The Real Big Baller

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Published: June 24, 2019

There’s a Big Baller in New Orleans, ladies and gents, and he isn’t going anywhere.

No, this isn’t going to be a puff piece on Lonzo Ball, apologies to my Westbank Laker fans. No, I’m not going to say that Zo is “actually better than you think when you look at these advanced stats”, or that Brandon Ingram is the next KD. There will be plenty of time to dissect the trade, its players, and their fit over and over and over again. We’ll get there.

But before we do, let’s get one thing clear: this is officially David Griffin’s team.

Technically, it was his when he was hired on April 12th. Technically, it was his when he hired Aaron Nelson, Trajan Langdon, and Swin Cash-all great hires and all deserving of focused attention. But this trade, along with the draft, feels like a true shifting of the guard: the culmination of 5 months of chaos, 2 organizations in disarray, NBA execs losing their jobs, entertaining pettiness, and great internet memes. The closing chapter of an old regime & book that was too entertaining to put down, but that you were so ready to be over.

Anthony Davis is a Los Angeles Laker, or will be as soon as the CBA allows.

Whether you like the AD trade or not, Griffin made good on what he promised – building the right way. This trade says that Griffin is investing heavily on himself and in this franchise for the long-term. It’s not a quick fix. It wasn’t for instant gratification. It wasn’t going to keep the Pelicans circulating on The Jump or on NBATv, and it wasn’t done to increase ticket sales. This is the type of move that New Orleans sports fans have only seen embodied in the Saints: one that has a vision, one done with confidence, and one betting on themselves and on the community.

Remember, this is a community that has and continues to fully embrace once-injured quarterback Drew Brees, the wild and tattooed misfit Chris “Birdman” Andersen, the nose-ring wearing Alvin Kamara, the phone-flipping Joe Horn, the helmet-throwing Kyle Turley, and the bounce-inspiring legends Darwin “Choppa” Turner and Jerome Temple, otherwise known as DJ Jubilee.

This city embraces people for who they are. One that takes care of its own and will love back 100-fold more than what’s given. Still don’t believe me? Go check out how much love Josh Hart is getting for simply asking about beignets and changing his profile picture on Twitter.

It’s only been 2 months, but Griffin is quickly changing the perception of a franchise that looked to be on life-support 5 months ago. Now, this organization (specifically Griffin & Gayle) is starting to feel like, dare I say it, one worthy of our trust & investment.

And all this couldn’t have been done without our Queen B, Gayle Benson, and our newest Big Baller.

I’m no ambassador, but welcome to New Orleans, David Griffin. You’ve reached a point of no return. You’re one of us for all that you’ve done for this team, and this city takes care of its own.

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