Friday, 4 July 2014
COURTSIDE COLUMN-L.A. INK
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 for 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, not 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.