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The Derrick Rose trilogy: Part 1 – Chicago Hope

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The others fell as Derrick Rose.

Nothing is stronger than the passion of the Rose…OK, it’s over! You can can all that ‘whose the best Point Guard in the L right now’ off. Sure the Deron Williams/Chris Paul debate will rage on, even for years after they unlace and unstrap their ankles and sure in this new generation Rajon Rondo is the truer, purer point. Still, as of right now with his return to the NBA after his seasons absence, no point is better than D, like the fact that no one in the league was better then Derrick Rose in 2011. No Kobe, no LeBron, nobody. Sure today is a different, new preseason day and tomorrow may tell a different story but right now the National Basketball Association’s ‘Most Valuable Player’ wearing a Chicago Bulls jersey that doesn’t carry the 3, or the 2 want’s his belt back and to be number one again. First things first though the only one that matters is the game standing between him, LeBron and Larry O’Brien. It’s time for this guard to prove his point again? In his M-V-P year D-Rose was better then everybody in the league. Today he wants to be better than the critics writing him off and show he still is.

MOST

This Rose may not have grown from the concrete of a playground like other P.G. legends but you best believe you are watching a lasting legacy bloom in this league. Sure talent-wise Rose is only a thorn in the sides of Bryant, Durant and King James, but still who out of the beast east even has the strong arms to throw rocks at ‘Bron’s throne, let alone have the court vision to watch it? OK, in 2011 unquestionable ‘Rookie Of The Year’, Blake Griffin may have garnered more eyes, wows, league passes and replays, but don’t say that Derrick’s breakaway plays and two-handed flushes that you’ve missed weren’t entertaining…’aint that right Boston? Talking green, their guard Rajon Rondo may posses more basketball quarterback skills but Derrick’s grid-iron play more then makes up for this, plus D’s got the buckets of water wet jumpers that Rondo often can’t find in the drought. Sure Rajon’s Celtics, James’ Heat and even more talent in the West effect things championship wise for the stampeding Chicago Bulls, but don’t be surprised if this grown team ends up making the competition look like matadors with Derrick leading the charge seeing red and championship gold. You can almost here another Chicago legend from another game, Kanye West exclaiming, ‘can we get much higher’, he’s bound too.

VALUABLE

MVP numbers of 25.1 points per game, 4.10 rebounds, 7.8 assists to go with 1.10 steals and even higher playoff averages are incredible for any player (let alone a Point Guard) but know this, Derrick’s worth is more then numbers. Even the 13 points and 6 assists in 20 exhibition minutes that showed doubting critics and hopeful fans that he’s back to his slashing, passing and dunking self keeping pace with the Pacers and the preseason this week. So over the years and lack of champagne tears these ‘Baby Bulls’ have had some teething problems but their all grown now. A taste of Curry and the Ron Artest and Jalen Rose eras birthed potential, but now Chi-town has planted the one Rose that refuses to let this franchise wilt. The Jordan years are over no matter how much this franchise or this league misses the G.O.A.T. but still these Bulls have a new animal now. A lion-hearted, shy cat, (dude looked scared when I went to shake his hand years ago at an autograph signing…but then again I do look a little strange) courageous but humble. A Point Guard wizard outside of Washington (word to the one that outruns cheetah’s) who leaves opponents looking like scarecrow and tin men, taking his team up the NBA’s yellow brick road. Like Frank Sinatra sang there’s no place like Chicago. There’s nobody like Rose. The Windy Cities first MVP and real franchise guy since Jordan is putting the air back into the United Centre building. It could be a banner year for the ballclub. Now nobody can doubt his worth.

PLAYER

Luol Deng may have been the catalyst, top scorer and Chicago’s worldwide appealing player of the future, and Joakim Noah brought his enthusiasm and cut down nets to be the most passionate player in the league. While back in THE season, Carlos Boozer was the top free-agent, Rasheed Wallace to Detroit Pistons esque, team completing steal but everything starts, ends and goes through Derrick Rose. No matter how good reserves like Mike Dunleavy, Nazr Mohammed, Mike James, Dahntay Jones, Taj Gibson and longtime Bull Kirk Hinrich are, when it comes to their floor leader there is no substitute, coach Thibs knows that. With all overdue respect to these other top-tier, big three talents this franchise face is Derrick. He’s more then the glue of this team, he’s the sealant. Word is bond. he’s about to tie it all together in a perfect Bull bow and blow to the opponents when he laces his sneakers back up. When the best all-round player in the league Kobe Bryant was named MVP a couple of 82’s Back rapper Lil’ Wayne honoured him in a song and just like the Lakers mamba, Chicago’s Rose never “takes a day or a J off”… or even a play off for that matter guiding the leagues most diversely talented and underrated team to the big leagues. Even when he was in a permanent Timberlake and Carter suit and tie last season he still worked and worked until he came back for the return and what will be the redemption of his career and the revolution of his team. About to be televised to everyone who’s ready to hear.

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M-V-P.

From music stars to movie ones Rose is gaining an entourage of high profile fans, remember actor and basketball aficionado Jeremy Piven’s MVP Tweet; ‘A Rose by any other name is NOT MVP! Go my brother, now take flight….’ All sorts of ballers love this b-baller and from the rap sheets to the broadsheets this one-time publicity shy guy is the headline. Check any magazine, (the latest black and white SLAM for example) front-cover to the back Adidas adverts, Derrick is in and published. Bookending the fact that right now-from the fans to the competition-Derrick Rose’s grand return owns everything. Kevin Durant and critics can believe what they like, until they beat the former best one and one, this top 3 player won’t be done. Not until he’s proved he’s the one like whats sewn underneath the letters of the team he carries. To those who don’t believe it’s not all it seems. Just ask anyone from Penny to Grant Hill, injury can take a lot from you but only by a player beating you fair and square on the floor do we determine who’s court it really is. The NBA’s most-high and valuable commodity not wearing the crown is back off the shelf after his own gold, dusting off and polishing his trophy bound game. You can see the shadow of his reflection gleam in the real trophy he wants to engrave. He’s just that close, now it’s time for the M.J. cigar. Jordan knows with no Pippen, there’s no player that’s taken the Windy City by storm that close to breezing a shiver down his legendary spine.

CHAMPION?

The new generations history books are only just beginning to get wrote. A Point Guard of past, current and the next generation to come. One hell of a player. The youngest MVP in NBA history is about to be one of the greatest. Envy he, because once again it’s his time. Critics may have called it (Time Of Career Death: May 12, 2012) and dropped the ball on Derrick but he’s about to pick it up along with the spirits of everyone in his city of Chicago. The team that’s tired of seeing clouds and grey skies behind that iconic Jordan statue are ready for ‘reign’ from the next influential, inspiration ready to run this town like ‘ye’s verse on that Jay-Z classic. About to rise like Willis and bring the noise like those L trains over the city, this guys has got more in Common with Chicago’s best rapper than being the fire and code of the town. He’s the ‘E.R’ hand on the pulse that’s about to beat the heart and soul of Chhcagoland from the playgrounds to the reunited Centre. The second coming has returned to cast his own concrete statue next to Michael’s outside his house in Chi-city. You saw the public tears at that Adidas press conference last year, and this week you heard the cheers on his return to the worlds stage. Everyone is elated to have Derrick back and coming through the emotional and physical pain, Rose is ready to rise again. The world is watching as he puts on his jersey for his city. Here is the Chicago hope.

#thechicagotrilogy

#chicagohope

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NBA

RIP OKC. Dame Time Clocks Thunder’s Reign From Way Downtown PDX

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RIP OKC. Dame Time Clocks Thunder’s Reign From Way Downtown PDX
What Time Is It...

Blazing!

Even two games down the Thunder bolt boys joked like the last laugh that was yet to be delivered, like this what’s the 4-1 punchline. Zero to zero for the best series of these NBA Playoffs so far, Russell Westbrook rocked the baby at Damian Lillard, before mocking his wrist watch celebration like he did Laker meme Lance Stephenson’s air guitar strumming one with D’Angelo Russell ice in his veins. All before Paul George double pumped a dunk as time expired on a game that was already decided way before the horn blared.

“It is the unemotional, reserved, calm, detached warrior who wins, not the hothead seeking vengeance and not the ambitious seeker of fortune.”

But then last night before posting that Sun Tzu quote on Instagram in this art of war. In the face of P.G. the PDX P.G. beat the buzzer as Dame Time struck from way downtown RIP City. With an Austin 3:16 bottom line to give OKC the history engraved tombstone and the Portland Trail Blazers a legendary storied, legacy making championship belt for this classic series in hardwood history.

Reminding us of that time Charles Barkley responded to a Nike barbershop ad featuring former Golden State Warriors Chris Webber and Latrell Speedwell joking about dunking on him by putting all the points on them in the following game and running past them on the bench draped in dejected towels shouting, “put that in a f###### commercial!”

Damian Lillard 37 Footer Over Paul George
Damian Lillard buries series clinching 37-footer over Paul George – Photo Blazers

37 feet high and rising from deep. Deep as the halfcourt abyss. With the this time of season cherry blossoms blooming outside Portlandia’s Moda Center, the City of Roses was handing everyone from basketballs Oklahoma home funeral flowers. And leading the precession, hearse wrapping it up like his killer bars, Dame D.O.L.L.A was right on the money like exact change only please, waving goodbye. Even if Paul George walking off in defeat like LeBron James and getting his Vlade Divac on in a press conference more awkward than a blind date with an ex called it a “bad shot”. To which the great Dame simply replied with a tweeted “lol” (see also, laugh and last). He better Big Shot Bobby Horry check a newspaper or something. Dame Time didn’t just beat the buzzer. He took baby powder to it. As Dame had all the Louis Armstrong time in the world with ten on the clock and the last shot in this final frame to dribble drive or dish. But instead, toying with George like a cat does a mouse, as David beat Goliath like Jerry did Tom, Lillard had the sand to set up shop, his spot and his shot from what looked like a bunker. A hole in one, with the cocksure confidence of Tiger Woods putting for Masters glory in Augusta and embracing his kids, two decades after doing the same with his pops all for the green jacket.

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From this master, like a tap in putt with no Mulligan to carry, this was always going in. Nothing but net. All water like those Thunder tears. O.K. now that was a 3.

And to think I swore I wouldn’t go back on social media until after the new Avengers movie came out, but DAMN Dame Time! Spoiler alert, this is the new ‘Endgame’ now.

Cousy. Pettit. Sam Jones. Wilt. Chuck Barkley. M.J. And now the Dame train as the legendary Lillard goes hard to join this lineage as the only players to hit 50 in a playoff clinching game. And what a way to do it, fading away to clock out of the game and series 118-115 for the greatest Portland playoff moment since the G.O.A.T’s shrug. As mobbed by teammates on the floor he sank into, telling Russ to ‘Get Out’ his house. Peeling off like Jordan, Damian all on his own like a devil, GIF turned into an instant meme, as he turned the Thunder into a memory (you know the one were everyone loses their mind around that smirking kid with glasses in the raincoat? Well now guess which superheroes face is super imposed?). Staring into the camera with that look you know was for Russell Westbrook.

Blazers Win Damian Lillard Buries 37 Footer
Blazers Win. – Photo: Portland Trail Blazers

What a whole mood.

Whose left holding the baby now?

Dame didn’t even have to check his watch. Why? Him, her, them. They all knew what time it was. His. As Dame Lillard just did it in the Oregon home of Nike. Shoe dog like Phil Knight, running off victory for the courtside crowd, including legendary comedian Cedric the Entertainer for this last laugh lap. As this Gladiator hit one of the best and biggest shot fired in NBA history. Subliminal and literal.

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NBA

Two-time U Sports MVP Kadre Gray declares for NBA Draft

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Two Time U Sports Mvp Kadre Gray Declares For Nba Draft
Photo: Laurentian Voyageurs

Two-time U Sports basketball player of the year Kadre Gray of the Laurentian Voyageurs has declared for the 2019 NBA Draft.

Gray, a 6’1″, 190 lbs junior guard from Toronto, Ontario has been terrorizing Canadian university basketball since his freshman season — cementing his legacy as a two-time MVP and scoring champion with a ridiculous 26.3 points per game career average in three full-seasons with the Voyageurs.

The 2016-17 U Sports rookie of the year award winner took the league by storm — leading the country in scoring as a freshman with 23.2 points per game. He finished second in his sophomore season with 24.4 points per game and led the nation in assists total with 141.

He took his game to a different stratosphere in his junior season — increasing his league-leading output to the third highest scoring average in Canadian university hoops since 1981-1982 with 31 points per game.

Calgary Dinos’ all-time great’s Richard Bohn and Karl Tilleman both led the nation with higher and ironically, identical scoring averages.

Both Bohn and Tilleman averaged 32.8 points per game. Bohn doing it during the 1995-1996 season and Tilleman, a two-time Canadian Olympian and NBA draft pick dominating the league in 1981-82 — before Canada’s adoption of the three-point line.

Two Time U Sports Mvp Kadre Gray Dribbling Declares For Nba Draft
U Sports MVP Kadre Gray dribbling against Ottawa Gee-Gees – Photo: Laurentian Voyageurs

Not a one-trick-pony, Gray averaged 7.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists, 1.6 steals in 34.1 minutes per game.

Gray erupted for a career-high 48 points in a 101-81 win over the Lakehead Thunderwolves — shooting 13-of-23 from the floor and burying 19-of-20 shots from the foul-line on November 3rd, 2018.

He delivered his third 40-plus point game of his career with another impressive performance — 16-of-29 shooting against the Ryerson Rams on February 9th, 2019 — his lowest scoring output of the season was 23 points on multiple occasions.

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Kadre Gray U Sports Basketball Highlights
Two Time U Sports Mvp Kadre Gray Caree Conference Stats
Laurentian Voyageurs’ Kadre Gray Career Conference Stats
Two Time U Sports Mvp Kadre Gray Caree Conference Stats Other Stats
Laurentian Voyageurs’ Kadre Gray Career Conference Stats
Kadre Gray FIBA Americas Qualifiers Against Brazil
Kadre Gray takes it to the rack during FIBA Americas Qualifiers Against Brazil – Photo: FIBA

Gray also represented Canada during the FIBA Basketball World Cup process playing in games against Venezuela and Brazil.

Prior to Laurentian, Gray honed his skills as a two-time athlete at Eastern Commerce Collegiate for three-years — leaving track and field (high jump, 100 meters) in the rear-view mirror and transferring to rival Oakwood Collegiate to conclude his high school career.

Ryerson’s seven-foot center Tanor Ngom also declared, making it the first time in the history of Canadian university basketball that two U Sports players have entered the draft.

Additionally, with a record number of Canadian players in the NCAA tossing their names in the draft process we should expect 2019 to be the biggest year for Canadian’s at the NBA Draft.

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