“But what could be greater than a King”, Jason Mamoa’s ‘Aquaman’ asks in the booming trailer for his new movie on the big screens of LA Live across from STAPLES.
Who says it doesn’t rain in Southern California?
After suffering altitude sickness in the Mile-High city of Denver for their worst loss of the season in Nevada this week. The King and all his Lakerland men met a homecoming in the City of Angels that was missing the Californication of the sun. There really was a storm coming in Los Angeles. But we’re talking about a different type of precipitation. As outside it may have rained all day in LA cats and dogs. But inside the STAPLES Center it was purple reign all night.
And it was the King who once dressed up as Prince who made sure the elevator didn’t bring us down, as he made the hoop heavens cry like doves with a game-high 38.
Let’s go crazy!
Basketball Buzz must have been California dreamin’ like your Mamas and Papas in La La Lakerland last night. With the best seats this writer has ever had in the King’s castle. On the last leg and final stop of our road trip of these United States before we take a United Airlines home, that began in the Mecca of New York’s Madison Square Garden. We were so (Glen) close in Hollywood we could see the sweat, King James joke with Goldstein courtside, or all the emotion. Live and for real in front of our faces. And this writer was even caught on the jumbotron camera last night…or at least part of his shoulder and face was. And they say dreams don’t come true.
In Tinseltown for the back-to-back (Magic voice: “yeah…YEAH”) doubleheader we were given the Dickens with great expectations. Especially staying across from STAPLES in the historic three pillars (no Lakers yet guys?!) of the Hotel Figueroa with a James jersey over my hotel room chair waiting for this banner moment. Overlooking the bright lights of this neon futuristic by night big city and a LeBron Nike billboard that witnessed the words, ‘Just A Small Town Kid, With Big City Dreams’. Don’t break into Journey’s, ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ people, but there’s faith here again in downtown LA. Literally a few blocks away from Hope Street.
We thought Lance Stephenson would go off against his former Indiana Pacers especially with their big star Victor Oladipo sidelined (he didn’t get chance unfortunately). We thought Lonzo Ball’s sprained ankle would mean he faced a DNP-CD as B.B. were in L.A. typically too (he didn’t let that happen fortunately). You have to give it up for this kids heart like that Twitter trending video of him defending every player on a possession against Orlando that was true Magic (word to Earv’). This year something has happened that even President Johnson couldn’t pardon. LaVar Ball has shut up. Maybe by royal decree. Or his own much more than given credited for common sense. But either way the smart entrepreneur with a Muhammed Ali mouth entertaining way of lip-service getting business done and dusted has kept it zipped. But did you notice through all this reality show, Hollywood hoops hoopla the kid Lonzo always kept quiet and let his game do the talking? And what a game! Ball balled out after refusing to let an ankle sprain sideline him after mining an injury against the Nuggets. When the Lakers said he was “questionable”. He refused that notion saying he was playing, no doubt.
Answer that critics.
And he joined the Lakers block party swatting off the glass in the same play that saw Ingram ingrain that defensive presence that D.P.O.Y. for sure right now JaVale McGee started, inspiring his back-up Tyson Chandler to knock out finish. When the game started the Pacers in their classic, vintage, best in the association, Hickory Hoosier honouring, red and gold uniforms couldn’t buy a basket until almost halfway through the first quarter with seven minutes to go and change. It was looking like a blowout with the game in the refrigerator, jiggling with the Jello on the week of Chickie’s bday. Let’s hear it for Hearn.
But then the Lakers let a Kobe jersey, 24 point lead slip through their fingers like water. Losing that Mamba Mentality as the (Hickory) Pacers ran the picket-fence that the Lakers had previously put up against them so strong in the ground, they were already applying a fresh coat of white paint. At least we got to see more of the King before it all dried. Because there would be no feet up in this one. At the half we had a ball game for the Lonzo show. And by the third it looked like this upstart without their go to, but still with plenty in reserve (Sabonis, Collision, Evans and Young) could give LA an L by the end of regulation.
But a W is a W like Vin Diesel “inch or mile” said to the late Paul Walker in the first ‘Fast and Furious’ checkered flag waver. And as McGee stopped a fast break that looked to turn the tide with one of his signature swats, the mood was changed for the team chasing a ring with the King. And let’s not Steven Glansberg forget a ‘Superbad’ 13 off the bench for captain and X-Factor Josh Hart. High-five! Or Beasley beastin’ on the Best Coast. But still L.A. couldn’t put them away from downtown Pico. Until K.C.P. had that chicken from three like KFC.
And after that it was all finger licking good for the purple and gold and their Colonel. As the King took off his robe, put on his crown and went into full clutch, royal gold mode. He may have shot from the line like Shaq still, but he faded all that away like Jordan or Kobe. If a guy built like a linebacker hit that sig Shooting Guard shot that is. This Basketball Godfather was untouchable in front of a sold-out Hollywood crowd that included the ‘Black Rain’ of Andy Garcia (this month last year this writer was in Osaka, Japan. This year a few rows away from the scene stealer of the Ridley Scott 80’s classic set there…crazy!) watching a purple one. Lighting up downtown Los Ageless (word to St. Vincent) like the pregame laser show inside STAPLES or that ‘Terminator’ apocalypse like ‘Blade Runner 2049′ skyline outside. The only thing brighter was Coach Walton’s Sager Strong suit in fitting tribute to a king of the sidelines.
But as LeBron either scored or assisted on the Lakers final 15, it all lead to a 104-96 win for the Kings young men that wasn’t exactly comfortable (this one was at times complacently gutted out like the Lakers/Pacers 2000 dynasty birthing finals that saw Kobe leap into Shaq’s arms for the first time. One of Budweiser beers’ golden moments of Laker history right now), but still fit like a new Sunday best, starched and pressed. As Sager himself who refused to give up or give in once said, “Everyone has to face obstacles. Everybody has to face hurdles. It’s what you do with those that determines how successful you’re going to be.” And boy did the King Bolt over those hurdles. Or more fittingly from the smart mind of Sager how about this to close it out…
“If we don’t have hope and faith, we have nothing.”
We do because of you. Respect sir. Rest Peacefully.
Is It Time For The Lakers To Make A Move On Another Anthony?
Nelly back in the day (2004) on the ‘Sweat’ part of his that and ‘Suit’ dual album release rapped, “I’m a Nugget type of fellow, I push the Carmelo” on the ‘Na-Nana-Na’ track that came after the ‘Heart Of Champion’ opening tip that sampled the Sportscenter iconic ESPN theme. Why are we mentioning this? Well, not only because it’s a hot line that made a hot song. But because it’s seemed this long ago since ‘Melo made waves in the L.
Even if his last stint last season with the Houston Rockets lasted so long it may as well have been a 10 day contract for the veterans minimum for the former Mile High City legend and New York Knick King.
But with all the talk on the problems in Houston between James Harden and Chris Paul, focussing on whether the Lakers will finally get their man in CP3. No nixing this time (too late) like they have Anthony Davis. Maybe it time the Lakers finally got an Anthony that they’ve been courting longer than this whole Davis debacle.
Conveniently just days after the Lakers landed Davis for seemingly half of Los Angeles (minus the Hollywood sign and cast of LeBron James’ ‘Space Jam 2’ (Klay Thompson people)) and all of their future (except the man, the myth, the Kyle Kuzma), the Overtime Twitter account added something extra with Anthony (not AD) hoisting up practice jumpers with the tag-line, “Carmelo just doesn’t miss” (word?!) in all caps. But in a timeline trend for tampering there’s no harm or foul here in a little seed planting in a subtweet of ‘Melo making some charity stripe shots peacocking.
It’s no charity attempt either if the Lake Show make an offer Carmelo can’t refuse either for the Godfather’s team this time unlike this trade deadline gone. The meme team of JaVale McGee, Michael Beasley, Lance Stephenson and Rajon Rondo has dealt with former All Stars as veteran contributers before for one year deals which we wouldn’t be mad at a re-up. So how about one for a certified legend that is one championship away from a Hall of Fame induction down the corridor of his career?
Then aside from the last dance of Dwyane Wade the banana boat will be complete.
Wine tasting with the King, ‘Melo is one of ‘Bron’s best friends forever. Hash-tag B.F.F’s. So it’s almost destined that the two rookie rivals that entered the league head-to-head will one day leave it as teammates. But it makes more sense that the Lakers finally make the move for Anthony after the other Anthony. The trade for Davis may have given the Lakers their best dynamic duo since Shaq and Kobe and the next big man great in the legendary Lakers lineage after Mikan, Wilt, O’Neal and Pau Gasol. But it also decimated their team. And we aren’t just talking about the star power potential of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and whom this weekends number four and future draft picks will concern. But the actual team over superteam aspect of glue guys they’ve lost like the defensive Josh Hart, who holds court as the best role player the Lakers have had and held since the Shaq and Kobe days of Robert Horry, Rick Fox and Sparks Head Coach, Derek Fisher.
So if the Lakers want to top the ‘Stranger Things’ team of vets this player power generation Independence Day next month, then they could produce on paper fireworks for the dry erase with big names like ‘Melo and CP3, for second unit scoring and point production off an even bigger bench. Sure the focus this free agency is on the K’s of Kawhi, Kevin and Kyrie…if they can even afford them with Anthony’s bonus. But they should also look to small ball build a team with the available assets of bigs like Al Horford and guys like former ‘Bron team buddy Kyle Korver from downtown if you want to talk about 2K’s.
Besides at this point apart from the new big-three of James, Davis and Kuzma and a couple of rookie contracts (Bonga and Wagner) the Lakers want to shop by the draft for mo, the Lakers barely have enough players under contract now to put out on the floor, let alone in reserve.
And with 40% of the association about to enter free agency and with previous young core Laker losses like Russell and Randle about to be unrestricted among them, it’s time for the Lakers to stop playing fantasy Basketball like LeBron hates and play smart Basketball like we all love like Kevin.
One Anthony deserves another. Time to make ‘Melo yellow.
It’s Time For The Lake Show To Seek Redemption With Randle And Russell
Raised eyebrows, the Lakers have finally got Anthony Davis.
This you know as clear as the fact that the young core is gone and done.
I mean are y’all finished or are y’all done?
Lonzo Ball. Brandon Ingram. Josh Hart and all those draft picks starting with the one the Lake Show were going to go fourth with this weekend. Joining the likes of Zubac, Bryant (Thomas), Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson.
Everyone expect Kyle Kuzma…and my boy Moe Wagner.
And now with the new dynamic duo of Davis and James set there are at least two more players the Lakers should realistically pursue in free agency this Summer of smash.
And we aren’t talking about any of the special K’s for the King.
Kawhi, Kevin, Kemba or Kyrie. Finish your breakfast.
That might just be too much for the Lakers plate. Y’all remember what it was like when Chris Paul got nixed and became a Los Angeles Clipper instead. Well funny thing that might come full circle and redemption may happen as CP3 may finally get his chance to team up with another purple and gold legend of our generation on the Lakers. Even if it is too little, too father time late.
But the ultimate redemption that should be sought with the Lakers isn’t with a former Houston Rocket.
And we aren’t talking about Carmelo either. Or one Anthony finally coming around deserves another to join that McGee, Stephenson and Rondo meme team of former All-Star big name bench.
We’re talking about two former young, future Lakers who could hopefully be that again.
Yeah in our wildest memes.
How the Lakers didn’t ask for Julius Randle back when they gave up the whole house and coast for A.D. is beyond me. Maybe because he’s about to be free (but they didn’t learn that with Ant Davis). Maybe because never in a million years. Either way perhaps it’s time for the Lakers to offer Julius the millions they should have this time last year.
We all make mistakes what matters is that we learn from them and make that change.
And if that wasn’t enough. The Lakers may not need another big but they for sure need a clutch closer. And although with word of him wanting to join Davis and still being in play for a LeBron reunion. If Kyrie Irving does end up signing in Brooklyn like rumors have it, then it is said that there will likely be no room in the Nets for D’Angelo Russell. No matter how many he netted last season. Swish, swish. He’s a three point shooter. Now the Lakers could go after D-Lo instead. Despite the fact that the Lakers (Magic) gave up on him when they ended up going after the Ball…but as of this morning we all know how that turned out.
Russell doesn’t deserved to be let down by another team. Especially with the home be found and all be did for the city as a first time All Star in the B.K. But if all isn’t O.K. there then no one quite understands what it’s like to be scorned like the ones who spurned you. The Nets would be wrong to give up on D’Angelo like the Lakers were and will make clear with their pitch for the guy whose been hanging out in soccer stadiums like Barcelona’s Nou Camp recently, before both team and former player maybe face off in Shanghai and Shenzhen this October.
Will once Laker D’Angelo Russell be remade in purple and gold by China?
Crazier things look to still happen this off-season in Hollywood now we need something to replace the LaVar Ball reality show. I mean this is a team that even wants to bring Brook back downtown.
The only Lopez in L.A. can’t just be George. And we don’t mean his twin. Although like if they kept both Gasol’s it would be so much better.
Still with the draft blowing in, if the Lakers officially sign Anthony Davis after Independence Day on July 6th then they will be able to save more money. Especially if A.D. waives his trade bonus (which would be a good sign to tell if he’s sticking around next year when he becomes a free agent that could just walk away after all this and all the Lakers lost for nothing). Around 30 mill they get to spend with the cap space to bring in any Kemba, Kyrie or Kawhi they want…K?
But even so if they at least make an offer for Randle or Russell then it will be a pitch that at least says, we we’re wrong.
It’s the least they and the likes of Lonzo, Brandon Ingram and Hart (hey Josh I’ll give you a high-five if you stay) deserve.
And at the most it could lead to so much more.
No story in Basketball is quite as beautiful or real as redemption.
The Laker like Marley should make it sing.
They just got rid of their entire young core. It’s time to get it back, piece by piece.