NBA made it’s first format change, from a all-rookie game to a rookie versus sophomores soiree — the game had only featured a grand total of nine (9) non-American players. Arvydas Sabonis (Lithuania/1996), George Zidek (Czechoslovakia/1996), Vitaly Potapenko (Ukraine/1997), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (Lithuania/1998), Michael Olowokandi (UK/Nigeria/2000) and Dirk Nowitzki (Germany/2000) helped provide a blueprint for international expansion.

Steve Nash first Canadian selected in 1997

Steve Nash broke the Canadian trend and became the country’s first representation at the event, playing alongside Lakers’ great Kobe Bryant in the 1997 rendition. Winnipeg, Manitoba’s own Todd MacCulloch added his name to the list in first year of the new millennium, and twelve (12) years later Tristan Thompson (2012-2013) started what is now an eight-year streak of Canadians in the NBA’s Rising Stars’ Game.

Andrew Wiggins cock-back dunk NBA Rising Stars Game
Andrew Wiggins throws down big dunk at 2015 NBA Rising Stars Game in Brooklyn

Andrew Wiggins opened the flood-gates winning the MVP trophy in 2015 with an electric 22-point performance. Jamal Murray topped his scoring efforts with one of the best games in the events’ history with a 36-point, 11 assist MVP outburst in 2017.

History of Canadian’s NBA Rising Stars Game

Back then it was hard to imagine the impact that the NBA would have internationally, and across Canada. Despite multiple formats and various renditions, there’s little to no doubt that the idea of what has now become the World versus USA game has been a large contributing factor to the multiplier effect.

Record four Canadians in 2020 World vs. USA game

Now in its 26th year and in the sixth edition of the it’s latest format, the 2020 game showcased a record four (4) Canadian’s. Rookies RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks, Brandon Clarke (Memphis Grizzlies), Nickeil Alexander-Walker joined sophomore Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the NBA’s Tupac themed “me against the world” game.

rj barrett and shai gilgeous alexander 2020 nba rising stars game
Canadian’s RJ Barrett and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at 2020 NBA Rising Stars Game – Photo: NBA Canada

Barrett poured in a game-high 27 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Clarke, arguably the steal of the 2019 NBA Draft was equally impressive with 22 points and game-high 8 rebounds on 11-of-15 shot attempts. Gilgeous-Alexander razzled and dazzled his way to 16 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists while his cousin Alexander-Walker added 6 points, 4 assists and 2 steals.

The Canadian’s contributions helped Team World race out to a 39-30 first-quarter lead over Team USA. A big second-half surge saw the all-American squad turn a 81-71, 10-point half-time deficit into 151-131, 20-point victory.

Outcome aside, the game featured a bevy of highlights including an impromptu dunk contest in the last minute that included some big time dunks by Brandon Clarke and RJ Barrett.

With such an impact internationally and responsible for giving many rising Canadian basketball players their first true taste of NBA All-Star weekend — it will only be a matter of time before one or two of them makes the leap from Saturday to Sunday like Nash did, becoming an official NBA All-star — five years after his appearance in the Rookie Challenge.

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