Tuesday, April 24, 2012
LOS ANGELES D-FENDERS-D-AFFILIATES
Call Them Up.
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
The purple and gold Los Angeles basketball team have secured their place in the Finals! OK Laker Nation don't get your hopes up (just yet), you haven't slept through two months of basketball to the best awakening ever, instead the Lakers development team the D-Fenders are taking their really evolving squad to the Finals of the NBADL (the 'NCIS' to the NBA's 'CSI').
Not bad for a team that took last year off. Now you can call that a comeback. This year the experienced and great Eric Musselman led D-Fenders have had a record amount of players called up to the big leagues of the NBA and also have helped home and hone impressive Laker Devin Ebanks and currently newly signed Christian Eyenga become even better players.
The team this year has also featured NBA All-Star dunk participant Jamario Moon (recently singed by the Charlotte Bobcats), former dunk champ Gerald Green (now headed to Brooklyn with New Jersey) former NBA Indiana starting Point Guard Jaamal Tinsley and former Pacers guard Brandon Rush's older brother Kareem, who was a real sharp-shooter for the Lakers in the Shaq and Kobe days (wouldn't it be great to see him back in a Lakers uniform) and recently quite nicely had a foray into R&B During some of his R&R with the nice single 'Hold You Down'.
Its clear to see that the development league (which is also giving former All-Star Antoine Walker a second chance) is no shortage of talent. Especially on this team which once had both former Lakers Jordan Farmer and Coby Karl play for both them and the Lakers on the same day.
This D-League is definitely the place where raw talent gets whipped into shape. The National Basketball Association's Development League has really helped the league and players previously hurt by untapped potential. It shows just how much basketball potential is out there and just how expanse the wealth of talent is. A talent the D-League promises to turn into A students.
Now Mardy Collins, Zach Andrews, Elijah Milisap (brother of Utah Jazz top forward Paul) and the rest of this hard working, impressive bunch hope to show just how good this league and they are in an exciting finals with the top tier Austin Toros team. One that features NBA talents like D'Andre Blair and Ronald Murray, ready to show the big time of this league why they belong in the above one.
What a finals its set to be too. A matchup that promises great battle and grand games. Even though the D-Fenders have lost more players then New Jersey this year they could just do it against Austin after their inspiring and impressive season following a one year lay over. This could give the city of L.A. a winning basketball franchise before their parent team the Lakers try to make it a family affair.
Even if neither Los Angeles ballclub took home the gold this year they still show us just how an integral part of each other they are. After the final buzzer sounds after the final finals game, one outcome will be certain. That this great influential and developing league and its D-Fender team are here to stay. No matter who come and goes.