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Rudy Gay Feature – Toronto Star

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Rudy T. Dot.

Welcome to Toronto Rudy Gay! There is a lot to see here in this unique and underrated city that plays home to the Toronto Raptors. The only remaining Canadian franchise in the National Basketball Association ever since Rudy’s former Memphis Grizzlies team left the North of Vancouver hoops extinct. Now Gay’s fall from Graceland takes him from the Presley rock n roll of the West to one of the greatest cities on the East Coast and even the world. Read all about it in the local Toronto Star. There’s a new franchise face for those Maple Syrup bottles at 26 years of age, that is still in the golden era, prime of his career.

This writer lived in the beautiful Canadian city of the T-Dot in the fall of 2006 and I’ll tell you, its one for the travel journals. Back then the Raptors where really something too. Behind the then withheld South Beach talents of Chris Bosh, the Raps where like an East Coast Phoenix Suns (of the fellow Canadian Steve Nash time). With a foreign supporting cast of hot rookie Andrea Bargnani, speedy guard Jose Calderon, hot shooter Anthony Parker and garbage man Jorge Garbajosa, and guys like veteran Mo-Pete and dunk contender Fred Jones they lit a European flair and style of play that ignited their run and gun up the Eastern Conference. It was all good and looking like the new face of Eastern dominance until coaches got fired, players got injured, traded and other LeBron James deciding factors came into play.

It’s just what happens in the NBA or life. This writer was meant to stay in Toronto for a good year and build a life there, but when I look outside my door this morning, there’s no snow. Go figure. Teams look like the next big-thing then one wrong move in this business oriented league can turnover the fortunes. Still just as quickly as a team can give up, they can get the ball back and now with their latest trade the T-Dot Raps have their first legit star since Chris Bosh left like Vince Carter did, like he promised he wouldn’t do. Canadian fans then where left like that shrieking girl with the flashlight in Jurassic Park…”He let us”. Tracy McGrady, Vince and Chris may have dunked all over the future, formidable hopes of this ballclub and it’s city but with Gay, it’s a new, happy day now.

As soon as you drive into the city from Pearson, you see one of the worlds largest free-standing structures in the CN Tower. From the very top of this landmark you can catch one of the worlds greatest views. Still, it’s Rudy’s turn to watch over the city now. More than 6 years later, it could be like 2006 again behind a guy that was drafted 8th overall that year. So long as the rebuilding Raptors get the complimentary pieces that could help Rudy roar these guys back into the park of East Coast contenders. So long as his career is more primetime then the downtime of Hakeem Olaujawon or Jalen Rose. Fortunately the ever underrated Rudy Gay is built to lead, so don’t look for him to struggle like complimentary players like Shawn Marion and Hedo Turkoglu who had too much of a burden to bear with the cold up north during their winters in Toronto.

Must Read:  Toronto Raptors give Canadian PG Myck Kabongo another crack at NBA opportunity

If you take a boat out to the inspiring Toronto Islands you’ll have a sight to behold in the skyline of the city beyond Lake Ontario. It’s almost as amazing as catching a glimpse of Rudy Gay running the lay-up line and hammering home a Slam Dunk worthy winning jam. This is a guy that over 82 games, shows his $82 million contract worth. A guy that Memphis where confident that could take the horns of the their franchise once Spanish star Pau Gasol left in 2008. A guy who the Raptors should keep their claws into despite trade rumors linking him again with Gasol and his Los Angeles Laker team. A 20 point, 6 rebound guy who even tied Memphis Grizzlies legend Shane Battier in all-time steals and if he continues here for the next decade at least could well break many Toronto ones.

Toronto is the Canadian city that never sleeps. Known for its shopping almost as much as New York, London, Tokyo or Seoul. Even the ice-cold Winters won’t stop this city with an underground network of boutiques. Nothing going to stop Rudy Gay or his new Toronto Raptors team from rising up from the underground too. You think this team will end up closing down and following Vancouver? Or end up being the next Seattle Supersonics, before the Sacramento Kings became the new them? Sure retiring commissioner David Stern’s plans to expand the NBA into Europe and Africa may have been limited to a few exhibition and regular season games but it isn’t over yet. The last remaining Canadian franchise and it’s new star have something to show, prove and say. They are here to stay, behind Rudy Gay. It’s Toronto time!

NBA

La La Lakerland Played Host To A City Of All-Stars At The Weekend

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Verizon Slam Dunk Contest 2018
Like Father, Like Slam,

Los Angeles, it doesn’t get much more Hollywood than this. Even if Beyonce, Queen Latifah, Chris Tucker and even the other Michael (B) Jordan were taking in all the lights, camera action court-side.

After the 2017 Mardi Gras in New Orleans last year and two calendar’s after our native Toronto held the All Star Weekend in Canada, the sixth A.S.G. in the Clipper and Lakerland of the downtown STAPLES of L.A. was the first of it’s kind. As two of the best players in the association and reigning finalists decided to draft their own pool of players against the wall for the ultimate black and white pick-up game between ‘Team Stephen’ and ‘Team LeBron’, for all the marbles of which of the last two champions would be King.

Well it certainly helps if James picks his rivals reigning MVP teammate Kevin Durant and his own former partner in pine championship crime Kyrie Irving for the big shots first.

But before all that it was down to regular festivities to begin the weekend of All-Star. Basketball’s equivalent of music’s Grammy’s or movies Oscars in Superbowl February. Opening these ceremonials Team World beat down Team USA 155-124 in the Rising Stars game that should really tell you something. Despite home court advantage rookie steal, Kyle Kuzma notching 20, fellow Californian franchise face Buddy Hield was king as the Sacramento star hit 29 as the two sides wore Clipper and Laker interloped Buffalo and MPLS throwbacks for the Hollywood script. And after Quavo of hit duo Migos took home the Celebrity Game MVP as Team Clippers beat Team Lakers 79-66, Spencer Dinwiddie paid the bills in a superior skills comp. Before scorching Sun in California Devin Booker showed his career high 70 was no one-hit wonder as he burnt down all the nets and the money-ball rack. Winning the three-point contest showdown from reigning winner and sixth man Eric Gordon. Grounding the Rocket as this Phoenix rose. Book it!

But after the most therapeutic competition of All-Star weekend it was time for the most exciting one just as compelling. And in honoring his father Larry Nance, the 1984 winner of the inaugural Slam-Dunk contest, Larry Nance Jr. rocked the baby cradle, like father, like dunk. As he even rocked the old-school Phoenix Suns jersey, short shorts and high-socks for an inspired imitation. But under the magicians cloak, those Los Angeles natives in attendance draped in gold wish he had turned into someone turning back the clock and wearing a Lakers jersey (those Lonzo assists with the ball would have helped). As what would have been a long awaited, eagerly anticipated home-team representation turned into an Akron homecoming for the Ohio hometown hero like LeBron in the Kings land once the trade deadline passed.

Pops Nance loved it though after he himself played the lions share of his career in Cleveland as a Cavalier. Even assisting his boy on his second slam, before he blew the house down with a windmill that even rocked Chris Rock and then double tapped an Instagram worthy picture perfect dunk that if your phone blinked, you’d have had to instant replay it to not miss it and believe it. But all this court creativity wasn’t enough like Maverick rookie Dennis Smith Jr.’s 360 reverse, through the legs 50. Or All-Star Victor Oladipo getting an assist off King T’Challa himself Chadwick Boseman, suiting up in the Black Panther mask and clawing a tomahawk. And if you think that was special, if only you were a fly on the wall for the moment entertainment megastar Jamie Foxx told Vic he loved his album and started singing ‘A Song For You’ with him in the parking lot (as told by Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins). As Utah’s jazz man Donovan Mitchell won by jumping over Kevin Hart and his family (Come on! How hard is that? The comedian was even crouched down. Seriously?! He could have even been sat on his shoulders and Mitch would have been good), and then breaking out the classic Vince Carter Raptor jersey and doing you know what.

Must Read:  What now for the Los Angeles Lakers?

The whole weekend turned out to be a testament to a throwback tribute despite Nike’s brand new Team LeBron and Steph duds. Last years All-Star representative, Pelican Anthony Davis paying tribute to his injury fallen teammate brother Cousins by wearing what would have been his numero zero jersey. Free agent suitors beware, DeMarcus is going nowhere now this summer after this. You see he saw on I.G. but look at the shot. How s### was his seat for a would be player?

But after Black Eyed Pea Fergie caught flack for her soulful and sultry rendition of the Star Spangled Banner national anthem (hey, you didn’t complain when Marvin did it) the game hit all the high-flying, dunking high-notes. So much so fans needed throat lozenges like Pink! Even if there wasn’t a single Clipper or Laker representative in the game itself. Despite the lobbying for 6 Man, Lou Will and new Laker Isaiah Thomas only recently being LeBron’s actual teammate.

The King took the MVP crown himself as his 29 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists helped turn a 15 point hole into a 148-145 victory. And from the look on his face as he leapt into Kevin Durant’s arms of all people, it looked like he just won the NBA Championship back. And from the look on Steph’s face on the receiving end reply it was hard to disagree.

You may be the champion, but I’m the best in the world those eyes said.

Well it’s up to you to decide when round 2 of the All Star draft is televised next year for all to see in M.J.’s land of the greatest.

Charlotte’s going to be good!

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NBA

Is Isaiah Thomas IT For The Lakers?

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Usa Today 10601289.0
IT Came On A Hollywood Night

It’s All-Star break this weekend in Los Angeles, but the Lakers already have a new one since the trade deadline to lead their young core in the heart of the city. Even if Team LeBron didn’t pick him for Sundays pick up.

But how long will IT last?

Right now in the NBA the amount of movers is really putting the shakers on teams. So much so that in regards to loyalty in this league it’s even colder than the Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea right now. But then again it is the Winter after all. Recently Cleveland cleaned house and LeBron’s land for some Cavalier moves. Jettisoning several All-Star points for their changing of the guard. Including former MVP Derrick Rose, ‘Bron brodie Dwyane Wade back to the Heat of Miami, South Beach and even the guy they traded Kyrie for.

Yep that’s right after summer swapping Irving for Isaiah, the Cavs sent Thomas along with versatile big-man vet Channing Frye to Lakerland. In return they got the buckets of ‘Sixth Man’ sure thing Jordan Clarkson and another Akron hometown hero in the form of Larry Nance Jr.

And although the Lakers picked-up a certified All-Star with Iverson kill at will, little man syndrome scoring a lot of fans where left tweeting negative emojis and gifs following the deadline deal. And not because their new number seven seal was a former Boston Celtic great only a season ago. Or that the former tooth chipper is now a befallen superstar by way of injury. More that the Lake Show loved the young Ball, Ingram, Kuzma, Randle and Zubac core that has lost it’s first big time players of the future since the de-loading trade of D’Angelo Russell last summer.

Must Read:  The King Will Not Ransom His Minutes

Clarkson was a class act and there from the luck of the late round steal start. Whereas when Nance Jr. ran the floor like his pops all the bleachers snapped shut, tilted up. Lakerland finally thought they would see their own slamming son represent them in the Slam Dunk Contest he should surely win now like father, like dunk today. But now he’ll be doing it all for one and one for all.

But with the fast tracked pace of the Lakers new speedy dynamite dynamo it could still be Showtime again for Magic’s men like when Earvin Johnson was kissing another Isiah Thomas hello in the golden era 80’s. But this Isaiah Thomas-so long as he can ball in the same backcourt as Ball once injury time gives way to the Lavar…excuse me the Lonzo Angeles Lakers-could attract even more free agents like the expected homecoming of Paul George from the Thunder to the purple reign this offseason. Even if rumour has a Black Panther/Killmonger like relationship between this point prince and the King of the Ohio land.

But if it’s between LeBron as a Laker or another one of James’ sidekicks than who do you think will hold the headlines for tomorrows Los Angeles Times? Especially as Isaiah could aim higher than coming off the bench this summer as a free agent without restriction himself. His big contract coming off the books with Channing’s (Frye not Hollywood’s Tatum), another big three big in Brook Lopez and another former All-Star in Luol Deng (yep…he’s still here).

All these multiples of millions would surely make for a kings ransom.

This could be it, so lets enjoy I.T. whilst he lasts.

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Nuggets Jamal Murray breaks Steven Adams Ankles with Filthy Handles

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Nuggets Jamal Murray Breaks Steven Adams Ankles Filthy Handles

Denver Nuggets Guard Jamal Murray breaks OKC Thunder center Steven Adams ankles with his filthy and deadly combination of handles and three-point shooting. Murray was sensational finishing with 33 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds in a thrilling 127-124 victory. The Canadian guard (Kitchener, ON) is having the best year of his NBA career and has arguably become best Canadian basketball player in the NBA. The 6’4″, 207 lbs guard is flourishing under Head  Coach Mike Malone’s system and is averaging a respectable 16 points per game, 3.6 rebounds and 3 assists per game through 50 regular season games including a career-high 38-point outburst against the Portland Trail Blazers.

BTW. I can watch this all day!

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