“I tried everything under the sun to get him to stay. He just felt completely disrespected”- Kobe Bryant on Pau Gasol.
After Chicago Bull Pau Gasol inspiringly introduced former Los Angeles Laker teammate Kobe Bryant to the United Centre for the last time these two great friends would meet on the NBA stage before number 24 calls it a day for the rafters, Bean had some wonderful words for the Spanish star postgame. In particular reiterating the fact that he never, ever wanted his right hand man to walk away in free agency and did everything in his power bar the same steps to keep him in purple and gold.
Kobe may have just presented STAPLES sell out, singing superstar Taylor Swift with her own banner to go next to the Lakers ones he’s helped put up, but it seems he is the one singing ‘All You Had To Do Was Stay’ right now, even more than alt-rocker Ryan Adams.
But thanks to LAL management dangling Pau as bait more times than worms for trade over the years, there was no way the revolutionary player was going to stay when the Buss brass finally acted like they “needed” a player who practically…or should we even say literally brought in two championships when they traded for him in the first place.
That’s the thanks he gets? No wonder he jetted to United…and no wonder the draft pick the Lakers exchanged for him in package, brother Marc wouldn’t ink with the desperate purple heart of Kobe’s squadron last Summer.
They call that karma people.
But after all that…and not a couple of days before the great Gasol showed love for the gold standard of number 24, he was being shopped around for trades yet again. This time by his current Bulls team who promised him lasting loyalty when they slid a contract across their desk. I know he’s a major piece for blockbuster deals but is this the thanks again the best international player not called Dirk gets? The most consistent cog in Chicago. You really want to trade away awesome averages of 17.1 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists across your stat strapped, box score board? You really want to trade away one of the most loyal teammates and star players in spite of the betrayal he has unfairly and unjustly received?
His former frontcourt partner in Lakerland line understands. Dwight Howard’s big name, game and trouble where about to become another big blockbuster to conclude last week. After wanting an escape from L.A. even more than Pau Gasol (albeit in a different way), Dwight’s saving grace of a fresh start now looks like more than a problem out in Houston. With Pau its just unfair…but with this guy is it him? Either way with rumors of the centre of the Rockets rocky in-attention and the beard of fear, James Harden trying to get management to trade the other one it’s clear what could have been the most dynamic duo since Shaq and Kobe turned out to be…well Shaq and Kobe. If this is Howard’s end why didnt he learn from Bryant? These guys can’t even connect on a routine alley-oop! And let’s not even get started on the talented but troubled Ty Lawson. Come free agency it looks like there’s more chance Harden will be joined by two razors than star teammates. Even returning super-sub stopper Trevor Ariza was almost shopped like New Year sales.
Speaking of more former Lakers, even Nick Young wanted out of Hollywood…although no one was buying his swag. Still can you imagine the Lake Show’s former Sixth Man coming off the bench much longer…if at all? Espeically with the reigning one of the year Lou Will in front, making P the sixth mans sixth man.
This is the big business of the NBA people. Loyalty and chemisty be damned. No one is safe. I mean they very nearly swapped Kobe for the King back in the day. Now how much of the 76ers roster, front office, floor staff and season ticket holders (and even a scalper or two…depending on their price) do you think Philly would have to give up to cook with Steph Curry? Anyone is expendable. Especially when it comes to the official Trade Deadline that has become such an NBA event, akin to a circus like the draft or mid-February All-Star weekend.
And that’s the point.
But it shouldn’t be!
From Howard to Gasol do you think these hurt feelings and bruised egos are going to want to stick around now? Sure for all the rumors and haves and have nots only a few big names marked new addresses after last week. The most notable being stuttering star Lance Stephenson stepping yet again. Who does he now play for again? It hardly matters…he’ll probably be off again next week. And that’s the problem. That’s the thing. All these big moves and bucks are crippling cohesiveness and team chemistry. Forget loyalty and legacy. Just you wait until free agency. Lets not get so worked up about where Kevin Durant or whoever becomes the next K.D. next offseason ends up. Lets worry about where he is right.damn.now.
Besides although it’s always good to have a plan for the future…or at least a contingency one, this game isn’t about the shot you could make…it’s about the shot your about to take…in this moment. Don’t ruin it by jumping the gun, pulling the trigger or just fingering the smart end for a bit like you feel clever or lucky punk. Your teams just going to end up shot.
Congratulations to all those who stuck to their’s and didn’t make a move (even though sometimes a change is needed…hello Rasheed Wallace, Detroit Pistons circa 2003)…but in the cases were the damage is already done, where does that leave you?
Maybe its time to trade deadline day for a new one.
Just a thought…don’t make a big deal about it!
Watch THIS Work! The WNBA Bets On Women
Ten years ago the motto of the Women’s National Basketball Association was to, ‘Expect Great’. Now a decade later and into the roaring 20’s of a whole new one and world, the league that tells you to watch them work truly has for all it’s worth.
The WNBA and CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) has reached a monumental moment in the leagues history and its time to read all about it on Los Angeles Sparks twin superstar Chiney Ogwumike’s Twitter thread.
It tells us the CBA means…
When it comes to players salary and compensation there will be a 30% increase to the salary cap as the higher max pay player salary jumps like Lisa Leslie’s first dunk from $117,500 to $215,000. Whilst there will be an additional compensation for those top tier Candace Parker players around $300,000. Moving millions this is thee first time the league has moved units like this in six figures. And like Russell Westbrook why not? Because for every player like him there’s an Ogwumike. For every Candace a LeBron. Every Luka Doncic a Breanna Stewart. Every Larry Bird a Sue. Kobe Bryant, Diana Taurasi. For every Michael Jordan a Lisa Leslie.
Every insufferable, couch potato chip, sexist fans who unlike a Suffragette doesn’t believe women deserves equal pay needs to check their pockets…yep like Rakim said that’s nothing but lint. Now paid in full these women deserve this and more like diversity at the Oscars. Just as good as the men like Michelle Wie (she’s not the logos sons wife people) golfing with the guys of you claim you’re “woke” on social media but can’t wake up to this then you’re about as woke as still in bed gone half 12 in the afternoon. It feels like all those trumped up people who had a problem with a female ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot. Or those old men who would rather bully a 17 year old girl with Aspergers online than believe in the actual happenings of climate change.
Sure there’s an argument that sportspeople shouldn’t be paid these ridiculous amounts of money. But the point is if the men get paid this much then why shouldn’t the women?
This should have happened a long time ago. But at least it’s happening now.
It’s about time.
Working mothers are also finally getting their due in a groundbreaking deal on this date. Players will receive a salary whilst on maternity leave with an additional new childcare stipend. Whilst up to $60,000 of progressive family planning benefits for veteran players for costs for adoption, surrogacy, oocyte cryopreservation, fertility and more. No longer will go hard greats like Skylar Diggins-Smith have to play whilst pregnant and hide it to protect herself whilst the CBA lists it as a “condition”.
Perks of the game that the men have had for years and the world class women deserve just as such also include individual hotel rooms for players, more mandatory leg room on flights (how important is this for basketball players? The NBA would cry personal foul if the King and them would be forced to fly economy), and further for the finances, off-season job opportunities with league partners that along with the salary rise will mean that WNBA players won’t, overplayed and underpaid have to go overseas in the off-season to earn more money to make ends meet in foreign leagues. Something which has been a conditioning condition and pay for play issue since the leagues inaugural inception.
And let’s not forget about the players mental health too in major improvements across the board and world to an issue still surrounded with stigma despite the lengths taken and measures made. More resources will be offered in addition to the adoption of a Nutrition Council that will aid peak performance by offering players a commitment to this optimization.
But it’s probably the stand made by the WNBA and the CBA against violence to women which is the most important. Ending domestic and all sorts of violence to women which has happened to players around the league and still happens everyday, effecting everyone needs to end NOW like it should have never happened. It seems like such a ridiculously obvious thing to say…but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said.
Again and again until we don’t have to.
The wide world has finally met the standards of the women’s game and league on the way to leveling the playing field. More of the same…do we really need to add the please now?
Betting on sporting events is a losers game. But betting on women-like the ones in this league-is a sure thing.
The game changed for real today.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 20 Pts, 20 Rebs, 10 Asts first Canadian NBA triple-double since 2006
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Hamilton, ON) became only the second Canadian basketball player in NBA history to record a triple-double — and the first in nearly 14 years, since Steve Nash in 2006.
Gilgeous-Alexander racked-up 20 points, career-high 20 rebounds and 10 assists in the 117-104 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The former one-and-done Kentucky Wildcat continued his efficient campaign shooting 8-of-12 field goals, connecting 2-of-3 triples and 2-of-2 from the foul-line.
Steve Nash recorded three triple-doubles in his illustrious 18-year career, the last one on April 19, 2006 — Nash finished with 16 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
The 20 rebounds is also a record-high by a Canadian guard and only the second 20/20 double-double by a Canadian — Jamaal Magloire notched a 22 point, 21 rebound game against the Toronto Raptors’ on March 21, 2004.
Most rebounds by a Canadian in the NBA
Samuel Dalembert (Montreal, QC) holds the record for the most rebounds in a NBA game with 23 against the Golden State Warriors on March 20, 2009. Followed by Magloire 22 and Tristan Thompson with 21.
Gilgeous-Alexander becomes the youngest guard to record 20-20-10 stat-line and joins Russell Westbrook as the only guards with a 20-point, 20-rebound triple-double over the last 30 seasons. He is also the youngest player in NBA history with a 20-rebound triple-double, passing Shaquille O’Neal.
RJ Barrett became the first Canadian basketball player to record a triple-double at the NCAA level in nearly 35 years during his lone freshman season with the Duke Blue Devils.
The OKC Thunder continue their playoff push with their 18 victory in the last 25 games and currently sit in 7th place in the western conference.
The Canadian guard is currently averaging 20 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists — shooting 46.4% from the floor, 33.6% from three-pointers and 81.6% from the foul-line while turning the ball over just 1.9 per game.
Canada NBA All-Star Drought
The 2020 NBA All-star game in Chicago is less than month away and as it currently stands, Gilgeous-Alexander doesn’t currently rank as one the top fan vote earners in a guard heavy western conference. Nevertheless, the Canadian stud could end Canada’s eight year NBA all-star game drought by earning a coach’s selection.
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