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Trading Places…NBA Deadline Day Damaging Dynamic

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Trading Places...NBA Deadline Day Damaging Dynamic

“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?

Guess so?

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.

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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!

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NBA

Dame Time Forever. What Are Those New Adidas ‘Black Panther’s’?

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IMG 20190426 080921
A Nation Under Our Sneakers...

Adidas are in the Endgame now.

Before we get started, Havlicek would have stole that ball. Just saying Paul George. Stop acting like Paul Pierce. It wasn’t a “bad shot”. And R.I.P. to a Boston Celtic and storied NBA great. Dear John will be stealing every ball in hoop heaven. Rest peacefully.

Like a cat toying with a mouse. That’s how we described Lillard’s Dame Time winning clutch three from Mt. Hood as Portland gave Oklahoma City roses in the first round this week. Damian had more clock than grandfather’s and still took his time. Because it is his after all.

And now as timely as ever in the same week as one of the greatest playoff game and series winning shots in basketball for all time and one of the biggest blockbusters in Hollywood history coming out with ‘Avengers: Endgame’, this cat is building a superhero legendary legacy.

You better check a comic-book or something.

T’Challa may have been Thanos snapped to cat litter in the Avengers ‘Infinity War’, but the King of Wakanda has a regal gift by royal appointment to Damian Lillard like he did Victor Oladipo in a victorious Slam Dunk Contest for testament tributes last season.

The cat has something out the bag.

IMG 20190426 094544
The pick of the litter…

Now you may be screaming “what are those” like Shuri at these royal sandals, but try these sneakers on. They embody everything about the next gen, nano tech Black Panther suit she developed for this emperor’s clothes. All the way down to the texture and trim which straps “Wakanda Forever” over the laces. The titan mad purple that runs like veins through Chadwick Boseman’s superhero suit absorbs all the blows he takes and turns it into a recharged deflecting energy pulse. Kind of like all the rock the baby and wrist tapping crap Damian Lillard was taking off Russell Westbrook before he absorbed it all and gave it back in a half century energy that exploded with a game winning fireball.

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Never delete that footage.

Marvel have also gifted Dame with his own Black Panther mask like Oladipo, but this time canvas created from his super sneakers. Part of the ‘Heroes Among Us’ series from the three stripes, a comic-strip advertising campaign has been crafted. Featuring Lillard standing in front of the downtown RIP City, PDX skyline looking Wakandan in artwork akin to the ‘Nation Under Our Feet’ graphic novel redux series that rebooted this classic character before his feature film debut.

Damian may have played Killmonger villain to the Oklahoma Thunder, going G.O.A.T. like Michael Jordan B. But he’s a hero to us now blazing a trail like a human torch possessed with a fire and the heart of a lion inside all that panther power.

The Dame 5 will assemble with the arc of the bolted up ‘Iron Man’ Harden Vol. 3 for James and the patch of the ‘Nick Fury’ TMac 1 for Tracy McGrady. As well as the ‘Captain America’ Adidas N3XT L3V3L, and a ‘Captain Marvel’ Adidas Pro Vision for all those who could take the lead all day, with us ’till the end of the line. HIGHER. FURTHER. FASTER.

But we know which ones will be clawed off the stores shelf throne come it’s big blockbuster release with ‘Endgame’ right now.

It’s a drip fit for a King.

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NBA

RIP OKC. Dame Time Clocks Thunder’s Reign From Way Downtown PDX

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RIP OKC. Dame Time Clocks Thunder’s Reign From Way Downtown PDX
What Time Is It...

Blazing!

Even two games down the Thunder bolt boys joked like the last laugh that was yet to be delivered, like this what’s the 4-1 punchline. Zero to zero for the best series of these NBA Playoffs so far, Russell Westbrook rocked the baby at Damian Lillard, before mocking his wrist watch celebration like he did Laker meme Lance Stephenson’s air guitar strumming one with D’Angelo Russell ice in his veins. All before Paul George double pumped a dunk as time expired on a game that was already decided way before the horn blared.

“It is the unemotional, reserved, calm, detached warrior who wins, not the hothead seeking vengeance and not the ambitious seeker of fortune.”

But then last night before posting that Sun Tzu quote on Instagram in this art of war. In the face of P.G. the PDX P.G. beat the buzzer as Dame Time struck from way downtown RIP City. With an Austin 3:16 bottom line to give OKC the history engraved tombstone and the Portland Trail Blazers a legendary storied, legacy making championship belt for this classic series in hardwood history.

Reminding us of that time Charles Barkley responded to a Nike barbershop ad featuring former Golden State Warriors Chris Webber and Latrell Sprewell joking about dunking on him by putting all the points on them in the following game and running past them on the bench draped in dejected towels shouting, “put that in a f###### commercial!”

Colder than February. More ruthless than a convertible in Summer.

Damian Lillard 37 Footer Over Paul George
Damian Lillard buries series clinching 37-footer over Paul George – Photo Blazers

37 feet high and rising from deep. Deep as the halfcourt abyss. With the this time of season cherry blossoms blooming outside Portlandia’s Moda Center, the City of Roses was handing everyone from basketballs Oklahoma home funeral flowers. And leading the precession, hearse wrapping it up like his killer bars, Dame D.O.L.L.A was right on the money like exact change only please, waving goodbye. Even if Paul George walking off in defeat like LeBron James and getting his Vlade Divac on in a press conference more awkward than a blind date with an ex called it a “bad shot”. To which the great Dame simply replied with a tweeted “lol” (see also, laugh and last). He better Big Shot Bobby Horry check a newspaper or something. Dame Time didn’t just beat the buzzer. He took baby powder to it. As Dame had all the Louis Armstrong time in the world with ten on the clock and the last shot in this final frame to dribble drive or dish. But instead, toying with George like a cat does a mouse, as David beat Goliath like Jerry did Tom, Lillard had the sand to set up shop, his spot and his shot from what looked like a bunker. A hole in one, with the cocksure confidence of Tiger Woods putting for Masters glory in Augusta and embracing his kids, two decades after doing the same with his pops all for the green jacket.

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From this master, like a tap in putt with no Mulligan to carry, this was always going in. Nothing but net. All water like those Thunder tears. O.K. now that was a 3.

And to think I swore I wouldn’t go back on social media until after the new Avengers movie came out, but DAMN Dame Time! Spoiler alert, this is the new ‘Endgame’ now.

Cousy. Pettit. Sam Jones. Wilt. Chuck Barkley. M.J. And now the Dame train as the legendary Lillard goes hard to join this lineage as the only players to hit 50 in a playoff clinching game. And what a way to do it, fading away to clock out of the game and series 118-115 for the greatest Portland playoff moment since the G.O.A.T’s shrug. As mobbed by teammates on the floor he sank into, telling Russ to ‘Get Out’ his house. Peeling off like Jordan, Damian all on his own like a devil, GIF turned into an instant meme, as he turned the Thunder into a memory (you know the one were everyone loses their mind around that smirking kid with glasses in the raincoat? Well now guess which superheroes face is super imposed?). Staring into the camera with that look you know was for Russell Westbrook.

Blazers Win Damian Lillard Buries 37 Footer
Blazers Win. – Photo: Portland Trail Blazers

What a whole mood.

Whose left holding the baby now?

Dame didn’t even have to check his watch. Why? Him, her, them. They all knew what time it was. His. As Dame Lillard just did it in the Oregon home of Nike. Shoe dog like Phil Knight, running off victory for the courtside crowd, including legendary comedian Cedric the Entertainer for this last laugh lap. As this Gladiator hit one of the best and biggest shot fired in NBA history. Subliminal and literal.

Are you not entertained?

Why not?

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