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Kobe Bryant: Dreams + Arts + Culture

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Kobe Bean Bryant;

In every man’s life, one needs a superhero. What is a superhero to me? One who stands for what he believes in. While conducting it in his own fashion and that action being inspiring for others. I’ve heard and seen with my own eyes people cheer you on and bash you in the worst possible way one can be bashed.

From hearing people describe you as a  ball hog, selfish, bully, ignorant and so on. You kept this unique composure. Many wondered who is this guy? Why isn’t he going down like the world around him wants him to? Because they would soon find out that you we’re not just an ordinary athlete, you were as the basketball world would know you as the ‘Black Mamba.’

The name originating from many snakes. Your comparison was to the black snake known as ‘the venom’. This snake is known to be very toxic. It can also bite people at a very rapid “succession”. Kind of how you can ‘kill’ your opponents in a rapid matter of time. Where I’m from (the hood) people often describe others as snakes mostly when someone offends a person in a very discreet way. But sometimes it’s all a matter of a misunderstanding between two individuals. In one’s mind a certain action can be viewed as good. However, in that other person’s mind it can be looked at as “snaky”.

jordan_vs_kobe_bryant-NBA

Some may call your actions throughout your career as snaky but I call it Iconic. Throughout your career you had a certain way of thinking. Despite many people not liking it, you’ve made everyone respect you! It goes beyond all the accomplishments you’ve acquired in the NBA while having a negative look. You used basketball as a healing tool, a fun activity, a heartbreaking story and a heroic one. I remember growing up, I knew I loved basketball because it was a culture instilled in the hood. It was one of the only things a young, black, poor kid could do better than the average teen. However, I still looked at basketball like just a regular activity. Then growing up playing NBA 2K series and watching the NBA here and there something hit me! I started thinking to myself, maybe around grade 10 that basketball was not just a game. I don’t know much about other sports because I have never payed close attention to them, but to me basketball is the best compliment to the hip-hop culture.

With crossovers, dunks, 3-point celebrations and rap songs being played over the best NBA moments, the NBA was the cooling thing to me. I felt like NBA players we’re acting like rappers and rappers we’re acting like NBA players (or at least shouting out the HELL out of them in their songs).

Michael Jordan set the tone for how big the game of basketball has become, and not just by his style of play. His shoes alone have made him more money than he’s ever made in his career. The Jordan sneaker series have made him the richest and easily the most successful athlete of all-time. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see M.J play live, in-person, but I have seen a man named Kobe Bryant play on February 12th 2012 vs. the Toronto Raptors. It was my second-time going to an NBA game, this time my favorite player was playing, Kobe Bean Bryant.

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I remember rushing to the Air Canada Centre and forcing my way behind the Lakers bench at half-time. It was a close game. I remember taking a video with 58 seconds left in the game, I said ‘Kobe Please’ and you hit a three-pointer to cut the Lakers deficit to 1. The whole crowd screamed, some booed, others like me cheered. To my surprise the show was still not done. You started biting your jersey with a scary look on your face. You stole the ball during the Raptors next possession and ran a fast-break with Metta World Peace and he finished the fast-break you created, with a lay-up. The following play Jose Calderon hit a jump shot to take a 1 point lead with 16 seconds. Fans around thought the Raptors had stolen the game. But I knew better than to doubt you. You hit the game winning shot on James Johnson and the whole crowd went crazy. Then as the Raptors tried and tied the game. You asked to guard Calderon who was hot that game while still biting your jersey.

Kobe Bryant Bitting Jersey
Lakers Kobe Bryant Bitting Jersey

A clear play designed to give Calderon the ball, you guarded him and forced a five-second violation. The Lakers won and at that moment right there, in front of my very own eyes I saw that you we’re indeed a superhero. What I didn’t know was that the young boy running to the stadium was running to his soon to be dream.

After that game I remember thinking wow, that atmosphere is easily the best I’ve ever been around.

From hip-hop music playing, to fans booing and some cheering to professionals playing the game I loved growing up so properly. I knew right then and there that I want to make a living working for an NBA team. Kobe Bryant made me develop a dream for something I view as art and life.

To me no one has ever demonstrated the art of basketball like you. You’ve worked like no other athlete could work. You’ve done everything a man can hope to do on a basketball court.

After all 81 points!! Shots after shots, I could go on forever with all you’ve done for this game. But your greatest accomplishment is easily the fact that you poured out your heart and gave absolutely everything you had to the NBA and the Lakers uniform. It’s helped you mature, love, appreciate, help, share, win, lose and accept. Now I am accepting that you are retiring. You don’t owe me anything, you’ve already demonstrated how much bigger basketball was then how people perceived it. How it’s an art and inspires millions and millions. You’ve impacted me and many other great ones. Because of you I am now a 21-year old basketball writer, scout, coach and I do believe I will work in the place you’ve made me develop a dream for ‘The NBA.’

Rest well! You’ve created dreams, set the standard for players, made us cry, made us smile, made us hate and now will miss like no other.

See you soon MY SUPERHERO,

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NBA

Watch THIS Work! The WNBA Bets On Women

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watch this work the wnba bets on women
Fight and win like a girl...

Great expectations.

Ten years ago the motto of the Women’s National Basketball Association was to, ‘Expect Great’. Now a decade later and into the roaring 20’s of a whole new one and world, the league that tells you to watch them work truly has for all it’s worth.

The WNBA and CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) has reached a monumental moment in the leagues history and its time to read all about it on Los Angeles Sparks twin superstar Chiney Ogwumike’s Twitter thread.

It tells us the CBA means…

When it comes to players salary and compensation there will be a 30% increase to the salary cap as the higher max pay player salary jumps like Lisa Leslie’s first dunk from $117,500 to $215,000. Whilst there will be an additional compensation for those top tier Candace Parker players around $300,000. Moving millions this is thee first time the league has moved units like this in six figures. And like Russell Westbrook why not? Because for every player like him there’s an Ogwumike. For every Candace a LeBron. Every Luka Doncic a Breanna Stewart. Every Larry Bird a Sue. Kobe Bryant, Diana Taurasi. For every Michael Jordan a Lisa Leslie.

Every insufferable, couch potato chip, sexist fans who unlike a Suffragette doesn’t believe women deserves equal pay needs to check their pockets…yep like Rakim said that’s nothing but lint. Now paid in full these women deserve this and more like diversity at the Oscars. Just as good as the men like Michelle Wie (she’s not the logos sons wife people) golfing with the guys of you claim you’re “woke” on social media but can’t wake up to this then you’re about as woke as still in bed gone half 12 in the afternoon. It feels like all those trumped up people who had a problem with a female ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot. Or those old men who would rather bully a 17 year old girl with Aspergers online than believe in the actual happenings of climate change.

Sure there’s an argument that sportspeople shouldn’t be paid these ridiculous amounts of money. But the point is if the men get paid this much then why shouldn’t the women?

This should have happened a long time ago. But at least it’s happening now.

It’s about time.

Working mothers are also finally getting their due in a groundbreaking deal on this date. Players will receive a salary whilst on maternity leave with an additional new childcare stipend. Whilst up to $60,000 of progressive family planning benefits for veteran players for costs for adoption, surrogacy, oocyte cryopreservation, fertility and more. No longer will go hard greats like Skylar Diggins-Smith have to play whilst pregnant and hide it to protect herself whilst the CBA lists it as a “condition”.

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Perks of the game that the men have had for years and the world class women deserve just as such also include individual hotel rooms for players, more mandatory leg room on flights (how important is this for basketball players? The NBA would cry personal foul if the King and them would be forced to fly economy), and further for the finances, off-season job opportunities with league partners that along with the salary rise will mean that WNBA players won’t, overplayed and underpaid have to go overseas in the off-season to earn more money to make ends meet in foreign leagues. Something which has been a conditioning condition and pay for play issue since the leagues inaugural inception.

And let’s not forget about the players mental health too in major improvements across the board and world to an issue still surrounded with stigma despite the lengths taken and measures made. More resources will be offered in addition to the adoption of a Nutrition Council that will aid peak performance by offering players a commitment to this optimization.

But it’s probably the stand made by the WNBA and the CBA against violence to women which is the most important. Ending domestic and all sorts of violence to women which has happened to players around the league and still happens everyday, effecting everyone needs to end NOW like it should have never happened. It seems like such a ridiculously obvious thing to say…but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said.

Again and again until we don’t have to.

The wide world has finally met the standards of the women’s game and league on the way to leveling the playing field. More of the same…do we really need to add the please now?

Betting on sporting events is a losers game. But betting on women-like the ones in this league-is a sure thing.

The game changed for real today.

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NBA

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 20 Pts, 20 Rebs, 10 Asts first Canadian NBA triple-double since 2006

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shai gilgeous alexander 20 pts 20 rebs 10 asts first canadian nba triple double since 2006
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 20 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists joins elite NBA company

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Hamilton, ON) became only the second Canadian basketball player in NBA history to record a triple-double — and the first in nearly 14 years, since Steve Nash in 2006.

Gilgeous-Alexander racked-up 20 points, career-high 20 rebounds and 10 assists in the 117-104 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The former one-and-done Kentucky Wildcat continued his efficient campaign shooting 8-of-12 field goals, connecting 2-of-3 triples and 2-of-2 from the foul-line.

Steve Nash recorded three triple-doubles in his illustrious 18-year career, the last one on April 19, 2006 — Nash finished with 16 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

The 20 rebounds is also a record-high by a Canadian guard and only the second 20/20 double-double by a Canadian — Jamaal Magloire notched a 22 point, 21 rebound game against the Toronto Raptors’ on March 21, 2004.

Most rebounds by a Canadian in the NBA

Samuel Dalembert (Montreal, QC) holds the record for the most rebounds in a NBA game with 23 against the Golden State Warriors on March 20, 2009. Followed by Magloire 22 and Tristan Thompson with 21.

Gilgeous-Alexander becomes the youngest guard to record 20-20-10 stat-line and joins Russell Westbrook as the only guards with a 20-point, 20-rebound triple-double over the last 30 seasons. He is also the youngest player in NBA history with a 20-rebound triple-double, passing Shaquille O’Neal.

RJ Barrett became the first Canadian basketball player to record a triple-double at the NCAA level in nearly 35 years during his lone freshman season with the Duke Blue Devils.

The OKC Thunder continue their playoff push with their 18 victory in the last 25 games and currently sit in 7th place in the western conference.

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The Canadian guard is currently averaging 20 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists — shooting 46.4% from the floor, 33.6% from three-pointers and 81.6% from the foul-line while turning the ball over just 1.9 per game.

Canada NBA All-Star Drought

The 2020 NBA All-star game in Chicago is less than month away and as it currently stands, Gilgeous-Alexander doesn’t currently rank as one the top fan vote earners in a guard heavy western conference. Nevertheless, the Canadian stud could end Canada’s eight year NBA all-star game drought by earning a coach’s selection.

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