Make Way For The Ram.
Welcome back to the show Kurt, ‘Randy The Ram’ Rambis. This Summer saw the return of a Los Angeles Laker role playing legend of the ‘Showtime’ eighties to an assistant coaching position he held during the Phil Jackson era. Now that’s a lot of championships. No wonder they wanted this guy back. The hard working legend that could make Mark Madsen or Rony Turiaf’s celebratory bench presence, hustle or dunk finishes seem tame was an inspiration to them both and more. The spectacle wearing hipster had his place between the goggles of Kareem and Worthy in the three tiers of downtown L.A.’s Hotel Figueroa which currently is getting some GTA recognition. Looking something like Garth from ‘Wayne’s World’ with a magnificent mullet and setting defensive traps and rebound sets for his enemy like ‘Rambo’, this guy was cold blooded and blue collar. Exactly what the Showtime Lakers needed against Boston. He played like a Celtic but sweat and bled purple and gold.
The behind the scenes grit and grind to the Hollywood show of Magic, Kareem, James Worthy, Michael Cooper, Byron Scott and A.C. Green, this guy was just as integral and inspirational to this golden and purple era of storied Laker and Larry legacy. Whether Bird or O’Brien, better or worse, victory parade wagon or season hearse, Rambis was always there. Those rings belong to him too. With a moustache that would make ‘Movember’ proud with one twirl he could finish off his man like Christophe Waltz in ‘Django Unchained’…and you thought he looked like a dentist….haha! This guy was no Ned Flanders for the Lakers Simpsons yellow, okely dokely? There was a six pack of strength not beer below that T.V. sitcom dads sweater (and from ‘Sweet Valley High’ to ‘Married With Children’ this guy has more T.V. acting credits than his Klingon, ‘Showtime’ teammate James Worthy too). Just ask Kevin McHale, Bill Laimbeer or any of the other eighties hard men of the NBA…or check their bruises, there probably still there. The man with the teacher spectacles could take anyone to school. Laugh at the mullet now.
Now, recently we have argued to Springfield and the ceiling that Michael Cooper deserves his place in the Hall Of Fame and the Lakers retired jersey rafters with his eighties comrade Jaamal Wilkes. Not to knock him but we may never see the 31 up their or the glasses in the trophy cabinet down the hall. Still that doesn’t mean Rambis isn’t a vital part of Lakers lore. Besides his college alma mata retired his hash-tag 34. Next throwback night someone’s got to rock his number and specs for the ultimate hipster eighties Hollywood night. It’s just a shame Bill Walton’s son has retired. Kurt took the Lakers to hoops nirvana, he came as we was and rocked mainstream Hollywood with his signature style and punctuated play. The man with the horn rimmed glasses helped lead the Lakers championship charge with a stampede of brusing blocks and off-ball, on-point play. The record books may not carry his name, but his trophies are engraved all the same. You can’t write off what’s already been wrote.
From Terre Haute, Indiana he played bigger than his 6 foot 8, 213 pound listing. From Santa Clara his career afforded more than all the rounds and teams that passed on him before he was picked 58th by the New York Knicks, looking like a familiar N.Y role playing legend of the 60’s Phil Jackson and one day having his place next to him in Laker history and on the bench. You see the legend on those cool t-shirts or by fans that dress up like that Kobe heckler from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers video. By the way the billboards held up during his career where a protest to just how good he was in the Lakers banner years. Some may have overlooked the perspired hard work that fogged up glasses, but the real fans saw. In less than a decade with the Lakers that’s what he did…he left his purple bruised and gold coronated mark. The Hornets, Suns, Kings and Greece know what we’re talking about. Still, Charlotte, Phoenix, Sacramento or Athens have nothing on his time in Los Angeles. Just ask Run-TMC or Dwight Howard, good or bad it doesn’t take long to make your mark in the bright light of California.
5.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1 and some change assists may be the average of his career but they have nothing on the four ‘chips he helps raised and get off his teammates Celtics harassed shoulders. He may have been a few bucks shy of seven feet but he rose above it all and earned his millions like the tallest man in the room. Once he wrapped that bandana on his head he was Kurt Rambo with an ammunition of tank like strength, rolling over opponent canon fodder drawing first blood. Darrell Rambis was known as Kurt to us, Kyriakos Rambidis to Greece and a nightmare to his opponents who lost possession as well as sleep. You couldn’t stop Kurt when he played like a man possessed. The city of angels found their demon to take them through the dark dog days and to the light and gleam of July’s trophy. The overachieving underdog got his bone and found his home in a Forum of talent. He caught every ball, word out of Jim Murray (the incredible journalist wordsmith joked that he thought this guys name was ‘Loose Ball Rambis’ because that’s all he heard before his name) and Chick Hearn and every round of applause from those who valued hard, earned teamwork.
No wonder the dirty work will of this man has taken him to the coaching class. Still make no mistake about that old adage of average players making the best coaches, Rambis was a Marvel like Stan Lee, anything but mediocre. Now behind the scenes for a big named Lakers team again he looks to shed that tag and give the new Lake Show as a coach what he did as a player. He already impressed Kevin McHale again at the head of Minnesota now what can he do for a former Minneapolis Lakers team once known for their hard work led by the spectacles of George Mikan? Just think what he could do for Pau Gasol’s game. Soft!? Yeah right this guy born in the U.S.A. of the Springsteen American blue jeans age was tougher than the rest. Chick Hearn once called this Clark Kent lookalike Superman and with the second Man Of Steel gone this could just be the hero the Lakers need in their Avenger season. Time to step in the booth and loosen up the tie. The only thing missing is Colonel Sanders…or Phil Jackson as he’s known…but wait, lets get real here, because behind the Hollywood glamour nothing or nobody works more than Kurt. Adjust your glasses and look for this eighties legend in L.A. once again. Now you remember how to do the hustle right?
Zero To Zero. We Could Watch Russ Vs Dame Until There’s No Time Left
Phones have been checked in Philly as missing posters have been put on telephone poles for Ben Simmons’ jumper. Whilst he has started a beef with Jared Dudley of the Brooklyn Nets that even rivals the one between Kevin Durant staring down Patrick Beverley.
Welcome to the 2019 NBA playoffs.
But the real rivalry of this first round that is a real knockout is the one between Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook. Two noughts to add up to something over nothing that could take this wild West clash between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Oklahoma City Thunder the seven game distance.
Watching these two points make one in the changing of the guard has been where amazing hardwood history happens. And whether the Thunder will reign over Rip City, or whether the city of roses will bloom over OKC all depends on whether the fuse is lit for the stick of dynamite, or the ticking click rings out. Either way whatever adds up to more on the box score will come from nothing.
But these numbers don’t lie.
A Game 3 showdown saw Russell Westbrook explode with a Kareem 33 and the Thunder poured out a 120-108 victory back home as Paul George double pumped a dunk as time expired like old ham on Dame and his men. But up 2-1 it’s not like Portland could blaze a trail to put OKC on the ropes. Even though they want to even things up and take it down to the wire for the next game and week.
D-Lill had 32. But Westbrook taunted that he was “too small” as he rocked the baby with one more point. Denis Schröeder also added 17 and a mock wrist watch tap celebration to Dame like Russell mocking Lance Stephenson’s air guitar against the Lakers. But time and Dame time again, hip-hop star Dame Dolla will play on until this all wraps up.
Laugh now, cry later. Because this one rhymes greater than you’re average player hater. He’s notorious. He’s B.I.G. and he’s ready to die for one more chance to kick in the door, for the skys the limit.
Dame Time runs 24/7 like a 7Eleven and with the ‘Mission Impossible’ fuse of Russell Westbrook never looking like it’s going to fallout like these two, we may need another P.G. by George to settle this score as these two Point Guard number noughts look to cancel each other out until the final score and last buzzer beaten rings out.
Trash talking. Sweat soaking. Until the clock runs out on Dame Time and one of our zeroes becomes hero, we could watch these two men go the full magnificent seven.
I mean ‘Why Not’?
Ryerson Rams’ 7-footer Tanor Ngom declares for NBA Draft
Ryerson Rams’ 7-foot-2 center
Ngom, a native of Dakar, Senegal, enjoyed a breakthrough sophomore season with the emerging Ryerson Rams’ of Canada’s U Sports basketball program — in 21 Ontario University Association (OUA) conference games, he averaged 11.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 19 minutes — connecting on 63.8% of his 88-138 field goal attempts.
Rams’ head coach Roy Rana discovered the late-blooming Ngom back in 2017 when he and a few of his players travelled to Senegal to take place in a basketball exchange forum.
During his freshman
Appearing in 23 games the towering bigmen contributed 5.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 12 minutes as the Ryerson Rams advanced to their first national title game.
Ngom’s improvement has been clearly evident in his two campaigns under Rana and features impressive mobility and athleticism for his size. A natural defensive disruptor — Ngom has worked hard to build his thin frame and expand his improving shooting touch from the charity stripe to the three-point line.
Ngom posted a career-highs in points (24) once and grabbed 11 rebounds on multiple (3x) occasions as well as swatting away 8 shots once. Additionally, he reached double-figures scoring in 10 of his last 15 games.
The seven-footer posted 12 points, six assists and three blocks in 24 minutes of action against the Duke Blue Devils during their much anticipated Canadian Tour. Ngom also bec
Unlike the recent NCAA rules changes that allow a player to test the NBA Draft process and still return to the collegiate ranks — The U Sports eligibility model and NBA Draft process aren’t quite clear at this point.
Regardless, Ngom’s path to the NBA faces a steep uphill battle — becoming the first player since Ottawa Gee-Gee’s All-Canadian guard Warren Ward broke barriers by tossing his name in the 2013 NBA Draft process — gathering buzz with a respectable workout at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas.
Canadian William Njoku (Halifax, Nova Scotia), a 6’10”, 193-pounds forward from the Saint Mary’s Huskies holds the exclusive distinction of being the last player from a Canadian university to be drafted in the modern NBA era.
Brooklyn born, Brian Heaney, a Canadian Basketball Hall of Famer and a member of the 1965 Acadia University Axemen championship team
Carleton Ravens’ all-time great point guard Phillip Scrubb — arguably Canada’s best university basketball player of all-time — never declared for the 2015 NBA Draft — but managed to play in the 2015 NBA Summer League with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Toronto Raptors.
Although not a common stake yet, it is inevitable that Canadian players declaring from Canadian universities to the NBA draft will one day, in the not very distant future become commonplace.
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