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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:  2016 NBA Playoffs: Raptors-Heat Who Will Win & Why

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!

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NBA

RIP OKC. Dame Time Clocks Thunder’s Reign From Way Downtown PDX

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RIP OKC. Dame Time Clocks Thunder’s Reign From Way Downtown PDX
What Time Is It...

Blazing!

Even two games down the Thunder bolt boys joked like the last laugh that was yet to be delivered, like this what’s the 4-1 punchline. Zero to zero for the best series of these NBA Playoffs so far, Russell Westbrook rocked the baby at Damian Lillard, before mocking his wrist watch celebration like he did Laker meme Lance Stephenson’s air guitar strumming one with D’Angelo Russell ice in his veins. All before Paul George double pumped a dunk as time expired on a game that was already decided way before the horn blared.

“It is the unemotional, reserved, calm, detached warrior who wins, not the hothead seeking vengeance and not the ambitious seeker of fortune.”

But then last night before posting that Sun Tzu quote on Instagram in this art of war. In the face of P.G. the PDX P.G. beat the buzzer as Dame Time struck from way downtown RIP City. With an Austin 3:16 bottom line to give OKC the history engraved tombstone and the Portland Trail Blazers a legendary storied, legacy making championship belt for this classic series in hardwood history.

Reminding us of that time Charles Barkley responded to a Nike barbershop ad featuring former Golden State Warriors Chris Webber and Latrell Speedwell joking about dunking on him by putting all the points on them in the following game and running past them on the bench draped in dejected towels shouting, “put that in a f###### commercial!”

Damian Lillard 37 Footer Over Paul George
Damian Lillard buries series clinching 37-footer over Paul George – Photo Blazers

37 feet high and rising from deep. Deep as the halfcourt abyss. With the this time of season cherry blossoms blooming outside Portlandia’s Moda Center, the City of Roses was handing everyone from basketballs Oklahoma home funeral flowers. And leading the precession, hearse wrapping it up like his killer bars, Dame D.O.L.L.A was right on the money like exact change only please, waving goodbye. Even if Paul George walking off in defeat like LeBron James and getting his Vlade Divac on in a press conference more awkward than a blind date with an ex called it a “bad shot”. To which the great Dame simply replied with a tweeted “lol” (see also, laugh and last). He better Big Shot Bobby Horry check a newspaper or something. Dame Time didn’t just beat the buzzer. He took baby powder to it. As Dame had all the Louis Armstrong time in the world with ten on the clock and the last shot in this final frame to dribble drive or dish. But instead, toying with George like a cat does a mouse, as David beat Goliath like Jerry did Tom, Lillard had the sand to set up shop, his spot and his shot from what looked like a bunker. A hole in one, with the cocksure confidence of Tiger Woods putting for Masters glory in Augusta and embracing his kids, two decades after doing the same with his pops all for the green jacket.

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From this master, like a tap in putt with no Mulligan to carry, this was always going in. Nothing but net. All water like those Thunder tears. O.K. now that was a 3.

And to think I swore I wouldn’t go back on social media until after the new Avengers movie came out, but DAMN Dame Time! Spoiler alert, this is the new ‘Endgame’ now.

Cousy. Pettit. Sam Jones. Wilt. Chuck Barkley. M.J. And now the Dame train as the legendary Lillard goes hard to join this lineage as the only players to hit 50 in a playoff clinching game. And what a way to do it, fading away to clock out of the game and series 118-115 for the greatest Portland playoff moment since the G.O.A.T’s shrug. As mobbed by teammates on the floor he sank into, telling Russ to ‘Get Out’ his house. Peeling off like Jordan, Damian all on his own like a devil, GIF turned into an instant meme, as he turned the Thunder into a memory (you know the one were everyone loses their mind around that smirking kid with glasses in the raincoat? Well now guess which superheroes face is super imposed?). Staring into the camera with that look you know was for Russell Westbrook.

Blazers Win Damian Lillard Buries 37 Footer
Blazers Win. – Photo: Portland Trail Blazers

What a whole mood.

Whose left holding the baby now?

Dame didn’t even have to check his watch. Why? Him, her, them. They all knew what time it was. His. As Dame Lillard just did it in the Oregon home of Nike. Shoe dog like Phil Knight, running off victory for the courtside crowd, including legendary comedian Cedric the Entertainer for this last laugh lap. As this Gladiator hit one of the best and biggest shot fired in NBA history. Subliminal and literal.

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NBA

Two-time U Sports MVP Kadre Gray declares for NBA Draft

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Two Time U Sports Mvp Kadre Gray Declares For Nba Draft
Photo: Laurentian Voyageurs

Two-time U Sports basketball player of the year Kadre Gray of the Laurentian Voyageurs has declared for the 2019 NBA Draft.

Gray, a 6’1″, 190 lbs junior guard from Toronto, Ontario has been terrorizing Canadian university basketball since his freshman season — cementing his legacy as a two-time MVP and scoring champion with a ridiculous 26.3 points per game career average in three full-seasons with the Voyageurs.

The 2016-17 U Sports rookie of the year award winner took the league by storm — leading the country in scoring as a freshman with 23.2 points per game. He finished second in his sophomore season with 24.4 points per game and led the nation in assists total with 141.

He took his game to a different stratosphere in his junior season — increasing his league-leading output to the third highest scoring average in Canadian university hoops since 1981-1982 with 31 points per game.

Calgary Dinos’ all-time great’s Richard Bohn and Karl Tilleman both led the nation with higher and ironically, identical scoring averages.

Both Bohn and Tilleman averaged 32.8 points per game. Bohn doing it during the 1995-1996 season and Tilleman, a two-time Canadian Olympian and NBA draft pick dominating the league in 1981-82 — before Canada’s adoption of the three-point line.

Two Time U Sports Mvp Kadre Gray Dribbling Declares For Nba Draft
U Sports MVP Kadre Gray dribbling against Ottawa Gee-Gees – Photo: Laurentian Voyageurs

Not a one-trick-pony, Gray averaged 7.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists, 1.6 steals in 34.1 minutes per game.

Gray erupted for a career-high 48 points in a 101-81 win over the Lakehead Thunderwolves — shooting 13-of-23 from the floor and burying 19-of-20 shots from the foul-line on November 3rd, 2018.

He delivered his third 40-plus point game of his career with another impressive performance — 16-of-29 shooting against the Ryerson Rams on February 9th, 2019 — his lowest scoring output of the season was 23 points on multiple occasions.

Must Read:  2016 NBA Playoffs: Raptors-Heat Who Will Win & Why
Kadre Gray U Sports Basketball Highlights
Two Time U Sports Mvp Kadre Gray Caree Conference Stats
Laurentian Voyageurs’ Kadre Gray Career Conference Stats
Two Time U Sports Mvp Kadre Gray Caree Conference Stats Other Stats
Laurentian Voyageurs’ Kadre Gray Career Conference Stats
Kadre Gray FIBA Americas Qualifiers Against Brazil
Kadre Gray takes it to the rack during FIBA Americas Qualifiers Against Brazil – Photo: FIBA

Gray also represented Canada during the FIBA Basketball World Cup process playing in games against Venezuela and Brazil.

Prior to Laurentian, Gray honed his skills as a two-time athlete at Eastern Commerce Collegiate for three-years — leaving track and field (high jump, 100 meters) in the rear-view mirror and transferring to rival Oakwood Collegiate to conclude his high school career.

Ryerson’s seven-foot center Tanor Ngom also declared, making it the first time in the history of Canadian university basketball that two U Sports players have entered the draft.

Additionally, with a record number of Canadian players in the NCAA tossing their names in the draft process we should expect 2019 to be the biggest year for Canadian’s at the NBA Draft.

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