Buzzing across the East Coast from New York City (more on the Knicks and Brooklyn Nets coming soon) to America’s capital, BasketballBuzz was in D.C. yesterday for more than just checking out the White House and Lincoln and Martin Luther memorials.
The Lakers where in town as the Wizards hosted them and a lot of purple and gold 24’s, which either suggests there’s a lot of die-hard Laker nation fans making the frequent flyer miles like this writer from England, or you really can find Laker fans everywhere (just like a small town in the U.K….and we aren’t talking about Kentucky (stay up Julius Randle)).
Kobe didn’t disappoint either going off, doing work and putting in a clinic early with 15. To hell with father time and the critics. And what’s all this “Vintage Kobe” talk? He’s always been this way. Putting on an epic show of crossovers and fadeaways the man who is about to pass Michael Jordan at number 3 on the all-time scoring list (to just be behind former teammate Karl Malone and fellow Laker legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) really does care. Even Mike wasn’t this prolific in his latter D.C. days. Standing on his own like his new 30,000 points and 6,000 assists record the Mamba went off. Kobe brought more excitement to both sides of the Verizon Centre audience then a new ‘Jurassic World’ and ‘Star Wars’ trailer combined. The force was truly awoken.
Truly. After a dismal 1-13 start in the West, the Lakers have gone four unbeaten in the East coming off a big win in Motown. Still the Lakers where facing off against the Easten Conference’s second best D.C. Wizards and their ‘House Of Guards’ John Wall and Bradley Beal. It was about to get realer then Kevin Spacey in ‘Call Of Duty’ for this modern warfare.
Kobe’s 29 was prolific, but it came without a field goal in the second half. The Wizards waved the wand and put the clamps on the Lakers as Kobe had to earn his 11 from charity. Nick Young was the sixth man spark plug for the Lakers, off the bench like he’s been since coming back from his injury. Five D.C. threes and 21 points in 24 and a half minutes was inspired. As was Ronnie Price’s all green circles 11. Still a red cross for the interior design as Carlos Boozer’s point-sake could have come with more colourful aggression in the paint and the insane zero from Jeremy Lin hurt this team more than they cared to admit as they shot 38.8% to Washington’s 44.4.
Although the Lake Show stop-plugged an 11 point deficit to four in the fourth, after two horrendous turnovers the Wizards went on a 14-2 run punctuated by power dunks. The ridiculous foul call on Wall against Bryant sparked it all off. For the record even this Lakers fan can admit that Wall couldn’t have been further from Kobe if he was in the parking lot…of the STAPLES Centre.
Wall’s double, double of 17 points and an inspired 15 assists was the catalyst. Still the spark came from monster Marcin Gortat who had 21 and 11 rebounds and ferocious dunks that upped the epic ante of his passion cries. Get this guy in the ballot. He is an All-Star. You may even say this Wiz team that was paced by Bradley Beal’s 27 have a big three. They for sure have big name strength in depth as Rasual Butler and Paul Pierce (who left with an injury but the L.A. born and Boston bred Celtic legend had a nice, nostalgic, vintage duel and fun, trash talk session marking Bryant). Kris Humphries huge 20 boards also kept the possession in Washington’s favour as the ball fell their way to an 111-95, closer than it looked call in a scrappy but stellar game.
In town tonight Tom Hanks may be switching on the lights of President Obama’s, White House Christmas tree with the help of Ne-Yo, but last night the Wizards turned out the lights as they illuminated the Lakers.
Now in this mission impossible season how long before Kobe Bryant and his Lakers fuse burns out?
Lakers Finally Get Anthony Davis. But At What Cost?
Like a rat crawling over some controls and releasing Scott Lang from the Quantum Realm in this Endgame, just like that the Lakers have their Ant-Man. And it’s an avenging, giant, levelling up move.
Anthony Davis is finally a Los Angeles Laker.
Still I hate to piss on this parade and sound like Morgan Freeman in ‘The Dark Knight’, but at what cost?
Well to be specific here’s the receipt.
Lonzo Ball (bad move).
Brandon Ingram (okay we expected that, but still).
Josh Hart (what?!).
The fourth pick in this weekends draft (or should we say Cam Reddish).
And a load of other picks over the next few seasons. Or should we say a couple of Jordan Clarkson’s and Larry Nance Jr.’s.
Well at least they got to keep Kyle Kuzma for a formidable frontcourt that might be the new, next big three.
But the young core and that keep the hash-tag campaign is officially the casualty of this trade bait like the jobs of Magic and Dell Demps, that’s been fish on the line dangling for longer than that Kawhi Leonard rim rattling shot against the Sixers.
Rob Pelinka’s a beast…and not in a good way.
We will say it again. That clip of Rob Pelinka claiming he set up a meet between Kobe Bryant ans Heath Ledger after Mamba watched ‘The Dark Knight’ is beyond messed up. We all know Heath passed away before the film even came out. Don’t disrespect the dead. Can’t buy character. But can sell your integrity.
That’s who you are dealing with Lake Show.
Hollywood’s Rob Lowe would have been better.
Let’s see who you’re not dealing with anymore.
D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Ivica Zubac, Thomas Bryant, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart.
Is that everyone?
What you wanted more?
All the years all the young guns with plenty more calenders left in their clips. All gone.
And they didn’t even ask for Julius Randle back as part of the trade kicker.
But look to him staying in New Orleans now with Ball, Ingram, Hart and whoever else would have ended up in Los Angeles with that luck of the lottery fourth ball. And the Pelicans about to fly with the road to Zion looking like the closest thing to what would have been the young Lake Show for the future Mardi Gras in Crescent City.
Don’t write off NOLA it’s all about to go down smooth in the Big Easy.
But after months of speculation, social media tweets and articles I rest my case, I’ll say no more. But you know how it is.
On the bright side in sunny California…Anthony f##### Davis.
The Lakers finally have their man. And next to LeBron the most dynamic duo since Shaq and Kobe…sorry Pau. It could be Finals…it’s at least playoffs.
Now it’s time to put another great core together.
Kemba? Three Kings?
Kyrie? Kevin? Kawhi?
Cue that laugh…hey we all have dreams in Hollywood.
Free agents will be more likely to join the ‘Space Jam’ show now too, but whoever LeBronland casts like throwing up movies off your phone on to your T.V. it’s a whole new world in L.A. now the Genie (or Jeanie) has finally granted their wish.
But how about two more Aladdin? On the spirit of Robin Williams help us Will Smith!
Then that will make up for all the young princes they’ve lost for one King.
As of right now like Swiss, this team has more holes than “fashionable” hipster t-shirts on Rodeo. There’s no starting point for one. And not having Lonzo ball out on the tutoring of both legendary super sub Rajon Rondo and the fellow pure point Basketball I.Q. of new assistant coach Jason Kidd is a real shame. Like losing a pure scorer like Ingram (or *clears throat* D-Lo). Or the best role player the Lakers have ever had since the days of Horry, Fox and Fisher in Josh Hart. Not to mention whoever would have come next starting this weekend.
All for a guy who was going to come to us next Summer anyway and in these changing player power times could still walk away next season anyway.
All for nothing?
I guess the Lakers looked at Leonard winning it all with Toronto and thought it was all worth it.
But at least it’s all done. It’s over now. And for now Anthony Davis in that Glen Rice 41 is the next big man great in the legendary Laker lineage of Mikan, Wilt, Kareem, Shaq and Pau.
Just don’t Andrew Bynum or Dwight Howard this up.
Rich Paul for MVP.
That’s all folks!
The Six In 6. Toronto Become First Canadian NBA Champions
They the North did it.
Last night in the Bay the 6 got turned upside down with no need for a seven right now. As Drake’s really big team got some really big rings.
And with a 114-110 win in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors for Game 6 of the NBA Finals. After almost a quarter century the Toronto Raptors became the first franchise outside of the United States to win the National Basketball Association finals to make history and become Canadian champions.
And in their Canuck colours pointing to the North from California with the gold, these red and whites flying the flag in the U.S. did it for all of us as they truly changed the game.
It started with an expansion 24 years ago in Toronto. Alongside the Vancouver Grizzlies. It ended with them being the sole franchise outside of America in the NBA as former Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol joined another former gritted Grizz in the form of his big brother Pau Gasol to be the first siblings in hoops history to be NBA champions.
It started with throwback cousins Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady in Dino unis, throwing it up and putting it down. Bringing the Air to the Air Canada Center. It ended like Vinsanity in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest for a new millennium. Looking at the camera after honey dipping and putting it through the legs, telling us emphatically with cutting hand gestures, “it’s over”.
This is for him. Mac. Mighty Mouse. The Camby Man. The Junkyard Dog. Iron Man, Mo Pete. Chris Bosh.
You know it’s for DeMar DeRozan too especially.
Kyle Lowry (what more can you say with 26, 7 and 10 leading the way?). Gasol. Siakam (G-League to big league champ). VanVleet. Ibaka. Lin. And of course quite possibly now the greatest player in the world right now and Finals MVP (joining Kareem and the King as the only Most Valuable Finals Player with multiple teams), sinking that last free throw as epic as his around the world and a day buzzer beater against the Sixers in the six, Kawhi Leonard.
Nick Nurse the architect. And of course another one, James Naismith. This game was invented by Canadians, played by Canadians and like the first ever game in NBA history, this victory belongs to Canadians.
Drake. Real superfan Nav Bhatia and the Canadian coffee house company Tim Hortons raising a cup to him commercial tribute. Everyone in Jurassic Park roaring like T-Rexes for these Raptors and of course all of you. Truly bringing the buzz to basketball.
This if for the real Warriors too. Five straight finals for the first time in a half century, 50 years (love Commish Adam Silver’s lining tribute). The dynasty that is nowhere near dead as they fought to the end for their last look in the Oracle in those Town across the chest jerseys before moving from Golden State across the Golden Gate to a new era of dominance in the hilly streets of San Francisco (the next time we’ll see Toronto is in Tokyo, October for our very own NBA Japan), where that digitally developing skyline from those tram peak points is the limit. No matter who stays or goes in this Curry, Durant, Draymond and Klay juggernaut with guys like Igudola and Cousins relating too. This is for Kevin Durant (who we apologize to for every Canadian fan who cheered his injury in Game 5. Although Warrior fans cheered for an injured Kawhi back in the day too) who played to the pain as all heart he proved everyone wrong and did it all for his team. And true Warrior mode Klay Thompson who went down with a crippling injury too in this final game and came right back to the right kind of cheers. This superteam and one of the greatest in history is far from extinct.
But right now for the Toronto Raptors it’s Jurassic World and the Golden State Warriors for the last time, fallen kingdom.
And as the final horn called for the last game of the season all hands were kept high for the North who overcame all the cold to break the ice for the first championship. And the champagne no longer on ice tasted as good as these underdogs proving everyone wrong as they bit back.
I’m not crying…we’re all crying.
We the champions my friends and Canadian countrymen.
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