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…
Ottawa BlackJacks select Osvaldo Jeanty as first-ever Head Coach
The pieces of the puzzle are coming together for the Ottawa BlackJacks basketball team.
The start-up Ottawa basketball professional club named former five-time Canadian University champion Osvaldo Jeanty as the franchise first-ever head coach. General Manager Dave Smart made the announcement on Friday morning following a brief search that always included Jeanty’s name at the top of the list.
“Obviously, Osvaldo and I have had a long history together since he was probably 15 or 14, playing club basketball on the Ottawa Guardsmen to his time at Carleton (as player) and then he was my assistant coach at Carleton”, discussed Smart during the press conference.
“Os and I have worked together from a coach, assistant coach perspective, so I know what he’s about in terms of what his exceptions are, and we’re very much inline in terms of what our expectations are, and he knows how I operate and is comfortable working with me. So I think it’s an obvious fit, it’s and easy fit and we are really excited to start working together and put a team on the floor”, further elaborated the former Carleton Ravens on his selection process.
“It’s the first time he’s called me Osvaldo so many times since I was 15, I’m not really used to it.” a smiling Jeanty opened-up about his longtime head coach and mentor during his introductory speech.
Jeanty + Smart winning combination since the late 1990’s
The duo go back to late 1990’s with Jeanty playing for Smart at the Midget and Ontario Basketball U-19 Provincial teams. Under Smart’s guidance, Jeanty flourished as player helping turn the Carleton Ravens’ basketball program into the powerhouse that it is today.
The Ravens’ won five (2002-2007) straight U Sports men’s basketball championships during their time together as a coach-player combo — with Jeanty earning the Final 8 Jack Donohue championship MVP trophy twice, during his freshman and junior campaigns. A proven winner at all levels, Jeanty turned an outstanding collegiate career into a six year pro career, earning a championship with the Giants Nördlingen of Germany’s ProA league.
Inducted into Carleton Ravens Hall of Fame in 2015 — Jeanty earned an additional two titles as a coaching duo during their three-year (2016-19) stretch.
Both Jeanty and Smart were featured on the cover of the first-ever Canadian Basketball Magazine on March of 2005.
“I just wanted to say how thankful I am to Dave to Mike (Morreale) to the league for giving me this opportunity, also just for the Ottawa community. I’ve been here since I was six-years old and I appreciate what the community has given to me and the opportunity to be able give back to the community that has been so good to me is something that I’m very thankful for. So thank you and I look forward to really bringing a good product out there for the city, for the team and really representing the league the right way.”
As for the type of style and brand of the basketball the BlackJacks expect to play — Jeanty offered a glimpse of the same championship formula that has led to many successful moments between the now general manager and head coach tandem.
“He’s put into my head since I was 15, in terms of the keys to winning championships and I tend to follow the same of idea. You defend, you rebound, you don’t turnover the ball over — but at the same time you have 24 seconds on the shot clock so you want to play as fast a possible while not turning over the basketball.”
The attention now turns to rounding out the remaining coaching staff positions and the complex process of putting together a championship calibre team — that will undoubtedly have it’s sights on establishing an early grip on the proudly Canadian made Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) championship trophy.
With the addition of Jeanty to the head coaching ranks the CEBL now features two former Carleton Ravens’ players turned bench bosses. Niagara River Lions head coach Victor Raso also won two national championships as a member of the Ravens.
Coincidentally, Jeanty’s head coaching debut will be against Raso as the Ottawa BlackJacks will kick-off the inaugural 2020 season on the road on May 7th against the Niagara River Lions. The BlackJacks home opener is scheduled for May 14th against the Hamilton Honey Badgers.
A Rose For Kuz?
The Rose that grew from the career incasing concrete of a plaster cast, potential legacy ending injury is still in bloom.
Now that’s legendary.
As a matter of fact with the trade deadline nearer than your office one, right now nothing smells better than Pooh.
Currently more than motoring on with the Detroit Pistons in Motown, the rejuvenation of Derrick Rose has already had his redemption season. Howling back with the Minnesota Timberwolves the last 82. But in this one mirroring his prime time stats as a Bull and the next era after M.J. for the Chicago way, it’s still a story as good as a Dwight Howard Hollywood reunion or blazing Carmelo comeback out in Oregon.
And now like the former D12, D. Rose could be heading to the wild west like the one Anthony the Lakers didn’t get in the end (but should of). But like the young core, Ingram, Ball and Hart trade for A.D. is the prize worth the price?
Although Derrick is linked with the 76ers like every superstar over the past few seasons and a reunion with Chicagoland (which Basketball God’s would be the perfect closing chapter to this story that is albeit still being wrote by his own penmanship), the Benjamin Franklin’s are on Rose reuniting with King James although he called his Cleveland time with the classic Cavalier “super awkward”.
The former number one, that draft pick and NBA MVP is still most valuable and at 31 is almost a half decade younger than the King. Plus with awesome averages of 18.3 points on 50.3 percent from the field in 25.8 minutes and 5.9 assists per contest this campaign, the guy wants more time and to get out of the elimination standings.
Clockwork and contention could certainly be on the cards for Rose who let’s face it at his age and stage and with the numbers he’s putting up is still a superstar, hate it or love it. He’s been put through the ringer for his career like Bill Simmons or Shea Serrano, but now he’s being called on like Phil Collins to be one of the games greats like the genesis of his association with National Basketball.
So he may just be worth a package deal like your next vacation. Even if the Lakers are offering Kyle Kuzma and Quinn Cook for his services. Can I make a counter offer of Cook, Troy Daniels (great…but underused) and DeMarcus Cousins (although I do want to see how big he can literally get coming back and grunting with former post Pelican powerhouse Anthony Davis)? Throw in Drummond and it’s a go. Like Jerry Seinfeld superimposed into ‘Deal Or No Deal’ by NBC’s ’30 Rock’, “I gotta take that deal!”
Pair Rose with LeBron and the frontcourt force of Howard and of course Davis then these London Olympic teammates would make for what a couple of five ring contests ago on dry erase would look like a dream team. And it still wakes up notions of one to this date in the 2020 year of Tokyo thanks to Vogels vision. But would the show be giving up too much this time?
“This time”…yeah right!
Quinn Cook has California championship pedigree, splashing with the brothers in Golden State like shopping on Rodeo Drive. And this Warrior has been integral this season. His number 2 from downtown reminding me of the should be retired clutch king Fisher (we can always raise 0.4 to the STAPLES rafters) and making me feel happier about buying a Lonzo Ball statement jersey last year…hey if I wear it under a jacket it looks like I’m cooking up love and representation for Quinn.
And then there’s Kuz.
If the Lakers trade away Kyle Kuzma then they will be giving up the last piece of their incredibly curated young core that is flying with the Pelicans right now. Although how could I forgot about the untouchable, All Star Alex Carushow and the fact that Anthony Davis isn’t calendar far from Larry Nance Jr. and new Jazz 6 man Jordan Clarkson?
Although Rose solves the Lakers perimeter problems and feels in the same prime time as what could be his All Star teammates (how legendary would a Rose/Rondo backcourt be although it’s hard not to know whether to deal him or Cook?), Kuz seems too good to let cruise like Tom. This top gun may have struggled early this season, but he was coming back from injury Lakers Twitter. And recently he’s been that Worthy third option behind the Big Game Magic of James and his Kareem or Shaq to his Kobe number 3 partner, waiting on those Jordan digits next season when the King carries the 6.
30 for 30 putting up “trade this” exclamatory numbers in the dynamic duos absence, even Batman and Robin needed a Nightwing. And as much as Rose could help the new Lake Showtime bloom and grow like fine wine for all of LeBron’s merlot men, you could imagine Kyle making the Lakers pay play after play like a D’Angelo Russell or Julius Randle off the team that draft clever, but trade stupid.
Keep the player. Trade the barber.
Zero to 1. The legend or the future superstar? The choice for this deal is the Kings.
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