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Spurs Storm Thunder In Epic Duel

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LaMarcus Aldridge Career High 56 Points Spurs Storm Thunder In Epic Duel
Drink To This...

Every month an American friend kindly comes into work with USA Today basketball article newspaper clippings sent from the States for me that I read and keep in an Air Jordan shoebox under the bed to fuel that fire (reading breeds writing). But nothing could prepare me for what hit my desk this morning.

Two overtimes. Two titans. Texan shootout, San Antonio Spurs, 154. Oklahoma City Thunder, 147.

“Man this game” Stephen Curry tweeted. “Basketball is good”.

You can say that understatement of the year again.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Russell Westbrook. Two Goliaths of this game of God’s putting up Wilt numbers as their teams did the same on their stilts.

Now if you thought one of modern day and for all times greatest, storied franchises in their post, original big-three and Kawhi era were done. Think twice. And if you thought one of the last great big men and Tim Duncan clone LaMarcus Aldridge was a mere past afterthought, he has 56 points to go along with 9 rebounds and 4 assists blocks to tell you different. No one in history has scaled these levels. The amount of All Star votes he’s going to get this morning. The ballots are about to go Gaga like a star reborn Spotify streamer. Dominating the whole four quarters and two extra bits of change, on both ends of the hardwood from on the floor to above the rim, tip to horn. Only the Iceman (George Gervin’s 63) and the Admiral (David Robinson’s 71) have recorded more record book engraving, box score points in a Spurs uniform. Now how’s that for the coldest big-three? The last guy to come close was a decade and change ago with Tony Parker’s 55 in ’08. Welcome to the over 50 club L.A. This season a welcoming Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, LeBron James, Derrick Rose, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker and James Harden(s) await.

Russell Westbrook Drives To The Basket 24 Points 24 Assists 13 Rebounds

Russell Westbrook – 24 Points 24 Assists 13 Rebounds

But despite the clicking Spurs winning this dueling draw you have to give it up for the six shooter they roulette with. The Thunder weathered a 16 point defecit and the Spurs almost gunning every downtown shot (although in this three free-for-all Aldridge became the first player to hit at least 56 in nothing but paint and just outside those lines since Shaq’s 60 in the year 2000) to almost come up with the $10,000 reward near the Alamo in a night banked at the AT&T. This is the kind of contest were only one can take home the W but everyone is a winner. And in the game of the season out in the wild, wild west, Oscar worthy Russell Westbrook put up Robertson royal Academy numbers too. The triple-double machine doesn’t just average one, he obliterates one. Here writing his own for the record, storied chapter of 24 points AND assists (the most high since Rondo’s 25 passes in 2017. Now call that selfish) to go with a lucky for them 13 rebounds off the glass as he shattered all these unbreakable records with a split. The first player to ever do this, beating the 1985 record by Bad Boy Detroit Pistons, Isiah Thomas who recorded both 24’s but 10 rebounds the year this writer was born. Almost 34 years ago…yep I’m old. And this guy is cold. Now in 20-10-20 vision Westbrook’s two trail the totals of only Magic and Oscar at three.

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Now how’s that for a big-three?

Combining for 301 points both teams offered mathematicians a statistician’s dream last night by the numbers, doing the books. And with sidekick superstars like DeMar DeRozan and Paul George hitting 16 and 30 respectively, young guns like Horace and Harvey’s Jerami Grant for OKC (25 points) and the Spurs Derrick White (23) marked new career highs. But when it all came down to it in an association were some teams don’t even taco break 100, it was all but one of Aldridge’s total points over a century that lifted the Spurs over the reign of Westbrook’s Thunder out West.

Count it.

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NBA

Lakers Finally Get Anthony Davis. But At What Cost?

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Lakers Finally Get Anthony Davis But At What Cost
Hold On, We're Making Hollywood Your Home...

Ambivalence.

Like a rat crawling over some controls and releasing Scott Lang from the Quantum Realm in this Endgame, just like that the Lakers have their Ant-Man. And it’s an avenging, giant, levelling up move.

Anthony Davis is finally a Los Angeles Laker.

Still I hate to piss on this parade and sound like Morgan Freeman in ‘The Dark Knight’, but at what cost?

Well to be specific here’s the receipt.

Lonzo Ball (bad move).

LaVar Ball.

Brandon Ingram (okay we expected that, but still).

Josh Hart (what?!).

The fourth pick in this weekends draft (or should we say Cam Reddish).

And a load of other picks over the next few seasons. Or should we say a couple of Jordan Clarkson’s and Larry Nance Jr.’s.

Well at least they got to keep Kyle Kuzma for a formidable frontcourt that might be the new, next big three.

But the young core and that keep the hash-tag campaign is officially the casualty of this trade bait like the jobs of Magic and Dell Demps, that’s been fish on the line dangling for longer than that Kawhi Leonard rim rattling shot against the Sixers.

Rob Pelinka’s a beast…and not in a good way.

We will say it again. That clip of Rob Pelinka claiming he set up a meet between Kobe Bryant ans Heath Ledger after Mamba watched ‘The Dark Knight’ is beyond messed up. We all know Heath passed away before the film even came out. Don’t disrespect the dead. Can’t buy character. But can sell your integrity.

That’s who you are dealing with Lake Show.

Hollywood’s Rob Lowe would have been better.

Let’s see who you’re not dealing with anymore.

D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Ivica Zubac, Thomas Bryant, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart.

Is that everyone?

What you wanted more?

All the years all the young guns with plenty more calenders left in their clips. All gone.

And they didn’t even ask for Julius Randle back as part of the trade kicker.

Come on.

But look to him staying in New Orleans now with Ball, Ingram, Hart and whoever else would have ended up in Los Angeles with that luck of the lottery fourth ball. And the Pelicans about to fly with the road to Zion looking like the closest thing to what would have been the young Lake Show for the future Mardi Gras in Crescent City.

Must Read:  Toronto Raptors' NBA Finals Anthem

Don’t write off NOLA it’s all about to go down smooth in the Big Easy.

But after months of speculation, social media tweets and articles I rest my case, I’ll say no more. But you know how it is.

On the bright side in sunny California…Anthony f##### Davis.

The Lakers finally have their man. And next to LeBron the most dynamic duo since Shaq and Kobe…sorry Pau. It could be Finals…it’s at least playoffs.

Now it’s time to put another great core together.

Kemba? Three Kings?

Kyrie? Kevin? Kawhi?

Cue that laugh…hey we all have dreams in Hollywood.

Free agents will be more likely to join the ‘Space Jam’ show now too, but whoever LeBronland casts like throwing up movies off your phone on to your T.V. it’s a whole new world in L.A. now the Genie (or Jeanie) has finally granted their wish.

But how about two more Aladdin? On the spirit of Robin Williams help us Will Smith!

Then that will make up for all the young princes they’ve lost for one King.

As of right now like Swiss, this team has more holes than “fashionable” hipster t-shirts on Rodeo. There’s no starting point for one. And not having Lonzo ball out on the tutoring of both legendary super sub Rajon Rondo and the fellow pure point Basketball I.Q. of new assistant coach Jason Kidd is a real shame. Like losing a pure scorer like Ingram (or *clears throat* D-Lo). Or the best role player the Lakers have ever had since the days of Horry, Fox and Fisher in Josh Hart. Not to mention whoever would have come next starting this weekend.

All for a guy who was going to come to us next Summer anyway and in these changing player power times could still walk away next season anyway.

All for nothing?

I guess the Lakers looked at Leonard winning it all with Toronto and thought it was all worth it.

But at least it’s all done. It’s over now. And for now Anthony Davis in that Glen Rice 41 is the next big man great in the legendary Laker lineage of Mikan, Wilt, Kareem, Shaq and Pau.

Just don’t Andrew Bynum or Dwight Howard this up.

Rich Paul for MVP.

That’s all folks!

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NBA

The Six In 6. Toronto Become First Canadian NBA Champions

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The Six In 6 Toronto Become First Canadian NBA Champions
Kawhi Not?

They the North did it.

Last night in the Bay the 6 got turned upside down with no need for a seven right now. As Drake’s really big team got some really big rings.

And with a 114-110 win in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors for Game 6 of the NBA Finals. After almost a quarter century the Toronto Raptors became the first franchise outside of the United States to win the National Basketball Association finals to make history and become Canadian champions.

And in their Canuck colours pointing to the North from California with the gold, these red and whites flying the flag in the U.S. did it for all of us as they truly changed the game.

It started with an expansion 24 years ago in Toronto. Alongside the Vancouver Grizzlies. It ended with them being the sole franchise outside of America in the NBA as former Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol joined another former gritted Grizz in the form of his big brother Pau Gasol to be the first siblings in hoops history to be NBA champions.

It started with throwback cousins Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady in Dino unis, throwing it up and putting it down. Bringing the Air to the Air Canada Center. It ended like Vinsanity in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest for a new millennium. Looking at the camera after honey dipping and putting it through the legs, telling us emphatically with cutting hand gestures, “it’s over”.

This is for him. Mac. Mighty Mouse. The Camby Man. The Junkyard Dog. Iron Man, Mo Pete. Chris Bosh.

You know it’s for DeMar DeRozan too especially.

Kyle Lowry (what more can you say with 26, 7 and 10 leading the way?). Gasol. Siakam (G-League to big league champ). VanVleet. Ibaka. Lin. And of course quite possibly now the greatest player in the world right now and Finals MVP (joining Kareem and the King as the only Most Valuable Finals Player with multiple teams), sinking that last free throw as epic as his around the world and a day buzzer beater against the Sixers in the six, Kawhi Leonard.

Nick Nurse the architect. And of course another one, James Naismith. This game was invented by Canadians, played by Canadians and like the first ever game in NBA history, this victory belongs to Canadians.

Must Read:  Toronto Raptors' NBA Finals Anthem

Drake. Real superfan Nav Bhatia and the Canadian coffee house company Tim Hortons raising a cup to him commercial tribute. Everyone in Jurassic Park roaring like T-Rexes for these Raptors and of course all of you. Truly bringing the buzz to basketball.

This if for the real Warriors too. Five straight finals for the first time in a half century, 50 years (love Commish Adam Silver’s lining tribute). The dynasty that is nowhere near dead as they fought to the end for their last look in the Oracle in those Town across the chest jerseys before moving from Golden State across the Golden Gate to a new era of dominance in the hilly streets of San Francisco (the next time we’ll see Toronto is in Tokyo, October for our very own NBA Japan), where that digitally developing skyline from those tram peak points is the limit. No matter who stays or goes in this Curry, Durant, Draymond and Klay juggernaut with guys like Igudola and Cousins relating too. This is for Kevin Durant (who we apologize to for every Canadian fan who cheered his injury in Game 5. Although Warrior fans cheered for an injured Kawhi back in the day too) who played to the pain as all heart he proved everyone wrong and did it all for his team. And true Warrior mode Klay Thompson who went down with a crippling injury too in this final game and came right back to the right kind of cheers. This superteam and one of the greatest in history is far from extinct.

But right now for the Toronto Raptors it’s Jurassic World and the Golden State Warriors for the last time, fallen kingdom.

And as the final horn called for the last game of the season all hands were kept high for the North who overcame all the cold to break the ice for the first championship. And the champagne no longer on ice tasted as good as these underdogs proving everyone wrong as they bit back.

I’m not crying…we’re all crying.

We the champions my friends and Canadian countrymen.

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