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Trading Places…NBA Deadline Day Damaging Dynamic

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“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!

NBA

La La Lakerland Played Host To A City Of All-Stars At The Weekend

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Verizon Slam Dunk Contest 2018
Like Father, Like Slam,

Los Angeles, it doesn’t get much more Hollywood than this. Even if Beyonce, Queen Latifah, Chris Tucker and even the other Michael (B) Jordan were taking in all the lights, camera action court-side.

After the 2017 Mardi Gras in New Orleans last year and two calendar’s after our native Toronto held the All Star Weekend in Canada, the sixth A.S.G. in the Clipper and Lakerland of the downtown STAPLES of L.A. was the first of it’s kind. As two of the best players in the association and reigning finalists decided to draft their own pool of players against the wall for the ultimate black and white pick-up game between ‘Team Stephen’ and ‘Team LeBron’, for all the marbles of which of the last two champions would be King.

Well it certainly helps if James picks his rivals reigning MVP teammate Kevin Durant and his own former partner in pine championship crime Kyrie Irving for the big shots first.

But before all that it was down to regular festivities to begin the weekend of All-Star. Basketball’s equivalent of music’s Grammy’s or movies Oscars in Superbowl February. Opening these ceremonials Team World beat down Team USA 155-124 in the Rising Stars game that should really tell you something. Despite home court advantage rookie steal, Kyle Kuzma notching 20, fellow Californian franchise face Buddy Hield was king as the Sacramento star hit 29 as the two sides wore Clipper and Laker interloped Buffalo and MPLS throwbacks for the Hollywood script. And after Quavo of hit duo Migos took home the Celebrity Game MVP as Team Clippers beat Team Lakers 79-66, Spencer Dinwiddie paid the bills in a superior skills comp. Before scorching Sun in California Devin Booker showed his career high 70 was no one-hit wonder as he burnt down all the nets and the money-ball rack. Winning the three-point contest showdown from reigning winner and sixth man Eric Gordon. Grounding the Rocket as this Phoenix rose. Book it!

But after the most therapeutic competition of All-Star weekend it was time for the most exciting one just as compelling. And in honoring his father Larry Nance, the 1984 winner of the inaugural Slam-Dunk contest, Larry Nance Jr. rocked the baby cradle, like father, like dunk. As he even rocked the old-school Phoenix Suns jersey, short shorts and high-socks for an inspired imitation. But under the magicians cloak, those Los Angeles natives in attendance draped in gold wish he had turned into someone turning back the clock and wearing a Lakers jersey (those Lonzo assists with the ball would have helped). As what would have been a long awaited, eagerly anticipated home-team representation turned into an Akron homecoming for the Ohio hometown hero like LeBron in the Kings land once the trade deadline passed.

Pops Nance loved it though after he himself played the lions share of his career in Cleveland as a Cavalier. Even assisting his boy on his second slam, before he blew the house down with a windmill that even rocked Chris Rock and then double tapped an Instagram worthy picture perfect dunk that if your phone blinked, you’d have had to instant replay it to not miss it and believe it. But all this court creativity wasn’t enough like Maverick rookie Dennis Smith Jr.’s 360 reverse, through the legs 50. Or All-Star Victor Oladipo getting an assist off King T’Challa himself Chadwick Boseman, suiting up in the Black Panther mask and clawing a tomahawk. And if you think that was special, if only you were a fly on the wall for the moment entertainment megastar Jamie Foxx told Vic he loved his album and started singing ‘A Song For You’ with him in the parking lot (as told by Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins). As Utah’s jazz man Donovan Mitchell won by jumping over Kevin Hart and his family (Come on! How hard is that? The comedian was even crouched down. Seriously?! He could have even been sat on his shoulders and Mitch would have been good), and then breaking out the classic Vince Carter Raptor jersey and doing you know what.

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The whole weekend turned out to be a testament to a throwback tribute despite Nike’s brand new Team LeBron and Steph duds. Last years All-Star representative, Pelican Anthony Davis paying tribute to his injury fallen teammate brother Cousins by wearing what would have been his numero zero jersey. Free agent suitors beware, DeMarcus is going nowhere now this summer after this. You see he saw on I.G. but look at the shot. How s### was his seat for a would be player?

But after Black Eyed Pea Fergie caught flack for her soulful and sultry rendition of the Star Spangled Banner national anthem (hey, you didn’t complain when Marvin did it) the game hit all the high-flying, dunking high-notes. So much so fans needed throat lozenges like Pink! Even if there wasn’t a single Clipper or Laker representative in the game itself. Despite the lobbying for 6 Man, Lou Will and new Laker Isaiah Thomas only recently being LeBron’s actual teammate.

The King took the MVP crown himself as his 29 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists helped turn a 15 point hole into a 148-145 victory. And from the look on his face as he leapt into Kevin Durant’s arms of all people, it looked like he just won the NBA Championship back. And from the look on Steph’s face on the receiving end reply it was hard to disagree.

You may be the champion, but I’m the best in the world those eyes said.

Well it’s up to you to decide when round 2 of the All Star draft is televised next year for all to see in M.J.’s land of the greatest.

Charlotte’s going to be good!

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Is Isaiah Thomas IT For The Lakers?

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Usa Today 10601289.0
IT Came On A Hollywood Night

It’s All-Star break this weekend in Los Angeles, but the Lakers already have a new one since the trade deadline to lead their young core in the heart of the city. Even if Team LeBron didn’t pick him for Sundays pick up.

But how long will IT last?

Right now in the NBA the amount of movers is really putting the shakers on teams. So much so that in regards to loyalty in this league it’s even colder than the Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea right now. But then again it is the Winter after all. Recently Cleveland cleaned house and LeBron’s land for some Cavalier moves. Jettisoning several All-Star points for their changing of the guard. Including former MVP Derrick Rose, ‘Bron brodie Dwyane Wade back to the Heat of Miami, South Beach and even the guy they traded Kyrie for.

Yep that’s right after summer swapping Irving for Isaiah, the Cavs sent Thomas along with versatile big-man vet Channing Frye to Lakerland. In return they got the buckets of ‘Sixth Man’ sure thing Jordan Clarkson and another Akron hometown hero in the form of Larry Nance Jr.

And although the Lakers picked-up a certified All-Star with Iverson kill at will, little man syndrome scoring a lot of fans where left tweeting negative emojis and gifs following the deadline deal. And not because their new number seven seal was a former Boston Celtic great only a season ago. Or that the former tooth chipper is now a befallen superstar by way of injury. More that the Lake Show loved the young Ball, Ingram, Kuzma, Randle and Zubac core that has lost it’s first big time players of the future since the de-loading trade of D’Angelo Russell last summer.

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Clarkson was a class act and there from the luck of the late round steal start. Whereas when Nance Jr. ran the floor like his pops all the bleachers snapped shut, tilted up. Lakerland finally thought they would see their own slamming son represent them in the Slam Dunk Contest he should surely win now like father, like dunk today. But now he’ll be doing it all for one and one for all.

But with the fast tracked pace of the Lakers new speedy dynamite dynamo it could still be Showtime again for Magic’s men like when Earvin Johnson was kissing another Isiah Thomas hello in the golden era 80’s. But this Isaiah Thomas-so long as he can ball in the same backcourt as Ball once injury time gives way to the Lavar…excuse me the Lonzo Angeles Lakers-could attract even more free agents like the expected homecoming of Paul George from the Thunder to the purple reign this offseason. Even if rumour has a Black Panther/Killmonger like relationship between this point prince and the King of the Ohio land.

But if it’s between LeBron as a Laker or another one of James’ sidekicks than who do you think will hold the headlines for tomorrows Los Angeles Times? Especially as Isaiah could aim higher than coming off the bench this summer as a free agent without restriction himself. His big contract coming off the books with Channing’s (Frye not Hollywood’s Tatum), another big three big in Brook Lopez and another former All-Star in Luol Deng (yep…he’s still here).

All these multiples of millions would surely make for a kings ransom.

This could be it, so lets enjoy I.T. whilst he lasts.

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Nuggets Jamal Murray breaks Steven Adams Ankles with Filthy Handles

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Nuggets Jamal Murray Breaks Steven Adams Ankles Filthy Handles

Denver Nuggets Guard Jamal Murray breaks OKC Thunder center Steven Adams ankles with his filthy and deadly combination of handles and three-point shooting. Murray was sensational finishing with 33 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds in a thrilling 127-124 victory. The Canadian guard (Kitchener, ON) is having the best year of his NBA career and has arguably become best Canadian basketball player in the NBA. The 6’4″, 207 lbs guard is flourishing under Head  Coach Mike Malone’s system and is averaging a respectable 16 points per game, 3.6 rebounds and 3 assists per game through 50 regular season games including a career-high 38-point outburst against the Portland Trail Blazers.

BTW. I can watch this all day!

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