Tuesday, October 7, 2014

COURTSIDE COLUMN-Throwback Court

The Purple & Golden Years.

"Motherf###### Ass####"! That's how Steve Nash sums up his Los Angeles Laker backcourt mate Kobe Bryant as reported by top Sports Illustrated writer Chris Ballard of 'The Beautiful Game' in his latest Mamba Long Form. Truer words have never been spoken right?! What on paper is the worlds worst insult is actually a crazy compliment to one of the greatest basketball players of all time and still one of the best in the Association of National Basketball. That's right Kevin and LeBron...and that's right you guessed it! Kobe couldn't love Steve's comment any more, because just like Bryant replied, Nash is an ass#### too! Real recognises real and a motherf##### knows another motherf##### when he sees one. Originally this column was reserved for the instant vintage like a Saadiq C.D. How this was the league and maybe histories served best backcourt ever on paper. The best Point since Magic and the best player since Mike in the same backcourt, suited up in purple and gold for the same time. Just imagine what it could have been like when they had the best international player since Dirk and the most dominant big man since Shaq! You saw the 'Sports Illustrated Kids' superhero Justice League comic-book cover. Now its just Flash and the Batman. Now Pau Gasol's Green Lantern and Dwight Howard's Superman are gone...and lets not begin to get into the Cyborg of Metta World Peace.

In the dusk of justice (I promise that was another nixed Chris Paul swipe...honest) we miss this assembling of characters for one of the greatest teams ever...again on the dry-erase. Having Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher was actually championship certified better though. You don't have to believe it! The history books wrote it. Still with Kobe and Nash's oldest and greatest backcourt you better believe they still have something. Especially with the Fantastic Four new academy of heroes to marvel at in Nick Young, Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson and Jordan Hill. Along with the All-Star veteran and worldwide insanity famous big names of Carlos Boozer and Jeremy Lin respectively. Plus the post future of Wildcat big man Julius Randle from Kentucky makes this team look a hell of a lot better than what is read in critical ink. Especially with former Showtime fastbreak finisher Byron Scott running show. Clipper superstar Blake Griffin is right. In this battle for Los Angeles, the Lakers are still the alpha team with the history behind them and the whole world in front of them. Originally we said this column was going to be like a eulogy. An epitaph article of apprehensive appreciation to two legends and modern day idols about to lace them up one last time together before they hang them up. Still its not over yet for this throwback court. Not with a hardwood classic show on a preseason in Denver that was truly an exhibition. It's not over yet!

Just look at that photo for example. The smiles, the jokes. The chemistry, the camaraderie. I know! What a bunch of A-holes right?! That knowing glance like that knowing smile between Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan as they passed each other like this in the 2002 All-Star game where Kobe owned his hometown Philadelphia as a dunk missing Jordan told him, "don't be taking over the whole game now", smiling. To which Bryant beaming even more at his idol, winked, "don't talk me to death" (don't you just love it when they mic All-Star games?)! This look between Steve and Kobe that they know something that we don't. They've still got it, despite injury or father time! Nerve damage or Achillies be damned. Not only are these two of the associations greatest competitors, playing together instead of dunking and dribbling over and around each other. They are two of the most dedicated. Kobe Bryant tore his Achillies and then tried to excruciatingly push it back into place before hitting what where two mere consolation free throws before walking off court to show they really meant something. This guy, not injuries decides when he's done. Then if you thought that was painful Nash's extensive nerve damage, still playing professionaly at 40 was like a root canal for the whole body. You cant see it, but boy if you where in his sneakers you would feel it. Yet he's still playing all to honour a contract that the Lakers could have simply put to amnesty for the Canadian international. Yet they wont. Now that's dedication. Isn't that right Dwight? Sure the afro and floppy hair may be gone but the heart and souls still there as they run and run all the armchair fans social media hate out of trend. You may have seen our last articles on Kobe and Steve Nash 'The Winter Soldier' with pictures of them walking back into the tunnel lie they are done, but no. They are not. I still believe in Kobe Bryant and I still believe on Steve Nash. If only they had more Denzel time these men on fire would be one of the greatest Laker duos like Magic and Kareem, the fire and ice of Baylor and West and of course Shaq and Kobe. Still with Bryant saying he's got more years in him then the 'S' ends of his Mamba 'Ringsss' t-shirt and Nash even contemplating staying on another year there's more Hall Of Fame moments to come before the corridor calls. Yes these guys are crazy and maybe these ass##### will have even more time together. After all they deserve each other. I know the rest of the league right? It's a motherf#####! TIM DAVID HARVEY

Thursday, September 25, 2014

WILT CHAMBERLAIN Feature-MR. 100

Stilt The Man.

By TIM DAVID HARVEY

Look up there! They say its lonely at the top and for one of Hollywood's biggest stars, figuratively and literally it appeared that way behind the locker room scenes. You see that big house, atop the very peak of the Hollywood Hills beyond the rest of Los Angeles' California coast. Looking like Avenger Iron Man's Stark mansion and something 'Knight Rider' David Hasslehoff owned himself when he wasn't on a 'babe watch', patrolling Venice Beach as a lifeguard in a 90's hit T.V. show that now make those orange floats, Hollywood hoarder desired famous. Still the Hoff had nothing on the Big Dipper who rose higher than any mansion foundation. This was his lair for the ladies first and the man who used to pull down rebounds and points in what today could only be described as video game numbers, used to rack up the statistics when it came to after game dates, shall we say...and believe me that's putting it mildly. More surprising than the fact this giant, imposing talent-that some argue as more dominant than Shaq and even more greatest of all time than Michael Jordan (believe me this isn't as sacrilegious as it sounds)-never fouled out in his career (that's a lot of minutes), is that the crazy numbers of female partners he laid claim to didn't put him in an early grave in the pre-Magic Johnson warning era. Still an abhorrent and an uncalled for, unfair racist punch to the jaw that landed this mans teeth in the roof of his mouth and lead, as it does to circulatory problems probably did, as he died of a heart attack tragically decades later. Still before we call manslaughter on any player or dental awareness on your own brushing habits this is another way of saying this late great legends legacy was somewhat marred by loneliness and ignorance. Still, right now everyone is about to learn just how 100% this gentle giant was and how lucky the National Basketball Association was to have number 13.

This ladies, gentlemen and basketball purists is Wilt Chamberlain. This boys and girls is a man that scored 100 points...in a single game. That's right a century and that many years later-despite the high school and street claims-and a record of this mammoth magnitude will never be quite outdone like this. Not even the 81 of fellow purple and gold Kobe Bryant could match this on his best week and another pivotal Laker legend at the centre position, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar may have followed him and recorded the most points in NBA history, but the man that is 20 retired jerseys above the Stilt could never double up on the Dip. You all know that most teams of five men and even more substitutes sometimes don't make it to 100 and sometimes that's even a game winning box score, but one player? Well no one player was like Wilt and on this day the Phila wearing 76er, who took the Warriors from San Francisco to his home, gave the New York Knicks a real big three of digits. It's crazy to think that this man "only" made 36 of 63 from the field. Still his 28 for 32 from the line was truly something else instead for a man whose Achilles heel was free throws like fellow Laker superman Troy's, Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard. The young man that held up a scrawled down '100' on an A4 piece of note paper was a record book engraver however. He was a regular 50 and 25 threat. That's right 50 points and 25 rebounds...on average. That makes todays 20 and 10 threats of the post big man age look like Luc Longley numbers. No wonder the Goliath Wilt, despite his claims that no one loved him, is arguably considered the greatest Los Angeles Laker centre of all-time. If not the National Basketball Associations best player. Michael Jordan may be the prototype, new millennium model of basketball silhouette like his Jumpman Nike logo, or Chamberlain's former famer teammate Jerry West, but in a big mans game, Wilt is the most dominant ever. Even more than the big fella Shaq or the hook of Kareem in a Laker legacy lineage of big centres of legend that began in Minneapolis with George Mikan and could have ended recentely with Andrew Bynum or Dwight Howards torch bearing. Shaq's diesel would run out against the dipper in a match-up and Stilt Chamberlain could even leave the goggles and glasses of Mikan and Kareem fogged for good.

No wonder this original Fresh Prince who ended up in Bel-Air, after being born and raised in Philadelphia (and yes the playground is where he spent most of his days), like Will Smith (your parents will understand...cant believe I'm saying that) was "WOW" inspiring amazing enough to tour with the Harlem Globetrotters. Trekking across his stardom like a supernova, stealing everyone's heart like a purse, without the ball needing to be on a string. Between all the buckets of glitter and purple and gold this man had as many ups and downs as the number of times he put the ball up and through the basket. It almost looked like an instant replay. But watch this! As soon as a real big three of Wilt, and the fire and ice of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor assembled and formed like Voltron along with Gail Goodrich in Los Angeles, a ring brought everything full circle. Chamberlain was finally champion in California, destroying New York basketball again and in the bright lights and big screen city of Los Angeles' Hollywood this player could finally play. Promiscuity and points rained when they said it never did in Southern California. It looked like nothing could stop Wilt in Lakerland. Even the Magic's and Kobe's of today are just Worthy Laker legends in big point making comparison. Still there was a David to this Goliath and his name was Bill. Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics. A big man rivalry that was even more heated then his reluctant Laker torch passing one with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. If Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all-time and Wilt Chamberlain the most dominant ever, then Bill Russell is the most successful. Just check the old Boston Garden air vent units for the number of times Red Auerbach lit one of those iconic victory cigars. For awhile when finger jewellery-less Wilt played the lord of 11 rings Bill it was all smoke. So much so that Russell ran out of digits and just has all those rings scooped in the palms of hoops safest hands. Russell was everything Chamberlain was not. Popular, loved..the man! Some thought the underappreciated and misunderstood Wilt was offensive in more ways than one. Whereas Bill remains the greatest defensive player this game has ever seen.

These great rivals and even better friends represented the Laker/Celtic storied rivalry like two big, opposing symbols and they practically started its rich NBA legend and history. Before Magic and Bird where bringing the golden era to basketball, making all other sports green with envy, Russell's Celtics where Wilt and his Lakers bogey team. The battle of Los Angeles between Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce was a million miles and years from this. Wilt dominated by making every point he could to anyone who would listen, whilst Bill ruled down his long career road without saying a word. Even though silence was truly golden even against Lakers yellow, Wilt deserved his purple heart and jersey against the traditional, green-collar work of Boston. Bill recognized him as his biggest and best competitor and besides Batman needs Superman, like Stallone needs Schwarzenegger and Springsteen needs Dylan. Like the sun needs the rain. Like the Celtics need the Lakers. Like the NBA needs them. Just like Magic and Bird. There was even an offer for this man to fight Muhammed Ali, but this man already had his Joe Frazier in Russell and no matter how many times he hit with a knockout dunk, the belt would usually end up around the Celtics trophy cabinet. Still Wilt got his, with two fingers to the league or any critic that just saw statistics without substance. Or saw him as second place like today some think compared to M.J., or Shaq. Like they did to Russell, or Kareem. Or Larry O'Brien. We already told you this man was more than the 20,000 claimed sexual partners (that would be on average, one a day for 54.8, exhaustingly straight years...or half that, if he...well you know). Or the even more unbelievable 30 and 20 averages over 9 seasons. Part and parcel to why number 13 was that many times an All-Star or up there in the rafters with all those banners he made Bill and Boston work so hard for. This Hollywood Conan star was truly a Barbarian, no O'Brien, even being big and bold enough to make it in business and volleyball of all things. Still when he spiked the peach it was something else. All other professionals looked like drunks next to the master. So all kneel to the man that had to dip through doorways. He took his bow at the Hall, but the only thing more tragic for the top of the top 50, who died all too young at 63 alone is that he's not today as readily remembered for who he truly was. Gentle, giant and above all...great!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

ADRIAN DANTLEY Feature REACH & TEACH

The Changing Of The Guard.

By TIM DAVID HARVEY


7.00am. A early morning, fall Winter mist outside your frosting window matches the steam whistling from your kettle on the inside. You pour two cups of coffee...you and your husband are going to need them today. He switches the half piece of buttered toast from his mouth to his hand not holding a suitcase as he kisses you on the cheek and tells you he loves you whilst putting on the other half of his suit jacket and heading towards the door for another day at the office. Before he leaves he gives you a knowing wink and directs your attention towards the 'Captain America' and 'Frozen' lunch-boxes. You smile warmly. He's got the school run tomorrow. Then after holding your warm cup of java and savouring the steam and wake up and smell the coffee feeling of morning, your peace is interrupted by what seems like a hurricane of horses galloping down the stairs. Your two kids hug your legs with an excitement that begs for another snow day. 'Not today' you think as you make sure their scarves are tied and their hats are on properly as they giggle. You hand them their lunch with a kiss as you all head for the door, only for you to come back and reach for the keys on the countertop. Leaving home you rush walk against the wind, cold, clock and what already seems like too tired legs for two young people. You're tired yourself but then as you reach the crossing right ahead of school a long wingspan and big palm signaling stop wakes you up. It's the tallest man you've seen all week. Wait a minute...

Wait just one minute. You recognise this crossing guard. The distracting reflectors or the biting cold balaclava don't fool you. That's former All-Star and one of the greatest NBA players and scorers of all-time Adrian Dantley. Directing the traffic he used to drive through down the lane as a basketball God. But why? Surely he doesn't need to?! Still the ever hard working A.D. wants to just do something and give back to his community. As nice as he was as a coach for Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets that direction didn't end up on the same path that everyone wanted. Besides the league doesn't pay its vets health insurance. Saving wayward kids from getting run over like he used to save loose balls from going out of bounds on a morning and afternoon shift for around 40 bucks an hour does. Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring, Md's intersection is now the daily domain of a man who used to own 94 by 50 feet of hardwood court nightly. Now this guy truly is something. A great man of both the local and NBA community. A Hall Of Famer, 30 point average scoring machine and two time leading champ the likes of Iverson, Kobe and Kevin Durant can only relate to. A purists, pure scoring favourite 'The Teacher' was taking people to school before directing people to it in a basketball education. Entering the L in the late 70's and playing during that next decades Magic/Bird, Lakers/Celtics golden era A.D. represents one of the last of truly the best. You know like when music sounded so Motown great before all that next generation R&B kind of watered it down somewhat. Like classic woodgrain and leather, American muscle cars before things in the automobile industry became a little too safe and plastic clunky. A.D. represents the good old days. An original like the Adidas he wore. No wonder the three stripes have made him part of their 'Top Ten' signature. Just don't ask for his autograph while he's trying to do his current job. Besides have you ever seen someone try and get in his way as he cut through traffic playing in the NBA?

 B.C. Before the God M.J. there was A.D. A 6, 5, S.F./S.G. out of D.C. with a A plus bball I.Q. Forget about a basketball jones when Delano Dantley was in the zone. He was smoking as he put out the opposition like a cigarette butt in an afterthought ashtray. Those legendary Buffalo Braves selected the Notre Dame college star with the 6th pick '76 draft, who became a Rookie Of The Year and Montreal Olympics Gold medal winner on his way to a 6 time All-Star career. One that would garner him the Oscar Robertson trophy to his cabinet and those career book line averages of around 24 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists are like the mighty O too. The consensus All-American in college is second all time in fighting Irish scoring and first in charity stripe buckets earned and paid off. Him and his Dame also upset and ended John Wooden and UCLA's legendary and storied 88 game winning streak. Bruising the Bruins and big man Bill Walton whilst showing future fellow 80's Laker Jaamal Wilkes who was really as smooth as silk. The leading scorer of Notre Dame also paced the gold winning Team U.S.A. in Canada,leading all scorers when he wasn't even a rookie of the National Basketball Association. When the NBA did start signing his cheques he braved out some time with Buffalo where the future Los Angeles Clippers had a big three herd of R.O.Y.'s in a half decade. So much so that the team probably thought they where justified in shipping him to Indianapolis where he kept up the scoring pace in the city of fast cars and now fast buckets clutched before Reggie Miller had his time in town. Still after a Michael Jordan number of games, A.D. was on the road again like Willie Nelson and we aren't talking about a 7 day trip across country. Forget what would be the Clippers, Adrian Dantley was in California playing for the Los Angeles Lakers with THE Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, pouring and scoring when they said it never rained in Southern California.

 In the pre-Magic kingdom, showtime era that featured wing wonders like Wilkes and current Head Coach Byron Scott, many forget like Bob McAdoo that another prolific power playing great suited up for the storied purple and gold in his and the Lakers rich and vibrant history. Perhaps it was because it wouldn't be long before he was soon off again for the then purple of the Utah Jazz. An All-Star journeyman being shipped around as trade bait for his fourth team in as many years? Maybe that's why he dropped one of the numbers on his 44 jersey. But like Jordan wearing the 45 he wasn't there to play games with you, but take aims at you. As the Jazz associated game of NBA basketball before the hip-hop of Jay-Z had an instrumental Utah leader playing and singing from the baseline. Like a saxophone ringing through the Salt Lake City night (doesn't sound the same like New Orleans does it?) the league really heard from Dantley as he led the NBA in scoring twice as he spent the lions share of his career proudly playing with the Jazz. At his professional peak, Adrian was a scoring mole and all six of his All-Star spots where during his seven years in Nevada. Not even torn ligaments in his wrist could stop the net snapping of A.D. Still a change of motor saw him join the 'Bad Boy' assembly line for the Detroit Pistons where he became more than just another cog in the Isiah Thomas machine. His former teammate and NBA role playing, champion great John Salley told us last month, "teach' really helped me in the way I dealt with people and being the best professional I could possibly be". Salley now known as an active vegan promoter also had a seed planted by his 'teacher' mentor after the professionaly and physically in shape Dantley once told him straight after a hard practice, "hows that cheeseburger treating you"? After the former Jazz player made music playing points in Motown be became a Maverick donning Dallas green like city and colour. Becoming a Texas quick draw with his high percentage shot for his last two career years before a 10 day stint with the green of Milwaukee for a quick buck and stint. Blowing a whistle on his playing career this guy now moonlights as a referee, stopping players in their tracks once again. The mid-range game of this legend scored him a place in the hall and a retirement in the rafters but the man who earned his living from the free throw line (sharing an attempts record with another scoring icon Wilt Chamberlain) now maintains one from the crossing line. From courtside to roadside, this changing of the guard will always keep this legend the same thing, hard-working, professional and a valued member of the community. Don't you know by now? Everything runs through A.D. Stop, look, listen!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

ALONG CAME A SPIDER-An Interview With John Salley

The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

By TIM DAVID HARVEY

Basketball personalities don't come much bigger than John 'The Spider' Salley...and that isn't some awful pun. As a player the Georgia Tech blocks leader retired his college jersey and entered the NBA draft at number 11. He then became a member of the famed 'Bad Boys' Detroit Pistons championship squad and a vital cog in the Piston machines assembly line, stepping his way to history in Motown. Sound good? Well then as a veteran he won rings with Phil Jackson for the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, serving as a great presence off the bench and in the locker-room to some teammates you may have heard of like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. After retiring with his own dubbed place in history as the man with, "four championship rings, with three different teams, in three different decades and two different millenniums", Salley broadcasted his post career as a presenter of quite literally 'The Best Damn Sports Show Period', which set a standard and is missed as much as it is replicated today. The former Bad Boy who was in both 'Bad Boys' films with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence isn't just known for balling and acting. Today the well being activist is out there adopting and promoting a healthy vegan lifestyle to everyone that will lay table with him, not just athletes. The mans even got his own sauce and wine. So let's raise a glass and spread some sauce with a friend of our blog who kindly agreed to sit down with us for an interview. Let's go catch a spider...

24/48/82: Hey John, how are you?  In your post-NBA career your still keeping plenty busy. You're very active in promoting a more healthy vegan lifestyle? How important is it, athlete or not to eat right and perhaps adopt the vegan lifestyle?

Alright brother. First of all thank you for having me. Well I think its very important that an athlete feeds his avatar with what it needs to perform at the highest level and to get muscles to do what they do and to get the body to respond in so many different ways that aren't sometimes I guess conducive to the human body. You have to makes sure that your locomotive has the right amount of coal. You're not going to throw fish or bad things into a locomotive and expect it to to go fast. You have to give it the fuel it uses to power the engine and when all these people are eating animal flesh and thinking that powers your engine. I always say to people how can it help you if its dead and not freshly dead, like a lion or a tiger or some predator, but something that's been dead for a long time. I mean how can rigor-mortis give you energy?

24/48/82: Although not a vegan, your teammate Robert Parish was a vegetarian and ate right to the benefit of a 20 year career, how important is it for first hand energy and longevity for players to consume the right things? Michael Jordan may have a steak house in New York but after doing it the wrong way guys like Carmelo Anthony could benefit from your advice.

Well the deal is, Robert Parish and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the two reasons I became a vegetarian fully in the first place. They where the first ones I saw and I was 27 at the time and there was an article about Robert Parish and one of his martial art forms and I remember playing against this guy and asking him how he was running up and down the court with me and I was in my twenties. He said, "you have to learn to pace yourself young fella". He didn't tell me about veganism I had to learn that and in doing that I also learned a lot of guys don't eat before they play because they want to stay light. and then I would go, "well then your car has no gas" and I thought about that so at 27 I made the change.

24/48/82: Do you think if you had become a Vegan in your  playing career it may have befitted you?

Yeah, I mean I wanted to play to 40 as well. I mean I had a good career but Robert Parish had a view to look at stats and a better career. If I would have known how to take care of my body when I was 21 then I would have played until I was 40 as well. I just presented my system to Doc Rivers and Byron Scott. I said, "you have to let me talk to your players before the season starts"! I remember when I was in Miami, guys where bringing fast food onto the jet and these where all-stars wondering why they would't last longer in the league. Now to see LeBron smart enough to cut carbs out of his diet, it's a start, but it's a process. It's about getting to these guys making them realise the more fibre they have the longer they'll last and the better they'll play.

24/48/82: This sort of dieting could help someone like Kobe's career last longer if he starts snacking with you.

When I was in China they call poor food vegetables and rich food meat, because people have more money to afford it. So with that being the attitude it's kind of hard to get these guys to agree with anything. I'm doing a new show and before I could tell you where the steak houses, the strip joints and the nightclubs in every city we play in but I couldn't tell you anything more about the city and now when I go places I found out where all the vegan places are and I kind of test them and put them on my Instagram (24/48/82: @thejohnsalley check it out) just to keep us up to par.

24/48/82: What are among your favourite vegan recipes or those you feel are easy for weary newcomers to pick up from meals on the go to romantic nights in?

One of the first things-and people don't always understand why I go this route-is I act like I'm getting rid of vampires. So I don't give them humans to eat instead I give them a blood supplement. I send the flesh eaters over to Gardine and I love Field Rose. So Field Rose is a grain meat that you can get in whole foods here. I don't know how they sell it outside the country and its in a sausage form, its in a low form and when you eat it, a lot of people when they see the middle portion and don't see flesh they don't think they're eating meat. I believe in giving them Field Rose which is just like there eating meat. Or they get Gardine which is like fish-sticks and hamburgers and hot dogs (Field Rose has hot dogs too) and I put them in potato bread and I put really good organic mustard on. So I did this with my daughters, they where making pasta using rice Parmesan cheese and making sure I used organic sauce. In doing that they get the same taste and one thing I tell them is, "you don't want to feel like you're eating at the small table at thanksgiving. You want to feel like you're eating the same meal". I serve this to people, I do this all the time and they're eating and when they finish I go, "how did you enjoy your vegan meal". I remember Vivica Fox was at my house and she was like, "that wasn't turkey"?! She goes, "what did you feed me?! And I go, "you didn't say that when I told you it was turkey, but you really don't know if its turkey". And so I said, "I gave you the taste, but you're going to leave here and have fibre and go to the bathroom in the morning. If you went and had thanksgiving somewhere else you'd be asleep for three days". So I bring it in that way. I bring it in with 'it looks the same' and I then I take them to a place called 'Native Foods' here in California and there's six other places, like Chicago and it's going to go throughout the country, because it looks like its fast food. They've got the bread. They've got the sauces, but when they finish it they go, "man I'm full" and they don't realise they eating things the body can process even though its processed food the body can break this down.

24/48/82: I love L.A., but I have two friends that aren't interested much in the city but want to go to L.A. purely because it's known as one of the best places for vegan food.

(Shakes Head) No, Portland Oregon. I went to a place called Port A Bello's which is Italian with vegan food, which sounds like an oxymoron. It was the best pizza I've had since eating cheese from an animal. It was unbelievable. If you look at my Instagram you'll see the picture. I don't believe it they've just started carrying my wine in Portland. Vegan Vine Wine is on its way up!

24/48/82: Yeah we where going to ask about the 'Vegan Vine Wine' and we saw on the Racheal Ray show that you brought out you're own sauce. Could you tell us a bit more about a few of you're products?

Yeah I have a series of products. I started working with a company called 'Ultimate Super Foods' and the product is called 'Ojio' and in Ojio we have 110 skews of raw, organic nutritiously dense foods and things to cook with. I got the Vegan Vine Wine which goes into the Whole Foods, California starting October. I'm working with a guy called Joe's Patty's, who has a great patty that you literally add water to and you put it together, freeze it for a second and then you cook it and it cooks and tastes like a hamburger but its grain. It's oats. I'm working with Destiny and Biscotto now. I keep going in with the alcohol. The reason I go in with the beverage is once you get people to taste they go, "oh" and then you say, "that's vegan" and they say, "that's vegan"?! And then I get them into the conversation and then you have them taste the food and I go, "you're eating everything that's alive, nothing dead" and that makes a difference. I'm working on a product called 'Fearless Beer' which is a vegan beer. It's a Scottish ale out of Portland. I got these bags, literally called Pcider. They are made of silicone. So everything I'm doing is being cool and forward thinking, but when  you get down to it it's my way of stopping animals from being murdered. 75, 000 land animals per vegan that's what it comes out too. So I work with my fork and my dollar makes all the difference.

24/48/82: Being born and raised in Brooklyn what was the hoops scene like there when you grew up and how good is it to finally see a pro ball team in the B.K.?

When you came from Brooklyn man. When I was growing up it was World B. Free, Fly Williams, Bernard King, Pearl  Washington, John Salley, Sid Greene. It was a bunch of 'cats out of Brooklyn and so that was the thing you had to use the ball to get out the hood. Now when I go to Brooklyn it looks like the place is cleaned up and I went by the Brooklyn Nets arena and it looked like a spaceship had landed in Brooklyn man. It's an unbelievable view from being a desolate ghetto type mentality to turning to a beautiful metropolis.

24/48/82: Being a Springsteen fan though I love New Jersey, what do you think about host cities like that and teams that have lost their franchises over the years? I mean the Seattle Supersonics had a beautiful franchise and now its gone. Do we need to talk more expansion here before we look abroad or should we keep it small and focussed?

I think the expansion of the NBA to cities like Oklahoma and New Orleans, back in New Orleans, Charlotte, Toronto, Memphis. I think those are great for the brand and as I remember Seattle, great sports town. Didn support the team. I was in the championship in 1996 against Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp, but the city didn't want to build a new arena. This world is moving, where you have to have more conveniences and more high-price digs. So they didn't want to be involved in that and the owners found a situation down in Oklahoma and we saw that if you put the right team together with the right mentality you can win. It doesn't make a difference where you are. San Antonio! So with that mentality I think the people out in Seattle missed out on something. You know they're happy with their baseball team and they're happy with their football team being world champions but now with a group talking about bringing the Supersonics back. Literally with the old name the Supersonics, that makes a difference and now the people around realise that they are in control of their entertainment as much as the owner. So if the owner is not going to make any money, there's no reason to stay in that town. I think now they are more apt to build an arena and build their sports franchise because they realise how much money it brings to the city from restaurants into making you a complete city. So the people who missed out on it now understand the power. With the Clippers selling for $2 billion from a guy from Microsoft from Seattle. I mean they have the money here. They just need to raise the stakes of the NBA and taking the brand to a different look. As far as going abroad concerned I agree with you. I think this being the place that you have to come and play NBA basketball makes it that much more attractive. The fact that the NBA players come from different countries, 87 players or more is enticing and promising.

24/48/82: College ball is heating up again. Who do you like and what fond memories do you have from your Georgia Tech days, with the blocks record and jersey retirement to being drafted so high?

Well you know I feel sorry for the guy Wiggins because his whole career everyone's telling him how great he is and he gets to the NBA and then he realises he's trade bait. I'm glad when everyone realises they're trade bait. As far as rookies I never pay attention to them. I know that sounds crazy but I know how tough m rookie year was and no matter how good you are, you're not going to be as good as you're going to be in three years so talk to me in three years (smiles).

24/48/82: 'The Teacher', Adrian Dantley certainly was a mentor for you, even helping with nutrition which is your focus today what can you tell us about this somewhat underrated legend and man that makes him a Basketball purists favourite?

Well teach man. I used to always tell the story of how he was like, "what do you want for lunch, I'm buying lunch" and  I said, "a hamburger and French fries and a strawberry shake" and this is in Milwaukee, we're playing an exhibition game and he just shook his head and ordered a half sandwich and soup and he said, "bring me another soup and half a sandwich at 4.45. We didn't have to be in the arena 'till 6 and so he ate at 2, he stretched, he talk a small nap, he got up, they brought his food at 4.30, he finished it by 4.40, 4.50, he was already dressed over at the arena getting treatment. By the time everyone had to be there at 6 he had been in treatment  and heating his body up and then Jack Sigma, big, slow guy.  One of the top 50 players too was beating me  up and down the court. I couldn't put the ball in the basket. I was moving slow and A.D. said, "how's that hamburger treating you"? That right there told me, he said, "you can't put that heavy stuff in your body and expect your body to perform. Your body is going to do what its designed to do, digest food, break it down as nourishment and you didn't put any nourishment in your body" and that was what ended it for me. That's what made me able to play 12 years. I only stopped because I wanted to be in television. I was already in my mind successful enough at that juncture in my life, but A.D. man would make sure his body stayed in shape, he still does. His personality wasn't the personality that needed to be in the NBA at that time. At that time you where aloud to be quiet and he was an older cat. Now you know you have to be more vivacious and have more personality in this new world. Or at least have 20, 000 tattoos. One or the other. A.D really helped me in the way I dealt with people and being the best professional I could possibly be

24/48/82:  Such a hard worker on defence and terrific teammate what did you feel you brought to the Piston team that set you apartWhat was it like being an original 'Bad Boy' and winning those championships in Detroit, especially with the eighties being an era of 'Showtime' and the hard work of Boston too? How was your team tougher than the rest?

The cool part is when I got to the team you know it was like, Jack Mclusky was putting together guys to do particular things. I was a shot blocker, defender, rebounder and that's the way they saw it. It's funny because when I came in I was trying to score like in college and they where like, "we just need you to play defence". Chuck Daly was like, "if you get an offensive rebound you can put it back in the basket". Dennis Rodman and I went after every offence rebound because to us it was a path. We went from "man they 'aint giving us any plays" to where we all fit in where it was necessary for once again the locomotive to have the most steam and. In coming in when the NBA has a plan to market their player Michael Jordan as the greatest player of all-time and he's in our conference I'm not trying to lose and no guy on my team was losers. So we got in the way. I tell people all the time, it's the greatest marketing of all time, of any person, the marketing of Michael Jordan. There could be a game going on and in the middle of this they could say, "Michael Jordan has just entered the arena in the American Centre". So the would always let you know the second game, so they could keep you with the first game. So they would tease you with the Bulls next and we kept getting in the way and sending him home so for years he was never allowed to get to that ability to win a championship until he gone through us. I'm just happy that the NBA at least acknowledged that they kind of swept us under the rug and we where this little team in this little town that was known for making cars causing havoc in the NBA.

24/48/82: I like what I see with the Pistons today. How do you feel about their future? Those 'Motor City' jerseys are especially great for the support of the city. Sometimes it goes beyond basketball.

I think them getting rid of my guy Joe D, put a bad taste in my mouth. But Joe did what he needed to do in that position and he can take care of himself, but the new owners I know the guy from the Clippers is willing to do what it takes to win a championship and that's the way I look at owners. When they do what it takes to win a championship that's what sets it apart for me.

24/48/82: You have the honour of having and I'm quoting you here; "four championship rings, with three different teams, in three different decades and two different millenniums." How surreal is it to have your own special place in the history books? There's a very transitional path of your career too. From playing with Dennis Rodman for two different teams and playing under Phil Jackson for two. From sweeping the Lakers, to being swept by Michael Jordan? What's it like having all these experiences?

It's a trip because I see guys like Gary Payton and Mitch Richmond and Alonzo Mourning going to the Hall of Fame and they where All-Stars and they scored more points then I did and I was like, "but where they as successful as I was?" Looking at the hall, my cousin was like; "the things you've done will put you there" and I was like, "well I'm already in the record books I don't need to be in the Hall." But to do the things you've just mentioned. One, I didn't plan on it in the NBA I tell you. But the experience I got from it was to understand that Phil Jackson is a great coach and his system of the triangle offence is the reason he won championships. The fact that other teams don't take that on is AMAZING! If I was a coach and I hadn't played for Phil I would focus on what Phil did. I would copy the blueprint. Playing with D. Rodman was one of my blessings because once again me and Dennis weren't playing to try and be famous. We where playing to win. Because winning will make you famous.

24/48/82: It's funny I always champion role players and those that help win championships. Being a Lakers fan guys like Derek Fisher, Brian Shaw, you, Ron Harper, Robert Horry and Rick Fox are my heroes like Shaq and Kobe. These are my meories I was thinking as well. You where known for your humourHow do you feel the comedic side helped ease nerves and raise spirits in tense playoff locker rooms?

I'm a tell you man. My job was Shaquille. A lot of people didn't understand my job was in practice. Since I had a pretty good command of the offence. So when Phil would yell out certain things and the ball would go certain places when I was playing defence on him I would push him to certain places he needed to be. It was like walking him through it like a chess piece. Until he was able to post up and get the ball where the triangle offence didn't set up. So Shaq made his own way and Kobe made his own way and in doing that and understanding how to stay within the system they where successful and they where able to be considered Hall Of Famers. So the system is what the deal is and the reason they won championships and Brian Shaw didn't get the job with the Lakers because they asked him what he felt about Phil and he was positive about Phil because he won five championships with him, two as a player and three as a coach. I mean, this is the guy! But they didn't want to hear that. They didn't want to hear it. So that's why he didn't get it. I always tell him. I talk to B once in awhile and I tell him, "hey man put the triangle in your offence" He says, "OK Sall I'll put some pieces in and I'm like, "put the triangle in your offence". He says, "I'm the head coach".

24/48/82:  From movie 'Bad Boy's to Luther Vandross videos what remains your favourite acting work amongst some of the best in the business? When I told my girlfriend who I was interviewing she said "who" and I was like, "the guy from 'Confessions Of A Shopaholic'?

(Laughs). To go back to 'Bad Boys' I went on set to see Martin they where shooting in Miami. Now Martin and WIll where friends of mine before they got where they are now. That was going to be their first big blockbuster movie with a $30 million budget. It was Michael Bay the director in his first big film. Now he used to direct my Nike commercials. I go there to see Martin and he's sitting there with his new fiancĂ©e and I said, "oh nice to meet you. Do you have a  prenup"? He got pissed. He couldn't believe that was the first thing I said. "Yeah you're cute and all, but do you have a prenup"?! That's what Sinbad said to my wife and I before we got married and we made sure we got one. The cool thing was that Martin's girl was like, "I don't want any of your friends to think I'm after you for your money so we should get a prenup and do that". So he does and then he gets divorced three years later and he calls me and he thanks me and he goes, "I only had to give up a million dollars and it would have been a million more". In saying that I say to you. I go up and I hear Michael Bay and I like when we where walking up to set we where making things up and he didn't want me to play a basketball player and I liked that and then Jerry Bruckheimer called me up and said, "I need a little bit of funny in my movie. Do you want to be in my movie"? I said, "yes! How much does it pay?" He said, "how much did I pay you last time" and I said, "well it has nothing to do with what you're going to pay me this time" and he said, "it has everything to do with what I'm going to pay you this time". I said, "what are you going to pay me" and he said, "$25,000" and I said, "what day do you want me there"? I didn't care what he was going to pay me because I got $473 for 'Bad Boys'. But we got to write those parts and it was fun making them up.

24/48/82: You've hosted many shows but the biggest following has to come from literally 'The Best Damn Sports Show Period'. You where like the Arsenio Hall of sports shows. 

That's what I like!

24/48/82: We miss it. Do you? Even though you have the podcasts etc today. How fond are your memories of that time and how do you feel it's set the standard for more sit down and relaxed pundit shows today?

I do miss it man it was a good cheque. It was a lot of fun everyday it was a lot of fun everyday. It was not the same because there was struggles getting athletes on. Competing with ESPN because they had a bigger platform for these guys and a way of getting the guys too. I remember man they thought it was going to maybe last 6 weeks and then 8 years later. You know I was on it 'till four weeks before the end and I tell people all the time, "we where the view for sports", but you know after the first year and we learned to not talk over one another we had some real colourful characters. Getting information from guys like Tom (Arnold), Michael Irving and Chris Rose trying to keep the carriage straight. I see a lot of guys now trying to be cool, but I always said. "why have you got these guys dressed in suits, these athletes. I'm not really listening to sports from a suit"! They said, "no it's dignified" and I said, "once it gets to the suits it's not the same look". So I like that they let us wear jerseys you know and casual clothes. The things you would wear when you where speaking about sports. That was my favourite thing that we literally broke the trend of having the suits on and we broke the tend of athletes not having any personality.

24/48/82: With all your experiences did I hear a rumour about you writing a book? Or would you ever consider writing a book?

Yeah I was writing a book man and it was called, 'A View From The Bench' and it was all these wonderful stories from the NBA a lot of basketball and a couple of inside basketball, but I didn't want to mention names and everyone was like, "but a books not going to sell if you don't mention names". I said, "well...yes  it will, 'Dallas Forty' didn't mention names and it was the best sports movie I've ever seen. So I don't need to mention team names". I didn't want to make it just a thing inside the NBA but they didn't want to go for that. So then I wanted to write a cooking book, but I stopped using oil, cooking and fattening oils in all my food. So I had to take time to erase oils and batter and cream from a thousand recipes. So I kind of put that on the back burner and I just do cooking shows tasting the food as opposed to telling you how to do it with recipes. Me focussing on the food business I'd rather sell a product then sit around in the kitchen like I did when I was growing up.

24/48/82: Although you're known as a funny man, you do is in a respectful friendly way and with all your other work from the ABA to 'Operation Smile' and more your really help too. In fact with what you just said about not wanting to mention any names, today it seems we live in a culture where people want to throw each other under the bus. In the face of all this, how important does it feel to be an influence of inspiration to people, especially in this day and age?

I think it's important to be passionate and when you're doing something your passionate about and letting people know. I mean I don't believe in fighting. I'm not for war for peace. I'm not against meat eaters. I'm for veggies. I'm on this side doing the work. Mother Theresa didn't want to be popular, she just wanted to be efficient and giving and selfless and that's kind of where I take off that mentality. Not that I'm Mother Theresa, but that is the thing that resonated to me more than trying to be the leading scorer in the NBA. I believe the sports part is great but what really motivates me in what moves peoples lives is something they can use everyday. When I get into health and talk about it really its for them. It's for their health but it's also for the health of the planet because in being a vegan and being a raw food vegan and talking about substantial ways and going green all of that encompasses being sustainable and that's why I speak about it. Now 'Operation Smile', because I have this smile it's got me into places and eased a lot of woes. It makes me understand ow important it is to have that smile and what that smile does for your confidence and the people around you. No one came and asked me to do it. I asked and that was the best part of it and when I'm working for P.C.R.M. committee for response in medicine it's about making sure we have responsible medicine  and catch up to the rest of the world when they deal with foods. 87% of the things we eat in America couldn't be sold in Europe or Great Britain because of the strict things they have on the food. And you guys of course eat food out there, so it's the mentality and how I push. I just think those things are important, what I'm passionate about and it doesn't offend people. Well it did offend the people I spoke to up in D.C. speaking at the house with their dairy lobbiest speaking about why it's important to have dairy farms and I said, "I'm not trying to stop your dairy farms" and they said, "you are"! "You're telling people cows milk and butter are bad for you"! I said, "I'm not saying it, I'm repeating it" and everybody was like "the things we show are good" and I was like, "well it was paid by you. The thing I get my information from are not attached to you. I'm doing it blind. The proof is in the pudding. Or in the stomach. All these kids are obese and what they eat our cow products. If you drink from a cow I'm sure you'll look like one." (Laughs)

24/48/82: With so much already achieved and more on your busy horizon what else does the spider have in his web?

I'm doing health and wellness retreats. I'm doing a thing called 'Betta Lifestyle'. That's 'better eating, today, tomorrow, always'. I made it ebonic because the guy wouldn't sell me the word 'better". It's better life path man. I'm literally going to move on an island in Jamaica. Where going to go to one of the islands in the Caribbean where the number one disease is diabetes and where going to go there and explain how the body works and how to reverse the effects of diabetes. I don't ever say heal or cure. I say reverse the side effects. So my next fight is obesity and diabetes.

John we thank you for your time and consideration and the day one recognition. It will always be cherished and appreciated. All the best and thank you.

Further Reading...

John Salley Feature 'The Amazing Spider-Man'

Sunday, August 10, 2014

JEREMY LIN Feature-LINSANITY HITS SHOWTIME

The Lin Laker Dynasty.

By TIM DAVID HARVEY

Boy are you in for a show tonight kid! Kind of like the one this writer attended off Broadway in twenty twelve. Hustling around New York City in mid-March looking for the hottest ticket in town. An Englishman in New York, giving all his dollars up like he had no sense or feel for the sting. All to pass through the gates to basketballs garden of Eden. The Madison Square mecca. Still I'd seen this place before. Starred at its incredible and iconic ceiling, a hoops purists Sistine Chapel. I wasn't there to see the worlds most famous arena again. Or the banner jersey of Patrick Ewing's 33. I wasn't even there to see the 'melo of megastar Carmelo Anthony either. I was there for something much crazier. I was there to expose my lack of immunity to a fever that had vice gripped the hoops nation, like its cash from the souvenir stores posters and t-shirt to the rest of the roundball globe. I was there for the reason why Spike Lee was wearing the number 17. I was there for the kid from California who changed the game and its perceptions. I was there for Linsanity.

And he didn't disappoint either in his 15 games of fame. But that's all over now...or is it?! After the Asian American took his fame and game to the market Yao Ming left in Houston for a not so insane game year, the show goes on for Jeremy Lin in his home state with Los Angeles. Giving the Lakers a player back from the Rockets who took centre Dwight Howard with last years free agency. All while unloading the contract of a kid they clearly didn't have much respect for when they made a play for this years marquee free agent and former Lin teammate Carmelo Anthony when they made a banner of 'Melo super imposed in Jeremy's number 7 Rocket jersey. Neither H-town or the Joel Silver and Tobey Maguire scripted Hollywood got New York's Anthony, but one team got a star. As Jeremy Lin held up one side of his new jersey like he was folding a bed sheet with Mitch Kupchack he revealed the number once worn by Laker champion greats Andrew Bynum and Rick Fox. Still even with the return of his Knick number this talented young stud insists that Linsanity is as a thing of the past as thankfully his pressurised and ignored performance anxiety he suffered in last season in what you could call this coming out party kids sophomore album...but not season. Still as a hit show from New York heads to Hollywood, even with the death of many a dynasty something special feels like its going to happen when Linsanity meets showtime.

Behind the scenes though there's much direction needed for this young, staring leading man who looks to take the Point Guard lace untied and about to be hung up ropes from one of the best Point Guards of all time and best since Magic in more ways than one, Steve Nash. "We've got a lot of work to do", Los Angles alpha Kobe Bryant told his new dog and the man that even outscored Mamba in the dobermans February home of M.S.G. Just like he did with Nash, Kobe yet again has the chance to form one of the leagues quickest and best backcourts as showtime runs again in Hollywood like it was the Stallone and Goldie courtside 80's. Laker lifer Nicholson knows this Jack. On paper this team reads well, from the frontcourt additions of all-star Carlos Boozer and hot kid Ed Davis to the number 7 drafted future star Julius Randle, to even the re-signed youth movement of fantastic four Jordan Hill, Xavier Henry, Wes Johnson and Nick Young...who Lin will have so much fun running with in the changing of the guard. Still we all know sometimes the stat sheet reads different especially with Jordan Farmar, Kent Bazemore, Chris Kaman and Kendall Marshall all joining championship certified, Laker legacy legend Pau Gasol on his escape from L.A...what where we just saying about Goldie? This team is almost as depleted as its stocked and lets not even talk about the potential free agents this team has already lost also.

Sure the Linsane LeBron like hype is a wrap now like all those flavour of the month in your ear hip-hop references, but this kids still got the talent that took him to the worlds stage in his elite game. The former Harvard grad is an A student of this game, even after spending some detention time in the D league and he's ready for his next examination. If only he was undrafted because scouts thought he was to busy hitting the books in Boston's most prestigious college. Still just like Lin has overcome the cruel racial and physical taunts to be a big name star, he'll overcome the doubt and anxiety that shrouded the star power but not the player one of the season after. The kid is coming home and getting the welcome chance that was not invited in California's Golden State. This is a team of big names and legends. Like literally the highest nams, from Wilt to Shaq, Mikan to Cap, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. This town of the highest personalities is also known for the little guys, the guards. Think Gail Goodrich and of course the logo himself Jerry West and of course the Magic of Earvin Johnson. Now with Nash's later years, this is arguably the Lakers best and biggest star at the P.G. position in their prime since M.J. of the reverse 23 nature. With assistant coaching rumors pointing to the glove of another former aged Hall Of Famer Laker, Gary Payton then this young point could really get his mentoring from the best. Especially if Byron Scott joins the forum...then it'll be showtime again. Whether Lin ends his Laker career in the rafters or more awarded like a troubled Lamar Odom, he'll at least sneak toe the line of the electric Nick Van Exel's or even the clutch Derek Fisher's, being the second but smaller scoring option Kobe demands. While the boy wonder is the Robin to Kobe's dark knight, the vet Boozer and rook Randle paint the frontcourt points in this inspired illustration and court canvas. Still there's one point Lin and the Lakers really want to make and that's that they're still as big as their name. You know what they say in this town, heres looking at you kid.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

JULIUS RANDLE Feature-TOP CAT

Kentucky Wildcard.

By TIM DAVID HARVEY

Imagine the scene. It's one of the greatest moments of your young lifes conception. All your family and friends are here to celebrate your coronation. You could almost swear its your birthday. There's even a table laid for you. A pristine white table cloth, untouched by the finest dinner you and yours has ever let touch your lips. There's enough bottle water to go round you'd think there wasn't an epidemic of a shortage in some countries. The champagne's on ice but the nerves aren't. There's a big screen making big names and a room full of flashbulbs ready to blink and burst in a moments memory and capture the next star. You're in your best suit but you're ready to cap it all off with a baseball one in this other sport that if out of context would look like crimes to GQ. Forget the stern words of the critics the Silver linings come from the words of commissioner Adam on the eve of the first day of the rest of your life. "With the seventh pick in the 2014 NBA Draft the Los Angeles Lakers select Julius Randle from the University of Kentucky".

Cheers, euphoria. Tears, no more paranoia. You are good enough for this game. All the hard work your talent took has paid off and brought you here to this moment and all that its potential promises later. You walk up pumping the air and accenting it with the highest grin your cheeks have ever lifted for. The sweet smell of success. The sound of applause. All rounds on you. There's pats on you're back as you're about to shake the hand that will seal the deal and this fate like putting your right hand on the bible. You walk up like you're about to accept a lifetime achievement award. You sort of are. Forget the LeBron crazy free agency offseason. This is the NBA's Oscars and you're about to lead a whole new Academy with the likes of Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins. A Hall of Fame class? Only time and titles will tell the story of legends and legacies. Still you're more than top ten. More than your fellow impressive draftee Jordan Clarkson whose having a hot Summer. You're a franchise face with the ability to be the next leading man like Chris Pratt. This is your moneyball moment Julius. You've come from the most prestigious alumnis of basketball education in the University of Kentucky and you're about to graduate to one of the National Basketball Associations most storied and successful franchises. The most famous team in the world. The former home of George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Shaquille O'Neal. Kobe's house. The forum of legends. The STAPLES Centre. The Los Angeles Lakers.

It's Showtime! The world is yours and you're yet to blow out 20 candles on a birthday cake. It's a teenage American dream. Rumble young man rumble. You're already so mature. That's what happens when you play for U.K. under the tutelage of Coach Cap. You're games the same as that honed frame. All meat in the middle. I guess you've been eating all that wholesome food Kentucky is famous for dishing out like the ball to you in the post. Now from the falls, to Cumberland Gap, the small town of Corbin and downtown in the big city of Lexington where you used to play, the state of Kentucky is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Let alone in these United States Of America. Miles and miles of beautiful country but nothing is prettier than you in the post over and over again,showing the muscle moves of memory along with the spin ones that make you look like you've been turning round the seasons for years as a veteran of the L. You're Kentucky power could make you a dark horse for best rookie next year. When you're in your sweet spot its just too tough for the opposition. I hope I get to see you play in L.A. like my girlfriend did in Kentucky. My Corbin family told me how good you are. Alumni and NBA role playing great friend Walter McCarty knows you're the truth. You eased the hurt of a departed Anthony Davis. The kind both the Harrison twins will have to soothe now you're gone. You belong with all the Cousin's and Wall's. You could have cut down nets but now you're about to rip them off in the big leagues.

College certified. Professional personified. It all looks so powerfully promising. It's your time. You're about to play with one of the greatest players in the league and of all time Kobe Bryant, but even he knows you're the future with one sneaker in the Hall like Steve Nash. We all saw you as a kid in that summer white number 8 throwback we didn't think was that old...I guess really we are. Even the likes of Jordan Hill and Nick Young are now confident to re-sign after THE worst season. Lets hope Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson and more are too. The Linsanity of Jeremy Lin will help so much but losing out on LeBron and Carmelo wont as well as old friend Trevor Ariza. Losing free agents of merit Jodie Meeks, Jordan Farmar, Chris Kaman, Kent Bazemore and whoever else hurts us too. Just like the dearly departed championship certified of the past that was our great Pau Gasol too. His slot is vacant now. I'm sorry kid but it really is all on you now no matter who else we manage to get. Now Phil Jackson, Derek Fisher and Kurt Rambis are all in New York maybe Byron Scott can coach and guide you. This is because you see this city and franchise expects a lot from its big man lineage. Maybe sometimes too much. Just ask Andrew Bynum or Dwight Howard. Still you're more of a Worthy type, to the big game of James. No wonder Mitch drafted you and was so eager for you to sign. You're our dotted and bottom line. From the gamble in Sin City for Las Vegas Summer league to all that will payoff come playoff. Like the good doctor you Julius Randle can handle this truth. You're just what we ordered. The seventh seal from the draft about to bring the winds of change from the coast of the Pacific. With the seventh pick the cap fits.

Friday, July 4, 2014

COURTSIDE COLUMN-L.A. Ink

Guardians Of L.A.'s Galaxy.

Fireworks will be going off all around the United States Of America on tonights July 4th. Still that's nothing compared to the explosions of the biggest lights in Basketball who this July have already sought their own Independence Day. We're about to be a part of more blockbusters in the Summer season of 2014 than Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum where in the 90's...but who will be holding the victory cigars in the end when the fat lady sings? Right now the National Basketball Association is making more big feature presentations then Marvel combined with the movie monsters of Godzilla, the Transformers and Planet of the Apes. So where better to set our scene than Hollywood? The show must go on for the Los Angeles Lakers with their most iconic star Kobe Bryant about to make quite the epic comeback from an against the odds injury chapter with a no playoff payoff footnote for the final act of his career. One whose legend still has some legacy left. Its going to be quite the conclusion for the man who will not go quietly into the night, but will this finale end in the finals?

It all depends on who the Buss family can bring in to coach around Kobe's court. One of the best Point Guards of all-time Steve Nash is still here, but with injuries and age make that 'just about'. Sure drafting Kentucky Wildcat college grad and future star Julius Randle with the seventh pick in what looks like it was all meant to tank is an incredible start. While bringing the 80's showtime of Byron Scott from the lay-up line to the sideline one would be even better, especially now that another playoff legend Derek Fisher out in New York like Phil Jackson is no longer able to coach. The future of this team is in the young likes of breakout game star Kendall Marshall...as everyone else is a free agent in what is the most ridiculous (in all senses of the word) free agent class...or could we even say "draft" in the days of future franchise/faces that are about to pass. Even after a season in need of a reboot the Lakers will want to keep their Fantastic Four of Nick Young (as super as he is that streaky), Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson and Jordan Hill (who may stay now D'Antoni's gone) along with the long arms of All-Star Pau Gasol...the reason the Lakers even have recent championships. Although trading him for a package deal including the kicker of the draft rights to his brother Marc is as now regrettable as the Chris Paul nix that led to all the Lakers alumni switching their Los Angeles STAPLES Centre locker rooms for Clippers ones. The Lakers don't want their L.A. son Jordan Farmar or Kent Bazemore to join them. Especially with former centre and best big since Dwight Howard, Chris Kaman making his own escape from L.A. this Summer along with the talented shooting back-up of Kobe, Jodie Meeks now inheriting the Palace Of Auburn Hills in Detroit fort a big contract and future motoring with the Pistons. Still forget about Lob City. How about 'LeBron City'?

Where will the King take his throne and talents in decision 2 four years after what still causes televised controversy? The Lakers may be actively pursuing him but right now who isn't? Even the Cleveland Browns could make as push and they aren't even a basketball team. How about those Cavaliers too? Plus South Beach will hope to keep their Heat together with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh also opting out for a new plan. The Lakers figure Bosh in theirs too, especially if they lose the power of Pau to another team their hoping to poach a player from. You see Kobe and LeBron aren't enough. The Lakers want the New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony too, just like we talked about last off season almost a year ago when this column debuted courtside. What a difference a losing year makes. Now the Lakers look to forge an even greater set of Hall of Famers than when Karl Malone and Gary Payton joined Shaq and Kobe. The press already have their LeBron banner moment headlines ready if they read for the Los Angeles times. 'L.A. Kings', 'Purple Reign', 'California King'. Still before a nixing happens you may want to hold your breath for the biggest three ever and the greatest Los Angeles franchise in its Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson history. LeBron's future is yet to be witnessed but we could see 'Melo in Lakers yellow soon. Their 'Die-Hard' pitch with a highlight video directed by 'The Matrix' and 'Lethal Weapon' director Joel Silver was a great move...although having it narrated by Tobey Maguire not so much (someone should tell the powers that brass that that voice is a little wet and Andrew Garfield is the real 'Amazing Spider-Man' too). Anthony could bring Gasol with him in the frontcourt whether these two stay or leave. With the potential of all this, maybe finally some Love from Kevin and the old home of Minneapolis, an old friend like the championship certifier of Trevor Ariza (let's make him the first signing now), the kid Randle who posts up like a vet and of course the man Kobe, this Hollywood picture is taking its blockbusting shape. But will it be a success at the box-office? Its all coming soon. TIM DAVID HARVEY

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

COURTSIDE COLUMN-COACH FISH

The Fish That Saved N.Y.?

0.4. Forget a New York minute for a second. In what seemed like a fraction of time, the former number 2 point guard of the Los Angeles Lakers went from a coaching consideration in Hollywood to being snapped up by L.A.'s former Head Coach, Phil Jackson from the front offices of Madison Square Garden. That's right New York City, in the core of the Big Apple your new coach of the Knicks is playoff, big shot, clutch legend Derek Fisher. Now with rumours rife of former Laker role playing legends Rick Fox and Luke Walton suiting up in assistance. It seems like the Knicks are the new Los Angeles Clippers in taking Lakers alumni and making them their own. Especially with Queensbridge New Yorkers Lamar Odom and Metta World Peace in the N.Y.C. mix. Now with all these loss Lakers and the former showtime of STAPLES, looking to replace Mike D'Antoni and find a new man to lead them back to the Hollywood hills of the promised land its time they go fish. In their long halls of alumni fame names like Byron Scott, Kurt Rambis and former coach Mike Dunleavey Snr could help the show go on but what about the man that has arguably won them more big playoff games in a matter of seconds then Robert Horry and Kobe Bryant combined?

Matter of fact the New York Knicks have only won 40 playoff games compared to Derek Fisher's 161. You want to talk about on the job experience? This guys got it in treasure troves. Now the franchise that has reached out to one of the role playing faces of their Walt Frazier, Willis Reed and Earl the Pearl championship days of the seventies are relying on the eleven rings championship certified pedigree of former Chicago Bulls and Lakers coach, Phil Jackson. Still as much as this team would love and prefer to have the new Pat Riley of the front office down on the sidelines, they have more championship proven experience in one of Jax's loyal and best players Fisher. Coming straight off an almost championship run with one of the West best Oklahoma City Thunder, Derek takes the job that was first offered from Phil to fill to former Bulls three point gunner Steve Kerr. Still with Kerr now taking the reigns off former New York City point guard Mark Jackson for the Golden State Warriors job opening out in Oakland, its up to another primetime big shot point to lead the way by example out in downtown Manhattan. With one of the best Point Guards of all time and a Maverick champion Jason Kidd straight out of the playing frying pan and into the coaching fire in Brooklyn, we now have a classic new chapter to add to the new Nets/Knicks rivalry and fight for N.Y. in the form of a veteran, point guard playing champs bout. The all-star versus the role player, two big time players of experience in an epic match, both wet behind the ears of the dry erase. The ties are off for two guys who could still suit up to play. So who will be able to keep theirs on as these two structures scrape the skies of success? Now as a coach, Fisher is a rookie again like we where back against that photo wall in 1996. Still, just like Kidd don't bet against this veteran making a great coach. Besides even Phil Jackson knows that role players make the best coaches.

From the way he played stepping it up in the crucial clutch keys of the game to the way he "coached" as a player in support from the sidelines (even the words of his farewell diary blog serve as knowledge and inspiration of the game spoken like a true coach when he wasn't even one) this man has been preparing for this new role since he was 9 years old. That's his word. Speaking of which a certain clutch crouched speech during the 2009 Laker finals against Dwight Howards Orlando Magic was as big as a play as one of his trips on the floor downtown. Thinking of Howard, the signalling of the second Laker death of a dynasty wasn't when Dwight left like fellow super big man Shaq did back to Florida in 2006...which Fisher knows all too well. It was actually when the core of Derek, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom departed that the championship caliber left with them. Again as sad as it is to say goodbye to Derek Fisher as a player its amazing to say hello to him as a coach. Now this former player president with the association behind him looks to have just as much pull and attraction then his greatest coach of all time boss. First former teammate and troubled Lamar Odom can be brought around with his former championship circle to ring the changes and hopefully bring him back to the floor spreading player he was, like no other. Then there's former teammates Kevin Durant and even Kobe Bryant who are among the LeBron James (way to reignite that old Heat/Knick rivalry) names the Knicks are chasing. If one of them replaced, let alone joined the cities Carmelo Anthony then things could get championship, dynasty crazy. The biggest city in the world could be the greatest basketball one. The former joke could have the last, Larry legend legacy laugh. Still before we get too ahead of ourselves it all starts with the bottom line of Fisher. One that looks set to cast out some championship bait himself. The man that used to take the charge is now in charge and this team is in some safe point guard hands. Not only can this guy lead, but he can win and now the city is his its time to add some more rings to that other hand. Here's to you Coach Fisher...you have the floor. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

DEREK FISHER Feature-COURTESY, PROFESSIONALISM, RESPECT

Our Finest Officer.

By TIM DAVID HARVEY

True sportsmen are hard to find in today’s game of basketball. This is especially true when coverage is dominated by heavily rotated highlight reels. OK, there’s not much that beats alley-oops and baseline reverse slams but what about the fundamentals of the true warriors of the game? Those who don't make the top ten plays of the week but instead possess something deeper. Derek Fisher shows us how much he embodies all the aspects of being true to the definition of sportsmanship.

sportsmanship
n : fairness in following the rules of the game.


You can't call yourself a basketball fan if the figure '0.4' doesn't register in your mental encyclopaedia of historic NBA Playoff moments. There's not a lot of things you can do in 0.4 seconds (you can barely even bounce a basketball) but that was all legendary Lakers guard Derek Fisher needed in the postseason of 2004. Just four-tenths of a second to break the playoff run and hearts of the San Antonio Spurs. Less than half a second to lift his written off Los Angeles team to the NBA finals. He did all this with a beautiful turnaround, fade-away J off an inbounds pass from Hall of Fame candidate Gary Payton. This was Derek's hall worthy moment though, as he went all 'big game' like James. Catch, turn, shoot, BANG! With that swish Derek went from respected role player to among other things, "The Fish that saved L.A.". Bet he's glad that name didn't stick. From now on just call him 'Mr. 0.4'. Just one heroic moment for a seldom known role player right? Wrong! This was the same guy who's been a playoff hero year after year. The same guy who in the early 2000's averaged double digits in points in three consecutive seasons whilst having to share the ball with two guys who had enough trouble sharing the limelight. The same guy taken with the 24th pick out of Little Rock, Arkansas. The same guy who's practice coupled with his workout regime kept him as fresh and strong as he was when he first entered the L with Kobe almost 20 unbelievable years back. The same guy who maintained a high level even after suffering two stress fractures to his foot. The same guy who in playoff runs was a killer in the clutch like the Lakers Horry. Keeping his teams hopes alive shot after shot, charge after charge, big play after big play. The same guy who has done what countless other star NBA players haven’t, filled an entire hand full of rings.

Spurs purists will also be heartbroken every time they remember Derek taking over quarters, wetting so many three pointers with marksman like precision. Shooting the lights out to an NBA record 15 three pointers in the 4 game 2001 Western Conference semi-finals sweep. Philadelphia 76er fans wish they could forget the Finals, Game 5, deep dagger three from D-Fish which sank along with their hearts and hopes of championship glory back in 2001. The normally reserved Derek, with an assassins look on his face put his finger on his lips signalling the home crowd to be silent after that shot. The city of brotherly love had nothing more to say. Respect paid. Fast forward a couple of 365's and Derek was still that reliable point guard but like November 4th change can happen and Derek Fisher was part of the death of a dynasty in L.A. Kobe remained but his reported on off relationship with Shaquille O’Neal ran its course when the diesel fuelled up and took a talented trip back down to Florida. This was the biggest news story, but all good Hollywood stories have sub-plots and Shaq wasn't the only one who said goodbye to Hollywood. The Zen departed for a few years, Karl Malone retired along with Rick Fox and Gary Payton was traded. In all this mess as per usual things were said and stories emerged. Shaq and others were quick to let their feelings about Kobe and the management be known. Even the mailman delivered some barbs Bryant’s way. Still, however amongst all these dramatic exits and gossip column worthy quotes, one guy who's loss would effect the Lakers just as much as many of the others remained quiet. Derek Fisher just went on his way. Fisher showed something the other players didn't…

Courtesy.

Fisher went north to Golden State. The Oakland team put $22 million on the table so they could pride themselves on having a real Golden State Warrior. Although he struggled at first he improved when Baron Davis took the reigns of the Warriors. This freed Fish up to be the player he is, always having his star man’s back. This resulted in Derek's best offensive season averaging 13 points per game. He was still making those trademark spot up jumpers, he was still drawing fouls. Those huge plays that win ball games. Then it was off to Salt Lake City where like with any good Jazz piece-Fish knew his role well-and with perfect harmony bought his own unique style to an already established ensemble. Again Derek the consummate professional gave 100% to his duty in Utah every night. A man who does this deserves to be recognised and when Derek was elected president of the NBA Players Association in 2007 you know it was because of his embodiment of sportsmanship. A man who should be a shining example for the rest of the league. A man who opened up the league after the lockout. There’s not much that keeps this man from the court, but even true sportsmen know that as important their responsibility to their team is, some responsibilities are simply just more important. Like family. Derek Fishers 10 month old daughter Tatum suffered something nobody, let alone no child should have to endure. Retinoblastoma, a rare, degenerative cancer of the eye. Emergency surgery was required. Like any true father Derek was right by his daughters side every step of the way at the New York's Presbyterian Hospital. These are times when conference semi-finals don't matter and duty can be put aside.

So Derek was with his family. But then he did something nobody expected even a renowned true sportsmen like him to do. With the doctors blessing he flew back to Utah. The Jazz were almost three quarters deep in trouble against Fishers former team Golden State. They needed a hero. Derek answered the call. Fans will remember him walking into the arena surrounded by personnel. Instead of warming up, he suited up and was on court late in the 3rd. For all the all stars that were on the floor for Utah (Deron Williams, Andrei Kirlienko), Derek knew it was time to show this ball club how a seasoned playoff hero plays this type of game. He high-fived his Jazz bench, entered the game to a standing ovation and embraces from current and former team-mates, he held his hands up high and looked to the heavens and then it was down to business. To win games first you have to take care on the defensive end. Derek did just that with a critical stop against Baron Davis taking his team to overtime. Then up 120-117 the Jazz were finally in control but the W wasn't sealed yet. They needed a sharp-shooter to put these Warriors down for good. Utah's go to guy Deron Williams found Fisher open in the corner, catch, shoot, swish, W. That was deeper than just simple sportsmanship. This is the magic of players like Derek Fisher. This is the magic of the NBA. ‘Where Amazing Happens’, right? This moment arguably just as brilliant as his 0.4 second shot and definitely more heroic. Coming in for his team in their time of need, when it was his time of need displayed courage and something real special. Something that was although deeper than, still true to the definition of sportsmanship...

Professionalism.

But even when your truly dedicated to your work, when times get real hard sometimes you just got to walk away. Derek Fisher told the Jazz he had to go to a city that had the medical means to take care of his daughter. He at that point had walked away from the game he loved to devote all his time to his daughters care. If this man’s career was called at this point on July 2nd 2007 nobody could have fronted on this man’s dedication, selflessness and level of sportsmanship. Still, however Derek’s basketball diaries are now in the process of having a storybook ending, just read 'Character Driven' for reference. A city that had the medical needs to look after Tatum and a team to take care of Derek’s career came calling. As if it was meant to be, the familiar city of angels beckoned the Fisher family back home. Kobe was putting Los Angeles back together but Batman needed Robin. So number 2 of the Lakers to the day it should be rightfully rafter retired belonged to Derek Fisher once again. The headband may have gone but the hard work and dedication still remained. As did the clutch 3 pointers. The Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, years, tears and two more rings can attest to that. Derek still got his and gave his team the energy and the heart they needed. Even after 2011's three-peat fail, Fish was still there shooting rainbow jumpers and taking charges, making big plays heading to the fourth quarter and his forties. That was all whilst trying to help prevent David Stern from putting a Coach Carter style lock and chain on the NBA's gym. Now that's dedication, from the labour courts to the hardwood ones. The Lakers may have been a mess when Fisher left after his first tenure, but they where even worse when their clutch, championship certified classic Guard, pointed further West to Dallas. Still as a Maverick, Fish couldn't make good with Cuban's for another championship cigar so like smoke he was gone.

Like a Supersonic from Seattle, Derek Fisher went to Oklahoma City to add some rain and reign to the Thunder bench. Closing out his career he was more than just a valuable veteran but a dynamo next to the dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Behind every MVP is a Derek Fisher and one of the greatest playoff finishers in NBA history still had bullets in his clutch chamber for the big shot. How these guys havent got a championship yet is LeBron James and Tim Duncan incredible. Still they'll probably get one next year and Fish could have probably joined them with the way he could still play. Still he's got an even bigger task ahead of him in New York City with Knicks Phil Jackson and Lamar Odom and perhaps even more Laker legends L.A. forgot. Derek is about to be a rookie again, beginning his head coach career in the mecca of basketball Madison Square Garden and judging from the way he played, supported from the sideline or even wrote in his farewell diary blog he will be more than alright. This ultimate teammate knows the game. Think players won't follow a young head? Then look at all the famous faces that where behind him in the lockout when he was player president. This man’s great legacy may yet include a few more championship rings to join the five his cabinet already contains. If this happens do not think this of it as mere coincidence. Besides the zen of Phil Jackson has faith in this great man from the Knickerbocker front office and the next chapter in their collective saga together from the triangle to the title. Theres as new sherrif at the core of this Big Apple town whose about to live by the cities officers moral motto and code of conduct. The city is his. Carmelo or LeBron, or even an old friend with a name like Durant or Bryant. Why? Because hes just that potential proved great. Greatest coach of all time, Phil Jackson certified. By making this leap of trust hire, the players former coach showed Derek Fisher the same thing he in his career has shown every city, team, coach and player he's ever played for or against and the league of the NBA as a whole…

Respect.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

EDDIE JONES Feature-A BASKETBALL JONES

The Sixth Sense.

By TIM DAVID HARVEY

Listen like thieves! Before Kobe and after Jordan there was an in excess, laundry list of swinging Shooting Guard and Small Forwards who where running the new era show of golden time basketball to become the next heir apparent in wing waiting. Sure Michael Jordan is the greatest of all-time and Kobe Bryant has been the best since and before King LeBron James NBA reign, but a former Heat and Laker was a star in South Beach's Miami and California's Los Angeles. When Jordan was swinging between baseball bats and bunnies named Bugs you couldn't even find Space Jam on your NBA Live 96 video game (you could find a certain someone on 'Shootout '97' though) and a young Bean named Bryant was months away from being drafted by the Hollywood Lakers via a Charlotte Hornets trade that saw L.A. centre Vlade Divac make way for the kid, the Big Fella, Shaquille O'Neal and the next dynasty of domination in the post-Jordan league of epic eras. Between all of the strike outs and air balls however there was a guy stealing basketballs like Mike wanted to do bases. A Bball babe like Ruth, taking the rock and rolling with the attention so much that even this young English writer saw his number 6 purple and white trimmed gold jersey everywhere whilst travelling in Paris on a childhood Summer vacation...and this was before Tony Parker was even old enough to draft graduate. Hey...maybe it was him!?

There went those old Showtime Laker jerseys that E.J wore, but we're not talking about Earvin 'Magic' Johnson here but the tricks of the trade of Eddie Jones. A player that represents more than tradition of transition but can be found in the NBA vault and Lakers history books between the times the M.J's of Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan and then the 8 and 24's of Kobe Bryant's NBA rule. Whether wearing 25 (given up for great Gail Goodrich's rafter retirement) or 6 (after who else but in honour of the good dunk Doctor Julius Erving?) Eddie had the Basketball sixth sense to steal and dunk his way to a new Showtime on the sacred ground of the fabulous Forum before it was hollowed out to be a new arena STAPLE along with a new jersey look led by the 'fro of Kobe all the way to three-peating a dynasty over everyone including Brooklyn Jason Kidd's old Net team. Before role playing big-three Robert Horry, Rick Fox and Derek Fisher came into town and backed a crowed all star unit of Shaq, Kobe, Eddie and Nick Van Exel that all made the West team that year (congrats on the All-Star most valuable E), fastbreak Eddie and Nick 'The Quick' made a best and beautiful backcourt for the mid-nineties Lakers team that featured guys like Divac, Cedric Ceballos, Elden Campbell, George Lynch, Corie Blount and much more talent in the late, great Bill Sharman era (around the time this then 11 year old kid from the land of Football became a fan). The stealing and scoring star Jones could have been an even bigger name in the city of angels if he was handed the Kobe keys to the city.

Even die-hard Laker fans where looking at Kobe's drafted in scouting report and thinking 'hey he's 6 foot 6 like number 6 Eddie, similar weight too! Still, he's a rookie and a high schooler at that I guess he'll be backing up our man, but he sure looks talented'. Talented enough to make quite a twin wing tandem as dominant as those 'twin tower' duos, like Ryan Giggs and David Beckham in soccer for Basketball's Manchester United. Still in the Hollywoodland of rock and movie stars this town was only big enough for one big picture highlight reel and Kobe stole the show in his warm-ups like he did on the lay-up line of his rookie Slam Dunk Contest. Then and now Eddie Jones represents the first of a lay-up get in line of talent that left the Lakers too underrated and too soon. These days you can add the likes of Caron Butler, Trevor Ariza, Devin Ebanks, Earl Clark and the Lamar Odom we knew plus many more to the Mitch Richmond, Aaron McKie and Jimmy Jackson like playtime time cut. Sure it would have been great to have Jons back up Kobe...and even Divac back-up Shaq for the ultimate inside and out, starting and bench, all-court domination but this wasn't the big business age that we see before trade deadlines today. This was a time when the big contract of Shaq and the huge risk on a young rookie was big news for this big league about to go truly great and giant.

The Laker legend people forgot in a time where C.D.'s didn't know iPods and your DVD's stopped halfway through the film abruptly because you had to flip it over to the other side like a cassette. We're making you feel old right? Can you believe this kids now 42? Still, thanks for the memories but the Lakers fall out meant Eddie ended up in the same place as Vlade as he headed to Charlotte to become a Hornet and sting opponents with his Bobcat out of the bag ferocious fire on both ends of the floor. Make no mistake though, Kobe didn't kill Eddie's career, just like Shaq didn't Vlade's despite the Shaqramento dethroning. Soon Eddie left Charlotte like the New Orleans ballclub before they became the Pelicans. The Florida native from Pompano Beach took his talents South to join a Miami Heat team of Alonzo Mourning, Brian Grant, Caron Butler (these last two future Lakers) and Tim Hardaway team that looked as hot as his one in Los Angeles, circa California '95. Just like Kob', there was a pretty nice team in place before the 'Bron birth with Eddie's house. The Temple college star brought his defensive body of work and second-option scoring skill to his veteran years of elite experience to another hot town team that was going to burn even brighter in a half decade, half light before anyone even knew or thought about it. This 10th draft pick was a top ten, no nonsense, do it all guy in a time where the new NBA entertainment age was dominated by Magic personalities or the Jordan/Kobe alpha male characteristics.

Still the three-time All-Star led the league in steals in his first season with the Heat in his Laker/Miami matched years that make him just as much of a Heat and L.A. legend like Shaquille. After a roll in the rock city of Memphis which saw him trade off talents like James Posey and Jason Williams back to the Heat, Jones returned to Miami before closing out his classic career as a Maverick. All-time averages of around 15 points, 4 rebounds and a shade under 2 steals made this guy an all-round talent. The type that get unamiosuly underrated but are still unquestionably unique. Mr. Jerry West, Laker legend and then General Manager knew though as he clutched this "pure athlete" from the '94 draft to a log-jammed wing of backcourt players including names like Sedale Threatt, Anthony Peeler and Doug Christie before Kobe even came to town...and you thought he stole peoples jobs. Critics soon turned their ink to inspiration and even the dean of Los Angeles Times sportswriting Jim Murray got his hands on as many robbery references as the late, great legend could for this thick as thieves talent. Chick Hearn also took notice to a guy who could slam as well as he could steal, no contest. He flew high like his rap second-namesake Jim, a true dunking diplomat with defensive immunity. Power electric, spark-plug tandem tool guys like Josh Smith take note, like you Eddie Jones finished as many fast-breaks as he started, often doing it all himself. Those fleeting Forum days with Kobe are well worth a rarefied air out and dust off of the V.T.

Today Laker fans may be screaming "what have you done for me lately"?! In a raw and delirious frenzy of Mamba mentality, but they where shouting "EDDIE, EDDIE" like comedian Murphy's girlfriend at a Forum of home games for seasons later. Nothing was funny though, as even a starting Kobe missed his mentor before Jordan's Chicago Bulls running-mate Ron Harper took over that mantle a he came into LAX from United with the Zen of Coach Jackson. Even if Glen Rice's sharp three-point shooting was brought in from Charlotte, Lakers fans still miss Mr. Jones today like he's still playing. From Shaq's 'taco-neck' Bell commercials today you can still see this guys legacy is part of Laker lore like his versatile, various legendary Jordan XI endorsed sneakers (his career was iconic no matter the colourway or shade of brilliance) that may have heated up along with the hurt Californian feelings once he decided to play for Miami. You'll find no burnt Jones jerseys like James' wine and gold however as all the Lakers fan family wish for was more champagne during his purple tape. He deserved the celebration at least. All he did was steal our hearts. A Basketball Jones for you to get a hoop high on, soaring higher than his flyest, falcon dunk of marvel at a Barry White drawled slow motion of instant, inspired replay. Just wind it back like your old tape decks with the heartfelt wrote on label...it'll never really fade, like his hair or shot. It's time to keep up with the Jones, a Laker legend amongst legends. You may not see it up in the rafters everyday, but you would have saw it on the Forum floor every game. That's what Eddie did for the Lakers lately.

#NBANostalgia