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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

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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