“Huge congrats to Russell Westbrook on MVP, that boy went out there and was a created player on 2k all year, F—– balled out. Gotta respect it!”-Kevin Durant.
Golden State Warrior king and NBA Champion Kevin Durant just had to give it up to his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate this week. As the NBA Finals MVP may be a winner with a ring on his finger, but like K.D.’s mum, Russell Westbrook is the real MVP.
And you don’t even have to ask why?
Beating out another former OKC teammate in the bearded form of another triple-double machine, revolutionizng the point, James Harden. Westbrook went from jersey number to hero this year, beating the Big O, Oscar Robertson’s almost half-century triple double total record for the season with 42. But more importantly he took and put a team whose jersey Durant pulled off his shoulders on his back and did it all, beating the logo on his chest like Kong until the whole of Oklahoma roared so loud you could hear it way back in Seattle.
Sprinting down court at sonic speed, diming or dunking with trademark thunder this is the era of Westbrook reign. Even his other boss Michael Jordan co-signed with the personalised Air Jordan note and seal of approval that simply congratulated these words of encouragement, “I was MVP before I was champion too”.
In a emotional speech Russell, an ahead of his time trendsetter who also won the Style Award got real personal with his teammates surrounding him, having his back as he kept it real simple but sublime with a straight forward shirt and tie look to go with his spectacle frames that compliment his spectacular game.
In this new ESPY’s like format for the new NBA Awards happening postseason as oppossed to a playoff precursor there was plenty of glitz and glamour for this gold occassion. The first night hosted by Canadian rapper and Toronto Raptors owner Drake really was blinging like hotlines too. Plenty more answered the call as ‘Sixth Man Of The Year’ went yo Eric Gordon and not former T-Dot ‘6 Man’ and former Rocket teammate now sent back to L.A. as part of the Chris Paul package, Lou Williams despite his legendary year with the young Lake Show.
Gordon’s H-Town leader Mike D’Antoni took home ‘Coach Of The Year’…or should we say ‘James Harden Game Changer Of The Year’ award. Defensive Player Of The Year went to who else but Warrior Draymond Green, sporting a beautiful blue Y.S.L. suit jacket…and some shorts. Rookie Of The Year went to Milwaukee Buck Malcolm Brogdon, whilst superstar teammate Giannis Antetokoumpo in a year of Point Guard revolutionaries took home the ‘Most Improved’ nod. And probably will every year for the rest of his career with the amount of facets he adds to his all over the court, every position versatile game.
But in a night for the year that saw good Charlotte Hornets player Kemba Walker win the sportsmanship trophy and Boston Celtics superstar Isaiah Thomas handed the Community Assist Award like he gives out passes, it was great green Celtic giant and legend Bill Russell who won the Lifetime Achievement Award. And what more could you expect from a man who is literally the Defensive Player Of The Year trophy? And as he was presented it by a team of elite, legendary centers he pointed at Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and David Robinson one-by-one and whispered, “I’d kick all you asses”!
Cue his trademark laugh.
But last night the last one belonged to a new legend whose rest of his life and career is ahead of him until the clock reads 0.00 and the rafters O.
Kevin Durant may be your finals MVP, but the Oklahoma City Thunder knows whose Most Valuable.
The Warriors Came Out To Play This Series
Even without the fantasy Basketball of Kevin Durant in this series, the Golden State Warriors still brought out the brooms like ‘Fantasia’.
And swept out of Game 4 like Thanos click finger dust, the Portland Trailblazers may have only lost by a bucket (119-117)…and in overtime at that. But with all the Splash they had to contend with this series from brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, they were left dealing with more leaks and holes in all of their own ones like Mickey Mouse in said Disney epic.
This was meant to be the showdown between Dell Curry’s boys Steph and Seth which divided a household. And although the youngest gun stepped up to the plate, swung big in this carnival and knocked them down, big brother was always watching.
Steph Curry averaged over 36 points a game this series. Just read that again. 36 points. Right now we don’t need to talk about Kevin.
The Warriors are a dynasty for the ages even without their best player (although this writer thinks he wasn’t missing this entire series). The first team to make it to five straight finals since the Boston Celtics. The 1960’s Bill Russell Celtics. That’s King James crowning legendary. And Steph Curry with the shot and that facet of the game is just as iconic and dominant as a Bill block.
Give some credit to a blazing Portland side who never gave up despite the box score. They can hold their heads in the PDX. Even in their Moda Center home-stand City Of Roses end in RIP City. Their season eulogy should read as a celebration and commiseration, not a trolling condescension from critically entitled fans who have done nothing to determine the outcome of these games and could never make it this far in their wildest memes. They call themselves “influencers”? Well no one’s going to remember them in 50 years.
The NBA will remember one of their Top 100 greatest of all-time in a half century though. As after hitting the biggest buzzer beater in playoff history against Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, Damian Lillard played through the pain of separated ribs this series and still made the Basketball God’s look down from the hoop heavens with praise. Like New York singer St. Vincent tweeted, “Damian Lillard is my hero”. Even his backcourt brother of splash CJ McCollum in the only small man set up to rival Curry and Klay came out to play against the Warriors after midrange mining the Nuggets into submission in Denver just over a week ago.
But Curry’s red hot triple double, starter, mains and dessert dish of 37, 13 and 11, to go along with a playing not crying, Draymond Green’s day of 18, 14 and 11 assists also was just too much in the clutch. As Stephen and Dray became the first teammates in NBA history to have a triple double in the same playoff game. Forget how much this team can unbelievably keep winning, how does this ball manage to get shared this much?
Well that just may be the secret of success?
The real test is dubbed next however in the Warriors last season in Golden State before they move across that Golden bridge to the Silicon Valley of a digital age in San Francisco. They will play the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks (probably…Giannis…MVP. Sorry Toronto but come on!) and Raptors series. But by then they should have some guy called Kevin back.
I mean come on. This has been getting crazy. This is just out of hand like said ball in Splash City.
Now Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics’ record of eight straight finals and wins doesn’t look far out of reach for Steph Curry and the player and team with the biggest range in the association over the gate of the Pacific.
Welcome to the Toronto Raptors’ Jurassic Park
“In Jurassic Park, Raptor fans wait until after dark. Even if the cold might eat them!”
Fans find a way.
An ace serve or two away from being as legendary as Wimbledon’s ‘Murray Mound’ or ‘Henman Hill’ outside the Scotiabank Arena, the Toronto Raptors Maple Leaf Square’s “Jurassic Park” may just be the ticket for this sold out crowd.
Raptor Klaw, Kawhi Leonard ruled the earth last night. He and the T-Dot at the final tick beat the Sixers in The Six, as his shot bobbled like a beach ball on the surface of a swimming pool before making the biggest splash of these postseason playoffs. Taking longer to fall than Leonardo DiCaprio’s spinning top in ‘Inception’. But this was no dream.
And if you thought the Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto erupted last night, then outside in Maple Leaf Square it was like the volcanoes that killed the dinosaurs after that big ball dropped. An Armageddon even Bruce Willis couldn’t save like he wish he could his career.
Welcome to Jurassic World.
With all due respect to the Linsanity of Jeremy Lin, or pick your poison whoever is your flash card pick of the bench mob pack, but the Jurassic Park crowd fenced in outside of Scotia is the teams spiritual sixth man, spark plug. As electric as the paddock like perimeter fence surrounding them feels with this buzz over basketball (and national sport hockey come Leaf picking season), this crowd can’t be contained.
Forget rain or shine. You see the slickers. These faithful fans will pitch a spot waiting for game time like the ball to drop in Times Square for New Year in New York, sleeping bag lining up all day in their hordes huddled for warmth. These beautiful fans will brave the harshest, most frigid temperatures to be the coldest fans in the game in more ways than one. Part of the ‘We The North’ community in the 6 that the Basketball God’s look down on with pride, whilst other armchair fans watch this game for the throne from home. Or leave early like those suit and tie corporate seats trying to catch that last red eye Matt Bonner home.
Can you imagine of they called game early before Kawhi last night?
I could imagine Drake taking in the CN Tower looking up views of the Jurassic though, like it was all the basketball God’s plan.
Well those in the park for recreation stayed until the beautiful end to a game Butler almost delivered bitter. And you could could phantom cam see every emotion in slow motion last night as Leonard’s buzzer beating ball toyed with the rim like three dots on messenger, or Damien Lillard even further downtown in Oklahoma City.
This is the spirit of the stadium and the soul of the squad, expanding the capacity arena and the Canadian ballclubs worldwide fanbase watching on their own Jumbotrons.
And the Toronto Raptors are going to need all the north they can get if they’re going to stop the Bucks in Milwaukee.
But this club has the claws to do it. And if you don’t think they can win in Wisconsin on their own road to being the first franchise outside of the United States to be NBA finalists and who knows what next against the Warriors(?), then just watch this Canadian cornerstone from the Jurassic era.
Extinct in six? Nah! Get ready to hear the North roar.