According to his book, when Bryant was a boy and his Jellybean dad was playing for San Diego, Abdul-Jabbar held the kid above his head like a lion cub. King of Hollywood. When it comes to Laker legends none come much bigger (apart from Shaq or Wilt…quite literally) than the 2K’s of Kobe and Kareem.
Number 8 or 24 up there may just be the greatest Laker of all-time. As 24 tried to get one over Jordan as the greatest player to ever lace up Nike’s in the NBA. He even went for 81 in a game. Second only in history to Chamberlain’s century. But when it came to all-time points made. He came third to two other NBA legends to don Lakers purple for gold. Mailman Karl Malone (got to love the Air Gordon hand behind the head, relaxed alley-oop tribute that was true Magic). And of course Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and that unstoppable sky-hook, line and sinker.
Both legends have not really retired however ever since the day they said goodbye to the game. Those competitive flames of passion never really ebb. Kobe in typical Mamba fashion has already won an actual Academy Award. Taking the Oscar for his ‘Dear Basketball’ animated short based on his Players Tribune retirement announcement piece. And in trading the rock for his Granity production company, he’s certainly in the right place to make his Hollywood dreams come true and continue his Los Angeles times story.
Kareem on the other hand has molded himself into a wonderful writer from the practice of his study. Speaking on social injustices with his protest prose and the ways of the world. As a matter of fact, from amazing autobiographies to articles for ‘Time’ magazine. Not to mention children’s books and analysis on the game, Abdul-Jabbar’s penmanship has become arguably as profound and important as his incredibly influential and inspired playing career. Could the man who has scored more points than any other player in NBA history actually even be a better writer than he was a ballplayer with the points he makes in a different book of history? As a matter of fact this year the Hollywood Reporter and Guardian newspaper regular contributed has been considered for a Grammy for his ‘Becoming Kareem’ audiobook. Which this writer along with his ‘Coach Wooden and Me’ moving memoir narrated by number 33 himself kept in Kindle company this summer on a solo trip in the Far East from Hong Kong to Tokyo, morning to night. Thanks ‘Cap. I needed that.
So it’s only fitting that just in time for Christmas (yep…believe it. It’s coming like Winter), you may find two new books from these two titans clashing in a different way (the New York Times Bestseller way) under your tree or on your bookshelf this season. Showing these two still ball even though they are far from purple and gold this year. Take it as read.
Kobe’s new book of Andrew Bernstein beautiful photography really takes you into his ‘Mamba Mentality’. What was once a Twitter trend has now turned into a bookend. As this coffee table book that reads like Michael Jordan’s ‘Driven From Within’ photo essay volume is set to reheat the table you place your feet and leave everything else on there decaf. As a matter of fact this short but to the poignant point read may just be the most inspiring book of basketball since late, tragic great analyst Stuart Scott’s ‘Everyday I Fight’ declaration.
The X and O to life Mamba motto analysis really taps into what this game and world is all about. It’s more than tidbits. It’s testament. And a new way of thinking. Guided by a competitive killer with an assassin’s eye for details. This is a man who watched nature documentaries to see how cheetahs moved their tale as they lunged at their prey so he could incorporate it into his jump shot when he took off from his legs. The same man who took up tap dancing like Fred Astaire to improve his footwork that he’d already picked apart by tearing up the old basketball wives tale that high-top sneakers where the way to go. Truly changing the kicks game like the number 23 before him. God is actually in the nuanced details here for something as necessarily rich and detailed to those passionate on honing their craft. Like anime animators, video game ones. Movie directors who are truly dynamic. Or songwriters who really see those twelve notes for what they really are or could be. Everything creative in this life, from business to commerce, culture and the fashioned designed sketches like a dance starts with a paper and pen.
Want to know the real secret? Read all about it.
Kobe also gives it up in short testimonial great detail to the legends who have inspired his life to this day, like he does his teammates and breaking down his opponents. Muhammed Ali, Magic Johnson. And of course Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The captain who is adding to the vast volumes of his own bookshelves by piloting a new Sherlock Holmes novel. Yep…that’s right. Two years after his ‘Mycroft Holmes’ debut with dynamic duo, magic partner Anna Waterhouse, Jabbar puts the deerstalker back on and puts his subject back under the microscope for another trip to Baker Street like Gerry Rafferty. And this time Mycroft is joined by his more famous, but here much younger sibling for ‘Mycroft and Sherlock’. A stellar sophomore story no slump that really gets into the mind and madness of the world’s most famous sleuth of a detective. All whilst adding to his big brothers own growing narrative legend, Kareem legacy retold in 2015. Taking it all the way back to the foggy, muddy, horse and carriage streets of 1886 London, the Evening Strand would be proud to print this.
Kareem and Waterhouse really tap into that Arthur Conan Doyle mythology. And as you read into this it feels in texture and aesthetic as real and raw as the Sherlock stories back then. Making it more than an accomplished accompaniment to the modern Holmes tales told. From the Benedict Cumberbatch, BBC ‘Sherlock’ series set in a modern day Big Smoke. To the more traditional movies with the Iron Man to Benedict’s Doctor Strange, Robert Downey Jr. (what a pleasure and marvel it was to see them go at it this avenging year in ‘Infinity War’). And let’s not forget the hidden gem that is the inspired ‘Holmes In Kyoto’ Japanese anime incarnation. But from studies in pink to hounds of Baskerville, this Basketball legend has found a home with Holmes. Elementary.
So my dear, Kobe or Kareem? It doesn’t matter which legend your history book chooses, which book should you read this fall for the record? Well just in like trying to pick which player on the biggest stage was better. The hook of Showtime, or the changing of the guard, we have a better idea for you…
Patrick Beverley Doesn’t Give A F…
If life really is measured on f###s. L.A. guard of the Clippers kennel, Patrick Beverley has none left to give.
Frankly my dear, in Hollywood this guy doesn’t give a damn.
He doesn’t care that the Lakers drafted and dealt him like Pau Gasol’s younger brother Marc (even if for fuel he once may have). They’ve made that young core mistake time (Julius) after time (D’Angelo) and history will Anthony Davis itself again. He doesn’t care about LeBron James and his Hollywood throne. Or even Lonzo Ball and his opening night. He doesn’t care that the Lakers are the Tinseltown toast of Hollywood and L.A.’s team. He doesn’t care that they share STAPLES like borrowing office supplies from the next cubicle. They aren’t even in the playoffs right now. But his team is. Covering up banners with the balls to raise one of their own one day. He cares about this side of L.A. Their way.
Patrick Beverley doesn’t care about the Houston Rockets, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, or the Oklahoma City Thunder like Kevin Durant. And he doesn’t care about him or Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins or any Splash Brother Warriors from Oakland to San Francisco. You can talk about how Kevin Durant cares about him though. Look at that look of love for the game he’s bringing on his face in the midst of all that trash talking respect disguised as hate. I haven’t seen Kevin this happy in years. For all that emotion K.D. has received ever since he switched shores to the Bay, this is the only time he’s loved this type of hate. Because it’s not that. It’s just the passion of competition. And there’s nothing “just” about that, although all is fair in love and basketball war. Because like the late, great Charlie Murphy once said about Prince serving pancakes and behind the backs on ‘Chappelle’s Show’ epic real Hollywood stories, “this cat can ball man”.
Would anyone like some grapes?
I guarantee Patrick Beverley doesn’t care if you do. Like he doesn’t even care that Durant dominates this photo that speaks a thousand words or more for this article like we were shamelessly trying to bait more clicks. When really we’re trying to show how David looks in the face of Goliath from his vantage point. Not to mention the joy laced with “oh s### this guy’s really got me” look on the face of one of the greatest in the game about to get ejected too for going toe to toe with a super sub. But never underesimate the power of a microwave player like leaving your reheated Subway sandwich in the nuke cooker for too long. No matter how much you blow on it or fan it with you skittish hands, it’ll never quite feel like it’s going to cool off from its magma serving like a deep burn (we’re talking more ‘Big Bang’ Sheldon Cooper Aloe Vera here, more than ‘Anchorman’ Ron Burgundy’s thousand bicep curls that probably started at around nine hundred and ninety nine). Hello Lou Will, 6 Man of all-time, popping nachos after he did the Warriors celebration balloon like fallen Forum ones in Celtics cursed storied Lakerland. He doesn’t care about tacos, this cheese is for all the salsa. Pat Bev doesn’t even care that this Laker fan wishes he would have worn purple and gold like others he still wishes would (miss Zu). Like he probably doesn’t care for this shortened version of his name.
Patrick Beverley won’t even care about this article but we do.
He doesn’t care that the Durant dynasty as hot as Curry from downtown Oak Town are champions for years running more than faucets that leak as much as the splash in the Golden Gate of Golden State’s Pacific. To be specific he doesn’t even care if his team is down 31. Because another 30 points from sweet Lou will turn this game around and into the makings of a all guts to their own glory road, ESPN 30 for 30 documentary as the Clippers clip all that like short back and sides. Just like the place you parlour pool your postgame analysis in the next day as you’re former haircut gets dustpan swept up like many people thought these L.A. kings of the underground would be on their way by now like “we close in half an hour”. But now they stand as underdogs of the year in an end of season award category that should be invented with this guy being it’s de facto MVP for his team. Most Improved? Nah? Patrick Beverley doesn’t care about that.
He doesn’t care about you. The name on the back of your jersey. Or the team on the front. No matter how many people in the stands share those strands. He doesn’t care if he gets in your head like the Spotify song of the moment, or under your skin like that underrated Scarlett Johansson movie that sees her as an alien riding around Scotland in a a truck picking up dudes (why was I not in Glasgow that week?). He doesn’t care that I wasn’t in Glasgow that week. Neither does Scarlett.
What he does care about is his job, his role and his team. And he doesn’t care if he has to get ejected like the passenger seat in James Bond’s old Sean Connery era Aston Martin to do it. He doesn’t care if you’ve just been jettisoned from 007’s car. He doesn’t care if you’re shaken or stirred. You should have worn a seatbelt. He cares about buckling up and down. Guarding the opposing teams best player. Even if it is one of the best in the world right now. And he doesn’t care about switching to the other best player in the world on the same damn team if the occasion calls for it. He doesn’t care about that. He just cares about rising to the occasion. Answering the call. He doesn’t care if Philly are on their phones. He cares about what’s at stake. He cares about making them sweat for every shot, swat or not. He cares that tonight’s he’s going to give his all come tip. Because here’s a tip for you, what Patrick Beverley DOES care about is the game. Like the one Allen Iverson goes out there and dies for. Forget practice. Stepping over Kevin freaking Durant like Ty Lue. Like he 1 through 15 cares about his band of brothers. Like family. Like what he’d give everything for. Sweat after shot. Cheap or invested. Never throwing in the towel, or even taking a Gatorade break. Unlike Young Jeezy he doesn’t even care about how much Gatorade makes. And who even cares about Lob City these days after they threw it all away? Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and even saving Jordan before DeAndre ended up at the Garden like M.J. at his best? That’s all history Doc. He cares about Rivers that run deep. Not the air up there in LAX like the Hollywood Hills, but the grounding reality of what this game is all about. Spalding to hardwood.
Patrick Beverley doesn’t care about 10 points and 5 assists. His line or a career high. All he cares about tonight is that the box score of stats reads a W for the team he gives his blood, sweat and opponents tears for. So here’s for him, whether he cares for it or not. Like being the only player that reminds us of those golden era mined tough 90’s years. Or much like those Oakley and Mase (Rest Peacefully money) Knicks, in stark contrast the grit and grind Grizzlies that this gnarly son of an expletive-we can’t mention like the no f words given again and again in this article-would be perfect for alongside fellow defensive dog back in the day Tony Allen. He doesn’t care that there’s no one like him in a league who needs more players exactly like this. Because believe me you know who does care?
Every other player in this league who has to face him. Because face it. Like him or not he’s the realest thing to happen to this game since hand checking. So you really do have to hand it to him.
But if you don’t? Guess what we don’t give?
Clippers’ nacho-eating Lou Williams collection a viral masterpiece
When your name is Lou Williams nothing is out of reach.
Exhibit A — casually rescue your team from a 31-point hole to set an NBA playoff and Los Angeles Clippers franchise record for the largest comeback victory — defeating the defending champs Golden State Warriors 135-131 in one of the few remaining games in a building where post-season victories rarely comeby.
Exhibit B — Continuing the 36-point, 11-assist double-double by double-dipping on a large nacho-platter in the Warriors visiting room whilst cooling out the knees to funny social media memes of historic events that just transpired.
Exhibit C — casually show-up in eating nachos on infamous masterpiece paintings such as Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” or casually Sunday afternoon chilling on George Seurat’s oil on canvas island of La Grand Jatte from 1884.
@LAClippers’ nacho-eating Lou Williams masterpiece collection
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