“I like the concept of having the same number of weapons and just see who can run the ship the best”-Jerry Buss.
Superteams are officially dead…but Showtime isn’t.
It’s back like Magic.
With former Laker targets Kawhi Leonard and Paul George now on the Clippers side of Los Angeles and Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving now on the Brooklyn Nets side of New York (sorry Knicks), the NBA is all about the dynamic duos again like the Splash Brothers of best backcourt Warriors in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in the Golden State of San Francisco. And now the Lakers have the best one-two punch, inside and out since Shaq and Kobe with Anthony Davis looking to be the next great big in the Lakers legendary lineage of Mikan, Wilt, Kareem, the big fella and Pau and LeBron trying to get more jerseys retired than number 8 and 24.
And after the father time growing pains of his first season with the kids, now this is the only way he’s going to do it and become a Laker legend aswell as a Cavalier one in this land.
First ‘Bron graciously gifted and gave his number 23 to A.D. in a non-descript parking lot and then with the 6th sense of his talents in South Beach, Miami Heat heralded days he threw up the idea of bringing the iconic chalk toss back. And LBJ is going to need all the powder he can get as even with the 20 and 10 (not to mention all those blocks, steals and assists) of the Ant-Man in the paint, LeBron’s going to have the ball in his hands a lot more this season than last.
Time for the King to make a point in Hollywood for next season’s script. And we ain’t talking about ‘Space Jam 2’ fame Monstars.
Because after losing their Ball in the Davis trade (along with Ingram, Hart and more picks than Malone did when he left Stockton for Payton), losing out on Kemba Walker (Boston), Kyrie Irving (Boston to the B.K.) and a possible reunion redemption with D’Angelo Russell (dubbed as a splash triplet in San Fran) the Lakers had less points than broken pencils. Sure they have the purest one in Rajon Rondo, who they re-signed along with JaVale McGee, KCP (for two years this time after two years of one and done deals) and your two-way boy Alex Caruso. But it won’t be long before this legend joins fellow pure point Jason Kidd (who would have been perfect for Lonzo) on the coaching sidelines.
The Lakers also signed Warrior Quinn Cook with the splash alongside guys like the big DeMarcus Cousins, champ Danny Green and most recently defensive dog Avery Bradley yesterday like a Beatles tribute movie. And they have one spot left for a guy like the one he famously blocked on the fastbreak Andre Igudola or former Cleveland ally, Kyle Korver. Or maybe even the only Sixth Man to rival the former Laker and now Clipper Lou Will in Jamal Crawford or Banana Boat friend Carmelo Anthony for your wine tasting. But arms held out why, not the dribbling back, clock expiring J.R. Smith. Keep your shirts on. Meaning the Lakers have spent Davis’ kindly waived 4 mill trade bonus wisely on a lot of cap fitting free agents for their roster bill.
Meaning they have more options than paper or plastic on their offseason shopping list even if they didn’t find everything they were looking like U2 still singing about it for on this aisle to aisle trolly run. But still imagine a formidable, frontcourt force of a reunited Davis and Cousins (could still be the makings of a big-three. The last time he was healthy he was an All Star worthy of his own max deal) and ‘Bron, muscling up and going hard. Only for Kyle Kuzma to come off the bench like a potential Sixth Man Of The Year (and also being just one or two steps away from being the third tier of a new Lakers big-three. Or Fantastic Four like the rumoured ‘Far From Home’ Baxter Building in the new Spider-Man anyone?) and run what’s already worn down right off the floor.
But that’s just one playmaking option. The other sees Frank Vogel’s dry-erase starting with the new number 6 man of LeBron James running the floor as the Lakers new Point Guard. Perfect for this Basketball Beethoven (that’s what Kyrie once called him after the Cavs Finals win over G.S.W in twenty, sixteen) to orchestrate and re-establish chemistry for a team that only has six of their component players from last year coming back, including this new number 6.
Now think of the King running his kingdom from the throne of the quintessential basketball position. James has had the talents to do it before in Miami and now like the Heat it’s on for his California club in this La La LeBron and Lakeland city of superstars. Running the break like a GMC truck, he can dish off to Davis, Cousins, Kuzma, McGee and more. Before dishing off to the likes of KCP, Bradley, Green and Cook like the chef cooking it up from downtown L.A. on the perimeter like Shaquille’s bar and grill restaurant just outside STAPLES. He’s built like a quarterback, he may aswell play like one too. And we all know the King can create for himself too, when he needs to take over games for his crowning moment. Loose ball roll to long three, to Statue of Liberty power slam dunk. It just all makes sense.
At this point in his career and ageing LeBron needs to slow it down like Kobe before father time consumes him and his load management playing time with injury. It’s only natural his game will slow down even with his age defying. So what better way to slow it down than to actually slow down the whole game himself from the point position? Then he’ll really be in control. Sure it’s not Hollywood and in L.A. it’s not sexy (*Cuba Gooding Jr. in ‘Jerry Maguire’ voice*). But like Coach Vogel this brand of X and O basketball may just be entertaining for the purists and above all just get the job done. At the end of the day, season and run that’s all anyone in purple and gold wants to see as the sun next season’s 82 and bracket sets to whoever’s lifting a gleaming Larry O’Brien in the spotlight.
And it doesn’t shine brighter than this.
This could be the only way LeBron’s Lakers get a championship and the crown slipped King gets that chip off his shoulder in redemption. Because you best believe when they came at him, they best know that they missed. And what do they say about coming at Kings in this Game of Thrones? He has the ball now. And with this changing of the guard what better way for this Kobe/Magic hybrid to prove his point as one of the best Laker legends and more importantly teammates ever?
You can’t pass up this dish.
Revenge is one best served with the ball in his hold.
MVP Brandon Clarke dominates, leads Grizzlies to 2019 NBA Summer League Title
Canadian Brandon Clarke, the 21st pick of the 2019 Draft dominated the NBA’s annual summer showcase — becoming the first player to take home both tournament and championship game most valuable player honors with a dominant 15 points, 16 rebounds double-double. The No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies the Minnesota Timberwolves 95-92 to win the 2019 NBA Summer League championship.
The former Gonzaga standout added 4 assists, 3 blocks and a steal in 25 minutes.
In six games of summer league action, Clark averaged 14.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.8 blocks per game. The Vancouver native shot 55% from the field and becomes the first ever Canadian to win MVP at the NBA Summer League.
Clarke was also named to the first-team all-NBA Summer League team. Other standouts included fellow Canadians Nickeil Alexander-Walker who joined Clarke on the first-team. Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher was named to the second-team.
New Knick RJ Barrett Treated Las Vegas Summer League Like A New York Playground
Magnitudes off the Richter. An earthquake hit Sin City like jackpot in the NBA’s Summer League in Las Vegas, Nevada out in the desert last week.
And as the Jumbo-tron still shook like the music it was pumping, many people in awe inspired attendance would have been forgiven for thinking it was Zion. As the Duke standout and the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft Williamson made us feel more tremors than Kevin Bacon. As the new New Orleans Pelican burst out the hardwood and flew, man-handling a steal off an opponent who’s just a poster now’s inbounds pass and put back a viscous, signature slam that felt like they still tested atomic bombs out in the Nevada desert overlooking the electric, neon skyline. All whilst new and former teammates respectively, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Anthony Davis looked on with “here comes the big airplane” mouths.
But after the road to Mount Zion’s knee injury lead to more Patrick Ewing ice than up there in Japan’s Mount Fuji, it was better the Blue Devil you know. As the Knicks third pick RJ Barrett ended up moving the needle more over this scorching, seasonal tourney of the youthful future of this association. Looking as good as those beautiful blue Knicks Summer League jerseys that are so clean we want to see them fresh off the press in the the NBA Store in NYC. So much so that even if RJ handed you one of his autographed signatures post game you’d still be like, “you got this in a medium?”
Sounding better than all those thirsty announcers singing “Summer Leeeeague” like The Isley Brothers this time of year classic, ‘Summer Breeze’. Making everything feel fine as he blew through defenders like the Jasmine in my mind. RJ initialed his dynamic debut and mainstream moment. Making Knicks’ fans almost forget that they just lost out on their number one goal, Zion Williamson. Or their free agent duo desire of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who ended up on the other side of New York, across that bridge from Manhattan in Brooklyn with the Nets…almost. Following the sweated out, hard nosed 90’s were only Jordan and Starks shots got in the way of golden era glory, the Knicks’ now have their first real leader in the post Porzingis era since Syracuse star ‘Melo for the Orangemen.
And he’s not alone. Barrett who was choosing Knicks’ mannequin heads to bucket on New York’s Late Night show with Jimmy Fallon nights before the draft cap has plenty to pass to in a Pelican rivaling young core of young guns, Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier, new free agent signing Julius Randle (this Pel is still a big ‘cat out of Kentucky like Anthony Davis or DeMarcus Cousins reunited on the Lake Show like purple and gold fans hoped he would be too), Elfrid Payton and of course the soaring Dennis Smith Jr. Not to mention a bolstered bench of Taj Gibson and Reggie Bullock from more than midtown. Call it Chelsea, the Tribeca or even Battery Park after the High-Line of the Meatpacking District. The future of this franchise to the naked eye of ignorance is about to look better than the view from that new Vessel structure in Hudson Yards.
Barrett began in Vegas with some early snake eyes trouble. But rolling the dice again he turned into a killer like Brandon Flowers. The man. Come round. Nothing can break. Nothing can break him down. First he scorched California’s new look King sized Lakers for 21 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. But it was his spell in his last Summer forecast against the Wizards were RJ showed Washington that just like NYC, DC may be America’s capital, but there’s nothing like New York, New York. He was so good you had to check the instant replay twice, with another 21 and 10, two perfect precision passes off cashing in a triple-double chip like he was a team that had both James Harden and Russell Westbrook on their roster roll call. Houston, do you read me?
Averages of 15.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists in a televised tournament that is basically a glorified practice scrimmage (tell me, do you even know who won the thing?) show he will be above so. The Canadian Maple Mamba has that syrup for your bacon. Even without free agent big names like Kevin and Kyrie who are one more decision away from being journeymen, forget super-teams, the Knicks may have a lifer in RJ from Coach K’s Duke fraternity administration in the association now. Can you relate? Barrett could be brilliant and New York no longer a rotten apple. But a couple of big names away from having their title again in the Mecca of Madison Square Garden’s, World’s Most Famous Arena in bright Times Square lights.
It’s almost a New Year for New York, time for the ball to drop.
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