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The Kobe Series – Vino



Better With Age.

Somewhere in past times in the heart of Italy a young mix of European flair and the things American dreams are made of is growing and fermenting between good food and soccer skills. Decades later after ageing for 16 years, through championships and father time, a death of a dynasty and a whirlwind of Hall Of Fame personnel, the one thing that stands the test of time in all its potency and purity is Vino. Vino being Kobe Bryant’s new nickname, lapped up by him pouring through his new Twitter feeds to find a fan who understands the final chapter of his career just as well as he does.

Getting even better with age, the former eight wonder of the world, wearing the number 24 still has venom in those Black Mamba fangs. It’s venom tinted with vino for a deadly but tempting taste. Cold blood red seeping out of the Celtic green bottle to purple and gold coronation. Sure these days it’s LeBron’s bubbly stung tear winning league and Jordan comparisons, but the only one who could ever even come close to the ‘money’-ball ballpark of the greatest is Kobe ‘Vino’ Bryant. Still crushing opponents like grapes, still always going down smoothly like Burgundy scotch. Even if his Hall Of Fame, dream team turned nightmare teammates are playing like champagne pretenders instead of contenders.

Shaq and Kobe part two but with just the arguments. World Peace in a world war. Gasol on the bench and Steve Nash on the last quarters of his career. No Phil Jackson. No Derek Fisher. No hope against Oklahoma. No playoffs even? We’d love to say no problem but Laker family Kobe has 99 problems right now, but at least a bitch of a downside of a career ‘aint one for the Jay-Z of the league. Even if this hero is watching the throne from a Hawkeye Avenger distance. The dark knight will rise again. Age won’t water this guys talent down. He’s playing like he’s been kept in a cellar for years now just waiting to be uncorked to get it popping. Now left to breathe through the bad times he’s ready to take his team from the cellars and the basements of the Western conference to the royal box and high-rises his franchise is used to.

To Kobe. Until Vino is drinking champagne from a glass again. There’s a quart of diesel and some Zen blessed in this wine, passed down through the ages. Like the Magic/Mike hybrid way he’s played of late, able to switch it up like he’s able to fill any statistical category when needed. Making new moments, memories like classic moments of spirited NBA’s past. There’s memories of 81, that was a good year, like the trifecta of championships, when Kobe, Shaquille and Coach Phil really where the holy trinity of professional basketball. These days the ‘afro may be gone, but the hops aren’t. Rising like yeast through all the sobering problems Kobe’s passion is still a dark red. No rose here, or mild white wine. The Black Mamba will still drink from the reservoir of his talents until his career see’s the toast or the roses.

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You don’t need to hear it from the grapevine that the Lakers are in deep trouble. Elimination trouble. This could be the worst ‘best’ team ever of things don’t change. This isn’t like Shaq, Kobe, Payton and Malone. They played through all their troubles…and brilliantly too. Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace must have the bottle to follow their aged and experienced leader through the vines. Times are hard, this is no secret…but Kobe is the truth. 100 proof like vodka, but just a little more classy. Red wine certified. The stuff of prestige. Prestige belongs with NBA royalty not lottery balls.

The American dreams, cultivated in Italy didn’t come this far to lose. So as Laker fans are drowning their sorrows at night to all sorts of intoxicants, Kobe remains alive and well through it all, playing some of the best ways in his career during the hardest times. Raising a glass to the memory of the recent dearly departed Dr. Jim Buss (rest peacefully), giving his legacy, the voice of Chick Hearn and the words of Jim Murray hope as they look down with pride. Kobe won’t rest until the critics labels wear off and the blood red passion he’s given this game results in glasses clicking with celebration. It’s not about the past, it’s not about the future. It’s about right now and right now Vino is still tried and tested, pouring and scoring. Time to let it breathe.


Xavier Rathan-Mayes inks 10-Day Contract with Memphis Grizzlies



Xavier Rathan Mayes Inks 10 Day Contract Memphis Grizzlies

Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Scarborough, ON) will be joining the Memphis Grizzlies on a 10-day contract. A well deserved opportunity for the 23-year-old, 6’4″, 208 lbs guard who has been tearing-up the NBA G-League. Mayes started 37-0f-39 games of the Westchester Knicks leading them to 27 W-14 L record while averaging 16.6 points per game, 7.2 assists and 6 rebounds. Including a career-high of 34 points versus the 87ers .

With the signing of Mayes, a former Florida State Seminoles standout will join fellow and current Memphis Grizzlies rookie Dillon Brooks forming yet another Canadian duo in the NBA. Currently, the Denver Nuggets have the best Canadian tag team duo with Jamal Murray and Trey Lyles both playing a key role in the Nuggets recent success.

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Miami Heat Icon Dwyane Wade Dedicates Season To Parkland Victim Laid To Rest In His Jersey



Wade Dwyane 640x360
For Joaquin...

Just weeks ago Joaquin Oliver was laughing and joking with his friends like any other teenager. A lover of music, sports, the Miami Heat and Dwyane Wade. The Florida franchises Flash legend and returning hero via a Cavalier trade from King James’ land. Making for an even bigger homecoming than the Chicago born D-Wade’s ride in the Bull-pen last season. And it wasn’t just the talents of South Beach that where nostalgically excited, but the entire Sunshine State as a whole. Especially one of Dwyane’s biggest fans, a handsome young man with so much heart known to his friends as ‘Joaq’.

But on Valentines Day, 17 year old Joaquin Oliver with his whole life to live and love ahead of him was one of the 17 victims who tragically lost their lives in the Parkland school shooting.

He was just a kid.

Oliver was buried in one of his most prized possessions, his number 3, Dwyane Wade Heat jersey. Upon learning this an emotional Dwyane Wade dedicated the rest of his returning season-which may even be the Hall of Fame ready legends retiring one-to Joaquin. And with a tribute testament to Oliver, Wade wrote his name on his sneakers took to the floor and hit 15 of the Heat’s last 17 (and his 27) and an epic, emotional game winner against the Sixers that was a classic, “this is my house” Flash-back.

The final score read 102-101 to the home team off Ocean Drive. But what truly mattered was what was wrote to see on the cleats of Dwyane’s feet. This tragic time is so much bigger than basketball. But whatever escape, solace and stand of solidarity sports and those who make it more can offer in comfort to families and friends in their time of mourning has real importance. Even albeit for a brief, but fleeting cathartic respite.

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“This is why we can’t just shut up and dribble”, Wade tweeted with a picture of Oliver, echoing the words of twice teammate and former Miami Heat leader LeBron James who responded to those critical of the athletes outspoken social stance. Wade has made big moves that matter with James before. And we aren’t talking about the big-three. Remember the ESPY’s? Echo those words. And sometimes even from the biggest stars in the world that seem a million miles away from our hurt it’s the little things that matter. Like in years past Chris Paul scoring 61 in honour of his grandpa who passed away at that age. Or a heartbroken Allen Iverson paying for the funeral of a young man shot over his jersey. Whatever we can do to help-no matter how small-is surely better than simply doing nothing.

Ignorance will get us all nowhere. Inspiration will though.

For Joaquin and everyone who lost their lives to the guns we must control and put down for good.

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Does The Lakers Future Belong To A Kid Named Bryant?



Who? Me?!

The future of the second most storied franchise in NBA history is right now.

And it has little to do with the Los Angeles Lakers deadline trading for former Boston boy Isaiah Thomas from the Cavs. Although that may be the first Magic chess move that checkmate takes future(?) Hollywood King LeBron James from Cleveland to Lakerland.

But it has everything to do with that slow grind the young Lake Show and future Showtime have been putting in for just under a half decade worked. Ever since the injured Kobe stoppers hit the lottery they’ve chose the right numbers. Top tens or second round knockouts. Outside of maybe Philly only open doors have had better drafts than the Lakers over the last few years. First came Draymond Green like big-man Julius Randle and then Sixth Man steal Jordan Clarkson late in the game. And then the trend just snowballed like millennials that totally use words like “stoked” on the slopes of Pyeongchang.

A year later came the ice from the veins of D’Angelo Russell and the scorching slams of Sun son Larry Nance Jr. Then last season the biggest Durant like chance of a franchise face in Brandon Ingram and an even more pleasant surprise in talented big Ivica Zubac. But this campaign the team that has drafted tremendous talent like Noah’s arc has gone forth from their two-by-two nature over the last big-three years. Even if fans of this young core are steaming that the Lakers just let integral parts like Nance and Clarkson walk like Russell. Glue guys of this smartphone generation that highlight worthy fans wanted to stick around like screen burn. Even if they did get I.T. in return and even the cleared cap that may make space for the real ‘IT’ to take them out the gutter this summer in number 23 and even a hometown hero P.G.

This season however the purple and gold have gone from the wine cellar to a potential eight seed haterade upset. And it isn’t just because of their Hollywood big baller drafting of Lavar’s son. Although if you’re really watching the new number two ball then you know you are watching the post-Mamba moment, Lonzo Angeles Lakers. Even if potential R.O.Y. Kyle Kuzma has shown he’s not only the Lakers biggest steal of recent drafts, but one of the biggest rookie sleepers in draft dud history.

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But it doesn’t stop there for a team that’s so deep in youth they’ve even signed former guard Gary Payton’s son too. We’ve already detailed the Lakers defensive Hart before Josh got a start or even a high five. But it’s not just once, twice, or even three times a draft Jeannie for the Buss two times at once, waiting Lakers.

There’s another big kid ready to have a big future for the purple and gold Lake Show and he wears Bryant on his back like a snakeskin black Nike ‘City’ jersey.

No this Hollywood Magic machine hasn’t gone back in time and nabbed young Fro’be from the clutches of the basketball God’s. This isn’t 1996 people. Even if the Smashing Pumpkins have reformed and there’s a new Mulder and Scully series of ‘The X-Files’ networking right now. No this kid wears a number in the thirties like the giant greats of Shaq and Kareem. And the worthy 42nd pick Thomas Bryant wants to be the best two-way big in the game. Don’t scoff! Have you seen him block? And he’s got a real shot too. From downtown Pico, which you know seven foot expert from Brooklyn, Brook Lopez will help hone. Just like when he, Randle and would be teammate Russell worked out with Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade this summer. Thomas has already along with fellow two-way South Bay Laker Alex Caruso made the mid-season all G-League team but wait until he takes a real Gatorade break and joins the big boy ranks of the big leagues. His Twitter name reads, ‘No Limit’. Can you handle it?

With guys like Bryant do the Lakers even need LeBron?

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