Thursday, July 17, 2014
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
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