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Laker Legends Kareem And Kobe’s New Books Read Into Sherlock And ‘Mamba Mentality’

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Laker Legends Kareem And Kobe’s New Books Read Into Sherlock And ‘Mamba Mentality’
"C'mon Cap My Books Better"...

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.

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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.

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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…

…both!

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NBA

Wade In The Rafters. The Heat Rises To 3

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wade in the rafters the heat rises to 3
Wad3's World...

How’s this for a Flashpoint in NBA history?

Tonight the Miami Heat gave us ‘The Flashback’. DeLorean riding back to the future of last season. Were Dwyane Wade rocking a red Heat hot bomber jacket that was all “Great Scott” Marty McFly had his number three jersey under all that retired, as the Heat rose his 3 to the rafters in a flash.

After ‘One Last Dance’ for Dwyane last season were he swapped jerseys like trading cards, Wade and his former coach and President Pat Riley watched his last jersey go up past the nosebleeds to the ceilings he smashed, arm in arm like a proud father watching a home video of his sons wedding on the highlights of the jumbotron.

The relationship is exactly like that. Built on a fatherly foundation.

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Miami has had a matrimony with Wade from the Chicago towns own All Star start, championship run on his own and then post Bulls and King reunion return to redemption.

Some may say Shaq. 90’s purists Zo Mourning and Timmy Hardaway. Others the greatest of all-time LeBron James forming like voltron with another Heatle that’s about to have his jersey retired, Chris Bosh. But let’s face it when it comes to Miami Heat players and franchise faces, D-Wade is the G.O.A.T.

Legacy. Legacy. L3gacy.

This is the way of Wade. How its been and how it will always been up in the air of those American Airlines. A father first and always part of the Miami family when the South Beach welcomed him like Will Smith, this guy is for life like Bad Boys and the number 3 that Martin Lawrence’s Marcus has framed in his own living room rafter raise for the latest sequel.

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What you gonna do?

This was a Florida city union like pink or turquoise neon, or the ’till death do us part loyalty of ‘Bad Boys II’ and ‘LA Finest’ spin-off star Gabrielle Union. The port of Miami Rick Ross rocked the mic and even King James sent a video tribute from his Californian Lakerland as fellow retired club legends Chris Bosh and Ray Allen were in awe attendance.

“Life is good” Wade said like Nas for this two hour special that seemed ready made for an ESPN documentary. 30 for 30 or 3 for 3.

3 in ’03 to infinity for his sweet 16. The sun will never go down on the legendary legacy of Miami’s adopted son.

And in a tragic start to 2020, like Chi guy Wade embracing an emotional Allen Iverson in a Kobe number 8 tribute throwback this moment was the answer to the pain from our prayers.

Now all that is left is one last step to the Hall.

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Chicago, All-Star 2020 blows in the Windy City for Kobe

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lebron james throws down two hand dunk 2020 nba all star game
Finding 24 Forever...

Untouchable.

Like Eliot Ness, that’s what Common’s city of Chicago is when it comes to this court. All greatest of all-time thanks to the statue outside the United Center that they have to bring in from the cold when ice gets in it’s cracks like the veins of new Minnesota Timberwolves cold front player, D’Angelo Russell (he should be here. These lost Lakers are just glad Brandon Ingram is). Forming a duo with Karl-Anthony Towns as dynamic as that one of Star Marbury and the uncut gem of Chi-towns own Kevin Garnett heading for the Hall.

And just like the Big Ticket, the Rose that grew from concrete and the way of Wade who was moved to tears, the rapper slash actor, author and Microsoft poet Common (who fittingly won MVP of the Celebrity Game in his city. Even after Kenny ‘The Jet’ Smith said “c’mon Common you can’t even dunk donuts in coffee” after giving Dwight Howard’s athletically graceful, camera flash freeze, cheese smile, spin dunk an 8 (Kobe?)) put on for his city like Barack Obama and of course the statue of the G.O.A.T. M.J. with a poetic rap that waxed lyrical on hoops history and it’s nuanced nostalgia.

Shouting out the real King MLK and Kobe before Magic made a moving speech, all players behind him dressed in warm-up white and Jennifer Huston brought the not a dry eye in the arena, house down with her tribute that beat the hardwood like the commercial Dr. Dre one for this California love in Chicago, like the National Anthem of treasure Chaka Khan in a 23 jersey.

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Common also had rhymes for each player introduction for all those who would take to the floor dribbling across the Chicago skyline, as he rocked the mic like fellow Chicagoland legend Chance The Rapper halftime and injured All-Star Dame Lillard, who still got to play this weekend as Dame D.O.L.L.A. The first player to perform on this stage of Basketball’s Grammy’s, bringing out ‘Tha Carter’ himself Lil’ Wayne and a Mamba Forever leather that we all want to cop for this year’s Winter jacket.

From saying “Sixteen-time all-star, three-time NBA champion/ We continue to witness his reign / One of the greatest to play the game/ From the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James”, to “A four-time all-star / He handles the rock like Gibraltar / From the Boston Celtics / Give it up for Kemba Walker”.

But hey, I’ve got one for you all, “like the Beard and the Brow he runs the show/so where the f### is Alex Caruso”.

But to the beat of his own raps and his milk carton brother Kanye, even if every event was set off by the “GO” vocal of guitar hero John Mayer on his Common collaboration with ‘Jesus Is King’ walking God, Mr. West (from the bam, bam Bam Adebayo BAM Skills Challenge bucket win. To the Buddy Hield buzzer beating on the last ball of the last rack, Devin booking, beating and winning the Three-Point Shootout (still one of the best and most underrated events of the weekend)), this night of all the All-Stars was all about the one who should have been in the crowd cheering with his daughter courtside.

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From Superman, Dwight Howard returning and bringing back the red cape out of the phone booth, with 24 on the chest, to Man Of Steel and former Lex Luthor like enemy Shaq filming on that old camcorder again. In one of the best but most controversial dunk contests that saw an all 50 and 7-foot-5 Tacko leaping Aaron Gordon robbed again like when he cleared the mascot (seriously I don’t mean to leap to conclusions, but these guys need to get over jumping over things…literally. Only Leonardo DiCaprio gets over this many people).

This time by the South Beach, bringing the Heat in the Windy City, tornado storm of Derrick Jones Jr. Air Gordon won’t be back (thanks for that judges. Dwayne Wade said in the Skills Challenge his mind can be changed…ain’t that the truth), but let’s hope the backboard ball touching, Woody Harrelson Venice Beach wear honoring Pat Connaughton will be. Because white men can jump too in an epic exciting weekend of Chicago, 2020 that in the Olympic year of Tokyo, 2020 showed all the world’s a Basketball stage like the Rising Stars game (Konichiwa Hachimura).

lebron james throws down two hand dunk 2020 nba all star game
Lebron James throws down two hand dunk during 2020 NBA All-Star Game in Chicago

For the main event of the biggest weekend on the schedule itself Team LeBron all wore number 2 on their blue jerseys for GiGi and Team Giannis 24 forever for Kobe (a bald Khris Middleton even sometimes from the nose bleeds making it look like Mamba was there…which spiritually he was like his mentality), to another LeBron like Kobe dunk running the floor like Bean and the 24 second shot clock that decided the fourth quarter of an entertaining All-Star Game that was more than the legendary lay-up line and was actually a competitive affair.

kawhi leonard 2020 nba all star game mvp
Kawhi Leonard 2020 NBA All-Star Game MVP

That’s just what happens when you win the game on a free throw (157-155, King over Freak) as Laker and hometown Chicago hero Anthony Davis did the honors after filling the stat sheet with the game on the line. But, the All-Star MVP now beautifully renamed the Kobe Bryant award went to another Los Angeles King in Clipper Kawhi and his 30 points. Who dedicated his award to the late legend it’s named after, as fans had their fill of their favourite weekend of the mid-season they love like the hearts of a mid-Feb Valentine.

Just don’t ask him what he had for dinner.

Answer…Team Giannis.

For Team LeBron. For Kobe. For GiGi.

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