Passive aggressiveness is bull#### and for cowards.
Just call that person an a##hole!
So when I say “they” you know who I’m talking about.
It’s the “they” I bleed purple and gold for.
The Los Angeles Lakers.
They got it wrong about D’Angelo Russell.
And for that matter they got it wrong about Julius Randle too. Who had 24 points last night as the Pels beat the Lakers by an unlucky for some in purple and gold, 13 in New Orleans…WITHOUT Anthony Davis. Making that big win look all too easy in Crescent City. To go along with some choice words for the Lakers bench as J.R. shot a big three. Paraphrased on 24/7 Sports like this, “It’s not fully clear what Julius Randle had to say to the Laker bench, but it probably wasn’t positive” (perfect). But I digress. As if you’ve read one of my articles before, you’ll know my Julius heartbreak and how often I go on about this. And if you think that’s bad you should see my Twitter. Wait…no, scratch that. You shouldn’t see my Twitter.
But if you thought 24 was good yesterday, then another former Laker D’Angelo Russell on his 23rd birthday hit 40 like the kind of age he doesn’t have to worry about for another decade and a half. Becoming the youngest player in history to hit that much on his bday. As he had ice in the veins and the Hornets nest winning a game 117-115 in Charlotte. Less than a week after he became an All Star for the first time dishing to a downtown Dirk, hitting dimes in the buzzing hub of North Carolina for Team Giannis.
Everyone talked about how the Lakers shouldn’t have trade away their young core of Lonzo, Kuzma, Ingram, Hart and Zubac (now gone) for one man who wants to Paul George (hmm) go there by free agency already. But look at Russell, Randle, or Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. They’ve been trading away their future for years. They talk about needing more three point shooting and a secondary scorer for LeBron. This guy would have got that bill as perfectly as a signature under a check. And they traded this guy for Brook Lopez?! Sure a great centre from downtown, but still for D-Lo?! I know they where making way for the pure point of Ball but in this small ball revolution of a league why not move Russ who likes to shoot to I don’t know…Shooting Guard maybe?
They (Magic) said he wasn’t a leader. But look at him lead the Nets now. The Lakers don’t have a clutch killer. This kid learnt under another guard who loves to shoot as his natural birthright instinct. His name was Kobe. Do the Lakers not remember the time D’Angelo hit a big shot to win a game a day after he lost his grandmother? Falling emotionally and exhausted with his spent arms by his side into the open embrace of his family in the crowds. As he ran straight up the stands to them without even doing his signature celebration as the buzzer rang out (not walked out the tunnel before it even blared ‘Bron). It’s one of the greatest moments in modern Laker history like when Phil Jackson begged a plugged in Ron Artest to not shoot. Did they forget what this hero has in his veins? Pure, cold blooded Basketball heroin.
And you don’t need to spend all night, no sleep, saying hello to Brooklyn on your League Pass to get your fix. This former face of the future and franchise star right here and now is a nightly highlight reel. The Nets finally have a superstar to shoot for moon for the first time since they were Jersey boys. And his ice cold, big shots that he can set up for himself, off his own dribble with the confident (not arrogant) pause and poise of a great, looks even better than his dread locked down, high-flying look. Or the range of iconic Nets jerseys served this year. Even the ‘Juicy’ City ones in Bed Stuy. This kid is notorious. This man is B.I.G. It’s all good baby baby.
NBA champion great John Salley told me in an interview a few years ago that the Barclays Center banked in the B.K. borough of New York looks like a “spaceship has landed in Brooklyn”.
Well…the future is here.
With all due respect to George Gervin here’s the next generation Iceman. The most passionately driven small guard since Iverson keeps stepping over the Lakers.
Fellow Lakers fans don’t just what could have been worry about Paul George. It’s not just PG-3 that’s putting up MVP numbers this year every day of the week. Now watch what you say about create for themselves scorers like Brandon Ingram. Or just wait until China this August when the Nets take on the Lakers in a doubleheader over the cities of Shanghai and Shenzhen, were there will be ice in the Far East for what I’m sure will be a B.K. crowning proving the Kings land wrong contest.
They (the whole nation) questioned his maturity. When he was still a teenager. They made him the fall guy scapegoat for the Nick Young situation. But failed to listen to or understand the accidental mistake he made. They failed to see that cheaters always get found out and ruin their own marriages anyway. They shipped him and then the Swag months later P. But still when it was all shoved under the rug they pulled they forgot to realize the amends D’Angelo made and how he reached out instead of acting out. But even when they saw the funny side they forgot that Russell was more than sporting enough to troll himself, throwing then rookie Ben Simmons’ phone into a pool in a Foot Locker commercial.
Now did you see how mature, professional and polite he was on ESPN’s ‘Get Up’ with Jalen Rose and Mike Greenberg? And the kids only 22 years old! Or the same politeness in smiles and honour during the Nets Lunar New Year honorary celebrations were he greeted everyone in the Chinese he learnt at Monteverde? Or how he was with his Three-Point Contest winning teammate Joe Harris in courtside support. Or even last night when he was as per, cold water drenched by Caris LeVert during his postgame interview only to playfully react with the same warm smile. Holding on to LeVert’s arms in an embrace and giving it up for him, “my dawg. My dawg”.
Forget ice under pressure! After all these years and all he’s been through he’s still lighting it up like that Magic (meant that) grin. How about grace under pressure?
So the next time someone talks that mess about you or someone else online with no reason. No matter how passive aggressively with that built in deniability. And then everyone joins in like they had coloured hair brushed all the way up, retweet and emoticon likes for the birds. Unless your Jussie Smollett, maybe don’t believe everything you read.
Just because you have a Twitter. Doesn’t mean you have a handle. This Point Guard does though. And have you ever heard him bite back? No! He just shoots back. Literally. Looking after number one with a bucket.
As Denzel Washington said in ‘American Gangster’, “the loudest one in the room is the quietest one in the room. Understand”?! Although this writer doesn’t want to get into trading pointed quotes because then we will be practicing what we’ve been preaching against. Although we will end on one more after this.
D is no longer loading. No more reason to ‘please wait’. The sliders are up like three burgers to go with your Brooklyn Lager. The bar is full. 100%. Loaded.
He deserved more. And now he’s getting it.
The Lakers loss is for sure the Nets gain. And on your birthday weekend here’s to you D’Angelo. It’s great to see you so happy. As they say living well is the best revenge.
“This was supposed to be the fight that Muhammad Ali was ended. Supposed to be the myth that Muhammad was gonna fall! Supposed to be my destruction! Well, they miscalculated, they misjudged, they got it wrong!”
You really need us to tell you who said that quote?
Wade In The Rafters. The Heat Rises To 3
How’s this for a Flashpoint in NBA history?
Tonight the Miami Heat gave us ‘The Flashback’. DeLorean riding back to the future of last season. Were Dwyane Wade rocking a red Heat hot bomber jacket that was all “Great Scott” Marty McFly had his number three jersey under all that retired, as the Heat rose his 3 to the rafters in a flash.
After ‘One Last Dance’ for Dwyane last season were he swapped jerseys like trading cards, Wade and his former coach and President Pat Riley watched his last jersey go up past the nosebleeds to the ceilings he smashed, arm in arm like a proud father watching a home video of his sons wedding on the highlights of the jumbotron.
The relationship is exactly like that. Built on a fatherly foundation.
Miami has had a matrimony with Wade from the Chicago towns own All Star start, championship run on his own and then post Bulls and King reunion return to redemption.
Some may say Shaq. 90’s purists Zo Mourning and Timmy Hardaway. Others the greatest of all-time LeBron James forming like voltron with another Heatle that’s about to have his jersey retired, Chris Bosh. But let’s face it when it comes to Miami Heat players and franchise faces, D-Wade is the G.O.A.T.
Legacy. Legacy. L3gacy.
This is the way of Wade. How its been and how it will always been up in the air of those American Airlines. A father first and always part of the Miami family when the South Beach welcomed him like Will Smith, this guy is for life like Bad Boys and the number 3 that Martin Lawrence’s Marcus has framed in his own living room rafter raise for the latest sequel.
What you gonna do?
This was a Florida city union like pink or turquoise neon, or the ’till death do us part loyalty of ‘Bad Boys II’ and ‘LA Finest’ spin-off star Gabrielle Union. The port of Miami Rick Ross rocked the mic and even King James sent a video tribute from his Californian Lakerland as fellow retired club legends Chris Bosh and Ray Allen were in awe attendance.
“Life is good” Wade said like Nas for this two hour special that seemed ready made for an ESPN documentary. 30 for 30 or 3 for 3.
3 in ’03 to infinity for his sweet 16. The sun will never go down on the legendary legacy of Miami’s adopted son.
And in a tragic start to 2020, like Chi guy Wade embracing an emotional Allen Iverson in a Kobe number 8 tribute throwback this moment was the answer to the pain from our prayers.
Now all that is left is one last step to the Hall.
Chicago, All-Star 2020 blows in the Windy City for Kobe
Like Eliot Ness, that’s what Common’s city of Chicago is when it comes to this court. All greatest of all-time thanks to the statue outside the United Center that they have to bring in from the cold when ice gets in it’s cracks like the veins of new Minnesota Timberwolves cold front player, D’Angelo Russell (he should be here. These lost Lakers are just glad Brandon Ingram is). Forming a duo with Karl-Anthony Towns as dynamic as that one of Star Marbury and the uncut gem of Chi-towns own Kevin Garnett heading for the Hall.
And just like the Big Ticket, the Rose that grew from concrete and the way of Wade who was moved to tears, the rapper slash actor, author and Microsoft poet Common (who fittingly won MVP of the Celebrity Game in his city. Even after Kenny ‘The Jet’ Smith said “c’mon Common you can’t even dunk donuts in coffee” after giving Dwight Howard’s athletically graceful, camera flash freeze, cheese smile, spin dunk an 8 (Kobe?)) put on for his city like Barack Obama and of course the statue of the G.O.A.T. M.J. with a poetic rap that waxed lyrical on hoops history and it’s nuanced nostalgia.
Shouting out the real King MLK and Kobe before Magic made a moving speech, all players behind him dressed in warm-up white and Jennifer Huston brought the not a dry eye in the arena, house down with her tribute that beat the hardwood like the commercial Dr. Dre one for this California love in Chicago, like the National Anthem of treasure Chaka Khan in a 23 jersey.
Common also had rhymes for each player introduction for all those who would take to the floor dribbling across the Chicago skyline, as he rocked the mic like fellow Chicagoland legend Chance The Rapper halftime and injured All-Star Dame Lillard, who still got to play this weekend as Dame D.O.L.L.A. The first player to perform on this stage of Basketball’s Grammy’s, bringing out ‘Tha Carter’ himself Lil’ Wayne and a Mamba Forever leather that we all want to cop for this year’s Winter jacket.
From saying “Sixteen-time all-star, three-time NBA champion/ We continue to witness his reign / One of the greatest to play the game/ From the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James”, to “A four-time all-star / He handles the rock like Gibraltar / From the Boston Celtics / Give it up for Kemba Walker”.
But hey, I’ve got one for you all, “like the Beard and the Brow he runs the show/so where the f### is Alex Caruso”.
But to the beat of his own raps and his milk carton brother Kanye, even if every event was set off by the “GO” vocal of guitar hero John Mayer on his Common collaboration with ‘Jesus Is King’ walking God, Mr. West (from the bam, bam Bam Adebayo BAM Skills Challenge bucket win. To the Buddy Hield buzzer beating on the last ball of the last rack, Devin booking, beating and winning the Three-Point Shootout (still one of the best and most underrated events of the weekend)), this night of all the All-Stars was all about the one who should have been in the crowd cheering with his daughter courtside.
From Superman, Dwight Howard returning and bringing back the red cape out of the phone booth, with 24 on the chest, to Man Of Steel and former Lex Luthor like enemy Shaq filming on that old camcorder again. In one of the best but most controversial dunk contests that saw an all 50 and 7-foot-5 Tacko leaping Aaron Gordon robbed again like when he cleared the mascot (seriously I don’t mean to leap to conclusions, but these guys need to get over jumping over things…literally. Only Leonardo DiCaprio gets over this many people).
This time by the South Beach, bringing the Heat in the Windy City, tornado storm of Derrick Jones Jr. Air Gordon won’t be back (thanks for that judges. Dwayne Wade said in the Skills Challenge his mind can be changed…ain’t that the truth), but let’s hope the backboard ball touching, Woody Harrelson Venice Beach wear honoring Pat Connaughton will be. Because white men can jump too in an epic exciting weekend of Chicago, 2020 that in the Olympic year of Tokyo, 2020 showed all the world’s a Basketball stage like the Rising Stars game (Konichiwa Hachimura).
For the main event of the biggest weekend on the schedule itself Team LeBron all wore number 2 on their blue jerseys for GiGi and Team Giannis 24 forever for Kobe (a bald Khris Middleton even sometimes from the nose bleeds making it look like Mamba was there…which spiritually he was like his mentality), to another LeBron like Kobe dunk running the floor like Bean and the 24 second shot clock that decided the fourth quarter of an entertaining All-Star Game that was more than the legendary lay-up line and was actually a competitive affair.
That’s just what happens when you win the game on a free throw (157-155, King over Freak) as Laker and hometown Chicago hero Anthony Davis did the honors after filling the stat sheet with the game on the line. But, the All-Star MVP now beautifully renamed the Kobe Bryant award went to another Los Angeles King in Clipper Kawhi and his 30 points. Who dedicated his award to the late legend it’s named after, as fans had their fill of their favourite weekend of the mid-season they love like the hearts of a mid-Feb Valentine.
Just don’t ask him what he had for dinner.
For Team LeBron. For Kobe. For GiGi.