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Steve Nash feature- The Winter Soldier

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#SuperheroSeason

Captain Canada.

Can you feel that? Cold isn’t it? The ice hangs off his knees like it does off your cars right now. It’s been one hell of a freezing fall to February, but no one has had a winter as cold as the Los Angeles Lakers. Who knew the polar vortex would hit Southern California too freezing over everything this side of downtown STAPLES not named Clippers? This is Lob City right now as the purple and gold banners give way to the faces of the players their sister team have now taken starting with the nixing of Chris Paul. If that wasn’t bad enough the face of L.A. and the league Kobe Bryant has given way and months of the last years of his career away to two infuriating injuries, while his sidekick Pau Gasol has faced his own physical and critical injuries. Things are looking Lamar Odom bad for the rest of the franchise as even their fresh new stars like Nick Young, Wesley Johnson, Jodie Meeks and especially Xavier Henry have faced the rawness of the tough leather of the medics table. Thank God for guys like Manny Harris and Shawne Williams. Got the point or do you need Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake to miss time at the P.G. spot too? A Point Guard spot that was supposed to be led by Steve Nash, the last member of the Lakers big three. Still, even Nash has been battling a roster list of injuries that will see his 40 year frame most likely retire at seasons end and he’s been battling through the most pain. It’s colder than Sochi right now. Will we ever see the end of this bleak Winter?

Hold the front page! Steve Nash isn’t frozen up in a Steve Rodgers block of ice just yet. The cold never bothered him anyway. Coming back it’s time to thaw the first Avenger. Besides Captain Canada has risen from the cold before like a Phoenix as a double MVP Sun. His time under the yellow ball with the orange one isn’t set yet. We want to see ‘The Winter Soldier’ throw the ball up to Kobe Bryant as he flies to the rim like The Falcon. This may not be Lob City, but it’s still the town that Magic Johnson built right? The Showtime must go on, World Peace or not. No Rocket take off should ground the team Dwight Howard dumped. Jim Buss playing poker up there with Jim Murray and Chick Hearn needs to be able to bet on his Lakers. It’s time for Steve Nash to take the shield and lead the way for L.A. like he carried the torch in more ways than one for Canadian Basketball, way before the Anthony Bennett’s, Corey Joesph’s and Justin Jackson’s. Way before the 2016 All-Star Game or ‘Drake Night’. Right there at the start like the Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies. Starting the new era of up North hoops like Basketball Buzz. Don’t just wait for the Nash documentary witness Steve in all his old glory before its too raised rafters late.

You’re going to want to see this. Like the skateboard player hair or the soccer skill dribbling. The pinpoint, pure Point passes. The mid-range shot as automatic as a free throw. He may aswell have a robotic arm. The three pointer you didn’t realise was so pure. The pace even at his age. The mastermind Magic vision on court. Serving the game like Samprass. As classic as a Jay-Z reference. The best to ever do it since Pistol Pete. Bang goes a Mavarich Marvel. The Basketball sixth sense that turns former All-Stars into veteran scientists of hardwood. The professors of the game. It’s an education for those rookies…take note! Ever since the kid born in Johannesburg, South Africa and raised in Canada with a dual British nationality (that’s where the soccer skills come from, he’s a Spurs fan and we aren’t talking about San Antonio) headed due South to the National Basketball Association of America (and a little bit Canada), Nash has bridged the gap and opened up a world of possibility to this sport. His game…and today he’s still in it.

The Santa Clara grad has still got one more year in California and he’s hoping to reignite his big three with Kobe and Gasol like the ‘Nellie Ball’ fun he had with Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley in Dallas or the STAT, Matrix dunking one he had with Ama’re Stoudemire and Shawn Marion in Phoenix. The perfect 10 may be bringing his former number 13 jersey luck to the Lakers, but the eight time All-Star, five time assists leader has a lot more with him to carry on his 6,3, 178 pound, giving out back as well as his depleted team and sick note status. You can’t even begin to understand the pain he’s going through, like you can’t even under stand the power he has to make it through. Basketball doctors are giving his career just weeks to live, yet the Maverick legend is defying all medical odds like the Dallas Buyers Club. I got a newsflash for you, there aint nothing that can take Stephen John Nash out in 30 days. They just don’t understand. In this sport almost nobody does, expect maybe that number 24 who tried to push his torn achillie back into place. That’s hardcore. That’s greek God stuff. If Kobe’s one of them then Nash is a gladiator. Thumbs up? Are you not entertained?

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From the corridors of his classic high school career with British Colombia to showing he is a dead cert for the hall during his MVP, quarterback run with the Suns in Arizona Nasty Nash causing mass area hysteria has been a legend in this game like ‘Illmatic’. ‘Stillmatic’ to this day he is still on top of his game, it’s just the cruel hand of injury and ignorance that’s putting him to critical shame. He can count the likes of both Barack Obama and Bobbito Garcia as devout fans and followers. With a playground skill set and the demeanour and manner to be player president it may all be about Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Kyrie Irving and whether Derrick Rose comes back, but in his day, no one was messing with Nash. His week isn’t over yet either. Quite simply he’s not only one of the best Point Guards in Basketball of all-time, but one of the sports best players ever too. The nerve or root damage aside, this guy strikes a chord, all the way down to the heart. That’s why he’s still got the soul to survive and play ball. Just to think Suns fans used to waste their breath booing him in his rookie year after being taken with the 15th pick. Now he’s beind named in the same exhales as Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan, and LeBron James. That’s most valuable.

“Frustrating” may be how Nash has described his recent suit and tie prone play but the purists still love the performance. If this game is poetry then he is the motion and his 19 point season high in Philly on his 40th birthday show he can still play amongst the grey. If this is his twilight in his time in the lime then some may be disappointed they didn’t see a Canadian homecoming with the Toronto Raptors. Still its his Pacific Division reunion with Coach D’Antoni that is special even if the “run and gun” has given way to lactic acid and shell fragments. Besides Nash isn’t ready to fade to the black of a ‘Hollywood Nights’ jersey just yet. There’s still some maple in this old leaf…save the syrup. Even if there’s no playoffs, let alone finals there’s still a season to play and for Steve Nash it may not end in a championship but it will still conclude with a celebration. This is his time and this is still his game. The legend and the legacy may not end in a ring, but some with ‘chips to shoulder could never circle around what this guys done for the Basketball world. Give him a couple more rotations and he’ll show you like instant replay all the history that is he. There’s more then ice rinks floating round Canada. There are hoops all over he country to. These are the courts that Steve Nash built. This is his foundation and its only just the beginning.

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NBA

Millsap Mishap Could Keep Forward Behind 3 Months

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Poor Paul Millsap.

This campaign after becoming one of the biggest free agent pick ups of the offseason, one of the leagues leading Power Forwards has been put down on the medical report with an injury that could call him off sick for a quarter of a year.

The most reliable player over four periods has spent the bird share of his career helping his former Atlanta Hawks make it to the first round knockout stakes of the playoffs each year. But following the season where they didn’t make the cut of the second one, it was time for a change for the 32 year old number 4 who once looked to be the Utah Jazz, Karl Malone replacement Carlos Boozer didn’t turn out to be early in his career alongside former leading Point Guard Deron Williams.

And in the mile high city of Denver with a would be big-three of sophomore sensation Emmanuel Mudiay, dreaded defender Kenneth Faried and of course The Joker with the last laugh Nikola Jokic, these Nuggets in their new Nikes looked golden and finally past that baby blue Carmelo era (they may as well be as Anthony, now with the blue, white and orange of the Thunder isn’t even a Knick anymore (it’s ‘Old York’ now Knickerbockers)). But now like Ben Affleck looking at the ‘Justice League’ box office returns it’s time to ask the Nugs “why so serious” Batman as an injury to their versatile veteran forward of seasoned upon seasons of experience doesn’t exactly put a smile on their face.

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The All-Star was averaging a helpful handful of exactly 16 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists before tearing the ligaments in his left wrist in a 127-109 loss to the Lakers who themselves recently lost all dunking son Larry Nance Jr. to a broken wrist, but are thankful to be having him return after they cut the turkey this thanksgiving. Millsap and the Nuggets are looking at second opinions from docs offering the same sort of speedy recovery that doesn’t sap their frontline. But if they concur with the original diagnosis, it’s three months in a suit and tie and not to mention cast for Paul who will return in late February after the All Star break he normally never takes off.

The man with the three year, 90 mill deal helped make this outside eight seed threat Denver the new gritty, grinding Memphis of the West. Now without him the older than Richard Jefferson roster is thinner than the air up there in Colorado.

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NBA

Somebody Stop The Mask Of Kyrie Irving

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USP NBA: BOSTON CELTICS AT BROOKLYN NETS S BKN BKN BOS USA NY

Smokin’!

Even that phrase delivered at a perfect Jim Carrey pitch can’t quite put into perspective just how hot Celtic Kyrie Irving is right now. Especially in the Boston green, Rip Hamilton face-mask.

Maybe those three little letters would do more justice for this league leader?

You know Menacing, Versatile, Phantom?

No?

How about M-V-P?

Kyrie joins Kobe, former Cleveland Cavalier teammate LeBron James and the man whose about to pass him the Maurice Poldoff torch, Russell Westbrook to be an absolute menace in the Phantom of the Opera face-mask, leaving other teams dead on basketballs biggest stage. He may have fractured and broken some bones in his face, but that won’t stop him as he fractures and breaks the backs and hearts of the faces of all the other franchises he faces off with night after excruciating night.

Those who used to say it must be the shoes (and have you seen his best in show sneaker designs complete with shamrocks like Starbucks on St Patrick’s Day this season heads? Those halloween pumpkin ones were the spice), are now saying it must be the mask.

Sure the plastic profile guard makes for some meme worthy Pinterest fan art appreciation but this guard has made a point at hating it…the sweat inducing mask that is, not the love. These kind of covers can blind you, but like the concussed legend of Celtic great Larry, letting it fly like a Bird above the baskets in the Boston Garden all the way to the rafters (as he saw too hoops like 80’s girls earrings and just aimed for the top one), Kyrie plays through all the pain and frustration. Taking it out on the ball (like opponents on Lakers rookie Lonzo) and the other teams hoops that to him seem bigger than those ones Bruno Mars sang about.

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Take Dallas for example. Irving just masked all his pain by taking the Mavericks for 47 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists in the last contest that took the Celtics to a sweet sixteen straight. After dropping two games following Gordon Hayward dropping out of the new season before the second quarter of his opening game one even played out, everyone was calling time on these new Celtics as soon as Gordon turned his ankle counter-clockwise. But now one of the best in the association Kyrie is showing LeBron and them he’s just as good as them or anyone alone like this man from down under always wanted to prove. This definition of clutch, who leaves everyone else in the fourth with straws has already shown on a championship scale against Curry of all hot guards that he can take the last shot that really matters. Now forget the Most Valuable Player award for a waning second or even the time his dynamic duo partner in pine Hayward comes back, Irving has the power to dribble drive all the way to the crown on his own.

And it’s going to take more than a mask to stop him.

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NBA

The Wind Brings The 2020 All-Star Game To Chicago

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1973. And the first NBA All-Star Game to play in the Windy City of Chicago, Illinois features the last All-Star game in the last season of two lasting Los Angeles Lakers legends. One man who scored 100 points in just one game, Wilt Chamberlain. And one man who was and still remains the one and only logo of this National Basketball Association, Jerry West.

1988. And arguably the greatest All-Star Game of all-time and an even better, best ever All-Star weekend sees Michael Jordan become Michael Jordan. M.J. scored 40 in an 138-133 O.T. A.S.G. win for the East meeting the West. But a day before all that he and the Slam Dunk Contest became even more legendary. As mere moments after storied Boston Celtic great Larry Bird asked “whose coming in second place” before raising his finger in victory before the ABA coloured moneyball ripped through the twine (no Nick Young swag), Money took off from the free throw line like a good doctor for his above the rim J and jumped over everybody including Atlanta Hawk wing spreading, sky-soarer Dominique Wilkins.

Now more than 30 years later after next years All-Star Game in the purple and gold city of Los Angeles and the 2019 one in the redeemed city of Charlotte, the 2020 and 69th All Star Game will be played in Michael’s old town of Chi-city. In the same year as Tokyo, Japan will hold the next Olympic Games, the game of basketball will go back to it’s 90’s roots and an inspired iconic landmark of hoop heaven that didn’t really have the same spirit in the seventies, but really Jumpman took off in the golden era eighties. So much so that the old ’88 All Star Weekend t-shirt is a historical thrift store must find for more than it’s 80’s Tron like, cool, retro logo.

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And with mid-February lovers big blockbuster basketball coming back to the city of wind like the river that runs through it, Chi-town needs this like out of towners need deep dish pizza. You only have to listen to the news or the Common album ‘Nobody’s Smiling’ (you know the legendary M.C. who used to wipe up Jordan’s sweat off the old Chicago Stadium hardwood has to perform at the mid-season classics halftime show) to know this classic city is marred by violence that burns through this second city like fire. The beloved Bulls have even become a “garbage team” to root for too, losing the big-three likes of last seasons Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade (who may even be on a farewell All Star tour once his hometown All Star weekend comes crossed off the calendar and everyone is united in the airlines center).

Now this team who relies on sophomore stud Denzel like Oscar hopeful movies will hopefully be back by the next few valentines. As the heart of the city in twenty twenty will want to see something as visionary as Sinatra’s kind of towns history.

That’s just the Chicago way.

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