Sunday, 28 December 2014
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
Arise! Now tell me, what does it take to be a king in this city? The city where concrete dreams are made from playgrounds of heaven. N.Y. City. The entertainment core and neon hub of the whole waking and watching world. The city that 24/7 never gets any rest. Why? Because one king told us, "sleep is the cousin of death". That wise man went by the name Nasir and even dethroned the Carter that was watching his podium with a weapon of 'Ether' to get the crown. A crown once held in this town by the legendary likes of Rakim. But that's another game. This one?! Names like Frazier, Earl, Pee Wee and Ewing have all staked their claim. Just like the young prince Carmelo under the watchful eye of a visionary hoops, world leader in the Zen Master. Even outsiders travel from miles around to this Mecca to prove their mettle for the gold crowns jewels. They've been enshrined in other towns, but here have to prove that they can make it anywhere, because they made it here. Legends to the throne like Michael, Kobe and of course the king James. Guys who make this Garden their Eden. Still there was one Adam on the eve of his breakout was even closer to Madison Square than those laying their hat for home in the Hotel Pennsylvania for a week. In his bite of Big Apple, Manhattan fame, a man born into basketball like his borough of Brooklyn was such a King of New York like Chris Walken, Larry Fishburne or Wes Snipes, even the back of his number 30 jersey told you so. His name, Bernard.
This king was born under a star in Brooklyn, raised in the high school halls of Fort Hamilton and at 6,7 and 205 pounds this kid was a power player prototype. Bernie spent his college years in Tennessee like he was trying to cut an album, before making the draft. With the seventh pick in the first round of the 1977 NBA draft, Bernard King was selected to shake hands by a Net team that would eventually move from New Jersey back to their big city home, by way of where there new star was born, just over three decades and thirty years later. So Bernard was an original New York king before he even tried Knickerbocker orange in the Big Apple, even if this Net team relocated from N.Y.C to a new Garden State just a few months after his selection. Just a coach ride away from the bright lights in the Meadowlands. Still gleaming in the golden era of a sports association, this King would still get his time to shine in Magic and Bird's time. Rapping in a Converse commercial too and showing and proving more than his words where weapons. Because for the King, the Weapons could do, "just about anything"! The quick release of this rookie led to Net gains and records of all sorts being broke before headlines could print at a 24.2 per clip. Bridging the gap between the Julius Erving's and Drazen Petrovic's of Net legacy, Bernard was the next King in line (just like the brother of King, Albert. Who would one day make it playing for some of the same NBA teams). Why they gave him up beggars the belief of their trademark bad luck. This guy was a superstar in blue collar clothing. He helped epitomise this Springsteen town and sidekick of Gotham. Still he wouldn't be Bruce boss or Batman here. Instead a short lake of salt for some Jazz pieces in Utah and some Warrior battles across the Golden Gate Bridge for Oakland's Golden State and a 'Comeback Player Of The Year' award went down before this boy from the B.K. finally crossed the Brooklyn Bridge back to where his hoops home belonged.
New York, New York called their son and saint Bernard back for a second time, hitting his and hoops peak popularity and trademark time in the mid-eighties. This guy was posing as the one, true King in a crown and robe decades before that infamous LeBron playing card SLAM cover was on deck. Still the inspiration was set like a sword in the stone for a face and a franchise of the big league that couldn't be in more matrimony with each other. It was a marriage made in Rucker Park heaven. Both where underrated, hard-working, overlooked outsiders who earned their place in the worlds most famous arena as M.S.G's main attraction. Even if the losses went up and down like Wall Street stock their lone wolf refused to let the red riding apple become rotten, on this raging bulls punch pulling watch. Who else but a four time All-Star who once led the league with 32.2 points per game on above average to take this team and town to the promised land? Sure after the 90's and the growing nostalgia of now, those die-hard with a vengeful frustration Knick fans talk more about Ewing and 'Melo, hell even Stoudemire and Starks. But no one. NO ONE! Captured the city quite like this since the day Clyde the Glyde finally hung up his warm-ups for a mink coat. All-NBA twice over. The first since '64 to have consecutive 50 point games. One in San Antonio, the next truly at the Reunion Arena again for another point on the Texas triangle in Dallas. Then a signature, Christmas day, tree lighting up 60 a season later, joining an elite NBA club of ten. They called it 'Miracle On 33rd Street'. Those King red robes may as well have been the coat of St Nick for Bernard. This dude had more buckets than the guy who cleaned the windows of the Empire State Building. And this King scaled all the skyscrapers in this seven foot and story land higher than Kong. Now you know why he's in the hall. This guy was in his own corridor!
So who was mopping the floor the day he slipped? You can talk to the Penny Hardaway's and Antonio McDyess' all you want about knee injuries ruining superstardom and the legacy of legends. They even tried to bring it all back in New York too. But nothing can. Nothing can take away what cruel fate has and when that fickle finger turned its hand towards old Bernie and knocked, the heir to the throne would no longer see a kingdom of Knickerbocker glory in Madison Square. NBA's death in cowards clothing came like a curse to this gifted young athlete, but he refused to have his career epitaph written in stone, let alone engraved in critics ink. After colliding with the Kansas City Kings' Reggie Theus, Knick King's knee diagnosis was a torn anterior cruciate ligament. It didn't look good. He would miss a full years work, but never again return to that epic explosiveness that kept no fan, home or away in their seats...no matter how much they paid for them. One of the associations most amazing athletes with his power shorted, much like a Knick STAT stuffer of today. Still, King refused to leave his rotting apple career to the maggots, averaging 27.7 in his first six game back before the Knicks waived goodbye, telling the man who had so much going for him and them that he wouldn't make the final cut for the new season. So off to the capital it was for a career comeback exclamation. For the Washington Bullets, King shot and shot and proved he still had rounds in his gun and old wizard tricks up his sleeve as he returned to his All-Star status and proved more than the points he left on the board. Then he returned home to close out his career, by way of the New Jersey team that drafted him for his last games, before the haunting muscle memories of that knee injury put his career down for the good of all it brought us. Still in those final moments, from the island of Manhattan, on nights where the Mecca felt quiet, you could still hear chants from the Meadowlands of the Garden State for New York's one, true king. Arise.
Friday, 26 December 2014
TIM DAVID HARVEY
"I perform like Mike/Any one, Tyson, Jordan, Jackson"-Notorious B.I.G. (Puff Daddy-Victory)
1990. When the clock struck 0.00 on January the 1st, leaving the eighties behind like mullets and Miami Vice rolled up suit sleeves, we where in for one hell of a heaven sent 10 years. The decade was dominated by a golden era in all things entertainment. From movies to music and sport to everything in between it even inspired and holds influence on what we see and hear today, a few days away from hitting 0.00 on a decade and a half of 15 unbelievable years into the new millennium. Sure whatever age and era you belong to you'll claim there was no time like your time, but even 70's and 80's babies know there was nothing like the nostalgic 90's. A time dinosaurs ruled the Hollywood world and Buzz Lightyear was the biggest selling, hottest off the shelf toy to find under your tree at Christmas. Now this year what's on T.V. this December 25th? 'Toy Story'! And what is one of the biggest and most anticipated movies of next year? The new 'Jurassic Park'! Go figure! Now through all the major moves and big blockbusters of a decade that illuminated more than Times Square, there where two men who defined this age, theirs and everything else around them and the years that came before and after them. One silhouette spun and worked his feet like the greatest dancer you've ever seen. The other left everyone around him falling at his feet as he hit the deck. One hit the high notes as the other soared and scored. The first one jumping into the silhouette of a man holding a basketball like the torch of the Statue of Liberty. The second leaving everyone stunned as he took one small step for man and a giant leap for music-kind as he moonwalked away from them.
The King of Pop. The King of the Rock. Michael and M.J. M.J. and Mike. Two of the greatest of all-time. Especially in entertainment. As for their loves of basketball and music. They didn't just change the game...they transcended it. Cultural phenomenon's. Global icons. If Mars really attacked like 'Independence Day' then we would have had to take them to two of our leaders. Two who we'll never see anyone quite like. Never duplicated. The original, genuine articles. Every newspaper read their name, front and back. Radios and television sets you couldn't escape them if you where tuned in. Imagine if the internet was as much an influence then as it is now. Social media may be the age now, but back then it was their time. Dominant isn't even the word for this decade they devastated...in the most delightful way. One with a number 23. The other with a silver glove. They both moved like nothing you've seen before. One across the floor like he was walking on the same air the other flew through. They where both so big in music and sport they had to come together and collaborate. For themselves they even made movies. From 'Space Jam' to 'Moonwalker'. They both had famous friends that they could count on, from Chris Tucker to Spike Lee's Mars Blackmon. Even R. Kelly bridged their mainstream gap between the city of Chicago and music. Showing Jackson that he wasn't alone and proving the belief that Jordan could fly. Still nobody took it higher than these guys. As all the people, still to this day trying to imitate from the streetball to the corner can almost authentically attest. These perfect pairs best moments still play today like retirement and death was just the end of a movie. Their golden eras still shine. Even their records break records. Others may come. From Prince to Kobe Bryant and LeBron James to Bruno Mars. But none are chosen quite like this.
Before their time came the wonder years. When Michael Jordan was a boy he was swinging baseball bats with his father as well as hanging from rims (eventually Jordan would retire from basketball for a year to pursue his late fathers dream of him playing baseball to honour him after his death). Meanwhile a young Michael Jackson was singing with his brothers in Jackson 5 to the tune of 'Rocky Robin' and their own animated, television show. Becoming a megastar already behind tracks like 'I Want You Back' and his youthful matured and poignantly haunting rendition of 'Aint No Sunshine' that still resonates today. As little Mike, Tito and co grew into the maturing Jackson's they blamed it on the boogie as everybody could feel it from the Four Tops to the Commodores. As these guys graduated so did the other Michael after years of the Baby Blue in North Carolina. Years that saw him earn the tar on the heels of his sneakers by hitting game winners and the buzz of the hype that came from high school and would continue after the NBA draft where this new school guy began educating everybody starting with Sam Bowie. The eighties where this pairs coming out party. Where they'd show the whole world exactly what they had more in store of. In fact this was their decade too...especially for one of the Michael's. Jordan was busy winning dunk contests, whether during All-Star weekend or not. All whilst showing the Los Angeles Lakers' Magic Johnson and the Boston Celtics' Larry Bird that there was a new kid in town. Even hitting an incredible 63 youthful points in the legendary Boston Garden against one of the storied Celtics most successful and dominant teams of all time. No wonder the legend of Larry called number 23, "God disguised as Michael Jordan". Meanwhile music where treating the other M.J. like the second coming. After his 1979 breakout this guy was truly 'Off The Wall', not stopping 'till he got enough. Michael and Quincy Jones helped score the best and most successful pop album of all time in 'Thriller', while Jordan was making those on court. Only nine tracks, but with classic songs like 'Wanna Be Startin' Something', 'Beat It', 'Billie Jean', 'Human Nature' and that title track and THAT video who needs more with some of the biggest songs of all time. Even the crazy controversy surrounding his black to white skin colour change couldn't stop this megastar on 'Bad', as 'The Way You Make Me Feel', 'Liberian Girl', 'Another Part Of Me', 'Man In The Mirror', 'I Just Cant Stop Loving You', 'Smooth Criminal' and 'Leave Me Alone' added more greatest hits to the vault with another classic album for the record. As Jacko was leaning forward, Jordan was making everyone else lean back.
Then came the 1990's. This was their time. With sneakers and C.D.'s selling out of stores worldwide. Michael Jackson may have only released two albums this decade...but boy where they two albums. Besides 'Thriller' and 'Bad' where still selling like they came out yesterday. Still 'Dangerous' was the 'Jam'. Songs like 'Give In To Me', 'Who Is It', 'Why You Want To Trip On Me' and the socially conscious 'Heal The World' (a trait this singer is underrated for) where gravitating and groundbreaking. But it was his Statue Of Liberty moment to the Slash riff of that song where Michael proved he and we shouldn't care if you're 'Black and White' in the transitional video for the game changing, MTV age legend. Plus with Laker legend Magic Johnson in the video of 'Remember The Time' along with comedian Eddie Murphy dressed as phaeroes Michael showed he knew hoops like any other M.J. fan. Meanwhile Michael Jordan was taking the torch from Magic and his Showtime Lakers and switching the ball mid -air to score. Running through points totals and titles with a shrug as he stampeded the Chicago Bulls to their first championship and then three-peat. Ball in hand, victory cigar in the other. Smiling with legendary Zen coach Phil Jackson who was the Quincy Jones to his own thriller production. But then, following the tragic murder of his father, the greatest player to ever play basketball stepped away from the game at the peak of his powers. But then this is where 'History' would be made...'Past, Present and Future'. Screaming into a budget and record breaking video with Janet Jackson out of space one minute and walking around the streets of Rio with Spike Lee the next for 'We Don't Care About Us' Michael was back. Making records with everyone from the Notorious B.I.G. ('This Time Around') and even basketball player Shaquille O'Neal ('2 Bad'), who was probably just thankful another M.J. wasn't torturing him on court. Covering the Beatles ('Come Together') and signing R. Kelly songs ('You Are Not Alone) this historic feat had it all. Even a beautiful 'Stranger In Moscow' and a Christmas number one, record breaking, call to climate change 'Earth Song' (he told you). This album was bigger than the statue of him taken down London's River Thames in Tower Bridge separating promotion. Meanwhile in Chicago, just when they where thinking about erecting a classic statue in M.J.'s honour, Michael came back too, to the tune of three more championships shared with Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman and all capped off by one more last shot that was a true history, storybook ending.
Still their collective stories weren't without some dark chapters. From gambling addiction to allegations of sexual abuse that still hang like the worst cloud. Also it seemed like when the 90's came to a new millennium close so did the windows of their prime. Still in 2001, Michael Jordan came out of retirement again, this time for the Washington Wizards, donating his entire playing salary valiantly to the 9/11 relief fund. Around the same time Michael Jackson came back with the album 'Invincible', his worst selling one at that time proved not to live up to its name but had strong standouts like 'You Rock My World', 'Break Of Dawn' and 'Cry', just like the 'Blood On The Dancefloor' remix album had with the likes of 'Ghost' and 'Morphine'. Jordan wasn't so invincible either, showing the coming to 40 age and legs of a man heading towards one last retirement. But believe us for both of them the magic was still there in more than just a few spells of their trucks of the trade. Just like their inspiration is today to the new school of Kevin Durant's and Ne-Yo's. Its a legend and legacy that always lasts. Michael Jordan is still making basketball moves as the majority owner of the buzzing Charlotte Hornets ballclub and he's doing a Spalding job while even years after his tragic death Michael Jackson is proving that this isn't it. Another new album ('XSCAPE') came out this year and brought with it one of his newest and biggest hits from the demo floor with the dance floor fond 'Love Never Felt So Good' featuring another prodigy of his legacy, Justin Timberlake. All the inspiration and influence that still lasts beyond this day all cumulated in a classic collaboration of Aerosmith and Run-DMC, rock and rap, wall and barrier breaking standards to begin their 90's. As a basketball flew through a glass window into a factory where M.J. was dancing he threw it back, buildings across to a nearby gym for a no-look swish. Michael Jordan couldn't believe it, like the no-look back heel. Then as the two came together for some one-on-one, Jordan schooled and tricked Jackson on court for some fun and games before Michael showed the other how it was done on his wood deck, teaching him how to really 'Jam' and dance in this video. It's not too hard. Just look. As the two dance into the faded out shadows of this lights out number its a poignant moment for the two power players of a generation and game changing time. M.J. and Michael, the last names are of little consequence to the initials they engraved on their games. As these two silhouettes strut and slide across the floor, many will remember their master moves for many moons to come. Now that's the jam.
Wednesday, 24 December 2014
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
Last Christmas, LeBron's heart was in South Beach as his Miami Heat team visited Los Angeles and cooled off the L.A. Lakers in California. King James unwrapped so many Hollywood highlight worthy, hard-hitting jams that he almost hulk ripped out of those Christmas day sleeved jerseys with more Banner induced rage than the hate they incited. This year and this time tomorrow you'll know him by the first name that reads underneath his old number 23 on the back of his new special Christmas Day jersey. Still the front of this logo jersey reads something different from last year altogether and we're not talking about another Adidas festive themed special that's a cracker. For the crest across the chest of this icon belongs to Cleveland like this homecoming king does once again. Last Christmas if we told you this you'd have either thought the fools of April had come early or you where in the ghosts of seasons past. But, alas no! Its a wonderful life hey Ohio? Bron's new search for championship champagne is back with the wine and gold and this Christmas tomorrow another reunion will happen like families heading home for a feast as LeBron takes his team back to South Beach. As Dwyane Wade urges the Heat faithful to not throw rocks and boos at the throne one big three will meet an old one. Just another royal appointment that shows you the throne doesn't just belong to the king of the castle but all his men too. Lets look at all the young princes who have served their king.
St Vincent-St Mary
Maverick Carter, Romeo Travis. These are names made famous by being synonymous with the King James. Despite sounding like celebrity ballers all in themselves. The movie star status may not be there, but the rock star life of millionaires are for the kids that helped this young prince stay humble in the face of hardwood Hollywood before he became the one and true king. Back then a teen names LeBron was illustrated in this sport as the chosen one and inbetween magazine covers and slams, network coverage and top ten plays of the week this guy was the man before he even became one. It wasn't just his 'Entourage' that we're getting that Jeremy Piven type love. The saints of Vincent and Mary found new, reborn spirit under the chosen one and their green and gold decorated his holding of court as now some of hoops hallowed, hallmark colours. This new 'Irish' now as timeless as the old English inked like scrolls on the shoulders of the man who carried his hometown of Akron, Ohio up on there. An Irish that proved they could throw punches with even Notre Dame traditions with this guy carrying them on his back. From allies on and off court like Willie McGee, to father and son dynamics like coach Dru Joyce II and his playing son the third it was all family. It was all testimony like LeBron and his boys autobiography, the first chapter of his classic career that already was made for the hall when he left the high schools ones in 2003. You can see it in the movie documentary and hear it in the big name, Drake, Lil' Wayne, Kanye West and Eminem game soundtrack forever. He was already attracting the greats. This was truly more than a game. They say high-school days are the best of your life and this is where this king made his.
Carter's maverick decision to televise LeBron's announcement to take his talents to South Beach brought in the millions, but the actual choice was a championship one that brought rings with the changes. From long-term Heat legends like Udonis Haslem to NBA icons like Ray Allen many came and followed the chosen king into battle. Still there where two men standing either side of the throne that ensured this king sat on top of the world as it spun like a basketball. When these guys got it together they may as well have been the Globetrotters, because even if they didn't have the ball on a string they certainly had their opponent on one. With a championship already certified this may have already been Dwyane Wade's team, but even Flash had to make way for Superman in the Justice League and in the NBA one boy did this number 3 run alongside the new number one as voltron formed the biggest three of all of basketball. 'Bron may have come all the way from a home in Ohio, but taking the number 1 jersey Bosh made it to South Beach all the way from Canada. Toronto to be exact as this Raptor entered the kitchen to cook heat and prove he wasn't extinct. Now decisions have been gone back home on this big-man is getting even bigger, no matter how many write him or his team off. A team and city that is now Wade's world again, back in a rejuvenated Flash back to the wonder years of nostalgia. Add Luol Deng to this new top three and some extra Danny Granger and Josh McRoberts to the arsenal and there is enough firepower here for the Heat to take their own shots at the throne.
Still, there's no place like home and tapping his red sneakers together the king knows this at home in his old manor with all his aids around him. When this leader of the new school first tasted wine from the gold challice he was advised by men much older than he was. From reliable veterans like Zydrunus Ilgauskas to legends of the crown like Shaquille O'Neal, the daddy if this basketball game of thrones. Still despite all the years and peers when the king decided to leave his castle the townspeople would never be the same. Throwing rocks at the tributes to him hung outside his palace of The Q, whilst burning his old robes to the embers of the past. Even his name tasted as bitter as the seawater in Miami, on the shores of South Beach that would bring a tide of championship change to the king as his old home would remain washed up after being set adrift with no memory bliss. Still redemption is a funny thing by royal appointment and with the return of the one to his kingdom of The Land it was all good and love again like nothing even happened. So much has though. There's even more Love with the arrival of another beach boy in Kevin, a big, big man upgrade in this big three and rebounding story. Then of course there's another special K that will one day find his way on to the front of a cereal box as you read all about him on the back at your breakfast table. From all the number ones that came in the lottery chances of a town that lost their one that got away, Kyrie Irving was the ticket and the man that still gets to lead this place to the promised land from the quarterbacking of the point guard position. Still with all this Wade and Bosh upgraded talent and a stellar squad that reads Miami familiar and NBA fond and well like Mike Miller and Shawn Marion, there's a lot more to this royal family then a few lucky family members. You don't have to witness a new Nike commercial to see everyone's behind this king with their hands stretched out to his, reaching for the same gold as he is. Its not the crown upon his head or where he sits that makes LeBron James the man that he is today. Its the people around him that make him king. They all deserve their knighthood. They all have their place upon his throne. Long live all the kings men.
Tuesday, 23 December 2014
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?
Tuesday, 9 December 2014
Pick and roll through this amazing, 'Assisted' autobiography and you'll find one of the greatest and most underrated Point Guards of real Magic and in fact NBA players as a whole when it comes to the leagues, all-time storied history. A quick Stock take sees a man who battled Michael Jordan's champion, Chicago Bulls in the final twice and although never winning a ring, a man who has an Olympic Gold Medal from Barcelona in 1992 after being an original member of that legendary 'Dream Team' (he reprised his role and Gold for 'Dream Team II' in Atlanta). A man who played all of his 19 years and almost two decades with the Utah Jazz franchise he helped personify in Salt Lake City. A man who is the all-time leader in the NBA when it comes to assists. Basically put the nicest and most selfless basketball player to ever walk this polished wood floored earth. No wonder this legends legacy lament is called 'Assisted'. You can easily roll like his pick through these 300 plus pages like one of his crisp assists with these humble, honest and heartfelt prose that aren't short of candor, charisma or charm either. Well read like this man speaks, this cool and collected read is frank and forthright...and to be frank this is one of the greatest basketball autobiographies-like he is players-of all time. That's coming after recent wonderful works from Jerry West and Julius Erving over the years too. Inspiring and influential from Karl Malone's powerful foreword to some coaches poetry off the dry-erase this is a purists dream. With dignity and respect, no nonsense or gossip b.s., this dear reader from John tells tales from behind the locker room that will be music to ever Jazz fan and beyonds ears. From foundation to family you have to hand it to a man that gives it to us straight. He may have rocked the short shorts, but this man who doesn't like the public eye of fame goes to great lengths to provide the savvy vision for fans, players, family men, husbands and fathers worldwide. When it comes to the NBA, Jazz piece assist accompaniment, don't pass! TIM DAVID HARVEY.