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What now for the Los Angeles Lakers?

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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.

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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.

NBA

New Toronto ‘City’ Jerseys Point North To The 6

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IMG 20180115 092655
Six Flag

Better late and sharp to the party than never looking fly.

Sometimes in the streets of Toronto you just have to wait for a good thing. Like that CN Tower forever in the distance drive from Pearson Airport to the downtown dot. Or waiting for a table and menu for something good to eat at Jack Astor’s on any given night. But Drake always delivers from serving up playlist picks to albums that offer ‘VIEWS’ that honour the great city of the six. So you know if you’re reading this it’s never really too late.

Now after Nike just gave us ‘Association’, ‘Icon’ and real ‘Statement’ jerseys for the new season where they are now the official uniform supplier of this National Basketball Association the ‘City’ line is complete like riding a Matt Bonner tram from King Street West to the Air Canada Center. As Toronto didn’t want to be left out like Kyrie Irving didn’t want to be the next Dwyane Wade. Now the only one rocking sleeves like Adidas is Lakers rook Lonzo again, looking to ball like his UCLA alumni days. Forget Christmas Day, unless you’re rocking Sixers script. As for the 6, the new Toronto Raptors jerseys that go back to black like the late, great Amy Winehouse with Octobers Very Own gold, couldn’t be more Drake or OVO if they had that Owl hooting from the shooting shorts. And you know these third blackouts will be a permanent fixture on ‘Drake Nights’ when the Raps court will be decked out in the black gold same lining.

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But these new duds that All-Star ‘Step Brothers’ DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry will rock like Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly did ugly sweater vests are less ‘Hotline Bling’ and more for the town he calls his own for the citizens of Toronto. ‘They The North’ and have that in six court copying chevrons that in glittering gold, road point to this very Canadian NBA destination. Do you see. And if you don’t know, now you know…player.

This is B.I.G. for the notorious north OVO town of the six. We’ve had the ATL neon, Boston parquet, Lakers Black Mamba snakeskin, Cleveland Land, Detroit ‘Motor City’ industry, New York’s F.D.N.Y. department, the Suns not losing the ‘Los’ love and Chicago’s classic city edition. But nothing for the homestand looks as good as this to the T-Dot.

And with all six signs pointing north to Toronto, we only wish these Raptors threads could be put on for the city every night.

Now the only ‘Fallen Kingdom’ in this Jurassic World will be found in cinemas with Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Jeff Goldblum this summer season Blue.

It took a minute for the sap to meet the tree but the Raptors and the Toronto city they call home are far from extinct.

Nike finds a way.

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The ‘Human Highlight Film’ Dominique Wilkins Almost Made ‘Showtime’ Worthy

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Wilkins
How Unique Would The Lakers Have Been With 'Nique?
Hollywood’s show kept fast break rolling last night like a Golden Globe as the young Lakers finally snapped their losing trend by clipping the Atlanta Hawks, 132-113 at STAPLES. All behind 20 points from Brandon Ingram, 15 and 9 from Julius Randle and 13, 10 and 6 from rookie Lonzo Ball. J.C. with 18 and K.C.P. with 14 also had three three’s each as the Lakers made a sweet 16 season best from downtown, to go along with a franchise record 42 points off fast breaks on a momentous night for the storied franchises record books.
It kind of looks like Showtime’s go on all over again.
But straight from the Fox Sports hole pregame did you know that back in the 80’s day the NBA’s Hall of Fame, Human Highlight Film, Dominique Wilkins was almost drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers to be the centerpiece of Showtime? The Atlanta Hawk legend who has a statue outside the ATL arena like all the Magic, Kareem’s, big fellas and logos outside Lakerland told us himself play-by-play as part of the pregame panel.
“Jerry Buss didn’t want me but Jerry West did”, ‘Nique said with warm affection to what could have been. And we can’t help muse like Shea Serrano’s brilliant ‘Basketball And Other Stories’ book to what legacy and Laker legend would have been like if the Basketball God’s didn’t cast down a thunderbolt. You see apparantly it all came down to an injury to Lakers Celtic bruising forward Mitch Kupchak, which will no doubt leave some Laker fans thinking this may be the first time but not the only time their former G.M. Mitch has messed up things for the Lake Show.
Kupchak’s season crippling injury made Buss want to go bigger and taller. And the rest is Big Game history as the Lakers drafted Wilkins’ fellow North Carolina alumnus James Worthy who made his own H.O.F. career more than just his second name that resides in the forever rafters like 42. The second in goggle command behind Cap remains one of the Lakers and the league as a whole’s most underrated legend.
But we can’t help but think what it would be like if we just looked up at the STAPLES ceiling and saw Dominique’s name up there like Kobe’s too (or two) with his 21 in that acclaimed area. It would have certainly brought more hard-nosed hostility to those Larry Bird fights and more Hollywood to that iconic Slam Dunk Contest between the Human Highlight and the G.O.A.T., M.J. And could you have imagined the Magic between a player who finished his career with Orlando and actually the legendary Boston Celtics and the man with the top hat himself Earvin Johnson? Now you thought watching Lake Show greats A.C. Green and former coach Byron Scott was good.
In the end it was all scripted the right way. The Lakers had their own Big Game dunking James worthy of a King and Dominique Wilkins soared as a Hawk in the A. But if Magic’s all smiling Showtime had a few more Human Highlights for the film? Now that would be something straight out of Hollywood.
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LeBron’s Land Now Has I.T. Support

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Portland Trail Blazers V Cleveland Cavaliers
I.T. Follows All The Kings Men

Cleveland plainly dealed their point prince Kyrie Irving away from the King’s Cavalier land this Summer, to make the NBA’s historical Boston Celtics storied again behind their new superstar handle. And in return they got a glorious gunner with an 80’s iconic name, albeit one hip checked to the new year with injury.

But even if Christmas has come late this year like changing your calendar to 2018, Isaiah Thomas is back like you’ve never seen him before, like a Detroit Piston legend kissing and making up with an 80’s Showtime one in an emotional NBA TV reunion.

Now that’s Magic!

Like Pennywise the clown, injury tempted I.T.’s reign into the gutter for the opening chapter of his story with the King like he was wearing a yellow raincoat. But just wait for part two…it’s about to get slicker as forget arms, Thomas is about to take everyone’s legs off from the ankles up.

He’ll float too.

The land was in need of a hand. One that even the way of Wade couldn’t help after the thorn that went in probably retired, former franchise player Derrick Rose’s side. And now they have it all for one and one for all in I.T.’s support. The King now has a fellow crowning talent ready to hold the throne with. Isaiah Thomas’ return to the trail against Portland was blazing too. Normally a nice 17 points and 3 assists would seem modest for a pocket dynamo of this young Iverson’s stature, but when we answer that it came in just 19 minutes of burn than you know it’s something else altogether.

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It’s the makings of something greater.

But all that failed to blend in Beantown as his reunion with the Celtics he was supposed to retire with and his renewed rivalry with the guard he was traded for was put on a DNP-CD hold (at least he too made up with 80’s great Danny Ainge). But the whole event game of the night turned out to be a wash-out as the Celtics 102-88 scrubbing of the Cavaliers on polished parquet only saw the real rivalry of James (19) and Kyrie (11) amass less than 20 points each when this explosive TNT match-up should have gone 30 for 30 for ESPN.

Still Ohio will rise again when the King and I.T. return to their land and maybe even the promised ones of the NBA Finals. As another Celts/Cavs conference finals match-up without Gordon Hayward and this time more Love could beat towards the heart of a lion. And the five foot something with a headband has plenty of that under his too.

And you best believe tooth and hip surgery nail he’s going to leave it blood, sweat and tears all on the parquet this playoff postseason.

But this time instead of against one, Isaiah won’t just be running alongside a King…he’ll be one.

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