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Wade’s World Belongs Back Home In Chicago

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“I’ve been waiting on this moment for a long time”.

By now every NBA team has made their 2016/2017 season debut. From King James and the Cleveland Cavaliers coming out of the gates like the champions they are against the new look Knicks. To big free agent deciding factor Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors dropping their first game of the season to the Tim Duncan-less San Antonio Spurs like the growing pains the best team of superstars on paper will go through this season, especially against the only player for squad team that could surprise surpass them out West.

We’ve had even more surprises. Some pleasant. Some not so much. Like a Sixer fan flipping two eagles at Russell Westbrook after he claimed this years MVP lane frontrunner called him “fat”…and we thought these type of hostile gestures would happen in Oklahoma City once the Thunder weathered the return of someone that bolted for sunnier California climates. Not just a rountine start-up game on the road in Philly. It’s a good job it’s sunnier in Los Angeles, even following Laker legend Kobe Bryant leaving the building. With the ice in D’Angelo Russell’s veins and the one off the bench cooler in Jordan Clarkson proclaiming STAPLES Centre as their house as this young core of the brodies plus this years number two draft choice Brandon Ingram and the lottery pick that started all these balls rolling Julius Randle looks to prove everyone wrong in the next 82 and whatever follows.

Still there seems to be a homecoming theme this year in an NBA season were history has already been made with Anthony Davis’ 50 points, 16 rebounds, 7 steals, 5 assists and 4 blocks legendary line debut.¬†Following the coronation of LeBron as the King turned his Ohio home into ‘Believeland’. Dwight Howard has redemptively dunked his way back to Atlanta. Showing his number 8 was a wonder for the Hawks. But no return home was as sweet as Alabama as LeBron James former South Beach running mate taking his talents to the Windy City that have been through a storm of Rose and concrete.

Dwyane Wade may be synomonous with the Miami Heat franchise he lead to the promised land with Giants and Kings and all men inbetween, but he’s actually even more Chi-town than D-Rose. Chicago is coded in his Illinois born DNA. And now aligning with Rajon Rondo in the backcourt, rookie love Denzel Valentine and the man the team serves, Jimmy Butler the Bulls look to lock horns with this franchise change of all guards in this small ball revolution running league of associated players.

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And in his official debut at home in Chi-city, Dwyane Wade lifted this town back on the shoulders that were raised here like the new Common album ‘Black America Again’ (expect a shoutout dreamers and believers). As he knelt to the United Centre floor, held his fist to his heart and prayed during a player introduction as emotional as the pre-game stars and stripes National Anthem standing together of all teams and players linking arms, the whole home state of Illinois could feel it like the Cubs swinging big and hitting so much they even resurrected Will Ferrell’s Saturday Night Live impression of late, great announcer Harry Carry on Kimmell.

And the actual game itself was as storybook beautiful as all these perfect preludes when Wade went as explosive as Kevin Garnett joining TNT. As against Rondo’s former Boston Celtics team lead by the new general Isiaah Thomas, Wade held guard scoring 22 points to go along with 6 rebounds and five assists and a clutch dagger with 26 seconds to go as he went for the jugular in the teams 105-99 win and celebrated with a stank face, throat slash gesture. Something that wouldn’t fly in the NFL from this basketball Q.B.

Something perhaps a little inappropriate in a city marred by gang violence, but the home fans loved it. Because their boy was home and this show of solidarity meant so much more in standing defiance than all the torment and troubled times the Second City has been through.

For this storied franchise looking for a new tale to tell, Dwyane Wade in closing the Miami one, wrote quite the opening chapter.

NBA

Millsap Mishap Could Keep Forward Behind 3 Months

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Poor Paul Millsap.

This campaign after becoming one of the biggest free agent pick ups of the offseason, one of the leagues leading Power Forwards has been put down on the medical report with an injury that could call him off sick for a quarter of a year.

The most reliable player over four periods has spent the bird share of his career helping his former Atlanta Hawks make it to the first round knockout stakes of the playoffs each year. But following the season where they didn’t make the cut of the second one, it was time for a change for the 32 year old number 4 who once looked to be the Utah Jazz, Karl Malone replacement Carlos Boozer didn’t turn out to be early in his career alongside former leading Point Guard Deron Williams.

And in the mile high city of Denver with a would be big-three of sophomore sensation Emmanuel Mudiay, dreaded defender Kenneth Faried and of course The Joker with the last laugh Nikola Jokic, these Nuggets in their new Nikes looked golden and finally past that baby blue Carmelo era (they may as well be as Anthony, now with the blue, white and orange of the Thunder isn’t even a Knick anymore (it’s ‘Old York’ now Knickerbockers)). But now like Ben Affleck looking at the ‘Justice League’ box office returns it’s time to ask the Nugs “why so serious” Batman as an injury to their versatile veteran forward of seasoned upon seasons of experience doesn’t exactly put a smile on their face.

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The All-Star was averaging a helpful handful of exactly 16 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists before tearing the ligaments in his left wrist in a 127-109 loss to the Lakers who themselves recently lost all dunking son Larry Nance Jr. to a broken wrist, but are thankful to be having him return after they cut the turkey this thanksgiving. Millsap and the Nuggets are looking at second opinions from docs offering the same sort of speedy recovery that doesn’t sap their frontline. But if they concur with the original diagnosis, it’s three months in a suit and tie and not to mention cast for Paul who will return in late February after the All Star break he normally never takes off.

The man with the three year, 90 mill deal helped make this outside eight seed threat Denver the new gritty, grinding Memphis of the West. Now without him the older than Richard Jefferson roster is thinner than the air up there in Colorado.

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Somebody Stop The Mask Of Kyrie Irving

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Smokin’!

Even that phrase delivered at a perfect Jim Carrey pitch can’t quite put into perspective just how hot Celtic Kyrie Irving is right now. Especially in the Boston green, Rip Hamilton face-mask.

Maybe those three little letters would do more justice for this league leader?

You know Menacing, Versatile, Phantom?

No?

How about M-V-P?

Kyrie joins Kobe, former Cleveland Cavalier teammate LeBron James and the man whose about to pass him the Maurice Poldoff torch, Russell Westbrook to be an absolute menace in the Phantom of the Opera face-mask, leaving other teams dead on basketballs biggest stage. He may have fractured and broken some bones in his face, but that won’t stop him as he fractures and breaks the backs and hearts of the faces of all the other franchises he faces off with night after excruciating night.

Those who used to say it must be the shoes (and have you seen his best in show sneaker designs complete with shamrocks like Starbucks on St Patrick’s Day this season heads? Those halloween pumpkin ones were the spice), are now saying it must be the mask.

Sure the plastic profile guard makes for some meme worthy Pinterest fan art appreciation but this guard has made a point at hating it…the sweat inducing mask that is, not the love. These kind of covers can blind you, but like the concussed legend of Celtic great Larry, letting it fly like a Bird above the baskets in the Boston Garden all the way to the rafters (as he saw too hoops like 80’s girls earrings and just aimed for the top one), Kyrie plays through all the pain and frustration. Taking it out on the ball (like opponents on Lakers rookie Lonzo) and the other teams hoops that to him seem bigger than those ones Bruno Mars sang about.

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Take Dallas for example. Irving just masked all his pain by taking the Mavericks for 47 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists in the last contest that took the Celtics to a sweet sixteen straight. After dropping two games following Gordon Hayward dropping out of the new season before the second quarter of his opening game one even played out, everyone was calling time on these new Celtics as soon as Gordon turned his ankle counter-clockwise. But now one of the best in the association Kyrie is showing LeBron and them he’s just as good as them or anyone alone like this man from down under always wanted to prove. This definition of clutch, who leaves everyone else in the fourth with straws has already shown on a championship scale against Curry of all hot guards that he can take the last shot that really matters. Now forget the Most Valuable Player award for a waning second or even the time his dynamic duo partner in pine Hayward comes back, Irving has the power to dribble drive all the way to the crown on his own.

And it’s going to take more than a mask to stop him.

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The Wind Brings The 2020 All-Star Game To Chicago

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1973. And the first NBA All-Star Game to play in the Windy City of Chicago, Illinois features the last All-Star game in the last season of two lasting Los Angeles Lakers legends. One man who scored 100 points in just one game, Wilt Chamberlain. And one man who was and still remains the one and only logo of this National Basketball Association, Jerry West.

1988. And arguably the greatest All-Star Game of all-time and an even better, best ever All-Star weekend sees Michael Jordan become Michael Jordan. M.J. scored 40 in an 138-133 O.T. A.S.G. win for the East meeting the West. But a day before all that he and the Slam Dunk Contest became even more legendary. As mere moments after storied Boston Celtic great Larry Bird asked “whose coming in second place” before raising his finger in victory before the ABA coloured moneyball ripped through the twine (no Nick Young swag), Money took off from the free throw line like a good doctor for his above the rim J and jumped over everybody including Atlanta Hawk wing spreading, sky-soarer Dominique Wilkins.

Now more than 30 years later after next years All-Star Game in the purple and gold city of Los Angeles and the 2019 one in the redeemed city of Charlotte, the 2020 and 69th All Star Game will be played in Michael’s old town of Chi-city. In the same year as Tokyo, Japan will hold the next Olympic Games, the game of basketball will go back to it’s 90’s roots and an inspired iconic landmark of hoop heaven that didn’t really have the same spirit in the seventies, but really Jumpman took off in the golden era eighties. So much so that the old ’88 All Star Weekend t-shirt is a historical thrift store must find for more than it’s 80’s Tron like, cool, retro logo.

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And with mid-February lovers big blockbuster basketball coming back to the city of wind like the river that runs through it, Chi-town needs this like out of towners need deep dish pizza. You only have to listen to the news or the Common album ‘Nobody’s Smiling’ (you know the legendary M.C. who used to wipe up Jordan’s sweat off the old Chicago Stadium hardwood has to perform at the mid-season classics halftime show) to know this classic city is marred by violence that burns through this second city like fire. The beloved Bulls have even become a “garbage team” to root for too, losing the big-three likes of last seasons Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade (who may even be on a farewell All Star tour once his hometown All Star weekend comes crossed off the calendar and everyone is united in the airlines center).

Now this team who relies on sophomore stud Denzel like Oscar hopeful movies will hopefully be back by the next few valentines. As the heart of the city in twenty twenty will want to see something as visionary as Sinatra’s kind of towns history.

That’s just the Chicago way.

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