Anthony Davis Is A LA Laker

Anthony Davis-LeBron James

Well! That was fast. The ink is barely dry on the NBA championship certificates and teams – er, make that the Lakers team – is rushing in to pan for 2020 gold. In other words, the Toronto Raptors barely finished prying the Warriors’ fingers from the Larry O’Brien Trophy when the Lakers Organization proceeded to claim dibs on winning the 2020 NBA Title.

And here’s the news on the NBA’s latest blockbuster trade: This just in — The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to trade the farm, er, make that the farm animals, for Anthony Davis. No offense to Brandon Ingram who is a legitimate, up and coming star, but Lonzo Ball is a bust, and Josh Hart is, well . . . just who is Josh Hart again? Anyway, the Lakers have come into this offseason looking and smelling like the city dump but will come out of this trade looking and smelling like a rose. For their part, the New Orleans Pelicans (I almost said the New Orleans Jazz – it just sounds better) – anyway, the Pelicans have the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, and so getting Zion Williamson, for now — aka, on paper — is fair compensation for losing Anthony Davis.

We’ll see how this one works out. The Lakers haven’t made the playoffs in six years. Six years. And this past year was LeBron’s first with the proud but now pitiful franchise which has had the offseason from hell. For the Lakers it’s been rough sledding. This past season, the saga has been sordid: Magic comes and then goes; Walton goes; potential coaches come and then go. The toasts of Tinsel Town couldn’t write a more soapy script.

But if — that’s IF —  the Lakers can pull off a turnaround next season, it will be one for the record books. And that’s the lesson. From the world’s perspective, if you just turn things around, you will be forgiven and all will be forgotten. It does not matter how bad it looks or how bad it gets, just turn it around. And all will be forgiven.

Spiritually, it works for us the other way. Just accept God’s amazing grace, and then He will turn you around and He will turn things around for you. All is forgiven when you accept his grace. Don’t try to do this at home; that is to say, don’t try to do this on your own. It takes the toast of Heaven, our Lord and Savior, to turn things around. It does not matter how bad it looks or how bad it gets, He can turn it around for you. He can and He will, if we trust Him and believe.

Why You Should Be Watching The NBA Playoffs

James and Simmons
The NBA’s Past, LeBron James, and it’s Future, Ben Simmons

LeBron James. Ben Simmons. Joel Embiid.  James Harden.  Kevin Durant. Anthony Davis. Giannis Antetokounmpo. And that’s just to name a few. These athletes are why you and I should be watching every possible game of these 2018 NBA Playoffs.   And it’s just the first round.

Let’s start with LeBron.

How long has LeBron James been in the NBA?  Fifteen seasons?  Wow. But time is no factor because he says he’s like fine wine; he just keeps getting better with age. And to prove it, just look at his stats, which are staggering.

James has:

3 NBA Titles

3x NBA Finals MVP

3x NBA All-Star Game MVP

4x NBA MVP

14x NBA All-Star

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Yes, LeBron James is still the king of the NBA. And this year, King James is trying to lead his rag tag, bumbling, and sometimes blundering band of basketball bums to at least the Eastern Conference Finals. But it won’t be easy. The Cavaliers are in trouble because LeBron does not have a strong supporting cast. But then again, James has been to the finals with less talent.  So we’ll see.

But LeBron is at the end of the line in Cleveand. And Ben Simmons’  Hall of Fame career is just getting started. Could this be the passing of the torch?

Philly’s phenomenal young rookie, Ben Simmons, had a double double and was 3 assists shy of a triple double in Game 3 on the road in Miami. His partner in the prime of his life is Joel Embiid who returned from an eye injury wearing a mask and led the Sixers with 23 points and seven rebounds. Not too shabby for a seven footer who needed to knock the rust off. Philly won a rough, tough, physical game which was close through 3½ quarters. But the Sixers pulled away and put Miami away down the stretch and won by 20. It was an impressive team win to say the least.

So who ya got?  The Houston Rockets have James Harden who is trying to prove that he is indeed the League MVP and can lead his team to the Promised Land of an NBA Title.  But not so fast. The defending Champs, the Warriors still have something to say, and the upstart New Orleans Pelicans are leading favorite Portland 2-0, and they are winning Game 3 handedly. But don’t sleep on the Philadelphia 76ers.  Don’t do it. They’ve got their best player back and they’re playing their best ball, so the sky is the limit for this young talented team. I’m just saying.

To be the best you’ve got to beat the best.  What’s true in sports is also true in life. Living life involves tests and trials, and in order to come out on top, we’ll need to bring our best. But sometimes our “A” game isn’t quite enough. That’s why we need the help of Heaven. The enemy of our souls tries to throw everything he has at us in an effort to knock us off and knock us down and ultimately knock us out. 

But have no fear. This is The Year of Jubilee.  This is the year that God shows off and shows out and shows up for us. Believe you me.  God is at His best when we are at our worst.

 

DeMarcus Cousins & The Sacramento Kings: “We Like Him But We Don’t Want Him”

demarcus-cousins

DeMarcus Cousins was traded from the Sacramento Kings to the New Orleans Pelicans. Sacramento is 24-33 and in ninth place in the Western Conference, one game behind the Denver Nuggets for the 8th and final playoff spot. The Pelicans are 23-34 and in 11 place in the West.

But Cousins is the Kings leading scorer, averaging 27.8 points and 10.6 rebounds this season. The three-time All-Star recently served a one-game suspension after accruing his 17th technical foul and will be forced to serve additional suspensions with every additional technical he incurs for the rest of the regular season.

So the question is this: will it work? Can Cousins calm down and settle down and simmer down and play basketball alongside one the NBA’s elite players, Antony Davis, the 2017 All Star Game MVP, who is also on a struggling team? The Pelicans sure hope so.

From the outside looking in, Cousins is a head case. After publicly saying that they would not trade Cousins, Vldae Divac and the Kings turned right around and traded him. On Feb. 6, Divac told ESPN, “We’re not trading DeMarcus … we hope he’s here for a long time.” Yeah, right.

Divac’s public statement, sources said, followed a face-to-face meeting days earlier in which he assured Cousins and his representatives that there would be no trade and that the sides were on track for the extension this summer.

So why was Cousins traded? Because he’s a hot head and everybody knows it. The Kings now have the chance to start over because there was growing internal concern about Cousins’ unpredictability and run-ins with referees, and these were chief among the lures that convinced Sacramento to go forward with the trade Sunday, rather than playing the process out until Thursday’s trade deadline.

So the lesson is this: what do people think and say about you? What do they say publicly, and does it match what they say privately? The Kings were willing to part with arguably one of the NBA’s best big men in order to get … Buddy Hield? It doesn’t make sense unless you understand why the Kings wanted to get as far away from Cousins as possible.

Our attitude determines our altitude.  Period. Those around us can see and sense our disposition a mile away. And because we are supposed to emulate and imitate and mimic and model Jesus Christ, let’s hope that this ironic, sarcastic and sardonic “we say we like him but we really can’t stand him” attitude can’t be pegged on and doesn’t apply to any one of us.