Tuesday, 23 December 2014
ANTHONY DAVIS Feature- ANT-MAN
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
Microscopes where on this guy ever since he was little. Some from the viewfinders of scouts, others from the lens of the press. But now he's rising at an alarming rate. They grow up so fast, don't they? In this game of giants, something big has been missing for a long time in a super league that has marveled at larger than life heroes for decades and generations. All since the age of George Mikan this sport has been about anything but the short. Even when a 6 foot 6 inch Michael Jordan proved beyond a perfect player prototype, that he was the greatest individual that this association of athletes have ever wondered and witnessed, 7 footers still stood above the rest. And their jerseys, to the ceiling retired, higher than anything in the rafters do the same. Names that read, Russell, Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar, Olaujawon, Ewing, O'Neal. Today this rap sheet reads more like what hits the desk of a detective in the worlds safest city. That is except for the bionic sherrif of San Antonio, Tim Duncan. His Spurs are still clicking as reigning champions, but his time in this National Basketball civilisation, let alone the saloon of contenders is making its way for the swinging doors. Someone needs to take his mantle, when he's gone. Someone worth their Spurs. Someone that even kind of looks like him with that new haircut, albeit with some goofy kid looks and a single eyebrow that strikes as much fear into razors as it does opponents. Here's the thing, he's just a kid. Barely finished growing in this mans world that would be nothing without a wonder kid. But look now and you can see Anthony Davis grown and rise above it all. Every big man before and around him, all whilst able to shrink down to the floor whilst playing with the rest of the changing of the guards. Riding on the wings of the back of his former Hornets. When he hits your city its almost like he's taller than all skyscrapers around him as he dribbles the ball all around his tallest opponents...and he hasn't even scraped, let alone hit his ceiling yet.
That's BIG! Huge! Monumental! What this game needs and was lacking in a real vertical. And it's all resting on the scrawny to strong shoulders of a 21 year old kid. A kid that the Windy City of Chicago blew in. One who like fellow Chi-city native Antoine Walker, got his claws into the University Of Kentucky, proving he was a real Wildcat and a powerful, forward thinking player like 'Toine or Celt teammate Walter McCarty. Now just like Rajon Rondo or John Wall, Davis is the next U.K. alum to be the next big thing in this league. Exactly what the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers want from their 'Cats DeMarcus Cousins and Julius Randle, despite the attitude and injury problems. This guy is the player personification of next gen. After hitting top marks in college this graduate has a career elected for the Hall. In his first year before he even played a single NBA minute, he won gold in London as an Olympian for the U.S.A. and more than just a big, young Christian Laettner coming of age and off the bench in this dream team. Moving from the Hornets of New Orleans to the Pelicans this big, young man became an All-Star in his second year and a well deserved and now you can bet on constant one too. Now to complete the trilogy, in this his third year he's now part of the big-three...and we aren't talking about Cleveland. We're talking about the NBA's big-three, best players of the league in LeBron James, Kevin Durant and sorry Kobe. Yep, he's really that good. Really this soon. Legends like Duncan may have the rings, but this circle of life talent has all the time under the sun, holding the ball up to the limits of the sky. Right now who would you start a franchise with from fantasy to reality? Especially with the dominance of big man. You're taking Ant man! What a couple of years! What more to come! What a guy! It only seems like yesterday when he was turning the state of Kentucky into the state of the NBA draft yet again. Go 'Cat, go!
Fly Pelican, FLY! Sky-high. Soaring and scoring, that's what your touching. Like every ball off the top of the glass like the dollar bills Earl Manigault's friends put up there. Rebounding like Chuck, running power moves like D. With seemingly one foot in the paint and another planted like an ant, across court, already back on defence. Ready for that nasty block. Ooh its gotta hurt! Dikembe dominant. No need for the finger-wagging...they already know! The only thing more devastating is the dunk. Sure the range is set to a wide perimeter fence, but when Davis gets into his comfort zone in the key, he unlocks something that leaves defences and fans in seats fidgety in a fit. When he throws down the peach, you'd think these guys where still called the Hornets the way they sting. More than just a buzz, the brief on this pelican is a thriller. More than a double, double threat this guy can multiply the box -score numbers whilst dividing defences. As he gets warm this guy could go for 20 and 10 whilst you're still in your warm-ups. No sweat, this guy is that complete with the handle to go to work in the post. So effective like a mailman on these deliveries, he works the pick and roll like Malone. Doc's son Austin Rivers may be his Stockton too if his career runs as deep as promised. Needless to say with guys like former top rookie Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday this team is one early fishing vacation away from few pieces that could pay compliments to contention. No need to tank, just go fish. These Pelicans could even fight and prove to be a bigger animal out in the wild west than those Grizzlies in Memphis. Los Angeles Clipper and P.G. leader Chris Paul was once the future face of this franchise ready to lead the way like Baron Davis once did. But today there's a real changing of the guard...and that's kind of the point.
Davis' path has been as long as winding as these Pelicans career flight plan. A team that began in the coliseum of Charlotte before moving to the Madi Gras of New Orleans for a bigger scene. Only to take temporary residence in the city of Oklahoma during Hurricane Katrina, to then move back to the N.O. Where the co-cities Oklahoma and Charlotte (again) got themselves some new franchises in the form of the Seattle Supersonics, come Thunder and the Bobcats. Then, finally moving on for good, the Hornets changed their name to the Pelicans (I guess Utah will never give the 'Jazz' back) which in turn gave the Charlotte Bobcats their Hornets back, in yet another name change, but never again the same team. Still in this new direction led by the next one, this former top pick in the NBA draft is already an NCAA champion and NBA blocks leader in just a couple of years of work experience. Oh did we mention he won another gold this Summer in international competition? This time leading the team and nation himself all the way in Spain. This only comes with the confidence of a character cultivated in the city of Chicagoland. The fire, the hope and the code. From the South Side to Perspectives Charter and from making threes to headlines, despite the lack of news coverage in Tribune tribute to real Chi-town. Steph Curry with the shot, Timmy Duncan with the rock, U.K. with the recruiting. A lay-up line, one and won year where this kid could finish the same break he led from the practice gym all the way downtown. Scissors cut down nets, tailors cut suits, championship caps turned into draft caps and the future is all big numbers for this number one. The career highs haven't really been recorded yet. The SLAM and Sports Illustrated covers just the first pages of this stellar studded, superstar story. One things for sure this young great has already done more than just earn the right to wear the great number 23 on his jersey. Like another 23, he's proved worthy of the NBA's real big-three. Now this Ant-Man shows he's as real a marvel as the rest of the associations Avengers. Now watch the rise. With a 7 foot 3 wingspan and the whole of the United States of National Basketball in his reach, just how far can this man go and grow?