Mayweather vs Pacquiao! Forget about it! Last night saw another sport heavyweight K.O. bigger than the fact that Floyd earns more in one fight night than most ball players do in a season.
Because now we’re going to have a new NBA champion this year.
Last years reign makers San Antonio have just passed the torch, as the Spurs just couldn’t click in the final clicks of their epic seven game battle in Los Angeles last night.
Now the Clippers who have also replaced the Lakers as a top-flight, Spur contending, beating team too have a shot at their own Hollywood moment.
Sure the Spurs still have a battle tested and war ready big-three in Duncan, Parker and Ginoboli to go along with last years Finals MVP and this years ‘Defensive Player Of The Year’ Kawhi Leonard. But as old are still giving way to new for the Texan trio, there seems to be some Wild West dust on the Spurs gold this year.
As the Clips showed true grit with an 111-109 final draw in this first round showdown, the Spurs repeated the same early exit of the last time they where defending champions. Following their 2007 championship that saw them lose in the first round to neighbours Dallas Mavericks in 2008.
The curse of a hangover headache, now coach Popovich wants a change to the series seeded process in the playoffs.
Still in this epic duel of old hands and classic coaches featuring Pop and Doc, Rivers ran like Holliday, showing San An the tombstone. Young just beat old as time ran out. Too much young legs for old horses. Too much ‘Clutch Paul’ as CP went for three and left everyone looking like ‘O’. Too much Blake Griffin dunking with Incredible Hulk rage in this Age Of Ultron. And too much Jordan avengance, as ‘Andre went all 3000 showing Leonard et al that D should be given a ‘Defensive Player Of The Year’ nod, just like he showed the rest of the league that he should have been an All-Star this year.
In the end the Spurs just ran out of bullets in the contenders chamber.
Dropping San Antonio like a gavel, Paul banked a win over Duncan, beating the robot on a play even with an over strung hamstring. As he passed the 39 year old greatest Power Forward of all-time, the Point God’s coach dubbed this kid a “street fighter” as this video game epic contest came to a curtain call close.
Even big Dunc called it “amazing to watch”, even though he wished he wasn’t on the receiving viewers end like the millions not watching the “other” big fight on T.V.
After Paul and Timmy’s equal billing of 27 points it was up to defensive dog Matt Barnes to knock an inbounds pass into the Staples Centre crowd that went euphoric as soon as the final buzzer tolled. A cheerful crowd led by famous fan and season ticket holder, comedy actor Billy Crystal who has become close with Paul over the years of the changing of the guard.
Now the former joke Clippers are now no act in Los Angeles as they reach the Western semis for the fourth time in franchise history. A history they are rewriting in the former Staple of Lakerland for their own banner and rafter worthy moments.
As for the Spurs. These old dogs will be back when they learn some new tricks. Still L.A. hasn’t escaped the Texan triangle just yet. Next is the Harden Rockets out in Houston, which looks to be a problem.
The talk of the towns barbershops is now the Clippers who in a hairs difference have gone from former champions to potential MVP’s in these contests and if they hope to be ones themselves they’ll have to soar past the Rockets if they want to battle with the likes of the Warriors and all the other NBA favourites.
Houston…we have a series!
Knicks RJ Barrett Basketball + Business
Canadian RJ Barrett sits down for a very candid interview with agent Bill Duffy and “The Boardroom” host and former no. 1 overall pick Jay Williams to discuss basketball and his business ambitions and aspirations.
Barrett is expected to be amongst the highest global sponsorship earners of his generation and is represented by agent Bill Duffy — who has done over 3.5 billion dollars in contract negotiations and also represented Canada’s greatest basketball player to date and RJ’s very own Godfather Steve Nash.
Under Duffy’s direction, Barrett is expected to capitalize on the immediate rise of Canadian Basketball and the national corporate entities looking for an immediate association with the sport.
Globally, with Barrett’s ability to speak french, Duffy also sees a market in china but as well as Africa.
When its all said and done, Barrett stands a chance at being Canada’s top earning athlete, both in salary earnings and corporate dollars.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Is The Real MVP
Santa Monica, California was on an award tour like A Tribe Called Quest for the NBA’s end of season grand prize spectacle last night. Hanging out in the coolest performing arts theatre in all of Los Angeles (my apologies to the Hollywood Bowl), the converted airplane Barker Hangar played host to the 2019 NBA Awards. The Emmy’s, Oscar’s and Grammy’s of hoops Tony.
The best of the Basketball best and the cream of the future hops crop descended on this hangar, suited and booted like they were flossing injured court-side.
Shaq sized in the perfect setting in a place that houses feats of brilliance that take flight like Mike, this event could only be hosted by the one and only, Big Aristotle of the Diesel, Shaquille O’Neal (sorry Drake. Although you troll NBA players better than Kevin Hart telling Kenny Smith he’s so ashy if he smiles his lips will bleed as he goes to take a sip of his water). And the most entertaining NBA player ever (give him his award) laughed, joked, sang, rapped and danced his way to an enjoyable evening in the place he racked up three rings on repeat.
But how about the prize giving? Well your real Most Valuable Player this year is Giannis Antetokounmpo. Say what you will about last year’s MVP and this year’s runner up in the closest of recent races as tight as the Rookie of the Year voting, James Harden racking up triple-doubles like Charles Barkley says Lonzo Ball does triple-singles, but it’s the Alphabet’s time now after slaughtering this season gone. Sure he didn’t come away with the ‘chip like worthy candidate Kawhi Leonard and his (we still hope) Toronto Raptors, but that is his next challenge for the Mamba Mentality tweeted in congratulation by Kobe Bryant who predicted this MVP years back. And in a beautiful and emotional speech, Giannis dedicated all this to his dearly departed dad and his brothers and mom in attendance as every eye not dry in the house got out their seats in unanimous ovation.
And in a truly global game flying the flag outside the United States for each category winner, Antetokounmpo almost doubled up, finishing in second place for Defensive Player Of The Year, under the stifling Eiffel of French fly swatter, Rudy Gobert. As Paul George after an incredible season-no lucky shot-came in third place like he did for the MVP voting. Toronto not only got the ‘chip in the Six however as their X-factor Pascal Siakam came up with the Most Improved Player award ahead of Sacramento sophomore De’Aaron Fox and Brooklyn’s own (if they play their free agent cards right), D’Angelo Russell.
Coach of the Year was bucked by Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer dry-erasing for the MVP. And Bradley Beal was passed the Community Assist Award for all the good this All Star has done. Give him a hand for all the ones he has. Whilst the Sportsmanship award went to new Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley Jr., who also racked up the Teammate Of The Year award for his grit n grind time with the Memphis Grizzlies. But who else for the Sixth Man of the Year award then the ‘6 Man’ of all-time, Lou Williams? Joining Clippers teammate Jamal Crawford as the only player to win the Sixth award three times over.
And the House Of Highlights Moment of the Year of course went to Derrick Rose. Can you guess for what game?
We have a ball rattling around the rim forever in Toronto that shoots for even more stars though.
But how about that Rookie of the Year award? Who you got? Because in narrowly beating out Atlanta Hawk Trae Young it’s clear the award belongs to superstar right now Luka Dončić after a Maverick season in Dallas. Where the Texan gunslinger from Slovenia is about to draw on them all next season. Look out for the kid like Pat Garrett, Billy.
Sager Strong, broadcaster Robin Roberts took home that award named in honor after the suited court-side with a microphone presenter. And her “make your mess your message” speech was the most inspiring of the night after her fight against breast cancer and bone marrow disease, raising awareness.
Executive of the Year went to Jon Horst of the Milwaukee Bucks (sorry Rob Pelinka…jokes) but the Lifetime Achievement? Well that went to a former President who has just left office. No not Obama (although POTUS does have game…WAP!). But the Magic man, Earvin Johnson. The Laker legend honored in California for all he’s done since starting the fast-break of Showtime, to changing the game behind the back without taking a single shot. All the way to walking away from it bravely when he was diagnosed with HIV and then making a comeback so beautifully for the man who will always be purple and gold with all this entrepreneur pulls out the empire of his top hat. Say what you will about his presidency residency but as we look to free agency this crazy off-season, remember who started all this off by bringing the King to Hollywood last Summer, waiting outside his house in his car at one in the morning.
Now that can’t be tampered with.
But all in all last nights NBA Awards show of All-Stars showed us one thing like the NBA Finals. No matter who took home the gold, we all came away winners.