Sunday, 25 October 2015
D'ANGELO RUSSELL Feature-UNTITLED
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
Loading...please wait. D...How does it feel? Your time is now! Step up the plate, this is your big moment young man. The bases are loaded. The whole crowd, city and California state is watching. All eyes are on you...no pressure. No trick...you own this like Magic. No curve-ball. The City of Angels savior in this Angelino called 'Angelo. The Black Messiah. The Los Angeles times and Clipper clippings voodoo is over now with your youthful spirit. The Back to the Future return (Part II) like your 'Brown Sugar' singer namesake that you were actually named after. It's just that legendary. As yet untitled...ready to make your bright lights name in this big city of futuristic skyline neon above the beams of STAPLES. As the Vanguard, about to lead the militarily formation of the new young sportsmen foot-soldiers into battle. It's your time to seek out the enemy, secure new ground and advance the main force. You're the new definition. You're even supposed to replace one of the greatest. That's what makes you this years worthy number 2. But you want to prove yourself to be the sole digit on your new jersey...front and back. Number one with the ball and the crowd cheering your name. Your opponent looking at you opposite...eyes of piercing opposition. Your feet firmly on the plate. You draw your arm back and here's the pitch...but you 'aint Clayton Kershaw and you're no Dodger. Even if the number 32 you're supposed to follow in the sneaker steps of owns this moment. You are Los Angeles though and the future is coming towards you like a fastball. That's why you have the honor of this traditional moment in baseball lore for your sister sport and franchise. Everyone's done it...from 50 Cent to Barack Obama...and unlike most that embarrass you certainly have quite an arm. You know how to throw kid! But your real moment will come when the ball is tipped, not tossed and hopefully falls towards you as you take it and lead a whole new way to pass it over. For you D'Angelo Russell are a Los Angeles Laker and your time is now.
How does it feel? Karma?! It's been a long time...but alas what goes around, comes right back around. If you're a Los Angeles Laker fan you can't stop going on about it...if you're a rest of the hoops world hater that even begins in the same STAPLE building arena of the Clippers you can't hear the end of it. That infamous Chris Paul nixing in 2011. When the Lakers wanted to continue their championship run and traded two of their most versatile and worthwhile contention pieces (Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom) to keep up the race lead by way of one of the greatest Point Guard leaders in the game from the then Hornets nest of New Orleans. Alongside Kobe Bryant it was going to lead to the best backcourt in NBA history in it's prime. But then the Commissioner put a Stern end to all of that. And all that snowballed after that was the fall of the second new millennium Laker dynasty under the California sun. This fallout was almost as bad as the death of the Shaq and Kobe dynasty. Hurt feelings led to the skilled seven foot frontcourt tandem of Odom and Gasol eventually leaving alongside championship, veteran chess pieces like Derek Fisher and Metta World Peace (until now...unless he gets cut), under the cloud of rumors of being trade bait, dangled from the Laker boat in the middle of an ocean of doubt. Then the Lakers legendary legacy of big-men, from Mikan and Wilt, to Kareem and Shaq crumbled under the front-line foundations of Andrew Bynum and then Dwight Howard. The Lakers thought they finally got their first legitimate superstar Point Guard since Magic revenge over the CP3 nixing when they signed legend Steve Nash, but they didn't realize the fickle fate that had turned their hand on them had the nerve to damage the best Canadian basketball player of all-times body with career crippling injuries that put Captain Canada on ice like the Winter Soldier. And let's not start on what the basketball God's had in store for one of the LAL and NBA's greatest Kobe Bryant. Before iconic, late Los Angeles Lakers owner Jim Buss passed he said he needed to take a wrecking ball to this team. But after him and the dream of Jeanie who was going to rebuild from the nightmare damage of all this rubble?
Well karma has a name and with the second pick in the NBA draft his name is D'Angelo Russell. Let new Commissioner Adam tell you who the purple and gold Los Angeles Lakers have selected with their clouds silver lining as he holds on to his hand longer than all he and his new team have been through to get here. At this point, no wonder the shaking grip is kept. It's almost like it was all meant to be. All the hurt all the cursed injury and in-just pain. All this domino effect in this game that even led to the losing and then lottery winning of Julius Randle in last years big draft season of change, that then in turn buckled and snapped under the broken leg pressure of the young stars first ever NBA game. Still it all feels like it happened for a karmic reason that is all beginning right now. This sophomore, last year number seven pick in technically his rookie season is playing with avengance...and Julius Randle looks ready to be an All-Star, no slump. In addition the latest lottery pick brought in thanks to the tanked season Randle's blown out and busted campaign is about to form one hell of a backcourt for the ages of the future with last years sleeper rookie Jordan Clarkson. Who stepped in for the barricaded youthful revolt of young Julius and showed he was more than just a passed over number 48 rookie and spare change, second Laker choice. As in just half a season of impressive and proved play he made the All-Rookie team and who knows what else if he was given a full season of burn. Forget what could have been with Kobe and CP3, this backcourt is now...and for decades and many more years to come. And the new Jordan and Julius of this storied NBA league joins the new Russell in Laker irony for a big-three that's set to turn this Steph Curry, California coast, Golden State Warriors small-ball league revolution on the big-man head of Laker history and legacy. Stretching the hometown Clipper rivalry across the Golden Gate of the states Pacific. With a new sea change of talent bridging the gap this is the new legend...and he's shaking Silver's hand.
The Lake Show have knocked it out the park now. No longer playoff dodgers struck out. This is the the new Showtime. This is the new Magic. Kobe knows the show must go on...but before he goes he's going to have fun and contention with these new fellas too. It 'aint over. That's why there's more in the dugout. The big-three free agent signings of defensive big-man Roy Hibbert, post powerhouse Brandon Bass and reigning Sixth Man Of The Year Lou Williams. Joining spark-plug Nick Young and new x-factor signings in the form of Brazilian Point God Marcelo Huertas with Gasol Barcelona skill and the spirits of Laker past in the form of the Ron Artest that became the war on the soft NBA, Metta World Peace. It's almost enough to forget all these Lakers have lost or never even found from LaMarcus Aldridge, to DeAndre Jordan, Marc Gasol, Kevin Love, Greg Monroe and even the big-man future of Jahil Okafor they had in their hands, because three-heads are better than one and this is the new generation. They got next. No foul balls. Strike one, Julius Randle. Strike two, Jordan Clarkson. And strike three, D'Angelo Russell. This young man with the gold Lakers cap that fits, not clashing with his Ohio State homage, draft day red suit that's the cherry on top for quite the young career of this young Buck. Now more than just Buckeyes are focused on the new headlines of the Los Angeles Times. As red meets purple it's D'Angelo Dante Russell's inferno now. The Jordan Brand Classic alongside Jordan Clarkson, both partners in backcourt prime able to tween on the pine between the two Shooting Guard and Point Guard quarterbacking positions. But it looks like the athletic Russell whose been compared to everyone from Westbrook to James Harden, but still seems unfairly underrated is the leading man whose going to Pied Piper the way for Hollywood's newest and biggest reboot. Off the dribble this number one with the number two picks time is now. The former Jerry West award winner is ready to be the logo of the L.A. Lakers in a franchise just as known for its little men (Jerry, Elgin Baylor, Gail Goodrich, Magic, Kobe...among Big Game Worthy others) as its big players and who knows maybe along the way the new icon of the NBA. Step from the shadows of the silhouette young man and get ready to swing big. Here comes the ball.