1949. Since their first NBA Championship, the Los Angeles Lakers have won the league title in every decade running, except the Celtics dominated Sixties and Jordan dominated nineties.
Now in the growing pains problems of the teens, how do the sixteen time champs make the decade they began with the legend of Larry theirs again? To ensure that this time next year in 2016 they’re back on top. Especially after the worst season in franchise history this year.
A season that saw 82 game ending injuries to top rookie Julius Randle and one of their all-time, greatest legends Kobe Bryant. Not to mention a training table list of so many injured players missing time on the pine for Gary Vitti. Including and especially Canadian and Point God icon Steve Nash who was forced into earlier than intended retirement. Even if he is now in his forties.
You’d wonder why after a lottery year like this Coach Byron Scott still had his job and a ticket to ride next time round. But with all due respect to the Showtime legend whose actually making a lasting leader, even the greatest coach would be hard, playbook marker pressed to fix all this mess. I mean just look what the Zen of Phil Jackson and clutch of Derek Fisher have to bite through when it comes to Big Apple, Knick rotten basketball right now.
The Lakers sure want to dry erase this year that’s seen few bright spots under the Cali sun. Still Scott has a lot of great young, showman talent to run and dunk with next season. Core, raw guys like Nick Young, Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer, Jordan Hill, Wesley Johnson, Wayne Ellington, Ed Davis and Jabari Brown should be kept in the exuberant locker room that overflows with energy, if not anything else. Along with Point Guard of the future, Jordan Clarkson, who in just half a season of no more DNP’s was the coaches decision for a top ten player of all rooks and may have even been a better rookie than Randle if Julius suited up more this campaign, despite being a second round, late sleeper.
And this young Jordan is already back in the gym.
Now once this impressive duo of Randle and Clark get really going they could become the new dynamic for the purple and gold. Still being in the draft lotto again is just the stub for the Lakeshow hub who have seven of Julius’ Kentucky alumni to choose from and more in what’s set to be a class apart for the future. Whether the Harrison twins, Frank the Tank or more from the new school graduate to the city of lost angels, its clear the Lakers future looks California bright in a Los Angeles that has now seen the one-time comedic Clippers as the Staple, champ dethroning, Spur shootout winners.
Still what about right now?
Kobe’s still the man! But for how long is another matter in the next season which owner Jeanie Buss is dubbing a “celebration” of his career. Will this toast be a swansong maybe? Is the Kareem chair coming a rocking? Either way there’s still some venom left in the Mamba, but they’ll need someone else to help them drain it before the young blood takes over.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and the Lakers sure want to make a meal out of Kobe’s meeting with Rajon Rondo in Boston this Winter. Still, after Dallas this Point Guards stock has gone down…but has his price? Especially after Clarkson gives them a point for the future.
Then how about some Love? Cleveland certainly haven’t been giving Kevin any lately and surely even without popping out a shoulder, his ‘Bron burdens would have lead to him running off court at a frantic pace sooner than later anyway. Still, hate may just be in the air for Love as he has stressed repeatedly that he won’t end up in Lakerland. Even if he did start his basketball career in the college halls of UCLA. Even if he is the son of a Beach Boy, you may not find him in Venice. Maybe the closest he’ll ever get to the Lakers is last year in their former home of Minneapolis with the Timberwolves.
So, the Lakers may turn their attentions to Portland this Summer, where their star Power Forward LaMarcus Aldridge is on the table. The Lakers want to make LaMarcus Aldridge an L.A. king and their next, great big man in their Mikan, Wilt, Kareem and Shaq long lineage. Still the moneys on this guy replacing Tim Duncan in San Antonio, in more ways than one after the end of this season if he does blaze a trail away from Rip City.
Then there’s the restricted free agent of Jimmy ‘Buckets’ Butler, the next big star in this league that could serve the scoring that will be lost once Kobe lets the sneaks hang. The Lakers are prepared to offer Jim the maximum. But in upping the ante we can’t imagine the Chicago Bulls not matching the offer for the ‘Most Improved Player Of The Year’, especially if he helps lead the Windy City charge to a championship.
More agents becoming free could set the Lakers this straight next season. Especially if the King opts out…but we all know how that played out last season. Sure the Lakers swung Babe big last offseason and even missed out on retaining Pau Gasol whose having the playing year of his life. Still the potential of even a Rondo, Kobe, Butler, Randle and Aldridge line-up with Clarkson leading the bench as Sixth Man has dynasty written all over it…let alone championship.
Then who wouldn’t want to play with Kobe?
Time for the Showtime script to have a Hollywood ending twist.
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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