Listening to channel 46 on Sirius XM which is the old school hip-hop it was fitting that they played the Mark Morrison classic, “Return of the Mack”. Why is it fitting you may ask? It’s fitting because basketball season is about to begin with more questions than a kid reading the Bible. Will San Antonio repeat? Will the Cavs go to the Finals? How many ankles will Jamal Crawford break this year? Will Philly tank another season? How will the 2014 Rookie squad fare against NBA competition? The questions can go on and on but since I love sports and rap music another song came into mind when thinking about this upcoming NBA season. The song is called Guess Who’s Bizzack featuring Beanie Sigel, Scarface and Jay-Z. Even with all the hoopla of LeBron returning to Cleveland or Clippers under new ownership, there are 2 players that I want to see flourish to the highest level; Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant. The words from Scarface probably echo the sentiments of the mentality that these two ball players’ have:
“It’s a new game doin, lemme give ya the rules Get outta line and I’ma give ya the blues It’s a new game doin, lemme give ya the rules Get outta line and I’ma give ya the blues, whoa”
Make no mistake Kobe and Derrick will make you look stupid if you try to them on some sweet shit. I can still see Kobe dropping 25 a night and with all the disrespect he has been getting from sports media he may snap for even more. If you haven’t noticed, Kobe ran out of fucks a while ago regarding interviews from reporters so don’t add fuel to the fire or as my dad would say, ‘son don’t add no more lighter fluid to that grill’. Derrick Rose won MVP back in 2010-2011 and has lived with his crossover and ability to penetrate to the basket and with that team he has now he is definitely stepping with the big dogs-martin voice. With all of this being said, which return means more to their team and franchise: Kobe Bryant or Derrick Rose?
Throughout the course of any NBA season there will be injuries, lackluster play and contract disputes. Already there have been some key injuries to Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal, Paul George, Manu Ginobili that will impact at least the beginning of the season. In Paul George’s case it will impact the whole season but a speedy recovery to all players injured. But for the past two years it was about Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant being injured, not no more my friends these two men are 100 percent healthy and ready to crack some heads like security at a strip club. These players are returning this season but their teams are going in different directions.
Kobe Bean Bryant entering his 19th season in the NBA. 36 years old. 5 championship rings. You know the man’s stats and even to this day he is the draw of Laker nation. But like this season as in last season when you watch the Lakers this year you won’t be seeing a team fighting for a playoff spot in the Western Conference but you will see a scrappy team following the leader and icon of this franchise. Kobe Bryant is the Leonidas of the Lakers. He is preparing his team the best way he knows how but will it end tragic. It definitely doesn’t help that Steve Nash has been ruled out for the entire 2014-2015 season with a nagging back injury which will probably sideline him for the rest of his career. If that’s the case in my opinion, Steve Nash is a first ballot Hall of Famer. But there are other elements to look for in the Lakers’ this year; there’s the development of Julius Randle, the amount of And 1’s yelled by Carlos Boozer, the ability of Jeremy Lin at point guard. Let’s be real there are some veterans that make it 18 years in the NBA but none have the anticipation of a fairy tale ending then Kobe Bryant. He’s still the life preserver of the team and will fuel this team like a Gatorade after an intense workout (which reminds me to go to the gym today). Kobe is in a fight bigger than his team trying to make the playoffs. He’s in a fight against father time, silencing critics and eliminating any self-doubt. If there’s anything that I know about Father Time is that it’s undefeated. Well at least he’s still getting paid handsomely which to some think it’s a detriment to any financial flexibility that the Lakers may have left. But the near future is looking mighty bright for this team so 82 games for a chance in prosperity for years to come is worth the wait.
Derrick ‘I don’t know your middle name’ Rose is coming back after 2 years of catastrophic injuries to both of his legs. His timing is impeccable as his team is favored to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Additions like Pau Gasol, Mirotic and Doug McBuckets definitely help but the biggest addition is a healthy Derrick Rose. Wright Thompson from ESPN Magazine writes, ““Everything he wants is right in front of him, and he’ll know in a year, maybe two, whether he can have it — or whether his dreams evaporated when he blew out his knee. All this will be fascinating to watch. His second mission begins now, and, as with the first one, he doesn’t know how it will end. Internal drives aren’t easy to understand, much less defeat, even if he is healthy; Michael Jordan won every battle he fought, and he is entering middle age unhappy and lost. Derrick Rose escaped his neighborhood and his old life, but he remains a citizen of his own ambition”. How far will Derrick Rose’s ambition take him? Make no mistake Chicago Bulls won 48 games last season and with their excellent offseason they are arguably the top team in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls are ready to win and win now so there’s no more mulligans, no more what if Derrick Rose is healthy…the time is now and the clock is ticking. I never thought there would be a time where people would regard the Lakers as a rebuilding team but even if Kobe comes back wearing Number 8 and an afro, the Lakers aren’t expected to make any noise. Let’s not kid ourselves Kobe returning is huge but not as huge as Derrick Rose.
I say Derrick Rose’s return means more because of the age difference between these two players. Kobe will always sell tickets but he will be remembered for what he has already done not what he’s going to do. No matter what Kobe does the Lakers’ future will be in free agency not his health. Kobe already has his Hall of Fame ticket stamped, the championship rings and a highlight reel made for a documentary while Derrick Rose is aspiring to capture the same accomplishments. Fabolous says it best, “Being hot gets you the MVP, staying hot gets you in the Hall of Fame” Kobe has been hot for the best decade and change but even the hottest of fires have to be extinguished let’s just hope Derrick Rose has the same longevity.