F*CK RACISM! Let me take the edits off for once. And this time I’m not sorry. And if you don’t agree or like my or Russell Westbrook’s reaction then this is a product of the hate you give.
Racism has no place in this game. It has no place in this world. It has no place anywhere.
After the storm and with the Thunder back in his Oklahoma home, Russell Westbrook launched a pair of his Air Jordan’s into the crowd following his home-stand. And catching them with grateful glee was a young kid decked out in the OKC City Edition jersey now with a new pair of Nike’s to lace up and match. The look on his face was as priceless as those game work drops by the O.K. God himself. So much joy he could cry as he took them in wide eyed, before his mum caught it all on smartphone cell camera for a different kind of permanence of this once in a lifetime moment courtside. All complete with auxiliary charge cable in her handbag…you have to love that as they hugged with lottery like winning celebration. Nice arm Russ. Great catch kid.
Now this is why we play.
Not to be heckled, harassed, abused, attacked, antagonized. Or called “boy”. It doesn’t matter which State you are up in. Or if you think your Trump privilege, or season ticket with the best seat in the house allows you to act out like you’re part of this game and not just receiving the privilege of being able to watch it…whilst you still can.
Are you listening those in Utah? A big and beautiful city full of kind-hearted and lovely people. Except…like anywhere those racist, ignorant individuals who think in stereotypes and believe in discrimination like everyone else does equality, peace, liberty and justice for all. You are not respecting the flag with this kind of bulls### behaviour. This is why people are taking a knee.
Because two nights before last Russell Westbrook got into a verbal altercation with a fan after receiving that very same abuse unprovoked by him. And check the tapes. Or the Twitter timelines. Because this isn’t the first time this sort of cruel, derogatory behaviour has been put on this singled out, singular talent of NBA. Much more to this game, association and country than the fat fans spitting abuse through alcohol and corn dogs, drunk off privilege perceived power. The fan in question despite his Donald like interview postgame and a MAGA timeline to match was said to have told Westbrook to “get down on his knees like you’re used to”. To which Russ-who this man in pathetic attempted rebuttal called “one of the greats, but classless” (very poor choice of words)-replied in kind telling the man with restrained, enraged Michael Beasley passion that he was “going to f### him up, swearing on everything he loves. But then losing his nerve and control he also added, “you and your wife”.
Which was too far but in defence, he was only defending himself by any words necessary. He later took it back stating that he “would never lay a hand on a woman”. And we believe him. Who we don’t believe is that coward courtside who should be more like that young grateful man last night and not like a child. Westbrook’s comments in this Wild West clash cost him 25 grand. But he still left the game under pressure with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists and on reflection a 98-89 win. The Utah fan on the other hand of this exchange left the game unable to return to the Jazz arena ever again.
A lifetime ban. Justice served like the drop of a gavel.
“If I had it to do over again, I would say the exact same thing. I truly will stand up for myself and my family.” Russ told press postgame after years of telling Utah crowds “I’m not a boy”, or batting away stray hand and offensive gestures whilst just trying to play this game here.
Athletes may entertain us and we may pay the price to see them play. But they shouldn’t have to. They aren’t merely here to entertain us or bend to our whim, abusive comment or gesture, or not. They are here for something more. To compete for something we aren’t as half as invested in as we think we are sat on our seat. They are not here to dance. They are not here to perform. They are here to play for something that holds so much more importance than our own ignorance. We are living in a time where racism is still so alive and they ain’t even concealing it anymore. Word to the old Kanye…but it ain’t a choice Mr. West. We are living in a time where only this week in this writers home country a fan ran on a Premier League pitch and attacked a player during an Aston Villa game. What gives them the gall or the balls to think they even have the right?
And back in Utah in this post Hayward era with the new Donovan Mitchell age of star power and future, the fans aren’t only hurting their opposition but their own too. “Racism and hate speech hurts us all, and this is not the first time something like this has happened in our arena. The Utah that I have come to love is welcoming and inclusive and last night’s incident is not indicative of our fanbase,” Spida says. And if some select few fans ruin this for all of Utah then the Jazz stand to lose more than their star out in the desserted dessert. This legendary, golden era franchise known for Karl Malone just as much as John Stockton could end up being pick and roll delivered elsewhere outside Salt Lake City if they’re not careful. Think that’s merely a threat. Remember where we had the All Star Game this year? How about what happened to the great North Carolina city of Charlotte when they tried to play host two years prior all whilst barring the LBGT community from the basic rights of their city? I promise this could be it if a stop isn’t put to this s###.
The Jazz fan who has already been named and shamed but doesn’t even really deserve our or anybodies (let alone a superstar role models) time, tweeted in October that Westbrook “should go back home where he came from”. Well now this real zero can watch this hero play his Jazz and rub salt into Utah’s racist fans (not the decent, beautiful like the game ones) wounds game after game, season after season.
From the comfort of his own home.
Because when it comes to an arena full of cheers to the greats in their own class, you ain’t going nowhere buddy boy.
Because Russell Westbrook stood up for what he believed in, instead of falling on his knees…like he never does. Or ever will.
The Warriors Came Out To Play This Series
Even without the fantasy Basketball of Kevin Durant in this series, the Golden State Warriors still brought out the brooms like ‘Fantasia’.
And swept out of Game 4 like Thanos click finger dust, the Portland Trailblazers may have only lost by a bucket (119-117)…and in overtime at that. But with all the Splash they had to contend with this series from brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, they were left dealing with more leaks and holes in all of their own ones like Mickey Mouse in said Disney epic.
This was meant to be the showdown between Dell Curry’s boys Steph and Seth which divided a household. And although the youngest gun stepped up to the plate, swung big in this carnival and knocked them down, big brother was always watching.
Steph Curry averaged over 36 points a game this series. Just read that again. 36 points. Right now we don’t need to talk about Kevin.
The Warriors are a dynasty for the ages even without their best player (although this writer thinks he wasn’t missing this entire series). The first team to make it to five straight finals since the Boston Celtics. The 1960’s Bill Russell Celtics. That’s King James crowning legendary. And Steph Curry with the shot and that facet of the game is just as iconic and dominant as a Bill block.
Give some credit to a blazing Portland side who never gave up despite the box score. They can hold their heads in the PDX. Even in their Moda Center home-stand City Of Roses end in RIP City. Their season eulogy should read as a celebration and commiseration, not a trolling condescension from critically entitled fans who have done nothing to determine the outcome of these games and could never make it this far in their wildest memes. They call themselves “influencers”? Well no one’s going to remember them in 50 years.
The NBA will remember one of their Top 100 greatest of all-time in a half century though. As after hitting the biggest buzzer beater in playoff history against Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, Damian Lillard played through the pain of separated ribs this series and still made the Basketball God’s look down from the hoop heavens with praise. Like New York singer St. Vincent tweeted, “Damian Lillard is my hero”. Even his backcourt brother of splash CJ McCollum in the only small man set up to rival Curry and Klay came out to play against the Warriors after midrange mining the Nuggets into submission in Denver just over a week ago.
But Curry’s red hot triple double, starter, mains and dessert dish of 37, 13 and 11, to go along with a playing not crying, Draymond Green’s day of 18, 14 and 11 assists also was just too much in the clutch. As Stephen and Dray became the first teammates in NBA history to have a triple double in the same playoff game. Forget how much this team can unbelievably keep winning, how does this ball manage to get shared this much?
Well that just may be the secret of success?
The real test is dubbed next however in the Warriors last season in Golden State before they move across that Golden bridge to the Silicon Valley of a digital age in San Francisco. They will play the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks (probably…Giannis…MVP. Sorry Toronto but come on!) and Raptors series. But by then they should have some guy called Kevin back.
I mean come on. This has been getting crazy. This is just out of hand like said ball in Splash City.
Now Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics’ record of eight straight finals and wins doesn’t look far out of reach for Steph Curry and the player and team with the biggest range in the association over the gate of the Pacific.
Welcome to the Toronto Raptors’ Jurassic Park
“In Jurassic Park, Raptor fans wait until after dark. Even if the cold might eat them!”
Fans find a way.
An ace serve or two away from being as legendary as Wimbledon’s ‘Murray Mound’ or ‘Henman Hill’ outside the Scotiabank Arena, the Toronto Raptors Maple Leaf Square’s “Jurassic Park” may just be the ticket for this sold out crowd.
Raptor Klaw, Kawhi Leonard ruled the earth last night. He and the T-Dot at the final tick beat the Sixers in The Six, as his shot bobbled like a beach ball on the surface of a swimming pool before making the biggest splash of these postseason playoffs. Taking longer to fall than Leonardo DiCaprio’s spinning top in ‘Inception’. But this was no dream.
And if you thought the Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto erupted last night, then outside in Maple Leaf Square it was like the volcanoes that killed the dinosaurs after that big ball dropped. An Armageddon even Bruce Willis couldn’t save like he wish he could his career.
Welcome to Jurassic World.
With all due respect to the Linsanity of Jeremy Lin, or pick your poison whoever is your flash card pick of the bench mob pack, but the Jurassic Park crowd fenced in outside of Scotia is the
Forget rain or shine. You see the slickers. These faithful fans will pitch a spot waiting for game time like the ball to drop in Times Square for New Year in New York, sleeping bag lining up all day in their hordes huddled for warmth. These beautiful fans will brave the harshest, most frigid temperatures to be the coldest fans in the game in more ways than one. Part of the ‘We The North’ community in the 6 that the Basketball God’s look down on with pride, whilst other armchair fans watch this game for the throne from home. Or leave early like those suit and tie corporate seats trying to catch that last red eye Matt Bonner home.
Can you imagine of they called game early before Kawhi last night?
I could imagine Drake taking in the CN Tower looking up views of the Jurassic
Well those in the park for recreation stayed until the beautiful end to a game Butler almost delivered bitter. And you could could phantom cam see every emotion in slow motion last night as Leonard’s buzzer beating ball toyed with the rim like three dots on messenger, or Damien Lillard even further downtown in Oklahoma City.
This is the spirit of the stadium and the soul of the squad, expanding the capacity arena and the Canadian ballclubs worldwide fanbase watching on their own Jumbotrons.
And the Toronto Raptors are going to need all the north they can get if they’re going to stop the Bucks in Milwaukee.
But this club has the claws to do it. And if you don’t think they can win in Wisconsin on their own road to being the first franchise outside of the United States to be NBA finalists and who knows what next against the Warriors(?), then just watch this Canadian cornerstone from the Jurassic era.
Extinct in six? Nah! Get ready to hear the North roar.