Spreading his wings and flying away, the Lakers R. Kelly went all Jordan in the air as he touched the sky with an out of this world Space Jam last night.
Seeing it and then in turn being it, Ryan Kelly stepped in the paint and the name of a win as he clutched the winning shot for his Lakers against the Portland Trail Blazers by stuffing it right through the hoop.
And they thought he couldn’t get up like that!
As he soared and scored the Lakers shut the open door, blazing Portland to a trail of 104-102 as Kelly took the Lake Show from the verge of breaking down with 2 point nothing seconds left on the clock.
The big forward who last year stayed in the Lakers rotation, earned starting spots thanks to a training table list of players more bandaged than Egyptian royalty. This year and last night going up against a former Laker Power Forward from last year (the talented Ed Davis now with the PDX), Ryno claimed his place even more in a team that isn’t exactly walking wounded anymore in that department (have you seen Julius Randle play lately?). Although they have just waived blocker Robert Upshaw in favour of keeping Canadian Robert Sacre and are taking ‘please don’t happen again’ precautions by resting the legendary likes of Kobe Bryant for the rest of the preseason.
Kelz’ buzzer beating dunk that got everyone off the bench like it was the playoffs and not preseason left everyone busting out in Magic Johnson smiles. It may be the early, early days but even Kareem or Kobe couldn’t frown at this one. After inbounding a previous play to a stealing away Portland player, Kelly faked out the biting opposition with a fool them twice look straight out of the pre-World Peace, Ron Artest dry-erase days that shamed Portland to the trail. This devastating, dominating dunk has even caught more fanfare than Larry Nance Jnr’s like father, like dunk slam smash.
“It wasn’t exactly how (Coach Byron Scott) drew it up, but I just read it a little bit, and I knew they were going to switch,” Ryan told the press post-game. “I attacked the basket. And at that point in a game, you’ve got to either finish over the top or have the defender make a great play.”
Ryan went all Machine Gun Kelly with this last second shot and showed with one vine of the moment that he was seven seconds away from being more than just a meme memory of Kelly standing next to the back of Clarkson’s jersey.
The Lakers where facing all kinds of former allies in the paint, from Ed Davis to big man Chris Kaman hitting last second baskets, but it was Kelly who left this case with the paint dry.
“I wanted to make up for it and make the play that made a difference,” the long haired, number 4 new Luke Walton-esque fan favorite remarked and boy did he! But he wasn’t the only one. Luck has been a Laker girl for L.A. of late, from tuning up international competition to having games against the champs in their favour called early due to ice hockey. Last night it was still rolling with future of the franchise Jordan Clarkson’s 17 points going mic-check, one-on-one, battling with Blazing hot rapper Damian Lillard who led a now LaMarcus Aldridge Portland (just like the Lakers mind you) with 20 points and 6 assists. Russell (12 points but 0 assists) and Randle (2 points but 4 assists) may have been quieter than usual…but x-factor, Brazilian signing from Barcelona, Marcelo Huertas wasn’t, coming along in his recovery and limited minutes. Notching and matching 8 points to go along with 8 amazing assists as the creative but controlled Point Guard showed he could be the new veteran leader of these young Lakers in his first NBA season.
Still you couldn’t hand this one to anyone else but Kelly as the R in the Lakers last night in Hollywood showed he in that moment was the worlds greatest.
Watch THIS Work! The WNBA Bets On Women
Ten years ago the motto of the Women’s National Basketball Association was to, ‘Expect Great’. Now a decade later and into the roaring 20’s of a whole new one and world, the league that tells you to watch them work truly has for all it’s worth.
The WNBA and CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) has reached a monumental moment in the leagues history and its time to read all about it on Los Angeles Sparks twin superstar Chiney Ogwumike’s Twitter thread.
It tells us the CBA means…
When it comes to players salary and compensation there will be a 30% increase to the salary cap as the higher max pay player salary jumps like Lisa Leslie’s first dunk from $117,500 to $215,000. Whilst there will be an additional compensation for those top tier Candace Parker players around $300,000. Moving millions this is thee first time the league has moved units like this in six figures. And like Russell Westbrook why not? Because for every player like him there’s an Ogwumike. For every Candace a LeBron. Every Luka Doncic a Breanna Stewart. Every Larry Bird a Sue. Kobe Bryant, Diana Taurasi. For every Michael Jordan a Lisa Leslie.
Every insufferable, couch potato chip, sexist fans who unlike a Suffragette doesn’t believe women deserves equal pay needs to check their pockets…yep like Rakim said that’s nothing but lint. Now paid in full these women deserve this and more like diversity at the Oscars. Just as good as the men like Michelle Wie (she’s not the logos sons wife people) golfing with the guys of you claim you’re “woke” on social media but can’t wake up to this then you’re about as woke as still in bed gone half 12 in the afternoon. It feels like all those trumped up people who had a problem with a female ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot. Or those old men who would rather bully a 17 year old girl with Aspergers online than believe in the actual happenings of climate change.
Sure there’s an argument that sportspeople shouldn’t be paid these ridiculous amounts of money. But the point is if the men get paid this much then why shouldn’t the women?
This should have happened a long time ago. But at least it’s happening now.
It’s about time.
Working mothers are also finally getting their due in a groundbreaking deal on this date. Players will receive a salary whilst on maternity leave with an additional new childcare stipend. Whilst up to $60,000 of progressive family planning benefits for veteran players for costs for adoption, surrogacy, oocyte cryopreservation, fertility and more. No longer will go hard greats like Skylar Diggins-Smith have to play whilst pregnant and hide it to protect herself whilst the CBA lists it as a “condition”.
Perks of the game that the men have had for years and the world class women deserve just as such also include individual hotel rooms for players, more mandatory leg room on flights (how important is this for basketball players? The NBA would cry personal foul if the King and them would be forced to fly economy), and further for the finances, off-season job opportunities with league partners that along with the salary rise will mean that WNBA players won’t, overplayed and underpaid have to go overseas in the off-season to earn more money to make ends meet in foreign leagues. Something which has been a conditioning condition and pay for play issue since the leagues inaugural inception.
And let’s not forget about the players mental health too in major improvements across the board and world to an issue still surrounded with stigma despite the lengths taken and measures made. More resources will be offered in addition to the adoption of a Nutrition Council that will aid peak performance by offering players a commitment to this optimization.
But it’s probably the stand made by the WNBA and the CBA against violence to women which is the most important. Ending domestic and all sorts of violence to women which has happened to players around the league and still happens everyday, effecting everyone needs to end NOW like it should have never happened. It seems like such a ridiculously obvious thing to say…but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said.
Again and again until we don’t have to.
The wide world has finally met the standards of the women’s game and league on the way to leveling the playing field. More of the same…do we really need to add the please now?
Betting on sporting events is a losers game. But betting on women-like the ones in this league-is a sure thing.
The game changed for real today.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 20 Pts, 20 Rebs, 10 Asts first Canadian NBA triple-double since 2006
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Hamilton, ON) became only the second Canadian basketball player in NBA history to record a triple-double — and the first in nearly 14 years, since Steve Nash in 2006.
Gilgeous-Alexander racked-up 20 points, career-high 20 rebounds and 10 assists in the 117-104 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The former one-and-done Kentucky Wildcat continued his efficient campaign shooting 8-of-12 field goals, connecting 2-of-3 triples and 2-of-2 from the foul-line.
Steve Nash recorded three triple-doubles in his illustrious 18-year career, the last one on April 19, 2006 — Nash finished with 16 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
The 20 rebounds is also a record-high by a Canadian guard and only the second 20/20 double-double by a Canadian — Jamaal Magloire notched a 22 point, 21 rebound game against the Toronto Raptors’ on March 21, 2004.
Most rebounds by a Canadian in the NBA
Samuel Dalembert (Montreal, QC) holds the record for the most rebounds in a NBA game with 23 against the Golden State Warriors on March 20, 2009. Followed by Magloire 22 and Tristan Thompson with 21.
Gilgeous-Alexander becomes the youngest guard to record 20-20-10 stat-line and joins Russell Westbrook as the only guards with a 20-point, 20-rebound triple-double over the last 30 seasons. He is also the youngest player in NBA history with a 20-rebound triple-double, passing Shaquille O’Neal.
RJ Barrett became the first Canadian basketball player to record a triple-double at the NCAA level in nearly 35 years during his lone freshman season with the Duke Blue Devils.
The OKC Thunder continue their playoff push with their 18 victory in the last 25 games and currently sit in 7th place in the western conference.
The Canadian guard is currently averaging 20 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists — shooting 46.4% from the floor, 33.6% from three-pointers and 81.6% from the foul-line while turning the ball over just 1.9 per game.
Canada NBA All-Star Drought
The 2020 NBA All-star game in Chicago is less than month away and as it currently stands, Gilgeous-Alexander doesn’t currently rank as one the top fan vote earners in a guard heavy western conference. Nevertheless, the Canadian stud could end Canada’s eight year NBA all-star game drought by earning a coach’s selection.
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