Clash Of The Titans: Showtime Lakers v. Dub Nation

Clash Of The Titans: Showtime Lakers v. Dub Nation

Could this year's Golden State Warriors beat the legendary Los Angeles Laker teams of the 1980s?
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Remember when you played youth basketball and there was that one parent who didn’t know when to keep his or her mouth shut? That is Mychal Thompson in this year’s NBA Finals.

Earlier in the series, Mychal Thompson, father of Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson, lit a fire when he said this year’s Warriors could beat his Showtime Lakers of the 1980s. For those who don’t know, the Showtime Lakers were known for their fast-paced, exciting brand of basketball and won five NBA titles in the 1980s under the leadership of Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Undoubtedly one of the greatest teams of all time, the Showtime Lakers at their best could compete with any team from any era.

So who would win if Showtime squared off against the Dubs? Depending on which era we set the game in, the outcome could be very different. Nevertheless, the individual matchups say a lot about what would happen if these two titans could ever clash.

POINT GUARD: Magic Johnson v. Stephen Curry

Here we have one of the greatest players of all time up against one of the greatest shooters of all time. Although nobody seems to be able to contain Stephen Curry as of late, he has never gone up against an opposing point guard with the size and speed of Magic Johnson. Standing at 6 feet 9 inches with a wingspan upwards of 7 feet, Johnson would be able to combat Curry’s quick dribble and nimble movements. Curry would get his points as he always does, but Magic would make it a lot harder on him. On the other side of the ball, Curry wouldn’t stand a chance against Magic’s driving ability. In fact, I suspect that Klay Thompson would guard Magic in such a game.

SHOOTING GUARD: Byron Scott v. Klay Thompson

Most people know Byron Scott from his time coaching the New Jersey Nets and Los Angeles Lakers, among other teams. Scott was also a key scoring option for Showtime in the mid to late 1980’s. Like Thompson, Scott was known for his three-point shooting and perimeter defense. With very similar games, it is hard to say who would win this matchup. If we accept my theory of Thompson guarding Magic, however, I think Scott would have an offensive advantage on Stephen Curry – as do most starting guards in the NBA.

SMALL FORWARD: James Worthy v. Harrison Barnes

James Worthy won a national title with Michael Jordan at the University of North Carolina in 1981. Worthy was lethal in transition, quick down the court and a great finisher with either hand. He was also one of the best post-up small forwards of his time. That being said, I believe that Harrison Barnes’s ability to defend the perimeter and the post would trouble Worthy a bit. I give Big Game James the advantage, however, considering he would be able to silence Harrison Barnes’ mediocre offensive skill set.

POWER FORWARD: A.C. Green v. Draymond Green

If this game were set in the Showtime era, I believe that Draymond Green would be one of the only Warriors players who wouldn’t be frazzled by the physicality. Regardless of the era, he would be going up against the Laker’s garbage man, A.C. Green. A valued rebounder and rim protector, A.C. Green gave opposing power forwards fits down low. I don’t think he would be able to contain Draymond, however, given DrayMagic’s (a nickname coined by Magic Johnson himself) tendency to bring the ball up the floor and outside-in style of play. Not to discredit A.C. Green, but power forwards like Draymond did not exist in the 1980’s.

CENTER: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar v. Andrew Bogut

With all due respect to Andrew Bogut, this matchup is no contest. If the likes of Moses Malone, Robert Parish, and Hakeem Olajuwon had trouble containing the Captain, Andrew Bogut wouldn’t do much better. As good a rim protector as Bogut is, Abdul-Jabbar was not much of a power player – he would beat opponents in the post with his finesse and patented sky hook. Like Bogut, Abdul-Jabbar was also an elite shot blocker and would be able to combat the dump off passes to Bogut off drives from Curry, Thompson and Green.

All in all, the Lakers starting five would have a step on the Warriors’ group in this imaginary matchup. That being said, the Warriors have one of the best benches of all time, something that would give them a leg up on the Lakers over the course of a game. An extended series between these two teams would go all the way, but in one game I believe Showtime would triumph.

Too bad time travel isn’t real and we can’t bring this game to life. Perhaps the next best thing would be to test the matchup on 2K – yes, I tried and yes, the Lakers won.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Due To The Achilles Injury That Kevin Durant Has Sustained, This Will Affect His Free Agency And Game

What is next for one of the greatest players in NBA history?

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Let me start this article off by saying that I am not a Golden State Warriors fan. I am not a Kevin Durant fan, and I have not been since he left the OKC Thunder in 2016. I have an always have been an OKC fan and yes I hated Kevin Durant with such a passion. That is until Monday, June 10th. That is the day when I saw the toll being an NBA player takes on the humans that play the game. Each decision they make is judged so harshly that even if they get injured, the fault has to fall on someone, even if no one is to blame.

Game 5 showed us that Kevin Durant is very much human and clearly understands that. I have no respect for the Raptors fans who started cheering when he fell to the floor clutching his Achilles. As a fan base, I understand the stakes of the game but that doesn't make it ok to cheer when a player might be out for the rest of the series. That is a reflection I know the Raptors or the NBA don't want.

The NBA is a business and the reaction of these fans makes it seem like it's all about the completion and nothing about the game that has changed and affected so many people's lives. It also makes it seem like the fans do not show empathy for anything but the win and that the players must do everything to get the win.

As for Kevin Durant's future, it is up in doubt because an Achilles Tear has been a devastating injury to players in the past. The Achilles is the biggest tendon in the body and tearing such an integral component will clearly rob KD of the some of the length and athleticism he plays with because the surgery and the rehab are so long and difficult to complete. We may never see the person who completely took over the finals and carried his team to victory or score 30-50 a night with an insanely high-efficiency rate. All of that goes up in doubt because of this one horrible and career threatening injury.

As for his free agency, I think that this injury will help KD understand the fan base he has around him and his teammates who need him just as much as he needs them. The Raptors have stolen the finals from KD and the Warriors and this might compel him to stay another season and compete for a 3rd championship instead of going somewhere such as New York.

As for New York, they might as well start preparing for a losing season as they do not have the 1st overall pick to get Zion Williamson and Kyrie Irving has stated that he would much rather play for the Nets than the Knicks. That has to hurt a franchise who was looking to build a big three with the edition of KD and attempt to compete for a championship. All in all, I want to wish KD the best of luck in recovering and becoming a top 3 player in the NBA again.

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