Did you know a lot has changed in Toronto, Canada over the last 10 years? Such as it has in life. Par exemple, did you know that the old Cuba Gooding Jr ‘Jerry Maguire’ cry of “YOU KNOW” is something the kids refer to now as “yanno” you know?! I’m sorry…I mean ‘yanno’.
And don’t even get me started on ‘YOLO’…this isn’t ‘Drake Night’, even if I am wearing a ‘We The North’ t-shirt whilst writing this like the tourist I am.
Sure these may be the ramblings of a thirtysomething realising he’s “too old” for this generation even if he is a millennial. More ‘Friends’ than BFF’s. Word to Chandler and Joey, the definiton of those initials. A 31 year old to be exact. Probably moaning about the fact he’s returning to a city and country he once lived in a decade back for the first time in 10 years now he’s no longer eligible for a working visa here again and how everything has changed. How the blue backpacker hostel house he first stayed and made memories in is now a “trendy” coffee shop painted all white and it’s not all right. Or how many a place that made Toronto the T-Dot is gone like the ‘Much’ music garage doors that opened up so fans could get autographs and pictures (before they were called ‘Selfies) with interviewed superstars from Gwen Stefani to Chris Bosh and T.J. Ford.
Am I showing my age again?!
The city that we now know as the 6 is on the rise and is coming on in leaps and bounds. Developing at an even faster rate than neighbour country America’s world famous New York, outshining them multi-culturally at a Tokyo neon rate. Old sky-lines are being dwarfed by new ones and countless condominium’s to deal with the pulsing population that has made this once calm city cluttered.
Even the Air Canada Centre’s former clear runway from the Roges Centre’s skydome has lots of restaurant and apartment traffic in this refurbished city which brings us to why we are here…Basketball.
Basketball Buzz was home for this writers holiday for a game during Toronto’s homestand after the Sixers fell by the 6 on Monday. And what better game to take in with all this chatter as the Raptors hosted a familiar beast of a foe. And what a place to find us in.
Because if you want to talk about how things have changed in this country. Toronto faced off with the Memphis Grizzlies. And if you know anything about blue suede nation you know there’s no bears there. Here’s a throwback hoops history lesson for your snapback, forget a snapchat story. Back in the clean cut Gasol days the Grizz found a home in Vancouver, Canada where they were founded alongside the Toronto Raptors for the leagues ultimate expansion pack in 1995. But whilst the Raptors survived big market extinction, the Grizzlies left the building for Elvis town in the new milleniuum quicker than a distraught Steve Francis on draft day.
Coming into town however the Grizz were armed with another former dunk champ in Vince Carter, a Raptor dino legend like cousin Tracy McGrady, or traitor like Chris Bosh…depending on who you talk to. Even though former Mr. Air Canada can still get up, at 40 it looks like this is the last call and curtain for the Vinsanity flight path. So what a storybook ending, Canada homecoming last night made. Except Toronto didn’t get Carter despite their chants as even though he wasn’t in a suit he didn’t sweat as his hip kept him in check. He joined Memphis’ elite of Mike Conley Jr, Chandler Parsons and Zach Randolph (for personal reasons) on the inactive list as Memphis came into town with more imposters than Presley.
But the Grizzlies can still grind even without all their true grit. Did you forget about the new Gasol making his mark (Marc) or defensive dog Tony Allen? It seemed like the Raps almost did turning the ball over a season high 20 times…what was Coach Casey just getting on your case about regarding defence?
Thankfully the Raptors wing slashers kept the team in it and everyone getting a slice of pizza for the new 100 point plus Taco tip (although you know real fans would never trade in their souvenir stubs for a portion worth a couple of bucks). DeMar DeRozan’s line of 24 points, 6 assists and 9 rebounds was right there with the league best like this underrated franchise face should be up north. Playing leader hot potato with just as underrated sidekick Kyle Lowry again who continued his Steph Curry impression against the Sixers with 29 points including a salty four threes from Spadina and King. Add native Cory Jospeh and Patrick Patterson connecting from distance for a combined 30 and it was enough for the Raptors to wrap up the Grizz 120-105 and send them packing from Canada again.
Sure it’s not a 5-2 win like Toronto FC (with most Raptor fans checking the soccer game on the concession stand T.V.’ as the Raptors were still playing downstairs), but after it was all said and done the north is still there’s.
No matter how much this Brit wearing the t-shirt says everything has changed.
Some things still stay the same.
Is Howard’s End In Hollywood?
Kobe Bryant mouths this whilst shaking his head in dissing dismay from the baseline whilst staring down Dwight Howard on the other half of the court. Now a Houston Rocket the less than perfect pair have a problem…and it’s all getting flagrant.
Once upon a time in Hollywood with Mike D’Antoni running the show with an ageing Steve Nash, Hollywood’s Laker reality show was playing fantasy, legendary name Basketball again like the time they brought in late in their career legends like Karl Malone and Gary Payton to help raise banners like the point of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or logo of Jerry West. But when they picked up Magic man Dwight Howard who even took Orlando’s Mickey Mouse kingdom on his broad back all the way to the Finals against the Lakers, they expected D12 and KB24 to be the new generation Shaq and Kobe. After all Dwight Howard was a man of steel too.
And oh how they were Shaq and Kobe 2…but in completely all the wrong way. It turned out to be Batman vs Superman without the dawn of a justice league, or even their mothers having the same name. Kobe’s beef with Dwight made his repaired relationship with Shaq look like Japanese cows without the massage and feeding rituals that make their Mamba city namesakes cuts the best in the business…now served in Shaquille’s restaurant with more onion rings. And when they met the following season after the death of another dynasty to be, this time Dwight was the little red corvette and Kobe the brick wall unable to be felled or floored like the one in Berlin. Baptizing him like that time in Orlando with his most dynamic dunk.
Since going from the Orlando Magic to Magic smiles in Hollywood Howard has switched more teams than your 2K partner when you’ve already picked to play as the Lakers. He’s also received his fair share of off court and locker room problems including some chemistry cancer concerns. And even in this off-season, either looking to make some headlines or free agent publicity stunts he’s come out and said he’d be open to returning to the Lakers (…erm) and that Kobe was right (he already knows).
Now most in Lakerland laughed at the social media scoffed idea. Especially with a front-court force more formidable than anything the association has to offer, lead by new big man legend Anthony Davis. Following in the sneaker steps of Mikan, Wilt, Kareem, Shaq and Pau to truly be the new Shaq and Kobe with King LeBron James. But when his old New Orleans Pelicans reunited Wildcat brother DeMarcus Cousins went down with another season threatening injury last week the Lakers were forced to look elsewhere already, like filling out their final roster spot with Andre Igudola was a ring of last week’s past, or Carmelo was one long rumored Anthony never meant to be. Bursting the banana boat like a CP3 nix.
And although the Lakers have been linked with the arc of Joakim Noah or the Zaza land of Pachulia and with plenty of other big assets still on the market like Marcin Gortat or Amir Johnson, will we see Dwight Howard eating tacos and yelling with LeBron on Twitter this Tuesday as we all unfollow like too many tweets (my bad)? Bringing Howard back to Hollywood seems sillier than bringing the LaVar Ball show back to this Kardashian town. Because besides they already have the all dunking and blocking JaVale McGee who is worthy of a start with James (42) clapping like throwing up chalk. All as this hair blown out center throws it down again and again, coast to coast in California. But apparently there’s a mutual interest…what is this Tinder? Will this just be the makings of another Michael Beasley or make ’em dance Lance Stephenson meme team? Still the Lakers need more in reserve and Dwight needs this for his revenge to the past years that have taken his career from the red caped sun to being newspaper fodder to each cities equivalent of the Daily Planet. Time to rewrite all those who wrote you off Jimmy Olsen.
Read all about it, at the end of press next week Dwight Howard could be a Los Angeles Laker yet again.
News just in…I can’t believe I’m writing this.
Who would of thought it?
Certainly not Kobe.
But it’s the King’s town now.
And after all in this LeBron ‘Space Jam’ scripted season for the Los Angeles Lakers you know Hollywood loves a redemption story too.
Boogie’s Productions Down Again
Cousins injured again…we can’t relate to that.
When former Sacramento star and New Orleans Pelican DeMarcus Cousins joined the Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green Golden State Warriors to begin last season critics dubbed this superteam unfair.
What was unfair however was the ACL injury that kept Boogie sidelined for most of the season and then the quad injury on top of that in the playoffs that made sure the Warriors wouldn’t be dancing in their final chapter in Golden State.
But as D.C. made a Cali move too like the Dubs across the Golden Gate to San Francisco, heading to LeBron’s Lakerland with former frontcourt friend Anthony Davis, what was really unfair is what’s just come out of a practice run this week.
Cousins has tore his ACL again in a horrible twist of fate.
This games God’s people.
When DeMarcus reunited with the same former New Orleans big man that rocked his jersey in beautiful All Star tribute a couple of seasons back when they briefly flew together as Pelicans this Summer, the Lakers furthered their favourite status like tapping that heart on Twitter. Even if the Clippers ended up being the ones that got Kawhi Leonard…and Paul George too for the new battle of Los Angeles, raging against the Lakers Hollywood machine, the Lake Show have the ‘Space Jam 2’ of the King and the ‘brow. Not to mention the difference maker like rising star Kyle Kuzma in the veteran one of Cousins.
Either one of them will blow, or both, as the other will show he’s still got it. Giving the West’s best the biggest force of an interchangeable frontcourt. As the Lakers could either go with the more muscle version of a Tim Duncan and David Robinson twin towers in the Pelican reunited Kentucky Wildcats of Davis and Cousins and ‘Bron. Or the most dynamic duo since Shaq and Kobe of James and A.D. and the one young core star who didn’t get switched for this franchise player in Kuz, who could form a big three if the injured Cousins isn’t already still a part of one. Despite the writing off medical report.
And we haven’t even got to his Kentucky alumni Rajon Rondo led backcourt, or last year’s all dunking and blocking big headband and hair spark JaVale McGee. A gym rat who re-upped after almost going for both the Defensive Player Of The Year and Most Improved Player award in the first month of last seasons 82 campaign.
The Lakers are going to need him and that first wind of last year now more than ever.
Or the California club have some decisions to make for who to put in purple and gold for their almost meant to be final roster spot (DON’T AMNESTY!). Do they still wait for another former Warrior in Sixth Man, defensive legend Andre Igudola? Or do they leave him and the long rumoured other Anthony in Carmelo and pick up another big? Guys like Nené, Amir Johnson, Joakim Noah, Kenneth Faried, Zaza Pachulia and Marcin Gortat are still on the market like fresh fruit stalls. And even Dwight Howard of all people have expressed (more like blatantly begged for publicity) for a return to Lakerland after his Hollywood divorce.
Because we have no idea when Boogie will be back. Or if he will even be the same player when he returns. Or if he even was before this injury happened. But despite history rewriting so many careers crippled by injury we still believe. We still believe he has superstar status and could be the X-factor difference maker when he returns late in the game to this Hollywood scripted rivalry like he almost was last season in the Finals against Toronto as he flips it. You saw him almost become a Splash Brother with that three, so just you wait until you see him downtown in STAPLES this season when it’s all said and buzzer beater done.
The bridge is far from over.
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